I just ran a long piece in City Limits on spec development in the Rockaways, Queens. It came from a basic observation: blocks of new homes were rotting away and everyone is seethingly angry at city government for somehow letting it get that way.
It's a long complex story of with no easily identifiable bad guys - including city government. The closest thing to a villain are the spec developers, who would be better described as reckless rather than malicious. Mostly just people trying to make a quick buck but failing miserably.
A sad story of a place that has always been left behind.