BY LANA BORTOLOT
Special to amNewYork
Wanted: person with encyclopedic history knowledge, a penchant for esoterica and a little bit of showmanship.
Also must live in Queens and work for free.
It’s not a typical job description, but it’s not your typical job: The borough of Queens seeks a new historian.
The official requirements for the job are more formal: New York state law requires appointed historians to promote and preserve their respective borough’s legacy.
But it doesn’t hurt to have a mental attic packed with historical miscellany and a camera-ready character.
Media appearances, ranging from local TV and national broadcasts to documentaries, are part of the gig. Each historian serves at the pleasure of the borough president and communicates a borough’s unique histories however they see fit — through walking tours and lectures, or in publications.
Queens’ most recent historian, the retired Stanley Cogan, acknowledged sites of architectural significance through the Queensmark program and coordinated public symposia.
“We expect [the new appointee] to continue that legacy and will look for someone who can outreach to all of the community and bring people together,” said Borough President Helen M. Marshall.
amNY’s dream picks
• Kevin Walsh, author and webmaster of Forgotten New York
• Barry Lewis, architectural historian, author and media figure
• Queens Crap blogger, identity unknown, but active and outspoken community evangelist
GOT WHAT IT TAKES?
● Application deadline: May 5
● Send cover letter and resume to email@example.com.
● A committee will tabulate scores, interview candidates and recommend them to the borough president.
Could you imagine what fun I could have with that? I'd drive borough hall crazy and not last more than a week. Especially after my first exhibit showing all the history the tweeders destroyed.
I'm flattered. But I'd rather work at the pleasure of myself and my readers.