Two weeks ago was the GWDC’s Wonderful Woodhaven Street Festival 2013. It was a Sunday when we were blessed with warm sunny weather, with happy families and friends of all ages enjoying the rides, the vendors, the sausages and peppers, the zeppoles and our local Jamaica Avenue stores and restaurants.
This all along our safe (thank you to our 102nd Precinct and Deputy Inspector Henry Sautner) ten-block fair. There have been rave reviews of this day, because of all of the above, including the great music and entertainment.
As I perused the newspaper pictures, I couldn’t help but see our Jamaica Avenue elevated train structure creating a clean backdrop to our avenue activities. Remember, how it was corroded and peeling. It took the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation, and then later with the assistance of our Woodhaven Business Improvement District, 35 years to get it repaired and painted. It was well worth the perseverance and the years of dedication.
This brings us to Monday, October 28, another sunny warm day. On this day we gathered to celebrate the completion of GWDC’s pursuit of landmarking our Forest Park Carousel. Twenty-five years ago, I sat in the Forest Park Carousel area with Senator Serphin Maltese, along with our late Assemblyman Fred Schmidt, Councilman Arthur Katzman and Councilman Walter Ward.
At that time we realized the only way to preserve and protect our, as I have named it, the “Jewel of Forest Park,” our Forest Park Carousel, was to pursue it being designated as a landmark. That is when the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation through the years, with the continued assistance of Senator Maltese, every year strongly pursued this landmarking.
Many stated that it would never happen, but we had faith. This landmarking designation after 25 years has been accomplished. I would like to thank Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley for finally securing this landmarking of our beloved carousel. Because of her hard work, the future children of Woodhaven now will experience the magic of riding our Forest Park Carousel.
I would also like to thank all of our past GWDC board members and presidents, including our present board and GWDC President Stephen Esposito, Landmarks Preservation Commission Chairman Robert Tierney, Christina Davis, chairwomen of the New York Landmark Preservation Foundation, our elected officials and supporters through these past 25 years.
Later in our active two weeks, we had all of the trick-or-treaters out in full force, especially on our Jamaica Avenue. I know that the little gremlins, ballerinas and caped marvels went home with lots of goodies that their families looked through very carefully.
This weekend Daylight Savings Time ended. Now our days get darker sooner. As I have always stated, I don't know why New York City has to have these time changes. Also, if we have to change, can't we do it in January through March? These days were shortened once before, can't we do it again?
But until then. now that it is getting darker earlier, please keep your porch lights on. In this way your neighbors and friends will get home safer.
The WBID and GWDC are still pressing for the demolition of 78-19 Jamaica Avenue. It has been determined that this building, next to the Woodhaven Volunteer Ambulance Corp and Woodhaven Senior Citizen Center, has structural integrity. We just hope that the coming winter weather does not prove this statement wrong and we have another collapse at this location.
The GWDC still has Home Improvement Loans available at 2.5 and 5 percent interest if you qualify. Please call our office at (718) 805-0202 for more information.
Finally, it is with great sadness I inform you that Rudy May, owner of the Crystal Cave and then Marquee Video, has passed away after a lengthy illness. Rudy was a longtime member of the WBID Board of Directors, a fine gentleman who cared very much about Woodhaven. Rudy May was taken too soon.
May God bless our leaders, may God bless our armed forces, may God bless our disabled veterans and may God bless our America.