Evening Edition


Top 5 posts in February on QNYC

Looks like our readers really enjoy posts about food – dumplings, Vietnamese food, baked goods, and brunch – as well as Steinway pianos. Check out the top posts and thanks for reading!

And speaking of Steinway pianos…

This is a great short video from the NYCEDC about Steinway pianos.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/61128700]

Hot pub action coming to Forest Hills

Looks like Forest Hills is in for some new and exciting additions to the pub scene there. The Station House gastropub is opening soon, and two more – Banter Irish Bar & Kitchen and The Flying Pig – are opening late March/early April and mid April, respectively. Station House is anticipated to have craft beer on hand, Banter will serve classic Irish pub grub, and The Flying Pig will offer local and seasonal foods, as well as specialty cocktails (keyword: mixologist). Very exciting! We can’t wait to check them out.

MTA gets $200 million in Sandy aid – $18 million going to the A train line to the Rockaways

CBS reports that Governor Cuomo announced that the MTA will receive $200 million in Sandy aid and that $18 million will be used to repair the Rockaways A train line that was damaged during the storm. Cuomo said about this 3.6 mile stretch of track, “The devastation in the Rockaways has forced more than 30,000 daily subway riders to find alternate means to get around, and the sooner we can restore the A train to them, the better off they will be.” Great news! Hopefully this will keep the timeline of a June reopening of the line on track (no pun intended).

Looking for Girl Scout cookies? We’ve got you covered.

It’s that time (almost) again – Girl Scout cookie time. If you don’t know a Girl Scout from whom to order cookies, have no fear – they will be available all around the borough at churches, shops, schools, and more – from Astoria to Floral Park, Jackson Heights to Jamaica. Here’s our list – amazing how many places are on it!



Happy second birthday, Entrepreneur Space!

Last night folks from around the city converged at the Entrepreneur Space in LIC to help them celebrate their second birthday! The Entrepreneur Space is a food and business incubator located in Long Island City. 50 of the Space’s 170 clients from all five boroughs brought out their products for an evening of tasting, purchasing and meet-and-greet. Everything we tried was delicious and it was so nice to see all the enthusiasm and support for these food artists. Check out the gaggle of photos and recap of the festivities last night!

Photographer Mario Tama wins award for his photographs of post-storm destruction and life

Getty Images photographer Mario Tama won a Judge’s Special Recognition award in the Environmental Awareness Award category at the Picture of the Year International contest. He took a lot of photos of the destruction of some very powerful storms – and yes, including Sandy – from this past year. The effects of Hurricane Isaac and the November 2012 nor’easter are also pictured. Several months have passed but the images are still pretty amazing and sobering.

Building the Pan Am Worldport: Photo

Love this shot of the construction of the Pan Am Worldport, which will likely get torn down soon. This photo was taken in April 10, 1959. It took over 4,000 tons of steel to build it.

Image source: Save the Pan Am Worldport Facebook page

Bloomberg has come up with his own post-Sandy buyout program for storm ravaged areas of NYC

A while back we told you about the property buyout plan from Governor Cuomo that would take damaged homes, raze them, and leave the land as a sort of buffer zone against future storms. But WNYC reports on another buyout plan, this time coming from the Mayor’s office. While the Cuomo plan would use that purchased land strictly as “open space for use as parks, wetlands, drainage or other purposes,” the Mayor’s plan could use that same purchased land for development in the future. In the words of Brad Gair, the director of the city’s housing recovery office, “These are valuable properties. There is a limited amount of coastline properties.”

Seafood potato chip alert

If you are a fan of potato chips, perhaps a seafood chip strikes your fancy? Joe DiStefano checks out three flavors from Lay’s Thailand – Hot Chili Squid, Lobster Hot Plate, and Hot and Spicy Crab flavors. It set him back $7.50 but he gained and experience. Here are his conclusions after the taste drive:

If I had to pick a favorite it would be the squid one, but only because I’m partial to a crunchier chip. The real winner is anyone with access to the full range of Lay’s Thailand chips, which include Peking Duck and another bearing the word “Shuck,” along with what looks to be red chilies and crawdads.


Photos from the Alley Pond Environmental Center mid winter hike

We loved the photos posted on Alley Pond’s Facebook page of the mid winter hike that took place last month. So great to see kids learning about the world around them, and there really is something special about a night hike. Plus that Boots the bunny is pretty dang cute. Take a look, and enjoy!

Chicken Festival in Jackson Heights

No, this is not a gathering of live chickens, but there are plenty to eat at Chicken Festival, a small chain here in NYC; a new location has cropped up in JH and there are additional locations in Astoria and Bayside, and both get high marks by partrons. The Village Voice folks found that they loved the jalea, which is actually a seafood dish – “a standard of Peruvian cuisine, consisting of sea creatures fried in abundance and heaped on railroad ties of fried yuca.” We think that sounds pretty good (we are also fond of fried yuca). You can also get classic dishes like lomo saltado (hard to go wrong with meat and fries), and tallarin, which is a sort of lo mein dish popular in Peruvian Chinese Cuisine. Yum – as if there weren’t already so many amazing reasons to go to Jackson Heights. We’ll be on that chix soon.

Broad Channel Library re-opens today!

Curbed mentions the opening of the Broad Channel Library today! It’s been a long haul cleaning up Broad Channel, and the opening of the library is excellent news. Here’s a summary:

The library took on two-feet of water during the storm and suffered $940,000 in damage, losing 16,000 books, plus other equipment. The Department Design and Construction repaired the building, and Scholastic donated 40,000 books to restock the library’s shelves.

Congratulations on re-opening, Broad Chanel library!

Artists, the New York Hospital Queens is looking for you

The NY Hospital Queens has issued a call for submissions from artists to help populate their new “community art garden,” which will take place on the walls and hallways of the hospital. They hope it will brighten the day of hospital patients, staff and visitors. Acrylic paintings will be accepted and you have until April 16 (in the main lobby) and 18 (outside the cafeteria) to submit your artwork. They’ll even provide a canvass for you to use. Sounds like a great effort and we hope they get a lot of submissions.

A walk around Astoria after the last big snow storm

We liked this short video taken after the last big storm – and another storm is coming tonight! Apparently DC is expecting to be shut down by it. NYC probably won’t get so much snow, probably 2-6 inches. Stay warm, everyone.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/59350481]


The Jackson Heights Orchestra is preparing for its second concert

We’re happy to know that the Jackson Heights Orchestra has a second concert in store for us! The next concert will be Wednesday, March 13 at 7:30 at the United Methodist Community Church (GMAP). They’ll be playing works by Piccinni, Donizetti, Wagner, local composer James Cohn, Faure, and Gounod. There will also be a reception to follow in the social hall.

The Ridgewood Market is coming

A new local artisan market is on its way – the Ridgewood Market! It will be a monthly affair and the first one will take place at Gottscheer Hall‘s ballroom on Sunday, April 14 at 11am. They envision having food and drink (including cocktails), artwork, jewelry, and other artisan goods for sale. For vendors, tables are inexpensive – $25.

They broke ground on the first building at the Hunters Point South development yesterday

The Hunters Point South development is truly on its way! The first building – AKA Site A – was the focus of a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday. Local elected officials and other interested parties were there, including  Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, and Queens Community Board 2 Chair Joseph Conley. This will be the first affordable housing built in like 35 years – the last of its kind was the completion of Co-op City in the Bronx and Starrett City in BK.

If you’re curious to know if you’d qualify to buy a home here, check this out:

At Site A, 21 units will be targeted to low-income households with an annual income of up to 40% of the area median income (AMI) or $33,200 for a family of four and 103 units will be targeted to low-income households with an annual income of up to 50 percent of AMI or $41,500 for a family of four, 288 units will be targeted to moderate-income households earning up to a maximum of 165 percent of AMI or $148,010 for a family of four, and 206 units will be targeted to middle-income households earning up to 230 percent of AMI or $190,900 for a family of four, with one unit reserved for the superintendent.

Native Coffee Roasters is based in Astoria – let’s hear it for locally roasted coffee!

At the Queens County Market, we came across Native Coffee Roasters, a small business run by local Astorian Brian Donaldson. We’ve been drinking it since then and it is delicious. He went through a long time of extensively tasting coffee from various roasters, and that led him to start roasting his own, and now it’s his business. His roaster is in a warehouse around Northern Blvd and 49th Street. Expect to see him at local markets, since that’s where he wants to focus his energies. And definitely give it a try – it really is good.

School by the Sea mural project

This is very cool – some kids that attend School by the Sea in Far Rockaway are going to be participating with their own artwork in this new mural (the previous one was 20 years old) at the school:

The objective of the ocean mural is to create a symbol of hope and resilience to the Rockaway community. The 6th and 7th grade art students are learning about realism to follow this lesson plan for the ocean themed mural. The walls have been primed white and Ocean Lifeline is awaiting confirmation on a profssional ocean muralist to work with the kids.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/60934057]


Potala Fresh Food has a second momo cart in Sunnyside

On Sunday on our way to the St. Pat’s For All parade, we got off at the 46th Street 7 stop and spied a most surprising and beautiful thing under the train at street level – a momo cart! This is very exciting because momos are so delicious, and for the longest time Jackson Heights was the place to get them. Seems as though the momo is expanding and finding its way to other Queens neighborhoods. We tried the steamed chicken momos and they were absolutely scrumptious. We went back after the parade and bought some frozen ones to take home. This cart is at the 46th Street 7 stop every day from noon-10:30, according to the woman who runs the cart.

Another baby seal visits the Rockaways

Here’s another little guy who washed up in the Rockaways this weekend. It was at Beach 103. Awww…

Image source: Locals Surf School

Get ready for the Better Transit for Western Queens volunteer day with Riders Alliance

The folks at Riders Alliance sent out an email announcing their Better Transit for Western Queens volunteer day on Sunday, March 10th at noon. It’s a chance to survey subway stations and document any problems, and help make future transit experiences more enjoyable for all involved (there’s free food, too). Join them in front of the Dunkin’ Donuts, which is located at 25-19 Queens Plaza North in LIC (GMAP).

A convergence of Queens, Manhattan, and Russia in Far Rockaway

We came across this curious restaurant review for Far Rockaway, which is a restaurant from the folks behind Manhattan’s Death & Co, a “swanky speakeasy-style bar” in the East Village. The thing is, this restaurant isn’t in Queens, it’s in Moscow (2 Turgenevskaya Ploshchad – GMAP) at the at Chistiye Prudy stop. Here’s a little bit from the review:

The Rockaways remain relatively untouched by gentrification, creating an unlikely inspiration for a bar that offers multiple preparations of lobster. At a time when many residents are still lining up for federal aid supplies, the concept seems particularly ill-conceived. But questionable name aside, Far Rockaway does have some smarts that elevate it above the city’s other American spots.

With its heavy atmosphere and calorie-packing food, Far Rockaway seems to be aiming at the dude contingent – and judging by the table of Russian patsany downing beers next to us, it’s doing pretty well. The place maintains a vaguely speakeasy vibe with dark wood, leather booths and murky lighting, which gets even murkier at the lower-level bar.

This review was apparently written by an American in Moscow, named Joy Neumeyer. It is fascinating to see how Queens is viewed through the Moscow filter.

The Friends of Steinway Mansion have arrived

A group of local neighbors have formed the Friends of the Steinway Mansion, who plan to work together to find a buyer for the landmarked house (18-33 41st St – GMAP), with hopes that it will become a museum or a cultural center. The Italianate-style villa has 27 rooms, and really is huge. We stumbled upon a chance to see the insides years ago and we can tell you that even then, when it was chock full of stuff, it was an amazing sight. We wonder if the hot tub is still in the basement. Anyway, the Friends would like to see the mansion sold and turned into a community center or something that treasures the building’s past. We shall see what happens.


Happy March!

Well, here we are in a new month. And gauging by the weather today, March has been in like a lamb – looks like we’ll be in the 40s all week and maybe even hit the 50s next weekend. March is chock full of opportunities to celebrate, too – St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), Holy Week (Western church – starts March 24), Passover (March 25), and Easter (Western church – March 31). And on the subject of St. Patrick’s Day, remember that the St. Pat’s For All parade is this Sunday at 2pm in Sunnyside.

What’s going on with the Astoria Park diving pool project

We’ve learned a lot about the plans for the Astoria Park diving pool, for its transformation into a performance venue. Astoria doesn’t have much in the way of performance spaces, so this could be really, really nice for the neighborhood. Parks expects to start the ground-breaking process in about 18 months, and it will cost $4.7 million; originally the project was going to cost $1 million. The theater will likely have a 500 person capacity; if they add more exits, they believe they could accommodate 2,500 persons.

The plan is to fill in the pool with concrete, repurpose the dive tower, and build a new entrance for the amphitheater along with two additional exits. They’ll also move the small diving boards that surround the diving pool. A wheelchair accessible path from the parking lot to the theater will be created. There will also be concessions. No new bathrooms, though.

Taste of Ridgewood is happening April

We recently got wind of the Taste of Ridgewood, which will be in its very first year this April. 20 restaurants will be there, and the organizers expect a healthy number of donors to attend. There will also be live music! The event is serving as a fundraiser for the Ridgewood YMCA’s Strong Kids Campaign, which “ensures that no child or family is ever turned away from life-enhancing YMCA programs because of the inability to pay.” Nice. Sounds like it will be a ton of fun!

Spirits in an old Speakeasy in the Rockways

At the start of an article about BK based Noble Experiment and their Owney’s NYC Rum, a Rockaways speakeasy is mentioned, and the spirits (like Casper, not alcohol) that may (or may not) live there:

[Bridget Firtle’s parent’s] home in Rockaway Beach, Queens — the house where she was raised and to which she recently moved to save money — has a bar in the basement, which was once a speakeasy. The Firtles did not do much to prepare for Sandy, aside from flipping the stools on top of the bar.

The floodwaters came.

“The next day, when we went down there to clean up the mess, the bottles were in different places around the room and chairs and tables were all over the place,” Ms. Firtle said. “The washer and dryer were flipped over. But the bar stools did not move. The bar did not move. The shelving behind the bar was totally untouched.”

“We now know that there are spirits in the speakeasy,” she added.

A newbie’s guide to Queens subway stops

We’ve put together a little guide to the N/Q line in Astoria, and we hope it is helpful for those new to the area – heck, even old timers might read it and go “OH yeah!” or “WTH?!?” In any case, take a look and if you have tidbits you just can’t help but share, leave us a comment or send us an email.


Vintage Queens photos

We came across this set of old photos of Queens via Gothamist that are just delightful. The photo of the building of the Elmhurst Gas Tanks is astonishing – they are the tallest things around! These days they are gone, and in their place is a lovely park. We also really like the photo of the building of the Queensboro Bridge. We could go on and on. Check them out and see Queens from another time.

LIC’s best Happy Hours

CBS put together a list of the 5 best Happy Hours in LIC:

  • Alewife (GMAP) 4:20-7pm every night, 11pm-1am Sunday through Thursday
  • Alobar (GMAP) 11:30-7pm, Monday through Friday
  • The Corner Bistro (GMAP) 4-7pm, Monday through Friday
  • Domaine Bar A Vins (GMAP) 5-7pm, every night
  • Blend (GMAP) 4-7pm, every night

A great deal at Szechuan Dish

Joe DiStefano shares his joy in finding Szechuan Dish, a newer stall at the New World Mall. It’s a lot of delicious food for a very low price, so he calls it his “Happy Meal” – 6 courses for $9.50. That’s quite a deal. For example:

Last Sunday I tried liáng bàn xīn shé, a fiery cold salad of pig tongue and heart slicked with chili oil. And yesterday I stopped by for a fēng wèi xiǎo chī tào cān, or, local flavor set meal. Think of it as a six-course Sichuan Happy Meal. For $9.50 I was one happy, happy eater. It was like a greatest hits of Chengdu street food: excellent dàn dàn miàn,noodles in a fiery sauce of ground beef and preserved vegetables; Chéng Dū hóng yóu shuǐ jiǎo, pork dumplings in soy sauce enlivened with chilies and no small amount of garlic; and hǎi wèi chāo shŏu, a flavorful wonton and seafood soup. The bountiful set also includes a cold two-veggie plate and a cold two-meat plate.

Dancing With Ganesha

“Inside the colorful annual tribute to Ganesha, The Lord of Beginnings, in a normally quiet corner of Flushing, Queens.” A joyful expression of being a Hindu and being part of the greater Hindu family. This festival is greatly anticipated every year in Flushing and takes place at the Ganesh Temple.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/59920804]

St. Pat’s For All parade is this weekend

It’s that time of year – time for the all-inclusive St. Pat’s For All parade, happening on the streets of Sunnyside/Woodside. The Manhattan St. Patrick’s Day parade has never allowed members from the LGBT community to participate, which was frustrating to some. So back in 2000, Brendan Fay, who lives in Queens, started St. Pat’s For All, which is open to any and all who want to participate. It’s definitely smaller than the parade in the city, but it reflects the diversity of NYC. This year the parade starts at 2:00 pm on Sunday, March 3. It starts at 47th Street and Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside, goes east on Skillman, and ends at 58th Street and Woodside Avenue in Woodside. The post-parade party will take place at Saints & Sinners in Woodside (GMAP).


New Major League Soccer stadium renderings may or may not be the real deal

The subject of the artist’s renderings of the new MLS stadium is surrounded by controversy – are the images on the internet real or not? Well, there is some convincing evidence that they are legit, but at the same time officials from MLS totally deny that they are for real. MLS says, among other things, “Any assertion that these drawings represent what a stadium will look like in Queens is wrong.” But a principal from SHoP, the architectural firm designing the stadium, said recently, “The project I’m not supposed to show (you) so I am not going to tell you where it is or what it is but it’s a new stadium that should be announced in the next couple of months.” Who is right? Check out some of the links we’ve provided and you be the judge as to who and what is truth.

Preliminary cocktail menu at Windmill Tap & Grill

We are excited to see progress on the Windmill Tap & Grill, opening later this spring in the Dutch Kills area of LIC. They posted a preliminary cocktail menu on their Facebook page – some of the drinks include a Manhattan, Dark & Stormy, and Flying Dutchman. More here:

Image source: Windmill Tap & Grill

Twitter speaks out on the LIC vs. Long Island City debate

Last week we wrote about a new debate that has arisen – is it better to call the neighborhood Long Island City (viewed by some as confusing and misleading) or LIC (viewed by some as more hip)? Our twitter followers spoke out and it ranged from I like them both & use both!” (duluozcats) to Ridiculous! Don’t mess w/history. Leave ‘ Long Island City’ alone.” (JCarubia). Then there was this comment, “if they officially change it to #LIC, all the cool people will have to start saying #longislandcity just to be difficult.” (35thAndKaufman). We could totally see that happening.

Have you heard of the Knockdown Center in Maspeth?

The Knockdown Center is a new art venue and performance space in Maspeth, just over the border from Ridgewood and not far from the Brooklyn border (Bushwick). It is housed in an old glass factory (52-19 Flushing Ave – GMAP), is three acres in size and can hold 5,000 people. They’ve hosted a lot of big parties, including Rubulad, an underground party that usually happens in BK. They have plans for the space… lots of plans, which include more art and music performances, as well as installing a bar. Nearby spots include the massive Western Beef and Bunker, a new Vietnamese restaurant. It’s great to see interesting things sprouting up in Ridgewood/Maspeth!

Skaters at the Astoria skatepark

This is a very cool short video taken last summer at the Astoria Park skatepark that lives under the Triboro/RFK Bridge. Love the use of slo-mo about mid-way. Great shots and it reminds us that warmer days are coming.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/46243222]


Some additional details about Kaufman Astoria’s 36th Street plans

The NY Daily News reported on some of the plans Kaufman Astoria has for 36th Street, beyond gating it off to pedestrians and vehicular traffic (they will turn that into a back lot). One of their idesa is to build a luxury hotel with a restaurant on an empty parking lot on 36th Street. Condos or rental apartments might be built nearby, too. This could be good for local business but it also might complicate the parking situation. Lots going on in this part of Astoria!

The joys of Sunnyside, Queens

We’re fond of this video of Sunnyside, Queens – we hope you enjoy it, too!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHmhtSerXFg]

Woodside Cafe gets a visit from Serious Eats

We are always happy to see good reviews of the Woodside Cafe, which makes some of the tastiest Nepali food in Queens. The Serious Eats folks stopped by and enjoyed musta palu ($3.50), which are “salted, roasted soybeans tossed with mustard oil and chili powder, and served with large slivers of raw garlic and ginger”; anta ko roti tarkari ($6.95), which “matched spicy roasted potatoes with cold pickled radish”; and steamed vegetable momos ($5.95), which are extremely delicious. If you get the chance to go to Woodside Cafe, definitely take it!

Woodhaven was hit by a tornado in 1895

We came across this amazing set of images on Pinterest (follow QNYC here), depicting the aftermath of a tornado that came through Woodhaven in 1895. The captions read:

“1. View on Rockaway Avenue, showing Schaeffler’s house, near which Mrs. Petroquien was killed. 2. Soliciting contributions for the relief fund. 3. Panoramic view, showing wrecked schoolhouse. (From photographs by J.H. Hare, The Illustrated American Photographer.)” Written on border: “July 27, 1895.”

Click to enlarge.

Image source: NYPL Digital Gallery

Five27, a new luxury condo building, is coming to LIC

We learned about Five27, luxury condos coming to LIC. This is a low rise building – only four floors, with 27 units. Modern Space is the marketing and sales agent. The building will be located at 5-27 51st Avenue in Long Island City (GMAP), and there will be one-, and two-bedroom residences available, ranging from 490 to 1368 square feet with prices starting at $395,000. Some of the design elements include large windows, white-oak flooring with white-wash finish, stainless steel appliances, and there will also be a landscaped roof, fitness center, bike parking, and on-site parking. Sales will commence in April.



The A train should run to and from the Rockaways by June 2013

The MTA has good news for the Rockaways – the damaged length of the A train in the Rockaways should be fixed, up and running by June, according to MTA President Thomas Prendergast. The area has not had any subway service off the peninsula since late October after Hurricane Sandy hit. The H train has been running within the Rockaway peninsula, but one has to take a bus to get off and into the rest of Queens (or drive all the way around the eastern part of Queens, into Nassau, and back into Queens again, which is very time consuming).

The MTA has been working on it since just after the Hurricane, “tirelessly” in Prendergast’s words. But they’ve had to deal with a lot out there. Some of the things the MTA had to deal with in the process of fixing this section of track (it crosses Jamaica Bay) is removing storm debris (like that boat), rebuilding the track bed, replacing damaged and missing third rail protection board and insulators, and replacing signal, power, and communications equipment. Glad to know service will be back by June.

Ramen and a raw bar – two new restaurants opening in Astoria

We’ve heard about a couple of new restaurants opening in Astoria – Off The Hook, which features oysters, steamers, beer, and wine; and a new ramen spot called Tamashii. Ramen is a relatively new arrival in Astoria, with HinoMaru being quite popular in its offerings. We look forward to seeing what both restaurants can offer to the community.

And yet more Astoria restaurant news

We Heart Astoria has also been keeping an eye out for new restaurant opening news. They mention the Shady Lady (which looks to be a real deal restaurant – the menu looks like a lot of comfort food) and Tamashii, which we’ve talked about before. Two we were not aware of before are Milk Flower – a brick oven pizzeria on 31st Ave and 35th Street – and Ovo American Kitchen in the strip mall near Broadway and 21st Street. Can’t wait to check them all out!

Have you heard of the Pan Am Worldport at JFK? Check it out before it gets torn down

Many people have heard about the TWA Flight Center, designed by Eero Saarinen, which serves as the entrance to Jet Blue’s Terminal 5 at JFK. But perhaps lesser known to today’s flying audience is the Pan Am Worldport, AKA Terminal 3. It has a “flying saucer” roof, which is easily spotted from above. Delta Airlines and the Port Authority believe the best thing to do with this cramped, dated terminal is the get rid of it. More:

So what is Delta going to do with the Pan Am Worldport? First, they’ll dismantle it. Then they’ll expand neighboring Terminal 4 (to the right of the Worldport) to the tune of $1.2 billion, and then the former site of the Worldport will be an aircraft parking lot. The New York Port Authority supports this decision, too.

There is a petition to save it.

The Waterside Band Gets Its Groove Back

This is a great story about kids making music at PS 317.

“The band at PS 317 – The Waterside Children’s Studio School in Rockaway Park, NY – is getting back together three months after Superstorm Sandy forced them to evacuate. Now, they are making music once again, and it has never sounded sweeter.”

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/60342247]