Monday, July 21, 2008


Monkey has arrived here in Astoria, NYC!

On the location list that Lisagh wrote down earlier, my location is listed as East Elmhurst; however, that is just something that the post office came up to describe my part of Astoria that is not really Astoria, but the locals still call it Astoria regardless. Quite confusing! It drives us locals up the wall - I have gotten Flushing, Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst on my address in the mail. Unlike Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx or Staten Island, we in Queens list the neighborhood as the town in our address; we do not put down "Queens, NY 12345" as the last line in the address.

Some interesting facts about Astoria:

1. It was renamed after John Jacob Astor.
2. My junior high school was named after the Steinway family, who makes the pianos. The factory still exists, as well as the Steinway mansion (which looks like a haunted house).
3. Goodfellas and A Bronx Tale were filmed in Astoria - Robert DeNiro used to eat at Elias Corner, which was a hop, skip and jump away from my elementary schoo.
4. Astoria has the oldest and the last beer garden in NYC (which is behind my elementary school, and 3 blocks away from the apartment that I grew up in).
5. It's famous for having a high population of Greeks (either Greek-American or immigrant) outside of Greece (though Melbourne can give us a run for our money).

One interesting fact about Queens as a borough is that it is the most ethnically diverse county in the United States. I mentioned before that Astoria is the Greek haven; in fact it's nickname is Little Athens. Other parts of Queens correspond very strongly with the place that immigrants have come from.

Monkey is doing quite well. He rested for a bit:
But soon, a curious creature rambled up the stairs to join him - one of my two cats, Cleo:
She is always at our heels; I told her that he was resting, but she doesn't care really. She IS a cat, after all. When Monkey woke up, he didn't mind the intrusion, but was rather keen on making friends:
I think he might have been a bit smitten and just watched her for a bit:
We are currently in the middle of a heat wave in NYC, so Monkey asked for a cold beer. Unfortunately, we do not have any beer in the house. Instead I gave him an italian ice (pina colada flavor, so pretty close) and he joined my dad (who just got home from his construction job) in watching the local news and eating ice.
Topic of the day: the current heat wave in NYC, and how we should conserve our energy (two years ago, all of Western Queens plunged into a blackout, and the Red Cross had to come in as well as electric crews from other states to repair the damage and no one forgets the big blackout in 2003 which crippled the whole northeastern part of North America).

Still, all is well, and we are cool. Tomorrow there will be plenty of beer as we are heading to a bbq hosted by my mom's godson's family, but I told Monkey that there is something WAY better than a tall cold beer on a hot summer day: a tall, cold Greek frappe.



summerprep said...

nice to see monkey in queens- i grew up there too, and for the LONGEST time my address was listed as Elmhurst! Finally about 10 years ago we petitioned to have it changed.. its funny because its not very close to Astoria either! Hope you show Monkey the very best our borough has to offer!

lisagh said...

Have the best time ever! It looks like it's off to a great (and hot) start.

Opa! (don't let Monkey break any plates - he'll never stop once he starts!)