Resolve to discover Woodhaven in 2016
by Ed Wendell
Dec 29, 2015 | 6114 views | 1 1 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Atlantic Avenue rail bridge that Woodhaven residents thought would separate the community in the 1940s.
The Atlantic Avenue rail bridge that Woodhaven residents thought would separate the community in the 1940s.
The Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society has over 40 meetings and events scheduled for 2016, and January is shaping up to be an interesting month.

The first meeting of 2016 takes place next Tuesday, January 5, at 7 p.m. at the Avenue Diner at 91-06 Jamaica Avenue. If you attend, you’ll be treated to a slideshow of life in Woodhaven 75 years ago in January of 1941.

The United States entry into the Second World War was less than a year away, but the hottest topic on the minds of Woodhaven residents back then was the construction of the viaduct on Woodhaven Boulevard over Atlantic Avenue.

In 1941, this newspaper dubbed that bridge a “monstrosity,” and residents predicted it would “cut Woodhaven in half” and turn that area into a slum.

Come and find out how that battle played out. And find out what movies were playing that month, what stores were popular, and what else was in the news. It is always free to attend these meetings and you’ll always walk away knowing more about Woodhaven’s history.

As a bonus, everyone who attends the meeting next Tuesday evening will receive a free copy of the 2016 Woodhaven History Digest, a 20-page booklet packed with articles about our community’s history as well as a complete schedule of events for the upcoming year.

Later that week, at 9 a.m. on Saturday, January 9, we’ll be meeting at the Wyckoff-Snedicker Family Cemetery, 96th Street and 86th Avenue behind All Saints, for our monthly restoration meetup. As these are outdoors, we’re always at the mercy of the weather, and the weather lately has been hard to predict.

On Thursday, January 21, at 7 p.m., the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society will be sponsoring a slideshow presentation by Queens Historian and Author Jason Antos at Neir’s Tavern, 78th Street and 88th Avenue. Mr. Antos will be showing then-and-now pictures from his new book “Corona: The Early Years.”

And finally, the 2016 WCHS Free Lecture Series will kick off at Emanuel United Church of Christ, 91st Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard, on Wednesday, January 27, at 1 p.m. with a presentation entitled “12 Infamous NYC Crime Scene Locations: A Modern Perspective.”

Former NYPD Detective Ike Ilkiw will walk us through some of the most infamous crimes in New York City’s history and tell us what it was like to be a police officer. Ilkiw grew up in Cypress Hills and is the founder of NYC Adventure Tours and a licensed New York State private investigator. He’s also worked on several television shows and movies.

And so, there’s a little something for everyone on the calendar in January. Looking ahead to the rest of 2016, we’ll be hosting free lectures on the Lufthansa heist presented by author Kerry Whalen, who was an eyewitness to the crime that ‘Goodfellas’ was based on; the Art of Stephen Csoka, the talented Woodhaven artist whose work is in the Brooklyn Museum, The Met, The Whitney, and the Library of Congress; the history of Shea Stadium; and a special presentation on tattoos, given by Natalia Borgia of Woodhaven’s Beaver Tattoo.

In February, we’ll be working with the Queens Library on their ongoing Queens Memory Project. Do you have any old photos of Woodhaven lying around your house? Bring them to one of our events in February and the Queens Memory Project will scan them for you, giving you back the original and the digital copy on a free flash drive.

We’ll also be leading three separate and free walking tours of Woodhaven on April 3, June 5, and August 7. Keep an eye on this collumn for more information on these and other fun events the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society has scheduled for 2016. Email us at (no hyphens) if you have any questions.

It’s a lot of fun to dig through our community’s past, and we hope you’ll join us at one of our upcoming meetings in 2016. Here’s wishing you all a very Happy, Healthy, Historical New Year!

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Chris Mortenson
January 09, 2016
It's time to revisit Woodhaven and see what all the hubbub is all about :o)