There’s no place like home and it is the many different people who have chosen to make Queens their home who contribute each day—all day—to the sense of community that embraces the whole borough. In this, our anniversary edition, we’d not only like to celebrate the 24 years we’ve been “Chronicling” the events of Queens, we’d also like to celebrate the 24 hours in each day that make our community such a vital place to live, work and play.
From Corona to Howard Beach; from Glendale to Jamaica; from Bayside to Rego Park—Queens has it all. The borough is alive and vibrant at all hours of the day and night. You needn’t travel far to find everything and anything a community depends on.
Bread has often been called the staff of life. The daily life of Queens begins at the bakery before many of us even wake up. How could the rest of us ever make it through our morning commute without the wake-up call of a freshly baked bagel or roll?
Speaking of commutes—we’ve got some record breakers in our borough. Whether catching the red-eye out of LaGuardia for Washington or the E Train from Jamaica to midtown Manhattan, you really know you’re a Queens-ite when you can joke about it with your fellow commuters on the way home at night.
We’re tough. We can take the commute. It’s getting the kids out of bed, dressed, fed and off to school or the baby sitter that’s the real test of our mettle. But we can handle it. We work off the stress by visiting our local gym or, better yet, joining a local Tai Chi class.
One of the best things about living in the most ethnically diverse county in the nation is the bounty and variety of foods to be found here. Whether at a fish market in Flushing or a fresh produce stand in Richmond Hill, the shopping district of each neighborhood in Queens melds and mixes the tastes and smells of hundreds of countries around the world.
The glue that holds a community together is found in the little, everyday things that help people understand they’re more alike than they are different. Who’s never shared a conversation with a stranger while waiting for the spin cycle to end at the laundromat? Who’s never gone to the corner bodega or deli for a quart of milk and walked out 45 minutes later after having caught up on the local gossip?
Talk about gossip—an afternoon at the beauty parlor may be worth a month of psychological therapy, if some women are to be believed. Others prefer the shop-til-you-drop technique at Queens Center Mall. But, whether you find stress relief and social fun at the track, your local senior center, a bowling alley, or even a topless bar, Queens has it all.
If social institutions are the glue that holds the Queens community together, then public, private and volunteer organizations are the foundation that supports it and keeps it safe. We often take our schools for granted, but education is the catalyst for future change. Queens would have no future without the dedicated professionals and volunteers who work in our hospitals, police precincts and firehouses 24 hours a day. Our courtrooms and government offices help keep the clock ticking.
So join us in celebrating the Chronicle’s 24th Anniversary. Enjoy our tour of 24 hours in the life of Queens, the community that never sleeps—our home, our workplace, our playground. Hey, let’s stop at the diner on the way home for a cheeseburger deluxe.