Elmhurst & Jackson Heights Events
Cultivating Character at the Garden School
Jackson Heights Garden School Evolves with Community
This Spring I spent some time becoming better acquainted with the Garden School in Jackson Heights. The Garden School is a private,non-profit, neighborhood school that primarily serves the Jackson Heights and Queens community- and which has begun to pursue the growth in interest from the nearby boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
What makes the Garden School unique? The answer to that question is quite possibly as long, as the history of the school itself.
One of the first aspects of the school uniqueness I discovered, stood squarely in the midst of a photograph of its Founding Fathers of 1923. It turns out that Edward MacDougall, the Founder of the Queensboro Corporation, was one of the leading forces behind the creation of the Garden School. The Queensboro Corporation was the leading and largest real estate developer of the Jackson Heights neighborhood nearly a century ago.
In addition to investing in the erection of some of the highest quality residential buildings in all of Queens - and for that matter all of New York City - the Queensboro Corporation alsoinvested in developing the human infrastructure of the Jackson Heights community through the creation of the Garden School.
The photo at right was taken of a theatrical production, in the early days of the Garden School, in the playground thatlies adjacent to the school. This playground recently served a pivotal role in the Garden School history, and has emerged as an opportunity for both the school and the community to come into even more harmonious goal alignment.
Today, nearly a century later, the vision and the quality of a Garden School education endures. In some manner, one might say that the quality of a Garden School education has withstood the passage of time, as well as the high quality construction of the pre-war buildings of the Jackson Heights neighborhood. The high quality of the historic buildings in the Jackson Heights neighborhood remains head and shoulders above the construction quality of most of the other buildings of that time - and likely by an even a larger margin - way ahead of the quality of the glass and steel skyscrapers being erected today.
In some similar measure, the Garden School has maintained a standard of educational value that compares well with its public and private school peers. Amidst all of the turmoil surrounding the efficacy of the public school system, and when measured in value against the soaring costs of a private school education, the Garden School has thrived, survived and is beginning to grow again.
To be sure, nearly a century ago - the schools, the buildings and the real estate developers were different than they are today, which we will see as we journey back into the past, and return to the present, of the Garden School in Jackson Heights, Queens.
Click here to read the rest of our story about the Garden School in Jackson Heights, one of the oldest & most prestigious private schools in Queens.
LaGuardia Airport - Airplane Noise
Jackson Heights, Corona & Queens Voice Concerns Regarding LGA Airplane Noise
FAA Considering Extension of LaGuardia Airport Hours & Other Changes
I attended a town hall meeting about the airplane noise coming from LaGuardia Airport at PS 69 in Jackson Heights. The town hall had been organized by NYS Senator Peralta’s office and the panel of speakers included local government officials and representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration [FAA] and the New York New Jersey Port Authority [NYNJPA].
Standing Room Only at PS 69
The auditorium was packed and there were people lined up along the walls as well as standing in the back of the auditorium. Airplane noise has emerged as a big issue for Jackson Heights due to a couple of construction projects going on at the airport – both of which will be completed at the end of November.
Cynical Audience Member's Point of View
The timing of the town hall meeting, only six weeks before the construction was to end, led one of the local pundits to cynically suggest that this was merely political theater, rather than an effort to accomplish anything substantive.
There was an earlier town hall meeting organized about two years ago by NYC City Councilmember Dromm, to tackle the problem in its early stages, and while it was happening - not after it was all over - which is what we're close to today.
But that said, these town hall meetings are not just political theater, although inevitably that is some of it, which you will see in the video. And while the immediate problem will subside, we discovered that there a number of efforts either underway or in the planning stages, in which the community has a vested stake in the outcomes.
Not Said In Meeting: Federal Register States That Consideration Is Being Given To Extending LGA's Operational Hours & Slots
In doing follow up research I found a piece on the Federal Register government website that informed me that the FAA is considering changing the operational hours and slots for LaGuardia Airport. This was not discussed at the town hall [click into story for additional detail]. We also found other things that were either scarcely touched upon or not addressed, which we included in this report.
Click here to read the rest of this report about LaGuardia Airport Airplane Noise and the NYNJPA & FAA in Queens. The report includes video presentations, including some audience interaction, and a photo slide show and other information about FAA air traffic changes, airplane noise and what you can do about it.
People For Public Schools – In Jackson Heights
Dromm Discusses Educational Issues & What Can Parents Do To Help
May 28, 2014 / Jackson Heights / Queens Schools / Queens Buzz. I attended what was essentially a communal sit down dialogue Daniel Dromm, Chair of the NYC City Council Education Committee. He met with a six-month-old group that goes by the name of the Jackson Heights People For Public Schools. And together they discussed the plethora of issues being grappled with by educators, policymakers, parents and pupils in the wake of the Bloomberg Administration’s departure.
I consider myself to still be in the learning mode of trying to understand all of the issues faced by those managing public education so what follows is essentially a partial record of the discussion.
As background based what I do know from prior coverage in the Queens educational arena, the Bloomberg Administration embarked on an effort that appeared in some respects to favor de-unionizing and privatizing the NY Public School system via the closing of public schools which were staffed with generally experienced, unionized teachers; and opening privately run charter schools, generally run by fairly new teachers who worked for non-union wages. The Bloomberg Administration also moved toward splitting schools into smaller entities.
Click here to read more about a dialogue with Daniel Dromm, NYC City Council Chair of the Education Committee, about education & public schools in Queens.
Hispanic Parade In Jackson Heights
Kaleidoscope of Costumes & Dance Performances By Latin Cultures
September 24, 2012 / Jackson Heights / Ethnic & Religious Cultures in Queens / Queens Buzz. On Sunday I went to Jackson Heights to watch the Hispanic Day Parade. The aesthetics of the parade provided a vibrant peek into the many cultures of our Latin neighbors who live here in Queens; and whose nations collectively represent our fastest growing and largest trading partners.
It was a beautiful sunny dry day, with highs in the high 70's. The parade started at 12 noon, lead in part by NYS Senator Jose Peralta and City Councilmember Danny Dromm. I settled in along the street side and struck up a conversation with a woman in the audience. We began talking about Latin cultures as the floats and performers came passing by.
In the photo to your right are some of the parade participants, who performed traditional dances in tune with the music. Click here to read the rest of our report and view a photo slide show of the Hispanic Day Parade in Jackson Heights. Click here to read our report on the Hispanic Day Parade in Queens & Jackson Heights. Story & photos by Michael Wood.
JHBG Celebrates 25 Years Of Service
Jackson Heights Beautification Group Celebrates 25
September 30, 2013 / Jackson Heights Neighborhood / Queens Issues / Queens Buzz News. I had the pleasure of spending some time at the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Jackson Heights Beautification Group’s existence. During the course of the evening I had the opportunity to talk to a number of members, many of whom had been with the organization for decades. And during the course of these conversations I came away having learned something about their collective accomplishments, and in some senses, the early to modern history of Jackson Heights.
Some of the JHBG's Accomplishments
The Jackson Heights Beautification Group [also known as JHBG] started when a group of residents decided to 'take back the neighborhood' from vandals doing property damage [grafitti], real estate developers knocking down high quality historic buildings, people breaking sanitation laws [doggie doo], and developers trying to obtain zoning variances that would downgrade the neighborhood. But the community organization was not just about participating in the governance process and ensuring that the city laws and ordinances were enforced; they also sought to enhance the quality of neighborhood life.
Hence the Jackson Heights Beautification Group sought funding for summer concerts, helped bring a farmers market to Jackson Heights, worked collaboratively to create more public parkland [78th Playstreet & the Garden School Athletic Field], and most recently helped start an orchestra. They will be the first to tell you that they didn't do these things by themselves, but however modest, they did play an important role.
In the photo above City Councilmember Daniel Dromm gives an award to Jackson Heights Beautification Group President Edwin O'Keefe Westley honoring the neighborhood group's service to the community.
And so you may click here to learn a bit about the formation and history of the Jackson Heights Beautification Group, as well as a bit about the 20th century life in Jackson Heights as told by those who lived it.
Colombian Parade 2012 & Photos in Queens
Colombian Parade Cheered By Thousands
July 23, 2012 / Jackson Heights / Queens Culture / Queens Buzz. I attended the Colombian Parade in Jackson Heights on Sunday. It turned out to be one of the most exciting parades I've attended in Queens.
Somewhere between five and ten thousand people attended the parade, many of whom have Colombian roots. The parade was exciting because of the crowd’s enthusiasm for the many splendiferous floats and costumed performances given by parade participants they knew personally.
The parade began at 12 noon at 69th Street and Northern Blvd and let me tell you that I’ve never seen Northern Blvd look so good. Click here to read our report and view photos of the Colombian Parade in Jackson Heights 2012.
Jackson Heights LGBT Parade & Photos
Story of the Jackson Heights LGBT Parade 2012
And so it was, that the 20th LGBT Parade in Jackson Heights was greeted with warm weather, and likely the biggest audience it has ever had. There were easily thousands, and possibly surpassing ten thousand people in the audience. The parade started on 37th Avenue at 86th Street and ended at 75th Street. The parade ran about two hours, which includes about a half hour of government official speeches given shortly after the start of the parade.
Click here to read our report and view a photos of the Jackson Heights LGBT Parade 2012.
Biz Expo 2012 - Queens Chamber Of Commerce
May 22, 2012 / Flushing & Jackson Heights / Queens Business / Queens Buzz. I attended the Queens Chamber Biz Expo at CitiField on Tuesday. The event runs from 10 am - 3 pm, offering an opportunity for visitors to browse through the tables of between 50 - 75 or so businesses offering services in Queens.
While some of the businesses at Biz Expo 2012 at CitiField were the larger firms with national brands, the majority of the companies in attendance were home grown Queens businesses, covering a range of products and services offered in the borough, including a number of relatively new companies in the food and energy fields. In the photo above is the entrance to the Queens Chamber of Commerce Biz Expo 2012 at Caesar's Club at CitiField in Flushing.
Click here to read the rest of our report including Queens Chamber of Commerce Biz Expo 2012 photos.
Experiential Literature - Stillspotting
An Intimate Journey Into The Jackson Heights Neighborhood
April 15, 2012 / Art in Queens / Jackson Heights / Queens Buzz. I rode my bike through the backstreets of Woodside on a warm spring Sunday of 2012. The sun was glistening, the air was fresh and warm. People were working in their yards, conversing in the streets, and heading to or from somewhere. And I was on my way to the Stillspotting kiosk in Jackson Heights.
A few weeks ago the Guggenheim Museum had contacted me about the Stillspotting program they were to launch in Queens starting April 14th. After a few brief conversations with the publicists, I thought I had a sense of it, but my understanding - like the concept itself - was fluid. I wasn’t sure whether or not it would be interesting, but I decided to check it out anyway.
Click here to read more about Stillspotting Queens in Jackson Heights.
Jackson Heights 3 AM
Third Of A Trilogy About Jackson Heights
January 18, 2012 / Jackson Heights / Performing Arts in Jackson Heights / Queens Buzz. I just returned from previewing Jackson Heights 3 AM. It’s the third of a trilogy put together under the direction of Ari Kreith of Theatre 167 about the Jackson Heights neighborhood. The play is as mixed as the neighborhood, combining comedy, tragedy and romance to portray the late-night life in the multi-ethnic neighborhood of Jackson Heights.
The cast of actors and actresses did a great job of caricaturing a wide swath of late night personas, as they drew us into the post midnight hours along Roosevelt Avenue; journeying into some of the drama and humor that might generally accompany a late night voyage into NYC urbanity in northwestern Queens.
Click here to read our review of Jackson Heights 3 AM by Theatre 167.
Jackson Heights Shops & Elmhurst Shopping
Jackson Heights & Elmhurst / Queens Buzz. Jackson Heights and Elmhurst provide local residents with a number of shopping venues, from shopping centers along 37th and Roosevelt Avenues, to 74th Street the hub of all things Indian, to Northern Blvd which includes a number of auto dealerships, to the Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst.
Click here to go into the Jackson Heights & Elmhurst Shopping section of this site.
Real Estate: Jackson Heights & Elmhurst
Jackson Heights Real Estate, Realtors, Condos, Apartments, Prices & Market
March 23, 2011 / Jackson Heights Real Estate & Elmhurst Real Estate / Queens Real Estate / Queens Buzz. This is the Jackson Heights Real Estate & Elmhurst Real Estate section of the site.
Click here to view reports about Jackson Heights realtors & real estate in Queens.
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