The Astoria Holiday Tiny Market is coming to Crescent Wines & Spirits in Astoria this Saturday 12/5 from 1-6 PM!  This craft market has been curated with five local Queens-based vendors to be a one-stop-shop for holiday gifts and parties covering treats, cards, gifts and wines.   The vendors:   Chocolate Dances (dancers making artisanal chocolate)  Silly Reggie (greeting card designer with funny cards)  Single Girl Cookies (yummy chocolate chip cookies and tons of kindness)  WidyCat (greeting cards, calendars and handmade gifts)  Crescent Wines (great wine selection)  These are some great Queens vendors – keep the local love going even after Small Business Saturday!   Crescent Wines - 20-40 30th. Ave @ Crescent Street

The Astoria Holiday Tiny Market is coming to Crescent Wines & Spirits in Astoria this Saturday 12/5 from 1-6 PM!

This craft market has been curated with five local Queens-based vendors to be a one-stop-shop for holiday gifts and parties covering treats, cards, gifts and wines.

The vendors:

Chocolate Dances (dancers making artisanal chocolate)

Silly Reggie (greeting card designer with funny cards)

Single Girl Cookies (yummy chocolate chip cookies and tons of kindness)

WidyCat (greeting cards, calendars and handmade gifts)

Crescent Wines (great wine selection)

These are some great Queens vendors – keep the local love going even after Small Business Saturday!

Crescent Wines - 20-40 30th. Ave @ Crescent Street

Our inaugural HOQ Ambassador post is from Connie at  QueensStomp , our Long Island City & Dutch Kills Ambassador:  Photographers, architecture buffs & starry-eyed brides already know about the magical Metropolitan Building, a century-old alleged former ammunition factory & must-see on any Queens aficionado’s bucket list. 
 Check out their weekly open house on Saturdays from 10:00am to 2:00pm to explore three enchanting and distinct floors; most fun is the shabby-chic Versailles third floor with its endless mirrors and antique sitting rooms splayed by views of Big Allis, Silvercup Studios and the Queensboro Bridge.

Our inaugural HOQ Ambassador post is from Connie at QueensStomp, our Long Island City & Dutch Kills Ambassador:

Photographers, architecture buffs & starry-eyed brides already know about the magical Metropolitan Building, a century-old alleged former ammunition factory & must-see on any Queens aficionado’s bucket list.

Check out their weekly open house on Saturdays from 10:00am to 2:00pm to explore three enchanting and distinct floors; most fun is the shabby-chic Versailles third floor with its endless mirrors and antique sitting rooms splayed by views of Big Allis, Silvercup Studios and the Queensboro Bridge.

Rockaway Beach: Labor Day Weekend

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If you feel like the summer has just flown by and you haven’t had your fair share of beach time yet, head on over to Rockaway this weekend.  Depending on where you decide to settle, there’s tons of stuff to do (other than sunbathe).  This is by no means a comprehensive guide to Rockaway–just a few of our favorites (links to more Rockaway guides at the end, including a bar guide by Rockawayist)!


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If you’re going to…

116th Street

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  • Do some shopping along 116th Street at stores like The Gift is Love (accessories & home goods), Blue Bungalow (jewelry & beachy home goods), and Rockaway Beach Surf Shop (surf & beach gear).
  • Grab coffee, breakfast, and a beach snack at Cuisine by Claudette’s.  They have great coffee and daily homemade specials using local ingredients (local as close as Edgemere farm in Rockaway!) for breakfast and lunch.  Rockaway Bagel on 113th and Beach Channel Drive has bagels and……. bacon + onion cream cheese!
  • Pay your respects at the Rockaway Tribute Park, a stunning 9/11 memorial overlooking the bay and the Manhattan skyline, and the Flight 587 Memorial back towards the beach, which pays tribute to the fatal plane crash in Belle Harbor in November of 2001.
  • Forgot some of your beach essentials? Roggoff’s Card and Gifts on 116th has towels, boogie boards, sunscreen, beach toys.
  • If you’re lucky enough to have friends/family in Rockaway and will be heading to a BBQ, pick up some quality meats at Curran’s  Superior on 116th for some burgers to grill up.
  • If you’re up for a little bit of a walk, head down to 129th Street to PICO and feast on brisket tacos (the burger is also spectacular, according to some) and sip a Rockaway Beach Girl cocktail.  Jameson’s is also on the same block, giving you some great pub food (get the mac and cheese or burger).

106th-108th Street

  • Take some iced coffee and a sandwich out to the beach from Boardwalk Bagels on 108th.
  • Wait in line & then eat a delicious arepa at Caracas Arepa Bar at 106th Street (we’re partial to the pernil).  They also have a bunch of Labor Day festivities going on including a Caribbean tunes kick-off tonight (8/29) and live band Bad Sign (classic rock & blues) on Saturday 8/30 6-9pm.
  • Take a walk down to 108th and have a drink at Healy’s or Dalton’s.

The 90s

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  • Take a quick break from the sun and walk less than a block down 92nd to devour a gourmet ice cream sandwich at Holland Helado.  OR if you’re not really feeling the whole “leaving the beach” part, they will deliver right to the beach if you text Chris at 347-554-1477.  See their write-up here and check them out on Unique Sweets soon! Photo above courtesy of Holland Helado.
  • If you don’t mind waiting in a ridiculous lineRockaway Taco’s fish tacos are absolutely delicious.
  • Shop at Rockaway’s very own mobile boutique End of the A! The pink trunk will be parked on Shorefront Parkway b/w 96th & 98th on Sat 8/30 & Sun 8/31.
  • Drink beer at Low Tide Bar and eat salteñas at Bolivian Llama Party (one of the Vendy Award finalists!)  Shore Decor will be having a pop-up shop at Low Tide Bar on Sat 8/30  There’s also a DJ dance party tonight 8/29 from 6-10pm.
  • Shake the sand off and go have a sit-down dinner (or lunch) at Uma’s for some Uzbeki home cooking (read more about Uma’s) or Sayra’s Wine Bar for some yummy pulled pork sandwiches.  Sayra’s will also have live bands and $18 buckets of Budweiser and Bud Light all weekend!
  • Get lost in the beautiful bay view of the Manhattan skyline at Bungalow Bar - order a frozen drink and order the pretzel sticks!
  • Get your Thai fix at Thai Rock (right next to Bungalow Bar) where you can also go during the day to JetSki (get the Groupon here).
  • Shop for some surf gear (you’re so close to the surfer’s beach on 90th) at Boarders on 92nd.
  • Drink a frozen out of a Styrofoam cup and have an overall great time at Connolly’s last weekend of the season.  Twitter star @MATTisWHITE will be tending bar tonight 8/29.  They also have some homemade (by Wanda) empanadas that are killer on the late night.
  • Get your hip on at the Playland Motel on 97th & Rockaway Beach Blvd- great vibes and some yummy food (Bolivian Llama is there too evenings Fri-Sun!)

86th Street

  • Everyone says to get the fries at Ripper’s (also some great burgers) on 86th and the Boardwalk.
  • Take a walk down 87th (towards the bay) and hit an enclave of cool at Rockaway Beach Surf Club.  Really cool bar and outdoor space with a food truck (takes awhile to get your food but have a beer and you won’t even notice!)

Some great Rockaway Resources:

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Thanks to my good friend + colleague + Rockaway native Bridget for her wonderful additions to this list (follow her on Twitter) and of course my sister, Liz!

End Of The A: The Rockaway Beach Mobile Boutique has Arrived

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I recently chatted with Beth and Tara, the creative duo behind the new Rockaway Beach Mobile Boutique, End Of The A.  Cleverly named for the last stop on the A train, the End Of The A started as a blog and evolved into an idea for a mobile boutique.

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The idea developed in November and quickly gave way to participation in the Queens Economic Development Corporation’s StartUP! Business Plan Competition, which offers classes for small business entrepreneurs.  They brought their business plan to life by getting the thing they needed most: a truck.

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The former pool truck, purchased from a local Howard Beach pool company, has been transformed into a tiny beach bungalow filled with unique and handmade accessories, home decor, skin care products, and more.

Expect to see some beautiful pottery by Astoria-based Monica Freisem, custom sea glass necklaces by Rockaway native Wanderinglaur, and some ‘city and sea lifestyle’ jewelry from NYC-based designer Adlin Deliz of York Surf.

So hop on the A this Memorial Day Weekend and take it to the end…

End Of The A

Opening Day: Sunday, May 25, 2014
Check their Twitter @EndOfTheA for their location on Sunday!

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Go say hi to Tara and Beth this MDW!

Things we loved this week...

Happy Friday!  Here are a few of the best things to hit the HOQ social media feeds this week:

  • Queens Beer Week still has lots of events going on this weekend– closing ceremonies are in Astoria on 4/27 (read more)
  • 50th Anniversary of the 1964/5 World’s Fair plus New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona park named a “National Treasure” (read more)
  • Queens Courier announced the winners of the “Best of the Boro” for Restaurants and Bars (read more)
  • You can win 2 free tickets to the Queens Taste event on April 29th (read more)
  • Transmitter Brewery, new microbrewery, opened in LIC (read more)
  • QNS Made Kickstarter campaign was successfully funded! (read more)
  • LIC:living has new white earrings that I need now (see more)

Fabulous Finds at the Flea

LIC Flea is back this weekend and there’s lots of great old and new vendors to explore.  Here were some of our favorites this weekend:

  • cork buds - they repurpose wine and champagne corks into mini planters for succulents!  So cute! ($8 each or 3/$20)

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  • queens88 (formerly queens77) - It’s always great chatting with Christina, the artist who creates the fabulous tees and other accessories.

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A Succulent Grows in Queens

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Liza Fiorentinos, owner of Luludi’s Living Frames, a lovely, lavender-hued shop on 24th Avenue in Astoria.  Luludi, which means flower in Greek, is a shop that brings the idea of a “living wall” (think Caixa living wall in Madrid) to homes on a smaller scale: within frames.

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In addition to living frames, Luludi also has a variety of feng shui and zodiac terrariums featuring beautiful (and easy to mantain) succulents.  If you lack a green-thumb like I do, succulents are the way to go.

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Not only can you buy pre-made terrariums (terraria, if you will), you can also sign up for a class with Liza to make your own.  Terrarium classes are $45/person (more info here) or $80 for a couple if you want to plan a date night.  Liza provides some ideas from her vision board, allows you to select a decorative planter (I chose a glass one that can sit table-top or that can also be hung), and helps you bring your terrarium to life.

Liza will also be conducting classes at West Elm in Brooklyn on March 8th and 22nd.

The beautiful result of my terrarium class is below:


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February Events at Kupferberg Center for the Arts

Queens College is hosting some great shows in February and is offering a discount to our readers!

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Ballet Hispanico 

Saturday, February 8th: 8pm
Sunday, February 9th: 3pm
Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College
Buy tickets now ($29-$49 ticket price range) and use code ballet at check-out for $5 off!!

Ballet Hispanico takes the stage possessing a diverse and rich repertory of over 100 works by the leading choreographers and emerging artists of our time. The works explore the diversity of Latino culture through the fusion of classical, Latin, and contemporary dance fueled by theatricality and passion that audiences of all ages can enjoy.

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Love is Good: An Evening with Christine Andreas and Martin Silvestri on Piano

Friday, February 14th: 8pm
Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College
Buy tickets now ($38-$59 ticket price range) and use code valentine at check-out for $5 off!!

Enjoy a very special Valentine’s Day concert with Christine Andreas and Martin Silvestri, masters of the romantic ballad. Andreas and Martin entertain with couple’s antics and a touch of humor. Be prepared for this romantic evening to leave you laughing, crying, or perhaps both! With brilliant lyrics and melodies, this special evening will showcase the power of love.


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