By Joseph N. Manago
I am just so elated about the news of the MTA- New York City Transit’s name change of the F-line subway station from Briarwood-Van Wyck Blvd. to Briarwood, that I will consider penning a tune, Briarwood Blues in F, in commemoration of the event. Out of 21 stations on this line from Court Square-23 St to Jamaica 179 St, Briarwood is the odd-man-out in being the only station which will not even have a hyphenated street name for geographic clarity. See: Jackson Heights-Rooosevelt Ave, Forest Hlls-71 Ave, and Jamaica 179 St. A sole community designation on public transit is appropriate for incorporated villages, towns or cities, such as is the case on the LIRR lines, such as Jamaica, Mineola, and Manhasset, but not for a neighborhood in any borough of New York City. Not even my birthplace of the historic and cultural Clinton Hill, Brooklyn shares this distinction on the NYCTA map; but it still remains Clinton-Washington Avs.
And what a plethora of cultural sites there is in Briarwood! Be sure to visit the Queens Boulevard median strip at 84th Drive, the “Mall of Balls,” to view the eyesore of the big concrete balls, some uplifted from their bases, and the commercial strip of shabby and some shuttered stores. Just think of the prospects of Briarwood having its very own parallel to Billy Strayhorn’s (and The Delta Rhythm Boys’) Take the “A” Train and George Gershwin’s Concerto in F: Briarwood Blues in F?
Bravo to the Democratic political bedbugs who accomplished this mind-boggling stroke of the pen in Albany!
Joseph N. Manago