In every book I pick up whether it be from a library, a generous friend, or from the bookstore, I imagine the story taking place on 23rd Avenue in Astoria, Queens. I lived on 23rd Avenue in Astoria during the limited time I spent there fulfilling one of my dreams. And still a couple years later after I moved back to the Midwest, to the quiet streets, and a whole new career, I still read words upon pages and pages of books that I fall in love with and they still take place in that one Greek neighborhood, on that one street.
That place was where I felt completely free so some days I can assume that’s why I picture it. It’s odd that my subconscious directs me to that neighborhood upon the busy streets, the one with more personality than any richly made one. It was a dream world out east, one that evidently made its mark known. Reading is an escape for me, an adventure. Although I wasn’t escaping from real life in New York City, I was somehow in a dream, experiencing the differences in every day and the similarities too. So when I sit down to start a new book, my mind automatically rewinds to a blank set of 23rd Avenue — the brick buildings, the bodegas, the laundry mats, the churches, and the subway platform ten blocks away.
I’ve tried to change it, to make the setting in my imagination to be my current neighborhood, my current street, my current city, but it’s of no use. I can’t fight it anymore so I take the temporary home sickness for The City I called mine for a while and enjoy the time I spend in it now, surfing a new wave of story instead of writing my own.