Welcome to Queens
Yesterday John and I met at the far end of the 7 train platform at Grand Central. We headed east and got off at the first stop in Queens, then walked a few blocks to Gantry State Park. I'd seen pictures of the park in a lecture by Rick Darke. It looked like a fascinating combination of urban industrial architecture, water, and plants, and I wanted to see it for myself.
It's early in the season, but the willow foliage was fresh and bright,
the brown stems of last year's ornamental grasses made a wonderful noise in the constant wind,
and the young green of viburnum foliage stood out against the still rich red of last year's fruit.
Since no excursion (gardening or otherwise) would be complete without a provocative dining experience, after exploring the park we headed north to Astoria. The Corner 26 Taverna was described as a small, homey place but when we walked in we weren't exactly greeted with smiles. I aimed my big gun at the cluster of men at the back of the restaurant: Kali mera sas! Pos eistai simera? A little Greek goes a long way in a situation like this; we were immediately made welcome.
We had meatballs (keftedes) just like yiayia used to make, dandelions (which I was assured they had picked themselves, not bought at the store), and pork souvlaki.
After Greek coffee (and a little glyko), we headed back to the subway and Manhattan. It's days like this that remind me why I live in New York City.