10/22/15 9:30am


The name Ditmars, or Ditmas, appears more than once in the NYC street directory. The Bronx has a Ditmars Street in City Island, while Brooklyn has a Ditmas Avenue through Kensington and namesake Ditmas Park, which turns into Avenue D and then continues as Ditmas through East Flatbush and Brownsville. (more…)

10/13/15 1:00pm

NYC Cupcake Run in Astoria Park

It’s time to put your best foot forward for a great cause and great dessert.

This Saturday (October 17), the third annual NYC Cupcake Run will take place in Astoria Park. The rules are rather simple. Participants will follow a five-kilometer (3.1-mile) course featuring three checkpoints, where they will do some carb-loading with treats from the local Sweets First Bakeshoppe & Cafe.

The harrier who finishes first will be crowned “NYC Cupcake Run Champion,” but the event is mostly non-competitive. Plus, a portion of the $50 registration fee will go to New York Cares, a nonprofit that matches volunteers with altruistic programs. Another photo, more details, and registration information are on the jump page.


09/16/15 12:00pm

Astoria apartment for rent -- 30-89 48th Street

This three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bathroom rental won’t win any design awards — the kitchen cabinets need updating, there’s a pink bathroom and the floors are a little loud, to say the least. But the size, location and price of $2,900 per month make up for it.

Located at 30-89 48th Street, the top-floor unit has a large eat-in kitchen and formal dining room, large living room, and supposedly has two balconies, though only one is pictured. As mentioned, the half-bathroom is filled with pink tiles, but the full bath is perfectly normal looking. (more…)

09/04/15 12:00pm

21-07 38th Street Astoria rental

This cozy one-bedroom Astoria rental is pretty no-frills, but it’s in nice shape at a reasonable $1,950 per month.

The new-looking kitchen has ample counter and cabinet space, thanks to a bi-level countertop that faces out into the living area. There’s not enough room for a full dining set, but there’s space for stools at the counter or maybe a small table along the side of the living room. (more…)

09/01/15 9:30am

Queens' Broadway walking tour

There’s a Broadway in every borough. The most famous runs the length of Manhattan and continues into the Bronx and Yonkers beyond that; another forms the border of Bedford Stuyvesant and Bushwick in Brooklyn; another serves as a spine of West New Brighton in Staten Island and runs past the Staten Island Zoo; and then in Queens, whose Broadway runs from Ravenswood to Elmhurst and serves as one of Long Island City’s key shopping arteries, joining Steinway Street and 30th Avenue.

Queens’ Broadway, which attained its present length only in the early 20th century, is an amalgam of a number of roads: Broadway in Ravenswood ran southeast to the now-demapped Ridge Road near Newtown Road; and the eastern part between Woodside Avenue and Queens Boulevard is the easternmost section of the colonial-era Hellgate Ferry Road, which connected Elmhurst and the East River; twisting Woodside Avenue follows most of its route today. The routes were joined in the years before the new IND subway was routed along a lengthy section from Steinway Street to Queens Boulevard in the 1930s.


08/12/15 1:40pm


It began with “Twist and Shout,” hit a crescendo with “Ticket to Ride,” and ended with “I’m Down.” It was the best attended concert of its kind at the time (55,600 fans) and five years after the fact, John Lennon described it as the highlight of his career, saying: “I saw the top of the mountain.”

On August 15, 1965, The Beatles performed at Shea Stadium as part of the Fab Four’s 1965 tour of the United States. Beforehand, John, Paul, George, and Ringo landed in Flushing Meadows Corona Park via helicopter from Manhattan. They then got prepared in the visiting baseball team’s locker, and took the stage to an adoring crowd at a time when screaming was becoming the norm at live shows.

On August 19, 2015, the Greater Astoria Historical Society will celebrate the concert’s 50th anniversary with a special, interactive lecture at QED Astoria. GAHS Vice President Richard Melnick, who co-wrote the book “Images of America: The East River,” and friends will wax nostalgically about the memorable night with personal testimonies, concert footage, and a special guest speaker who is currently unidentified. The event will include a Q&A session.

Details: Beatles at Shea, QEDC Astoria, 27-16 23rd Avenue, Astoria, August 19, 7 pm, $10, reserve a spot by emailing QEDAstoria@gmail.com.

Photo by QED Astoria

08/05/15 12:00pm


This studio rental is part of Santorini, a six-story apartment building right on the border of Astoria and LIC. The kitchen has dark wood cabinets below and clean white cabinets above the counters which is an interesting contrast to the light wood floors. The appliances are stainless steel, and there is a dishwasher and built-in microwave.

The studio covers 460 square feet. The building has a common roof deck and courtyard, a children’s playroom, a fitness center, and an outdoor play area. There is laundry on each floor, and the building offers indoor on-site parking. The monthly rent is $1,950.

The N and Q trains and the Q66 and Q102 buses are around the corner, and the M and R trains are about a ten-minute walk away. There are multiple grocery stores and many restaurants to choose from in the area, and there are schools and playgrounds nearby too. Click through for more photos.

35-40 30th Street, #5D [Douglas Elliman] GMAP (more…)

07/29/15 1:00pm

Ryan Muir (hi-res)

If you can’t beat them, make your own show. After a second-place finish on a Jeopardy! episode, Noah Tarnow created The Big Quiz Thing, a team-based, multi-generational trivia contest in 2002. With questions about geography, history, pop culture, science, and sports, teams (sometimes families) compete against each other — with audience participation at times — in such categories as the Lightning Round and the Text Message Challenge. There are “Smart-Ass Points” for entertaining-but-incorrect answers.

On August 4, Quiz Thing will begin a residency at Q.E.D., an eclectic cafe/working space/hang out spot in Astoria. During the kick-off, Tarnow will divide the audience into groups that will compete using an interactive app/website with tablets and smartphones. Shows will continue on the first Tuesday of each month (September 1, October 6, etc.) with no confirmed end date.

NThashtag-Ryan Muir

Details: The Big Quiz Thing, Q.E.D., 27-16 23rd Avenue, Astoria, August 4, 7:30 pm, $8 in advance/$10 at the door.

Photos by Ryan Muir

07/14/15 9:30am


Astoria. Ditmars Boulevard. The subway signs on the R train advertised these outlandish, far-off locales as I boarded it in Bay Ridge, back when I lived there for the better part of three decades. But I never really thought to trouble this northwest section of Queens until I actually moved to the borough a couple of decades ago. (more…)

07/10/15 1:00pm


You won’t believe your ears or your pocketbooks. Queens is about to experience a streak of fantastic, free, outdoor concerts over the next five days. Listeners will be able to bring their folding chairs, blankets, and dancing shoes to Flushing, Long Island City, Queensbridge, and Sunnyside and enjoy everything from hip hop to polka to R&B. George Clinton, Parliament Funkadelic, and the Chi-Lites are the biggest acts, but some performers, such as minimalist musician Florent Ghys (above), are masters of lesser-known genres.

Here is the schedule:

  • The Glukh Polka Band plays polkas, waltzes, and polonaises at Flushing Town Hall on July 12 at 2 pm.
  • Florent Ghys mixes minimalist music with classical forms, musique concrète, and even clapping and hair dryers as part of the Bang on a Can series at Noguchi Museum on July 12 at 3 pm.
  • The Chi-Lites, a group from the 1970s Chicago scene that was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in 2000, kicks off the borough’s SummerStage series at Queensbridge Park on July 14 at 7 pm.
  • Gerard Carelli & His Orchestra do a wide variety of swing music in Juniper Valley Park on July 14 at 7 pm.
  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, bring their unique funk to Queensbridge Park as part of SummerStage on July 15 at 7 pm.
  • Yesterday and Today, a Beatles tribute band, jams near the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park on July 15 at 7 pm.
  • Large Professor, a hip hop star from Flushing, and Marley Marl, a hip hop star from Queensbridge, take the stage at Queensbridge Park as part of SummerStage on July 16 at 7 pm.
  • Alí Bello & The Sweet Wire Band perform Latin jazz fusion in Sunnyside’s Bliss Plaza on July 16 at 6:30 pm.
  • Soul Inscribed plays a mix of hip hop, dub, funk, and soul, while Jennifer Cendaña Armas tells diaspora stories as part of SummerStage in Queensbridge Park on July 17 at 7 pm.

Photo by Florent Ghys