Tag Archives: Queens

Z is for Z Train

Located at Queens and Manhattan, New York
Website:  https://new.mta.info/maps/subway-line-maps/z-line

The Z Train

No series on New York attractions will be complete without an article on the Subway; so this is fulfilling that need, writing about the Z Train.

The New York Subway consists of more than 6,455 subway cars, 472 subway stations, and 665 miles of track. The subway trains collectively traveled about 331 million miles in 2021. They had an annual ridership of 760 million, with a weekday averaging to 2,369,655 riders, in 2021. 

The Z Train, also known as the Z Nassau Street Express, runs between Jamaica Center – Parsons/ Archer in Jamaica, Queens, and Broad Street in Lower Manhattan. This is the same line that is run by the J trains. 

The Z is an unusual line. It runs only on weekdays, only during peak periods in the morning and afternoon, and only in the peak direction. An express, it makes skip-stop service during those times with the J train, which operates at all times.

The complete schedule can be checked online.

Their route emblems called bullets, are colored brown. See the route color map of the Subway lines here: MTA Colors

The Z Train had its first run on December 11, 1988 when the BMT Archer Avenue Line opened, extending the line east from 121st Street to Jamaica Center–Parsons/Archer.

To make J/Z service more attractive, all trains on those lines consisted of refurbished subway cars that were more quiet, graffiti-free, and had improved lighting and new floors, were expected to have air-conditioning by the summer of 1989. The service was briefly suspended after the September 11 attacks in downtown Manhattan.

Due to budget problems, the MTA announced it would eliminate the Z Train service among other service cuts, in November 2008. However, after financial support came through legislation passed by the New York State Legislature in May 2009. And the Z Train continues its run today.

A wealth of information about the Subway and bus transport is available in the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn and the Transit Museum’s Gallery and Store in the Grand Central Terminal. Though this main museum is a paid visit museum, the Transit Museum’s Gallery and Store in the Grand Central Terminal is free to visit. The gallery is located just off the Main Concourse in the Shuttle Passage, adjacent to the Station Masters’ Office.

The gallery offers changing exhibitions and educational programming to collect, preserve, exhibit and interpret the cultural, social and technological history of public transportation in the New York metropolitan region. The store has a large selection of transit related publications, gifts, memorabilia, posters, and toys.

Currently on view at the Grand Central Gallery and Store is the exhibition about MTA’s latest program East Side Access which extends the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to the new Grand Central Madison station under Grand Central Terminal on Manhattan’s East Side. The project is completed and full service began at the station on February 27, 2023.

This is the largest capital project in MTA’s history, and the first expansion of the Long Island Rail Road in over 100 years.  

The gallery is highlighting photographs by Patrick Cashin documenting the construction, and showcasing a model of the new terminal.

30 Apr 2023

Q is for Queens

Located at 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Queens, NY 11004
Museum Website:  https://www.queensfarm.org/

Queens County Farm Museum

Queens County Farm Museum is a working farm, dating back to 1697 and occupies New York City’s largest remaining tract of undisturbed farmland. The farm is one of the longest continuously farmed sites in New York State. The site includes historic farm buildings, a greenhouse complex, livestock, farm vehicles and implements, planting fields, an orchard, apiary, and a herb garden.

Queens County Farm Museum is a New York City Landmark, on the National Register of Historic Places and a member of the Historic House Trust of New York City.

The farm was privately owned by a Dutch family, the Adriances, from 1697 to 1808, after which year it was owned by a series of families. In 1926, the farm was sold to Creedmoor State Hospital. The hospital used it for occupational therapy, to stock its kitchen, and to grow ornamental plants for the rest of the hospital campus. 

In 1975, NYC Parks acquired the farm from the hospital for the purpose of starting a museum.

Queens County Farm Museum, also known as Queens Farm, provides an opportunity for urbanites to connect with agriculture and the natural environment.

The 47-acre farm has plenty of learning opportunities for people of any age, but especially for children. The farm is owned by the New York City Department of Parks and is operated by the Colonial Farmhouse Restoration Society of Bellerose, Inc.

The restored Adriance Farmhouse, the centerpiece of the farm complex, was first built as a three-room Dutch farmhouse in 1772. Certain dates each month, you can take tours of the historical farm house.

The Farmy Scavenger Hunt at Queens Farm, a free family program, is aimed at PreK to 5th grade children to help them discover and learn about plants, animals and the history of the farm.

At the Con Edison Reading Room, open year-round, visitors can relax with a book or magazine while visiting the farm. This was originally built as a summer kitchen and most recently was used for the farm’s tomato storage. You will find books related to cooking, gardening, the environment, health and wellness, animals, farming, science and NYC history at the reading room.

If you are interested in taking part in the Apple Blossom Carnival, now is the time! It is being held April 22-23 and 28-30, 2023. 

You can check out all the museum programs on the Events and Programs page of the museum website.

The Farm Store at Queens Farm is a wonderful place to find unique items for the home and garden including Queens Farm products, locally-made gifts, and educational toys and books.

Farm-fresh eggs from the variety of heritage-breed hens raised at the farm, raw, local wildflower honey, an assortment of herbal teas like lemongrass, nettles, lemon verbena, raspberry leaf, tulsi etc produced from plants grown at Queens Farm, yarn from the farm’s alpacas and cotswold sheep, some naturally-dyed using dye plants grown on the farm… these are some of the goodies available for sale at the Farm Store.

The Farm Store also sells a range of seasonal plants from spring through fall. 

Animal feeding, sheep shearing, pumpkin patches, tractor pulled hayrides a maize maze… lots of seasonal things (some are ticketed) are happening at the Queens Farm. Be sure to check out their happenings page for the year.

The Annual Queens County Fair, a traditional agricultural fair with competitions in produce, arts and crafts, takes place at the farm. This year it is scheduled for the September 8 to 10, with pie eating and corn husking contests, hayrides, carnival rides, and games. Tickets for this event can be purchased online.

Queens Farm also offers educational programs for students and adults, the details of which are on the museum website.

20 Apr 2023

K is for King

Located at 150-03 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica NY 11432
Museum Website:  https://www.kingmanor.org/

King Manor Museum

The King Manor Museum is the original country estate of Rufus King, a member of the Continental Congress, a framer and signer of the Constitution, one of the first senators from New York State, the ambassador to Great Britain under four presidents, and an outspoken opponent of slavery. It is a very well organized, gem of a museum.

King bought this house and property in 1805 and lived there with his wife Mary Alsop King, their five children, and hired help. After moving in full time, they enlarged the house and made renovations in 1810 and also expanded the property to 150 acres. A devoted scholar of agricultural science, Rufus focused on improving the land and experimenting with crops, turning it into a successful working farm.

King was a passionate advocate for the early anti-slavery movement in America and used his platforms as the first New York Senator and Ambassador to Great Britain to fight slavery in the United States.

After his death in 1827, Rufus’ eldest son John Alsop King bought the house and farm from his father’s estate. Like his father, John made his career in politics, serving in the New York State Assembly, U.S. Congress, and as Governor of New York from 1857 to 1859. 

John carried on his father’s legacy of anti-slavery advocacy and fought for the arrest of men who kidnapped free Black New Yorkers and sold them into slavery.

After the demise of Cornelia King, granddaughter of Rufus King, the house and grounds were purchased by the Village of Jamaica to be used as a park, in 1897. The King Manor Association was formed in 1900 with the purpose of caring for the house and the museum collection. The Association still exists and runs King Manor to this date. 

When the western half of Queens, including Jamaica, became part of the City of Greater New York, the house and the property were turned over to the New York City Parks Department which redesignated the land as Rufus King Park.

Dining Room of the house

King Manor Museum is part of the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, and has been declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark and an NYC Landmark.

The parlor, meant for immediate family, close friends, and long term guests

Today King Manor Museum is the second longest-running historic house museum in New York City. The museum is a picturesque edifice that stands in the center of the square block of Rufus King Park. It is a treasure-trove of 18th century information and stories, and contains furniture, furnishings, books, and pictures that date back to that era.

Room that was the master suite, now the exhibition room

When I visited last in October 2022, the annual Fall Festival was taking place at the grounds of the museum, with dozens of vendors, and a pumpkin patch for the children.

The guest bed room

The museum also on display some of the kitchen implements.

The museum provides an exhibition space, on the second-floor, for artisans to showcase their creative work in the community. The exhibits explore topics relevant to the social questions of the times. Each exhibition is on view for a few months at the museum. 

There are several online exhibitions, with interactive elements, available at the museum website.

Kings Manor Museum holds a number of programs on a regular basis. 

One of them is ‘Hands On History’, a family program series held each first and third Saturday of the month, from 1-4pm. You can find information about the workshops, school programs and special exhibitions at the museum on the Events Calendar.

Extensive grounds around the King Manor Museum

13 Apr 2023