Tuesday, November 20, 2012

1964 Map of Queens and Some 6th Borough Info

Peoples always think that Frankie's Apartment is in Queens. Some guess Manhattan. No, man.  As I told you before -- we're Sixth Borough -- and proud.

What are the Sixth Borough though, Frankie? -- say them.

I'll tell you (them) now.

Dedicated to Louis and Louis, Mr. P, and Luca Guidolini

Sixth Borough = Zaghaven.  Z-Town.  Home of Zaggers, Zeds, and the Zephyr Candy Factory.

It used to be a part of Queens. Then the Bronx stole it.  Queens smuggled it back over in the middle of the night. Then the Bronx started in with the sewer bombing; Queens retaliated with hand-glider attacks. That's how Zag lost it's toe.

Rumbles went hard. Bitch-slaps, tripwires, kids were digging holes in the concrete and covering them with leaves so they could trap their enemies. Games of ASS and Suicide went to the death on the h-ball courts. Name calling got so good that front-liners took it on as a job. Denim jackets were getting so ripped up that they came to life and started fighting for their own rights. Graffiti didn't just get crossed out, it got captured. Kids were only safe at their great-grandma's house. You can still find teeth if you dig into the dirt of the trees that line Sorgum Avenue. At the height of the legend -- the last brawl (aka the Stickball Bat Stand-Off) Zaghaven residents put their foot down and went rogue. Boroughless. They broke off the mainland and said -- Yo, Zaghaven, us, is separate.

The neighborhood moved -- miles out into the East River. We declare ourselves an independent borough, it said. The mayor of NY (at the time of the beef) just shrugged. Ok with me, he goes.

Queens and Bronx were both mad -- they wouldn't play with Zaghaven in the schoolyard no more.  Threw garbage at us. Called us NOWHERE. Then they started in with the Silent Treatment. Ignored Zaghaven, like it had mono. Pretended they couldn't hear Zaghaven when it talked. Zag said, fine, we don't want to talk to you either.  Did somebody say something, said Queens.  It was just the wind, said the Bronx.

For awhile, the Sixth did OK on its own. Manufactured hand-balls, banana-seats, and television antennas. They had the Candy Factory on the southern rim. Big spot, Zephyrs.  If you lived in Z you worked at Zephyrs at some point.

Once the high of the break wore off, a greyness hit Z-Town. Zaggers who had jobs in Manhattan, got tired of swimming to work and bringing home wet sandwiches for dinner. Manhattan was friendly, but it was busy doing its own thing. Brooklyn had never been friendly, so. Z-Town got depressed.  The Factory started laying people off. Time marched on. Nobody wanted banana seats anymore. The TV antenna business went to hell. The Handball molders still did OK, but the Sixth kinda got stuck in a different time. Like literally. Take your watch into the latitude. It's usually yesterday in Zaghaven.  Technically, it's 19.4 hours back in time. We catch up because we totally skip Columbus Day, but then we lose the time again because Halloween is always twice as long in Zaghaven. Sometimes it goes for a week and we have take a chunk out of August.

In an effort to zap up the kids, Zag boated back to its original position in the NY map, but instead of being ignored, they literally could not be heard. They cried and yelled. That's why there's such a strong music scene in Zaghaven -- we're always trying to make noise so the rest of the city can hear us.

The time thing makes it difficult to show you where we are. Yes, Borough Six is between Queens and the Bronx, sort of on top Queens, but underneath the Southern Bronx landmass. It's hard to describe with words. It's much (more fun) to describe with colors (felt tip markers) and cut out pictures from magazines and by folding up origami models. Sound Effects and Music, especially old hiphop instrumentals, help to establish a feel. It's important to remember that it doesn't make sense. Nothing really good ever makes perfect sense. If something's not left out, then there's no treasure to find.

Yes, there is a bypass tunnel from Manhattan that runs straight into the old Sixth Borough trolley station. But you have to leave a day ahead of time to make it to your appointments. It's nice though, because when you go home, it's yesterday again. We're not really supposed to use the Tunnel, but everyone does. Then there's the rush hour raft that you can catch from Astoria, but you need to buy raffle tickets to ride that thing. The helicopters are a sure way in, but it's tricky for them to fly through the forcefield windows when it's cloudy.

I've said too much.