Thursday, November 1, 2007

Chronicling the tweeded

An Oral History of Queens Immigrants Hits the Road

Judith Sloan, an actress, writer and radio producer, admits that Queens — New York City’s most populous borough — does not always inspire the warmest feelings. “It’s not the easiest place in the world to fall in love with or feel at home in,” she says. “Its urban landscapes are often mundane, sometimes hideous, occasionally even toxic. My husband, Warren, grew up in Queens and, frankly, he hated it.”

Great way to start off. Let's see how much more offensive this interview can get...

But Ms. Sloan and her husband, Warren Lehrer, did fall in love with Queens, where they have now lived for decades. Their 2003 oral history of Queens immigrants, “Crossing the BLVD: Strangers, Neighbors, Aliens in a New America,” based on hundreds of interviews, amounted to a whirlwind tour and love poem of what has often been called the most racially and ethnically diverse county in America.

Of course, she wrote about the diversity of the tweeded. How original!

Surprisingly, many of the interviews Ms. Sloan and Mr. Lehrer interviewed have not stayed in Queens. In the roughly four years since “Crossing the BLVD,” was published, she said, about half of the immigrants profiled in the book have moved — many to suburban areas where housing is cheaper.

Why is this surprising? We've been telling you for months that Queens is made up of temporary communities, and that is why there is so much crap here. Our borough has become nothing more than a stopping point on the way to somewhere perceived as "better". Isn't it wonderful?

Here's the website.

Continuing the "temporary community" theme is the author of the soon-to-be-released book, The Neighborhoods of Queens. Check out her bio at the end.


Anonymous said...

The Lehrers were two of the people who were most vocally opposed to landmarking Sunnyside Gardens. Perhaps they were looking forward to becoming absentee landlords to the tweeded after retiring to Long Island.

Check out this line from a letter to the editor: "Emphasizing bricks and mortar can come at the expense of economic and ethnic diversity, and neighborliness, which the original designers valued."

Sunnyside Gardens was an experiment in mixing different classes of white people to achieve civic unity, so I don't know where this guy came up with "ethnic diversity" as a value of Mumford, et al.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Warren Lehrer the brother
of public radio talk show host Brian Lehrer?

So as the wife-in-law (of the Warren/Brian team)
Ms. Judith Sloan
is automatically elevated to the level of pundit/prophet/guru/historian
of our "bland" borough
(as she and hubby might well put it)..

I suppose that everyone who buys her new book
should read it while reverently kneeling.

Don't forget to "cross yourself"
(if you're a Catholic) before and after
being exposed to her "holy"
(or is it wholly PR inspired) words.

Oh and by the way.....thanks Warren....
for opposing the landmarking
of Sunnyside Gardens.

Looking forward to Ms. Sloans oral.....
uh.....history skills!

Anonymous said...

Not to worry. Every time someone comes up with a work on diversity, it is ignored by the real art world in Manhattan as it is breathlessly examined by the one-party press out here. Then, being the second rate exercises in art that they always are, gratefully sink into deserved oblivion.

These 'artists' that take a clue from the state were the same types they used to do artwork for 'Der Sterm' during WWII showing heroic soldiers at Stalingrad, did posters commissioned by Uncle Joe of rosy cheeked wheat harvesters in the Ukraine, and did Chairman Mao's bidding by depicting jaw-jutting Red Guards marching with workers and farmers in the face of capitalistic inroaders.

Its just tiresome. Really tiresome.

Anonymous said...

Yea, I saw him testify at the landmark hearing in Sunnyside Gardens. I thought, here is someone who doesn't care what the community thinks or is good for them (when do people in Queens ever stand up for their rights anyways) but is seeing his 'schtick' endangered.

Anonymous said...

What a coincidence. Just few minutes ago, I told my friend I'm going to Queens library in Jamaica this afternoon. He said I was going to the purgatorial neighborhood...

Carol said...

"My husband, Warren, grew up in Queens and, frankly, he hated it.”

Maybe her husband got beaten up as a kid for being a poser and thinking he's better than anyone else.

Maybe he needs another beating.

Anonymous said...

I have the great misfortune of being a writer myself. Scared to death about somebody unearthing some subtle bias or politically incorrect representation in my work I only portray white people in my stories. Hopefully no one will take note of this fact which may lead me into a heap of trouble too.

Anonymous said...

With a name like p---y "Warren".....
you can expect anyone to beat the crap out of you.....
for your ice cream, lunch or movie money.

Mothers should be wary of giving their "male"
children names like Arnold, Warren, Percy etc.

Anonymous said...

you've got to make the subject of your book
(art or documentary project)
"that glorious rainbow"
otherwise that shoddy
Queens Council On The Arts, etc.
won't spot you any grant
(or advance royalties) money".

The oliticians keep on kissing the asses
of those that they've just "tweeded".....
so that they can continue to "tweed"
their gullible voters even more
the next time around !

Anonymous said...

Sorry...left out the "p"
in "politicians".