I’m at my desk in Flushing Queens New York. In the States for the first time in 6 months. Been gone long enough that everything’s different. It’s my original home, so I reacquaint quickly and now it all looks the same. Driving around, sharing the road with the hurried drivers, my attitude is evolving a little bit every day. Got to escape soon.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s all good and all good fun. I discovered something about New York drivers. When you move into their lane on the highway, they honk at you. They are not trying to keep you out of the lane. The are honking to say, “I see you. We won’t collide. Join my lane. I’ll share my space on the road. Namaste.” You believe that? I do.
Driving around, New York looks like chaos. If you look up chaos in the dictionary, you should see a picture of New York. I always thought it was a good thing. Proud I was born in it, raised in it, survived it. Now that I live elsewhere, it sometimes just looks a little bit wrecked and dirty. A bit smelly. In the subway you don’t want to touch anything. People don’t seem to mind. They just get on with it.
New York Gym
First day I arrive, I always renew my membership in the local gym. It’s not very clean, not modern and the members are big guys. Mostly free weights and they blast speed metal. You can work up a good sweat though. It’s across the street from my former junior high school. I usually go over there at 4 o’clock after the school kids clear out.
Mostly I’ve been busy with friends and family. Did see two good museum exhibits. The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America at the Brooklyn Museum and An Incomplete History of Protest: Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1940–2017 at the Whitney Museum. These are both worth seeing and particularly poignant in the current political climate. There’s a striking similarity to issues we still face today.
No theatre, sports or tunes. No time. Did manage eating at Michelin award winning Dumpling Galaxy in Flushing and Xian Famous Foods in Chinatown. Drove to Rockaway for the boardwalk followed by lunch at The Wharf. Also attended Renee’s Gong Bath in Astoria last Saturday night. Renee is da bomb, or da gong!
The Promised Land
In the middle I went to Bay Area for 6 days. I rented an AirBNB converted garage in downtown Mountain View and a Cadillac CTS from Sixt. The garage was surprisingly comfortable and location was perfect for meeting people on Castro Street.
The Cadillac was completely unexpected. I almost refused it for obvious reasons. Pleasantly surprised by the quality torque, turning and ride. Ridiculous dashboard and overwhelming haptic sensors. The sound system was fine when combined with my fully-loaded iPod.
Met with clients and spent a lot of time with old friends and neighbors. Lost count of how many times I told my story of life in the UK. It’s great. 10 out of 10 for Alice, 8 out of 10 for me. Not bad, eh? My three children are much happier. The dogs have the biggest lifestyle improvement of anyone. My mom is also with us, generally 3 months at a time.
Back to Brexit land on Saturday. More reflections on this journey after my return, once it’s a bit distant in my rear view mirror.
3 thoughts on “At Home in Flushing, Queens, New York City”
I love the idea of namaste honking!
Great article, Peter. I feel many of the same emotions when I visit. Usually I am in NYC, but I sometimes make it out to Astoria. I haven’t been to Flushing in maybe 6 or 7 years. It might be time for a visit.
Glad Life is good, Peter. 8 of out 10 ain’t bad! Hope to see you one day on a jaunt out west. I know you will be really busy so let me know (even last minute) if you get bored and want a beer / dinner buddy 🙂
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