Sound Street runs for only a block in Astoria, between 23rd Avenue and Astoria Boulevard, one-way south, yet it does bring traffic to a bridge crossing the Grand Central Parkway. Few Astorians know that it’s a remnant of a small settlement dating back to the early to mid-1800s.
East Astoria was a very small community located on Astoria’s eastern edge, about where Astoria Boulevard between Steinway Street and 43rd Street are now. It was developed earlier than the surrounding area, and when more streets were finally cut through, much of East Astoria’s small street grid actually survived. North-south streets were Planet Avenue and Sound Street, while east-west streets were Bremen Avenue, Frankfort Avenue (both signs of Astoria’s German population during the 19th and early 20th Centuries) as well as Nassau and Flushing Avenues. Flushing Avenue became Astoria Boulevard, and Nassau Avenue was demolished when the Grand Central Parkway was constructed. Planet and Bremen Avenues have disappeared.
Over the decades, surrounding development swallowed up East Astoria, and its death knell as a separate community came when Robert Moses rammed through the Grand Central Parkway connection to the Triborough Bridge in 1936.
And yet…East Astoria hasn’t been killed completely. Two streets defy the grid to this day, 23rd Street and Sound Street, which today leads to a bridge crossing the Grand Central Parkway.
Frankfort Avenue, later Frankfort Place, survives still, as 23rd Road between Steinway and Sound Streets. 23rd Road, which has no sidewalk in spots, is reminiscent of what of what East Astoria was probably like. Since 1918, the NY Connecting Railroad can be seen in the west from 42nd Street.