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Saturday, December 17, 2005

Nassau/Queens Border

There's an article in the Long Island section of today's NY Times that discusses the border between Queens and Nassau County. The last paragraph mentions the border that lies between Far Rockaway (Queens), and Lawrence (Nassau). Both neighborhoods are part of the greater community of the Five Towns/Far Rockaway area (which is my community). In my opinion, however, the piece gets it wrong:
The first few blocks of Far Rockaway west of Beach 9th Street are becoming "visually and ethnically similar to Lawrence," Professor Caro said, as orthodox Jewish families move into the large single-family homes there.

The neighborhood is still Queens, but it seems to belong more and more to Long Island; people have even begun calling it West Lawrence.
I think precisely the reverse is true. Far Rockaway has been heavily Orthodox for decades. If anything, the shift has really occured in Lawrence, where the residents have become increasingly homogeneously Orthodox as more and more of the original non-Orthodox or Modern Orthodox owners sell to buyers from Brooklyn and Queens. Personally, I think the sentence in the article should have read "the Westernmost part of Lawrence is becoming visually and ethnically similar to Far Rockaway". That's certainly a more correct statement.

92 Comments:

Blogger Classmate-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

You're right, but no one is going to start calling Lawrence "East Far Rockaway"

7:58 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

LOL! That'll be the day.

8:07 PM  
Blogger Classmate-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

Better yet, "East Inwood".

8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We who proudly live in Far Rockaway do not use the obnoxious term"West Lawrwnce".

10:57 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Anonymous said...

We who proudly live in Far Rockaway do not use the obnoxious term"West Lawrwnce".


I have to agree with your claim. I have never heard anyone from Far Rockaway refer to it as "West Lawrence".

11:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

people have even begun calling it West Lawrence.

Ha! I used to live in Far Rockaway -- fellow citizens calling it 'West Lawrence' used to crack me up.

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

people have even begun calling it West Lawrence.

I also remember a white on green metal sign on B.12th that advertised the area as "West Lawrence."

11:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We who proudly live in Far Rockaway do not use the obnoxious term"West Lawrwnce".

That right -- the "proud" citizens don't call it "West Lawrence."

11:27 PM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

Agree-the chareidi quotient decreases as one leaves the area of 878-the further east one goes the less chareidi and to the extent Orthodox generally more MO.
The West Lawrence designation goes back 2 decades-many years ago-our landlord told us to send our rent checks to an address in Far Rock-he called it West Lawrence-we addressed the envelope West Lawrence-returned to sender by PO. No such address known and circled West Lawrence.

11:28 PM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

Far Rock itself has become much more chareidi in past 30 years eg where Darchei is today is the same location as HILI was-a predecessor of todays HAFTR.

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People are calling it West Lawrence so they can sell their houses for more $$$$$$ then they would go for in Far Rockaway.

12:13 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...


Anonymous said...

People are calling it West Lawrence so they can sell their houses for more $$$$$$ then they would go for in Far Rockaway


Actually, interestingly, houses in Far Rockaway are worth around 20% more than houses in Lawrence, and the houses are generally on far smaller lots. There's more to the equation than what is percieved to be a "fancier" location. Far Rock is more in demand than Lawrence to a certain segment of the Orthodox population.

12:27 AM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

"Actually, interestingly, houses in Far Rockaway are worth around 20% more than houses in Lawrence, and the houses are generally on far smaller lots"
Property taxes are much lower in Far Rock than Lawrence-of course income taxes are higher in Far Rock. Thus a home in Far Rock is worth more to some one with high assets and little income.

1:14 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Property taxes are much lower in Far Rock than Lawrence-of course income taxes are higher in Far Rock. Thus a home in Far Rock is worth more to some one with high assets and little income.

There's actually more to it than that. Far Rockaway is more desirable to those in the Yeshivish community than Lawrence. The supply is more limited, and the demand is extremely high. The same way that some people look at living in Lawrence as having cachet, people in the Yeshivish community look at living in Far Rockaway as having cachet.

1:31 AM  
Blogger YMedad said...

As for being Orthodox for decades, I recall the area of the Beach 60s in the period 1959-1966. Even the non-Jewish boys wore mezuzot pendants to try to go out with the Jewish girls. My Gemara teacher, Moskkowitz, lived at B 19th. The Newman Family, (Dovid Newman of The (original) Rabbis' Sons), lived next door to my uncle's place at B 65th.

2:41 AM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

Certainly Far Rock is more Yeshivish-someone wanting Yeshivish to the extent they are true should be in Boro Park/ Flatbush much more shiurim per sa. ft. there.
To a great extent Far Rock and Lawrence residents who are west of Rock Tpk. and believe there Yeshivish have given up the Real McCoy for cheaper housing than Boro Park-more land etc. As much learning as in that area doesn't compare with Boro Park and of course Jerusalem-but thats a separate matter.

6:49 AM  
Anonymous Skip said...

Classmate-Wearing-Yarmulka said...
Better yet, "East Inwood".


Sounds like a derogatory comment towards people in Inwood.

7:52 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

To a great extent Far Rock and Lawrence residents who are west of Rock Tpk. and believe there Yeshivish have given up the Real McCoy for cheaper housing than Boro Park-more land etc. As much learning as in that area doesn't compare with Boro Park and of course Jerusalem-but thats a separate matter.

What? You've got it wrong. The area is definitely not a wanna-be Boro Park. The dissimilarities are plain if you spend any time here and know BP at all. And you are wrong about Rockaway Turnpike being the border of the more charedi area. It is more to the West than that. Though give it a few years...

8:06 AM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

"The dissimilarities are plain if you spend any time here and know BP at all. "
Obviously True-I alluded to one manifestation of the many differences less learning in Lawrence-there are other differences due to the self selection process of those who move.
"And you are wrong about Rockaway Turnpike being the border of the more charedi area. It is more to the West than that"
You want Lawrence Ave. OK-but its a gradual changeover not like a DMZ or a Berlin Wall.
Orthomom momof4 why not blog on the differences between BP Chareid Judaism and FR/Lawrence Chareidi Lite Judaism. Actually, many who wear clothes mimicing BP Judaism won't admit but really are somewhat closet MO.

11:31 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Orthomom momof4 why not blog on the differences between BP Chareid Judaism and FR/Lawrence Chareidi Lite Judaism. Actually, many who wear clothes mimicing BP Judaism won't admit but really are somewhat closet MO.

I would blog about it, but I'm not sure I see eye-to-eye with you on that assessment. There are some pretty hard-core Charedi in FR, and I don't think they would take well to being called Charedi Lite. I certainly don't view them as such.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"Agree-the chareidi quotient decreases as one leaves the area of 878-the further east one goes the less chareidi and to the extent Orthodox generally more MO."

Obviously you've never been to Williamsmere..

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Classmate-Wearing-Yarmulka said...
Better yet, "East Inwood".


"Sounds like a derogatory comment towards people in Inwood."

I agree. Sounds like it to me.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Mar Gavriel said...

Well, my עולה תמימה rules would probably permit me to visit Rockaway, but would definitely prohibit me from visiting Lawrence. So there is a big difference.

(See this.

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Believe you me.The holiest of our holy rollers always come to Lawrence to shlep gelt for their charedi mosdos.

11:05 PM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

"Obviously you've never been to Williamsmere.. "
Not sure what Williamsmere is?
Williamsberg + Woodmere?
Holy Fire?
School on William St? Don't know of any in Woodmere-1 in Hewlett?
Please explain reference.

11:50 PM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

"There are some pretty hard-core Charedi in FR, and I don't think they would take well to being called Charedi Lite. "

There are some hard core Chareidi in FR-but a fair dispassionate analysis would show differences -in general between Jews in BP and Jews in FR and then going east.

5:01 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

Williamsberg + Woodmere?
Holy Fire?

Holy Smokes! You've got it.

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