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Check out this Jackson Heights kitchen and bath remodel on Apartment Therapy

It was great to see this delightful kitchen and bath remodel in Jackson Heights, featured on the beloved blog Apartment Therapy.  Francis Temple-West was the architect and Robert Roses was the contractor. The before and after shots are striking and the people involved did an amazing job. Love all the light in the kitchen especially.

Sandy Stories and Pumpkin Bread

Rockaways resident Fran Honan shares her stories about Hurricane Sandy in the blog The Glorified Tomato (one of our favorite food blogs) – the most recent one includes a recipe for pumpkin bread. Pumpkin bread brings a little normalcy to this time of year, which is a foil to a world that still seems a little upside down.

She usually bakes a bunch of loaves and shares them with neighbors, but during Sandy, her stash of 20+ cans of pumpkin was damaged during the storm (“I know they were sealed, but I was afraid to take a chance and  use them. Thanks to the kindness of my sister Maria, who lives in Manhattan and has been generously replenishing my supply by carrying 4 or 5 cans at a time on the subway to bring to me.”). With this new supply of pumpkin, she has been baking and sharing loaves with her neighbors, which brings a smile and a moment of joy. We think that’s a beautiful thing.

Meals are coming to SingleCut

Way back even before the brewery was open, founder Rich Buceta said he wanted to serve food eventually. Well, food has arrived at the tap room, and they’re calling them “Meals” – they are meat pies and sides. There will even be a vegetarian pie, too (vegetable curry). The bacon and blue cheese cole slaw side sounds pretty good, too.

Can’t Stop New York – another message from the Rockaways

“Rockaway, Queens resident Tim Tubridy details the road to recovery for his community after Super Storm Sandy.” He appreciates all the help from outsiders, too.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/59040287]

The future of the Sunnyside Center Cinemas building is unsure

We’re learned from the Sunnyside Post that the building that houses Sunnyside movie theater – Center Cinemas – was sold and may eventually be demolished and turned into residential units. The building was sold in December 2012 by Dime Savings Bank for $6.675 million. The buyer is a new Astoria-based firm called 2-25 Queens Blvd. Corporation. They are not sure what they will do with it right now, but those in the real estate know predict that the site will become home to residential units. The current tenants do have leases – the movie theater until December 2014; PJ Horgan’s until June 30, 2018; and a dentist office until Oct. 31, 2014 (with a provision to extend it). The movie theater charges discount prices, and PJ Horgan’s has been around for over 40 years. The feel of this area of Sunnyside would be changed if those two businesses were to disappear.

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We were pretty happy to see this piece on beer in Queens from Time Out New York – places where you can drink it and places that brew it. It’s pretty heavily weighted on the western Queens side, where a lot of the micro/craft brew action is happening. On the drinking side, there’s Astoria Bier and Cheese – we were just in there the other night and it’s a really great space with really delicious beer; The Strand Smokehouse, who just got a new Executive Chef; and opendoor in LIC – Juan from beer-loving Sunswick is part of this endeavor.

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Last week we joined a group of local bloggers to taste some of the dishes on the new menu at 5 Napkin Burger in Astoria. We ate tasty food in the company of Sue at tastoriaqueens, Bradley of Amuse * Bouche, Rachel of Spam is Better Fried, the elusive Astoria Haiku, Mark from SingleCut, Tracy from Astoria Social Media, Mackenzi from We Heart Astoria, and Laura of 89th and Broke.

Everything was very tasty  – our favorite was the pesto flatbread.

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Wine bar recommendations for central and eastern Queens

Our own Danielle McClure has put together an article on wine bars further out into Queens, that’s making us want to enjoy a glass right now! All are worth checking out – Danny BrownJack and Nellie’sUvarara, and Fino are on the list, and along with your wine, enjoy some nibbles – all spots serve tasty treats. Enjoy!

Astorian saves man who fell on subway tracks

We’re not sure why there seems to be an uptick in folks falling (or being pushed) onto the subway tracks, but it sure is a head scratcher – there hasn’t been this amount of news in such a short period of time on the subject for quite some time. In that vein, we heard about another incident, where an elderly man fell on the tracks at the 59th Street/Lexington subway station around 4pm, Friday, January 18. And then Astorian Ramiro Ocasio jumped down and saved the guy! About his bravery, he said “I grabbed him by his collar and his pants and threw him to the platform. Don’t ask me how because I’m not a strong dude.” He couldn’t get back on the platform himself, so then four or five other people helped him up. A Q train came by about 10 seconds later. Wow. Such an amazing story!!

Flushing, Queens is the cradle of the gay rights movement

We really enjoyed reading a NYT City Room post about Jeanne and Jules Manford, two parents of a politically active gay son, who in the early 19702 started the group Parents of Gays (hear President Obama talk about this), which then became PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) later. They never wavered in support of their son, and helped other gay youth and their parents with support and counsel. And it happened right here in Flushing, Queens. Jeanne recently died at age 92, but her legacy lives on.

The Happy Hour Guys visit SingleCut

The Happy Hour Guys visited SingleCut with their own brand of humor, peppered with lots of interesting info. And beer… delicious, delicious beer. And they’ve announced the first food addition to the SingleCut scene – meat pies! Should be yummy with the fab beer they make. Enjoy!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkhm6oqA9HA]

Queens Chamber of Commerce Building Awards and Reception was recently held

Last Thursday, January 17, the Queens Chamber of Commerce held their annual Building Awards and Reception at the LaGuardia Mariott Hotel (which we recently told you had been sold for $22 million). There were 21 winners in the following categories – new construction; rehabilitation, re-adaptive use, alteration or addition; interiors; and public work, infrastructure and civil projects. Infamous developer Joseph Pistilli was given the Lifetime Achievement Award and Resorts World Casino New York City was inducted into the Building Awards Hall of Fame.

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On Saturday, we joined close to 25 other craft beer lovers at the SingleCut brewery in Astoria, to catch up with Master Brewer and founder Rich Buceta and the status of the brewery itself. A lot has happened since we wrote about the brewery in early August, including the construction of some interior spaces, installation of various tanks in the back of the space.

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Queens, the neighborhood of Astoria specifically, is home to some of the most sophisticated palates in the world – connoisseurs of gogigui, seekers of aged cheeses and organic beef, devotees of the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden.   Additionally, Western Queens, which includes Long Island City, has so much existing manufacturing infrastructure.  Why is it, then, with all of this interest and resources, that Queens does not have any craft breweries?

In fact, there used to be numerous breweries in Queens, located primarily in Ridgewood, but Prohibition wiped them out.  Now, a few are coming back as the market for craft beers remains strong, there are so many distributions points throughout the Tri-State Area, and entrepreneurs are recognizing Queens as a place for innovation and community. 

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SingleCut Beersmiths, the first brewery in Queens since Prohibitionsays it’s planning to open their Astoria location in September, and they’re sticking to it. We drove by yesterday to check out the space on 19-33 37th St, right off Steinway St near the piano factory. Although the rental sign was still up, the President/Head Brewer assured us the brewery occupies the building. They announced the lease signing in March, which was confirmed by The Real Deal a few months later.