Standing at the edge of Forest Park, this monument, also known as My Buddy, honors the residents of Richmond Hill who served and died in World War I. The doughboy figure was sculpted by the Italian-born Joseph Pollia. (Pollia later produced other versions of the statue for Glen Cove and Tarrytown, New York, and Storm Lake, Iowa.) The monument's architect was William Van Alen, who would go on to design one of New York's most iconic structures, the Chrysler Building.
Lions and foo dogs are a dime a dozen, but these cattle are a new addition to the menagerie. Given that we're in Richmond Hill, it's probably a good bet that a Hindu family lives here; there's also a pair of elephants watching over the driveway.
UPDATE: A few days before Thanksgiving in 2015, a mother left her newborn infant son at the church, inside an empty nativity scene that was being set up for Christmas. (No charges were filed against the woman, who was deemed to have acted within the spirit of the state's safe-haven law.) The parish priest put the incident in a positive light, saying "I think it's beautiful . . . A church is a home for those in need, and she felt, in this stable — a place where Jesus will find his home — a home for her child." Members of the church expressed interest in adopting the boy and suggested names for him. The priest said that there were "a number of people within the community that would love to see him stay with us . . . He's a member in our hearts."
An Indian restaurant/banquet hall in Richmond Hill
(I passed this in Prospect Heights on my way to the subway this morning.)
It's only rarely that I come across a surviving street sign from the days when each borough had its own color scheme, before white-on-green became the citywide standard. But what makes this sign particularly odd is that it actually appears to be two signs — one old and one new — mounted side-by-side on the same pole. And, even weirder, it looks like the old sign is the more recent addition. This 2009 Street View image shows a white-on-green sign where we now see the blue-on-white one.
It turns out that the older-looking sign was one of several that were stuck onto existing white-on-green signs in 2011 for the filming of a chase scene in Men in Black 3. The scene took place in 1969, hence the attempt to replicate the appearance of that era's street signs. While I imagine that the city must be pretty strict about requiring any altered street signs to be restored after a movie shoot, the Jamaica Ave sign above was not the only one left in place by the film crew.
I don't know if any footage of this area made it into the final cut, but you can see some shots from farther east on Jamaica Avenue, near 113th Street, in this video about the chase scene. (These signs are visible around 0:22, and these are easily spotted at about 0:25.) In case you're wondering about the geography of the chase: They start out in Flushing Meadows Park. After hanging a right at the Unisphere, they're in Downtown Brooklyn all of a sudden. They pass Borough Hall, then turn and somehow end up on Jamaica Avenue, beneath the elevated subway tracks.
Tadeusz Kościuszko and Kazimierz Pułaski were Polish military commanders who fought on the American side in the Revolutionary War. Here in New York, their names can be found on neighboring bridges over Newtown Creek, neighboring streets in Bedford-Stuyvesant, and neighboring mustard jars in a Polish grocery store in Woodhaven.