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Day 1331

Excellent signage

August 22nd, 2015





This is the backside of the city DOT's Maspeth Central Shop, where most of the city's traffic and street signs are made.

Day 1331

Imposing gourds

August 22nd, 2015



They're growing in the same tiny, paved front yard as the cinder-block peppers in the previous photo. Not a bad harvest for a couple dozen square feet of concrete!



Day 1331

Maspeth Central Shop

August 22nd, 2015



Maspeth Central is home to the city DOT's sign shop, which makes traffic and street signs for all five boroughs — some 9,000 to 12,000 signs per month, according to this video. (There was a much cooler sign out front here during the Bloomberg administration.)

Day 1331

Our Lady of Lourdes grotto

August 22nd, 2015



Located behind Holy Cross Church. A plaque, dated 1961, reads:

THIS GROTTO IS DEDICATED TO ALL THOSE WHOSE LOVE FOR THE BLESSED MOTHER PROMPTS THEM TO SPEND A MOMENT HERE IN PRAYER AND MEDITATION

Day 1331

Pope John Paul II Way

August 22nd, 2015





Commemorating the future pope's overnight visit to Holy Cross Church in 1969, the block of 56th Road where the church is located was co-named Pope John Paul II Way in 2014. You can find about a dozen replicas of the street sign on display outside different houses on the block — a show of pride unique among the hundreds of co-named streets I've walked so far.

Day 1331

Pope John Paul II

August 22nd, 2015



In 1969, nine years before he became the first Polish pope (and the first non-Italian pope in 455 years), the future John Paul II spent the night here at Holy Cross Church during a trip around Canada and the US. (As we previously learned, he also visited St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Brooklyn while he was in town.)

Day 1331




Built for the Polish community of Maspeth, this church was dedicated in 1913 and still maintains its Polish identity today.

Here's what the AIA Guide to New York City has to say about the building: "The voluptuous curvilinear verdigris copper steeple makes this church extraordinary. Disney must be jealous."

UPDATE (Oct. 11, 2017): Holy Cross is in the NY Times today: "23 Women Accuse Former Queens Priest of Abusing Them as Children".

Day 1331

Don’t be a fool!

August 22nd, 2015



Day 1331

Laundry line rainbow

August 22nd, 2015



Looking out through the fence of Mount Olivet Cemetery

Day 1331

City Folk

August 22nd, 2015


Day 1331



Day 1331

Died in accident

August 22nd, 2015


Day 1331




I first heard of Louis Windmuller, founder of the Pedestrians Club and "the noblest walker of them all", back in the summer of 2012 when I passed through a little park named after him in Woodside. It seemed fitting that it was only by wandering around myself that I learned about this forgotten practitioner of the peripatetic arts. And then today, completely by chance, I came across his grave right here in Mount Olivet!

Day 1331

HALLETT

August 22nd, 2015





The patriarch of the Hallett family in Queens was William Hallett. Born in England in 1616, William arrived in America during the 1630s or 1640s and eventually acquired some 2,200 acres that included all of what is now Astoria.

Many of William's descendants were laid to rest in a little family graveyard near the modern-day intersection of Astoria Boulevard and Main Avenue, where the earliest documented headstone was dated 1724. In 1905, the contents of these graves were transferred to this lot in Mount Olivet Cemetery. Here's a look at the site of the old Hallett burial ground today.

While we're on the subject of deceased Halletts, I should mention the grisly demise of William Jr. (William the patriarch's grandson), his pregnant wife, and all five of their children, who were axe-murdered one night in 1708, allegedly by two of their slaves (specifically by one male slave at the urging of his female counterpart).

After the slaves were found guilty and sentenced to death, "the woman was burnt at the stake; her accomplice was hung in gibbets, and placed astride a sharp iron, in which condition he lived some time, and in a state of delirium which ensued, believing himself to be on horseback, would urge forward his supposed animal with the frightful impetuosity of a maniac, while the blood oozing from his lascerated flesh streamed from his feet to the ground."

The preceding account was taken from a history of Newtown, Queens, published in 1852. After retelling the story, the author went on to comment: "How rude the age which could inflict such tortures, however great the crime committed."

The slaying of the Halletts led the New York provincial assembly to pass, later in 1708, "An Act for preventing the Conspiracy of Slaves". The murders also served as part of the backdrop for the slave revolt of 1712, "a violent insurrection of slaves in New York City that resulted in brutal executions and the enactment of harsher slave codes."