Northwestern Queens: Maspeth

Maspeth is a mixed working class industrial neighborhood. In 1642 the Dutch settlers named the town Maspat. Maspat became the first European settlement in Queens. These settlers were attacked by Native Americans a year later, with the surviving settlers moving back to Manhattan. The name “Maspeth” is derived from the name of Mespeatches Indians. It is translated to mean “at the bad waterplace” relating to the many stagnant swamps that existed in the area.

Pictured is La La Produce, an Indian Grocer located on 56th Drive. 56th Drive contains a row of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi food exporters and distributors. Adani Spices also on 56th Drive fills the air with the smell of its spices as soon as you enter the block off of Rust Street.

The 400 year old Newtown Creek, one of the most polluted waters in New York City, a virtual wasteland for all the factories that filled the area, runs tours once a month for the public.

The History section is in collaboration with Steve Vazquez of Queenscapes.