Thursday, March 06, 2014

One Angry Nan

The amazing architecture of Forest Hills Garden
I got picked for the jury. For as many as two weeks of jury duty. I can say no more about the case.

I will say there is an amazing neighborhood near the courthouse. The courthouse itself is on an especially ugly section of Queens Boulevard where I had to trudge for 30 minutes before I found a restaurant that had an A rating.

And where I finally found an A restaurant (a bagel place) was on the outskirts of Forest Hills Gardens. Wow, what a mind-blowing cul-de-sac of quaintness in the middle of Queens. And it turns out it was entirely planned that way:
The area consists of a 142-acre (0.57 km2) development, fashioned after a traditional English village, that is one of America's oldest planned communities. It is modeled after the English planned garden suburb community Hampstead Garden Suburb, located near Golders Green, in London. The layout, with a central "square", and the similarity of many of the street names in both communities was clearly intentional. The community, founded in 1908, consists of about 800 homes, townhouses, and apartment buildings, mostly in Tudor, Brick Tudor or Georgian style, in a parklike setting designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., son of noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and partner in the Olmsted Brothers firm. Designed with transportation access in mind, the community's central square is adjacent to the Forest Hills Long Island Rail Road station. The largest apartment buildings stand closest to the station, while more distant buildings are smaller and have larger yards. Although most buildings are single-family homes, the development also includes garden apartment buildings and retail space. Today, the area contains the most expensive housing in the borough of Queens, and some of the most expensive in all of New York City.
I don't know about "traditional English village" - with that architecture and names of its private(!) streets like "Underwood Road" and "Seasongood Road" I thought I was in the Shire.

I didn't realize I was in a planned community until I came out the other end onto the Jackie Robinson Parkway and turned around to see the brick boundary markers proclaiming "Forest Hills Garden" and the WARNING! about entering private streets.

Fun fact - this edge of the neighborhood is only three blocks from where Kitty Genovese was killed. I happen to know this because there is an article about her murder in this week's issue of the New Yorker.