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Jackson Heights

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The Prince family opened the first commercial plant nursery in the USA in 1735, specializing in fruit trees. Patriarch Robert Prince learned horticulture from the remaining Huguenots (French Protestants) in the Flushing area, and the business flourished during and after the Revolutionary period. In the early 1800s, Robert’s son William opened the first bridge over the Flushing River that allowed wagon and cart traffic to enter from western Queens. Competing plant nurseries of the Bloodgood and Parsons families also opened, and in the 1800s, Flushing was known around the Northeast for horticulture. Eventually, though, as Flushing gradually became more urban, the nurseries moved out or failed. Today, the only reminder of the plant shops is Flushing’ street plan, which bears plant names from A (Ash) to R (Rose), and Prince Street.

The Prince family home was constructed at Broadway and Lawrence Street (today Northern and College Point Boulevards) by the Embree family around 1750, and purchased by the Princes in 1800. It was torn down in the 1930s as the area became industrial.

A NYS historic marker here, now long gone, said:

Prince Homestead stands opposite. Built by E. Embree 1780. Washington stopped here to see the Prince Nurseries during his trip to Long Island 1789.

When Washington visited the Prince nursery he was unimpressed, but when Thomas Jefferson visited the following year he made several purchases that were planted at Monticello in Virginia.

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The owner of a group of retail buildings in the Jackson Heights Historic District has filed an application with the Landmarks Preservation Commission to build on top of the existing structure according to DNAinfo. The buildings at 84-11 through 84-23 37th Avenue are owned by Charlie Patel according to the website. He applied to the commission for permission to add a rooftop extension as well as to replace to windows and doors on the 1946 commercial building.

Since the building is in an historic district the landmarks commission must approve any changes visible from the street. Owners of the businesses in his building have not been notified of any impending construction and no date has yet been set for a hearing on the proposal.

Landlord Plans Rooftop Addition in Jackson Heights Historic District [DNAinfo]

Photo: DNAinfo/Katie Honan

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This Jackson Heights condo has a lot going for it: three large bedrooms (the master bedroom has two exposures), a solid renovation and a large terrace, albeit one covered in Astroturf and bordered by a chain-link fence. The kitchen and bathrooms appear to have been redone recently. The building also has parking, a full-time doorman and an outdoor pool.

However, those amenities come with a price. Taxes are $650 a month and common charges are $1,240. What do you think of it for $550,000?

3520 Leverich St., #B222 [Q’Stoner] GMAP

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It’s the most diverse county in the world and the best tourism destination in the United States, so it’s no surprise that Queens is overflowing with wonderful Valentine’s Day activities and bargains. In fact, local chances for romance and fun related to this international holiday are so numerous that they run for more than two weeks and include everything from live music to a “love run,” hotel getaways, and even a blood drive for the do-gooders. Another photo and many more details are on the jump page.

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To begin with, I begged my wife to consider the concept of us purchasing the former White Castle regional office, found at the corner of 69th Street and 34th Avenue, for usage as a home. She blew me off, saying that we’d have stoned teenagers turning up in our driveway every night at 2 am. She also did a quick check of Q’Stoner’s posts from December of 2014 and pointed out that we haven’t got five million bucks to buy it with. I love the idea of living in a white ceramic building with castellations (because of, y’know, zombies), but even more interesting would be life on what I call “an angle” between neighborhoods (it would also allow me to embrace Bowling as a sport, given the neighboring corner’s occupation).

There’s spots like this all over Queens. It ain’t Woodside or Elmhurst, and it ain’t quite Jackson Heights (technically, it’s Jackson Heights) rather this area is an angle formed between them.

More after the jump…

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It’s time to tree-cycle and e-cycle. To promote eco-friendly practices — and help New Yorkers avoid a new state law imposing $100 fines on residents who leave electronics on the curb for pickup — the Queens Botanical Garden will  host the 12th annual E-Waste Recycling Event on Sunday. Done in partnership with the Lower East Side Ecology Center and sponsored by TekServe, this six-hour event allows participants to drop off unwanted or non-functional computers, printers, cell phones, video games, tablets, and other gadgets in the parking entrance. (Click here for a full list of acceptable items.) Garden employees will make sure that they are disposed of in the proper ecological way. On the same day and in the same spirit, the garden will host arts-and-crafts activities using recycled and repurposed items.

Meanwhile in response to recent holidays, the NYC Parks Department will host MulchFest 2015 all weekend at various spots throughout the five boroughs, including 13 Queens green spaces. Residents can bring trees to these spots to be recycled into mulch that will nourish plantings across the city. In some places, NYC Parks employees will chip the wood and give bags of mulch back to the tree donors. Details for all three events are on the jump page.

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It’s part Cascanueces, part Shchelkunchik, and mostly unique. This Saturday, four local performing arts schools will offer two presentations of a decidedly Queens version of The Nutcracker. Expect some ballet, of course, but be prepared for plenty of salsa, Arabian belly dance, Chinese jazz, hula hoops, and hip hop. The companies  — Mestizo Art CenterCali SalsaEC Squared Studio; and Uruzua Queens Center of Performing Arts — are all located in the heavy Hispanic neighborhoods of Jackson Heights, Corona, and Elmhurst, so there will be a Latin flair with a mix of solo and group acts.

Details: The Nutcracker (Queens Version), Queens Theatre, 14 United Nations Avenue South, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, December 27th, 4:30 pm and 7 pm, $20 suggested donation.

Photo: Uruzua Queens Center of Performing Arts

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Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way…through Jackson Heights. Instead of Prancer, Vixen, and Comet, a group of warmly dressed carolers will wind through local streets on Saturday night as part of the sixth annual Winter Holiday Sing-A-Long. Participants — representing a wide array of ages, races, and voices — will chant, hum, and croon Christmas tunes and other religious or seasonal favorites in every language that group members know, including American Sign Language, thanks to students and faculty from the Lexington School for the Deaf on 30th Avenue. Sheet music will be provided, and some will bring musical instruments. More details on jump page.

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On your marks! Get set! Go…to the closest Tibetan or Nepalese chef! Momo Crawl 2014 is set for Saturday, November 22nd, and this year’s goal is to eat through the pain. During this third annual event, participants will gather near the Jackson Heights Food Court marquee to receive copies of Momo Mandala Map 2014 from the organizer, Jeff Orlick. Then they will stroll at their leisure to roughly 20 participating restaurants and street vendors within a half-mile radius to buy these Himalayan dumplings (see above) for $1 each. Some vendors will add to the fun with special promotions. For example, at Gangjong Kitchen, crawlers will be able to win free dinners by successfully whistling after eating a momo with the special house sauce. Little Tibet will add its spice by offering momo-making lessons, drink specials, and even henna tattoos. At the end of the event, crawlers will meet at the Jackson Heights Food Court to vote on who deserves the coveted Momo Trophy (below).

Details: Momo Crawl 2014, Jackson Heights Food Court, 73-07 37th Road, Jackson Heights, November 22nd, 2 pm to 5 pm, pay Orlick three bills of any denomination to join the fun.

Photos: Jeffrey Tastes

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Queens is always teeming with fun, enriching, and inspiring activities, and this weekend is no exception. In fact, this Saturday’s lineup is so diverse and enthralling that it has inspired the Queens Tourism Council to offer prizes. It’s simple, anybody who takes a selfie at the four events described in this post and shares them on the QTC Facebook page receives an It’s In Queens tee-shirt (or another prize if supplies run out).

The first item is a public art project by Roshani Thakore and Fumi Nakamura entitled “Move with Us.” These artists (above) invite Queens immigrant residents to demonstrate physical stances in public spaces for an animated video illustrating collective cultural gestures. The goal is to collect 167 poses to represent 167 cultures, and each participant will receive a custom-designed luggage tag as a memento. Details: 12:30 pm to 3 pm, Queens Library Sunnyside Branch, 43-06 Greenpoint Avenue.

More details and images after the jump.