Friday, October 30, 2009

Subway Encounters

I live in Queens.

If you live (or have lived in) NYC you might be vaguely familiar with Queens.

Or you might know Queens from the TV. If the characters in the show “The King of Queens” were real people, they would be neighbors (well, not next door neighbors, but close enough)—Spiderman, too, lives in my neighborhood—or rather his aunt and uncle do.

If Ugly Betty really lived in Queens, she’d be a few train stations away.
I used to live not far from where Archie Bunker lived—another part of Queens.

Queens is BIG. It’s 110 square miles or so—(and Queens is just 1 borough of NYC). It has: 2 international air ports, some farm land (still!) and a farm museum, and part of a National Park-- (Gateway National Park). It has several sports stadiums (CitiCenter (home of the Mets) and the Arthur Ashe Tennis stadium, home of the US Open (tennis)—as well as being home to 2.5 million NYers. (You can double or even triple that number if you count all the permanent residents in Queen’s necropolises!)

Many of us are living not in apartments(as I do) , but in single family homes—the single family homes featured in the shows mentioned are common styles in Queens. (for over 20 years, I lived in a single family home in Queens)

Queens is somewhat poorly served by the subway system—One train line(#7) end at 135th street or so--and Queens continues to 254th street –another, (the E train) goes to 169th—but that part of Queens continues to 270th street!

This is partly because, until the end of WW 2, Queens had LOTS of farms—(I remember some from my childhood!)—and the subways just didn’t go out to these in the city rural areas!

Queens is also international—The US government knows: more languages are spoken in Queen’s homes—than in any other county, in any state in the Union.

By comparison, Brooklyn has more residents, (about 3 mil) in about half the space—and it has more extensive subway coverage.

So it not any wonder that over on Ravelry, in the Subway Knitters groups, knitters in Brooklyn and Manhattan (NY county) meet up much more often than knitters from Queens.

Me? I meet knitters all the time on the subway. About half of them don’t speak English—or speak with a very limited vocabulary—and knitting terms aren’t usually part of their vocabulary.
(and there is an almost 0% that are also computer literate (in English).) So meeting fellow knitters who are also Raveler's--is not a common occurance!

Still it’s fun, as happened this morning, to sit next to another knitter, and to talk about knitting with out exchanging any words!--She (a Chinese woman of a certain age) spoke some English--but most of our conversation was smiles and hand gestures.

I was working on Penny for Your Thoughts—which is, if you haven’t already guessed, a small cape like shrug.

I envision it being about 8 inches long center front (and might have to compromise based on how much yarn I have!) –right now, it’s just past 6 inches long. (I am up to skein 3 (not counting the 2 partial skeins I started with) of 5)

I started the 80 yard skein yesterday afternoon—at work—and, in spite of the 2 more rows worked this AM, (on the subway) I still have another 10 or so yards of the skein left.

I am hoping to finish it, and wear it Sunday. That means 1 skein’s worth of knitting today, (not counting the left over!) and 1 skeins worth of knitting tomorrow—Will I make it? We’ll see.

Then back to Peachy. (and socks, and sometime, soon, some holiday knitting, and … )


Karen said...

There's also the fact that Queens has so many cemetaries, which is not conducive to building underground tunnels. When Manhattan started to be colonized, they would bury their dead in the "outer" boroughs, more Queens than anything.

This is something I learned in a History of NYC anthropology class. :)

JelliDonut said...

It is a pain in the butt that subway access to Queens is so sparse. I don't get to NYC as much as I'd like, but when I do, I ride the subways. Just wish Queens was easier to get to.

Anonymous said...

This is totally off the subject of Queens, but I wasn't sure how to contact you otherwise...
I really like the photo you have on one of your hats pages of the "wind the watch top 2" beanie I found while searching internet for patterns.
Is there a pattern available for it somewhere.
Debbie in Oklahoma