Astoria Village is a small area tucked into Queens’ northwest edge, south of Astoria Park and Hell Gate, east of Roosevelt Island. The area was first settled in the 1600s by Brit William Hallett (an East River inlet was named Hallett’s Cove) and still boasts a quirky, interlocking street layout. It was named (as was the surrounding neighborhood of Astoria proper) in the mid-18o0s for fur tycoon John Jacob Astor, though he spurned the honor and never set foot in the place. The neighborhood still boasts a collection of distinctive 19th Century homes, though more are lost to developers every year as the area has never been landmarked. But, that’s a complaint for another page.
I was slipping and sliding through a day after a strange October snowstorm when, at the confluence of 30th Avenue, Main Avenue, 12th Street and Welling Court, I chanced upon a group of wall murals I hadn’t seen before, by a variety of artists. If anyone can fill me in on why they have cropped up here, let me know.
Welling Court. The kid on the left was from the neighborhood and died young. The thing on the right reminds me of Rat Fink, which you remember if you’re a certain age.
There’s no mention of it but this could be the General Slocum steamboat, an excursion ship that caught fire in June 1904 in the East River and foundered on North Brother Island, killing over 1,000 people.
Hieronymus Boschian bit at a residence entrance
30th and Main Avenues