Monday, June 29, 2009

Fireworks Tonight in Astoria Park!

Tonight at sundown are fireworks in Astoria Park (viewable from the big lawn). Bring your friends, a blanket, some snacks, and enjoy the show!

Afterwards, continue the celebration at a number of places nearby - on 24th Ave, the Beer Garden, of course, will be rockin' with the crowds, probably with a long entry line to boot. Across the street is my beloved Sparrow, where where you can get some delicious food and drink. 24 (25-19 24th Ave) up the street is a good bet, too. And up on 31st Street is Balkh Shish Kabab (open til midnight), which is worth trying. No alcohol served but tasty food is. They have interesting wall hangings, too - keep an eye out. 23-10 31st St.

On Ditmars, you've got Waltz Astoria (23-14 Ditmars Blvd, open till 11pm) where you can satisfy your sweet tooth, Crescent and Vine (25-01 Ditmars Blvd) for some wine and nibbles, and Fatty's right next door (love their burgers and sweet potato fries).

In any case, enjoy yourselves tonight!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Zoning in Astoria - Upcoming Meeting

From the mailbag:

There's a big zoning proposal for Astoria and CB1, and our city planners will give a presentation 6/30/09 @ Astoria World Manor Tuesday @ 6:30 p.m.

Astoria World Manor is at 25-22 Astoria Blvd in Astoria.

An Astoria resident and member of the Norwood Neighborhood Association

Grab Your Swimsuits!

("and your flippy floppies!")

It has come to my attention that the city's outdoor public pools open on Saturday the 27th. That includes ginormous Astoria Pool at Astoria Park. If you haven't seen it, let me tell you: it's big. Like, 4 Olympic sized pools set next to each other big. From Parks:
All 54 Parks outdoor pools have closed for the season and will reopen on June 27, 2009. Indoor pools remain open year-round. General hours of operation are 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Call individual pools for more specific information.

Astoria Pool's number is (718) 626-8620. Oh, and here are the dimensions: 330' x 165' x 4'. Hugenormous. See:

EDIT: Thanks to GreenShores, this additional info has come to my attention:

General swim hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Adult Lap Swim begins on July 7th and runs on weekdays 7-8:30 a.m. & 7-8:30 p.m. Senior Splash begins on July 7th and runs Monday/Wednesday/Friday 10 a.m. -1 p.m. Registration for Children’s Learn to Swim (ages 18 months to 14 years) is on July 7th. All programs are free. For more information, or (718) 760-6969, ext. 0
Photo credit: (cc) Victoria Belanger via a Creative Commons License.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Street Fair This Weekend

This weekend is what I think is one of the best street fairs in Astoria - the St. Antonio Abate Society of Castrofilippo Festival. It actually started on June 24th but goes until Sunday the 28th. It's on Ditmars Boulevard between 35th & 38th Streets, and will have all the guilty tasty things like zeppoles and fried oreos, not to mention sausage and peppers. If memory serves me correctly, this street fair has carnival-type games as well.

There are posters in the windows of many of the businesses that line Ditmars,which have the details. Enjoy!

Astorian Weekend Edition 25.06.09

I can hardly believe that it's going to be a hot, sunny weekend. There are tons of fun indoor--and outdoor--goings-on to enjoy:

Shop for some cool art this Friday at Socrates Sculpture Park’s Makers Market Preview from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Unique products such as ceramics, glassware, jewelry, furniture and even motorcycles will be on sale. The price of a ticket is $50, which includes cocktails and hors d’oeuvres—plus it’s tax deductible. 32-01 Vernon Blvd (at Broadway), LIC. 718.956.1819

Visit Bistro 33 on Saturday for dinner when they’ll showcase French Onion Pork Chops, (pictured above) the winning dish of Monday’s Best Dish Battle competition. Mike Szczepanski, the creator of this entree did a great job—now it’s time to check out Chef Gary’s spin on it. 19-33 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria. 718.721.1933

Love to dance? Check out Dancing in the Park this Saturday from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. in Astoria Park. The event, organized by Martinez Dance Studios will feature salsa dancing. RSVP to 718.932.4344 or

Get involved in a wonderful cause this weekend by attending the Fourth Annual Relay for Life, helping to fight cancer. The event starts on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. in Astoria Park and continues throughout the night with festivities such as live music, karaoke and relay races. A $10 donation per person will get you into the event. For more information, contact Taliah Duchatelier at 718.263.2225 ext 5511, or

Are you a wine connoisseur? Visit LIC’s wine store, Vine this Saturday for a tasting of wines from Long Island’s North Fork region. The tasting will run from 2:00 p.m. – 8 p.m. with experienced North Fork wine experts on-hand from Bouke wines and from Paumanok Vineyards. 12-09 Jackson Avenue, LIC. 718.433.2611

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Astorian Weekend Edition 18.06.09

On Thursday evening, Lift Hair Studio (27-07 24th Ave) is holding a charity event from 6-9 p.m. Bring in your gently used blow dryers, flatirons, and curling irons and they will donate them to a women's shelter through Seeds of Love. Complimentary cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be served.

Later that night, Why Leave Astoria?! presents local rock/reggae/funk band, Pie Boys Flat at Studio Square beer garden (35-33 36th St) from 8-10:30 p.m.

On Saturday, join Astoria resident Stacey Ornstein for a food walking tour of our favorite neighborhood, Astoria! ICE, the Institute of Culinary Education, is sponsoring the event. The tour is $75, and you'll be eating fairly constantly throughout the 5 stops (4 hours) of the tour. Sign up by heading to the ICE website.

On Saturday night, the Josh Irving Quartet returns to Waltz Astoria (23-14 Ditmars Boulevard). Show starts at 9 p.m. and there's a $10 cover. Come enjoy some local jazz!

Tanilates... what the??? Enjoy a pilates workout outdoors at Astoria Park, led by Laura Ashley Winelander. Come in workout gear or beach attire and pack a mat, towel, sunblock and sunglasses. Classes are at 10 a.m. and noon, $15, $5 off for students and seniors - reserve your place at (via The Q Note)

Two Coves Community Garden is a participating venue for Make Music New York, a one day festival of free concerts in public spaces throughout the five boroughs. On Sunday from 4-7 p.m., come hear the stylings of the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, Hilary Hawke, and Two Coves Community Garden's own Mimi LaValley and Hubby Jenkins. The music will span many genres including marching band and dance troupe, kids songs with banjo and traditional American blues guitar. Seating is limited, so come early!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

CSA Time in Astoria

I want to acknowledge the start of CSA season in Astoria! I know Astoria CSA is underway, Harvest CSA started yesterday and Hellgate CSA (that's my CSA) started on Tuesday. It's a very exciting time. For me, my favorite parts of the share were the truly amazing strawberries and delicious asparagus.

What did you get in your CSA share this week? Let us know! We'd love to hear from you.

Bye Bye, Sooz!

Today is a sad day in Astoria. Our precious Sooz is leaving us!

Susan Vasconcelos has been with us for over three years and was the source of much of our wilder side. She's fabulous writer and designer and an overall fun gal to be around.

You'll be missed, Sooz! Good luck in LA!

Joanna (aka Joey)

Astorian Weekend Edition 11.06.09

Rain, rain go away! It will this weekend, in time for you to check out a couple of restaurants, a museum and even a cool music festival.

I finally visited the new Italian restaurant, Da Franco’s. While the d├ęcor is generic, they have great outdoor seating and delicious salads, side dishes and nice brick oven pizza (pictured above). The gelato was quite enjoyable too. 23-92 21st Street, Astoria. 718.267.0014

Check out Malagueta for a chill weekend dinner. Offering indoor and outdoor seating, Malagueta serves Brazilian fare with lots of flavor and spice. I recommend trying their signature shrimp dish (Moqueca de Camarao) – it’s out of this world and not expensive. They also serve a darn good sangria! 25-35 36th Avenue, Astoria. 718.937.4821

Start your weekend with fresh coffee from Sweatleaf in LIC. They serve Stumptown Coffee, named “The Best Coffee in the World” by NPR and also feature really delicious treats. Their chocolate chip cookies are crunchy and luxuriously rich. 10-93 Jackson Avenue, LIC. 917.832.6726

In the mood for good tunes? Visit the Exit 44 Music Festival this Saturday from 3 p.m. – 2 a.m. at Wonderland in Astoria. Featured acts include Tigercity and Project Jenny, Project Jan, Action Painters, The Shondes, My Teenage Stride, Schwervon! and more. Tickets are $10. 38-01 23rd Avenue, Astoria. To purchase tickets, click here.

This Sunday at 3 p.m. (and every second Sunday of the month), enjoy Music in the Garden at the Noguchi Museum. Taylor Brown will kick things off with a classical guitar performance. He's performed with well-known artists such as Carly Simon, Dar Williams, Felicia Collins and others. 9-01 33rd Road, Long Island City. 718.204.7088

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Battle of the Balls Pictures

On May 19, I had the pleasure of attending the Dish du Jour's 8th Annual Food and Wine Tasting. The subject of this year's competition - meatballs. It was fun trying all the different meatballs, as well as wine and sweets. I especially liked Vesta's and Carmine's meatballs. Thank you to Fran and the Dish du Jour staff for putting on such a stellar event.

I took some pictures and want to share them with you. Enjoy!

Much Ado About.... Baseball?!?

Tonight, Friday, and Saturday, catch local theater group Theatersmarts present a unique interpretation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. This is a free performance of a family-friendly version of the Shakespeare classic, updated with a modern baseball theme.

Performance dates:
Thurs., June 4th, 7 p.m. at Athens Square Park
Fri, June 5th, 6:30 p.m. at Astoria Park
Sat., June 6th, 4:00 p.m. as part of the Queensboro Bridge Centennial Celebration in Queensbridge Park

Even More Fashion Fun This Weekend!

This just came thru the email from LoveDay 31:

Just wanted to let you know that starting this weekend we are bringing back our popular Recessionista Sale - sweet summer specials!!!

All shoes and handbags are 20% off, all boots are reduced to $49.00 and outside sale rack is filled with summer goodies all ranging from $5-$20.

Free Enviro Sack with a purchase of $100! Swing by, it will be a lovely weekend!!!

LoveDay 31
33-06 31st Avenue
LoveDay on Myspace

More Fashion Fun This Weekend

Candy Plum is having a sale, starting Saturday!
Candy Plum Spring Sale starts this Saturday, June 3rd

Purchase 1 item receive 30% off
Purchase 2 items receive 40% off
Purchase 3 or more items and receive 50% off

Check out our new Summer Dresses

Store Hours
Wednesday - Friday 12:00pm - 7:00pm
Saturday - Sunday 12:00pm - 5:00pm

Hope to see you this week!

Candy Plum
30-98 36th Street

Astorian Weekend Edition 04.06.09

Thursday evening, stop by Kristees for their trunk show featuring NYC based designer duo Peter Valcarcel & Arianna Ward. And on the subject of Astoria clothing boutiques, did you know that Mimi's Closet has re-opened as Mimi's Market?

On Saturday, come celebrate 100 years of the Queensboro Bridge at Queensbridge Park (Vernon Blvd & 41st Avenue). From 1-6 p.m. there will be cultural and recreational activities along the waterfront. All events are free!

Also on Saturday, Socrates Sculpture Park presents the 2nd annual LIC Bike Parade. Working in collaboration with a variety of community groups, children and families are invited to celebrate LIC and the 100th birthday of the Queensboro Bridge, with bike decorating workshops, free bike helmet fittings and giveaways with the DOT-Traffic Safety Division, riding safety tips, and bike repairs. The parade begins at 2 p.m. and lasts about an hour, with a special performance by the Sunnyside Drum Corp, cyclists from Circus Amok and City Reliquary's Civic Riders Bicycle Club. Workshops are from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Queens Art Express continues on this weekend, with events at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (31-10 Thompson Avenue), Green Space (37-24 24th St. #301), and at the 33rd Street/Rawson 7 train stop. What is the Queens Art Express? It is "a multi-day multi-venue art extravaganza that will take place on three weekends in Spring 2009 (between May 30 - June 14) in the City’s most diverse borough. Emphasizing each venue’s unique show and accessibility by environmentally-friendly transportation, Queens Art Express features exhibitions, performances, and special events clustered around the No. 7 train."

While I was at the recent Dish du Jour food event (meatball battle!), I had a couple of things that I really liked: the meatballs from Vesta, and a passionfruit mousse cake at Artopolis. Both highly recommended!

Photo credit: NYC: Queensboro Bridge by wallyg on flickr, via a Creative Commons license.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Spring/Summer Trunk Show with Valcarcel

Kristees, one of Astoria's nicest boutiques, is having a trunk sale this Thursday. Details:

Up and coming NYC based designer duo Peter Valcarcel & Arianna Ward combine modern minimalism with a luxurious blend of modal jersey to create a subdued color palette of timeless, comfortable and luxurious dressing. From tunics, tops and sundresses, their looks are versatile and feel wonderful to wear!

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 4th
5-9 p.m.
24-01 23rd Avenue @ 24th Street