Sicilian Psychopath, Fresh Prince of Shaolin, and Southern Stomper are coming to Queens — and they plan to fight with all their might.
Tier 1 Wrestling will host the Rumble in the Concrete Jungle on October 2 at RS Studio in Richmond Hill. Competitions will include an intergender tag team match, a six-way elimination fray, and a battle of the beasts.
Established by die hard pro wrestling fans, the Ridgewood-based Tier 1 launched last July 10 with the mission to develop and promote up-and-coming wrestlers of both genders. More information and another photo of a Tier 1 match are on the jump page.
Back in the infancy of Forgotten NY, April of 2000 to be exact, I was working at one of those jobs that only required me to be present 3 or 4 times a week (which is great for gathering Forgotten material but not so good when trying to pay bills) and, after a few weeks poking around abandoned hospitals and boatyards in Staten Island, I thought it would be nice to take a walk in a nicer part of town…a place that had, I knew, the most beautiful architecture ever conceived. Where might that be? Enter Richmond Hill, Queens.
The Victorian era, roughly 1865-1900, was a period characterized by a booming economy in many of its years, and architecture responded with an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink attitude. No color or design was written off, and no expense was spared in construction. Yet, nothing was tacky or tasteless and despite every house on the block being completely different from the other, Victorian neighborhoods retained a unity of spirit that can’t be matched in these days of prefabricated junk.
Richmond Hill, located in Queens between Forest Park, Kew Gardens, and Jamaica, didn’t spring up on its own, spontaneously. It’s a planned community. It was conceived in reaction to the increasing population in Manhattan and Brooklyn in the mid-1800s, with row upon row of tenements and attached brownstones. Even the best-appointed brownstones in Manhattan were often cramped and crowded. And, in the 1800s social mores dictated that the only place to raise a happy family was in one’s own house. In Manhattan, this wasn’t much of an option anymore.
For the solution, developers looked to the east and south, and built developments from scratch in New Brighton, Staten Island, Prospect Park South in Brooklyn, and here in Richmond Hill, Queens, among other locales.
Enter a Manhattan (Murray Hill) lawyer named Albon Platt Man. One day in 1869 he was riding along the Brooklyn and Jamaica Turnpike (a toll road that is today’s Jamaica Avenue) on the way to his summer house in Lawrence, Nassau County (then a part of Queens), and noticed the desirable land along the route in an area then known as Clarenceville.
Man consulted with a local landscaper and architect named Edward Richmond, bought the property and developed it until his death in 1891. His three sons carried on after his death, and went on to develop Kew Gardens in all its Tudor glory to the north, and developed the woodland along the terminal moraine (the hills in the center of Brooklyn and Queens that mark the southern progress of glaciers during the last Ice Age) into what is now Forest Park.
It’s likely that the name “Richmond Hill” was not a tribute to Edward Richmond, since he passed away before much of the development could get underway. Rather, Man probably named the nascent community after the London suburb Richmond-On-Thames, a favorite royal stomping ground.
Although there was no such thing as zoning in the late 1800s, Albon Man had several means at his disposal to make sure the community developed according to his specifications. He obtained restrictive covenants to dictate, for example, the absence of front yard fences and uniform setbacks, that would give Richmond Hill a forestlike atmosphere with lots of green lawns, which persists to this day.
The city’s School Construction Authority just signed a 10-year lease at 132-10 Jamaica Avenue, a former distribution center between 132nd and 133rd Streets in Richmond Hill. Commercial Observer writes that the city plans to open a 100-seat pre-k school in September of this year. According to a rep at Kalmon Dolgin, who brokered the sale, the parcel — which is a total of 12,400 square feet — commanded an asking rent of $30 per square foot.
This school is part of Mayor de Blasio’s initiative to bring universal pre-k schooling to New York City. Commercial Observer notes that the administration is aiming to enroll all 73,000 of the city’s four-year-olds in pre-k by this fall.
When I was a child, both of my parents were cigarette smokers. That was not unusual for the early 1960s. Everyone seemed to be a smoker then. They both quit cold turkey when I was around twelve. But before that, my father experimented with pipe smoking. He bought a couple of different pipes, and tried several aromatic tobacco blends before finding the combination he liked. I have to say, the pipe smoke was much nicer to be around than the cigarette smoke.
Starting in the early 19th century, the New York City area was a leader in the manufacturing of tobacco products. Cigars were the big thing throughout that century, and all of the boroughs had multiple cigar factories, both large and small. After all, one only needed a table to roll cigars, and many people rolled cigars in their homes, one of the city’s first at-home sweatshops.
Cigarettes didn’t become popular until the end of the century, but chewing and pipe tobacco also had their place in city production. Lorillard, which is still producing tobacco products, had several large factories in Manhattan and Brooklyn. There were many other companies, as well, whose names are now lost to history. But someone had to make the pipes themselves. By the turn of the 20th century, one of the largest pipe makers was located in Richmond Hill, Queens. It was called William Demuth & Company. (more…)
Danish-born crusading journalist and photographer Jacob Riis (1849-1914) made his home in Richmond Hill, Queens, beginning in 1886. In 1887, Riis photographed the squalid, inhumane conditions prevalent in New York City’s tenements, and his 1890 book “How The Other Half Lives” has become an influential text to the present day. His cause was taken up by Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt, who encouraged legislation that would help ease the burden of NYC’s poorest. Additionally, as one of the most famous proponents of the newly practicable casual photography, he is considered one of the fathers of photography due to his very early adoption of flash in photography.
In his autobiography Riis wrote of finding Richmond Hill: “It was in the winter when all our children had the scarlet fever that one Sunday, when I was taking a long walk out on Long Island where I could do no one any harm, I came upon Richmond Hill, and thought it was the most beautiful spot I had ever seen, I went home and told my wife that I had found the place where we were going to live.…I picked out the lots I wanted. So before the next winter’s snow, we were snug in the house, with a ridge of wooded hills, between New York and us. The very lights of the city were shut out. So was the slum and I could sleep.” Riis’s house was placed on the National Register for Historic Places, but such a designation does not protect a property. The home was torn down in the mid-1970’s and replaced with a row of attached brick houses. Today two remaining beech trees planted by Riis in the backyard remind us of the tranquil neighborhood that put his mind at ease.
Diwali is a Hindu tradition also known as “The Festival of Lights.” This annual celebration of good over evil is a national holiday in countries with large Hindu populations, such as India, Nepal, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago. In the “Little Guyana” section of Richmond Hill, the activities include an enthusiastic mix of decorated floats, colorful clothes, oil lamps, chanting, drumming … and a tremendous motorcade.
Describing it as “vandalism,” “a blight,” and “a crime,” civic and political leaders from the Richmond Hill/Woodhaven area helped launch an anti-graffiti initiative with a press conference (below) and demonstration (above) on Wednesday. City Council Member Eric A. Ulrich, who represents these neighborhoods, announced that he had allotted $25,000 to eliminate graffiti at six major corridors — Woodhaven Boulevard; Jamaica Avenue; Atlantic Avenue; 101st Avenue; Liberty Avenue; and Rockaway Boulevard. The borough’s only Republican council member directed the funds to the Queens Economic Development Corporation‘s Neighborhood Development Division, which promotes economic growth by supporting community businesses. QEDC will sub-contract with Ridgewood-based Magic Touch Cleaning to carry out the initiative.
Saying this was a priority for him, Council Member Ulrich stated that he planned to seek more funding for this program in the future. QEDC Deputy Director Ricardi Calixte opined that graffiti is bad for business. He stated, “This type of vandalism has a domino effect, discouraging shoppers, encouraging lawlessness, and deterring investment.”
See a photo from the press conference after the jump. (more…)
This rendering popped up for 115-02 Jamaica Avenue, a new commercial building planned for the corner of 115th Street in Jamaica Richmond Hill. New York YIMBY reports that the three-story, 30,000-square-foot building will wrap construction later this year. The design is by Aufgang Architects.
This parcel was previously home to a prewar bank building. When the new commercial space opens, the ground floor will hold a Dollar Tree and Crunch Fitness will occupy the top two floors.