Archive for July, 2008

Queens Outdoor Events- Dragon Boat Festival Dumpling Eating Contest & Jamaica Jams Festival

Posted on July 31, 2008. Filed under: Entertainment, Flushing/Corona, Off the beaten path, Outdoor Seating/Patio |

Experience the ethnicity of Queens with these outdoor cultural events!

Friday/Saturday Aug 1st-JAMS Under the Stars in Jamaica 6pm-10pm- King Park – 89th Ave. between 150th on 153rd Streets Featuring diverse live world music to kick off the JAMS festival going on all day Saturday Aug 2.

Saturday Aug. 2/3 Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival Flushing Meadows Park- 9am-6pm Take the 7 train to Willets Point Shea Stadium for a weekend of cultural enlightenment. This event includes live world music, traditional Chinese arts and crafts, martial arts demonstrations,  and more.  To learn more about the history of the event click here. Some of the schedule highlights includeSaturday 8/2 11:30am Dragon Dancing Team, 4pm Calpulli Mexican Dance Company. Sunday 8/3 highlights- 10:30am Traditional Chinese Orchestral music, 12pm Dumpling eating contest with cash prizes!

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Winegasm Wine bar and restaurant Astoria

Posted on July 28, 2008. Filed under: Astoria, Bar-Hopping in Queens, Brunch, Date Spot/ Romantic, Fine Dining, French, Pan European, Wine Tasting | Tags: |

Winegasm (31-86 37th St 718-932-3331) is a classy low-key eatery that brings the heart of Europe to central Astoria. The rustic wooden decor is simple yet elegant, just like the vibe of the restaurant. There is nothing flashy about Winegasm. With wines hailing from France, Italy, Argentina, Russia, Spain and California, it leans more on the side of sophistication rather than snobbery. Service is friendly and the staff is knowledgeable. The unique selection of wines ranges in price as does the rest of the menu.  The food is a European fusion of creativity. If you’re looking for small plates to accompany your drinks, Winegasm offers a variety of Socas- tapas friendly cousin from France. There is a delectable choice of cheeses, meats, savory bacon wrapped prunes, warm olives, arugula and feta and chablis shrimp. There are hearty panino and salads for light meals. For more substantial fare, try one of the main courses like skirt steak with cheese, sauteed chicken or pan seared salmon. The crab-cakes are rich and full of taste– and small enough to leave just enough room for the deliciously warm cheese cake. The wine-by-the-glass selection is reasonable, but you’re better off ordering by the bottle- as the selection is much larger. Winegasm also offers brunch specials. The citrus infused pancakes with caramelized apples and berries will send you into a pancake-asm. Choose from the buttery crusted quiche lorraine or florentine with a baby green salad or smoked salmon on multi-grain toast. There are also the conventional egg dishes, socas or croque madame or monsieur- Frances traditional breakfast sandwiches. Winegasm is definitely worth the trip for low key sophisticated fare in a friendly environment. Happy hours run from Tuesday-Saturday 5-7 and wine tasting on Thursday evenings 7-9- Around the World in Seven Wines

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Music Now, Farm Markets & Mad Hot Ballroom

Posted on July 25, 2008. Filed under: Astoria, Entertainment, LIC |

Long Island City Farm Market– Though this little side street market is still building its list of vendors, show your support for the locals on Saturday morning by heading over to Vernon Blvd and 49th Ave to buy some freshly grown veggies. Then prepare a picnic and head over to Astoria Park for some free live music…

Astoria Park is hosting the first annual music and arts festival Saturday July 26 Astoria Music Now. Featuring 10 bands of music ranging from surf to soul to singer song writer to indie rock. Join the fun from 1-8pm in Astoria Park to hear great live music for free and mingle with the locals. 

Hell Gate Social– After the live music- Saturday night, head over to 12-21 12th St & Astoria Blvd to the trend the trendy Hell Gate Social Bar. Hear DJ Bella Donna and DJ Scandal or sit in the outdoor patio. Sunday night its free B movies- July 27th 8:30pm features 3 o’clock High

Clear View Festival Street Fair in Astoria begins Sunday afternoon between 47th-Steinway streets on Broadway. Join the fun with food and drinks from various cultures.

Monday Night Movies Astoria Park– Set up camp around sun-down to watch the critically acclaimed Mad Hot Ballroom. A documentary about a group of NYC elementary school kids challenging each other in a ballroom dance competition.

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We Need Girlfriends (and free beer) LIC Bar Pilot Show Screening

Posted on July 23, 2008. Filed under: Entertainment, LIC, Off the beaten path |

Queens is the place to be if you want to be in pictures… or at least watch them being filmed. Gossip Girl clogs the sidewalks on Vernon Blvd more than residents can stand now-a-days. Law and Order has had its share of murder chases in Astoria. Ugly Betty sets up stage in LIC and now at Astoria’s very own Bistro 33 and rents furniture from the neighborhood’s beloved Furniture Market thrift store on 23rd street and Astoria Blvd. But now we- the community of Queens- are finally able to watch the magic happen… without getting kicked off the set. Well sort of…

LIC Bar on Vernon Blvd and 45th Street in LIC is having a screening party on Thursday July 24th for a new pilot series called We Need Girlfriends. The fun begins at 8pm and runs until midnight. Join cast members and creators of the series soon to be a new CBS show. Grab a beer (free Radeberger Pilsner from 8-9pm) and stay for the first season…


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Outdoor summer music, culture and dance in Queens

Posted on July 11, 2008. Filed under: Astoria, Entertainment, LIC, Outdoor Seating/Patio |

Summer days unleash an unbearable heat, but another animal lurks in the cool hours of the night. When the sun sets in Queens, entertainment is abound. Live music, dance and culture overflows the borough inside and out. Queens eating and drinking outdoors… and entertainment.

Jamaica Center for Arts  (161-04 Jamaica Ave) and Learning celebrates culture and art with Diego Medina’s Construction of Cultures. This is an exhibition series of images and wood sculptures through July 24th. 

Water Taxi Beach in LIC (2nd Street & Borden Ave)- Listen to Turn Tables on the Hudson DJ series every Friday night- July 11th featuring King Britt funk and soul.

PS1– Just a step away from Water Taxi Beach in Long Island City is the off-shoot of MoMA- PS1. Check out the gallery exhibitions until 6pm daily- and Saturday Warm-ups every weekend 3-9pm.

Forest Park Live Music events in Woodhaven (Boulevard at Forest Park Drive, Woodhaven, Queens) Features Soul old skool style in the Bandshell. FREE live performances include July 11th 6pm Tribute to the Oldies, Thursday July 17th serenades you at 7pm with the classic Four Tops, Temptations and Souled Out. Want to make your own music? Join the fun on July 18th 6pm for karaoke at the park!

Jamaica (Queens that is…) Downtown Jamaica Cultural District kicks off the season with Jamaica Funk– an on-going concert series at the Airtrain and 165th St Pedestrian Mall. Check out the live local music events.

Astoria Park Waterfront concert series every Thursday night is the perfect way to kick start the weekend. These energy filled events begin around 7:30pm and rock the park until the mosquitoes come out. Also be sure to check out Monday Movie Night in the park.  Families, friends, elders and children mingle with the locals making the neighborhood a true community. 

Long Island City Live at the Gantries– The first annual concert series on the LIC riverfront offers a variety of international acts. Every Tuesday at 7pm head to the water to watch performances including Peruvian, Irish, Indie rock, Mexican dance, and Chinese music.

Camerino 4 Mexican Dance Company performs July 31st at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center in Long Island City. Mexican dance combining theater of the absurd.

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July 4th… 7th and 11th in Queens

Posted on July 3, 2008. Filed under: Astoria, Entertainment, LIC |

Everyone in New York knows the Macy’s fireworks display is the best in the city, but some of the best views are in Queens. Here are a few things to do during the long weekend…

Long Island City offers great views of the fireworks at the Water Taxi Beach– reserve seats ahead of time for a small fee of $25-

Don’t forget to check out other LIC views- from the boardwalk near the Water’s Edge restaurant at the East River and 44th Drive. Also check out Gantry Plaza State Park for great views of downtown Manhattan.

Roosevelt Island offers views- but beware, it can become overcorwded. Pack a picnic and be sure to set up camp hours before the display to avoid obstructed views. Take the F train or the Tram (from Manhattan) There are plenty of events going- to get a full list check out

Looking to get a drink or food before/after the festivites- check out these bars/restaruants with outdoor patios-

LIC- Outdoor patios available at– The Creek and the Cave (10-93 Jackson blvd), LIC Bar, Dominie’s Hoek, Lounge 47- all on Vernon blvd btwn 50th st and 45th streets) Take 7 train to Vernon Blvd

Astoria- Patios are available at- Bohemian Beer Garden (24th Ave and 29th st) for cheap grub and beer on tap.

Agnanti (Ditmars blvd corner of Astoria Park) for authentic greek food with park views.

Hell Gate SocialDon’t feel like hustling through the crowds? Watch fireworks on the outdoor movie screen at Hell Gate Social (Astoria blvd 12th st) for trendy outdoor drinks on Friday July 4th. Eat free BBQ and get drink specials including $5 sangria, and happy hour until 7pm. Doors will open at 2pm.

Cavo-There is also the super trendy Cavo Cafe & Lounge (42-18 at 31st Ave) with DJs playing greek dance music all night Fridays and Saturdays.

Thinking about bbq-ing yourself? Take a trip to Flushing Meadows Park and set up your grill in Meadow Lake (the only area that permits bbq)

Don’t forget- Astoria Park offers FREE festivites well after the holiday weekend- Monday July 7th is outdoor movie night- set up a blanket and watch a film. If movies aren’t your thing- Friday July 11th get romatic and listen to classic love songs of The Duprees at 7:30pm

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