I am facing two challenges that led me to visit the Queens Botanical Garden today: an hour-long commute into Manhattan from Queens, and a lack of discretionary funds for daytrips or pricey museum visits.
Although taking the 7 train to its Flushing terminus took me an hour anyway (despite appearing relatively close to Astoria on the map), fortunately the Queens Botanical Garden - part of my beloved Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and already on my bucket list - costs only $4 for entry.
It pales in comparison to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Wave Hill, and even the New York Botanic Garden. It's definitely no Huntington Library, Descanso Gardens or Los Angeles Arboretum. But it did give me my first good stroll outdoors - in nature - since returning from Pennsylvania.
I'd been hiding too long. I'd lost my entire August, and it felt like I'd lost my entire summer. After spending Monday entirely in Astoria - a necessary exploration of my immediate surroundings - it was time to get out, farther into Queens, deeper into Queens. If I'm going to survive here, for as long as I need to be here (which is as yet an undetermined amount of time), I'm going to have to get into the belly of the beast. If leaving Queens to commute into "the city" (a.k.a. Manhattan) or venture into my beloved Brooklyn makes me hate Queens, then let me stay here awhile and see if it's possible for me to like it.
In Flushing, my spirits were lifted, feeling the burn of the sun on my chest. On the bus ride home, finger scraping the dirt off of my face, life didn't seem so bad, at least for a while...
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