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Knockdown Center in Maspeth

Knockdown Center

At first glance, I thought I’d discovered an obscurity—this sign, Knockdown Center, located in Maspeth Queens, a neighborhood I’d associated with industrial isolation (in the 80s, I’d taken trains and buses to Maspeth to pick up a compressed-air tank for my airbrush). Driving past 52-19 Flushing Ave, I liked first the marquee, as if someone were trying to make the place into something, but didn’t quite yet have the dough to do so (like the former Brooklyn Lyceum, for many years an art and performance space located in the long-vacant Park Slope baths, now a Blink Fitness center).

Little did I know, this was already a hip happening venue—weeks later, at night while driving past, I saw hordes of impossibly young persons literally dashing across Flushing Avenue towards this ticket tent, in order to not miss out on some young persons event. Walk inside, and it’s renovated, in that modern way so many spaces are renovated today.

According to the Knockdown Center website: “This 50,000 square-foot building has seen continuous use for more than 100 years: first as the Gleason-Tiebout glass factory, then as Manhattan Door factory. It is named for the Knock-Down door frame that was invented here in 1956 by Samuel Sklar and remains an industry standard to this day.”

More appealing is the the D’Oasis bar restaurant (Spanish food for which there are good Yelp reviews) and La Lampara Café (for which there is nothing online) across the street.

I walked a bit further and found a block away the spine-shivery entrance to the underpass—it goes under a factory rail line—and the tiny, patriotic park near the underpass.

And dig that crazy garage clown!

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