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On Location with Moses Middleton and crew

Updated: Dec 27, 2021

Just about every place described or mentioned in Pushing Pawns is real, with the notable exception of Q722, which is an invention loosely based on several public high schools in northern Queens.

Residents of Jackson Heights will recognise the scene, and readers who have never visited (and you should, if you find yourself in New York City) ought to get an accurate picture of the neighborhood, although I've taken a few liberties with the geography.

For example, here are the chess tables in Travers Park, where Viktor holds forth while smoking filthy Russian cigarettes.

Here's a shot of Roosevelt Avenue, where Moses nearly gets clipped by a green cab while dashing to the 82nd Street station.

By contrast, here's rapidly gentrifying 37th Avenue, where Moses feels increasingly uncomfortable due to the yuppie invasion.

Here's the legendary Sammy's Halal, one of many food carts of the type where Moses and Zamir grab a quick lunch.

I'll restrain myself from posting pics of every square foot of my beloved neighborhood, but do let me know if there are other places name-checked in the book that you would like to see.

— Dima

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