The Whiskey Chronicles (in Buenos Aires)

The Whiskey Chronicles (in Buenos Aires)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Back to LeFrak

I was going to my first real work event in New York several weeks ago when the cabby asked where I was from. That's not an easy question to answer these days - we don't live in the states any more, we left Bolivia nearly a year ago, and we've been living out of our luggage since January. We don't really live anywhere. But then I remembered that, much to my father's chagrin, I'm actually from New York. Queens, in fact, where I was born over 33 years ago.

My father hated the fact that I was born in New York and couldn't wait to move us down to Florida six months later. But when mom was in town a few weeks ago, we looked up her old address and took the subway to a collection of tall brick towers holding some 5,000 apartments in a part of the Corona, Queens neighborhood known then and now as "LeFrak City."

According to an old NY Times article (click the link in the title) and Wikipedia, LeFrak City was built in the 1960s for white middle class residents who ended up abandoning the area in the early 1980s, just after my parents left. After a rough decade of high crime in the 1980s, LeFrak today has become a destination for Jewish and Muslim immigrants from Russia and Central Asia.

Mom was probably hoping for more time at Bloomingdale's or Central Park on her visit, but here's a shot of us after we finally found the place we called home more than three decades ago.