Thursday, July 31, 2008

Astorian Weekend Edition 31.07.08

I love summer! There's always so much to do. Here is selection of things for the weekend:

Comedy in Queens: The Secret Theatre and The Queens Players present a festival of original comedy one acts from emerging NYC writers. On the final night (Saturday, August 2) you have a chance to see all the plays back to back. Program 1 starts at 5.30 and then program 2 at 8.30. A double ticket is only $20 and of course the closing night party will feature their famous and FREE BBQ!! The Secret Theatre, 44-02 23rd St. in LIC, 718-392-0304.

Family Day: A free days of crafts, games, face painting, inflatable rides, & more! Saturday August 2, 12:00–4:00 p.m., PS 112/Dutch Kills Playground, off of 37 Avenue in Astoria.

Rock at the Rover: AM Preacher plays on Saturday, August 2 at 10:30 p.m. at the Irish Rover. 37-18 28th Ave in Astoria.

Hellgate Social Happenings: DJ Lo-Fi is on the 1's and 2's with some new wave, old school hip-hop, and electro. Saturday August 2nd. Sunday Night Cinema presents Red Dawn. Patrick Swayze, communists, and World War III - watch out! Hellgate Social, 12-21 Astoria Blvd, 718-204-8313.

Art is the New Black: An art showcase featuring four unique local artists (Chris Hingel, Anne Schellhorn, Raul Morales, Stefany Mohebban). Free! August 1, 8:30-11p.m. at Freeze Peach Cafe. 22-00 29th Street.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Astorian Weekend Edition 24.07.08

From a new pet boutique to music and movie events, Astoria and LIC have it going on this weekend.

Check out restaurant week at the high-end Water's Edge restaurant. They're fussy and you need to put your credit card down for a reservation but the place guarantees and evening to remember. $35 prix-fix menu from 7.21 -7.25; 7.28 – 8.1. Water's Edge – 4-01 44th Drive, LIC. 718.482.0033

Kafene is also a fun spot on the weekends. They offer delicious appetizers and drinks for a fair price and the ambiance is fabulous. If you go for brunch, you can walk over to Astoria Park after, just a few blocks away. Kafene - 23-08 Hoyt Avenue South, Astoria. 718.274.6525.

If you have a pet or want to meet one of the cutest bulldogs named Oscar, visit The Jumping Bulldog pet boutique on 23rd Avenue. Tanja the owner is lovely and welcoming, offering a friendly atmosphere, useful pet products and even some adorable outfits for your four legged friends. The Jumping Bulldog – 28-10 23rd Avenue, Astoria. 917.576.7380.

Come on by to Astoria Park's The Great Lawn for the first annual Astoria Music Now festival. The event is free and will feature various music acts such as Little Creatures, Bliminal, Pop Mafia, I Am Darien and more. This is a full day event so come prepared to party from Noon to 9p. Astoria Park, The Great Lawn – Ditmars & 19th Street, Astoria.

Every Tuesday until August 26th, enjoy Queens' finest artists and performers at the Live at the Gantries event series. Next week features a concert from a student jazz ensemble from York College. Gantry Plaza State Park - 50-50 2nd Street, LIC. 718.786.6385

And don't forget to check out the free screening of We Need Girlfriends at LIC Bar. Watch some of the episodes and even mingle with the talent on-site. Thursday, July 24th from 8p – Midnight. LIC Bar – 45-58 Vernon Blvd, LIC. 718.786.5400

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More Fame in the hood

Tomorrow night, Thurs the 24th there's going to be a free screening of the Astorian made "We Need Girlfriends" at the LIC Bar (45-58 Vernon Blvd (cnr of 46th Ave)between 8pm and Midnight. You'll be able to peep some of their best episodes which were produced right here in our sweet ole town. This isn't just a flash in the pan either, the series has just been picked up by CBS and is being written up left and right!

There will be some of the actors and creators on hand at the event if you were looking to network or pick someone's brain. The event is free but you must RSVP with number of guests at

Have fun keeping an eye out for some of your favorite local haunts!

Oh and if you get there right at 8 you get to enjoy a free hour of Radeberger... just sayin... might help to coax you out ;)

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Project Runway-er from Astoria

Image by

Having things to watch, like quality reality TV (ehem) makes the summer that much more enjoyable. One of those shows happens to be my favorite Bravo series, Project Runway. Now in it's 5th season, the show seems to be coming back to full circle, starting off with the very first food challenge from Season 1. Running out of ideas Heidi? Nevertheless, there is something interesting that's keeping us watching. A fellow Joey reader, Joe sent us an email today about one of Runway's contestants, Stella Zotis. She's a goth, rocker chick who almost got eliminated in the first episode. And..she's an Astorian! Check out her bio below and make sure you tune-in to see how she does in the next episode.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention Joe!

STELLA ZOTIS, 42, Astoria
Fashion credentials: Self-taught, former punk-rock makeup artist; makes custom leather and denim pieces for rock stars.
New York fashion inspiration: "I'm inspired by the New York rock scene, especially at places like CBGB, where I went to my first matinee in 1982, and L'Amours East in Forest Hills, where I went to see the Ramones."
Celebrity you would most like to dress: "I'd love to make a pair of pants for Keith Richards."

Bio by the New York Daily News

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Astorian Weekend Edition 17.07.08

Start the weekend in song. The 2008 Waterfront Concert Series starts up tonight with 1910 Fruitgum Company at 7:30 p.m. Bring a blanket to the Astoria Park lawn (Shore Blvd. between Hell Gate Bridge and the Pool) and enjoy the chill atmosphere.

If you needed reminding, Winegasm (21-86 37th St) is a great place to check out Friday night for themed music nights. Take our word for it: the bacon-wrapped prunes are the bomb!

I was already a fan of Sai Organics (30-21 30th Ave), but now that I found out you can get some classes there, I think I love them even more! Saturday 2 to 5 p.m., catch the CSA/Greenmarket Class (Tickets are $85 each or $150 for two. $10 of every ticket to benefit The Hunger Action Network of New York State and The New York City Coalition Against Hunger). For more info and to rsvp, write to

Random but I think a good bit to know -- we still have a tattoo parlor here! I thought they were all closed by now. Fat Cat Tattoos has a semi-new location under the subway line at 31-32 31St St. Stop in and get to know your local artist. Who knows what you could end up with, no need to head into the city!
And just because I love where I live, thought you would also enjoy this cute view of Astoria Park.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ugly Betty Taping in Astoria

We got an email this morning from a fellow reader, Jason who hails from the Ditmars area. During his morning jog near Astoria Park, he encountered Silvercup Studios trucks announcing the taping of ABC's Ugly Betty. How cool! If you're in the nabe, go on and take a peek.

I also got an announcement about Ugly Betty's taping from Bistro 33, where the actual episode will be recorded this Friday.

What great exposure for Astoria!

Jason snapped these pics for you to enjoy--thanks Jason.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Winegasm - A Group Tasting Worth Repeating

Earlier this week, Meg, Sooz and I went to Winegasm for a generous tasting of wine and food, suggested to us by its owners. An incredible time was had by all and we'll surely keep this place on our list of favorites. The wine choices were impeccable and the small plates of food were divine. Meg, Sooz and I split everything, which was the way to go--we ate in small portions and sampled a lot. Below you'll find some of the delicious grub we tasted and I'll let Meg and Sooz cover off the wine in a later posting. Enjoy!

Gasm Dip - This caught Meg's eye immediately and it consisted of a puree of beans, carrots and truffle oil with melba chips. It was tasty but definitely not my favorite thing here--partly because of the strange flavoring. I thought that I tasted tarragon or some sort of licorice spice, which I wasn't a fan of. Meg and I were saying that we prefer the carrot dip at Mundo.

Bacon Wrapped Prunes - This sounded amazing on the menu and it's one of my standouts of the night. The exterior was crunchy, smoky and salty from the bacon while the inside was ooey, gooey and sweet from the prunes. It tasted like a dessert and a tapa in one! I highly recommend it, especially if you're drinking red wine.

Fresh Crab Cakes with Arugula Salad - These were suggested by Winegasm and we absolutely devoured them--the crabmeat was super fresh and flavored with lemony parsley and red peppers. The crab cakes were bite sized and their flavor was enhanced when dipped into the spicy mayo and vinaigrette dip. The arugula salad was a nice touch too, providing zest and freshness to the dish.

Molten Lava Cake and Orange Chocolate Mousse - We needed to cap off our night with something sweet and chocolatey so we selected these two favorites. Both were amazing and beautifully presented. The Molten Lava cake was garnished with silky raspberry sauce--it was so soft and rich inside that we had to switch off between that and the mousse. The mousse was also fabulous, with a tart orange flavor from the Grand Marnier. It was garnished elegantly with orange peel and creme fraische. Both desserts were beautiful, decadent dishes that should be tried at least once.

To view some of the other goodies we sampled, click here for a full review.

Winegasm - 31-86 37th Street, Astoria NY 11103
N/W Train to Broadway

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Astorian Weekend Edition 10.07.08

This weekend provides a number of opportunities to contribute to your community! First, on Saturday is the Shoreline Cleanup at Astoria Park. From 1-4 p.m that day come join your fellow Astoria residents to help clean up the shoreline. Gloves will be provided as well as trash bags. Meet at the War Memorial on Shore Blvd. Wear comfy clothes and durable shoes - that means no sandals or flip flops (glass and crud, gross). Older kids and teens should be accompanied by a parent.

Saturday night come by Fresh Start Market (29-13 23rd Avenue) for a night of live music by Agua Trip, wine, cheese, and freelance photography to raise money for Smile Train, the world's leading cleft surgery charity. The event is in their back garden patio and goes from 7-9 p.m.

On Sunday, Seeds of Love is having their first sale of the summer. The proceeds from this sidewalk sale will go to help 9- year old cancer fighter Jessica Easle. She has Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare soft tissue cancer and has relapsed recently. The sale lasts from 2-7 p.m. at 24-37 Crescent Street. Free gift while supplies last, too!

On Friday night, the Whiskey Dregs are doing an open mic night at Freeze Peach (22-00 29th Street). Bring whatever you want. This is a free for all. Hosted by Carlos Detres, and signups start at 8 p.m.

On Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m., head down to Queensbridge Park for CityParks Dance: Eleone Dance Theatre & Silver Brown Dance Company. Free!

And remember that one way to beat the heat (it's supposed to be hot and humid) is a dip in Astoria Pool. Otherwise, grab some ice cream! There's great gelato at La Guli (29-15 Ditmars) and Martha's Bakery (36-21 Ditmars), and ice cream at Igloo (22-26 31st Street), ColdStone (34-20 Broadway) and Baskin Robbins (multiple locations). If you know other ice cream/gelato sources, please share in the comments.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Astorian Weekend Edition 03.07.08

Not sure about your plans for the 4th? Although this weekend may be quiet in the city, there are plenty of fun happs in Astoria.

Visit the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden for their 4th of July Festival. They'll serve over 40 types of beers and have a live band on-site. Drink, party and celebrate Independence day at this outdoor haven--but get there early because seating is hard to come by. $5 admission. 19-19 24th Avenue, Astoria. 718.274.4925

Enjoy a nice brunch at our favorite neighborhood hangout, Bistro 33. I recently tried their blueberry pancakes (picture above) and they're out of this world. The cranberry mimosa is also a nice complement to brunch. 19-33 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria. 718.721.1933

This Saturday, check out the 6th Annual NYC Musical Saw Festival. You'll enjoy the music of about 20 saw players from around the world as well as an exhibition featuring musical saw paintings and a video installation. The music starts at 2p at Trinity Church - 31-18 37th Street, Astoria. $10 at the door.

Also on Saturday, keep Astoria Park sparkling and join the Post Independence Day Clean-Up. You can meet your fellow cleaner uppers at the bottom of the green lawn on Shore Blvd from 7a - 9a. For more information contact,

Final reminder: The Great Astoria Water Balloon Fight and Picnic has been moved to this Saturday. Meet at Noon sharp at 19th Street between Hoyt Avenue North & 24th Road and water balloon fight till you drop!