City Living: Woodhaven, Queens -- amNY.com

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Nearly 200 years ago, Woodhaven was "Woodville" -- the name was later changed to distinguish the area from its upstate New York counterpart -- and home to two racetracks, drawing in tens of thousands of ... Full Story
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longtimeresident 11421

Whitestone, NY

#1 Sep 13, 2007
You've got to get your facts straight.

Woodhaven does not end at Woodhaven Boulevard. It keeps going until you reach the Richmond Hill border, several blocks further. The Golden Mango and Queens Buffet are across Atlantic Avenue in Ozone Park.

Was there any logic to the order you listed the ethnic groups in? If you go to the next town, Richmond Hill, you will find a large Guyanese and Indian community. I don't even know of any Jamaican population in this area. By "among others" do you mean the Spanish population and recent influx of Mexicans? Not everyone living here who is white is a recent immigrant from Eastern Europe. Some of us are even third and fourth generation Americans.

Yes, Woodhaven is a great place to live and we do all get along. We just don't like to be misrepresented.

Thank you.
KALB

New York, NY

#2 Sep 14, 2007
I lived in Woodhaven for 20 years until I got married and moved out 5 years ago. In the past 25 years the entire neighborhood has gotten horrible. We used to play outside all day and never worry about a bike being stolen or walk on Jamaica Avenue without a care in the world. Now you can't walk the avenue without feeling disgusted by the bums or illegals whistling at you as you walked by. My parents still live there and I seriously will not walk to my car with my kids alone at night. This article makes Woodhaven look like a great suburban-metropolis. It's a hell hole.
longtimeresident 11421

East Hanover, NJ

#3 Sep 16, 2007
While I wouldn't call Woodhaven a hell hole, I can attest to the fact that the people who move here, to a nice quiet neighborhood, and then bring their old habits with them of blaring music all day and all night, have definitely contributed to its downhill slide. We would really like to have people respect us and that means tone it down. This is a neighborhood where you can go outside and hear birds sing, but only if they aren't being drowned out by someone's noise. If you aren't moving to this neighborhood because it's nice and quiet, please don't move here at all.
the beav

AOL

#4 Sep 16, 2007
longtimeresident11421 wrote:
While I wouldn't call Woodhaven a hell hole, I can attest to the fact that the people who move here, to a nice quiet neighborhood, and then bring their old habits with them of blaring music all day and all night, have definitely contributed to its downhill slide. We would really like to have people respect us and that means tone it down. This is a neighborhood where you can go outside and hear birds sing, but only if they aren't being drowned out by someone's noise. If you aren't moving to this neighborhood because it's nice and quiet, please don't move here at all.
Franklin k Lane brings trash in to the area.
Notahellholenora haven

Urbana, IL

#5 Sep 18, 2007
I wonder if KALB is asking the whistlers for their green cards? Somehow she knows that they are "illegals". All I can say they're guilty of is bad taste. Woodhaven was a dumpy working class neighborhood in the 70s and it's a dumpy working class neighborhood now. There has not been one single day in the past half-century that a bike would be safely left unattended on Jamaica Avenue. Not one. The only change has been in the racial composition.
Queen of Queens

AOL

#6 Sep 18, 2007
I think people who live in Woodhaven don't see how it really is. Once you escape, you never want to go back. I moved out 15 years ago and it depresses me to see it now. But Woodhaven really hasn't changed; I have.
Queens Dude

AOL

#7 Sep 19, 2007
I grew up in Woodhaven and lived there for 25 years before moving out to Long Island. Around 1990 I started to notice a major change in the demographic of the neighborhood.

From that point on the area was rapidly declining. Crime was skyrocketing and the original long time residents were making a virtual exodus out of Woodhaven.

The Woodhaven that residents grew up in and loved was gone. Replaced now by a neighborhood saturated with immigrants, many of whom are illegals.

Impossible parking, one family homes gutted and converted into illegal tenemants and streets unsafe for travel at night are the realities of Woodhaven today.

Just look at the number of homes that have bars installed on the doors/windows.

Woodhaven is an urban ghetto now.
longtimeresident 11421

Bronx, NY

#8 Sep 19, 2007
I've lived here for 19 years, not being able to afford a home in my old neighborhood, and I've got to admit that the further I head towards Brooklyn, the more run down it is. I live on the other side of Woodhaven Boulevard, and it's not as bad yet. Maybe it's because there are a number of the larger, detached homes a couple of blocks from here.

We had to put up with the filth, trash and dirt when they ripped down St. Anthony's. Now they've got expensive houses there filled with people who don't even understand the concept of shoveling their sidewalks in the winter. You're lucky if there are some trampled down winding paths cut through the drifts in front of some houses.

These houses were priced so high that they raised our property taxes too. They have signs up saying that you can't enter--it's private. How nice. It's not a gated community and even the private streets in Forest Hills are still open to the public and you can drive through their streets. I wonder how these people will feel when the school that's going up there is completed.

By the way, the homeowners on the east side of Woodhaven are plagued by inconsiderate school bus drivers who walk over to the depot on Atlantic Avenue. They clean out their cars, leaving their trash on our sidewalks and streets, take every available parking space, and have the nerve to obstruct traffic when they're dropped off by their fellow school bus drivers, abusing the flashing red lights and stop signs extending from the bus so that they can pick up their cars. They aren't kids and should just be dropped off. Traffic should not be stopped because of these inconsiderate individuals.

All it takes is one miserable neighbor to start a block's decline. But there's no guarantee that you won't get the same type of neighbor in your next home. Most of the annoying "new" people on the block have moved and been replaced several times in the past 19 years. It's we "old-timers" who anchor the neighborhood and keep our fingers crossed every time a new "For Sale" sign appears on the block.
Mary Barresi

Brooklyn, NY

#9 Sep 19, 2007
Life in Woodhaven has made big changes since I grew up there '68-'83! 79th Street Corner: & Kenny's basement...ykes! Joe Barresi vs. Joey Galiano in the sprint! Neer's for Beers, Johnny Gebert - the neighborhoods own...Sal's Pizzeria, The Haven Theater and Planet of the Apes All Day Theater, The Penny Candy Store!, Scaturro's, The Dome!!, Parties in the Park, Octoberfest, St. Thomas, Fr. Chichester, The Horror Dentist across from the Church, Jimmy Young - great kid growing up, Louie Rizzo - break the rules- gotta love him, Barresi Family, Geberts, Houssmans, Kliens, Fremers, Jones, Hughes, Myles, and many more...Woodhaven will always be home...
Notahellholenora haven

Urbana, IL

#10 Sep 19, 2007
Ten years ago I was worried that WOodhaven was on the road to becoming a full scale ghetto but the last few times I've been back, I find that it has stabilized nicely.
Lorraine H

San Francisco, CA

#11 Sep 26, 2007
I grew up in Woodhaven and lived there until I was almost 30 years old. I still have such fond memories of Woodhaven. I now live in Levittown and I meet so many people out here who used to live in Woodhaven and it is like meeting family. I am glad to know that it is still a nice place to live. I miss it in many ways, like walking up Jamaica avenue and going to Forest Park. Josephine Guisseppe lived down the block from me, she is still going strong!! And I knew some of the Keegan family too. Long live Woodhaven!
Joe V

Piscataway, NJ

#12 Dec 8, 2007
Mary Barresi wrote:
Life in Woodhaven has made big changes since I grew up there '68-'83! 79th Street Corner: & Kenny's basement...ykes! Joe Barresi vs. Joey Galiano in the sprint! Neer's for Beers, Johnny Gebert - the neighborhoods own...Sal's Pizzeria, The Haven Theater and Planet of the Apes All Day Theater, The Penny Candy Store!, Scaturro's, The Dome!!, Parties in the Park, Octoberfest, St. Thomas, Fr. Chichester, The Horror Dentist across from the Church, Jimmy Young - great kid growing up, Louie Rizzo - break the rules- gotta love him, Barresi Family, Geberts, Houssmans, Kliens, Fremers, Jones, Hughes, Myles, and many more...Woodhaven will always be home...
Ahhhh Stella's sister, I went to Saint Thomas with her. You are absolutely right, that was a great town, I'm out here in Long Island now and i try to describe the life we had in Woodhaven to my 20 year old and my 13 year old, and they just don't get it. We had it all back then--and then when we got older
You're right there was Neirs for beers, white horse , paddywacks, circus , oh brothers , all in walking distance from your house, now i have to drive 2 miles round trip to get a quart of milk.

Heres some names , Ulrichs, Gumby, Smitty, The O'Neals, Roberts, Joey Mathis "Rest in Peace"
soldiermedic

Elmhurst, NY

#13 Jan 8, 2008
Call me blind, but i honestly don't see anything wrong with Woodhaven, esp. coming from the real ghettos of bklyn bushwick. Most of the crime that does occur in woodhaven is mostly because of the bordering neighborhoods, but for the most part, my block in particular is extremely quiet with many professionals. I live on a block that has 4 Police Officers, a few Registered Nurses a Firefighter, School Teachers and Social Workers. I don't think there's anything wrong. The only difference from the way it was back in the days is the demographics. And for the most part, its all working class minorities thats moving in including myself. I come home late at night, and there's no-one hanging out on the corner, unlike bushwick, i would get home late at night, and theres' lots of people hanging out. I honestly think people don't realize that woodhaven has extreme potential to become somewhat like foresthills. Woodhaven for the most part is residential with very few grocery stores within the community and beautiful houses in the community. Woodhaven is excellent for the working class family. Thank you, soldiermedic
Woodhaven Resident

New York, NY

#14 Apr 8, 2008
Folks seem to be seeing the same Woodhaven in different ways. I moved to Woodhaven 21 years ago when I married a lovely Woodhaven woman. We still live there. There are challenges, of course, but it's still has that small-town feel. Immigrants, legal or otherwise, have brought their sometimes unorthodox ways with them, to the dismay of the community. That being said, crime is down. With the cooperation of the numerous civic and business organizations in the community the 102nd Pct has seen crime statistics lower than the prime neighborhoods of Bayside, Forest Hills and Howard Beach, to name a few. And now, many of the elements considered unsavory are finding it hard to keep up with their ever rising variable rate mortgages and home equity loans. Loans often used to do remodeling that previous Woodhaven residents hadn't done in 40+ years. So for those of you now paying $250 a month for your train pass and $8,000 a year in real estate taxes, you may want to give Woodhaven another look. My real estate taxes are around $2,000 a year before the $400 rebate, and for $164 a month in Express Bus Metro Card payments I take one of the new $500,000 MCI Luxury Coaches the MTA has bought for the Express Bus Lines. Into work in 40 minutes. Welcome home again Woodhavenites!
Dowling

Saugerties, NY

#15 May 25, 2008
Woodhaven was a great place to grow up. I have many fond memories. I moved out back in '86. Moved out of NYC for good back in '94. I've been back through Woodhaven only a few times since then as I have no reason to go back - family is gone. The last time I was back must have been about 6 years ago - and I vowed I would never go back. It was such a dissapointment. Better to keep my fond memories of Jamaica Avenue, Lewis', Forest Park - as just that. Memories.
Kevin

Allentown, PA

#16 Jun 12, 2008
I lived in Woodhaven from birth up until I was 27. Woodhaven started to go down the crapper starting in about 1992 with the influx of immigrants moving in rapidly. The garbage from Lane HS (which I went to for 3/4 years of high school) is what really plagues the town. I now live in PA and it's above and beyond Woodhaven. Not only are the people inconsiderate but everything is overpriced and forget it if you want to find parking. I really do not miss Woodhaven. Almost everybody that I knew on my block when I was a kid is long gone. Only a few remain and i don't understand why.
PaulR

Central Valley, NY

#17 Jun 24, 2008
My first home was in a corner house bordering on Whiting Square in 1942. My bedroom looked out at that "Big Rock" on the square, only now it does not seems so big.

I attended 1 st grade at St. Thomas School before we to a new house in Hicksville, circa 1949.

My father's family grew up in a big house near the corner of Atlantic Ave and Rockaway Blvd.

I've been back only a handful of times in the past 60 years.
Dowling

Schenectady, NY

#18 Jul 9, 2008
I remember that rock very well! I think my initials are on there somewhere...
I went to St. Thomas thru 4th grade then went to Public School. I was married in St. Thomas back in 86. I can vividly remember Fr. Chichester, Fr Russo and Sr. Sheila.
PaulR wrote:
My first home was in a corner house bordering on Whiting Square in 1942. My bedroom looked out at that "Big Rock" on the square, only now it does not seems so big.
I attended 1 st grade at St. Thomas School before we to a new house in Hicksville, circa 1949.
My father's family grew up in a big house near the corner of Atlantic Ave and Rockaway Blvd.
I've been back only a handful of times in the past 60 years.
Kevin

Allentown, PA

#19 Jul 10, 2008
Are you both talking about that rock taht has been painted over like 100 times, literally? Each year I went to see it (early 90s when I was a kid), it was a different color. I remember that lace vividly as the American Legion was close by where my grandfather managed.
Dowling

Schenectady, NY

#20 Jul 16, 2008
The rock at that little square on 84th street. There was a flagpole, too. May have been a plaque on the rock. There were two oblong "islands" in the center of the street - all cobblestones.
Kevin wrote:
Are you both talking about that rock taht has been painted over like 100 times, literally? Each year I went to see it (early 90s when I was a kid), it was a different color. I remember that lace vividly as the American Legion was close by where my grandfather managed.

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