Our Official Guide To Queens was born in 1991 and has become a working annual reference book for all who have occasion to navigate through Queens and its information, bureaucracy and life.
We believe it to be indispensable to anyone living in, doing business in, researching or even passing through Queens, New York. We keep a copy of The Queens Blue Book next to our desk at home and one in the office. We use it as a regular phone directory to everything Queens, an elected-officials-names spell checker, an atlas (for school districts, community boards, legislative districts and much more), an emergency contact guide and a mini-encyclopedia/history fact checker. It provides us with tidbits for our column: statistics, neighborhood names, etc. It provides you with contact information for all the resources to unjangle your chaos, soothe your soul, enrich your mind and get you where you want to go.
You have in your hand the Official Guide To Queens 2004. But that is just the beginning. Next month, we will publish the first UnOfficial Guide to Queens. It will share with you some of the less common and less official aspects of our borough. You’ll also want to keep this one by your desk or your bed. It’ll keep you informed, chuckling and give you part of Queens’ other side. As you are viewing this Blue Book, we at the Tribune are compiling its companion edition. It will be a cross of the Trib’s Insider’s Guide to Queens and our staff’s guide to everything else you wanted to know about surviving in and enjoying our home — even the darker side.
If you have any thoughts, ideas or contributions for our companion "UnOfficial Guide to Queens" please email them to me at the address below. If you’ve yet to enter modern civilization, the Tribune’s snail mail address can be found on a nearby page.
Hundreds of people have contributed to this, the Queens Blue Book. This Official Guide is the culmination of the work of Tribune staff members over a 14-year period. We’ve seen it improve, evolve and grow. Through the years, each editor, art director, designer, photographer, writer, compiler, fact checker, even salesperson and office staff member brought to the effort their own uniqueness and perceptions. Then our talented editors – with a little help from me – twist and tweak it to make it more understandable, easy to use and – we hope – an invaluable reference manual to our home, Queens.
It’s been imitated — by many — but never equaled.
Mike Nussbaum, our Executive Vice President, who has been around the Queens scene almost forever, has commented on the several imitation versions others have produced. He reminds us that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The fact that several smaller Queens papers now publish their own form of guides is a tribute to our vision and ideas. Now an ever-increasing number of papers throughout the City, State and Nation have also followed our lead and our Official Guide concept is being embraced by the industry.
The Tribune has pioneered much more than just the "Official Guide" concept. In addition to our annual bound and glossy covered favorites The Best of Queens and our historic Anniversary Edition, community journalism on the east coast saw its first four-color pages in 1988 in the Trib. The glossy covers first appeared way back in 1990; our website appeared some eight years ago and was followed by an "e-mall," Queens’ first online shopping portal. We‘re not stopping now.
This year, in addition to the Unofficial Guide to Queens, we have planned monthly specials that we expect to see sitting on the coffee tables, office shelves and desks of the decision makers, party goers, businesspeople and families whose daily lives include the excitement of Queens. Last month’s Immigrant’s Guide To Queens has already found its way into the classrooms, community houses and Queens communities where immigrants gather. It helps smooth some of the bumps in the road for our borough’s newest residents.
We begin this year and publish this guide led by a relatively new team. Angela Montefinise, our new editor, is in her third year at the Trib — she has spent all her years as a child of Queens. Her journalism training was at my alma mater, Queens College. Angela, along with Associate Editor Stephen McGuire, another product of our borough, have perfected and outdone our previous efforts. They have had every phone number, every fact and every comma checked and double-checked. Still, we are certain that our readers will find something less than perfect.
Please let us know. We want to print corrections, correct our online edition and update our files for next year’s Blue Book. You can send suggestions or corrections to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or fax or mail them to the Tribune.
The art effort of getting the words and pictures to you in an attractive readable form was spearheaded by our new Trib art director Cindy Martinez, whose decade of experience has helped us make the transition to a new press and press crew capable of better quality, better reproduction and a better looking paper. In her short tenure as art director, Cindy has started dressing us up. We hope you like the changes and spiffy look.
The sales staff, under the direction of Ted Olczak our Veep of Sales and Marketing, continue to prove that when you offer a product of value to a knowledgeable marketplace, common sense and judgment prevail. The excitement they have generated over our new list of glossy-bound papers is infectious. The Queens marketplace is alive, well and prospering. We can’t wait to watch this year’s effort.
There are my new partners: a dozen or so special people — friends — who believed in me and in this marvelous product and came up with the funding to enable me and my longtime friend and partner Gary Ackerman — you know the guy — to buy our paper back and give it new life and a renewed mission chronicling and advocating for Queens, the most exciting home on earth.
Of course there are many, many others who contributed to this year’s effort: editorial, art, sales, Mitch and classifieds, office and accounting staffs have all undergone a bit more stress and for the most part offered to do a bit more than usual; our readers who throughout the year emailed, faxed and mailed us advice, omissions and errors; and our advertisers loyally support this annual effort because they believe in the Trib and they believe in Queens.
To all of you, thanx!
The Tribune is proud to publish this paper of record.
This Blue Book is yours; may it continue to fill your days with Queens information and color.
Michael Schenkler can be