Writing New York: Posts from the Boroughs and Beyond — 2008-2011 Rotating Header Image

Posts under ‘Queens’

“Boulevard of Death” Gives Community New Life

Canal Street has four of them. Houston has six. Interstate 9, better known as the West Side Highway, can have as many as 10, but that still pales in comparison to another New York City native. With a whopping 16 lanes at its peak, Queens Boulevard dwarfs these trails and still has room to spare. […]

A New Final Resting Place for Foodstuffs

On a chilly Saturday morning in late October, bicycles complete with wire basket over the handlebars make trips to and from the Sunnyside Greenmarket to drop off little black bags. Three banana peels, five orange rinds, the leaves from the neighbor’s tree, last night’s salad that didn’t quite make it, the used grounds from a […]

Local Food Chain Takes Root in Queens

In neat rows of soil that dance around immovable objects, a ventilation duct here, a water tower there, Brooklyn Grange Farm, located on the roof of the building at 37-18 Northern Boulevard, gives birth to hearty greens and juicy tomatoes, among other vegetables, thanks to the owner and farmer Ben Flanner and a host of […]

Neighborhood Pride Moves to Northwest Queens

Brooklyn pride shines forth on shirts and in songs, even with catchy phrases from the borough president on the city-limit signs, but no such in-your-face attitude is found in its neighbor to the north. One young entrepreneur, however, seeks to nurture similar feelings among the residents of his northwestern Queens neighborhood. Julian Lesser, a 28-year-old […]

Foods That Feel Good

When the low rumbling of prayers end, and the choir’s angelic hallelujahs have filled the church, the crowd slowly empties out on to the wide street in front of the church. As the streets begins to crowd, a frail nun in a Christmas sweater carrying a heavy bag full of cans is helped by one […]

In Queens, a Bear of a Christmas

Tired of Santa Claus and Christmas trees during the Christmas season? In Glendale, Queens, The Shops at Atlas Park provide a unique and creative alternative, Mr. Bemberlinx. He is a 20-foot tall topiary bear that has been at the shopping center for the past four years. Located in the shopping center’s fountain area and surrounded by plastic gift […]

Santa Takes a Break at Queens Center

Santa has returned  to Queens Center Mall with its vibrant lighting and flamboyant decorations. Children wait in line with parents to sit on Santa’s lap to tell him what they want for Christmas.Waves of harried shoppers intermittently disturb the peaceful and cheery atmosphere, while onlooking shoppers reminisce about their Christmases past. “I’m reminded of my […]

Busy Clinic Closing Door

Above the multi-colored bench, where a group of fidgeting tweens sit waiting for their names to be called, there is a notice. Across a crowded toddler play area, where parents sit, there is a heated discussion among some of them. “May 5th is the last day to request medical histories,” one mother says. A baby […]

Health insurance cuts impact dentist’s business

A pair of separate doors allow for entrance into the waiting room of the General Dentistry and Orthodontia office on Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven, Queens. The first opens with a pull of the knob; the second requires a potential patient to ring the bell above the doorknob. Inside the cramped waiting room is a seven-foot […]

Nail tips still a priority in recession times

At 8:30 p.m. on a Wednesday evening, four women are filling a few of the mostly empty chairs at CoCo’s Nail and Spa on Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven, Queens. A young Asian woman is quietly staring around at the bright pastels and tropical sunset drawings coloring the walls as she getting her nail tips done […]

Failing Business, It’s a Grind

Failing Businesses, It’s a Grind. Every morning, at 6a.m. the smell of fresh coffee, and pastries fills the air, and the faint sound of soft jazz can be heard, along with indistinct chatting. On a busy corner in Long Island City The Grind is a café that has been a neighborhood hangout spot that has […]

Medical Clinics Serve Patients’ Needs

There are numerous elementary schools and churches in Woodhaven, Queens, as well as a fire department and volunteer ambulance corps. However, junior high schools, high schools, and large hospitals are non-existent in the southern Queens district. St. Anthony’s Hospital, once found between Woodhaven Boulevard and 96th street, was demolished in 2001. Local residents in need […]

LIC Station’s Lack of Security Stupefies

Four years have passed after that fateful day for Maria Besedina, a victim of sexual assault.  She’s suing the MTA for negligence and failing to protect a customer. Serviced by the E,G,V trains the 23rd Street station in Long Island City  is known to be dangerous and especially dark. A long path with no security […]

Luxury Shops Lack Consumer Appeal

Two years ago, consumers pushed their way on sidewalks packed with small crowds to enter the discount markets, fast-food restaurants, and big-named franchises lining Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven, Queens. Small and large stores were soaring, or at least doing moderately well, and the last thing a buyer would notice was a going-out-of-business sign. Today, however, […]

Ridgewood says goodbye to St. Aloysius

A few days ago, I was on my way to work, when I noticed, a small piece of paper taped to the front entrance of the Catholic school, St. Aloysius, saying, “We’re Still Here.” It wasn’t until this morning that I realized what that sign really meant. As I took my normal route to work […]

Recession not affecting Astoria’s spirit

By Timothy Petropoulos            The holidays are a time for joy and cheer, peace and giving, but in these rough financial times, these virtues can be hard to find. The people of Astoria are not letting the current economic crisis affect them though, especially when it comes to donating money to their […]

Tough Times for Queens Library

Jackson Heights and Corona residents of all ages enjoyed soul food while a blues band performed in the program hall of the Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center during the institution’s annual Kwanzaa celebration on Dec. 13. Though the blues singer’s gruff voice was sorrowful and his stories heart wrenching, the real tragedy was […]

Studio Still Dances On

The One Step at a Time Dance Studio, located at 111-17 Lefferts Blvd. in South Ozone Park, Queens, is trying to stay on top of the further crumbling economy. Patricia Harry, the director and owner of the studio, wasted no time in commenting on the decline of registered members. “By this time last year, we had 76 […]

Community council battling with current crisis

  With the financial crisis still alarming corporations everywhere, non-profit organizations have to fight much harder to solicit necessary funds in order to keep providing social services to others.   Whereas retailers and other businesses are struggling with a decrease in patronage, the Queens Jewish Community Council has to provide their services to more people, while […]

Ticket Sales Reinforce Signs of Recession

“The Recession on the way, hey, but on another note, a lot of sounding like Young, tell’em register to quote,” is the opening line of the remixed version of Young Jeezy‘s “Put On” featuring Jay-Z. What’s the connection here to the sports industry? Well, Jay-Z is part owner of the New Jersey Nets. The Nets […]