My continuing quest to see everything in New York City

Explorations & Adventures               About       Press       Tours       Links             Travel Blog

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I've been on a bit of a Queens kick lately, and when there's someone with a car who wants to walk Census Tracts with me, I'm taking the opportunity to go somewhere I can't get to easily by subway or bike. These two things led me out to the Laurelton and Cambria Heights neighborhoods in the Southeastern corner of Queens.

I really don't much to say. Far Eastern Queens, in most ways, is more Nassau than Astoria (or even Flushing), and the only way you know you've crossed the border into Valley Stream is that the street signs have a different font. The only person I've ever known that's lived in this neighborhood did so precisely because it was as close to Long Island as he could get and still be within the city limits, which was legally required by his City Government job. Houses are lovely, single-family, and mostly suburban-style detached; the foreclosure crisis of Southeast Queens seems to not have made it this far over.

After a bit we walk by Montefiore Cemetery (Rabbi Schneerson's place of burial). I was expecting some local Chabad infrastructure around the cemetery - maybe a tzotzke store, maybe a kosher restaurant, maybe even a small hotel - but all there is is a small, nondescript Chabad House. Despite the rain, and being halfway down the block, I actually get an "excuse me - you are Jewish?" from a guy leaving the building. The guy's Yiddish was better than his English - very strange for a young Chabadnick, who in this day and age almost all grow up learning the the local vernacular language as a first, or at least co-first, language.

Further north we come to Linden Blvd, which looks, well, pretty much like the rest of Linden Blvd looks throughout it's 6 miles in Brooklyn and 5 .5 miles in Queens. We stop to eat at a Haitian restaurant called Port-a-Prince. The place is somewhat schizophrenic - the interior is immaculate and looks like it could be any fancy French place in Manhattan, yet they give us plastic forks to eat with. Everyone in the place is speaking exclusively French Creole - to the point where I find myself ordering the "Poulet" and hoping for the best.

I'm rewarded. Not only is the food pretty good, in terms of "calories-per-dollar" this has got to be one of the greatest deals in the 5 boroughs - a giant heaping plate of rice, beans, salad and chicken fit for a meal for two, all for $6. I guess they save on the cutlery.

Neighborhoods: Laurelton, Cambria Heights
Tracts Walked: Q604, Q606, Q612, Q614, Q616.01, Q616.02, Q618, Q620, Q632, Q638, Q646, Q650

No comments:

Post a Comment