Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Happy -in between- Time!

So this is the week when nice cushy jobs let their people take some extra time off.
Hence, there is NOTHING to do at work for those of us who are still expected to go!

I guess that just gives me more time to write up stuff for you all to do while at home maybe?? Well i'll try but its very quiet around town right now... here's what my ear to the ground is hearing~
Chanukah Party, a Hellish New Year?, Dance with your belly!, go join a virtual community!

hmm, yeah i think its looking pretty dry out there right now.

Until the New Year all, have a happy and safe 31st. See you in the nabe in 2006!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Loungey-lounge Type Operations

There is something appealing about a place where you can get a cocktail in a dark place with velvety couches and low tables. The loungey-lounge kind of operation. The place where you don't know if you're sitting next to a celebrity and you're extra-sexy. (Possibly because no one can really see you.) Often there's a few snacks available and some well-dressed Euro-types about. There's a few of these kinds of places in Astoria that don't fall into the Greek cafe spiral and while none are perfect in my book, they're worth mentioning.

Lounge 32 opened a few years ago on Broadway and 32nd Street - hence the name. It's all of the above, the problem is that its selection is terrible and prices are a bit high and we're always the only ones in there. But I imagine that this place might be busy late at night. I'm not sure. On a summer night it's nice to sit at their outside table or near the front and people watch. They also have live music on occasion.

Rapture is on 28th Av near 34th (?) Street and seems to have more allure. A larger and more creative selection and at least a hypothetical local film series. I also find it more comfortable and have found the bar staff and regulars very friendly. I find the physical atmosphere a bit of oppressive, but that's just me. Rapture seems to have a cult following.

Crescent Lounge may fall into this category as well. I just can't stand that they don't have any taps. But they're a martini joint and if you like martinis, you're in luck. Crescent Lounge also has the reputation for being gay-friendly which is good. I'd hope that all the places around here are gay-friendly, but it's always good to have a reliable hangout.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Astoria Weekend Edition 05.12.15

There's a few things you can squeeze in this weekend between your last minute holiday shopping. (Thank Gandalf, we don't live near Macy's!) Tonight, in cooperation with a gaming-related series at MMI, at 7:30 they'll be running The Warriors a New York gang flick complete with companion video game on display. It's worth mentioning that at noon on Saturday and Sunday, MMI will be running the critically-acclaimed and family-friendly Kirikou and the Sorceress. I'd rather see that, actually. It beats all that Disney crap going around.

Saturday, if you're still not done your shopping take advantage of the gentrification for once, and stroll down Vernon in Long Island City. You can even bike down there and avoid the strike/holiday shopping traffic. Then, thaw out from your shopping with one of four kinds of green tea plus other Tibetan goodies at the Himalayan Teahouse.

Sunday is a good day to stroll about Steinway and listen to the tacky Christmas music blasting from those speakers installed on the street lamps. But mostly, it's about lunching on a couple of slices at Rizzo's Pizza.

Finally, if you're reading this at home on dial-up, with the Katie Couric in the background 'cause there's a strike, please check out John's Guide to Surviving the Strike. It should be helpful. It better be, nobody knows QNS better than him.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Transit Strike: Updated

Several people have asked me if I know what we should be doing in the event of a transit strike. Well, probably nothing since it probably won't happen. But in case it does, here's what I'd say:

1) Put air in your tires. If you have a bike, you can always bike in. It's not that hard; I did it for years just for fun. But dress warm and in layers and maybe walk your bike over the 59th Street bridge. Perfect excuse to wear play clothes to the office. More info on biking into the City here.

2) I think that a lot of Queens busses are actually owned by a private bus company. Keep your eyes peeled, our busses might not be striking at all. There should be something in the local news about this.

3) There are many ferries going from QNS to Manhattan. Whether you walk, bike, or get a ride to them, they're another option.

4) See if you can telecommute. I'm a huge fan of this option, but I know it's just not available to most.

5) Make sure to check the City's site on this. It's confusing, but better than nothing. There are maps for carpooling locations here. One of them is by Astoria Park at 19th Street & Hoyt Av.

I'll let you know if I have any other brilliant ideas. Likewise, okay? Good luck!

Addendum: JR just sent me this so, no busses.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Himalayan Teahouse

We've got Freeze Peach on Ditmars. And Communitea in LIC. But we've got nothin' around Broadway, unless you count the ten zillion Greek cafes. Or that used to be the case.

Now we've got the Himalaya Teahouse. There's no frappe, but there is - count 'em - four kinds of green tea. Wonderful vegetarian (or meat) dumplings, edamame, and a few Tibetan specialties. Plenty of tea and tea drinks to go around.

The place is done in primary colors with a big bamboo entrance. Inside, it's a little stark, but it's a work in progress. The clientele are a mix including your typical Astorian yupsters. Harmless ones. The tea is perfection and the dumplings are light and lovely. There is no better place to warm up.

Have I really not written this place up yet? It opened this August on 31st Av around 34th Street.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Thanks to the original Joey and hello

Thank you Joey for the nice intro! I am really honored that she entrusts the care of her blog to we three. I am megc here, and am looking forward to writing about my Astoria discoveries and observations. I am relatively new to Astoria, actually, but really feel at home here. I moved to town just this past August, and am thrilled with my new home. I'm originally from the San Francisco Bay Area in California, and although I miss it, I am content to stay here for a while and enjoy all that New York City, and especially Astoria, has to offer. As a musician, I'm particularly keyed into the arts scene around town, so I hope to be able to share my perspective on what's going on in that arena. And of course I'll join in the chorus of commentary on comestibles! Everyone loves food, don't they? And Astoria's got some great food offerings. Hooray for music and food! See you soon!

I've finally found pizza in Astoria!

Sometimes it seems like the best places in Astoria are the ones I've been ignoring. They just keep passing through my peripheral vision until I stumble right into them.

I believed that there just wasn't great pizza here in Astoria. Now, I've been known to order a pie from Grand Avenue or Napoli's now and then, but really, nothing seems to beat Bleeker Street.

Well, now I stand corrected. Yesterday Steve and I took a stroll down Steinway to see what we could see and popped into Rizzo's Pizza. I'm a thin crust gal, so it's rough going usually. Nothing could have prepared me for this elegant pan shaped crust. They had several different innovative choices including their standard square slices that they will "put anything you want on it, if they have it in". I got the day's special (Margarita) and Steve got the mushroom. The crust crackled so satisfying, and the whole piece was so light. No grease dripping about! It was freaking fantastic! Best pizza in Astoria, bar none.

The menu says they'll do all kinds of stuff upon request including sell you their sauce or dough. I'll love to make pizza, but not dough, so that's clutch. They also have salad, gelati and all that jazz.

After scarfing down our slices [Mr. Rizzo, I presume] asked us how we liked them. Of course we loved them and he said that he'd been shipped the wrong kind of tomatoes - apparently why he made the margarita. No harm done so far as I can tell. He was super-friendly and seemed to know that we hadn't been there before - he must know everyone who comes in!

Two slices & a small soda: $5 and change. Not bad.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Astoria Weekend Edition 05.12.09

It's going to snow tonight. Snow as in white flakes that fall from the sky. Not much of it, but honestly, enough with the hipster Ugg crap. I'm so sick of those things I could puke. Anyway, regardless of your footwear, this will be a nice weekend to take a stroll down to Astoria Park. Should be pretty in white.

Well, frolic in three inches of snow you may, you'll need to thaw out a bit after that. Nothing liquor can't fix. Try a nice glass of something with vodka at Crescent Lounge. Velvet couches and all.

This weekend is as good as any to get something to eat with "hot" in the title. See "hot dogs". The best doggers in the City, in fact, on Astoria Blvd. Stay warm at Freeze Peach Cafe with some hot tea and bitchin bluegrass act Brownbird Rudy Relic, from 4-8 on Sunday.

If you've got your fill of outdoorsy snowiness, then stay in and peruse my round up of QNS bloggers. Why am I rounding them up? Cause I like snow so much I'm moving to Vermont. No kidding. But three new Queens of Astorian will be contributing to Joey in Astoria, so stay tuned. I'll be around for a couple more weeks to break them in.

What an intro!

I feel like maybe i need to introduce myself now that Joey has left such a lofty title as "queens of astoria" in the air!
Here's me and my crown...

YES, it's real. You have no idea how many times i get asked that!
Feel free to stop me on the street and give me a high five, i love those! I don't know why people don't do that anymore?

But no seriously, i am very happy to be joining the "joey's in astoria" -keeping the best local blog alive. MegC is also a great bearer of all things Astoria, so i'm sure there will be tons o'surprises coming at us from that one. I haven't yet had the priviledge of meeting the 3rd nut in this cast, Tamara-but i am sure i will sonner then later!
I can honestly say that Joey (our founder and original) will be sorely missed :( But our loss is another hoods gain. She will i'm sure keep popping in here with tidbits here and there, maybe even becoming our first correspondent or something! AWESOME!

Thats enough out of me.

OK peeps, you've got your weekend edition set up before you, now go out and have a slushingly good time. Tune in next week for more Astoria fun!!!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

New Joeys in Astoria

Even tho I'm moving away, many other lovely and talented Astorians remain. I'm happy to share that three new-to-you Astorians will be coming on board with Joey in Astoria.

MegC fab harpsichordist and knower of all happenings everywhere, hipster Flooz of Gud Stuff NYC and Tamara, Queen of Astorian Lamb Roasts will now be contributing to Joey in Astoria.

Stay tuned. Should be a stellar team. Hey! Have I steered you wrong yet?

ready for my closeup, Mr DeMille......

Thankyou, Joey, for the lovely introduction AND (most importantly), for the opportunity.

For those of you wondering how I managed to join Joey's highly successful Astoria Blog without even *knowing* her, well.... let me just say a little begging never hurt anyone. Actually, many of my friends have suggested for quite awhile that I get my own blog, but I just couldn't bother. Besides, plenty of people were already talking about the haps in our great hood, Ass- toria (that is my favorite pronunciation of it), and what was i going to add but mass confusion? But hey ho! Just as I saw that Joey was leaving, the idea hit me that maybe I could stake a share in her blog, just like those parasites you pick up in when traveling outside of the states! So here I am, making my way into the intestine of the Astoria Blog.

The only thing of any importance that I have to say today is that I was walking East on 25th ave 2 nights ago, after another fucking ridiculously good meal at Kebab Cafe, and I saw a house that took me back to my formative years in Phoenix, AZ. A house that was lit up like they owned the damn electric company, (as good old dad would say). And for a minute, I was transfixed. Reindeers, Santa, Jesus, Mary and Joseph- all gaudy, all lit up and twinkling, and not a menorah in sight. (sorry to all of the other religions in the little North Africa part of Steinway Street there) I suddenly was taken back to Santa Claus Lane in Phoenix; 9th Street just North of Northern Blvd, where people have been decorating and entire block like this for as long as I can remember, and somehow, Astoria seemed a little more... I don't know........midwestern.... in mindset for just a minute. After my period of reflection, I realised I was freezing and went on in my mission to drink at the Slovak Club on 21st St.

This house can be seen nightly at the corner of 44th street and 25th ave, on the NE corner. You can't miss it.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Chilean Hot Dogs

As a recovering vegetarian I know one thing to be true: hot dogs are good. So good. (So is bacon, by the way.) So's Chile - the country. Did you ever expect a combination of the two? Well, I didn't, but many months back Queenster John Roleke told me about this place on Astoria Blvd that serves some sa-weet doggers with guac, and all the toppings that go with it. The place is called San Antonio Bakery. Rated tastiest dogger in NYC by the Village Voice. Good Aslan! If that isn't a ringing endorsement, what is?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

QNS Bloggers Represent

I've never been much for meta-blogging - blogging about other blogs. But since I'm abandoning you all, I'd like to leave you in capable hands. There are *lots* of bloggers going around these days. Some of them really stink. But some don't. So I'll try and do a little round-up for you.

There aren't any other blogs about the neighborhood, religiously, but there are many hybrids, and there are several non-blog websites just about Astoria.

I'll start first with the food blogs. Far and away the best blogger in our neigborhood is BeXn. BeXnlog really writes about all food, but lives in Astoria and covers it now and then. It's fab. Also worthy, tho sporadic, is Savortooth. She's heavier on Astoria, but lighter on content in general. Roving Gastronome is sort of random in my opinion, but claims Astorianess. Also, accomplished flckrist Maura of mauradotcom has recently launched a nose for wine for you to wash those down with.

The most Astorian of the Astoria blogs is probably my pal Flooz at Gud Stuf NYC. She loves Astoria and she's hiper than I could ever dream of being. It gets pretty scrappy from there. There's Karenspuppy writing some weird teen drama type stuff. There's also this blog focusing on Ditmars, which appears to be both dead and confused in the use of various punctutation. Tough one. You're going to be sorry you skipped that day. Thisshowagain is an Astorian podcast who has a blog of thier show. It's fun.

Several newer Astorian blogs have cropped up very recently and are sort in the too new to review category, but seem worth a try. Some actually aren't that new, but like re-runs, are new to me. Astoria Life: New York Minutes doesn't seem to be about Astoria at all currently, but it is about life in New York and the author is Astorian and appears to occaisionally wander here. Also not distinctly Astorian, The Haps has very recently come on the scene, and appears to have a similar world view to me. So, that one looks promising, assumeing you like this site.

That's pretty much where the blogs end. There are several websites about Astoria. You all probably frequent astorians.net. And of course, it's no secret that I write for Queens.About.com. My buddy John does a nice job of keeping us posted with what's going down. My Astoria is sort of similar to astorians - less of a scene with a bit of content. There's also Forgotten Astoria - part of the forgotten NY circuit. This guy's into presvervation and all that. It's worth a read. And the Astoria flikr group which is really fun (founded by moi).

You're welcome to chime in about your own blogs, but enough with the soft-core porn site, k? We don't need to know if you're a loser - Astorian or not.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Joey in Vermont

So, there's no easy way to say this. Except maybe from behind my computer. I'm moving to Vermont. Yep. I'm moving to Burlington, Vermont at the end of the month. Why? 'Cause it's awesome - not that Astoria isn't, but Astoria and I are just going our separate ways.

The good news is that I have a list of things I've always been meaning to check out, but never relayed to you. Like my coffee cart guy, I'll be popping a fresh one out for you every day - until I run out.

I'll miss you guys - thank you for reading! By the way, I hope we can stay in touch - in January you'll be able to catch me at my new url - Joey in Vermont.

Addendum: New Joeys

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Astoria Weekend Edition 05.12.02

Usually there's a weekend lull between Thanksgiving and Christmas when there's not much to do. Well, I guess we missed it 'cause there's lots happening. We are apparently full force into holiday madness. It's going to be tough, too, because we're all recovering from last night's inaugural ladies night at Sunswick.

After work, celebrate the joys of the Queens Library system with some ragtime music. I know, neither of us have ever been to the Queens library, but given that our local bookstore stinks, maybe it's worth a shot. Event starts at 5:15, but duck out by 6:30 when the pols start in.

Saturday, instead of duking it out at Macy's do some local shopping. Who doesn't love a hip homemade gift? Check out Art-O-Mat - if only for the name. Shopped 'till you dropped? Well, you better not let the Senior folk at Jacob Riss Settlement House put you to shame. They've been known to do so, particularly to the DJ playing at their fundraiser Saturday at 8pm. Party rages 'till 1am for $12.

PS. Check out my curbed.com pick-up. Thx, Lock.

PPS. As always, find out what in the heck is going on in the rest of QNS.

Monday, November 28, 2005

LIC % Change

Well, LIC's getting the shit upzoned out of it. That's no newsflash. But check out the map Curbed has posted showing the developable square footage in LIC. As a professional geographic information specialist myself, I have some cartographic issues with this visualization, but it's intruiging nonetheless.

I must confess, I detect no snottiness in this Curbed post, either. Nice work, Lock!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Bosnian Food in Astoria

There is a sizable Bosnian community in Astoria, in case you hadn't noticed. In truth, I don't know that much about it, but I have noticed the tasty burekas (savory stuffed pastries) and cevapi (skinless little sausages) that abound. There's also stuffed cabbage and peppers and cheap yumminess. The two best places I like to go are Cevabdzinica Sarjevo on 34th Av just West of Steinway and Djerdan #1 on 31st Av between 35th & 34th. Perfectly hearty, cold weather comfort food.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Astorian Edition 05.11.14

I know you're exhausted from the 11:59 debut of Harry Potter last night so, tonight, pick up a bottle of wine and netflix it. It's no news to you that our neighb has kind of slim pickins in the fruit of the vine, so read up on a nose for wine to arm yourself.

Saturday hit the QNS Film Festival. It's never to early to study up to shock and amaze your friends at your oscar party. Oscar-entry Paheli is showing at Kaufman Zukor Studio Theatre (part of the studios - how cool is that!) at 8pm. Meander down the street afterwards for late night bites at Jasmin for arepas. Soooo good.

Sunday, critically-acclaimed Perhaps Love will be playing at the same locale at 5:30 to send off the festival. (There are actually a ton of good movies playing all weekend long. You might just want to camp out somewhere on 35th Av.) After the festival might be a good time and start working your way down the QNS Michelin list. Malagueta is the only Brazilian entry. It's on 36th about 5 blocks West of the subway line. That'll be one down, 12 to go.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

QNS Michelin Guide

Can't get your hands on the uber hot new New York Michelin guide? No worries. Here's a list of the 13 Restaurants in QNS that made it. Most are in Astoria & LIC.

My Notes:

1) Malagueta - It's okay - I wouldn't make a big deal of it, tho.

2) Brick Cafe - can be pretty damn good. I like it, but if it's in, Le Sans Souci should be, too.

3) 718 - eow. This place is such a downer. It's lame and it has annoying plates.

4) Tournesol - yeah, this place is good, too.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Astoria Film Festival

Don't you wish that Astoria-Sunswick area got more out of being Hollywood East then all the black turtleneck clad cliches hanging around Cafe Bar? Well, finally the studio set is giving back to the neighb.

Head's up for the third annual Queens Film Festival - entirely in Astoria! The Museum of the Moving Image, Kaufman Astoria Theatre, and the Mario Gallery will be hosting. Support this uber hot event.

See John picks for the event.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Scuttlebutt Section

LocaleWord on the street is that something cool is happening with Astoria Beach near Socrates Sculpture Park. Wouldn't it be great to create more public access to our waterfront, regardless of what it is called? Ahem.

Sklar makes an impressive showing for the Green Party in Long Island City Council race. "Robyn consistently received over 25% of the vote in many areas". Read her site.

'Ya know, because there aren't enough hyperthyroidial towers going up in Long Island City. Read Article

Locale (pictured above) on 34th Av appears to be opening up soon. I hear it's a lounge. I also hear the same for Section B on 31st Street. Except I'm not sure that's what it's called. Whatever happened to cool places that aren't all tripped out on Eurostyle?

Brick Cafe owner died during a scuba diving accident this past month. Very sad news. The future of the restaurant is still up in the air to my knowledge. We wish you the best, Brick & family!

Garden of George on Steinway appears to be reopening very shortly as a restaurant.

Brooklyn Industries has apparently opened a store on Steinway. That's just weird.

What the heck are they building in the old Tupelo space? It is a Cow-Town, or what?

Honest to Vinshnu, do we really need two new banks on Broadway between 31st Street and Steinway? BCP and Washington Mutual moved in this past week. At least there's a free ATM now.

so long, ten63. You've been a good pal. Read NYT Article.

Oh, PS. Cup was sold a few months back. Did I mention that? That might be the explanation for the hipster 'tude and rapid decrease in the taste of food. Doozy.

Monday, November 14, 2005

An Astorian Nose for Wine

Fellow Astorian blogger Maura, of Maura dot com, has just launched a wine blog! It appears she has a nose for wine. yay!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Arepas in Astoria

In the space where my beloved yet now-defunct Cravo & Canela once sat is now Jasmin. Don't let it's namesake scare you off. Jasmin is a real deal QNS Columbian cheap-eats arepa place.

The place is small, just a few tables, but decorated with care. It's already been open for five months on 34th Av between 31st Street & 32nd Street, but it seems to be flying stealth.

I went there with my partners in crime, MegC and Soozi Floozi. We all got arepas. I got the arepa with guac, tomatoes, and chorizo. Meg got guac and corn and Floozi, choose the classic plain areapa. Arepas, undressed, aren't much to look at. They look like a big fat pita. But these were up to the challenge - warm, most and delicious. Perfection with and without toppings! And cheap, too.

Since we were reviewing we deciding to stuff ourselves and all ordered entrees as well. MegC got a succulent chicken dish. Soozi got a moist sweet pork chop, and I got the mofungo - especially mashed chicken and plaintain. Sooo good. Mine would have been a tad bit dry if it hadn't been for the giant vat of beans served with our meals that I added to my plate.

As an added bonus we sipped Columbia soda which I'm nuts about. This place was awesome cheap eats in true Astorian fashion.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Astoria Gets Curbed

Curbed: so jaded and pretentious they can't even appreciate our lovely neighborhood. Their loss, my gain. Quite literally in this case.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Astoria Weekend Edition - 05.11.10

We have to wait another week to see Daniel Radcliffe on the big screen. In the meantime, get your fantasy/sci-fi film fix Saturday at the Machinima Film Festival at MMI. "Machinima, derived from the words 'machine' and 'cinema,' is the process of making animated movies using the software engines and imagery of video games."

You can discuss how Machinima has rocked your world over Kabobs and other goodies at the Kabob Cafe on Steinway. Savortooth says it's good, and she hasn't steered me wrong, yet.

Sunday we can support our local Astoria filmakers and check up on The not-quite-new-anymore Sparrow. They're actually raising money for their film which I think is both creative and funny. Regardless, you can catch my favorite bluegrass act Brownbird Rudy Relic and get yourself a "limited edition" T-shirt in progress. And hope to Vishnu they've done something with that awning. Event starts at 8, music at 9.

If you hate The Sparrow's awning so much that you have the skip the film fundraiser, you have another option. At 7 you can catch lic bar's second blues event in the series.

What ever happened to Thursday and Friday?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Vote Today!

Hey all you Astorians - I know you're planning on voting today. Every one counts!

Find your polling place here. PS. The guy I sit next to at work *made* that handy little app, it's slow, tho. Be patient.

Also, learn about Prop 2 here. It's a bond you get to vote on to help fix up our transportation system. I'm voting yes!

Friday, November 04, 2005

New in Astoria in TONY

Floozi is always on the Astorian prowl. Check out her catch in TONY.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Astoria Weekend Edition 05.11.04

You know that local foods are all the rage, but we don't exactly have bean fields here in Astoria. Ms. SpatulaLove has reinvented local foods as a community event. Contribute to her meals and follow the exciting outcome.

The freaks running the New York Marathon will whiz by Long Island City Sunday morning. You can catch them at your favorite Vernon Blvd haunt and you should. It's your duty as a non-marathoning New Yorker. Give a rightous last hurrah to soon-to-be defunct ten63, or check out John's picks. And Make sure to cheer on Astoria poet Stephen Cramer. He'll be #2557.

Celebrate the fact that you didn't run the marathon with your last chance to:

a) see Josh Irving's Jazz Quintet,
b) See Rudy "Brownbird" Relic and
c) help the hurricane survivors,
all on the same night!

Astorians for Hurricane Relief is hosting its final event. Josh Irving is the sweet, sexy, jazzy headliner. Rudy, (you won't believe me 'till you see him) is a big burly dude from the Mississippi Delta, trapped inside a significantly smaller, urbanite man's body. And they both play the hell out of his guitar. Mezzo Mezzo is providing free food. That is *not* a misprint. Plus, all your buddies and pals from Astoria will be there.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Astorian Weekend Edition - 05.10.27

Goblins? Dementors? Witches and Wizards? Muh ha ha ha ha ha! Tonight ditch the scary movie (I did years ago) and curl up to the newest Harry Potter book, The Half-Blood Prince, possibly the best yet. You can find it at Seaburn Books on Broadway (unlike most other books).

Saturday wakie wakie, you'll need to get up early to pick the best pumpkin at the LIC Greenmarket. It's your Halloween pumpkin we're talking about here, so elbowing little kids out of the way is totally fair game. Just be careful; they bite.

After you've cleaned the post-carved pumpkin goop out of your kitchen's nooks and crannies, you want to do something really scary this Halloween? Clean out your cupboards. Yep. Just as I suspected: evaporated milk, tahini, lima beans, and canned chicken. Well, now they can go to a worthy cause. The LIC food pantry is having a food drive at Key Food from 10 to 3. You're in luck; they need canned goods and volunteers, too!

So, now that you've decided that alternately using your canned goods to dress up as a Gursky was a dumb idea, get it together and do Halloween in style. I'm talkin' about the Haunted Waters tour. The one and only walking tour of Old Astoria filled with real tales of the Astorian dead! Shipwrecks, murder, and other general creepiness as you "stroll past graveyards". It's a must. You can't even live here anymore if you don't go.

PS. See what's doin' in the rest of QNS at About.com.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Astorian Weekend Edition 05.10.21

"My god, it's full of stars!" No, not the Avalon realty office. The monolith. If you don't know what I'm talking about you should definitely catch Kubrick classic 2001: A Space Odessey tonight (or all weekend) at the Museum of the Moving Image.

This Saturday you're allowed to start early. It's socially acceptable to drink at noon in some places, and this weekend, that place is lic bar. What's not to love? Choicey booze and live tunes from noon on. Try to stay sober though, because this is also your chance to hear a real harpischord without having to go to a renaissance fair. Huzzah! Meg Cotner and company will be playing live at Waltz at 9 PM. Don't be late, you'll want to grab a treat before the show.

Your Nano *did* snap in half didn't it! I knew it. Well, you can take that and your "decorative" Apple IIe to mac heaven on Sunday. Recycle all your obsolete electronics and associated junk. Drop off next to Best Buy with the Lower East Side Ecology Center. That stuff is *way* bad for the environment so, you might as well give it this proper burial.

PS. Learn all about QNS at About.Queens.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

More Pics!

Originally uploaded by Fun In Astoria.
More pics from Hurricane Relief Event II. Stay tuned for III on 11/6!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Where are the rock stars of Astoria?

Originally uploaded by mrminator.
Last night, (in case you were lame and weren't there) some Astorians rocked out at Freeze Peach. Many were excellent. Brownbird Rudy Relic seriously rocked the house with the most bitchin' bluegrass I've ever heard. Plus, he donated all his proceeds from cds to the benefit. I've heard rumblings about him opening for the 11/6 event as well.

There's also a sweet little jazz trio that plays at the LIC Greenmarket. I don't even know their name.

Of course there's our own jazzy Josh Irving.

Who else?

Photo Credit: Matt Mills (thanks!)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Sports Place

Does anyone know the deal with this place?

Greater Astoria

A visit to Flushing...
PS. Why didn't I take a pic of the dim sum???

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Astorian Weekend Edition - 05.10.14

What says fall like a package of daffodil bulbs? Okay, they look like old balls of garlic, but they're *so* pretty when the come up! Be a part of your community and help plant some at ARROW Community Garden (35th St. between 35th & 36th avenues), Saturday around 11. Bulbs and dirt provided!

Now that you've planted you're ready for a nice Fall Harvest. Hooray for Socrates! From 11 to 3 they'll be having their Halloween Harvest Festival. Hello - you can make your own costume, listen to music (unfortunately its klezmer), and "make a fun project". There will be tasty foods from Sage American Kitchen and a Canine Costume Contest. Are you kidding me? They should do this every weekend.

So -- on Sunday, you get up, make coffee, read the paper and...well...you sort of stop right there. Given that there have been about a zillion natural (and political) disasters every day for the past two months, the news is kind of sucking the wind out of your sails. Get that wind back! Astorians for Hurricane Relief will be having a free show at none other then the bohemian Freeze Peach Cafe featuring (Astorian) National Poetry Series winner Stephen Cramer and several other local artists. Uh...and what does that do? FP will be donating all the proceeds during the show (from 6-8) to our cause - America's Second Harvest Hurricane Relief Fund. Cause they rock.

That's how you take back fall from the hurricanes!

PS. See me every Friday and learn about the rest of the wonderful world of Queens at About.com.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Weekend Supplement 05.10.08

You had *so* much fun Friday night, that you're beggin for more. Well, no worries, the next Astorians for Hurricane Relief event is next Sunday at Freeze Peach. But, just because Matt and Meesh (read: owners) are such nice guys, they're getting a jump on things. Tomorrow (Sunday 10/9) proceeds from the Cafe will be going to our cause as well. Check it out!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Weekend Edition 05.10.07

You're at work. Your boss took off to make her long weekend even longer, but if you left, your annoying cubicle-neighbor would totally rat you out in a heartbeat to ingratiate himself with her.

Got cake?

You can have some tonight at Waltz-Astoria. Tonight Waltz will be hosting the fabulous kick-off benefit for Astorians for Hurricane Relief. And they have cake.

Oh my god - why did you eat all that cake last night? Well, this is your weekend to walk it off. Have you even wondered about the Astoria pool? I mean *really* wondered? Well, this Saturday, thanks to Open House New York you'll be able to see its guts. Tour its underground infrastructure from 10-1.

I don't know about you, but every time I walk by the Iron Workers building, I'm like "what are they doing in there?". Find out at 10 am on Sunday. If you're more about art than craft, you can get the low-down on the art scene in LIC. The Noguchi Museum will be hosting a panel discussion all about it at 11.

If you missed church in hopes of catching some hotty iron workers, no worries. On Monday, the Greater Astorian Historical Society will be touring not one, but *five* of them. Even the Church Lady will be proud.

See About.com edition and the rest of QNS.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert in Astoria

So, your plans this Columbus Day weekend include: shopping for fall clothes (no, you don't need them), doing your laundry while the laundromat's empty, and figuring out why this holiday is a point of Italian heritage when Columbus had to go to the Queen of Spain for his New World sailing money. Sounds like a blast.

*Or* you could catch a hot show Friday night at the newly minted Waltz's Astoria (23-14 Ditmars Blvd). The show is a collection of artists donating their time. And you will be, too! It's a benefit concert for America's Second Harvest Hurricane Relief Fund! Get the deets or donate directly at Astorians for Hurricane Relief.

PS. Haven't seen our poster? They're everywhere!

Weird Garden of George Awning Art

This is what I'm talking about. It's fun, but...uh...it might have an expiration date.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

News & Notes 05.10.04

Who knew about the Irish Center in LIC?

Katrina survivors right here in Astoria. I wish we could do something for them directly. It says they need winter clothes! Read NYT Article

Local Green, Robyn Sklar, qualifies for matching funds. Read Green News Release. That's hot. I just wish her community garden plot didn't look like crap. (PS. I'd probably vote for her anyway.)

They're going to fix the Steinway bridge. In 2007. Read Article.

Scuttlebutt Section

Garden of George is actually not closing. It's reopening as a restaurant. I was talking with some of the construction guys last night and they put up a really fun installation on the awning. I just hope it's weatherproof. I'll post a pic tonight.

Anyone who thinks they're putting a Whole Foods in where Tupelo was is on crack. I have no idea who circulated this rumor, but it makes me laugh. I heard it's going to be a Cow-Town.

There's a new thrift store on 34th Av. I haven't been there yet, but it looks cool. There's also like ten new Euro-cafes on 30th and a couple new yogalaties places up by Ditmars.

Why is the Euro-mart carrying produce outside the store? It's going to get rained on by the subway dirt and that's just groaty-mcfroaty.

Viva El Mar
appears to have closed. That was a record. I wanted to make a joke about how the letters on its sign are continually getting smaller, but I kinda feel bad for them.

The defunct Big Apple Discount and the discount place on 35th & Broadway appear to both be under renovations.

PS. I actually like Janeane Garofalo on the West Wing. Too bad Al Frankin won't be their next president.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Friday, September 30, 2005

Best Canvas Photo Contest

We're closing in on the Katrina Benefit Canvas kick-off, I hereby annouce the Best Canvas Contest. Everyone: take pictures of your posters up around the neighborhood. The best one will go up on my website as well as About.com. Plus I'll make a little online album of them all. Email them to me at joeyinastoria@gmail.com.

Note: We've changed the time to 12:00 noon.

Astorian Edition - 05.09.29

It's Fall! My favorite season! Finally, you can bust out your corduroy and alpaca. Oooooh! Classics never die, so bike over to Astoria Park. Admire the newly cleaned shoreline and then pick up some pretty Fall leaves and decorate your apartment with them. Shut up. You know you want to.

You've never been to the Museum of African Art and you haven't drawn much since you got kicked out of art class for that paper mache incident (it gets *hot* in there!), so mosey over to the Museum in LIC (another short bike ride away) and Strike a Pose! AT 2PM where you'll get to do both. After the ride home warm up to *four* kinds of green tea at the new Himalayan Teahouse on 31st Av between 34th & 35th Street.

When you've had enough of sporting your Fall wardrobe cozy up to your favorite mac product (PS. If you bought the Nano watch out that that shit doesn't snap in half, dude) and tune into Astoria's homegrown podcast ThisShowAgain. They'll make you giggle.

PS. There's a hot new thrift shop in the neighb. But I'm not telling you where yet.
PPS. Check me and what's hot in the rest of QNS at queens.about.com

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Small job, big love

Calling all Astorians and LICers - as you may know, I'm helping to plan an event series to raise money for the survivors of hurricane Katrina. The first event is next (not this) weekend and We're looking for volunteers (businesses and individuals) to canvas for the event. Can you pass out some pretty flyers? Or ask a few stores on your block to put up some very wonderful posters? You better. Ahem, oops - did I say that? If you can pitch in we (and the people we're raising $ for) would really appreciate it.

Get your morning fix of flyers *and* tea. Meet up at Freeze Peach at 12:00 noon Saturday to pick up flyers, and posters, and mark on a big giant map, the area that you'll cover to offer local businesses posters to promote the event. See you there!

If you're like deathly ill and can't make it, but want posters and flyers, please respond here. Please please please!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Originally uploaded by joey in astoria.
Bike ride was fun times. Hello.

Window Flutties

Window Flutties
Originally uploaded by joey in astoria.
Ah. Fall flutties...

Friday, September 23, 2005

Get your Bike Pumps Started!

We did the before. Now we're doing the after.

Thanks to us, the Shore *is* Clean! Or cleaner anyway. Yay! We're going to bike the Queens West shoreline again. PS. The weather'll be a lot better this time around. Perfect for biking.

For the deets check the Astoria Waterfront. See you and your bike there! Voom voom!

PPS. I've been in Vermont, sorry to be so incommunicado. Joey's back in Astoria.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Shore is Clean!!!

Well, not quite. Actually, the Western Queens (that's us) shoreline is a mess! Remember that time you and your lovey were enjoying the fab view from Astoria Park... then you leaned a little further over the rail, saw the pile of junk along the shore and almost gagged on your Mr. Softie? Save the shore (and your ice cream!). Help us clean it up, (and then party like rock stars) September 17th, this Saturday!


Check the Astoria Waterfront website for the deets and go clean together with your pals.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Vote. Or Else.

I know, I know. You can't live without your morning latte, you're partying 'till 2am and you can't let your hair air dry. I don't really care. If you don't vote tomorrow or on Election Day, then we're not friends anymore. We're also probably not friends if you vote for Weiner tho that it would be funny to have a "Mayor Weiner". Heh. C'mon, I know you laughed.

Anyhoo, to find your pollsite, in Astoria, or wherever, please use the BOE's lovely new Poll site Locator.

News & Notes 05.09.12

See? The smartest, coolest girls do live in Western Queens. Check out this hip and happening 12 n' under set. LIC Lemonade Girls.

This would be an interesting piece about new LIC restaurant Tuk Tuk if it said anything about the food.

School's starting. Might as well gear up for Chess Club in style at the Imagery of Chess Revisited (scroll down). PS. If you weren't in Chess Club, I don't need to hear about it.

Watch local, think global. Silvercup's shooting some new shows in the neighb. Now if only we can get them to be nice to the Terra Cotta factory...

LIC Community Boathouse has a new website.

Scuttlebutt Section:

The Garden of George, that not-quite-gourmet grocery on Steinway appears to be closed. Steve discovered a bit after this place opened that they had a killer Mexican breakfast salad bar. I kid you not. Then a month or so ago, the food sucked. I think that's why they went under. ~

Big Apple Discount went under. A couple days after the "50% off Clearance" sign went up I went in there and bought a (crappy) garden nozzle for the community garden. I asked the cashier why they were closing and she said they weren't. "Just clearing out old stuff". Ouch.

Tupelo went out long ago. But the building has been demolished! The million dollar question: what's going in there?

Friday, September 09, 2005

Hurricane Katrina Fundraisers in New York City

I just wanted to add this. Not in Astoria, but this is a really great list of stuff to do in the City.

Astorian Weekend Edition 05.09.09

I gotta tell ya, September got off to a bad start, folks. With such recent disaster on our minds, the anniversary of our own City's crisis is going to be all the more acute.

Friends and neighbors, this is my advice to you: get involved. Do it this weekend. Give what you can of yourselves and then step back and appreciate your own lives while you live them. I can only hope that this rhythm will bring you (and I) and peace.

Try and spend this weekend immersing yourself in the joy of living here, as well as honoring the memory of those who've passed. That's what they would want.

Saturday, support some bright, young artists. Take a stroll down to Socrates Sculpture Park around 2pm for the opening of their Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibit.

I'm a big fan of meditation and on Sunday the Chakrasambra Center will be starting its Transforming Painful Emotions series this weekend. Not a day too soon. At 2pm you can rediscover our neighborhood yet again, on walking tour with the Queens Historical Society. Then retire to St. Joseph's Church for the Astoria Symphony's Memorial Concert.

It's fun to bounce around town checking out the scene, no doubt. Even writing about it is fun. But if ever there was a weekend for it, stop and smell the flowers, too.

More about Astoria & Queens at About.com

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Restaurant Week in Astoria

I'm not really seeing the bargains here, but all the same, Restaurant Week in Queens is coming up. Check it out.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Are you a Crafty Astorian?

I'm not. My craftiness starts with scheming to get the Democrats back in the white house and ends with me fixing my stuffed animals. However, if you *are* crafty, there's lots of crafty groups in Astoria.

ACK (Astoria Crafty Knitty Group) meets every Thursday at 8pm at Freeze Peach. Now that must-see-TV is defunct, this is a most excellent replacement on Ditmars.

In the Sunswick section, a kniting Meetup meets up weekly at Cup. They also took some summer knitting outings to Socrates Sculpture Park.

A bonafide stich n' bitch happens weekly at Ten63, down in LIC. Ten63 actually changed their hours for the group!

Crocheters welcome.

PS. Where the heck do we get some decent yarn around this joint?

BTW, Mia (see comments) said that if you're interested in the LIC group you should actually check out this site. Thanks, Mia!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Freeze Peach Cafe

It took me years to finally get my butt into Freeze Peach Cafe. Most of you reading this practically live there, I bet. But if you haven't been, you really should swing by. It could, technically, be construed as an internet cafe, but - hello - it's awesome. There's a zillion kinds of clutch tea and now coffee, enormously friendly service and 1/2 hour free wif-fi with every tea purchase! They've got a bunch of laptops there, so no need to lug yours unless you want to.

The coolest part about Freeze Peach is that they host a zillion different kinds of community groups and facilitate this with thier astorians.net website. Some of the groups are encouragingly obscure. FP is totally all about community and a lot Ditmars folk seem to have made friends and roomates there.

I would've posted a pic, but you might as well just check out the webcam.

PS. Matt makes a mean cup o' joe, too.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Weekend Edition 05.09.02

Could things look any more bleak? It's Labor Day weekend. New Orleans is submerged and you're stuck here in the City to contemplate it all.

First order of business, check out Craig's online relief community and list of worthy dot orgs to find a few ways that you can make a difference. You'll feel at least a tiny bit better. And so will the people you're helping! Another good way to get some warm fuzzies is to visit the oh-so-cozy Freeze Peach Cafe. Besides, it's their one year anniversary.

My strategy from there? Distraction distraction distraction.

There's still cause in the world to celebrate. (Otherwise we let the hurricane win!) One such cause is Brazilian Independence Day. As my pal John blogged earlier this week. Get to MoMI tonight to observe properly.

Catch the last Warm Up! at P.S. 1 this Saturday starting with a live performance by Clifford Owens at 2pm.

Then on Sunday, recover from your current existential crisis with some Buddhist meditation.

Squander away your day off in hours of internet bliss mapping all your favorite Astorian haunts on our new Community Map of Astoria.

And then? Toss a few back in honor of the Big Easy. Don't feel bad. New Orleans practically invented drinking.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Do Astoria's Part

New Orlean's is under water, folks. Scary. I feel very lucky today. And I can't help remembering what living through 9/11/01 was like and how much support New York got from the rest of the world. Now it's our turn.

Bloggers across the spectrum (and world) today are joining together to plead with you to share a little of your resources with those who've lost all of theirs. Please consider donating to Catholic Charities (actually a very liberal organization) or another group to aid the survivors. It's okay if you don't have a lot of cash. Give what you can. If you have a lot, give a lot. If you have a little, give a little. Every bit counts.

Craig has (naturally) set up an environment for us all to find ways to help. Check out the big red link on the left of craiglist: new orleans. Wikipedia has has tons of useful info.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Big Fat Fire on Ditmars

Apparantly several local businesses were destroyed last night in a four alarm fire. I hope everyone's okay!!!


Check out the photo on this thread.

Shoreline Cleanup Meeting

Do you want to spend a little quality time with your community on September 17th?

a) Nah. I don't care about the environment, my neighbors, or really anyone but myself.
b) Heck yes! Sign me up for Shore is Clean! This is my chance to get all that nasty garbage off the shoreline, and then party like a rock star!

The next planning meeting will be held at the Greater Astoria Historical Society on 9/1 (tomorrow) at 6:30pm.

Contact Astoria Waterfront for the deets.


Originally uploaded by maura.
This is a flickr yoink of a great capture of the new place on Broadway.

Monday, August 29, 2005

News & Notes 05.08.27

This piece on the Istra Sport Club illustrates the reason restaurant reviews exist. A hearty thank you to Josh Ozersky for one of the most impressive Astorian reviews I've seen in some time. I'm looking forward to checking it out.

LIC hosts pilot project to feed meters with cards...Read.

Talk of the town, new Moroccan Jour du Nuit, gets blurb.

Maybe we'll have a few more blood drives in the area now that the New York Blood Center is moving to LIC.

Friday, August 26, 2005


Enjoying the storm a few weeks ago.


This is from the film this past Wednesday at Socrates.

Weekend Edition 05.08.26

We're almost back to school, folks. Boo! Soak up the last of summer. Sniff sniff.

Catch the sun still low in the sky from the East River at the LIC - DUMBO Art Paddle. Contact the LIC Boathouse for the deets. At 11am you can enjoy your last free yoga class in the serene Socrates Sculpture Park.

What's the matter? You're not quite on a school schedule yet? Grab something tasty and stay in Saturday night to catch Astoria on TV, NYC's own Channel 25 will feature our fair neighborhood on Cool in Your Code.

Sunday, around 4pm, head over to Astoria Park for an ultimate frisbee pick up game. Afterwards, catch a classic Fellini flick at MMI.

Don't forget to pick up a new pencil box sometime in there.

See the About.com edition and more.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Do Something Nice

This is random, but I gave blood for the first time today. Apparantly the blood banks are really, seriously, depleted. It was so easy to do. You can use this website to find a blood drive. There doesn't seem to be any coming up in Astoria, but there are plenty around the City. Think about it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Queens Shoreline Cleanup Meeting

Help plan for the big day. Planning meeting at GAHC at 7pm, Thursday.

Must See Astoria on TV

WNYE TV show Cool in Your Code will feature Astoria on channel 25 at 10pm tonight and rerun at 8pm on Saturday.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Astoria Assemblymember is a Security Fanatic

Heh. What brilliant timing. Maybe Assemblymember Gianaris (D-Astoria) is one of my readers! He's in a rage over Google maps.

See article in the New York Post and interesting commentary from my pal John at About.com.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Community Map of Astoria

Where you at? If you love google maps half as much as I do, then sign into my community map of Astoria. Put a marker at you and a few of your favorite Astorian haunts. (Just zoom in and click on the map to add a maker.)

Friday, August 19, 2005

Weekend Edition 05.08.19

Tonight after work, catch the 7:30 at the Museum of the Moving Image, The Robin Harris Story: We Don't Die, We Multiply. It's the opener to the new series Black Light: Films From the African Diaspora series at MMI. You can grab a burger at Cup after the show.

In the AM order up some crepes at Le Sans Souci and then take a walk around Sunswick. Make sure to pop into Seaburn Books on Broadway and oh-so-gently mention to the manager how you wished that they would alphabetize their stock. Please, oh please.

That night venture up to Ditmar's and check out newly minted Waltz's. He's got Max Farber on deck in All that Jazz. You can grab a drink and a treat while you're there.

Sunday, you can clear your mind for just $10. Learn how in this Buddhist meditation session. Seems like a bargain for enlightenment if you ask me.

About.com Edition

Thursday, August 18, 2005


Fellow Astorian, savortooth, blogs Philoxenia. I've got to get over there.

I always think that place is called Phylloxera which, as the oneophiles reading this know, is a root louse that nearly wiped out all European wine varieties.

Kurtis Blow

Head's up. Kurtis Blow will will be in Queensbridge Park on Tuesday. Let's just hope the event doesn't knock the rest of the seawall into the East River!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Le Sans Souci: for Frenchies, Francophiles, & Food Geeks

Did you not summer in the French countryside this year? Maybe this will help you get your fix.

I'd keep hearing little blips now and then about a supposedly legit French bistro up Broadway several blocks East of Steinway. The thing is, every time I walk up that way in the morning to go the post office or the library, the multitude of random guys hanging around (migrant workers, I believe) would feel the need to share with me how they thought I looked that day or what they'd like to do to me. (Yeah, it's a real blast being a chick sometimes.) So, I had a hard time imagining a lovely French bistro amongst them.


A "bistro", in France, is not the term for a fancy French dining. Au contraire, it is a nice, respectable place to relax, enjoy friends and neighbors, and eat well. The French generally appreciate food far more than Americans, so average bistro fare will still be far superior to its American counterpart.

With this in mind, I can say that Le Sans Souci (Broadway just East of 44th) is truly a French Bistro. I was astounded by both its existence and success. The staff *are* French and so are many of the customers. Who knew there were so many French people in Astoria?

There are tables on a deck out front where you could certainly just hang out with a glass of wine. They show French films on Wednesdays, and inside, the interior is nice and a just a bit tacky. Like a truly European bistro, the decor is not lavish, but tasteful. Pretty table flowers, too.

I'd been tipped off by fellow Astorian blogger athrahans that these folks threw a decent brunch. So, after a late night, we decided to check it out. Well, it turns out we got there before they opened, but it was scorching out and they insisted we come on in and at least have some bread and coffee while we wait. Every table was packed nearly an hour later.

The bread is rosemary or olive and it's warm and delicious. The savory crepes were perfect (with a nice little salad). The mussels were excellent. I'd skip the scallops though I love the saffron rice they come with. They have many French dishes you could otherwise only get in the City. Fois gras (which I don't approve of for ethical reasons), things with truffle sauce, etc. They're also the only place in the neighb, I know of, where you can get a cheese plate for dessert. I love cheese!

The most wonderfully French thing about this place is that you can linger at your table forever. They don't care. In France, often, people really go to the local bistro to hang out. So, as a result, I wouldn't call the service snappy, but still, not slow either, and enormously friendly.

There's nothing quite like saying "magnifique!" and meaning it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Maybe We Can Alphabetize the Bookstore

Okay folks, I'm going to try a little experiment here. I've set up an online petition to plead with Seaburn to alphabetize thier books. My logic is that if they see how many more customers they'd have if they got it together, then they'd do it!

So, sign away! We'll just see how it goes.

Astoria Bookstore Gets Publicity Even Though it Doesn't Know the Alphabet

This bookstore can't even alphabetize its books and it gets a write up in the Daily News.

I am all for independant bookstores (believe me), but these guys didn't get the memo. Hey guys, here's what it said: "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz". How hard is it?

Monday, August 15, 2005

Sunswick (The Neighborhood)

I am hereby re-dubbing the area North of Queens Plaza & Northern Blvd, but south of Broadway, as "Sunwick". It's too far South to be Astoria and too far North to be Long Island City. For example, "I live in Astoria, but the community garden is in Sunswick". Or "I ate 4 dozen eggs for breakfast at Cup. Ya' know, the big dinerish place in Sunswick". "I drank my boyfriend under that table at Sunswick - in Sunswick." (An unlikely scenario.) "Tupelo was in Sunswick and then some greedy landlord yoinked thier lease away to put in a crudy grocery store that won't even be happening now. Now there's jack at that particular location in Sunswick."

Sunswick is actually a historically accurate name for the area.

So, are you with me?

Friday, August 12, 2005

Weekend Edition 05.08.12

Be the first of your friends to Float through Socrates Sculpture Park. The new exhibit opens this weekend. Then stroll down Vernon to Queensbridge Park for Family Day. On your way back, walk East along Broadway to Cresent. Pop into Delmorie Senior Center. If you want to visit grams n' gramps, that's cool. But make sure to check out the "Magic of Astoria Art Show" while you're there. All kinds of arts and crafts from 10:30 to 5 from "local unknowns". Who knew? Once you've cleaned 'em out, walk another block up Broadway. Gawk at the glorious presentation of our newest taqueria. Then grab some tacos, dude.

Isn't cotton candy and assorted deep-fried food the breakfast de jour? Sunday, if you're in the market for discount designer make-up or magnets shaped like vegetables, catch a big ol' street fair along Steinway Street from 28th Avenue to 34th Avenue. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

If you're anything like me, you've got a block of street-fair-gooeyness stuck to you. Catch some jazz at the crisp, clean, cool-as-a-cuke Noguchi Sculpture Garden, Sunday, August 14 at 3 p.m. Or maybe the grilled corn got you in touch with your Midwestern roots. In that case, visit Gantry State Park to catch Silk City Bluegrass at 6:30. Technically, you could do both.

See About.com Edition here.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

La Taqueria

Finally! There is a decent taqueria in Astoria. This joint is on Broadway, a bit East of Cresent. We'll be back for sure.

Anyway, I got a tasty Huevo Con Chorizo Torta and Steve-o got a Beef Burrito which was outstanding. They cook some of the food on this cool grill-contraption right out front. Its really sweet. Check it out.

Plus, I love the neon sign that just says "Tacos". I just wanna eat 'em!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Meeting Cancelled

FYI - No shoreline clean-up meeting today. It was cancelled.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Water Taxi Beach

We ended up checking it out after all...

I took a few other pics. I think I'll be back soon.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Weekend Edition - 05.08.05

All your buddies chillin' in the Hampty-Hamps? Sucks to be them - they don't get $1 PBR on their beach. Or hot doggers, for that matter. But we do. Check out the Water Taxi Beach this Saturday in LIC. That's a good place to wave to the LIC Boathouse paddlers. To get waved to by the PBR crowd mid-paddle, hook up with Erik Baard n' Co. at Hallet’s Cove (see map) at 11am on Saturday. Free paddles - all ages - fun times.

Sunday enjoy some fresh fruit from your tasty box of goodies from the Ravenswood CSA. Then head to Rainy Park and start a pick-up wiffle ball game. Dude. After you kick some wiffle-ass, unwind with a nice cool drink.

Finish out the weekend by helping plan to get that shoreline cleaned up. Or be wicked lame and let it stay nasty. Whatever.

See About.com Edition.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

News & Notes 05.08.04

This place sounds good...Read Article

Water Taxi Beach is now open...Here's their blog.

LIC gets thier own Business Improvement District...Read Article.

Mundo has a new website.

All-star wiffle ball player Mike B. reviews Brick Cafe for none other than Gourmet Magazine's website.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

New York Mag Queens Top 50

This list should be called the "Astoria - Long Island City Plus a Few Other Things Top 50". There's lots of Astoria - LIC stuff in here. I've done some of it, but certainly not all. It didn't seem fair not to pass it on, just 'cause I'm slow. Let me know what you think.

Movies & Meat

I don't do scary movies. Life is scary enough. But if you do, Knife in the Water is playing at Socrates Sculpture Park tonight.

While you're over there, have some cevapi or other Bosnian meat goodies at this joint. Let me know how it is. I love the Bosnian place of 34th Ave, TBB.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Wiffle Ball in Rainy Park

The next time you're sitting around, like, what should I do today? Play wiffle ball in the park. Wiffle ball is awesome because a) you get to say the word "wiffle" repeatedly and b) because you can't really be too good or too bad at it. And c) it's a boatload of fun.

Plus we have tons of parks along the waterfront and you don't even need a diamond to play wiffle ball.

This is me racing for the wiffle ball in Rainy Park. I'm no Al Leiter, but it was fun times.

Pic (and batting) courtesy of Mike B.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Astoria Supported Agriculture

Wouldn't it be awesome if you could hook up with a farm that would just bring you a box of their own farm fresh produce each week? Enter Ravenswood CSA.

CSA stands for Community-Supported Agriculture and it's a program where non-farmers (like us) can pay a fee and then each week for the harvest season, we get a box of the harvest (read: wicked fresh produce) delivered to Astoria. ARROW has one. But the Ravenswood CSA is brand new and looking for members.

Here the deal. Call Cara at (646)284-7762 or check out their site. You can buy a "share" which is to say a weekly delivery of tasty foodies. See pic courtesy of Adam Collett.

Beach Pics

This has nothing to do with Astoria, but hell, it's my blog, right?

I'm starting a set of our pics from the beach. Check 'em out.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Cold Vodka Goodness on a Hot Day

When we were away last week we visited the Dogfish Head Brewery. Thay make great beer and also their own vodka called Blue Hen Vodka.

We've got mint running rampant throughout the community garden, so Steve-o made this.


We came back to about 50 ripe tomatoes at the community garden. Steve picked them.

Joey's Back in Astoria

Hey there Kids,

Joey was out of Astoria this past week. I had a sweet vacay that included wiffle ball on the beach, catching a shark, a minor league ball game and excessive baking. What more could I ask for? But I'm glad to be back in my Astorian homeland. My buddy John at About.com pinch hit for me on the Weekend Edition bit. You should check it out.

I'll post some choicey pics from this past week soon. I've got some exciting reviews and other tasty Astorian morsels in the queue for this week so don't touch that dial.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Weekend Edition 05.07.22

This weekend, don't be shy. Do something nice for my birthday. Go for a walk, or take advantage of your limberness in the heat - do some (free) Tai Chi. Live it up.

Okay, okay. You've enjoyed the weather. Now you want some air-conditioned viewing pleasure, but you've already seen Wedding Crashers three times. Perennial fave Blow-Up will be screening at the Museum of the Moving Image. Go early and catch Gumby. 1960s Italian film not cultural enough for you? Okay, option 2: Visit the Argentine club scene at Local Project's Red Argentina.

Sunday, grab a salty snack, win a cardboard-stuffed toy, or hear some highly amateur singing at Broadway Station's own street fair with karaoke from 1 to 6. Catch some significantly better music and BBQ at lic bar that night. Make sure to seal the deal with one of their single malts while you're there.

See About.com Edition.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

News & Notes 05.07.21

Congressman Anthony Weiner still grasping at the memory of the now-defunct Olympic Village...Read Article

High-tech solution for all the disgusting people who litter in our neighborhood...Read Article