The New York City skyline is so iconic many could perhaps draw it from memory. And as it has become a staple in popular culture, other cities have embraced the unique shapes of their own skylines to brand themselves.
Queens itself doesn't have a skyline that most people would recognize, but it is full of iconic buildings, structures, and transportation that many would immediately associate with the borough.
For the past 8 years, I have sent Holiday cards out to my friends and loved ones. And since the people I am fortunate to know live scattered throughout the country, I always searched extra hard to find cards that had an iconic New York City holiday feel. A New Yorker cover perhaps, or a picture of Central Park.
As the years have passed I have found that I am working through the commercial collections of holiday cards faster than quality ones can come on the market.
Last year I set out on a particularly aggressive search for the perfect holiday card that lasted for weeks. I became wholly frustrated upon finding cards that said Happy Holidays from New York City and Happy Holidays from Brooklyn, but not a single one that extended the same sentiment from Queens.
My frustration gave way to the holiday spirit and my penchant for playing the Christmas records I inherited from my parents and listen to on repeat starting the day after Thanksgiving.
This year, while looking for a site in my favorites I accidentally clicked the link for some of my favorite Holiday cards. I immediately fell into an internet hole that rekindled my frustration. Still, no Queens cards! That was it.
We were going to change that.
Since Annie had moved in, it meant we would be sending out holiday cards together this year. So we sat down to think about what landmarks from Queens would be most suitable for an iconic Queens Holiday Card! Thinking about the places we loved to visit, the buildings we had seen in movies, and what really felt like home viewed from the window of an airplane approaching an amazing New York City airport, this is what we came up with:
The 7 Train
This rumbling, overcrowded gem of the MTA only goes between Manhattan and Queens. And while standing on it during rush hour can make you crazy, the views out the window are really tremendous, especially when pulling up to Citi Field or rounding the corner to Manhattan.
It was called the Miracle in the Meadow. This giant globe was actually built for the 1964 New York World's Fair in Flushing Meadows Park, dedicated to Peace Through Understanding. It remained on the site as a gift to the City of New York for the improved Flushing Meadow Park that was created on the fairgrounds. It must be seen up close to appreciate the detail and size. It's so symbolic, this tremendous globe smack dab in the middle of one of the most culturally diverse places in the country.
Also built for the world's fair, it was the movie Men in Black that brought these towers back into cultural significance (for a time anyway). Who knows if anything will ever happen to them, for better or worse (outside of alien encounters) but they too stand mysterious, a symbol of a thing most people are too young to remember. They were built at a time when their height was still significant and yet, up close, alone in the park they still retain that pride.
It stands in what used to be the parking lot of Shea Stadium. And while Shea held a lot of memories for a lot of people, the arrival of a grand structure that harkened back to the days of classic ball games was warmly welcomed. For many people, it's the only reason they visit Queens or ride the 7 train. And it's worth it. It is the better of the New York ballparks by far.
The Queensboro Bridge
It doesn't get the love that the Brooklyn Bridge does. And most people probably know it as the 59th Street Bridge. Most people probably don't know it by its official name, The Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. And let's be honest, most people probably won't be telling their cab driver to "take the Koch" anytime soon. If you live in this city long enough, you will end up in stand-still traffic staring out the window with the mixed emotions of anger and awe as you take in a view that you need to be stuck on a bridge to appreciate.
And so we commissioned a very talented artist to take our favorites and turn them into a holiday scene that felt fresh but familiar. We think she succeeded wildly. We are so excited to share these cards with you and look forward to this holiday season. We hope whomever you send these cards feels the excitement and love that we felt while making them.
Annie and Richard