Forest Hills is one of the most notable neighborhoods in Queens because of its rich history, the majority of celebrities that have been born, raised, went to school and/or lived here during a portion of their life. I've always called the place Ramones Town because the entire band came from here, but they are only the tip of the ice berg or actually they're the middle of the mountain. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, Jimmy Breslin, Hank Azaria, Geraldine Ferrario, Donna Karan, Michael Landon, Caroll O'Connor, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and even David Caruso. That's not all of them though. The list goes on and on. It makes me feel proud to have my history be here. This is where I first bought comics, where I first saw movies, where I first bought a computer (a Commodore 64, the first real home computer with games before PCs got hot), made friends, went to school. Even today I still appreciate my nearby area even if there's not as much coolness as there was growing up like the video store, the magazine shop, and such. Austin Street/71st still has the game store though, the comic shop is closing but it was there, there's still the movie theater. It's a strong neighborhood with a history of very popular school programs, tennis games, concerts, and melting pot.
Indeed a melting pot with being surrounded by Kew Gardens, Rego Park, Corono, Lefrak City, and Flushing Meadow Park in less than 4 blocks away. Despite that you may have noticed something about many of the celebrities. They're Jewish and of Russian linage in most cases. That is what the majority of this neighborhood has been for at least 100 years. Russian Jews. While my father was raised in the Bronx and my mom was raised in Great Neck as well as other areas, they easily could;ve come from Forest Hills like me. This statement of Russian Jews takes me to where I am TRULY from though.
Going back to my great grand parents and the late 1800s-early 1900s. While I don't know the entore story on ALL sides of how we came over, especially on my father's maternal side, the fact is I am 100% Jew and all sides of the eight families that make up my genetics it's all Russian Jew and they all came over during a time of turmoil be it before or during the creation of the pogroms. The pogroms were essentially like the ghettos of Europe which eventually evolved into Hitler's concentration camps. My family did what they had to for survival and through it they made it to America and made lives and homes for themselves. Some richer and more successful then others. My mother actually came from money, my father, not really. Not poor, but not even middle class. Surviving.
So, I come survival. Yes, I come from Forest Hills and I'd never deny that. I have plenty reason to be proud of it... but I really come from... me.
written for therealljidol Season 10-Topic 7 "Where I'm From"