Why Did Mechanics In New York's Worst Neighborhood Go On Hunger Strike?
July 8, 2015 8:03 AM   Subscribe

The Queens neighborhood of Willets Point is an anomaly - on some of the most valuable land in New York City, you have a mass of auto shops that look completely out of place. And for decades, the area has been a target for redevelopment, being next door to Flushing Meadows - and for decades, the mechanics who made their living there had fought back. But finally, it seemed like a deal had been made - in exchange for allowing the city to redevelop the land, the community would be moved to the South Bronx, with assistance to transition these businesses. But after legal snafus, bureaucratic roadblocks, and other failures - why did the mechanics feel that their only option was to go on hunger strike?
posted by NoxAeternum (8 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
The snafus, roadblocks, etc. are always a feature rather than a bug in government plans of this kind. I have seen multiple offers of this type made in D.C., where I've lived for decades, and the original residents are never resettled in an orderly way, or allowed to return to subsidized space in any meaningful numbers if that's part of the deal. If they want you off a piece of land and you are poor or working class, they will bullshit you left and right until you're off of it.
posted by ryanshepard at 8:10 AM on July 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'm reminded of the Scouting NY post on Willets Point from 2013.
posted by duffell at 8:32 AM on July 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

no one can hold a prime corner of New York City real estate — and preserve it for gritty blue-collar work — for very long.

Country clubs and cemeteries are the biggest wasters of prime real estate.
posted by three blind mice at 8:38 AM on July 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

The Willets Point neighborhood, previously on MetaFilter.
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:41 AM on July 8, 2015

Apparently the whole Willets Point project has now been blocked.
posted by panama joe at 9:44 AM on July 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

Worse than a drug dealer.
posted by juiceCake at 1:24 PM on July 8, 2015

Wonder what Joseph Ardizzone the only actual restaurant will do?
posted by xetere at 2:37 PM on July 8, 2015

That was supposed to be resident in comment above.
posted by xetere at 2:49 PM on July 8, 2015

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