It’s Queens The Magazine • Fall 2014

It's Queens Fall 2014 Cover

The fall of 2014 brings a number of issues affecting our everyday lives to the forefront here in Queens. The homeless blight in New York is front and center, and this mayoral administration is making it clear that it is an emergency situation and the borough need to do its part.

Gilbert Taylor, the commissioner of the Department of Homeless Services, visited the It’s Queens offices recently to chat about the agency’s goals and remedies, and we made it clear that increased community input is a waste of time if local concerns were ignored. Mr. Taylor told our staff that while the proposed Glendale Shelter on Cooper avenue is not an “emergency shelter,” the shelter operating at the old Pan American Hotel on Queens Boulevard indeed is. Therefore, that shelter can be opened without the long term steps and community input needed in other cases.

By the time you read this, driving in Queens at a speed of more than 25 mph may be illegal. Like it or not, as of November 7 we all have to slow down. It should make it safer for bicyclists and pedestrians and will make the police pay a bit more attention to motorists who speed through our side streets to beat traffic on the LIE.

The Who will be performing at the famed West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills this spring. The concerts at the stadium in Forest Hills Gardens has sparked some concern from residents, but whichever way you look at it, music in Queens adds to our culture and growth. One neighbor we spoke with remarked that there was one concert of note when she was compelled to keep her children in the house and close the windows because of the foul language from the performers. She has a great point, and we can only hope that promoters don’t book such acts down the road.

Borough President Melinda Katz has made an immediate mark on Queens in less than a year in office. The Forest Hills resident has been adding resources to the cultural staples of Queens and is quite focused on the economy. Tourism is a top focus and Melinda is quietly pushing for Queens entrepreneurs to succeed. We are bullish on her leadership of Queens. She made some recent waves in removing a few influential Queens representatives on the Queens Library board, and that decision will always be a controversial part in her legacy. However, the library will survive and its 62 branches continue to grow.

Of all the issues in Queens, the cleanliness of our streets is one of the hottest. Sanitation is having a tough time keeping up with the amount of garbage on our streets, but of course people throwing their household garbage in the baskets meant for street litter doesn’t help the situation. And “Tech Valley” in Long Island City continues to be a hot topic, are we ready for it? Trendy eateries certainly have entered the Queens landscape, with Ridgewood and Astoria leading the way. We will try to keep you up to date on the new ones.

This issue of It’s Queens won’t disappoint. It features our Top Musicians, Top Places to Get Married and Top Study Nooks in Queens.

Do yourself a favor and get off the 7 train for one of the most unique culinary experiences you can have. Trust the spots we profile in this issue. They are along the elevated 7 Train route between Woodside and Main Street. It’s quite crowded and English might not be the primary language, but that just adds to the experience. Starts on page 12

Some of the younger members of our staff might not have firsthand recollections of some of the crooners and groups on our It’s List, but if you were lucky enough to have seen Kiss or The Ramones in concert, no more needs to be said.

Getting married in Queens is fashionable once again. There are so many great spots to have a ceremony and affair, it was certainly difficult to choose our Top 5 Unique Wedding Locations. Each place has its own feeling and we are sure you will find the right spot. I think it would be a great story for the rest of your lives to say you were married in a zoo.

For many, a library just won’t cut it anymore as a place to study. Check out our Top 5 Study Nooks in Queens beginning on page 49.

We hope you enjoy the issue.

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