Saturday, April 24, 2010

And now, a poem


QUEENS LANDSCAPE

Along the avenue in our part of Queens

storefronts and buildings are closely aligned.

Was it sleight-of-hand or some other means

that caused this landscape to be redesigned?

I can’t read the signs as I walk down the street;

they’re in languages I don’t comprehend;

the old and familiar are not there to greet;

perhaps I’ll find something around the bend.

So I wonder today, as a tongue-in-cheek inquisitor,

Is this my neighborhood or am I merely a visitor?


Trudy Eichen in the NY Times

36 comments:

A Poet said...

The poet waxes true about Flushing
Problems the media have no problem hushing
Citizens are getting angrier by the day
They feel elected officials have lost their way
What is the solution that will serve the masses?
Get rid of politicians who prove to be asses!

Kevin Walsh said...

That made it past the PC censor?!!?

www.forgotten-ny.com

PizzaBagel said...

Is this my neighborhood or am I merely a visitor?

Neither -- you are an unwelcome intruder.

Lino said...

Ahh, the usual complainers. Years ago when you visited the lower east side you mainly heard Yiddish and Russian. Further west in Little Italy there was always the sinister presence of "the black hand" (mafia)-it's still there but much diminished.

This week I'll have the unfortunate need to visit our place in S.E. Queens. The vibe there is "white boy, don't let the sun go down on you in this town".

I am in Flushing every two weeks, mostly late nights transferring from a bus to the 7 train. I have walked all over Main in the last 12 years -never- have I felt the slightest tension or danger. It can be crowded and dirty on some blocks..but not dangerous.

Even if you don't care fro the people who live in Flushing now..be grateful that they are family oriented and good working people.

Queens Crapper said...

Who complained that it was dangerous?

Anonymous said...

"Years ago when you visited the lower east side you mainly heard Yiddish and Russian."

Yes, and we didn't live there, we live in Flushing which rapidly changed in a very short period of time. So we fail to see your point.

"Further west in Little Italy there was always the sinister presence of "the black hand" (mafia)-it's still there but much diminished."

The signs in Little Italy and the language on the streets has always been English, although now it's increasingly becoming Chinese.

Anonymous said...

Is Lino seriously suggesting that there is no Chinese mafia in Flushing? All the counterfeiting, massage parlors, gambling, etc. but there is no crime there, and the people are family-oriented?

Wow.

Anonymous said...

No he means they don't bother his white liberal self so it doesn't bother him. See, Italians in Little Italy are white, and therefore bad but Chinese in Flushing are vibrant and diverse.

Lino said...

Queens Crapper said...
Who complained that it was dangerous?"

Lets not play semantics here, my point was clear.

Neighborhoods change. Flushing could have been another dismal, tragic South Bronx, Bed-Sty etc.

---------------------------
For the Anon who wrote this: "Yes, and we didn't live there, we live in Flushing which rapidly changed in a very short period of time. So we fail to see your point."

-You've gotta be kidding. My family had friends out there in the early 1960's, We visited often and there was already a large Asian presence. We ate at Chinese/Taiwanese restaurants along Northern (two that I can remember) Some of the older residents complained about the "yellow peril" back then too.


Look, NYC is an international city and as any such place it has large foreign-born communities and many used languages.

Come over to Bangkok sometime (when things cool off politically) you'll find English on almost every sign including transit. No one bitches about it.

Queens Crapper said...

Oh my. There were 2 Chinese restaurants on Northern Blvd in the 1960s! Now there are 200 Chinese restaurants along Main and Northern. Even in the 1980s there were still some stores the average non-Asian person would make a trip there to shop at. Not now.

And there are English signs all over Bangkok because of tourism.

There are non-English signs all over Flushing because of racism and voluntary segregation.

Deke DaSilva said...

Ahh, the usual complainers.
.
.
This week I'll have the unfortunate need to visit our place in S.E. Queens. The vibe there is "white boy, don't let the sun go down on you in this town".


The usual complainers, indeed!

You got the lyric wrong, it's "don't let the sun catch you crying". Or was it: "dream on white boy, dream on black girl"?

Lets not play semantics here, my point was clear.

Lino again demonstrates his usual anti-semantic bigotry!

But semantics are OK when he engages in it, such as his tedious "cut and paste" journalism, and his boring stories that he uses in a lame attempt at flaunting his "cosmopolitanism".

Anonymous said...

"And there are English signs all over Bangkok because of tourism.

There are non-English signs all over Flushing because of racism and voluntary segregation."

Amen, Crapper.

Lino said...

Deke DaSilva said..
You got the lyric wrong, it's "don't let the sun catch you crying". Or was it: "dream on white boy, dream on black girl"?

I don't know what the hell you are saying, given that you posted it this morning, you must have a buzz on already.

"Lino again demonstrates his usual anti-semantic bigotry!"

Witty little "man" aren't you.

"But semantics are OK when he engages in it, such as his tedious "cut and paste" journalism,"

You mean this one:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nighthawks_%28film%29

That it fanboy?...Or do you mean the -facts- that demolished your stupid assertions in our last get-together.

"and his boring stories that he uses in a lame attempt at flaunting his "cosmopolitanism"."

Yep, and here's more bad news; these people you and the others here hate are -here- and there isn't anything you can do about it.

I'd rather see an Asian or Latino face any day than look at some sallow dimwit.

Deke DaSilva said...

ควรตายด้วยลูกปืน

Anonymous said...

"these people you and the others here hate are -here- and there isn't anything you can do about it."

I don't hate anyone. I did do something about it, I moved.

The Flushing I knew only lives on in my memories. I cherish those memories.

So, fuck you asshole!

Babs said...

Lino said: Neighborhoods change. Flushing could have been another dismal, tragic South Bronx, Bed-Sty etc.

I went to Flushing High - I know the area extremely well and what you said here WAS the fear a long time ago which is why many of my classmates, etc. moved out to Long Island in the 70s.

Crappy you are talking about our beloved "Lums" on the corner of Northern and Union - just about everyone went there. There was also a Chinese restaurant (and still is) in the Linden View Shopping Center on Union.

I personally think the non-English signs say f.u. to the rest of us.

Fed Up said...

There was also a Chinese restaurant (and still is) in the Linden View Shopping Center on Union.


You're referring to the shopping center on Parsons Blvd. The Chinese restaurant there just changed its menu to cater to the Asian palate rather than continue to serve standard cuisine. Now you can get jelly fish in sesame oil, braised fish head in casserole, pigs' intestines with hot sauce, and other appetizing meals. Chow mein, spare ribs, egg rolls, and other familiar treats are no longer available according to the take out menu!

Anonymous said...

eating at Lums is one of my earliest memories...along with running around McGriskin's bar while my grandfather enjoyed some beers and watched the game

ahh, the old days...

P.S. Lino sucks

Babs said...

Fed Up said "You're referring to the shopping center on Parsons" -

Yes I am! - THANK YOU for correcting me!

It's been many years since I've eaten there, but I remember they certainly had their regulars.

Talk about change and exotic cuisine - look at Union . . . .

Babs said...

Anonymous said: "along with running around McGriskin's bar while my grandfather enjoyed some beers and watched the game"

Where was McGriskin's? I assume between Lums and the YMCA?

Anonymous said...

Talk about change and exotic cuisine - look at Union . . . .


There is talk that the shopping center on Union near the library is going to be torn down so more condos can be built there. Good luck getting to Main Street from Whitestone! Who the fuck is in charge here?

Babs said...

wow - I didn't know that - shame.

who's in charge I guess would be those with the most money - looks like the Asians are winning.

Anonymous said...

Yep...that "better yellow than Black" credo spewing from the mouth of Lino our self outed African American bigot!

He must have been talking with that former state assemblyman who once declared in the presence of many witnesses, "Thank God for the Asians. We didn't want Flushing to become a south Jamaica".

Where were you when the "ghost Shadows" put a gun to the head of a Chinese restaurant owner in an attempt to extort "protection" money?

If you were a real woman instead of a "girly-man" you might find yourself in an Asian whore house turning cheap tricks to pay off your snake head.

It's been a pleasure not hearing from you. Thought you left the country.

Anonymous said...

"Where was McGriskin's? I assume between Lums and the YMCA?"

nope, it was on bowne between sanford and franklin

Anonymous said...

after serving in the U.S.Navy ,during the Korean War,i moved to Union St/Sanford area.i was attending St.John"s U.
John(Jack) McGriskin operated a great family style bar/restaurant.it really was festive on St.Patrick's Day.
great corn beef and cabbage w/potatoes was served,on the house.Declan Larkin sang Irish songs all night.(he still visits on Bell Blvd.

Jack and my step-father would personally deliver and cook 10 turkeys every Thanksgiving day,for the retired Catholic nuns at the home on the corner of Sanford and Kissena Blvd. Ernie was commissary mgr. at the Bickfords plant in L.I.C.

the really pro-bartender Walter O'dea,bought the bar, when Jack and his family moved to Forida.

after the Worlds Fair(1964),many workers moved from the once luxury apartments. the residents who could pay the price of these apartments all left, when the n.y.c. housing authority moved low income tenants into the buildings on Parsons/Roosevelt/Barclay sections.

in 1956, the building known as (SoeulCity),next to the 109 Pct. was the only Korean residence in Flushing. i believe they were South Korean pro Americans,who fought the N.Korean communists in 1950-53.
history tells us that the U.S. political administration in power would not let Gen. Mac Arthur win the war and end the conflict. President Eisenhower forced a truce,or else.

lino is just a liberal/loyal/ass. i welcome LEGAL immigrants. but 1.5 million illegals in n.y.c have got to go .
our society can not sustain them. we are going

broke.
the other popular Chinese restaurant was located at Union st.,across from the municipal parking lot. i heard rumors that the owner was bullied out of business,after many years of success. he was a good Bayside neighbor.

Babs said...

hmmmm . . . across from the municipal parking lot on Union near the 109 . . . . can't say I remember that one.

In Flushing I ate either in Lums, the Jewish Deli (anyone remember the name because I can't!) or Gloria's Pizzeria - and then there was Steve's Diner (?) across from Gertz. I used to like to sit in their booth by the window after a day of shopping.

I very much enjoyed your little walk down memory lane here. The old bar owners in Flushing were like family to many.

I think that is what we miss the most about Flushing - we don't really KNOW ANYONE ANY MORE!

Anonymous said...

i think the name of the other Chinese restaurant was "TAE Tung". located a few feet from the Flushing Savings bank, at the south side of the street,across from the lot. good food at reasonable prices ,for a young family of five. the owners were very professional and pleasant.

another excellent ,popular bar/restaurant was BRESLINS,on Roosevelt ave.50' from the clock on Main St. it had an entrance on the side street at it's rear.

Babs said...

Flushing Savings Bank! . . . and the old clock!

How many times did we all "meet under the clock"?

Anyone remember old Al the sign painter? If someone was having a sale or was advertising a lunch special, Al would carefully write it all down on large bright colored "oak tag". A sweet man - a good man - he was a fixture on Main Street for many years.

Anonymous said...

i remember Steve's diner across from Gertz...my grandmother would take us there all the time...the roast beef sandwiches they served were as big as your head

Babs said...

old Main Street - Shelley's Bake Shop, Sam's Beauty Parlor, Singer's Lingerie Shop, Patterson Silks, Woolworth's, Cut & Curl, RONNIE'S (one of my personal favs) and pleeeese someone - what was the name of the cool men's shop with the hot-looking men from England?

Anonymous said...

I pity you all (except Lino, who's got his wits about him)... you're attempting to live in the past, and ineffectual at that.

Lino's point can be nitpicked a million ways by the deniers, I imagine. But it remains true - New York is a city of neighborhoods that change over time. LES has changed. Bed-Stuy was white before it was black before it was regentrified. Even Central Park was a shantytown. Long ago, Flushing was a farming village and I don't hear anyone pining for the loss of that era. Where did all the pure race Flushing whites y'all remember go?... can anyone say white flight? If you don't like what's happened, blame your uncles, aunts, parents and grandparents.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't Tai Tung...it was the Crystal Garden.

Up-Chuck said...

Time for me to wax off again about the "bustling diversity" of Frushing.

Babs said...

Anonymous: "Where did all the pure race Flushing whites y'all remember go?... can anyone say white flight? If you don't like what's happened, blame your uncles, aunts, parents and grandparents."

Anyone here from John Bowne's era?

You gotta be kidding me - Flushing pure white? When? you must be a newbe to the area either that or you are blinded by your OWN RACISM towards my race.

I went to JHS 185 in the 60s and then Flushing High - BOTH were mixed at the time - BOTH were about 1/3 African American or Puerto Rican. There were a few Asians - not many. AND ALL were Flushing residents - MOST for generations.

We all used to hang out together after school playing handball and later in High School by the Unisphere in Flushing Meadow Park. Our friendships were (and still are) maintained into adulthood for those of us who are still living in the nab anyway.

People had good reason to fear urban decay in the 60s and 70s - the Bronx is WHY.

AND that includes ALL of us - regardless of our race - the African Americans that live in Flushing today lived there for generations and were or are homeowners.

Queens Crapper said...

Macedonia AME church was built at its current location in 1837. So there was a sizable black population in the area dating back to the first half of the 19th century.

It's a shame they don't teach local history in schools which leads to ignorant comments.

Babs said...

thank you Crappy.