Here's an NYT article, "Questions of Size and Taste for Queens Houses," on the Bukharian Jews from Central Asia who are building vast Oriental palaces in the formerly sedate, tree-lined Queens neighborhood of Forest Hills, paving over all the lawns:
â€?We like to utilize every single square inch of land, every inch of territory,â€? explained Rabbi Shlomo Nisanov, head of a Bukharian synagogue and community center in Kew Gardens Hills. â€?For some reason, people donâ€™t appreciate it.â€?
The Bukharian construction binge is much to the displeasure of the middle class Ashkenazis who have long lived there (Joey Ramone, for example, grew up in Forest Hills). The neighborhood is best known for the tennis club, with its wonderful grass courts (like playing on a putting green), which hosted the U.S. Open up into the 1970s.I met Joey Ramone in 1982, when he and his mom were standing on a corner in Greenwich Village, eating ice cream cones. He was quite gracious to a slobbering fan.