Kalpana Chawla was an Indian-born woman who became the first Indian American astronaut and the first Indian woman in space. Unfortunately she was among the seven crew members who perished on the Space Shuttle Columbia in 2003. To honor her memory, New York City named the stretch of 74th Street between Roosevelt and 37th avenues after her in 2004. Known now as Kalpana Chawla Way, the street is a panoply of sari shops, Indian restaurants and cell phone stores. Lots of photos on the jump. GMAP


Woodside is getting a C-Town Supermarket. The supermarket chain is currently under construction at 39-07 65 Place, off of Roosevelt Avenue. The DOB issued permits for a storefront renovation last month, but it doesn’t look like this location is on the brink of a grand opening. Another C-Town is also under construction a little further west, on Greenpoint Avenue in Sunnyside. That one’s scheduled to open its doors at the end of the summer. GMAP


On a rainy Sunday in May, the former Foodtown site didn’t look to be any closer to re-opening as a C-Town than it did in February when the Sunnyside Post wrote up the news. The only visible clues that the city’s fifth-largest grocery chain was shooting to open its doors at 41-25 Greenpoint Avenue by the end of the summer were a blue contraction fence and a small red vinyl sign. How is the community feeling about this one? C-Town is not exactly Fairway. GMAP


There’s something special about a bicycle shop. From the attentive service and professional advice, a pro bike shop can outfit you with the custom bipedal ride of your dreams. Proper fitting and selection is always an issue, so you want the right bike for the job at the right size whether off-roading, touring, or just a joyride. But let’s face it: frequent use can lead to a lot of wear and tear, sometimes wheels get dented or pedals fall off. Rest assure, most large and small shops are full service offering a variety of assistance after the sale from tune-ups to parts replacement and repair whether for adults, kids, or professional cyclists.

It doesn’t matter if you’re cycling the entire Queens Green Belt or simply commuting to work, there’s a professional bicycle shop each with it’s own style, specialization, and deals so shop around. The weather outside is getting warmer and it’s time to ride. Visit one of these shops for a great experience:

  • Roberts Bicycles. For over forty years Roberts Bicycles of Bayside has been outfitting the community with hand-built models and a wide selection from BMX to mountain bikes to baby bikes and everything in between. Roberts Bicycles has something to suit the most consummate tastes including helmets and apparel. Trained technicians are on staff to answer your questions and guide you through the selection process.


  • Peak Bikes. Offering free tune ups for life, Peak Bicycle Pro Shop of Douglaston focuses on the mountain bike crowd. Walk in and staff are eager to talk up bikes while the cycling community often gather here to organize rides in nearby Cunningham Park. Order a custom model, or restore your childhood cruiser.


  • Spin City Cycle. Located in Forest Hills, Spin City Cycles encourages customers to come in for a test ride on all of their models. With cycling being such a popular activity in Queens, sometimes a repair shop can be backlogged, so for those eager to get back in the saddle minus the wait, Spin City promises to repair your bicycle in 48 hours or less.


  • Bellitte Bicycles. You can’t go wrong shopping at the oldest bicycle store in the United States. Since 1918, Bellitte Bicycles of Jamaica has been family owned and operated offering 5,000 models to choose from. Service is a top priority at this huge shop but their low price guarantee is known to draw in customers for over 90 years.


  • Tony’s Bicycles. Tony’s Bicycles of Astoria has an excellent track record in the cycling community. All of their mechanics are factory trained and certified by companies like Trek, GT, Cannondale, Giant, and many more. Founded in the 1970’s, this bicycle shop is known for their commitment to value and service.


  • Bike Stop. While visiting Bike Stop you’ll find a wide selection from BMX to road bikes, even bicycles built for two. An eclectic staff offers expertise from different specialties all the while promising the only thing you’ll have to worry about is peddling. The site offers a comprehensive newbies guide to just about every subject ranging from parts and accessories to how to guides such as a buyer’s guide to rechargeable lighting systems.


Images Source: Fred Cantor

Brooklyn might have the “hip” factor, but Queens now has the “Qool” factor. Fresh Meadows native Fred Cantor is selling black baseball caps that read “Queens = Qool” on the front. The retired lawyer wants to make some profit, of course, but he is also hoping to improve the borough’s image and help a venerable local institution. He donates $2 from every $21.90 cap sale to the Queens Library Foundation. This entrepreneur might be familiar to some Queens enthusiasts because he co-wrote Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America: Fresh Meadows book in 2011. Check out the merchandise here.


We were in Elmhurst recently and happened by The Queens Center Mall (GMAP) where we were reminded that there is band with the names of Queens neighborhoods wrapping around the building: Flushing, Corona, Maspeth, East Elmhurst, Rego Park, Kew Gardens, Fresh Meadows, Woodside…


Malls, of course, are not known for their architectural appeal.. but we kinda like this touch.




Note: As the season progresses, we’ll update this guide. Please leave comments with new or updated information!

Forest Hills Greenmarket, South side of Queens Blvd at 70th Avenue  (GMAP) (Website)
Sundays from April 7, 2013  to December 29, 2013
8:00am – 3:00pm


Sunnyside Greenmarket, Skillman Ave btwn 42 & 43 Streets (GMAP) (Website)
Saturdays from June 1, 2013 to December 21, 2013
8:00am – 3:00pm


This goy gal has been invited to, and happily attended, numerous sabbath dinners. As I myself have never hosted, I don’t do any cooking or food preparation, and so I usually bring something for dessert, and that thing sometimes needs to be kosher.

If you’ve brought maracroons or almond brittle a few times yourself, you might consider Hungarian kosher baked goods. Local favorite Andre’s Hungarian has three locations – two in Manhattan, but the flagship store is in Rego Park on Queens Boulevard.


Inside La Boulangerie

The fact that the great borough of Queens would be home to two fantastic classic French bakeries is not terribly surprising. But that both chefs should prevail from the same region of France – Brittany – is. La Boulangerie, an artisan bakery and café located at 109-01 72nd Road just off Austin Street in Forest Hills (GMAP), and Cannelle, a pâtisserie and café at 75-59 31st Avenue in Jackson Heights, situated in the Walbaum’s mall (GMAP), are both the creation of Brittany natives. Both strive to bring high-quality, authentic French baked goods to sophisticated New York City palates and, tellingly, both businesses are thriving.


Image Source: American Museum of Natural History

Over the past five decades, Kwanzaa has become a popular observation throughout the U.S. and more recently Canada and South America. This annual, week-long celebration of African heritage and African-American culture runs from Dec. 26, 2012 to Jan. 1, 2013. The Afrikan Poetry Theater will hold a Kwanzaa celebration at the Springfield Gardens Educational Campus on Saturday, December 29, 2012. In addition to the traditional candle-lighting and distribution of Zawadi (gifts) to children, the event will include musical and dance performances as well as an African marketplace and food court.

Afrikan Poetry Theatre Kwanzaa 2012
Springfield Gardens Educational Campus
143-10 Springfield Boulevard
Saturday, December 29
1pm – 8pm | Free admission