NYC Day One: QueensWalk

11 miles today on the hoof according to our Google Health App. 

A three mile round-trip run for Gian Piero’s breakfast. You hear someone go on and on about the cream in Italian pastries and think to yourself, “Yeah, yeah.” And then one day, you actually taste it and repent of your lack of respect. This particular pastry is called a Lobster Tail because look at it. And beside it rests almond biscotti that, if that was all I had for the day, would be entirely sufficient. To get biscotti like that requires the right ingredients and the right recipe and the right chef with the right bloodline. None of those four things converge in our little hometown, love it as I do.

Thence to a walk around Astoria. 5-ish miles in, we entered Astoria Park which begins at its south end under the huge concrete pilings of the Triboro Bridge and faces the East River. That bridge has been renamed the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, but I like Triboro better. Way more geographically evocative. We watched a woman, or a man in a skirt, shadow box vigorously, and we idly speculated on how much actual ground would be covered if all the office and living space in the tall towers over on Manhattan were spread out side by side. We also wondered how far the average New Yorker walks in a day because it seems like that’s all everyone does here is walk.

It’s all interesting because of the people!

The subway is not actually ‘sub’ here in Astoria. It is overhead and, though it’s loud, it gives a homey feel, like a front porch. Like, I’m outside, but I’m close to home and have a roof over my head. 

‘Home’ is the second floor of Oscar and Alona’s home on 30th Ave. As we drank our afternoon cup of restorative, we watched Oscar bathe their dog in the back courtyard. The terrier enjoyed his bath in a big tupperware bin as much as any child in the tub, maybe more. He practically bathed himself in his frolics. 

A Waze-assisted trip over bridge and dale to Flushing took us to the real Chinatown and the Golden Shopping Mall. This is a food mall, the best of which is in the basement. Steamed lamb and green squash dumplings seemed the summit of taste and texture until we turned to the booth cramped right behind the lamb dumpling booth and ordered cumin lamb pulled noodles. We watched the cook pull the noodles in front of us and pop them into the boiling water. And then we shared a plate of what he ladled up, our heads bumping in leaned-over gluttony. And we were unashamed.

       

Thank you, P.S. 20 for letting us park in front you, unticketed and untowed, because parking signs and laws are an enigma to us.

Finish off this perfect day with a visit to a Bohemian Beer Garden established in 1902 by Czechs. On vacation I struggle with the dilemma of whether to ponder and read and talk about deep things because I have the time and no excuse, or to relax, whatever that means.

         

So in conclusion, we hit Italian, Chinese, and Czech/German food today, and Greek last night. Our feet hurt and I am ashamed to say we are in by 8:30 snacking on Utz cheese balls. Each to their own, right? And we learned by listening that this place is not pronounced Astoria, but UhSTORia.
Get it right.

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