The Village Beauty

To Everyone at the Juniper Berry:
I love your magazine! My son was accepted into a great program in PS/IS 119 in Glendale. I lived in Sunnyside at the time and thought, where is Glendale, NY? How funny life is to take an amazing turn and have my son, my dog and myself end up in the most beautiful place in New York (Middle Village).

Juniper Valley Park is an incredible hidden gem. My friends and family from the Boston area came to see my new neighborhood and are so amazed at everyone's beautiful yards, some with fish, waterfalls and even turtles!

My first day walking my dog with my son everyone we passed said, “Hello” and meant it!

Please sign me up for a subscription to your great magazine! I am enclosing a $20 check which is so exciting for me and my son to keep in touch with our new favorite community.

Gabrielle, Teddy and
King Duncan Vautrain
Middle Village

You Can Go Home Again

Hi, I was born and raised in Middle Village. I moved to Manhattan for a number of years and recently moved back and just a bought a house with my husband on Pleasantview Street! Who says you can’t go home? Would love to join the association and be more involved in the community.

Thank you
Cara Marino
(nee Cosentino)
Middle Village

Hi Cara, Welcome back! Please let us know if we can send you back issues of the Juniper Berry magazine as a house-warming gift. If you get a chance go on and click on Juniper Berry link. All the Berrys for the past several years are posted. ed.

Hall of Shame

To the Editor:
Hello, I first want to say I’m a longtime subscriber, reader, and fan of your work as well as a concerned citizen. Secondly, with regard to the latest Neighborhood Hall of Shame’s community eyesore pictures, as one of the dwindling members of Maspeth’s indigenous population who lives around the block from Grand Avenue, the Burton Plumbing picture was accurate and appreciated but you guys seemed to have missed the driveway/garage entrance which is located on 70th Street (on the right side directly around the corner) because it truly “fits the bill” as an eyesore for many years now. Unfortunately, the side entrance gates have consistently been rusty, full of graffiti, not maintained and overall neglected for more years than I care to say and I wanted to bring it to your attention in case you feel like a follow-up picture is warranted in the future. Thank you for your dedication and love your pictures about our neighborhoods because sadly it seems like more and more people just don’t care anymore! Best regards,

Edward V. Kruck

Park Workers’ Garden

To the Editor –
Kudos and many thanks to park workers, Aida Mata and Milagros Cruz for their tireless efforts, green thumbs and dedication in beautifying our “little” Juniper Valley Park – Pullis Cemetery. A couple of years ago, I had asked for a small garden at the entrance of 80 Street and Juniper Blvd South. The Parks Department and specifically these ladies exceeded my expectations from the start, taking care to plant, weed, water and maintain plants for the various seasons. The children of PS/IS49 and all of us adults have been enjoying their labor of love every day since the garden was planted. This thank you is long overdue!

Patricia Kross
Middle Village

Austin Powers

Dear Southside Jerry:
Relative to your letter to the Editor in the Juniper Berry, Vol.74, No. 2, June/ July 2013 in which you make numerous complaints about how residents living on the Southside of Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village have been forgotten by community groups, the city, etc., has been duly noted.

However, when you state that you are wondering when All Faiths Cemetery is going to clean up 73rd Place, I take exception. You have been told on many occasions over the last several years that 73rd Place is not owned or maintained by All Faiths Cemetery. The location is the property of the NYC Dept. of Transportation. You have been informed by State Senator Addabbo’s office and also by Council-woman Crowley’s office that this is not the responsibility of All Faiths Cemetery. Either you are talking when you should be listening or just not listening at all.

We submit some facts about 73rd Place again for your information.
The NYC Department of Transportation has a planned capital improvement for 73 Place. The city does not improve land belonging to a private organization such as All Faiths Cemetery.

Also note that no sidewalk exists at the location you mention which excludes any removal of snow or other debris from city property by a private citizen or business.

These are only a couple of facts that you were told of in the past. Also, I think you forgot about a community volunteer clean-up last year organized by Senator Addabbo and Councilwoman Crowley as well as Mr. Gary Giordano of Community Board 5 at which time you stood and watched volunteers including myself clean the location as a public service. However, when the news media arrived to take pictures of the volunteers you quickly stood side by side with them even though you did nothing.
I hope this answers your concerns relative to your letter to the editor (Southside Help).

That’s the story, Jerry,

Very truly yours,
Daniel C. Austin Chairman, President & CEO
All Faiths Cemetery.

More Cops

To the Editor:
Let’s put aside all other issues of Middle Village such as Mister Softee noise, speed bumps, airplane noise and address the severity of danger with all the burglaries occurring in Middle Village even just within the last 2 weeks. Residents have been asleep when perpetrators have entered their homes and burglarized them in so many instances. These issues must be addressed. Other than seeing the 104th precinct command center parked on Juniper Valley Road for a day on the 4th of July we have no police presence whatsoever in our neighborhood. We have emailed the precinct our concern but we believe we are in need of more!

We know the Juniper Civic Association combats the issues of Middle Village and we hope that you can assist in acquiring more police presence in our neighborhood as soon as possible. 

We greatly appreciate all of your efforts with regard to all issues.

Thank you.
Louisa Gennari
Middle Village

Response: More police presence is always at the top of the JPCA list of goals. However as an all-volunteer organization that doesn’t preclude our addressing quality of life issues such as the noise from our streets or our skies and speed bumps on our roadways that could possibly save lives. We suggest you also tell your concerns about more police presence to our elected officials who work for all of us and who are always listed in the Juniper Berry.

The not so Green Cafe

To whom it may concern, 
I’ve attached a couple of pictures of 77th Place (off Eliot Avenue) in Middle Village, from Sunday August 4th. You’ll notice the placement of the menus from a new Thai restaurant called “The Green Cafe”. Interestingly enough the Green Cafe’s representative kindly placed their menus on the ground outside of these homes (and all the others nearest the corner of this block) and then he proceeded to drive off on his scooter the wrong way up 77th, and onto Eliot Avenue without stopping. I also took a shot of where one of the menus (that I noticed because I’m sure there were others) ended up, in the street. This is a completely lazy and unacceptable behavior, especially for a new restaurant hoping to thrive in the community. Thanks for all you do!

Middle Village

Un-Wheel track

To the Editor:
As a Middle Village resident, as well as other residents, I believe we take pride when utilizing or relaxing in Juniper Valley Park. One of the park’s assets is the walking/running track. Although there is a huge sign posted on the fence delineating that “No Wheels” of any type are restricted from use on the track, unfortunately the rule has been ignored. The type of wheels include: bicycles, scooters, skates, etc. I have seen all types of small bicycles, scooters and skates being used. The other evening an adult riding a bicycle counter clock-wise while others were trying to walk/run clock-wise caused us to protect ourselves from being overrun. The track itself has sustained some small uneven bumps in a few places. If someone is aware where the irregularities are you can avoid them, however some oversight should be employed to enforce the regulation. I imagine that everyone would hope that this part of the park that is used extensively and which was provided to us be preserved.

Thank you.
L. Ciborowski
Middle Village

Memories of Midville

Dear Editor
I was born in September in the middle of the hurricane of 1938 in Middle Village as reported in the Juniper Berry, and became the first baby born in the new community,

My parents Nat and Jeane Stockheim lived on 79th St and Mom still owns the house. Mom was 100 on Aug 1st.

I remember a lot and want to share the memories, victory Gardens, snowstorms, friendly neighbors and a real sense of community.

One of my friends who lived a few blocks away and I played together in Juniper Valley Park when we were two. Then our children played together when they were two in DC. And our grandsons also played together at age two in DC. We laugh now as we think about how fast time has flown.

She still lives in DC. Today I wanted to share some history with her about the Silver Crest Dairy and some other memories and did a search for Silver Crest dairy and found your wonderful history and site. So happy to see the Berry is still alive and well and in a new and accessible form.
I am planning to gather some memories and put  them together for an article based on a stroll in Juniper Valley along Eliot Avenue and 80th Street as I remember growing up, then on to the park, PS 49 and beyond. I attended Grover Cleveland HS, walked to school along Eliot Avenue to Ridgewood. I then attended Queens College.

My father was a Fireman at the station on Horace Harding Blvd. and 108th St long before there was the Long Island Expressway. Mom was a nurse and worked at Horace Harding Hospital and for the Red Cross and more.

Thank you for keeping history of the neighborhood alive and news accessible across the country. Is it possible to insert an enlarged map on the site and include places in the early days –such as the corner of Eliot Avenue and 80 Street, Artis Drug Store, candy store where the bus to Woodhaven Blvd. took us to the GG train stop, the bus at 74 Street, Peter Pan Bakery and the A&P?

I’m trying to remember names of other businesses in that section and also wonder where all the friends are at this time. I know many by name the rest I will revisit when we return from the celebration. Mom does email at her age on her iPad. Look forward to hearing from you, Best wishes

Stevanne (Eleanor)
Stockheim Auerbach
San Francisco, California

Note to readers: Please see Stevanne’s article in this issue

Speed Bump Wanted

To the Editor:
I have made several unanswered requests to NYC 311 for a much needed speed bump or traffic signal at both sides of the intersection of Caldwell Avenue, Eliot Avenue and 82 Street. This is an intersection that was designed for the types of vehicles and traffic flow seen five decades ago. Today it is a recipe for disaster and just a matter of time before tragedy strikes on this corner in Middle Village.

Both sides of this intersection have issues with safety. On the South side of Eliot Avenue, traveling in Woodhaven Bound lane, cars turn onto Caldwell Avenue by speedily exiting Eliot Avenue, rarely signaling their intent. Cars and trucks also make abrupt high velocity U-turns from Eliot onto Caldwell when traveling towards 69th Street. The west bound lane of Eliot Avenue showcases a blind turn downhill onto Caldwell just begging for less mobile individuals to find themselves in the middle of the road as they cross to access Walgreen’s and our neighborhood shopping hub. This leaves the pedestrian, particularly the elderly and young children without a safe time to cross since both lights give vehicles green light access to Caldwell Avenue.

Cars constantly and dangerously make U-turns between 82 Street and 83 Street along Eliot Avenue to access stores and fight for parking spots. Next time you are sitting at this light in your car or standing on the corner waiting to cross I can almost guarantee you will commit or observe a traffic violation that gravely endangers our pedestrian community. Review of these traffic safety issues is much needed in this area.

Laura O’Kelly-Legaspi
Middle Village

Crime Wave Cause

Dear Editor,
In light of the recent rash of robberies in Middle Village, specifically 77th Place and 78th Street between Furmanville Avenue and Juniper Valley Road, I think it is important that people realize the cause of these robberies. One of the families that was “victimized” by these robbers (their house was broken into via a pushed in basement air conditioner) is in fact the root of these crimes. There are two young males (one in his early 20s and the other in his mid-teens) that are involved in dealing marijuana and defacing local buildings with graffiti that live in that house. They, and their neighbors, were robbed because these males bring undesirables to the neighborhood. Their supposed friends knew that they were going to be on vacation at the time and that is why they struck! The drug dealing and vandalism has been going on for several years and the parents don’t seem to do anything about it. There have been several visits from the 104th precinct to that home for various issues. And now, many innocent families become victims because these crimes are not important enough to pursue.

My feeling is that things get swept under the rug because the father of these males is a prominent business owner in the area and puts on a good show on Sundays at church. I know that the Juniper Berry is a great advocate for families in their community. Maybe it is possible that they can shed some light on this travesty and help improve the quality of life for the residents in the vicinity of 77th Place and 78th Street.

A Concerned
Middle Village Resident

Noise from Above

To the Editor:
The loud noise and frequency of the airplanes overhead is affecting the quality of life of residents of Middle Village. I have already called the following offices: (Congresswoman) Meng, (Councilwoman) Crowley, (State Senator) Addabbo, (Assemblywoman) Markey. I have gone on the Port Authority of NY/NJ plane noise website to lodge a complaint. I am certain many of our JPCA members are also affected by all this loud, excessive airplane noise. I am hoping the current route will be changed to help alleviate this situation. Who else should be contacted? 

Pauline Ruggiero
Middle Village

Response: Pauline, more residents should file complaints about constant noise from aircraft. Thanks for doing your part. Please see State Senator Tony Avella’s article on page 11.

Dogs on Ballfields (again)

Dear Bob Holden,
On Monday, September 9th at around 6:30-7:00 pm I took my kids and wife to Juniper Valley Park to play catch and go in the playground. My son and I were playing right off the baseball field when from our right, a Rottweiler came charging at him. The dog was off his leash, and the owner was probably 50-75 yards away. My son was hysterical crying. Didn't know where to run. Screaming, “Daddy”!!! “Mommy”!!! My daughter and wife were standing near me. They didn't know what to do either. I told my daughter to stay by mommy, so I can calm down your brother. The dog just kept circling my son to get the ball. I ran to my son, and he threw his arms around me shaking and crying out of control. The owner finally got there and put the dog’s leash on. He said, ” He just wants to play.”

Do you know what it feels like to have a 100 lb. Rottweiler charge at you for any reason? My son’s and daughter’s night was ruined. He cried all night long and looked like he was in shock till he fell asleep.

We need more signs all over the park about keeping dogs leashed up and off the playing fields. Some people don't know or might not even care to have their dog on a leash. Thank God this dog turned out to be friendly, or I'm scared to think about what could've happened.

Thanks for listening,
Carmine Carbone
Middle Village