New York Today: N.Y. Today: Changing Queens, From D.A. Brown to Ocasio-Cortez


Weather: Bright but wicked cold, with wind chills around 12 this morning and a high of 31. Cold all weekend. Chance of snow tomorrow night.

Alternate-side parking: in effect till Jan. 21.

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Richard Brown has been in office for a long time.CreditHilary Swift for The New York Times

A lot has changed since Mr. Brown took office.

The governor of New York is still named Cuomo. But instead of Mario, it is now his son, Andrew.

Bill de Blasio still shows up to work at City Hall. In 1991, he worked for Mayor David Dinkins. Today, Mr. de Blasio is the mayor.

And in 1991, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, arguably the most famous first-term member of Congress today, was 1 year 7 months old.

Here is more about what Queens and New York were like when Mr. Brown first took office.

Disappearing Queens

Landmarks like the Alexander’s department store in Rego Park, Niederstein’s Restaurant in Middle Village and the original Louis Armstrong Stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, were operational. Today, they are all gone.

And Long Island City — which will soon house a headquarters for Amazon — was home to factories, including the Swingline staple factory, the Ronzoni pasta factory and the Scalamandré silk mill, according to the Queens Historical Society. They are gone, too.

Bigger and more diverse

In 1990, about 700,000 Queens residents, out of 1.95 million, were born outside the United States. Today, more than one million Queens residents, out of 2.35 million, are foreign born.

The borough has gone from 48 percent white in 1990 to 37 percent by 2017, with over 54 percent of residents Hispanic or Asian, up from 32 percent, according to census figures.

Murders

There were 361 in Queens in 1991. Last year, there were 63, according to Mr. Brown’s office.

Baseball

The Mets played at Shea Stadium, which was 26 years old. Today, they play at Citi Field, which is already nine years old.

Landmarks

The two giant Elmhurst Gas Tanks stood next to the Long Island Expressway. They have since been taken down; where they stood is now a park.

Schools

Archbishop Molloy High School (my alma mater!) was an all-boys Catholic High School. Today, it is coed.

The mayor delivered his State of the City speech yesterday.CreditHilary Swift for The New York Times

The mayor

Highlights from Bill de Blasio’s State of the City speech, which he delivered Thursday (with teleprompters!):

There’s “plenty of money in this city. It’s just in the wrong hands,” the mayor said. He also promised to seize buildings owned by scofflaw landlords, a plan that will almost certainly meet legislative and legal hurdles.

The mayor also spoke of adding ferry service from Staten Island and Coney Island to Manhattan.

The Legislature

State lawmakers began their new session vowing to improve New York’s byzantine voting process.

Proposed changes include early voting, preregistration of 16- and 17-year-olds, and holding state and federal primaries on the same day.

An Output regular, Danny Tenaglia, playing the main room on Christmas Day.CreditKristina Evans

Output, beloved and remembered: Customers recall a Brooklyn club that combined a come-as-you-are attitude with world-class sounds.

You’ve come a long way: A graffiti artists travels to Russia, for work.

Why buy the Chrysler Building? It embodies a “Mad Man”-era work ethos, and must compete in a market where WeWork is the largest office tenant in New York.

Silent taps: Among the unlikelier casualties of the government shutdown are craft breweries.

Curtains: Upright Citizens Brigade will close its East Village location, keeping a venue in Hell’s Kitchen and two in Los Angeles.

Representative Tom Suozzi got on the Ways and Means Committee. The Long Island Democrat edged out the freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. [The Hill]

Ex-Nazi dies: Jakiw Palij lived in Queens for decades and was deported to Germany in August. [Associated Press]

20 years after “The Sopranos”: The real home of the fictitious mobster looks exactly the same. [Page Six]

State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins is the first woman to lead a chamber of the New York Legislature. The 2019 session began this week.

Charles White’s 1939 W.P.A. mural “Five Great American Negroes” features Sojourner Truth, Booker T. Washington, Frederick Douglass, George Washington Carver and Marian Anderson.CreditThe Charles White Archives and The Howard University Gallery of Art, Washington

For the last 40 years, the opening credits of “Saturday Night Live” have featured a montage of New York City life.

One clip this season shows a man and woman kissing. (You can see it here). Who are they? How did they end up there?

The woman’s name is Keren Lerner, and she is a web developer for New York magazine.

She and her boyfriend were on a date in SoHo, and they kissed.

A “young woman with a clipboard and a sheepish smile stepped out of a parked van and approached us,” Ms. Lerner wrote on Vulture.

The woman identified herself as a production assistant for “Saturday Night Live” and said her crew happened to witness the kiss and “thought it was pretty cute, so we zoomed and got some good footage.” Would they sign release forms? Ms. Lerner and her boyfriend happily obliged.

It’s Friday! Kiss the one you love, like nobody’s watching (even though somebody probably is).

Dear Diary:

I was standing in a scraggly line of Upper West Siders at the MetroCard Van on Broadway between 85th and 86th Streets. We had our IDs in hand, ready to prove that we were, or were about to be, senior citizens and entitled to coveted half-price MetroCards.

Some of us had gone gray; others had too but were doing what they could not to let it show. A few people were leaning on canes; others, dressed in workout gear, were stretching and talking on cellphones.

It was a cranky group at first, until we realized we had all been born within a month of one another in 1953.

When it was my turn at the window, the man behind the counter held up a camera to take a picture to go with my card.

“If that crowd doesn’t move, they’ll all be in your shot,” he said. “It’s your choice.”

I turned to urge the people behind me to move. But then I thought of us all being babies at the same time.

We all were 7 when four African-American students sat at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., in February 1960. We all were 10 when we sat in front of the television as our parents cried after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963. We all were nearing 16 when the first man walked on the moon in July 1969.

I shrugged.

“It’s O.K. if they’re in the picture,” I said. “We’re old friends.”

— Patty Dann

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