With about 130,000 residents, Queens is home to more war veterans than any other borough in New York City. This weekend various neighborhoods honor their war heroes with Memorial Day parades, including biggest one in the country (Little Neck/Douglaston).
The Maspeth Memorial Day Parade (Sunday, May 25th, at 1 pm) is always an emotional display of patriotism and gratitude. This year, it honors local veterans and women. Retired Capt. Laura Zimmermann is the speaker, and other honorees are Leo J. Wasil, who flew 35 combat missions as a radio operator, mechanic and gunner in World War II; Anthony Simone, who fought in the treacherous Mung Dung Valley during the Korean War; and Jane Crowley, who joined the United States Marine Corp Women’s Service in 1943. The parade begins at 1 pm at Walter A. Garlinge Memorial Park, 72nd Street and Grand Avenue, and proceeds down Grand to the Frank Kowalinski American Legion Post 4 and Knights of Columbus on 69th Lane, where there’s a memorial service at 2 pm.
Forest Hills, Sunday, May 25th, noon, starts at Ascan and Metropolitan avenues, proceeds to Trotting Course Lane, ending at St. John Cemetery. Grand marshals are Monsignor John McGuirl, pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Church; Community Board 6 Chair Joseph Hennessey; and Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs Commissioner Terrance Holliday.
College Point, Sunday, May 25th, 2 pm, starts at 28rd Avenue and College Point Boulevard and heads to 5th Avenue and 119th Street. State Senator Tony Avella is the grand marshal. Poppy Queen is Isabella Joan Hollaway.
Howard Beach, Monday, May 26th, 9:30 am, begins with Memorial Day Mass at Our Lady of Grace Church at 101st Street and 159th Avenue. The parade kicks off at 11 am in Coleman Square and takes its time-honored route through Old Howard Beach, visiting the Vietnam War memorial at 99th Street and 157th Avenue, the World War II memorial at Assembly of God Church at 158-31 99th Street and then St. Barnabas Church at 159-19 98 Street.
Laurelton, Monday, May 26th, 9 am, Francis Lewis and Merrick boulevards to the Veterans Memorial Triangle, 225thStreet and North Conduit Avenue.
Little Neck-Douglaston, Monday, May 26th, 2 pm, Northern Boulevard between Jayson Avenue and 245th Street, 2 pm.The closing ceremony is held in the parking lot of Saint Anastasia School, Northern Boulevard and Alameda Avenue, where awards are given, honorees are acknowledged, and refreshments are served. World War II heroes are the grand marshals, including Rocco Moretto and John McHugh Sr., who stormed the beaches of Normandy during D-Day; Thomas Dent; John W. Peterkin; and Lucy Salpeper, who joined the Navy Waves and cared for injured soldiers.
Ridgewood-Glendale, Monday, May 26th, 11 am, starting at the Ridgewood Memorial Triangle at Myrtle and Cypress avenues and ending at the Glendale War Monument at Myrtle and Cooper avenues. Charles Dunn, a member of Glendale’s VFW Sergeant Edward R. Miller Post 7336, is the grand marshal.
Over the holiday weekend, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a major initiative for post Sandy improvements in Howard Beach. New York Daily News says that feds approved a $50,000,000 project (funded by federal recovery funds) to “develop sand dunes, salt marshes and other vegetation along a section of the Queens coastline in a bid to keep floodwaters from reaching businesses and homes.” These improvements are slated for a 150-acre tract along Spring Creek and Jamaica Bay. Engineering studies and design work will start up in 2014, and construction is only expected to take a year. When Sandy hit more than one year ago, a total of 3,000 homes in the Howard Beach area suffered serious damage.
Queens Courier reports that Howard Beach residents held their first meeting this week regarding $18,000,000 given to the neighborhood through the state’s NY Rising Community Reconstruction program. The program provides funds to more than 100 communities severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The community ultimately decides where the funds will go. At the meeting, Howard Beach residents expressed a desire for investing in solar panels, having gasoline on hand for generators, building a central storm hub and strengthening churches and high ground shelters. The community will hold three more meetings before submitting a final plan; the next public meeting is scheduled for November 18th at P.S. 207.
On your marks… Get set… Eat! The tenth annual Queens Restaurant Week 2013 will run from September 30th to October 3rd and October 7th to October 10th with more than 60 eateries participating. A three-course, prix fixe dinner for $28 and lunch for $14 are the general parameters for the promotion, although some establishments will also offer wine or some other items, and many restaurants will continue their specials beyond October 10th. As to be expected in the world’s most diverse county, the cuisine options are boundless. Participating restaurants include Ben’s Best (Kosher, Rego Park), Christos (Astoria, steakhouse with Greek influence), Dazies (Sunnyside, Italian), Haveli (Forest Hills, Indian), Roka (Richmond Hill, Turkish), Tequila Sunrise (Bayside, Mexican) and Uncle Peter’s (Jackson Heights, pan-European).
It’s a chance to make history, star in a movie and live on in perpetuity. Dan Hendrick, who is currently working on the documentaryJamaica Bay Lives, and the Queens Memory Project are looking for people to share their stories, photos, mementos and thoughts on the neighborhoods stretching from Howard Beach through the Rockaways to Breezy Point. On April 24, Hendrick and QMP partners Queens College and Queens Library will be interviewing past and current area residents during Jamaica Bay Community History Night at the Broad Channel Branch Library. Hendrick noted that this is the chance to preserve local history before it becomes a fuzzy memory. He added that Hurricane Sandy has added a whole new chapter to this project.
If you’ve paid attention to the flooding in the Rockaways from Hurricane Sandy, it’s probably not a surprise that much of Howard Beach (GMAP) is now considered to be in a flood zone in the new FEMA maps, which were released last week. The Queens Chronicle reports that the flood zone includes “the entire neighborhood south of the Belt Parkway and a section of Lindenwood west of 84th Street are now considered flood hazard zones.”
The Queens Chronicle published a heartening piece about the Tuscany Deli, located in Lindenwood, which is just north of Howard Beach, who has been very generous to Hurricane Sandy survivors in Howard Beach and Broad Channel, aka their neighbors. During the Thanksgiving holiday, they catered 86 free meals, gave away 100 turkeys to hurricane survivors, and raised $2,000 to feed people whose homes were damaged in the storm. (more…)
NY 1 reported on another step toward normalcy in southwestern Queens, which got hit hard during Hurricane Sandy – the return of the A train to Howard Beach, which allows for easier transit access for those on the Rockaway peninsula. Trains started back up at 7:42am on Sunday, ahead of schedule (8am was the scheduled start time).
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It was almost instantaneous – our friends and neighbors around New York City identified the needs of those hit hardest by the surges of Sandy and swung into action.
Want to help, too? The following resources are designed to connect your resources – good stuffs, man-power, funds, blood, and clothes – to those in need in the Tri-State region and in Queens.
American Red Cross The Red Cross is uniquely qualified to handle the most serious issues affecting victims of Sandy. You can donate money, skills, and importantly, blood, for which they are specifically asking. They’re also at work in the Caribbean, Sandy’s first stop in her path of destruction.