Thursday, August 30, 2007



118-23 Guy R. Brewer Blvd.
Jamaica, NY 11434

"Ven y disfruta la mas deliciosa variedad culinaria en un ambiente elegante y acogedor. "

"See and enjoys the delicious culinary variety in a welcoming and elegant environment."

When the metallic silver awning was erected, we knew they were serious about their business. Latin flavored and Dominican-owned D'noche officially opened about a month ago. It used to be a grocery store. They must have spent tens of thousands (to say modestly) on renovations and they made it happen in a short amount of time. Management told us that there are no popular or happening Latin restaurants in this part of South Jamaica. With an attractive exterior and a romantic interior setting, which includes red and black tones, contemporary lighting and three flat screen televisions, we think they'll do just fine.

"Happy Hour" Mondays through Thursdays 5-8PM. Friday night is karaoke and they say it's their biggest night. On Sundays, it's an all day buffet.

Upcoming Event: "Salsa in Jamaica"
Satuday, September 29th - 9PM-3AM
Music by DJ Oscar de la Paz,
playing the best Latin, R&B and classics
$10 in advance, $15 at the door
Rodrigo 646.209.3173
Bill 646.567.7085

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Q111 New Hybrid-Electric Bus

One of the new MTA hybrid-electric buses picking up passengers
along the Q111 route (Guy R. Brewer Blvd).

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Annual Irie Jamboree This Sunday

Sunday, September 2nd
Gates open 12 Noon/Show starts 1PM
Roy Wilkins Park
Main Entrance - Baisley Blvd at 177th St.
Jamaica, NY

You probably know that the big reggae and dancehall jam is back. Right on time for Labor Day and right on target for those celebrating the West Indian Day Carnival.

Go to the Irie website at to view press party pics and other information. Stephan Marley is scheduled to appear, among many others. John Roleke from the Queens website has a nice one-sheet of the event.

Tickets are $60 general admission, $100 VIP.
Tickets can be purchased online at their website or at any one of these Queens vendors/locations:
Genesis 1 718-739-8443
VP Records 718-297-5802
Yard Spot Rest 718.527.2007
Jamaican Flavas 718.977.4155
Twin Thumb 718.978.0108
Clippers Restaurant 718.738.6625
Laten´s Restaurant 718.527.0339
Golden Krust,
Far Rockaway
GGGG SALON 718.262.9124
Golden Krust,
Parsons Blvd.

The Friends of Roy Wilkins Park Needs A Helping Hand

The Friends of Roy Wilkins Park are looking for volunteers to assist in park fund raising events, event planning, flower gardening, and other activities. The Friends of Roy Wilkins Park is a volunteer non for profit organization whose primary focus is to assist in the preservation, maintenance and beautification of the park. According to an earlier article from The Daily Plant at the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation website, the group "formed in 2003 as a group of concerned and passionate park patrons. They decided to band together in order to beautify sections of Roy Wilkins Park and advocate on the Park’s behalf. Since its beginning, the group has planted and maintained two flower gardens, successfully advocated for the installation of Life Trail exercise equipment for the track, and hosted numerous clean-up days."

They meet the first Monday of the month at 10AM at the Roy Wilkins Park Family Center, 177-01 Baisley Blvd. Call 718.527.5085 or 718.528.0441 for more information. Or e-mail

Monday, August 27, 2007

SUBPRIME EMBARRASSMENT: Jamaica-Rochdale Village Tops All of Queens with 450 Foreclosure Filings

The media has been talking about foreclosures and the state of the current housing market for the past week. Among the many, the Metro New York paper reported this morning on how officials are starting to step up the crackdown on predatory lenders. State Sen. Jeff Klein also revealed stats on the hardest hit neighborhoods in NYC. Sad to report that Jamaica/Rochdale Village (predominately black neighborhoods) filed for the most foreclosures for the borough of Queens.

“Unfortunately, instead of working with endangered homeowners,” (Sen. Charles) Schumer said, “unscrupulous lenders are going out of their way to push high risk loans and preventing mortgage holders from refinancing.”

“Especially in the black and Hispanic community, we’re trying to get the so-called American Dream,” said State Sen. Ruben Diaz of the Bronx. “And in our pursuit, we are being taken and now we are living this nightmare.”

To add, here are two heartbreaking foreclosure stories. Now, we may not know the whole story of Michele McIntosh from Far Rockaway and Helen Rice-Lyles of Staten Island, but after analyzing their situation, they were foreclosure cases waiting to happen. Someone lied to them. And they lied to themselves.

Nocturnal noises of summer

Observation of note, depending on where you are in the Southside:
Listen to the nocturnal noises of summer.
A pleasant noise.
Late at night, sometimes all night.
Robins sang strong in July.
Crickets and other critters clicking in August.
Many of them are calling tonight.
Always better than gunshots!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

New Bus Shelters Near Rochdale Village South/LIRR Locust Manor Station

Located at the intersection of Bedell Street and 134th Road on the Q85 route.

New Homes Over Yonder & A Small Change To The Local Map

Virtual maps will need a little updating. A tiny new community of new homes now exists just north of the Locust Manor Railroad Station. United Homes erected several two family homes that were built over the past several months. New roads were recently tar paved. 132nd Avenue and 133rd Avenue were extended to meet with Garrett Street, also a street extension. Originally, Garrett Street started south of Railroad Park.

You can see the new homes from a distance on the
LIRR Locust Manor platform.

Looking north standing on Garrett Street cul-de-sac
from Railroad Park.

Looking north on Garrett Street, at the intersection of
132nd Avenue. Notice the newly placed wood guardrails
to the left. Beyond the guardrail is undeveloped land.

Looking east on 132nd Avenue. The foreground displays
the new two family homes. Further down the block are
older tudor-style homes.

Looking east on 133rd Street, south side of the street.
More new homes to the right. More older tudor homes
are down the block.

Standing on Garrett Street, looking south toward the
cul-de-sac and Railroad Park.

Standing near the Railroad Park entrance. The Garrett
Street cul-de-sac in the rear.

Railroad Park, closer to the LIRR platform. Notice the
vegetable patch near the fence to the right. Undeveloped
land in the rear.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Brick Towers Greet You on 157th St & North Conduit Ave.

Stanchions can add a look of class and prestige to any block. They're common in historic districts. It simply states "affluent" or "private property." Some are well kept. Others are neglected. These two brick columns greet you when you're making a right turn off of the North Conduit onto 157th Street. They stand a little over six feet. Not sure as to when they were built, but they're not historical. Sad to say, it appears they've been neglected as well. Many stanchions have cement flower bowls as a crown or perhaps a cement globe. With these columns, it appears that whatever was at the top was knocked off. A closer look shows that there's a thick cable (or two) that pokes out at the top. Perhaps they were crowned with a large classic globe or a lantern that lit up at night? That would give a warm welcome at night. We also found it interesting that the columns were placed on the property, and not between the sidewalk and the curb. Also, the stanchion on the west side of the street has been fenced in while the stanchion on the east side sits on an open lawn.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Progressive Southside Makes it to RADIO!

We made it to public radio! I (Kel) represented this blog on WNYC's (FM 93.9/AM 820) The Brian Lehrer Show this morning's live broadcast. I joined bloggers Meg Cotner of OuterB and Joey in Astoria and Steve Tiszenkel of Queens Central to discuss what Queens bloggers are blogging about.

Media can sometimes paint a one-sided view about a community. And negative always triumphs over the positive. Our prayer is to represent the progressive and interesting Southside Queens that you just don't see or hear about. Some good news, as people like to say. We're only a couple of months old! So we're still growing and learning. Southside - if you're reading, please post/e-mail some encouraging words. We'd like to hear from you!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Tornado Warning This Morning

Conditions were ripe for a tornado early this morning. A tornado warning was issued as a severe thunderstorm cell passed over Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island a couple of hours ago. The strong cell hit JFK between 6:30 and 7:00am. The tornado warnings for Queens and Long Island were canceled at 7:15am. This photo was taken this morning around 6:50am and the streetlights were still on.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

11434 Block Associations?

Question: Do neighborhood block associations still exist? They used to be very popular around 20 years ago or so. Do neighbors even care about uniting like they used to? If you know of any active block associations or united block groups in this code, please contact us.

We're Losing Our Capes! Part 3

More signs of the times. For this post of "We're Losing Our Capes!" we go to 175th Street at 144th Terrace. Eight months ago, a cape cod home stood here. No signs of reconstruction at the time. Now stands TWO semi-detached, two-family homes. So a one-family home has been replaced with a four-family.

Check out this short video clip of the cape-lined street. At the very end sits the conversion.