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 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

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. 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 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 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.