It’s a Wonderful Day in the Neighborhood

The happiest residents live in Queens.

The happiest residents live in Queens

FROM THE NY POST

QUEENS IS KING IN 5-BOROUGH SURVEY

By BRIGITTE WILLIAMS-JAMES and LARRY SUTTON

January 29, 2009 —

Queens residents are the city’s most cheerful – while people in The Bronx give their borough, at best, a Bronx cheer.

A new survey says 51 percent of people living in the home of the Mets, the Unisphere and the greatest smorgasbord of ethnic restaurants on Earth are “very satisfied” with their quality of life.

But in The Bronx, only 24 percent of residents had the same loving sentiments for their neighborhoods.

In fact, 25 percent – the highest tally in any borough – said they were “not at all satisfied” with the quality of life there.

Staten Islanders ranked second in happiness, followed by residents of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

So what’s Queens’ secret?

“We love the diversity, all the different types of nationalities and ethnicities that live here,” said Ben Kaufmann, 36, an architect who lives in Astoria with his wife and two sons.

“And the food! I’ve got great relationships with the guys at Dave and Tony’s Italian deli, and Ali at the Kabob Café.”

Kaufmann gets along with “the old timers and the young people” on his street, and participates in the annual block party in August.

The survey, conducted by the Citizens Committee for New York City, found at least 29 percent of Queens residents considered their neighbors to be friends, while another 15 percent said, “We can count on each other for small favors.”

Among the other pluses in Queens:

* “My area’s very quiet, and when it snows, I don’t have to worry about the streets being clean,” said Astrud Williams-Burnett, 42, of Laurelton.

* “There are more houses in Queens, and they’re not on top of each other,” said Tyrone Cumberbach, 37, of Richmond Hill.

* Queens Borough President Helen Marshall loves the greenery.

“We’ve got so many tree-lined streets,” she said. “And the lawns and gardens are so beautiful. It’s peaceful, very peaceful.”

While The Bronx scored lowest, it did have its fans.

“We’ve got good housing and transportation. And all the action is in The Bronx,” said Gloria Sanchez, 52, a tutor living on the Grand Concourse. “That’s why it’s called Boogie Down Bronx.”

The survey was conducted among 4,400 residents at street fairs, farmers markets, subway stations, libraries and other public spots.

Citywide, 33 percent of those polled said that “cleanliness and overall attractiveness of the neighborhood” were the determining factors in their quality of life, followed by 28 percent who cited “positive social interactions with neighbors.”

Nearly 75 percent of those surveyed said they would like to know their neighbors better.

And while more than half of those surveyed believed the city would improve in the future, 47 percent worried that their neighborhoods might become too expensive to live in five years from now.

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