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.