Undeniably Dirty

Main Street - Flushing, New York

Main Street – Flushing, New York

We are back to Main Street and looking north into Flushing’s downtown core. Kissena Blvd ends here, and this is the view across from the Queens Library. The overpass is for the Long Island Rail Road. To the left, out of sight, is the Main Street station.

I’ve reminisced about my childhood, growing up here, and featured shiny new developments. One can talk euphemistically about a place having character, and I’ve mentioned clutter and cacophony when describing Flushing. However, the truth is that this place is dirty. There’s no getting around it.

Beyond the signage, the jumble of architecture, trash on the sidewalk, and the painted rough streets, there’s the graffiti. Which almost blends into the environment. New York had a graffiti problem when I lived there forty years ago. Is it worse now? Hard to remember. When you live in a place, it’s hard to recall accurately — you tend to filter out the undesirable aspects.

This scene is not unique to Flushing. Many places in New York City are like this. Short of the glitzy uptown Manhattan neighborhoods and shiny tourist sites, this is what it’s like — where the average New Yorker lives. The area remains vibrant, the stores are open, and the people hustle.

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