Ode to Astoria

As I had warned in a previous post, I get pathetically attached to things. Considering the amount of stability I’ve had throughout my life, my proclivity to attachment only makes sense. I grew up in the same house all my life. I attended the same all-girls school from kindergarten to twelfth grade. I danced ballet and took piano lessons from age five to seventeen. Even my decade-long obsession with New York serves as a testament to the sense of commitment that has been ingrained in me.

By the time I realized that Anthony and I would be moving out of our friends’ place in Astoria a few days ago, my fondness of the area had been increasing constantly. I did what I always do when I must say good-bye to something I’d rather not and created a list (of course) of things I’ll miss most about the neighborhood:

  • Only an 18-minute train ride into Midtown. It can take longer to reach Midtown from other parts of Manhattan, e.g. Morningside Heights. Plus, since the N and Q go straight from Astoria into Midtown, it’s easy to avoid the chaos that is Lower Manhattan.
  • Fantastic Greek food. It’s really unfortunate that it was on our last night that we discovered my favorite Greek restaurant, Agnanti, but Tavernas and Zorba’s are great, too and have raised my embarrassingly low Hawaiian standards of Greek food.
  • There’s a nice mix of Greek old-timers and young professionals who carry around their yoga mats and eat at Bareburger.
  • The train ride is above ground until Lexington, which means: a) Gorgeous views of the Manhattan skyline for half the ride, b) You don’t have to wait on a stuffy underground platform with rats, and, most importantly, c) Phone connection!
  • Queens > Brooklyn. Astoria is one of those cutesy, up-and-coming (or I guess it’s already come?) neighborhoods that young, hip people move to, but the coolest part is that it’s not in Brooklyn.
  • The N and Q trains are somehow always new, with the smooth, grey-blue bench seats and digital train stop maps.
  • Astoria Park. Sadly, I discovered this park on my last night in Astoria. If I had known about it earlier, I would have come here all the time for the stunning views of Manhattan and the Triborough Bridge.

With my sentimentalism appropriately organized in list form, I could more easily focus on [and enjoy] the next phase of my journey: living in Sunnyside — this time, at a place that Anthony and I can officially call our own.

View of Manhattan from Astoria Park

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