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A Brief History of Astoria, Queens

Resultado de imagen para Astoria

Now home to an increasing number of young millennials and beer gardens, Astoria has a long, written history spanning all the way back to 17th-century colonial times. Here’s a brief summary of what happened and how the area has evolved over the years.
Native Americans
Not much is known about the native tribes that lived here for centuries before the European settlers arrived, but by the time Henry Hudson paid a visit to Long Island in 1609, about 13 tribes were living on the island. The area was sparsely populated and had an abundance of natural resources, both inland and by the water.

Dutch and English settlers
As a result of the Dutch East India Company’s activities, the first European settlers in the region were the Dutch, who lived alongside the indigenous people for a time. According to reporter Liz Goff at the Queens Tribune, the first white person to see Astoria was the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block. By the mid-17th century, the English arrived as well, buying up much of the land in Queens and pushing out the natives. One such Englishman was William Hallett, after whom Astoria was originally named (Hallett’s Cove).

American Museum of the Moving Image | © Carl / Flickr
American Museum of the Moving Image | © Carl / Flickr
Revolutionary War
In 1776, after the British won the Battle of Long Island, they marched all the way from Brooklyn to Queens and occupied the area for several years, not leaving until well after the end of the war.

Home to the wealthy
By the 19th century, Old Astoria became home to the Manhattan elite who built large houses. In 1839, one of these wealthy men, a fur merchant called Stephen Halsey, officially founded the neighborhood and named it Hallett’s Cove. Later, he petitioned to rename the region Astoria after America’s first multi-millionaire, John Jacob Astor, in return for his investment.

Flourishing industry
By the mid-19th century, German and Irish immigrants began to arrive in large numbers. One of the German immigrants founded the famous piano company, Steinway & Sons. In 1920, the first movie studio opened in Astoria, which later became known as Paramount Studios.

Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden | © Marc Flores / Flickr
Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden | © Marc Flores / Flickr
After World War II
The aftermath of WWII saw a new wave of immigrants from Italy and Greece. By the mid-90s, Greeks accounted for approximately half of the population. Astoria also has a significant Arab population, and contains an unofficial area on Steinway Street called “Little Egypt.” In the 90s, Eastern European and South American immigrants arrived, further diversifying the neighborhood. Today, the diversity in the area includes immigrants from all around the world; however, it is still considered the go-to neighborhood for great Greek food.



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Now home to an increasing number of young millennials and beer gardens, Astoria has a long, written history spanning all the way back to 17th-century colonial times. Here’s a brief summary of what happened and how the area has evolved over the years.

Native Americans

Not much is known about the native tribes that lived here for centuries before the European settlers arrived, but by the time Henry Hudson paid a visit to Long Island in 1609, about 13 tribes were living on the island. The area was sparsely populated and had an abundance of natural resources, both inland and by the water.

Dutch and English settlers

As a result of the Dutch East India Company’s activities, the first European settlers in the region were the Dutch, who lived alongside the indigenous people for a time. According to reporter Liz Goff at the Queens Tribune, the first white person to see Astoria was the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block. By the mid-17th century, the English arrived as well, buying up much of the land in Queens and pushing out the natives. One such Englishman was William Hallett, after whom Astoria was originally named (Hallett’s Cove).

Revolutionary War

In 1776, after the British won the Battle of Long Island, they marched all the way from Brooklyn to Queens and occupied the area for several years, not leaving until well after the end of the war.

Home to the wealthy

By the 19th century, Old Astoria became home to the Manhattan elite who built large houses. In 1839, one of these wealthy men, a fur merchant called Stephen Halsey, officially founded the neighborhood and named it Hallett’s Cove. Later, he petitioned to rename the region Astoria after America’s first multi-millionaire, John Jacob Astor, in return for his investment.

Flourishing industry

By the mid-19th century, German and Irish immigrants began to arrive in large numbers. One of the German immigrants founded the famous piano company, Steinway & Sons. In 1920, the first movie studio opened in Astoria, which later became known as Paramount Studios.

After World War II

The aftermath of WWII saw a new wave of immigrants from Italy and Greece. By the mid-90s, Greeks accounted for approximately half of the population. Astoria also has a significant Arab population, and contains an unofficial area on Steinway Street called “Little Egypt.” In the 90s, Eastern European and South American immigrants arrived, further diversifying the neighborhood. Today, the diversity in the area includes immigrants from all around the world; however, it is still considered the go-to neighborhood for great Greek food.

The 12 Oldest Bars In New York City

Despite its cutting-edge contemporary culture, New York City also boasts a rich and colorful history, from iconic landmark buildings to centuries-old cobblestone streets. Unsurprisingly, some of our greatest history is embedded within bars and pubs. We profile 12 of New York City’s oldest bars — some of which have been around for almost two centuries.

McSorley’s Old Ale House

Located in the East Village, McSorley’s is considered the oldest ‘Irish’ pub in NYC and was established in 1854. The walls are covered in memorabilia, all of which has been there since the early 20th century. Despite only allowing women onto the premises since the 1970s, this traditional ale house remains a beloved community gem. No need to worry about overwhelming choices — here, you can only choose between dark and light ale. The happy hour includes two beers for $5.
McSorley's| © Antonio Rubio/flickr
McSorley’s| © Antonio Rubio/Flickr

Killmeyers

Killmeyers Old Bavaria Inn has been around for quite some time. The building itself, which dates back to the 1700s, was sold to Nicolas Killmeyer around the year 1855. In 1890, it expanded to include a hotel and mahogany bar. The current owners purchased the venue in 1995, after it had been sold to the previous owner in 1945.

Old Town Bar

The iconic Old Town Bar has been around since 1892, operating as a speakeasy during Prohibition in the 1920s. Most of the décor, including the oldest dumbwaiter (freight elevator) in NYC, is original to the location. If you wish to dine, you can climb the creaky staircase to the second floor. This bar has appeared in several films, including State of Grace and Bullets Over Broadway.
Old Town Bar & Restaurant, Manhattan, New York City| © Jazz Guy/flickr
Old Town Bar & Restaurant, Manhattan, New York City| © Jazz Guy/Flickr

Liedy’s Shore Inn

Liedy’s has been a local favorite for over 100 years. This family-owned establishment has been passed down from generation to generation, catering to locals and retired sailors.

Ear Inn

The Ear Inn wasn’t always a tavern. Built in 1817 for James Brown, an African-American Revolutionary War veteran, the first floor actually served as a tobacco store before being sold in the mid-19th century. It is unknown when this venue was first established as a bar, but the first records indicate that it was around 1835. It was sold two more times before Prohibition, where it operated as a speakeasy and a brothel. After the 1920s, the bar was simply referred to as the ‘Green Door,’ as it had no official name. In 1977, it was reopened as ‘the Ear,’ named after a music magazine with the same name.
Since 1817| © Alan Levine/flickr
Since 1817| © Alan Levine/Flickr

 

Fraunces Tavern

Fraunces Tavern holds some serious historical value in New York City. Once George Washington’s headquarters, peace negotiations were made here with the British during the Revolutionary War. Later, the building was used to house federal offices in the Early Republic. The building is considered the oldest in Manhattan, and the tavern itself has been in operation since 1762. History buffs can check out the museum on the second and third floors.
Fraunces Tavern| © Elisa Rolle:/wikicommons
Fraunces Tavern | © Elisa Rolle:/WikiCommons

Mulberry Street Bar

Originally called ‘Mare Chiaro’, the Mulberry Street Bar has been a staple of Little Italy since 1908. Established in a time where Little Italy was heavily influenced by the mob, it is no wonder that Donny BrascoThe Godfather Part III, and The Sopranos, amongst others, have used this location as a backdrop. The building has been slightly renovated to accommodate beer on tap and television sets, but the original wooden back bar and inset mirrors remain.

Pete’s Tavern

The building that houses Pete’s Tavern was built in 1829 and served as the site of the Portman Hotel in 1899. It was later turned into a speakeasy during Prohibition, disguised as a flower shop. Now known as Pete’s Tavern, you can still enjoy some great American-Italian fare here alongside their famous 1864 house ale.
New York City, 9 Aug 08| © Jazz Guy/flickr
New York City, 9 Aug 08 | © Jazz Guy/Flickr

Neir’s Tavern

Historian Richard Hourahan considers Neir’s Tavern to be New York City’s oldest bar, as it was technically around three decades before McSorley’s. Once called Old Blue Pump House, Neir’s has changed a bit in the past 180 years. For starters, it no longer has a bowling alley, nor has it maintained its ballroom, which dated back to 1898. The name has changed throughout history due to several owners, and it acted as a speakeasy during Prohibition. Either way, Neir’s Tavern is one for the history books.

White Horse Tavern

The White Horse Tavern opened its doors in 1880 and was originally frequented by dock workers. In the early 1950s, it became a popular spot for New York City-based writers and artists, a local favorite for Dylan Thomas, the Clancey Brothers, and Bob Dylan. While you’re unlikely to find such an impressive clientele today, as it’s now a popular spot for tourists, locals, and NYU students, the White Horse Tavern remains a fantastic piece of NYC history and a prime location for a stiff drink.
White Horse Tavern| © Paul Simpson/flickr
White Horse Tavern | © Paul Simpson/Flickr

Bridge Cafe

Bridge Café has been around since 1794, when it first opened as a ‘grocery and wine and porter bottler.’ Since then, it’s served as a series of eating and drinking establishments, serving as a brothel in the mid-19th century. In 1979 it became the Bridge Cafe. Unfortunately, the building suffered damages in Hurricane Sandy and has been temporarily closed ever since. It was due to re-open at some point, but patrons are still anxiously waiting.

Yankee Bar and Grill

Once frequented by the likes of Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra, and Babe Ruth, this family owned bar (since 1923) is now a popular spot for nearby courthouse employees and middle-aged fans. Yankee Bar and Grill is for serious Yankees fans or for those who want to soak in some of NYC’s history.