December 2013 Juniper Berry Magazine - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.
December Juniper Berry Magazine

December 2013 Juniper Berry

The Juniper Berry magazine has a rich tradition in the communities of Middle Village, Maspeth and Elmhurst. It was first published in 1938. The quarterly magazine is an all-volunteer effort and contains articles on crime prevention, neighborhood issues, meeting reports and notices, neighborhood history and photographs, guest articles, editorials and more.

Back to Juniper Berry Archives
104th Precinct Cracks Down on Rogue Tow Companies

104th Precinct Cracks Down on Rogue Tow Companies

The 104th Precinct is cracking down on tow companies that are violating city law by racing to accident scenes in order to drum up autobody work. Over the years several complaints have been filed by citizens and legitimate tow operators about the practice of "chasing" where several tow trucks arrive at an accident scene. By law, the tow truck summoned by the police is the only one that may respond under New York City's "Directed Accident Response Program" (DARP). The program was created in the 1990's after several traffic deaths were caused by tow trucks racing to accidents.

Read More
Concrete adds to LIE Noise

Concrete adds to LIE Noise

Juniper Park Civic Association Treasurer Tony Nunziato recently met with Greg Lavine, District Director from the Office of Congresswoman Grace Meng, to resurrect the fight to make the LIE through Maspeth and Middle Village more quiet.

Read More
O'Neill's Unveils new reception hall

O'Neill's Unveils new reception hall

Maspeth's O'Neill's Restaurant has been booking medium size weddings and parties in their brand new state-of-the-art reception hall that recently opened.

Read More
Beware of the Knockdown Center

Beware of the Knockdown Center

The latest threat to the quality-of-life of Maspeth residents comes courtesy of the Knockdown Center, a 5,000-person capacity bar & nightclub purporting to be an "arts center" at the edge of town where housing meets industry. Built in 1903 at 52-19 Flushing Avenue as a factory for the Gleason-Tiebout Glass Company, in more recent years, it was home to the KD Frame & Door Company, which relocated to a factory behind Reiff Park in 2009. The Sklar family owns the door company and has retained title to the Flushing Avenue property. They now seek to take it in a different direction.

Read More
NY Post: Queens Rep. Joe Crowley is apparently not proud of where he lives — Virginia.

NY Post: Queens Rep. Joe Crowley is apparently not proud of where he lives — Virginia.

A congressional staffer deleted from Crowley's Wikipedia page a link to a 2011 New York Post story that revealed how he and his family have settled in the Washington suburb of Arlington, Va., 250 miles from his home district. The congressman even sends his three kids to Arlington's nationally renowned public schools, shunning New York City's educational system, The Post revealed in the 2011 expose.

Read More
Letter to the Editor Dec. 2013

Letter to the Editor Dec. 2013

Comments or Opinions? Send to: Letters/Juniper Berry PO Box 790275, Middle Village, NY 11379 or e-mail: letters@junipercivic.com

Read More
The Juniper Swamp

The Juniper Swamp

Editor's Note: The following letter is a fine, concise history of old Juniper Swamp in Middle Village published in 1976.

Read More
Living on Crematory Hill 1935

Living on Crematory Hill 1935

Dad, Mom, my sister Judy and I lived in the "little red house" on Crematory Hill. Even though the Great Depression was officially over by 1935, we were still living under its gloom and were desperately poor. My father's Aunt Margaret, who was President of the crematory, which was next door, came to our rescue by letting us live rent-free and gave Dad a steady job.

Read More
NY Senator Charles Schumer and the Obamacare Disaster

NY Senator Charles Schumer and the Obamacare Disaster

The Affordable Healthcare Act, also known as Obamacare is recognized as the signature plan of President Barack Obama as well as the Democratic Party who hurriedly passed the over 1,000-page law without one single Republican vote.

Read More
No Available Parking in Middle Village  ‒ Who's to blame?

No Available Parking in Middle Village ‒ Who's to blame?

We are hearing quite often the complaint of unavailable parking on the streets of Middle Village. Let's look at the issue from the Middle Village perspective only and see why that appears to be the case.

Read More
The Sheeple Have Spoken

The Sheeple Have Spoken

The sheeple have decided. While Councilmember Crowley has been re-elected to four more years in the City Council, her re-election was anything but a glowing seal of approval from the heart of her district.

Read More
Embrace The Moment

Embrace The Moment

If I've learned anything on my travels in Europe it's that food and architecture closely mirror the disposition and personality of the people at the particular region. And, wherever I am, I want to become part of it to devour the air and architecture, along with the food, to become one with the place and allow the very dust to bore its way into my pores. In my fantasy, I become one with the spot and, borrowing from Keat's quoting Milton, ".....forget myself to marble," inspiring a pseudo symbiotic union.

Read More
The History of The Polish Community in Maspeth

The History of The Polish Community in Maspeth

ABOUT MASPETH The name "Maspeth" is taken from the name given to the area by Henry Hudson in 1609. He called the region "Mespat" after the Mezpat Indian Tribe, which he found living there. The name has survived to the present day. Maspeth is situated in what once was old Newtown, which included almost all of what is today the Borough of Queens. Newtown was originally settled by the Dutch and later by the English when they took over New Amsterdam. The land was dotted with farms and homesteads in those days, and served as a vacation resort for those who wanted to escape the hurried life of Manhattan for the summer months. Governor DeWitt Clinton had a home in Maspeth, as did Abraham Rycken, a prominent landowner whose son later changed his name to Ricker and bought Ricker's Island. In 1852, Cord Meyer established a large carbon plant on Newtown Creek. In the same vicinity the Laurel Hill Chemical Works was built in 1866. This plant was later taken over by G.H. Nichols & Co. Sampson's oilcloth factory, supposedly the largest in the world, was Maspeth's principal business in 1882. In addition to these larger concerns, "the manufacture of twines and small cordage has been an important industry at Maspeth for several years." The rope works, owned by James Cating and Gus Haflinger, mentioned in the history of Queens County, is still operating on 69th Street in Maspeth today. These businesses as well as the craft shops and stores in the area, were the beginnings of a bustling community. But the dominant feature in the late 1800's and the early 1900's, as reference to the 1903 map of Maspeth will show, was still the farms and abundance of open land.

Read More
Registering cars out of state  hurts NY taxpayers

Registering cars out of state hurts NY taxpayers

As I am sure you have noticed, New York residents fraudulently registering their vehicles out-of-state is no longer commonplace, but has become an epidemic.

Read More
AMAZING STORIES: Veteran Firefighter Killed in Arson Blaze

AMAZING STORIES: Veteran Firefighter Killed in Arson Blaze

Two weeks ago, his colleagues in the firehouse on Queens Boulevard in Woodside gave a party for Lieut. Thomas A. Williams to celebrate his 30th anniversary as a New York City firefighter. Yesterday, they were planning his funeral with his family.

Read More
AMAZING STORIES: Arrests Made In '92 Blaze That Killed A Firefighter

AMAZING STORIES: Arrests Made In '92 Blaze That Killed A Firefighter

Three years after a New York City fire lieutenant was killed battling a blaze in Queens, the owner of a women's clothing store in the torched building and two other men were arrested yesterday and charged with setting the fire to collect insurance money.

Read More
AMAZING STORIES: Plea for More Parking Soured by Dairy Goof

AMAZING STORIES: Plea for More Parking Soured by Dairy Goof

An Elmhurst dairy operator's efforts to acquire additional truck parking space boomeranged yesterday when it was discovered that existing parking space it has been using for several years may be illegal.

Read More
AMAZING STORIES: Farm buildings, landmarks in Maspeth for many years, to be torn down to expedite widening of Eliot Avenue.

AMAZING STORIES: Farm buildings, landmarks in Maspeth for many years, to be torn down to expedite widening of Eliot Avenue.

The old farm buildings on what is slated to be part of the Eliot Avenue opening between Sixty-ninth Place and Sixty-ninth Street, Maspeth are to be sold and torn down to expedite the widening.

Read More
AMAZING STORIES: Train Raced to Save Life

AMAZING STORIES: Train Raced to Save Life

Train Struck Allen Hurried Him to a Waiting Ambulance

Read More
AMAZING STORIES: Steuben Society  and Nazis at 'War'

AMAZING STORIES: Steuben Society and Nazis at 'War'

Friends of New Germany Here Accept Challenge Attributed to Gustav Weibolt. Clash Over Activities J.S. Schusler Says Old Group Makes No Efforts in Behalf of German Culture.

Read More
We Must Rekindle the Essence of America

We Must Rekindle the Essence of America

On this bright, sunny, very cold and extremely windy afternoon I ponder what I should write for the next "Berry." I am considering the question of long term unemployment for both the young, poorly educated, unskilled class and the well-educated experienced middle-aged class worker. Both classes have not been able to find steady work.

Read More
NEW NYC MAYOR:  Out with the Vile, in with Hope

NEW NYC MAYOR: Out with the Vile, in with Hope

New York has a new Mayor-Elect, but can Bill De Blasio undue the disasters Lame Duck Michael Bloomberg has created in New York, or will it be business as usual? There is no escaping the reality that De Blasio will have across-the-board challenges, but especially with Education issues.

Read More
More views of the Red-Tailed Hawks of Juniper Valley Park

More views of the Red-Tailed Hawks of Juniper Valley Park

Middle Village photographer Patrick McCarthy captured these Red-Tailed Hawk photos at Juniper Valley Park (near the upper park house) on October 15, 2013. McCarthy reported two hawks at the same location.

Read More
Profile of Middle Village

Profile of Middle Village

Middle Village received its name because it marked the midway point for travelers along the old Jamaica Turnpike (today's Metropolitan Avenue) between the ferry at Williamsburgh and the village of Jamaica.It is an Anglicized version of the original name, Middleburgh, and was once a populated settlement of Dutch farmers who sold their produce in Manhattan.Middle Village borders Elmhurst to the north, Rego Park to the east, Glendale to the south, Maspeth and Ridgewood to the west.

Read More
Great Neighborhood Homes

Great Neighborhood Homes

The communities of Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale have some great homes. To recognize them the Juniper Berry is starting a new feature.

Read More
Interview: Khurshid Abdul-Mutakabbir  Principal, Maspeth High School

Interview: Khurshid Abdul-Mutakabbir Principal, Maspeth High School

The website, Inside Schools describes Maspeth High School as "a highly structured school with a classical curriculum that includes four years of Latin and fine arts. Students are held to high standards in their behavior, dress, and academic performance... Maspeth's curriculum seeks to balance math, science, humanities, and the arts. The importance of public speaking and writing are emphasized in all classes." Now when was the last time you heard of a New York City public school that did this? The man who envisioned this and made it all possible is the Principal, Khurshid Abdul-Mutakabbir.

Read More
My Life in Music

My Life in Music

I am sitting in my infant high chair in the small kitchen of our apartment, the four rooms above Fisher's Men's Shop on Grand Avenue in Maspeth. My parents and grandparents spend most of their waking hours working in their family clothing business below. But at this moment I am listening to a 78 rpm record that my mother, Shirley Fisher, has just put on. I can't understand the words I am hearing sung because they are in Italian. It is an aria from Puccini's opera, Madama Butterfly.

Read More
Killy's Korner December 2013

Killy's Korner December 2013

Hello everyone. Well here we are at the last issue of the Juniper Berry for 2013. As you must already know, this is a quarterly publication and very often a very interesting bit of information comes in just as the Berry is getting printed. And that is why you may find some of my news a little late. But it is still noteworthy.

Read More
Passings: Al Banke and Ruth Kempisty

Passings: Al Banke and Ruth Kempisty

The neighborhood lost two longtime friends and civic leaders, Al Banke and Ruth Kempisty.

Read More
Cafe Piu Bella: New Location, Same Great Food

Cafe Piu Bella: New Location, Same Great Food

Piu Bella not only has a new park side view, but in addition to their usual fine cuisine, they also offer wood burning brick-oven pizza. mushrooms and black olives, artichoke hearts and broccoli, roasted peppers and more smother their fabulous veggie pie

Read More
Neighborhood Hall of Shame COMMUNITY Eyesores

Neighborhood Hall of Shame COMMUNITY Eyesores

Thankfully, the vast majority of property owners in Middle Village & Maspeth take pride in the appearance and well-being of our neighborhood. But a few property owners have a total disregard for the condition of their property. So we induct these properties into this month's Hall of Shame. If you see properties in disarray, call 311. And please send them to us for possible inclusion in our neighborhood hall of shame. Graffiti images on this page have been altered to not give vandals notoriety. Send to: info@junipercivic.com or mail to: Juniper Berry Eyesores, PO Box 275 Middle Village, NY 11379

Read More
Metropolitan Heights Fairgrounds

Metropolitan Heights Fairgrounds

PHOTO: May 1929 • Two Killed at (Juniper Park) Speedway• Two people were killed and others badly injured at the Middle Village auto races Memorial Day, when one of the racing automobiles jumped a three foot embankment and plunged into a group of spectators.

Read More