Shopping

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Down near the edge of Western Queens, where Astoria meets Long Island City at the waterfront, sits The Noguchi Museum, dedicated to the work of Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988), a major figure of mid-century art and design. His iconic sculptures, akari lamps, and that biomorphic glass coffee table – mere examples from his full œuvre – endure in their influence and significance. And you can take home some of his designed pieces at the The Noguchi Museum Shop.

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Before heading to your next kiddie birthday party, stop by one of these shops in Queens for unique toys and gifts that won’t be the same as what your young friends already have, or what everyone else just saw on the shelves at Toys“R”Us.

MGS World/Morning Glory in Flushing is your go-to spot for adorable Asian stationery and back-to-school items. Earning love from a Hello Kitty enthusiast is easy with a trip to this store—plus you can browse through the mini origami paper, sticky notes in various shapes, chopstick sets, Angry Birds memorabilia, and plenty of creative stocking stuffer/party favor-type ideas that you never even knew existed. (GMAP)

SITE in Astoria offers colorful, design-minded items for everyone from babies to teenagers to adults. You could pick up a wooden stir fry or sushi playset, a circus-themed rubber stamp set, a cheerful picture frame made of colored pencils, or a onesie declaring your baby’s love of Astoria.

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The local food movement is happening in Queens too. Brooklyn Grange, which happens to be in LIC, is a one acre rooftop farm that sells to CSAs, restaurants, and the public. Butcher Bar in Astoria brings local, sustainably farmed meat to the borough (here’s a review by Serious Eats). And we have the oldest continually operating farm in the state, Queens County Farm. On Huff Post, you can read a profile on one of the farmers.

Besides farmers markets, Queens also has 15 neighborhood CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs you can be a part of.

Not sure what a CSA is? Members get a portion of a farm’s weekly harvest by making a seasonal investment. Rather than choosing the week’s groceries at the supermarket, whatever’s harvested on the farm that week is what you get — the mystery is part of the fun.

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Call us what you will, we love a good supermarket. In New York City, it’s rare to find a suburban-style supermarket, and sometimes the heart wants what it wants. Fairway in Brooklyn is great, (we haven’t tried the one in Queens yet) Trader Joe’s has great products, but let’s be honest, it doesn’t sell real produce.

This Stop and Shop in Maspeth at 7417 Grand Avenue (GMAP) is enormous. It has parking, and you can buy literally everything. It doesn’t have that Costco/Ikea warehouse feeling and it even has a florist and birthday balloons for last minute special occasions – Valentine’s Day was interesting here.

The store offers self-checkout which, (for those of you too New York to even know what that is) is where they actually trust you to bag and scan your own items. This can be nice if you only are getting a few things and don’t want to wait for cashiers, but you may also feel like a part time employee. Your kids will probably love it though. The store has a natural food section for all you hippies, an international section for the rest of you and a full pharmacy for grannies and the allergic. It has a seafood section, a pet section, a baby section and a CoinStar machine (that thing that gives you dollars for coins- again if you are super urban, you might not know about these). There is apparently a Western Union in the store somewhere and, if you want to forgo this amazing luxurious supermarket, you can shop online and have it delivered to your home. But, the absolute best thing about this supermarket is that it is open 24 hours per day. If you want to buy shampoo or steak or frozen food you can do it at any time, day or night. You could go right now.

Love the outdoor garden section.

Observe the vast amount of open space that lies before us (and the lady in the giant poncho).

When the supermarket aisle is as long as a football field, yet you do not feel trapped and crammed in, you have truly found your place in the world.

Space to dream of food.

And, of course, we have to mention that there is still a magazine section with real honest to goodness printed magazines in it.

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According to the Queens Courier (and just about every other American publication) gas prices are at a two month low. So obviously it’s time to fill er up. We were wondering where we could get the cheapest gas in Queens, and it turns out that at this very moment, it’s at the Sunoco at 40-13 Astoria Blvd N. according to Gas Buddy. Gas there is reportedly $3.85 per gallon. Pump it up (while you can).

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Sunnyside will be less one 99 cent store, according to the Sunnyside Post. It seems customers don’t have any extra dollars to buy vinyl table cloths or shower curtains made out of garbage bags. Who doesn’t love a vanity ketchup bottle though?

Grand 99 Cent Store, located at 45-24 46th Street, closed its doors claiming it did not earn enough pennies each month to pay $17,000 in rent.

They would have to sell 17,000 items a month just to break even. The owners expected rent would rise to around $19,000, so they decided to consolidate their stores.

The owner of the store put a sign in the store window directing customers to her other location, 99 cent Paradise, at 42-06 Greenpoint Ave.

At least we’ll still have Paradise.