05 July 2006
Astoria Blah Blah Blah
Here are the good things about my hometown, Astoria, Queens: it's a quick commute to Midtown Manhattan, there are a variety of restaurants, um.............................. but it's not exactly the most gorgeous area. Most blocks are full of apartment buildings and houses plopped down without any thought to its eyesoreability. Some blocks are full of the same six family railroad flats, and that's the closest one gets to design in Astoria. My complaint has always been, and still is, the lack of bookstores. There was one just two blocks from my home for a year or so, but it was really a hole in the wall, no character, no staying power. I remember over a decade ago there was a lovely bookstore near the Ditmars Blvd station on the "N" line. When I discovered this place I thought I was dreaming. Sure, it wasn't that close too home: Astoria is big, and this was 2 train stops away. Still, I was glad it was there, and looked forward to visiting many times. Sadly, it's gone now. There is one more place that sells books on Broadway, but it is another poor excuse to me. There's not much going on. It's just too easy to take the subway downtown and wander around Strand if I'm in the mood.
Growing up, we had the library. It's still there, and not too bad, though I get the feeling when I'm there that I'm back in PS 70 with the vengeful Ms. Orol. Either that or I'm in a homeless shelter.
There are worse places to live, and like I said, you can eat really well in Astoria. But for crazy book people like me, in the words of the Bard: "I can't get no satisfaction..." (Well, Mick Jagger's almost as quotable as Shakespeare.)