All information below is supplied by Dr. Eichenbaum, and you should contact him directly for more details and full descriptions.
- Updated - April 29, 2010
The Evolution of Queens Plaza Sunday, April 25 1-3pm
Queens Plaza, "five minutes from Bloomingdales", is where the Queensboro Bridge, Queens and Northern Blvds, eight subway lines and the mainline of the Long Island Railroad all converge in Long Island City. Dormant during decades of industrial decline, the Plaza has undergone rapid recent change. Zoning was dramatically reformulated to accommodate residential and commercial demand for sites convenient to but much less expensive than midtown Manhattan and there has been significant new construction. Meet at 39th Ave station token booth (N train/Astoria line). Sponsored by the Municipal Art Society. Fee $10/15 (Mem/non-mem)
North Flushing-Whitestone-Malba Ramble Saturday, May 8 2:30-5pm
A three mile walk through diverse, upscale, well-landscaped residential neighborhoods best with spring foliage. More walking, less commentary than a typical walking tour. Ramble departs from Kingsland (Queens Historical Society) and includes admission to exhibits after 2pm. This walk features the intense "cathedral" building activity by immigrants in North Flushing, remnants of the old village of Whitestone and the McMansionization of wealthy waterfront Malba. Returns to Central Flushing (and points south) by bus. Sponsored by the Queens Historical Society. Fee $15 (fund raiser/donation). Walking directions to QHS from Main St/Roosevelt Ave terminus of #7 train: Walk north on Main St. 3 short blocks to 37 Ave, turn right (east) 2 long blocks to Bowne St, where 37 Ave dead ends at Weeping Beech Park. Walk through the small park to the yellow house on the left-Kingsland (144-35 37 Ave.)
Historical Jamaica Saturday, June 19 1-3pm
One of the earliest settlements in NYC, Jamaica boasts centuries old homes, churches and cemeteries. Focusing on Jamaica Ave at the foot of the glacial moraine, we'll dwell on its strategic location and make some interior visits including Grace Episcopal Church and the meticulously restored Valencia theater. >Meet at King Manor museum front lawn, Jamaica Ave between 150-153 St. (E,J Jamaica Center, LIRR Jamaica station); Sponsored by Jamaica Center BID. Tour is free (and rain or shine) but RSVP is required. 718-526-2422 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Interborough Bus Adventures
Some NYCTA buses have relatively long routes connecting transit hubs outside midtown Manhattan. They allow us easy access to places of interest not served by the subway system. These tours include a lunch break and run for about 4-5 hours. They are sponsored by the Municipal Art Society and require preregistration. Fee $25/30 (mem/nonmem) Go to MAS.org/calendar or call 212-935-2075. There will be one more in July.
1. Q44 (Parkchester to Jamaica Center) Saturday, May 29 10am-3pm
The tour centers on walks within three unusual housing developments: Parkchester, a Metropolitan Life Insurance funded apartment complex in the East Bronx; Malba, a wealthy waterfront enclave adjacent to the Whitestone Bridge in Queens; Parkway Village, garden apartments built for United Nations personnel in Kew Garden Hills. Lunch is in the vibrant Asiatown in Central Flushing. The bus passes by neighborhoods of different class and ethnicity and offers a stunning Manhattan skyline view from the Whitestone Bridge.
2. M60 (Central Harlem to East Elmhurst) Sunday, June 20 10am-3pm
The route follows the movement of some of the black middle class from Harlem to East Elmhurst in Queens after the construction of LaGuardia Airport and the Grand Central Parkway devalued the area for a white elite. Three diverse walks are included: Mount Morris, a geographic anomaly in Central Harlem; the Arab community centered on Steinway St. in Astoria, also site of our lunch break; a walk from the Malcolm X house in East Elmhurst to Louis Armstrong's home in Corona. Armstrong's home is now a museum which participants may want to visit before continuing to a #7 subway connection.
Changing Cultures of Queens: A Walking AnthologyA series of educational walking tours in June and July 2010
Tuesday evenings @ 6pm… We move by 6:15.
Instructor and sponsor: Dr. Jack Eichenbaum, urban geographer
Since the end of the Second World War, three waves of cultural change impacted Queens. First, residents from older neighborhoods in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn came to enjoy automobile access and newer housing removed from deterioration and demographic change. After the 1965 change in immigration laws, Queens became a magnet for the diversity of new Americans and today half of the population is foreign-born. In recent years, domestic newcomers and the creative community sought the lower density and lower rents of the borough.
Queens' neighborhoods are unique mixes of these processes and previous history played out on varied topography. Learn to understand and appreciate these cityscapes by joining a group of walkers for an evening. Enjoy stimulating outdoor environments and make new friends.
Each walk begins at 6pm at the designated location, near a subway station, and ends about two hours and two miles later in a neighborhood where you may eat (as you choose) in a variety of interesting restaurants. Tuition: $15 each walk. ($10 for people under 30 years in age with ID)
Tues. June 1 Flushing's Koreatown
Koreans are the premiere small businessmen and church builders of contemporary immigration. Their center of gravity has migrated away from Central Flushing and is now sprawling east along Northern Blvd and to "Korean Villages" at LIRR stations. See surprising shops and houses of worship. Eats include "BBQ" and "KFC". >Meet by fare booth outside the east end (front) of the #7 station (Roosevelt Ave, east of Main St, last stop on #7 train and served by escalators) (Do not exit from middle of platform!)
Tues. June 8 Long Island City to Old Astoria
Walk the East River shore between the Queensboro and RFK (Triboro) Bridges. Begin at Queensbridge Houses and head for the remnants of Old Astoria. The sights include increasingly oblique views of Manhattan's Upper East Side from three parks, a (former) piano factory, a huge power plant, a "big box" store, the Socrates Sculpture Park and the Isamu Noguchi Museum. End in Astoria at Bohemian Hall beer garden. >Meet at NW corner 41 Av/21 St (F to Queensbridge).
Tues. June 15 Forest Hills to Corona
Dominicans, Ecuadorians and Mexicans compete for commercial space in Corona! South Americans surround the venerable Little Italy in Corona Heights! Bukharan Jews succeed Russian Jews in Rego Park! Come early and peek at Forest Hills Gardens across Queens Blvd. This walk can't be topped for fine-grained diversity. How did it all happen? >Meet at the Ridgewood Savings Bank, 108 St/ North side Queens Blvd (E,F,R,V to 71 Ave/Continental, Forest Hills)
Tues. June 22 #7 Sunnyside to Jackson Heights
The core of the ethnic diversity along "The International Express" has visible commercial concentrations of Irish, Mexican, South Asian, South American, Filipino and Thai cultures. Some domestic gentrification has occurred at both termini. The train and the constantly evolving eats are always in focus. >Meet at the "Sunnyside" sign, in the street on the south side of the #7 46St/Bliss local station.
Tues. June 29 South Richmond Hill
Immigrants from Guyana (in South America) are already a fascinating mix of African, South Asian, Caribbean and British culture. Now they are adapting to New York. We'll view much of their commercial strip, a thriving segment of Liberty Avenue in South Richmond Hill. Then we'll ascend Richmond Hill and encounter Sikhs and transportation influences. >Meet at NE corner of 104 St/Liberty Ave (Lefferts Blvd A train to 104 St, do not take Far Rockaway A)
About Jack Eichenbaum
Your tour leader, Jack Eichenbaum, holds a Ph.D in urban geography and teaches courses at CUNY (Queens, Hunter). "My expertise lies in historical geography and ethnic and technological change. I have been riding the #7 for more than 50 years and focus on what the #7 train has done to and for the surrounding neighborhoods since it opened in 1914. A decade ago, the #7 was designated a "National Millennium Trail" for its pioneering role in transporting people in what is probably the most demographically diverse cityscape in the world."
- More Info? Custom tours? Contact email@example.com or 718-961-8406.