04/24/13 10:00am

There’s something special about a bicycle shop. From the attentive service and professional advice, a pro bike shop can outfit you with the custom bipedal ride of your dreams. Proper fitting and selection is always an issue, so you want the right bike for the job at the right size whether off-roading, touring, or just a joyride. But let’s face it: frequent use can lead to a lot of wear and tear, sometimes wheels get dented or pedals fall off. Rest assure, most large and small shops are full service offering a variety of assistance after the sale from tune-ups to parts replacement and repair whether for adults, kids, or professional cyclists.

It doesn’t matter if you’re cycling the entire Queens Green Belt or simply commuting to work, there’s a professional bicycle shop each with it’s own style, specialization, and deals so shop around. The weather outside is getting warmer and it’s time to ride. Visit one of these shops for a great experience:

  • Roberts Bicycles. For over forty years Roberts Bicycles of Bayside has been outfitting the community with hand-built models and a wide selection from BMX to mountain bikes to baby bikes and everything in between. Roberts Bicycles has something to suit the most consummate tastes including helmets and apparel. Trained technicians are on staff to answer your questions and guide you through the selection process.



  • Peak Bikes. Offering free tune ups for life, Peak Bicycle Pro Shop of Douglaston focuses on the mountain bike crowd. Walk in and staff are eager to talk up bikes while the cycling community often gather here to organize rides in nearby Cunningham Park. Order a custom model, or restore your childhood cruiser.



  • Spin City Cycle. Located in Forest Hills, Spin City Cycles encourages customers to come in for a test ride on all of their models. With cycling being such a popular activity in Queens, sometimes a repair shop can be backlogged, so for those eager to get back in the saddle minus the wait, Spin City promises to repair your bicycle in 48 hours or less.



  • Bellitte Bicycles. You can’t go wrong shopping at the oldest bicycle store in the United States. Since 1918, Bellitte Bicycles of Jamaica has been family owned and operated offering 5,000 models to choose from. Service is a top priority at this huge shop but their low price guarantee is known to draw in customers for over 90 years.



  • Tony’s Bicycles. Tony’s Bicycles of Astoria has an excellent track record in the cycling community. All of their mechanics are factory trained and certified by companies like Trek, GT, Cannondale, Giant, and many more. Founded in the 1970’s, this bicycle shop is known for their commitment to value and service.

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  • Bike Stop. While visiting Bike Stop you’ll find a wide selection from BMX to road bikes, even bicycles built for two. An eclectic staff offers expertise from different specialties all the while promising the only thing you’ll have to worry about is peddling. The site offers a comprehensive newbies guide to just about every subject ranging from parts and accessories to how to guides such as a buyer’s guide to rechargeable lighting systems.

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04/17/13 11:00am

From hip boutiques to budget chains, Long Island City has become a hotel hotspot in the past few years. These hotels provide reasonably priced accommodations compared to the often out-of-reach rates tourists and business travelers encounter across the East River. Add in the views of and proximity to Manhattan, plus the art galleries, museums, and other companies and organizations in LIC, and it can be quite a good deal.

There are currently 20 hotels open for business in the neighborhood, and there may be more coming in soon. Most of the existing hotels were built within the last seven years, and some opened as recently as the summer of 2012.

Hotels in Hunters Point

This thriving section of Long Island City, south of Queens Boulevard and near the waterfront, is home to two stylish boutique hotels. The Ravel Hotel, right next to the Queensboro Bridge, boasts a huge rooftop restaurant and lounge with views of the Manhattan skyline.

Ravel Hotel LIC
Image Source: Ravel Hotel


Ravel Rooftop Restaurant and lounge
Image Source: Ravel Hotel

A few blocks east, the Z NYC Hotel offers conveniences like free shuttle transportation to and from Manhattan.

Image Source: Z Hotel

Besides these boutique hotels that have made a splash, there are two other hotels in this area. The Wyndham Garden is further south, just a few blocks from newly designed Gantry Plaza State Park.



Image source: Pharaoh’s Army Fitness

The folks from Pharaoh’s Army Fitness contacted us about their new gym opening up in Forest Hills in early April. But this is no ordinary gym – you won’t find barbells, stability balls, or cardio equipment. Instead, it’s a relatively open space with Monkey Bars, TRX’s, a lane of turf for sled pushing, and kettlebells. In their words, “Kinda like playground for adults.”


03/11/13 9:00am

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Image Source: Z Hotel

From now on, it’s all fun and games at Z Hotel on Tuesday nights. On March 12, the LIC botique hotel will launch a weekly promotion that mixes board games, specialty drinks, karaoke, Spanish food, socializing and special room rates. The Z’s new $7 Tuesday night cocktails have such names as Game Changer, Get on Board, Monopoly Melon Mojito, Karaoke Coconut Cosmo and White Chocolate Check Mate Martini. The hotel’s Tuesday tapas menu will feature a buy-one-get-one-half-off deal. Chess, backgammon and Monopoly will take place along with a competitive game of Karaoke with prizes for the best singer of the night. And if that’s not enough, Z will offer a special rate of $175 for a hotel room and, from 6:45-11:45pm, will provide free transportation to the hotel from the following locations: 47-20 Center Blvd.; Vernon Blvd. and 50th St.; 47th Rd. and Vernon Blvd.; and 46th Rd. and Vernon Blvd.

Game Night at Z Hotel NYC
Z Hotel NYC
11-01 43rd Avenue, Long Island City
Tuesday, March 12
7pm – 11:45pm | $7 for signature drinks

02/27/13 9:00am


Image Source: Entrepreneur Space

Terrible twos? Not in these parts! All are invited to LIC to celebrate the Entrepreneur Space’s second birthday! In addition to networking with roughly 300 others, attendees will be able to sample and purchase a wide array of products made by clients of this food-and-business incubator. Expect everything from designer marshmallows to gluten-free baked goods to pigs-in-a-blanket to vegetarian seitan gyros. Plus, Coffeed, a new café located near the E-Space, will provide coffee and other treats, while Delta will raffle two free, round-trip tickets to anywhere in the United States. The E-Space officially opened on Jan. 19, 2011 (above photo). A partnership with the Queens Economic Development Corporation and the NYC Economic Development Corporation, this 12,500-sq.-ft. hub features a fully equipped commercial kitchen, offices and classrooms that entrepreneurs can rent at below-market rates as they build their businesses. And if all this isn’t reason enough, this blog, QNYC, is the event’s media sponsor!

E-Space’s Second Birthday Bash
Entrepreneur Space
36-46 47th Street, LIC
Wednesday, March 6
6pm – 9pm | Free


Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Local businesses in Sunnyside have banded together to offer some great deals this Valentine’s Day. Check them out! Thanks to Sunnyside Shines for the info.

Sunnyside businesses are gearing up for Valentine’s Day.  More than fifteen businesses (and counting) are offering deals to shoppers and diners on or before February 14, including special prix fixe dinners, gifts, services and drink specials.

Regina Tunney, owner of Pure Spa and Salon, one of the participating businesses, is offering discounted facials, massages and other treatments like a “Love Hurts” waxing special and a “Kiss and Make Up” makeup application in advance of a hot date.  “We are excited to offer Valentine’s Day specials,” Tunney said, “our most popular treatment this year is our Pure Love massage package which includes a couples massage, complimentary Champagne and chocolates.”

Rachel Thieme, executive director of the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District said: “It’s possible to completely shop and dine locally in the neighborhood this Valentine’s Day.  The first stop could be a delicious prix fixe dinner, followed by a nightcap at one of our local pubs, and topped off with roses or gifts from one of the participating businesses.


02/13/13 9:00am

VDImage Source: Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel

Tony Bennett might have left his heart in San Francisco and Virginia might be for lovers, but Queens is romantic royalty. On Valentine’s Day, the borough will overflow with enchanting places to stay, eat, giggle, listen or dance the night away. In fact, there are so many options that QNYC can only report a few of them and parts of their offers.


02/09/13 9:00am
Images Source: Z Hotel

Sometimes good things happen to good — and bad — people. For the entire month of February, the Z Hotel is offering a Valentine’s Day-inspired Naughty or Nice package. (The Long Island City boutique property is not going to pass judgment, so it’s up to the consumers to judge themselves.) The Naughty deal includes accommodations in a Queen Room (like the one above); a box of trinkets upon check-in, including edible underwear, handcuffs, a tickle feather and blindfolds; a book of erotic games; chocolate strawberries; champagne; and breakfast in bed. Rates start at $245. Meanwhile, the Nice components include accommodations in a Queen Room; champagne and a dozen roses upon check-in; an in-room massage for two; and breakfast in bed. Rates start at $395. Plus, both packages can be upgraded to include a King room (like the one below) for an extra $30. Plus, on February 14, the Z Restaurant will offer a Valentine’s Day dinner special.

Z Hotel New York
11-01 43rd Avenue, Long Island City
Entire Month of February
12pm – 12pm | $245 +
02/07/13 9:00am


Images Source: Rudy’s Bakery and Café

Those who have problems deciding between the flourless chocolate cake with milk chocolate sabayon, the red velvet whoopie pie with cream cheese filling and the milk chocolate panna cotta with vanilla cream don’t need to fret anymore. On February 8, Rudy’s Bakery and Café will host a Valentine’s Day Chocolate Lovers Tasting with three separate, hour-long sessions — 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 — through the night. In addition to the previously mentioned desserts, patrons can savor the chocolate cheesecake with fresh raspberries, the dark chocolate covered strawberry with white chocolate drizzle or other decadent delights. Since 1934, Rudy’s has been famous for its desserts and coffee, but the Ridgewood favorite has built a reputation for its entrees over the years. So event attendees don’t have to indulge on an empty stomach.

Valentine’s Day Chocolate Lovers Tasting
Rudy’s Pastry Shop
905 Seneca Avenue, Ridgewood
Friday, February 8
7:30pm – 10:30pm | $15

01/11/13 3:00pm

Compost Bins at Sunnyside Greenmarket Western Queens Compost Initiative

It’s easier than ever for Queens residents to green their routines, thanks to the increasing number of compost initiatives around the borough. Several libraries, Greenmarkets, community gardens, and other organizations have become drop-off sites for your kitchen scraps, so that your food waste doesn’t have to go into the landfill.

If you’re ready to go green in 2013, here are the many locations you can bring food/plant scraps to be composted. Most of these drop-off sites are open year round, and more locations will be added soon.

Long Island City

LIC Community Garden – 49th Avenue, between Vernon Blvd and 5th Street (GMAP)
Sundays, 10:00am-1:00pm

Long Island City CSA, Hour Children – 36-49 11th Street (GMAP)
January 19 and February 2, 10:00am-2:00pm