This Is My Queens: Alyssa Phillips
All illustrations by Alyssa Phillips
I landed in Queens thanks to an unexpected and lucky twist of fate. When I moved to New York for college, I bounced around Brooklyn for a while and discovered that despite how wonderful the city is, it’s not an easy place to live. While searching for yet another apartment, I stumbled upon Astoria and had a gut feeling I had found home.
Streets buzz with lively restaurants, bright boutiques sell local artisans’ wares and friendly residents celebrate cultural diversity. I was drawn to its brilliant architecture, signage and design showcased along the restaurant- and shop-lined sidewalks. Manhattan’s urban design is a masterpiece all its own, but Astoria offers a new, more intimate space like none I’d experienced before. Each block is unique and every building on it makes it complete.
What fascinates me most about Queens is that the people who live and work here are proud to be a part of the community. More than ever since moving to New York, I felt a desire to join in. One weekend I posted a quick drawing of an Astoria bar on Instagram. I chose the bar for its distinct structure and atmosphere. It was the beginning of “Our Vector City,” an illustration project dedicated to showcasing the unparalleled beauty of Queens. Through design, I hope I can share the enthusiasm I feel living here.
As I continue illustrating local eateries and storefronts, my goal is to not just bring attention to great local businesses, but to keep alive the wonder that drew me to New York City in the first place.