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Tasty Vietnamese food at Bunker in/near Ridgewood

There’s lots of excitement from the Ridgefood folks about Bunker, a new Vietnamese restaurant that opened up on Metropolitan Ave just up the street from the gigantic Western Beef supermarket and corporate headquarters. Bunker is technically in Maspeth, but is really only a block or so over the border between it and Ridgewood. The chefs behind this venture –  Jimmy and Jacky Tu, both Queens natives – have a great background:

Jimmy, the head chef, is classically trained in French cuisine and has worked at various restaurants such as Eleven Madison Park and Elizabeth Daniel (in San Francisco). Sous-chef Jacky Tu helped open Tigerland, a beloved East Village Vietnamese & Thai spot, with his brother — and he’s also the former CEO of Korean taco truck company Korilla BBQ.

So head on over and enjoy things like pho, banh mi sandwiches, spring rolls. Watch for bacon on the menu, too.

The Jackson Heights Trilogy comes to Theatre 777

Theatre Mania reports that Director Ari Laura Kreith brings a trio of plays to Theatre 777 as The Jackson Heights Triology, “made up of the last three plays produced by Kreith’s company, Theatre 167.” The plays are  167 Tongues, You are Now the Owner of This Suitcase, and Jackson Heights 3AM. The director says, “Ever since I moved to Jackson Heights I got this feeling that this neighborhood needed to be a play. I was in Boulder, Colorado and I was trying to explain it to people. That was the moment I knew that there needed to be a document that showed what this place feels like.” There are many voices involved with the creation of this show – it is a “massive collaboration between 18 playwrights, with 38 actors play 93 different roles including a Bangladeshi cab driver, a Rwandan night nurse, and a Colombian drag queen.” The play is close to 2 hours and runs until Feb 27.

So yeah, it snowed this weekend

From our perspective, most of Queens got pretty lucky during this weekend’s blizzard, compared to a lot of places in Connecticut and Long Island, who got 2 feet of snow and more. La Guardia got a foot of snow, Astoria got a foot, Maspeth got 15 inches, and JFK got about six and a half. The average snowfall in Queens was about nine and a half inches. Check out some photos of the snowfall around the NYC area, too – feel free to send yours to us, too, and you might see them on the site!

Brooklyn Grange will have a CSA again this year

We Heart Astoria wrote about Brooklyn Grange’s CSA this coming season. It’s going to last 24 weeks – Saturday, May 18 to Saturday, October 26 – and the produce will be grown on their rooftop farm. They’ll offer things like radishes, turnips, herbs, kale, eggplant, and ground cherries – but there is much, much more planned for the shares. The cost will be $576.00 for the season ($24.00/week for 24 weeks). You can sign up now!

Kaufman Astoria Studios and its new back lot

We’ve learned more about what Kaufman Astoria Studios plans to do with 36th Street between 34th and 35th Avenues, the street that was de-mapped for them back in 2012 – it will become their back lot. It will give the studio 34,800 square feet to work with, at 60 feet wide and 580 feet long, and give them the freedom to consolidate their buildings on either side of the street. They also plan to build a gate to block pedestrians and vehicular traffic from entering (they can currently do that now), but emergency vehicles will be allowed to pass through. The gate they are planning will cost in the millions, too. It will be interesting to see how this affects this part of Astoria – some local folks are feeling apprehensive about the plan. Others feel good about it, and welcome the economic boost it could bring.

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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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The third season of the Central Brooklyn Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) will begin Thursday, June 14th, and continue every Thursday through November 8th. The official word: “‘Our CSA’s mission is to ‘make fresh, healthy produce, direct from the farmer available and accessible to any Central Brooklyn resident, regardless of economic status,’ said Joel Berg, the Coalition’s executive director. In addition to fresh, organic, affordable vegetables, the Central Brooklyn CSA will once again be offering an optional fruit share to its members. Each member receives a ‘share of vegetables:a full share will feed 3-4 people and a half-share will feed 1-2 people depending on your typical diet. We only have a limited amount of shares available for everyone, so don’t wait to purchase your share. To ensure that our shares are affordable for everyone, we offer flexible payment options for low-income households, and SNAP (formerly known as ‘Food Stamps’) benefits are also accepted to purchase vegetable and fruit shares….This year the Central Brooklyn CSA will be partnering with Windflower Farm, a small organic farm in Valley Falls, located in the Taconic hills between the Hudson River and the Vermont border.” The shares will be available for pick-up at Hebron Seventh Day Adventist Church, at 1256 Dean Street at the corner of New York Avenue, and members will be able to pick up their shares from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday evenings. The deadline to purchase shares is May 4th. Contact details: CentralBrooklynCSA@gmail.com; or call 212-825-0028 for a membership application; or go to the website for an application.
Central Brooklyn CSA [Official Site]