Image Source: http://www.lydiagable.com

QNYC, the Queens Tourism Council and Applebee’s are partnering to raise money for the Rockaways. Tomorrow, December 22, four borough Applebee’s will host Breakfast with Santa, and patrons will get a Polaroid photo with the Man in Red and a buffet including scrambled eggs, potatoes, sausage, pancakes, bacon, toast, orange juice and coffee or tea. All the proceeds will go to the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, a nonprofit which responded to Hurricane Sandy by giving homebound residents hot meals and providing emergency food and clothing from a firehouse. Volunteers then delivered emergency supplies door-to-door. Currently, RWA has been clearing streets by removing sand and debris. For years, Applebee’s has hosted Breakfast with Santa events on Staten Island. This is its first venture into Queens. Let’s show our community spirit and love of a good breakfast with a good man.

Breakfast with Santa
Bayside, 213-29 26th Ave.; Rego Park, 95-25 Queens Blvd.; Astoria, 38-01 35th Ave; and Fresh Meadows, 61-48 188th St.
Saturday, December 22
8:30am – 10 am | $10


Image Source: Katrina Schultz Richter from Queens County Market

Consider it the All Star Game for Queens food entrepreneurs. Today, December 15, Quaint Restaurant will host a Pop-Up Artisan Market featuring products made by local businesses. Expect Guyanese-influenced Chicken Curry with Roti and Spiced Banana Cake, thanks to Veda’s Catering. The Chocolate Swirl will offer edible Christmas baskets with Cake Pops, Truffles, Mini Cupcakes and Boxed Chocolates. Another local favorite, Mel’s Melting Pot, will have traditional Quebecois chutneys, such a Sweet Fruit Ketchup and its spicy cousin. Tamarind balls, Caribbean spicy cheese, gourmet ice cream and chipotle salsa will also be among the many items on sale.

Pop-Up Artisan Market
Quaint Restaurant
46-10 Skillman Avenue, Sunnyside
Saturday, December 15
noon – 4pm | Free to enter


Image source: William Hook on Flickr

If you can believe it, there is only a week and a half left to shop for Christmas – thank goodness there are still two weekend in the mix. We’ve been sharing with you some great shopping resources over the season, but thought we’d put them and our other appropriate shopping suggestions all in one place to give you plenty of ideas. Read on!

Image source: MOMI

Great holiday shopping around the boroughWhether your endgoal is providing gifts for nieces and nephews at Hanukkah (which starts the night of Dec. 8!), co-workers for Christmas, or dear friends for Kwanzaa, we’ve all got serious shopping to do. You may not be aware of the wealth of independently owned shops around Queens where you can find something unique and interesting while at the same time supporting your neighbors, so we’ve rounded a few up.


Image Source: Greater Astoria Historical Society

Chartered in 1985, the Greater Astoria Historical Society strives to preserve and recall the past as a way to improve the future of Queens. The nonprofit frequently organizes field trips, walking tours, slide presentations, exhibitions and guest lectures throughout the borough (despite its one-neighborhood name).

Looking to fulfill its mission and raise money, GAHS will host a Book Extravaganza at its Broadway headquarters, featuring a mind-boggling selection of fiction and non-fiction covering history, cooking, children’s tales, fantasy, self-help, sci-fi and much more. The group will also sell its signature Astoria, Sunnyside and Long Island City t-shirts.

Quinn Building, 35-20 Broadway, 4th Floor, Long Island City
Saturday, December 8, 2012
10am – 4pm | FREE to attend


Whether your endgoal is providing gifts for nieces and nephews at Hanukkah (which starts the night of Dec. 8!), co-workers for Christmas, or dear friends for Kwanzaa, we’ve all got serious shopping to do. You may not be aware of the wealth of independently owned shops around Queens where you can find something unique and interesting while at the same time supporting your neighbors, so we’ve rounded a few up.

In Boutiques and Specialty Shops

SITE, located at 35-11 34th Avenue (GMAP), brings together the energy of Astoria with good taste in design. It’s a hub of the locally made and the otherwise carefully sourced and an all-around great spot for gifts sure to delight recipients and brighten rooms. Right now the store’s collection of holiday ornaments is inspired – colorful seated Buddhas, glittery clip-on mushrooms and running dinosaurs – but the shop carries a full array of items for the home, kitchen tools, exotic aromatic lotions, device cases, decorative prints, tasty goodies and fun wearables.


There’s a lot of talk these days of buying local, for both environmental and economic reasons, plus the fun of giving or receiving something that’s not mass produced. Queens has its share of independent businesses coming out with items that are original enough to impress your pickiest gift recipients this year. We did some digging on Etsy and elsewhere, and were impressed with the local talent. Here are some of our picks from Queens artists:

Holiday Cards and Gift Packaging

Image source: Etsy – handmade cards by Cutiepie Company

Ordering handmade cards will reduce the chance of you sending the same cards as someone else in your social circle. Check out these “warm and cozy” patterned sheep cards by Sunnyside-based Cutiepie Company. Or this stenciled series of animals festively playing musical instruments by Jamaica’s Mayuko Fujino, who is donating all proceeds to WFMU, a radio station in Jersey City that was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Another option is this whimsical tree-and-reindeer card made by AvocadoChange of Astoria.


Image source: www.eatshopdrinklocal.blogspot.com

Tomorrow, December 6, Yelp Queens invites you to Eat.Shop.Drink.Local and unwind at The Dog and Duck Gastropub (GMAP). Enjoy drink and food platter specials, and shop from local vendors showcasing their work. The Sunnyside restaurant will also have a Sandy relief donation box. Give what you can, but if you donate $10 or more, vendor Marikit Designs will extend a 10% discount to your total purchase! Also, receive a free drink special if you spend $50 collectively from any participating artist/shop , which includes Bridy Crawford and Tiny You.

This event is part of the Yelp Builds Back program. In light of recent events, Yelp is challenging communities across New York and New Jersey to keep their hard-earned dough close to home and help those who need it the most right now.

The Dog and Duck
45-20 Skillman Ave., Sunnyside
Thursday, December 6
6:30 pm – 9:30 pm | Free


The weekend is just about here, and we bet some of you will be out shopping for Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Solstice gifts. Where do you like to buy gifts locally?  Is there a shop you wish everyone knew about? Are you going shopping at a holiday market this weekend? We’d love to know – leave us a comment here or via twitter at @queensnycity.

BTW, here are a couple of resources for your shopping this weekend, in case you’re stuck or need some inspiration:

How to be the coolest aunt or uncle: Hip kids’ gift and toy stores in Astoria, Corona, and Elmhurst [QNYC]
Queens Holiday Markets 2012 [QNYC]


Image source: Chocolate Swirl – holiday cake pops

Hello, 2012 holiday season! One of the fun things to do during the holidays is go to the various holiday markets around the city. Most people are familiar with the markets in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and there are a number of markets during the season in Queens. Here is our roundup – we will update this list as new markets come to light.

Holiday Kids’ Bazaar In Astoria
Saturday, December 1, 12-5pm
22-27 33rd Street, Astoria NY 11105 (GMAP)

This market is a collaboration between The Story Nook and babyNOIR, and is a fundraiser for Queens Library Foundation.

This is going to be a wonderful event, with local artists who create unique hand-made crafts and edible items – mainly for kids, live music, special holiday photo booth, story time, raffles, and more! There will be Grand Raffle: every artist and crafter is donating an item, so you can raffle it off. The entire raffle ticket sales will be given to Queens Library Foundation.

There will be live music by Mick McFadden (noon), Art House Astoria Carolers (1:15pm), and Margo Gezairlian Grib (2:45pm), as well as special story time at 2:15pm, and a grand raffle at 4pm.


There are two scenarios for a home-hosted Thanksgiving. In the first, you’re having people over and preparing the meal. In the second, you’re going to someone else’s place, simply bringing something along. In this second scenario, you can tote along a nice bottle of Côtes du Rhône or a sliceable baguette or a fresh pumpkin pie – and all that is lovely and satisfying – but we live in Queens, and we have some interesting and unexpected options to round out a beautiful gathering of family and friends.

Take for example Homestead Gourmet Shop, located in the main shopping district of Kew Gardens at 81-45 Lefferts Boulevard, at the corner of Cuthbert Road, (GMAP).