Going back to my childhood
07.07.2018 - 07.08.2018
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Before leaving the U.S. I made a visit to Flushing in Queens County, New York. The community where I grew up. I had heard from childhood friends that the area had undergone a transformation. To my amazement, Flushing had become Korean Town. I entered a Korean supermarket and was totally ignored by everyone. I felt like “a stranger in a strange land”.
The stores that I remember as a child are all gone.
It is a natural progression for immigrants and/or descendants of immigrants to move to a low rent area and establish a community there. My childhood had been in Flushing a largely Jewish community. Everyone I grew up with was Jewish except for a rare Italian family and few black children I knew at school. The Jews had prospered, the children all moving to more upscale communites, and the parents had either moved or died. So, the Koreans found a well cared for afforadable community and moved in, in droves. All of Union Street, Main Street, Northern Boulevard, my childhood memories have all been replaced. Not an area was recognizable except the crossroad at Main Street and Northern Boulevard. Even Flushing High School had been converted into a large church.
I visited my “old” neighborhood and after taking some pictures sat on a bus bench waiting to catch the next bus back to the NY Metro subway. A few people, all white, sat down. Not one spoke english when I asked them for directions.
My elementary school, P.S. 214 finally undergoing a makeover.
Mitchell Gardens, a sign that wasn’t there before and a nice touch. It is now a co-op community. When I grew up it was strictly rentals.
Finally, my building at 138-12 28th Road. We lived on the fourth floor. The A/C window units still the same, but likely have been updated. I wanted to go in and see my old apartment. I wonder if it had changed? In 50 years, I am sure it had.
A picture of the park next to the building where I played endlessly with friends and sat with my mom and her friends “kibbutzed”. It looks a lot smaller.
After my short visit, I took public transportation to the JFK airport. My next stop is Vienna, Austria.