Tuesday, May 5, 2009

N/W Trains - Astoria-Ditmars Blvd. (Day 9, stop #379)

Out:  The area is a little dirty because of construction, but it’s pretty clear that in general this is a well-off and primarily residential neighborhood.  There is a mix between Greek, Italian, white, gentrifier, and Hispanic people.  On Ditmars Blvd here, which is actually a two minute walk north of the station, there is a main commercial stretch; there are also many stores on 31st St., where the train runs. 

Some of the commercial places include banks, bakeries, “Olympia Vitamins”, an Italian bakery, a diner, burger place, and couple upscale-looking restaurants.  Most of the residential buildings are low-scale houses and apartment buildings; some look pretty old but well-maintained.  There are lots of guys around with slicked-down hair; must be the fashion here.  I see a number of older guys chomping on cigars.  There is also a disturbing number of women with mustaches.

In:  To get over here, I took the 7 train from 74 St.-Bway to Queensboro Plaza, then got on the W train to the end of the line in Astoria.  The station here is elevated, with a single platform and two tracks here.  The booth at the end of the platform is covered in bright orange and red panels, which is strange.  The station looks old.  There is a sloped roof with two green supports, and there are black wooden benches and black panel board with the station name.  Part of the platform is actually underneath an overpass for other trains (presumably Amtrak).  There are no walls here, and the view of the side is of houses and industrial facilities.  To exit the station, I travel through a corridor with some attached shops such as an internet café, chiropractor, and tax preparer.  The station house is quite large with concrete floors and white wooden walls.