JAMAICA is one of Queens’ three oldest neighborhoods, along with Newtown and Flushing, and it’s no surprise that those three neighborhoods have the lion’s share of colonial-era buildings and locations. In 1655, Dutch settlers purchased acreage from the Canarsee Indians in the general neighborhood of the now-vanished Beaver Pond and set up a small community they named Rustdorp (“peaceful village”). By 1664 the Dutch had surrendered their holdings in New Netherland to the British, who renamed Rustdorp as Jamaica, an English transliteration of “Jameco,” the Indian tribe that lived near what is now called Jamaica Bay. Jamaica originally included all lands south of the present Grand Central Parkway (which explains why Jamaica is so far away from Jamaica Bay).
This much-faded painted ad “Rediscover Jamaica” can be found on an apartment building on 150th Street south of Hillside Avenue, one of Jamaica’s two main east-west roads that aren’t parkways or expressways, the other being Jamaica Avenue itself. Once blue with white lettering, it’s part of a long-ago neighborhood revitalization scheme. Even with the fade, I can tell that the font is Goudy Bold.
As always, “comment…as you see fit.” I earn a small payment when you click on any ad on the site.