A Vision for Ward 9, and for Kingston

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About 20 people gathered this past Saturday at the Kingston Food & Gardens storefront at 33 Broadway for the “Ward 9 is Yours’ and Mine” visioning session, which focused on the commercial business area on Broadway between Foxhall Avenue and West/East Chester streets.

At the session, residents shared ideas for the vacant storefronts along the corridor, and identified hurdles to the overall success of the area from a business perspective. For example, residents said the area — as well as much of Kingston — is in dire need of a sense of pride. Residents recommended a “clean sweep” day where people and businesses take to the streets with brooms and bags to clean up the litter.

For the Ward 9 Broadway business corridor, residents shared their ideas for the types of stores they’d like to see. Ideas included:

— An ice cream parlor
— A custom bike shop
— A community center
— A stationary store
— A vegetarian cafe
— A luncheonette

Residents also discussed the need for several of the medical buildings to open up their Broadway-facing doors, which would encourage foot traffic and help businesses in the area thrive. Right now, there are two buildings — the Broadway Medical Center and the Kingston Hospital Pain Center — that have their Broadway entrances closed. Users of these facilities park in the rear of the buildings.

In addition, residents discussed ways to drawn-in businesses that will enhance the quality of life in Ward 9. Also, the idea of encouraging mixed used development in the corridor was discussed.

The overall tone of the meeting was positive. While the discussion was going on, two artists — Laura and Jasmine — created a mural (a portion of it is picture above) of the business area as it could look in the future.

Rebecca Martin, an organizer of the event and founder of KingstonCitizens.org is creating a “next steps” agenda, which could include another visioning session. Martin said the process could evolve into a comprehensive plan for Ward 9, and perhaps encourage the city to launch a city-wide plan.

— Arthur Zaczkiewicz

14 thoughts on “A Vision for Ward 9, and for Kingston

  1. Thanks for the recap. I couldn’t be there as my young niece and nephew were in town. I love the idea of a street sweep. Name the time and I’ll be sure to be there with my broom!

  2. Hopefully it all comes together. That section of Broadway is certainly in need of some TLC. Thanks for all you do for our ward and the City of Kingston.

  3. Have broom will travel. Count me in.

    For many years there was a gentlemen who swept and cleaned up the curb/sidewalk area just about everyday near the intersection of Henry and Broadway. He seemed to enjoy his task. Whatever happened to him? I used to smile because he was so conscientous in doing his task. Didn’t know if he was paid or he volunteered his services. I would see him in all kinds of weather. He inspired me to check out my own property to see if there was litter around to pick up or dirt to sweep.

    I wish, if he is still around, he would migrate to our section.

  4. Great work! Another group, at the Library, were exploring dreams for the overall community and a small subgroup delved into Kingston visions including bike and garden infrastructure, cooperative home-building/ buying, and local currencies.

    I would encourage, as one followup, a sit-down with the Main Street Manager, business association leadership, and city economic development staff whose job it is to help create a vibrant economy according to local wishes, and sketch a path toward implementation, one idea at a time.

    Melissa Everett

  5. The meeting was most informative about the group, the neighborhood, MY & of course YOUR Broadway between Foxhall Ave. & East Chester St. The story book vision was beautiful especially with the issuance of monopoly money to make sure the new merchants would be able to pay their bills until the mortuary shopping malls fold because they put in parking meters. To their distraught, China stopped subsidizing foreign industries at the end of 2006; China did that in order to fast-track enter the new global “market’ ECONOMY that globally spread because GWB cooked the books that was showed to them & all other countries that instituted the satanic global market economies of the falsely prospering US.

    Those subsidies stopped the same year that Wal-Mart was directed to unionize for abuse of privileges, then came Dell Computer; after which Chinese governmental investigations of “self-regulating” multi-national corporations found serious abuse resulting in the 2008 directive that all foreign corporations must now also unionize. Cutting corners for godly prophets is known as ABUSE in other parts of the world.

    Someone mentioned the income-tax loss write-off landlords & their empty store fronts in our derelict B’way Kingston corridor, how about embarrassing them & post their names! Unfortunately it’s too late to re-zone 2 parcels that are set to house legal abusively addicting DRUG distribution centers and their food convenience sections, but Mr. Sottile must bow to corporate crony’s. We also have the poison us slowly gas station’s that have convenience food shops that are needed for them to survive. The prophets are being made by the delivery truck industries and other middle-men ghosts like the funding of the anything goes Pentagon. This is the US where the prophets rule no matter what the cost, ask any lock-step evangelical republican refusing any oversight of their corporate prophets.

    I’ll give the benefit of doubt that building owners were invited to the meeting and not one showed up. My apologies for not properly speaking my ‘out of order’ words; were any of the tenants invited, was what I should have added. When I left the meeting I went to each of the shops except for the Chinese restaurant, since their minimal use of the English language. Arace was closed by then. What I did find was that each and every one of the tenants would have someway made arrangements to be there but no one asked but they were happy to hear that interest in being taken on OUR B’way corridor and hoped they would be invited in the future.

    The Tattoo parlour owner’s face lit-up & said that there are many things that can be done & wished that he had known about the meeting. The Pizza Parlour also said that no one ever contacted him but he couldn’t leave. Bet he could have with notice & then there was the Clothing Tobacco shop, interesting man; he has a 13 year young daughter and checks ID when someone wanted to by the pesticide laden, flame retardants laden & toxic chemical laden weeds that pass for commercial cigarettes with impunity! A young man, on his way home from work, stopped in for a 10 1/2 size work boot that he had heard the shop carries. Only sizes 10 & 11 were left but being a better shoe he tried it on and the smile on the young man’s face was a $70. sale after 20% off. By the way, this is also the man that does the fire-works in the area. He said that he would have closed his shop to be there but no one asked.

    It seems that these shops are not story book Christian enough and should be out of the neighborhood. All of them were a bit puzzled by next years missive of the youth being relegated to the military campus enhanced by the D.A.R.E. programs pleased with the Ritalin addicted youth now being subservient to the rules of law.

    I have a problem with Kingston Hospital’s PAIN center, reminding us that at least this time we have pain management instead of the agony our elders went thru some 70 years ago without pain remedies. How proud these hospitals are of their cash cows, don’t worry about the pain, go get your legal fix; D.A.R.E. messengers will hold the door open for you.

    No, I’m not being critical nor sarcastic, merely observing as a surgeon would, the new physicians and their perspectives on the growing cancer about the land. Then of course, there is Mr. Sottile lifting phrases from the Kingston groups & passing them on in headlines as though they were his ideas instead of complimenting this truly unusual & talented influx of American’s to our magnificent valley that I am confident will bring us out of this historic cronyism that is about to turn our city & first capital of the Royal Dutch global Empires in the America’s, into another pesticide toxic bedroom community. Pesticide toxicity didn’t raise its ugly head until economic frustration fast tracked them to the surface with peoples medications causing serious new side effects.

    Part of me wishes I never went to the meeting but I am so so glad that I did. We need growth, change is not enough, so that we can climb Jacob’s hemp ladder out of this toxic maze that we have found ourselves in on almost every level of society. Small businesses are absolutely our future; now let’s get those buses running punctually on time so that people can get to work or go shopping! I’m tired of eading about the Ugly American’s all over the world!

    PG

  6. Thanks for all the comments! Regarding the businesses, we dropped off flyers announcing the meeting, so I’m surprised that some of them were surprised.

    Either way, there will likely be more meetings to come and it would be great to have their participation.

    And thanks, Melissa for the update on the other meeting. These efforts are like pieces of a larger mosaic, all coming together to form a complete picture.

    — Arthur Z

  7. I think one of the remarkable things about the meeting was the illustration which is pictured above. Envisioning a vibrant section of Broadway where there is a lot of decay, is quite powerful. I see the street differently now.

    Thanks.

  8. I’m sorry I missed this… It truly sounds inspiring! Thanks for all of your efforts, and to everyone that did attend / got involved! There is an old saying, “if nothing changes, nothing changes”… and it seems to me, even during these difficult (for so many) times… that a LOT of good things (like this!) are happening!

    Just to add my two cents, I’ve always wondered why some of the shops / etc. that only keep daytime hours don’t let someone else use the space (when such is available) during the evening hours? This could mean split rents, etc… which would potentially be more affordable (and profitable) for both (or all) parties involved…

    For example, I know one shop on broadway (I don’t think it is in Ward 9) – open days – that reputedly has a room that could be rented out (in the pm) as a community meeting room…

    Which could be used for any number of events (perhaps a mini-town hall sort of thing…) – etc.

    Are people open to that sort of thing? Does anyone know what sort of problems (zoning issues, etc.) would be involved?

    Still and always learning…

    NS

  9. Also want to add – that the papers printed our press release (and the Kingston Times two weeks in a row).

    I also sent person invites via email to a pretty large list.

    Flyers were distributed on the block we discussed.

    So – if other key people did not attend, it is possible that they didn’t know – or remember – or that it was Valentine’s Day.

    But no matter. This is the beginning of a long process to develop a block. There will be other opportunities for those who missed it to attend.

    Arthur and I are working on creating a clean-up day in the neighborhood this spring. More details shortly. We may opt for a bbq for those in attendance and some live music for fun.

  10. One problen with businesses generating “foot traffic” on the section of Broadway that we were scoping, is that so many of the lovely historic old buildings had lovely historic lack of access for the mobility challenged. ( I still remember, with some nostalgia, my climbs into the bike shop!) I also understand that some of the buildings (I refer in particular to the former Happy Apple building) have infrastructure challenges. (poor heating systems, lealing rooves asbestos and/or lead. etc.) In the “good old days” buildings had shops on second floor. This would not be possible now because the shops would not be accesible. I understand (perhaps incorrectly) that there are persons living jn the second floors of these shops now, but not in legal apartments.
    Until we resolve the parking problems for this area it is going to be very hard to attract business. It would be very neighborly if some of the “MED-town” neighbors would open their parking lots so stores could have parking.
    As I mentioned, it would be lovely if we could once again have a sewing-sewing machine-craft store in the area–one that did alterations. I cannot tell you how many people have approached me wanting their clothing altered. It would be great if the wonderful young man who has the copy store could expand it to offer wifi, fax, self service copy and office and school supplies. I’d like to see a second-hand store on the block again. I’d like to see our announcements, newsletters, and visioning include Spanish translation for our Spanish-speaking neighbors. Our ward is becoming more international every day, and I would like to see our visioning include that. Within a block of me I have neighbors from Korea, the Phillipines, Holland, India, Mexico, and Pakistan!
    We can sweep the street and plant vegetables until the pigeons come home, but if there is no place to park, we will not attract business. We also need industry, not just retail businesses. Nobody “visions” living next door to a factory, but none of us vison having to drive to Poughkeepsie every day for work, either.
    Parking. Manufacturing. Accesibility. Those should be our primary concerns. Then we can plant our vegetables in a viable community.

  11. I ccould get used to this citizen journalism REAL fast.
    As I posted to Hudson Valley Bullitan Board, the Mardi Gras is still on for next Saturday! C’est La Viev! (I am semi literate in three languages.) Because of the budget constraints of our city, the Rondout Merchants’ Association was able to take a more direct part in the presentation of the event. Thus, Mardi Gras will be emphasizing the beauties of the Rondout Creek area. The ice sculptures will be in Block Park, mask making at the Maritime Museum, jugglers and Joie de vive all over the place. And the all important parade will begin forming near the trolley Museum and Rosita’s at about 4:30 and will prance along the Strand to bagpipes, a jazz band, and assorted cavorters! If the big floppy flower looks faintly familiar, hang some beads on me, I mean it.
    BUT, YOU ASK, WHAT ABOUT THE SHAMROCK PARADE!!!
    IT’S ON FOR MARCH 15! But…and this is important–this year it all depends on YOU! And YOU! And YOU over there! This year we all have to help! No standing and watching, slightly crosseyed! This year, the parade is interactive!
    This year, the Hibernians need all of us to help them block the traffic coming out of the side streets with the yellow sawhorses, enforce the no-parking regulations, and generally do all the stuff that the KPD used to do on overtime! There need to be two or three volenteers for every intersection between Kingston Plaza and the Trolley Museum!
    Can we do it? Sure we can!
    Be a volenteer Irishman!
    Or be a a Shamrock lass!
    Let’s make this year’s parade first class!
    Call email or visit Jim Carey at Araces electronics there on the corner of Broadway and Brewster Street and sign on to be part of the Green Team! Particularly if you have a lass or laddie in the Sharock Run or in the line of march, you’ll want to be part of keeping them safe by being part of the traffic Calming Squad.
    It would be a right beuatiful thing if some of our taxi companies could volenteer to take marchers home after we’ve quaffed a few green beers!

  12. In the initial post, I forgot to thank Julie and Steve Noble for taking notes at the event. Stay tuned for next steps with these idea.
    -AZ

  13. I’m just adding to Melissa’s post regarding “one step at a time”

    One Simultaneous Step At A Time over that bridge from this corporatized society that we have been conditioned to accept as reality & watch the past fade into the history book fables along with the steam engine.

    It has taken 50 years of independent steps for all of you folk to arrive. Let’s fertilize, the seeds & the plants abound; let’s not use formulas to repeat history. Stay in the box & we stay in the present with all its empty glitter.

    Two shops in town were busted for selling Nike knock-offs for a FAIR price while Nike sells their $10. cost sneaker for $150. They were guilty of what? And billion’s were stolen in US $ by the Invader, by the Invaders!

    One of these days we’ll talk about the real “Forced to subsidize foreign businesses” China……….

    PG

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