I am writing in regard to Goldy Krantz’s “Dear John” letter in last week’s paper. As a long-time Kew Gardens Hills resident, homeowner, and someone who loves our wonderful neighborhood, I am greatly offended by her article. All of us in KGH know that there are neighborhoods that are cheaper – it’s no secret. However, there is something special about KGH that keeps us here. There is no reason to blame homeowners for buying houses here, thereby driving up the prices. If we hadn’t bought at those high prices, non-Jews would have bought these houses, and then what would become of our beloved KGH?
If Goldy can’t afford, or does not want to buy a house here, that’s fine – don’t blame us for buying. As far as her claim that she wants “more for her children” than a community driveway or park to play in, I guarantee that children here do not feel they are lacking. I see children playing together and having fun in the community driveways all the time! Families go to the park and befriend one another, children from different schools play in the park together – this doesn’t happen as much in neighborhoods where everyone has a private yard. I think this is one of the most beautiful things about KGH, and contributes to achdus amongst us and our children.
As far as her tuition claims, Brooklyn and Toms River might be less costly, but Baltimore and Monsey are definitely not. Housing might be cheaper in many of these areas, but that’s about it – I’ve done the research. There’s a simplicity and acceptance in this neighborhood that can’t be duplicated or found elsewhere. There’s a reason people stay and pay these prices, and I’m sure that Goldy, who grew up in this neighborhood, can understand that. Several years ago, this paper published a beautiful poem written by Rebbetzin Yael Marcus extolling the virtues of KGH – can you possibly reprint that? [Editor’s Note: Certainly. See page …]
I’m sorry Goldy doesn’t want to – or rather cannot – stay in this neighborhood, but don’t blame us or make us feel bad for staying in this special place that I, and so many others, are proud to call home.
a KGH resident and defender
I have started this email three times, but have deleted it three times. It gets complicated and I just want to state the facts.
Fact: My grandfather passed away a little over a year ago.
Fact: My father and his brother were left with a house they had to decide what to do with.
Fact: It was decided that they would donate the furniture and clothes and sell the house.
Fact: My wife and I were looking for a house at the time when all of this was going on.
This is where I don’t want to go into too much detail, but basically, I spoke with my father about buying my grandparents’ house, but at a discount. My father had to discuss it with his brother because it was a 50/50 split. Needless to say, my uncle wanted to sell the house to me and keep it in the family, but would not accept the offer I gave. My wife and I did our best to look at our finances to start juggling with what we can, and cutting corners. We weren’t able to raise our offer by much, but we did. My offer still was not accepted.
I can’t really blame my father (who did try to offer financial help, but that too was not enough) or his brother. When the house finally sold, it was for more than $100,000 more than what I offered. My wife and I couldn’t pay that amount for the house (and we knew what work had to be done in the house, plus a new roof was needed). I can’t say that we were not disappointed. We were and I still am.
I agree with Goldy. I’d love to see my children grow up in the same neighborhood that I did, but we can’t afford it at this time and we too have been working full time for over a decade. We are still renting the same apartment we have been in since we were married. We have looked at several houses in KGH, willing to pay a lot now, not make some home improvements right away, and revisit them in a few years, but we are losing hope. My friends are moving to Jersey, Monsey, and even one to Florida. They tell me that I’m silly for sticking around here where I’ll pay a lot and the house will still need work and I wouldn’t have much property to speak of – maybe a small porch where I can put a barbecue on. But this is the place I grew up. My wife has grown to love KGH, too; it has everything a frum family can want – but not the price. I found myself envying a house my friend bought a few months back. It was the type of house my wife and I would have liked, but it wasn’t where we want and we want Kew Gardens Hills. As they say, “location is everything.”
Again, I am not blaming my uncle or father for not selling us the house they were able to get much more money for, but we can’t seem to find anything in our range – which isn’t a small amount, by the way. We may end up moving away. That’s a thought that I would rather not have, but it may just be a real one, because we are outgrowing our small apartment. My kids play with the other kids on the block on Shabbos, but I wish they had a yard or even a driveway to play in rather than the front sidewalk. It’s natural to want to do better for your children than what you had. I think I may be cheating my kids – even though they don’t know it. They don’t know what they aren’t aware of, so they can’t feel the way my wife and I feel, because we know what’s out there.
Goldy basically said what my wife and I have been thinking: We’d love to stay in the neighborhood, but it doesn’t appear that we will be able to. I don’t want to keep renting. I’ve put so much money into rent, and at the end of nine years, I still don’t own the walls I live in.
Facts. Those are all the facts.
Moshe and Tova Goldberg
I’m writing to applaud Goldy Krantz for writing what I and my husband have been saying for years: “It’s too expensive for a young family to live in KGH!” My son and daughter both started out in Kew Gardens Hills when they were first married. This goes back about five years for my daughter and seven years for my son. They rented apartments with other young couples that soon turned into young growing families. But when my children and some of my friends’ children wanted to buy a house, they didn’t look in KGH, Hillcrest, or Forest Hills. As Goldy said, they simply could not afford the prices that were being asked – and both spouses were working.
My children ended up moving away, one to Edison and the other to Toms River, where, bli ayin ha’ra, each has a nice house, with room for my husband and me to visit. They both live on tree-lined streets where everyone knows one another and where the kids run back and forth on a Shabbos afternoon from one backyard to the next. It’s a shame that young people can’t settle in the town they grew up in.
The prices in KGH are through the roof. My dear friend just sold her house and moved down to Florida permanently. She is in a different situation that I am in; her husband passed away a few years ago and she felt that she didn’t need a house just for herself. When she told me what she sold her house for – a house that was just like the ones described in the article, fully attached, galley kitchen – and believe me, whoever bought it needs to put money into it because the kitchen is outdated – I couldn’t believe it! I would say it was highway robbery, but people are willing to pay these prices. Unfortunately, she sold to non-Jews. She said that they offered more money than the frum families did. I hope that isn’t a sign of the times. But if the nice young frum families can’t afford to buy the houses, that’s who will end up living here.
I have nothing against any type of people, but it’s heartbreaking to see non-Jews living and moving in where a Yid once lived. My husband joked that we should consider selling our house for a price like my friend did and move into an apartment on Jewel Avenue or Melbourne Avenue. But I refuse. I still want my children and grandchildren to visit for a Shabbos or Yom Tov, and I want to have room for them. I don’t think I’m of the age yet where I can’t prepare for a Yom Tov and must always be the guest.
Yes, it’s a shame that a nice young Jewish family can’t afford a house in this neighborhood. But soon the prices in the “up and coming” neighborhoods will get to be too high, as well. So, a new hot spot will be found. I just hope all neighborhoods like KGH don’t soon turn into an “older type of community” that young families won’t want to move into if the prices ever go down.
Renee S. Mann
Goldy is a beloved and respected columnist. She has a huge following. Readers enjoy her column, and appreciate her advice. She has the ability to influence others with the help of the distribution of the Queens Jewish Link.
But where is her loyalty?
The Queens Jewish Link is a local newspaper that exists to support the Jewish Community in KGH. Not only was her column not supportive of Kew Gardens Hills, it was in fact quite the opposite. We can only imagine the number of young families devoted to the column who now feel that they have the green light to make the move out of KGH. If Goldy can do it, then surely so can they.
As a writer for the QJL, Goldy should have understood her responsibility to be loyal to QJL and KGH. With this column, she has done a great deal of damage. This was a betrayal to our community in the name of personal conflict. Goldy used the Link for her own selfish purposes. The damage is done and it can’t be taken back.
Barbara and Morrie Libman
I am writing in response to Goldy Krantz’s article when she was preparing the community that she will eventually have to break up with Kew Gardens Hills. I find it very sad, but true as well. My husband and I have been looking for a house for close to two years, and it was only after the first six or seven months of looking that we realized that we would not be getting all the bang for our buck if we buy a house in KGH.
We sat down and looked at prices, what we can afford, taxes, commute to work, yeshivos, etc. and for the same amount of money and even for a bit more, we can get what some would consider a mansion and it’s not a mansion – just a regular four-to-five-bedroom house with enough room for children and guests, a backyard for everyone to have a good time in, two car garage, etc. Goldy was right when she asked why someone would want to pay these outlandish prices for a 20-foot house. My friend bought a house about a year ago, at the beginning of COVID, but her situation is as Goldy explained: her entire family is in the neighborhood, because her parents helped all of her siblings buy a house. I don’t know what she paid or how much her parents contributed, but I can only imagine, because I see the ads in papers for houses in the neighborhood for sale.
Right now, my husband and I spend our Sundays driving to neighborhoods in New Jersey and looking for open houses. I’m finding that it’s whom you know, not all what you read in the papers. My cousin bought a house a few years back because his brother sat next to someone in shul who mentioned he was going to sell his house. After Shabbos, a few calls were made, and before the house hit the market, my cousin was able to purchase it – and for a very fair price. Obviously there’s more to it than that, but you get the point.
I agree with Goldy: KGH will lose out because younger families who do not have financial help from family can’t afford to live here, or if they can, they will be house rich and wallet poor, which is something I do not want to be. Only those working for a long time and able to afford all that goes into living in KGH will move in. Key words there are “working a long time,” and that doesn’t sound like a couple married three or four years with a child or two. It sounds more like a family with children of all ages. It’s not only happening in KGH, but in many other New York frum communities where couples in their upper 20s and younger 30s feel driven out by the pricing. And that’s how my husband and I feel. We would like to settle here, but can’t afford to on two full-time salaries. It’s sad. It really is.
I’m writing about the article Goldy Krantz wrote in last week’s paper about the price of living in Kew Gardens Hills being too expensive for a young family.
My son and his family live a few blocks away from my husband and I. They were paying close to $2,400/month rent for a two-bedroom apartment. But they had outgrown their apartment and were looking to buy a house. They looked in our neighborhood and in many others. My daughter-in-law works as a teacher and my son works for a computer company, both full-time, hard workers. They were having a difficult time finding an affordable house in the Kew Gardens Hills area. No matter how they tried to work out their finances, they could not afford to pay more than $600,000 for a home. The simple truth is, there wasn’t anything in this area for them to look at. They said a co-op had an asking price of $525,000. I couldn’t believe it.
Thankfully, they did buy a house and will be moving soon to Passaic. They bought a four-bedroom house with a backyard for under $600,000. It’s a nice house without many bells and whistles, but they liked it and were able to afford it. The commute for my son won’t be that much longer than it is now and my daughter-in-law will be teaching in a yeshiva in Passaic in September. My husband and I will miss walking over on Shabbos and the surprise “pop ins,” but we know this is best for them.
Just the other week, a “For Sale” sign went up for a house down the block from me. I heard from my neighbor that the price is “through the roof.” Everyone should live however they feel is best. If someone can get an absurd amount for their home so they can have a nice nest egg for retirement, then do it. But all of this will come at a price. Salaries aren’t going up, but food, rent, and gas are. We may lose some of the younger families who would help keep our town young and vibrant, but you can’t have it both ways - either high prices or young families. Many young families can’t afford a house here without assistance from family. But soon the up-and-coming young communities will have prices for their houses rising as the young Jewish families move in - and then it’s on to the next up-and-coming town with affordable housing… for the time being.
I don’t have a solution; I simply wanted to say how my family has been affected by the high price of real estate in Kew Gardens Hills. I thank Goldy for her article and the QJL for publishing it.
Most of us Queens residents have never actually seen the Kew Gardens Interchange properly function. So here is the latest twist that might not be shocker but is worthwhile fodder.
A new traffic pattern at the Exit 8 ramp from the eastbound Jackie Robinson Parkway to eastbound and westbound Grand Central Parkway is now in place. Exit 8 is now located on a new roadway adjacent to its previous location and will lead to Exit 8E (eastbound Grand Central Parkway) and Exit 8W (westbound Grand Central Parkway). I am quite certain that the signage will be a disaster, but let’s give the City a shot.
It is also wise to note that real-time travel info from New York State’s official traffic and travel information source for road conditions, 511NY, is available by calling 5-1-1, visiting www.511NY.org, or by downloading the free 511NY mobile app. The free service also gives you an inside scoop on traffic cameras and provides a link to air and transit info. The app can be used while driving with a special ‘Drive mode’ feature, which provides audible alerts of warnings, incidents, or construction along a chosen route. Also, do not forget to slow down and drive responsibly in work zones; you don’t want to be hit with a double fine or license suspension.
I’m writing in response to Goldy Krantz’s article about Kew Gardens Hills being too expensive a neighborhood for a young(ish) couple/family to buy a house. Ever since I read the article over Shabbos, I can’t help but think about it.
I can see what Goldy is referring to. Just looking at the local papers featuring houses for sale with prices make you want to hold onto your wallet. But then again, she said it in the article: Kew Gardens Hills has everything a frum family would want: plenty of kosher grocery stores, shuls on every corner, plenty of daycare and yeshivah options for children. So yes, it makes sense to pay a price for that because we don’t want just anyone moving into our neighborhood. But what if we can’t get the people we want to move into this neighborhood to breathe new life into it? What will happen then? Others will move in. They may be nice and good people to have as neighbors, but we run the risk of them not being Jewish and that would be terrible!
I am looking at the paper now at a house for sale two blocks away from me, priced for over $800,000. For that amount of money, I would think it would have a guest wing, a pool – something special. But the ad and pictures read like a typical Kew Gardens Hills house – and not even one in Charm Circle. I am sure those are over $1 million. Is Goldy right? I think of my block and the surrounding blocks. A new family moved in a few houses down, but the couple has some teenage kids and they have been married upwards of 15 or 16 years. Not the young couple starting out. But that’s fine. We need middle aged families, too. A block down, an older couple sold their house to move closer to where their children settled and a Chinese family moved in. That was surprising.
My husband and I bought our house almost 15 years ago. We did not pay anywhere near what the prices in the paper are. We wouldn’t have been able to do that 15 years ago when our kids were still young and we had more expenses. I see both sides of the coin. Yes, it is expensive to be a good frum Jew living in a frum community, but if you do, you reap the benefits. For those who can’t afford it, it doesn’t mean we don’t want them, but this may not be the town for them. But if young couples/families move out, which they are doing, you can see it clear as day: There is a reason why all of these other communities are “up and coming for young families”; then what will happen to our beloved community in 15 years?
Goldy brings up a definite issue. But I don’t see a solution. You can’t ask sellers not to sell high if people are willing to pay the price. I don’t know what to say, but it’s a shame if we lose our young vibrant families.
BREAKING: FBI unravels massive conspiracy among parents to send their children back to school again (Satire)
UNITED STATES—The Washington Post published a disturbing report today, which revealed that parents have been conspiring with each other to send their children back to school again.
The conspiracy was unraveled by undercover FBI agents who set up a months-long sting operation to catch the perpetrators. FBI agents met with the unsuspecting parents at various locations, and presented themselves as working in different capacities, so they wouldn’t arouse any suspicion on the parents’ part.
All in all, the FBI arrested more than 150 million parents nationwide, each charged with child endangerment for wanting their children back in school without any masks or social distancing. The charge carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison. They’re also charged with a felony for wanting kids to be kids again, which could add another 25 years to their prison sentence.
“This was amazing detective work by the FBI’s finest,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said. “Putting your children back in school again where they can learn and grow like normal kids is the worst thing you can do as a parent. In my opinion, you shouldn’t even be a parent in the first place if that’s what you believe in. I’m just glad we arrested the parents before it was too late.”
The trial is set for the beginning of July. Stay tuned for further updates.
President Biden’s proposed $2.3 trillion infrastructure program would be spent over eight years. It includes $85 billion that would go toward transit. Key components are $55 billion for transit state of good repair, $25 billion for transit expansion, and $5 billion for Americans with Disabilities Act implementation. Democrats also provide $21 billion for safety, $25 billion for airports, $17 billion for ports and inland waterways, along with $115 billion for bridges and roads.
The Republican alternative $568-billion infrastructure program would be spent over five years. It includes $81 billion that would go to transit. Key components are $61 billion for public transit and $20 billion for rail. Republicans also provide $13 billion for safety, $44 billion for airports, $17 billion for ports and inland waterways, along with $290 billion for bridges and roads.
Both plans are incomplete. Neither provides a specific list of projects or their estimated costs to be funded under each category.
Government must be open and transparent if we are to understand what is being proposed. We deserve to know the details.
Washington faces a $29 trillion long-term deficit. It is anticipated to grow by $1 trillion annually for years to come.