2011-09-21 / Front Page

Quick Facts About Astoria And Its History

BY KARLA MONTALVO

Astoria is quickly becoming one of the most popular neighborhoods to live in. Its many attractions and proximity to the city have caused young families, professionals and college students to move in. Busy streets are filled with delicious multicultural foods. Astoria Park, located on the East River, is a great place to go running or to relax. Early American filmmakers used Astoria’s great locations in movies and TV shows.
Astoria was named after John Jacob Astor in the early 1800s. The village grew quickly as immigrants from Germany and other countries settled in. Steinway Street, one of Astoria’s busiest streets, was named after the Steinway family who opened a piano factory in the 1870s. Today that piano factory is still in operation and is known as Steinway & Sons.
In 1916 the Hell Gate Bridge was finished connecting Astoria and Manhattan. This bridge became featured in many silent films and in movies like Queens Logic. Filmmaking became extremely popular in the 1900s. Kaufman Astoria Studios is a historic movie studio that became home to Paramount silent films in the 1920s. Today it has become the center of location for major motion pictures, independent film, TV shows and commercials. The Cosby Show and Sesame Street were two of their popular clients. More information about Astoria’s role in the film industry can be found at the Museum of the Moving Image, located on 35th Avenue and 36th Street in Astoria.
Popular stars have lived in Astoria as well. Edward Ford, better known as Whitey Ford, was a pitcher for the New York Yankees and was born and raised in Astoria. Ford played for the Yankees his entire career. Film actor Christopher Walken was also born and raised on the streets of Astoria. He’s been acting since the early 1970s and has been in the movies The Deer Hunter, Pulp Fiction,  The Dead Zone and Wedding Crashers. Tony Bennett was also born in Astoria.
Overall it’s nice to know that a town with a great historical background is still a popular neighborhood. Restaurants and shopping centers are close by, the train is  within walking distance and it’s just a few stops away from the city.
 

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