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 government 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 with Queens.
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 1837. The recent acquisition of that group and with it 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 legacy 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.
Mike Nussbaum, our Executive Vice President, who has been around the Queens scene almost forever, has commented on the many imitation versions others have produced. He reminds us that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
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 2007 which you have in your hands, is just the beginning of the story. For the past three 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 continue to compile the information and then push the envelope. Our specials will be found throughout the year, 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.
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 92 – or find it on the web). Advertisers, call Norm (718-357-7400, ext 132) to be part of the most exciting journalistic effort in the city’s most interesting and vital borough.
Our managing editor, Brian Rafferty, who continues to lead the effort, is an old Queens journalism pro. Directing his new, eager team of young journalists, he 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: firstname.lastname@example.org, or fax (718-357-9417) or mail them to the Tribune.
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 17-year period. We’ve seen it improve, evolve and modify itself. 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.
The artistic effort of getting the words and pictures to you in an attractive, readable form was spearheaded by our Trib production manager Shiek Mohamed, whose decade-plus of Tribune experience has helped us to look better with less effort. Sheik, his creative director Nirali Parekh and an incredible team, are responsible for dressing us up. We hope you like the changes and spiffy look.
The sales staff, is now under the direction of Norm Kleinberg, our V.P. of Sales and Marketing, who has brought the knowledge and skill of a lifetime of publishing to our company. He continues to prove that when you offer a product of value to a knowledgeable marketplace, common sense and judgment prevail. The excitement generated over our glossy-bound papers is infectious. The Queens marketplace is alive, well and prospering. We can’t wait to watch this year’s effort unfold.
Of course there are many, many others who contributed to this year’s effort. Deserving of very special mention is our controller Ria MacPherson whose industry knowledge and personal skills has given me the time and freedom to build our new Long Island operation while she oversees theTrib office when I’m not there. Her staff, Mitch and the gang in Classifieds, and the rest of our staff of 49 have all done a bit more than usual as our company grows.
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.
Finally, there are 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.
This Blue Book is yours; may it continue to fill your days with Queens Information and color.