Woodside is a neighborhood in the western side of Queens, NYC. Its bordered to the south by Maspeth, bordered to the north by Astoria, bordered to the west by Sunnyside, and in the east to Elmhurst. A mix of Latinos, Asians, and Whites — in decreasing order — populates Woodside. Woodside’s diversity is evident as it commemorates Saint Patrick’s Day with a parade right before the real deal in Manhattan. The parade in Woodside is known for being an all-inclusive event, allowing members of all ethnicities and sexual orientations to participate, including those that are excluded from the larger Manhattan St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Woodside is home to a few historical institutions, most notably the Lynch Funeral House and the 7 train. Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors, one of the largest family-owned and operated funeral firms in the country, traces its origins to the licensure, in 1948, of Edward J. Lynch, Jr. (1924-1992). It was his belief that the most valuable asset of any funeral service firm was the trust and confidence of the community it served.
In the 1970’s his sons, Thomas, Patrick and Timothy Lynch and a son-in-law, Michael Howell, joined him in forming Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors. To the funeral homes they operated in Clawson, Milford and Walled Lake in the 1970’s they have added facilities in Plymouth, Oxford, Lapeer and Brighton, bringing to seven the number of family owned and operated facilities. (Lynchfuneraldirectors.com).
The 7 Flushing Local and 7 Flushing Express are rapid transit services of the New York City Subway, providing local and express services along the full length of the IRT Flushing Line. The services are colored purple on station signs, route signs, and the official subway map, with local service denoted by a 7 in a circular logo, and express service by a 7 in a diamond-shaped logo. The line has two distinct sections, split by the Queensboro Plaza station. It begins as a three-track subway, with the center track used for express service, at Flushing-Main Street. It quickly leaves the ground onto a steel elevated-structure above Roosevelt Avenue, passing Citi Field and the USTA National Tennis Center. A flying junction between Mets – Willets Point and 111th street provides access to Corona Yard from the local tracks. At 48th Street in Sunnyside, the line switches to Queens Boulevard and an ornate concrete viaduct begins. The express track ends between 33rd street – Rawson Street and Queensboro Plaza. The steel artwork Woodside Continuum (1999) by artist Dimitri Gerakaris in the 61st Street / Woodside station (7 subway and LIRR) tells a little history of the neighborhood with regard to mass transit. It has had a Long Island Railroad train station since the 1860s. The station relocation in 1915 to the current location moved the neighborhood’s business center.
The Saint Sebastian Roman Catholic Church serves the Woodside community as well. St. Sebastian’s was not a heavily populated parish until several transportation changes. In 1896, the New York and Queens County Railway Company erected its main barns at Woodside Avenue and Northern Boulevard, bringing trolley lines into Woodside. Other openings soon followed: in 1909, the Queensboro (often referred to as the “59th Street”) Bridge; in 1910, the LIRR East River tunnel; in 1917, the opening of the train station at 61 Street and Roosevelt Avenue. The population of Queens quadrupled between 1910 and 1930, and St. Sebastian’s grew with it. According to their website, the most attended Mass in the weekend schedule of St. Sebastian’s parish is the twelve o’clock Mass in the Spanish language, which is not surprising because of Woodside’s Latino population.