21 Roman Catholic Union soldiers are interred amongst the 365 acres of first Calvary Cemetery in Queens, nearby the cuprous waters of the much maligned Newtown Creek. This is a patch of city land, by the way, and under the jurisdiction of the NYC Parks Department.
On April 28, 1863, the City of New York purchased the land for this park from the Trustees of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and granted Parks jurisdiction over it. The land transaction charter stated that Parks would use the land as a burial ground for soldiers who fought for the Union during the Civil War (1861-65) and died in New York hospitals. Parks is responsible for the maintenance of the Civil War monument, the statuary, and the surrounding vegetation. Twenty-one Roman Catholic Civil War Union soldiers are buried here. The last burial took place in 1909…
The monument features bronze sculptures by Daniel Draddy, fabricated by Maurice J. Power, and was dedicated in 1866. Mayor John T. Hoffman (1866-68) and the Board of Aldermen donated it to the City of New York. The 50-foot granite obelisk, which stands on a 40 x 40 foot plot, originally had a cannon at each corner, and a bronze eagle once perched on a granite pedestal at each corner of the plot. The column is surmounted by a bronze figure representing peace. Four life-size figures of Civil War soldiers stand on the pedestals. In 1929, for $13,950, the monument was given a new fence, and its bronze and granite details replaced or restored. The granite column is decorated with bronze garlands and ornamental flags.
It might seem like old news, but it’s still worth talking about - Jackson Heights is getting more park space. This is a neighborhood that doesn’t have much of that, so it is a welcome advancement in the community. It will cost $6 million, and will be located at 33-16 79th Street (GMAP), adjacent to Travers Park. This is a 24,600 square foot “asphalt play yard” owned by the Garden School; the school will get to use the park from 8am-4pm during the school year.
We know there is a lot to be proud of in Queens – cultural institutions, parks, and restaurants, just to name a few. So what are you proud of? What really gets your Queens pride going? Let us know in the comments or via twitter at @queensnycity!
Sometimes you just need a break from it all: the rumble of the train, the text alerts, the taxi honks. Here are some of our favorite places to recharge.
The hidden pathways in Sunnyside Gardens – Sunnyside - You’ll know you’re stepping into this section of Sunnyside when the trees suddenly get taller, the gardens lusher, and the houses infinitely more charming. It’s the city’s largest private park, and it’s meticulously maintained. Keep your eye out for narrow pedestrian alleys that let you cut through the block surrounded by greenery. (GMAP)
Where to go for your next beach escape? There are lots of guides to finding the right Queens beach for a weekend getaway — Queens Mamas lists great beaches for kids, Huff Post lists a number of restaurants and activities on the peninsula, and Gothamist’s 2011 guide is rich with photos of good eats, architecture, and local dives. We’ll tell you how to get there, what to bring, and where to eat once you’ve made enough sandcastles to work up an appetite.
Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk - This beach is the easiest to access via subway. That means it’s where everyone else is headed too, which has its benefits — especially in the form of yummy goodness at Rockaway Taco and Veggie Island, and from the Shore Fruit bike kabob ladies. The masses generally pack in between Beach 85th and Beach 110th Streets, so if you want more peace and less party, we recommend either the swimming beach at Beach 60th Street or the end of the boardwalk past Beach 115th Street. The city-owned Rockaway Beach is super long, so take advantage of that fact to find your own spot to enjoy for the day. (GMAP)
What to bring - All you really need is your towel and your suit; you can pick up lunch, snacks, surfboards, and more in the neighborhood
Who to take - Everyone you know, including your foodie friends and your boogie-boarding kids
How to get there -
A train to Beach 57 St or beyond
A train to Broad Channel; transfer to S (shuttle) train to Beach 90 St or beyond
Q52/Q53 bus from Woodside, Elmhurst, or Forest Hills
We’ve got you covered for BBQ in Queens this hot July weekend. Pack a bag of charcoal, load the cooler with beer and burgers, and get to any of these parks to legally grill outdoors. Here is a map of all three parks.
Alley Pond Park - It’s a small park with a mostly blacktop area to BBQ so get there early to claim a grill. The best place to enter the park is at Springfield Blvd and 76th Ave. GMAP
Flushing Meadows Corona Park – Two BBQ areas and 24 grills make this park your best bet if you’re getting a late start after that brunch Bloody Mary. Go in at Jewel Ave and Van Wyck Expwy. GMAP
Forest Park, Woodhaven – 5 grills available in Forest Park, the largest continuous oak forest in Queens. You can enter at Woodhaven Blvd at Forest Park Dr for quickest grill access. GMAP