SUNNYSIDE OF THE WORLD

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Besides pawing with ever-increasing futility amongst the dregs of the online listings and interviewing with firms located for me by an agency, with briefly elevated and later inevitably dashed hopes, I have been continuing to write new pages of this site while updating the old, as well as lurching around various neighborhoods, attempting to remain as inconspicuous as possible while furtively snapping enough photos to make a marginally entertaining FNY post.

It was a roaring hot weekday in June 2012 (they all were) and I had made my way from Hunters Point east, hugging the Queens Midtown Expressway since I hadn’t used that route before (I won’t again; it’s boring) and drifting northeast, was edging through Sunnyside en route to the #7 train home. Once I got to 48th Avenue, I was met with a great deal of signage between 43rd and 45th Streets that wasn’t in English or even used Roman characters, and so the germ of a FNY Slice slowly evolved in my feeble brain.

I wish I could travel more, but when working, never have the time (I have had to settle for two weeks vacation per year throughout my working life) and when not working, don’t want to spend money traveling. Besides, I don’t want to do what the rest of the civilized world does on vacation. I have always found the choices risible.

I’m told I am supposed to enjoy lying in the hot sun for hours on end, with little or no clothing, and enjoy getting burnt to a crisp.

I’m also told I ought to enjoy knocking a small white ball around a huge park with a club, trying to find a hole to put it in.

And, word has it I’m supposed to enjoy going to large buildings owned by Donald Trump and Steve Wynn, and giving them more money.

I don’t want to climb rocks, jet ski, look at art (other than amateur art), jump out of planes, drive 100MPH, or wander around theme parks with kids. All I want to do is go to out of the way places and take pictures of things that 95% of the population cares little about. It’s OK. I have a book jacket on display at Chumley’s (if it ever opens again) and a loyal following; I thank each and every one of you, and I mean it.

It looks as if, though, I will have to accept the Rut, find wrinkles heretofore undiscovered in the Rut and make the Rut work in my favor again.

On these couple of blocks on 48th Avenue, though, I can travel the world without bothering with airplanes, airport patdowns, or detainments by the Canadian authorities, which happened once in Vancouver when the authorities believed I had to be smuggling some kind of contraband. After all, all I had with me was a battered valise and an unshaven, long-haired appearance.

 

A masjid, in Arabic, means ‘place of worship’  or a mosque, the word arriving in English from French and prior to that, from the Italian moschea, which is closer to the original Arabic.

On this page I invite any native speakers to translate for me, in this case, from Arabic.

 

The nearby Chinese restaurant, I’d imagine, translates the English title, though I could be wrong.

 

Both Sunnyside and Woodside have had a good number of Irish immigrants since the 1970s. Leitrim is a county in northwest Ireland, bordering the UK’s Northern Ireland for several miles and having  very short Atlantic Ocean coastline. Patrick McGoohan, the famed actor, was a resident.

 

My pitiful knowledge of Spanish allows me to translate this as “New Life Baptist Church.”

 

A pair of churches on the north side of the avenue. The one on the right is the Korean Church of the Nazarene, but the one on the left was a tougher nut to crack.

Three mosaics depict: St. George in what is apparently military garb of the Middle Ages; the Last Supper; and St. Nicholas. The writing appears to be in Cyrillic, but correct me if I’m wrong.

I had originally despaired on identifying the church, since it didn’t appear to be inscribed anywhere, but a small, inkjet note on the front door shows it to be the St. Nicholas Romanian Orthodox Church. The writing on the sign appears to be in Romanian.

Yet, the words on the mosaics are written using Cyrillic. Can Romanian be written with Cyrillic letters? Or am I missing something?

 

Bolivian cuisine. Apparently, a lot of chicken. With chicken, you can’t go wrong.

 

Lastly, on the corner, the Greek Orthodox cathedral of Saints Fanourios and Gerasimos.

 

Despite being an enormously popular saint almost nothing is known about St. Fanourios. His icon was found on Rhodes in the 16th century, after Saracens had destroyed a church during one of their many raids. Some Christians discovered a crypt underneath the ruined church and here was an icon of a young soldier named Fanourios.

The only things we know about him come from the icon itself: the wooden cross he carries tells us he was a martyr and his armour that he was a soldier. He must have died young as he is depicted as a youth and his name, Fanourios, means the Revealer, the One Who Reveals. In one hand he holds a lighted candle or a torch, which perhaps emphasizes his name. Skiathos Books

 

Saint Gerasimos was from the Peloponnesus, the son of Demetrios and Kale, of the family of Notaras. He was reared in piety by them and studied the Sacred writings. He left his country and went throughout various lands, and finally came to Cephalonia, where he restored a certain old church and built a convent around it, where it stands to this day at the place called Omala. He finished the course of his life there in asceticism in the year 1570. His sacred relics, which remain incorrupt, are kept there for the sanctification of the faithful. Iconograms

Sunnyside and the world.

7/11/12





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11 Responses to SUNNYSIDE OF THE WORLD

  1. CMS says:

    Romanian certainly can be written in Cyrillic. Moldovans used the Cyrillic alphabet to write in Romanian up until the fall of the Soviet Union.

  2. Roger_the_Shrubber says:

    Did you notice the recently installed street sign at 43rd and 48th ave co-naming the street “Winged Fist Way” in honor of the Irish-American Athletic Club and their stadium Celtic Park that used to stand there?

  3. joe bernstein says:

    Except for going to art museums,I tend to agree on vacations-anyhow,your labor of love about my old home town is always appreciated.

  4. Merry says:

    A bit off-topic, but that first photo with the Empire State Building is AWESOME!

  5. Old Skool says:

    In my corner of Queens on 40th Street I had a view of the Chrysler Building down Queens Boulevard and on the other end of the block is a view of the King of all Buildings. Great shot Kevin. It really takes me back. When I was a kid this was an Italian and Irish neighborhood, now it is primarily Dominican. My pizza joint is a bodega now.

  6. Stephanie says:

    The mosque sign is not only in Arabic (or Urdu–they use the same alphabet) but also what appears to be Bengali. So this is probably a mosque for the nearby Pakistani/Bangladeshi population.

  7. Roger_the_Shrubber says:

    As much as this city has diverse cultures represented here, it’s a stretch to compare it to actually venturing out to exotic locations and experiencing them first hand, learning the language, handling the local currency, eating the food, taking in the sights and smells etc… Going to an Egyptian restaurant on Steinway and actually visiting the Great Pyramids are hardly the same thing.

  8. april says:

    Roger, where did Kevin ever say they were?
    As for me, another one who only had two weeks-per-year vacation in 30 years of careerdom, just the thought of traveling earned me another vacation (much needed immediately afterward if I ever did the deed). Somehow, after 50, being an armchair traveler a la your site (and some of your contributors) nourishes and sustains. I hope by 65 I have some funds to fully and finally forget Floriduh and explore this country (and Europe) at my own pace, photographing everything before that too is forgotten. I never stop marveling at the history and mystery you provide of my far more understood hometown, thanks to you.

  9. Andy Subbiondo says:

    You might have mentioned that actor Patrick McGoohan was a reverse immigrant who was born in Astoria and then moved to Ireland with his parents at a young age.

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