Our family was recently in Bryant Park in Manhattan speaking with one of the vendors at the holiday shops. The conversation with the vendor led to where we were from and we shared that we were from Great Neck, Long Island.
The vendor was from Brooklyn and said Great Neck – wow – I haven’t been there in at least 20 years. That was the place to be – everybody would go to all the wonderful shops and restaurants. Is XX still there? Is XXX still there?
I mentioned that times have changed and unfortunately, there are many closed stores. Many stores can’t afford the high rents and taxes. He couldn’t believe it and planned to visit to see for himself.
I have attended a few village meetings and read articles indicating that many Great Neck residents are unhappy with the present situation. It’s depressing to see so many empty stores that are not being utilized for the benefit of our community. Adding residential apartment buildings does not address these concerns.
In addition, these apartments would lead to overcrowded schools, increased traffic and a more difficult parking situation.
We were recently in Industry City Brooklyn where there was a place called The Gameroom. It consisted of old games (skee ball, pinball, mini-golf, Ping-Pong, Pac-Man, basketball hoops). They charged $8 a person for unlimited play and sold food and drinks. What a great place for kids to go, have birthday parties and the like. Here is an idea that could benefit the community.
Our Great Neck residents have many creative ideas on how to move Great Neck forward. These ideas should be listened to with the goal of establishing a comprehensive plan for all the villages in Great Neck.
The plan should include business and recreational opportunities. We are one town and everyone should work together.
I long for the Great Neck that this vendor fondly recalled. I never experienced it, but I hope in the near future my family can.
Great Neck, New York