Downtown Doodler: People Watching at Spa Castle Queens

Last Saturday, we ventured out of Manhattan to Spa Castle in Queens, an over-the-top mega spa complex right in our city. It was an adventure just to get there to say the least. We rode the 7 train to Flushing-Main Street, then walked a few blocks to a shuttle van that picks up along the Flushing Municipal Parking Lot on 39th Avenue, that took us on a 10 minute drive to the spa. It’s probably safe to say that there isn’t anything like Spa Castle in the city:  4 floors of baths, a sauna “Valley,” massages, relaxing rooms, pools, hot tubs and massages. Even the architecture–a blend of faux Greco-Roman details plastered on top of suburban concrete facades–was bold in its falseness. An all day pass costs $35 on weekdays and $45 on weekends.

Spa Castle isn’t really “untapped” though,  it was crowded for a warm Saturday afternoon.  But crowded means people watching, and people watching is my favorite hobby (after drawing, napping and eating cheese). Please meet some of the characters we came across:

This little girl was adorable. She had such a great time with her mom and dad. Every time her mom would push her by the water jets she’d squeal on top of her lungs. It was hard not to smile.

On the other hand, this older man was super creepy. We ended up in the Japanese wooden hot tub with him at one point. He was almost laying down with three girls tending to his every need. But he kept catching my eye and smiling with a big creepy toothy grin. I shudder just thinking about it.

Guido light came with 2 friends. I call him Guido light because although he had a blow out, gold chain and big sunglasses,  he was missing muscles and a tan.

This staring guy was also a character. He just walked around slowly while drinking his drink, sometimes stopping and just staring at someone for a few minutes. No one was off limits, he even spent time looking in the kiddie pool area. He clearly didn’t come with kids.

I could draw a whole column about the tattoos we saw that day. If I brought my sketch book and didn’t care about looking creepy this would be a totally different column.

Spa Castle is located at 131-10 11th Avenue  College Point, NY 11356 [Map]

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Have a great week!