Friday, June 30, 2006

Astoria Weekend Edition 30.06.06

Well, as of today, the weekend looks warm! A little rainy on Sunday but warm (and probably humid) nonetheless. I encourage you to get out and about when the thunderstorms aren't knocking at our door. As far as being outside, what really excites me these days is the fact that the public pools are open. And that means the pool in Astoria Park is open! It's an amazing pool, super huge and able to accommodate big crowds. Pool hours are 11am-7pm normally, but you can call Astoria Pool at 718-699-4219 for more info.

When it is rainy, though, head to the Museum of the Moving Image for their always interesting and engaging offerings. Of note is the screening of The Forsaken Land by Sri Lankan director Vimukthi Jayasundara. This film was the Camera d'Or winner at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival and has gotten a lot of writeup elsewhere (NYT review here). It's playing throughout the weekend. The weekend also brings us Stanley Kubrik's A Clockwork Orange, an American cinematic classic (though a bit disturbing - and some think, satirical!).

Also, this weekend there is some hot paddling action at the LIC Boathouse! Tonight, consider their Friday Night Chill Paddle, a relaxed skyline tour. Meet at 6:30pm at the Boathouse, launch at 7pm and return by 9pm. Sounds like a great way to see the night skyline and enjoy our local East River waterway. And on Sunday, join the Boathouse for the Hallets Cove Paddle! From 1-5pm, come to Hallets Cove (at the end of 31st Avenue) for free walk-up canoe and kayak trips in protected waters in exchange for some volunteer clean up work. Contact erik at licboathouse dot org if you plan on attending either events. Also, you can call 718-228-9214 for the latest LIC Community Boathouse trip status and for updates on scheduled events, especially weather cancellations.

Other miscellaneous things going on: Friday night, head over to Waltz to hear apparently erstwhile-proggy Aion (acoustic guitar, voice, bass, and percussion). No cover, $5 drink minimum. The Greater Astoria Historical Society has a current exhibit, Laughter, Lager, and Leisure: Long Island City at Play. It's a collection of more than thirty rare images that trace Long Island City’s pursuit of pleasure fifty+ years ago. It's accessible on Saturday from 1-4pm. Saturday also brings us the first "Warm Up" at PS1, the incredibly fun Saturday afternoon dance parties in the museum's courtyard. The Irish Rover (37-18 28th Street) is again having its Pub Quiz Night at 7pm Sunday night. And I'll also be at Freeze Peach Cafe on Sunday from 4-8pm preparing coffee and tea and snacks. Come by and say hi!

More fun, here.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Two words...

Thats really all i can say about this sammich, it rocked my world...
These guys never cease to amaze me, tonight we do the Italian thingie, wish me luck!
Keep up the yums boys!!!!
Sal, Chris & Charlie Deli
33-12 23rd Ave. near the overpass
(718) 278-9240)
And if you're thinking i'm overdoing the sandwich posts then you must have never had one of these bad boys, they just compel you to shout out their greatness to the world.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Fast Facts

• As of June 29th (yesterday) there will be fireworks & music @ Astoria Park. Catch the pretties for the next 5 thurs nights! (don't mistaken these for the "illegal" ones going off randomly throughout the city...hold off on the 311 calls!)

• Tues August 1, National Night Out Against Crime in Astoria Park from 5-8pm. Here's a taste of last years event.

• Every Wednesday night from 7-10:30pm (started June 21st) until Aug. 30th enjoy some live music with Italian Nights 2006 @ Athens Square Park (30th & 30th). Different performers every week, just bring a chair and enjoy! Next weds the 5th is Dino Rossi-"the Voice of Naples" a rich tenor voice singin Italian favorite classics.

• Show your support for our vets at the 5th Annual (and last) Veteran's Memorial Ceremony. On July 1st @10am at Shore Blvd. & Astoria Park, they will be selling "memorial medallions" ($10) that were made expressly for the event to raise money to maintain the monument.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Ditmars street fair this past weekend

Fried goodies
Originally uploaded by flooznyc.
You can see by the makeshift sign that Oreos are all the rage in fried food! I had to gt my zeppole on and couldn't bring myself to trying the Oreos...maybe next time?

Friday, June 23, 2006

Astorian Weekend Edition 23.06.06

After work friday unwind a little and stop in to the exotically decorated (at least on the outside!) Tutankhamun Cafe at 28-09 Ditmars Blvd. for the area's local hookah joint. Unlike below Astoria Blvd where you can't go 2 feet without getting a sheesha option, this part of town hasn't jumped on the wagon yet.

Saturday 9pm at Waltz, another awesome chance for learning as you drink! $25 gets you all the wines and hors d'oeuvres featured that night.

There is a community garden here did you know that? For those of us with no backyards, this is a welcome site. If you love being outdoors and want to get involved with your neighborhood, ARROW might be the place for you.

Get your Gay Pride weekend off to a Sexy start on Saturday at Albatross Bar. Get home in time for an early wake up call to make the noon Gay Pride March on 5th Ave & 52nd Street in Manhattan.

June 22-25 brings 4 days of festivities for the St. Antonio Abate Society of Castrofilippo, Ditmars Boulevard between 35th & 38th. Get your fill of sausage and peppers and cotton candy...and $1 lemonade!

If Saturday turns out to be a not so rainy day and you want to be outside, head over to Water Taxi Beach- Hunter's Point (Second St. & Borden Ave.), LIC around 6pm for some burgers and beer. They are having a special screening of the documentary Hamburger America too so you have entertainment while stretch your toesies in the sand. The burger theme carries over into the variety of burgers up for grillin'. There's going to be The Guber Burger (from Missouri), The Butter Burger (from Wisconsin), The Green Chile Cheeseburger (from New Mexico), and The Motz Burger (named for acclaimed documentarian George Motz). I would suggest not eating before you leave home...

Here we are in stage 2 of the World Cup! Tons of places around town to go check out the games with fans galore. Saturday we've got Germany vs Sweden and Argentian vs Mexico. Sunday catch England vs Ecuador and MY PICK Portugal vs Netherlands.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Happy Summer everyone!
I just wanted to share the droolworthy menu for tonight's celebration at the Sculpture Park with you all. I got the advanced listing from my pal and the wonderful and generous -Chef Jonathan Forgash:

•Carolina bbq $5 (pulled pork or grilled chicken breast)
•Buffalo chicken breast $5
•Maryland tuna salad $5
• Jumbo hot dog $3 (with onion relish & saurkraut)
• Goat cheese & fresh berry salad $7 (with mesclun greens & raspberry vinagrette)
• Corn on the cobb $3
• Fresh fruit salad $4
• Iced tea $2, Lemonade $2, Iced coffee $2, Bottled water $1
• Cupcakes $2
• Brownies $2
• Chips $1

Hungry yet?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Cutest Pet Winners

I forgot to post this!
Thanks to all who sent in pics, you all rock.
Sorry to say i have no prizes for you, just my congrats i guess?!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Reason not to go swimming!

Walking along Shore Blvd. with friends after our dinner at Agnanti on the park, we came across all these crazy whirlpools in the river. I just thought it was really cool to see how strong of a current they worked up in certain spots.


So this Weds. is the greatly anticipated summer solstice. Need something to do to celebrate? Find your way over to the Socrates Sculpture Park for food, family fun and music. From 5:00 - 9:00 pm you can chow down on some of Chef Jonathan Forgash (Film Chefs) summertime favs like assorted heroes, hot dogs, corn on the cobb, goat cheese & fresh berries salad, fruit salad and yummy desserts!
Its the longest day of the year so i say, be out and about and do something!
There will be so many things going on i can't even list them all here, but they run the gamut from BMX riders to face painting.

Revisiting the Deli

So i just had to share this close up of my beach meal. There we were early as heck for me on a sunday morning (7:45am) at Sal, Chris & Charlie's. I must admit, it was very very very hard to wait until actually getting to the beach before digging in! Here's my post from when i finally found this gem if you want it for reference.
All i can really say in addition to all the pst praise i gave them is that when i got to the beach and unwrapped my sammich, it had the perfect consistency! You know how the oil and vinager can tend to drench your bread making it a gooey mess. Not this one, the bread was so nice and crunchy when they made it that somehow it retained most of its freshness evern after the hour trip! Oh holy of holy sandwich shops i bow down to you, thank you for making this summer's first beach day a great one for me!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Astorian Weekend Edition 16.06.06

After work Friday go check out the tons'o purses and jewelry at the new store on Ditmars and 32nd St., Brazilianiki. With such a random Brazilian/Greek name it could have been a fusion cuisine restaurant! They have all sorts of girlie things but the emphasis here is definitley on bags and baubles! At least from the accents of the employees, i can tell you it is Brazilian!

So theres this little party going on this Saturday over at the Sculpture Center (44-19 Purves St. LIC) from 6-8pm. Not For Tourists Guidebooks is celebrating the first and "only" printed guide to Queens. You might be familiar with these handy little books "an annotated, map-based Yellow Pages that fits in your pocket" , if not check them out here. They retail for about $10 bucks but i hear that those attending, will walk away with free advanced copies. Not bad huh? The founders and publishers will be there to discuss and answer questions too.

Sunday is Father's Day...How's about taking him over to Agnanti for dinner? This greek gem is on Ditmars and Astoria Park and is sure to please the palate.
You could also take him over to the Irish Rover for a good cause. They are "throwing" a Cancer fundraiser Darts For Dollars. Starting at 3pm there will be prizes, raffles, darts, and auctions- a good time all around!

Back in May, we told you about the Hell on Reels [Astoria Moving Picture Festival] over at Hell Gate Social (12St & Astoria Blvd.). Well it was such a hit that they are getting together a summer series!
On June 25th, July 30th and September 10th they will be screening the films outdoors in true NYC summer style. I'm telling you about this now because its time to send in your submissions! Send in as many as you have as long as they are 15 minutes or less along with your entry form that you can get via their site.
*This Sunday they will be continuing the "V" miniseries viewing that started last weekend! What an 80's flashback!!!

Where in Astoria...

I thought it would be fun to post some random images from the hood and see who could identify them. Here's the first one. I'm sure it will be a breeze to some of you, but i would love for it to actually take a few days for someone to get it- love the challenge! I don't know how often we'll be doing this, i guess whenever something pops out at me? Well it will give you something to think about on your walk through the neighborhood anyway!

Cleaning up Astoria Blvd.

Remember a little while back, all the gross-ness on Astoria Blvd.?
Good news i think... they have closed off the storefronts and have some construction permits posted! Now to figure out whats coming in its place. hmmmm, i walk by it twice a day so hopefully sooner then later i'll be able to report back with news.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Agnanti with friends

What a fun and delicious meal! If you are in the Astoria park area and your belly starts a rumbling- head on over to Agnanti and you won't be dissapointed.
We were hoping for some outside seating, but because our party was so large it just wasn't feasible. I think we ended up at around 14 or so after all the stragglers came and went! This cute little almost parkside Greek restaurant has quite a selection of smaller plates great for sharing. Since there were so many of us and such a large menu- Laura and i just went down the list and tried to get a good variety of plates for us all. It became a huge tasting party! Because i was so enamored by the place and food, my usual nazi photographer style was lost. I don't think i got pics of food at all!
But here is what i remember us having anyway... we got a dip platter to start us off with Taramosalata-carp roe spread, Tzantziki-yogurt, cucumber, mild garlic and dill dip, Tyrokafteri-spicy cheese spread, and that other one with the garlicky mashed potatoes. Also a large greek salad that was delicious huge chunks of tomoatoes and cucumbers and onions with the feta on the side in a huge slab, yum!

Here come the plates: Grilled Octopus, Kolokythokeftedes Mykonos- Zucchini and cheese croquets, Greek Sausage with orange or leeks, Mushrooms Kalitsounia -homemade dough wrapped around mushrooms and herbs, Pastroumali-thinly sliced dried pressed beef and cheese wrapped in phyllo, Sigar Bourek -fried homemade dough-rolls stuffed with a variety of cheeses, Bourek- thinly rolled pastry stuffed with chopped meat that i discovered was lamb (i don't do lamb), Sardeles- imported grilled sardines, Soutzoukakia- ground meat balls with spices, cooked in tomato sauce, and another plate of meatballs with a yogurt sauce that was also lamb.

I'm probably missing something but even if i weren't, this definitley looks like enough! I must say that everything i tasted was great. Other then mistakenly biting into the lamb bourek, i was completely satisfied. The sausage had such a different kind of seasoning, the orange flavor added a really cool twist to it. The little mushroom packets were to die for and they are on my list for seconds when i return. Also the pastroumali reminded me of a dainty calzone with oozing cheezy goodness. Jonathan suggested the sardines (which Laura and i were happy about) and they were a hit! Michelle and Cathy for their first time tried them and i think we have converts to the "tastes better then it smells" club!

Find them at the end of Ditmars @ the Park (19th St)
19-06 Ditmars Boulevard
Astoria, NY 11105
Tel. 718.545.4554

Monday, June 12, 2006

After Agnanti on Saturday

Hellgate Sky
Originally uploaded by flooznyc.
Here are some photos of our lovely park and bridges on a stroll back home after filling my belly with really yummy food!
-More on the restaurant to come...

Friday, June 09, 2006

Astoria Weekend Edition 09.06.06

The weather looks good for this weekend, so consider doing some things outside! Join the Greater Astoria Historical Society, Partnerships for Parks' Astoria, and Long Island City Waterfront Parks Catalyst Project for a bike tour of Astoria/LIC Waterfront Parks. Led by Richard Melnick of the Greater Astoria Historical Society, learn about the history of the waterfront and ride part of the proposed Queens East River Greenway.
When: Sunday, June 11, 5pm-8pm
Where: Start at Gantry Plaza State Park, 48th Avenue and the East River
Who: All are welcome. Riders under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
More info: Please RSVP to (718) 706-8044 or Emily dot Maxwell at parks dot nyc dot gov.
For updates on the day of the ride, please call (917) 902-9165. Also, please do wear a helmet and bring water.

Also on Sunday, free canoe rides are offered by Long Island City Community Boathouse in conjunction with Socrates Sculpture Park and Partnerships for Parks. Volunteers are also needed to help clean up the beach while waiting for their turn to paddle!
When: Ongoing Sundays, 1pm-5pm
Where: The beach at Socrates Sculpture Park at Hallets Cove. 31st Avenue at Vernon Blvd.
Who: All are welcome. Minors must be accompanied by a guardian.
Why: Learn to paddle a canoe, enjoy the East River, and help keep our waterfront clean and open to the public.
More info: Visit

This weekend also brings us the start of World Cup soccer! It is expected that 1.5 billion people around the world will watch the World Cup games. Starting on Saturday, consider stopping by the Bohemian Beer Garden or the Irish Rover (my two favorite watering holes in town), for World Cup fun this weekend and throughout the Games. Time Out NY also has some suggestions as to where to watch the World Cup (scroll down to the bottom for locations in Queens). By the way, here's the TV schedule.

Also on Saturday, PS1 presents Iron Art, a competitive, real-time art making event inspired by the Japanese cooking show, Iron Chef. From the website: "Iron Artist is an event that invites the public to witness competitive improvised art making between contemporary artists, critique and commentary of the artwork by local art personalities, and celebrate the final works in the exhibition opening immediately following the competition." Free with museum admission.

Sunday night head over to Hell Gate Social for their weekly Sunday night movie. The movie (TBD) starts at 9pm. Earlier that evening, consider playing Trivia and the Pub Quiz at the Irish Rover. Teams of 2-4 people play against each other for cash prizes - every team puts in $10 and the winner takes all. Pub Quiz starts at 7pm.

More fun, here.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Fresh Produce for All!

Tonight was the first Hellgate CSA distribution at the Freeze Peach and what a turn out! Tonight's bounty consisted of lettuce, leeks, strawberries, rhubarb, and chives. I guess its time for me to whip out my veggie thesaurus of a recipe book and look up the uses for rhubarb... its my first encounter with it. Its fun! Part of the reason i was so amped about the CSA was because i'd get the chance to check out all sorts of produce that my traditional Portuguese upbringing deprived me of. I decided i would need some help with all these new foods so i bought the cutest little book, Field Guide to Produce by Aliza Green. Its chock full of pics, info and useful suggestions. I also picked up, From Asparagus to Zucchini A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce by MACSAC (Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition) for all the great recipes (thanks Harlan!) and thank goodness i did or i wouldn't have known how to store my new friends Leeks and Rhubarb!
When i got home, the Fresh Direct man had paid us a visit! So the lettuce was used for a light salad with the grilled salmon that just arrived. Some butter, lemon and chopped chives on top and voila, dinner. I also prepped the strawberries the way my mom taught me, strawberry wine...tune in tomorrow when i check if its done!
see, isn't it pretty?!?!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Astorian Weekend Edition 02.06.06

Craving some fun and delicious food? AND with a backyard to boot? After work on friday head down Ditmars to Fatty's Cafe (Corner of Ditmars & Crescent). Sadly when i was there the other day the backyard wasn't open. But let some of this good weather in on the weekend and you've got yourself a few well spent hours. I can tell you firsthand that the pressed cubano (roasted pork, black forest ham, swiss, pickles, mayo-chipotle mustard-$8) is a mighty fine sandwich. The spicy mustard adds a different twist to the traditional dish. The chavorrayo (chicken, avocado, monterrey jack, garlic mayo-$8) was also yummy with a dash of the green tabasco graciously provided. They are also known for their decor which is ever changing art/photos hanging on the walls. Local artists hang out there and so does their work! (its all for sale and rotating monthly schedule)

Did you know there was a school for fine art right here in neighboring LIC???? Well now for the aspiring artist in you, head over to the Bridgeview School of Fine Art (42-26 28th St. 2nd fl.) and check out all the classes and programs they have available. They are registering now until June 26th for the summer season (July 5-Aug 30). The 8 week courses vary in price from $255 to $320, not bad for a summer of artistic fun!

Saturday from 10am-12:30pm, go join the Astoria/LIC Waterfront Parks Group in readying up our shoreline for all of us to visit and enjoy this summer. All you need to bring is yourself in some comfy clothes that you won't mind getting a little dirty! Show up where all the people are at the War Memorial in Astoria Park (@ Shore Blvd.)

In for the weekend or planning a car trip? Need something to listen to? Well Astoria can help you out there too! This Show Again, touted as Astoria's only podcast (as far as i can tell it is) has been written up in the NY Times. If you remember back in March, i made a little guest appearance on the show... it will serve as a reminder that i should stick to non-speaking hobbies... and we here at JIA just wanted to send out a big congratulations on the mainstream media attention the boys have gotten. So if you haven't checked them out yet, be sure to log on and download some of their local hilarity to keep you company on your travels.

For next week- Tuesday is the first pick up for the Hellgate CSA! You still have time to get in on the veggie action, its a great deal and a great way to eat this summer.