The Great Neck peninsula should look towards Huntington Village as a model for its downtown revitalization efforts. Huntington Village, which, unlike Great Neck, does not have nearby LIRR access, and is much further away from New York City, nevertheless has a thriving, welcoming atmosphere with a variety of stores and restaurants, and attracts visitors from all over Long Island and beyond.
The famed independent bookstore, Book Revue, trendy coffee shops, mom-and-pop toy stores, as well as the premier entertainment venue, The Paramount, make this Great Neck resident envious.
Perhaps it is wishful thinking to hope for the rebirth of the long-abandoned Great Neck Playhouse, which once showcased Broadway-bound shows and could potentially be a crown jewel again.
But perhaps not.
Great Neck has all the ingredients to make a successful comeback. It is heartening to see the various villages that make up the peninsula, as well as the Town of North Hempstead, recently come together to begin to brainstorm ways in which to revitalize the fading business corridor.
Simply moving past the reflexive mentality of ‘no’ would be a good start. While the economics of downtowns may have changed, there is something called ‘adaptation.’ Huntington Village adapted, and so can Great Neck.