Ridgewood, Queens: Wikis

  
  

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The Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District runs from Wyckoff Avenue to Fresh Pond Road in Ridgewood.

Ridgewood is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens, that borders the neighborhoods of Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale, as well as the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick. Historically, the neighborhood straddled the Queens-Brooklyn boundary. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 5.[1] The majority of the area is in the City Council District 30; parts of the southern part of the district adjacent to the Brooklyn boundary lies in District 34.

Historically a German neighborhood[2], it is now home to many small families of diverse backgrounds, including Latinos, Eastern Europeans, Arabs, and Southern Europeans. Harry Houdini is one of the former notable residents, and is buried there at the Machpelah Cemetery. The zip code of Ridgewood is 11385.

Contents

Geography

The majority of the neighborhood covers a large hill, more than likely part of the glacial moraine that created Long Island, which starts at Metropolitan Avenue, rises steeply for about two blocks, then slopes down gently. A good example of just how steep the hill is can be found at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish. The Front Entrance of the Church, which is at street level on 60th Place, is almost level with the second floor of the Parish school right next door.

Major streets in Ridgewood include Forest Avenue, Fresh Pond Road, Myrtle Avenue, and Metropolitan ("Metro") Avenue. All of these streets are narrow two-lane roads (with parking lanes), and the high volume on these streets can cause traffic tie-ups during rush hour. The intersection of Fresh Pond and Metropolitan is especially notorious for being a bottleneck. The main shopping areas are on Myrtle Avenue and Fresh Pond Road. Other, smaller shopping strips are located on Metropolitan Avenue, Forest Avenue, and Seneca Avenue.

A block of typical Ridgewood construction.

Building stock

Ridgewood is a densely settled neighborhood, with housing stock ranging from six-family buildings near the Brooklyn border to two-family and single-family row houses deeper into Queens. Ridgewood is visually distinguished from Bushwick by the large amount of exposed brick construction; in Brooklyn, vinyl siding is more common.

Most of Ridgewood was developed block-by-block around the turn of the 20th century. The neighborhood has been largely untouched by construction since then, leaving many centrally planned blocks of houses and tenements still in the same state as their construction. These blocks include the Matthews Flats (six-family cold water tenements), Ring-Gibson Houses (two- and four-family houses with stores), and Stier Houses (curved single-family rowhouses). Many of these houses are well-kept and retain much of their early 20th century appeal.[3]

Transportation

The M runs through the heart of Ridgewood, and its connection to the L at Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues at the very southern end of Ridgewood is a transportation hub (it takes just about 35 to 40 minutes travel on the L train to 14th Street in Manhattan) from the Dekalb Ave station. The transportation hub at Myrtle/Wyckoff has just completed a 60 million dollar renovation. The Ridgewood Terminal at that station serves the B13, B26, B52, B54, Q55, and Q58 bus lines. The B20, B38, Q39 and Q54 bus lines also serve Ridgewood. In addition, the neighborhood is home to the large Fresh Pond Bus Depot, which services many of the buses that run throughout Brooklyn and Queens and Fresh Pond Yard, a storage yard for the M train.

Media and popular culture

The Ridgewood Times, established in 1908, and now known as the Times Newsweekly, serves as the community newspaper, and has the largest classifieds section of Queens County community newspapers.

Ridgewood has also served as location shoots for numerous major motion pictures, including The French Connection, A Stranger Among Us, The Wanderers, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Jerky Boys: The Movie, and Beat Street. In addition to these movies, scenes for The Sopranos were filmed on Fresh Pond Road in Ridgewood on March 9, 2006, when a hookah bar next to the neighborhood bar, Glenlo's Tavern was detonated.

Borough debate: A matter to be addressed

Today, Ridgewood’s land area lies within Queens County. However, its political boundary with Brooklyn causes confusion and debate about where the western boundary of Ridgewood truly lies and whether part of Ridgewood is considered to be actually part of Brooklyn. Ridgewood and its Brooklyn neighbor community, Bushwick, have a grid plan street layout. Because the boundary between Brooklyn and Queens that was historically set in 1769 at the Arbitration Rock lay along a diagonal with this grid plan, the geographic boundary was adapted to the street layout, resulting in a zig-zag pattern. Buildings fronting on streets that “begin” in Brooklyn (i.e., located west of Forest Avenue), and the cross-streets that bisect them, follow a house-numbering system commencing within Brooklyn (Myrtle and Metropolitan Avenues are exceptions to this system). Put more simply, as the numbering of residential addresses proceeds traveling from Kings County into Queens County, the political border is crossed without any change in the address-numbering system.

Until the late 1970s, Ridgewood and neighboring Glendale (Queens) were entirely served by the Brooklyn post office in Bushwick. Letters to Queens addresses would normally be addressed to "Ridgewood, Brooklyn NY 11227". Following events surrounding the New York City blackout of 1977 which marred the public perception of the Bushwick community, the communities of Ridgewood and Glendale expressed a desire to disassociate themselves from Bushwick. In 1979, the two areas were granted a Queens zip code, 11385, while Bushwick was designated a separate Brooklyn zip code of 11237.[4]

Over many years since, it has been suggested that Ridgewood be returned to Brooklyn in order to ameliorate the perceived poor reputation attached to the neighboring Bushwick neighborhood. However, residents have protested against this, claiming that it would worsen Ridgewood. The 104th Precinct might also have to relocate to another section of Queens in order to serve Glendale, Middle Village, and Maspeth.

Education

P.S. 68, P.S. 71, P.S. 239, P.S. 81, P.S. 88, St. Matthias, St. Aloysius, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, St. Brigid are elementary schools in Ridgewood. I.S. 77 and I.S. 93 are middle schools in Ridgewood. The Grover Cleveland High School is the only high school in Ridgewood, and is the zoned public high school to most of Ridgewood while some Ridgewood residents can be rezoned to Franklin K. Lane High School in Jamaica, Queens.

Sports

From 1886 to 1889, Ridgewood Park was home to the Brooklyn Bridegrooms (later the Brooklyn Dodgers and now the Los Angeles Dodgers) for their Sunday games.[5]

Notable residents

Current Representatives

   * City Council: Elizabeth Crowley (30) & Diana Reyna (34) 
   * State Assembly: Nettie Mayersohn (27) & Andrew Hevesi (28) & Margaret Markey & (30) & Catherine Nolan (37) & Michael Miller (38)
   * State Senate: George Onorato (17)
   * U.S. Representative: Nydia Velasquez (12) 

All of Bushwick's representatives are Democrats.

Notable current and former residents of Ridgewood include:

References

  1. ^ Queens Community Boards, New York City. Accessed September 3, 2007.
  2. ^ WPA Guide to New York City: The Federal Writers' Project Guide to 1930s New York. 1939.
  3. ^ Walsh, Kevin. Forgotten New York: Ridgewood
  4. ^ Lee, Jennifer S. (2007-11-02). "Is Ridgewood the New East Bushwick?". New York Times. http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/11/02/is-ridgewood-the-new-east-bushwick/. Retrieved 2009-08-21.  
  5. ^ Ballparks: 1862 - Present, Brooklyn Dodgers. Accessed August 21, 2007.
  6. ^ Garcia, Krista. "Close-Up On: Ridgewood, Queens", The Village Voice, August 6, 2002. Accessed March 8, 2008.
  7. ^ Yarrow, Andrew L. "New Faces: Annabella Sciorra and Ron Eldard; The Actors Who Gave Life To the Couple in 'True Love'", The New York Times, December 29, 1989. Accessed April 10, 2008. "'I've always been disturbed at how Italian-Americans are usually portrayed in movies, but Nancy and Rich made it clear they weren't looking for stereotypes,' Mr. Eldard said. 'Half my family is Sicilian, and where I lived in Queens, in Ridgewood, is very Italian.'"

External links

Coordinates: 40°42′00″N 73°54′20″W / 40.7°N 73.90556°W / 40.7; -73.90556








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