Thursday, January 3, 2008

Neighborhoods of Queens faux pas

I got this book called Neighborhoods of Queens for Christmas from a friend. Below are 2 photos from the Maspeth section:

There are no elevated subways in Maspeth.
The scene at left is on Grand Avenue in Elmhurst, not 69th Street in Maspeth. (That's why its owner cleverly named it "The Grandstand".)

The author may have picked up on these mistakes if she hadn't moved to Long Island.

15 comments:

kingofnycabbies said...

Haven't seen the book yet, so it's hard to say whether these errors are indicative of an overall sloppiness. In the author's potential defense, I'd simply say that writers rarely have anything to do with picture selection and caption writing, which are often independently created, usually late in the production cycle. That's one way mistakes get made.

Queens Crapper said...

She got the boundaries of Maspeth wrong, too. Maspeth does not extend up to Queens Blvd.

Connie R said...

I got the book; it's not very good. It's more like a term paper gone a wry.

kingofnycabbies said...

Alright, qc, I've asked this on other sites: Are there official neighborhood boundaries which the city recognizes, or is it all flexible? If there are official boundaries, I'd like to know how to find them. In 13 years of driving a cab, I've never been able to figure this out, especially with Bushwick now going as East Williamsburg, and other realtor depredations.

Anonymous said...

If the "historian/preservationist/author" clique
can't distinguish their asses from their elbows
don't expect Queens to be visible on the radar screen
to the LPC, hizzoner, or any of those other
Manhattan-centric boobs!

You'd expect some grade school dope,
who's (all too often) unfamiliar with world geography
not to know where Sri Lanka is located....
but this is rudimentary local stuff!

Anonymous said...

She is part of the tweeded immigrant class. Anything she says or does is reported with rapt attention.

The book is a mess, with dozens of errors.

All that really matters is the author's background. Just like everything else in this borough, the agenda trumps the content.

Anonymous said...

She got info on the former Astoria ferry wrong, too.

Queens Crapper said...

I think it goes by the postal code.

kingofnycabbies said...

Ok, qc, thanks for that bit of info. (But are are there no named neighborhoods without p.o.s?) Sounds like Queens might be covered--but what of the other boroughs?

georgetheatheist said...

The top photo is the street fair in Woodside: Woodside Ave. & 61st St.

I believe a neigborhood is more than a postal code. A neighborhood is a realm; it has a feel, look, and smell to it. A je ne sais quoi. A Fingerspitzengefuehl.

Julie said...

Even within a neighborhood, there are distinct communities. However, that will all change soon as the Fedderization of Queens moves forward. We don't need abstract things like communities. We need warehouses to store more bodies. 1 million more by 2030!

Anonymous said...

i caught a couple of mistakes also

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post and for the comments. As someone with a lot of childhood roots in and fond memories of Queens, I was planning to buy this book. But now I'll save a few bucks and not buy it. It doesn't matter to me whether it was the fault of the author or the publisher; these kind of blatant mistakes kill the author's credibility and makes you wonder what other facts she got wrong. End result is usually a pretty cheesy-seeming product.

--dave in milwaukee

Anonymous said...

Seriously, though, aren't there fact-checkers at the publishing house whose jobs are to check this stuff out before it goes into print? What a f**k-up.

Who is the publisher?
I'd like to write them a letter about this disgrace of a book and misrepresentation of our borough.

Anonymous said...

Oh, but the local papers were just gushing on how well this book is.

Throw a few digs at developers and they would not even ackowledge the book's exisistance.

You are right, in Queens, like your typical 3rd world country, agendas trump content any day of the week.