Hindus cleanse their sins by making an offering into a body of water. India’s Ganges River is the world’s most famous spot for this ritual, which is called “Ganga Pooja,” but the most common Queens venue is a Jamaica Bay beach on the Broad Channel side of the Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge.
Of course, practitioners of this religion are not the only ones who leave litter in Jamaica Bay, but many of their offerings are not biodegradable. Thus, after the Ganga Poojas first appeared roughly 25 years ago, they immediately attracted negative attention from residents of Howard Beach, Broad Channel, and the Rockaways. Enter Sadhana, an NYC-based coalition of Hindus bent on asserting principles of tolerance and inclusiveness. (more…)
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.
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.
Combining storytelling, history and the arts, the Five Boro Story Project seeks to strengthen community connections, preserve local history, and boost pride in NYC neighborhoods. The nonprofit’s newest series, I’m Tawkin Here: Storytelling with a New Yawk Accent, kicks off on April 10 at the New York Irish Center before traveling through the five boroughs on five consecutive Wednesdays until May 8. The show features Broad Channel native Tara Clancy, a fifth-generation New Yorker and the Moth GrandSLAM storytelling champion whose solo show “Channel Rat” was featured in the NY Fringe Festival. LIC’s Kambri Crews, a storyteller, public speaker and author of Burn Down the Ground, is scheduled to perform, as are Rockaway’s Ed Shevlin, an Irish speaker, Fulbright Commission for Summer Language Study winner and part of the heroic sanitation team that that cleaned up the Rockaways after Hurricane Sandy, and Howard Beach representative Angel Yau, a comedienne extraordinaire with Upright Citizen’s Brigade and Mortified! storytelling. Jamaica’s SoSoon of Mi-6, an emcee, songwriter and the self-proclaimed “Spike Lee of hip hop” is in charge of the music.
Curbed, in their Camera Obscura column, had Nathan Kensigner head to the Rockaway Peninsula to take some photos of the area after Hurricane Sandy. His work is always excellent, and this report is no different. It’s a surreal landscape now, and in the words of one Edgemere resident, “It’s like a bad dream that I can’t wake up from.”
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).
As we approach close to two weeks post-Hurricane Sandy, it’s is heartening to hear good news coming from the Rockaways area of Queens. CBS New York reports that there are “signs of life” in Broad Channel – the traffic light near the bridge is operational, and some stores have their lights on. The Rock N Roll Bagels is one of those and hopes to open soon.
In other good news, the Glendale Volunteer Ambulance Corps donated an ambulance to help the Broad Channel community get up and running. (more…)
The WSJ reports on the Broad Channel Police Department, a self-organized group of about 20 men out in Hurricane Sandy ravished Broad Channel who are doing everything they can to help get their community back on its feet. They meet every morning at 9am the end of East 9th Street, and go house to house, checking on their neighbors and seeing what needs to be done.