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Pictures dated 1930 and 2005
Click images to enlarge
Queens Boulevard between Union Turnpike and 78th Avenue
If you have pictures of yourself showing any Kew Gardens locale in the background, email me high resolution jpegs and I will post them here as space permits.

To download a copy of the Queens Courier's Sept. 2003 article about Old Kew Gardens.com, click on one of the following links. Turn off your browser's auto-resize if the JPEG text appears too small to read.

[JPEG - 240kb]
[PDF - Hi Resolution, 379kb]
[PDF - Low Resolution, 97kb ]
February 2006 Guest Book

February 27, 2006
    It is absolutely NOT true that Jews were restricted from living in Kew Gardens prior to World War II. This is a rather incendiary charge to be made on what its editor intends to be a "feel good" site! In particular, it degrades the sacrifices made by those of the Jewish faith living in Kew Gardens at that time who served in our military during World War II. Some of them -- such as Donald Sussman, my piano teacher's older son -- made the "ultimate sacrifice". He was a bright, handsome young man, and had been a rugby player at Cornell before being drafted to serve in the Navy in World War II. I suggest the writer return to Kew Gardens and read the plaque erected near the former Homestead Hotel honoring other Jewish servicemen from that era.
    I think you have only to ask KG residents from the 30s and 40s to affirm the fact that there was little, if any, anti-semitism. In fact, the quite amazing thing about the community of my childhood was that so many different ethnic and religious people lived side by side and helped one another, especially during the Great Depression and war years. It is inaccurate -- not to mention disappointing -- to have someone suggest otherwise. The only ethnic group missing from the mix back them were African-Americans -- then called Negroes -- who mostly resided in nearby Jamaica.
    Nor during the time period cited was there any obvious Zionist movement among those generations of Kew Gardens residents. Among my high school Jewish acquaintances, I know of only one person who joined the Zionist movement, changed his name, and resided for a time in Israel -- and he came from Forest Hills!
    If, as the writer states, there is a large Israeli contingent dating back to Kew Gardens in the mid'50s and beyond, that's interesting to know. But his speculation about earlier times is false.
Doris Schaffer O'Brien
KG 1933-1954
PS 99 '46
[To contact Doris Schaffer O'Brien, click here]

February 25, 2006
    I came to this site through the recommendation of Robert Lieberman who is making a movie on Kew Gardens. Having lived in Kew Gardens from 1954-1961 I found the site fascinating. It gives historical background as well as filling in the details of people who want to recall their childhood there. I attended PS 99 for one year only 1954-1955 in the sixth grade and Ms. De Azov was my teacher. I could not find any photos from my class. Afterwards I attended Russell Sage JHS and Forest Hills High School where I graduated in 1961. I went to Israel on the Young Judea Year Course and later made Aliya. I live in Jerusalem but still have contacts with some oldtimers.Some three years ago there was a re-union in Jerusalem of close to 50 ex-Kew Gardeners living in Israel. That is an indication of the Zionist atmosphere among the Jews who lived there. My generation were the children of refugees. Most of the parents had come from Germany and fled in time but there were others from Belgium, France (like my mother)as well as a group of Persian Jews. In that respect the demographic and sociological makeup of the Jewish community in Kew Gardens in the fifties was very different from that in other places.In addition, most of the families were traditional or Orthodox and had big families.
    What I recall as a child growing up in the fifties were the delicious hand made chocolates of Mr. Stein or Mimi,the hardware store of Mr. Levine, the flower store on the corner of Lefferts and Austin St. and of course, the Austin movie house which had quality films.
    I thought the Homested Hotel on Austin St. was a landmark but now see that perhaps it was the Country Club of an earlier period. I recall that it was a hotbed of pro-Nazi meeetings. This I remember my parents mentioning.I also recall that Kew Gardens was "restricted" till World War II meaning no Jews could live there like Forest Hills Gardens was till much later.
    I would be glad to hear from anyone who remembers me from PS 99, Young Judea "Mac Donald's" club, or just round the neighborhood. We lived at 83-24 Abingdon Rd.
Meriam (Mimi) Goitein now Haringman
[To contact Meriam (Mimi) Goitein Haringman, click here]

Music and Poetry at the Theater Cafe
February 25, 2006
Hi Joe,
Just to let you know that the next music and poetry show will be held at the Theater Cafe (next door to the Cinemart movie) at 106-03 Metropolitan Avenue, on Thursday, March 9th, beginning at approx. 7:15 P.M. For info, e-mail me
[To contact Aaron Adler, click here]

Landmark Designation for Kew Gardens
February 25, 2006
Editor's Note:  Thanks to Peter Schiftan for the heads up on this Queens Chronicle article on the efforts being made to have Kew Gardens or part of it declared an historic district. The following link will open in a new window. Close out that window to return here.

Click here to read the full story.

Forest Park Shooting
February 25, 2006
    Queens detectives are seeking help from the public to piece together the circumstances leading to a Feb. 4 car shooting that left one man dead and a teenage boy clinging to life.
    Police believe that a passenger may have shot the driver and a teenage passenger in a Ford Explorer that crashed into parked cars on Myrtle Avenue near Freedom Drive in Richmond Hill at about 12:50 p.m.
    Eyewitnesses told police a passenger in the Explorer ran from the scene and fled into Forest Park - moments before the SUV burst into flames.
    Firefighters who extinguished the blaze discovered the bodies and notified authorities, police said.
    A pair of joggers - both doctors - saw the tan Explorer burning and ran to help the driver and the teen, police said.
    The driver was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The teen was taken to a local hospital, where he was listed in extremely critical condition.
    Anyone with information on the missing passenger is asked to call the CRIMESTOPPERS Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.
[To contact Peter Schiftan, click here]

February 25, 2006
    I remember Pep McGuires - we were always too young to get in there. Always fascinated me as a young teenager. I may have gone there once or twice when I was oldeer = like 20 or so.
    It may have been a good hang out for all those airline types of people!!! Which I always wanted to be!
Suzy Blanchard
[To contact Suzy Blanchard, click here]

February 23, 2006
Correction: Not Pep McGuires
Chalk it up to old age, I had restaurants mixed up - my brother didn't buy his house from the Pep McGuires guy, he bought it from the owner of a bar on Queens Blvd, I forget the exact name, it was on a corner across from the KG courthouse. I know the name ended in "Two" or "II" or "Too", it's on the website somewhere, can't find it.
Ron Signore
[To contact Ron Signore, click here]

Editor's Note:  It's taken me all day to remember this, but was the restaurant called The Part 2?

Pep McGuires
February 21, 2006
[Message removed at poster's request.]

Kew Gardens, UPS, John Kearney
February 21, 2006
    I remember John Kearney in the mid-80s from when he used to deliver to my building at 83-43 118st. Always had a cigar in his mouth. Every time he'd see me he'd tell me how long he had till he could retire, I think he knew exactly how many days he had left.
    Then I went to work for UPS in 1986 and I found out why John was counting the days. It was hell on wheels. I was hired as a management trainee, which meant you delivered packages for 29 days, and then they moved you to management. That way they could stick to their "promote from within" policy. They were careful to not let the trainees deliver for 30 days, because then they'd be eligible to join the union instead.
    Anyway I started at the Queens South center in Richmond Hill where John was the shop steward. He was one of the funniest people I ever met and the best guy to have on your side if you were in the union. I've lived in St. Louis now for five years and I haven't met anyone with that kind of sense of humor. That kind of humor is one of the things I miss the most about New York, that and the beach.
Ron Signore
[To contact Ron Signore, click here]

February 20, 2006
My name is Cheryl Cuddeback, I briefly lived in Kew Gardens during the mid 80's, when the Salty Dog was alive and kicking. I went to PS 101 instead of 99 because I'm basically from "The Gardens". I stumbled across this lovely site while researching Queens history for my web site: www.cherylc.com. Even though my site is personal in nature, it incorporates a lot of history about Forest Hills Gardens and The Church in the Gardens. Your site is awesome. My goal is to emulate yours in content and information. My e-mail address may be published. If anyone wants to swap stories about the days of Crossroads Drug store or Peppie McQuires I'm all ears.
Cheryl Cuddeback

February 17, 2006
my name is john kearney,i was the ups driver in kew gardens from 1976 until January 2001 i delivered packages on austin st ,talbot, lefferts blvd,metropolitan ave, i was all over kew gardens,i use to end my day at 11701 park lane so., use to be called kent manor,now hampton court,i really enjoyed working in kew gardens.the people were great,i would still be there,but parkinsons disease forced me to retire. you can publish my e-mail,i found the site on google
john kearny

February 16, 2006
Hi Everyone,
    You are going to love this.
    For a close look at any location in the world, click here and download Google Earth.
Kathryn Zabrocki Strode
Lived in KG from 1955 to 1966
Graduated Holy Child Jesus School in 1966

Lincoln's Birthday
February 11, 2006
Editor's Note:  In honor of Abraham Lincoln's birthday (February 12th), here's something you may not have seen before. I know I hadn't.

Back Online
February 11, 2006
Editor's Note:  My computer problems are fixed and I am back online.

More on Denial of Parole for Winston Moseley
February 5, 2006
[Editor's Note:  This message has been moved to the Kitty Genovese Message Board

February 3, 2006
    Well, Joe - presume this is you. We have really started up some old memories here. Lisette DeBruyker wrote you because I sent her the link on KG. I too grew up there on 116th in Curzon Apartments. My name is Suzy De Maeyer Blanchard and my Mom is the lady she met in the park. Our family imigrated to KG from Belgium in 1949 - my Mom came later after I was born in Belgium at the end of 1950. My schooling was at Holy Child Jesus in Richmond Hill and high school in Brooklyn, St. Angela Hall Academy and then business school in NYC. My brother was also born in KG at Kew Gardens Hospital. We at first lived with my grandparents till I was about 8 and then moved upstairs to our own apartment.
    KG was a wonderful place to grow up. Having the park so nearby - it was our playground - all of it. Great sleigh riding on the old sleighs of course, down the big hill on Park Lane South. As we got braver, we ventured a little more down toward Myrtle Avenue where there was a big gully - you could slide down one side and nearly up the other! Many a day of playing cowboys and indians with my brother and our friends - no problems with safety issues back then when we ventured to what we thought was "deep in the woods". There were even edible berries which my grandfather taught us was safe to eat. When we could afford it, we went horseback riding through the park. The stables were on Union Turnpike off Metropolitan Avenue. Imagine that!
    It was a wonderful neighborhood, very diverse in cultures and we all got along. I too remember the Homestead - had the closet things to Belgium that our family loved, the fish and meat market on Metropolitan Ave and Lefferts (two separate stores) I remember well. In later years, my hand out was the Salty Dog which is now the site of a large apartment building - too bad. On the corner of Metro and 116th Street was a corner candy store - great place, spent many of my pennnies there - and had lots of egg creams - which I think only New Yorkers really know what they are. I think it is a coffee shop now and they have removed the great old ice cream counter they used to have. The cleaners, drug store and Associated I think are still there too.
    My best friend Diane, grew up on 124th and Metro. We went to the same grammar school together. Later she moved to Forest Hills just on the fringe line of KG not far from Forest Park. We recall one heavy snowstorm, had no school - we gathered our skiis and skied around the neighborhood to 83rd or 85th road - can't remember exact - it's the long one from Metro Ave all the way to Lefferts Blvd. We skiied down that hill several times to Lefferts Blvd. We also frequented Danny's pizza parlor which stood on the corner of that hill on Lefferts. He would let us hang out if we filled up salt and pepper shakers and cleaned tables with an occasional slice of pizza thrown in. We also spent some time in the old Hofbrau House - carved our initials in the wooden booths too!! Guess we were typical devils back then!
    My parents just moved from Curzon Apt. -- after spending nearly 55 years there - to FL. So, we are all going back down memory lane here. Park Lane South had (hope they still do) beautiful crab apple trees which were abundantly blooming in the Spring - they were fantastic. I believe near Curzon Road and Park Lane. There was also a large, setback home on Park Lane - I always thought it was a castle!
    Well, I better be going now. I'm sure you will received many more of these emails as word get around. Glad you have started this. We'll check in from time to time.
Suzy Blanchard
[To contact Suzy Blanchard, click here]

Moseley Denied Parole
February 3, 2006
[Editor's Note:  This message has been moved to the Kitty Genovese Message Board

February 1, 2006
    I've just about spent an entire morning checking out Kew Gardens! What a pleasure! The daughter of an old friend of mine just emailed me your site!
    Kew Gardens was my first home as a newlywed....in 1950! We were married in 11/50 and had moved to Nutley, N.J. My Mother became ill ... she and my Dad lived in Kent Manor at the time...a beautiful place....we needed to be closer to both of them....my Dad was the "painter"( in apartments, not regular paintings) in Kent Manor from about 1950 till my Mom passed away, he continued to live there till he remarried and moved to Belgium in 1960! He was well known by all the residents....the Belgian singer/painter they called him...perhaps there are a few "kids" my age who still remember him!
    Anyway, apartments were very scarce in the '50's....so my Dad, who had worked for the owners of Kent Manor (Jacob Cohen, Louis Cohen, his son, and Julie, I believe, Cohen) ..and of course, the then superintendent/manager...David Wager..were all good friends....and we got an apartment....in "C" bldg overlooking the park! I thought I had died and gone to Heaven! It was a small bedroom apt....with a big entry way that served as a dining room and we loved it! We stayed in that apt till our 2d son was born and then moved to a 2 bedroom apt in "D" bldg ...overlooking Metropolitan Ave...which my boys loved....the "garbage" truck came by and that was their great ambition to drive a garbage truck!
    I have so many wonderful memories of Kent Manor..when the children were little, I pushed their carriage up the hill on Park Lane South to the park every day! It was there that I met my best friend... my Mom used to go to the park with me when she first came out of the hospital....they still had their apartment....in the afternoon, I would leave her sitting on a bench along Park Lane South with the baby in the carriage, and I'd go to the bakery on Lefferts Blvd...Homestead Bakery, I believe...and one day as I was leaving I called out to her in Flemish, our native language...what kind of bread do you want or words to that effect...she answered and just as she did another young family came along....stopped, looked at her and said...."Are you from Belgiun?" That was the beginning of a more than 50 year old friendship! and it's their daughter, Suzy De Maeyer that sent me this email site! What memories....and I still have lots pictures of that wonderful place! We moved to Forest Hills when my 3rd child, a daughter, was born....the apartment was just too small for 3 children under 3! And, believe it or not....I still walked with that carriage all the way from Forest Hills Road along Metropolitan Avenue up to Kent Manor! We didn't have a car in those days! But to keep my Mom alive she had to see her "grandkiddies" every day! She died in 1957, 2 months before my 4th child, another daughter, was born! Is there anyone around that remembers any of this...Kent Manor, the Wagers, their daughter, Joan, who was a very good friend of mine and whom I lost contact with....and Suzy O'Brien, whose Dad was Chief of Police back then???? what a wonderful world it was back then! I'd love to hear from you....or anyone who remembers that era....if any of you are left! I'm going to be 82 in April......so, let's hear from you soon! I'm a happy healthy laldy now spending my time between Maine and Florida....do lots of volunteer work and feel very blessed every single day to be able to do this...and I don't take any medication....just vitamins and to my grandchildrens "horror" I also take col liver oil ..in pill form, of course! but I grew up with a spoonful every day of my life just about till I left home to get married! Yes, that's what we did in those days...stayed home till we got married! That surprises my grandchildren too! Enough for now....I could go on and on remembering all the good times we had at Kent Manor! Please contact me if you can....you have my email address above....the name is Lisette Vinck (my maiden name..my Dad was Armand Vinck) Gross/DeBruycker...I remarried in 1980 to a Belgian friend of my Dad's, that's where the DeBruycker comes from...am now a widow, just enjoying life each and every day. Thanks for listening...
Lisette DeBruycker
[To contact Lisette DeBruycker, click here]

Bigger Images
February 1, 2006
    Editor's Note: Since more people now have broadband connections and higher resolution screens, I am beginning to bump up the size and resolution of the images I display here. So, instead of averaging 20 - 35 KB, images will start to average 60 - 80 KB. If enough dial up users find these file sizes make viewing the web pages too slow, let me know and I will reduce the file sizes.

Get a Gmail Account Free
February 1, 2006
    Editor's Note: As of February 1, 2005, Old Kew Gardens [.com] got a new email address with Gmail, which is the Google web based email service. You've probably heard that Gmail offers two gigabytes [2,000 MB] of free storage. It's free, but available by invitation only. Invitations are so sought after that they are being offered for sale on eBay. I have invitations I can distribute to friends. I'm not selling them, I'm giving them away. They are available on a first come first serve basis. Just send me an email telling me you'd like one.
    Update: Unless I know you, your request must come from a bona fide working ISP email address. To prevent abuse, email requests coming from free web based email services like Yahoo or Hotmail will not be honored.
    Update: I will remove this post when I run out of invitations. If you're reading this, then there are still invitations left to give out.

Posting Messages Here
February 1, 2006
[Ed.'s Note: The reason each guest book posting does not appear here immediately is that I review each message individually before posting to eliminate spam or unwanted adult content. Email me if you want to make a correction to a message you have already posted or if you would like a message removed.]

How to contact Guestbook signers

Some Guestbook signers choose not to publish their email addresses. If you wish to contact one of them, send me an email identifying the guestbook signer you wish to contact and giving me the date his or her message was posted. Your email to me must contain your full name, and may also include anything else you wish to tell the signer. I will forward your email to the Guestbook signer you wish to contact, but with no cc or bcc to you. It will be the signer's decision whether or not to make contact with you. Any emails which contain spam, adult content, or appear suspect for any other reason will not be forwarded. ~The Editor.

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