Friday, July 24, 2009
When beer gardens ruled Queens
From the Queens Courier:
The earliest beer gardens were in lower Manhattan...but as German immigrants moved to Queens, there was no way they were leaving their beloved gardens behind.
Proprietors of beer gardens welcomed the newfound space in Queens by including old-world elements like picnic grounds and dance floors that had not fit in their cramped Manhattan quarters. Some, on the water, featured swimming and clam bakes.
Beer gardens sprouted across Queens in neighborhoods like Glendale, Ridgewood, Maspeth, College Point and Jamaica. They had names like Richter’s Cypress Hills Park – now home to a stretch of the Jackie Robinson Parkway – Joseph Witzel’s Point View Island – today a sewage treatment plant – and North Beach, the site of LaGuardia Airport.