The Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society is looking to expand its' reach by adding a few evening events and meetings. The first such event will be held on Monday, February 24th at 7 PM at historic Neir's Tavern in Woodhaven (87-48 78th St.) We will be joined by Queens historian and author Jason Antos who will give a slide presentation of his book Queens: Then & Now.
This presentation, which is free to members of the public, consists of slides from the earliest days of Queens' development, paired with photos from the exact same location today. Pictures of the past, particularly when it’s a location that you are familiar with, are always fascinating to look at.
“It shows how far we’ve come and how much things have changed,” Antos explained. “For example, in my book about Flushing I show homes along Ditmars Boulevard overlooking Flushing Bay. Those homes are still there today, but one of the notable things about that row of houses is that they had steps that led to the private bathing beaches located below. Today, that’s the Grand Central Parkway.”
Neir's Tavern can trace its' operations back to 1829 when it sat directly across the street from the Union Course racetrack, which hosted the famous horse race between American Eclipse and Sir Henry, a race seen by over 60,000 people. The racetrack closed around the time of the Civil War, but Neir's Tavern has continued, playing host at one time to Mae West, and serving as a filming location for Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas (with Rober DeNiro) and the Eddie Murphy-Ben Stiller comedy Tower Heist.
Jason Antos was a guest on Radio Free Woodhaven (LIVE on Fridays at 10 PM)- here is his interview: