Thursday, April 20, 2017

Queens (My First Home) #AtoZChallenge

I was born in Queens, a borough of New York City.  I moved to the Bronx when I was five months old, and have only been back to Queens a handful of times. 

From where I grew up in the Bronx, in a family without a car (common back then), it was a long ride on the subway.

Some of our visits were during the New York World's Fair in 1964, which I will blog about in my "W" post.
March 2014
I had one memory of my babyhood - the name of the housing project I lived in and the street it was on (from something my parents told me growing up).  So I decided I would do a search, traveling through time and space, for my first home.

Let's take a little virtual trip.

First, here are some pictures of my native borough (not where I lived).

There is a large Asian population in Queens.
Where the New York Times is printed.
Jacob Riis Park - one day I will visit it.  There is plenty of water recreation in New York City - New York City is so much more than skyscrapers and museums.  I am not sure, but this may not be that far away (as a bird would fly) from where I was born in the Rockaways.

And now, we arrive at our destination.  I am seeing this, with you, for the first time.
I was able to find pictures of the housing project where I lived the first five months of my life in the Library of Congress online.  There were no known restrictions on the rights, so I am taking a chance in posting it.  This picture was taken about five months before I was born.  Who knows, perhaps my pregnant mother was in one of those buildings at the time.

I was able to find, on You Tube, videos of what the housing development has become.  It is not a happy thing.  I can be grateful I escaped more than 60 years ago.

Again, some journeys do not end well, but all it did was confirm something I had suspected.

Once again, traveling through time and space for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.


  1. Many of my friends came from the Rockaways.

  2. It's lovely that you found a photo from the time your family lived there - how precious! Beautiful memory. As for what it has become, that seems eminently crop-able, It's not part of your journey, and need not be a memory to hold onto. I do so love old photos - enjoyed your post.

    I suspect we'd all find changes that disappoint us if we go back to places we left a long time ago, urban realities are rarely romantic.

    Best wishes,

  3. I found my birth home in Detroit online at Google. It was foreclosed on a few years ago, but it has been pretty well-maintained at least on the outside. A cousin of mine visited the home several years ago and spoke with the owners. One day I should check out the home where I grew up, but those old neighborhoods are not exactly places I want to travel to alone.

  4. i lived in Queens when my children were babies. Had an apartment overlooking the Van Wyck Expressway, we could see JFK airport from our balcony.

    The house I lived in until I was 8 isn't far from my boyfriend's house, I've driven past it several times.

  5. Great to be able to go back. Did you feel anything? About 12 years ago, I went back to the house where I was born in Scotland. I was so excited - but when I got there, it was just a house. It meant nothing to me. Shirley Q is Quest for Quality as you Build a Better Blog. #AtoZchallenge.

  6. How nice you found the photos. They look lovely.
    Twinkling Tina Cooks

  7. How lovely. Since my Dad was in the Army, we moved cities so much, I sometimes long to visit all the houses we lived in, but it's hard to visit.

  8. Precious memories, how they warm our hearts whenever we revisit them. Loved your post buddy.

  9. Tracing back your life's journey can be as pleasing as it can be nerve wracking. But that's is life, no?

    Shubhangi @ The Little Princess

  10. It is interesting to see a place you don't remember living. My mother moved when I was a couple months old, too, so I don't remember "our" first apartment. Both parents have since driven me by it. (When we were in the area. It's a long ways off.) It's still there, but the city has built up since we lived there.

  11. Fun to see this on the very same day as I promised a cousin's husband that I would go take a picture of the house in Ditmas Park where he spent the first 6 years of his life. Such a wild coincidence that I'm living about a 10 minute walk from there! I actually didn't realize that he was originally from Brooklyn until a couple of years ago when my cousin visited and told me. He'd posted a picture of his dad in the front yard today and I said "Hey, is that Ditmas Park?"

    He gave me the street address & I promised I would get him a picture soon.

  12. Is it funny that I'm so brainwashed by my TV viewing history that the first thing I thought of was "The Nanny" and the whole song ran through my head? I assume it's the same place that they talk about in the show? Nice to see a little bit of your history Alana.
    Leanne | cresting the hill


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