Well, here we are in a new month. And gauging by the weather today, March has been in like a lamb – looks like we’ll be in the 40s all week and maybe even hit the 50s next weekend. March is chock full of opportunities to celebrate, too – St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), Holy Week (Western church – starts March 24), Passover (March 25), and Easter (Western church – March 31). And on the subject of St. Patrick’s Day, remember that the St. Pat’s For All parade is this Sunday at 2pm in Sunnyside.
What’s going on with the Astoria Park diving pool project
We’ve learned a lot about the plans for the Astoria Park diving pool, for its transformation into a performance venue. Astoria doesn’t have much in the way of performance spaces, so this could be really, really nice for the neighborhood. Parks expects to start the ground-breaking process in about 18 months, and it will cost $4.7 million; originally the project was going to cost $1 million. The theater will likely have a 500 person capacity; if they add more exits, they believe they could accommodate 2,500 persons.
The plan is to fill in the pool with concrete, repurpose the dive tower, and build a new entrance for the amphitheater along with two additional exits. They’ll also move the small diving boards that surround the diving pool. A wheelchair accessible path from the parking lot to the theater will be created. There will also be concessions. No new bathrooms, though.
Taste of Ridgewood is happening April
We recently got wind of the Taste of Ridgewood, which will be in its very first year this April. 20 restaurants will be there, and the organizers expect a healthy number of donors to attend. There will also be live music! The event is serving as a fundraiser for the Ridgewood YMCA’s Strong Kids Campaign, which “ensures that no child or family is ever turned away from life-enhancing YMCA programs because of the inability to pay.” Nice. Sounds like it will be a ton of fun!
Spirits in an old Speakeasy in the Rockways
At the start of an article about BK based Noble Experiment and their Owney’s NYC Rum, a Rockaways speakeasy is mentioned, and the spirits (like Casper, not alcohol) that may (or may not) live there:
[Bridget Firtle's parent's] home in Rockaway Beach, Queens — the house where she was raised and to which she recently moved to save money — has a bar in the basement, which was once a speakeasy. The Firtles did not do much to prepare for Sandy, aside from flipping the stools on top of the bar.
The floodwaters came.
“The next day, when we went down there to clean up the mess, the bottles were in different places around the room and chairs and tables were all over the place,” Ms. Firtle said. “The washer and dryer were flipped over. But the bar stools did not move. The bar did not move. The shelving behind the bar was totally untouched.”
“We now know that there are spirits in the speakeasy,” she added.
A newbie’s guide to Queens subway stops
We’ve put together a little guide to the N/Q line in Astoria, and we hope it is helpful for those new to the area – heck, even old timers might read it and go “OH yeah!” or “WTH?!?” In any case, take a look and if you have tidbits you just can’t help but share, leave us a comment or send us an email.