BY KULSOOM KHAN
Bayside, an upper-middle class neighborhood located in the northeast Queens has the feel of Long Island but is still closer to the city. It’s been ranked as one of the most expensive housing markets in the country.
English settlers made their way into Bayside in the late 17th century and displaced the native Mackintock Indians who were the original inhabitants of the area in the process.
Located on Cross Island Parkway, the Bayside Marina welcomes many boaters, kayakers, and fishers in the summertime. Waterfront restaurants, such as the Italian Due Ponti are a favorite among locals.
Bayside is also known for its beautiful parks such as Bayside fields and the John Golden and Crocheron Parks located next to each other between 32nd Avenue and Corbett Road. Hiking trails, playgrounds, fields to engage in sports, and picnic grounds attract many visitors.
John Golden was a Broadway producer and one of the founders of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. After he and his wife moved to a 20-acre estate in 1920, they opened the grounds to the community. Many Little League baseball games were held on the grounds and when Golden died in 1955, he left his estate to the city so it could be a recreational area for the public to enjoy.
Crocheron Park is named after the Crocheron Hotel, which is said to be a place frequented by Boss Tweed. Tweed was a city politician from 1866 to 1871 and it’s believed that Tweed may have hid on the grounds of the hotel after escaping from prison in 1875 and before fleeing to Cuba. In 1907, twenty years after the hotel was destroyed in a fire, the city purchased the property and later converted it into a park.
On the opposite end of Bayside in Bay Terrace is the historic Fort Totten. Many local community groups including the Bay Terrace Community Alliance, Friend of Fort Totten Parks, the Fort Totten Conservancy, the Bay Terrace Community Organization, and the Bayside Historical Society have fought valiantly over the years to pressure the city to preserve the 49.5-acre park and not let it fall into the hands of developing corporations.
The significance behind Fort Totten is that it is a Civil War Fortress surrounded by historic architecture and buildings.
Actors Burt Young and Christopher Walken, Jazz Musician Clark Terry, Heavyweight Boxing Champion “Gentle Jim” Corbett, and sports broadcaster Howie Rose who covers the New York Mets on local radio are some notable people who have lived in Bayside.