Saturday, January 06, 2007

Tour Du Queens

This afternoon, I took advantage of the beautiful unseasonably warm "Oh God Al Gore Was Right" weather to return a pair of pants to Target on Queens Boulevard and then take some long, exploratory walks.

One was down Broadway...Broadway in Elmhurst, that is, which runs perpendicular to a section of Queens Boulevard that's full of discount stores selling big puffy furniture. This stretch of Broadway in Elmhurst was full of mom & pop stores and looked like the section of Queens where I grew up 40 years ago, which doesn't look that way anymore. Except all the signs on this stretch of Broadway were in Chinese. But then again, in New York Chinese is the new Jewish.

Then I went to Jackson Heights and this time I found the Exiled Manhattanites section. It's about two blocks north of the Roosevelt Avenue-Jackson Heights subway station, a major transportation hub. It was exactly as lovely as I'd heard and read about, with 1920's luxury buildings like the ones on West End Avenue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for about a quarter of the price. The other big difference is that the buildings were surrounded by trees and gardens, with about a million birds screaming in indignation at the combination of the Springlike weather and the Wintertime sunset.

Other than that, the streets were very quiet, although many Park Slope-type people and their kids made their way from shopping to recreation to home, and about half a dozen little kids whizzed by on wheeled implements of various kinds.

The intersection of 74th and Roosevelt Avenue is lined with Indian restaurants serving all-you-can-eat buffets. I had a great meal in this one for $10.00.

So in that little game I play called "If my building were condemned and I had to find a new neighborhood, would I live here?" I would move the Exiled Manhattanite section of Jackson Heights firmly into the "Yes" column.

Update: Here's another Exiled Manhattanite. I found that page through this one. Cool! Lookit all the tasty foods and pretty buildings.

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