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An iconic symbol of Queens, the Unisphere – plus it’s a pretty cool thing to show off to visitors

NYC is probably one of the top tourist/vacation destinations in the world, and folks are lucky to visit here if they have a friend or family member to show them around. Where do you like to take out of town guests when they come to visit our fair city? Do you stay in Queens or do you hit the big spots in Manhattan? What must-see restaurants and food spots do you go to? And do you have recommendations for hidden gems we might not know about? We want to hear all about it. Leave us a comment here or via twitter at @queensnycity!

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The Pepsi Cola sign in LIC – one of the best known places in Queens

Yesterday we asked the question, “what are the best known places in Queens?” and we got quite the outpouring of answers! The airports got some love, as did Citi Field and The US Tennis Center. Then there’s the Golden Mall and Xi’an Famous Foods (located in the Golden Mall), and we can’t forget the Lemon Ice King of Corona. There are many more. So check out some of the places our readers consider to be best known places in Queens, via twitter.

glorifiedtomato: Rockaway Beach, 5Pointz, The Boulevard of Death.

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Image source: David Berkowitz on Flickr – Citi Field, one of the best known spots in Queens

The other day we were thinking about some of the best known places in Queens. Citi Field came to mind, as did the Unisphere and the Bohemian Beer Garden. We can think of a bunch more, but we want to know what you think are the best known spots in Queens. Let us know in the comments or via twitter at @queensnycity.

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The Museum of the City of New York wants your Sandy photos

The Museum of the City of New York has issued a call for submissions from both amateur and professional photographers for their photos of before, during and after Superstorm Sandy: “…the Museum of the City of New York seeks contemporary photographs of the areas and people affected by the storm – photographs that portray the region before the storm, during the dramatic hours of the storm’s landfall, the immediate aftermath, and the relief, recovery, and rebuilding efforts of individuals, organizations, and government agencies – for consideration for inclusion in an exhibition at the Museum to open in April.” Entry deadline is 12pm March 3, 2013. Photographers, we know you are out there! It’s free to enter, too.

Putting together the Unisphere

We’ve shared this on Facebook and loved it on Pinterest, but we just can’t get enough of this seriously cool image from the time they were putting the Unisphere together – it’s very Erector Set here.

Image source: Queens County Market Facebook page

The Waterfront Crab House in LIC is now open, first time since Sandy

DNAinfo reports that LIC’s Waterfront Crab House is now open! They had their soft opening on Tuesday. It really took a hit during Hurricane Sandy, with several feet of water inundating the historic eatery, causing a shut down of the place and seirous repair work to take place (“new floors, walls and a brand new bar”). Some of their antiques and other collectibles that hung on the walls were totally damaged and had to be thrown out, but some things managed to survive. So, if you were missing the Crab House, it’s time to go back!

If you want excellent beer, come to Queens

The borough has been know for a long time, actually as a place for great beer and a place to drink it – the Bohemian Beer Garden comes immediately to mind (it is one of the best known food/drink spots in Queens, along with Jackson Diner in Jackson Heights, Tortilleria Nixtamal in Corona, and Flushing’s Chinatown). But these days, beer has been “kicked up a notch” in Queens and fantastic craft/micro/nano brewed beer is coming out of the borough, especially in western Queens. There’s everything from Astoria’s own SingleCut Beersmiths to the somewhat mysterious Bridge and Tunnel nano-brewery. Then there are places to drink beer, like The Strand, Astoria Bier and Cheese, as well as the beloved Queens Kickshaw. So yeah, we’re not joking when we say there’s a beautiful beer scene in Queens.

Yoga is all the rage, but you probably knew that

Yoga is a really big deal all around Queens. There are different kinds (Ashtanga, Iyengar, Vinyasa, just to name a few) taught, sometimes a yoga class/session has more of an athletic aspect, while others include a spiritual element to it, too. But in this fast-paced world we live in, yoga can be a welcome change of pace for so many – men and women. We’ve got a list of places you can take a yoga class, as well as some background on yoga and why it has caught on so well in Queens.

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Staff changes in the western Queens barbecue world

Yvo over at Feisty Foodie shared with us that there has been a change in chef staffing at a couple of local barbecue joints – a move from John Brown to The Strand: “Former John Brown Smokehouse chef de cuisine John Zervoulakos has been named the executive chef of The Strand Smokehouse in Astoria.” This should be pretty interesting and likely amp up the quality of meats at The Strand, which is still a relatively new restaurant. In his new gig, he “plans to develop a uniquely Astoria style of barbecue.” Well, this is something we gotta see!

Here are some of the things you should expect to see at The Strand soon:

He has already crafted new menu items, including salmon smoked over hickory and maple wood that’s then cooled in the fridge to make barbecue lox! He’s also experimenting with slow smoking lamb leg that has been rubbed in fresh Rosemary (John’s Greek family’s influence), making tri-tip sandwiches, and rubbing pork belly with an “in your face” spice mix of cumin, paprika, mustard powder and chili powder. And before long, expect everything from wood-fired beef shoulder to whole hog.

2013 blizzard time lapse

We love time lapse movies and recently viewed this one taken this past weekend – it’s short and sweet and very cool.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UlH9w9Cihs]

Dating – in NYC the straight guys are in LIC, apparently

Trulia took a look at some recent data (culled from the 2010 decennial Census) regarding the ratio of men living alone to women living alone (taking gays and lesbians, and the over-65 set out of the equation), and came to some conclusions about where the datable men and women are. Turns out LIC is one of the best neighborhoods for finding single straight guys; it has one of the highest ratios of men to women in top urban areas. Apparently, neighborhoods in the midst of redevelopment have a higher male population.

We also made some observations in conjunction with the map shared, including more men in western Queens and Ridgewood, and more women in Forest Hills, Glendale, Middle Village, Bay Terrace, and Springfield Gardens.

Interesting stuff. Is this your experience? Let us know via twitter at @queensnycity.

Ethereal shot of the Unisphere

Thanks to the Queens Museum of Art for sharing on their Facebook page this recent photo of the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Image source: Queens Museum of Art

A few more tidbits about the coming 35th Ave gate at Kaufman Astoria Studios

Yesterday we wrote about the new gates coming to 36th Street along the Kaufman Astoria Studios. When we were down there the other day, we wondered how places like The Astor Room were going to manage with a big ol’ gate right there. Would it make getting into the restaurant sort of awkward? We are definitely curious. Mackenzi from We Heart Astoria – and owner of Kaufman’s neighbor SITE – passed on a few details:

“From what I’ve heard- the gate on the 35th Ave end will be quite nice, and open to the public. The plan (is suppose to) allow for outdoor movie screenings at MoMI and an outdoor cafe permit for The Astor Room.”

Love the idea of both outdoor seating at The Astor Room and outdoor movie screenings at MOMI! We look forward to seeing how this all works out.

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Los Verdes yums

The folks from Sunnyside Food checked out Los Verdes last week and gave it a thumbs up. The milkshakes are particularly delicious sounding. Another great thing about this place is that they are open into the wee hours of the morning – 3am on weeknights and 6am on weekends. Nice. We’ll be by soon to try some of their tasty looking Colombian grub.

Beastie Boys and the Unisphere

We love this photo of Mike D, MCA, and Ad-Rock at the Unisphere in 1986.

Image source: Queens County Market

Surge Protector IPA launches tonight

There’s a new beer in town and it’s available tonight at Alewife in LIC – Surge Protector IPA. It’s a project of Sandy Relief Beer, and is the end product of multiple Long Island breweries banding together to make something to help raise money for hurricane relief efforts. Half the proceeds from sales will go to Long Island Cares, a food bank and hunger assistance organization out on the Island. Oceanside’s Barrier Brewing Company will also benefit, since their relatively new brewing space was trashed during Hurricane Sandy, and they are working to start up again (one of the owners is a Queens resident, too). It’s a bit poetic that Alewife is the place to get this beer, as they suffered a lot of damage from the hurricane and are back up in part because of the kindness of friends and strangers. So stop by and have a drink and know that by imbibing, you are helping folks get back on their feet.

Did you know? Why the Rockaways are named so.

From the Rockaway Emergency Plan Facebook page:

The name Rockaway comes from the Native American tribe that lived on the peninsula long before us. “Reckonwacky” and “Reckanawahaha” means “place of laughing waters” and “land of our people” but also “lonely place.

Queens and the Oscars

When we learned about Sunnyside’s own Benh Zeitlin, director of Beasts of the Southern Wild, who has been nominated for two Academy Awards this year, it got us thinking about what other Oscar-winning and Oscar-nominated filmmakers and actors are from Queens. So, we put a list together – it’s pretty impressive. Check it out!

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The cultural icons of Queens – a bridge and a ball

In today’s Question of the Day we asked, “what image best represents Queens?” We got some answers and they all focused around two items – the Queensboro Bride and the Unisphere.

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/sacsplace/status/255669826280902656″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/esoneill/status/255671887718387713″]

Neapolitan pizza is coming to Ditmars

We’ve got an update on the new pizzeria coming to Ditmars in Astoria –  Tufino Pizzeria Napoletena. They will be offering “Specialty wood-fired Neopolitan Pizza” using a Stefano Ferrara wood oven. Menu items include a variety of pizzas (we expect the pizzas to be sold whole, not by the slice, as is the practice with Neapolitan pizzerias), fried treats like arancini, salads, panini, and a few desserts. They’ll be opening soon and we can’t wait.

 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34…

Have you seen the math mural in LIC? DNAinfo reported, “Dozens of kids took to an overpass near the Hunters Point train station last Saturday to show that math can be beautiful – painting a yellow and orange mural of the Fibonacci series to beautify the aging structure.” It’s pretty cool and can be seen on the 49th Avenue bridge (GMAP).

Blissville opens inside Dutch Kills Bar in LIC

A little “pop-in” restaurant called Blissville (the name of another LIC neighborhood, less-used these days than Dutch Kills) has opened inside the acclaimed cocktail bar Dutch Kills and has been open for about a month. They serve grilled cheese sandwiches, abstract BLTs, and cheese plates, among other delicious sounding items. We hear the jerky is fab.

We can hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach

Sure, summer is over, but we can still dream of the beach, thanks to The Ramones.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6siGKxcKol0]

Chewin’ at a rythym on my bubble gum
The sun is out and I want some
Its not hard, not far to reach,
we can hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach