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Flushing Queens

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This painting once appeared on the West side of the LIRR Main Street overpass. Toward the top you can see the RKO Keiths depicted. Like the theatre itself this mural was in bad shape when I took this photo in July 2001. It is now completely covered with street vendor displays, who knows this might help to preserve what's left of it.

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XL5,

I have a number of Flushing Bay Images, didn't think they would be of interest, it would never have one of those "stand here and let me take your picture with this background" Kodak photo opportunity signs. In retrospect it kind of captures that Willets Point/Flushing barge transport industry. Every now and then you see old postcards on Ebay that show this was once a place you could swim.

321842407_wkoQm-L.jpg

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I don't imagine ANYPLACE in Flushing would qualify for a Kodak Photo Spot! No offense, SWC. I've watched many a firework from such a tar beach as you posted elsewhere. I can still hear the reassuring hum of the city from those urban "scenic overlooks." Some people don't see the beauty there. Go figure!

I would certainly be interested in them. But I think you can make a case that the milieu and physical environment of Flushing/Corona was part of the atmosphere that defined the Fairgrounds. Ash heap to Unisphere. I'm sure PTU has server space for that. I know what you mean though, when you previously referred to going off on tangents, and things getting hard to find. But think of the alternative.

If you have all these photos and local knowledge it would be a shame if they aren't available SOMEWHERE on PTU. That they could be organized better and searchable more efficiently shouldn't make anyone hesitant to share their knowledge.

BTW that thread Randy Treadway alluded to with Serval Zipper photos was Moses vs Jane Parker.

Re your photo of a crane/dredge on the Flushing River, (which, case in point, I CANNOT FIND BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW THE THREAD IT WAS IN (Don't tell me. I can find it if I have to)) I was prompted to inquire... what anyone was doing at the riverbank pointing a camera in the first place? I mean, one has to load film into a camera, leave the house, carry the camera over dangerous debris, inhale toxic air, and no doubt placate stray dogs ( the Golden Retriever adopted by Transit Mix at Janet Place my dad's coworkers named "Sputnik" in a prescient act of Cold War, current events, anecdote-creation). As clearly valuable as those photographs become years later, I wonder... what the photographer, at the time, was taking pictures OF! A buncha rust?

I thought the same thing of those black and whites of the Fair after it closed. Exactly what was the photographer thinking? Several little, temporary post-Fair shacks were visible. Could he have been documenting them?

There's as much information behind a photograph as is visible in the photograph.

Thanks for posting those photos.

Yeah. You're exactly right. How many photos of that mural can there be?

There was talk elsewhere of what to do with Fair collectibles after we, well, DIE! There! I've said it!

Get with the program, folks. Contemplating one's own death is unpleasant. Letting all your collected knowledge die with you is criminal! We plan a day at the beach better than we plan the arc of our entire lives. Let PTU be the ones to change that.

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I have taken many photos around my old hometown and the ordinary tends to become extraordinary over time. As a kid going to the World's Fair on foot meant crossing the original Flushing Bay draw bridge, on it's wooden pedestrian walkway, an olfactory challange. You could see the untreated sewage flowing into the bay and at low tide it was impassable even by barge, with shore to shore sludge "sand bars". It would make me wonder how it looked as natural marsh way back when. So the route to get to the Fair so too held my interest and 10 years later took it as a challange to go down there and try to compose any photograph that would "look good". For that last image I posted I did not realize the Unisphere and NYSP could be faintly seen in the background until 2 days ago (the end of the Willets Point subway platform shows up also. The same end that was posted in the "Twilight Zone thread some months back).

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I am planning to include some of these images in the Flushing history photo book I mentioned before.

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a discarded pack of Winstons can be seen by the barge mooring lines.

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Don C,

Thanks for your reply in the thread, Yessongs SIP Recap Pt2, about the sad story of RKO Keith. I had searched some posts about the theatre but didn't get the true, dismal, all-too-predictable jist.

I recall years back Trump did a similar thing, petulantly removing preservable gargoyles or some interesting artistic aspects of a 5th Ave property so as to destroy the very reason to preserve the structure. Like Saddam setting oil fields on fire.

SWC,

I bet those photos along the Flushing River were taken on the same stroll. In fact it looks like you just swung the camera and followed that same 727 into LGA.

It took the better part of a bottle of wine for me to find the image where you said you could barely make out the Unisphere and NYSP. When I did I laughed. You're tellin' me, "barely!"... they were so tiny and distant. I did recognize them, but I would never have picked them out myself.

You mentioned water quality.

My dad told me as a kid he saw porpoise in the East River. In the 60s, as a kid myself, we used to point out the recognizable raw sewage floating by. Now fishing is popular, let alone possible, and I see jet-skiers. Nice to see it come full circle.

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SWC, forgot to mention...

Re your, "I have taken many photos around my old hometown and the ordinary tends to become extraordinary over time, " from post #4 above.

That's well said. It echoes Alfred Hitchcock's filmmaking philosophy of putting, "ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances."

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Hi SWC,

I lived in the apt. bldg 135-55 35 Ave behind Flushing H.S. among other places I've lived. Did you ever think about contributing to forgotton NY ?

When you mention a draw bridge, do you mean the William Prince bridge that Northern Blvd crosses ? It's not a draw bridge now and it'd be cool if you had any photos of it when it was.

Tom, glad I could be of help. The Keiths is only one of many historic buildings in Queens that has met a similar fate or was demolished.

DC

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Don C and SWC,

Here's an unpleasant memory, but I have to ask.

In 1970 or so, I visited a schoolmate down the street whose father designed toy boxes. I was envious of him because he got all the toys his dad worked on for free, like the Kenner Bridge and Panel building set... WITH monorail , thank you. His dad was wealthy, divorced, and hired a 'governess' to mind my classmate.

This day, his governess, "Mrs B", cried and sobbed the whole time I was there. My friend whispered, her son had been killed in a car accident out in Queens.

At dinner that night, after dad parked his 65 Rambler American 440 returning from work in Flushing, he mentioned a horrible accident under the 7 train between Willets Pt and Flushing stations. He had seen the wreckage on his way to work that morning. Still there on his way home. A car had plowed into one of the el supports and basically T-boned and wrapped around the upright so thoroughly that it had not been removed. No one could have survived.

I put two and two together, and told him.

Of course it transpired that the fatal wreck my dad saw was in fact that of Mrs B's son.

My father actually drove me out to see it, probably trying to 'scare me straight'. Ouch! That was such an astonishing, high speed, drag racing crash that I wondered if you guys have any recollections of it.

I can't narrow down the date any better than between 1968 and 1972.

Sorry to mention this tragedy, but boy, it IS a small world after all. I was in Montevideo, Uraguay, and met a NYC high school buddy 20 years after. So you never know.

Do either of you remember that particular incident?

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XL, you are right and very observant, looking over my slide numbers I took that shot because I heard the plane approach, walked under the bridge taking another shot, came out the other side and took the picture looking North, capturing the same plane. All three images are in my Flushing gallery. You somtimes see postcards of the bridge on Ebay, way back when, in the photo I have it looks quite nice if you didn't know better. I am amazed that the area has been cleaned up enough to go fishing, I'll only believe that if you go down there yourself and post some current pictures.

I don't recall hearing about that, but in a similar vain, near the other end of Flushing by Northern Blvd., there was very famous accident that set the example for caution often recited at the time:http://www.explorepahistory.com/odocument.php?docId=8

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SWC,

I checked your gallery. Very nice!

I only recently got hold of a digital camera and immediately walked up and down Manhattan's East Side Avenues from the UN to 86th St. documenting each and every block, both sides. Those Elmhurst gas tanks may have been a knock on Queens but take a look at what the presently hoity toity Upper East Side sported into the 60s...

http://www.mcny.org/collections/abbott/a009.htm

...literally down the street from where I grew up.

I intend to shoot a complete baseline record of what my old nabe looked like in 2008. Mike Kraus accurately mentioned the city becoming "all finance, media and luxury apartments." I have no idea how that place can survive once they push all the tenements out. But you know, didn't everyone wonder that about the city since the 1600's?

In my previous post I specifically meant the EAST River was tremendously cleaned up. Sport fishing has been popular for years around Manhattan, well documented in press, and in the last year I personally witnessed 4 jet skis with guys and gals zooming south under the 59th St Bridge. I know zero about the FLUSHING River.

Oh, and in an ironic twist, as soon as I sprung for the camera, I coincidentally got full time internet access, and discovered there are websites viewable for free doing kinda what I'm doing. Oh well.

http://www.bridgeandtunnelclub.com/bigmap/...attan/index.htm

Thank god someone caught the SPECTACULAR 1960s Republic Airlines ghost sign new construction recently revealed across from the site of the old Alexander's on 3rd and 59th.

http://www.bridgeandtunnelclub.com/bigmap/...licad/index.htm

Like you say SWC, "the ordinary becomes the extraordinary over time". I enjoy your photos.

(Ever think about patenting that phrase? Hell, Trump tried with, "You're fired!")

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Add me to the 35th Avenue club, albeit I grew up in the Jackson Heights part of it; 77-12 35th Avenue. I went to Kindergarten at PS 69. I remember Miss Tarr vividly; I wonder if she's still alive, she couldn't possibly be teaching 42 years later. 'Small World" indeed!

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Sorry Bog, don't have anything further South (that would mean the the other side of Flushing Bay), although I may have a few shots from Sunnyside.

At 138-11 35th Avenue, is what used to be known as PS 23 "Lincoln School". I'm not sure why since it was built in 1850, 25 years before Flushing High. It became a "600" school for troubled kids and now is known as the Queens Academy High School, for kids looking to finish High School after running afoul of the system. At one time they had black boards that were actually black slate, desks that still had ink wells, hard wood floors and a coal delivery chute in the back. This photo is from October 1973, although it has not changed much from the outside except for the sign. Don C must have passed this a thousand times looking for a parking spot. Is P.S. 69 a red brick school house?

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Sorry Bog, don't have anything further South (that would mean the the other side of Flushing Bay), although I may have a few shots from Sunnyside.

At 138-11 35th Avenue, is what used to be known as PS 23 "Lincoln School". I'm not sure why since it was built in 1850, 25 years before Flushing High. It became a "600" school for troubled kids and now is known as the Queens Academy High School, for kids looking to finish High School after running afoul of the system. At one time they had black boards that were actually black slate, desks that still had ink wells, hard wood floors and a coal delivery chute in the back. This photo is from October 1973, although it has not changed much from the outside except for the sign. Don C must have passed this a thousand times looking for a parking spot. Is P.S. 69 a red brick school house?

206562798_Em7Rs-L-1.jpg

It was and still is, with the entrance smack in the middle and stairwaus to either side. Straight ahead to the auditorium. I went back there a couple of years ago and they told me that Miss Tarr still subs occasionally. I'd love to see her again! She was quite a looker, even to my 6 yrear old self.

I was also pleasantly shocked to find Jahn's still there and as good as I remembered it!

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post-3701-1215653805_thumb.jpg

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Here's another UHAUL shot I found on the subway site http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/stations?195:3032 taken from Willets Point Blvd (note: the RKO roof in the background from the '80s):

img_54387.jpg

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Sorry Bog, don't have anything further South (that would mean the the other side of Flushing Bay), although I may have a few shots from Sunnyside.

At 138-11 35th Avenue, is what used to be known as PS 23 "Lincoln School". I'm not sure why since it was built in 1850, 25 years before Flushing High. It became a "600" school for troubled kids and now is known as the Queens Academy High School, for kids looking to finish High School after running afoul of the system. At one time they had black boards that were actually black slate, desks that still had ink wells, hard wood floors and a coal delivery chute in the back. This photo is from October 1973, although it has not changed much from the outside except for the sign. Don C must have passed this a thousand times looking for a parking spot. Is P.S. 69 a red brick school house?

206562798_Em7Rs-L-1.jpg

Hi SWC,

You got that right ! Finding a parking spot there was next to impossible. I often parked by that school, on the side of Flushing Town hall if not as far away as the Lattimer house !

Don C

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Always something there to remind me: This bus sports a Queens County Savings Bank Ad "The Strength Behind the Banks You Trust", with an image of the Unisphere. The lasting strength of the World's Fair imprint. Roosevelt Ave. looking West, November 11, 2008

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Serval Zipper factory update; one of Flushing's 3 clock towers, looking a bit worse for the wear as a U-Haul depot on 6/28/09:

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Always somthing there to remind me: This bus sports a Queens County Savings Bank Ad "The Strength Behind the Banks You Trust", with an image of the Unisphere. The lasting strength of the World's Fair imprint. Roosevelt Ave. looking West, November 11, 2008

431129083_4QMhC-L-2.jpg

Hey SWC, you were right near Lippman Plaza with that photo. Do you remember when there was a small farmer's market there?

DC

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Did you notice if the clocks were still working?

No Bill none of Flushing's 3 1920's era clock towers work:

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