Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Queens - an interview with a native

I got an interview from my favorite girl from Queens today - I had her take a look at the blog, give me her thoughts about the borough....Ashley is a 23 year old Queens native (born and raised), American by birth and Jamaican by the love of her family.

From Ashley:

okay, reading through this blog again....Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia!

anyways, having been brought up in the most diverse county in the country (and damn proud of it!), i have a few things...

City and Neighborhood:
people in other parts of the city (other boroughs) may *refer* to their neighborhoods as if they're their own little cities, but we neighborhoods in queens get to put it on our mailing address.
For example, if you're from BK, your address says whatever whatever Brooklyn, NY 11208 or some ish. If you're from Queens, you get to put:

Cambria Heights, NY 11411 (SHOUTOUT!)
Forest Hills, NY (11375)
Jackson Heights, NY (11372)

and ish like that.

The 718 area code & The most diverse county in the USA:
The 718 area code makes you extra proud if you've got the landline area code on the cell. doesn't mean we don't jive as a whole borough, bc that's not true. we've got every culture in the world represented here (thanks to having BOTH nyc airports, oy vey), but the neighborhoods flow like liquor on an ice luge. they're never *really* segregated to begin with (i grew up in a mostly caribbean/orthodox jewish neighborhood but there were non-carib/jews all over), but you'll def see mixes in between when neighborhood shifts start. Like if you're btwn rego park and corona (BEST ITALIAN ICES IN THE WORLD at King of Corona), then you'll see a lot of indian restaurants mixed with italian places, a couple of indian/italian takeout. hell, you'll even see a higher proportion of indian italian kids than in the general population. our neighborhoods mix well and thrive off of each other.

Cabs versus Dollar Cabs, and of course the train:
You may have noticed that outside of manhattan, there aren't that many yellow cabs. that's because the outer-borough residents aren't pansy-asses who are afraid of mass transit in the early am (unless you're my parents ><). aside from the buses and the trains (E train's my train!), we've got the livery cabs and the dollar vans. Don't let the name fool you: the dollar vans charge a $1.25 AT LEAST, and they have no problem giving you a discount if you/your family's from the same island/country they immigrated from (or adding extra if you're not...).
Summertime in NYC:
summertime means free concerts (which means cool picnic dinner parties if you're among my friends) in cunningham park. every borough has their major park:
bronx=van cortlandt
staten island=some shit, i'm sure it has one.

Arthur ashe stadium, where the US Open is played, is in flushing meadow park. i used to teach swimming out there. you've got the gorgeous swimming/skating complex, the hall of science (which is still fun no matter how old my ass is), shea stadium (no way in hell i'ma call it after some punkass bank), and the marina out by laguardia airport. driving by during low tide on the CIP (cross island parkway) is a bitch on the nose, but it's perfect being on the bike trails when the water's in.

hope this helps! big hugs and bigger bottles of liquor to split.


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