Astoria still Rules!!!

IMG_9981Today I packed up my camera and head to Astoria, Queens to meet up with my old friend Tony Crisos. I met Tony a few years ago when we worked as photographers for a company called Freeze Frame. (More on Freeze Frame in my next blog.)  Tony was always an absolute pleasure to work with and be around. He might have only been a few inches taller than me but his personality made him seem like a giant. Tony’s thick Greek accent made him tough to understand but that only seem to make us all listen a little closer  I can recall the countless times I would bust out my “Tony the Greek” impersonation. Something I am still working on.  At one point we had all departed from Freeze Frame but had formed a strong bond and always talked about getting together for work or just to hang out. After a few months of playing phone tag and planning we finally got together today.

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Tony was nice enough to pick me up from the train station. A few seconds after jumping into the car Tony joyfully commented that it was just as if no time had passed and we were just picking up where we left off. He was right. The couple of years that had passed felt more like a matter of days. The only difference was the thick beard and mustache made him look like he had recently joined the witness protection agency. We stopped for breakfast at the Grand Cafe on 30th avenue before embarking on a tour of the neighborhood. Tony is an accomplished Jazz guitarist but if he ever decides to give up on music he has a bright future as a tour guide.

Astoria holds a lot of memories for me and will always hold a special place in my heart. As a kid growing up just a bit north in Jackson Heights we would often venture into Astoria

IMG_9996towards our final destination Astoria Pool. It was always a long trip. We never had any money (Maybe just enough for a soda and a slice on the way home.) so we couldn’t afford to train it. Walking and perhaps stealing a ride on the back of the bus was our only option. I remember we’d often opt for hopping the pools fence rather than pay the thirty five cent admission fee. For a kid between the age of seven to ten it was an adventure.our final destination Astoria Pool. It was always a long trip. We never had any money (Maybe just enough for a soda and a slice on the way home.) so we couldn’t afford to train it. Walking and perhaps stealing a ride on the back of the bus was our only option. I remember we’d often opt for hopping the pools fence rather than pay the thirty five cent admission fee. For a kid between the age of seven to ten it was an adventure.

After lunch at the Grand cafe he gave me a tour of the neighborhood. Everything from the side streets, little nooks and corners. To Socrates Sculpture Park and of course Astoria Park. I had a great time and enjoyed Tony’s easy going nature. There’s something very special about Astoria and the people who live there. You can’t help but want to be a part of it.

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One thought on “Astoria still Rules!!!

  1. I love Astoria, man! My dad was born and raised and a year after he past on in 99′ we placed his ashes in the water at Astoria Park. Every time I cross the RFK I say hello to him.

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