Pudge Fernandez has called Elmhurst home for 28 years. He first moved to the neighborhood with his parents in 1987 and remained since. A true native, he attended Newtown High School, worked his first job at the Queens Center mall, where he met his wife, Jessica. The pair are raising two kids of their own. Fernandez currently hosts local comedy shows at Play Lounge on Queens Boulevard and around the rest of the city.

What’s your favorite memory from growing up here?

When Eddie Murphy was filming “Coming to America” we cut class for two weeks to watch them film every morning at the Wendy’s on Queens Boulevard. We got to meet Arsenio Hall and John Amos, and when the movie came out we went to see it at the Elmwood Theater [formerly at 52-07 Hoffman Drive]. When they showed that first shot of Queens Boulevard the whole theater just erupted.


What makes you stay here?

The convenience and the diversity. Every Latin American and Asian country is represented here along with Irish and German. And we have everything within walking distance.


What could improve in Elmhurst?

From what I see, we’re the best kept secret over here in Queens. The only thing missing that we’re upset about is a movie theater. We have enough restaurants. We used to have the Elmwood Theater but they took that away and now it’s a church. I always hear mention of a theater but they never build anything.