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Flushing Meadows Corona Park Administrator Janice Melnick joined Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst), Deputy Borough President Barry Grodenchik, representatives of Community Boards 4, 6 and 8, New York Carousel Entertainment, students from PS 16 and local residents to open the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Carousel for the season and celebrate the new Fantasy Forest Amusement area.
The majestic Flushing Meadows Carousel was created by the merger of two carousels, the 1903 Feltman Carousel and 1908 Stubbman Carousel. Both were originally located in Coney Island and arrived in Flushing Meadows Corona Park for the 1964 World’s Fair.
We now live in an impatient world that cries for immediate results and doesn’t acknowledge the bigger picture. An example of this mindset appeared in your Letters section last week when a resident of Woodhaven unloaded a list of complaints about the newly reopened Carousel at Forest Park (“Carousel of complaints,” May 31).
One complaint involved the lack of a large sign on Woodhaven Boulevard. For over a century, our carousel has operated in Forest Park without the benefit of a gaudy sign. With all the gates finally rolled up, there is simply no better advertisement to passersby than the lights and sounds of an active carousel.
Another pair of complaints involved a not-yet-opened concession stand and table and chairs that haven’t arrived yet. At our most recent Woodhaven Town Hall meeting, NY Carousel Entertainment explained that what we are seeing now is a work in progress, and that each of these items will be taken
care of in short order. They have been quite communicative on this point and the media has reported this on multiple occasions. The alternative was to wait until everything was completed before letting the kids on the ride. If they had done that, you can be sure that someone would complain that they should just let the kids on the ride and worry about the finishing touches later.
In other words, you can’t please everyone.
The folks at NY Carousel have done a remarkable job considering how little time they had to get everything up and running for the holiday weekend. Keep in mind that the deal was struck a month ago (May 7). The fact that it was open at all was a small miracle. And after nearly four years of silent inactivity, the sight of “40 or 50 men, women and children” at our carousel — even hungry ones — was very welcome.
Looking at the big picture, we welcome NY Carousel to our long and continuing relationship with the Forest Park Carousel. We’re very happy with the progress they have made so far, particularly the removal of the “prison-style” bars, which kept anyone watching the carousel distant and apart from the action. In its place are waist-high gates that give you an unimpeded view at least 8 to 10 feet closer than before. This modification is also a nod to our history, as it recreates the viewing available at the original carousel. This kind of thinking has made us quite comfortable with the prospect of NY Carousel being the caretaker over the years ahead — and, we hope, for many more successful years beyond.
We welcome everyone who wishes to be better-informed of what’s going on in Woodhaven to become part of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association. We can be reached at (718) 296-3735 or via email at email@example.com.
On Memorial Day weekend, the historic Forest Park Carousel spun for the first time since 2009, a great day for Queens — and especially for its children. Much of this was thanks to the hard work of the concessionaire, NY Carousel Entertainment, who spent weeks before the opening on painting, cleaning and restoring the carousel.
While the carousel is up and running, we’ve been working behind the scenes making improvements. Picnic tables and benches have been added, and a small food cart will be in place until renovations to the concession stand are completed. We are open weekends through June 27th and then daily from 11 a.m. until sunset, weather permitting. After Labor Day the carousel will be open on weekends through November. There are free children’s shows at 2 and 4 p.m., with more activities for children to come over the summer months.
I appreciate your patience while the kinks are being worked out, and encourage you to visit this local treasure and support it for the future. The Forest Park carousel is back, and it’s only going to get better.
NY Carousel Entertainment would like to thank everyone in the communities surrounding Forest Park, Flushing Meadows Park and all of our guests for the tremendous support and turnout over our first two weekends of operations. We are truly grateful for the opportunity to operate the historic and beautiful carousels at Forest Park and Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
The writer grew up in Woodhaven and now lives in Middle Village.
by Anna Gustafson
Children, and those young at heart, were happy to spend much of Memorial Day weekend at the newly opened Forest Park carousel.
The ride, which opened to the public last week after being shuttered in 2008, includes two handcarved chariots, a lion, a tiger, a deer and 49 horses, done by master wood-carver Daniel Carl Muller.
Everyone from small babies to residents who have lived in Woodhaven for many decades — and can recall taking a spin on a merry-go-round in Forest Park years ago — came out to the site over the weekend. NY Carousel Entertainment, which operates the ride, brought a clown to entertain children after they tired of taking spins on the historic merry-go-round.
Many of those who went to see the carousel last weekend said they were thrilled to see the community mainstay open once again.
Many issues were addressed at last Wednesday’s Woodhaven Block Association meeting, including the reopening of the Forest Park carousel, area sanitation issues on Jamaica and Atlantic Avenues, and the installation of speed humps on a few Woodhaven streets.
The first order of business was discussion concerned the reopening of the Forest Park carousel, which many Woodhaven residents fought to reopen. The carousel’s vendor, NY Carousel Entertainment, sent Ara Chekmayan, a representative, to the meeting. Chekmayan, who grew up in Woodhaven, said he was very excited to be a part of the project.
The reopening of the Forest Park carousel last Thursday was a joyous moment for people of all ages, who flocked from throughout the borough to take a spin on the merry-go-round that has been a mainstay in Woodhaven for decades.
The 109-year-old carousel, which was brought to Forest Park in the 1970s to replace another one that had burned down, was shuttered in 2008. After a series of petitions and campaigning from block associations, civic groups, residents and elected officials, the carousel’s doors have once again been flung open.
The Forest Park Carousel, a long-time staple in the Woodhaven community, has reopened thanks to the efforts of area residents and government officials. The carousel, which was officially closed in 2008, will now be operated by NY Carousel Entertainment and will be open on weekends until the beginning of July, when it will be open seven days a week through Labor Day.
George Farrington has lived his entire 81 years in College Point and wouldn’t have it any other way. “You couldn’t get me out of here with a team of horses,” he said.
There are so many places and things to do in Queens that it’s hard to single out those not mentioned elsewhere in this edition. But the Queens Chronicle editors have come up with a few choices to add to your list. These places also help to define Queens and make it the special place that it is.