Those who don’t study history are bound to repeat it. In late August 1776, General William Howe’s British army landed on what is now Long Island, seeking to capture New York City from the Patriot forces who had sparked the American Revolution. Soon thereafter, Howe and his Red Coats overwhelmed General George Washington’s troops in Brooklyn, forcing them to retreat to Manhattan by boat. By September 15th, the British had taken New York City. On August 23rd of this year, the Onderdonk House will commemorate this historical battle with an exhibit on General Nathaniel Woodhull, the first militia general killed in the Revolutionary War. The Ridgewood landmark will also re-open an exhibit on the Daughters of the American Revolution, conduct tours of its colonial kitchen, and organize a Colonial Kids event.
A photo and information on another history-based event this weekend are on the jump page.
It’s time to hit the pavement. On July 6th, the 2014 Tour de Queens by Jamis will take bicyclists on a fun-filled, family-friendly trek through the borough. An estimated 20 miles, the route will begin in Flushing Meadows Corona Park and take participants through Flushing, East Flushing, Murray Hill, Auburndale, Bayside, Bayside Terrace, Beechurst and Whitestone with a rest stop in Little Bay Park. It’s not a competitive race–riders will pedal en masse at about 10 mph as a rolling parade with an NYPD escort. There are no street closures, but volunteer marshals will block (or “cork”) traffic intersections for safe passage. Details after the jump.
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.
According to legend, Whitestone takes its name from a large offshore rock where tides from the East River and Long Island Sound met; in other accounts the name is in honor of the White Stone Chapel, erected by townsman Samuel Leggett in 1837. For a time, Whitestone was known as Clintonville, after NYC mayor and NY State Governor DeWitt Clinton, who lived in the area. Both Leggett and Clintonville are recalled in area street names.
DeWitt Clinton (1769-1828) was one of early New York’s pre-eminent politicians, serving in the NY State Assembly and as a state Senator (1798-1811), US Senator from New York (1802-1803); NYC mayor (1803-1815) NY State Governor (1817-1822) and ran unsuccessfully for US President as a Federalist against incumbent President James Madison in 1812. DeWitt Clinton lived in Queens County, primarily during his time as mayor, in a mansion near Newtown Creek in Maspeth that burned down in 1933, though he had a summer house in Whitestone. While he was NYS Governor, Whitestone became known as Clintonville in his honor. Though the neighborhood became “Whitestone” again during the 19th Century the name is remembered by the lengthy Clintonville Street and Clintonville Playground.
Clintonville Street, looking south from 10th Avenue, looks like a main street in any smaller town just before entering the central business district. The blue St. Nicholas dome, though, gives it away as a metropolitan artery.
Muss Development just arranged a few leases at at the Francis Lewis Boulevard Shopping Center, in Whitestone. First off, they signed a family-friendly restaurant, “The Boulevard,” to take up 4,000 square feet in the retail center. The Boulevard will open by the end of March and serve up American cuisine with an Italian twist. It’ll also have a full-service bar and high-definition televisions. Greg Massa, who oversaw operations at Parkside Restaurant in Corona, will run the spot. Secondly, Muss renewed the 13,500-square-foot lease for CVS Pharmacy. The pharmacy has been in that location since 2002.
Whitetone residents should keep an eye out: Muss expects a 4,000-square-foot parcel adjacent to CVS Pharmacy to become available for lease in the second quarter, and they plan to fill it with a new tenant.
The home at 1-06 Samos Lane, in Whitestone, just hit public records for $3,563,875. According to this old listing, the single-family home was built in 2004. It holds five bedrooms and 6,350 square feet. We can’t find much more information or photos of the interior. Google Maps does show, however, that it is located right along the waterfront. And according to this website, it looks as if the home was asking $3,995,000. It got pretty darn close to ask! GMAP
With its blue dome, the St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church at 14-65 Clintonville Street is one of several surprising architectural gems among the tract housing of Whitestone. At first glance, it appears to be two large Quonset huts making an “X” shape, topped out by an onion dome in one of the purest shades of blue imaginable.
As for Clintonville Street, it is is so named because it runs through a section of Whitestone that used to be named for DeWitt Clinton (1769-1828), an early New York State polymath who held every important political office save Vice President or President. He served in the New York State Assembly and as a State Senator (1798-1802; 1806-1811); as U.S. Senator from New York (1802-1803); as a three-term New York City mayor (1803-1815); as New York State Governor (1817-1822); and indeed ran unsuccessfully for U.S. President as a Federalist against incumbent President James Madison in 1812. Among other accomplishments, his influence was elemental in getting the Erie Canal constructed.
DeWitt Clinton lived in two of Queens residences, particularly during his time as mayor. His mansion in Maspeth stood on today’s 58th Street north of 56th Road until it burned down in 1933. He also summered in Whitestone — the part of it close to the East River at about 151st street, 7th Avenue and Leggett Place. (more…)
Patsy’s Pizzeria will be opening its first location outside of Manhattan at 21-64 Utopia Parkway (GMAP) in Whitestone, Queens, sometime in April. The famed pizzeria originally opened in 1933 in East Harlem and has four other Manhattan locations. Owner Frank Brija declares, “This will be the best pizza to hit Queens in 100 years.”
That’s quite a claim. So we decided to take a look at the other revered pizza joints in the borough to see what Patsy’s will be up against:
New Park Pizzeria in Howard Beach (GMAP) is a Queens original, established in 1956. Devotees from all over the city agree that Queens has the best pizza after they’ve tried a New Park pie.