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It has historic district status from the city, state, and federal authorities. The restaurants are tremendous. The garden apartments are marvelous. The diversity is amazing. Scrabble was invented there … There’s a lot to cheer.

The Jackson Heights Beautification Group will host the annual Celebrate Historic Jackson Heights extravaganza at the Community United Methodist Church at 82nd Street and 35th Avenue this Saturday and Sunday.

Tours, an exhibition, and slide shows are on tap for the weekend.

Native son Daniel Karatzas, a local real estate agent who wrote the book “Jackson Heights – A Garden in the City,” will offer a free slide lecture on the area’s history at the religious institution at 10:45 a.m. and again on 12:15 a.m. He says he’ll begin in the early 1900s, when development started to pick up.

In the same church, a free exhibition of vintage photos and memorabilia will be on display from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Karatzas says that there will be dozens of great original images as well as old marketing brochures and newsletters to peruse.

From noon to 4 p.m. on the same day, people will be able to take self-guided tours through 15 of the private gardens in the famous garden apartments that were built in the 1920s. Tickets cost $10 and include a map.

Then on Sunday at noon, Karatzas and a colleague will lead two walking tours through the historic district. The subject matter will be similar to his Saturday lectures, Karatzas informs.

Karatzas estimates that this is the 25th annual Celebrate Historic Jackson Heights event, and organizers are ready.

Said he: “We’ve been doing it so many times, we’ve got it down to a science.”

Order tickets here or buy them at the church over the weekend or at Espresso 77, 35-57 77th St., or Beaudoin Realty Group, 78-27 37th Ave., on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Top image: Jackson Heights Historic District and Garden City Trail; bottom image: Jackson Heights Beautification Group



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