In Queens, Paying Tribute to a Memorable Voice Some Would Rather Forget

By Nicholas Hirshon Published July 13, 2013 Wall Street Journal History teacher Carl Ballenas was eyeing a shady patch at the edge of Maple Grove Cemetery in Kew Gardens, Queens—Plot 5, where nothing but sticks and browning grass was visible. It was on this spot in 1914 that the bodies of 21 destitute people were …

Queens Boulevard Loses a Movie Icon, Disguised as a Fast Food Joint

By Nicholas Hirshon Published June 15, 2013 Wall Street Journal Until recently, the Wendy’s restaurant in Elmhurst, Queens, bustled with customers. But over the last few weeks, crews removed tables and chairs, ripped down signs and set up wooden boards along the perimeter. So went the demise of perhaps the most famous fast-food joint in …

For Nepalese Salon Workers, a Cultural Hurdle to Overcome

By Nicholas Hirshon Published May 14, 2012 The New York Times From a stool barely a foot high, the Nepalese woman hunched over the wrinkled feet of an older woman, attending to them with care and proficiency. She immersed the customer’s feet in a small whirlpool, snipping and filing away. “I didn’t even tell my …

Bachata Circuit Brings World-Famous Stars to Hole-in-the-Wall Queens Clubs

By Nicholas Hirshon Published February 21, 2012 DNAinfo At times barely visible due to machine-generated smoke, Frank Reyes serenaded hundreds of Latino couples whose bodies were bathed in the multicolored lights in a nightclub above a car dealership. Women in tight dresses danced with men in blue jeans as Reyes, who bills himself as “el …

Series: Vanishing Vintage Queens

From February to March 2011, Nicholas Hirshon wrote a three-part series for the New York Daily News named “Vanishing Vintage Queens,” documenting the demise of middle-class hangouts such as diners and Masonic lodges in the New York City borough of Queens. First Installment: Dealing With Their Losses Published February 24, 2011 Bargains abound at the 99-cent store that opened on 37th …