|Crew: ||Producers: Terry Katz, Alan Stark - Cinematographer: Terry Katz|
It was just after World War II. Our boys were home from the war and starting families. Affordable housing was a priority, so the New York City Housing Authority got started on 15 new projects. One of them, called Pomonok, went up in 1949 on the rolling hills of a former country club in Flushing, Queens. Over sixty years later, this incredible success story in public housing is finally documented and celebrated by two of its earliest residents, Terry Katz and Alan Stark.The story is told in the voices of the people who first moved in, the kids who grew up there, and the families living there today. Over one hundred interviews, vintage photos, and home movies evoke a 1950s baby-boomer paradise, with always enough kids for a choose-up game of baseball, football or punch ball down at the park or in the parking lots.Still thriving today, Pomonok stands as an example of how safe and affordable public housing was, and how it continues to be playground, community, and home to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers.The warmth and humor of the personal stories and the astute commentary about the creation of a positive urban environment make this both an entertaining and important documentary.
Terry Katz was born in Pomonok in 1954. He lived at 67-29 Kissena Blvd Apt. 6A, the court with the water tower, or “the circle” as it was sometimes referred to. His parents first came to Pomonok in 1951 from the quonset huts in Canarsie, Brooklyn, which were built as temporary housing for veterans. His father Eddie drove a cab and worked with the boy scouts and his mother Eleanor was a teacher’s aide in PS 201 and later worked at Queens College.
Terry attended PS 201, Campbell JHS 218, and graduated Jamaica High School in 1972. Among his first memories is playing in the dirt behind his building in the summers and then running into the showers, which were in his court. Also near his court, were the famous hills, which were a mecca for sledding in the winter. Jack’s ice cream, of course, stands out in Terry’s memories, especially Mario’s Ices. He moved out of Pomonok in 1979.
Terry worked for over 30 years as a film and television editor, and has an MA from New York University. He presently teaches at St. John’s University and Fashion Institute of Technology.