Category: AsLIC

Found Somebody’s iPhone

A few weeks ago I spotted an odd-looking shiny object on a sidewalk on 28th Street, by the basketball courts at the Dutch Kills Playgrounds just north of 36th Avenue. It was an iPhone, but the way it had landed on the sidewalk,...

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Astoria Go Boom

No one was hurt but a lot of people were shaken up by a series of explosions on Broadway near 31st Street in Astoria yesterday. I heard one explosion from about 2 blocks away and even from that distance it shook my innards. The...

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Ecuadorian Parade

I’ve been sorting and quasi-organizing my bottomless pit (or is it an ocean?) of audio I’ve recorded the last couple of years. It’s amazing how much there is to forget. I had been at the piano for several hours a day, recording music and peppering it with my commentary and such. It wasn’t awful but […]

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I Expect Prompt Action On This Important Matter

Am I the only Astorian to have noticed the Fisher Landau Center closed? It was one of those “best kept secrets” around here. Apparently it was a secret too well-kept. I pinged the MTA to inform them their newish maps still show the museum, which closed in November of last year. @MTA Your digital maps […]

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Community Board 1, #1

It’s a recording and some pictures my first-ever community board meeting a few weeks ago at the Astoria Manor, a place I don’t think I had ever entered. I kept hearing what a dump the Manor was but I found it acceptable for what it is, even likable. It is old and maybe a little […]

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Yellowbird Lounge

Somebody, and I am sorry to say I don’t remember who, posted this to a Facebook group some time last year, when I posted asking if anyone knew the name of the bar that used to inhabit what is now Rest-au-Rant, at 35th Avenue and 30th Street. That Irish pub had been called something like […]

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Nice Photo at Samaria Pizza

It’s a photo of the strip mall that today includes Samaria Pizza, long before it was called Samaria. I spotted this tonight at Samaria, where the person behind the counter said he bought this print off eBay a couple of months ago. I mean how couldn’t he, right? What are the chances of finding a […]

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Ditmars, 2012

Now I see why I never did anything with this picture. I never figured out how to airbrush the car antenna out of the leg of the dude on the left.

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Head-Turner #YouToo

It is no longer acceptable to do a double take, to see a beautiful woman, stop in my tracks, turn back, look at her again. Period. Over with. Done. Do not look at beautiful women. Do not look at women anymore. #YouToo I saw a beautiful woman today. For whatever reason she turned around and […]

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Couch and Slippers at the Future Hu Department Store

This was seen through the window of a gaudy furniture store that briefly occupied the space of the Hu Department Store. The Hu and this furniture (the name of which I cannot recall) occupied a space on 34th Avenue near Northern Boulevard and 48th Street. The place was later taken up by an industrial lighting […]

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What’s the Word? Yellowbird?

The punch line from yesterday’s story, which for some reason got truncated was this: The only thing I remember from looking her up was that public records showed one of her previous residences had a street address of 181. Whoosh. … Funny idea for something that you would say to a newborn infant that will […]

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Entourage

Today’s opulent bouquet of sunshine makes everyone look different, which is maybe strange to say since I have not seen a single face I could call familiar. A team of braggarts greeted my arrival on 34th Avenue several minutes ago. They were ambling westward. Sauntering, even. They were absolutely screaming nonsense words I could not […]

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EASTORIA

I’ve been seeing the hashtag #eastoria on light posts and mailboxes in the eastern portion of AsLIC. Nobody really seems to use it much, on Twitter at least, except for Fatty’s. I don’t generally think of Astoria as having an east or a west or a north or a south. But hey, why not… … […]

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Walking, Flaneur.NYC, and the Radio

I went out walking last night. It was, I hope, the last anxiety-fueled ramble for the foreseeable future. I needed someone to talk to, more than I can remember of late. But I am not drinking this week, and even if I was I doubt anyone at the bars would have been sober enough to […]

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Neighbors

I don’t know if it is what one would call a well-worn truth, conventional wisdom, or mantra. But I prepend the comment “New Yorker don’t know their neighbors” with the assurance that it is commonly said. It is commonly said that New Yorkers don’t know their neighbors. Thing is, I don’t know if it really […]

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Sleep

I obviously slept well, if my mental space which allowed for such an expansive, rambling dreams as last night’s is any indication. There was even more to the dream then what I got down. Something about holding hands with a woman I’d just met while an ex-gf sat nearby, watching. That went nowhere. Or rather, […]

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AsLIC, Feb. 2

I was in a text message conversation with somebody just now. On account of that I walked around the block a few times instead of entering the library. That’s because I speak my text messages. I have to speak clearly and somewhat loudly to do that with a minimum of voice recognition errors. While many […]

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At Citi

At the public space of the Citi building in LIC. Someone who looks astonishingly like but sounds nothing like the guy who plays Raymond in “Everybody Loves Raymond” seemed to greet me upon my entrance. He was talking to somebody else as his gaze stayed fixed on me. Getting here meant passage through Queens Plaza […]

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AsLIC

This part of AsLIC, from 37th Avenue and Crescent to maybe 40th Avenue and Vernon, this still feels like real New York. There are some tall buildings going up but nothing as offensive as the apocalyptic rise of uniformly ugly towers at Queens Plaza. The Boro Hotel is fucking ugly, but I don’t find the […]

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Flaneur.NYC

I think I might have a superior URL for this site, and for all my sites going forward. Everything could be dumped on to Flaneur.NYC. The word itself better reflects who I am, and .NYC as a TLD makes more sense than Sorabji dot anything. I actually came to really despise the .NYC TLD. But […]

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Familiar Strangers

Speaking of familiar strangers, I think I figured out who the familiar person at the LIBARRY is. I might never have guessed if I hadn’t heard his voice, which I remember for being very distinctive, even theater-worthy. The physical resemblance between him and another person I used to see around here is amazing, though. I […]

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Mildly Interesting

Hmm, that was mildly interesting. I spotted this older guy who I’ve seen puttering around Astoria for years. I think I first noticed him at Veronica’s. He has a distinctive look. A good head of hair and a fat bushy mustache for someone who looks like he might be over 70. So I followed him […]

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Asshole

I do not like myself today. I don’t want to be in my skin. I feel like an asshole because I guess I actually am an asshole. Apparently two people from  my building called the owner to complain about noise coming from my place at midnight. I am not sure when, exactly, if it was […]

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Project

Funny. As I left the LIBARRY I saw a text from Don, asking if I knew a place called LIC BEER PROJECT on 23rd Street near 40th Avenue.  I did not but, curious and only 2 blocks away, I went to check it out. Place was completely packed, a band playing in the back, and […]

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Watertite Drain and Scupper Company

As if the DETEX WATCHCLOCK STATION sighting of a couple of weeks ago was not intriguing enough I happened to spot a row of these little hatches, identified as a product of the now-defunct Watertite Drain and Scupper Company: I spotted three in a row of these little openings in the side of a Long […]

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Frank Bernardo. May 3, 1995.

I have seen this sign for years. On more than a few occasions I have attempted to find the story behind it. This plaque is found on the 39th Street Bridge connecting Astoria/Long Island City to Sunnyside, Queens. I interpret it as a descanso of sorts in honor of one who died near this spot. […]

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I Found a Detex Watchclock Station

I made a cool discovery this week. I did not know how interesting it was until I got home and looked it up on that Internet thang. On a desolate stretch of road in some far off butthole part of Queens I noticed a little metal box affixed to a fence. The box was small […]

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All Along the Watchclock Station

I made a damn cool discovery yesterday. I did not realize how interesting it was until I got home and looked it up. On a desolate stretch of road in some far off asshole part of Queens I noticed a little metal box affixed to a fence. It was small enough that I might have […]

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2Go

Today I spent 15 bucks looking for a place to park. That is what my getting-to-know-you encounter with Car2Go amounted to. I signed up yesterday and went out today just to see how the logistics of it worked. I thought I’d find a car, drive it around the block a couple of times, and park […]

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Boulevard-1-9500. Jones Surgical Company.

This one almost got away from me. At a glance the vertically-oriented text at the far right of this image looked like “JONES” followed by a regular phone number, albeit sans the area code. Then I thought, if that’s an old phone number from before the (718) area code was in use then it’s a […]

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Pollo Vivo

Moments after taking this picture a ghastly stench overwhelmed me. I would consider myself lucky that I do not live on this block, but it happens to be right under the subway and the odds of me choosing an apartment here are not favorable.   I was reminded of the BAG OF DEAD BIRDS I spotted […]

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Names Embedded On CityBenches

CityBench is a program intended to make more public seating available in the city. I noticed this plaque on one of those benches, outside PS 166 on 35th Avenue in Astoria. Two women’s names appear on what looks to be a professionally produced and affixed piece of metal. I don’t think you could pry this […]

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Who Knew FedEx Delivered to the Cemetery?

This looked like a writing prompt. A FedEx Express van — Express, no less! — was seen at New Calvary Cemetery this weekend. This was almost certainly just a FedEx delivery person taking a well-deserved break in a place where parking is easy. Or else they had actually visited a grave site while on their […]

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Melancholy Floater

It’s a sad looking creature floating above the sidewalk as nonchalant hipsters amble past. 29th Avenue and 12th Street in Astoria.

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311 Failures

A few weeks ago I spotted an abandoned car in the general vicinity of Calvary Cemetery. The car had been there for months, maybe more than a year. Windows have been bashed out and the car pillaged for scrap. Cars like this are magnets for crime creation. Is this why the NYPD keeps them around?

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Lucy, and Alice Remembered

Tuesday night an elderly woman approached me at 34th Street and 35th Avenue. She wanted to know where 33rd Street was. I pointed toward the street, one block away. She seemed unsatisfied, or confused by my answer. I asked “Where are you going?” She said “I live on 33rd Street,” adding that Key Foods and […]

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MTA Bus #3580: Distress Signal

On Christmas Day an MTA bus on 21st Street displayed a distress message where the bus’s line number should have been. It appeared the bus driver had activated a “CALL POLICE” message, indicating there was trouble on board.

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Terra Cotta Building

I’ve never actually seen the famous “Terra Cotta Building” up close before today. I’ve seen it many times when driving or being driven past this building. It is more interesting than I realized.

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Birds. By Mohamed Sharkawy. Vernon Blvd.

This series of paintings by Mohamed Sharkawy did not do much for me at first, but after some minutes of consideration I liked this a lot. This is on Vernon Boulevard under the Ed Koch/Queensboro Bridge, where the Queensbridge Houses start — or end, depending on your perspective. According to ARTTALKS.COM Mohamed Sharkawy was born […]

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432 Park in the Mist

I loath this building and the apocalyptic financial tsunami it portends. Nevertheless I thought 432 Park cut a mysterious profile sticking up into the cloudy Monday sky. The structure itself deserves no credit. 432 Park is vulgar in both design and intent. In these atmospherically ideal conditions I think a sky-high dildo might have looked […]

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54th Avenue: Where Safes Go To Die

I spotted this discarded, violated safe on 54th Avenue between 48th and 50th Streets in West Maspeth. It is not exactly an advertisement for SentrySafe, the maker of this item, or for any safe manufacturer. I’m happy to report that I know nothing about how to crack open a locked safe. I guess this one […]

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Elv Ave. in Astoria?

23rd Street in Astoria used to be known as Ely Avenue. A relic of this old street name is seen at the 21st Street/Ely Avenue 7 train station in Long Island City. The creators of this handsomely produced piece of signage attempted to memorialize 23rd Street’s former streetname, but unfortunately they misspelled that simple three-letter […]

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When 311 Requests Get Results

There is something uniquely satisfying about a 311 complaint being addressed, and quickly. This was a seemingly minor but potentially dangerous bit of vandalism that I noticed a few weeks ago. At first I thought it was a mistake by the city’s signage people. I discovered instead that it was vandalism. On November 8 I […]

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Vernon-Jackson Ave’s

This is something that could drive you crazy if you let yourself think about it too much. This tile signage at the Vernon Boulevard/Jackson Avenue subway station is big, beautiful, and grammatically wrong. The apostrophe in AVE’S is entirely unnecessary. The signage does not intend to communicate that this station is “Vernon & Jackson Avenue’s”. […]

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The Floraissance Has Begun

What better way to usher in the beginning of an enigmatic new artistic era than by vandalizing a large piece of plywood in a conspicuously ugly way? The piece of plywood is part of a temporary fence near Court Square on Jackson Avenue in Long Island City. The Floraissance, on the other hand, is a […]

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PS1. These Seem Precarious.

This is from Sorabji.MOBI on Sunday. I did not see anything but these statues’ heads holding them to the ground. It seemed almost impossible that they would not tip over one way or another. I passed by PS1 twice over the past couple of months, intending to cash in my free one year membership that […]

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Family Photos Smeared Curbside

I have found a large number of old family photos at thrift shops, online auctions, and occasionally even on the street. Photos found on the street tend to be small in quantity, and probably just dropped or absent-mindedly mishandled. This scattered mess of family photos and other items smeared across a sidewalk curb tore at […]

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138th Avenue in Long Island City/Astoria?

At first I couldn’t tell if this was vandalism or some municipal signage screw-up. Pedestrians and drivers at 38th Avenue in Long Island City/Astoria on Sunday, November 8, 2015, were suddenly transported 100 blocks to 138th Avenue in Laurelton, Queens: Upon closer scrutiny of 20+ megapixel point-and-shoot photography this appears to be mere vandalism. The number 1 was taped on. […]

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Kittens Under Car

This is from Sorabji.MOBI. I would think even the tiniest kittens hiding underneath a car would skedaddle the moment they heard and felt the engine fire up. It reminds me of the old riddle: There are 4 crows on a telephone wire. You shoot one of them, killing it. How many are left? The wrong […]

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Dutch Kills Green: Feel The Noise

Yesterday’s reminiscences of the Pyramid Oracle drawing at the abandoned Juan Pachanga Discotheque served to remind me just how freakin’ noisy things are at that particular part of Queens Plaza. Even if construction was not going on (as it was today) this place is an aural hell hole of multiple subways screeching around a bend, […]

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Pyramid Oracle @ 29-14 Queens Plaza East

Pyramid Oracle (who signs his name with a K: Pyramid Orakle) covered the doors of 29-14 Queens Plaza East with this drawing of a hoary looking, two-faced codger. I see a resemblance to Lubomyr Melnyk. This enormous, pleasantly glowering face reminded me that this space was once occupied by the Juan Pachanga Discotheque and that […]

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Bike Lane Coming to Honeywell Street Bridge

Looks like the sidewalk will be trimmed on both sides and the vehicular traffic lanes left almost at their current widths. I have said since I moved here in 1990 and got plowed down by a pizza delivery guy illegally biking on a sidewalk, before biking became a lobbying cult: You could not pay me enough money […]

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