Yes, it’s getting warmer. Yes, a bowl of hot Vietnamese soup is still nice.

We paid a visit to Pho Bang at 8290 Broadway in Elmhurst. We got the number 22, which is sliced rare beef round in a broth with rice noodles, bean sprouts, basil and lemon on the side. Of course, what makes this recipe sing is the scallions, onions and cilantro. The combination of hot soup and fresh vegetables is a uniquely Vietnamese magic. $5.75 gets you an enormous bowl.

The beef comes out raw. You sink it into the hot broth and it cooks right in the bowl. Since broth is always boiling at Pho Bang, table service is pretty fast, especially if you gain status as a regular. Adding Sriracha  gives it that extra special spicy kick, but if you aren’t one for nose blowing at the table, you might want to just leave it out. If you go alone, no worries, you will be dining next to others (who will be generally blowing their noses too) — a very intimate experience.

If you go with friends, try adding a small order of cha gio to the mix. The $4.50 fried spring rolls come with a dipping sauce and lettuce to wrap them in. The beef salad is worth a go, as is the lemongrass chicken and the summer rolls. Still, this place is called Pho Bang for a reason — hint, it’s the pho.

As if there needed to be another reason to try this place, it has a parking lot.

If you want something sweet after, head over to Quickly at 8306 Broadway and get an iced taro or milk tea with black tapioca pearls.

Pho-to Source: Wikipedia


We watched all 11 plus minutes of a video on OurLIC featuring Isaac Carmignani, from Community District Education Council 30, and learned CDEC’s may not be the center of power in the NYC education ecosystem. Carmignani does a good job in explaining the value that the Council does provide — its a place for parents to speak up about education issues that matter to them.  At tomorrow’s Council meeting they’re voting on, among other things, a resolution against DOE’s proposed closure of eight Queens high schools. The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. at I.S. 230 located at 73-10 34th Ave. in Jackson Heights. GMAP

Photo Source: Wikipedia



Spring is here. So, if you are not suffering from all the pollen in the air, community gardens in Long Island City and Woodside are ready and waiting for your visit. There is also Two Coves Community Garden in Astoria, where you can garden with others in a group plot.

The Roosevelt Island Community Garden (pictured) is close to Long Island City and Astoria too.

The award for the borough’s best named oasis goes to the Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson Community Garden in Rochdale.

If these community gardens aren’t enough for you, Farming Concrete can help you, but you’ll need some land and at least 10 people to get going.

For those not quite versed in gardening, New York Restoration Project can give you a helping hand at their workshop on May 12.

Photo Source: Wikipedia



The wife of a Sudanese diplomat was injured in crossfire on 31st Drive near 21st Street in Astoria, ABC News reports. This happened Tuesday in broad daylight and two groups of guys were allegedly fighting. Mawahad Elbahi, 31, was hit in the neck, luckily neither the child she was carrying nor her toddler were injured.

“It appears to be two groups of young men who were in a dispute and started shooting carelessly, randomly,” Kelly told the Daily News. “She was clearly an innocent bystander. It had nothing to do with her.”


      First comes love, then comes sperm donation, then comes the baby in the baby carriage, then comes love again.

      For former Queens Councilwoman Melinda Katz (D-Forest Hills), this is how the story goes. In a New York Post Exclusive, Katz revealed that the sperm donor who fathered her two children is none other than 58-year-old Guardian Angel, Curtis Sliwa.

      Katz, 45, had dated Sliwa, but things never worked out exactly. The two stayed close friends and when she asked him for a sperm donation, he obliged. After divorcing his third wife, with Katz about to give birth for a second time, Sliwa found himself at Katz’s side in the hospital after baby Hunter was born with serious complications.

      The pair fell in love again, and the rest is (modern love) history. He wants to get married (yet again) but she seems to be on the fence. Maybe she doesn’t want to give him paternal rights just yet?

      Sliwa photo source: Wikipedia                                              

      Katz photo source: Facebook


      Night with a hooker cost Forest Hills man 50g [Fox News]

      Meng conspiracy theory [The Jewish Week]

      Woman shot in Astoria while walking with her kid [CBS]

      Sunnyside gym vanishes leaving members in the dust [NY1]

      Southeast Queens homeowners may finally see flood relief [Daily News]

      Fresh Meadows man to pay city for fake sidewalk repairs [Daily News]

      Another protest against LIC HS closure [Times Ledger]

      Peninsula Hospital finally closes, nurses lose their jobs [GMA Network]

      Image Source: Wikipedia – Geeta Ashram in Corona – GMAP


      Time to tell Timmy he won’t be going to school.

      Waits are down citywide, but not in Queens, which saw a 7 percent spike in the number of unseated kindergartners. In Corona, 109 kindergarteners are waiting to get into P.S. 309. According to the NY Daily News, this is the city’s third longest kindergarten line.

      P.S. 59 is in the same predicament. “I’m flattered that so many kids want to come to the school,” P.S. 59 principal Anthony Lombardi told the Daily News. “Last year, I was able to accommodate everybody. But we’ve become a very overcrowded school.” Lombardi has 57 students on his school’s kindergarten wait list.

      Overall, nearly 1,000 Queens kindergartners are without seats. Maybe keep this link handy to get an early start for next year.


      Flux Factory in Long Island City, one of our favorite art collectives, sent us this announcement about their upcoming show. If you want to visit fluxers in their home/work space, and see how the arty set lives, you might want to check this out.

      Flux Factory presents iSpy, a participatory conceptual game show that brings together live streaming video, consenting audiences, and unsuspecting participants for a rollicking good time through the misuse of surveillance.

      Come ready to team up and win subversive challenges involving live aerial surveillance, piñatas, World of Warcraft, and many more surprises. Each night, two featured players carry networked cameras in public space, beaming video back to the Flux gallery-turned-game show studio where they coordinate with the rest of their team to score more points. The team with the highest score wins a rare and special prize…