It’s fascinating and unsettling to have nearly everything change in your hometown. That’s the experience I had as I documented Flushing. Downtown has witnessed the most dramatic transformation, and I can’t remember if any store has remained the same since I lived there over forty years ago. The McDonald’s, which I talked about yesterday, remains in the same place — though thoroughly modernized.
Perhaps the churches are the few places that have outwardly remained the same — though it appears that the congregations have evolved with the changing demographics.
St. George’s Church on Main Street is one such example. The photo is almost timeless if it weren’t for the car. It’s hard to believe that the surrounding neighborhood looks more like Asia than the US. However, this stone church, built in 1854, looks like it always had. I always found it a little spooky walking past it as a child.
Things can be deceiving, however. A microburst in 2010 knocked down the steeple — rebuilt in 2013.
St. Michael’s, located a few blogs southeast of downtown, is another example of permanence. It also looks exactly as I remember it. The history of this church is hard to find. But I found a passing reference indicating 1961, which seems plausible given the architecture.
The door was open, and I peered inside and shot a few photos. I’ve been inside long ago, and it also appears as I remembered it. A mass was going on though I didn’t recognize the language. If I had to guess, it might be Tagalog, a Filipino language — a reasonable assumption given large numbers of Filipino Catholics.
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