Tuesday, February 3, 2009

BHS seeks 1939 memories & artifacts

The Bayside Historical Society is calling on the community for assistance in locating memorabilia, ephemera, and nostalgic items to display in "Bayside Life: On the Edge of Modernity," its upcoming exhibit detailing life as it was in this community 70 years ago. It also is looking to document memories of those who grew up during this era, or who have interesting family stories to share.

The title of the exhibit reflects the many currents running through Bayside during this period. Bayside, in 1939, was on the edge of urbanization because of its proximity to Manhattan; was greatly affected by the newly constructed Cross Island Parkway (which opened in 1939); and was experiencing a population explosion (population had doubled from 14,000 in 1927 to 29,000 in 1939). There was massive home construction (Bayside Hills had just been developed), and the little village had become a town. Furthermore, the nearby World's Fair opened this year with a theme of "World of Tomorrow."

The Bayside Historical Society is asking the community to contribute to the exhibit by providing oral or written memories of Bayside during 1939 and 1940, and by lending artifacts from these two years for display. Specifically, BHS seeks sheet music of "When You Wish Upon a Star;" the Glenn Miller Orchestra; Count Basie; and Louis Armstrong. Also, the board games "Pegity" and "Contack;" NYC Subway Tokens, a 1939 radio; and Oldsmobile brochure or Ford Advertising; books and magazines published in 1939 and movies released during that year; NY World's Fair memorabilia and postcards; a Toll House Cookies tin from 1939. Additionally, BHS seeks missing issues of a weekly magazine published during 1939-1940, known as "Bayside Life," and any information about its publisher.

For more information, or to lend items for display, please call (718) 352-1548.

6 comments:

Lino said...

The pic is of course Bell Blvd, it has changed little over the years. The theater with it's water tower has been converted to a miniature mall. Also, from this shot it appears that the commercial strip ended just a block or so north of the theater and became wooded.

The movie theater redevelopment was a good case-in-point of a community that acted in a cohesive manner to prevent what a developer had planned as a much larger project.

Why is it that areas such as Bayside can act collectively while in more working class areas people just complain when something out of place actually gets built.

I do notice that today, toward 35th there is a small apt bldg going up in place of a private house.

Interesting shot, I'll show to some folks I know out there.

Anonymous said...

"Why is it that areas such as Bayside can act collectively while in more working class areas people just complain when something out of place actually gets built."

You don't seem to understand that the higher up muckety mucks in city government live in eastern Queens and that's why it looks somewhat preserved while the rest of the borough is thrown under the bus. Where were the first downzonings completed and why is much of western Queens still waiting for theirs?

Lino said...

"..the higher up muckety mucks in city government live in eastern Queens.."

i have friends in Bayside and Douglas Manor...I do understand who lives there.

But i feel there is more involved here; while the more affluent areas tend to be more preserved they also, generally, have more educated and thus aesthetically aware residents.

Western Queens has always been more working class, it's a place where people are either moving up, or moving out from. One of the more recent effects of this is a lack of communal action that I believe has been made worse by the gross escalation in R.E. prices. People hear of super inflated sale prices and there goes the human instinct of greed -to hell with your neighbors and the area.

They don't care who/what they sell-to as long as they get "full market".

In contrast, N.eastern Queens is more a destination for those who have "moved up" and they are more likely to care about the area.

Frank said...

It looks like parking was tight there even back then!

Anonymous said...

"Where were the first downzonings completed and why is much of western Queens still waiting for theirs?"

North Flushing is finally underway now after YEARS of bitching about it. Auburndale/Hollis Hills/Oakland Gardens are still waiting. So no, there are some nabes in eastern Queens that got overlooked. In western Queens, you guys will probably be last because being so close to Manhattan, developers will most likely want to rape you guys first. Sorry, but that's the truth.

Anonymous said...

Don't ask Paul Vallone...I don't think he could find Bayside on a map!