Thursday, April 20, 2017

Queens Love: Growing Up in the Borough of Royals & the Five Best TV Shows Set There

I have to brag.
I'm  from The Big Apple.
Specifically Queens, the borough of Royals, or so it's called.
I get it.
New Yorkers have a baaaaaad reputation for a lot of things.
We're pushy, loud, intolerant, aggressive, hurried.
That's what you're thinking, yes?
Hmmmm, well, no, not entirely true. 
At least not always.
I admit.... I'm in a rush most of the time. 
I guess that comes from 
growing up amid hustle, bustle, racing half a mile down to the avenue,
 past the look-alike All in the Family-style row houses 
catching the Q1 to Jamaica  for school.
And yes if you wanted to see the homes of pretty much anyone
who hails from Queens county,
 tune in to an Archie Bunker rerun.
That's my living room.  Minus the chair. Really.
Want to know a nyer's take on "the world?"
Yeah, here it is~~

Every once in a while, when I'm flipping through channels,
I'll get hooked on not so much a plot or the dialogue, 
but on the backdrop.
Sure, anyone can recognize NYC  stand-out landmarks, 
but when I see the "L"
 (that's an elevated subway to non NYers, an oxymoron, I know) 
 off Woodhaven Blvd or Calvary Cemetery in the foreground, 
well, the producers of that show are speaking my language 
and I have to delve deeper to check out 
the culture of the series and learn more.

(local LIRR stop )

Since moving "out" to eastern Long Island twenty years ago, 
my Brooklyn/Queens radar 
is spot on and I can tell you with 100% accuracy 
which  moms on the soccer sidelines
or at the church meeting or PTA event are from Long Island and 
which ones  moved here from the boroughs.
Sorry to sound like a Queens snob, but we  Queens girls
stand out from most of the pretentious population that is Long Island.
Let's face it, I can't  relate to the typical LI mom complaint 
about her sloppy Korean manicure girl 
or
the Starbucks barista who mistakenly
poured almond milk, not fat free French Vanilla creamer into her
double Caffee Misto.
You can take the girl out of Queens but you can't take Queens....well, you
get where I'm goin' with this.

I loooooove a tour of my own past through some of the 
best entertainment out there....
So, of course, I decided to share,
from a NYer's perspective, the 5 best shows set IN Queens.:
And not in any order.....
Enjoy! 



From the get-go, I cheered Betty on.
She is a true Queens girl through and through.
No nonsense, nitty gritty, go-getter, down to Earth and "normal."
Forever, she has lived the what's important is what's inside way of life
and so has her family, friends, classmates, neighbors.
When she lands a job at the glitzy Mode fashion magazine, reality sets in.
People are superficial, cruel, plastic, mean.
( um, kinda like Long Islanders)
One thing I find out of sync with the show is
the distinction that the main character is not as cosmopolitan or
glamorous as the rest of the cast of characters working at Mode
simply because she's from Queens.
In actuality, this isn't at all real .
If anything, Queens is probably considered the most "upscale" 
( strange to ascribe that adjective to my home borough) 
of Manhattan's outlying counties.
I'm thinking the creators weren't truly from NY
if this is their interpretation of NYC's personalities.

I do love the glimpses of Jackson Heights, the views of The City 
from Betty's neighborhood and the general feel of
the Suarez's  Queens row house.


Gotta love Betty's dad.
Yup, the Suarez lawn is slightly bigger than my childhood home's


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Doug and Carrie Heffernan are a working class couple living in Rego Park,
 whose everyday antics are fodder for hilarity. 
Most scenes take place in the Heffernans' home, 
but other common locations include Doug and Carrie's workplaces,
 the restaurant "Cooper's," 
and the residences of friends and family. 
Most Queens locations are  seen during the theme-song opening,
but the Heffernans' home and yard are authentic  Queens, that's for sure!

   

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Well, I was a huge Taxi fan when this showed aired,
 so I was am immediately drawn in.
Absolutely hysterical, but the main hook for me, was the home- y
familiarity of the setting....the community center, John's street, 
NYC skyline in the backdrop.


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I never understood why, back in the 70s,
 more people didn't get the Bunkers' incorrect address.
There's no way that a Queens house could have a "normal" three digit assignation.
704 Hauser Street?
First of all, the streets in Queens are  numbered in grid fashion.
And your address was a combo of YOUR house's position on the block 
and the cross street.
They're just long and cumbersome and full of numbers...
for example 215-38 223rd Street and so on.....


So...Archie, Edith, Gloria and Meathead.
The 70s wouldn't have been the 70s in my house without tuning
in on Monday nights to the Bunkers' living room,
identical to my own,  and hearing a cynical, 
Archie -  take on the state of the  country.


This clip is long but maybe you can peruse for a minute
and find something amusing.

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Okay technically Raymond isn't set in Queens, but in Nassau county.
However the locale is just a scosh past the Queens/Nassau border
and refers to the boroughs and The City frequently.
Plus, the ensemble is classic and hysterical.



SO if you're interested, here's my post 



I'm happy to join in the Lizzie in Lace
fave linky as well as the A to Z challenge!
Q is for.....Queens Love
And here are all of the 2016 A to Z  Blog Challenge posts~~ ~

Thank you for spending some of your precious time today
here at my home on the web! 

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In this way, I will receive a small commission on the purchase.....
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THANK YOU!

Until next time,

~Chris

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