As it is second nature to complain about the problems that plague our communities and neighborhoods, it is also easy to overlook all the things that make our town unique, special and down right ‘awesome.’
Two-and-a-half years ago, my family decided to move back into the city after a brief hiatus of living on Long Island. After weeping over extreme and ridiculous property taxes and poor public schools (reflective of the specific area in which we were domiciled), we started doing research to find the best place for a young, middle class family to live. After narrowing it down to Bayside and Middle Village, we settled on the latter. And while the transition was rough, we are blessed to be in a neighborhood which again, despite all its problems, all its transitions, all its annoyances, is an amazing place!
Before I proceed, I must briefly explain my previous comment. Yes, most of us live in attached houses where every now and then we hear more than we want to from next door neighbors, and yeah, many of us have lost a side-view mirror or two and sure, we all wish we could own more than 2000 square feet of property, but after all is said and done, we are part of a beautiful community; a community where the focal point is a beautiful park. It’s a town where your children run into classmates at Juniper, in the small stores along Eliot and Metropolitan and while queuing up for ice cream. Neighbors typically have your back and public transportation is available thus allowing working folks to travel to and from Manhattan. Good eats and bakeries reside here, not to mention a Michelin rated restaurant! The two public schools serving children K-8 are superb while the community-at-large fights for issues they deem important. There is pride in maintaining one’s home and the streets are adorned with American flags, not to mention the seasonal holiday décor.
It took us 14 months to find a home and for those months, we resided in a small apartment off Juniper Valley Road. As many know, the real estate market is insane and the task of finding an acceptable place, as well as a seller who is willing to accept 10% down, is difficult. Finally, after looking at nearly 50 houses, making at least ten offers, going under contract 3 times, and dealing with ‘certificate of occupancy’ issues, we finally found our dream home as well as sellers who turned a blind eye to all cash offers being thrown their way…thank God!
Middle Village, while known to many, is still in my opinion a ‘secret destination’ of sorts. Although I grew up in Manhattan, my grandparents resided in Queens and I as a child spent nearly every weekend traversing the 59th Street Bridge to spend time in this great borough. And yet, the town of Middle Village was never part of my vernacular until perhaps five years ago when a colleague of mine told me how great his neighborhood was. Perhaps the jokes of Middle Village being where all the dead people reside has deterred people to ‘take a peek,’ but to make such assumptions is simply absurd.
Middle Village is full of life and full of wonderful, great, caring people. My family has been fortunate to find this utopia and I am excited to continue my journey here with friends, family, neighbors and new acquaintances met daily. I am happy to be home.