A trip to Queens for Pianos


we are going after pianos in a big way today

socrates list


this is the plan for the day

Quaint just seemed like a perfect place to stop for lunch.

Its really a Piano hunt but since we are out in Queens we figured let’s check out the Naguchi Museum and Socrates Sculpture Park and see if they are places we want to go back to and/or spend time at.




We never made it to the museum or the sculpture garden but what a fun day otherwise.

First stop Queens Museum/Unisphere where the fountains were on!





We have been out here plenty of times over the winter and into the spring, but now with summer people are splashing around in the jets and the joyous atmosphere is contagious.






We spotted the piano in a lovely gazebo overlooking the fountains.  Bill was there, a lovely man who filled us in a bit on the history of Sing For Hope.  He basically explained that the pianos are a bit of an attention seeking gimmick for a charity thats primary focus is spreading the music to the sick and disabled.  At least that is what I think he said.





What struck me at this pianos was that it brought people together.  We met a couple and their dog, a father and daughter and Bill.  None of this would have happened if the pianos hadn’t been out.  And the pianos also brought us to new parts of town or to new ways to see old parts.


Then we headed off to the town hall, turned out just to be a drive by in flushing, but we did come from a new direction and I got that much more familiar with the flushing area.   Not that I know why that is good except it feels good.

On the way we passed the Good Fortune Supermarket, a place to return to.

Then off to lunch at the Dog and Duck on Skillman Ave. in Sunnyside- Queens.  We had planned on going to Quaint but we didn’t see it and google said it was closed so Dog and Duck it was… and what a lucky turn of events.  Not only did I have a yummy burger (sadly Brad didn’t have much good to say about his Eggs Benedict) but as I gushed about the lovely neighborhood which appeared to be just a 30 minute train ride to Lincoln Center a lovely young man at the next table leaned in and we talked for half an hour about the neighborhood.

Sunnyside it appears has already seen a price increase in cost of living but appears to be mixed.  Still many unimproved cheap rentals, a bunch of improved rentals that are barely affordable and plenty of speculation.  With a small town feel most of what we saw from Skillman Ave were small multifamily homes and a downtown street.  When we over two blocks there was the train, an elevated enclosed platform and some not so pretty shops.  Still, a 30 minute train to Lincoln Center… you could do a lot worse.

With pianos still to see it was off to Astoria Park…


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The city really has done an excellent job keeping the parks clean and there is so much to see and learn.


The park stretches for at least a half hour walk along the east side of the East River.  As we watched the boats in what we learned was Hell’s Gate we saw a sign



The Slocum was a paddlewheel boat that had been chartered for a day of pleasure by a German- American Church.  Accounts differ as to how a fire started, but it did. Some passengers jumped overboard in an effort to survive but in the end almost 1300 people died.




After that sad story we looked at some sea glass that had washed up on the shore… is this all from people tossing their bottles into the river?


its sort of beautiful in its own polluted way





People were out enjoying the fine day.  Some had spread blankets, others lawn chairs, some sat on the hoods of their cars.  We even saw a motorcycle gang ( they weren’t happy to have their pictures taken).

I dont know, can you really call these guys a gang?

The park is huge, walkable and we stayed for a couple of hours – until my feet hurt and I cried to go home.

We missed the Naguchi and the Socrates Sculpture Park… oh well, there is always another day.







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