Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Alba's Pizza

I've been eating at Alba's Pizza for a couple years now, mainly because it's so convenient, being up the street and all. I was there this weekend and learned they have a new takeout menu! They've increased their pasta offerings, for one thing, and the menu itself looks more inviting in its layout. While I was there this weekend, I tried their Grandma slice. I have extremely high standards for Grandma slices, having eaten many of them from the wonderful Via Pizza in Stony Brook. Well, Alba's makes theirs a bit differently than what I'm used to, but the flavors were fantastic! My boyfriend and I liked it so much we had two slices! Highly recommended.

They also will make pizza with a whole wheat crust, which is great in this age of heightened awareness of whole grains. They also serve whole wheat spaghetti - also a great option. I haven't had any of their pasta dishes, so I'm looking forward to trying them.

By the way, you can order pizza from them online, here. They accept credit cards, which is a plus.

Alba's Pizza
36-20 Ditmars Blvd
Astoria, New York

Photo credit: Alba's Pizza

Monday, July 30, 2007

Le Petit Prince Bakery Closed???

I've been hearing rumors that Le Petit Prince bakery might be closed. Apparently people have seen ovens and baking equipment heading out of the bakery, and the space has been shuttered for a while now. So sad! It was a great bakery! Different from anything else in the area and certainly delicious. JIA friend Zora expresses her feelings about the situation here.

I still have hopes that their closing is only temporary, and that they are just upgrading their equipment.

If anyone has any other info, post it here!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Harry & the Potters Redux

Remember when we didn't know how it all ended? Well, if you want to reminisce about those days, Sooz took some bitchin pics of the Harry & The Potters show, weekend before last at the Beer Garden. For a look in the pensieve click here (pics) or here (videos).

Friday, July 27, 2007

Opening Reception for Emerging Artists Exhibit at Subdivision in LIC

Subdivision art. in LIC is the home of an emerging artists exhibit running from July 28 to September 15. Artists exhibiting include:
  • Brendan Carroll
  • Leidy Churchman
  • Ann Flaherty
  • Rubens Ghenov
  • Andrea Moreau
  • RenĂ© Smith
  • Rachael Wren
  • Mika Yokobori
  • Elizabeth Zans

There's an opening reception tomorrow night from 6-9pm, too; what I've seen on the website looks pretty good. So, if you're in the mood to see some new art, this is the event for you! By the way, here is a flickr set of some of the images from the show (thanks to the artblog for that pointer).

Subdivision art.
48-18 Vernon Blvd
Long Island City, NY

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Astorian Weekend Edition 26.07.07

It's the big one- I mean come on, 4 days of fair food!?!?!?! Thu - Sun., occupying 23rd Ave. from 35th to mid 37th Streets and 36th St from 23rd Ave. to under the Amtrak overpass is the St. Irene Chrysovalantou Annual Street Fair.

Hellgate Road Runners meet 4 days/week for group runs at the track in Astoria Park. 7:30pm Thursday nights go for a "group run" or if you want to "go the distance"- stop by the Astoria Park Field House at 9am on Saturday for a long distance run.

Not only are there burgers galore to be had on Saturday, but Grandmaster Flash will be entertaining the masses at Water Taxi Beach. Get a $13.50 ticket and enjoy 3 original burgers :) I've got my tickets already so stay tuned for picks next week!

Ever heard of the Saw Players? Maybe not, but in the past- i'm sure a few of us have ran across the Saw Lady Natalia Paruz on our way somewhere or other. On Saturday at 2pm at the Quinn Memorial Building (35-20 Broadway, 4th floor), Natalia along with a "Chorus of Saws" will be performing and discussing different types of music. It's $10 at the door, but where else can you get the inside scoop on playing hardware from veteran sawists?

The 3rd Official Astoria Pug Meetup takes place this Sunday, July 29, 2007 at 11:00am. They will be meeting at Astoria Park (23rd Ave and 19th St.) There seems to be quite a few pugs and owners in Astoria that are itching to make friends. If only I had a one of those adorable little guys!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ali and his Kabab Cafe in the NY Times

If you haven't seen it already, head on over to the NY Times to read Peter Meehan's review of Kabab Cafe, with Ali featured prominently. Reminds me that I need to get over there soon!

Astoria Profile

about.com has revised their profile of Astoria - check it out! And be sure to add your two cents as to whether or not you think new development is good for the neighborhood.

Brunch at Bistro 33

Latest news from wonderful neighborhood eatery Bistro 33: their outdoor seating is set up and they are offering brunch! From 11am-4pm every weekend, you can head over for a delicious meal - here are some of the things on their brunch menu:

  • Cajun omelet - crawfish, andouille sausage, red peppers, green onion
  • Apple Brie Omelet
  • Quiche Lorraine
  • Blueberry Pancakes
  • Truffled Eggs and Salmon
  • Sushi Brunch (bagel roll [salmon, cream cheese, cucumber] & spicy tuna roll)

Not to mention mimosas, bloody marys, and of course, coffee. Yum!

Mastercard and Visa are now accepted, which is pretty convenient. So, check 'em out! Bistro 33 is on the corner of Ditmars and 21st Street in Astoria.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Buffalo in Astoria

Well, that would be buffalo burgers. While I was at Family Corner, a tiny little diner in the Ditmars neighborhood, this past weekend I noticed they had buffalo burgers on the menu. You can get the burger by itself ($4) or deluxe ($5.50). I am intrigued.

Loved their eggs over medium - so tasty! And the iced coffee isn't half bad.

Family Corner
21-02 31st Street

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Astorian Weekend Edition 19.07.07

Even the week's end starts out rainy, we should have a beautiful weekend. On Saturday, there are a couple of Trunk Sales going on. The Trunk Sale put on by the Astoria Craft Collective will have jewelry, accessories, and clothing. It will be at the patio on the corner of 29th Street and 35th Avenue, 11am-5pm, plus there will be refreshments! It goes on rain or shine, but it looks like a dry Saturday. Candy Plum (30-98 36th Street) has a lot of t-shirts to offer with a 10% discount. 1-3pm and they'll have sweets and snacks. If you can't make it to either of the Trunk Sales, you might consider the Blooming Company at another time, a cute little boutique on 31st Street between 23rd Ave and Ditmars.

There's always plenty of music happening in Astoria, and this weekend is no different. Stop by Waltz on Thursday for Samba music, performed by Anthony Lanni and friends ($2 cover and a $7 drink minimum). Check out their newly renovated digs, too. Hellgate Social that same night presents indie punk rock in the form of The Johns. HGS also has a movie planned for Sunday around 9pm.

Time Cafe (44-18 Broadway) this weekend has live jazz during brunch on Sunday. Hear the Jacob Varmus Quartet from 12-3 while you enjoy some tasty food. And if you were thinking of heading to Sparrow (across from the Beer Garden) for brunch at 10:30am, you might want to reconsider - I tried eating there last Sunday at 11am and they were still closed! Best bet - check them out at noon. I also hear Ovelia (34-01 30th Avenue) makes a superb frappe.

Head to the AMMI for more horror films, including 1970s classic Carrie and 21st century Japanese film Itchi the Killer. Warm Up at PS1 is Saturday from 3pm-9pm, and particularly interesting sounding that afternoon is Eric Singer's LEMUR (League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots)

More fun, here.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Harry Potter in Astoria

If you're like me, then you're oscillating between twittering anticipation and desperate fear for the fated moment this Friday at midnight when we can all find out what really happens to Harry Potter.

Well, Astorian Harry Potter fans can unite in their suffering on Thursday as we welcome Harry & the Potters, the original wizard rock band, to the Beer Garden. The Harrys will be accompanied by Draco & the Malfoys and the Hungarian Horntails.

I, for one, will be going dressed up as Ginny Weasley. Ah...those green eyes...

Friday, July 13, 2007

New Parks Policy for Bicycles

Bicyclists locking their bikes to trees and their metal fences, beware! According to Streetsblog, Parks and Recreation Department agents are clipping locks and seizing bicycles that they deem "illegally parked". This practice was first caught in Forest Hills Park, but according to a city employee, this is new policy for all 5 boroughs. According to a Streetsblog tipster:

I went to the Parks Department in Flushing Meadows Corona Park where the truck full of confiscated bicycles sat to get the scoop. Here, Captain Kenneth Brown informed me that today began a citywide campaign involving the City Parks and Recreation Department. This time all bikes chained to city trees or to the metal fencing around those trees will be seized in neighborhoods throughout the 5 boroughs. Bikes are then taken by truck to the nearest Parks Department Headquarters where they are held for 2-3 days before being sent to a depot in Long Island. In order to retrieve your bicycle, you must pay a $50 summons - that is if you can find it.
According to the Captain Brown, bicycles are only considered to be parked "legally" to bicycle racks.

I agree with one of the commenters that locking the bike to the tree can be harmful to the tree, but locking the bike to a fence, shouldn't. And the city really should provide more bike racks.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Get your shirt today!

Time-Matter-Energy from the Bronx produces shirts with this graphic, "in honor" of the 2003 and 2006 blackouts, and the impending blackouts coming. He says people come up to him when he's wearing it and totally agree with it. $20 and sizes range from Small to XXLarge. Check it out!

Astorian Weekend Edition 12.07.07

After work Thursday night unwind at Waltz-Astoria (23-14 Ditmars) with some Brazilian jazz. Anthony Lanni will be there to entertain you. It's also a good excuse to see the remodeling they've done.

PeeWee's get to play tennis! On Thursday take your 5-7 year-olds (9:30-10:15 a.m.) or your 8-15 year-olds (10:30-noon) to Astoria Park for free time on the court, now through August 14th. They've also got track and field options too -- check City Parks Foundation.

Site (35-11 34th Ave) is having a "Friday the 13th" sale all day long...all pillows, dishes, and all ART is 13% off on the "unlucky" day!

There's a new community garden getting off the ground that needs our help! The Two Coves Garden at the Goodwill Triangle (30th Ave & Astoria Blvd) is open every Saturday. This Saturday, though, expect there to be planting, weeding, building raised garden beds, and more! Stop over with your dirty-able clothes (11 a.m.-2 p.m.) and get your green thumb going. For more info email twocovesgarden@yahoo.com or call 718-706-8044.

Saturday enjoy the not-so-muggy weather and take a walk and explore the places you haven't gotten to! Go hit up our old stand by Kabab Cafe and enjoy the air conditioning! Ali is back in full force.

Take a cruise up Newton Creek and check out the digs from another angle. Sunday morning enjoy the cruise while you learn about bridges, neighborhoods, and industry from Greenpoint to Maspeth. Sponsored by the Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment. Call right away to book ahead and pre-pay the $50/40 fee - 718-788-8500.

Remember: give your extra beer money to these guys over at Team MTA so they can have a mighty fine summer racing around the world in the name of Astorians everywhere!

Summer Sale at Kristees

Just got an email from Kristies, the lovely little clothing boutique on 23rd Avenue and 24th Street (it's right there on the northeast corner), and thought I'd pass on the message to all of you:

Summer Sale Started
This week kicks off the start of KrisTees Summer Sale. There is up to 60% OFF of Select Items! So, if you are looking for another sundress to keep you cool, new tees for vacation, or just something new for an occasion or for the weekend, stop in and take a look...

New Delivery of KrisTees T-Shirts
Yes, my second delivery of tees have arrived... lily printed tees, tie printed racerback long tanks, and sunglass tanks. Very fun and great for layering!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I Just Rated the 7!

So, my current temp job has me making the transfer between the N and the 7 at QB Plaza, so I feel fine about answering the questions on the MTA's report card, which has been handed out to 7 train riders. But bummer - I never received a copy of the card. However... after reading the post on the Gothamist, I found I could do it online! Rate the 7 here!

Briggs & Costa Opening Soon!

Almost impossible to find on the Internet, Briggs & Costa is located in LIC; I originally heard about them on the QueensWest board, and most recently there is a posting about them on LongIslandCityNYC. Initially simply an interior design company, they are branching out and opening a storefront! Located on Vernon Blvd between Purple Pumpkin and Lounge 47, they will have fun lighting, furniture (some imported), household goods, candles, art. Eric says it "feels like Dumbo". They get props on QueensWest, too, "They (meaning Briggs and Costa) are both really creative, talented, and experienced. I think their store is going to be really fun too." Yay!

I don't know exactly when they will open full time to the public, but the paper that covered the window is down. Right now they are open by appointment only.

Thanks to Eric for the tip!

Briggs & Costa
47-12 Vernon blvd
LIC 11101

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Make Sure Your JIA is the Real Thing

Who is this Sara?
Joeyinastoria v2?
I was adding things to my google reader today and came upon this gem.
Who said imitation is the best form of flattery?
I just think its plain weird...

us :)
them :(
what do you know about this, anyone?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Talk about the New Gourmet Market in LIC

A little while back, I posted about a new gourmet market coming to LIC, a project by the Manducati's people. Over on Queens West, they've been discussing the possibility of a wine shop, but that doesn't seem to be a potential reality. But, there are already enough wine shops in LIC. Anyway, if you'd like to read the thread, go here.

And apparently Manducati's is a pretty awesome restaurant as well. I need to go soon.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Kabab Cafe Finally Re-opening!

Via JIA friend Zora on Chowhound:

Straight from the horse's mouth: the long dry spell is over! Ali will be back in the kitchen [today]. (I think the super-auspicious date is a coincidence?)

He has done some major revamping of his kitchen, due to perpetual hassle from the fire-code people, so expect some new stuff on the menu.

This is great news! I've had some terrific meals there and look forward to returning for more. Kabob Cafe is on Steinway near exotic 25th Avenue.

Photo credit: flooz!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Beer Garden Today

While walking past the Beer Garden this morning, I noticed a sign saying "Beer Garden open at 3pm this coming Friday". I'm guessing someone put that sign up mid-week. Anyway, looks like the BG is open at 3pm today! Those of you with summer hours, or just have a free afternoon, check it out! The kielbasa is particularly good these days, too.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Astorian Weekend Edition 05.07.07

Hope everyone had a great Independence Day yesterday! I know the Macy's fireworks had some rain to contend with but I hope that didn't dampen anyone's spirits. I went to the beach and skipped the light display (but caught the Grucci show in Astoria Park last Friday). This week's end should have some nice weather mixed in with some thunderstorms - a typical summer in the east. This weekend (Saturday) also brings us 07-07-07. Cool! After Saturday, check out the flickr group called 07-07-07. People will be taking lots of pictures on that day, chronicling their lives. I'll be submitting a few myself.

Also on Saturday, Last Resort is having a rooftop party at 4pm their space... and there will be grilling involved, just bring your own grill-friendly food and/or a drink to share. At 9pm that night, they're having a rock show ($4 cover), including A Fistful of Dynamite, Suburban Riot, OUCH, and Blanketstatementstein. You can find Last Resort at 8-63 Astoria Blvd.

Hellgate Social, a great spot in western Astoria (12-21 Astoria Blvd), is active this week's end - Thursday through Sunday brings all sorts of live music, DJing, and a CD release party. No sign of a movie this Sunday, though (last week's showing of Dr. Strangelove was pretty awesome).

On Saturday, Waltz-Astoria is also holding a big bash at the beautiful Grand Ballroom upstairs at the Moose Lodge (did you know we had one?). There will be music, video-art, a funny guy emcee, and beer and wine to drink. The Lodge is at 41st and Broadway (down by Steinway). Get your $15 tickets at info@waltz-astoria.com.

Also, Thursday begins adult lap swim at Astoria Pool, too. You can swim in the mornings from 7-8:30am or in the evenings, 7-8:30pm. I hope to do some of the evening swims, myself. Lap swimming goes until August 31 this summer. After you swim, you can head over to a number of places in the area: Agnanti (Ditmars and 19th) and Bistro 33 (21st and Ditmars) come to mind, or you can walk a bit further and find yourself at the Beer Garden or Sparrow (across the street from the BG). Their burger sounds like a great ending to a nice swim. Head to Oleput (Ditmars and 33rd Street) after that for a shake or a float. Yummmm!

And remember Warm Up is this weekend. It's always a lot of fun at this event at PS1. You'll get a chance to hear some DJs and live music, dance, dance, dance, then head to Water Taxi Beach for Beach Party afterwards. Warm Up starts at 3pm and goes for 6 hours, until 9pm, and Water Taxi Beach will be all geared up by 9!

More fun, here.

Fireworks Photo Credit: Lia Pelosi

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

This just in...

[Insert beeping news theme music here]. This just in: Joey in Astoria makes the New York Times blogroll. You heard it here first, folks. (Unless you saw it there first in which case you may have seen it before me.) I heard they posted us because they got so much traffic when we linked to them a couple weeks ago. Okay, that's utter nonsense. They obviously posted us because Astoria rocks.

Thanks writers, readers and all Astorians!

- Joey

PS. Happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Water Taxi Beach - Awesome!

I still haven't been there, but I read lots of good press about the Water Taxi Beach in LIC. Metroblogging in NYC has a nice writeup about the WTB this week. Nice pix, too! If you plan to go in the next day or so (hello July 4!), take note of this message on their homepage:

On July 4th starting at 3pm there is an all-day concert in our parking lot; NO Parking is available. Access to the beach on July 4th is by Ticket ONLY and is SOLD OUT. Access to the Patti Fund for Children w/ Cancer event in the parking lot is for a suggested donation of $10 and is first come first served.

They're also having post-WarmUp parties Saturday nights, which they call "Beach Party" this year. This night they feature In Flagranti from Brooklyn. From what I can tell they are DJs... I think.

BZ Grill...finally!

I've been wanting to try this place out for awhile now.
Located a little off the beaten path on Astoria Blvd, you can grab what I think is the best pork in Queens... maybe NYC! The BZ Grill is a small but comfortable little greek grill spot on the corner of 27th St. They offer all your favorite bites along with some incredible sounding newcomers like Chicken Bacon Souvlaki and Bifteki (a greek burger STUFFED with cheese)- both and sandwiches and platters. The prices are really really sweet for the amount of delicious food you are getting. The most expensive thing on the menu is the Mix Grill for $14.95 and that serves two! It's also good for those of us that can't make up our minds... chicken, pork, bifteki gemisto, seftalia and loukaniko- that's right, all of that for under $15.

You also can't go wrong with the Mixed spreads for $7.50. You get this heaping plate full of Tzatziki, Kopanisti, Eggplant Salad and the BZ Grill sauce which it turns out is homemade mayo and mustard. It's accompanied by warm fresh pitas, you may need a second helping to get through the plate of dips, I'm telling you its huge. There were 3 of us and we barely put a dent in it.

My personal favorite was the Pork Gyro. Can't beat it. This huge mountain of juicy goodness is $4.60 and worth every penny. It comes with your traditional fixins- lettuce, tomatoes, onions and tzatziki (like we didn't get enough in the dip plate!). If you still have room, order the fries- crunchy and fresh :)

There are slim pickins if you want to accompany your meal with beer, I couldn't even recall which they had but it was only 2 or 3 different ones. Along they ledge of the counter though they displayed about 10 bottles of wine that you can purchase by the glass for around $4.50.

So now you know :)

BZ Greek Grill
27-02 Astoria Blvd.
Delivery 11am-11pm 7days
Take out Menu Here

The Race is on!

Astoria has a team in the Mongol Rally. Check it out, insanity!

These guys get props from me for sure for even attempting this crazy race. They start the trek July 21st so get in on the fundraising action anytime before then at some of our favorite bars- The Irish Rover Sunday the 8th (37-18 28th Ave), The Quays (4502 30th Ave) and the Glen Oaks Friday the 6th (36-16 3oth Avenue).

Team MTA has just purchased their lovely chariot (a 17yr old VW Polo) and are just about ready to take off.

Check in on the website to keep up with their progress and to donate to their charities Mercy Corps and Send a Cow (gotta love it!)

Be safe racers, Astoria supports you!