The Alley

After our whirlwind tour of the Bronx, we headed over to the Cloisters to meet Steven’s friend Shoshanna (a web developer whose husband is studying to be a rabbi), but some communications got snarfed and they were closing early, so we took some pictures inside and outside the building and met her at the subway stop. Then I drove her to her building in Washington Heights and we all talked about this and that until it was time to head back to Flushing.

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I already knew that taking the Cross Bronx would be slower than returning by subway, so I used some of my ancient Deegan-Fu and headed for the Triborough Bridge, which they now have named after Robert F. Kennedy. That was a much better and faster trip, and it allowed me to show Steven things like Astoria, La Guardia Airport, and regale him with stories about how we used to drive “all the way out to Long Island” from the Bronx on the Grand Central Parkway to visit my cousins Morty and Vicky Breitbart, who as it turned out only lived a few blocks from where Lenny is now in Fresh Meadows.

In any case, our tour of Flushing began with driving around some of my old haunts by Kissena Blvd and Elder Avenue, which I still remembered takes you by the side of the Kissena Corridor Park to Main Street. We drove up the hill to my old neighborhood, and the first thing we did was drive in circles because there was no parking whatsoever! Anyway, some slightly shady parking with blinkers later, and Steven had experienced the joys of our old house from both sides, especially the back where us kids on the block used to race bicycles up and down the alley when there was nothing else to do.

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I took Steven down the street to the Kissena Bike Track, which inspired me to get into bicycle racing in the 70s, and past Queens College, where I saw my first concert at Colden Auditorium (Ten Years After in 1968 for $1.50), down Kissena to the apartment complexes and other row houses where lots of my friends lived, down Union Turnpike to see the first apartment I lived in, up Vleigh Place to Main Street so he could see the still-Jewish part of Flushing, and back down Main Street to see how you could go to elementary, middle, high school, and college on a single block and then go across the street to be buried in the cemetery!

Next: We Visit Lenny, Linda, and Scott