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Measuring Wealth in a Few Short Blocks- A Second Glance

In Assignment 1, we were asked to walk around a neighborhood in Queens and then write about what we saw. Looking back at what I said, I found that I was quick to judge or assume people’s identities, ethnicity, religion and wealth status. In February, I had mistakenly believed that houses in Queens had lower property value than houses in places in Nassau County, Long Island. I learned recently that that is no longer correct, as the value of homes in Queens are rising as it’s becoming more desirable to live in the city once again. I did walk throughout Jamaica Estates, and those homes were certainly within the $800,000-$1,000,000 range, but I had also stepped over the Grand Central Parkway and assumed that the less mansion-ridden neighborhood was considered working-class or lower-income.  It turns out that it’s actually above the national average income. I also assumed that because people were immigrants or had flags of certain countries that they were more likely to be harder working or have totally different lifestyles than others. I truly did not know all the ethnicities, religions, or wealth status of every single household I walked past. I also mentioned that there were more stray cats in the neighborhood south of the parkway. I still do not know why this is true, but I’m not so sure it has anything to do with class or race. While it’s still true that Jamaica Estates is almost completely closed off from the rest of Queens, it does not mean that they don’t still shop at the stores on Hillside Avenue or attend the same local delis on Union Turnpike. Thinking about why segregation exists, I think there are still factors that remain true to an extent: yes, certain groups prefer to live among each other, but there are other factors relating to this.

Assignment 7 - Urban at 2nd Glance,

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