Unispheres, Rockets, and Dosa! Oh My!

Behold the Unisphere!

Maybe it’s because of its name, but Flushing Queens is one of the more underrated destinations in New York’s outer-boroughs. Aside from seeing the Mets lose play, most non-Queens residents don’t visit often. I’ve explored Fran Drescher’s neighborhood a couple of times in the past, but Juliet and I decided to take Nate for a short visit to this Queens ‘hood this weekend, and had a great time.

We drove to Flushing Meadows Corona Park and easily found parking. It is a huge park (more than 50% larger than Central Park), with a lots of soccer, softball, and cricket games going on. Although it isn’t the most kempt park, there was a good amount of litter, some of the landscaping is quite beautiful.

Rocket Park

But the real reason to go is the remnants of the World’s Fairs held here in 1939 and 1964. Having already visited Philip Johnson’s “Tent of Tomorrow” ruins and the Queen’s Museum on our last trip, we decided to hit the Unisphere and the Hall of Science.

When we saw the Unisphere, with the fountains going, Nate said, “Ooooooh, dats awsome.” I concured.

After that we walked over to the New York Hall of Science, a children’s science museum, but I wasn’t sure how a three year old would react. He loved it! I’m pretty sure Nate didn’t get the science behind it, but there was enough spinning and interactive exhibits to hold a toddler’s attention for 2 hours. The museum actually has an area dedicated to pre-schoolers, but Nate was particularly intrigued with the display demonstrating Kepler’s laws of planetary motion (balls spinning down a funnel.) Although he was very upset you couldn’t go in the rockets at Rocket Park.

Nate Observing Kepler's Laws

My only beef with the museum is that they nickle and dime you. Admission is $11 for adults and $8 for children, but then it is additional fees for the Science Playground, lunar mini-golf, space ship simulator, and even a crafts fee in the pre-school area. Nevertheless, it is a great visit for kids and adults.

We were getting hungry, and museum cafeteria fare was not on our agenda. We drove deep into Flushing, and made a little trans Asian journey, through Koreatown, Chinatown, and into the less known Indian section of Flushing.

My wife is a vegetarian, and I’m always looking for interesting restaurants, and I heard about Dosa Hutt, a south Indian restaurant right next to the Hindu Temple. Dosa Hutt is not much to look at, but they do make excellent dosa.

After loading up on dosa, Ras malai, and mango lassi, I considered getting some lemon ice from Benfaremo, The Lemon Ice King of Corona, but the fountains, rockets, and curried lentils had caught up with Nate, and he was passed out in the back seat.

Just as well, as it gives us another reason to come back to this misunderstood neighborhood.

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