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The Five-Corners Bridge

Elmhurst-Corona Bridge

91st Place and 43rd Ave

As a fan of five-corner intersections—urban cocktails of people, cars and dizziness—I was pleased to spot the 91st Place and 43rd Avenue intersection in Elmhurst, Queens.

Behold on one of the corners the admirably-named La 43 Corp, a tiny market with conical roof. I’d love to trace the history of that space.

Better, the intersection leads to a small bridge over the Long Island Railroad—a visually-arresting very Queens-ian oddity.

Check out the auto body shop nestled into the bridge—I can’t tell if this is one or two shops (Is it JP Auto Repair Center or C&E Best Auto Body?).

No space here goes unused.

What’s pleasingly weird is the steep incline, as if an earthquake heaved the bridge from its moorings. Abrupt and precipitous, the “hill blocks view,” as the sign says, makes this stroll a suspenseful crossing. Even the sidewalk looks makeshift.

Dig the crazy adjacent roof—I like the windows with roof access and the robot vent (foreground) with dented hood.

Descending to the other side, we come to Corona Avenue, a different world. According to the 2010 (and probably inaccurate) census, Elmhurst is 46% Latino (from any country) and 44% Asian. This is evident along Corona Avenue.

We see the Elmhurst Art Club, which offers dance classes, mainly, it seems, to Asian girls (someone needs to compile a list of the number and variety of kids dance studios all over the city), and art classes.

Love this guy and the terrified elves

Further down the street, we are ambushed by the pink-ish Geeta Temple, established by Swami Jagdishwaranand in 1979, and serving Queens’ substantial Indian community (145,000 at last count, most of them, I assume, Hindu).

Check out this video of 2013 Navarati celebration at the temple

Six stores—three Hispanic and three Asian.

La Antioquena bakery has good pan de bono (cheese bread), but the main reason to visit any Colombian bakery in Queens is for the coffee. I often say you can’t find a bad cup of coffee in Argentina. Same goes for Colombian bakeries in Queens.

Across the street is the currently under renovation and expanding Chan Meditation Center, which I intend to visit.

And finally: Hong Kong Food Court

Heading home, I came upon the drab, nearly-hidden entrance to Hong Kong Food Court at 82-02 Elmhurst Avenue.

I stopped only because I liked the Malaysian food sign.

Inside, however, was a different story—a cavernous space with a spectacular array of street food booths.

I chose Thai street food (although, I doubt its authenticity) because when I was in Bangkok, I was too chicken to eat street food. How can you not be romantic about Queens?

For a more complete description of this awesome space, click here:

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