Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mae West: Richmond Hill

MAE WEST once lived in the area of Queens (then Long Island) known as Richmond Hill. The actress was an enthusiastic smoker in those days. Once she was banned from The Triangle Hoifbrau because she almost burnt down one section of the aged dining room.
• • The Queens Courier featured a gazetteer on this neighborhood. Here's what they wrote.
• • Richmond Hill — — Where
• • Richmond Hill is a neighborhood in central-southern Queens, New York City, USA. It is bordered by Kew Gardens to the north, Woodhaven and Ozone Park to the west, South Ozone Park to the South, and South Jamaica to the east. The neighborhood is split between Queens Community Board 9 and 10.
• • History
• • The hill referred to as Richmond Hill is a moraine created by debris and rocks collected while glaciers advanced down North America.
• • Richmond Hill is rich in history. The Battle of Long Island, one of the bloodiest battles of the Revolutionary War, was fought in 1776 along the ridge now in Forest Park, near what is now the golf course clubhouse. Protected by its thickly wooded area, American riflemen used guerrilla warfare tactics to attack and defeat the Hessians.
• • Richmond Hill's name was inspired either by a suburban town near London, England, or because of Edward Richmond, a landscape architect in the mid-1800s who designed much of the neighborhood. In 1868, a successful banker named Albon P. Man bought the Lefferts and Welling farms, and hired Richmond to lay out the community. Over the next decade streets, schools, a church, and a railroad were built, thus making the area one of the earliest residential communities on Long Island. The area is well known for its large-frame single family houses, many of which have been preserved since the turn of the twentieth century. Many of the Queen Anne Victorian homes of old Richmond Hill still stand in the area today. The area first became developed in 1918, when the BMT Jamaica Avenue elevated train line (today the J/Z lines of the New York City Subway) was extended in the neighborhood.
• • Landmarks
• • The Triangle Hofbrau was a restaurant which was frequented by such stars as Mae West in the 1920s and 1930's. It sat on the triangular piece of land bordered by Hillside Avenue, Jamaica Avenue, and Myrtle Avenue.
• • Near the northwest corner of Hillside Avenue and Myrtle Avenue sat an old time ice cream parlor, Jahn's. It closed in late 2007. Not far away is Lefferts Boulevard which, with Liberty Avenue, define the central core of Richmond Hill.
• • Diversity
• • Originally, many German, Italian and Irish families had lived in Richmond Hill. Now Richmond Hill has many Punjabis, Trinidadians, Surinamese, Hispanics, Guyanese, other West Indians, South Asians, Indian and some Europeans living in the community. Today a minor Jewish population live along a larger group of Sikhs, Christians, Hindus, Muslims. Richmond Hill has many Guyanese people and is often thought of as "Little Guyana."
• • Historical Places of Interest in Richmond Hill
• • 1864 The Triangle Hofbrau — — This restaurant was at one time the oldest running restaurant in Queens (1893-1999). The building originally housed the Post Office and was also a hotel named Doyle's Hotel.
• • The first eatery opened its doors in 1893 under the name Wheelman's Restaurant. It was later named The Triangle Hofbrau and was said to have been the favorite eating spot of such celebrities as Mae West, Babe Ruth, Lefty Gomez, Robert Wagner Sr., Earl Sande, and Ernest Ball. Recently the Hofbrau had changed owners and was called Little Europe Restaurant, reflecting the change to a recent Russian immigration influx to Richmond Hill. Unfortunately, the restaurant falling under hard times sold the property to a medical facility which promises not to alter the building structure.
• • 1867 The Steel House — — This mansion once owned by Daniel Eldridge of the notorious Tweed Ring, is still located at 87-61 111th St. ...
— — Excerpt: — —
• • Article: "Richmond Hill"
• • Written by: The Queens Courier staff
• • Published in: The Queens Courier — —
• • Published on: Tuesday, 27 May 2008
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• • Come up and see Mae every day online:

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • •
1923 • •

Mae West.

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