Wednesday, May 29, 2013

West Side Tennis Club, Forest Hills, Queens, New York

Tudor clubhouse

1923 stadium in background
The West Side Tennis Club is most notable for hosting the US Open Tennis Championships a total of 60 times, first from 1915 to 1920, and then again from 1924 to 1977.  Why is it called the West Side ?  Because it first was located on Central Park West in Manhattan from 1892-1902, then at a site near Columbia Univ. (1902-1908).  In 1908, the club moved again to a property at 238th Street and Broadway. The new site covered two city blocks and had 12 grass courts and 15 clay courts.

The club hosted the International Lawn Tennis Challenge (now known as the Davis Cup) in 1911. With crowds in the thousands, the club leadership realized that it would need to expand to a more permanent location. In 1912, the site in Forest Hills was purchased. The signature Tudor-style clubhouse was built the next year.
In 1915, the United States Lawn Tennis Association National Championship, later renamed the US Open, moved to West Side. By 1923, the success of the event necessitated the construction of a 14,000-seat horseshoe-shaped stadium that still stands today. The stadium's first event was the final of the International Lawn Tennis Challenge, which saw the U.S. defeat Australia.

Many entertainers performed at the stadium, including the Beatles (Aug 28/29, 1964).

Monday, May 27, 2013

Main Street, Flushing, Queens, New York

Biang! at 41-10 Main St.
 In the 1970s, the Taiwanese established a foothold in Flushing, whose constituency had been predominantly non-Hispanic white.  It was known as Little Taipei or Little Taiwan. The Taiwanese immigrants that began arriving into New York City were unable to relate to the originally established Manhattan Chinatown, which was initially dominated by the Cantonese language and people before receiving large numbers of Fujianese immigrants but a generally working class community. Housing conditions in Manhattan's Chinatown were poor, and the Taiwanese immigrants were more likely to have attained higher education and economic status, and so they settled in Flushing instead. As their population grew, they eventually created their own Flushing Chinatown with a higher standard of living and which had better housing conditions.  The current food scene is evolving with chic spots like Biang! popping up.

Cheburechnaya, Rego Park, Queens, New York

92-09 63rd Drive, Rego Park
This Queens restaurant specializes in Bukharan Jewish cuisine from Uzbekistan.  Before the collapse of the USSR, there were 45,000 Bukharan Jews in Central Asia.  Uzbeki xenophobia led to massive emigration.  Walking the streets of Rego Park, you see blond hair and hear Russian language as well as Hebrew.  The samcy, savory flaky pastries filled with lamb and ribs are like nothing you've seen before !
Samcy with Ribs (Lamb)

Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens, New York


1939 iconic imagery etched near Unisphere

"The Rocket Thrower" by Donald de Lue,
commissioned for the 1964/1965 NY World's Fair

Forest Hills Gardens, Queens, New York

In 1909 the Russell Sage Foundation commissioned the architect Grosvenor Atterbury and the landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. to plan a 175-acre community, modeled after the British "garden communities."  Atterbury designed 8 Markwood Rd. in 1920, the largest property.  Jules Gringos designed 239 Greenway South in 1925 for John Vincent Lawless Hogan, inventor of the fax machine.

239 Greenway South

tree lined streets
note aviary

8 Markwood Rd.
8 Markwood Rd.