Category Archives: History

QP’s MARKETPLACE, CUE THE MEMORIES OF 80′S LIC

Where one time we lusted for black concert t-s, now we want grasshopper tacos

Where one time we lusted for black concert t-s, now we want grasshopper tacos

Recently, an old friend who grew up in Queens, shared with me her main recollection of coming to Long Island City back in her youth.  It centered around subway rides to Queens Plaza to shop at a crowded flea market called QP’s Market Place, in order to purchase the 80′s teenage equivalent of Snapchat: black concert t-shirts.

Hmm, I thought, given the retailing magnet that this place was for  someone living all the way on the other side of Queens, and the nostalgia people of a certain era have for physical locations that sold highly discounted and possibly semi-illicit merchandise, maybe the venue deserved a short profile?

Instead, a quick google turned up a historical treasure trove about the site that the market was located on.  And previous chroniclers have already performed extensive spadework and risked limbs for cool photos.  So to entice you to read their fantastic posts on it, I’ll share some interesting tidbits.

First though, to put things in perspective, the area we’re talking about is Continue reading

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LOOKING BACK ON: LONG ISLAND CITY IN 1980

Tennisport LIC. Image: Radio Prague

Given the void of local news, now is a good opportunity to get out the time machine and take a look back at the recent past of LIC.  In lieu of a time machine, we’re going to use another contraption called Google.  It has unearthed a gem of an article from New York Magazine written back in August of 1980, titled “The Next Neighborhood: Long Island City.”

It didn’t quite work according to plan, and the timing was off by over 20 years, but the two constants throughout all the fits and starts and hopes and dreams, were Continue reading

THE OLD NEIGHBORHOOD

01 Pepsi Demolition

It won’t be too long before people refer to Manhattan as the “old neighborhood,” and visit it nostalgically like Italians to Bensonhurst and Jews to the Lower East Side1.  Like both those ethnic enclaves, the people, shops, and character of yore are being supplanted.  This has been going on all across our city, and cities everywhere, for the last century.  Unfortunately when it comes to Manhattan, there’s no real desire to go back for nostalgia tours.

Oh well, for a limited few who were here for it and for those just curious about LIC’s past, Continue reading

  1. yeah, yeah, I know the LES is Manhattan []

80TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIG FIGHT IN LIC

He's going down for the count

He’s going down for the count

Tomorrow, June 13, is the 80th Anniversary of one of the the greatest upsets in boxing history, and it occurred in a venue called the Madison Square Garden Bowl right here in Long Island City.  The two fighters were Max Baer, the heavyweight champion of the world at that time, and James J. Braddock, a 10-1 underdog who two years prior was working the docks as a longshoreman.

72,000 people came out to LIC that day, to a location on Continue reading

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