Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Main Street Flushing South of The Subway

I'm still not sure what the fan in the suspension system of my car does, but according to the little light on the dashboard, it needed to be replaced and I was car less. The good news: Tuesday was beautiful, I had a little time after working in Flushing, and I strolled North on Main Street towards the 7 train, looking to shop.

Although people associate Flushing with its Chinatown (and to a lesser extent the Koreatown centered on Union Street), as you go further South there is a small but vibrant Afghani, Pakistani and Indian area featuring clothing, videos and groceries. I stopped in Patel Brother's, about 6 blocks South of Roosevelt Avenue, where I bought some spices, papadum and rather tasty figs (Aahy Barah Brand). They also had a good selection of vegetables, rice (including SUV sized bags). One day, I will do an extensive examination of the different types of papadum: he number they sell is mind numbing. Most of the other stores on the strip appeared to be Afghani in origin.

Having enjoyed my little Southeast excursion, I soon realized how far Chinatown had extended since my last walk a few years ago. Within a block of Patels' Chinatown clearly began, mostly as a series of non food businesses with Chinese signs. But food loomed. In the interest of trying something new, I went to Pho Thanh Hu'o'ng, on the corner of Maple Avenue and Main Street (718-359-1120). The place was bustling at 1:30 PM: I got the last table. On the menu: Vietnamese dishes made by an all Chinese staff. I think I sat down because it sort of reminded me of Pho 32, the Vietnamese Restaurant near Madison Square Garden run by a Korean staff. In a similar vein, Thanh Huong signs are all in Chinese and somewhat mangled English. The only Vietnamese is on the condiments. Unfortunately, while perfectly acceptable, the Pho was not the best I have had (although it was quite edible) and I would certainly not recommend going there with all of the other excellent eating options in the neighborhood.

My final stop was a photo shop, for $7 passport photos. I look lovely.

Although I will be happy to get my car, as the 7 train is no way to get home on a regular basis, it was great to walk through Main Street. And I didn't even get a chance to get to the large Chinese Supermarkets. To get that many groceries home, I'll need to drive.

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