04/17/15 2:00pm

Andrew Berman Architect

The New York Landmarks Conservancy has bestowed one of its highest honors to a Queens arts gallery. On April 30, the SculptureCenter will receive the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award, which recognizes individuals or groups that have made extraordinary contributions to preserving buildings in New York City. (more…)

04/16/15 9:45am

NYCEDC

The city unveiled a multi-faceted economic development “action plan” to prevent foreclosures, improve streetscapes, create affordable housing, and increase job-training opportunities in Jamaica on Wednesday.

The actions include creating a Jamaica-specific marketing and branding program, expanding free WiFi access via the LinkNYC program, and capital improvements to Rufus King Park and Brinkerhoff Mall Park in St. Albans.  (more…)

04/15/15 11:00am

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Queens has some of the oldest remaining homes in all of New York City. The borough’s history has a tangible footprint back to the 1600s, when the Dutch began the first settlements here. With that in mind, it’s also fitting that some of the oldest cemeteries are also in Queens.

For historians and descendants alike, one’s final resting place is almost as important as one’s dwelling place. How people lived, and what they were like as individuals and within the society can all be learned in a cemetery.

Cemeteries don’t tend to survive the urbanization of a neighborhood or city. A burial plot, whether it used to be in a churchyard or someone’s field way back when, can end up in the middle of a desirable building site, or even in the middle of the street, depending on how the neighborhood is laid out.

Final resting places are not always final, after all. Through the efforts of many, this one is, and has had quite a history (more…)

04/14/15 9:45am

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General George E. Lawrence Square (actually a triangle), defined by Parsons Boulevard, Elm Avenue and 147th Street along 45th Avenue, can be found across the street from Flushing Hospital. It honors a St. Francis College graduate (my alma mater) who was a star quarterback at Penn, graduated with a medical degree and began his practice at Flushing Hospital, heading obstetrics and gynecology for many years.

Lawrence served with the “Fighting 69th” Regiment during WWI, receiving two Silver Stars for valor. He rose to Lieutenant Colonel at the end of the war and had risen to Brigadier General by World War II.

The square named in 1951 for Gen. Lawrence (1881-1949) was originally owned by the Flushing Garden Club, which allowed patients from Flushing Hospital to maintain the grounds.

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You may guess, though, the reason for my post today is the identifying sign, which probably goes back to the 1951 renaming. (more…)

04/13/15 1:00pm

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How about a two-hour blast from the past? Hits from the late 1950s and early 1960s will be performed live — mostly by their original singers or heritage groups — in Auburndale on Saturday, when Holy Cross High School hosts its 17th annual Doo Wop Spectacular.

With Golden Oldies disc jockey Dennis “Dion” Nardone serving as the host, some of the genre’s most famous acts will take the stage with The CODA Band playing backup. Concertgoers can expect to see and hear Jay Siegel’s Tokens (above, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,”), The Marcels (“Blue Moon,”), and The Orlons (“Wah Watusi,”), among others. (more…)

04/13/15 9:45am

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On Saturday last, Dr. Jack Eichenbaum — Queens Borough Official Historian — offered a walking tour of Woodside Avenue. Last time we visited with him, it was back in January when an icy tour of Willets Point was described.

It started on Northern Boulevard, at its intersection with Broadway and 54th Street nearby the R/M stop, and continued all the way to Elmhurst.

Dr. Eichenbaum was gracious enough to invite me, and you Q’Stoners, along for the walk so I made sure I and the camera were there early. After introductions, the group walked west along Northern Boulevard to Woodside Avenue, and away we went.

LOTS of photos after the jump. (more…)

04/10/15 1:00pm

Crocs

The crocuses are blooming, and the daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips are on their way. In other words, it’s time for a spring carnival in an apple orchard with sheep, chickens, and goats.

For the next two weekends, the Queens County Farm Museum will host carnival rides, midway games (with prizes), hayrides, and various forms of children’s entertainment. Plus, as the event’s focus is on youth fun, there will be a petting zoo, face painting, and chances to check out the farm machinery.

Dating back to 1697, this 47-acre parcel of Floral Park greenery is the longest continuously farmed site in New York State. It encompasses planting fields, gardens, a greenhouse, livestock, and the historic Adriance Farmhouse. More information and another image are on the jump page.

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04/10/15 9:45am

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Until a few years ago, an unassuming two-story brick building with a porch painted red in West Maspeth held a key to Queens’ past, before the cartographers decided to number all the streets in the 1920s to make things less (?) confusing.

Until the 1920s, Queens street names trended toward the tried and true, with plenty of presidents, governors, spruces and elms, but further east, in what would be the Juniper Park area, 78th Street was Grieffenberg Street, 81st was Thew Street, and 84th was Gwydir Street. Even further east, proposed streets east of Queens Boulevard in the Forest Hills area that now are a thicket of 60th drives and 62nd roads were mapped in alphabetical order, carrying odd, otherworldly names like Meteor, Nome, Occident, Thupman, Uriu, Yalu and Zuni. The only remnant of this scheme is Jewel Avenue, the “J” street in the sequence. (more…)

04/09/15 1:00pm

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There’s a youth movement in Queens. On Sunday, the Queens Theatre will host two performances of Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Based on the popular children’s book of the same name, this musical gets the audience laughing and singing along with the main character who gets up on the wrong side of bed…literally.

He wakes up with gum in his hair then proceeds to trip on his skateboard and drop his sweater in the sink. Then things really go downhill. Details on the other great children’s event and another image are on the jump page.

(more…)

04/09/15 11:00am

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Since the weather has warmed up, I’ve found myself walking through and around Queens Plaza quite a bit of late. The construction boom under way in this section of Long Island City is staggering, and you’d be hard pressed to turn your head in any direction and not see cranes and concrete trucks at work. The biggest change to the horizon is actually over in Manhattan, with 432 Park Avenue now visible from everywhere in western Queens and possibly the entire eastern seaboard.

The City people always have to show off, don’t they? 1,396 feet, really? An apartment building 150 feet taller than the Empire State? Woof.

More after the jump. (more…)