You are reading

Forest Hills Historian Begins Fundraising Series for Secret Mural Project, to Include Help From Local Marvel and DC Comic Book Illustrator

Dec. 13, 2016 Staff Report

The Ramones and Billie Jean King won’t be the only notable figures to be immortalized by murals in Forest Hills.

Michael Perlman, local historian and author of “Legendary Locals of Forest Hills and Rego Park,” has taken it upon himself to begin a series of fundraising events to cover the costs of erecting a mural that will showcase this neighborhood’s historic local figures and scenes. The mural will be displayed in the “heart of Forest Hills,” he said.

Insisting that the artists involved would like to keep details of the project — such as the location — a surprise until spring, Perlman hinted that “the mural will in part be an ode to the ‘Whitepot’ days,” which used to be the name of the land that Forest Hills currently rests on, until the land was purchased and renamed in 1906.

“It will have Civil War roots, and feature between five and seven notables such as early architects, developers, and farmers,” Perlman said. “It will also include historic scenes such as a bird’s-eye view of farmland and buildings which were demolished long ago.”

Perlman hopes to raise $4,000, which will help him secure permits and supplies, such as high-quality paint and primer.

Ridgewood Savings Bank, London Lennie’s and Exo Cafe have each contributed funds for the project, with a series of other local businesses in talks with Perlman to help the group reach their goal.

This past Sunday, a fundraiser was held at Knish Nosh, located at 98-104 Queens Blvd., between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. For a suggested donation of $50, about a dozen visitors received a “mystery” gift card from Century 21 department store valued between $5 and $500, as well as a holiday wreath valued at approximately $40.

Illustrations by John Stanisci

By the end of the event, the fundraising goal of $4,000 had not been reached. Perlman, however, is planning a second fundraiser with the help of New York Times Bestselling Graphic Artist John Stanisci.

Stanisci, a Forest Hills resident, is best known for his work in Marvel and DC comics featuring Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man to name a few. In 2011, Stanisci’s illustrations in “Batman Beyond: Hush Beyond” helped place the book at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list of graphic novels.

This second round of fundraising will be held at Roast N’ Co on Wednesday December 21st, at 100-12 Queens Blvd., where between 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm Stanisci will be selling signed prints of his work. Half the sales proceeds will go toward funding the new mural.

Individual donors who contribute a suggested amount of $50 (businesses, a suggested amount of $500) before December 31st will still be eligible to receive one of the gift cards offered by Century 21, as well as a holiday wreath while supplies last.

Donations can be arranged with Michael Perlman by e-mailing: unlockthevault@hotmail.com

Photo from first fundraiser (Left to right: Michael Perlman, Linda Perlman, Chef Ana Vasilescu, local residents Alicia Venezia and Stephen Melnick)

email the author: news@queenspost.com

13 Comments

Click for Comments 
JOR

Speaking of secrecy, why is the author of this article not identified? I can understand not wanting to disclose the possible location of the mural (so as to not drive up acquisition costs), but why not provide a rendering of the mural? In my opinion, even a rough sketch would help in building support for this endeavor.

Reply
Ray V.

Maybe the author was Michael Perlman himself? And are contributions tax deductible? Not that I would donate to such a blind project with so many more worthy causes as mentioned above.

Reply
Carlos Weiss

I’m all for art but this seems like a thinly veiled project for the author to promote his book. At this time it is far more important to donate money to the increasing number of homeless in our neighborhood. What is more necessary, a mural or getting food and coats for the needy this winter. Just look around at MacDonald Park, the 71 Ave subway and all around. A mural will not distract from the real problems that our money and time could be put to much better use for.

Reply
Friends of MacDonald Park

Thanks Michael Perlman for your tireless efforts in trying to foster community spirit in Forest Hills. We need more people like you willing to devote their time and energy toward the betterment of the community. Keep up the great work.

Reply
Jody Frangioso

I think this mural is a horrible idea. Whitepot!! And ode to Whitepot??? Those were the days when Jews and Blacks were prohibited from residing in the area, why would you want to glorify and memorialize that?

Reply
Helen Day, Richmond Hill Historical Society

This mural of Forest Hills History will be a wonderful addition to the community. Hopefully, more of these will be done in other communities to highlight our history.

Reply
FH resident 11375

I feel that the artists have a right to not release their rendering and the location, until the rendering is complete. I am certain that our community will have a gift for generations to come.

Reply
FH resident 11375

I feel that the artists have a right to not release their rendering and the location until the rendering is complete. I am certain that the community will have a gift for generations to come.

Reply
Duck Dong

Mr Perlman while legit in his belief that a public mural will be a good thing for the community is in no way interested in anything but promoting himself by having his name on the mural. You can go directly to Andrew Hevesi’s office, Local Community board or the Chamber of Commerce and get the funds needed between you want complete control over said mural, you go the Perlman way.

Reply
Carlos Weiss

And how is he an actual historian? Does he hold any degrees in history? Does he teach history? Anyone can gather info and put into a book like done online all the time. What is really going on?

Reply
Al Isaacs

He has posted in local Facebook groups, and the authenticity of his posts are often challenged due to inaccurate information. Most notable was a post–complete with a photo-shopped pic of the store with balloons in front–celebrating that a new lease was signed by the Barnes and Noble on Austin St. Target announced their new lease hours later.

That said, am I wrong to understand only five people–including Perlman and his mother–actually showed up?

Reply
Anon1946

I don’t understand a secret public works project. What kind of self-important maniac keeps a piece of art that will have important historical value a secret and still raise funds to support it? I question the judgement of any individual or business that would contribute to this without any details.

Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

NYPD searching for burglary crew that targeted nearly 30 laundromats in Queens and others in Brooklyn and the Bronx

Police from the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst are looking for three masked men who broke into Susan’s Laundromat at 85-12 Grand Ave. at around 3:15 a.m. on Monday, June 24, while a fourth member of their crew acted as a lookout near their getaway car parked in front.

The burglars stole $1,800 in cash and removed a payment machine for the laundry room continuing an undetermined amount of cash.

Law enforcement ghost car crackdowns continue with dozens of vehicles seized on Whitestone Bridge: MTA

MTA Bridge and Tunnel officers, the NYPD and law enforcement partners impounded 55 vehicles from motorists crossing into Queens on the Whitestone Bridge on Monday, July 8, as a multi-agency crackdown continued unabated.

Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Tuesday that through 25 joint enforcement operations focusing on ghost plates and persistent toll violators on bridges and tunnels throughout New York City, 1,540 vehicles have been impounded, 339 arrests have been made and 12,007 summonses have been issued so far this year to drivers who owe more than $12.5 million in unpaid tolls and fees.

Forest Hills pharmacy owner sentenced for $18M COVID healthcare fraud and money laundering scheme: Feds

A Forest Hills man was sentenced in Brooklyn federal court to nearly nine years in prison for his role in an $18 million COVID-19 healthcare fraud and money laundering scheme. 

Peter Khaim, 44, conspired with his brother, Arkadiy Khaimov, 41, who also resides in Forest Hills. The brothers pleaded guilty in November 2022 to conspiracy to commit money laundering for using New York-area pharmacies to submit false and fraudulent Medicare claims and then laundering the criminal proceeds.