Tag Archives: The Greater Astoria Historical Society

Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Monday: Partly cloudy. Fog early. High of 59. Winds from the NW at 5 to 10 mph. Monday night: Clear in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 48. Winds less than 5 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: Greater Astoria Historical Society Christmas Party

Widely regarded as one of the greatest storytellers of all time, Charles Dickens left an indelible mark on how we celebrate the holidays. Tonight the Greater Astoria Historical Society will mark the 200th anniversary of the writer’s birth and have its annual holiday party with music, fun and special raffles. Free. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Up to St. John’s University to continue case against estate of suicide dean, Cecilia Chang

The Queens district attorney will abandon his effort to get back the $1 million the late St. John’s University dean Cecilia Chang embezzled from the school — leaving the university to decide whether to continue the case against the estate of the suicide dean. Read more: New York Daily News

Cuomo to make $42B storm aid pitch to Congress

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be in the nation’s capital to meet with members of Congress as he seeks billions of dollars in federal aid to help New York recover from Superstorm Sandy. Read more: Fox 5 New York

Work week begins with higher tolls on bridges and tunnels

The countdown was on Sunday night to the first morning rush since a new toll hike went into effect for bridges and tunnels run by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Read more: CBS New York

Development will damage Flushing Meadows’ role as marshy buffer against storm surge and coastal flooding

The borough of Queens was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Breezy Point, the Rockaways and other neighborhoods were completely devastated and may never be the same. We’d be foolish to think that Sandy was a once-in-a-lifetime storm. Instead, Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Irene are what we can expect more often in our future with climate change a clear and present danger. Read more: New York Daily New

Pig faces ‘big bad’ co-op

Say it oink so! Residents of a Queens co-op say the pet pig rooting around their courtyard isn’t kosher — and are determined to get the city to evict the unwelcome ungulate from the complex. Read more: New York Post

Some schools in New York, Connecticut to lengthen class time

New York and Connecticut are among five states set to announce Monday that they will add at least 300 hours of learning time to the calendar in some schools beginning next year. Read more: CBS New York

 No ‘fiscal cliff’ deal without higher rates, Geithner say

The Obama administration will entertain any Republican plans to avoid a so-called “fiscal cliff” at year’s end, but Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says the Bush-era tax cuts for top incomes must go. Read more: CNN




A history of Astoria Park

| info@astorialic.org


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.

Courier Happenings

| aaltman@queenscourier.com



 ‘Jim Henson’s Fantastic World’

Photo courtesey of Sam Suddaby / Museum of the Moving Image

Ongoing from now through March 4

The Museum of the Moving Image, located at 36-01 35 Avenue in Astoria, has extended the exhibit “Jim Henson’s Fantastic World,” Take a look inside the world of the famed puppeteer, filmmaker and TV innovator with more than 120 pieces of work from his career. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday 10:30a.m.to 5p.m., Friday to 8p.m. and weekends to 7p.m. Admission is $12 for adults, $9 for students and seniors and $6 for children under 18.


One-woman show

Photo courtesy of York College Performing Arts Center

At 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., York College Performing Arts Center, located at 94-45 Guy R. Brewer Boulevard in Jamaica, presents ZORA returns to Harlem. This one-woman show tells the story of Zora Neale Hurston who in 1925 moved to Harlem and became the first black woman to study at Barnard College and attend Columbia University. She was a writer and a pioneer of the Harlem Renaissance literary movement before earning a Guggenheim Fellowship Award to study in Haiti, Jamaica and the Gulf Coast. Ultimately, Zora became one of the world’s greatest literary figures. Admission is $20 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.


Saturday, February 11

At 1:00 p.m., The Greater Astoria Historical Society, located at 35-20 Broadway, 4th Floor, Long Island City, presents a reading and discussion about documents in American history. This series explores the foundation documents of our government and teaches attendees what these documents mean to us as modern day Americans. This month, they will discuss the historical background to Franklin Roosevelt‘s Four Freedoms and its relationship to the New Deal. This is a free event.


At 2 and 8 p.m. Andes Manta

Listen to the vibrant and exotic sounds of the pan pipe, Andean flute and quena as the Andes Manta performs traditional Andean music. The cultural collective will play over 35 native instruments at the Queens Theatre as part of its Latino Cultural Series. Tickets are $35.


At 8 p.m. Pilgrims Musa & Sheri in the New World. Hear the hilarious tale of an Egyptian cab driver’s love plight with an American waitress. This fresh and original comedy is part of the Queens Theatre’s Free Reading Series. Reservations are required and there is a $10 donation suggested.


Sunday, February 12

At 1 p.m., Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard, will present a festival of herbal tonic soup with Dr. Hsing Lih Chou. Dr. Chou leads a panel of traditional healers from the Chinese and Korean communities to discuss and demonstrate the traditional remedy that he uses to purify the body and provide a tasting sample of each herbal tonic soup. For more information, call 718-463-7700 ext. 222.


At 1 p.m., Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard, will present a fun, challenging class to introduce children and adults to various dance styles such as B-Boying/B-Girling, hip-hop, modern, jazz, African, and more for basic movements and techniques, and develop the movements into combinations. For more information, call 718-463-7700 ext. 222.


At 2:15 p.m., Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard, will present Illstyle & Peace Productions (I&PP), which will perform contemporary and old school hip-hop with an eclectic mix of dance and performance disciplines including tap, ballet, Djing and beatboxing. I&PP has toured to critical acclaim both nationally and internationally and is committed to delivering a positive message to audiences young and old. For more information, call 718-463-7700 ext. 222.



Friday, February 17

At 7:30 p.m., Colden Center, located at 65-30 Kissena Boulevard, will present four concerts by the talented young musicians from the Queens College Orchestra, under the musical direction of Maestro and QC Professor Maurice Peress. The repertoire will feature soloists from the orchestra and singers from the Aaron Copland School of Music’s vocal divisions. For more information, call 718-793-8080.


At 7 p.m., York College Performing Arts Center, located at 94-45 Guy R. Brewer Boulevard in Jamaica, presents the Avalon String Quartet, one of the country’s leading Chamber ensembles. Formed in 1995 at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Quartet gained fame after participating in The Isaac Stern Chamber Music Workshop at Carnegie Hall. In 1997, the Avalon String Quartet performed at The Chamber Music Encounters in Jerusalem. This event has a suggested donation of $10. For more information, please call 718-262-3750.


Friday, February 17 and Saturday, February 18

At 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 2 and 8 p.m. on Saturday, Broadway Rox! Fans of Broadway will rejoice at this Queens Theatre musical event which combines hits from beloved shows, including “Wicked,” “Jersey Boys,” “Rent,” “Mamma Mia” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Tickets are $35.


Saturday, February 18

At 1:00 p.m., The Greater Astoria Historical Society, located at 35-20 Broadway, 4th Floor, Long Island City, presents a history roundtable and screening of a documentary called “A Question of Habit.” This film takes a look at the representation of nuns in popular culture, more particularly their form of dress. A question and answer period will follow the screening. This event is free to GAHS members and $5 for non-members.


At 2 p.m., Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard, presents their composer-in-residence Demetrius Spaneas, an award-winning musician trained in classical, jazz and traditional styles. He has previously toured throughout the United States, Eastern Europe and Asia.


At 8 p.m., Colden Center, located at 65-30 Kissena Boulevard, will present Bebe & Cece Winans. R&B Gospel icons, both as a duo and as solo artists, Bebe & Cece Winans, who were recently awarded their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, will be making their only scheduled performance together in 2012 at the Colden Center. For more information, call 718-793-8080.


At 8 p.m., Queensborough Perfoming Arts Center at Queensborough Community College, located at 222-05 56th Avenue, will present Las Vegas Motown tribute concert. The concert returns to QPAC, featuring the music of The Temptations, The Supremes and The Four Tops — three of the most successful American vocal groups that helped define the Motown sound. For more information, call 718-631-6311.


Sunday, February 19

At 2 p.m., Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard, lets the Korean Traditional Music and Dance Institute of New York introduce you to a variety of traditional dance styles and drum rhythms. Admission to this event is $5 for non members and free for members.


Monday, February 20

At 1:00 p.m., The Greater Astoria Historical Society, located at 35-20 Broadway, 4th Floor, Long Island City, presents a screening of “National Treasure” for their President’s Day Family Event. This family-friendly feature film depicts a hunt for treasure left by the Founding Fathers after the Revolutionary War. Popcorn and hot chocolate will be served to attendees. This is a free event.


Thursday, February 23 through Sunday, March 4

Wednesday through Friday at 7:30p.m. and Saturdays at 8p.m., Queens Theatre, located at 14 United Nations Avenue South in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, presents the life of extraordinary superstar Ella Fitzgerald. Listen to the music of the “First Lady of Song,” and her experiences performing with Louis Armstrong. Tickets are $42.


Saturday, February 25

At 2 p.m., Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard, presents their composer-in-residence, Paul Yeon Lee, as he performs his new piece called “Scattered Wind.” The concert will feature performances of the traditional Korean transverse flute daegeum, western instrument flute and piano. This performance is free to the public.


Friday, March 2

At 8p.m., Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard, presents Daniel Bernard Roumain and The Mission, artists known for fusing classical music with a variety of sounds. They will be performing a piece called Civil Rights Reader, a musical story of figures from the civil rights movement. Tickets are $25 for non-members, $20 for members and $10 for students.


Friday, March 9

At 8p.m. Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard, is hosting The Queens College Orchestra. Lead by music director Maurice Peress, the classical music group will feature solos from violinist Alicia Bisha as well as music by Beethoven, Mozart and Wagner. This event has a suggested donation of $20 for non members and $10 for members.


Friday, March 9 through Sunday, April 29

Flushing Town Hall

, located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard, invites you to experience nomadic life in Turkey through a display of handmade carpets and textiles from this exotic region. Beautifully crafted pieces of functional art will be on display, including two recreated dwellings. The textiles will also be joined by ancient ceramics, glassware and metal objects. Suggested admission for this event is $5.


Saturday, March 10

At 2:15p.m. Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard, invites you to enjoy Goldilocks and the Three Bears, a bilingual show presented in both English and Spanish. This family-friendly performance features the award-winning SEA Teatro, a group that has performed in New York, Florida and Puerto Rico for over 25 years. Tickets are $12 for non members and $10 for members, $8 for non member children and $6 for member children.


Wednesday, March 21 through Monday, March 26

The Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum located at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale, invites you to experience the magic of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. This once in a lifetime event, called DRAGONS, celebrates the Year of the Dragon through astonishing feats and acts of bravery. Tickets range from $20 to $150. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.Ringling.com or www.ticketmaster.com.


Friday, March 23

7 p.m., York College Performing Arts Center, located at 94-45 Guy R. Brewer Boulevard in Jamaica, presents James Spaulding, a jazz saxophonist and flutist who has established himself as a masterful soloist for ensemble performances. Originally from the Indianapolis, Indiana area, Spaulding is a modernist with solid roots in classical jazz. This performance has a suggested donation of $10.


Saturday, March 31

At 2p.m. and 8p.m., the Queens Theatre, located at 14 United Nations Avenue South in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park invites you to take a musical trip to South America with Tlen-Huicani, masters of the art of traditional folk music. This event is part of the Queens Theatre’s Latino Cultural Series. Tickets for this show are $35.