Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year Astoria!

Last year we ended off '06 with a summary of Astoria's biggest ups and downs , it worked out so well we decided to bring you the key hits and misses of our Astorian Adventures, the 2007 edition: (in no particular order...)
So there you have it, some good- some not so good, but all ours! We hope you have had a wonderful year here in our lovely nabe and that you continue to take advantage of all Astoria has to offer in 2008. Have a happy and a healthy wherever you may be and see you around hopefully!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Astorian Weekend Edition 27.12.07

OK kids, here we go. We here at JIA have gotten a little comprehensive list of all the go-to events in the neighborhood together for you. There should be something here to fit everyone's taste and budget... Get your clean duds out cause there are things to do and people to see this long weekend! (Yeah, ok, so these are all on Monday night, but you can hit these places up anytime you want! Give any of them a try any night.)

Bistro 33 (19-33 Ditmars Blvd.) is having a pre-fix dinner with two different seatings is what I am told. There isn't info on the website since it is still under construction, but because I have fallen in love with this place- I would say, just give them a call for the 411 and get in on it whatever it may be! If you're looking to eat magnificently on the last day of the year, look no further!
Brick Cafe (30-95 33rd St.) is doing a dinner and/or bar party. For the bar part of it, there is a $25 cover at the door starting at 9:30pm which covers your first drink as well. The restaurant opens at 6 for the first and less expensive of its two seatings. The second seating at 9pm also covers your entry to the bar party- so there you go, two birds with one $80 stone.
Cavo (42-18 31st Ave.) also has a bash to offer at $150 per person for 4-course dinner (3 seating times- 7, 8 & 9pm) If you don't want to eat, there is also just the party option which will set you back $50- but it's a cash bar, so not much of a deal. They've got their menu up for perusal too.
Central Lounge (20-30 Steinway) A cool $50 will get you entry and an hour of open bar. They have food and drink packages too if you are looking to splurge. The place is so cool looking that this could be the perfect reason to head all the way up there.
Hell Gate Social (12-21 Astoria Blvd) Our always dependable good time go-to, doesn't disapoint with a no cover night full of music and entertainment. You don't even have to rush out there, the party goes from 10pm straight til 10am. There may even be a White Castle run for the munchies :)
Locale (33-02 34th Ave.) looks to have a low key and delectable eating event with two 5 course seatings, (6pm $90 pp and 10pm $100pp). Just last week I was told that I need to go there for some delish Italian, this would be a great opportunity to see what gives.
Riccardo's (21–01 24th Ave.) fills you up for $100 per adult and $60 per child. This may be a good all around party option for those of you toting some smaller folks :) They've posted the menu too if you want to make sure it fits your taste. If you want to get out of dodge before all the hubbub- they've also got a "matinee" option that doesn't sound too shabby.
Waltz Astoria (23-14 Ditmars Blvd.) asks everyone to come decked in silver and gold. Dance and be merry from 9pm on.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Holiday Fun at Kristees

This week, I got a mailing from Kristees and thought I'd pass on the info to you:

  • KrisTees Gift Certificates are available at the store.
  • For the Christmas holiday we are marking down our fun novelty tees starting at $25 up to $32.
  • Select items are on sale up to 40% off.
  • Extended holiday shopping hours this weekend - 12noon to 9:30PM.
  • Also, do not forget to stop in the store and pick up the Astoria Shopping Guide Map, which lists other great boutiques in Astoria, as well as new restaurants and bars! [I've seen this guide and it's very nice! -ed]

Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Astorian Weekend Edition 20.12.07

Well, this is your last weekend to shop before the big day! A number of local Astoria places are having sales, too. Candy Plum (30-98 36th St) has a special on earrings - with every purchase of $50, receive a free pair of selected earrings! They also have gift certificates. The Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th Ave) is holding a store-wide sale with discounts of 10% (and 25% for Museum members) - they've got collectibles, books and DVDs (that Bladerunner DVD looks particularly good!). And Vine Wine (12-09 Jackson Avenue) in LIC is offering a 15% discount on cases (their Wednesday night tastings are pretty great, too).

For wellness related gifts, head over to the SPAce website (29-09 Ditmars) and order a gift card online! I hear very good things about the massages there, and their haircuts are extremely reasonable and well done. The Yoga Room (32-32 Steinway) is offering a number of discounts through December 31, too, for you and a friend.

For good eats, stop by Mundo (31-18 Broadway), which also has a new art exhibit up. They've got some new menu items, and the same wonderful ambiance. And gift cards! Il Bambino (34-08 31st Ave) just celebrated their one year anniversary in town - I was there last night and the food was delicious, as usual. They've been making soup lately, and the butternut squash soup I had was phenomenal. I've heard lots of good things about their other soups as well (I believe they change daily). Finally on the eating front: fantastic meatballs. The newly opened Philoxenia (32-07 34th Ave) makes excellent, almost tubular shaped meatballs (in a Greek style) which are very good, and Cassino in LIC (47-18 Vernon Blvd) makes some of the best Italian meatballs I think I've ever had. Really nice people run it, too.

This weekend also marks the Winter Solstice. This marks the shortest day and longest night of the year, and that just means more sunshine will come our way each day, bit by bit. Happy Eid, too!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Carnitas Taco

Carnitas Taco
Originally uploaded by The Flooz
We interrupt the regularly scheduled weekend blog to give you the heads up on some good tacos :)

Meg was kind enough to swing by my place this weekend with some Al Pastor tacos in hand from the relatively new La Flor de Puebla. Well- they were so darned good (and spicy!) that i thought i'd go in myself and investigate the goods.
Went in yesterday and was pleasantly greeted by 5 year old Stephanie- the owners daughter and after i put in my order for 3 carnitas tacos and 3 cheese & chicken taquitos, we sat and chit-chatted about Bratz and Christmas balls for about 10 minutes while they cooked up my meal fresh!
Got some queso crema and green sauce on the side and $8.50 later, was home chowing down on some damn fine food. I'd put these tacos on par with the taco truck maybe even, hahaha!
The taquitos were a bit dry for my taste, but the cheese ones were pretty tastey.
Go check em out on the weekends and they have tamales- i'm planning on it this Saturday.

La Flor de Puebla
Astoria Blvd bet Steinway and 38th St

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Astorian Weekend Edition 13.12.07

It's jammin at the Beer Garden (29-19 24th Ave.) on Thursday. Astorian band, CatGut does their holiday jam session thing at 7 p.m. Any excuse to have some dumplings is a good one- and there's no cover :)

Crafts and jewelry everywhere! At Waltz (23-14 Ditmars) there will be more goodies from the Astoria Craft Collective... in case you missed them 2 weeks ago. Stop in from 11am-5pm. Too far to walk to in the cold? Maybe the Jewelry exhibit & sale by Glykomaraki at Grand Cafe (37-01 30th Ave.) is closer! From 12:30 to 3:30pm enjoy over 85% off retail prices... and the burgers there are delish...

Tis the season all weekend at Loveday 31 (33-06 31st. Ave)! In the spirit of the holidays, all red and green items such as 60s coats, 80s boots, and many more will be 20% off this Saturday and Sunday!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Astorian Weekend Edition 06.12.07

Dang it's cold! But I have to admit, the snow has been very pretty and I enjoyed the manageability of the first snowfall this winter. However, it will warm up a little this weekend, for which I'm grateful. There's a lot going on this weekend!

Thursday brings us lots to do. At 7 p.m., Hellgate Social (12-21 Astoria Blvd) is hosting an artist reception for the exhibit 2 Live & Paint in Astoria. This new exhibit features the work of Ralph Almeida & William C. Lindsay. Bar 36 (36-05 30th Ave) is again hosting their Martini Thursdays - $2 off every martini on their menu (or create your own). Can't beat the free snacks, too! I just wish their website was more useful. Island Cafe Bar (35-15 36th St) has Jazz every Thursday evening from 7 p.m. to midnight.

If you're not into the bar/cafe scene on Thursday, head over to Laguardia Community College (31-10 Thomson Ave.) in LIC for the opening celebration/reception for the exhibit Edge of the City, the Waterfront Paintings of Gregory William. From 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. meet the artist and enjoy the art.

Starting on Friday, stop by the Brickhouse Ceramic Art Center (10-34 44th Drive) for some holiday shopping. They are holding their annual holiday sale and open house Friday through Sunday. They offer one-of-a-kind handmade crafts from jewelry to ceramic. Their hours are Friday 4-8 p.m., Saturday 2-8 p.m., and Sunday 12-6 p.m.

Saturday night Hellgate Social presents a night of Japanese punk rock! Expect live music by The Yuharis, Uzuhi, and B.C.P. Conversely, Waltz (23-14 Ditmars) presents a twist on karaoke - jazz! Come and sing in front of a live jazz band. Set list will be provided, sign-up is at 9 p.m. and the show starts at 9:30.

Find some calm on Sunday at Grace Lutheran (31-20 21st Ave) for a weekly Buddhist meditation with Luis Villalon. The subject for this weekend is The Healing Power of Love. Beginners are welcome.

A friend of mine told me all about Rest-au-Rant, a new wine bar on 35th Ave and 30th Street. He told me, Essentially it's a wine bar, with about 30 wines, so far, though they're aiming to increase that number to 50. They also have tasty beer on tap, from Germany, New Zealand, Hawaii, Belgium, France, Weissbier and a slew of others. They also offer hummus, cheese and fruit platters and paninis. Definitely worth a try. And best food I've had out this week was at Sparrow (24-01 29th St) - their burger, which is excellent, was particularly good, as were the fries and olive plate. Don't forget to try the hot chocolate - warm, chocolately, and creamy, perfect on a cold evening.

Photo credit: Harris Graber on Flickr via a Creative Commons License