Anyone wanting to learn more about the many neighborhoods in the borough of Queens can find it in the recently released book “The Neighborhoods of Queens.”
The organization, Citizens Committee for New York City, began the book series several years ago, first focusing on Brooklyn. They recruited freelance journalist and author Claudia Gryvatz Copquin to write the most recent book in the series about Queens.
“We’re really interested in bringing people together in their neighborhoods to improve their neighborhoods,” said Peter H. Kostmayer, the president of Citizens Committee for New York City. “People love these books because people love to read about their neighborhood and their neighbors.”
“The Neighborhoods of Queens,” which includes an introduction by Kenneth T. Jackson, features information on all 99 Queens neighborhoods. The individual profiles have details about the history, residents, architecture and cultural activities of each area. There are also many different photographs and maps included in the book.
Kostmayer and Copquin, a former resident of Jackson Heights, said that it took many years to gather all of the information and complete the book. Copquin said she used every source imaginable to find out about the various neighborhoods, such as talking to merchants, residents and civic leaders and getting information from books, archives, libraries, the internet, newspapers and historical societies.
Citizens Committee for New York City teamed up with Yale University Press to publish it.
“It’s like having a baby. It’s joyous,” Copquin said of having the book published. “I’m just so proud of it and I’m so proud of the borough.”
The release of “The Neighborhoods of Queens” was celebrated with Queens Borough President Helen Marshall at Borough Hall on Wednesday, December 5.
“Our borough is called ‘home’ to people from practically every corner of the globe,” Marshall said. “And we are thrilled today to celebrate Ms. Copquin’s new book that celebrates our home. I am also pleased to thank Citizens Committee for New York City for supporting such a project.”
In putting the book together, Kostmayer said the diversity of Queens is what struck him the most. “Queens represents the very best of the United States and it’s such a beautiful borough,” he said. “It has tremendous variety. It’s an ideal American community in my opinion.”
“The Neighborhoods of Queens” book is available through amazon.com and other book stores.
The next borough to be featured as part of the series will be the Bronx, which is expected to be released in 2009.
For more information on the Citizens Committee for New York City, visit www.citizensnyc.org.