Photo Courtesy Ken Harris, Jamaica, NY circa 1975

Queens Memory collects personal histories, photographs and other records of contemporary life in Queens, New York.

Queens Name Explorer

The Name Explorer project seeks to enrich local history by increasing knowledge of individuals honored with named places in Queens – its streets, monuments, schools, parks, and buildings. This ongoing project creates a dynamic living archive, while enhancing awareness of communities not represented or underrepresented in our borough. To date, 1,300+ named places have been identified, and 1040+ of them are live on the Name Explorer map.

But your help is needed. The map still has many entries lacking information and photographs. If you can add info, an anecdote, and/or photograph, please do so by clicking the blue “Add/Edit” button in the top right corner. See a street named after a member of your community not currently on the map? Or a sign that needs maintenance and restoration? Add/Edit to let us know!

Elvi Goliat Oral History

Elvi Goliat immigrated to Queens from Indonesia in 2002 and opened Indo Java, an Indonesian grocery store located in Elmhurst, in 2008. Goliat recalls the lack of Indonesian stores and restaurants in Queens when she arrived to the borough. In addition to Indo Java, Goliat opened an Indonesian restaurant in Elmhurst named Java Village in 2008, but she says that high rent costs and lack of business forced her to close the restaurant. In contrast, Goliat discusses how social media advertisement and inclusion of a warung (food stall) inside Indo Java to cook and sell Indonesian meals has enabled the grocery store to gain popularity and remain in business. Goliat explains that the warung operates three days per week; each day of the week features a different chef cooking dishes from different regions of Indonesia. Goliat reflects on seeing more new customers at Indo Java in recent years and the growth of the Indonesian community in Elmhurst since 2002.

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Listen to the Queens Memory Podcast

Season Three of the Queens Memory Podcast is coming soon! In this season, “Our Major Minor Voices,” we feature stories from our neighbors of Asian descent in Queens, New York.  New episodes will air each Monday, starting April 11th 2022. Click Here to listen to the trailer for the season, and to hear to new episodes, as they are released. To hear Season One of the Queens Memory Podcast, Memories of Migration, Click Here. Season One features Queens residents who moved from all over the world over the past century to settle in the “World’s Borough”. To hear Season Two of the Queens Memory Podcast, The Borough We Became: Queens Residents on Life during COVID-19, Click Here. Season Two features interviews with Queens residents and highlighted sound and video contributions to our COVID-19 Project as the pandemic unfolded.

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