Posted by: Orlick | April 10, 2010

Queens and NYC Tours with Jack Eichenbaum

Jack Eichenbaum is an Urban Geology professor and a professional tour guide for NYC. In the past 8 months, I’ve been lucky to witness his passion for the city and abundance of information he has about nearly everywhere we’ve walked. Personally, I am always interested in talking to him in order to gain a greater understanding of how the city is currently developing, through his past and current observations. He is probably most famous for holding walking tours throughout the year (NYT article, radio interview), mainly in Queens, but in the outer boroughs as well (Queens is the center borough).

The official website isn’t current, but he’s providing so much good information that I cannot feel right unless I let it be known publicly. You usually don’t have to RSVP, you just have to show up. Also he gives discounts to people under 30 (how cool is that?). So until he gets the site up and running, I’m e-jackiing the mailer and putting it out to all of you. I know there is a lot, but to make your life just a little better, just pick ONE tour to go on and make it happen. It’s easy.

Jack Eichenbaum’s Public Walks April-June 2010


1. Happy Passover and Easter!
2. The Queens Plaza tour, originally scheduled for 4/18, has been rescheduled for 4/25.
3. I am introducing a new series of tours based on Interborough bus routes.
4. As in 2009, I am self-sponsoring a series of walking tours based on Changing Cultures of Queens. The June schedule appears below. There will be more in July.
5. The free Historical Jamaica tour (6/19) will be repeated in July, September and October.
6. I’ve finished copy for my reconstructed web site. It’s being sent to my web master. Stay tuned for a vibrant new version of
7. Family and Class Reunions. Are you anticipating a family or class reunion? Consider
celebrating with a walking tour in the “old neighborhood.” I’ve led such custom walks
in Queens neighborhoods. It’s a great way to jog memories, appreciate the amazing
changes in the city and unite generations. Call to discuss an event. 718-961-8406


The Evolution of Queens Plaza Sunday, April 25 1-3pm
Queens Plaza, “five minutes from Bloomingdales”, is where the Queensboro Bridge, Queens and Northern Blvds, eight subway lines and the mainline of the Long Island Railroad all converge in Long Island City. Dormant during decades of industrial decline, the Plaza has undergone rapid recent change. Zoning was dramatically reformulated to accommodate residential and commercial demand for sites convenient to but much less expensive than midtown Manhattan and there has been significant new construction. Meet at 39th Ave station token booth (N train/Astoria line). Sponsored by the Municipal Art Society. Fee $10/15 (Mem/non-mem)

North Flushing-Whitestone-Malba Ramble Saturday, May 8 2:30-5pm

A three mile walk through diverse, upscale, well-landscaped residential neighborhoods best with spring foliage. More walking, less commentary than a typical walking tour. Ramble departs from Kingsland (Queens Historical Society) and includes admission to exhibits after 2pm. This walk features the intense “cathedral” building activity by immigrants in North Flushing, remnants of the old village of Whitestone and the McMansionization of wealthy waterfront Malba. Returns to Central Flushing (and points south) by bus. Sponsored by the Queens Historical Society. Fee $15 (fund raiser/donation). Walking directions to QHS from Main St/Roosevelt Ave terminus of #7 train: Walk north on Main St. 3 short blocks to 37 Ave, turn right (east) 2 long blocks to Bowne St, where 37 Ave dead ends at Weeping Beech Park. Walk through the small park to the yellow house on the left-Kingsland (144-35 37 Ave.)

Historical Jamaica Saturday, June 19 1-3pm

One of the earliest settlements in NYC, Jamaica boasts centuries old homes, churches and cemeteries. Focusing on Jamaica Ave at the foot of the glacial moraine, we’ll dwell on its strategic location and make some interior visits including Grace Episcopal Church and the meticulously restored Valencia theater. >Meet at King Manor museum front lawn, Jamaica Ave between 150-153 St. (E,J Jamaica Center, LIRR Jamaica station); Sponsored by Jamaica Center BID. Tour is free (and rain or shine) but RSVP is required. 718-526-2422 or

Interborough Bus Adventures

Some NYCTA buses have relatively long routes connecting transit hubs outside midtown Manhattan. They allow us easy access to places of interest not served by the subway system. These tours include a lunch break and run for about 4-5 hours. They are sponsored by the Municipal Art Society and require preregistration. Fee $25/30 (mem/nonmem) Go to or call 212-935-2075. There will be one more in July.

1. Q44 (Parkchester to Jamaica Center) Saturday, May 29 10am-3pm

The tour centers on walks within three unusual housing developments: Parkchester, a Metropolitan Life Insurance funded apartment complex in the East Bronx; Malba, a wealthy waterfront enclave adjacent to the Whitestone Bridge in Queens; Parkway Village, garden apartments built for United Nations personnel in Kew Garden Hills. Lunch is in the vibrant Asiatown in Central Flushing. The bus passes by neighborhoods of different class and ethnicity and offers a stunning Manhattan skyline view from the Whitestone Bridge.

2. M60 (Central Harlem to East Elmhurst) Sunday, June 20 10am-3pm

The route follows the movement of some of the black middle class from Harlem to East Elmhurst in Queens after the construction of LaGuardia Airport and the Grand Central Parkway devalued the area for a white elite. Three diverse walks are included: Mount Morris, a geographic anomaly in Central Harlem; the Arab community centered on Steinway St. in Astoria, also site of our lunch break; a walk from the Malcolm X house in East Elmhurst to Louis Armstrong’s home in Corona. Armstrong’s home is now a museum which participants may want to visit before continuing to a #7 subway connection.

Changing Cultures of Queens: A Walking Anthology

A series of educational walking tours in June and July 2010
Tuesday evenings @ 6pm… We move by 6:15.
Instructor and sponsor: Dr. Jack Eichenbaum, urban geographer

Since the end of the Second World War, three waves of cultural change impacted Queens. First, residents from older neighborhoods in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn came to enjoy automobile access and newer housing removed from deterioration and demographic change. After the 1965 change in immigration laws, Queens became a magnet for the diversity of new Americans and today half of the population is foreign-born. In recent years, domestic newcomers and the creative community sought the lower density and lower rents of the borough.

Queens’ neighborhoods are unique mixes of these processes and previous history played out on varied topography. Learn to understand and appreciate these cityscapes by joining a group of walkers for an evening. Enjoy stimulating outdoor environments and make new friends.

Each walk begins at 6pm at the designated location, near a subway station, and ends about two hours and two miles later in a neighborhood where you may eat (as you choose) in a variety of interesting restaurants. Tuition: $15 each walk. ($10 for people under 30 years in age with ID)

Tues. June 1 Flushing’s Koreatown

Koreans are the premiere small businessmen and church builders of contemporary immigration. Their center of gravity has migrated away from Central Flushing and is now sprawling east along Northern Blvd and to “Korean Villages” at LIRR stations. See surprising shops and houses of worship. Eats include “BBQ“ and “KFC“. >Meet by fare booth outside the east end (front) of the #7 station (Roosevelt Ave, east of Main St, last stop on #7 train and served by escalators) (Do not exit from middle of platform!)

Tues. June 8 Long Island City to Old Astoria
Walk the East River shore between the Queensboro and RFK (Triboro) Bridges. Begin at Queensbridge Houses and head for the remnants of Old Astoria. The sights include increasingly oblique views of Manhattan’s Upper East Side from three parks, a (former) piano factory, a huge power plant, a “big box” store, the Socrates Sculpture Park and the Isamu Noguchi Museum. End in Astoria at Bohemian Hall beer garden. >Meet at NW corner 41 Av/21 St (F to Queensbridge).

Tues. June 15 Forest Hills to Corona

Dominicans, Ecuadorians and Mexicans compete for commercial space in Corona! South Americans surround the venerable Little Italy in Corona Heights! Bukharan Jews succeed Russian Jews in Rego Park! Come early and peek at Forest Hills Gardens across Queens Blvd. This walk can’t be topped for fine-grained diversity. How did it all happen? >Meet at the Ridgewood Savings Bank, 108 St/ North side Queens Blvd (E,F,R,V to 71 Ave/Continental, Forest Hills)

Tues. June 22 #7 Sunnyside to Jackson Heights

The core of the ethnic diversity along “The International Express” has visible commercial concentrations of Irish, Mexican, South Asian, South American, Filipino and Thai cultures. Some domestic gentrification has occurred at both termini. The train and the constantly evolving eats are always in focus. >Meet at the “Sunnyside” sign, in the street on the south side of the #7 46St/Bliss local station.

Tues. June 29 South Richmond Hill

Immigrants from Guyana (in South America) are already a fascinating mix of African, South Asian, Caribbean and British culture. Now they are adapting to New York. We’ll view much of their commercial strip, a thriving segment of Liberty Avenue in South Richmond Hill. Then we’ll ascend Richmond Hill and encounter Sikhs and transportation influences. >Meet at NE corner of 104 St/Liberty Ave (Lefferts Blvd A train to 104 St, do not take Far Rockaway A)

If you got this far you must be interested in tours like this!
Let me suggest a complimentary series of tours called Noshwalks.
Led by Myra Alperson, you walk less, eat more, yet get the same respect
for the diversity and evolution of culture thriving everywhere in our marvelous city.
See Myra‘s schedule at

and this is from Immigrant Heritage Week
Under the International Express
By ihwnyc
Join Dr. Jack Eichenbaum—who holds a Ph.D in urban geography and teaches at Hunter College—on a special walking tour from Woodside to Corona and through several ethnic community concentrations including the Irish, Korean, Thai, Filipino, South Asian, South American, and Mexican communities. The walk under the #7 train will highlight what it had done to and for the surrounding neighborhoods since it opened in 1914. The tour lasts approximately two hours and covers two miles.

April 21, 2010 | 5:45pm – 7:45pm | Jack Eichenbaum, PhD.

Call 212-788-0277 to reserve your space, confirmed RSVPs will receive information about where to meet for the tour; tour is limited to 30 participants.



  1. These walks sound absolutely brilliant, and I would love to do them all. If I were still living there, I definitely would be signing up for as many as I could afford (speaking of which, the cost is so reasonable).

    I’d also be extremely interested in the NoshWalks – for obvious reasons!

    Thanks for this, Jeff. Had I known about Jack Eichenbaum and these guided walking tours when I was still living in New York, I would have loved doing them all. I hope you’ll be blogging about your walks when you do them – if I can’t be there to experience them in person, I’d like so much to be there vicariously, through reading about it.

  2. Absolutely incredible. Thanks for sharing this resource, man. I fully intend to participate.

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