Thursday, May 3, 2018

Throwback Thursday - Arverne by the Sea

With the Blogging from A to Z Challenge done, I am resting today.

For my post Monday, I blogged briefly about a woman who lived in a housing development in Queens (part of New York City) called Arverne by the Sea.  Here is my original post from 2010, written before Superstorm Sandy.  If only I had been able to talk to her at length, but, alas, it was not to be.  She did tell me that the neighborhood in general had been greatly impacted by Sandy, but Arverne by the Sea, due to the planning that went into its design, survived with minimal damage.

Maybe one day I'll meet someone with more knowledge of what is happening in my birth neighborhood. 

For now, my post from 2010:

 I've talked about growing up in what became a slum neighborhood of the Bronx, but I am actually from Queens.

I have only a few childhood memories of tales of the place that was my home back when I was a little baby, from where my parents moved from when I was five months old.  I was never to return...at least so I thought.

Stories my Dad told me as a child, so distant in my memory, flooded back recently.

I was born in the Rockaways, an area of Queens (part of NYC).  We lived on Beach 56th Street, in a neighborhood called Arverne.  

Arverne had become a slum, too, by the time I was a teenager.  My two childhood homes, both slums.  No wonder I escaped New York City all together.

My Dad told me he would wheel my baby carriage on the Boardwalk.   I was a baby during the winter.  When it snowed, the snow would melt in the salt air.  I love the ocean, although I don't see it often. The ocean is in my blood.

The other day, I picked up an old New York magazine where I exercise.  People discard magazines and books.  Sometimes I find something interesting.  This magazine caught my eye.  I brought it home.

The magazine talked about various New York City neighborhoods.  One made me totally stop and gasp.

 Arverne by the Sea.  The magazine called it an "urbanist experiment".

It's urban renewal as you've never seen it. A social experiment.  To be blunt, a lot of the area is high crime, and the commute to Manhattan is quite long.  But on the bay side, Arverne by the Sea rises, challenging a hurricane to destroy it.

I found something else online..the word Edgemere Houses.  It's not the housing project where my parents lived-I wish I could remember the name but I know Edgemere wasn't it. [I have since found it] But-  I looked Edgemere up on the Internet and found a treasure trove of photos....including that boardwalk where I was wheeled in a baby carriage. Part of it is called Ocean Promenade and all together it's the largest boardwalk on the East Coast.

But much of what it winds through is....vacant.  Abandoned.  Such sad photos. Arverne by the Sea seeks to change that.

Arverne by the Sea.  I will continue to follow the development with interest, and wish it much success.

7 comments:

  1. I have fond memories of the Rockaways, too. And, by the time I frequented the area, Arverne was the place to pass by.

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  2. I was born in my aunt's home in Detroit and lived there until I was almost two. She did not move until the 1980's and I spent a lot of time there. The neighborhood is now a bad crime center in Detroit, one of the worst.

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  3. Isn’t it sad what an area of such fond memories disintegrates? Both towns I lived in as a child are slowly dying. One agriculture based, the other mining both succumbing to a lack of jobs.
    It’s nice that Arverne by the Sea is being revitalized! The name alone deserves a chance!

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  4. I, too, lived in a not so pleasant neighborhood when I was a toddler. Isn't it wonderful that our parents found a way to move on and here we are, grown women, writing blogs on the internet?

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  5. Experiment? Or gentrification? I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder. Although, a place on the ocean should be a nice place to live, one would hope.

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  6. It's interesting to re-visit places you used to live. I moved too many times as a child to remember them all. They've all changed. Not quite as dramatically, but still.

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  7. It's a pretty name. During part of WW II, my parents lived near the Brooklyn Navy Yard. That was before my time.

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