Public Tour Schedule
I maintain an email list of folks who are frequently updated on my public tours. You are welcome to join this list by registering below. I try to maintain the schedule on this page of the web site but if it’s looking like it’s behind the times, don’t hesitate to email me email@example.com for a list of upcoming tours.
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Photos courtesy of Forgotten New York www.forgotten-ny.com
Bowne Street, My Street Sunday, May 5 9-11am
May 4-5 is the weekend of Jane’s Walks, in honor of urbanist Jane Jacobs. These free walks with no registration required, organized by the Municipal Art Society, take place throughout the weekend and throughout the city. I will be leading a walk along the length of historic and multiethnic Bowne Street in Flushing where I have been living for 35 years. There are several historical landmarks, most notably the Bowne House (1661), some exceptional houses of worship, most notably the Hindu Temple Society of North America, and unusual horticultural sites. >Meet at NW corner of Main Street and 39th Avenue (St. George Episcopal Church) #7 to Main St. See all walks at http://mas.org/programs/janeswalknyc/
What’s New in Long Island City? Friday, May 17 5:45-8pm
We’ll walk from Queens Plaza to the East River waterfront. Rezoning and demographic change stemming from Manhattan spillover spark revitalization in this once stagnant industrial neighborhood. A lively arts community and restaurant scene has developed. The Plaza, where transit lines intersect, has been rezoned for hotels, condos and offices. Gantry Park, on the East River, is the perfect place to view the midtown Manhattan skyline at sunset. After the tour, enjoy restaurants and LICAO events which abound in the nearby Vernon/Jackson area. >Meet at the fare booth on the lowest level of the Queensboro Plaza station (N,Q,7) Fee $15
Daylight Loft Buildings in Long Island City Sunday, May 19 10:30am-12:30pm
The daylight loft building was to industry what the skyscraper was to offices. LIC’s great makeover at the beginning of the 20th century, coincided with the widespread introduction of this architectural innovation that modernized manufacturing and permitted assembly line production. Many of these buildings are finding new uses, notably as artists’ studios, while Long Island City is rezoned for a post-industrial city. After the tour enjoy visiting artists’ open studios which are in some of the daylight loft buildings we will observe! >Meet at NE corner 21 St/44 Drive (exit west end of E train, also connected to 7,G at Court Square/23 St) Fee $15
CHANGING CULTURES OF QUEENS: Wednesday evening walks beginning at 6pm and ending around 8pm (it’s still light out!) with suggestions for dinner. No registration required. Fee $15 each.
Wednesday May 22: On and Off Jamaica Avenue (new)
After decades of dedication, redesign, and redevelopment, downtown Jamaica, the major transportation center of Queens, is undergoing a renaissance. Historic buildings have been transformed, BID’s have invigorated commercial activity, and cultural events abound. >Meet outside entrance to Air Train (southern end of upper level of LIRR Jamaica station) E,J,Z to Sutphin Blvd.
Wednesday May 29: Sunnyside to Jackson Heights
The core of the ethnic diversity under the “The International Express” (#7) has visible commercial concentrations of Turkish, Irish, Mexican, South American, South Asian, Filipino, and Thai cultures. Some domestic gentrification has occurred at both termini. The train and the constantly evolving eats are always in focus. >Meet under the “Sunnyside” sign, south side of Queens Blvd. on 46 St (local stop) #7
Wednesday June 5: Long Island City to Old Astoria Is this the next cool neighborhood?
Walk the East River shore between the Queensboro and RFK (Triboro) Bridge. 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, the Isamu Noguchi Museum, and ante-bellum mansions. End in Astoria at the Bohemian Hall beer garden. >Meet at NW corner 21 St/41 Ave (F train to Queensbridge)
BRIGHTON LINE MEMOIRS meandering off the Q train SUNDAY, JULY 21 10am-5:30pm
This is a series of five walks and connecting rides along what was once the Brooklyn, Flatbush and Coney Island RR dating to 1878. Walks take place in Prospect Park, Brighton Beach, along Avenue U, in Ditmas Park and Central Flatbush. Lunch is in Brighton Beach where you can picnic on the Boardwalk.. Tour fee is $39 and you need to preregister by check to Jack Eichenbaum, 36-20 Bowne St. #6C, Flushing, NY 11354 (include name, phone and email address) Get the full day’s program and other info by email firstname.lastname@example.org The tour is limited to 25 people. Don’t get left out!
The following tours are sponsored by the Municipal Art Society and need to be reserved in advance at http://mas.org/tours/ $20/$15 MAS members. Meeting place provided after registration. These tours will not be posted until later this month.
Crossing Newtown Creek: Contrasting Industrial Brooklyn & Queens Sunday, June 30, 4-6pm Meander through Greenpoint and cross the Pulaski Bridge connecting Brooklyn to Long Island City. See remnants of the intense and largely unregulated industrial development that thrived along Newtown Creek during the late nineteenth century before the consolidation of Greater NYC and infrastructure improvements rendered it obsolete. View the striking NYC DEP Wastewater Improvement Plant (“Digester Eggs”) and its adjacent Nature Trail. Ends at splendid shoreline views in Gantry Park.
Flushing’s Chinatown Saturday, July 20 4pm-6pm This immigrant destination and commercial center has come to rival its Manhattan antecedent. Taiwanese rather than Cantonese at its core, Flushing’s Chinatown plays host to a variety of overseas Chinese groups. Rezoning and greater land availability support unusual real estate developments including office buildings, hotels, residential condos, specialty shops, cultural institutions, and malls. Restaurant tips distributed!
“Willets Point” Saturday, August 17 4-6pm East of Citifield (the New York Mets baseball stadium) is a sewerless hardscrabble area of auto junkyards and related businesses that has twice beaten back attempts at redevelopment. But as it is located between the new stadium and a booming Chinatown in Flushing, public and private interests are again trying to transform “Willets Point”. We’ll walk to the area from central Flushing to understand its important setting, confront ecological issues and learn why “Willets Point” is a misnomer.