A Guide To The Offical Guide
By MICHAEL SCHENKLER
The Blue Book you are holding (or the online edition you are viewing) is the 2008 version of a 17-year-old annual which is the most comprehensive guide prepared about our borough.
Our Official Guide To Queens was born in 1991 and has become a working reference book for all who have occasion to navigate through Queens, its information, bureaucracy and life.
For more than three dozen years, we at the Trib have been chronicling the lives of the people of Queens and we continue to try our best to bring some order to the hodgepodge of County and City officialdom as well as answering some basic questions about our borough — the most ethnically diverse place anywhere on Earth. We hope our efforts presented on these pages help our readers cope.
We believe our Official Guide is indispensable to anyone living in, doing business in, researching or even passing through Queens, New York. We use it as a regular phone directory to everything Queens, an elected-officials-names spell checker, an atlas (community boards, legislative districts and much more), an emergency contact guide and a mini-encyclopedia/fact checker. 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.
We keep a copy of The Queens Blue Book next to our desk at home and one in each of our offices – here in Queens, and in Huntington where we guide the Long Islander newspaper group started by Walt Whitman in 1838. Inheriting the legacy of Whitman, one of the greatest American chroniclers in our history, has given me new insight into publishing history and perspectives on the meaning of a newspaper.
When we first published our official guide in 1991 the concept of a newspaper-produced reference book for its readers was unheard of. The fact that several smaller Queens papers now publish their own form of guides is a tribute to our vision and ideas. An ever-increasing number of newspapers throughout the City, State and Nation have also followed our lead and our Official Guide concept is being embraced by newspaper publishers coast-to-coast. We have created the industry standard.
It’s been imitated — by many — but never equaled.
The Tribune has pioneered much more than just the “Official Guide” concept. In addition to our annual bound and glossy covered long-time 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 dressed the Trib way back in 1990; our Web Site appeared a decade ago and was followed by an “e-mall,” Queens’ first online shopping portal. We‘re not stopping now.
The Official Guide To Queens 2008 which you have in your hands, is just the beginning of the story. For the past four plus years, the Tribune has been publishing a monthly magazine special – stitched and trimmed bound in a glossy wrap with an in-depth Queens-focused theme.
Watch for these monthly specials. They will inform, entertain and hopefully cause you to think. We’ll provide the official info and the unofficial dope. We’ll compile the information and then push the envelope. Our specials will be found throughout the year, 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.
There will be a lot more excitement in months ahead. Readers, grab your copy – the glossies move fast — or mail in your $12 subscription (see subscription form page 108 – or find it on the web). Advertisers, call Frank (718-357-7400, ext 132) to be part of the most exciting journalistic effort in the city’s most interesting and vital borough.
Our editorial team has 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: email@example.com, or fax (718-357-9417) or mail them to the Tribune.
Hundreds of people have contributed to this, the Queens Blue Book. It is the culmination of the effort of journalists, artists, salespersons, office staff and friends who have walked through our doors over the past 38 years. The marvelous staff who have perfected this edition, have earned my gratitude and respect.
Our readers, who throughout the year emailed, faxed and mailed us advice, suggestions, complaints, omissions and errors, and our advertisers who loyally support our effort because they believe in the Trib and they believe in Queens, are as much a part of our story as anyone else.
There are also my partners: a dozen or so special people — family and 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 in 2002 and give it new life and a renewed mission chronicling and advocating for Queens, the most exciting place on Earth. Their commitment has enabled us to grow and explore new and exciting publishing avenues.
And Lil, Allison and Lee who provide me with the motivation and creative inspiration to help bring what we do at the Trib to a new level each and every year.
To all of you, thanx!
The Tribune is proud to publish this paper of record. MSchenkler@QueensTribune.com