Not Really The Best Of Rockaway
I live at Arverne By The Sea and we would like to send a response from a homeowner to Miriam Rosenberg for her tasteless article, written last week in The Wave titled “The Best of Rockaway: Where’s the Urban Renewal?”
The author of this article is naive and uninformed. What does he think will happen? A developer is going to come in and build new homes for everyone who already lives here? The development of new shopping and amenities improves the quality of life for everyone, not just new residents. The Stop and Shop had to be built somewhere, so it was built in its present location. People have a choice, they can come and visit this location, or they can continue to utilize the existing shopping closer to home. But, it is simpleminded to think that Stop and Shop is going to build a new shopping center in a section of the peninsula where existing supermarkets have struggled.
Naturally, they are going to build where there is new demand. And let’s be honest, the location is closer to the people the author is concerned with than the Waldbaum’s on Beach 116 Street. Between the Stop and Shop and the Waldbaum’s, there are two other supermarkets.
Where would the author of this article have preferred they put another supermarket? And if Arverne East ever happens, we can expect more shopping further east. This seems a fair distribution of the shopping centers. Or should they all be across the street from public housing? Did it not occur to the author that without ABTS there would be no Stop and Shop? Did the author think Stop and Shop would have even blinked an eye at building down here without ABTS? If so, why haven’t they already built here? Since the Stop and Shop is a direct result of ABTS, why shouldn’t it be located close to it?
Why should we have to travel to shop? For someone else’s convenience? Since we have taken the chance and invested in this community, shouldn’t we occasionally benefit from “it? And doesn’t the existence of ABTS create a reason for further investment and commercial development in the area that otherwise would not have occurred? This development improves the area, improves quality of life, brings positive attention to the area (as opposed to the constant negative attention), creates job opportunities ON THE PENINSULA, and raises the property value of the entire area. All of a sudden, people are interested in living here. But, apparently, we are supposed to apologize because our homes don’t look like bungalows or public housing. It is not our responsibility to fix the problems of everyone who lives here.
However, our existence creates new opportunities that this peninsula hasn’t seen in decades. It amazes me that people still resent us for trying to make this a better place. After all, we could have taken our families somewhere else. Instead we took a chance on this community. Without us there would be no Stop and Shop, no shopping plaza at Beach 67 Street, no new charter school and no YMCA. Local merchants and developers would not have bothered to invest to upgrade their businesses. Without us this place would go on being what it has been for the last several decades. So maybe the author should stop crying about how much these things will “touch the lives” of the existing residents. Because, without us there would be ZERO OPPORTUNITY for these things to touch anyone’s lives. Without us, none of these things would be happening.