I refuse to call it a walking tour–for one reason, I don’t think that’s even what it called itself. But for another, I can’t stand the idea of walking tours.
Everyone all together in a large group, looking like tourists. Having to go at the group’s pace. Listening to annoying questions.
Okay. By those standards, this was a walking tour.
But it wasn’t actually made up of tourists. It was a group of mostly Queens residents exploring the potential, eventual QueensWay, which is proposed to be like the High Line (the only difference is, it’s in Queens, which means 1.) far fewer people know about, and therefore are advocates for, it, and 2.) there’s a lot of opposition from people living in the neighborhood).
I’ll admit, 5 minutes before the tour was to start, I almost backed out. I’d traveled all the way to Forest Hills and had no way of finding the tour route on my own, but seeing the big group of people gathered at the meeting space made me wary.
It was both as bad and not as bad as I thought it would be.
It was not as bad because the walk leader was not annoying.
It was as bad because the people in the group were annoying, mostly because they walked extremely slowly. The tour–which was supposed to take 2.5 hours but we were told would only be 2 hours–ended up taking 2.5 hours just to get to the part I actually wanted to see. By that time, I was so cold and needing to pee that I didn’t venture further through the optional part.
However, there’s no way I would have been able to conduct my own visit of the area we walked through, even with a map. I would probably still be lost somewhere between Forest Hills and Rego Park at this moment. So I’m glad I went. Plus, now that I know where the part I wanted to see is, I could go straight there another time.
Also, unfortunately, due to the process it’s taking to even get the plans for this proposed park approved, I doubt I’ll ever see it fully finished, so it’s cool to at least have seen the vision for it.
Fulfilled dreams are the best, but the hope of a dream is better than no dream.