Title: 'Long Island City' tells a story
Author: Pam Robinson
Publisher: Long Island Literature Examiner
Before the Great Consolidation that unified the parts of New York City, several villages and cities operated independently. One of the more vibrant communities is featured in "Long Island City," part of the Postcard History Series from Arcadia Publishing.
Home to the eastern terminus of the 59th Street Bridge, Long Island City has long held an industrial feel. But there's much more to the area. What the Greater Astoria Historical Society has done in this book is preserve and show dozens of picture postcards dating back to about 1905 that capture images of the life, natural environment and people of the community. Along with many cards showing the schools, churches, firehouses and commercial buildings of the area, we also see those showing the trolley cars of the famous Steinway piano company, farms, aerial views of the Triborough Bridge, the el in Astoria, a sanitarium that specialized in treating alcohol and other drug addiction and many more.
One particularly interesting photo shows people standing at the edge of "New York Municipal Airport/La Guardia Field" as planes taxi nearby, an eye-catching difference from the wretched condition of airports these days. The caption notes that children in the 1950s were able to bicycle up to the parked planes and get cookies from the crew.
Long Island City often feels like a place to pass through quickly on the way home to Nassau or Suffolk County but what this book succeeds in doing is pointing out the distinct sense of community LIC has by telling its history.
This particular book is packed with black and white photos, in a serious effort to show life in earlier years and how the area has both remained the same and changed over the decades. It's quite a contribution and a help to those who want to learn more about the community. Authors are Matt LaRose, Stephen Leone and Richard Melnick.