Friday, February 23, 2007
The Ditmars area has gained a lovely eclectic furniture shop. Nooks & Crannies (Ditmars bet. 29th and 31st St.) has joined Inside Astoria (37-20 Ditmars Blvd) in the ranks of "new" non-bank/nail salon/$.99 shops! It's a pretty small space that used to be a dry cleaners, but seeing as how the stock moves really quickly -- they restock constantly -- there is always something new/old and affordable to catch your eye. Hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays, and no go on Sunday. Good news too, they take donations, so feel free to recycle your old kitchen chairs there.
After visiting and loving Il Bambino and all the deliciousness there, i sought out many of the ingredients to try at home. Luckily Dave & Tony's Salumeria (35-18 30th Ave.) is not only open on Sundays (8am-1pm) but they carry yummy gorgonzola dolce and my other new favorite, speck ($11 a pound is sooo doable). Grab some crusty bread and there you go, a perfect Sunday lunch.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
at 9pm, join Anne Margaret Redding & Jeneen Terrana for an acoustic evening
At Waltz, the Blues Jam i gave you a heads up on a couple of weeks back starts tonight.
9pm, no cover but a $7 drink minimum (should be easy enough to meet that!).
Whatever your flavor, there is definitely goings on in the hood.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
In newly introduced legislation by Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D-Queens), a mandatory policy would be instituted notifying all parents whose children attend a bedbug-infested school of the infestation and providing them with prevention information.
Bedbugs = totally grody.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
Please join me tomorrow, Saturday, February 17th at 11:00 A.M. at the Vernon Jackson Subway Stop in Long Island City, to send a clear message to the MTA that the continued weekend shutdown of the 7 train is unacceptable, and to ask for more relief measures for Queens residents.
As you may already know, the MTA plans to suspend service between Times Square and 74th Street in Jackson Heights on the #7 Line, for 6 weekends, which covers the end of February and the entire month of March. Last weekend, service was also suspended between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza.
Put simply, when the #7 train is not running, the people of Queens suffer. By shutting the train down for such an extended period of time, the MTA is literally erecting a barrier for the hundreds of thousands of people who are trying to get to work, visit with friends and family, buy groceries, or visit a restaurant or museum. Having grown up here and taken the #7 train all my life, I am outraged that the MTA continues to snub the people of Queens. The letter below, which I am sending to the MTA, outlines my concerns.
I look forward to seeing you on Saturday and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at 718.383.9566.
My friend Tamara will be holding a wine tasting at Best of Broadway Wine shop (Broadway between 34th and 35th Streets) this Friday from 5-8pm. It's free! While you're in the neighborhood, stop by Le Petit Prince for some great bread or dessert. Later that night you can head over to the Tantra Lounge for their Brazilian Carnival Weekend Celebration (they're celebrating all weekend!). DJs abound, with Happy Hour from 5-9pm.
Remember Wassi, that cafe-turned-lounge on 28th Ave? It closed and opened up as the World News Cafe (37-05 28th Avenue). This weekend the Progressive Muslim Meetup group is meeting there, and they are showing Spike Lee's film, Malcom X. If you self-identify as a progressive Muslim, go ahead and RSVP. Curious as to what a "progressive Muslim" is? You can find out here. By the way, the cafe is hiring.
On the food discovery front, I've been hearing very good things about the burgers and grilled cheese at Sparrow, which finally opened their kitchen a couple weeks ago. I like the feel of Sparrow a lot; they have great beer, a few nice wines, and an unpretentious vibe. Muncan Foods (43-09 Broadway) has also come to my attention, with tempting visions of Eastern European sausages and bacon running rampant in my mind; I will visit soon. And speaking of pork products, the Beer Garden is holding their annual PorkFest. It goes through the weekend, but Sunday is the day with music and dance performances. Go and enjoy a panoply of pork products and boffo beer! And for you vegans/vegetarians, news on the street is that a new vegan/vegetarian restaurant is going to open very soon on 30th Ave. We'll keep you posted here.
More fun, here.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Power Plant Expansion Imminent
Officials at the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are finalizing plans for the renewal of a pollution discharge permit for the Astoria Generating Station, along with plans for expansion of the plant.
The Astoria Generating Station at 18-01 20th Ave., is located within the Astoria Con Edison site. The station is one of several plants located in Astoria, where approximately 60 per cent of the city's electricity is generated.
The plant, formerly owned and operated by Orion Power and Reliant Energy, is now the property of U.S. Power Generation, officials said. State environmental officials approved expansion of the site in 2003 under plans that call for replacement of four boiler units with six turbines--changes that would increase total output by 550 megawatts, increasing output from 1,250 to 1,800 MW, officials said.
The increased production is not expected to affect air quality in the surrounding communities, state officials said. New turbines slated for installation under the plan are more efficient, and would burn natural gas as a primary fuel, they said. Boilers currently operating at the site use natural gas and oil; both generate pollutants, the officials said.
The new equipment would use approximately 95 per cent less water from the East River for its operation, significantly reducing impact on aquatic life in the river, state officials said.
DEC officials are expected to modify the permit prior to final approval to give plant owners an opportunity to study the effects of the plant's operation on fish and other organisms in the East River.
For further information or to register comments with DEC officials, write to Christopher Hogan at the state Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, Albany, N.Y. 12233, call Hogan at 518.402.9167, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Citing a television news report that Con Edison field crews were "clearly aware" of the seriousness of last summer's power blackout soon after it started, Assemblymember Michael Gianaris has renewed his call for the giant utility's management to be held accountable for what occurred afterward.More, here.
Referring to the material shown by WABCTV last Friday evening, Gianaris said, "These tapes make clear that Con Edison knew on the first day of the blackout that more people were affected than it was reporting."Con Edison management recklessly endangered the lives of Western Queens residents by releasing figures that were absurdly low, and they must be held accountable for this outrageously irresponsible behavior."
Following the long power outage, Gianaris formed a state Assembly Task Force that investigated what he described as the failures of the huge utility and the PSC during the Western Queens blackout. The task force, comprised of energy industry experts, issued its findings last month, identifying needed improvements for both Con Ed and the PSC. To obtain a copy of the report, contact Gianaris' office at 718-545-3889.I'm going to call and get my copy for sure.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
I had heard about a new cafe (you all call them "coffee shops" here in the east) called Esparks, located on Steinway just north of 31st Avenue, so I checked it out as well. It's a very nice space with tasty coffee. It looks very much like a Starbucks, and the baristas there readily fess up to the comparison. It's a comfortable space and quite spacious. They have free wifi, which is cool. People are even beginning to post "missed connections" from there. There isn't any other place like it in the area, and I think it fills a real need. Below are some pictures.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
A week from today, get yourself a free short stack of pancakes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., they're asking for in-store donations to the Children's Miracle Network instead.
JACKSON HEIGHTS, NY 11372-1144
Phone: 718-429 5452
On the topic of pancakes, I hear Igloo makes quite the delicious batch- AND they have real maple syrup.... so if you're really not feeling like the trek out to JH but still want some pancakes, give them a try!
LIC is the place to be!
- Wonton Foods (largest chinese fortune cookie factory anywhere)
- Steve Madden
- Manic Panic
- Vine Wine
- Noguchi Sculpture Garden (love it!)
- La Vuelta (yum)
- The Creek and the Cave
- Kenny Krypton Neon's Shop and Art-O-Mat
- and various other random sights
Monday, February 12, 2007
Brick Cafe, Astoria's old-world-y litle bistro, has plenty of style. Candlelight, old brick walls, a tin ceiling and antiques. The menu's nothing to sneeze at, either: try the veal chop with mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes or the linguine with shrimps, clams, and mussels. (30-95 33rd Street, Astoria; 718-267-2735; expect to pay between $25 and $50 for a three-course dinner.)
I went on a first date there once, and it was nice (the meal; the date was just ok). If you want to go there for Valentine's Day, they recommend you call to make your reservations early (718-267-2735). I hear brunch is pretty good, too!
Friday, February 09, 2007
By July , a Gristedes on Roosevelt Island should be drawing power from an unusual source - a turbine under the East River being driven bythye ebb and flow of the tides. A Virginia company, Verdant Power, has received the go-ahead to place the first two of six turbines in a channel of the East River to test whether they can generate electricity efficiently without disturbing the environment. One turbine will send power to the supermaket and a nearby parking garage. The other will house monitoring equipment to gauge performance. If all goes well, four more turbines will be installed soon for an 18-month test that could lead to 200-300 of the devices.
Well, the Gristedes is being powered already, and a number of volunteer groups have been formed to study the effects the turbines are having on the river, with regard to fish, birds, and recreation, to name a few. Also, they are going to see if the turbines affect sediment in the river. As of now, there is no sediment in the river because the water rushes by so quickly, but who knows if the turbines will slow things down, thereby creating sediment. Since the turbines have been put in, no fish have died as a result, which is good news (these turbines turn at 32 revolutions per minute, as opposed to conventional hydro-turbines, which turn at 600-700 rpm, so much safer). Eventually, if this test project succeeds, and all the turbines are installed, it could power 8,000-10,000 homes. Sounds good to me!
For more info, go to http://www.verdantpower.com
The actual Winter Session begins next Friday, February 16.
Saturday night @ 9:30, our local awesome picture taker/music spinner DJ Lo-Fi, will be mixing it up with the good people over at Hell Gate Social. On top of that, no cover. Yummy drinks and a super wide variety of hot music to keep you warm on yet another cold night!
Sunday brings us our favorite Joey harspichordist in concert! That's right, our very own Meg will be treating everyone to a performance (4 to 6pm) at the Women's Studio Center. There is a small ticket charge of $10 but i can tell you it is worth it. It's not everyday that you get to hear this instrument and get a commentary by the artist.
p.s.- if you're looking for a tastey treat, our friend Michelle from JustDesserts Chocolates and Pastries is now selling her delicious scones at Freeze Peach! She still makes truffles and more goodies to order as well so just in time for Valentine's Day here's her addy for you lovely chocoholics :) JustDessertspastry@gmail.com. Get your orders in!
Get all your Astoria and Queens haps here.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Fattys Presents a PRE-VALENTINE FUN TIME!
Come along on Tuesday night for some wicked fun!
For you crazy singles we shall be handing out nuts n' bolts!
Why you ask? Simple! Find the person with your matching nut or bolt and be treated to a free 'money shot' on us! yeaaaaah!
We shall be doing drink specials all night with some silly games and nonsense and prob some daft music!
Your ever faithful Zig and Enzo will be holding down the fort.
Come along and let the good times roll! You might even get lucky!FATTY'S CAFE
(corner of Crescent n Ditmars)
NUTS N' BOLTS
Tuesday, February 13 from 10pm to close
How flippin awesome! I've seen this on some old TV shows growing up but never actually heard of one going on :) I might have to make it out to this one...sssshhhh don't tell the ole man at home!
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Join us to help figure what we can do to improve our Astoria/LIC waterfront parks and our waterfront as a whole. This month's meeting will focus in roles and responsibilities in ALWPA. Come together with friends and neighbors to re-envision our waterfront and improve our neighborhood.
All Are Welcome!
Wednesday, February 7, 6pm
Greater Astoria Historical Society
Quinn Building, 35-20 Broadway, 4th Floor
For more info, please call 718-706-8044, 917-902-9165 or email Emily.Maxwell@parks.nyc.gov
Monday, February 05, 2007
Only a few intrepid water lovers have dipped their toes into Hallets Cove in recent decades. Stalwart anglers never stopped throwing their lines into this Queens waterway from the bulkhead running alongside Vernon Boulevard, a promenade running under the Astoria Houses to the northern side of the cove and the rocky slopes of Socrates Sculpture Park to the south. But pollution including floatable debris, and inexperience with the water, have discouraged generations of New Yorkers from taking advantage of the easy pedestrian access from Vernon Boulevard to explore the cove.
But lately the neighborhoods of Astoria and Ravenswood are reawakening to the potential of this quiet curve of water.
Makes me want to learn more about this wonderful little spot, and check it out in person!
It looks like Waltz is going to run out of nights to have events! We have comedy night, open mic night, jazz night and then there's tastings too. Waltz continues to hook up Astoria and its residents with wonderful entertainment and performances.
- oh and did i mention there is a beer tasting this Thursday?!?!?! Get there at 9pm and bring $10. You'll get to try 6 different NY State microbrews and hors d'oeuvres!
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Currently, we are in the beginning phases of forming an Astoria Park group. The group hopes to bring together nearby residents and organizations to work together to ensure the overall health of the park. We are currently a collective group of Astoria Park users interested in clean ups and gardening days, advocating for physical park improvements, partnering with other program and events that take place in the park, environmental education, and creating literature/brochures. As you can see we have generated many ideas in a short period of time! Please come join us refine these thoughts and add your own ideas in one of our first meetings on February 12th at 6:30pm in the basement of the Steinway Reformed Church.
When: Monday, February 12th, 6:30pm
Where: Steinway Reformed Church, 41-01 Ditmars Blvd at 41st Street
Who: All are welcome!
More info: If you have questions please call Helen Ho at 718-520-5913 or e-mail at email@example.com. Helen works with Partnerships for Parks, who also happens to be an Astoria resident.
A big thank you to all our readers for helping to make us a valuable community resource!
Friday, February 02, 2007
Friday night, Hellgate Social is the place to be for their V-Day NYC 2007 Variety Show and Spectacular!
Doors open at 8 p.m. and it's $10 to get in. Covers usually aren't my fav, but you get a lot of bang for your buck and the proceeds go to "The Center Against Domestic Violence" and "Women in Conflict Zones." Live music, dance, djs, and the best part... The Gotham Girls Roller Derby. I know for a fact that some other Astorian ladies cheer for these gals- fun stuff.
Saturday do something different. At Communitea (technically LIC) get your Tu B'Shvat on! Kosher wine and exotic fruits abound to celebrate the new year for trees. There is a cover, but only $10 and you get to try something new! Starts at 7:30pm but try to RSVP ahead of time- firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to drink closer to home? Come for tastings the Happy Liquor Store (34-15 31st Ave) every Friday & Saturday evening (6:30-10 p.m.). A liquor store named Happy serving free booze? I'd say!
If your TV at home isn't big enough, the folks at Indigo (28-50 31st St) will totally share their several large flatscreens for prime Superbowl watching on Sunday. Come hungry because for $20 you get to go in on the huge halftime buffet. Don't want to think about keeping a tab? $60 will get you a complete Superbowl ticket (open bar from kickoff to the end of the game and the buffet.)
There will also be raffle tickets for a mountain bike and prizes and giveaways!
- this just in from my newest-favoritest-cutest-restaurant in the nabe Il Bambino (34-08 31st Ave, 718-626-0087). Give Darren a ringie and order up a panini basket for the big game! They are absolutley to die for. I just had the prosciutto, gorgonzola dolce and fig spread the other night!) Can't go wrong with anything that guy makes. Here's a peak at it....yum