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As of 18 Jun 2011, the house is surrounded by a very unattractive chain link fence. The sign says it's closed for restoration, but with no estimate as to when it will reopen. A pity, as I was looking forward to visiting it. So call before you make a special trip.
Written Jun 19, 2011
When I look at this picture, my mind floods with memories. I grew up in Flushing, New York and used to visit the Bowne House as a child on Saturday afternoons. We lived right around the corner. It is a beautifully preserved house built by John Bowne in 1661. The Bownes were one of the first families of Dutch Quaker settlers who left Europe for the New World in search of religious freedom. It is the oldest example of Dutch-English architecture in the United States, unmodified since 1830. All the authentic furnishings are there, arranged as they were long ago, with all the paraphernalia of life in those times - in the parlor, study, nursery, kitchen, etc. I must have been there dozens of times - it was one of my favorite places (and in the olden days, when I was young, it was free...).
Guided tours - no reservations necessary. Last tour at at 3:45 p.m. Closed on Federal holidays. Admission - adults: $4; children - $2
Updated Apr 4, 2011
RKO Keith was our movie theater at the intersection of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue. We didn't go to the movies that often when I was growing up. So it was a big deal to stand on line at the ticket booth. When we did go, it was usually after the movie was hailed as some major event. I remember the RKO as a dimly-lit, thickly carpeted emporium in shades of deep red, where people spoke in a hush. It was built in 1927 in the Spanish-Moorish style.
The RKO is now boarded up and waiting for the wrecker's ball, like so many of the old buildings in Flushing. It closed down in 1985. A developer by the name of Huang has plans to demolish it and build a 19-story seniors center on the land. The matter is now in the courts in the wake of objections from a handful of Flushingites who are trying to save at least some vestiges of the past.
Updated Nov 13, 2006
The Queens Zoo houses rats, mice, cockroaches, chupacabras and even monkeys from Pana! Actually it is a nice place to spend a quiet Sunday afternoon with the kids, as they have a petting farm for kids.
Written Jun 16, 2006
Today, all that remains of Flushing's famous 151-year old weeping beech tree is a stump, after park officials declared it dead a few years ago. It was planted by Samuel Bowne Parsons who brought back a shoot from Belgium in 1847. It was in a park at the end of my block, on 37th Avenue, surrounded by a fence to keep the kids out. But we had our very own weeping beech in my friend's backyard, across the street from my house, and that's where we hung out in the days before computers and hi-tech. It was like a big umbrella, a hideaway from the world.
Updated Apr 13, 2004