Broad Channel, Long Island
Broad Channel is a neighborhood located in the borough of Queens, Long Island, New York. It occupies the southern portion of Rulers Bar Hassock known colloquially as "Broad Channel Island", which is the only inhabited island in Jamaica Bay. Broad Channel is lying between Howard Beach and the Rockaway Peninsula; it is connected to those communities by bridges at either end of the island. The Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge and the Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge carries vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic. Some houses in Broad Channel are built on stilts in the water. Over 3 thousand people are permanently resident here now and there are fifteen hundred homes. The neighborhood stands on Big Egg Marsh, an area of fill approximately 20 blocks long and 4 blocks wide. The IND Rockaway Line of the New York City Subway (A S) serves the Broad Channel station. Elevation is 3 feet.
Broad Channel remained a parcel within the Town of Jamaica until the consolidation of New York City in 1898. The area acquired some disrepute in the 1920s and 1930s. First, an infectious outbreak on the mainland was thought to radiate from the island's catch and fishing was banned for some time in Broad Channel. During Prohibition, Broad Channel expanded as an out-of-the-way haven for rumrunners and speakeasies. In 1924, development was spurred by construction of the Cross Bay Boulevard. It placed Broad Channel on a path to becoming a modern residential and commercial locality in Queens, with firm and stable connection to the Rockaways and to the bright lights beyond. This link saw the establishments of many stores, enterprises, and homes. Today, Broad Channel streets have also their own numbering format, independent of that used elsewhere in the borough.
Well-known residents living in Broad Channel include Charles Howard, a local celebrity and the descendant of a family that has lived prosperously in Broad Channel since the late 19th century. The New York City Department of Education operates schools in Broad Channel. The Chris Galas and St. Virgilius Schools have 350 students between them and go all the way to Grade 8. It is served by the Broad Channel Public Library which occupies a portion of the site of the former Weiss's Restaurant, a popular spot with locals and visitors in the area. Broad Channel is hermetic communities that mostly of its inhabitants are policemen, firemen, and EMS workers. At two miles long by two blocks wide, the neighborhood has no supermarket, gas station, or pharmacy, but because of its large coastline there are almost as many boats as people. The Cross Bay Boulevard placed Broad Channel on a path to becoming a modern residential and commercial locality in Queens, with firm and stable connection to the Rockaways and to the bright lights beyond. The 9,000-acre Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge occupies the top, nose-shaped half of the island, and is home to 300 species of birds including the great blue heron, the glossy ibis, and the redstart warbler.