There’s no place like home

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If home is truly where the heart is, then my heart is in Bay Terrace. I moved to Bay Terrace when I was five years old. Bay Terrace is the only home I have ever known. When I read Andrea Peyser’s New York Post column “‘Wolf of Wall Street’ can’t shake Queens roots” on Monday I was shocked by her comments about my home town.

Ms. Peyser wrote about her memories growing up in Bay Terrace with Jordan Belfort. Mr. Belfort is the subject of the upcoming movie “The Wolf of Wall Street” being played by Leonardo DiCaprio.

Ms. Peyser calls Bay Terrace …

“a soulless collection of identical six-story, red brick co-op buildings and attached garden apartments that sprouted in the late 50’s on the eastern reaches of Queens, marketed to Jewish families fleeing the Bronx”.

Ms. Peyser goes on to say…

“There, thousands of kids grew up trapped between our richer cousins on Long Island and the city, as we called Manhattan, separated from the bright lights by lack of a subway line or exit strategy, in a neighborhood as intellectually stimulating as a Cialis commercial. Most bored teens I knew got rip-roaring high by the time they hit junior high school”.

“But he can’t shake Bay Terrace, which helped mold an upwardly mobile middle-class kid into an amoral, drug-loving crook. “There’s something in the water there,” he told me.

These days, Bay Terrace is a graying ghost town, as kids have grown up and moved on. But an influx of Korean families is breathing new life into the neighborhood that spawned the Wolf of Wall Street”.

These comments are outrageous and completely untrue. Bay Terrace is not a soulless community or graying ghost town. Bay Terrace is a beautiful suburban middle class neighborhood. Bay Terrace is home to over 5,000 families. Bay Terrace is one of the safest communities in the City of New York and it frequently has some of the best performing public schools. Bay Terrace is a community situated next to Little Neck Bay and has waterfront access. Bay Terrace is rich with trees and more closely resembles a Nassau County town then part of New York City.

I guess Ms. Peyser forgot the Bay Club and Towers on Waters Edge when she says the community is identical six-story red brick co-op buildings and attached garden apartments. These properties are beautiful and amazing places to live. When was the last time Ms. Peyser visited our community? As someone who is involved politically and with the Bay Terrace Community Alliance, I don’t remember ever seeing her in Bay Terrace.

I really took offense to Ms. Peyser’s comments that Bay Terrace helped to mold a middle class kid into an amoral, drug-loving crook. I know many people who have come from Bay Terrace and nobody is what she describes. Perhaps Ms. Peyser is referring to herself or Mr. Belfort but she has no right to say that all of us in Bay Terrace are this way.

I have loved the 26 years I have spent growing up in Bay Terrace. It is the only home I have ever known and it’s a place I would want to bring up my family one day. Ms. Peyser and the New York Post should be ashamed of themselves. The New York Post should have never allowed one of their columnists say such hateful things about our community. I urge the New York Post and Ms. Peyser to issue an official apology / retraction. I also encourage Ms. Peyser and the New York Post to come out to Bay Terrace and learn about our beautiful community.