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First, it’s February!

Well, we are one month into 2013, if you can believe it. This month we have Groundhog Day (tomorrow), Lunar New Year (Feb 10), Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent (Feb 13), Valentine’s Day (Feb 14), Presidents Day (Feb 18). Makes the month seem crowded already.

And it’s First Friday at the Noguchi Museum today

Our friends at TF Cornerstone wrote a nice piece about how today is First Friday at the Noguchi Museum. This means pay-as-you-wish admission, extended hours (5-8pm) with special programming, and a cash bar with wine and beer. The programming tonight includes “Center of Attention,” an extended conversation around a single work of art at 6pm, and Art21 episodes featuring contemporary artists at 7pm. And if you live in East Coast, TF Cornerstone is sponsoring free shuttle transportation to this months’ event. A winning combination!

Goodbye, Ed Koch

We learned this morning that Ed Koch has passed and is moving on to his next adventure. He leaves quite a legacy – including his name on a bridge, the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. And on that topic, here’s a hilarious video featuring Ed Koch being a most excellent version of Ed Koch.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Xkw-Cgdb6k]

We also want to share Astoria Haiku’s tribute to Ed Koch as well.

#RIP Ed Koch/
Mayor from my childhood/
Gritty New Yorker

Queens has the goods… the baked goods, that is

Anne Shisler-Hughes has written a wonderful piece on two excellent bakeries in Queens – Cannelle Patisserie in Jackson Heights and La Boulangerie in Forest Hills. Both bakeries are run by people from Brittany, a region of France in the northwest corner. At Cannelle and La Boulangerie you’ll find the celebrated Gâteau Breton – a delicious buttery almond cake – as well as croissants, baguettes, and other wonderful things. The local message boards are dotted with folks raving about both places. Definitely worth checking out.

A hidden Victorian house in Astoria

We absolutely love the story of this “hidden house” in Astoria. You can’t see it from the street, really (we know, because we’ve tried – twice in the last day or so), but you can see it on an aerial map and apparently from the platform of the Ditmars elevated subway stop. It’s essentially situated behind Teddy’s Florist – there’s a door on the left by the storefront that we expect leads you to the house. It’s a Victorian home and has a lot of period charm. George Halvatzis, of Halvatzis Realty, sometimes shows the property to potential buyers and says, ”In my 32 years as a real estate agent in Astoria, I’ve never encountered such a unique property.” So yes, it’s for sale, in case you’re wondering.

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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).

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Welcome to The Insider, Brownstoner’s Thursday series exploring how we furnish and decorate our homes here in the county of Kings. The Insider is produced and written by Cara Greenberg, a longtime Brooklyn resident and design journalist who blogs at casaCARA: Old Houses for Fun and Profit.

She loves color; he literally can’t see it. She came to the relationship with dark wood furniture and velvet upholstery; he’s a fan of mid-20th century design. When Tove Hermanson, a fashion culture writer and blogger, and Jeffrey Leib, a database consultant, both refugees from Manhattan, moved into their first shared apartment — a rented upper duplex in an 1850s Pacific Street brownstone — this was the unconventional result.

The living room is lavender, the dining room red, the kitchen orange, the bedroom green, and the study/guest room blue. “To me, it was important not to have white walls,” says Tove (pronounced Tova) in a masterpiece of understatement. “Jeffrey is color-blind, so we had to negotiate what he could see and what didn’t look hideous to him.” Their furnishings range from “industrial/do-it-yourself” and late Victoriana to Design Within Reach.

Details and photos on the jump.