One of my biggest struggles and subject of constant obsession is to think of new ways to convince my Manhattan-dwelling friends to visit me in Queens. Sure, it’s no 15-minute ride to my apartment but it’s not like I live in another state. But I do get it. Manhattan offers so many diversions. When I was in college I’m pretty sure I only made it off of the island a handful of times in four years. When you live in Manhattan you just don’t get why anyone would want to be anywhere else. You’re wearing “city blinders.”
Now that I’ve moved out to Queens, my main mission has been to show others how easy the commute is. It’s almost just like getting from the Upper West to the East Village, but with less walking! (because really, that’s the worst part). Just come out and visit sometime. Look how spacious my studio is! And other propaganda I’ve tried to shove down their throats. So far I have been most successful at selling my apartment as a sort of staycation and slumber party destination. Baby steps.
I recently organized such a staycation, involving a short and sweet tour of some of the unique activities and tastes that Queens has to offer. My college roommate AC had been lamenting how tiny (and vertical) her Manhattan kitchen is and we had spent many a gchat perusing complex, counterspace-demanding recipes. Seizing the opportunity, I offered my kitchen for her culinary needs and the visit evolved from there. (Please note that my kitchen is only comparatively large. As in, it has two small counters instead of one).
On Saturday she arrived with her boyfriend SN. After dropping their duffels at the apartment we took the bus to the Lemon Ice King of Corona (as seen in the The King of Queens) and sampled some of the amazing ices. For being dairy free, the peanut butter ice was surprisingly creamy. Since I am one of the few peanut butter haters in existence, I ordered the mango (I also highly recommend the almond flavor).
From there we walked to Flushing Meadows Corona Park and after a quick detour past the giant Unisphere and relics of World’s Fairs past, we finally made it to the Flushing Meadows Boat House. On weekends you can rent boats for $20 an hour and pile up to five people in each boat. I wouldn’t recommend putting all of your friends in one boat, though, since that means extra legwork for the two paddlers to haul everyone around the lake. We rented two paddleboats, but I think next time we’ll go for the more classic row boats. The whole experience was fantastic. The lake was pretty empty at three in the afternoon, which gave us full reign to float almost anywhere without overhearing anyone’s conversation (a rare occurrence in New York). Since it has started to cool down for fall, it was the perfect weather to be out on the lake (sidenote: apparently boat season is over, as I tried to go again this past weekend and the boat house was closed).