He can pretty much do it all: show tunes, country, blues, jazz, R&B, traditional pop, soul, disco, even Christmas music. And he pretty much has done it all. Since his first song, “Wonderful, Wonderful” in 1957,” Johnny Mathis has had at least one hit single in each following decade, while selling more than 350 million albums and receiving four Grammy nominations. This Sunday, he takes his act to the Colden Auditorium in Flushing for a night of romance, easy listening, and pop standards.
It’s always a bumper crop in these parts. This Sunday, the Queens Botanical Garden hosts its fourth annual Harvest Fest & Pumpkin Patch, a day-long, family-friendly bash with great food, live entertainment, craft vendors, children’s activities, a bird-and-nature walk, the famous beer tent, and gourds galore.
As recently as the 1950s and 1960s, Flushing was a town of old-timey Victorian homes protected by shade trees, with a lively downtown centered on Main Street between Northern Boulevard and the Long Island Rail Road Port Washington line. After Flushing began to stagnate, a slow trickle of immigrants from eastern Asia began to arrive and revitalized the region, but at the cost of its sleepy-town atmosphere as the old Victorians were torn down and apartment buildings and attached homes replaced them.
Today, Flushing’s colonial relics, some of which are almost 400 years old, are uneasily juxtaposed with garish advertising and overcrowded streets. Commerce and history are rarely easy partners. The result of Flushing’s revival of the past decades is that it has preserved a few of its oldest buildings from the 17th century, but most from the 18th century and even many from the early 20th have been wiped out.
Sprinkled throughout Flushing, though, are several elderly dwellings that have held firm as wave over wave of change has overswept Flushing. One of those is one of Queens’ newest museums, the Voelker-Orth Museum and Victorian Garden, which opened to the public in 2003.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, a trolley line connected Flushing and Jamaica, running originally through the farms and fields of Fresh Meadows. The above image was captured at 164th Street and 77th Avenue in 1936, just a few months before service ended in 1937. In short order, the tracks were pulled up, the weeds paved over, a center median added, and 164th Street became the fast and furious stretch we know it as today between Flushing Cemetery and the Grand Central Parkway. More images of this ilk can be found in the book I wrote in association with the Greater Astoria Historical Society, Forgotten Queens.
It’s no secret that delicious bounty abounds in the borough. In fact, just last week QNS Brownstoner informed on two Restaurant Weeks that are set to take place this month: an entire Queens one and a Sunnyside promotion. Well, now it appears that the cup is overflowing as two additional cuisine celebrations were recently scheduled for next week: a Taiwanese vegetarian fest and a Thai pop-up gig. More info on jump page.
The developers at One Fulton Square, the new Flushing condo development, will close this week on their biggest deal yet. Queens Courier reports that a buyer just snatched up a three-bedroom penthouse apartment for $2,053,000. The unit is a total of 2,033 square feet and boasts a wraparound terrace of close to 1,100 square feet. (The photo above is of a similar model unit.)
The New York Times just featured Flushing in its “Living In” column, which talks about the changing landscape of a neighborhood dubbed “the Chinese Manhattan.” Flushing and Manhattan, as the Times says, “Are centers of commerce, transportation and finance, and both have shiny new buildings with expensive and sought-after condominiums.” Major retailers are opening at the Shops at SkyView Center, and luxury condos in the neighborhood sell quickly for high prices. The mega development Flushing Commons, which finally broke ground this summer after lots of holdups, also caught the attention of many. “Queens, in general, is really taking off,” Michael Dana, the president of Onex Real Estate Partners, told the Times. “Flushing is the epicenter.”
Those moving to Flushing tend to include Chinese-Americans moving from other New York neighborhoods, wealthy Chinese buyers who are investing in properties, and new immigrants moving close to family. Real estate inventory is tight, with prices in downtown Flushing said to exceed pre-recession levels. On the market now, prices range from $192,000 for a one-bedroom co-op to $1,280,000 for a six-bedroom duplex in a new condo development.
He has presented an annual concert since age 5. He made his orchestral debut and composed his first orchestral work at age 6. His television show debuted when he was age 7. Now, he’s 10 years old, and he’s ready to give a concert in Queens. More info on jump page.
The recent opening of Nordstrom Rack at the Shops at Skyview Center got quite a bit of attention, but there are a few more openings at the Flushing shopping center that flew under the radar. First off, Justice & Brothers, a national retailer that specializes in tween fashion and accessories, is now open on Level D. And the flagship location of Royal Beauty Spa, a nails and hair salon, just celebrated its grand opening on Level B last week. Grandma’s Dim Sum (pictured), a restaurant focused on Eastern Asian cuisine, is serving peking duck and dim sum on Level B; it joins Little Lamb as a sit-down dining option within the mall. Finally, GNC, the health and nutrition chain, opened on Level B over the summer.