On Tuesday, I was invited to bring the camera to the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, as the Queens Economic Development Corporation held the 13th annual Queens Taste, an expo showcasing the borough’s amazing restaurants.
The first Queens Taste, I’m told, had just twelve tables and was held in a tiny space at JFK airport. This one needed an entire floor of the Hall of Science, and even that was barely big enough.
This was a VERY well attended party, and there were a lot of “movers and shakers” in the crowd.
I ran into Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and his staffer Andres Villa. They gave me a few seconds to grab this shot of them, then announced that it was time to eat, and merged into the line of people filling their plates with delicious food.
I bumped into Borough President Melinda Katz as well. She was working the tables, and when I saw an opportune moment I moved in to say hello. She was gracious as always, and told me to say “Hi” to all you Q’Stoners out there.
By 7, the place was really starting to fill up. This was taking place on the entire lower level of the Hall of Science, mind you, an enormous space. Every sort of comestible, from vegan to cured beef, was available for sampling. There were also a wealth of beverages, including wines, ginger beers and coffees.
Unfortunately, what the photos cannot tell you is how the place smelled. Everywhere you looked, chefs were cooking up signature dishes right in front of you. Above is one of the Iberian creations of Jamaica’s O Lavrador Restaurant and Bar.
Famously, Queens is blessed by the most diverse collection of cultures to be found anywhere on Earth, and every ethnic specialty from Thai to Italian to Chilean was on display.
All the vendors were offering tastings of their specialties, and although the QEDC folks kept chiding me to eat something, I was too busy taking pictures.
Desserts are kind of my thing anyway, and there were plenty available.
Ridgewood’s Rudy’s Bakery and Cafe was in the house, offering some of the event’s most visually pleasing sweets.
On the way back to my beloved Astoria, via Sunnyside, I was treated to one of those Queensican sunsets that only riders of the 7 train seem to know about.
The setting of the sun seems like a good place to end this, as I’ve reached not just the end of this post, but the end of my tenure here at Q’Stoner. It’s been an honor writing about the history and culture of our mutual home, but all good things must come to an end. I wish my fellow writers and editors nothing but good fortune, and look forward to all the cool stuff they will be bringing us in the future.
If, as you’re passing through Queens, you see some strange fellow wearing a filthy black raincoat, scuttling alongside the Newtown Creek or the fences of some railyard while waving a camera around, that’ll likely be me.
Newtown Creek Alliance Historian Mitch Waxman lives in Astoria and blogs at Newtown Pentacle.