By Joseph Manago

“Briarwood,” the MTA speaker proudly announced to the F-train passengers, as if Hollywood was on the horizon with the Walter Mittys humming the classic Phillips’ tune, “California Dreamin’.” Within two square blocks of the town, you may see the redundancy of three 99 Cents stores, three bodegas, three laundromats, three Chinese restaurants, three pharmacies, four beauty parlors, five dry cleaners and seven gambling venues vending Lotto.

No theater. No music store. No dance or music studios. No arts, crafts or hobby shops. No bookstore. No computer store. No vibrant church extracurricular activities. Nothing of any superior cultural value may be found due to no community planning, despite multiple community associations.

So, “What shall I do now? What shall I do? / I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street / With my hair down, so. What shall we do to-morrow? / What shall we ever do?” (The Waste Land, 1922 – T. S. Eliot)

Joseph N. Manago

Flushing

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