Sunday, July 6, 2008

Non-Asians considered "exotic" in Flushing

From the NY Sun:

In American lore, "Main Street" is as small-towny and homey as you get — a place in Bedford Falls or Mayberry. Not long ago, that's exactly what Main Street in Flushing was like. "Flushing" was a byword for the dull, homey, comfortable outer-borough world inhabited by clerks, technicians, and city workers.

When a well-respected architectural critic dismisses what many remember to be great living in Queens as "dull", then goes on to focus on the handful of old buildings that the city managed to salvage and ignores the problems brought on by the new out-of-context buildings, you know we're in trouble.

Then there's this from the Epoch Times:

Flushing Street Fair Celebrates Diversity

America is a melting pot, and that surely showed this July 4th in Flushing, New York. An area with a high immigrant—especially Asian—population, Flushing teamed with the Flushing Development Center Friday to host an extravagant street fair on Sanford Avenue between Main St. and Union St.

The merchandise certainly had an Oriental ring to it: among the items for sale were Chinese drama DVDs, Asian artwork, and bamboo art.

The bustling and lively atmosphere mirrored the warmth of the midday heat. Most of the street wanderers were Asian, but a sprinkling of non-Asians certainly provided an interestingly exotic addition to the fair.


How did the street fair celebrate the diverse melting pot if the goods were "Oriental" the population taking part was homogenous and non-Asians in attendance were considered to be "exotic"? Why is it mandatory for the media to use the D-word whenever writing about a Queens event even when it doesn't apply?

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

This blog showed some flashes of wit, so I subscribed.

But between the rants about bicycles and the outrage shown because a Falun Gong paper ironically referred to non-Asians in largely Asian Flushing as "exotic," I am beginning to think the author is losing his rational moorings.

Take a deep breath....

Anonymous said...

I liked the "cobs on the corn" bit.

Truman Harris said...

This does not sound like a paper run by the Falun Gong; just good old American freedom of the press:

The Epoch Times: "A Fresh Look at Our Changing World"

Our Mission

The Epoch Times is an independent voice in print and on the web. We report news responsibly and truthfully so that readers can improve their own lives and increase their understanding and respect for their neighbors next door and around the globe. In our approach and in our content, we uphold universal human values, rights, and freedoms. We are a business that puts our readers' interests first, in all that we do.

Who We Are

The Epoch Times is a privately held news media company. The center is in New York, but our network of local reporters throughout the world uncovers stories that are authentically local, yet also globally relevant. Our independence enables us to report widely and present a diversity of opinions.

Our Purpose

During a time when the world is changing ever more quickly, people need reliable information to understand events and trends. We strive to make a positive impact on people's lives by helping all people understand the world and themselves, and to respect and appreciate each other. We report stories and air opinions unavailable elsewhere.

A special strength of the Epoch Times is our coverage of China. Today the world is increasingly looking to China, as this troubled giant goes through tremendous changes. Business and political leaders, and also world citizens, want to understand better what is happening there. We are able to provide well-sourced stories that no one else has through the original reporting done by the Chinese-language edition of The Epoch Times.

Our Values

A human being's fundamental right is the right to be heard. We uphold and defend freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly. We are also strong advocates for freedom of belief, and for all human rights, for all people.

We seek to speak out for those who are oppressed, and cannot speak for themselves. We speak to those in conflict, trying to show the common humanity they share, and the compassion that will help them truly respect the rights of others.

We work to tell the stories of daily life in our age, not on the basis of what is sensational at the moment, but instead in terms of what will be of lasting significance. We take the long view of humanity's history and future.

Our History

The English edition of The Epoch Times launched in September 2003 on the web, and in August 2004 as a newspaper in New York. It meets a growing need for news reported and published independently, uncovering stories that have depth and meaning to people. In English, as well as in other languages, it serves a broad, international readership.

The Chinese-language Epoch Times started publishing in response to the growing need for uncensored coverage of events in China. The first newspaper was published in New York in May 2000, with the web launch in August 2000. Local editions published by regional bureaus soon followed, making it the largest of any Chinese-language newspaper outside of Mainland China and Taiwan.

Our Reach

We have offices in 30 countries across five continents, and our content is published in 17 languages. We are proud to offer print and web editions in Chinese, English, German, French, Spanish, Hebrew, Russian, Japanese, Korean and Indonesian, as well as web versions in Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Czech, Slovak, Vietnamese and Swedish.

The Epoch Times will continue to expand news coverage and newspaper distribution in more regions, and with editions in more languages. We are optimistic about the future. Watch us grow!

Anonymous said...

"But between the rants about bicycles and the outrage shown because a Falun Gong paper ironically referred to non-Asians in largely Asian Flushing as "exotic," I am beginning to think the author is losing his rational moorings."

Aw, Crappy, you pissed off a tweeder. Great job!

Taxpayer said...

Leftists define "diversity" thusly:
Whites, Christians, Conservatives, Republicans, US Citizens, Property-owning people, in one or several combinations of those traits are simply not welcome.

However, their tax payments will be grudgingly accepted. If tax payments are grudgingly given or late or protested, the terror upon those people will be implacable.

Anonymous said...

This blog showed some flashes of wit, so I subscribed.
--------

The point of this blog is for NYC residents to discuss issues unfettered by political agendas and the clubhouse treating us as manipulated children.

You want 'flashes of wit,' join a bookclub.


Nitwit.

Anonymous said...

The people that write this sort of thing, as almost all reporters on Queens, understand nothing about our community and simply accept what the politicans tell them.

You want to do 'Queens?' Call boro hall and talk to Terri or Alexa or any of the hangers on from the Shul/Manus adminstration.

Its really only a handful of people that perpeturate this garbage. We need to ID them, then ask for their resignation.

No, not ask, demand.

Anonymous said...

Well, in fairness, you need to slam the preservation community, also.

Encouraged by their Manhattan minders, they echo this or passively go along.

Perhaps a few, unaccustomed to independant thought, even believe it.

Anonymous said...

"This blog showed some flashes of wit, so I subscribed."

"I am beginning to think the author is losing his rational moorings."

If you don't like what to read ....take a hike.

Anonymous said...

"Flushing" was a byword for the dull, homey, comfortable outer-borough world inhabited by clerks, technicians, and city workers.
--------

Oh come on, Francis, lets face it - you live in a tony part of Brooklyn, a boro, that from every Depression or WWII era movie, always had a bit player that speaks in dem dese and doss.

Just like you and your neigbhborhood, right?

Queens demands an apology for your slandering Flushing.

Anonymous said...

This guy is an architectural critic, a supposed expert on the urban fabric of our great city.

He is also full of shit.

Flushing is an urban disaster, a nightmare of some of the ugliest blocks and tasteless architecture in this city.

He knows this, like everyone else. Why he writes this is beyond me.

I repeat. Francis Moron is full of shit.

Anonymous said...

Some Flushing old-timers remain apprehensive about the Asian influx, seeing beloved old buildings yield to new shopping centers and high-rise apartments, and above all seeing the once-placid streets pulse with a commercial vitality that was, 30 years ago, literally unimaginable. The dramatic change shows us once again that trying to predict even the short-term future of New York City is a mug's game.

-------

Not only does he use the tiresome dreaded 'd' word, he needs to also shut down and discredit the local 'Archie Bunkers' as he elevates the new residents.

Hey, nitwit, you will not write about Bed-Sty and talk about the 'darkies' when it comes to a trashed Queens nabe, invokeing stupid dull homey 'Archie' is ok?

Anonymous said...

I lived in flushing since 1972, I've seen it all, I'm so happy I moved out of that oriental shithole. living on saull st, my nieghbor ran an illegal motel,the women a few doors down ran a whore house,but those orientals gave me alot of money for my 40 year old run down house. now my new nieghbors speak english and fly AMERICAN flags.

Anonymous said...

Downtown Flushing and Jamaica are two rotting purulent sores in "the great diverse mosaic" of Queens.

I'm Watching said...

Will the next even be held in Chinatown? You know, for diversity's sake?

Ridgewoodian said...

ANONYMOUS: The point of this blog is for NYC residents to discuss issues unfettered by political agendas…

Yes, the lack of agendas here is breathtaking.

You know, no one's ever explained what’s wrong with diversity. So in one little corner of the country Asians are the majority white people are exotic. Why is that a disaster? Let a thousand flowers bloom, bitches!

Anonymous said...

Actually someone did.

That smell alone is reason #1.
Overdevelopment of Flushing is directly related to the influx of Asian immigrants who have low standards of living. When a group with no roots in the community takes over rather than gradually moving in and assimilating, they have no respect for the past or the people already living in a place, and that is why Flushing looks that way.

Anonymous said...

If you ever walk the streets in Flushing, expecially around Main Street and near that municipal parking lot - look down at the streets and sidewalks.

They are literally COVERED in dried up spittle, loogies, hocks, or whatever you call dried spit. They also have large amounts of chewed up sunflower seed hulls.

If this is how the streets of Hong Kong are, then it's no wonder why they get seasonal epidemics like Bird Flu and SARS.

Ridgewoodian said...

ANONYMOUS:...Asian immigrants who have low standards of living.

Okay, do you really mean that these folks mostly have little money and so will take whatever kind of housing they can get? Or do you mean that they're just a dirty people?

ANONYMOUS: If this is how the streets of Hong Kong are, then it's no wonder why they get seasonal epidemics like Bird Flu and SARS.

Yeah, Hong Kong AND that cesspool of all cesspools, TORONTO.

Truman Harris said...

It was brought from China to Toronto, nimrod.

Anonymous said...

Yeah what's with the Asian spitting routine? I thought immigrants left bad habits home...

Anonymous said...

Ridgewoodian, all the people infected in Toronto were ethnic Chinese, with ties to Hong Kong. It was confined to Toronto's equivalent of Chinatown.

Ridgewoodian said...

Truman Harris It was brought from China to Toronto, nimrod.

Sorry, didn't realize Toronto is the only city in the western world that Chinese people travel to. I always wondered why we didn't have a huge SARS outbreak in Flushing. Thanks for clearing that up!

Nimrod was the founder of cities, the ruler of the first empire on Earth after the Flood, the audacious builder of the Tower of Babel, and a hero to secular Zionists. I can't quite claim to be any of those things, although I'm working on some of them. Thanks for the vote of confidence!

Anonymous said...

Because the infected people went to Toronto and not Flushing...

It's only a matter of time.

Anonymous said...

You know, no one's ever explained what’s wrong with diversity. So in one little corner of the country Asians are the majority white people are exotic. Why is that a disaster? Let a thousand flowers bloom, bitches!
---------------

Yo Ridgerunner, why don't you take a little time and instead of making a fool of yourselve by writing stuff like this, take a look at Flushing 40 years ago.

Take a look at Flushing today.

Now, what is this drivel you are spouting?

Anonymous said...

F-Liu-xhing is a "....crappy Chinatown...", in the well publicized words of Wellington Chen.

In other words ....
a filthy mono-cultural melting wok!

Wait until August to appreciate the full "aroma" of Flushing's
bustling scum glazed streets!

Ridgewoodian said...

ANONYMOUS: Yo Ridgerunner…

Yo, the name is “Ridgewoodian,” yo. As in an inhabitant of Ridgewood. A Ridgerunner is, well, many things, but none of them, so far as I can tell, are me. Those little squiggles you see are called LETTERS and they help to convey meaning.

ANONYMOUS:…why don't you take a little time and instead of making a fool of yourselve by writing stuff like this, take a look at Flushing 40 years ago. Take a look at Flushing today.

Although they’re working on it, physicists have yet to invent practical time travel so, alas, I can’t transport myself back to those heady days of ‘68 to hear Hendrix at the Singer Bowl. And, though I’m not a kid, that was a little before my time so I don’t know whether it was, “dirty, mucky, polluted Flushing,” as they called in Hair or a shining city on a hill. What I do know is that it’s completely unrealistic to think that any neighborhood in the United States, let alone in the City of New York, will remain unchanged for forty years – two fifths of a century, more than half our allotted threescore and ten years of life. Is Flushing not the same as it was in the days of Richard Nixon? Show me a place in America that is. And if there happens to be one what sane person would want to spend any time there? So what’s the problem? Is it dangerous? Not particularly. I’ve walked the streets and even the park late at night and I’m not crazy tough. There are certainly much scarier corners of the city, places that even in this relatively pacific era I don’t like to go to even during daylight hours. Are there people there who don’t look like you or me, or speak our language as well as we do? So what if there are? I notice that neither you nor anyone else has answered my original question as to why it’s such a disaster that there’s a little corner of the country where Asians and not whites are in the majority. Is it loud and messy? Sure. So is democracy. So is the American dream. If you don’t like that, or seeing how your ancestors probably lived when they were fresh off the boat, that’s your own sad prerogative and I won’t argue with you over it. As I said elsewhere: more dim sum for me. But please, bitch whining over how the neighborhood isn’t like it used to be during the summer after the Summer of Love: WAAAAAAA! Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Flushing: a community with no city planning or standards whatsoever. This has made it a dump.

Anonymous said...

I think "Ridgewoodian" has been puffin' a little too much lately.

Now he raises the subject of time travel!
What a dork!
Everybody's got his number.

Hey, "Parkside", you've really got to come up with a better pen name.

We liked "Sal" better.

Ridgewoodian said...

ANONYMOUS:I think "Ridgewoodian" has been puffin' a little too much lately.

Never inhaled.

ANONYMOUS:Now he raises the subject of time travel!

Well, I was told to go back 40 years. Seems that the subject was forced on me by either you or an idiot with the same name who can't get their head around living in the 21st Century.

ANONYMOUS: What a dork!

But I hope not an unenlightened dork.

ANONYMOUS: Everybody's got his number.

And what number would THAT be, chief?

ANONYMOUS: Hey, "Parkside", you've really got to come up with a better pen name. We liked "Sal" better.

For the third or fourth time this week: Nope. You have me confused with someone else. I'll meet you or anyone else in public to prove it. But you have to make it worth my while if you're wrong, which you are. How confident are you?

Oh, and I see that you didn't address and of the substance of my, yes, rather long post. I assume that means that you agree with me.

Erik Baard said...

For background, I'm a native of Flushing and will kayak a circumnavigation of Long Island, launching and returning to Flushing, from August 13 through August 27 (ten days of paddling and a handful of foul weather safety days).

This undertaking is to raise funds for the Long Island Alzheimer's Foundation in honor of my childhood landlady, Guillermina "Gillie" Fairfield. She was an immigrant from Cuba who, along with her husband, Jim, froze our rent during the hyper-inflationary '70s when my mother struggled to raise two sons on her own. The Fairfield family essentially adopted us, spending more on us than they took it: they bought us clothes for school, took us away on weekends, taught me to read before kindergarten, and otherwise cared for us. Her mother, "Nana," spoke no English, but having us children go with her for her cancer treatments as she descended into the frightened and confused state of Alzheimer's Disease as well. In that small way we gave back.

Our neighbors, immigrants from all over, fed us each night, shuttling us up and down the block, so that my mother (who, as she says, "barely made it out of high school") could work two jobs (more before holidays) and stay off welfare.

My mother still laughs about how my school record photo was captioned "BROKEN HOME" and my teacher at PS 107 took her aside to note that I had some problems understanding "family." We were assigned to draw our family and mine came in with a multiracial cast of characters. My mother gently explained that I drew our block's neighbors (159th Street where it meets Oak Avenue)!

I hope to help the Long Island Alzheimer's Foundation in its multilingual outreach. Imagine how difficult it is for a family new in America, just getting on their feet, to cope with this devestating illness.

So, for me, diversity in Flushing has been beautiful from birth. As an adult I appreciate that beauty with more depth. It flows from the profound struggles of our town elders, many generations past. On Saturday I walked Bowne Street and savored the poetic victory of that street's namesake, a hero of religious freedom (and religion is so often tied to ethnicity). His victory, along with the Flushing Remonstrance signers, is celebrated by the very presence on his street of Christian churches, a Sikh temple, a Jewish center, and the Hindu Temple Society of North America. Around the corner, of course, is the Quaker meeting house, and not far away is St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, where I was baptized and Communed.

My friend and I visited the Hindu Temple and were welcomed so warmly. We were offered free dinner, as they offer to all as part of the sacred mission to feed all hungry. We instead went to the temple cafeteria downstairs and ate a wonderful meal for two that was only $15. As we left, we were given free desserts in little boxes with red bows. We took time later to walk and shop in the vibrant and always surprising Chinese quarter hugging Main Street.

I have been equally welcomed in Sikh and Buddhist temples in Queens.

I think the humor of describing non-Asians as "exotic" in this context was entirely missed. But within Flushing's Asian community there is certainly enormous diversity. From the article mention of cuisines it sounded like the very different Chinese (which is as useful as "Germanic" as a classification of cultures) and Aghani cultures were present.

I enjoyed learning to write in Korean by practicing the phonetics of the signs on Union Street. Maybe I'll throw myself into Chinese, Farsi, or Hindi one day... I'll admit romance tends to motivate me in languages though. :)

I dream of seeing the RKO Keith revived as a performance and film destination. It has such a commanding presence and the market is there for it, if one includes all the cultures of Flushing. To make it a mall would be a shame. I also worried about several buildings I saw for sale on side streets, fearing that they and their trees would be razed.

But I remember how dead Main Street was in the 1970s. I remember how Kissena Park was fraying -- my brother and I were held up at knife point as elementary school kids for our bicycle. Immigration has revived Flushing and fulfilled its special mission as a place that teaches more than tolerance: an embrace of the stranger.

Erik Baard

http://www.licboathouse.org
http://www.naturecalendar.com

Ridgewoodian said...

ERIK--

BRAVO!

You, my friend, are an excellent American and, what's more, a GREAT New Yorker.

Anonymous said...

I think that's an overstatement, but thanks. But I hope my little entry makes it clear that I am surrounded by great new Americans and great new New Yorkers in my daily life in Queens! :)

Anonymous said...

Ridgewoodian has now proven he is like an empty barrel, full of noise but empty.

Young man, go the library, perhaps the Long Island Div in Jamaica.

They have plenty of pictures from the 1960s of Flushing, the homes the shopping area.

Get some newspapers on microfilm. Take a look at what was sold on Main St: imported Scottish Tweeds for God's sake. What do you have today: grilled cat?

After you do your little study, lets hear what you find.

Ridgewoodian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ridgewoodian said...

ANONYMOUS: Young man, go the library, perhaps the Long Island Div in Jamaica.

They have plenty of pictures from the 1960s of Flushing, the homes the shopping area. Get some newspapers on microfilm.

Friend, one thing you really needn’t do is tell me about libraries. Contrary to rumors that I’m some kind of operative for the “machine” or the “clubhouse,” I’ve actually earned my daily crust, and it’s not much more than a crust, for many years in a large research lib'ary. I have the “big building with books” thing covered.

ANONYMOUS: Take a look at what was sold on Main St: imported Scottish Tweeds for God's sake. What do you have today: grilled cat?

I thought “tweeding” was bad. And how would you like your cat? Raw?

But more importantly, why, exactly, should we prefer Scottish tweeds to grilled cat? Because one happens to be familiar to you and the other one doesn’t? Or for some other reason? Didn’t Hamlet teach us that, “…there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so…”? It’s not the tweeds or the cats that matter, but your attitudes toward them, in other words, your own mind. Maybe you prefer one to the other, that’s your right, but it’s also only your individual opinion, not a universal law; for all I know you could well be insane, or an idiot. I’ve never had cat, at least not knowingly (although my foodie best friend might have a line on some lion meat), but I don’t see any particular reason not to partake, as long as it’s prepared in such a way that it won’t kill me instantly. I happily eat cow and pig and fowl after all – and there are many who think me a barbarian for doing so. I remember a time when the thought of eating raw fish was a disgusting as the thought of eating cooked cat is today. I had to travel all the way to New Orleans to try it. Now I buy it in the local deli for lunch. Has sushi changed? No. Just the way we think about it. I actually feel privileged that if it occurred to me I could jump on the Q58 and in an hour or two be eating grilled cat. That’s the adventure that makes life worth living; that’s why I choose to live here and not in the bland hinterlands. AND – and this is the beauty of the City – if I want tweeds, I can still have them, too. Maybe I can’t get them in Flushing anymore but I can certainly get them somewhere else. So I really don’t see what the problem is, aside from the limitations of you imagination.

Even if all that wasn’t true, you really ought to understand one thing: It’s not 1968 anymore; 1968 is gone forever. The world has moved on.

(You know, in 1968 I’m sure there was someone just like you pining for 1928. And in ’28 they wanted it to be 1888, and so on and so on, back to the days of the Indians.)

ANONYMOUS: After you do your little study, lets hear what you find.

Well, since you’ve already told me what I would find that seems a waste of research. What have I discovered in my studies? As the great hymn says, “Sun and moon and stars decay, Time shall soon this earth remove…” The world and everything in it, including old neighborhoods in Queens, is fundamentally impermanent. Here’s some old wisdom for you:

The Buddha: Everything is changeable, everything appears and disappears; there is no blissful peace until one passes beyond the agony of life and death.

Jesus (Gospel of Thomas): This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away.

Heraclitus:
The river
where you set
your foot just now
is gone—
those waters giving way to this,
now this.

Marcus Aurelius: Keep in mind how fast things pass by and are gone – those that are now, and those to come. Existence flows past us like a river: the “what” is in constant flux, the “why” has a thousand variations. Nothing is stable, not even what’s right here. The infinity of past and future gapes before us – a chasm whose depths we cannot see. So it would take an idiot to feel self-importance or distress. Or any indignation, either. As if the things that irritate us lasted.

If you have any wiser wisdom I’d like to hear it.

Queens Crapper said...

If you have the “big building with books” thing covered then please tell us what you found at the Long Island Division.

The civilized among us also don't kill and eat pets in this country. When you feel comfortable doing so, please let us know, so we can book you a nice room at Creedmoor.

Anonymous said...

"1968 is gone forever. The world has moved on."

In landmarked communities, it really hasn't.

Anonymous said...

"Sal" and "Ridgewoodian" have the same M.O. always challenging to "meet you" somewhere in some bar!

Not much gray matter in either knucklehead.

Empty headed lengthy worded
forays into fantasy-ville...well, that's another matter!

Anonymous said...

This website appears to be increasingly a platform for a resurgent W.A.S.P. Nativism in Queens.

Ridgewoodian said...

CRAPPER: If you have the “big building with books” thing covered then please tell us what you found at the Long Island Division.

I took something of a busman’s holiday yesterday and, while I didn’t go to the Long Island Division I did stop in at the Flushing Branch of the Queens Public Library. There wasn’t a wealth of relevant material available there, but I did find some. I’m not sure what it was that I was supposed to have seen that would have ripped the scales from my eyes and convinced me that Flushing “in the day” was preferable to Flushing now. Perhaps you or someone else could explain and save me the bother of setting up straw men to attack.

Actually, I’ll admit, in a few respects Old Flushing does seem preferable to New Flushing. There sure seemed to be less traffic then. And many decades ago there was even a trolley. In the late 1960s and early 1970s there seemed to be a stronger union presence along Main Street than I observed yesterday. And in 1970 Gig Young was apparently a big enough box office draw to be listed first on a theatre marquee. If you have any thoughts as to how to reduce traffic and bring back the trolleys and strengthen the unions, I’m eager to hear them. (Gig Young, alas, sent himself and his young wife off to their reward almost thirty years ago.)

Those things aside, I don’t see in what way Old Flushing was superior to New Flushing. Which is not to say that Old Flushing looks like it was a bad place – it looks like it was pleasant enough. But times have changed, as those wise men and sages I quoted before say they always will. Old Flushing is gone and New Flushing has replaced it. And even though it’s a very different from what came before it’s not a bad place either. At least no one has explained to me why it’s bad, aside from maligning it as third world and smelly.

It’s certainly bustling and vibrant. I was amazed and gratified to see the public library crowded on a Thursday afternoon (crowded at a time when my own library, connected to a major university, is a virtual ghost town). Crowded with folks of all ages and descriptions. Chinese, yes. Also Hispanics, subcontinentals, and even some exotic roundeyed American mutts such as myself. Walking up and down Main Street I saw, without looking too hard, signs in Chinese, Greek, Spanish, possibly Korean (I know their alphabet is quite different from the Chinese characters but my untrained eye finds it difficult to tell the difference), Italian, Vietnamese, and, yes, even English. Some blocks were filled with the smell of delicious cooking (I eventually treated myself to some steamed pork dumplings, some kind of Chinese cake, and a strawberry/tapioca drink). A few others didn’t smell quite so good, mostly blocks with markets. But I think that might have been because I wasn’t used to much of what was being sold since none of the places seemed filthy and the produce I did recognize seemed fresh and wholesome. (It’s probably good to remember that Westerners are said to smell bad to the Chinese.) I felt entirely safe on the streets. I don’t have the current violent crime statistics in front of me but the neighborhood didn’t seem dangerous. I understand there’s a problem with ethnic gangs but in my few hours there I didn’t have any run-ins with them. There are said to be brothels but as a crime I hardly rank prostitution with murder, assault, and robbery. Everyone remembers the Wendy’s Massacre but, terrible as that was, it was eight years ago and was apparently the awful exception and not the rule. Architecturally, the neighborhood didn’t seem to be anything special. The most distinguished Chinatown in that respect that I’ve been to personally is probably Chicago. But the baseline level of architecture there is on a higher level than most places I can think of. But really, it’s people and not buildings that are most important. And the people seemed lively and friendly. The reference librarian at the library was exceptionally helpful, the woman who mixed my strawberry drink was sweet. There were placard bearers denouncing the Communist Party and advertising help in leaving it, and lots of people handing out the Epoch Times in both English and Chinese. If that isn’t the essence of Americanism – literally putting your message out in the marketplace – I don’t know what is. I didn’t see any beggars. I don’t know what the average income is but the people I saw didn’t seem poor. If Flushing is a slum, as some have called it, it’s a pretty remarkable slum.

Granted, I was only there for a few hours so I only got a brief glimpse of the place but it really is an amazing neighborhood, if you think about it. People from all over the world live there together in close quarters and mostly seem to get along. How many places in the world could you say THAT about? Which isn’t to say that it’s perfect; I’m sure there are any number of problems there that I don’t know about. But show me a place that is perfect. And I’ll say this, it does seem to work. It may be messy, but it works. I think it’s a place to be proud of an not to be denounced with the ugly vehemence that I’ve seen on this blog.

An interesting take on Flushing and other immigrant neighborhoods, originally published in that commie rag, the Wall Street Journal, and made available by those godless reds at the Manhattan Institute, is HERE.

Ridgewoodian said...

ANONYMOUS: "1968 is gone forever. The world has moved on."

In landmarked communities, it really hasn't.


You can landmark buildings, you can’t landmark populations. It’s people, not buildings, that are the foundations of neighborhoods, and populations change. Maybe this is a good thing, maybe it’s bad, but it’s an inescapable fact.

ANONYMOUS: "Sal" and "Ridgewoodian" have the same M.O. always challenging to "meet you" somewhere in some bar!

Fine, don’t. You’re an idiot who doesn’t know what he’s talking about and is content to wallow in the comforting certitude of his ignorance. And you don’t have anything to say other than my posts are lengthy. I'm sorry that reading for more than twenty seconds at a time is taxing on your feeble brain; my posts are meant for people of at least average intelligence so you might want to just skip them in the future. Why exactly would I or anyone want to lift a friendly glass with such a dullard?

ANONYMOUS: This website appears to be increasingly a platform for a resurgent W.A.S.P. Nativism in Queens.

Sadly, I have to agree with you.

Ridgewoodian said...

CRAPPER: The civilized among us also don't kill and eat pets in this country. When you feel comfortable doing so, please let us know, so we can book you a nice room at Creedmoor.

I wouldn’t advocate for killing and eating pets, i.e. companion animals. But, as I mentioned in another post once you decide you’re going to eat meat the choice of which animal you’re going to eat is almost entirely a matter of taste and social convention. I don’t know what the moral difference is between raising pigs and cows as livestock and raising cats as livestock. I certainly don’t see how it’s a mark of civilization to eat the first two and refrain from the third. (Would you consider the Chinese, the Koreans, etc. to be generically uncivilized, despite their thousands of years of culture and history?) Perhaps you can elucidate.

Julie said...

The vast majority of whites in Queens are not anglo-saxon or protestant, so please tell me where this comment comes from.

Truman Harris said...

"People from all over the world live there together in close quarters and mostly seem to get along. How many places in the world could you say THAT about?"

I could ssay that about every other neighborhood in NYC. Most are not dumps like Flushing.

Ridgewoodian said...

TRUMAN HARRIS:Most are not dumps like Flushing.

In what way is it a dump?

Anonymous said...

hey, you anonymous 1, you are probably just some dumb mexican or puerto rican or whatever dumb race low life idiot talking about standard of living. Move you ugly ass back to mexico or india or whatever dumb country you ar from