My Trip To Jackson Heights
As I mentioned in this post, yesterday I accompanied some visiting friends of mine on a day trip Jackson Heights, Queens. Nary a hipster was to be found when I got off the train at 82nd Street. Rather, I was greeted by this anthropomorphic garbage can and a chap standing directly across from it. He promptly made a rumble in his throat and proceeded to hock up a loogie. “This is going to be interesting” I thought to myself. It was.
My guests are quite the bargain hunters. To this end we perused a number of shops for deals and steals. I found this store on 82nd incredibly amusing. When I hear the phrase “Live it… in leather!” the movie Top Gun does not come to mind. Although the “Iceman” did strike me as possibly having those kind of inclinations.
I’d pay good money to see Val Kilmer in this get up (located just across the street).
Back in graduate school I had to take a course on Constructivist art and architecture in Latin America. Rest assured this class was as boring— probably more so— than it sounds. Looking at architecture reminiscent of that hideous parking lot gracing Queens Plaza is no way to go through life. A classmate of mine agreed, so we’d bring in copies of the Village Voice and HX and review the personal ads. We were always fascinated by the sheer quantity of kinky adverts hailing from Queens. Ten years later on Roosevelt Avenue it all began to make sense.
Hell, even the culinary fare had a certain smuttiness to it.
I don’t think this requires any comment.
But as I stated earlier the purpose of our mission was to shop. And shop we did. This 99 Cent store (America’s 99 Cent Store) at the corner of 78 Street had some of the most interesting wares I have ever seen.
True to its name, patriotism was present.
What’s more American than dogs playing poker? Don’t everyone speak up at once.
And while you’re there, why not pick up a Chador Barbie backpack (or two) for the young ‘uns?
This brings a whole new meaning to the term “sniff test”. All in all, I had a terrific time in Jackson Heights.
I wish I knew about this before I eloped. It sounds intriguing.
But would I pack up and move to Jackson Heights? Probably not. It takes more than fruity underwear, leather men and the Kinng (as cool as he is) to make me feel at home. Some things money can’t buy. For those, I can always trust the G train to deliver.
When I arrived at Court Square the mighty Crosstown Local was waiting to whisk me back to the enchanted village of Greenpoint. Everything seemed normal. Until the train started moving, that is. As if someone had flicked a switch, the rather portly gentlemen across from me started talking. Thinking his conversation was directed to yours truly, I did my best to ignore him. It quickly become apparent I was not the object of his attention after he started rifling through the Chinese laundry bag to his left. (NOTE: if you see someone with a Chinese laundry bag on the subway and said bag does not contain laundry, WATCH OUT).
He pulled out a fifth of Alexi vodka, turned to the right and offered a toot to his “friend”. This would seem unremarkable except no one was sitting next to him. After his imaginary friend declined (I guess he— or she— knows when to say when) he polished off the bottle, put it back and chugged down a bottle of mango juice. DIY screwdrivers. On the G train. At 2:30 in the afternoon.
A Polish woman next to me shot a knowing look my direction. I returned the favor. I speak no Polish whatsoever —and in all probability she speaks little English— but we understood each other:
Welcome to Greenpoint.
I was home.