Tag Archives: Juniper Park

Film to feature Middle Village


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photos courtesy David Lee Madison

Middle Village native and acclaimed filmmaker David Lee Madison is returning to his roots to shoot his next film named for the neighborhood where he grew up.

Madison currently lives in Milford, Pennsylvania, but he spent the first 27 years of his life in Middle Village. He attended St. Margaret’s School, P.S. 49 and I.S. 119, and is a graduate of Queens College.

Over the years, he has seen his hometown transition and change, giving him an insider’s perspective of the area, both past and present.

“We plan on showcasing the most important aspect of Middle Village, its residents,” Madison said of the film. “We will also bring the viewer back to some great nostalgic places of the past. We hope to make a film that is informative, smart, nostalgic and funny.”

Growing up in Middle Village left a long-lasting impression on Madison, and he intends on sharing what he loves about his hometown in this film, which he described as having “elements of a documentary film with a staged narrative to set some of our talking points.”

“Middle Village had such a positive impact on the person I grew up to be,” he said. “The place was so unique to any other place I have been, I feel this story should be told. My favorite memories of growing up in Middle Village are playing ball at the schoolyard, riding my bike in the park and hanging out with my wonderful group of friends.”

“I don’t think that many people realize that Middle Village, which is just a handful of miles away from the biggest city in the world, was and still is just a small town,” Madison continued. “Much like you would find in the middle of America.”

Madison and his crew have already begun filming scenes for the movie, visiting staples of the Middle Village community such as London Lennie’s restaurant on Woodhaven Boulevard, Juniper Valley Park, Middle Village Playground and areas of Metropolitan Avenue.

“We plan on filming at several other locations throughout Middle Village over the next two months,” Madison said.

Filmmaking has been a major part of Madison’s life since his early childhood.

“I developed a love for film as a very young kid,” Madison said. “When I was about 8 years old I remember seeing “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the first time. It had such a visceral impact on me, I knew right away I wanted to be a filmmaker.”

This love of filmmaking led Madison to create some great horror films, including his last film, “Mr. Hush,” a throwback to classic slasher films. This movie about Middle Village will be a drastic change from Madison’s usual work.

“As a filmmaker, you like to explore different things,” he explained. “I have a great passion for my old neighborhood, and feel we can tell a story that will connect to people throughout the country. My last film, ‘Mr. Hush,’ had become a bit of a cult classic in the horror genre; it was even placed in The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Margaret Herrick Library to be preserved forever. I just wanted to take a step back from my beloved genre for a moment.”

With no set release date yet for “Middle Village,” Madison expects the film to come out right before Christmas.

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Middle Village man has contentious plan to fix community parking issues


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

One Middle Village resident is proposing a divisive plan to relieve parking problems in the community.

Matthew Crafa will meet with Community Board 5’s Transportation Committee to present his idea, which involves changing the parking signs around the perimeter of Juniper Valley Park to open up new overnight spots.

Parking is not allowed around most of the perimeter of the park from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. except for a tiny stretch on 71st Street. To avoid receiving tickets, residents in the neighborhood do not park their cars there overnight, leading to a scramble to find parking, Crafa said.

“We don’t live in Manhattan,” said Crafa, who moved into the neighborhood about a year ago. “There’s plenty of parking here. This is nonsense.”

Crafa and his neighbors on 75th Place have recently paved over the grassy areas in front of their homes to create extra parking spots.

Crafa said people constantly block his driveway and the fire hydrant on his street because of the limited parking.

Crafa believes that vehicle usage has increased in the area over time, due in part to the lack of public transportation in the community, which has no subway line. Opening up the parking around the nearly 56-acre park would alleviate the issue for residents in the area by instantly creating hundreds of parking spaces, he said.

However, Crafa’s plan has already met some opposition.

“We’re willing to look at ideas, but it was something that was done because kids were getting out there anytime of the night,” Juniper Park Civic Association President Bob Holden said. “This was an idea from the 104th Precinct, that the only way we could have any effect on anybody who hangs out over there would be with parking restrictions.”

Photo courtesy Bob Holden

Holden said the restrictions were enacted in the late 1980s to prevent youngsters from gathering with dozens of cars at the park after closing to drink and play loud music.

He believes that opening up overnight parking around Juniper again will encourage people to congregate at late hours.

Photo courtesy Bob Holden 

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City holds Snow Day at Juniper Park


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Mike DiBartolomeo

When there is heavy snowfall the New York City Parks Department sometimes throws a special “Snow Day” in parks across the city with organized activities, such as supervised safe sledding, snowman building contests, best snow angel contests, friendly snowball fights, music and complimentary hot chocolate.

After the blizzard that hit on Friday, February 8, known as Nemo, there was a “Snow Day” at a park in each borough, including Juniper Park in Queens, on Saturday afternoon.

Click here to see photos from the Juniper Park Snow Day.