Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Dying Species

So I moved to Little Neck when I was already fifteen. It was the during the real estate boom, when there were a lot of houses being bought and sold, families moving from district to district. I had already been going to Hunter College High School for several years already, so I had my friends, and my usual hangout places in Manhattan.
I didn't make many friends my age around my home--in fact, my friends in the area graduated with me.
It's also because there are less public places where people would hang out. There is the mall in Douglaston, and McDonalds is always a popular hangout location. But it's generally harder to meet people while shopping or eating.
I'm particularly concerned about the teen and tween sets--adults work, and elementary school children have prearranged play-dates. When I was growing up in Woodside, the public parks were where children, teens, tweens, and adults of all ages hung out. But around here, the only parks I know of are attached to the elementary schools. While they are open to the public during after-school hours, few teens go there most likely because everything is pint-sized. Cunningham Park, which is on the far side, is the only exception. This was quite a shock for someone who grew up just blocks from three different parks.
It's a Little Neck/Douglaston trait--everyone has cars, so there is one big park semi-far away instead of many little ones scattered around. Another trend developing here is with the growth of the McMansions, people now go to each other's houses to use their personal pools, basketball courts, etc. Why bother go to a dirty public playground when you have your own private one?
This is why I'm glad the Queens Libraries are trying to counteract that and promote activities that increase communal integration--they just started teen ballroom lessons, online trivia games, and arts and crafts--a lot more than I remembered even a few years ago. (Many thanks go to the concerned politicians that secured the funding).
However, I don't think this is enough. I have plenty of free time this summer (you know, besides preparing for college, and this internship, and teaching karate), so if anyone knows a cool place to meet new people, do share.


MichaleenFlynn said...

Mr. Kerpen, you call yourself the "Unpolitician" - cute & catchy, but going by the list of lies, foundless allegations, and parroted 'facts' from the humaniac talking points you state here about MY industry, I would say that you are pretty much 'politics as usual'.
We are not 'under insured' - if we were, the Dept Consumer Affairs would not RENEW our licenses. "Dozens of cities" have banned horse carriages? NOT. You really should do your OWN homework, instead of relying on the animal loons - Toronto is the *ONLY* major city to not have carriages - London, Madrid, Kracow, Berlin, Dublin, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Munich, Prague, Milan, Vienna, Lisbon, Rome, Denver, Charleston, St Augustine, San Antonio - I COULD GO ON FOR AN HOUR listing all the cities that have horse drawn carriages.
Our horses are not "overworked", nor are they abused. They are, TRAGICALLY, better cared for than many CHILDREN in this city. It is a DISGRACE that you have our industry on your homepage as a MAJOR concern, and not a whiff or mention of foster children, handicapped children, parents in addiction, or any of the other crises facing NYC children.
To use us and bash us with NO FACTS and without even talking to anyone in the industry is the same dirty old politics that many have tried before you.
Shame on you.

davekerpen said...

Mr. Flynn,

I would love to meet with you to get a better sense of your side of the story! There are always many points to an issue- so please do contact me.

As for other issues, I agree with you that there are many other issues about which I feel passionately- especially those concerning our children - and I invite you to visit our site as it grows- you'll find many more issues added to the site in the months to come, before next year's election. Best, Dave