b'Unlike nearby Long Island City, which is now a dense cluster ofmodern glass towers, Astoria has managed to hold onto much ofits architectur-al charm. Rows ofparallel streets are flanked by a wildly eclectic mix oftownhouses, detached homes, small industrial buildings, and land-marked structurescreating an urban palimpsest that unfolds the harder you look. The low density and wide streets give the neighborhood a small-town feel, a vibe enhanced by community gardens, stone churches, and commercial clusters dotted around the area. Houses date back to the early 19th-century mansions built by the Manhattan elite, the oldest ofwhich are located around 12th and 14th Streets. Residences have since beenconstructed in almost every style imaginable, withVictorian homes sidled up against modernisthousingcreating somewhat eccentric scenes along many blocks.Continued on page 18 15 Architecture'