A sudden gust of wind blows through Juniper Valley Park as the orange and purple sunset gives way to wispy cirrus clouds illuminated by two familiar beams of light in the distance last Thursday night.
Maspeth resident Janet Ricciardo smiles and nods, as if to acknowledge a friend’s whisper in her ear.
When Queens residents Patricia Workman, Joe Ramondino, Christian Foggy and John Licato awoke from their slumbers 13 years ago today, little did they know that war would be waged against their city and their country that sunny late-summer morning.
For these four responders and thousands more just like them throughout the New York area, a different kind of war has raged on internally in the years since the attacks of Sept. 11.
Memories of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center 13 years ago still run deep in Queens. The borough lost an estimated 283 people and they will not be forgotten.
Events in Queens to commemorate the anniversary will begin on Sunday and run through Saturday, Sept. 13.
If Howard Beach had its own Facebook page, it would perhaps not come as a surprise if its relationship status were “It’s complicated.”
In it’s relatively short, turbulent history, the neighborhood has experienced some of the worst of nature’s elements — and has also been forced to contend with some of man’s own nuisances.
As a retired architect whose firm, Davis Brody Bond, was the lead designer of the National September 11 Memorial Museum, Steve Fisher of Middle Village was invited to tour the underground place of remembrance earlier this week, prior to its opening to the general public on Wednesday.
“While I was an eyewitness to the destruction of the towers over a dozen years ago from the windows of our office building about a mile to the north, it felt like no time has passed since that terrible day,” Fisher, a Queens Chronicle contributing photographer, told the paper in an email. “And while I had had a chance to stand at the bottom, at ground zero, in 2006, when I stood in temporarily for one of DBB’s other project managers, I was still not prepared for today. And while I had seen models of the proposed museum in DBB’s office for many of the years during the design process, the enormity of the museum space still overwhelmed me today.”
Patrolman John Kennedy of the 100th Precinct was killed in 1922, struck by a train while pursuing Prohibition era bootleggers.
Inspector Thomas Boylan died in 1952, hit by debris from a plane that crashed after missing the runway at Idlewild Airport.
People for the Pavilion, the preservation group aiming to save the icons of the 1964-1965 World’s Fair, announced on Sunday that Christian Doran, one of its founding members, passed away on Saturday night.
He was only 28 years old.
The following is a transcript of Mayor de Blasio's State of the City Address, as prepared, sent to the media before the speech was delivered.
If it has wheels, it made headlines.
Issues involving bicycles, illegal motor scooters, out-of-control SUVs, striking school bus drivers and pungent trash trains all made their way onto the Chronicle’s pages in 2013.
In a city the size of New York, politics and crime are often the biggest newsmakers, as was the case in 2013.
There was no shortage of political headlines this past year, an election year at that. Queens elected a new borough president while Forest Hills and Rego Park opted to bring back Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) for another term. Area politicians made their collective voices heard throughout the year, filling the Chronicle’s pages for months.
The ongoing recovery from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy dominated life in South Queens for most of 2013 and was a factor in many other big stories, from the future of the abandoned Rockaway Beach LIRR line to the election battle between Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) and his Democratic opponent Lew Simon.
But South Queens also dealt with a wide array of other issues in 2013, from crime at Forest Park to internal strife on Community Board 9.
In the last 50 years, few days have had more historical relevance than September 11, 2001. On that clear late-summer Tuesday, when terrorists flew hijacked airliners into New York City’s tallest buildings, nearly 3,000 died just a few miles from Queens. More than 200 of them were residents of the borough.
Among them was a firefighter and lifelong Long Island City resident who had only been in the FDNY for two months.
St. Michael’s Cemetery in East Elmhurst, together with the Christopher Santora Scholarship Fund, held their second annual “Remember Me Run” last Saturday to help raise money for the children of those who died on Sept. 11, 2001 and subsequently, due to working on the remains at the World Trade Center.
There was a memorial service following the run in the All Souls Chapel. The “Remember Me Run” brought together elected leaders, FDNY and NYPD officials as well as families of lost loved ones.
Residents, civic leaders and elected officials are coming together in an effort to have the Maspeth firehouse landmarked by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
“[The firehouse] takes a very special place in our recent history,” the LPC application, filled out by Steve Fisher said. “This fire station was among the first responders to the 9/11 attacks and 19 firefighters, more than any other station, lost their lives in their attempts to save others there. This house of heroes deserves designation as a NYC landmark.”
One day, while biking to work, Jessica Findley noticed her jacket flapping in the wind. She was working on a project with inflatables at New York University at the time and conceived the idea of a group of bikers wearing inflatable costumes. She mentioned her idea to a friend, but soon forgot all about it.
Following the September 11th attacks when Findley was “not in a good place,” her friend called and encouraged her to pursue the idea.
Anthony Pisciotta volunteers at Bayside Cemetery in Ozone Park, repairing the walkways, sealing up mausoleums and making sure the dead are not forgotten. When he discovered that the plaque on the tombstone of a Marine killed in action was missing, Pisciotta found a way to replace it.
Private First Class Irving Aron was killed in action by a band of Nicaraguan bandits who attacked his unit while they were repairing telephone wires on Dec. 31, 1930. President Hoover posthumously awarded him a Navy Cross on April 25, 1931, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
The Queens World Trade Center Clinical Center of Excellence cut the ribbon in its new facility on Monday.
The center, which specifically treats first responders to the WTC attack on September 11, 2001, has moved from Flushing to a larger space in Rego Park.
The power of the local press was on full display in the tight 2009 City Council race between Democratic nominee Kevin Kim and Republican Dan Halloran.
Halloran did not allow Multi-Media’s role in the race to go unnoticed. In September 2009, the Tribune ran a story originally headlined “Democratic Victor vs. Pagan Lord” that detailed Halloran’s unconventional religious practices.
This year in Southeast Queens, there were plenty of highs and lows, accomplishments and disappointments, most involving crime and politics.
In an effort to curb violence, two gun buybacks were held, resulting in 564 weapons being taken off the street. But there were still several shootings, including a triple homicide involving an AK-47 and another in which a Nassau County cop was killed.
Queens politics in 2012 brought new districts, a historic election in the 6th Congressional District and enough cloak-and-dagger intrigue to fill a Robert Ludlum novel.
But when Hurricane Sandy struck in October, killing 12 people in Queens and more than 40 in the city, devastating the Rockaways, Howard Beach, lower Manhattan and Staten Island, the people of central Queens, who were largely spared the storm’s wrath, rallied to the cause of those worst hit.
Politics in middle and southwestern Queens was the favorite sport outside of Citi Field in 2012, and the worst storm to hit the region in 74 years devastated some while causing others just a few flickers of their lights.
As the year began, the city filed an appeal of a ruling by federal Judge Nicholas Garaufus that found discrimination on the part of the FDNY against African-American firefighters in the testing and hiring process.
Congressman Joe Crowley (D-Queens, Bronx) joined the chorus of legislators lambasting potential cuts to funding for the Zadroga Act through a sequestration deal cooked up by Congress last winter to shove the nation toward a balanced budget.
The oft-lambasted forced cuts to federal spending would slash $38 million from the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, hitting programs such as Elmhurst Hospital’s WTC Environmental Health Center.
Woodside residents in Doughboy Park on Tuesday honored those who died 11 years ago in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers.
“We have only begun to heal,” the Rev. Michael Hardiman of St. Sebastian Roman Catholic Church in Woodside said.