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Amusements and Thrills Queens History

African lions and dinosaurs, musical plastics and electricity: The sights and sounds of the 1964-65 World’s Fair

The World’s Fair of 1964-65 opened fifty years ago today!  We visited this unusual New York mega-event on the podcast a few years ago.  Give this show a listen to get a good introduction to our city’s strangest celebration of the future.  You can listen to it here or download it from the Bowery Boys […]

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Queens History

The Corona Ash Dump: Brooklyn’s burden on Queens, a vivid literary inspiration and bleak, rat-filled landscape

Ah, take in the horrid reality of the Corona marshes with their ashes, manure and garbage! (Courtesy CUNY) Outside of probably Hell, there is no literary landscape as forlorn and soul-crushing as the ash dumps of Corona, Queens. “This is the valley of ashes,” writes Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby, “a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat […]

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Queens History

The Corona Ash Dump: Brooklyn’s burden on Queens, a vivid literary inspiration and bleak, rat-filled landscape

Ah, take in the horrid reality of the Corona marshes with their ashes, manure and garbage! (Courtesy CUNY) Outside of probably Hell, there is no literary landscape as forlorn and soul-crushing as the ash dumps of Corona, Queens. “This is the valley of ashes,” writes Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby, “a fantastic farm where ashes […]

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Queens History

The Queens boundary line, some amazing New York City trivia, and a clarification to our latest podcast

 Reaction to the Bowery Boys podcast on the Consolidation of 1898 has been tremendous!  But I do have one clarification, and provided by a very excellent source. The accurate placing of the boundary line between Queens and the newly created Nassau County was a source of frustration for a great many months after consolidation.  I recounted […]

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Queens History

Spring awakenings: Odes to Robert Moses in Kissena Park?

I love flipping through the collections of the NYC Department of Records because, on top of strange crime photographs and rote images of city blocks, you occasionally find images like the ones above. According to the caption, these female and male dancers are performing in Kissena Park, Queens, in 1927. (In the fall, but they […]

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Queens History

Mitt Romney visits the New York World’s Fair, May 1964

Apparently there’s some controversy involving the latest campaign ad from presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.  The ad, aimed at Michigan primary voters, displays the photograph at top while Mitt’s voiceover discusses ‘going to the Detroit auto show’. That may have just been some unfortunate sound editing, as Mitt was not in Detroit, but rather at the New York […]

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Queens History

Relaxation in Astoria, in the lap of Queens history

You’ll still find a few free-standing homes on the far western end of Astoria — traditionally called Hallet’s Cove — but you won’t find the one above, a veritable (if ramshackle) plantation getaway as photographed by Berenice Abbott in 1937. The caption of this picture places this house in the hands of Joseph Blackwell, an ancestor […]

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Current Events Podcasts Queens History

A short history of Trump: the roots of Donald’s wealth, from quiet Queens beginnings to glitzy Midtown excess

  PODCAST Sick of Donald Trump yet? (Probably.) Figured him out yet? Is he a financial wizard, reality sideshow, or political distraction? Or all of the above? The solution may be contained in the roots of his fortune — a saga that stretches back to the 1880s and begins with a 16-year-old boy named Drumpf who […]