Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Year is Over/Back to Sunnyside

I intend to dine out at as many restaurants and street vendors that are located under the 7 train in the borough of Queens in the city of New York as I can (and can afford while jobless). This is to take place in the year 2010 and I will write about each experience. The parameters are strict: I must travel from west to east, beginning at Sunnyside, where the train is still over Queens Blvd, and continuing on Roosevelt Avenue, as the street numbers rise through Woodside, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, and Corona, to the final destination of Flushing, where it meets Main Street...The minimum number of meals to be eaten is 60...What I aim to do is expand my own knowledge of food, and write about what I learn.
Look at me, back in January. I had such hopes for 2010. How much a life can change in a year. I didn't make it to Flushing, I barely made it to Corona, but this is an endless, ever-changing project. One thing that hasn't changed is my job situation. Lack of funds was one of the biggest factors for the tapering off of the posts as the months passed, with a few other road bumps thrown in. On the plus side, I ended up with 68 posts, so I did reach one goal. And I expanded my food knowledge, absolutely. Check that one off too. I also met some great people, had some amazing experiences, and ate some really good food. So I'm not going to feel bad about what I haven't done, because I know it can be done in the future. And if it isn't, so what, it's been great so far, and we'll just see where else it leads me. As I was thinking about all of this today, with New Year's just days away, not to mention a ridiculous craving for a burger and fries, I decided to take a trip (my first trip out into the still unplowed streets of my neighborhood) to Sunnyside, where my journey began. Remember this burger?

I first went to PJ Horgan's way back in February, and loved it. Loved the dark pub, the wooden booths, the tiffany lamps, the Irish accents, and the food. This visit was the same, with the addition of pine boughs and twinkling lights, making the place somehow even more warm and inviting when stomping in from the slushy, snow-filled streets. The Sunnyside Burger was just as good as I remembered, and looked exactly the same, except that this time the plate came with three pickle chips instead of two. Again, even better. I won't re-describe the burger, but it was exactly what I wanted. It all felt so familiar, back in Sunnyside, where I spent nearly every day for those first few months of the year, exploring, in the cold. And tonight, for dinner, it was the two of us. Jose and me, sitting in the same booth, nearly a year later, with his favorite Guinness in hand, me stealing fries off his plate once mine were gone, thinking about how much has changed in a place that stays the same. It's been quite a journey. The past year has brought all kinds of joy and sadness, and the year to come will bring even more life changes. For 2011 I wish for more happiness than grief, more love, more knowledge, more adventures, and as always, more great eating. Happy New Year, everyone.