Field Trip: Main Street, Flushing
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Newsflash: Exploring Queens mean more than eating ethnic food! Before you head out to wander around Flushing, one of the borough's busiest neighborhoods, check out these very cool, youth-produced videos about Flushing’s Main Street.
In November, Urban Omnibus featured the Queens installment (see original post to enjoy the videos) of Mapping Main Street, a nationwide collaborative multimedia project. Mapping Main Street invites users across the country to share images, stories and video about their Main Street in order to challenge the presumption that Main Street, USA is accurate shorthand for a certain set of uniform values, economic interests and political opinions.
Big cities like ours have Main Streets too. And sometimes, as in the case of Flushing, Queens, street names harken back to a time when outer borough villages were independent of the growing metropolis that would eventually subsume them. Flushing, in fact, was one of the first Dutch settlements on Long Island way back in 1645. It was the site, according to New York City historian Kenneth Jackson, of the birthplace of religious tolerance by decree in America. These days, the neighborhood is more commonly associated with Queens’ incredible ethnic diversity and large foreign-born population. Which accounts for why the food is so good. But also why the cultural opportunities – from the contemporary visual art at the Crossing Art gallery to the family-friendly performances at Flushing Town Hall – are so various.
[[[The four portraits of Flushing’s Main Street from Mapping Main Street were produced by high school students from the East-West School of International Studies and the Frank Sinatra High School for the Performing Arts as part of WNYC’s Radio Rookies program.]]]