Astoria Carnival

I live in Astoria, Queens, which is only fifteen minutes away from Manhattan on the subway.
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Astoria is densely populated but feels more home-like than Manhattan.  Families and small businesses populate the town.  Astoria is home to a melting pot of cultures:  Greek, Middle Eastern, Mexicans, Ecuadorians, Colombians and much more.  I was surprised as I walked from dinner last Thursday, that a carnival is planned at the local church.  Even though the carnival is going to be small (space is limited even in Queens), I still wanted to go and experience it.  I haven’t been to a carnival in years.  I made a mental note of the days and times the fair was going to be held and planned to attend. I was happy to see it would be around the entire weekend, just in case I couldn’t go on one of the weekend days.

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One of my passions as a child was carnivals.  I liked the whole amusement park experience:  games, food, rides, and the people. People go to carnivals to have fun and I like to see people happy.  Of course I am not a kid anymore but I still like the whole experience.  This past Friday, I decided to sneak a peek at the fair right before I headed to the gym. I was shocked to see how many people were there. I couldn’t believe there were this many children and teenagers  in Astoria!  It was nice to see people:  young, old and in between come out and support the local parish.  I felt a deep sense of community and belonging in Astoria, a sense I have never felt before.  New York City is so densely populated, urban and people are so transient.   It was nice to have a warm feeling of belonging to a community.

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There were only a few rides, mostly little kid rides and a gigantic slide,  a Ferris wheel and a ride called Rok and Roll that seemed like a lot of fun.  I even wanted to ride! I watched kids, tweens, and teenagers giggle, laugh  and squeal with delight  as the carnival ride, Rok and Roll tossed them around and around, rolling them around like a ball.  It was fun to watch and I reminisced my own carnival memories of my youth.   Of course, besides the rides were games and food.

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Rows and rows of colorful stuffed animals lined the game truck. Again, I went back to my childhood days and thought about all of the stuffed animals I had.  The game host was on a megaphone begging people to come play their games. and bellowing “Step right up! Win a bear!  Come one, come all. Step right up!” Ahhh, memories. Sweet memories.

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As a child, I delighted in carnival food:  tacos, burgers, hot dogs, French fries, zeppoles, cotton candy, fried oreos and other great-tasting-but-bad-for -you- food. But, as a grown -up, I am conscience of what I eat, I easily passed these foods. What willpower I have! The sweet smell of powered sugar on top of the fried zeppoles wafted the air as I passed by.  Ooh, it smelled so good!

I had so much fun people watching at the carnival I told my significant other about it.  We came back to the carnival after our gym workout so he can have his own carnival experience.  I am so glad we did because he loved it!

{images:  All photos were taken by me and cannot be used without permission}