And Jamaica Estates, where Trump grew up, was an haven for the well-to-do and white, with a stone pillar entrance and imposing homes set back from the tree-lined streets north of Hillside Avenue.
That’s not at all true. There were parts of Jamaica Estates that were fairly wealthy – specifically the area where Trump Senior built his large house, after the family moved from their home on Avon Road – but it was essentially a middle-class neighborhood. It was a bit nicer than Hollis, which the author of this article describes; it has winding, tree-lined streets, but most of the houses weren’t that much bigger than in other neighborhoods.
Queens’ wide slashes of boulevards — Jamaica, Hillside, Union Turnpike — were not for crossing. They were for staying with your own.
Wrong again. First, Jamaica Estates ends on Hillside Avenue; that’s where I lived. A few blocks south is Jamaica Avenue, and that was a very different neighborhood. And Union Turnpike was no special kind of border. South of Union Turnpike is Jamaica Estates, and north of that avenue is Fresh Meadows. I had many friends who lived between Hillside Avenue and Union Turnpike, and the latter was where we hung out, where there was a bowling alley, pizzeria, and bagel bakery. It was far from a wealthy neighborhood.
In fact, what most people don’t say is that it was a very Jewish neighborhood. Most of my friends from the area were Jewish, and there were a number of Jewish centers in or around Jamaica Estates. If anything, the Trumps didn’t fit in.
The only part of the area that would really be closer to “wealthy” was the part to the east of 188th Street, called Terrace Heights. That is not part of Jamaica Estates, though I see that Google Maps says it is. That was (and perhaps still is) an area of larger houses, and tree-lined streets without sidewalks. That’s where the Cuomos lived.
No, don’t blame Jamaica Estates for Donald Trump.