Astoria is a dump

October 15, 2010

Astoria, the heart of Queens–as we like to think of ourselves
Once a clean and wholesome neighborhood, now it just smells
The routine walks through Ditmars and 31st
Have become etched in me, I can do it walking in reverse

But let’s not do that, I have a train to catch you see
The N or the W. The Q is dead to me
Then go downstairs and grab a Big Mac at Mickey D’s
There’s nothing like some French fries, with a side of greaze

If you’re really from Astoria, you’ll know what I’m talking about
The Eckerd’s, Rite Aid and “new CVS”, we still call Genovese, without a doubt
And Q69? Who the hell is that?
The Q19A is where I’m at

There’s shopping to do, galore, on Steinway
Impacting us by long overuse, it’s become such a cliché
And why the mansion, of course, how can one forget
Trying to sneak a visit and making it home before sunset

This lively town with streets packed with cabbies
Is also packed with graveyards and cemeteries
Always chilling on the pyramids by Con Ed, trying to skate
And when night fell in, we’d watch the aurora this power plant would create

Now let’s not forget those fancy upper Ditmars kids
With their fancy trashcans with the flip-top lids
And friends from allover like the Terraces on 21st Street
Who wouldn’t hesitate to kill you in a heartbeat

Let’s Go all the way down Astoria Blvd and make a right
Straight up Shore Blvd, across the river, the Manhattan skyline– what a sight!
And now that where here, let’s hang for a bit at Astoria Park
Get some Mr. Softee and watch all the fast cars speed down the strip when it gets dark
It didn’t matter where you came from, P.S. 2, 85, or 122
We’d all end up in 141 to drive each other cuckoo
New friends and old, we’d all go to Walbaum’s Park after class
To bother each other and one another to harass

Astoria may not be the greatest of places
It smells like a dump, it’s expensive but you’d come to love it on your own pace
It’s who you’re with, not where you are
It’s all the memories that have made their way to the bottom of your underwear drawer

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4 Responses to “Astoria is a dump”

  1.   nvargas101 Says:

    Great poem! i like how you able to give astoria its own persona. This poem reminds me of the saying “one mans dump is another mans treasure” while many may take the dump of astoria forgranted its obvious its something special to you

  2.   jk25 Says:

    As a member of the Astoria community for over twenty years, I have never considered it a dump, but I like how you create a specific identity for the community and build a story from your poem. By building on all of the parts that you associate with the community, you create this identity in a romanticized way. By stating the negatives and balancing those out with the positive aspects of Astoria you get through to your audience how close you feel as a part of the community.

  3.   gvassaliko Says:

    i loved this story because i used to go to astoria all the time. This painted a picture in m y mind that brought me back to my childhood. Excellent work!

  4.   Takeo Says:

    What I find so interesitng is you could never find this anywhere else.

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