How it all works.

I'm trolling New York City collecting maps from flyers, government reports, informational brochures and such with the notion that all these maps will all somehow join together to create a complete map of NYC. The maps have to exist in real life- no downloads and cannot be rescaled or cut to fit.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

College Point, Queens

North of Downtown Flushing then, isolated from civilized society by a big motorway, an industrial estate and the sea is College Point. College Point has the feel of a Northern Irish town, to me. I’m not sure any more what I meant by that when I wrote it down. Maybe walking through the sad industrial park in the rain was reminiscent of a time I walked through a similar Northern Irish industrial park. Maybe because it is a busy and introspective little residential town built around and divided by the only main road, in the rain. Maybe it was the truck drivers cheerfully abusing other truck drivers’ double parked trucks, in a fashion I did see in Northern Ireland, as they inched along the narrow road. I don’t remember. It might have been the rain, which was an on again off again moderate drizzle as I remember- very Northern Irish.

A Fancy House
Before I went to visit College Point, I read in the Wikipedia that it was a working class neighborhood. I disagree with this assessment. While small areas of shabby housing suggested that some of it is working class I encountered a good many more substantial and well kept houses suggestive of the middle class. Also, it was here that I got my first taste of the detached house sitting on a bit of a garden that would be the staple diet during my journey through much of the rest of Queens. After months of treeless tenements and brownstones or apartment buildings with a token piece of shrubbery set off to the side, I was so taken with the novelty of such a thing as a garden that I took a hundred pictures of them. The houses are not working class, they are fancy class. The more north you go, the fancier it gets.

All the maps I found of College Point were all in a three block stretch of College Point Boulevard which amounts as almost the same thing as only finding one map. ‘Tis the way of all things- feast or famine. I want to tell you about all the great times and all the interesting people I met along the main road there but really only  stands out because I bought some delicious sausage there.

Flushing Bay
There is some great waste ground in College Point. There’s a great view of La Guardia Airport from a piece of waste ground at the end of 15th Ave. There’s a massive piece of waste ground along 20th Ave which used to be an airport. After all the day’s gallivanting I didn’t go in but people do. There’s a nice set of photos here It’s a good place to go birding so I hear.

The only reason non locals would ever go to College Point is for the mighty Spa Castle  , known far and wide for sublime relaxations and restorative activities. They didn’t have a map but they did have a plan which is quite the same thing sometimes.

Powell's Cove
There’s a marina up there too and I walked past nice little seasidey homes to get to it. At the marina they did not have a map of the marina but pinned to the bar door they did have a nice map of the Bronx River I’d been looking for. I took it and ran away imagining that I was about to be chased and ran to ground by yacht owning gardeners, missing their map and fearing for the rest of their property. I hid in a park until I imagined they had gone away, ruining my nice umbrella on a branch in the process. In the park, there’s a bit of a beach with a nice view of the Whitestone Bridge but a lot of dead Horseshoe crabs. A good place to wee.

On the way home I walked past a hideous place called Malba which is distinctive only for the vulgar ostentation of the huge, glittering McMansions that have been built there apparently by people lacking in taste or discretion and completely untethered by any zoning laws or neighborhood covenants.

On the bus back to the 7 train I took a picture of the back of this man's head.
The Back of a Man's Head

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