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Queens rocks!

Queens rocks!
972 days ago 10 comments Categories: Music Tags:Queens, Archie Bunker, Chicago, New York Times, Amazon, Queens College, New York City, Floral Park, Robert Mapplethorpe, amNewYork, Lisa Colangelo, Ivan Pereira, twitter, Wall Street Journal, Katie Honan, Barry Grodenchik, Ramones, Carole King, Gerry Go
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After I put last week’s blog to bed, I noticed responses on twitter to a New York Times column that appeared on line last weekend – ahead of its appearance in print, one week ago today. The op-ed played on the apparent rejection by Queens residents of Amazon. The writer – incredulously to this commentator and many who shared their own valid views on twitter – found my home borough “a good place to leave.” Worse, the Times gave a title, “When Queens was lame” that so mislabeled the borough of my youth – where I continue to live. The writer referred to this borough in the 1960s and 1970s in contrast to development and gentrification experience primarily in western Queens today. Obviously Barbara Brotman who moved to Chicago soon after her Queens College graduation missed so much in plain sight.

 

Yes, Queens as the borough of New York City’s two airports, grew greatly in ethnic diversity. But to rely on Robert Mapplethorpe birth where I grew up in Floral Park to call Queens a good place to come from and leave misses the point. Nothing wrong to highlight how the borough changed but any premise that change meant better and the past lacked value irked more than this commentator. amNewYork’s Lisa Colangelo expressed her annoyance; fellow reporter Ivan Pereira agreed. The Wall Street Journal’s Katie Honan also objected to the Archie Bunker mention as if it symbolized Queens; it never did. I fashioned my own tweet:

Corey Bearak (@Bearak)

 

My City Councilman Barry Grodenchik also came to our borough’s defense (as he should)!

 

The writer infuriated me with her reference to needing to leave Queens to find great music in the 1960s. While acknowledging the Ramones met here, she neglected to note Simon and Garfunkel, Al Kooper, Harvey Brooks, Sha Na Na’s Bowzer (Jon Bauman) Run-DMC hailing from Queens. And of course Carole King and Gerry Goffin met at Queens College. Apologies if I miss any others.

 

The Queens music scene during my high school and college years was never more vibrant. Forest Hills Tennis Stadium rocked (as it has the last several years). I saw Creedence Clearwater Revival and Jimi Hendrix opening for The Monkees there. The Doors played there. I caught Peter Frampton BEFORE the release of “Frampton Comes Alive” front row center at Queens College Colden Auditorium. Rathskellar at the Student Union regularly featured great shows including former Byrds Roger McGuinn and Gene Clark, and another night former and future bandmate Chris Hillman. At St. John’s I caught The Beach Boys, Jackson Browne and The Allman Brothers, Phoebe Snow and John B. Sebastian. I remain certain others can weigh in on the great show they experience in Queens back in the day.

 

Bottom line, Queens rocked; still does.

 
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  •  Steven Reisner: 
     
    IT is said that over 170 Languages are spoken in Queens. It is certainly the Boro of the greatest diversity (and the Boro of my youth). Everything anyone could ever want is available in Queens...except for 25,000 new jobs and Amazons 2nd HQ. And it is THAT loss that has so many upset with Queens.
     
     02.25.20191 replies1 replies 
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  •  Marilyn Genoa: 
     
    Great blog Corey. One of my daughters and all of her friends have chosen to live in the Astoria Long Island City area---they love it.
     
     02.24.20191 replies1 replies 
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  •  Rona Gura: 
     
    According to my kids it's the hot new spot to live and play,Long Island City, Astoria, Bayside etc. They have a Manhattan dining scene but with lower rents. Two of my children live in Bayside and are very happy there.
     
     02.24.20191 replies1 replies 
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  •  Daniel Schwartz: 
     
    Like most of NY, still much positive going on in Queens.
     
     02.24.20191 replies1 replies 
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  •  Fred Klein: 
     
    I saw Beatles 2 nights in a row at Forest Hills Stadium in August 1964 and still have the ticket
     
     02.24.20191 replies1 replies 
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