A Sunday in Queens

Soh Ang had suggested to have Dim Sum for lunch in Flushing and go for a walk in Forest Hills afterwards. Both seemed attractive to me, so I agreed. I just was not aware that Queens is so far away from its neighbor Brooklyn.

When I checked the schedule I found out that I had to leave the house at 10:49 to arrive at Main Street Flushing at 12. There is one train that connects Brooklyn to Queens without going into Manhattan, that’s the G train, well known to me from my month in Greenpoint. But the G train still doesn’t go to Queens on the weekends because of Sandy recovery work in the tunnel. So I had to go via Manhattan on the F train and catch the 7 to Flushing in Jackson Heights.
I managed to leave the house at about 10:45 and it was easy to get to Jackson Heights, just long. I used the ride to start a list of where I still want to eat, where I still need to go and what there is left to do. The list got quite long. In Jackson Heights the 7 didn’t come for a while and the crowd at the station was constantly growing. When it finally arrived it was packed already. So the ride to Flushing was not really fun, but it was short at least.
We were to meet at Macy’s. When I got out of the subway I didn’t see any Macy’s. I called her. She asked me if I see McDonalds. I did see McDonalds. But there were two McDonalds and both of us saw another one. The thing was that I had not taken the main exit and thus ended up at another end of the station. Good that somebody invented cellphones.
Flushing was absolutely crowded. All Queens seems to meet in Flushing for eating or shopping on Sundays. Soh Ang had come in her car and it took her half an hour to find a parking space. The restaurant she had chosen was above a mall with a huge food court in the basement. It was huge as well, had modern chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and TV-screens hanging on the walls. The Dim Sum were provided on carts. With every plate we took from a cart we got a stamp on our bill. I relied on the expert with the selections. We had six or seven different Dim Sum and chrysanthemum tea with them. Soh Ang was not happy about the selections offered and the service. She missed her favorites and felt ignored by the waiters because she didn’t speak Cantonese but Mandarin. For me the whole thing was quite interesting and I liked our food.
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After our lunch and a stop at the supermarket in the mall we drove to Soh Ang’s place in Jamaica Estates to deliver her groceries and then drove to Forest Hills. There as well it was pretty difficult to find a parking space. Maybe because there was a street fair. We first tried to find a parking space in the Forest Hill Gardens section, where we wanted to walk around. But every street there is marked private and parking need a permit. We tried the other side of Queens Boulevard where apartment buildings are standing. There is a lot of street parking but it took us some turns until we saw a car leave and were quick enough to get the space. We crossed Queens Boulevard and checked out the street festival on Austin Street, the commercial hub, first. Lots of food and lots of jewelry and bags.
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We both bought a bracelet. Before we walked into Forest Hills Gardens we grabbed a Spiced Pumpkin Latte at Starbucks. Having finished our Lattes we were not able to get rid of the cups because there are no garbage cans in Forest Hills Gardens. It is regarded the most exclusive community in Queens. Lots of Tudor style residences, one nicer than the other. It looks like small town England, not like New York, not like Queens. Big cars are parked in the entry ways and along the streets. Front yards are nicely planted. Big old trees are lining the streets. Definitely an attractive neighborhood for those who can afford it.
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After a round through that paradise we got back to earth and continued our walk through the street fair. I felt tempted to have a cannoli from Fortunato Brothers, Soh Ang was tempted by Empanadas. We both resisted. Having reached the end we felt like sitting and found a bar where Soh Ang had a Soda and I treated myself to a Pomegranate Martini.

My way back home was easier but still confusing. I could catch an F train that took me almost to my doorstep. It was running on the E line until 42nd Street – Bryant Park though for whatever reason.
At home I found Priya packing. I made a salad for dinner, Astor standing next to me with his front paws almost on the worktop. I googled some stuff, Priya recommended some places where I could find cooking classes, we exchanged quotes and chatted about this and that until we both felt the need to retire. Our evening chats are always inspiring. I will miss them soon.

What I learned today:
How to use chopsticks to cut something

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