This is my new neighborhood for a while. It is a big change from the boat in the Bahamas and certainly from midtown Manhattan and Chelsea, where I lived before moving onto the boat. Astoria, or at least my part of it, is full of small front yards with low fences, long alleys between and behind buildings that can conveniently cut short your walk around the block, the high rumble of the Amtrak passing overhead nearby, and the wind that rushes in off the East River around the Triborough Bridge. And of course, there are occasional Greek key symbols and sunburst motifs on window grills and front doors, not to mention a big, multiple blue-domed Greek Orthodox church.
It's been amusing photographing what people here do with a small front yard. There are religious icons...
Some are wild with growing things...
...while others are manicured or cemented.
Speaking of religious icons, Sunday afternoon, a police car and a snare drum came down my street and under my window, leading a procession of 25 black-clad people around a priest in white robes and a religious statue/shrine/altar. An eight-piece mini-marching band brought up the rear with a rendition of "Amazing Grace." I don't know what the occasion was. The banner, which read "I-Devoti di St. Giuseppe, Congregazione 1990," explained little.
Susie likes the neighborhood well enough: Astoria Park is pretty big and there is plenty of room to run during off-leash hours.
Astoria Park is right by Hell's Gate, which is a notorious strip of the East River for its evil current. It's funny: I always used to like being by some body of water, but never felt any particular pull to *set out* on that water. That has completely changed now, and so when I walk by Hell's Gate and watch the current swooshing past, I feel a pang and take pictures of the sea where I see it now. I am blessed and I am cursed!