(the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Park)

Have you ever been in some unfamiliar city or town and you meet someone from your hometown and you’re all excited?

“Hey, do you know Susie Weintraub?  How about Joel Ledger?   Did you used to eat at the Rusty Crab-ery on Pleasant Drive?”

I haven’t lived in Flushing, Queens for years, but I still feel guilty rooting for the Dodgers when the Mets have their home in Flushing Meadows Park.   And God Forbid someone from Flushing roots for the Yankees!

I was even excited when Billy Graham spoke last weekend in Flushing Meadows Park.  I don’t know what he said and I don’t really care, but Billy Graham was in Flushing!

On Kissena Blvd, near the apartment building where I grew up in, is Valentino’s Pizza.  They have great pizza there, worth the long trip from Manhattan.  OK, maybe not… but if you’re ever in the area, stop by.

(via Albert’s World)

Valentino’s was also a favorite of The Nanny’s Fran Drescher, who attended my junior high, Parsons Junior High, in the early 1970’s.


Simon and Garfunkle also attended Parsons Junior High in the 1950’s.


(via foresthillshigh56.com)

All these kids must have moved somewhere else because when I went to Parsons, the school had mostly black students.   It was still a great school, except for the time they showed “Roots” in class and my friend Barry and I had to run home from school.

“My grandparents lived in South Russia, not South Carolina!” Barry yelled as we ran across Parsons Blvd, away from big Jake, this thug from our gym class, who was accusing our families of being slave owners.

I think a lot of the students from my generation left town also, because now the area is Chinese and Pakistani.

A few days ago, I was reading through the blog of some woman here in Los Angeles, when I noticed that in her post she wrote about being from Flushing.  All of a sudden, I got all happy.  I started talking to the monitor, as if the former Flushing Girl was in the room with me.

“Hey, me too!  Where did you live?  Where did you go to school?”  I said to the Samsung 19 inch SyncMaster.

I quickly typed out a rambling comment to her blog, telling her all about myself.  I felt we were bonding immediately, even though I was doing all of the writing.

So far, she hasn’t written back.  Either she thought I was a crackpot looking for a date or she really hated living in Flushing.

Or maybe it was what Flushing’s own Simon and Garfunkel were referring to when they wrote “The Sound of Silence.”

UPDATE:  Marissa, the Flushing girl, wrote back.  (see comments)