Friday, December 29, 2006

Astorian Year End Edition 2006

Seeing as how this weekend can basically be described as “PARTY,” we here at JIA thought it would be great to sum up our past year. There is no real rhyme or reason to it at all, just the years notables… good and bad! I’m sure in here you will find SOMETHING to do or try this weekend. Have a blast whatever it is!

Here you have it, JIA's Tops of 2006
  • Yummiest Condiment: Pebre from San Antonio.
  • Tastiest Conversation: Anything with Ali at Kabab Cafe.
  • The best way to stay active in the community: Biking and boating around with the guys over at the Waterfront Group.
  • Best far: beer and pool to boot, McCann's
  • Best way to pamper your toesies: Give the ladies over at Athena's a couple of hours and you'll leave a happy girl
  • Revamped Bar: From Tupelo to Sparrow , that birdie sings sweet sweet music in the form of a great beer selection
  • Most pointless renovation: Avenue Cafe ...
  • Best sandwich competition: Sal, Chris & Charlie's vs. Sorisso's
  • Biggest blown out of proportion blog entry: Why does the world have such an issue with my opinion on the Beer Garden ? Geesh!
  • Most notable food out of a truck: El Rey Del Taco - can't go wrong with anything on the menu
  • Summer's worst: The neverending Blackout and the Astoria Pool Melee
  • Best food filled guest blogger: Your foodie friend and mine, Annie in the Supermarket-lost as always
  • Well needed french addition to the hood: Le Petit Prince of course
  • NOT needed french loss in the hood: Le Sans Souci closed before i ever got to try out french yumms :(
  • Best fishy surprise: the $16.99 all you can eat of fresh sushi at Ginza
  • The place to see giant artistic objects: Socrates Sculpture Park. Happy 20th birthday!
  • Ugliest Renovation: The Eagle Electric Plant near Astoria Park. WTF?
  • Best source of fresh organic vegetables: Hellgate CSA
  • Most consistently unreliable promise: Shiny new, robot-enhanced N trains...still haven't seen one.
  • Best place practice your foodie speak in Spanish: Original Mexican Food Deli. And don't forget the sub-$2 tamales!
  • Best factory tour of a world famous cultural icon: Steinway Piano Factory. It's also been rated one of the top 5 factory tours in the country.
  • Best bottled beer selection (not in a bar): Heliopolis Deli. They also sell a spicy feta-sundried tomato concoction that is unbelievably delicious.
  • Wierdest burger preparation: Jackson Hole Diner. Steamed burgers? Why, I do not know.
  • Creepiest epidemic: Bedbugs. Totally gross.
  • Tastiest addiction: Sabra Hummus, made in Astoria. It's the new crack! Toss in some Astoria Pita and who needs to leave home?!?!
Stay tuned for 2007's adventures in the hood :) Happiest of Happy's to all our neighbors and friends and thank you so much for making this year here at Joey in Astoria a great one!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Party like its 2007!

Staying close to home this year? Well Astoria has a few "cover-less" parties in the works. I think a party for every taste will be available without getting on the train or wrecking your wallet this weekend, here's what i found for you all:

Hell Gate Social
12-21 Astoria Blvd (between 14th & 12th Street)
Doors open @9:00pm
Highlights of the night (imho) No Cover, multiple DJ's and live performances, 2:30am- White Castle for everyone PLUS the guys will be serving alcohol til 8am!!! Happy new year indeed :)

34-27 28th Avenue (at 35th Street)
Love the No Cover!
Its not a gala event or anything but definitely on the loungey tip. Champagne toast at midnight with a dj spinning all night. Party favors everwhere and drinky til 4am after which they will stay open and switch to the non alcoholic beverages ie: redbull- it gives you wings!

Kabala Lounge
24-01 36th Avenue
The neighborhood's newest fancy NYC VIP style joint. I really have no comment on it since i have never been and its just a bit odd to me, but i figure to each his own and you all should have the 411 on all the haps.
Entry is free til midnight- after will be $25 for general adm. They have all kinds of prices for different groups and bar plans so check them out if thats your thing. They've also got the only "after party" that i've heard of going on. $25 from 8am to 1pm.

Mezzo Mezzo
31-29 Ditmars Blvd.
So far the priciest, but its got alot going on!
Get in there at 9:30pm and stay til 2:30am. For your $85, you'll get a full 5 course surf-n-turf dinner, wine, champagne toast, a live middle eaastern ensemble all night with live bellydancers. If this fits the bill, call now for reservations or email: for more info.

Whatever you do or wherever you end up, please have a super happy and safe New Year!
Come back next year for more on all the goodies in Astoria :)

-now go and make your plans!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Mulchfest 2007

Help ring in the new year by returning your Christmas trees (or "Pagan Solstice Tree", in my case) to where it came from. No, not that dude in the Cow-Town parking lot. The earth, silly! You can drop off your trees at Astoria Park on 19th & Hoyt Avenue on January 6th or 7th from 10am to 2pm to see your coniferous friend become mulch. And if you want to, you can take his new mulchy self back home with you for your [community] garden.

Deets here: NYC Parks Department MulchFest

It's free for you and cheap for New York. And it helps slow the quickening process of our planet frying to a crisp. Mmmm, crips...

Friday, December 22, 2006

Astorian Weekend Edition 22.12.06

Happy Holidays everyone! It's a big holiday weekend and I hope you are exactly where you want to be with regard to shopping, eating, and festivities. I know Astoria residents have been whoopin' it up with pre-holiday drinking parties, Festivus parties, and office parties in fabulous locations (I was invited to one at the Rainbow Room, which was quite nice). There's a lot going on this weekend, both holiday-oriented and not.

There are plenty of places have a Christmas eve dinner out (Sunday night), and a few places have found themselves on my radar: Mundo (8pm, $45), 718 (complete with a Chocolate Buche de Noel), and Koliba. All very different but I'm sure will be very fun and festive. Reservations required!

On Saturday, head over to Hell Gate Social for a screening of The Nightmare Before Christmas at 8pm. There's a happy hour from 7-9, too. Or, head to Waltz for holday fun, including nog and a movie. I'm told the yule log will be lit and there might be some spontaneous music-making.

And I've been told that there's gonna be free ice cream samples from 5 Boroughs Ice Cream at the new Bravo Supermarket on 34th Ave near 35th Street in Central Astoria. Stop by Saturday, 1-4pm and check it out. You might see me there! I've also been told that the new cafe Il Bambino on 31st Ave near 34th Street is pretty darn good in the food department, especially the mozarella & pesto panini. They have something called "warm maple milk", which sounds intriguing as well.

Hope you're having fun, whatever it is you're doing!

Monday, December 18, 2006

A Delicious Discovery

When I was at Freeze Peach last night, playing my little heart out for a few hours (I trucked my harpsichord down to the cafe via my new hot handtruck), I discovered they had new sandwiches available! One is vegan - spicy tofu, and one is vegetarian - veggie chicken salad. I had a taste of the vegan one, and I proclaim it to be...delicious! The vegetarian (not vegan because of the egg whites) chicken salad is tasty as well. They wrap the fillings in a napa cabbage leaf before slapping it between two slices of organic multigrain bread, so the bread doesn't get all soggy and gross. Nice! These sandwiches are made by a company called "Earthly Eats", based out of Ridgewood, NY. They are kosher as well. So, next time you're by the cafe, check them out! Sandwiches are $3.75, by the way, a pretty good deal as sandwiches go.

Friday, December 15, 2006

N Train: Hot! (apparently)

According to the New York Inquirer (have any of you heard of this publication?), the N/W/R/Q tied with the F/V for sexiest train line! Now, I think whoever did this survey had a lot of time on their hands. Or maybe it was a slow week. Anyway, Astorians should feel good that their train line is sooooo sexy! The 7, on the other hand, was determined to be not so sexy.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Astoria Loves Will Smith!

At least the Museum of the Moving Image does. Last Sunday night he was the most honored guest at the 22nd annual Museum of the Moving Image Salute. The event paid tribute to Will Smith's diverse body of work for television and film. You may wish you could have been in attendance at the event, and according to the AMMI website, Moving Image Salutes Will Smith will be broadcast on Bravo on January 12, 2007, at 8pm. On Wednesday there's going to be a preview of The Pursuit of Happyness at the AMMI, and I hope to be in the audience, because I love Will Smith, too! I've seen a bunch of clips of the movie and it looks wonderful.

Need to get OUT?

Come meet LGBT Astoria!

Out Astoria Holiday Party
32nd Street and Broadway
8-10 p.m.
$15 for all-you-can eat buffet,
$3 beers, $5 well drinks

Astorian Weekend Edition 15.12.06

Friday break out the soofganiot and grab a match, Happy Hanukkah to all!

Not doing the holiday thing? Languages and culture a topic of conversation? Well, it will be on Friday at a Multi Culti Meetup. Apparently, there is a weekly meeting of the minds at Mike’s Diner (22-37 31st St) at 6 p.m. Go talk, meet new people…get out a little!

Saturday use your time wisely and FINISH your shopping! Do yourself a favor and when you get to the end of Steinway (near Astoria Blvd.) or the end of your shopping, go grab a bite at Kabab Cafe. Ali’s got new dishes on the menu (well the menu in his head, just ask him for the specials or anything new.)

Sunday continue to celebrate the festival of lights at “The Light of a Hundred Menorahs” - A Gala Chanukah Celebration and Meal. Goodies and kosher yummies for all! ($20/person, 718-278-2680).

Or party in a different way with beer and music LIVE from the Sparrow (24-01 29th St), one of my new fav bars to chill. The rumors are true: sooner than later the kitchen will be open for all your beer-induced cravings!

Single and looking to mingle? Monday after work swing by The Cave around 7 p.m. for half-price cocktails and drink specials all night to help you ease into the madness of the dating scene.

I know its hard with Steinway blaring the holiday tuneage, but stay sane my neighbors, the madness is almost over!

...More on KrisTees

I know i mentioned it here, but i so didn't give it enough talk space!
KrisTees is an adorable new little shop for the ladies over on a quiet stretch of 23rd Ave.
They have everything you need to look uber cool and comfy for work and play. The sweaters and tees were so very stylized and soft, i think there was some sort of complex blend of wool, cotton and something fancy...
Hats, jewelry, scarves (with adorable prints) tees, skinny jeans, and what i thought was really smart- belts made of exotic leathers that can be totally made to order, fill the open space. Like the buckle on that funky green crocodil-ey looking belt but prefer the red sued-ey one? No prob, they can switch them out. Need an extra inch or a hole or two? Easy. Make them one of a kind to your specifications. The shop itself is quite attractive. Swirls of browns and unobtrusive displays let you just chill as you shop.
They don't have a website yet but are working on a myspace to help spread the word about what they've got going on - stay tuned. While in the store though i signed up for they mailing list- just got the first blast and thought i'd forward it along to you all! After all, there is still time for holiday shopping :)

As a special thank you before the holidays, I will be hosting a 2 Day only "Special Customer Appreciation Event" starting this Wednesday, December 13th through Thursday, Dec.14th only. The event includes 15% off all Regular Price Designer Clothing I recently received for Holiday as well as an extra 10% off Already Reduced Items. If you stop by during either evening I will also have wine, champagne and cheese for you to snack on.
Wednesday- Open 12 Noon to 8PM
Thursday- Open 12 Noon to 9PM
Something to keep in mind during the event.......... In addition, for those who might spot something they want their friend, loved one or family to pick them up for Christmas, I will be happy to set the items asside until next week Thursday for them to pick up for you.
I look forward to seeing you and Happy Holidays to All!

Kindest Regards, Kristie

Isn't she sweet?!
24-01 23rd Avenue
(at 24th Street)
Astoria, NY 11105
(718) 204-5031
Store Hours:
Mon/Tues -Closed
Wed/Fri/Sat- Noon-8pm
Thurs- Noon-9pm
Sun- Noon-6pm

Personal Kyoto

While reading Carrie McLaren's Stay Free! blog, a great site about consumer culture and media criticism, I came across this:

Has anyone used this? It's apparently a way to "track your residential or commercial electric usage automatically". It works with your ConEd account. Sounds like it could be pretty interesting and useful. Personal Kyoto was developed by OpenLab at Eyebeam, which I know has a good reputation. I may check it out this week. It would be good to know how I'm using my electricity and then move toward lowering my usage. My own personal Kyoto!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Astoria to be "extra character" in Greek TV Show

Looks like more filming will be happening in Astoria. From the article:

The subway rumbles over 31st Street, passing by a small, unobtrusive office in Astoria tucked next to a convenience store. A tiny sign on the door advertises the company, “Ikseni Productions,” in orange and black letters.

Inside, 20-something filmmakers are working feverishly, writing scripts, securing permits to shoot around Queens, casting extras and handling piles of accounting paperwork.

It’s the pre-production phase of “On 31st Street,” the first show for a Greek television network to be filmed entirely in the United States. The show’s Greek-American creators plan to shoot and produce it primarily in Astoria, Queens.

“We would like to show them what New York is like and how Greeks live here,” said Andreas Georgio, the show’s co-creator, lead actor and producer.

Friday, December 08, 2006

More on Flux Factory This Weekend

Just got a mailer from them. Sounds like fun!


Response to Tatlin’s Monument... Continues. Party from 5:30pm – late

Highlights include:

Ice Cream and Beverages in the Kafeteriaeria
George Galliano Jazz Trio performance at 10pm
Performances on the Small Stage for Very Brief Performances
Odd and delightful musical interludes throughout
Love propaganda!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Astorian Weekend Edition 8.12.06

Holy moly, it's cold today! The weekend will be a little warmer, but not by much. It's a good weekend to stay inside if you have thin west coast blood like I do. But I bet most of you reading this have hearty Northeastern or Midwestern blood and will be able to handle it, no sweat. So, maybe take a stroll down to the Goodwill Triangle and see the progress on this awesome greenspace developing. Or head to Astoria Park and gawk at the ridiculous architecture that is the Eagle Electric Plant Riverview apartment co-op building, then take one of their open house tours from 12-4. Maybe even do some shopping while you're out! On Friday, stop by Candy Plum for their Holiday Trunk Show from 5-8pm. This Saturday, if you find yourself on Steinway Streeet, you might catch the Strolling Goliard Carolers, singing on Saturdays from 2-4 until Christmas. If you've got kids, head on over to Jackson Hewitt (28-17 Steinway) on Sunday to see Santa. He'll be there from 12-4 and you'll get a free photo and gift with your visit.

If you're craving artistic manna this weekend, stop on by the Chocolate Factory in LIC for the Fresh Meat Festival. On Sunday, the Astoria Symphony is holding their annual holiday concert. And the Flux Factory's next open hours are this Saturday, if you've been curious to check them out.

If you're hungry or need a lot of food for a party, head on over to Sal, Chris & Charlie ("The Sandwich King") over on 23rd Ave (33-12 23rd Ave, more specifically). They'll cater a ginormous, delicious six-foot sandwich for $90! And if that's too big, pay $15 a foot and make your own size. And when you're done with your shopping, stop by Mundo, where they've got tasty mulled wine for the season. And speaking of holiday drinks, it's SilkNog season! It's a soy product, much tastier and lighter than the regular eggnog you find on the grocery store shelves. I love the stuff and have polished off a quart of it already.

More fun, here.

Hey, man!

There's jazz tonight at the Beer Garden! Come check out some great musicians and hear some excellent tunes. It's cold enough to keep the out-of-town hordes away, so I bet you'd get a seat, and maybe more attention by the waitstaff. And it's free! BTW, jazz organ totally rules.

Dan Pratt Organ Quartet

Dan Pratt: saxophone
Alan Ferber: trombone
Dave Smith: trumpet
Jared Gold: organ
Mark Ferber: drums

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Another One Bites the Dust

More and more, buildings are being converted to condos in Long Island City. While that's great for ameliorating the housing shortage here in western Queens, it's sad to me when a bunch of artists are kicked out. LIC has many buildings full of artist studios and slowly their buildings are being converted. This is happening to the building housing Queensboro Potters. As a result, they're having one last holiday sale before things are shut down. Here's the info:

Eleven ceramic artists will have work available to sell. If you're looking for original holiday gifts for an art lover (or just need a nice handmade serving bowl) come on by.

Thursday, December 7, 4-8 pm
Friday, December 8, 4-8 pm
Saturday, December 9, 12-5 pm (live music 2-5 pm)
Sunday, December 10: 12-5 pm

Queensboro Potters
42-26 28th St, Ste 2E (Star Building)
Long Island City
(718) 729-4882

Just off Queens Plaza/Queensboro Bridge.

N,W or 7 to Queensboro Plaza. Use Queens Plaza South exit to street. Walk straight ahead to 28th St and turn right. The building is at the end of the block on the corner of 28th St and 42nd Rd.

E,R or V to Queens Plaza. Use Queens Plaza South exit to street (the middle of the train is nearest this exit). Walk straight to 28th St. and turn left. The building is on the right at the end of the block on the corner of 28th St and 42nd Rd.

G to Court House Square. Walk north on Jackson Ave and turn left onto 42nd Rd. The building is straight ahead on the corner of 28th St. and 42nd Rd.

(Cream and sugar set by potter Posey Bacopoulos. Photo source from Sunnyside Community Services)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Art Garden

The Art Garden
Originally uploaded by flooznyc.
So whats the dilly? i would love for this to be true! Anyone have any info on this jammy? I'm going to try giving them a call tomorrow and see what gives. I walked around back to see this alleged "garden" and didn't see anything remotely garden like.
p.s. the sign itself is on 31st St. near the corner of 24th Ave.

More on the Waterfront

The next waterfront meeting is coming up. Join in, help out, and have fun!

Astoria-LIC Waterfront Parks Alliance Meeting

What: Join us to help figure what we can do to improve our Astoria/LIC waterfront parks and our waterfront as a whole. This meeting is open to all, but will be focused on planning for the next year, and therefore may be more relevant for current members. All members are encouraged to attend, and new members are encouraged to attend if they intend to participate regularly in the upcoming year.

When: Wednesday, December 6, 6pm

Where: Greater Astoria Historical Society, Quinn Building, 35-20 Broadway, 4th Floor

Who: All Are Welcome!

Why: To join together with friends and neighbors to re-envision our waterfront and improve our neighborhood.

More info: Please call 718-706-8044, 917-902-9165 or email

Can Someone Tell Me?

What "Pre-Finished Units" are?

I saw this sign on the Eagle Electric building/now condos (codos? or co-ops? or apartments? bah.) while I was running down by Astoria Park. Does this mean you buy a "fixer upper" of sorts? I hear the units are shoddily built, but I'd like to take a look-see myself. Not that I could afford to buy, mind you, but I have fond memories of looking at model homes as a teenager with my mom and brother. Maybe it's wierd, but it sure was fun to see brand spankin' new homes, sometimes with tasteful decorating and sometimes with laughable decorating.

Anyway, what is up with this "pre-finished" business????

Monday, December 04, 2006

Like a Phoenix?

While walking along 31st Street near the Ditmars train station this morning, I saw that substantial work had been done where the McDonalds/TwinDonut/31 fire had been. I am very curious to see what goes in...hoping not another McDonalds, ugh. Or another 99cent store or nail salon. Has anyone else seen this work being done, too? Or know what's going to be in that space?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

More About Parks

Well, today I made it over to the Goodwill Triangle/Two Coves Garden for a couple hours and helped with the beautification project there. Instead of planting daffodil bulbs, we ended up planting some bushes and shrubs, as the daffodils arrived later in the day, just as I had to leave. But it was great to help with the planting and so nice to work with the other volunteers. If I can, I'll post some pictures of the progress we made. The space is going to be really nice when it's done. It's already much nicer than it was, from what Gail told me, it having been a dumping ground for local garbage and other miscellaneous crap. I'm really glad that it's being improved and it will be a wonderful open space for the community in far western Astoria.

Next parks-related gathering is Monday at 6pm. There will be an informal meeting regarding Astoria Park, an opportunity to share ideas about Astoria Park and most likely community stewardship of the park, which is truly a jewel here in Astoria. From the email I received:
I've had contact with most or all of you on this e-mail because of your interest in Astoria Park! Since there are many of you interested in different areas of the park, I would like to invite you to all meet each other, share your different expertise and perhaps think about collaborating forces to form a larger Astoria Park umbrella group.

The meeting will be held at Waltz-Astoria, which is on Ditmars between 23rd and 24th Streets. I think it will be a nice place to meet. I'm planning on being there, and I hope to see many of you there as well!

And for those who are interested, there's a holiday party following the meeting at the Greater Astoria Historical Society. Party is at 7pm. Details:
Kevin Walsh will discuss his book and web site Forgotten New York, and there will be Christmas music and refreshments.
Please join us and support your local historical society!

The GAHS is at 35-20 Broadway, in the Quinn Bldg., 4th Floor.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Helping your Community with Daffodils

Dumb thunderstorms should be gone by Saturday, and more normal temperatures will be back (althought not frigid temps), so consider helping out your community! From Emily Maxwell of Parks:

Saturday, December 2, from 11-3, help plant daffodil bulbs at the shiny new Goodwill Triangle/Two Coves Garden!

Throughout the week, volunteers have been planting trees and shrubs at Goodwill Triangle/Two Coves Garden. They're busy transforming the space into a beautiful park and community garden, and it's looking amazing. But, more help is needed! If you can help, please join them anytime from 11-3 on Saturday or call Gail Harris at 917-498-1403. Goodwill Triangle/Two Coves Garden is at the intersection of Astoria Blvd and 8th Street.

You may indeed see me there! Hooray for beautification!

Astorian Weekend Edition 1.12.06

December brings shopping on the brain!
Ease into the weekend Friday, Candy Plum is throwing a trunk show by a local designer. Not enough to get you over there? Well how about 10% off all clothing purchases...while you sip some wine on the house?!

Saturday, take your pick or even better do it up proper and hit both craft fairs!
Kicking off at 10am (until 6pm) we have the Magic of Astoria's 5th installment of crafty fun. This is being held at United Methodist Church, 30th Rd & Crescent St. You'll find everything from snacks to photos to paintings to clothing. I can feel it now- names being crossed off the dreaded long gift giving list!
At 11am you can scoot on over to the second shopping bonanza, the Trinity Lutheran Church XMas Sale at Trinity Lutheran Church- 31-18 37th St @ 31st Ave. Shop for sales and bargains til 4pm. I heard there will be entertainment, food and balloon hats for those of you who are already humbugging :)

Finish off your shopping weekend exploring KrisTees, one of Astoria's newest & cutest boutiques. Find Kristie (no really its her name!) and her soft and pretty gear at the corner of 23rd Ave. & 24th St. The shop has only been open for two months but i think its got staying power. Scarves, hats, jewelry, belts -which are totally customizable and made from various materials, skinny jeans and oh so soft silhoutte tees are to be found there. Dress it up or dress it down, hot stuff.
(24-01 23rd Ave. closed mon + tues.)

Pool leaguers or just plain ole pool playing people- come out to Break on Monday nights. You can check in with the American Poolplayers Association! Beginners are welcome but you have to commit and show up every Monday night.

Also on Monday is the Kiwanis Club Annual Holiday Auction
What: Shop for charity (proceeds go to children & seniors of Astoria)
Where: Riccardo's by the Bridge, 21st St. @ 24th Ave.
When: Preview at 6:30 pm, Auction starts at 7 p.m.
What else: Free Admission, Free Parking, Free Finger Foods, Cash Bar.

Don't be alarmed: the lack of food recommendations in this post is not normal! I'll get back to the yums next time.