My Home Town

Daily Prompt: LOCAL FLAVOR  [Write a piece about a typically “local” experience from where you come from as though it’s an entry in a travel guide.]

I’m fairly certain that nobody would consider my hometown an archipelago. But, it is a chain of islands, non the less. Not a large chain, but then again, does size matter, really?

my archapelago

I grew up in one of the outer islands, but did live on the main island for a few years as a young adult. I’d spent a lot of time there, just because it was a hot spot of activity, especially compared to what was going on in my neck of the woods. Which is not to say that we didn’t have some major big happenings on my side of the East Estuary.

We actually had one of the major WORLD happenings on my island, twice. It was a rather significant Fair, and the remnants of both the 1939, and the 1964 happenings still stand today. I wasn’t around for the former (not even a twinkle in my mother’s eye), but was lucky enough to join the global gathering during the latter.

We even had a major baseball team there, as did our neighboring, and adjoining, but separate borough – both now only historical memories. In fact, together we were the counties of the kings and queens. And we had the beaches, which the main island did not have, and they were quite significant beaches, often a great draw for visiting vacationers.

The third major baseball team was on the northern most island, the only major team left.

So let me tell you about my hometown, bring you the flavor of what it’s like living on such a notorious archipelago.

The part of my hometown which most outsiders think of, is but one island, jam packed with giant monoliths, seen from every side. Residents dwell in quaint little brownstones, or larger apartment complexes,  which line the streets, in most areas.  There are quite many neighborhoods: Chelsea, and Gramercy Park, SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown, The Village, Tribeca, The Battery, and the Bowery. The business district is called Midtown, which is also where the main entertainment district is. There’s the Upper East Side, and the Upper West Side, and a park which takes up about 50 blocks! There is a major university in the Northern most part of the main island, and another major university in the Southern sector, where I attended college. There are flower shows, and music halls, and lots of shopping, till you’re dropping. It has the best New Years Eve happening in the world! On the 200th anniversary, there were Tall Ships (of old) sailing into the main harbor. It has every ethnic food you can think of. There are tours around the main island by boat, as well a tours which take you up to the top of the highest monolith where you can see forever, or at least for miles and miles and miles.

Moving to the east island, comprising the two adjoining boroughs, The Party! at The World Famous Kings County Saloon is A Comedy Showcase. There’s also Open Mic  Night at the Super Collider for singers and songwriters. But the beaches are THE major draw, especially in summer. It has one of the greatest amusement parks anywhere, with roller coasters, and other great rides, a boardwalk where you can play carnival games, and get cotton candy, and, dare I say it, the best hotdogs in the universe! and a beach that goes on forever! But don’t forget that even in winter, there’s the famous Polar Bear Club Plunge event which was founded in 1903.

Now, aside from the big World Happenings, The County of the Queens has some interesting events as well. Thunderbird Mid-Summer Pow Wow is a showcase of the Indigenous People’s culture, and has all the traditional dances, and food, and handmade clothing and jewelry, as well as other art created by the Tribes.  There’s also a great educational County Farm Museum, where you’ll find the annual Children’s Carnival every April! There are a multitude of villages, like the main island has.

The North Island offers Walking Tours, and an amazing Botanical Garden, and a zoo! There are free public lectures, held at the Island’s Archive Buidling. And as mentioned, it is home to the last major baseball team.

The furthest island (seemingly) in this cluster is a solitary landmass, connected by a bridge to the County of the Kings. But, more exciting is the ferry service from the Main Island.  This Southern most island offers such fun events as Munch Madness, and the Turkish Cultural Center is open to the public. A pleasant afternoon can be spent at the Greenbelt Nature Center. It is the least populated so has greater hiking trails, and many farmer’s markets.

Perhaps you’ve heard of it?

New York City

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41 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. calensariel
    Mar 31, 2015 @ 17:10:11

    Well that was unexpected and very interesting. One doesn’t tend to think of living on islands along the east coast. Pretty cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. julz
    Mar 31, 2015 @ 21:35:55

    I lived in New York for just under a year – in 1974 – yes it is an island, and used to love walking to work there, thro so many stimulating little communities that make up the whole – lovely take on it in your post – smile

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. Faraday's Candle
    Mar 31, 2015 @ 23:39:23

    This was such an enjoyable post. Geography is always such an interesting subject and by adding the human element even more so! So glad to have found you.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Fimnora Westcaw
      Apr 01, 2015 @ 00:09:21

      oh my gosh! I love maps! I go look at a map, like a weather map, and I end up sitting for hours just looking at all the places, where ever my cursor leads me lol.

      It was an interesting challenge, because I know most people have a specific idea about New York City, and most who haven’t been there are not aware that there’s really more than Manhattan Island. So it was fun alluding to it as an archipelago and making the map that didn’t show anything but a topography. So it didn’t resemble the massive traffic laden maze it really is. Fun with Geography. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  4. badfish
    Apr 01, 2015 @ 22:59:11

    VERY nicely done. Clever and interesting. I didn’t suspect until the mention of the baseball teams (what was the third one–oh just remembered, Giants), then linked the fairs. Love the way you finessed all the info together. I was born on Long Island. Don’t know NY at all, though. Never spent any time there. You’re becoming (or are) quite the prolific blogger, eh?

    I changed my theme. But can’t figure out how to get the blog to separate each post into a box of its own instead of just scrolling down through each whole post. Any idea?

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Fimnora Westcaw
      Apr 02, 2015 @ 01:03:16

      Thank you! 🙂 I was hoping it wasn’t obvious.

      Actually the 3rd team was the Brooklyn Dodgers. Unless you guessed them, then it was the Mets. Of course, if you remembered both of those, then it must be the Yankees 😛

      One of my aunts and uncles lived on LI in Hicksville. And another very close family to ours lived, first in Massapequa, but then moved out to Great River.

      I couldn’t get into your blog this morning, so maybe it was you changing your theme.

      Now about being a prolific blogger… Nah, just the same old, same old. But thanks for the vote of confidence 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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      • badfish
        Apr 02, 2015 @ 01:09:04

        Yeah, I was fiddling with it all day yesterday, and tried again today. I can’t seem to make the first page stand all alone, and I can’t make it separate the different posts into squares you open to read. It’s all just one long blog. I’ve pushed every button. Twice.
        So it’s four teams! I forgot the Mets!

        Liked by 1 person

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        • Fimnora Westcaw
          Apr 02, 2015 @ 01:17:22

          Hmmm.. Okay, the HOME will always be one long scrolling page (unless I missed that in blogging 101 also). However, if you click on the title of any one of your posts, it takes you to that post only, which makes it a ‘single’ page. But posts and pages are not the same thing. You can have a static page, which is what the about is, I think. Those are only that one page. But posts always join the wagon train, in the end. However, I know there are ways you can limit the amount of posts which show in the Home, by putting in a link (widget thingy) for older posts. Also you can archive your posts, and set up a calendar to have access to individual posts.

          Sorry if that’s all confusing.

          And I was out of NY before the Giants ever came in (were they baseball or football)?

          Liked by 1 person

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          • badfish
            Apr 02, 2015 @ 04:21:44

            No not confusing, I understand all that. But I’ve seen sites, some with the same theme as mine, where the latest post is all you see when go to the site. The other, earlier, posts are archived. I have archives, deleted that calendar yesterday, but saw it on yours and may put it back on mine–does same thing as archive, tho.
            Giants–both football and baseball. The baseball probably left before YOU came in. I think the football is still there??? I don’t follow it these days.

            Is there a blog wizard I can hire to make this work the way I want it to work? I’m tired of putzing with it. I like my new look, but now I think I have to put a circle around our logo, a white square on dark background looks…square. I can do that in the worthless (except for that) edit thingy I have.

            Liked by 1 person

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            • Fimnora Westcaw
              Apr 02, 2015 @ 13:26:25

              If you’ve gone to look at a post from an email notification, it will take you only to that post, which is a single page type post. But if you just stopped by a blog to look at it, and you’re on the home, it likely will be a scroll, all posts there. So, I’m thinking, if you’ve come across someone’s blog, by just a drop in (how do you end up there? by clicking on a link to a specific post?) and you see it’s just that first page, ask them how they set it up for just the single post showing up all the time.

              When I post in my blog, and I view it, I’ll copy/paste that link in the ‘commons’ so if anybody wants to check it out from there, it’ll just show that post only, nothing more. It might be the same for the reader. The post comes up in the reader, and you click on it, and it’s just that post. But click on their HOME page, and see if it’s part of that wagon train I mentioned. Let me know, because that would be cool if it could be se up that way. I have seen blogs which actually show thumbnails for individual posts on the HOME page, so you just click on the most recent, or even an older one, or whatever. THAT might be a good theme type for you. What do you think?

              Liked by 1 person

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              • badfish
                Apr 02, 2015 @ 20:37:33

                I just checked a blog. You are right, more than one post. OK, that’s solved. Second part is that yes, I want my blog to have thumbnails, or “blocks” with a photo and a few lines and a “read more” or “continue reading” icon. My theme now, and the previous were supposed to have that capability (I saw it on other sites), but I can’t make it work. I wrote WP Support team. Waiting…

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  5. badfish
    Apr 01, 2015 @ 23:00:22

    Did you take Blogging 101 in January?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Fimnora Westcaw
      Apr 02, 2015 @ 01:04:26

      Oh yes! Well, the writing part. I was not very good at the figuring out how to make a nice looking blog. Am still not. But the writing was great. LOVED it so much I’m still here. 😀 That’s how I got into the Blogging 101 alumni group.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

      • badfish
        Apr 02, 2015 @ 01:12:38

        What are you talking about. Your site was great looking! And the new one is more awesome. Almost. You don’t have many widgets, though. Is that on purpose, or you don’t want to mess with that jazz? Was I supposed to get a message from that group? Or what? Can’t remember how I was to join (it is the same 101 course I took, so I am a real alum of it!).

        Liked by 1 person

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  6. Ish
    Apr 06, 2015 @ 18:48:37

    wow! just got back from a visit NYC…It never gets old. It is re-invigorating…
    loved your beautiful description..

    Like

    Reply

  7. The Accidental Poet
    Apr 19, 2015 @ 19:54:09

    What a wonderfully creative way to describe the greatest city in the world. I spent a year there in the late 1990s, working as a contract adminstrator in the legal department at MTV Networks. My office was at 1515 Broadway in the heart of Times Square. There are times when I miss the City very much. Especially Broadway shows. Thank you for sharing your comments on NYC.

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    • Fimnora Westcaw
      Apr 19, 2015 @ 20:22:01

      Thank you so much! I so wanted to make NYC sound exotic. 🙂 So I started thinking about how it’s actually islands! It was fun. I was already gone from the city in the 90s. But I lived there for about 36 years. There’s a lot to miss, that’s true. I think I missed from days-gone-by, more. Living at NYU, hanging down in The Village. Those were good years.

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