Monday, January 02, 2006

Crown of (my) Creation

Just as I'm in the process of severing my final ties to my hometown (selling off the family home and all), pulls out all the stops for an excellent feature on cafone Corona. Scroll down for pics of the Lemon Ice King, Corona Park Salumeria (a.k.a. "Nucci's"), and Spaghetti Park--I grew up just 'round the corner from these goombah bastions. Apart from a mention in Simon & Garfunkel's "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" ("Goodbye to Rosie, the Queen of Corona"), and the existence of at least one '60s garage band (The Go-Betweens), not much in the way of rock & roll hails from this burg. Legend has it Madonna lived in a little red synagogue on 53rd Avenue (not pictured on the site) during her pre-fame days as a member of the Breakfast Club--but Corona's cooler associations lie in its geographic situation just north of Forest Hills, birthplace of the Ramones. My own birthplace, the former LaGuardia (now North Shore) Hospital, stands just across the street from the Birchwood Towers, Joey's childhood home--and I dig milking that factoid for all it's worth, which admittedly ain't much. The scene in End of the Century where Forest Hills High School is shown and the Rubettes' "Sugar Baby Love" is playing cues my waterworks every time, and Hills ain't even close to being my alma mater--I mean, I took a sewing class there once, but yeesh. At any rate, read it and weep...


duluoz cats said...

Just caught this post of yours, loved your blog, but hadn't had a chance to read it all through. I grew up around the corner from the Lemon Ice King myself on 53rd, (actually spell Nucci's more phonetically ... "Nuggi's"). Funny, because I was just with the family and we were talking about the synagogue and the Madonna legend--my parents were probably the only other "punks" in the neighborhood at the time, so she and the two men who turned it into a bit of a night club for a while stood out, as you would imagine. Mom remembers quite clearly doing laundry at the place on 108th St. next to Masselli's Deli (they were our landlords, actually), while she hung out there. Used to have a historical site up for all things Corona, because my family had been there for about 85 years, and, yes, it's not often you see or hear anything about it. Pretty cool to have read this!

duluoz cats said...

Oh, gosh! Deena! Yes, you guessed right, we have met ... I don't believe it!

I'm so sorry to hear about your parents. Corona is sad to go back to for me, too, though not for nearly as tangible a reason. No one is left, and though for a while it had picked itself up a little, it seems to have fallen back into disrepair. It was horrifying to see that the bakeries are all gone. Glad to confirm the Madonna legend, the club was only around for a few months as I remember, but I do remember my parents going there to check it out. Was supposedly pretty wild.

I am not far from where you were in Astoria, 29th St, about a block from the Ditmars stop (and a group of us actually went to the Beer Garden for dinner and drinks last night). Been here a couple of months and love it so far. You are in one of my favorite cities now. One of two other places I'd live aside from NYC. It's a good fit for ex-pats.