Friday, October 07, 2005

conspiricy theory/racism in Astoria

I live in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, of course, which is a primarily Greek neighborhood, with some remnants of the Italians who lived here before the Greeks moved in 30 years ago or so. There are also fairly sizable populations of Columbians, Arabs, and latte-drinking yuppies.

Someone wrote into one of my favorite blogs, Curbed, a snarky New York real estate blog, with the following interesting conspiricy theory:
Wanted to tell you about whats going down up on the Ditmars area in Astoria. First of all, Burger King closed without any explanation, which was really odd because it was popular (busy).

THEN..... McDonalds burned down in a "mysterious" 3-alarm Fire.

THIRD.... KFC "lost its lease".......how does a billion dollar international company lose its lease?

All of these places had been operating for years. And you can't blame gentrification; there are still lots of nasty-ass shops on the 31st street where these places are. One dude who tried to raise the rent on the medical office space he owned has had to eat about 14 months of vacancy.

The upshot of this is that there are now no fast food joints near the Ditmars station. Been hearing some wispers that it's some sort of Greek conspiracy to keep out a certain ethnic group that really loves fried foods.

Very interesting. It's true that said implied ethnic group is nowhere to be seen in the neighborhood, despite being about 25% of the population of New York City. And when we were apartment-hunting in the neighborhood a year ago, our real estate broker mentioned this racism. She said that many Greek property owners won't rent to said ethnic group, and that it's a real problem for real estate brokers. Apparently, if a broker is in any way complicit in real estate discrimination, and a complaint is filed, they can lose their real estate license.

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