Big happenings in Woodhaven
by Maria Thompson
May 07, 2013 | 1806 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This past weekend we enjoyed beautiful weather. This coming weekend, I hope that we have the same warm spring days, especially for Mother’s Day.

Yes, if this Sunday is sunny and warm it will be a true tribute to all of our wonderful loving mothers. Our local stores have many nice gifts, flowers, perfume and chocolates for Mom’s day. Or you can buy her a stylish blouse, skirt, slacks or nice bright jacket that she can wear on cool spring evenings. There are hats, scarves, shoes and stockings for her day, all conveniently found on your WBID’s “Everything Avenue,” Woodhaven’s Jamaica Avenue.

Also, many families, including grandma, mom, grandpa, dad, and kids, will hopefully have lunch or dinner at one of our local Jamaica Avenue restaurants or order in. Our WBID’s Jamaica Avenue has so many great restaurants with many ethnic choices, such as Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Columbian, Peruvian, Ecuadorian, Carribean, Thai, American and the best pizzerias and Italian specialities in Queens. With all of these choice places, give mom a break from cooking, even after her special day.

So make every day Mother’s Day, for you only have one mother and you should cherish her, for you are so fortunate to have her with you. And for those of us that no longer have our mothers with us, cherish her memory and know that she is always watching over you and always with you.

This past weekend was a perfect time to enjoy our “Jewel in Forest Park,” our Forest Park Carousel. It is so frustrating that every few years, we have to again save our carousel.

I remember many years ago, Assemblyman Frederick A. Schmidt, State Senator Serphin R. Maltese, and councilmen Arthur Katzman and Walter Ward along with community representatives together found a wonderful concessionaire to reopen the carousel. This after many years of being closed, neglected and the object of vandalism and attempted arson.

This concessionaire repaired the calliope, the carousel area, renovated the carousel, added rides for the children, and made it a true showplace in our Forest Park. Over 20 years ago, the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation started our quest for landmarking so that our carousel would never be closed and neglected again.

The landmarking is so important, for funds could be accessed for the maintenance, security, and loving care of this jewel. With this protection, our carousel would be saved once and for all.

Thankfully, we have a champion for this cause in Honorable Elizabeth S. Crowley, our councilwoman. So hopefully with the support of our council members and the GWDC, we will encourage the Landmarks Commission and this will be our year.

Another recurring “save” action is the saving of Engine Company 294, located on 101st Street and Jamaica Avenue in Richmond Hill. Although located in Richmond Hill, it backs up our own Engine Co. 293 in Woodhaven. (Engine Co. 293 hopefully is not in danger). I will keep you posted as to any rallies against this proposed fire company closing.


• Summer Jobs - The New York City Summer Youth Employment Program is open to residents ages 14-24. Call 311, (800) 246-4646 or apply online at

•Congratulations to Woodhaven’s Emanuel United Church of Chirst for being chosen as one of the venues for the celebration of World Organ Day, with their organist Charles Lo Castro, a noted organist and singer. This Church and its dedicated congregants, prominent amongst them Walter and Pat Steffens, is 136 years old. This was a great event and honor for this Woodhaven house of worship.

• Mark Your Calendars for these Important Dates: The Greater Woodhaven-sponsored “Small Town” Memorial Day Observance is on Thursday, May 23, at 7 p.m. at the Forest Parkway Plaza area at Forest Parkway and Jamaica Avenue. Also, the GWDC-sponsored “Wonderful Woodhaven Street Festival 2013” is on Sunday, October 20, from noon to 6 p.m. on Woodhaven’s Jamaica Avenue from 80th Street to Woodhaven Boulevard.

Now to our big event with our great honorees that have been so important to our community for so many years, who will be honored on Friday June 7, at the social event of the year: the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation’s “Happiness is Spring” 34th Anniversary Dinner Dance.

In line with the theme, ladies are encouraged to wear warm spring colors. Our great honorees will to be named in my next article.

This year it will be held again at the beautiful Woodhaven Manor Caterers (formerly Cordon Bleu), newly renovated and under new management at 96-01 Jamaica Avenue.

Tickets for this great party are priced at only $65 for a wonderful evening of good food, good music and good company. Please call (718) 805-0202 for reservations and ticket purchases. Attend and enjoy!

Now make sure we continue to fly our American flags above all others and also wear your lapel pins. May God bless our leaders, may God bless our armed forces and our disabled veterans, and may God bless our America.

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