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.
9 months ago