This week we will travel to Whitestone, in Queens.
My guests will be returning guest, historian, and author Jason Antos, who is also president of the Queens Historical Society; and George Isaakidis, owner and partner of Harpell Chemists.
Tune in for this fascinating conversation at TalkRadio.nyc or watch the Facebook Livestream by clicking here.
Jeff introduces his first guest Jason Antos, a regular on the show and a prolific writer. Jason discusses his upbringing in Whitestone Queens and how he became interested in history. He remembers being amazed at the abandoned Hammerstine and Thurston homes in Whitestone. They begin by talking about how Whitestone got its name, which comes from a story about the first settlers finding a massive white limestone boulder in the town’s river. Next, they talk about the Dutch settlers who purchased the land that would be Whitestone from Native Americans. The Dutch welcomed incoming English settlers while pushing away the Native Americans. Jason then talks about one of the first famous members of Whitestone; Francis Lewis. Despite signing the Declaration of Independence, Lewis was a war profiteer who played both sides during the Revolutionary War. However, the British soldiers did not like this act of treason and burned his manor in Whitestone down.
Jeff and Jason move past Civil War history to when Whitestone began being recognized as a town in the 1870's. They talk about Whitestone’s railroad, which played a massive part in its history and development. They move on to Whitestone’s Seaside Pavilion, a historic and beautiful part of town that was once full of German beer halls. Jason talks about famous residents of Whitestone, which included; magicians and silent film stars. They lived in the Hammerstine and Thurston homes that became abandoned and a place where Jason played as a child. For their final topic, they discuss the Whitestone Bridge, which is the first modern suspension bridge ever built.
Jeff Introduces his second guest, George Isaakidis, owner of the iconic Harpell Chemist pharmacy. Harpell Chemists has been in Whitestone since 1906. George talks about moving to Whitestone and starting to work at Harpells when he was fifteen years old. George then talks about the experience of buying the pharmacy and what it is like to run the business. Jeff asks how George and his brother Joseph expanded the business and focused on wellness for all customers. George goes on to talk about expanding his business to areas of Queens other than Whitestone.
Changing the subject, Jeff asks George what he thinks makes Whitestone unique. George talks about the uniqueness of Whitestone and its closeness to the other boroughs. Jeff asks him how he thinks the neighborhood has changed over the years. George brings up the expansion of Whitestone but also how it still has many mom and pop shops. They talk about George’s involvement in the Whitestone merchant organization and their goal of improving the neighborhood. Jeff brings up the businesses he would like to see brought into Whitestone and how he wants to see it expand to be even more diverse. Jeff and George discuss what they think Whitestone will look like in the future and George’s hopes for the neighborhood. George then imparts some wisdom to incoming business owners looking to open stores in Whitestone. Finally, Jeff and George talk about Harpell’s much-loved juice bar and how they deliver to customers.
00:00:37.290 --> 00:00:38.070 Jeff Goodman: Hello everyone.
00:00:39.360 --> 00:00:46.500 Jeff Goodman: Welcome to our listeners in the Big Apple from across the US and around the world. I'm Jeff Goodman and this is rediscovering New York
00:00:47.250 --> 00:00:52.770 Jeff Goodman: Professionally, I'm a real estate broker with hosted real estate and as my listeners know I love New York
00:00:53.610 --> 00:01:08.640 Jeff Goodman: rediscovering New York as a weekly program about the history texture and vibe of our amazing city and we do it through interviews with historians local business owners nonprofit organizations preservationists local musicians and artists and the occasional elected official
00:01:09.720 --> 00:01:19.260 Jeff Goodman: On some shows like tonight we focus on an individual New York neighborhood we explore its history and its current energy. What makes that particular New York neighborhoods special
00:01:20.370 --> 00:01:26.370 Jeff Goodman: Sometimes we host shows about an interesting and vital color of the city and its history. That's not focused on one particular neighborhood.
00:01:27.210 --> 00:01:32.700 Jeff Goodman: And prior episodes, which you can also get on our archive and podcasts. We've covered topics as diverse
00:01:33.120 --> 00:01:39.210 Jeff Goodman: And illuminating as American presidents who came from lived in or who had some history here in New York that half of them actually
00:01:39.900 --> 00:01:43.080 Jeff Goodman: We've talked about the history of women activists and the suffrage movement in the city.
00:01:43.890 --> 00:01:50.820 Jeff Goodman: History of African Americans in New York who were here. Actually, the since the time of the Dutch will they were enslaved people at that time.
00:01:51.540 --> 00:01:54.930 Jeff Goodman: Talked about the history of the city's LGBT community and the gay rights movement.
00:01:55.650 --> 00:02:01.890 Jeff Goodman: We've talked about the history of bicycles and cycling the history of punk and Opera. Those were separate programs, by the way.
00:02:02.310 --> 00:02:08.580 Jeff Goodman: We've talked about our public library system. We actually have free, including one from the borrow. We're going to be visiting tonight.
00:02:09.210 --> 00:02:13.860 Jeff Goodman: We've also visited some of our greatest train stations and even talked about some of our bridges.
00:02:14.760 --> 00:02:22.470 Jeff Goodman: After the broadcast each show is available on podcast, you can get us on iTunes Spotify SoundCloud Stitcher and other services.
00:02:23.070 --> 00:02:30.660 Jeff Goodman: Tonight we're journeying to a neighborhood and queens and I want to talk for a moment about Queens, New York is a is a big city, we've got
00:02:31.320 --> 00:02:39.030 Jeff Goodman: That eight and a half million people and it's made up of borrows frequently when people from outside New York. Think of New York City, they think of Manhattan.
00:02:39.510 --> 00:02:48.120 Jeff Goodman: Well, most of the city is actually outside of Manhattan. The borough of Queens is the city's largest it's 109 square miles.
00:02:48.600 --> 00:02:56.490 Jeff Goodman: Get that 109 square miles. And it's as big as cities such as Shreveport, it's the same size as Charleston.
00:02:56.880 --> 00:03:07.050 Jeff Goodman: And the population of Queens is a little more than two and a quarter million. It's about the same size as Houston, Texas. And if it were its own city one borrow in New York City would be
00:03:07.770 --> 00:03:15.150 Jeff Goodman: The fifth largest city in the United States, but it's only a fraction of the city. And it's the borough of Queens.
00:03:15.960 --> 00:03:26.610 Jeff Goodman: Tonight we're going to be journeying to white stone which is the northern tip of Queens right in the middle, our first guest is a returning regular to rediscovering New York Jason and
00:03:27.630 --> 00:03:34.410 Jeff Goodman: Jason is a journalist and author of six well received books on the borough of Queens, he's working on his seventh, which we'll talk about
00:03:34.860 --> 00:03:42.420 Jeff Goodman: He's a graduate of the University of Miami and is a lifelong New Yorker, his family has lived in the five boroughs since 1913
00:03:43.290 --> 00:03:50.010 Jeff Goodman: His first book, which actually was on the history of you guessed it, white stone. It was published in 2006 when he was just 25
00:03:50.760 --> 00:04:06.060 Jeff Goodman: In 2007 Jason wrote the first history book ever written on Shea Stadium. I still call that stadium Shea Stadium. I still haven't gotten used to Citi Field and a lot of New York date and still haven't gotten used to it as well. And that book is currently in its fourth printing
00:04:07.230 --> 00:04:15.930 Jeff Goodman: Jason's published other books flushing. Then and Now Jackson Heights images of America. He's published a book about Corona, and also queens then and now.
00:04:16.440 --> 00:04:21.360 Jeff Goodman: His latest book, which is at the printer is will be on the history of Douglaston and little neck.
00:04:22.170 --> 00:04:33.120 Jeff Goodman: Jason recently as the associate editor of the Queen's Chronicle. And if that's not enough. He's the president of the Queen's Historical Society Jason a hearty welcome back to rediscovering New York
00:04:34.290 --> 00:04:35.910 Jason Antos: I Jeff, thanks for having me on. Again,
00:04:36.690 --> 00:04:40.620 Jeff Goodman: You're not only from New York, Jason, but you are from Queens. We're in Queens. Did you grow up.
00:04:41.490 --> 00:04:42.330 Jason Antos: A little bit why some
00:04:42.570 --> 00:04:46.050 Jeff Goodman: Are you okay, I thought you moved your family moved to widen my bad. I should know that by now.
00:04:47.310 --> 00:04:51.600 Jeff Goodman: And you live in white stone. Now when did you first become interested in New York. History
00:04:52.290 --> 00:04:57.630 Jason Antos: Well, I've always been fascinated by New York history, it really started with my grandparents.
00:04:58.440 --> 00:05:06.510 Jason Antos: My grandmother and grandfather. This is on my, on my mother's side they were born in the Lower East Side on broom Street and Alan
00:05:07.410 --> 00:05:12.150 Jason Antos: The tenement building which was in those days. The, the Jewish Lower East Side.
00:05:12.810 --> 00:05:19.320 Jason Antos: And that tenement building that they grew up in that they were actually physically born in is still there to this very day. It's still there on
00:05:19.830 --> 00:05:30.690 Jason Antos: The corner broom and Alan to seven nine broom and you know they were in their life, they really enjoyed speaking and reminiscing about
00:05:31.380 --> 00:05:38.250 Jason Antos: Their time growing up in New York City because they lived in Manhattan and they lived for many years in Brooklyn in Flatbush
00:05:38.700 --> 00:05:43.470 Jason Antos: And that's where my mother was born. And then in the early 60s. They moved here to white stone.
00:05:44.370 --> 00:06:03.000 Jason Antos: But they were they got into Sanyo they had their own business. My grandfather was in the paper wholesale business for many years and his up in the Bronx actually was based in the South Bronx. So they had life and adventures and stories that spanned pretty much almost all five boroughs.
00:06:03.300 --> 00:06:18.090 Jeff Goodman: Yeah, I was gonna say that so classic New York businesses in the Bronx grew up in the Lower East Side lived in Flatbush of course in Brooklyn and and then moved to Queens. Um, how did you get interested particularly in Queens history. Jason from New York. History
00:06:18.750 --> 00:06:28.620 Jason Antos: Well, growing up here in white stone. I'm in the northern excuse me, the northern tip of the town, which is a beach first. And in those days, growing up. There was a lot of
00:06:29.340 --> 00:06:37.290 Jason Antos: Lot of old homes that were situated by where I am down on paddles Cove, we had the Hammerstein mansion, which was
00:06:38.190 --> 00:06:45.600 Jason Antos: Around the time that I was born was a restaurant called ripples and there was a couple of other old homes that were across from the building.
00:06:46.140 --> 00:06:55.740 Jason Antos: Where I grew up and I was always so intrigued and so fascinated about those homes. And I think one of the reasons was because they were so palatial and so big.
00:06:56.220 --> 00:07:05.850 Jason Antos: But they were abandoned nobody lived in them, and I would always ask my family. You know who live there. Like why would such a huge estate such a big property.
00:07:06.750 --> 00:07:12.870 Jason Antos: Not be lived in, you know, and they told me that this it belongs to certain people certain historical figures.
00:07:13.800 --> 00:07:28.080 Jason Antos: Some, all of which day it was on by celebrities, the Hammerstein mansion that was on. By Oscar Hammerstein you had a home that was on 160 second and pals cove. That was owned and built by Thurston the magician who was the
00:07:29.100 --> 00:07:38.580 Jason Antos: The forerunner to Houdini so growing up with all these things. And my first foray into the history of white stone was when I was in grade school and PS1 93
00:07:39.090 --> 00:07:56.460 Jason Antos: We had to write a book report on New York City and I chose to do the Hammerstein and the Thurston homes, which at that time. We're still standing. And we're still vacant completely fallen into neglect and that's that was really how I started
00:07:57.210 --> 00:07:59.040 Jeff Goodman: How old were you when you wrote that
00:07:59.130 --> 00:07:59.730 Jeff Goodman: That motherboard.
00:07:59.850 --> 00:08:02.400 Jason Antos: You think it was in the fifth grade.
00:08:02.790 --> 00:08:05.910 Jeff Goodman: Wow. And you've been bitten with the bug of Queens history of a sense
00:08:05.970 --> 00:08:12.450 Jeff Goodman: Absolutely. That's great. I want to ask you, I'll ask you later on about about why some of those houses got abandon and what happened to them.
00:08:12.780 --> 00:08:24.660 Jeff Goodman: But, but let's start out generally with white stone and I gotta ask you this out of the gate because you know there were so you know different neighborhoods in New York at different names for different reasons. Um, how did white stone get his name.
00:08:26.190 --> 00:08:41.550 Jason Antos: So white stone is actually a suburb of greater flushing. So it's flushing Township and flushing Township includes white stone. It includes beach chairs that includes Bayside little neck even Douglaston
00:08:42.570 --> 00:08:51.330 Jason Antos: And so why stone is an offshoot of greater flushing Township, it basically was a farming community.
00:08:52.080 --> 00:09:01.350 Jason Antos: Flushing is the word flushing comes from the word the ducks word Vlissingen which means salt meadow and there is a blessing gin in Holland.
00:09:01.920 --> 00:09:10.050 Jason Antos: That is a major port city. And I guess it was very reminiscent to the people who first settled here from where the Dutch
00:09:10.590 --> 00:09:18.780 Jason Antos: Of their home and listen. Jim, and then it was named that and then it's when the British came, they could not pronounce Vlissingen and they pronounced it is flushing.
00:09:19.410 --> 00:09:27.420 Jason Antos: They kind of did like a more fanatical pronunciation of the word and then it got corrupted from that point on, but white stone. The term. The, the legend is is that
00:09:28.380 --> 00:09:36.780 Jason Antos: When the first settlers came here when they traveled down the East River into the Long Island Sound. There was a tremendous limestone boulder.
00:09:37.440 --> 00:09:47.130 Jason Antos: That was a glacial erratic that stood on a very otherwise pristine beachfront and they took it as a good omen, because they could actually it was so
00:09:47.550 --> 00:10:02.280 Jason Antos: White and pristine that they could actually it reflected the moonlight, and it was almost like a beacon, they could actually see the shoreline in the dead of night just because of that stump because of that tremendous boulder and so they named that from that.
00:10:03.180 --> 00:10:03.900 Is it still there.
00:10:04.950 --> 00:10:06.090 Jason Antos: No, it is not still there.
00:10:06.210 --> 00:10:06.660 Jason Antos: I
00:10:06.720 --> 00:10:11.820 Jason Antos: Think it was cleared away to make way for the, the right of way for the white Stonebridge in 1937
00:10:12.750 --> 00:10:14.940 Jeff Goodman: And I'm gonna ask you about that bridge a little bit later in our
00:10:15.120 --> 00:10:15.990 Jason Antos: Early segment.
00:10:16.470 --> 00:10:26.130 Jeff Goodman: By the way, I it's interesting flushing listening and that was of all the places in New Netherland that could have been named that that was the
00:10:27.150 --> 00:10:31.170 Jeff Goodman: The town in the Netherlands. That was the home of the Dutch West Indian company.
00:10:31.950 --> 00:10:42.870 Jeff Goodman: And of course, New Netherland was run the Dutch had company towns, unlike the English and the Spanish and the Portuguese. I'm like, many places, Jason. And what would later become great in New York City.
00:10:44.700 --> 00:10:54.840 Jeff Goodman: Dutch settlers bought a lot of a lot of land to they actually buy what would become white stone from were trade with the local unhappy people for the right to use it.
00:10:55.140 --> 00:11:03.750 Jason Antos: They did. They actually the legend is is that they traded one hatchet for every 50 acres of land.
00:11:05.130 --> 00:11:11.970 Jason Antos: To the Native Americans for the purchase it to create them the land at the farmland in homesteads
00:11:13.740 --> 00:11:19.830 Jeff Goodman: I want to ask you a general question that I don't think I've ever asked anyone else on the show, even though I'm interested in. We always talk about
00:11:21.390 --> 00:11:30.120 Jeff Goodman: Native peoples who were living in what became neighborhoods, you know, back around the time of the Dutch did the local than happy tribes have a sense that
00:11:30.660 --> 00:11:38.550 Jeff Goodman: The people who were giving them these goods, who are quote unquote buying the land actually where we're buying it permanently or today think more
00:11:38.880 --> 00:11:46.710 Jeff Goodman: That they were somehow renting it or or or leasing it for some purpose without actually taking without having a right to permanent title to it.
00:11:47.010 --> 00:12:07.980 Jason Antos: Sure. Well, the native peoples in general, they did not consider ownership of land to be a thing, you know, to them land belongs to everyone was wherever you settled, and that's where you you lived so to them. I think they might have interpreted that this was the method of of
00:12:09.390 --> 00:12:19.590 Jason Antos: Accepting land or, you know, trading goods, so that they could settle there, but I think they understood that the land now belongs to the person who was making the trade.
00:12:20.100 --> 00:12:30.720 Jason Antos: But they didn't know that it was going to be like evolved into a private property that this is my land. This is my property line my boundary and you cannot come on here. You know, they just thought that that was a
00:12:31.380 --> 00:12:46.350 Jason Antos: A mechanism or a tool to kind of say this is my where I'm going to settle but but you guys are welcome to cross or, you know, enter, which it was in their communities and their culture so that that's what happened.
00:12:47.370 --> 00:12:59.430 Jeff Goodman: And sadly, like the so many native peoples in the Americas in the new world, they did not have resistance to the diseases that Europeans brought. So, you know, throughout what became United States in Central and South America.
00:13:00.540 --> 00:13:06.510 Jeff Goodman: Local people's were depopulated partly because of because of ramping disease including smallpox.
00:13:07.710 --> 00:13:14.160 Jeff Goodman: After the English took over New Netherland in 1664 did English settlers move into what would become white stone.
00:13:14.910 --> 00:13:26.730 Jason Antos: Sure the English had originally lived in what we now regard today's New England they came across the Long Island Sound and originally settled in the eastern end of Long Island.
00:13:27.450 --> 00:13:42.510 Jason Antos: That's why in the five boroughs, you tend to find towns that have more of a Dutch name and a lot of the towns in Nassau, especially Suffolk have more English sounding names after places and towns that you would find in England.
00:13:44.250 --> 00:13:55.560 Jason Antos: One of the reasons, when they landed on the eastern end of Long Island. They had to get a patent for land from whoever the Director General of New Netherlands or New Amsterdam was at the time being.
00:13:56.160 --> 00:14:03.180 Jason Antos: Director General Keef or Stuyvesant, and they were granted these land patterns because they wanted people to live out in the
00:14:03.510 --> 00:14:09.960 Jason Antos: What they called like the the the foreign territory, because when you got to outside of Manhattan Island in Brooklyn or Western queens.
00:14:10.440 --> 00:14:20.940 Jason Antos: You were basically like in the wilderness, so they were you know they they obliged the British to settle out there. Another reason was because the Dutch
00:14:21.390 --> 00:14:30.060 Jason Antos: Their relationship with Native Americans was very poor. They did not get along with Native Americans. They did not know how to trade properly.
00:14:30.600 --> 00:14:40.650 Jason Antos: They did not know how to communicate with them properly. The English. On the other hand, had much better experience. So the methodology here was that they would settle out there.
00:14:41.130 --> 00:14:47.760 Jason Antos: Were there was more Native Americans and that they would be better better able to communicate and negotiate with them.
00:14:49.950 --> 00:14:55.050 Jeff Goodman: Well, we're going to take a break in a minute or two, but but before we do, I want to move to
00:14:56.430 --> 00:15:08.340 Jeff Goodman: The Revolutionary War period in in white stone. There was a very important person who lived in the part of Queens that would become white stone. Most people who live in or who've traveled through queens actually recognize his name.
00:15:09.030 --> 00:15:12.480 Jeff Goodman: But they really don't know who he was and what he did and that's Francis Lewis.
00:15:13.260 --> 00:15:20.130 Jeff Goodman: Who was Francis Lewis you what, what did he do what what became of his of his of his stake in what would become whites done
00:15:20.370 --> 00:15:26.700 Jason Antos: Well Francis Lewis is an interesting character. He was from England. He was an Englishman.
00:15:27.450 --> 00:15:44.130 Jason Antos: who settled in the farmland on the northern end of white stone by the, what would be today is the East River. That's where his property was he owned pretty much most of the northern part of white stone he owned. He was a principal landowner in the town.
00:15:45.270 --> 00:15:50.970 Jason Antos: As a person he is one of the members of the New York delegation who signed the Declaration of Independence.
00:15:52.680 --> 00:16:03.390 Jason Antos: He unfortunately was a war profiteer he kind of played both sides Queens County those days was primarily pro Tory
00:16:03.840 --> 00:16:24.390 Jason Antos: Which means that you were for the British. So the residents of Queens. We're not too fond of the revolution or wanting to break away from from England. So, but, Francis Lewis kind of played both sides of the of the of the of the War of the revolution to see what would yield him profits.
00:16:25.620 --> 00:16:36.420 Jason Antos: When he signed the Declaration of Independence, because he was a British subject. It was a sign of treason and the group of soldiers.
00:16:37.350 --> 00:16:48.000 Jason Antos: Actually stormed white stone in the dead of night and to find him to place them under arrest. He was not there. He was in in Philadelphia at the time.
00:16:48.450 --> 00:17:00.090 Jason Antos: So they burned down his entire homestead and instead of taking him captive. They took his wife captive, which was very rare in those days they did not, you know, mess with
00:17:00.930 --> 00:17:12.030 Jason Antos: They did not arrest children or especially women, they would come to arrest, whoever they were coming to arrest, but they took her in his place. And she was kept in a in a prison ship.
00:17:13.260 --> 00:17:21.300 Jason Antos: Just off of the battery of Lower Manhattan. And it was actually General Washington who negotiated for her release, but she was in there for about two months.
00:17:21.900 --> 00:17:34.560 Jason Antos: And in under very, very dirty unsanitary conditions and when she was released. She never fully recovered emotionally and she died a few years later. Well, it's
00:17:34.590 --> 00:17:42.450 Jeff Goodman: Very, you know, sounds like what befell, you know, 10,000 plus American soldiers who are on those horrible prison ships and wall about bay with
00:17:42.990 --> 00:17:55.080 Jeff Goodman: The Brooklyn Navy Yard. All right, we're gonna take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue our conversation with Jason and toast the president of the Queen's Historical Society and noted author now of seven books will be back in a moment.
00:17:56.310 --> 00:17:56.700 Jeff Goodman: Thank you.
00:19:59.550 --> 00:20:05.550 Jeff Goodman: We're back to rediscovering New York and can you believe this is our eighth episode so far and
00:20:06.450 --> 00:20:12.840 Jeff Goodman: We are visiting white stone queens across the East River from where I am to where Jason and our second guest our
00:20:13.830 --> 00:20:23.010 Jeff Goodman: Our first guest is Jason and Jason is a noted author and the President of the Queen's Historical Society, Jason. You're a pretty noted author your you have you've published six books.
00:20:23.370 --> 00:20:32.970 Jeff Goodman: Putting on Jackson Heights flushing white stone the beloved Shea Stadium and now you've just gone to you've just looked at the proofs. A couple of weeks ago for your next book. What is it,
00:20:34.560 --> 00:20:44.310 Jason Antos: Well, we're going to do, Douglaston A Little Night. Thank God has been completed and it was it went to the printer. About two weeks ago, but due to the coven
00:20:44.880 --> 00:21:01.110 Jason Antos: And the slow down in terms of work. It's not. It was supposed to come out in December, but it's been pushed now until late February. So we're looking very much forward to that coming out and I don't know. I think the next book. We will. I'm looking at Sunnyside Woodside
00:21:02.220 --> 00:21:12.750 Jason Antos: I probably would like to do something with the Queen's Historical Society, because the society in general hasn't really published a book in a while. So maybe the next venture would be in collaboration with them.
00:21:13.620 --> 00:21:18.330 Jeff Goodman: Well, I've said it 108 square miles, Queens is big enough so you may hopefully will never been adding material.
00:21:18.390 --> 00:21:28.500 Jeff Goodman: So I've yeah hopefully I'm a reading material for this show, but but we'll have to see about that. People wanted to find out about your books, where can they, where can they find out about them and maybe order them.
00:21:28.770 --> 00:21:38.670 Jason Antos: Oh, sure. They're available on Amazon. They are available on Barnes and noble.com. They are also available at Barnes and Noble locally.
00:21:39.810 --> 00:21:52.170 Jason Antos: They, they can be found. I think I know it hard, pal. They used to they they had them there. They Walgreens currently has them, we just we signed the deal with Walgreens. So they're carrying the books, but if you want to get it on the computer.
00:21:54.510 --> 00:22:04.650 Jason Antos: You could go, definitely go to Amazon and Barnes and Noble and Barnes and if you want to physically go down to a Barnes and Noble, there's an Arcadia section where they have all the different neighborhoods, including my titles.
00:22:07.350 --> 00:22:13.590 Jeff Goodman: You know, I don't have any of your books. I gotta get one in the next time you and I have met a couple of times, face to face, instead of your pre covered
00:22:13.950 --> 00:22:23.910 Jeff Goodman: But the last couple of interviews have been on zoom when we get together. The next time, I'm going to bring a couple of titles and with a big Sharpie it say here please describe away.
00:22:25.380 --> 00:22:35.010 Jeff Goodman: Moving back to white stone, let's move into the 19th century century the neighborhood was called Clinton Ville for a while after then New York governor to with Clinton.
00:22:35.520 --> 00:22:48.750 Jeff Goodman: Also was the power and influence behind that great New York industrial project the Erie Canal. Um, what what stated Governor Clinton have in the area. And what was his history there.
00:22:49.500 --> 00:22:59.490 Jason Antos: Um, well, I know that he owned the property here doing Clinton comes out of Glendale mass pet. That's where his estate was located
00:23:00.120 --> 00:23:12.600 Jason Antos: But he did on a lot of property here in white stone in the Clinton family that is and years ago if a neighborhood was a very pro democratic very pro republican
00:23:13.590 --> 00:23:28.320 Jason Antos: They would sometimes rename a town or codename a town. The way you do like a street co naming and our time to honor someone in the hopes of generating votes in the hopes that if they do get into office, they will
00:23:29.400 --> 00:23:39.120 Jason Antos: You know, shine more favor on to that area that named themselves after the, the person of note the same situation was with a story.
00:23:39.660 --> 00:23:56.700 Jason Antos: You know his name. They have to john Jacob Basta who I think had never even been to a story up but they named it in his honor, hoping that him being one of the wealthiest men in the world would put money and funding into the development of the area, which he did not. Oh.
00:23:57.030 --> 00:23:58.230 Jeff Goodman: He didn't but other people did.
00:23:58.500 --> 00:23:59.610 Jason Antos: Other people. Yes. Yeah.
00:24:00.660 --> 00:24:00.960 Jason Antos: And
00:24:01.470 --> 00:24:08.280 Jeff Goodman: Then, you know, let's move past the Civil War, and there was a railroad that was built, which later became the white stone branch of the Long Island Railroad.
00:24:08.490 --> 00:24:20.100 Jeff Goodman: Oh yeah, how did, how did that impact the development of, oh, by the way, just a I forgot to ask you, when did. When did the neighborhood become colloquially known and commonly known as white stone.
00:24:20.910 --> 00:24:34.980 Jason Antos: A really you see it, Walter all through its history from the 1600s through the 1800s, but then by the by the after the Civil War is when the term white stone is used widely
00:24:36.630 --> 00:24:41.670 Jason Antos: Sometimes you see it's spelled differently. Sometimes it's two words. It's a you know white stone.
00:24:42.960 --> 00:24:45.720 Jason Antos: On certain British maps. They have it as whites town.
00:24:46.890 --> 00:24:55.740 Jason Antos: You know, so, so all these different types of spellings, but really after the Civil War during the 1870s, 1880s, everyone starts calling it white stone.
00:24:56.400 --> 00:25:05.880 Jason Antos: In documents that you see all the way up until the 20th. It's noted as white stone Long Island because geographically. We are part of Long Island.
00:25:06.840 --> 00:25:20.760 Jason Antos: But we are part of New York City, but Queens County did not become part of New York City was its own independent county until January 1 1898 and everything that is today Nassau County was part of Queens as well until 1900
00:25:22.470 --> 00:25:23.940 Oh, I didn't know that, wow.
00:25:25.080 --> 00:25:27.570 Jeff Goodman: So when did. When did the railroad open in
00:25:28.230 --> 00:25:35.970 Jason Antos: Short. So the railroad was a major feature and white stones development in its history. I'm sure that the area would be
00:25:37.440 --> 00:25:46.260 Jason Antos: I think somewhat different you know if the railroad was still here. If we have like our own Long Island Railroad line coming into the area. So it's one of those
00:25:47.310 --> 00:25:56.460 Jason Antos: Changes in history that people still talk about to this very day. The railroad came here to whites done in 1869 in April of 1869
00:25:57.540 --> 00:26:05.820 Jason Antos: One of the reasons it came here was because of Conrad popping who's in who was the rubber manufacturing king of
00:26:06.570 --> 00:26:17.370 Jason Antos: Of college point he helped develop college point. It was a factory town and white stone also became a factory town it belong to a manufacturer by the name of john locke
00:26:18.300 --> 00:26:29.520 Jason Antos: And his factory, the warehouse building still stands. To this day on Clinton Hill Street and 11th Avenue, opposite the little Dunkin Donuts on the corner that facility is the
00:26:30.720 --> 00:26:41.490 Jason Antos: Is the manufacturing plant and his product was China where and stamping stamping is when you see beautiful those beautiful ceilings in an old
00:26:42.210 --> 00:26:48.210 Jason Antos: Business like that's from the 1800s, early 1900s and see those beautiful designs stamped into the tin roof.
00:26:49.080 --> 00:26:57.840 Jason Antos: Or the tin ceiling of the establishment. That's that was what was being manufactured there. So they brought the railroad here to Weiss down collaboratively.
00:26:58.260 --> 00:27:11.160 Jason Antos: To not only transport their products, but to also introduce the latest technological achievement of the day, which was the railroad and the railroad was here until February 12 1932 when it closed.
00:27:12.600 --> 00:27:19.140 Jeff Goodman: But certainly, while it was open contributed to the development and the economic progress of of white stone.
00:27:19.770 --> 00:27:20.220 Jeff Goodman: Stone is
00:27:20.280 --> 00:27:29.940 Jeff Goodman: Also pretty picture. So right there on the, you know, we're loyal and sound and the East River sort of beat on what on you want to talk about seaside pavilions
00:27:30.510 --> 00:27:42.900 Jason Antos: Yes so white stone had a very illustrious history of being home too many seaside resorts in pavilions here we had stumbles Pavilion and the doors pavilion.
00:27:43.650 --> 00:27:51.240 Jason Antos: Which were located at the foot of 150 Second Street down by the water also down by where the CIO used to be.
00:27:52.020 --> 00:28:10.680 Jason Antos: Those were beer German beer holes beer gardens and dancing holes and this was a tradition that had kind of spilled over from neighboring college point which until Prohibition had more bars and beer holes than any other area in the United States.
00:28:10.980 --> 00:28:11.340 Wow.
00:28:14.280 --> 00:28:16.230 Jeff Goodman: Good time there, are there any left
00:28:16.500 --> 00:28:17.700 Jason Antos: Or how there are none left.
00:28:19.500 --> 00:28:21.720 Jeff Goodman: Well, whites, you know, we talked about you talk about
00:28:23.400 --> 00:28:40.560 Jeff Goodman: Space and mansions white stone. A lot of people don't realize this but white stone was almost like an East Coast version of of Beverly Hills. There were some famous people in some even some movie stars who live there who live there. And can you see remnants of their houses now.
00:28:41.040 --> 00:28:51.300 Jason Antos: Sure, well the the crown jewel historically speaking of white stone is the Hammerstein mansion, which is a on the register of national landmarks this on the New York
00:28:52.170 --> 00:29:06.090 Jason Antos: Landmark list as well and that mansion was built by author Hammerstein in 1929 1922 1923 um, there were other many famous people who lived here.
00:29:06.600 --> 00:29:17.640 Jason Antos: Some of them were longtime residents. Some of them were not because of qualified studios, which in those days was known as Paramount Studios in Astoria.
00:29:18.360 --> 00:29:27.420 Jason Antos: The people, the celebrities who are making a lot of silent films out there in that area would rent homes or apartments and live here.
00:29:27.960 --> 00:29:42.120 Jason Antos: In in white stone of them. If you have an occasion where you have a celebrity who did live here if they have another house that they would live in, they would kind of rent it out alone it out to one of their one of their friends if they needed to stay there for some time.
00:29:43.230 --> 00:29:53.670 Jeff Goodman: You mentioned at the beginning of the show that some of these houses became abandoned and they were abandoned when we when you're growing up. How is it that that they were just abandoned and no one was living. They're not even for low rent.
00:29:54.000 --> 00:30:02.310 Jason Antos: It was just one of those things. The, the homes they they were sold to offer maybe family took them over and they were not locally based
00:30:02.820 --> 00:30:19.350 Jason Antos: Arm and they just kind of fell into disrepair. But I know three homes that were like that for very, very long time. One of those homes was actually knocked down just several months ago it was right here in back of our building was St Anne's Academy for girls.
00:30:20.490 --> 00:30:31.560 Jason Antos: And there was in a beautiful private home down by the water was on Riverside Drive and that home had been abandoned for for many, many, many years and he just stood there on a huge property.
00:30:32.430 --> 00:30:43.470 Jason Antos: Just neglected. But the funny part was about was about the Hammerstein mansion. We used to actually play in that house as as kids you know it's not, not exactly.
00:30:45.750 --> 00:30:49.560 Jeff Goodman: It probably couldn't happen now playing an abandoned house and sounds like my child that a little bit, but
00:30:49.890 --> 00:30:59.430 Jason Antos: Yes. I mean, I mean it is it is trespassing, but we would go there and we would, you know, you couldn't go in because it was, it was very dangerous. You know, the floors were missing, you know, but there was
00:30:59.910 --> 00:31:08.850 Jason Antos: You know, but it was kind of cool to be on this property that was, I mean it was just so neglected and and the estate so big, like, just like just sat there for for many
00:31:09.600 --> 00:31:17.610 Jason Antos: Many years and you would go in there and used to take our dog down there for a walk. You know, it's just one of those local oddities that it just, it just sat there.
00:31:19.920 --> 00:31:26.670 Jeff Goodman: Well, Jason in the in the minute or two, we have left in the segment, I do want to ask you about something not having to do with home construction.
00:31:27.570 --> 00:31:41.820 Jeff Goodman: But about the, the famous bridge that partly bears and neighborhoods name. There are four bridges that cross the river into queens, only one of them actually bears the name of a Queen's neighborhood. And that's and that's all shares, and that's the Bronx white stone bridge.
00:31:41.970 --> 00:31:46.860 Jeff Goodman: Yes. Why do you regard the bridge as the greatest suspension bridge have a bill.
00:31:47.490 --> 00:32:00.330 Jason Antos: Because it was the first modern suspension bridge built of its time. It was constructed by oath. Mar. A man who also designed and constructed the frog snake bridge.
00:32:01.770 --> 00:32:15.750 Jason Antos: It is so it is the first modern style suspension bridge. It is also the the infamous to common Narrows Bridge, which you see in those famous videos that sways in the wind.
00:32:16.680 --> 00:32:28.320 Jason Antos: And then collapse and then collapse. Yeah, was actually a cousin of the way Stonebridge and after that infamous collapse the bridge was retrofitted
00:32:29.640 --> 00:32:35.670 Jason Antos: So that it didn't move in the wind, because it also had this. It also suffered the same sort of
00:32:37.080 --> 00:32:38.010 Jason Antos: Structural
00:32:39.660 --> 00:32:45.270 Jason Antos: Phenomenon in the wind it would it would move, they would sway and that was one of the only complaints.
00:32:45.690 --> 00:32:58.410 Jason Antos: Critical complaints about driving on that bridge in the 30s in the 40s, that the bridge would physically move, but after the common Narrows Bridge Collapse. It was retrofitted so that it wouldn't move or dance so much as they say.
00:32:58.830 --> 00:32:59.070 Oh,
00:33:01.410 --> 00:33:09.810 Jeff Goodman: Well, Jason. Thank you so much for being our guest on the first part of our sure about wine stone. My first guest has been Jason and Jason is the President
00:33:10.170 --> 00:33:22.020 Jeff Goodman: Of the Queen's Historical Society noted author on queens history is first published book was on white stone which you can get on amazon.com Amazon com something like I'm English Amazon amazon.com and
00:33:23.010 --> 00:33:28.680 Jeff Goodman: Jason's latest book on Douglaston and little neck will be coming out in February, Jason. Thanks for being on the show.
00:33:30.000 --> 00:33:41.040 Jeff Goodman: We're going to take a short break and when we come back we're going to speak with our second guest. Who is an entrepreneur and who owns one of the oldest businesses and white stone will be back in a moment.
00:35:54.990 --> 00:36:02.940 Jeff Goodman: We're back support for rediscovering New York comes from our sponsors Christopher pappas mortgage specialist at TD Bank.
00:36:03.390 --> 00:36:13.890 Jeff Goodman: To find out how Chris can help you with all of your residential homework and needs and tailor a mortgage that's right for you. Please call Chris at 203-512-3918
00:36:14.820 --> 00:36:21.630 Jeff Goodman: Support also comes from the Law Offices of Thomas sciatica focusing on wills estate planning probate and inheritance litigation.
00:36:22.320 --> 00:36:33.150 Jeff Goodman: Tom and his staff can be reached at 212-495-0317 our show was about New York. It's neighborhoods its history and the myriad textures of our amazing city.
00:36:33.840 --> 00:36:41.400 Jeff Goodman: There's another great show on the air about New York and specifically about the business of real estate. Good morning, New York with Vince Rocco my friend and colleague it hosted
00:36:42.300 --> 00:36:48.780 Jeff Goodman: Vince's show airs live on Tuesday mornings at 9am you can hear him on voice america.com and also on podcast.
00:36:49.320 --> 00:37:02.880 Jeff Goodman: You can like the show on Facebook. And you can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter my handle is there a Jeff Goodman NYC. If you have comments or questions or if you'd like to get on our mailing list, please email me, Jeff at rediscovering New York dot NYC.
00:37:03.990 --> 00:37:08.790 Jeff Goodman: One of the note before we get to our second guest, even though rediscovering New York is not a show about real estate.
00:37:09.210 --> 00:37:15.210 Jeff Goodman: When I'm not on the air. I'm a real estate agent now amazing city where I help my clients buy sale lease and rent property.
00:37:15.930 --> 00:37:28.290 Jeff Goodman: If you or someone you care about is considering a move into out of within New York. I would love to help you with all those real estate leads you can reach me and my team. It's 646-306-4761
00:37:29.400 --> 00:37:36.750 Jeff Goodman: Our next guest is George as a fetus George was born and raised in Queens and his family moved to white stone in 1981
00:37:37.710 --> 00:37:44.640 Jeff Goodman: During a sophomore year, George picked up a part time job as a stock boy in a local pharmacy and white stone har pal chemists.
00:37:45.090 --> 00:37:54.420 Jeff Goodman: It's there, that he met his mentor who convinced him to go to pharmacy school after a year of attending Hofstra University George transferred to St. John's and pursued a career in pharmacy.
00:37:55.110 --> 00:38:05.130 Jeff Goodman: He continued working at heart pills and once he graduated. He became a pharmacist there ultimately buying the store. He worked and grew up in. How is that for the classic American and New York business dream.
00:38:05.940 --> 00:38:12.600 Jeff Goodman: George's younger brother Joseph followed suit and together they purchased heartfelt chemists from his mentor Joel Hiller in July 2002
00:38:13.650 --> 00:38:27.000 Jeff Goodman: Har pal has been serving white stone since 19 six and they had been honored to continue providing such an important health business in their community, but they didn't stop and white stone Georgian Joseph open to more locations in Queens ONE IN A STORY AND ONE IN BAYSIDE
00:38:28.080 --> 00:38:33.930 Jeff Goodman: George's activity and business doesn't stop there. Like, he's the president of the white stone merchant Association.
00:38:34.410 --> 00:38:47.610 Jeff Goodman: And he does volunteer work he's the vice president of this parish council for Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church and white stone, he still lives in white stone with his wife, Catherine and two children, Sophia And Joseph Georgia hearty welcome to rediscovering New York
00:38:48.000 --> 00:38:49.140 George Isaakidis: Either nice being
00:38:50.070 --> 00:38:53.640 Jeff Goodman: Your friend queens originally what neighborhood. Did you grow up in before you move to Weinstein.
00:38:54.000 --> 00:38:58.020 George Isaakidis: I actually was born in Jackson Heights and then move to Flushing.
00:38:59.070 --> 00:39:04.320 George Isaakidis: Where I lived until 1981, like I mentioned, and then ultimately move to move to white stone.
00:39:04.920 --> 00:39:06.810 Jeff Goodman: How old were you and your family moved to Weinstein.
00:39:07.170 --> 00:39:09.660 George Isaakidis: I was 10 years old 10 years old. Yeah.
00:39:10.530 --> 00:39:12.870 Jeff Goodman: And how old were you when you started working at arpels
00:39:13.350 --> 00:39:21.840 George Isaakidis: I was 15 so I just completed a not just completed have completed 30 years so kind of gives my age away of being at heart pounds. Yeah.
00:39:23.160 --> 00:39:34.740 Jeff Goodman: Um, you know someone who grew up is someone who worked in the neighborhood where I grew up in Sheepshead Bay. I sometimes would would go up and down Sheepshead Bay road looking looking for work. How did you get your job at heart pals. Yeah.
00:39:34.770 --> 00:39:41.880 George Isaakidis: So it's an interesting story. And anybody that knows me knows my my bus story. So I'll share that if you feel well.
00:39:43.260 --> 00:39:54.420 George Isaakidis: It might sound. I went to Holy Cross High School, where my sophomore year where anybody that went to Holy Cross. I'm assuming any high school. We had to clean out our lockers and kind of clear them out for for winter winter recess.
00:39:54.900 --> 00:40:03.210 George Isaakidis: And on my way home. I am I decided instead of getting off on Eighth Avenue, which is where I live. I'm gonna get off of 40 Damn, you know, and I'll walk up
00:40:03.690 --> 00:40:14.670 George Isaakidis: Which was very odd because again I lived on earth. And so I decided to get off. And as I got off the bus, having the Norris a help wanted sign in the village of white stone and in a local pharmacy and
00:40:15.330 --> 00:40:21.420 George Isaakidis: Not knowing any better. I walked in with all my bags and all my supplies from from my locker and applied for a job.
00:40:22.080 --> 00:40:28.110 George Isaakidis: And I remember the day perfectly. It was a winter day and the owner of the time, Joel. Eller
00:40:28.470 --> 00:40:38.940 George Isaakidis: Was, you know, I just kind of walked up to me says, No, no, Isaac. I'm not really looking for anybody right now because he was just busy and as I started walking racing, you know. Come back and see me tomorrow, which is what I did.
00:40:40.020 --> 00:40:50.910 George Isaakidis: And the reason I bring up that bus story and I related to a lot of the, the kids that kind of go through the same steps that I did is I really believe that there's a few times in life that your destiny kind of
00:40:51.690 --> 00:40:57.540 George Isaakidis: calls out to you and you get him off that bus was my was one of my one of my points.
00:40:58.260 --> 00:40:59.790 Jeff Goodman: Well, and the rest, they say, is history.
00:41:00.630 --> 00:41:03.990 Jeff Goodman: When you first went to college did you plan to study pharmacy.
00:41:04.710 --> 00:41:16.140 George Isaakidis: I did it. I did it is, like I said, I started working here as a sophomore. My, my vision was was to be a lawyer, so I was always set on becoming a lawyer and I plan on going. Tasha to pursue law.
00:41:16.740 --> 00:41:25.620 George Isaakidis: And my my eventual mentor Joel That on the pharmacy. I was working at was steadfast on me, becoming a pharmacist and he
00:41:26.130 --> 00:41:36.540 George Isaakidis: He pushed me persuaded me and he's like, not how you can make good pharmacist. So, um, I did go to posture for the first year and and then ultimately switched over to switch over to pharmacy.
00:41:38.400 --> 00:41:47.760 Jeff Goodman: It sounds like arpels was your first business as a business owner did, did you have any concerns and I mean you studied pharmacy, George. But, but did you, it's
00:41:48.420 --> 00:42:02.940 Jeff Goodman: Buying a pharmacy is a complicated business. There are all these regulations or medications and there's the whole area of health and well being beyond just providing script. Did you have any concerns about a pharmacy being the first business, you would go into as a business owner
00:42:03.300 --> 00:42:13.530 George Isaakidis: Oh, absolutely, especially coming from, you know, coming from to immigrant parents really didn't have any business background. Um, I had tremendous concerns.
00:42:14.220 --> 00:42:22.290 George Isaakidis: But I also knew that I had a great privilege that many others didn't grow up in the pharmacy role Joel gave us access to
00:42:23.160 --> 00:42:32.850 George Isaakidis: So much information that I probably wouldn't have had anywhere else. So I by the time it was all said and done, I felt like I had an upper hand on in the runnings of business.
00:42:34.020 --> 00:42:37.980 Jeff Goodman: Did you buy the business. And did your brother than come in later. Did you both by ourselves together.
00:42:38.070 --> 00:42:54.240 George Isaakidis: Know we both we both bought her pulse together two and a half years older than Joseph on so I practice pharmacy for a couple of years. Um, he graduated and then we both continue practicing as Joel prepare for his retirement and then ultimately, um, and then ultimately moved on. Yeah.
00:42:55.170 --> 00:43:08.280 Jeff Goodman: As you would Joseph bought the business and took it over and sort of made it your own. Um, did you expand any of the lines of services that you provide it to your customers in the area of of wellness and good health.
00:43:08.610 --> 00:43:18.420 George Isaakidis: Absolutely, absolutely. Pharmacies is just like any other industries is forever changing and, you know, quickly, we found out that pharmacy wasn't just about providing medication.
00:43:18.960 --> 00:43:36.810 George Isaakidis: It was about providing loans. So over the years and, especially, more recently, we've looked into ways that we can improve people's overall wellness as opposed to just providing a product for them. So we've provided products like our medication adherence package or many pack program.
00:43:37.920 --> 00:43:53.370 George Isaakidis: we've shifted our lines to get away from traditional pharmacy things more towards verbals vitamin supplementation juice bars, all three of our locations have juice bars. Um, so again, trying to push wellness as opposed to just providing medications.
00:43:54.060 --> 00:44:03.030 Jeff Goodman: Well you know something. It's interesting you say you know history, sometimes repeats itself that that you have juice bars into pharmacy. But, you know, one of the I didn't tell you this before we went on the air, but
00:44:03.750 --> 00:44:15.240 Jeff Goodman: My grandfather was a pharmacist. He actually I think he opened up this pharmacy and MIDDLE VILLAGE back in the, in the late 20th and my grandmother used to tell me about the soda fountain that she would make
00:44:16.500 --> 00:44:22.920 Jeff Goodman: And that was an important part of their business. So to hear that you provide refreshing, but also probably a little bit healthier than a creams and
00:44:22.920 --> 00:44:24.450 Jeff Goodman: Malta's for the drugstore.
00:44:24.690 --> 00:44:35.250 Jeff Goodman: Absolutely. Um, how long after you you and Joseph own heart pills and white stone. Did you decide that you would open up pharmacies and other neighborhoods in Queens.
00:44:35.700 --> 00:44:46.590 George Isaakidis: Um, it was, it wasn't long after it was within the first five or six years after owning the first location we realized that we want to expand on practices that we had in white stone.
00:44:47.280 --> 00:45:02.250 George Isaakidis: Providing that same type of community feel feel on other neighborhoods that we were that we were familiar with. And that's why we ultimately went to our second location, which was in a story of a community that was very similar in my eyes to white stone and then to the baseline.
00:45:04.530 --> 00:45:14.460 Jeff Goodman: Alright, well, we're going to take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue our conversation with George executed the founder, well the the owner important he didn't found it. Sorry, that would make you a lot older than
00:45:15.030 --> 00:45:25.470 Jeff Goodman: Us your, your fessed up to a couple of minutes ago, a heartfelt chemists and white stone and also in a story in Bayside. But we're focusing on the original business and white stone will be back in a minute.
00:45:30.990 --> 00:45:37.980 24
00:47:15.000 --> 00:47:31.500 Jeff Goodman: We're back to rediscovering New York and episode at our episode tonight is on white stone and queens, my second guest is Georgia cicadas George is the partner and owner in park Hill chemists, which started in white stone and now has other locations in the story in Bayside.
00:47:32.550 --> 00:47:36.180 Jeff Goodman: George describe the vibe of white stone. What is it that you like about it.
00:47:37.080 --> 00:47:53.550 George Isaakidis: Um, my son has always been to me a very family oriented on location. I'm the stores the houses on seem to always have that on that local old fashioned neighborhood mentality and approach and it's something that's always just joined me to it.
00:47:55.050 --> 00:47:59.010 Jeff Goodman: It's hard pills in the original location. Now that it wasn't went up in the 1960s.
00:47:59.220 --> 00:48:10.290 George Isaakidis: It's across the street. So we're on right now on the corner of 100 and 50th street and 14 originally it was literally right across the street and then ultimately I think just two short years after on the it was open.
00:48:11.430 --> 00:48:18.420 Jeff Goodman: Is there anything that you feel that makes likes white stone unique especially compared to the two neighborhoods where you have your other businesses.
00:48:19.110 --> 00:48:28.710 George Isaakidis: Um, I've always I've always thought of white stone as as nestled community. And by that I mean I've always told everybody that why someone is a type of place that people want and people
00:48:29.250 --> 00:48:33.480 George Isaakidis: Are coming to white stone, you know, driving through white Sonia, not because we're surrounded
00:48:33.900 --> 00:48:39.450 George Isaakidis: We're surrounded by water is most of the time, white stones, the destination of where you're trying to go so it keeps us very quaint
00:48:39.780 --> 00:48:52.830 George Isaakidis: But also geographically it's 20 minutes away from everything we want to go to Manhattan. It's right over a bridge, we want to go to Long Island. It's right over there. So we're conveniently located close to everything but still muscle. The way kind of tour on
00:48:53.910 --> 00:48:55.740 Jeff Goodman: And of course, just a hop, skip and a jump from
00:48:56.760 --> 00:48:57.270 Jeff Goodman: The Bronx.
00:48:58.260 --> 00:48:58.680 Jeff Goodman: The bridge.
00:48:58.770 --> 00:48:59.940 George Isaakidis: Absolutely. Um,
00:49:00.000 --> 00:49:08.670 Jeff Goodman: You've lived in white stone for decades. And now you've operated a business there for a long time 15 years, have you on your on your business is it
00:49:09.480 --> 00:49:11.370 George Isaakidis: Nine to 2002. So yeah, it's just
00:49:11.580 --> 00:49:20.010 Jeff Goodman: It was 20 years okay 10 years. Um, how do you think the neighborhood has changed since you have since you moved there. And since you you bought arpels yeah
00:49:20.130 --> 00:49:28.830 George Isaakidis: Um, the homes that definitely gotten bigger how the ranch homes that have branched off you know properties on have turned into those beautiful
00:49:29.190 --> 00:49:39.060 George Isaakidis: mansions, and just beautiful homes on the village, the business districts and itself certainly has seen an influx of bigger national stores.
00:49:40.020 --> 00:49:48.240 George Isaakidis: Whether it's a pharmacies or some of the national name stories, but what up what I still love is is that the neighborhood still supports local mom and pop stores.
00:49:49.170 --> 00:49:53.940 Jeff Goodman: And that sense, you must have come to know a good number of your customers. Well, given the nature of your business.
00:49:54.900 --> 00:50:03.210 George Isaakidis: Yeah, absolutely. Um, it's, and that's what again what my affinity to white stone is is that because it's generally a general ration
00:50:04.530 --> 00:50:11.550 George Isaakidis: Type of feel you have you have grandparents at our own homes I pass it on to their children that pass it on to their grandchildren.
00:50:12.360 --> 00:50:23.010 George Isaakidis: So when I see to when I speak to my patients. It's, I can relate to the parents the grandparents and now their children. So it creates a tremendous bond for what I do.
00:50:24.600 --> 00:50:31.350 Jeff Goodman: As long as you've been part of the fabric of the community, George. Is there anything. It's kind of a little bit of a trick question, but I like to throw trick questions from time to time.
00:50:31.770 --> 00:50:39.060 Jeff Goodman: Or anything about about the neighborhood that that ever surprises you that that sort of takes you. You know, unexpected.
00:50:39.300 --> 00:50:47.790 George Isaakidis: Yeah, how do you know what there is, I've always been amazed how white someone has the ability to cut it can sound a little weird but the ability to come together.
00:50:48.570 --> 00:50:56.940 George Isaakidis: Even in today's tough times on why some still kind of watches out for each other. And I think that's no more evident than our civic groups and
00:50:58.230 --> 00:50:58.920 George Isaakidis: People
00:51:00.030 --> 00:51:14.070 George Isaakidis: knowing what's going on in their neighborhood, whether it's a slight increase in crime or or or new store that's coming into the neighborhood, it's, it's always on everybody's lips, which is, in my opinion, a very good thing people watching out for one another.
00:51:15.150 --> 00:51:25.080 Jeff Goodman: You're the president of the white stone merchant Association. Was there any. Did you just get involved. It was the some defining moment where you said, I have to. I have to become involved in this.
00:51:26.400 --> 00:51:27.810 Jeff Goodman: In this local business organization.
00:51:28.140 --> 00:51:35.940 George Isaakidis: Ah, yeah. No, I mean, it was, it was after, after being in my soul. After being hard pals for so many years. I felt that there was
00:51:36.240 --> 00:51:42.450 George Isaakidis: There was a time for the merchants to kind of come together and like they say for the greater of the good of a wall.
00:51:43.260 --> 00:51:54.540 George Isaakidis: Improve improve the area improve the things that we all kind of see as being shortcomings of the of the neighborhood and and just gather a great group of people and form this merchant Association.
00:51:55.590 --> 00:52:03.390 Jeff Goodman: You mentioned shortcomings, is there anything as a business owner that that you struggle with and white stone that you think is, is specific to to the neighborhood.
00:52:03.930 --> 00:52:05.430 George Isaakidis: I'm specific to the neighborhood.
00:52:06.660 --> 00:52:15.840 George Isaakidis: Running any type of business in New York City. We know comes with his with his with his rough roads, you know, between regulatory agencies and rules and regulations that are for forever changing
00:52:17.040 --> 00:52:22.980 George Isaakidis: With art with my particular business obviously insurances are or are always a problem.
00:52:24.210 --> 00:52:27.330 George Isaakidis: But white stone in general, I feel
00:52:28.440 --> 00:52:39.300 George Isaakidis: The diversity of the businesses that are here could be could be expanded having, having a bigger a bigger diversification of different types of businesses would be I think we're wealth away so
00:52:40.200 --> 00:52:49.740 Jeff Goodman: What kind of businesses have you given thought to the kind of businesses that you would that you would welcome that you would like to see or that you think the community would would receive. Well, yeah.
00:52:49.800 --> 00:52:58.410 George Isaakidis: I mean my opinion and it's gonna sound again silly but social a social component, whether it's better eateries or or improve the resume or eateries
00:52:59.100 --> 00:53:17.790 George Isaakidis: cafes lounges places where a young couple can kind of go out on a first date, or even a couple that's been married for 50 years on, go out and enjoy each other's company. Um, it just seems like we do have. We do have a nice mix, but it would be nicer if we had a little bit bigger.
00:53:19.380 --> 00:53:27.510 Jeff Goodman: Well, the original arpels was your first business and now you've opened to others. Do you ever see yourself opening up a different kind of business, maybe even in wife's done
00:53:27.870 --> 00:53:34.410 George Isaakidis: Absolutely. I joined I ours are always up for any type of new challenge as long as it brings excitement
00:53:35.130 --> 00:53:50.010 George Isaakidis: And as long as it brings help to other people are Joe and I are very big on being able to provide for communities, it gives us a sense of being and sense of togetherness, with what we do. So yeah, absolutely.
00:53:51.360 --> 00:54:04.830 Jeff Goodman: If you could look into a crystal ball for the place that you spent most of your life in and around your business and for 18 years. Um, have you ever thought about how white stone might continue to change what it might look like in a number of years time.
00:54:05.910 --> 00:54:06.270 George Isaakidis: Um,
00:54:06.870 --> 00:54:07.830 Jeff Goodman: That's another trick question.
00:54:07.860 --> 00:54:16.230 George Isaakidis: Yeah, no, no, absolutely. Um, I would hope I would hope that it would continue on the path of that family virtue that I mentioned earlier.
00:54:16.470 --> 00:54:28.170 George Isaakidis: Where we're still able to have a great diversity within this tiny little town I mentioned earlier about, about the great diversity of the Queen's it's all highs but continuing that diversity within white stone and continuing that that
00:54:29.400 --> 00:54:35.310 George Isaakidis: That small togetherness feeling on that I that I think it's just it's a good overall feeling
00:54:37.170 --> 00:54:49.830 Jeff Goodman: You've been mentioned before about businesses that you think a white stone doesn't have that might be good to have as a business owner, would you have any particular advice for someone looking to open up a new business and in the neighborhood.
00:54:50.070 --> 00:55:05.040 George Isaakidis: I absolutely Um first be honest be part of the community take pride in the business that you open or the home that you purchase or any other dealings that you have again Weitzman, in my opinion, is, is a very caring and a very tough community.
00:55:06.690 --> 00:55:14.820 George Isaakidis: As long as you're you're transparent and you're and you're honest with what you're providing this community is also extremely, extremely well.
00:55:16.320 --> 00:55:27.630 Jeff Goodman: One of the question is, is there anything that you do that people can water, any, any particular products that that a special to heart pills that they can get online and and how could they find out about those
00:55:27.750 --> 00:55:35.070 George Isaakidis: Sure. I mean, these this besides visiting the locations would be going to our website and our pals cartels Rx calm.
00:55:35.760 --> 00:55:44.640 George Isaakidis: It gives you a kind of a breakdown of all the all the services that we provide as well as giving you all the information about the locations that we have, um, and
00:55:45.210 --> 00:55:47.400 George Isaakidis: My favorite is picking up a phone, you know,
00:55:47.940 --> 00:56:00.960 George Isaakidis: We're always here for we're always here and we take great pride in answering our calls. I don't have any automated system where where where phones are being answered by a by a robot or a machine. So pick up a phone and even just say hi and ask away.
00:56:01.770 --> 00:56:03.240 Jeff Goodman: I could ask you one more question.
00:56:05.010 --> 00:56:20.910 Jeff Goodman: You must deliver being a pharmacy and you have a juice business and people like in New York love to pick up the phone to go online, we can order anything. We don't have to go out of our arms, do you order fresh, fresh pressed juice. Do you do you deliver it.
00:56:21.150 --> 00:56:21.960 George Isaakidis: We do, we do.
00:56:22.680 --> 00:56:23.190 George Isaakidis: We do.
00:56:24.270 --> 00:56:25.500 Jeff Goodman: And what's your website.
00:56:26.250 --> 00:56:31.380 George Isaakidis: So it's our pals H AI r e s rx.com
00:56:32.310 --> 00:56:38.310 Jeff Goodman: Great. Well, Georgia cicadas, thank you so much for being our second guest on our program about white stone.
00:56:39.660 --> 00:56:44.070 Jeff Goodman: Listeners you've just joined us for a journey across the East River from where I am.
00:56:44.370 --> 00:56:53.490 Jeff Goodman: Cross, one of the two bridges in the East River either the Triborough notice the RF Cambridge or the Bronx fight Stonebridge to visit white stone and queens our guests have been Jason and hosts.
00:56:53.970 --> 00:57:05.520 Jeff Goodman: The President of the Queen's Historical Society and author of seven books in Queens, including one on white stone and George a stickiness a partner and owner and harp hills, pharmacy, which has been in white stones since 1906
00:57:06.360 --> 00:57:12.660 Jeff Goodman: If you have comments or questions about the show, or if you'd like to get on our mailing list, please email me, Jeff at rediscovering New York that NYC.
00:57:13.320 --> 00:57:18.900 Jeff Goodman: You can like us on Facebook. And you can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter handles there with Jeff Goodman NYC.
00:57:19.530 --> 00:57:30.150 Jeff Goodman: Once again, I'd like to thank our sponsors Chris pappas mortgage banker TD Bank and the Law Offices of Tom sciatica specializing in wills estate planning and probate inheritance litigation.
00:57:30.930 --> 00:57:37.200 Jeff Goodman: One more thing before we sign off, I'm Jeff Goodman, a real estate agent and hosted in New York City and whether you're selling, buying leasing or renting
00:57:37.620 --> 00:57:49.890 Jeff Goodman: My team and I provide the best service and expertise in New York City, real estate to help you with your real estate needs. You can reach us at 646-306-4761 our producer is Ralph story or
00:57:50.730 --> 00:57:53.370 Jeff Goodman: Our engineer is the erstwhile Sam Liebowitz
00:57:53.550 --> 00:57:57.360 Jeff Goodman: And our special consultant is David Griffin of landmark branding.
00:57:58.170 --> 00:58:00.000 Jeff Goodman: Thanks for listening. We'll see you next time.