Image source: Adam E. Moreira on Wikimedia Commons

We recently read A Newbie’s Guide to Bushwick Subway Stops from Bushwick Daily and we liked it so much, we decided to do our own version for Astoria. Here, we present a brief subway stop by subway stop breakdown of where to live and why. We start with the N/Q in Astoria (Astoria is also served by the M/R – more on that at another time).

In general, rents throughout Astoria run about around $1,600 for a one bedroom and $2,000 for a two bedroom, but of course there are exceptions to that on either end of the pricing spectrum. New construction tends to be more expensive than older construction, and rather than big developments, Astoria has a lot of infill construction, which affects rents as well.


Image source: Seabamirum on Flickr

Legendary Steinway & Sons pianos are made right in Astoria, and the factory played a huge part in the development of the neighborhood starting in 1870. The history of this company town is just one of the many fascinating topics we learned about on the highly recommended Steinway factory tour.

Steinway & Sons was founded in 1853 in Manhattan by Henry Steinway (originally Heinrich Steinweg), a cabinet maker from Germany who had built his first piano in the kitchen of his home.


Image source: Huffington Post

This week Nancy Ruhling wrote about a hidden Victorian house in Astoria for her “Astoria Characters” column in the Huffington Post and we really couldn’t get enough of this story. It’s not right there on the street, but is behind a commercial business – Teddy’s Florist – on 31st Street near the Ditmars N/Q subway station in Astoria. You can see it from the Ditmars platform, though, but even then it is hidden – not may people look for it (though after the attention it’s gotten, that will likely change).


Front of Tufino Pizzeria Napoletana, right before they opened their doors for business

Last night we decided to check out Tufino Pizzeria Napoletana for dinner – this is the new pizzeria that opened up on Ditmars Blvd in Astoria. From the outside, it’s a very unassuming looking spot;  inside it’s nice and warm – and if you sit in the back like we did, it’s even toastier, as that is where the pizza oven is located, and it does seem to put out a bit of extra heat (but we weren’t dying or anything, from the heat). It’s a pretty great oven, too – a Stefano Ferrara, which is considered to be one of the best.

Image source: Tufino Pizzeria Napoletana – named Di Maria after the owner’s wife, who built him his first pizza oven in their backyard


Image source: MP Taverna

The NY Times recently published an article on new Fall restaurant openings around the city, with a long list of places in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Queens has a small – and impressive – footprint on the list, and the entry that really caught our eye is for MP Taverna, a grand Greek restaurant that will settle in the old Mezzo-Mezzo space at 31-29 Ditmars Boulevard, Astoria (GMAP). It should open in October, according to the Times.


Image source: Flickr Creative Commons – user Pabo76

Since its appearance on the Astoria food truck scene in 2006, the El Rey Del Taco truck has steadily gained fans and received raves from locals and visitors alike, including ex-pat Californians (a notoriously difficult group to please when it comes to Mexican food in NYC). El Rey has not let up on the high quality of their Mexican street grub, and it’s an Astoria favorite (and people get nervous when the truck mysteriously goes missing). Let’s hope they’re allowed to continue, as new proposed rules are looming over NYC’s food truck scene. We know Astorians and Mexican food lovers alike would be devastated if anything were to limit El Rey’s presence in the community.