JAMAICA: ENOUGH GHETTOIZATION BUT NO DAMN GENTRIFICATION EITHER

On the one end you have the Ghettoization of communities, you know it starts off first with poor leadership not doing anything from the get go, quality of life issues begin to deteriorate while complaints go unanswered, a community board that does not do enough to say NO to shit like waste transfer stations and homeless shelters, other high power leaders who dump these kinds of things in communities because they feel they can in communities of color and residents will just sit back and take it up the ass, a fractured community where so many do not care, poor zoning allowing for the destruction of nice homes into third world ghetto slum apartment buildings, lack of proper services, crappy business begin multiplying, enforcement slacks off, property values drop, low-class folks arrive by the dozens, crime increases, schools fall apart and BOOM, you are smack in ghettoland, hence JAMAICA.

On the other extreme, you  have Gentrification, which takes advantage of the ghettoization,  which was allowed to happen in a community. Developers swoop in, elected officials make shady deals, rampant irresponsible development takes place, people get tossed out (both bad and some good), property values rise too high, people sell to make big bucks and it spreads and a neighborhood changes completely and then, next thing you know, you are getting run over by hundreds of white people’s Cadillac baby strollers wanting some fancy overpriced cheese store and $20 martinis.

But there is a middle ground, but that takes caring people in a community who takes pride in their neighborhoods. They keep eyes out, report bullshit and nonsense, they demand action from leaders and don’t stop till they are heard, they keep their community clean by placing trash and litter in receptacles not on sidewalks and streets, they take care of their homes and business properties by keeping lids on their garbage cans, they don’t trash parks (Rufus King Park), they clean their sidewalks and do not remove every bit of greenery they can (grass, trees, etc) which help purify air, give shade and soak up rain so you do not have constant flooding. They are active in their community and don’t fall prey to bullshit by useless and corrupt elected officials (Comrie) or scam religious leaders (Flake), whose only interest is the money plate. And you showcase the positives and the history of your community.

Jamaica has an amazing history of many prominent political figures (Rufus King), jazz icons (Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane) and Hip-Hop/Rapp (50 Cent,Lloyd Banks,  Phife Dawg ). Even heavy metal (Metallica, for a brief period). In fact, Jamaica has the most jazz and rap hip-hop artists of any place in Queens, by huge margins. Jamaica has the most landmark buildings in all of Queens (I think it is up to about 21), with such gems as former Lowes “Wonder Theatre” on Jamaica Ave, First Reformed Church of Jamaica built in 1859, King Mansion plus the Addisleigh Park Historic District.

But you would never know it, because the leaders in this community have no vision. Any other area that had such amazing history would be selling this and promoting this, but instead they just trash this community and ghettoize it and when you allow ghettoization to flourish you just open the door for gentrification. Our community should be focusing on this history and highlighting it, especially to people outside of the community. We should have great murals all over the community showing our rich history (hell, we have plenty of young and older artists in our community, we have York College, St. John’s). We should have galleries and museums showcasing our history and jazz lounges (we have the talent here). Plus we have such diversity of people, where we should have a international restaurant row (like in that ghetto 165th Street Mall with the brick road or Hillside Avenue or Sutphin Blvd. We should have a black museum and show the great black heritage of Jamaica. Bottom line, we should have PRIDE, but unfortunately that is sorely lackey from leaders down to residents. In this community is seems that most do not give a shit, hence the garbage, the crap, the ghettoization.

I mean look at some of what we have, like the JCAL, the Jamaica Performing Arts Center, the Black Spectrum Theatre in Roy Wilkins Park, the wonderful Baisley Park and the Afrikan Poetry Theatre. We should also not have waste transfer stations and auto-body shops dumped in residential areas, they should be in non-residential commercial areas, which we have plenty of room for. These place should have never been allowed to be dumped near residents (Do you think Forest Hills would have allowed that).

I don’t know really what is going to happen, because most of the times these things have a life of their own and happen regardless. See, when you are talking big money and there is a HUGE amount of money being invested in Jamaica, the monster creates itself.

But the bottom line is in this day and age, Jamaica can no longer afford to stay in the ghettoization lane anymore, property in NYC is too valuable to allow that to continue and you can clearly see that happening now and believe me, from someone who lived in Long Island city before the development through part of it, once it starts, it snowballs and it moves fast.

I don’t like gentrification, but I hate ghettoization more.

One of my favorites in my neck of the woods

One of my favorites in my neck of the woods

garbage and teddy 5.7.16 022garbage and teddy 5.7.16 007Crap 5.6.16 0074.30.16 001Garbage 4.23.16 007Stuff5.14.16 049Hillside ave

I MEAN REALLY. Totally ILLEGAL.

I MEAN REALLY. Totally ILLEGAL.

Typical third world dreck

Typical third world dreck

Starbucks 002three card monte

Jamaica in the box retail

Jamaica in the box retail

Don Nico's - 9014 161 Street - Downtown Jamaica

Don Nico’s – 9014 161 Street – Downtown Jamaica

Don Nico's 004

The epitome of Jamaica.

The epitome of Jamaica.

Garbage and flea market 9.6.15 008Enter the magic kingdom of Jamaica's Major Mark Park

Ghetto trash

Ghetto trash

Mailbox 1garbage7.21.15 004

A new housing project is currently under construction at 92-61 165th Street in downtown Jamaica.

A new housing project is currently under construction at 92-61 165th Street in downtown Jamaica.

Ms. Hazel (far right) & crew cleaning up vacant lot.

Ms. Hazel (far right) & crew cleaning up vacant lot.

garbage6.7.15 019O lavrador bar 5

Royal Waste Disaster at the 170th Street/Douglas location where 3 workers were killed by toxic chemicals in 2009

Royal Waste Disaster at the 170th Street/Douglas location where 3 workers were killed by toxic chemicals in 2009

Detectives from the New York State attorney's office escort City Council member Ruben Wills of Queens in handcuffs to be arraigned in Queens Criminal Court after being arrested on charges of misusing public funds on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Detectives from the New York State attorney’s office escort City Council member Ruben Wills of Queens in handcuffs to be arraigned in Queens Criminal Court after being arrested on charges of misusing public funds on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Asshole leaders. The same shit over and over in different positions.

Asshole leaders. The same shit over and over in different positions.

Millers district and in front of Rev Floyd Flake's parking lot.

Millers district and in front of Rev Floyd Flake’s parking lot.

The Crossing will feature a number of amenities, including a 24-hour doorman, children's play room and roof terraces.

The Crossing will feature a number of amenities, including a 24-hour doorman, children’s play room and roof terraces.

171st PL & 107th Ave 10.16.14

171st PL & 107th Ave
10.16.14

Click on photo for article

Click on photo for article

No this is not a quality of life issue that destroys a neighborhood's  quality of life............no not at all, this is just ghetto parking in the hood.

No this is not a quality of life issue that destroys a neighborhood’s quality of life…………no not at all, this is just ghetto parking in the hood.

Hillside Avenue as it looks today

Hillside Avenue as it looks today

Rufus King Park. The "quiet" area always has a major litter issue.

Rufus King Park. The “quiet” area always has a major litter issue.

Sir Lanka at 159-23 Hillside Avenue

Sir Lanka at 159-23 Hillside Avenue

Shit retail litter Jamaica Avenue. This display is totally illegal according to DOB rules, yet nothing is done about this.

Shit retail litter Jamaica Avenue. This display is totally illegal according to DOB rules, yet nothing is done about this.

jamaica savingsMaima's

Jamaica, NY

Jamaica, NY

Thug Auto Body Shop at 102-80 Merrick

Thug Auto Body Shop at 102-80 Merrick

2014

2014

On 161st Street at 88th Ave. Too bad these folks made illegal curb cuts and illegal parking pads.

On 161st Street at 88th Ave. Too bad these folks made illegal curb cuts and illegal parking pads.

Rendering of Rufus King Court Apartments, which pretty much looks like what I saw when it was going up.

Rendering of Rufus King Court Apartments, which pretty much looks like what I saw when it was going up.

This type of cheap shitty problematic apartment building has replaced nice 1-2 family homes in Jamaica.

This type of cheap shitty problematic apartment building has replaced nice 1-2 family homes in Jamaica.

Dangerous falling apart vacant homes with garbage

Dangerous falling apart vacant homes with garbage

Many beautiful homes line this block of 171st St in Jamaica

Many beautiful homes line this block of 171st St in Jamaica

171st Street, just a block away from me.

171st Street, just a block away from me.

This was the original hospital built in 1903. How could Jamaica let this once grand building fall into disrepair.

This was the original hospital built in 1903. How could Jamaica let this once grand building fall into disrepair.

sangria outside 3

Sangria Tapas Bar & Restaurant

Sangria Tapas Bar & Restaurant

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Sarge & Tony B

Sarge & Tony B

broken window theory

1940 Victorian home at 88-25 166 Street. North east corner of Bergen and Shelton Avenues, now Merrick Blvd. and 89 Avenue. built by David H. Vail before 1895. Jamaica had many homes like this in its hey day.

1940
Victorian home at 88-25 166 Street. North east corner of Bergen and Shelton Avenues, now Merrick Blvd. and 89 Avenue. built by David H. Vail before 1895. Jamaica had many homes like this in its hey day.

Premium House 90-39 Sutphin Blvd 718.526.2595

Premium House
90-39 Sutphin Blvd
718.526.2595

Former nightclub La Casina on 160th St, which opened in 1933 up for sale

Former nightclub La Casina on 160th St, which opened in 1933 up for sale

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Home in the Adesleigh Park/St.Albans section of Jamaica.

Home in the Adesleigh Park/St.Albans section of Jamaica.

JAMS Festival kicks off this weekend, August 2nd

JAMS Festival kicks off this weekend, August 2nd

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This is a fucking sidewalk, not a garbage dump.

This is a fucking sidewalk, not a garbage dump.

Best Pizza in New York. Hell even white people flock out here for it.

Best Pizza in New York. Hell even white people flock out here for it.

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Billette Bicycles back in the day.

Billette Bicycles back in the day.

A good ole Jamaica ghetto cook-out.

A good ole Jamaica ghetto cook-out.

Dum, dum, dum, dum

Dum, dum, dum, dum

Illinois Jacquet's album, "The Blues, That's Me!"

Illinois Jacquet’s album, “The Blues, That’s Me!”

165th St Shopping Area. One hell of a big mess.

165th St Shopping Area. One hell of a big mess.

Certainly not your typical low class Jamaica crowd

Certainly not your typical low class Jamaica crowd

Rocoto Restaurant, another welcome addition to Jamaica

Rocoto Restaurant, another welcome addition to Jamaica

Annam Brahma

Annam Brahma

Annam Brahma relaxing atmosphere

Annam Brahma relaxing atmosphere

amaica's historic street clock on the corner of Jamaica Avenue and Union Hall Street. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

Jamaica’s historic street clock on the corner of Jamaica Avenue and Union Hall Street. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

Nu Urban cafe bar

Dress for Mess

Dress for Mess

New Jazz Mural done in 2004

New Jazz Mural done in 2004

Jazz at the Chapel

Jazz at the Chapel

Valencia's Magnificent Entrance

Valencia’s Magnificent Entrance

One side of the theatre

One side of the theatre

The former Lowe's Valencia Theatre on Jamaica Avenue, "A Wonder of Beauty"

The former Lowe’s Valencia Theatre on Jamaica Avenue, “A Wonder of Beauty”

Senator Malcolm Smith, the crook who could not shoot straight.

Senator Malcolm Smith, the crook who could not shoot straight.

New Rules

 

 

READER GIVES HIGH PRAISE FOR NEW JAMAICA INDIAN RESTAURANT ON HILLSIDE AVE – “NOTHING QUITE LIKE IT IN JAMAICA”

Mirch 001While I have been inside the new Indian restaurant, Mirch at 172-27 Hillside Ave (I only popped in to say hello and check the place out), one Southeast Queens residents and big contributor to this blog and Facebook page raved about this new eatery, when he and his wife went to check it out on Saturday. I am stoked to check it out since I love Indian food.

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There’s nothing quite like Mirch in Jamaica. The vegetables were fresh, which made our meals fantastic. Look at our meals, that’s art. The juices were great. The service was excellent. The owner is very nice. He said someone who owns a popular Restaurant in Manhattan has been helping him out, which shows in the decor, and the quality of food. You have another winner in the neighborhood, Bro.

NEW PILOT PROGRAM FOR DEALING WITH QUALITY OF LIFE ISSUES MAKES DEBUT AT 6 PRECINCTS INCLUDING JAMAICA’S 113TH

A few post back I had mentioned a new program that is being used with the 113th precinct to deal with quality of life issues (nypd113.idealscale.com).  Well, it seems that this pilot program is being tested in 6 precincts and will eventually be used in other precincts. Greg Mocker of WPIX did a story on this new program

I can attest to how well this program is working, since I have filed several complaints and many have been resolved in a short amount of time and I have even seen the results by the NYPD.

A great program and I hope it continues to work well compared to the so-so 311 system, which is another case of a NYC program being implemented but not working well. Besides the fact that the only city agency which actually works hard in taking care of issues is the NYPD. I know that the 113th and my precinct of the 103rd work hard, so maybe it is time to increase man power in these precincts utilizing this program to be able to handle these quality of life issues.

Now for sure our lazy elected officials will not bother to do much. So do we even really need them, they seem to be useless, inept and crooked anyway.

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From WPIX:

Send some neighborhood tips and complaints directly to NYPD

 

113th

Abandoned cars, noise complaints, garbage and crime are problems in the city.

Neighbors report thousands of issues every month to NYC 311. The NYPD is also directly seeking community ideas.

At 6 precincts, NYPD is testing a program based on software from IdeaScale. Since the late Fall in the 113th Precinct in Southeast Queens, the site for neighborhoods in and around St. Albans has registered nearly 200 users and processed about 50 cases.

Sergeant Widy Geritano says it’s similar to a social media site. Members from the community can sign up and anonymously write about issues they observe. Officers use their handheld devices to access the site.

Joe Moretti, who writes a blog called “Clean Up Jamaica Queens Now,” has used the site and he says he appreciates the feedback from officers. It often includes a picture as the case is processed.

http://www.facebook.com/MockerTV/videos/1129932617030398/

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS JAMAICA – HOME OF JAZZ LEGEND ELLA FITZGERALD & MANY OTHERS

Why Jamaica does not focus on their amazing jazz and rap/hip hop history is beyond me. Listen to jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald (Addisleigh Park) singing “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” while reading the great article below about the jazz history and legends who called Jamaica home (even if it was temporary).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9L5mPfpeXxk

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From Forgotten New York:

ST. ALBANS (jazz greats), Queens

fats

 

New York City is a world mecca for tourism and entertainment. Throngs flock to Times Square every day of the year. Dozens of movies and TV shows are shot in NYC’s streets every week. At any given time, hundreds of musical performances and stage plays are being produced. But some of New York City’s entertainment meccas are little-known. St. George, Staten Island and Bayside, Queens could each claim status as actors’ colonies in the past, and early motion pictures were shot at Brooklyn’s Vitagraph Studios in Midwood.

When you think of jazz, you think of New Orleans, Chicago, Harlem, or even Greenwich Village. Queens doesn’t come immediately to mind. Yet, some of the greatest jazz and big band names were either born, spent a great deal of their lives, or died in Queens. On this page, we’ll show you just a few of them.

Remember, these are all private dwellings; be discreet when you view them. I won’t give exact addresses to protect the privacy of the buildings’ current owners.

Clarence Williams & Eva Taylor

Southern Queens’ ascendance as a mecca for jazz musicians began in 1923 when Clarence Williams, a successful musician and entrepreneur from Plaquemine, Louisiana, purchased a home and eight lots at 171-37 108th Avenue. Anticipating the increasing popularity of jazz in the north, Williams moved first to Chicago in 1920 and then to New York with his wife, singer Eva Taylor, in 1923. Desiring open spaces reminiscent of his upbringing in the Louisiana delta, Williams made his home in Queens. He would be the first in a lengthy line of jazz musicians to come to southern Queens.

Addisleigh Park is a small part of the larger St. Albans neighborhood in Queens. Addisleigh is mostly clustered in the named streets (unusual for Queens) located north, south and west of Farmers and Linden Boulevards.

There are precious few memorials to St. Albans/Addisleigh Park’s jazz heritage. This now-fading mural on the northern side of Linden Boulevard as it passes under the Long Island Railroad depicts many of the jazz and entertainment giants who resided here.

New Mural

In 2004, a new mural was painted replacing the old one, which had been chipping away for some time.

Billie Holiday

The south side of the overpass depicts St. Albans as it was when the railroad first arrived, with a chuffing steam engine.

The mural depicts baseball stars such as Jackie Robinson who made their home in St. Albans. BELOW: mural credits.

WILLIAM “COUNT” BASIE (1904-1984)

Having grown up in New Jersey, Count Basie arrived in NYC in 1923 and joined Fats Waller’s (see below) band as an organist in 1924. After playing with Benny Moten’s band, forging a new swing-based sound in Kansas City in 1927, he returned to the big apple in 1936 as the leader of the Count Basie Orchestra, which featured Lester Young and Herschell Evans on sax, trumpeters Buck Clayton and Harry Edison and vocalists Billie Holiday, Jimmy Rushingand Helen Humes. Their residence at the Woodside Hotel in Harlem inspired 1938′s “Jumpin’ at the Woodside.”

Count Basie’s home on Adelaide Road and 175th Street, St. Albans

In the 50s, Basie formed a new band that included the new sound of bebop and more blues-y elements. Basie’s pop hits include “One O’Clock Jump,” “Blue Skies,” and the #1 “Open the Door, Richard!” in 1947; in 1963 he enjoyed a Top Five album with Frank Sinatra, “Sinatra-Basie.”

Count Basie moved to the new neighborhood of Addisleigh Park in 1946.

ELLA FITZGERALD (1918-1996)

“Among all of us who sing, Ella was the best”. — Johnny Mathis

“I never knew how good our songs were until I heard Ella Fitzgerald sing them.”
–Ira Gershwin

Ella Fitzgerald performed for 58 years, won 13 Grammy Awards and sold in excess of 40 million records. “The First Lady of Song” was born in Newport News, VA, and was orphaned young in life. She was discovered in an amateur contest sponsored by Harlem’s famed Apollo Theatre in 1934 and was soon the featured vocalist in Chick Webb‘s band.

Ella lived on Murdock Avenue between 179th and 180th Street. She moved to Addisleigh Park in the 1950s.

“I was delighted when Ella moved here. I could go up to her bar at her house and drink up all of her whiskey, and then go through somebody’s yard and go home.”­Illinois Jacquet

Ella enjoyed her first big smash in 1938 with “A-Tisket, a Tasket” and led Webb’s band for three years after his death in 1939. After enjoying dozens of hits on the Decca label, including “I’m Making Believe” in 1944, “I Love You For Sentimental Reasons” in 1946 and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” with Louis Jordan in 1949, Ella moved on the the new Verve label in 1955 and reinterpreted classics by Cole PorterDuke Ellington and Rodgers and Hart on albums featuring Nelson Riddle arrangements.

Ella’s famed ‘scat-singing’ technique is best heard on hits like “Smooth Sailing” in 1951.

MILT HINTON (1910-2000)

Milt Hinton, The dean of jazz bassists, ”The Judge” was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi and moved to Chicago with his family in 1921. After working through the 1920s a s afreelance musician with such legendary jazz artists including Zutty Singleton, Jabbo Smith, Eddie South, Erskine Tate, and Art Tatum, he joined Cab Calloway‘s band in 1936, remaining with Cab for 15 years.

Milt Hinton lived in this house at 113th Avenue and Marne Place.Hinton was a Queens resident from 1950 until his death in 2000.

Striking out on his own in the early 1950s, Hinton went on to play on thousands of recordings and toured extensively, performing with such giants as Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby,Charles MingusJohn Coltrane, and even pop musicans such as Bette Midler and Paul McCartney.

Milt Hinton was also an educator and author, teaching at Hunter and Baruch Colleges. He also became an exhibited photographer, having taken over 60,000 images from his years on the road; many were published in his his book “Bass Line.”

THOMAS “FATS” WALLER (1904-1943)

Fats appears to be in an enviable position in this undated photo.

His derby tilted rakishly to one side, Fats Waller plinked the 88s and dotted his playful, high-spirited jazz-pop songs with bawdy ad-libs. Waller, one of the 1930s’ consummate crowd-pleasers, was born in Greenwich Village in 1904, was playing piano by ear at age six, and at his reverend father’s encouragement, learned violin, bass violin and organ.

Waller got his professional start at ‘rent parties’ (where admission was charged to help out with rent payments) and vaudeville. In 1927, he collaborated on his first hit show, “Keep Shufflin’”, and his next show, “Hot Chocolates” contained his first big hit, “Ain’t Misbehavin.’”

Waller went on to score and perform in dozens of shows. His biggest hit, “It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie”, came in 1936, and he wrote and performed time-tested classics like “Honeysuckle Rose,” The Joint Is Jumpin,’” and “Lulu’s Back in Town.”

 

photo: Jeff Saltzman

Fats Waller was reportedly the first African American to live in Addisleigh Park. He resided in this house at Sayres Avenue and 174th Street. His home had a built-in Hammond organ and a Steinway grand.

Waller suffered from drinking and overweight problems his entire life. He also considered himself a serious musician, but racism in the period prevented him from realizing these ambitions. Soon after finishing work in “Stormy Weather” in 1943 he collapsed and died of bronchial pneumonia.

Speaking of ”Stormy Weather”…

LENA HORNE (1917-)

Lena Horne was born in Brooklyn in 1917 and has been performing since she was a teenager. She danced and later sung at the Cotton Club beginning in 1933 and made her first recordings in 1937 with Teddy Wilson’s orchestra. She joined Charlie Barnet‘s orchestra in 1940, and while Barnet’s behavior was exemplary (he was one of the first white bandleaders to hire African Americans) she tired of the draining segregation and racism that was such a constant durng that time. Upon signing with MGM in 1940, she shrewdly had a clause written in that prevented her from depicting domestics, in a jungle native role, or other cliché images. Her appearance in 1943′sStormy Weather was a sensation; her rendition of the title song was her biggest hit and remains her signature song. Lena Horne left Hollywood in the early fifties to concentrate on her singing.

178th Street between 112th Avenue and Murdock Avenue. Like many of her contemporaries, Lena Horne resided here beginning in the 1940s.

During the Joe McCarthy era, she was blacklisted for her left-wing associations, but in 1956 she was taken off the list and resumed her career. She found great success during the sixties and seventies. In 1981, she appeared on Broadway in her own show,Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, which became the longest-running one-woman show in the history of Broadway. She continues recording to this day. Lena Horne lives in New York City.

Before we move on to other parts of Queens, let’s mention other artists who have also made St. Albans and Addisleigh Park their home…

Saxophonist John Coltrane(left), who along with Charlie Parker is regarded by many fans as the greatest jazz performer in history, lived on Mexico Street near Quencer Road; Mercer Ellington, Duke’s son, who took over the Ellington Orchestra after his father’s death and wrote Duke’s biography, lived on 175th Street near 113th Avenue; saxophonist Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Foch Boulevard near 171st Street; saxophonist Illinois Jacquet and his brother, trumpeter Russell Jacquet, in nearby houses on 179th Street near 112th Avenue; and saxophonist Earl Bostic, pianist/organist Wild Bill Davis, bassist Slam Stewart, trumpeter Cootie Williams, saxophonist Oliver Nelson, drummer James “Osie” Johnson, saxophonist Lester Young, and singer Rose Murphy also lived in St. Albans.

 

JAMAICA LOWE’S WONDER THEATRE – THE GEM OF QUEENS – WATCH IT ON THE SHOW BLUE PRINT: NYC

The Auditorium of the former Lowe's Wonder Theatre on Jamaica Ave

The Auditorium of the former Lowe’s Wonder Theatre on Jamaica Ave

Outside of the Former Lowe's Valenica now The Tabernacle of Prayer Church.

Outside of the Former Lowe’s Valenica now The Tabernacle of Prayer Church.

The Original Box Office

The Original Box Office

The other night on WNYC-TV (channel 25 on Verizon Fios) on the show Blue Print: NYC, was a story on the famous Lowe’s Wonder Theatres, built in the 1920’s, one in Manhattan, one in Bronx, one in Brooklyn and one in Queens, the Lowe’s Valencia, which is on Jamaica Avenue and is the Tabernacle Prayer of Church. It is still completely intact (though the outside needs some renovation) and is what I think, the crowning jewel of Queens, although our leadership does shit when it comes to this, they really need to focus on this jewel. I mean why are not only the so-called leaders of Jamaica, but Queens (Melinda Katz) promoting this amazing gem dating back to the 1920’s and right here in of all places, Jamaica. I just don’t get it.

The Brooklyn Theatre, which was allowed to fall into disrepair for decades was recently restored as a theatre, where they have scheduled over 200 events (now that is the way to do this). Why this very small church has this is a little mind boggling, but at least it is intact.  If you have not been to the Jamaica theatre, run and see it, it is magnificent and they do tours. By the way, the Blue Print show on the Wonder Theatres will air again this today Friday at 2:30pm and then Sunday at 8:30opm. It is only a half hour and fascinating and the Jamaica Theatre gets much play, in fact the one narrator is filmed inside it.

But you can see it now on  the Blue Print: NYC. So worth watching. But better yet, take a tour of this magnificent building and be prepared to be in awe, especially knowing it is in Jamaica right on Jamaica Avenue.

Lowes Wonder Theatre show

Look past the bricks and mortar and discover the history of some of the most famous buildings on Blueprint NYC. Each episode offers a nuts-and-bolts perspective behind storied sites, like the Wonder Theaters and the Highline, with walking tours and interviews with experts who have a passion for the history and architecture of New York City.

JAMAICA WINTER CRAFT MARKET REALLY HEATING UP – FINAL SATURDAY 12.19.15

jamaica 12.5.15 015The Jamaica Winter Craft Market in downtown Jamaica at the Jamaica Market which is running for three consecutive Saturdays thru December 19th is proving to be very popular. There were even more vendors this past Saturday and organizer John Wang told me that the final Saturday will have even more vendors, he is not sure where he will put them.

If you are looking for some original and unique last minute Christmas gifts, I say head to the market next Saturday. I have picked up some great items. This past Saturday I saw all kind of homemade soaps & lotions, various art crafts, homemade jewelry, authentic Mexican crafts (very cool), hats, t-shirts, hoodies and various other great items.

John told me that because of the popularity of the market, it might be extended into January. But in the meantime, December 19 is scheduled to be the last one.

A must for arts & crafts fans.

For more information, including vendors, check out http://gjdc.org/economic-development/winter-craft-market/

WinterCraftMkt_flyer 11-17 2 v2jamaica 12.5.15 013jamaica 12.5.15 012