“Coming from Middle Village and seeing how things got done there,” she said, “I was wondering why nothing gets done here.”
With that in mind, she set out to tackle things like those of garbage dumping and graffiti that plagued the neighborhood, forming the Maspeth West End Block Association two years ago.
“We’re a forgotten place,” Hamilton said. “The welcome signs for Maspeth are on Grand Avenue and we don’t have any at this end.”
Maspeth West End has also been fighting for some time to get a traffic light installed at the intersection of 60th Street and 60th Road to slow down speeding cars, with no luck. At this point, said Hamilton, they would be happy just to get a speed bump.
Despite that roadblock, however, the block association has experienced its share of accomplishments. Since being founded two years ago, Maspeth West End has, among other things, had "Don’t Honk," "Don’t Litter" and "Curb Your Dog" signs installed, and gotten the building at the Andrews Avenue Bridge repainted.
They are also enlisting the help of the local gas stations, auto repair shops, and grocery stores in beautifying the neighborhood by placing containers of flowers in front of their businesses.
“We’re looking for businesses to start taking ownership and start contributing in some way,” she said, “big
or small, to the area that they use daily for business.”
Maspeth West End has a solid 30 to 40 members, but as Hamilton pointed out, the biggest struggle has always been getting more residents to show up to the meetings.
“They are so discouraged that nobody’s going to do anything,” she said. “I think once people understand they do have a voice, it gives them an incentive to become empowered and come together as a community.”