I love the Haverstraw – Our Hometown Facebook page. It features several discussions on the history of Haverstraw and brief accounts of life in the Village, today and in the past. Renee, a member of the page recently gave an account of her experience while visiting Downtown Haverstraw. She describes perfectly the relationship between density and a vibrant street life, which is all-too-often missing from the suburban strip mall. Haverstraw is not suburban. It is a uniquely urban place with a breathtaking view of the Hudson River, sitting in the shadow of the towering peak of High Tor. Because of this, many existing residents of the sprawl areas of Rockland County fear the Village. They cannot understand the benefits of living in an urban environment, because they have become so familiar with an inhuman, car-dominated sprawl landscape. Here are more excerpts from Renee, Dianne, Peter and other members of Haverstraw – Our Hometown.
5 thoughts on “A Facebook Vignette: Urban v. Suburban”
I did grow up in the village of Haverstraw (my family has been here 150 yrs) and it was and still is a great place to grow up. Yes, it is different but many of the problems are the same problems facing most of the towns in Rockland. The villages have more crime because of the density of the population. I’m not afraid to walk on the streets of Haverstraw. I’m more afraid to walk in the parking lot of the Palisades Mall. The “Old Haverstraw” people bemoan the lose of their village. Yes, it’s sad that some grand old buildings are gone but there is a beautiful church(I don’t know the name) on lower Main St.where once stood a horrible firetrap. Many of the beautiful homes on Front St. and Hudson are being restored. Yes, the cultural climate has changed but it changed in the past too. When the Slovaks came to Haverstraw, they built St. Marys Church because they weren’t comfortable at St. Peters. The Italians mostly lived on upper B’way and West Haverstraw. My Grandfather(Slovak) wouldn’t attend my parents wedding because my Father was Irish. This was the 1940s not the 1800s. Change is good. So people who haven’t been to the village in years- Come on down. Support the local merchants, restaurant owners, art galleries,street fairs and farmers markets. Haverstraw is still there-just different.
Exactly. The more people come downtown, the better it will get. Put the fear aside. With more business, comes more businesses and development and more residents. Haverstraw could be the bustling place it once was. Density is not a bad thing when it creates business. Without density, you could not have the best neighborhoods in America: Charleston, S.C., the West Village or Brooklyn Heights in New York, Charlestown or Beacon Hill in Boston, or Georgetown in Washington, D.C. There are a lot of new people moving in from Brooklyn or Manhattan, buying up and restoring old homes. They are patrons to new businesses and restaurants that are opening. I think as the population of young and educated people grows in downtown Haverstraw, the better the Village will become.
In the words of Renee, featured in the post: “The ‘new’ Haverstraw is still a great place and getting better with the revitalization. It is on my list of go to places along with Nyack, Manhattan and Hoboken.”
Jared…you sound exactly like my brother Pete McGuire who owns Antoine McGuire with Anthony Accomondo. You must talk together one day soon.
Haha! That’s funny, I know Pete very well and we’ve had these conversations before. Let him know that you subscribed to HLife.com!