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When Queens Was Lame

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And so exits Amazon, pursued by the angry crowds of Queens.

As a native of Queens, I watched the battle over Amazon’s plans to build a headquarters in Long Island City with a sense of awe. Look — people not wanting Queens to change! Growing up there, I wanted Queens to change as much as possible. Preferably into Manhattan.

I just didn’t believe it could.

When I lived there in the 1960s and ’70s, Queens branded you as pure bridge-and-tunnel crowd. Queens, the embarrassment you cursed as you slunk back to Bayside after a concert at the Fillmore East. Queens, the humiliating asterisk after “I’m from New York.”

But look what it has become: Queens, the ultra-happening multicultural mecca! Queens, the darling of artists, creatives and foodies! Queens, the unrequited object of desire of a trillion-dollar tech company!

I’ve watched slack-mouthed with wonder and envy. When I was a kid there, the thought that Queens could become cool was so ridiculous that no one ever thought it. And now that it has, how I wish it had happened in time for me.

Oh, my childhood playing with friends in then-forested Bayside was idyllic. But when I became a teenager, the social disadvantages of outer-boroughhood was clear. My Queens was basically........

© The New York Times