I have a plan.

We are vacationing with an old college roommate in August.  We vacation with her and her family every few years.  I have come to the conclusion that in order to enjoy a  vacation  with her and her family-I need to get into shape first..  So out I go everyday for a long walk.

Yesterday’s walk:

We headed west through the Kissena Park Corridor with a detour to check the progress of the community garden behind New York Hospital.  There is a story there.  I don’t know it – but the sign at the entrance says and I paraphrase, don’t mess with anyone else’s plot – in English and Chinese.

Then past the botanical gardens, not through them.  Last fall they decided to charge four bucks for the privilege of smelling the roses. So now we walk around the perimeter.  Perimeter walking bonus- I can looked at my mother’s old house- now a Chinese boarding home- less interesting a story I suspect then the community garden, and I can purchase produce at the Friday’s farmer market.  We squished the fresh tomatoes and strawberries in the back of my pack.

Along time ago I was told that the main water main of Queens runs along under the Queens green corridor.  Kissena Park makes one segment of it, the Botanical Garden another and then Flushing Meadows Corona Park a third segment. ( There are others to the east of where I live, but that’s for another entry).  The park benefited from the frequent rains in June and was green with plenty of flowers- courtesy of the City Parks Department worrying about looking good for the US Open Tennis Tournament in August.   Its free to smell the flowers in Flushing Meadows (why does that sound like an oxymoron?) So we did. And then exited on the Corona Side.

Just west of the park is this synagogue.  The local  newspaper informs us it is the oldest in Queens.  Also it was once the religious home of Este Lauder.
We continued west- now out of green space- through the streets of Corona.  Small homes and stores line the streets that abandon the straight regulations of the New York City Grid.

Queens Center Mall offered a break from the heat, free wifi and a table in the food court to spread out the now squished fruit, and wring out the other items from the pack, since the water bottled leaked.  I would of have had lunch at the food court but Julia took advantage of the free wi fi to find an interesting restaurant for lunch.

We headed north and had lunch at a Malaysian restaurant- Good Taste. And it did,- or was- or at any rate we greatly enjoyed our lunch.

Miles so far: about five

Countries/Continents:?  Hmm- the area from the community garden to Flushing Meadows – Asian- mostly Chinese.  The synagogue-once Eastern European Jews -now the home of Bukharians.  Corona- mostly Mexican- but remnants of a once thriving Italian community. The blocks right before the mall- African and then back to mostly Asian as we walked north to Roosevelt Avenue.

And once we turned east under the 7 train on Roosevelt- we were completely in South America.  We stopped for pastries at an Argentinian bakery passed numerous establishments where for a small fee we could purchase a variety of Spanish language media and passed many variations of the Piri Aquas vendors.  Shaved ice with flavored syrup was for sale on every corner.  My favorite was the woman with an iron wrought ice crusher who cranked a wheel decorated with flowers to produce a cup of shaved ice  Julia preferred the corner shop where the vendor hacked a refrigerator sized block of ice with a pick.

And then the shops gave way to the parking lots of Citifield, where the earliest of the tailgaters were beginning their barbecues.   If New York City is a location where identity is as varied as the ethnic markets, we had arrived to where it all boils down to just two choices. Mets and Yankee fans shared hot dogs and beers as they prepared for the second subway series of the year.

We made it back to Main Street and caught the bus home.  Time to soak our feet!


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