Sunday, November 20, 2016


Brooklyn feels right to me. I've lived here for almost five years now. But more interesting to me is the fact that I can trace my Brooklyn ancestry back at least five generations on both sides of my family. My mom's family's been here since the 1870s and they first lived only a few blocks from me. My dad's family goes back to the 1830s and they're a little further away they're still less than a mile. Sometimes I walk by the houses I now know and feel like I'm at home. As an Army BRAT who grew up without roots, home feels right.

But Brooklyn wasn't always my New York home. Before I moved to Brooklyn I spent a decade in Astoria, Queens. Queens has been getting a much cooler since I left but when I moved into Astoria it felt like working class neighborhood full of different immigrants from all over the world. You could could walk down the street hear a hundred different langues. Even more fun was try cuisines from a hundred different countries and learn the subtle differences between the Northern and Southern Egyptian restaurants or between the Creation and Serbian diets. Queens, NY is quite literally the most diverse place that has ever existed in human history. And it was my first home in NYC.

The Unisphere is often the go-to symbol for Queens. Sort of like the Brooklyn Bridge is for Brooklyn or the Empire State Building is for Manhattan. It's shown up in lots of movies like Men in Black and Iron Man.

Invariably it gets destroyed. Like all landmarks in movies. 
There was one winter in NYC a few years ago. It was Christmastime. I'd just ended a relationship, my friends were all travelling and a freak blizzard came up on the day I was to fly to see family for the holidays. Flights were so messed up and the airline options so bad, I just said 'screw it' and stayed home. But, that left me with a good week alone during the holidays, at a time when I wasn't exactly feeling peachy.

Though, I'd just gotten a bike, so I thought it would be fun to bike out to Flushing Meadows, a part of NYC I'd never seen even though it was iconic part of my neighborhood and the site of two World's Fairs. As I was new to biking in NYC, a five mile trip from Astoria to Flushing seemed like an epic journey. But I undertook it. 

Then, after a half hour of peddling through the snow and ice, I finally saw the Unisphere in the distance! I'd made it!

The remnants of the old World's Fair ground are still there and they're epic in scale. It's quite amazing to see actually. I spent a freezing day by myself exploring the park and the Queens Museum of Art and ended up having a wonderful time. 

Bonus old boy pic.

Now, I've been back to Flushing many times since then, but because of that first time exploring in the winter on my own, the Unisphere has always had a special place in my heart. 

So over the years, I always intended to do a girl photoshoot at the Unisphere but had never really gotten around to it. Partly it's because I moved to Brooklyn and now Flushing, Queens is a much longer trip (about 1.5 hours by subway or 12 miles by bike) I haven't gone back as often.

Recently though, I had an opportunity, albeit a rather brief one. My partner and I wanted to take some friends to our favorite Chinese restaurant, Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao, in Flushing's Chinatown. Mmm. It's the best. And if we were gonna go there, we figured we'd stop by the Queens Museum of Art to see the NYC Panorama and Flushing Meadows while we were there. 

That meant I could finally get some Unisphere pictures!

As I was with friend, I didn't want to hijack the day and be like "let's stop to take 3,000 photos of me!" Even though that's generally how I ensure that I'll get five or six good ones. So, instead I only took about ten, but it was still pretty fun.

One of these days when there's nice weather, I'll get dressed up, maybe in a cool 1960s retro outfit, hire a photographer and do a real photoshoot out there. In the meantime though, I'm happy I was at least able to finally get a couple pics of me and my favorite NYC landmark. 


  1. We visited the World's Fair about six times when I was a young teen and I had the time of my life. I always wanted to revisit the site and take a slew of photos in girl mode, but have not done so yet. Maybe some day!

    1. Next time you come to NYC, photoshoot mandatory.

    2. I am already making plans in my head to do it this spring.