Thursday, September 27, 2007

Candy Plum Trunk Sale Saturday

Just heard from Candy Plum yesterday - they're having their first Fall trunk sale. Here are the details:

This Saturday, September 29
12:00pm - 4:00pm


With Designers Denice Nora & Liz Shaw showcasing their entire Fall Collections.

First 10 customers receive a free pair of earrings.

Naturally, there will be complimentary drinks & treats!

Candy Plum
30-98 36th Street

Extra Weekend Event!

I just received the Museum of the Moving Image's weekly email and saw that they are showing several excellent noir films by the great Fritz Lang this weekend. Here's the lineup:

Saturday, September 29

4:30 p.m.
Fritz Lang, King of Noir
1953, 90 mins. 16mm. With Anne Baxter, Richard Conte, Ann Sothern. Unsure if she murdered a man the drunken night before, a telephone operator falls for the reporter covering the story. In Lang's penetrating and paranoid view of post-war American bachelor culture, the heroine has to fend off predatory men- including the reporter, who wants to convict her, and marry her.

6:30 p.m.
Fritz Lang, King of Noir
1953, 89 mins. 35mm. With Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Lee Marvin. Lang's 1950s masterpiece chronicles corruption through all levels of American society, as an honest cop takes the law into his own hands after his wife is killed and he is removed from the force.

Sunday, September 30

3:00 p.m.
Fritz Lang, King of Noir
1956, 100 mins. 35mm. With Dana Andrews, Rhonda Fleming. Lang surveys the entanglements of a team of reporters united professionally even as they backstab each other personally. Meanwhile, a serial killer stalks in the background. Lang's ensemble thriller/comedy/media satire/anti-romance was one of his favorites of his films.

5:00 p.m.
Fritz Lang, King of Noir
1956, 80 mins. Archival 35mm print from George Eastman House. A reporter (Dana Andrews) attempting to expose problems with the judicial system frames himself for murder, but the evidence to prove him innocent goes up in smoke. No other work so clearly displays Lang's passion for plot twists, as the audience and the protagonist find themselves trapped in a series of tales within tales.

Astorian Weekend Edition 27.09.07

Well, this is the last weekend of September - October is just around the corner and I expect the full reality of fall will hit me then. This warm/hot weather this past week has kept me in the mindset of summer. Can't put the summer clothes away just yet! And you can hang on to the last bit of summer with a trip to PS1 in LIC. Their summer line up of exhibitions is there for just a bit longer, just until October 8. Get there to see Peter Young, Jack Whitten, and many other before their works come down.

On the art-related front, this weekend the Women's Studio Center in LIC (21-24 44th Avenue) presents their annual Members Exhibition, Small Works, Big Ideas. They're having an opening reception on Friday from 5-8pm. Come by to see a variety of media, from painting, to sculpture, to bronze work, among others. I stopped by this week and saw a lot of wonderful pieces. My favorite is a little bronze horse - it's really lovely. It's definitely worth a trip.

And on Thursday, the Art-O-Mat holds a reception for 11101:The Space at Art-O-Mat, The Space's residency there. The Space "has been providing free studio, rehearsal, and performance space for the creative arts" in LIC since 1999. The reception is at 6pm with live banjo music by Johnny Coughlan and Friends. Art-O-Mat is located at 46-46 Vernon Blvd.

On Saturday, the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (LPAC, 47th Avenue at Van Dam in LIC) presents the Pasha Dance Company, Korea’s elite dance troupe, in their US debut. They will perform its signature piece, Mok-Ryeon, Ascendable the Cloud Nine, which is inspired by Dante’s Paradise and Buddhist thought. They use contrasting colors and choreography to tell the story of the Buddhist disciple Maudgalyayana. They will also present Everlasting Mass Communication, winner of the Korean Ministry of Culture’s Best Dance Production in 2006. 8pm, General Admission: $20 / $10 Students.

On Friday, see the documentary City of Water at Socrates Sculpture Park from 7-9pm. The description: "With New York City's waterways finally coming back to life, this short documentary explores the aspirations of public officials, advocates, environmentalists, recreational boaters and regular New Yorkers for their waterfront as development along its shores proceeds at a gold-rush pace. The documentary features interviews with Majora Carter, Dan Doctoroff, Cathy Drew, Joy Garland, Philip Lopate, Nydia Velazquez and others."
It's probably a good idea to rsvp for this at

For eats, maybe stop by Cafe Soleil on Astoria Blvd or Patisserie la Brioche D'Or on Steinway Street, both new to the neighborhood. Water Taxi Beach is still going strong, with DJ Victor Franco spinning there Saturday night. Great dogs and burgers can be had there.

More fun, here.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Cafe Soleil Open!

A new coffee house has opened in Astoria! The Soleil Cafe, on Astoria Blvd South between 37th and 38th Streets, serves coffee (drip and espresso), tea, fresh juices, and baked goods so far. The space is really nice, with lots of comfy furniture, art on the wall, and the color scheme is a mixture of soothing earth tones. WiFi access is unknown at this time. The owner has been in the restaurant business for some time, and his brother is the manager over at Cavo, a well-loved spot in Astoria.

They plan to have music there in the future, too, which is I was happy to hear. The guys running the place are really nice, and very excited about this new venture. The coffee is tasty and the treats there look great (the brownie was yum!). I believe their hours will be between 6am and midnight. I'm looking forward to visiting again. Definitely check them out! And let us know what you think. Pictures below:

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Patisserie la Brioche D'Or

A new patisserie has opened up on Steinway, Patisserie la Brioche D'Or, right near the intersection of Steinway and 25th Avenue, next to the Morrocan place on the corner, east side of the street. I think they are still getting set up, but when I was by a couple night ago, they had some things available on the counter and in the case. I saw some basic French pastries - little tarts and eclairs - as well as arab pastries.

The nice man behind the counter gave me a crescent shaped cookie that consisted of a thin wheat pastry (kind of like very thin pie dough) that was filled with ground almonds flavored with sugar and rosewater, I think. It didn't taste like marzipan at all, hooray! Very tasty. There were some other sweet things on the counter that looked kind of like pretzels laced with honey and some baklava type items, among others. I think the people running the patisserie are from north Africa.

I think it will be a very nice addition to that part of Steinway Street. I love this part of Astoria, and plan to spend more time there. I'll definitely be back to Patisserie la Brioche D'Or to try more things!

Greek Aid

This is happening tonight! GreekAid.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Astorian Weekend Edition 20.09.07

May I suggest some dinner for tonight at Zenon Taverna or Mundo? You can get in on the Queens Restaurant week specials at these and several other spots throughout town. For only $20 (but not on weekends), I say go for it and try those places you've been meaning to get to!

You can also get your trivia on Thurs... along with $5 pitchers at Dillinger's (46-19 30th Ave). All the useless info your brain can handle brought to you by the Trivia Girls, another 5 bucks and 3 other friends will get you in on the action.

Have you seen the new face on Candy Plum (30-98 36th Street)? Well they've gone pink! Check out their new look and get in on a bunch of new designer originals and sales like crazy.

Last Resort Art Space (8-63 Astoria Blvd @ 12th St) has a show on Saturday at 9 pm. Can't beat 5 bucks for 5 bands! This party will go on until the wee hours so take an afternoon nap if need be :). Its a BYOB type thing so spending stays down (how's that for a cheap date!)

Sunday morning at 11 in Astoria Park, the Pug meetup group will be looking for YOU to create their new Pug T-shirt! HAHAHA I kid you not, they are holding a contest with prizes and all. Get more info here and maybe we'll see your design around town.

Filming at the precinct?

Its midnight and i just got a phone call from my best boy on his way to work to inform me that there is something brewing at the 114th tonight. He saw a bunch of lights and cameras set up. Anyone have the skinny on this? Am i missing out on some big stars 3 blocks away from home?
Should i have gotten my butt up and ran over there? Well, too late- i'm in my jammies and about to shut down. Just wanted to get this out there in hopes of some info from you guys!

thanks :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tonight! Grand Opening of Blue Streak Wines & Spirits in LIC

Via the calendar listing at Queens West:

The Grand Opening of Blue Streak Wines & Spirits will be held from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 19, 2007 at the store location: 47-20 Center Blvd., Long Island City, NY 11109. (Eastcoast building @ Pepsi Cola sign).

The event will feature Jan Shrem, owner of Napa Valley, Clos Pegase Winery, presenting: Bacchus the Rascal, A Bacchanalian History of Wine Seen Through 4,000 Years of Art, a vibrant & humorous multi-media presentation with over 100 wine-related images - DaVinci, Rembrandt, Dali, and Picasso, & more – plus a contemporary homage to wine. 8:00 p.m. Also at the event will be a tasting of amazing Clos Pegase wines! Terrific hors d’ oeuvres by East Coast’s own Celebrity Chef, Dave Martin! And, paintings by Long Island City-based artist Sandra Bloodworth. Her installation is a robust pairing of art and wine inspired by life with her culinary talented husband and their shared love for entertaining family and friends.

Free! Fascinating! Fun! (Reservations suggested. Seating space limited.)

Shoreline Cleanup Pictures!

On Saturday, members of the community got together to clean up the shoreline at Astoria Park as part of the International Coastal Cleanup. We were joined by the super volunteers from RockCorps - all teenagers, and really helped make a difference with there hard work. I took a lot of pictures of the event, and am including some of my favorites below.

Hooray for community involvement!

Photo credit: Meg Cotner via a Creative Commons license

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Anna's Corner Is Now Athens Tavern

I walked by the location where Anna's Corner was (31st Street and 23rd Ave) and saw that a new awning had gone up with the name "Athens Tavern". I passed by there a week or so ago and asked a couple guys outside (they were taking a smoke break from their work on the space) what kind of restaurant it was going to be and they said "a fish restaurant". Not like we don't have many of those in the neighborhood. But, as Elias Corner and Taverna Kyclades get mixed reviews, maybe a new fish restaurant could give them both a run for their money. I just hope they don't get their fish from the Astoria Fishery on 31st Street - that place smells rank!

What can you say to this?

So there has been alot of coverage lately of crime in Astoria.
I just don't know what to make of this one though...
Crime on the rise?

* don't quote me on this but i think i ripped it out of the Astoria Times or Ledger or something or other like that form the 13th

Queens Restaurant Week

It's restaurant week here in our fair borough! The lunch and dinner specials - around $20 for 3 courses, tax and gratuity separate - happen this week until Thursday, September 20th, and then Monday, September 24th to Friday, September 27th. There are a number of places participating in Astoria and Long Island City. Thanks to John at for putting this Queens Restaurant Week information together:

Arcos Restaurant, 33-05 Broadway, 718-204-2142
Barril Grill, 30-18 Broadway, 718-545-8498
Bartolino's Italian Restaurant, 34-15 Broadway, 718-728-7522
Euros Restaurant, 45-01 Ditmars, 718-204-0168
Gandhi Restaurant, 34-14 30th Ave, 718-956-7555
Margarita Ville Restaurant, 38-01 Broadway, 718-777-1707
Mezzo Mezzo, Mediterranean, 31-29 Ditmars Blvd, 718-278-0444
Mundo Cafe & Restaurant, 31-18 Broadway, 718-777-2829
Opa Souvlaki, 28-44 31st St, 718-728-3638
Paparazzi Restaurant, 40-17 30th Ave, 718-274-9312
Pinocchio Palace, 32-02 30th Ave, 718-932-4976
Ponticello Restaurant, 46-11 Broadway, 718-278-4514
Sanfords Restaurant, 30-13 Broadway, 718-932-9569
Time Cafe, 44-18 Broadway, 718-606-0500
Zenon Taverna, 34-10 31st Ave, 718-956-0133
Zorba's Souvlaki Plus, 29-05 23rd Ave, 718-956-7266

Long Island City

Da Gianni's Ristorante, 21-50 44th Dr, 718-707-0442
Island Restaurant, 35-15 36th St, 718-433-0690
Masso, 47-25 Vernon Blvd, 718-482-8151
Riverview, 2-01 50th Ave, 718-392-5000
Tennisport, 51-24 2nd St, 718-392-1880
Tournesol Restaurant, 50-12 Vernon Blvd, 718-472-4355
Waters Edge Restaurant, Continental, The East River at 44th Dr, 718-482-0033

Personally, my favorite in Astoria is Mundo and in LIC is Tournesol. What are your favorites?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Shoreline Cleanup - Reminder!

Tomorrow is the Shoreline Cleanup at Astoria Park - starts around 9am and goes to about 12:30 or so. Check my previous post for more info. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Creek and the Cave

Last week I finally made it out to The Creek and the Cave in Long Island City; it's about a block from the Vernon-Jackson subway station. And it's interesting - you turn one way out of the subway and it's desolate. You turn another direction and you're just steps away from open businesses and foot traffic. LIC is definitely still developing and parts of it are still very industrial.

We walked in and were greeted by a very nice young man who gave us a rundown of where everything is in the space. There's a bar upstairs and downstairs, a room to play pool, a performance space next door, and a really great outdoor patio in the back with another smaller bar and plenty of tables, chairs, and a movie screen. They show films out there on Thursday nights during the warmer months.

We had some great beer - a Sol, which is kind of like a Corona but much better, and I a red ale from a brewery whose name I forget, but what was notable - beyond its real tastiness - was that it was from a brewery that is women-run in Pennsylvania. We also had a salsa and guacamole ($5.95) sampler which was also really good. The food itself was ok. I had three soft tacos, one of each filled with chicken, pork, and tofu. The pork was by far the best, savory yet sweet. We also tried chicken enchiladas made with flour tortillas, which to me is a little odd - I'm accustomed to enchiladas being corn tortilla-based. Everything was tasty but not stellar. I'd definitely give the food another chance, though, and try other things. I hear the burritos are particularly good.

The guy who served us was terrific, though. Super nice and helpful and gave us great suggestions when we asked for them. It was the kind of service that makes you want to leave a really big tip. And the movie (Kill Bill), while quite violent, was a lot of fun. I'm really curious to know what happens in Kill Bill 2.

So, overall, the beer is great, salsa and guacamole is also great, tacos and enchiladas are ok, service is very good, and the vibe is excellent. Laid back and relaxed, a nice place where you can just hang out with friends and enjoy yourselves. Oh, and they have live music there quite often. Definitely recommended.

The Creek and The Cave
10-93 Jackson Ave.
Long Island City

Open for lunch, dinner and drinks Tuesday through Friday.
Dinner and drinks Saturday and Sunday.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Astorian Weekend Edition 13.09.07

One of my favorite events is happening this weekend, the Shoreline Cleanup. The big one will be in Astoria Park, starting around 9am, going until around 1pm or so. Check-in is on Shore Blvd across from the war memorial, and you'll most likely see me helping out there. It's a terrific event and a great way to contribute to the community. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes (that means no sandals or flipflops). And if Astoria Park is too far from you, from 11am-2pm that day there's a shoreline cleanup at Gantry Park. Gantry Park is located at at 48th Avenue and the East River. For more info, contact

Later that day is the re(Cycle) Plays at Socrates Sculpture Park. This is a free event with a bunch of local theater groups participating. From the press release:
THE (re)CYCLE PLAYS is a free outdoor festival of live performances in theatre, dance, and music with green themes. A dynamic mix of artists will recycle titles from the medieval Cycle Plays and pair them with today's leading ecological issues. This series of short performances will cycle throughout the day on multiple stages.

Also on Sunday, Flux Factory (38-38 43rd Street) is starting a new project, DeluxeFactory. There's a capitalist element to it, which I'm sure will be twisted by FF in their own inimitable way. Saturday at 7pm is the opening party, plus the gallery is open during the weekend.

The Astoria Symphony has a performance this weekend, too. They'll be performing the music of Wagner, Huff, and Brahms. On Sunday at 5pm they'll be playing in Astoria at St. Joseph's Catholic Church (43-19 30th Avenue). Tickets are $12 apiece.

Thursday night the Creek and the Cave in LIC (10-93 Jackson Ave) they're showing Kill Bill 2. I was there last Thursday and had a great time. The food is tasty, the beer is great, and it's fun to be outside in the back watching a movie. Kill Bill was terrifically violent but such a well-crafted film. I'm really curious to see how things happen in the second installation.

If you want to do some shopping this weekend, we've got great boutiques here in town: Kristees (24-01 23rd Avenue), Candy Plum (30-98 36th Street), Loveday 31 (33-06 31st Ave), The Blooming Company (22-75 31st Street), and Mimi's Closet (21-10 31st Street) come to mind. Such cute stuff!

And maybe a trip to Dolce Italia will be in your plans? I understand that apart from the delicious pastries they also sell bread. Pair that with some great feta and olives from Angelo's Food Emporium ( 31-27 Ditmars Blvd) up the street, and a bottle of Greek wine from Omega Wines over on 23rd Ave (29-15 23rd Street), and you're set. Don't forget some gelato later at La Guli (29-15 Ditmars Blvd)!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Coming Soon...

Ok, so I've got 2 places i'm keeping my eye on.
Astoria's first 7/11 looks like its happening over on 29th St and 30th Ave.
I really don't know why but i have to say it intrigues me. Just because growing up in NJ they were a staple i guess? But here? Do we really need one? Is the need for slushies and $.79 "Big Gulps" of syrup water of so overwhelming that they are planting one smack dab in the middle of our fair neighborhood? I guess so.
Will report back once they are open and i get a looksee :)

Then there is Soleil Coffee Shop. They finally named it and put up a coming soon sign scrawled on some cardboard. Its on Astoria Blvd. between 37th & 38th St. This makes me happy. Yes its another cafe and all but this forgotten territory needs one. I say this cause i live around the corner and this is right on the walk to the train. Fingers crossed big time on this place being cool. Shouldn't be much longer til its open, looking inside the couches and counter are all set up already. We shall see.....

The (re)Cycle Plays


at Socrates Sculpture Park
Saturday, September 15 (rain date September 16)
1 - 6pm

A free Community Eco-Festival featuring:
Confluence Theatre Company
Athena Kokoronis
Adam Matta
New Perspectives Theater
Studio 42
The Subjective Theatre Company
Anne Zuerner/The Roxanne Lola Movement Machine

Special appearance by The Rude Mechanical Orchestra
Festival design by Nicole Frankel and Robert Morris
(lineup subject to change)

THE (re)CYCLE PLAYS is a free outdoor festival of live performances in theatre, dance, and music with green themes. A dynamic mix of artists will recycle titles from the medieval Cycle Plays and pair them with today's leading ecological issues. This series of short performances will cycle throughout the day on multiple stages.

  • Sets constructed from salvaged materials
  • Powered by 100% bio-diesel
  • Ye Olde Eco-Faire will showcase grassroots environmental groups
  • Green Kids! area presented by Wingspan Arts with music by Astrograss for Kids

Monday, September 10, 2007

Ditmars and 35th - Something's Happenin'

I am curious, like that man in the picture, as to what is going in at this "doomed" restaurant corner. It was mussels and frites, was empty for about 2 years, now...? I heard somewhere, "Mediterranean". I hope it's not sushi, we have too many of those in the neighborhood. Many hope for Indian.

Rose and Joe's and Rizzo's.

Over on Grub Street, they've noticed my penchant for Rose and Joe's Sicilian slices. So much so, that they wanted to know if they are really that amazing. Well, they got some responses! The result:
There was a bit of volatile reaction from our readers to the quality of Rose & Joe's Sicilian pies: “Any self-respecting pizza eater in Astoria will know that going anywhere but Rizzo’s for a square pie/slice is absolutely maniacal.”
I have to say, even though I love Rose and Joe's, I do love me some Rizzo's. Whenever I'm in that part of town and I'm hungry for a snack, Rizzo's tops my list. I love their slice with ricotta and tomatoes. Square slices are tasty, too. I think Rizzo's has some of the best pizza in Astoria. Oh, they are one of the few places around that sells RC cola "on tap".

Joey likes Rizzo's too! So does flooz, I believe.

FYI, though, I had a Sicilian slice from Rose and Joe's this weekend, this time topped with pepperoni, and it was crazy delicious!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Dolce Italia Bakery in Astoria

While walking home from a fun-filled afternoon with friends, my guy and I spied the Dolce Italia Bakery storefront outfitted with a "Grand Opening" sign. We went to open the door and the owners beat us to it, opening up and showing off all their delicious treats. The store is crisp and clean and the baked goods looked fabulous. Lots of Italian cookies, little tarts, big cakes, amazing looking marzipan fruits, cheesecakes, and my favorite, cannoli. We tried a hazelnut chocolate cannoli and a tiny little strawberry-kiwi tart. Both were really delicious! I loved the hazelnut and chocolate combo in the cannoli, plus the consistency of the filling was smooth yet substantial. The little tart had a lot of fruit flavor in it for such a little thing, and the pastry cream sitting below the fruit was clean and not overly sweet, and balanced well with the fruit. So, a big thumbs up from us. I'll be back for sure.

FYI, Dolce Italia is in the place of the old Modern Italian Bakery.

Dolce Italia Bread & Pastry Shop
36-06 Ditmars Blvd.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Socrates Emerging Artist Fellowship Exibition Opening

Astorian Weekend Edition 06.09.07

Show your love for our wonderful Astoria Park and get out your cameras! From now until October 8, submit your best shots and win bragging rights (and some real prizes, too) for A Salute to Queens Parks Photo contest.

Hey, we're post-Labor Day. Get in your kayaking time while you still can!

Saturday is Temperature Check '07 at Astoria Park. From 3:30 to 7:30 p.m., hit the raffles and science experiments all about global warming. Help look for answers and solutions to power needs and hopefully end the threat of Astoria blackouts while you're at it! No pressure... No cost to attend, just enjoy

presents two shopping extravaganzas in three locations at one place! Got that? There will be the Arts & Crafts Show AND a Vendor Market on Sunday at the Community Rooms at the Queensview Houses (rooms #7 & 14 & courtyard @ 21-15 34th Ave). Shop over 30 vendors worth of paintings, collectibles, antiques, memorabilia, & hand-made items all afternoon, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. There are door prizes - a $50 cash prize even!

Still need something to do, go grab a slice or two at Rose & Joe's (2240 31ST St)!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Upcoming: Shoreline Cleanup

Last night I attended the first fall meeting of the Astoria Parks Alliance. We talked about a lot of things, and one of them was the upcoming Shoreline Cleanup. I've participated in it since I moved to Astoria two years ago, and plan on being there this year too, in an organizational role. I'll probably be one of the people you see as you arrive and sign in.

The Shoreline Cleanup is part of the 21st Annual International Coastal Cleanup, a national event organized by the American Littoral Society. Thousands of volunteers around the world (80 countries, to be exact, and 20 sites in Queens) will be cleaning up their beaches and shorelines, as well as recording the garbage they collect there. The shoreline cleanup will be taking place here in Astoria at Astoria Park. There will also be cleanup events at Hallets Cove (near Hallets Cove Playground) and at Socrates. Here are the details from Green Shores:

  • What: 21st Annual International Coastal Cleanup
  • When: Saturday, September 15, 9am-12:30pm
  • Where: Astoria Park Registration in front of the War Memorial, Astoria Park, along Shore Boulevard.
  • Who: All are welcome, though young folks should be accompanied by an adult. Wear hard soled shoes and be prepared to get a bit wet and dirty. Garbage bags and gloves will be provided, though if you have your own gloves please bring them.
  • Sponsored by: Green Shores NYC, Astoria/LIC Waterfronts Park Alliance, and Partnership for Parks

The cleanup is open to anyone who wants to help, who is 14 years an older. If you need more information or have questions, feel free to contact Karen Overton at 718-706-8044 or . We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Rose and Joe's Spells Delicious

I made a number of visits to Rose and Joe's today, because they are all too convenient for a quick snack before jumping on the subway there at Ditmars. They are one of my favorite bakeries in Astoria. Here are a couple pictures, one of the delicious cookies and one of the awesome sicilian slice. Enjoy!: