School’s out and, as usual, many of the kids are bored — and even some of the adults too. Deciding what to do and where to go this Summer becomes a lot more difficult and stressful when you take into consideration that our economy is pretty bad and gasoline prices went through the roof again at over $4 per gallon last weekend. So it’s pretty much a no-brainer that if you can find some great things to do that are closer to home, you can save a lot of gas and money. And, as it turns out, you can do just that if you come to Glendale and Ridgewood this summer.
Despite their being located in the southwestern corner of Queens, both easily accessible via the Jackie Robinson Parkway via numerous routes from just about anywhere in the borough.
Glendale and Ridgewood are very tightly knit communities that, once established, were largely inhabited by German and Italian immigrants — first German farmers and then German and Italian factory workers who came here more than 120 years ago seeking religious freedom and financial opportunities. Today, they are two lively neighborhoods bustling with middle-class families with strong community pride who hail from all over the world.
Both neighborhoods boast numerous influential community organizations who work hard to ensure that the two neighborhoods stay clean, safe and secure. One of these groups, the Glendale Civilian Observation Patrol is a group of volunteers who patrol the neighborhood daily to act as the eyes and ears of the police department. They are always looking for new volunteers. If you are civic-minded and are interested in volunteering, call their new president Frank Kotnick at (718) 810-0010 or visit their website at g-cop.org for more information.
The Myrtle Avenue BID is an organization comprised of numerous small businesses who have banded together to create and maintain a thriving and exciting shopping and dining Mecca. On Myrtle Avenue from Fresh Pond Road to the Brooklyn border, you can find ethnic restaurants and great bargains on just about anything you want to buy. The BID’S fabulous Summer Sidewalk Sale will take place from August 4 to the 7 on Myrtle Avenue from Seneca to Wyckoff Avenues and on adjacent side streets — don’t miss it to get plenty of great bargains!
And while you are on Myrtle Avenue, stop by and pick up some of the freshest, straight-off-the-farm produce at the BID’s outdoor Youth Farmer’s Market at Memorial Triangle on the corner of Cypress and Myrtle Avenues. The market is open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. but get there early for the best selection of the finest and freshest local produce, flowers, herbs, potted plants and home made edibles from the best local farms. For more information about the BID or any of their events call (718) 366-3806 or (718) 381-7974.
The Glendale Kiwanis Club is another dedicated and powerful community organization that funds numerous important community projects and fun events including street festivals, picnics, parties and parades. The backbone of the Glendale Community, they meet every Thursday at 12:30 pm at Zum Stammtisch Restaurant at 69-49 Myrtle Ave. in Glendale and have been serving the community for over 50 years. New members are always welcomed. Stop on by on Thursday for lunch and inquire about membership in this amazing club or call Debbie Keuber at (718) 628-0100.
On Sunday, Aug. 7, break out your walking shoes and strollers and head back on over to Myrtle Avenue between Fresh Pond Road and Forest Avenue for the Glendale Kiwanis’ always fantastic Summer Street Festival starting at 10 a.m.
There will be exciting rides, fabulous games, delicious food, unique vendors and entertainment will be sure to delight your entire family. For more information, contact Mike at (718) 444-6028.
On Monday, Aug. 8 starting at 5 p.m., the club will host the Annual Night Out Against Crime in cooperation with the NYPD’s 104th Precinct at Mafera Park in Ridgewood. The park is located just east of Fresh Pond Road near the intersection of Shaler Avenue and 65th Street. This event is a wonderful celebration of community pride and solidarity and features free food, entertainment and more.
Bring the whole family, your friends and neighbors for fun, games and excitement.
Enjoy some great summer evening entertainment with some free fabulous concerts being offered by Maspeth Federal Savings Bank and Ridgewood Savings Bank.
On Tuesday, Aug. 9, dust off your cowboy hat, grab a beach chair and head on over to Ridgewood Savings Bank's parking lot at 71-02 Forest Ave. at 7:30 p.m. for a hootenanny hoe-down good time with some great country and western hits by Six Gun.
Then on Wednesday, Aug. 10 at 7:30 p.m., bring your beach chair to the Maspeth Federal parking lot at 69th Street and Grand Avenue in Maspeth and groove to the memory invoking sounds of “Oh What A Night,” a Four Seasons tribute band.
On Tuesday, Aug. 23, get ready to polka dance with the Polish band the GB’s at Ridgewood Savings and then again on Wednesday, Aug. 24 enjoy Jimmy Sturr and the Pollonaise Dancers at Maspeth Federal.
Then, when you are tuckered out from all that foot stomping and tapping, relax with the easy and sentimental big band sound of the war years, the ’40s, on Tuesday, Aug. 30 at Ridgewood Savings Bank with the Something Special Band.
Just when you think the summer is over, you can still get in some shopping at the Myrtle Avenue BID’s Labor Day Sidewalk Sale from Sept. 2 to Sept. 5. You’ll find everything your kids need and want for the new school year without breaking the bank.
On Friday, Sept. 9, the historic, quaint and beautiful Van Der Ende Onderdonk House, a Greater Ridgewood Historical Society site, will once again host its Annual Harvest Festival. Located at 1820 Flushing Ave., it is the oldest stone farmhouse in New York City and dates back to the mid 1600s.
The Harvest Festival is an all-day handicap- accessible family festival with face-painting, entertainment, rides, crafts and more. Don’t miss it for a quality educational and fun time with the kids. And don’t forget to bring grandma and grandpa to join in the fun.
Docents will be on hand to host tours of this historic gem and its interesting exhibits — a great opportunity to teach a little history to your children and have some fun at the same time. Admission is only $3 per adult and children are free.
Visit their website at onderdonk house.org or call the Greater Ridgewood Historical Society at (718) 456-1776 for more events and information.
Then on Saturday, Sept. 10, the Glendale Kiwanis Club will once again, host its super popular Glendale Community Day at The Shops at Atlas Park.
This is an all day fun family festival — a feast for the eyes, ears and palate. Bring along a blanket and beach umbrella and plan to spend the whole day listening to the live entertainment and enjoying the fabulous goodies and freebies from the varied vendors while the kids enjoy the many rides and games. Be sure to stay all day to claim one of the fabulous raffle prizes you may have won.
We all know that real life is not always just about fun and games and with that thought in mind, you may want to show your respect for the victims of Sept. 11 by attending the Glendale/Ridgewood Community 9/11 10th Anniversary Memorial Service. This event will take place a 10:30 a.m. at the 9/11 Memorial Monument near the front of the Dry Harbor Playground located at the corner of Myrtle Ave. and 81st St. All are welcome to attend to show support for the victims, their families and our great country in our fight against terrorism.
On Sunday, Sep. 18, head back on over to Myrtle Avenue from Decatur to Madison Streets and get in your last licks of summer fun before the cold weather sets in at the Myrtle Avenue BID’s last street festival of the year from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Be sure to sample some of the great ethnic restaurants you’ll pass and bring your holiday gift list to do a little early holiday shopping. After all, why wait for the holiday rush when you can get such great bargains now?
In late October, watch for the Kiwanis Halloween Parade — always a blast with outrageous costumes and crazy antics plus treats for the kids. Create and wear your wildest costumes to vie for fabulous prizes and your picture in the Queens Chronicle if you are wearing one of the best ones. Definitely don’t forget to bring your camera!
And if you are a history buff with a little bit of interest in the macabre who is looking for a unique experience, you might consider making a visit to one of the historic cemeteries that surround Glendale and Ridgewood. Many of them, including Cypress Hills Cemetery and Mount Lebanon Cemetery, have many notable and famous people buried there as well as historic and beautiful monuments. Some even offer guided tours of their grounds.
If this idea sounds too creepy for you on Halloween, you can always come back in the spring. Have a fun, safe and happy summer!