Briarwood, Here I Come!

To the Editor:
I would like to respond to Barbara D’Ambrosio’s letter (“Good Things Going On” – Queens Tribune, July 31-Aug. 6) in which she touts the “good things going on here in Briarwood.”

First, Hoover Park is inaccessible because of the Kew Gardens-Van Wyck Interchange Project construction boondoggle, and the Playground sits adjacent to a trail of smog from the Van Wyck Expressway, posing severe health issues for the children as well as adults.  Second, there is only one supermarket chain, Key Food, with inflationary pricing, Chiu’s Garden Chinese dining with a “C” sanitary code rating, and limited banking needs now with the closure of Sterling Bank’s Briarwood office (no Citicorp, no Capitol One, no Bank of America). Third, the Doe Fund for street collection of trash is only necessary here because the people and businesses are generally dirty and discard trash on the streets and household/business garbage in the City sanitation receptacles causing trash overflow. Fourth, we have a pedestrian “mall,” managed by City Parks & Recreation, which has benches without backs loitered by homeless drunks, and an unsafe situation with a dislodged concrete ball (part of its design as a “mall of balls”) w
ith metallic posts jutting outward. Fifth, we have a homeless shelter,  which is a blight since it drives down property values for co-ops and private homeowners. Sixth, Briarwood Action Network’s (BAN) organized park days involving planting will not replace the massive ecologic deforestation along the Van Wyck Expressway and Hoover Park due to the Kew Gardens Interchange perennial construction. Seventh, the Briarwood E/F subway station has been detoured out of the way with commuters having to juggle dangerous vehicular traffic. Eighth, there is rowdy loitering 24/7 outside a Briarwood bodega with drug trafficking necessitating a recent police raid of the store just last week. Ninth, we have BAN field trips to Maple Grove Cemetery, technically part of Kew Gardens, to visit dead men’s bones! Gosh. Tenth, we have Samaritan Village drug rehabilitation for social deviants, another one of its social welfare programs amongst its homeless shelter deals with the City of New York in the Pam Am hotel in Elmhurst.

So, as that BAN publicist says (to reiterate), “there are good things going on here in Briarwood.” My eyes are wide open, and the only positive institution I see here in Briarwood is the Roman Catholic Archbishop Molloy High School. The whole commercial strip is socially and environmentally ghetto. Briarwood, here I come!

Joseph N. Manago,