Friday, April 28, 2006

Astoria Weekend Edition 28.04.06

This weekend should be nice and sunny, a welcome relief from that gross rain from last weekend. That sure was a bummer, and it cancelled a few things having to do with the Earth Day Celebration. Activities have been rescheduled for this weekend, and on Saturday there are a bunch of things to do at both Rainey Park and Socrates Sculpture Park, the LIC Boathouse (free canoe rides!), as well as a Waterfront Walking Tour put on by the Greater Astoria Historial Society. The full details can be found on the Astoria/LIC Waterfront website.

The Street Fair season is also beginning this weekend, and on Sunday the fair will be on Steinway Street between 28th & 34th Avenues, sponsored by the Central Astoria LDC. Come out and eat some street meat, enjoy the sun, and pick up a few things, all between 11am and 6pm.

For something a little different, stop by The ARTSPACE at the Athanasiades Cultural Center (30-98 42 St, corner of 31st Ave) and check out the work of figurative and comic book drawing artist Dionisios Kavvadias. On Sunday there is an opening reception from 12-4pm for his show RetroActive: A Collection of Old and New Drawings. And on Sunday night, head over to the Irish Rover (on the corner of 28th Ave and 38th Street) for Quiz Night at 7pm. This is going to be a regular Sunday event. Bring yourself and a few friends, then form a team and compete for cash!

More fun, here.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Fog on Sunday

I was heading back from an awful allergic day in NJ when driving over the Queensboro Bridge, i spied the prettiest sight. The fog all the way up the water to our own little Hellgate Bridge... or as far as i could see at the time!Even though my allergies were telling me to get the heck inside, i couldn't resist stopping by the park for some pictures. Here's a glimpse through my lens...

times like these i can snap away for hours!

i didn't even bother with color correction on most of these because i liked the effect that naturally happened with all the blue.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Astorian Weekend Edition 21.04.06

Happy Earth Day!
Planning some remodeling? Need some materials for your fixer upper? Well we've got the right place for you right here near home. Build It Green! NYC is New York's only non-profit building supply store, now thats a great way to keep those landfills not so full.

On Sunday, there is an event in Manhattan that is near and dear to me. The MS Walk will be taking place at the South Street Seaport. Granted its not in Astoria, but hey if you're looking for a good deed-look no further! I've been walking for the past 5 years for my best friend who suffers from MS, and its actually a super fun way to do something important-helping to find a cure.

If you are staying local, go shopping over at the Vespa showroom. How cool is that? I plan on going to pay them a visit soon. Now with the weather finally clearing up, everyone's buying bikes - wouldn't it be so cool though to bust out one of these classic little beauties? They can do all sorts of customizing and repairs there too. Stop by on your way to the train since they are right off the 59th St. bridge on Crescent. Be sure to take your shades...they have some crazy colors!

Oh, don't forget to go join the local Hellgate CSA this summer for fresh local produce all season long! The enrollment has started and they have a nifty new site and blog so you can stay on top of your veggies. Talk about a green weekend!

image courtesy of HellGate CSA

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Too gross for just one blog

this was originally posted to my other blog Gud Stuf NYC
is anyone else happy to see the meat supplier on Astoria Blvd. and 37th Street go? that place always had such a foul smell and seepage all over the sodewalk. thank goodness it happened before another hot summer, it was really unbearable walking by there on most days. i think it was called Napoli & Sons (but i might be wrong just cause the signs are gone and my memory sucks!) As you can see by the note on the gate, gross!

OK, here's my why i felt the need to post this here and not just on my other blog. I walked by this place on my way home yesterday and to my surprise...the place next door also had that notice on it. The flier must have already been there but in my disgusted state, i guess i missed it the first several times i walked by. So next door was a religious type place, a church or some kind of version of one. They closed within a year and that was awhile ago. But here is where my alarm kicks in... to the left of the vacant church is our beloved San Antonio Bakery! Does this mean that it's got rats? Do they not know it yet? Are we in for some bad news? I am keeping a close eye on this one. I mean, they are only 2 storefronts over from the gross meat place, all the walls could be infested... ugh

Monday, April 17, 2006

Spa Week

Today I learned that this week is Spa Week in NYC (4/17-23). This means that each spa treatment you go for this week - at participating spas - is $50. Sometimes this a super savings! It's worth checking out. Two Astoria/LIC spas are participating, the Bare Beauty Laser Hair Removal spa on 23rd Ave. in Astoria and the SpaHydra on 36th Street in LIC. I can't vouch for the quality of these spas, but it's nice to see that some spas in Western Queens are participating. Of course there are lots of spas in Manhattan and some in Brooklyn (and even a couple on Staten Island and LI!). The sucky thing about the website is that they make you register. I registered, so here is the link that might work for you if you want to search for some spas that will provide what you're looking for, without having the register.

Enjoy, and get yourself all pampered (you too, guys) on the relative cheap!

Old world looking Astoria

Walking down 36th Street the other day made me feel like i was back in Portugal, maybe even Deutschland somewhere. I had never really looked around this block that is known for its sprawling front yards. The buildings there really are cool to look at. This top one is just so random that it sticks out like a sore thumb, well its not so sore cause i think the building is really quite nice to look at-it just may be on the wrong block is all.This bottom photo could really be in a Portuguese aldeia
So yeah, take a look around now that the weather is getting oh so much better! There are so many really cool things in this neighborhood. Being first generation in America, its really cool for me to see that i can still get the "feel" of my family's world in my world. There's no place i'd rather be!
(the sentimental-ness of this post has got to me my allergy medication kicking in, i want to be out more checking out stuff but i'm stuck indoors quite a bit...stir crazy maybe? dang flowers!)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Astorian Weekend Edition 14.04.06

Well, this weekend is a big one for some of us - the completing of our tax returns. I admit, I'll be filling them out at some point this weekend. It's also the end of Holy Week, the most important time in the liturgical year in the Western church. And it's the middle of the 8-day Jewish celebration of Passover. Like I said, it's a big weekend! It's also supposed to be a warm weekend, so I hope you get a chance to spend some time outside - go for a run, a walk, play ultimate frisbee in Astoria Park, kayak on the East River. And enjoy some gelato, ice cream, or a frappe at one of Astoria's many Greek/Euro Cafes. Spring is here!

You can celebrate completing your tax returns on Saturday by attending the wine talk at Waltz. $20 gets you wine, snacks, and an education. On Sunday, pop on over to PS1 for Coloring Book: An Interactive Project, from 2-5pm. This free event invites members of the public to fill in, reinvent, and contribute their creativity to a book of images based on the work of Edvard Munch and Tracey Emin. And of course, there are great movies at our own Museum of the Moving Image, including Beastie Boys music videos.

More fun, here.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Yup, methinks its going to be another Astorian favorite....a cafe! Surprise! On 30th Ave. and 36th St. it used to be a cafe with a chicken place next door if i'm not mistaken. I guess they felt the need to expand to 2 storefront's worth of cafe'dom. This is fast becoming an epidemic. I can maybe accept 1 new cafe a year-but do they all have to be in spitting distance from each other? Do we really need that much caffeine and sidewalk seating? Ugh, this topic can go on forever i'm sure with both pros and cons ( i've got to believe that the cons outweigh the pros.) The whole thing just gives me a headache. Is it weird that i've lived here for a little over 5 years and still have not stepped foot into a cafe? Its not a coincidence believe you me! Just thought i'd put the sighting out there.

For another take on cafe's in the nabe, a new blog run by 2 local girls on a mission. Alpha Astoria chronicles their attempt to hit every Greek cafe in Astoria this summer. I really wish them the best of luck with it... this is a task that i am not jealous of at all. Like the proverbial train wreck, i will be checking in for their next review!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

"You got robots doing it—it's unfair"

So says conductor Joe Nunez, who makes the subway announcements on the W line, in reference to the results in from the new Straphangers campaign focusing on the clarity of subway annoucements. The W - which apparently stands for "worst" - is said to be pretty bad, and is at the bottom of the heap. Apparently the annoucements are garbled (27% of the time) or non-existent (15% of the time). The 4, 5, and 6, whose annoucements are made by those pesky or lovable robots - depending on your point of view - got the highest rating. Conductor Nunez maintains that the W is the "bastard son of the line" but I think we'd all agree that that moniker really belongs to the G, the saddest subway line around. Sad because the MTA seems not to care much about it, as it never goes to Manhattan, and has a crappy schedule and arrival record.

What do you think of the clarity of subway annoucements on the N or W (or R, V, G, E, F, or 7 for that matter)? As for me, subway annoucements-schmubway annoucements, my ire is reserved for the evil 1 train.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Astorian Weekend Edition 07.04.06

Wanna spend some tax return money to spring-ify your wardrobe and/or house? Well, the folks at Plum Boutique can help. They've gotten together a bunch of local artists' and designers' wares under one roof for our shopping pleasure. There is something for everyone (and at crazy "un-new york" prices too.) Your sales will go far to help continue the creative environment that Astoria is fast becoming. Are you crafty? Maybe you can turn your habit into something lucrative there as well. They take stuff on consignment, which for us little guys could be a step into a new career! Of course i couldn't pass up an adorable vintage wallet for myself...only 10 bucks, thats it there in the pic.

Mmmmm, the smell of fresh bread and pastries.... up and around 37th Street you can occasionally get a whiff of the doughy love. Ever wonder why? Well I think it's got be the Artisan Baking Center at 36-46 37th Street. I need to investigate more, but it seems like the classes there are on a more "professional" basis...I may have to wait for my big baking break!

I never give you guys a place to hit up for a fancy nightclub experience. Lucky for us, Astoria even has some of those to offer! Get your best duds on this weekend (maybe some you picked up at Plum?) and head over to 20 Steinway St. - Central Lounge. Go early and have some grilled octopus and all sorts of typical Greek fare, stay late and cut some "rug."

If performances are more your thing, and you want to see something sad, happy, crazy, frank and then some- head on over to The Chocolate Factory Theater and catch Saturday's final show of Cary Curren's Cary From The Cock. Also at The Chocolate Factory but in the Gallery is an exhibit by Patrick Neal, Nightfishing. His modernist paintings will be up until April 13th.