Neil’s Mother:  Why are you taking your camera with you just to walk down the block?

Neil:  Maybe I’ll take photos of Valentino’s.

Neil’s Mother:  Who wants to see photos of Valentino’s?

Neil:  You’d be surprised at what crazy stuff people find interesting.  Besides, it’s my blog.  I can do what I want.

Neil’s Mother:  Wouldn’t you rather wait and take photos at the museum tomorrow?

Neil:  The museum?!  Boring!  EVERYBODY takes photos at the museum!

1)  Here is Valentino’s, the best pizza in Queens —





2)  Sophia likes to make fun of Flushing as a big nothing, but look at this — 


— the crappy little local liquor store next to Valentino’s has Le Beaulolais Nouveau 2006!  Hah, Sophia!  I don’t see that sign in REDONDO BEACH, home of the ubiquitous fish taco.

3)  At the famous “National Wholesale Liquidators” —  


— I saw this perfect Christmas toy for a neighborhood where 3/4 of the residents speak another language.

This is the local police precinct — 


— the 107th Precinct of the NYPD, which moved to this location when I was younger. 

I remember there being a big uproar over the structure on the roof, because local residents thought it was a huge satellite antenna.  Residents stormed a community council meeting because some crackpots thought the police were spying on them or the government was doing some top-secret experiment in Flushing.  Others worried about getting cancer from the high voltage of the electricity. 

Eventually, it turned out that the structure was none of the above — but an incredibly ugly SCULPTURE foisted on the precinct because the City had begun forcing new municipal buildings to include shitty pieces of art by out-of-work New York artists.  After it was learned that this was just an awful piece of modern art, there were protests to get rid of the eyesore, but like the old adage goes — you can’t fight City Hall. 

Today, most current residents take a weird pride in the monstrosity, like it is their Eiffel Tower.