Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Pedestrian Memorial

In memory of William Chaftain. This was a hit and run.
(140th Avenue and 156th Street)

From The Street Memorial website:
The Street Memorial Project began in early 2007 to honor and remember pedestrians that have been killed by cars and trucks in New York City. Every time a person dies in our streets we place a memorial plaque at the site.

Flip This House! Classic Colonial

A rare find around these parts. This New England styled Colonial sits on a quiet block, located on 175th Street, between 146th Ave. and 146th Road. Up close, the house screams out potential. Check out the wood shingles on the side! We would love to see what could be done to this house.

Walkers, Joggers, Runners, Skaters

Late afternoon at Baisley Pond Park's athletic track.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The DEP Still Hard At Work

They're back. A hazy shot of the NYC Department of Environmental Protection sucking the soot out of the sewers. 140th Avenue is a heavy assignment. A worker confirmed that the area sewer systems haven't been cleaned in a LONG time. (140th Ave. & 155th St.)

Storefront Renovations Across the Street from The Courtyard Marriott JFK

Two residential/commercial storefronts in the renovation phase. Not sure what will become of them. Located at Rockaway Blvd., between South Conduit Ave. and 144th Ave. - across the street from the Courtyard Marriott.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Well Kept Corner Cape

We like this homeowner. She's always taking care of her summer garden.
(137th Ave. & 157th St.)

The Sidewalk Doesn't End After All

A couple of weeks ago, we posted a few pictures of homes that were missing sidewalks. It appears that the city officials also contacted this property about sidewalk regulations, as we spotted workers preparing a path for some concrete.

The Rochdale Mall Shopping Center

Earlier this month, we posted pics of the Rochdale Shopping Center on the north side of Rochdale Village. Today, we present Rochdale Mall, located on the south side (at 137th Ave. & 169th St.). It's unique because of the outdoor courtyard-styled design. It's still a bit outdated, but not like the indoor shopping center. Albeit smaller, it feels a bit more contemporary and intimate, with green park benches, Wax Begonia plantings and a couple of Honey Locust trees. With all the necessities in one area, it's definitely a meeting spot and more than likely, you'll bump into someone you'll know.

(looking north, before entering the mall area)

(standing from the center of mall, looking south)

(Looking north. A security guard chats with some of the residents.
Note the promenade in the background.)

Repaving One of Rochdale's Shady Malls

Rochdale Village has quite a few grassy walkways and promenades. Workers started repaving a portion of this popular walkway. This one is particularly used because as you walk south, it leads you right into the court-styled Rochdale Mall. This promenade is especially beautiful to stroll along during the daytime, with the rows of Honey Locust trees and Wax Begonias.

Monday, July 23, 2007

More Canoeing @ Baisley Pond Park

Another canoeing event is scheduled. Canoeing may not be your thing,
but it's something different. It's a very relaxing activity for all ages.
This Saturday, July 28th @ 11AM

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Annual JAZZ FESTIVAL at St. Albans Park

Neighboring St. Albans will host their annual JAZZ FESTIVAL this Saturday.
Jazz legend and saxophonist Lou Donaldson is scheduled to appear, as well as others.

St. Albans Memorial Park

Contact Black Spectrum Theatre for more information at (718) 723-1800.

Observation: Signs of Overpopulation?

A couple of weeks ago, the DEP trucks were hovering around the Baisley Park Pond area during morning rush hour. They were around for about two weeks, drilling and making lots of noise. We thought it was routine sewer maintenance, since flooding has always been a problem in Southeast Queens. A neighbor said that the DEP were on assignment, upgrading and expanding all of the water pipes and adjusting pressure starting from Linden Blvd., and working their way south. She says they haven't upgraded in decades. So why are they doing this now? She said she was told that the water pressure has to be readjusted because of the overwhelming demand and use from the growing two-family and multi-family homes in the area.

Sorry, Kitchen's Closed

Sad. Not sure when or why it closed. It still has the classic 50s look. People recall it was a great soul food diner at one time. The New York Times "Eating Out" gave a breakfast review back in 1998. Not that there was a ranking, but Carmichael's was number 3 on the list. We actually hope it'll make a comeback.

3. Carmichael's Diner
(718) 723-6908
117-08 Guy Brewer Boulevard, near Baisley Boulevard
Jamaica, Queens
$ Cash only

Carmichael's Diner is a classic, old-style rectangular diner with a counter that holds a fountain and glossy cakes under plastic domes. Booths are covered in orange vinyl, and each has its own jukebox. But ceiling fans keep things cool, the Formica tables and terrazzo floors are sparkling, and service is friendly and gracious.

This is one of the few places in New York where you can get slices of authentic country ham, tough, leathery and salty but wonderful with grits and red-eye gravy. Salmon croquettes, a Southern breakfast staple, are flat, meaty and delicious. Home fries are savory and biscuits are buttery. Go with an appetite.

We're Losing Our Capes! Part 2

Here are a couple of more examples of cape conversions. This house, located on 156th Street, just behind August Martin High School...

...used to look like the humble brick cape to its right. The house was abandoned and neglected for awhile for reasons unknown. Rather than restoring it to its original beauty, it was gut renovated and turned into a two-family.

This house is located further south on 156th St. The original cape was sold in August of last year. FOUR MONTHS later, the mini mansion was completed. There was nothing wrong with the original cape home. We recall clearly. Noticed how it stands out among the other capes.

Located right at Baisley Pond's east end (Lake View Lane & 122nd Ave), reconstruction of this home happened FAST. We don't recall seeing this a couple of weeks ago! We're not sure if this house was a cape, but there are three to the left of it.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Gimme Shelter!

Here's one of the first new bus shelters planted in South Jamaica. It's apart of Mayor Bloomberg's street furniture initiative, designed by Cemusa. Shockingly, this one is located on the corner of Guy R. Brewer & Foch Blvds. along the Q111/Q113 route - right in the heart of the Baisley Pond housing projects. The city still hasn't learned - glass is such an easy target for vandalism.
It doesn't matter what neighborhood you're in. How many times have you waited at a bus shelter that was littered with broken glass because someone kicked down one of the glass walls? Let's look to Gerritsen Beach in Brooklyn as our example. No one would destroy a newly installed Cemusa bus shelter in THAT neighborhood, right? We're going to be optimistic. Man, we're going to try to be optimistic.

Suddenly Ending Sidewalk

Part two of "Where The Sidewalk Ends." This is on 158th Street.

More Than A Gospelfest @ Baisley Pond Park

Singing, chilling, canoeing, eating, art and face painting...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Quick Summer Snapshots

Garden footbridge sits below a willow tree. [134th Ave & 154th St]

Quiet block, quiet afternoon. [155th St. looking north from 134th Ave]

Raising the Roof

Exactly one year ago, this house used to look...

...like the house to the right of it.

Someone bought the originally ranch-styled house, raised the roof, added a second floor, and is now RESELLING it. The workmanship is awful. The house is located on 155th Street, between 137th and 140th Avenues. Even if you're not a building contractor, you can spot at least five errors. Click the pics for the details. It's not a pretty home at all.

THE DOOR Needs A Website!

Quite a few web users are searching for The Door. Too many for The Door not to have a website. The Door has always been hot, but the place must be getting hotter. Did something happen recently that we don't know about? The take-out restaurant gets packed during the evenings. Even a hipster or two have been seen going in or coming out.

So why do you go through The Door?
Hit us up. Let us know.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Just another reminder that tomorrow's GOSPELFEST starts at 3:00PM! The event is sponsored by the Partnerships for Parks and The City of New York Parks & Recreation.
Scheduled groups to perform are The Bethel Gospel Choir, CTH Mass Choir of the St. Albans Baptist Church, Growth in Christ Community Choir, Echols Temple Choir, and many more.

Where the Sidewalk Ends

We were walking around Baisley Pond Park one day and realized that several houses do not have sidewalks. We wondered WHY?

Without the sidewalks, it really feels suburban. Almost like the country. There had to be an explanation. We just so happened ask a woman, who just paved the side portion of her property about a month ago.

She explained that her house consists of two lots. Her house sits on one lot and the corner lot belonged to a person who lived in the south. The corner piece of land just isn't large enough to even build on it. Eventually, they bought the piece land. She uses the land for gardening. She said that a couple of months ago, she received a letter from the Department of Transportation (or from another city/state official) stating that all properties must have a sidewalk. We were wondering if the other homeowners without sidewalks received such a letter. She's the only one that has taken action.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

We're Losing Our Capes!

This post is the first in a series we'll call "We're Losing Our Capes!"
Southern and Eastern Queens are filled with what we call a Queens-style cape home. They were obviously built in the 1950s and have individual charm. Some have partial brick fronts. Others have a couple of extra dormers. Regardless, they say "here's a taste of the suburban life."

Well, times have changed. The trend over the past couple of years is to take an existing home and turn it inside out. Make them bigger. Buy a one-level ranch - then build a second story to it. The biggest thing we've noticed are the ones that are taking these cape homes and turning them into small palaces. Yes, we know the home ownership rules has changed. It does benefit a homeowner when they have a two or multi-family home because having an extra tenant can help pay the mortgage. They say it also makes for a better tax break.

It's one thing to buy a plot of land and build a home up from scratch. But we're against those who strip a perfectly in-tact cape home (or any home for that matter) apart and refurbish it into a McMansion. Our motto: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Our pics for this post features a brick McMansion, located on 130th Avenue.

We don't have proof, but we're willing to be a million dollars we don't have that it used to be a Queens cape. Usually where there's one cape, there's two. You'll see the neighboring cape below.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Update: Wild Rabbits?? False Alarm!

We reported a couple of weeks ago that we thought spotted a wild rabbit and questioned if it was or not. Well, we saw the rabbit late at night again in the same grassy backyard. There's some small evidence that it looks like it's a pet rabbit after all. A smart pet rabbit. We'll simply conclude that the Skittles rabbit has found a new home.

Sunday, July 8, 2007


If you haven't already, go to queens.about.com and vote for your favorite Queens park! See more info to the left. Out of the two Southeast Queens parks on the list, we're rooting for Baisley Pond Park, but Roy Wilkens Park is winning. Nevertheless, Flushing Meadows Corona Park is the clear winner so far!

The Bungalows on 129th Ave

between 161 St. & Guy R. Brewer Blvd.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Fireworks 'Round the Way

Someone or some groups around Baisley Park and south of Baisley really put on a fireworks display last night. Usually in the 'hood, it's about the noise - how long and how loud of firework are. But there was an impressive visual display of brocade, willow and star effects. There was no reason to go into the city. Thanks for the show!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Pitcher Mounds

Last week, we spotted the Parks Department workers digging and moving dirt at the southern tip of Baisley Pond Park (the same location where the Gospelfest will take place). There's about 20 or so mounds of dirt. Pitcher mounds. Kind of like the one Charlie Brown would stand on when he's playing softball. Any clue what these dirt piles are about?


Southern Queens Gospelfest
Saturday, July 14th - 3PM to 8PM

Next Saturday is Gospelfest at Baisley Pond Park. It's a free festival featuring local choirs and performers. Free refreshments and arts & crafts for the kids. Bring a blanket or folding chair. The backdrop of the event is Baisley Pond. See nature at it's best!

Rockaway Blvd. between Sutphin and Baisley Blvds.

A Perfect Summer Day

Monday and Tuesday were TOP TEN SUMMER DAYS (unlike the overcast skies today). If you weren't able to go outside and enjoy the weather, you missed a treat. Low humidity, clear blue skies, cumulus clouds. On those two days, Baisley Pond Park was a great place to be.