Year in Review: Queens’ top stories from October 2021

As the year comes to a close, take a look back at some of QNS’ top stories from October 2021.

Looking ahead to the new year, QNS takes a moment to remember the top stories of 2021. From crime to real estate, QNS reported on a range of topics that our readers couldn’t get enough of.

Here are the top stories from the month of October:

Four Queens neighborhoods among NYC’s best for first-time homebuyers in 2021: Report

Forest Hills is the highest-ranking Queens neighborhood on StreetEasy’s list of top 10 best NYC neighborhoods for first-time homebuyers in 2021. (Photo via Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr)

StreetEasy, the popular real estate marketplace website, reported that four of the top 10 best New York City neighborhoods for first-time homebuyers are in Queens. 

In the study, StreetEasy looked for areas that are affordable for New Yorkers ages 25 to 44 who earn the city’s median annual income of $70,406. According to a recent StreetEasy survey, millennials make up the majority of first-time buyers in NYC, with the typical new buyer being 37 years old.

The complete list of neighborhoods is below:

  1. Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn
  2. Forest Hills, Queens
  3. Riverdale, Bronx
  4. Jackson Heights, Queens
  5. Midtown East, Manhattan
  6. Upper East Side, Manhattan
  7. Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
  8. Flushing, Queens
  9. Rego Park, Queens
  10. Midwood, Brooklyn

Governor Hochul announces expansion of Long Island Expressway in Queens is underway

Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced the state’s Department of Transportation has begun construction on projects for the Long Island Expressway along parts of Queens. (QNS file photo)

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday, Oct. 20, that the state’s Department of Transportation began construction on projects to add auxiliary lanes and improve exit and entrance ramps from Little Neck Parkway to 48th Street in Maspeth and Sunnyside. 

“Investment in our state’s transportation infrastructure is critical for the continued expansion of a thriving economy,” Hochul said. “These much-needed upgrades will ease congestion and enhance safety along one of the most heavily utilized vehicle corridors in New York state.”

The $19.7 million project will lengthen three acceleration lanes and three deceleration lanes. The auxiliary lanes will also be added between 48th Street and the Little Neck Parkway in Douglaston to improve traffic flow.

Exit and entrance ramps at Kissena Boulevard, Utopia Parkway and Francis Lewis Boulevard will also be extended by approximately 370 feet. Other safety enhancements will be installed at those locations.

Police looking for a man who ripped off a McDonald’s in Ridgewood

Police are looking for this man who was caught on camera reaching into the cash register at a Ridgewood McDonald’s and made off with more than $1,000. (Photo courtesy of NYPD)

The NYPD are looking for a man who was seen paying for his order inside McDonald’s on Friday, Oct. 15, when the man lunged, reaching into the cash register, stealing $1,116. 

Video surveillance caught the suspect stealing at the Ridgewood McDonald’s located at 54-04 Myrtle Ave. before driving away in a dark gray Nissan Rogue in an unknown direction. 

The suspect was wearing a black headband, a dark sweatshirt, ripped blue jeans and dark sneakers. No injuries were reported. 

Police investigating after dead body found in Oakland Gardens lake

Oakland Lake in Alley Pond Park (File photo)

Local police are investigating the identity of the man found floating in the lake at Alley Pond Park around 12:45 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 30.

Cops said that the adult man was found unresponsive when they pulled the body from the Oakland Gardens lake. EMS declared the man dead at the scene. 

Sources familiar with the case said they believe the man is a person who was reported missing back in September. The man’s cause of death is still unknown and also under investigation. 

‘All the Queens Houses’: Woodside architect’s book captures borough’s ‘domestic treasures’ in photos

“All the Queens Houses” has been an ongoing photography project by Woodside-based architect/artist Rafael Herrin-Ferri, looking at the themes of identity, differentiation, and adaptation as expressed in the low-rise housing stock of the “World’s Borough.” (Photo courtesy of Rafel Herrin-Ferri)

An architect-photographer from Queens put together a collection of photos featuring hundreds of unique homes throughout the borough.

Rafael Herrin-Ferri work, “All the Queens Houses: An Architectural Portrait Of New York’s Largest and Most Diverse Borough,” was on display at The Architectural League of New York’s office gallery in Manhattan in 2017. The exhibit showcased nearly 300 snapshots of local “castles” taken across 34 neighborhoods.

“As I started to get to know the ‘World’s Borough,’ I was delighted to discover how unorthodox the housing stock was. Regardless of socio-economic status, almost every street of every Queens neighborhood has some highly idiosyncratic residential structure exhibiting great personal, cultural and, in many cases, religious pride. And it became my mission to discover them all,” Herrin-Ferri said.

The book is now available in stores, as well as online on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.