So long, LIC

December 21, 2007. I was all set to walk out the door and head to JFK for my winter trip home. But the excitement was short lived – my landlord showed up and handed us an eviction notice. Our building was being sold and we had to vacate by the end of January ’08.

On my return to NYC in January, I had little or no time to recover from jet lag. Instead the hunt for a suitable apartment took up all of my waking hours outside of work. After looking at no less than 7 apartments across Upper Manhattan and Queens, we finally found one in Woodside. It was time to pack our bags and say goodbye to LIC. It had been a short 6 month stay for me but a memorable one nevertheless.

Woodside is probably best known for the Thai restaurant, Sripraphai – one of only two Queens eateries that made it to Zagats top 50 this year! I could go into raptures about it but I’ll let the food do the talking instead – for any future visitors who should venture this far east of the East River! Also worth a mention are some authentic Phillipino eateries courtesy of a rather large populace from that part of the world inhabiting these parts. Leaving aside Little Manila on Roosevelt Avenue, Woodside is also home to one of the largest Irish American settlements in NYC and this invariably translates into good pubs 😉

Apart from the main arteries like Roosevelt Ave and Northern Blvd, Woodside is largely residential and boasts some of the prettier areas in Queens. I have no qualms whatsoever in including our very own 55th street in that list.

3113 55th St is much more a home than an apartment. The lower level is occupied by two girls from the Philippines while the upstairs pad sees a more global offering from Columbia, Lebanon and of course India! The landlord (gem of a guy!) reserves the yet to be occupied basement and 2 precious parking spots in the rear. The white door (bottom right of pic) offers an independent walk up to our flat – a real privilege in a city like New York.

The apartment itself is lovely! Completely renovated in time for our move, everything spells NEW and we’re trying our damnedest to keep it that way! It is more spacious than the last one, brighter, more cheerful and the centrepiece or ‘high-light’, if you will, is quite simply the skylight!!

Moving on to my room now – it’s the smallest of the 3 in the apartment but no complaints! It’s large enough for my needs and yet, way more spacious than the last one. Whats more, it faces east so I wake up to the warmth of the sun every morning, although I’m afraid, the pic below doesn’t represent that fact to well!

Never mind if its gloomy outside, the chirping of birds manages to wake me up anyhow. Yes, birds in NYC – believe it or not!

As you can tell by now, I also have access to a balcony – another rarity in this city! And if all of this seems to good to be true, there’s more – Amtrak‘s North East corridor passes on a viaduct, 2 blocks away – easily seen from my window and better still from the balcony. Admittedly, I hear them more often than I see them and that’s probably why I haven’t been able to come up with a better shot yet 😉

Trained ‘railway eyes’ should be able to discern the last car (coach) of a Regional train set (in this instance, Penn Station bound) and overhead electrification wires. Further east of the Amtrak line is a freight carrying line which joins up with Amtrak to pass over the Hells Gate Bridge. If that sort of thing interests you, take a closer look at the map on top and you may be able to identify these alignments.

Its been about 6 weeks since we moved here and other than the slightly higher rent and marginally increased commute times, I have little or no reason to complain. And while I do miss LIC at times, I can say with some surety, I have begun to love it here in Woodside.

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