Queens

A Ghost House In Queens

This property was demolished in April 2013. Growing up in Massachusetts, there was never any shortage of ghost houses: crumbling, hundred year-old derelicts that would fuel many a sleepover double-dog-dare (“I double dog dare to you to knock on the door!” “No way!” “Wuss!”). One of my favorites was just a few blocks from my house, a gorgeous Federal mansion ... Read More »

The Incredible Aztec Theater Hidden in Queens

One of my all time favorite theaters isn’t located in Times Square, or even Manhattan. To find it, you have to go waaaaay down Queens Boulevard to the heart of Elmhurst, where you’ll come across the old Elks lodge #878. Built in 1924, this Elks lodge was once one of the largest on the East Coast, with, according to Forgotten ... Read More »

Houdini’s Final Vanishing Act in Queens

Cypress Hills Street might as well be called the Graveyard Highway. A wide, four-lane thruway located in Glendale, Queens, it cuts through The Cemetery Belt – a sprawling collection of cemeteries established after the State Rural Cemeteries Act of 1847 forbade the creation of any new cemeteries in Manhattan. I was out there recently to scout graveyards, and made a ... Read More »

The Prettiest Cab Stand In New York

I swear I’ve gone by the Yakuel cab stand on 12th Street and the Queensboro Bridge a million times without ever looking inside. Other than the bright new paint job and the nice potted plants, it really doesn’t seem any different from most cab stands in this area of Queens. Except, the plants outside… …are nothing compared to what’s inside: ... Read More »

Someone Planted a Bicycle Garden in Queens!

Note: this has since been removed. I was driving along Vernon Blvd in Queens when I spotted something you don’t usually see under the 59th Street Bridge… A bicycle garden! Or, to be specific, a row of flowers made out of old bike parts: Very inventive stuff – check out this sunflower… The group responsible for this “Urban Garden” is ... Read More »

Stumbling On A Prohibition-Era Bowling Alley Speak-Easy

Note: this is no longer available for filming. I received a very unexpected email last week: We recently purchased a building in Ridgewood, Queens, and while clearing out the basement we discovered a two lane manual bowling alley in very good condition. We did some research and this basement was most probably a club during the prohibition era. Would you ... Read More »

45 Years Late to the World’s Fair

By the time I got there, it was gone. The World’s Fair, you ask? Nope. I am referring to something far more unbelievable… That’s right: Queens once had an honest-to-God Parks Department-approved fountain named “Fountain of the Planet of the Apes.” And if that’s not odd enough, an identical fountain on the opposite side of the Queens Zoo was named ... Read More »

The Abandoned Farm Cemetery in Queens

Staring down 54th Street from 31st Ave in Woodside, Queens, a street lined with boxy brick apartments and a scant bit of foliage, one would not expect to find one of the oldest cemeteries in New York nestled in amongst the buildings… But there it is, halfway down the block: the Moore-Jackson Cemetery, founded in 1733 (276 years ago) and ... Read More »