Our Town: The future of Williston Park

Dr Tom Ferraro

We know the Williston Park of the present and of the past. 

The past had its trolley cars on Willis Avenue and the present has its Frantonis and Hildebrandt’s.  But what will Williston Park of the future look like?  

It may be fun to speculate.  In 200 years Williston Park will still be here and the population will be about the same. But what of the town itself? 

All things change and are subject to the two great laws of nature: the law of entropy and the law of evolution. 

The Law of Entropy: The law of entropy (also called the law of disorder and decay)  applies to many aspects of life. It means that all things tend to become disordered and disintegrate in time. 

Just look at your living room after one week of neglect. It’s a mess right. 

That’s the law of entropy whether we like it or not.  And this may  apply to the law of the lost socks. 

Towns are subject to the law of entropy as well. They will devolve into disorder and decay if they are not cared for.  

So here is my nightmarish vision of Williston Park in 200 years if the law of entropy takes over.  

In the year 2214 there will most certainly be electronic ticketing for all cars that go through to light at Hillside and Willis and the fine will be $200 plus a $50 surcharge. I do not know what a surcharge is but many agencies and cab companies seem to like to include one.  

Big box stores will have taken over Hillside Avenue with all sorts of annexes like a Home Depot annex, and a Toys R Us annex.  

We will have a Panera’s and a MacDonald and a Burger King.  There will also be a few more big box drug stores. 

In 200 years Hildebrandt’s and Johns Variety Store will have given up the good fight, packed up there things and gone home. Graffiti will emerge as the only sign of life and there will be almost no pedestrian traffic on Hillside. 

So much for the law of entropy.  A true nightmare if we let it happen. 

The Law of Evolution: One of the great insights of the last 150 years is Darwin’s law of evolution. It also states that things change over time, but that the fittest survive and that tends to improve things.  

Just look at an old 1950 Schwinn bike compared to a new 2014 mountain bike and you get the idea. Recall your old Converse sneakers of the 1960s compared to your new Nike running shoes. 

Yes , things do get better over time and in fact they approach perfection. That is the law of evolution. If the law of evolution wins over the law of entropy  in the next 200 years than Williston Park may  look as follows.    

In the area I call “the bench’ which is just across from Baci’s on Willis Avenue there will be a piazza with a fountain, a bronze statue of a young couple pushing a baby carriage, shade trees and the piazza will be ringed with cafes, restaurants and gelato shops.  

There will be only two lanes of traffic on Hillside from Willis to the tracks as Jean Tranchina of the Williston Park Auxiliary Police suggested.  

Her suggestions were listened to at a board meeting in 2114 and it  helped slow traffic, solve the parking problem and made the sidewalks user friendly. 

That section of Hillside would be  referred to as Long Island’s own Champs-Elysses. Hildebrandt’s, Peter Andrews and Frantoni’s were still there and there is even rooftop dining at the Williston Townhouse Diner. 

So which will win, the law of entropy or the law of evolution.  

This is such a homespun town with families filled with love that I like to think that the law of evolution will triumph in the end. 

Too bad we won’t be around to see if this  theory is right.  

We will never know but our great grandkids will. 

About the author

Dr Tom Ferraro

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