Sunday, January 03, 2010


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Thanks again!

You may have heard the tall tales by now, but INFRASTRUCTURE's New York debut was a success on more levels than we could have imagined. We owe many people thanks for making it so.

Saturday night, it was a few degrees above freezing, with driving rain and thunder. Based on our most recent Boston show experience, we feared that only ten or so people would show up. We set up our equipment in the basement of the National Underground and got excited as friends and family we hadn't seen in months or years showed up. Almost as soon as we started our set in the crowded basement, the management informed us that we had too many people to fit in the basement. They threw the cover band off the upstairs stage and moved us there!

All told, well over 70 people turned out to see us play our first New York show. The set was a ton of fun to play, and the highlights reel is coming together quickly.

Thanks to everyone who came out!

We will play in New York again on 2/27 at R Bar.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

CPCCPCIV Postponed.

Note to all Manic-CPCCPC (College Point Class Conflict Pub Crawl) participants: we need to postpone this year's event. INFRASTRUCTURE (Chris, Erich, and myself, plus Micah the drummer) is playing a 9:30pm set at Tritone in Philly on Saturday Friday night (details here), and Rob Gestone's band, Postcard Secrets, is playing at The Bitter End in Manhattan on Saturday night (details here).

We'll try to bring back the CPC over Christmas, even though INFRASTRUCTURE is making its New York debut on 12/26. Stay tuned.

And, oh yeah, Austin in TWO WEEKS. Manic to the max!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Piece of pizza?

No. It's a fucking slice. You want to sound like you belong in New York? Call a slice a slice.


Sunday, August 02, 2009


In February of 2009, a halal food cart appeared on a certain corner in Jackson Heights. It never closed. In fact, it never left. Not even for a minute.

Where else in the city can you get a plate of cooked-to-order lamb with yellow basmati rice, salad, and fresh, sliced tomato...for $5? The "street meat" phenomenon is sweeping the city. Formerly the carts were scary, salmonella laden. Now they are intriguing, cool, hip. In Midtown the same meal would be $10, maybe more.

In Jackson Heights, the price is $5. At midnight, there are local drunks drinking locally, transient drunks arriving in yellow and livery cabs, and the cab drivers themselves, all queuing to purchase food off the griddle. Some are having the lamb over rice; some are having the chicken over rice. Those short on cash are having the halal hot dog: just "$0.99" as advertised on the cart's sides.

"Where else can you get a hot dog for a dollar?!" shouts the cart's owner emphatically. He's standing outside the cart, wearing a 99-cent short-sleeved plaid shirt and barking commands to the younger guy inside the cart in Hindi or Urdu or whatever the fuck. He's drinking a Schwepps Ginger Ale from a can and sweating profusely.

"We've been here six months," says the guy. "People complain. Fucking white people. Fucking fags. They complain that we are here! We are serving people twenty-four hours! What is the problem? The symbol of New York is twenty-four hours!"

We agree with this assertion and surrender our five-dollar bill. Then, with THANK YOU COME AGAIN bag in tow, we head down to the magazine shop that the guy also owns. We take a six-pack of Miller Lite out of the fridge, then realize that there are two deeply hidden six-packs of Sam Adams in another fridge. We atempt to put the Miller Lite back. "WHY ARE YOU PUTTING THAT BACK?!" shouts a voice. "We're trading up." "Okay."

In these exchanges, a primordial, undisputable truth of New York makes itself completely clear: the city is a pay to play place, no matter where you're from and as long as someone is taking your money.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Wogie's and stuff

We will be holding court at Wogie's on Tuesday, then going to a show at Pianos, in case you want to come.

We've found a drummer for Infrastructure and are now rehearsing on weekends in Boston. Shows in a few months, I hope.

More Deep South photos and stories to come.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

The Beginning of a Thousand Journeys

This is not the Deep South. This is my (former) bus stop in Queens, the place from which I started leaving home for the first time, first to go to high school in Manhattan, then to the rest of America.

More Deep South soon.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008


The subway cars here in NY have their air conditioners turned on today, out of necessity.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Night Flying

Cruising around the 5 boroughs and Long Island at 1500 feet is probably the best way to see New York...from a distance.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Taxi Diversity

Here's a diesel Jetta cab that I saw at lunch. I don't think there has ever been such a diverse array of taxis plying the streets of New York City as there is right now. Besides the ubiquitous Crown Vic, there are hybrid Chevy Malibus and Ford Escapes. Toyota has the Camry, Highlander, Siena, and Prius on the street, all of which are available as hybrids. There are even some hybrid Lexus SUV cabs. I've also seen hybrid Nissan Maximas and Honda Civics. And then there are the Dodge Caravans with wheelchair lifts.

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The End of the Earth

Travel time between College Point, Queens and Midtown Manhattan via 7 train and local bus is averaging about 90 minutes. This works out to an average speed of 8mph. There is still no cell phone reception in areas of College Point.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow and Slush in the Old World

I am in College Point, Queens, where the elderly, Mediterranean natives are brandishing shovels and screaming at each other about a mysterious, five-foot-high pile of ice and snow on one side of the street. A Sanitation Dept. payloader, working its way through the neighborhood, created the pile last night, and one neighbor suspects the other of deliberately telling the driver to pile the snow on her side of the street. She suspects this was done so that the flow of water along the curb would be blocked, creating a small cesspool of dirty, melted snow in front of the her house (not to mention the many other homes on that side of the street).

That's how it works here. My family once spent several years without speaking to the other family that lives in our building because there had been a fight over grass clippings from one tiny backyard ending up in the other.

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Monday, December 01, 2008

Hipster Lofts in the South Bronx

They're really real. The bus just drove by them. Big weird light-emitting objects inside, coloring the big cubes pastel shades, pushing the ghetto back farther from the shores of the Harlem.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008


To participate in this year's College Point Pub Crawl, which is going to be huge, show up at the Five Corners Restaurant in College Point at 8 p.m. tomorrow (Friday night). The restaurant has no website, and I hope it's still in business. I didn't check.

The 5 Corners is at 14th Ave and 127th St in College Point:

View Larger Map

View Larger Map

How to get there:
1. Get to Main Street, Flushing. The 7 Express takes about 35 minutes from Times Square or Grand Central. The LIRR takes 20 minutes from Penn Station.

2. Get on a bus. Here are your options:
  • The Q25 is probably your best bet. Picks up on Main St near Roosevelt Ave. Stops outside the Five Corners (127th St at 14th Ave).
  • The Q65 runs the most frequently and will let you off at 14th Road and College Point Boulevard, from which you can walk to 14th Ave and 127th St. The 65 also picks up on Main St, under the gigantic, abandoned Caldor sign.
  • The Q20A will let you off at 127th St and 20th Ave, from which you can walk to 127th St and 14th Ave.
  • The Q20B runs very infrequently but will also let you off right at the Five Corners.
You should probably take the 65 or 25. If you drive to CP, there are no parking permit rules and you can park anywhere.

Where we're going:
There are at least 5 bars we can hit, with the possibility of one or two more if we find them. We never run out of things to do, yet we have never fulfilled my fantasy of brown-bagging in front of one of the area's many 24-hour delis.

Getting Out of CP:

The buses run infrequently at night but we've always succeeded in shipping people back to the subway via bus. If need be, we can easily call livery cabs for a ride to Main St ($13-15).

Hotel prices have either risen sharply or decreased sharply since yesterday. Right now, the Extended Stay Suites in Whitestone is down to $97 and a tiny new Howard Johnson in Flushing is $118. The new Fairfield Inn that is within walking distance of the last scheduled bar is still $159. So make sure you have your Mariott RewardsTM card in your wallet tomorrow and get ready to get fucked up.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

CPC IS NEXT FRIDAY: Sign Up At Official CPCCPC Event Page on Facebook

Text of the announcement:

In 2006, I wrote: "What better way to explore the fiber of the community that created the Bellinger boys than through drinking? Hard work, racism, culturally reinforced ignorance, factories, pizza, violence, salt water, bad bus service, jet fuel odor, football/baseball/hockey, that's what College Point is."

Since then, many have joined me for the Thanksgiving weekend slosh-fest where we smoke illegally in bars, trash Sports Gardens, commiserate with the locals, and eat lots of Go-Go Taquitos. No one has yet been hurt, beaten, or robbed. It's just good, clean fun in a very interesting, dynamically changing New York City neighborhood.

The Third Annual CPC^2 will take place on Friday, November 28, beginning with dinner at the Five Corners German restaurant (if it's still in business). The Five Corners is on the Q25 bus route, which you can pick up from the terminus of the IRT #7 line at Main Street, Flushing.

I need a head count to determine whether we'll need hotel room(s). There are half a dozen new hotels in the area priced around $140 for the night.

Visit the official "website" of the CPC at
ALL ARE WELCOME. I only invited you if I thought you'd show up.

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Thursday, October 02, 2008


That's the College Point Class Conflict Pub Crawl III.

Before I get started on my Michigan photonovella, I'd like to confirm that the Third Annual CPC2 will take place on Friday, November 28, beginning with dinner at the Five Corners German restaurant (if it's still in business).

The bar route has lost Halligan's once again. Those on the first CPC will recall that it was seized by the NYPD and sealed. The bar was open last year, but it's out of business once again.

Details on past CPC activity can be accessed here.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Update: Link to "Scene of Apparent Violence" from last night.

4:37 a.m.

All of New York City is a drunken circus right now. Tourist couples in too-tight clothing are arguing on the steamy, desolate streets of Midtown. The cops are responding to a scene of apparent violence at a club in Astoria, trademark red and white lights everywhere. Yellow cabs and livery cabs are ferrying drunks in any possible direction in all boroughs. Lights are still on in many homes. Even our usually quiet one-way street is jammed with pairs of headlights competing for asphalt. Everyone is awake or outside because they can be.

Amid these many chaotic scenes, the INFRASTRCTURE boys return home via the upper deck of the Queensborough Bridge. We have completed a marathon 12-hour recording and arranging session in a fancy Manhattan studio 400 feet above the hoochie-laden streets. When you play for that long, which I don't usually do, awakeness goes away and all that remains is muscle memory and punch drunkenness. You lock into your fellow musicians and the equipment you are using and you try to make something good.

Tonight, we made several very good things. A lot of remixing is required before we can share, and we didn't record vocals, but we're very proud of what we achieved. We need some serious sleep, though, before we can appreciate it.

It was also nice to find freshly baked brownies when E. dropped C. and me off at home. Things are finally beginning to work.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

View from the Whitestone Bridge, New York City

I took this shot from my parents' minivan as they drove to Boston for the first time in five years and three months, last weekend.

I grew up just beyond the left extremity of the frame in the Queens neighborhood of College Point. In this shot we've got some gravel barges coming down the East River and a freight train crossing the Hell Gate Bridge in the background. LaGuardia is just out of site beyond Riker's Island.

From ages 14-17 I commuted to Regis High School in Manhattan, buried in the Upper East Side skyline behind the Hell Gate Bridge.

The repeated journey from one edge of this frame to the other and back is basically what my entire life is about.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Economic Punishment for Inefficient Cabbies

NY Taxi drivers are complaining about gas prices and demanding a fuel surcharge. But more than 90% of them drive the Ford Crown Victoria, basically a V8, rear wheel drive tractor with seats. Let's take a look at the Crown Victoria's fuel efficiency at

2008 Ford Crown Victoria FFV 8 cyl, 4.6 L, Automatic 4-spd
15 mpg city; 23 mpg highway

Not very good. Not very good at all. What about the Hybrid Escape, also by Ford, that has become popular in NY and is starting to pop up in Boston?

2008 Ford Escape Hybrid FWD
34 mpg city; 30 highway

The 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid is also up there: 34 city/33 highway.

The New York Taxi Workers Alliance is quoted in the linked NY1 article above stating that the average cab burns 20 gallons of gasoline per shift. Maybe it's time to invest in some more efficient vehicles.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hybrid Yellow Cabs of New York

By 2012, all cabs are supposed to by hybrids. On the streets yesterday I saw the following hybrid models: Toyota Prius, Camry, and Highlander; Ford Escape; Nissan Maxima; Honda Civic.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What will be opposite SkyViewParc in the new Flushing?

Apparently this.

This is River Park Place, being developed by Lev Real Estate. The warehouses that were there disappeared about a year ago.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

The Ruination of College Point

This is replacing this.

The gray house in the second picture is my grandmother's.

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Oh, that's why they built that giant building with a blank facade in LIC.

Pretty brick building being torn down and replaced by 42-story condo tower. The new tower will align with the new office building you can see pictured at the preceding link.

Check out the laughably blank and highly offensive 42-story cinder block wall behind the little brick house--it's currently visible from Queens but not from Manhattan. Developers to Queens: fuck you! die!

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

On Transit in New York City

From the City's Wikipedia entry:
Public transit is overwhelmingly the dominant form of travel for New Yorkers. About one in every three users of mass transit in the United States and two-thirds of the nation's rail riders live in New York and its suburbs. This is in contrast to the rest of the country, where about 90% of commuters drive automobiles to their workplace.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

College Point's Random, 6-story Korean Spa

Featured in the Times.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008


The nightly garbage truck parade begins.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Building up in Queens and Brooklyn.

For years, I've been talking about the renaissance that awaits Downtown Flushing. Right now, cranes dominate the skyline. CitiField has risen in Shea's parking lot. On the south side of Roosevelt Ave, a massive development has been steadily rising. SkyViewParc is the recently-given name of the project, which will meld retail, lots of parking, and really expensive condos. I have to wonder what will appear on the north side of Roosevelt at the Flushing River, where a large warehouse was recently demolished.

Closer to Main Street Station, Downtown Flushing is also gaining more of an "acceptable" appeal as the city's second Chinatown, with a recent proliferation of Vietnamese, Malaysian, and pan-Asian eateries. Here's a neighborhood that was a largely white ethnic shopping district in the 80s, an insular Korean and Chinese community through the 90s, and now boasts many new buildings, gleaming, new restaurants and banks, and many, many more signs in English! When I was a high school student, I did what everyone else did on Main Street: got off the bus and got on the subway. Now, I look forward to eating my way through the neighborhood on subsequent return trips to New York.

No word on the progress of Flushing Commons.

Meanwhile, over in Billyburg, the Domino Sugar refinery just received landmark status. Next door, the massive EDGE project is almost complete. Loft conversions and new loft buildings are going up everywhere. Between the shoreline and the BQE, incongruous condo towers stick out like sore, suffocating thumbs above the wooden rowhouses. Hipsters, who looked comical in 2004, and now look positively fucking ridiculous, dominate Bedford Ave.

Further down on the Southside, the formerly bleak corner I lived on (where Serpico gets shot in the face) now features a retail bank and the neighborhood's second Brooklyn Industries store. And the most extreme irony of all: the illegally zoned Hasidic cellphone store I lived behind is now a cigar bar.

Progress is fast; progress is expensive. In New York, it may be faster and more expensive than anywhere else in North America.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Tourist Clobbering

I'd never seen so many. Ironically, I had to meet Erich for lunch around the corner from Rockefeller Center and needed to pick up some things in SoHo. The droves of bedazzled morons drove me to walk in the street...on 5th, on Canal, on Broadway. Upward they stared. In the middle of sidewalks they stopped. In they strode through doorways my exiting body transiently occupied. I gave up my patience and stopped saying "excuse me." It was all elbows and shoulders from there on out, countless stunned visitors in my wake.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007


Fin. Big crowd.

Pics sooner or later.

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Friday, November 23, 2007


Already tipsy from two $4 half-liter Spaten Oktoberfests at the Five Corners, where Rock the Bartender suggested that we hit up the College Point Yacht Club for a good, cheap beer. He says 131 is "a good place to get your ass kicked," confirming my suspicions. People are dropping from the CPCCPC roster left and right. I don't know what to make of that. I went to Amore for lunch, and I'm headed to Cascarino's for dinner.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007


Travelogue by Rob; Linked Photos by Dan

"You's are gonna end up in the hospital," said dad. I was beginning to think that this could be my worst idea of 2006. There was the trans-Canadian roadtrip that almost left me dead. I had already subjected myself to 20+ coach class business flights and had another 20+ to look forward to. But alco-cultural tourism in blue collar Queens?

I didn't believe it could happen until people started showing up in College Point the night after Thanksgiving.

When the small crowd reached critical mass--five--out we went. C-Mike, Althea, Meade, Rob "Mole" Gestone, and I set out through the sleepy, suburban streets of North College Point, the nicest part of the neighborhood. As we approached the Pour House (formerly the College Point Ale House), walking downhill on a narrow sidewalk, feelings of nervous excitement took hold of each of us. Would we be beaten by the bullies of our grade school days? Robbed by the bands of thugs who hang out in front of the neighborhood's 25+ delis 365 days per year?

We found the Pour House a legitimately quaint and nicely appointed corner bar in a residential hood known for haircuts and Korean-Italian subs. The only people in the place also worked there, and they were confused by out-of-state IDs. Every drink cost five bucks, but there was quite a selection. After a round of beers that we would not see again for the rest of the night, like Sam Adams and Bass, we received free Thanksgiving shots of some sticky Schnapps mixture, served in tiny plastic shot cups. C-Mike played RHCP's "Me and My Friends" on the digital jukebox--the Official Song of the CPCCPC. A flyer in the bathroom advertised the Thursday Night City Worker Special , but there were no city workers there to study. Things started well--no conflict.

Up the hill we marched, past the Poppenhusen Monument. Dan spotted this puke in the street and photographed a conspicuous hurricane evacuation sign (these showed up all over the city after 9/11). At 14th Avenue, two of C-Mike's friends from far, far away met up with us, just outside the North Fork Bank (formerly College Point Savings Bank). All marveled at the large and fake liberty bell in the bank. There, as children, we were frequently scolded for leaving handprints on said bell.

The POINT BAR & GRILL experience reminded me of the shady watering hole Homer Simpson finds himself in after Moe steals the Flaming Homer recipe--the place where the barkeep calls him "Your Majesty" for complaining about a huge stain on his glass. The Point Bar and Grill, which has since closed, had been described by the parents as "a real alcoholic's place." We had always passed by as children, and the mother pointed out the "filthy drunks" on the bar steps as examples of societal maladies that we should never become. In 2006, the bar, nestled tightly between a copy shop and a shoe repair shop on the first floor of an apartment building, looked more weathered than ever before. An unlit, faded sign hung over the brick facade. Two Mexican-looking dudes smoked cigarettes on the steps and let us in. Inside, there were a few more Mexican-looking dudes and an anorexic, elderly biker dude with long yellow hair and a compatible-looking chick on each arm. Behind the bar, in a state of apparent permaconfusion, was a tall, stocky dude in a GNR t-shirt.

Someone asked for a pitcher. The bartender dude said: "This is the Point Bar and Grill. You're lucky if we have a dirty glass." And so I ordered something in a bottle, a cider. For the next hour or so, we took pisses in a steel trough, wondered why there was an old treadmill in the empty back room, and watched as a gimpy old man brought 6-packs of Heineken up from the basement. We talked with the barkeep about his shirt. He was psyched to be seeing Axl at the Garden the next week. When we had taken in the scene, we realized that faced a dilemma.

Did we trek up 14th Ave to the residential metal bar, according to the original plan, or move down CP Blvd to two recently discovered bars? We chose the latter, arriving at Rob Roy Spirit's [sic] in just a few minutes. Inside the surprisingly nice place, very drunk drunks played pool. We swarmed the 40something lady behind the bar, and presented IDs from Jersey, Mass, Kansas. "You's are from everywhere!" she said. Then she poured $1.50 worth of Coors into whatever she could find. There weren't enough pint glasses to serve all seven of us, so various plastic cups were employed. Our team employed a dollar-per-drink tipping procedure, leading the barkeep to exclaim to her drunk friends, "They're big tippas!"

This time, the digijuke played "My Lovely Man," another RHCP tune. Carrying my Coors from the bar, I stepped aside as a huge, undercover cop-looking dude fired off the final, triumphant shot of a pool game. He turned to me, shook my hand, and said "thanks fa movin'" all slurred with a sickly drunk smile.

Suddenly I was talking to a short teamster about Somerville, Mass, my adopted hometown. He reached into his pocket and produced his birth certificate, proving that he was, in fact, born blocks from Somerville City Hall. He ended up in New York City and settled in the neighborhood because "College Point is really the last holdout for people of our kind." He elaborated, confirming my suspicion that "our kind" meant white people who play baseball and hockey. The teamster then gave a very lengthy oration on the quality of the new city-owned sports complex and the neighborhood's entire coaching staff.

Though we hoped to play pool, the pool tables were taken. We'd have liked a game of darts, but the bar's darts had been stolen. We moved south.

At the corner of College Point Boulevard and 23rd Avenue stand two bars, a pizza shop, and a 7-11. Around 1:30 a.m., six drunk, young-looking people on foot stormed into the 7-11 and bought disgusting Buffalo Taquitos. The Southeast Asian clerks looked confused and nervous, as did the sole other customer, a counterfeit Far East Queens hipster. The air of nervousness was dispelled as the revelers walked out into the night and the retail environment regained its characteristic silence and uninterrupted fluorescent glow.

JP's on the Boulevard, "A place to meet your friends," had been closed and sealed by the NYPD, so we couldn't drink there. Across the boulevard and up 23rd Ave. stood a squat and small and previously unknown bar I had discovered the day before: the Sports Garden. In this small bar we were to spend the rest of the night. Debbie, the raspy-voiced barkeep, drank heavily and jokingly harassed everyone in the bar. She didn't believe any of us were over 21, as people in College Point look far older than they are. She kept the conversation going with racist jokes--or at least, she tried to. Some people seated at the far end of the bar claimed they were part owners and bought us a round of shots, again in those tiny plastic cups. We did not reciprocate. There was a small, fenced-in patio outside the bar, littered with wet deck furniture reflecting sodium-vapor yellow in the chilly off-season night. I'm pretty sure everyone pissed in this desolate sports garden. We stayed at this bar a long time, then ordered up a livery cab to take our visitors back to the subway in Flushing.

But the Q65 bus, which never comes when you need it to, and which only runs every 90 minutes in the overnight period, showed right up. Our visitors piled in and headed home. C-Mike, Althea, and I did the long walk home, through the 3 a.m. mist, louder and rowdier than perhaps we had ever been in sleepy College Point. I made the mistake of running over a parked Crown Vic, falling off, and busting my knee, but I made it home to put up this post, and I lived to spread the glory of the first CPCCPC while planning the second.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Perfect winter weather for CPCCPCII

NOAA reports that we'll have a clear, precipitation-free evening, with temperatures falling from about 40 to the upper 20s. I'm excited, and there will supposedly be a lot of people, but few bothered to sign up.

See Dan Meade's Flickr Slideshow of last year's journey.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Map has been updated and now features more CP landmarks as well as better integration of satellite imagery. Placemarkers are now 100% accurate.

Zoomable and clickable. Enjoy...

View Larger Map

This is the first customized Google Map featured here!

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Queens Visit Culinary Hitlist

  • Blue Bay Diner (chicken scampi over rice with ice-cold iceberg salad)
  • Amore Pizza (2 slices with pink drink)
  • Cascarino's (chicken staiano)
  • Le Cheesecake's brownies
  • if possible, Chinese Mexican quesadilla with ketchup-based "salsa" (easier to get in Manhattan)
  • Five Guys cheeseburger with malt vinegar-doused fries

That should leave room for one home-cooked meal.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Should the College Point Pub Crawl start earlier this year?

Last year we went from 9pm-3am but had to skip an entire leg.

Maybe 8pm isn't early enough. Thoughts?

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

College Point Pub Crawl II Sign Up Sheet--UPDATED

Details here.
Now aiming for an 8pm (TENTATIVE!) start at the Pour House, Friday after Thanksgiving.

Please sign up by commenting.

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Friday, November 09, 2007

Homesickness, continued.

I want Amore pizza for lunch (with unidentified pink fruit drink) and Cascarino's chicken staiano for dinner.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

College Point Class Conflict Pub Crawl 2007 Update

It's on! I've been meaning to have an update here since early summer, but times are busy. For those of you who are just joining us, the CPCCPC is an urban alchotourism exploration of the blue-collar New York City neighborhood that spawned the Bellinger brothers. We take a group of white-collarized native New Yorkers, mix in some out-of-town friends, and go drinking in a neighborhood where our ilk is not supposed to exist. Last year, we had great conversations and were given free drinks all night.

You can read the preview of last year's adventure here, or see a Dan Meade Photoset of the tour itself here. Dan also posted a summary here. I've yet to finish writing mine.

There will be some important changes to the routes this year. First, the Point Bar and Grill has finally gone out of business after a long decline. I'm honored to have pissed in the venerable trough there less than a year before the bar went out of business. Our Uncle Len said that back in the 60s, College Point was known as a town of "barbershops and bars." The Point Bar and Grill was probably the only existing establishment whose roots reached back that far.

We also have two new establishments to work with this year:
  1. A. R.'s Tavern. Which actually has a website, and free wi-fi. Pre-opening photo here.
  2. Halligan's. Offers free breakfast at 8am, as well as a free first round to all Pepsi route drivers based at the College Point bottling plant. Was formerly J.R.'s, which had been shut down by the NYPD.

So here's a proposed route, which will start either at 8am or 8pm the day after Thanksgiving (or the day before Thanksgiving):
  1. Bellinger Family Homestead
  2. Pour House, 9th Ave at CP Blvd.
  3. A.R.'s Tavern, CP Blvd at 14th Rd.
  4. The Five Corners, 14th Ave at 15th Ave. and 127th St. The last German restaurant in town, which will probably go out of business soon. Have never eaten there.
  5. Metal/Sports bar at 14th Ave and 130th St. We had bet on having a fight here last year.
  6. Return to "downtown" CP for memorial viewing of Point Bar and Grill's remains, CP Blvd. at 15th Ave.
  7. Rob Roy Spirit's [sic], CP Blvd between 18th and 20th Aves
  8. Halligan's, CP Blvd at 23rd Ave (or, tour could start here with breakfast)
  9. The SPORTS GARDEN at 23rd Ave for 2nd annual grand finale--lasting past 3am.

Again, the rules are no cars and no weapons, which puts us at a distinct disadvantage in Queens but holds up well with juries.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007


The first crisp-appearing day of autumn, and I miss my hometown. The full range of New York looks fully different in autumn light. I want to stop by and make sure the geography and infrastructure are still there. The people don't really matter. They come and go. They don't know that Manhattan is a borough. They think they are worshipped by their families back in the Midwest for living in Park Slope. They think they are worshipped by pained artists and almost cool kids everywhere for living in Williamsburg. Sometimes I hate my education because it allows me to see these virulent monstrosities that dent the image and my own memory of the city. Working-class Queens life is just one tiny puzzle piece of the "eight million stories" of the city, fodder for the transplants to grab in their grubby hands and make sitcoms of.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Homesickness comes in strange and unpredictable ways.

Today's breezes smell like late summer Flushing Bay. Strange mix of salt, sea, verdure, diesel exhaust. All that's missing is the jet fuel.


Saturday, August 04, 2007

New York is CHAOS

Fuck Manhattan; I'm talking about Main Street, Flushing. Try standing anywhere without getting knocked over by a human or vehicle. Try counting how many languages you can spot on a block's worth of signs, or how many individual types of object you can smell rotting. I wish there were a little more order, a little more planning. Main Street would make so much more sense as a pedestrian/bus way. Take out the livery and yellow cabs. Install bricks or cobblestones, drive the patternless, gridlocking vehicular traffic away from the business center.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Animal Precinct

is a fascinating, really New York show.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Willets Point

Via metsblog, of all places, comes news that the Bloomburg administration has announced its mammoth plan for the eradication/gentrification of scrapyards in Corona/Flushing, Queens.

Remember, in ten years, when all the public-private development in Flushing is done, it will be the city's fourth (maybe fifth) downtown. Awesome.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

DanMeade- GarbageCake.jpg

Last Saturday, I was getting on the F train at Herald Square just before midnight when I noticed this birthday cake sitting outside the 35th St. entrance on the windowsill of a building. It was still in its plastic case, though with a very thin slice missing.

I met Meade at Wogie's for a few boring drinks, then walked for 2 hours around lower Manhattan. We saw the typical, tourist sluttery of the West Village, the quiet, condoized East Village and SoHo, then the instant hipification of restaurant-supply Bowery, and the throbbing nightlife explosion of the L.E.S. (also haunted by shadowy condo towers rising everywhere).

After running into a soon-to-be-ex-co-worker on the train at about 2:45, I told Dan about the apparition of the cake. We returned to Herald Squaure and the 35th St entrance at about 3, to find a drunk thirtysomething woman sitting on the sidewalk a few paces from the cake, having a cell phone fight. The cake sat just where it had been three hours before. Someone had taken it out of its case and peeled back a layer of frosting, but it was unclear whether more cake was actually missing.

Dan's phone created this image for posterity.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

College Point Christmas Eve

Two months after the fact, you're invited to explore this Flickr photoset.

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