What direction is Flushing headed in, economically and politically? It would be fun to make a joke about Flushing, figuratively, down the toilet, but it’s clear from particular economic and cultural factors that Flushing is thriving economically. Its businesses continue to grow, economically, and housing development is consistent in growing as well. According to reports on Flushing’s economic development, there has been double-digit growth in the financial and insurance sector.
When a community flourishes financially, this is generally considered positive, but prosperity usually yields a more ambiguous result: gentrification. This is already evident through the frequent site of condominiums. As neighborhoods develop, typically housing becomes more and more expensive. Although income levels in Flushing are split quite evenly at the moment, residents who cannot afford to live in condominiums may eventually be ousted from the neighborhood. Evidence that residents are aware of this housing shift is clear from our interview with Aparna Gokhale and others– citizens of Flushing are well aware of the symptoms and consequences of gentrification.
Visible examples of gentrification can be viewed by the emergence of more modern buildings marked by its glass exterior as its juxtaposes the older buildings adjacent to it. In essence, Flushing is “frog leaping” other neighborhood as it sheds its previous shell.
In addition, it is clear from the political climate of Flushing that the Chinese basically run this town. While a mark of the success of the Chinese immigrant community, this is obviously problematic. It is doubtful that the Chinese will always remain in power (what group has ever held power eternally?) but also difficult to say what group would take their place. Since Flushing is a community centered around immigration, it is likely that another immigrant group will take their place. Koreans, as the second largest immigrant group, may be a likely candidate: their political unity gives them strength, but their frequently isolated situation within the larger “melting-pot” of New York City could prevent them from taking the same political strides as the Chinese.