Tag Archives: 43rd Avenue

Bayside’s ‘unofficial mayor’ to be memorialized in street renaming


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Bayside’s “unofficial mayor” Benjamin Fried will be memorialized next Monday during a street renaming ceremony, according to Councilman Paul Vallone.

For 68 years Fried was a part of Bell Boulevard and now he will be a permanent part of the strip.

Vallone’s spokesman said that Fried, who died at the age of 98 last year, contributed to the healthy mix of commercial and residential areas in the neighborhood.

The city is designating 43rd Avenue and Bell Boulevard — at the corner where Fried kept shop for 68 years until 2001 — as Benjamin Fried Boulevard on Aug. 25.

Fried’s civic life began in 1933 when he opened Benn’s Bargain Store — later renamed to Benn’s Hardware — on Bell Boulevard and he would eventually become active in many parts of Bayside. Along with his hardware store, Fried was also a local activist, according to Vallone’s spokesman. Fried led a succesful rally in the 1970s to reopen fire department engine company 306 on 214th Place.

“Benjamin Fried was affectionately known as the mayor of Bayside and for good reason. His life was spent advocating for Bayside, his community, family and friends,” Vallone said. “Now as we co-name 43rd Avenue as Benjamin Fried Boulevard, we will always keep his memory alive.”

Fried founded the Bell Boulevard Merchants Association and started the annual Children’s Holiday Parade. These all led to his unofficial mayor title, with his hardware business serving as the unofficial city hall.

“The Fried family made sure Bell Boulevard remained a huge commercial shopping destination,” a spokesman for the Bayside Business Improvement District said. “They’re able to perform this balancing act of making it a great commercial destination without overpowering the residential side [of the neighborhood].”

 

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Historic street names restored in Douglaston


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Recently approved city legislation will restore six historic street names in the center of Douglaston.

The amended map will change 240th Street to Prospect Avenue, 242nd Street to Hamilton Place, 243rd Street to Orient Avenue, 42nd Avenue to Poplar Street, 43rd Avenue to Pine Street and 44th Avenue to Church Street, officials said.

“Douglaston is one of the most unique neighborhoods in our city,” said Councilmember Dan Halloran, who introduced the bill. “Its history and heritage are well worth remembering. This bill pays homage to the neighborhood’s history by restoring street names to the way they were hundreds of years ago.”

According to Halloran, residents of Douglaston and local civic leaders have fought for decades to keep their historic street names, despite the city’s push to make most roads numerical.

“To walk the streets of Douglaston is to step back into our city’s rich history,” Halloran said. “Everything from the original cobblestone curbs to massive tree canopies reminds visitors of a much simpler time.”

The city council voted to pass the bill on March 15.

“At a miniscule cost to the city, this law preserves our community’s heritage and history,” Halloran said.

With additional reporting by Alexa Altman

 

Sunnyside fire claims life


| jlane@queenscourier.com

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A fire in Sunnyside claimed the life of one man and left two firefighters with minor injuries. At 3:34 a.m., 12 units and 60 firefighters responded to 49-01 43rd Avenue, where a second floor fire broke out. Firefighters had the blaze under control by 4:11 a.m. The victim was transported to Elmhurst Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The two firefighters with minor injuries were taken to North Shore Hospital where they were treated and released. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.