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NEW YORK THE WAY IT WAS: QUEENS uses vintage film footage, photos and personal memories, including actor Carroll O’Connor, real estate magnate Donald Trump, sportswriter George Vecsey, Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, former New York Governor Mario Cuomo and Henry Steinway of the Steinway Piano family to tell the story of the borough that achieved the American Dream‹but never forgot who it was. The film looks at life in New York City’s largest borough from the ’30s to the ’60s.
All New Yorkers remember their borough as the center of the world, but Queens really was the center of the world, and on more than one occasion. NEW YORK THE WAY IT WAS: QUEENS remembers when people from all over the world came to the World’s Fair grounds– and the pride that came from knowing you could walk home from there.
In rural Queens there were chickens and ponies and fresh air. The move to Queens was inconceivable to young Carroll O’Connor, whose family was one of the first to blaze the trail as urban pioneers. Queens was small town America but still only a stone’s throw from New York City, and many families stayed for generations, inspired by the Manhattan skyline and comfortable in the security of the suburbs.
Queens was family, friends, the block, the beach. This program celebrates the pride that turned Queens’ villages into communities that ushered in a new era of life in New York.