2013-02-06 / Editorials

14 Reasons We Love Queens On Valentine’s Day

February 14 is Valentine’s Day 2013. How do we love thee, Queens, our home borough? Let us count 14 ways:

1. We love thy restaurants, at which we can savor food that’s eaten in almost every corner of the earth, all of them within easy reach and kind to every budget.

2. We love thy grocery stores and food shops. When we feel like cooking at home we can bring the same culinary diversity to our own dinner tables, whether we’re preparing our own particular version of comfort food or an elaborate dinner for friends and family.

3. We love thy shopping venues in general. From neighborhood shopping strips lined with local stores with our neighbors as owners and proprietors or big-box, national chains in the borough’s shopping malls, all offer quality merchandise at reasonable prices.

4. We love thy parks, from handkerchiefsized pockets of green to vast expanses like Astoria, Flushing Meadows-Corona and Alley Pond Parks, all established for us by far-sighted civic planners who thought that the people of this borough deserved recreational facilities that ranked among the best in the world.

5. On the subject of the best in the world, we love thy schools. Universal Pre-K, some superlative elementary schools and magnet intermediate schools are found throughout the borough. Our highly selective high schools, such as Townsend Harris H.S., are ranked among the best in the city. Queens, LaGuardia and Queensborough Community Colleges, part of the CUNY system, stand among the best of their kind in the entire country. Our private schools and universities also are considered among the best in existence.

6. We love thy hospitals. No, we’re not hypochondriacs, but we know that if we need medical care, some of the best to be found anywhere is right here in this borough and accessible to all.

7. We love thy Mets. No, we’re not masochists, either. Our own National League franchise has demonstrated its winning potential many times over. More important, the team consistently demonstrates its heart. The Mets get in there and do their best. That alone is a reason to be proud of them.

8. We love thy USTA stadium. For 11 months out of the year this facility is available for anyone in the borough who wants to play on its courts. During the US Open, the best tennis players in the world come to Queens competing to see who will emerge as the champion, all right at our doorstep and in an easily accessible venue.

9. We love thy libraries. Queens Library, with 62 branches throughout the borough, has more materials in circulation than almost any other county library system in the world, and all of them are free for the use of anyone with a library card. Getting a library card is simplicity itself. You want a card? Get a card. Then borrow anything you like—books, magazines, videocassette tapes, DVDs—all yours, all free.

10. We love thy museums. And by “museums” we don’t mean only art museums, although we have plenty of those. The first copier was invented in Long Island City, and there’s a museum to celebrate it. The Museum of the Moving Image offers a hands-on look at the way movies are made and screens films of every kind, from classics to little-known but significant independent productions. Visit the Queens County Farm Museum for a look at a working farm within the city limits.

11. We love thy zoo (excuse us, we meant Wildlife Center). It has wildlife not usually found in a zoo where bigger, better-known animals attract more attention, and it’s a peoplefriendly place. Since it’s a manageable size, you can see it all in one trip, but we urge you to make several visits—there’s always something new and different to see.

12. We love thy music. From one end of the borough to the other there’s always some sort of a concert or recital going on. From classical to the latest in popular music, from the wellknown to the esoteric, it’s all here, and like so many of the borough’s other offerings, performances usually don’t break one’s budget.

13. We love thy history, not least because it’s so easily accessible. Almost every neighborhood has its own historical society, offering a wealth of information about the borough, from the time the glaciers retreated to the present moment. The Kingsland Homestead, Bowne House and the Old Quaker Meeting House provide a look into the country’s past and the forces that shaped this nation.

14. We love thee, our neighbors and readers! If it weren’t for you, we’d never know about some of the marvels we’ve described here. In bringing the news to you, we’ve discovered a lot of things we think we’re far richer for knowing about. You’ve broadened our knowledge and widened our outlook. We could have no better Valentine’s Day gift. Thank you.

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