Tag Archives: Hell Gate Bridge

Whitestone resident petitions again for Metro-North stops in western Queens


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Patrick Cashin

The wheels are turning once again for one Queens resident who hopes to bring more transportation options to the borough.

Ali Fadil, a Whitestone resident who previously lived in Astoria and Jackson Heights, has started an online petition calling on the MTA to bring Metro-North Railroad access into western Queens as part of its plan to expand the line to Penn Station.

In the MTA’s 2015-2019 $32 billion Capital Program, the agency plans a project that would take the Metro-North’s New Haven line directly to Penn Station, adding four new stations in the Bronx. As part of expansion, the line would use existing track, owned by Amtrak, to go directly into Manhattan.

In doing this, the line would go into Queens but without making any stops in the borough.

“Metro-North wants to run trains through Queens but has no interest in serving Queens, especially since western Queens has seen a lot of growth in the past years,” Fadil said.

This is Fadil’s second petition regarding the expanding of Metro-North stops into the borough. In 2012, when he was only 18, Fadil began his initial petition which gathered 263 signatures. He said the support he got the first time around helped him make his plan more specific on what needs to be done.

“I am here to make sure that our communities get what we deserve and Queens shouldn’t be left out in the cold,” said Fadil, who is a senior studying political science and sociology at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. “When it comes to public transportation, it’s Queens that’s the forgotten borough, not Staten Island.”

The 20-year-old’s petition, which started on Monday and as of Tuesday has 44 signatures, calls on the transportation agency to bring the New Haven line to western Queens and also study two locations along the Amtrak line to be considered for stations. The locations are Astoria Boulevard between 41st and 44th streets, and Northern Boulevard at Broadway, which is close to the M and R trains and two local buses.

The petition also calls on Amtrak to make “necessary structural repairs” to the tracks which go over the Hell Gate Bridge in Astoria and would be used during the expansion of the Metro-North New Haven line.

According to Fadil, the existing Amtrak line is “falling apart” and in need of repair.

In the capital program, the MTA said the Metro-North expansion would include upgrades to power and signal systems, installing of new track and realigning existing tracks, and replacing railroad bridges to accommodate more trains.

According to an MTA spokesperson, there are no plans to construct a Metro-North station in Queens because it is too costly to build an elevated station for a low ridership.

“If I see something that isn’t being done right, I want to see it done right for people,” Fadil said. “That’s why I do what I do.”

Fadil said he now hopes to get support from local elected officials and leaders to help make his ideas a reality.

To check out the petition, click here.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Halloween events in Queens


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Here’s your guide to all the Halloween happenings in Queens this October.

Pumpkin Patch
Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Glen Oaks
Thru October 28
Saturdays & Sundays
11:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Haunted House at the Poppenhusen

The Poppenhusen Institute
114-04 14th Road College Point
Friday, October 26-Saturday, October 27
Wednesday, October 31
5:00-6:00 p.m. (ages 6-8), 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. (ages 8 and up)

Halloween Haunted House

Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Glen Oaks
Friday, October 26 – Sunday, October 28
4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

Children’s Fall Festival
Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Glen Oaks
Sunday, October 28
11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Dead or Alive
New York Hall of Science
47-01 111 Street, Corona
Friday, October 26 – Sunday, October 28

Thriller at the Battery
Fort Totten Park
Cross Island Parkway between Totten Avenue and 15 Road
Friday, October 26
6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Boo at the Zoo
Queens Zoo
53-51 111th Street, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Saturday, October 27-Sunday, October 28
11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Halloween Walking Tour
Hell Gate Bridge, Astoria Park (on Shore Boulevard)
Saturday, October 27
11 a.m.

Rockaway Canine Festival
Rockaway Freeway Dog Park
Beach Channel Drive at Beach 84 Street, Rockaway Beach
Saturday, October 27
11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Family Halloweenfest
Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning
161-04 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica
Saturday, October 27
11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Trick or Treat!
Louis Armstrong House Museum
34-56 107 Street, Corona
Saturday, October 27
1 p.m.-4 p.m.

3rd Annual Halloween Costume Party
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing
Saturday, October 27
8 p.m.

Bayside Village Halloween Family Festival

Bell Boulevard

between Northern Boulevard and 35th Avenue

Saturday, October 27

Noon-5 p.m.

Halloween-Remixed

Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing
Sunday, October 28
12:00 p.m.

Halloween on Ice
City Ice Pavilion
47-32 32 Place, Long Island City
Sunday, October 28
12:00 pm.-3:50 p.m.

CenterStage Halloween Concert
Sky View Center
40-24 College Point Boulevard, Flushing
Sunday, October 28
3:30 p.m.

Haunted Halloween Hike
Alley Pond Environmental Center
228-06 Northern Boulevard, Douglaston
Monday, October 29
4:30 p.m. (ages 5-7), 6:30 p.m. (ages 8-12)

Shocktoberfest
Playground For All Children
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Tuesday, October 30
4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Queens Zoo Trick & Treating and Halloween Festivities
Queens Zoo
53-51 111th Street, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Wednesday, October 31
3:00–5:00 p.m.

Jackson Heights Halloween Parade
Line up near P.S. 222  (87th Street and 37th Avenue)
Wednesday, October 31
5 p.m.

Halloween Party! Devil Science Theater 3K
Laughing Devil Comedy Club
47-38 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City
Wednesday, October 31
8 p.m.

 

 

A history of Astoria Park


| info@astorialic.org

162-115-BarclayMansion2w

A good historian develops a keen sense of a time and lives in a world of four, rather than three, dimensions. It is something special. They can sense in any location not only the present, but many states of people and places long lost.

For example, just north of the Hell Gate Bridge is a small glade just off Shore Road. It’s an inviting pool of sunlight surrounded by a parameter of trees. People lull about, working on their tans.

It was once the home of the Barclays.

They were an old name of Scottish stock, and first made their way into the annals of history as traders along the Baltic and Scandinavian coasts. One became a Russian prince who was the architect behind Napoleon’s defeat in Russia; another became a partner of Barclay’s Bank, a major player in today’s financial markets. Closer to home, another Barclay, a Quaker, was close friends with William Penn and George Fox. For nearly a decade he was able to govern most of New Jersey from his home in England — 3,000 miles away — no small feat for the 17th century.

Our story starts with Reverend Thomas Barclay who, as the first Anglican rector of Albany, spread the Church of England faith to English, Dutch and Mohawk alike.

One son, John Barclay, became a mayor of Albany. Another, Reverend Henry Barclay, followed in his father’s footsteps and became the second Rector of Trinity Church in Manhattan (yes, he is the person for whom Barclay Street is named). Reverend Barclay was also one of the founders of Columbia University.

Reverend Barclay’s son, Major Thomas Barclay, was a member of New York’s social elite. He owned a mansion near Hell Gate. During the American Revolution he organized a loyalist militia. It was there he died. In the early years the family recalled that one of the last of the Wards of Ward’s Island used to pay a visit after crossing the Hell Gate on horseback.

One of Henry’s sons, also named Henry, took over the house upon his father’s death in 1863. Henry was known, in the parlance of the time, as a “sportsman.” On his 21st birthday, he joined the Union Club. He was a charter member of the Metropolitan Club and one of the founders of the Lambs Club. He was a member of the Lenox, Southhampton, and Meadowbrook Country Clubs.

Henry Barclay bred both dogs and horses and was responsible for the development of the American trotting horse. His stables in Woodside once held 120 foals. He owned an estate in Lenox, Massachusetts where he bred horses, and at the time of his death, was planning a larger breeding farm in New Jersey. His heart gave out after taking his team out for an exercise in Manhattan. He died the next afternoon — in yet another home on Washington Square north.

Although his obituary still listed Astoria, Long Island, among the Barclay residences, the family had drifted away from the manse years before. His daughters held their coming out parties at family residences in Manhattan and they spent long summers playing at the Long Island summer resorts.

Therefore, no one was surprised that when Henry passed away in 1905, his youngest daughter, Clara, as executrix of the estate, offered the old house for sale to the Rickert-Finley Realty Corporation. The parcel was simply described as 125 lots. A few months later the city announced the land would be part of a new Astoria Park.