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VOL 1:2 january 2011

a new year try new things



restaurants // shopping // green living // nightlife // art // culture // entertainment // nutrition //

at in the A be st st o LI ria spo C an ts d



museum of the moving image

inside access to special promotions from our advertisers and supporters Shop, eat and play locally and support our community. Enjoy the below discounts from some of Astoria and LIC’s best merchants. Sign up for the BORO newsletter at BOROMAG.COM to receive additional exclusive BORO Insider promotions all month long. Offers available through Jaunary 31. Limited to 1 use per reader. Merchant restrictions may apply.

10% off all wine purchases with this coupon.

1 FREE glass of wine or dessert with your meal with this coupon.

1 FREE glass of wine with your meal with this coupon.

1 FREE dessert with your meal with this coupon.

25% off any Growler Fill with this coupon.

10% off your bill. FREE wheatgrass shot with $25 purchase with this coupon.

1 FREE Red Sona with this coupon.

1 FREE cup of coffee with $20 to-go purchase with this coupon.

1 FREE cup of coffee with the purchase of any breakfast item from 7 a.m.-10:30 a.m. with this coupon.

BUGATTI 15% off your order with this coupon.

1 FREE glass of wine with your meal with this coupon.

20% off Detox Wrap throughout the month of January with this coupon.

10% off with this coupon.

15% off through 1/16/11 with this coupon.

10 days of unlimited classes for $20 or 30 days of unlimited classes for $79 with this coupon.

20% off all printing and design with this coupon.

10% off all merchandise with this coupon.

20% off all merchandise with this coupon.

Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company 20% off complete pair of glasses with this coupon.

10% off for first-time clients with this coupon.

Join “3 Month Weekly Flower Arrangement Program” and get 1 additional week FREE with this coupon.

1 FREE coffee, tea, or espresso, 1/2 price cappuccino or latte with any purchase on 1/20/11 with this coupon.

Place your promotion in BORO Magazine. Contact to learn more.

letter from the editor Welcome back to BORO—your monthly go-to guide for everything Astoria/LIC. Thank you to all the people who’ve contributed to BORO’s launch and ongoing success. Without the love and support from writers, designers, advertisers, distributors, and readers this project wouldn’t have taken off as it has. And without such an interesting neighborhood, we’d have nothing to share with you. Happy New Year, Astoria/LIC! Because it’s a new year, we’re covering new things, and suggesting more new things in this month’s issue. Our neighborhood is a continuously developing hot spot for restaurants, nightlife, art and inspiration. There’s plenty happening. We have cool new things for you to try and interesting new people for you to meet. Hopefully you’ll find new ways to keep your life fun, healthy and full along the way. So, join the BORO team. Be brave. Be adventurous. Claim 2011 as a year of exploration. We certainly have.


Photo by Javier Ibañez

Submit your Astoria / LIC photos to


Welcome to the neighborhood 10 BODY & SOUL


Mundo serves the world. Why multi-ethnic cuisine belongs on the menu

Hot yoga to fight the cold weather




Keeping the “R” in resolution. 6 ways to

green Astoria/LIC in 2011


Raising the bar. Your new home away from home: El Ay Si

28 ART

A Queens cultural gem is refined: Museum of the Moving Image

Your go-to guide for Astoria and LIC’s best shops, food, art, nightlife and more


Rejuvenated. A new you for the new year


Sorta secret underground comedy club 26 ARTIST PROFILE

Art imitates life: Portrait of Astoria / Jason Villegas

ADVERTISE IN BORO: // 914.426.2939 //

editor and publisher julian lesser // copy editor norm elrod // creative director paul connolly // art directors alt,

philippe trinh // contributing designer alberto michieli // staff writers daniel crown, jared killeen, christopher de la torre, rebecca mcnamara, suzanne sitelman, mickey z // staff photographers javier ibañez, alex marshall, daniel pando // sales and marketing nadine auerbach webmaster janmichael guzman // editorial assistant sadee brathwaite *This magazine is made from FSC paper, printed with soy ink and 100% recyclable. Printed in LIC, New York. Please recycle after use. All materials Copyright © 2010 BORO / All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission of the publisher.


Welcome to

the Neighborhood

MexiQ Kitchen & Drought / photo Daniel Pando

A year ago, t h ese joi n ts had yet to op en; now t h e y are some of o ur favori t e lai rs Story Alia Akkam

(editorial director of

On a Saturday morning, the sunlight-drenched dining room of LIC Market fills with locals seeking a taste of chef/owner Alex Schindler’s chicken liver hash or griddled bread pudding. Friends huddle over cups of creamy hot chocolate at Astor Bake Shop later that afternoon. In the evening, a couple flees their apartment for speck pasta and romantic candlelight at Bugatti Café. From warm moussaka to homemade marinara sauce sopped up with a crusty slab of semolina bread, good grub has always been a neighborhood hallmark.

build upon that commitment, showing how shopping for greenmarket goods ~ and championing thoughtful eating ~ has become more prevalent among Queens foodies. Five restaurants— MexiQ , Astor Bake Shop, Bugatti Café, Burger Garage and LIC Market—are among the 2010 additions to Astoria and Long Island City’s expanding culinary scene. Here’s what we love about them:

MexiQ Kitchen & Draught: When Dimitri Paloumbis of Break and Don Philippou of Cava opened MexiQ , a

good grub has always been a hallmark of the neighborhood.

Yet in 2010 the Astoria and Long Island City culinary scene brightened even more, with the addition of welcoming eateries flaunting homemade desserts, killer beer lists and farm-fresh produce. The beloved Vesta uses locally sourced ingredients whenever possible (kudos to the modern Italian restaurant for recently introducing a popup farmers’ market manned by the crew from Brooklyn Grange). A few of this year’s new kids on the block 4

Mexican-accented BBQ joint, they hoped people wouldn’t just eat a taco and run. “We want MexiQ to become a place guests will make part of their weekly routine,” notes Paloumbis. Beer, it seems, is the perfect complement to consulting chef Julietta Balesteros’ cuisine, which includes Adobo-rubbed ribs and Mexican-style fried chicken. Paloumbis noticed how popular the 18 lines of craft ales are at Break, and expanded the concept, now offering 48 different beers on draught; “We have temperature-

MexiQ Kitchen & Drought

Burger Garage / photo Javier Ibañez

controlled dispensers that ensure each one is poured at 32 degrees so it’s nice and cold.” Brunch includes unlimited pours of Mexican beer. A monthly dinner series pairs microbrews with special dishes.

Astor Bake Shop / photo Bradley Hawks

Astor Bake Shop / photo Bradley Hawks

Astor Bake Shop: When Hell Gate Social first set roots in an out-of-the-way stretch of Astoria Boulevard five years ago, we were skeptical. But, propelled by friendly banter and affordable cocktails, the masses made it their watering hole anyhow. Now that Astor Bake Shop’s moved in next-door, the scene here is vibrant even during the daylight hours. Every morning, the talented George McKirdy treats us to his fluffy biscuits and gooey sticky buns straight out of the oven. We dig the hearty specials ~ meatloaf sandwiches, corn-studded goat cheese quiche ~ paired with artisanal coffee. But we especially love how McKirdy’s managed to elevate the simple egg sandwich with his rendition, served on a house-made Portuguese roll. McKirdy’s dedication to fresh ingredients delights the hardworking gardeners of nearby Two Coves Community Garden (where McKirdy gets the mint for his iced tea), craving a snack before picking up a shovel. It also points to a larger trend: the locavore movement taking hold in Queens. continued on next page


“There are old, traditional Italian restaurants in the neighborhood, and there are new, funky ones, but we’re taking a no-nonsense approach instead,” says Jason Arcaro, an Astoria resident of 13 years and GM of Bugatti Café, just off 31st Avenue. The owners themselves designed the space, and Arcaro loves its hushed, intimate appeal. The same attention to

ground daily by butcher Pat LaFrieda—sizzle on the grill. The space resembles a modern-day filling station, and the amiable cook is willing to chat. There’s nothing fast about the food here: produce is farm-fresh and the French fries, made with Idaho potatoes, are hand-cut. The red and black booths and Abita root beer on tap invite lingering. But Burger Garage is also a good stop for a quick, filling lunch.

LIC Market: Schindler at

detail has gone into Bugatti Café’s menu. The chef, a native of Parma, churns out simple, authentic dishes like homemade taglierini pasta and roasted veal and spinach ravioli. There’s even an Italian-inspired burger, nestled in a brioche roll and topped with a sliver of ParmigianoReggiano. But we might be most excited about the generous $14.95 brunch, which includes coffee, mimosa and dessert to accompany our steak and eggs. Once the warm weather hits, and Bugatti opens its glass doors to the sidewalk, we predict many a Sunday afternoon holding court at a table here.

LIC Market is another chef who takes the sustainability credo to heart. Community building plays a large role in how we choose to operate our restaurant. “Whether it’s buying from local farms, being a distribution point for a local CSA or featuring a local artist’s work on our walls, it is very important to us to play a role in making LIC a great place to live and work.” He’s hoping LIC Market becomes a destination for folks in other boroughs, and his formula is already working. Loyalists come to eat sweet and sour LIC Market kale and shredded brisket sandwiches, and shop at the market. Schindler created a homespun mini-grocery in the front of the restaurant, stocked with house-pickled Serrano peppers and other treats made in the kitchen.

resembling a

modern-day filling station...

Burger Garage: If we’re going to splurge on a burger,


it better be a quality one. Brothers Jim and Adam Pileski feel the same way. And that’s why they opened old-timey Burger Garage, where you can pull up a stool and watch your burger—100% Black Angus USDA-certified beef





Story Jared Killeen Photos Philippe Trinh

mundo serves the world

Mundo Owners: Canalp Caner, Willy Lucerofabbi, Pinar Senveli

why multi-ethnic cuisine belongs on the menu

Story Jared Killeen Photo Philippe Trinh

Ask Canalp Caner, co-owner of Mundo, why he put organic soy Keftedes on the menu, and he’ll tell you: “Because we like them.” This is the sort of amicable logic that prevails at Mundo. Mr. Caner, who opened the Astoria restaurant six years ago with co-founders Guillermo “Willy” Lucerofabbi and Pinar Senveli, does not abide by a conventional recipe book. Rather, like a chemist, he prefers experimentation. He’ll try something new—say, replacing the lamb in traditional Turkish meatballs with soy. If everyone likes it, it goes on the menu. It’s that simple. Mundo’s culinary range resists ethnic classification. Caner and Senveli, both Turkish, draft a new menu 8

every six months, showcasing an array of Mediterranean cuisine, such as Ottoman Dumplings and falafel. There are also original dishes from South America (Lucerofabbi was born in Argentina), including Argentinean Beef Empanadas and Terma, a digestive seltzer drink. Over the years, Mundo has developed a reputation as a haven for adventurous vegans and vegetarians. But carnivores are just as likely to salivate over tasty plates, such as the signature Red Sonja (soft lentil paddies with bulgur, scallion and spices). The best part is that Caner and Senveli are constantly inventing new recipes. Note the recent debut of a vegan appetizer called Peruvian Causa, which usually contains

either shredded chicken or tuna, but which Caner has rendered meatless. Also promising is a variation of the popular Glühwein, a house beverage of German origin, comprised of red wine, cloves, cinnamon and fruit and served hot. Also, a new mixture from Catalonia, is white wine-based and contains roasted coffee beans. At Mundo, German and Spanish cocktails coexist peacefully. The same sense of cosmopolitan cooperation that pervades Mundo’s menu also characterizes its clientele. “We want to promote friendship. Our customers always become friends,” says Lucerofabbi, who plans to install communal tables in the restaurant. Local artists show their work on the restaurant’s walls, treating dinner at Mundo like a vernissage. It’s also a favorite spot for receptions and parties. When asked why he chose Mundo to host his upcoming holiday banquet, Adam Vore said simply, “These guys do the best work in Astoria.” The owners of Mundo want their clientele to be happy and healthy. For them, it’s all about creating a positive spirit that carries over to their customers’ personal lives. Beginning in January, Mundo will begin holding a symposium on Wednesday nights to discuss the advantages of alkaline water—which is available at the restaurant. It is this inventiveness, this compassion toward their clientele, which makes Mundo special. In Astoria, where culinary variety is custom, Mundo is king. Learn about Mundo’s alkaline symposium at Bring in Boro and receive 1 signature Red Sona free.

Peruvian Vegan Causa 10-12 servings 10-12 servings

How to prepare:

7-inch round ring-mold Add 1 layer of the potato mix Add 1 layer of the beet and mushroom mix Add another layer of potato mix Add 1 full teaspoon of mashed avocado on top Add the pepper and onion mix on top of everything

LAYER #1 and #3:

6 potatoes (boiled) 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon Peruvian yellow aji ½ teaspoon black pepper ¾ teaspoon salt Mix all ingredients in a separate bowl


1 cup chopped mushrooms (blanched) 1 cup chopped beets (boiled) ½ cup chopped dill ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper 4 ounces extra-virgin olive oil 1 ounce lemon juice Mix all ingredients in a separate bowl


1/3 teaspoon black pepper 1 red onion julienne cut ½ tablespoon Peruvian yellow aji 1 red pepper julienne cut 1 ounce chopped parsley 1 green pepper julienne cut 1 ounce lime juice 2 ounces extra virgin olive oil ½ teaspoon salt Mix topping ingredients in a separate bowl. page





HOT Yoga TO FIGHT the cold weather Story Julian Lesser Photo Javier Ibañez

Winter is a hard time to stay active. Many of us are motivated to do little more than stay at home on the couch, where it’s warm. But when the cold, dark months drag on, and drag us down, physical activity is what we really need. Exercise not only improves overall health and wellbeing, it helps fight seasonal affective disorder (SAD)—the depressive symptoms that take hold when the weather turns cold. One answer to the winter blues is hot yoga, as I discovered recently. Hot yoga—officially known as Bikram Yoga—is a series of 26 poses over 90 minutes, practiced in a 105-degree room. Talk about beating the cold! Warm temperatures enhance many of yoga’s benefits. Muscles stay looser and are stretched more deeply, promoting flexibility and minimizing the risk of injury. Perspiration increases, helping to detoxify and purify the body. The extreme heat becomes a focal point, allowing the participant to better concentrate on breathing and relaxation, which are so important to yoga. The effects—inside and out—are immediate and noticeable. Hot yoga can be incorporated into anyone’s exercise program, whether you’re a yoga novice or enthusiast. But any new exercise routine, particularly one this extreme,


requires a facility with supportive and knowledgeable instructors and proper equipment. I found The Yoga Room to be such a place… and so much more. The Yoga Room has a location in LIC and another in Astoria. Both offer classes in different styles of yoga and Pilates, at levels ranging from beginner to advanced. The recently renovated Astoria and LIC space’s offers a beautiful ambiance that put me in the right frame of mind from the moment I walked in. I would need it. That first class was intense. The warmth made even the most basic positions much more challenging. As I stretched and strained and struggled, my teacher’s inspirational words—“steady breathing, steady mind, steady body, steady life”—kept me going. The motivation led to triumph. I completed my first hot yoga class. The exhilarating feeling of accomplishment, not to mention all the other benefits, made the effort worthwhile. A sense of inspiration and accomplishment helps make The Yoga Room a special place. Zhana Galjasevic, a Croatian immigrant, arrived in America in 1986 with her son, Marco. She became an avid yoga fan and began teaching in facilities in and around Astoria before starting her own business in 2003. For Zhana, yoga is about rejuvenation. These exercises awaken the body

Owners / Instructors: Zhana Galjasevic and son, Marco

and spirit, better preparing oneself for this day and the next. Sharing this feeling with others motivates her. Marco eventually became a yoga enthusiast as well. In 2007, unhappy with his job and suffering the loss of a failed relationship, he started to put on weight, soon tipping the scales at over 200 pounds. Marco looked at himself in the mirror one day and thought, “I am fat and unhappy and unhealthy!” He decided to change. A 30-day challenge at The Yoga Room turned into three months; Marco lost 30 pounds. The experience changed his life, giving him back his health and turning him on to his calling. He soon joined his mother at her studio, becoming a program instructor.

Marco is a personal success story, though he credits his mom for the studio’s success. Both mother and son are living lessons in what a person can do when they try. It’s never too late. So don’t let the cold weather stand in the way of a better you. Try hot yoga, or start a new exercise regimen. Whatever you decide, get out there and get active. Hot Yoga Tip: Don’t focus on the practice. Focus on how you will feel after the practice—rejuvenated, alive, detoxified and energized!

18 page




JANUARY events is happy to provide a listing of the hottest events in Astoria and LIC each month.

For a more comprehensive calendar visit our online guide at

Submit your event for free to 1/8 2– 5PM (Art) Jeffery Leder Gallery: Art Lovers and Their Dogs

1/16 @ 1PM (Shops) Creators’ Co-op: Free Bookbinding Class

212-924-8944 | 105 44th Rd, 3rd Floor, LIC

26-16 23rd Ave, Astoria RSVP:

1/8 – 1/11 Times Vary (Theater) The Chocolate Factory: Selective Memory Return Engagement! 718-482-7069 | 5-49 49th Ave, LIC

1/8 ALL DAY (Shops) Creators’ Co-op: 1-Day Storewide Sale 26-16 23rd Ave, Astoria

1/15 @ 8pm (Museum) Museum of the Moving Image: Grand Opening Late-Night Art Party 718-784-0077 | 36-01 35th Ave, Astoria

1/17 10:30am-5pm (Museum) Museum of the Moving Image: Free Museum Day and Movie Screenings 718-784-0077 | 36-01 35th Ave, Astoria

1/22 @ 10PM (Nightlife) El Ay Si: Keith Brazil (DJ artist) Spinning All Night 718-389-8781 | 47-38 Vernon Blvd, LIC

1/23 @ 2PM (Body and Soul) Transmission Meditation: Introduction Course 718-200-7965 | 32-18 35th St, Basement, Astoria


01/23 12 – 6PM (Museum) MOMA PS1: Sergej Jensen & Laurel Nakadate 718-784-2084 | 22-25 Jackson Ave, LIC

1/12 – 1/16, 1/19 – 1/23, 1/26 – 1/29 @ 8PM (Theater) The Secret Theater: The Sixth Annual Long Island City One Act Festival 718-392-0722 | 44-02 23rd St, LIC

1/8, 1/15, 1/22, 1/29 @ 10PM (Nightlife) Hell Gate Social: Month of Music 718-204-8313 | 12-21 Astoria Blvd, Astoria

All Month Mon – Thurs 4 – 7PM (Nightlife) Sweet Afton: Winter Happy Hour $4 Drafts, $5 Mixed Drinks, $6 Wines, $6 Hot Spiked Cider 718-777-2570 | 30-09 34th St, Astoria



Restaurants 1















5 Napkin Burger (c,2) (718) 433-2727 35-01 36th St, Astoria Aliada (b,2) (718) 932-2240 2919 Broadway, Astoria Avenue Cafe (c,2) (718) 278-6967 35-27 30th Ave, Astoria Bareburger (b,2) (718) 777-7011 33-21 31st Ave, Astoria Bel Via (a,4) (718) 361-7510 47-46 Vernon Blvd, LIC Brick Cafe (B,2) (718) 267-2735 30-95 33rd St, Astoria Blend (A,4) (718) 729-2800 47-04 Vernon Blvd, LIC Bread Box Cafe (A,4) (718) 389-9700 4711 11th St, LIC



La Papa (B,2) (718) 777-7879 2513 30th Ave, Astoria

31 Winegasm (c,2)

LIC MarkeT (B,4) (718) 361-0013 21-52 44th Dr, LIC

32 Yajai (b,2)

Linn (B,2) (718) 204-0060

2913 Broadway, Astoria 19




Locale (B,2) (718) 729-9080 33-02 34th Ave, LIC

12-23 Astoria Blvd, Astoria

Monika’s Cafe Bar (c,2) (718) 204-5273 32-90 36th St, Astoria

Burger Garage (B,3) (718) 392-0424 25-36 Jackson Ave, LIC

Sage General Store (b,4) (718) 361-0707 24-20 Jackson Ave, LIC


Sanfords Restaurant (b,2) (718) 932-9569 30-13 Broadway Astoria


Il Bambino (C,2) (718) 626-0087 34-08 31St Ave, Astoria


Company (C,2) (718) 204-0141 35-05 Broadway, Astoria

36 Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee

Pomme Cafe (c,2) (718) 545-4301 37-19 Broadway, Astoria

Fatty’s (B,1) (718) 267-7071 2501 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria

34 Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee

MexiQ (c,2) (718) 626-0333 37-11 30th Ave, Astoria



35 Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee

Mundo (b,2) (718) 777-2829 31-18 Broadway, Astoria

DiWine (C,2) (718) 777-1355 41-15 31st Ave, Astoria

(718) 606-8439

M. WELLS DINER (B,4) (718) 425-6917 21-17 49th Ave, LIC


Crescent and Vine (B,1) (718) 204-4774 2503 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria

bakeries & coffee shops 33 Astor Bake Shop (a,2)



(718) 956-9559 33-16 30th Ave, Astoria

Bugatti Cafe (C,2) (718) 626-1115 31-05 34th St, Astoria

Cavo (C,2) (718) 721-1001 42-18 31st Ave, Astoria

(718) 932-3331 31-86 37th St, Astoria

Seva (c,2) (718) 626-4440 30-07 34th St, Astoria

Company (C,1) (718) 932-8280 35-09 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria

Company (C,2) (718) 777-1121 36-14 30th Ave, Astoria

37 Communitea (A,4)

(718) 729-7708 47-02 Vernon Blvd, LIC

38 Cream Bakery (A,2)

(718) 545-3800 31-78 Steinway St, Astoria

39 Cranky’s Cafe (A,4)

(347) 738-4921 48-19 Vernon Blvd, LIC

40 Parisi Bakery (B,2)

(718) 728-5282 30-17 Broadway, Astoria

41 Sweetleaf (A,4)

(917) 832-6726 10-93 Jackson Ave, LIC

food shops

Shi (a,4) (347) 242-2450 4720 Center Blvd, LIC

42 astoria wine and spirits (C,2)

Vesta (a,2) (718) 545-5550 2102 30th Ave, Astoria

43 Brooklyn Grange Farm (C,3)

WATER’S EDGE (a,4) (718) 482-0033 401 44th Dr, LIC

44 Fresh Start (B,1)

(718) 545-9463 3412 Broadway, Astoria

(917) 204-5644 37-18 Northern Blvd, LIC (718) 204-7868 29-13 23rd Ave, Astoria

continued on next page 16

45 Natural Frontier Food

Market (A,4) (718) 937-9399 12-01 Jasckson Ave, LIC

46 Sai Organics (B,2)

(718) 278-1726 30-21 30th Avenue, Astoria

47 Vitality and Health Organic

Market (C,2) (718) 777-8477 46-03 Broadway, Astoria


clothing & gifts 48 belief (B,1)

(718) 721-4444 29-20b 23rd Ave, Astoria

49 Candy Plum (C,2)

(718) 721-2299 3098 36th St, Astoria

50 Creators Co-Op (B,1)

(917) 751-8177 26-16 23rd Ave, Astoria 51 Ethereal (A,4) (718) 482-8884 47-38 Vernon Blvd, LIC 52 Inside Astoria (C,1)

(718) 956-4000 37-20 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria

53 KrisTEE’s (B,1)

(718) 204-5031 2401 23rd Ave, Astoria

54 Loveday 31 (B,2)

(718) 728-4057 3306 31st Ave, Astoria

55 Site (C,2)

(718) 626-6030 32-90 36th St, Astoria

florists 56 Ditmars Flowers and Gifts

(B,1) (800) 772-6090 29-11 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria

57 Floresta (A,4)

(917) 612-4446 51-02 Vernon Blvd, LIC





The Jumping Bulldog: a


58 boutique for Cats and Dogs

(b,1) (718) 274-2510 28-10 23rd Ave, Astoria

59 kitty and doggie lounge:

daycare and spa (a,4) (347) 642-4022 48-18 Vernon Blvd, LIC



Athena Nails (b,2) (718) 278-4597 3111 30th Ave, Astoria


Gigi Salon (c,2) (718) 777-7755 34-17 30th Ave, Astoria


Primp AND Tease SALON (a,4) (718) 472-2001 5-02 50th Ave, LIC

91 Astoria’s Bicycle

Repairman (c,2) (718) 706-0450 40-21a 35th Ave, Astoria

60 Build it Green! (a,1)

(718) 777-0132 3-17 26th Ave, Astoria

fitness + HEALTH

86 The Creek and 75



Corner of 5th St and 46th Ave, LIC (718) 274-5712 37-12 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria

66 Vardiman Eyewear (c,2)

(718) 204-5037 34-18 Broadway, Astoria

67 Video Express (c,2)

(718)626-0846 3408 30th Ave, Astoria



Ravel (a,3) (718) 289-6101 8-08 Queens Plaza South, LIC


Seek Fitness (B,1) (347) 924-9004 27-18 23rd Ave, Astoria TRANSMISSION MEDITATION (C,2) (610) 585-8613 32-18 35th St, Basement, Astoria Yoga Agora (B,2) (718) 626-0680 33-02 Broadway, 2nd Fl, Astoria The Yoga Room (C,2) (718) 274-0255 38-01 35th Ave, Astoria


The Yoga Room (A,4) (718) 786-7962 10-14 47 Rd, LIC

68 FOUNDRY (a,3)


NEW YORK SPORTS CLUB (c,2) (718) 932-1400 2856 Steinway St, Astoria


event spaces (718) 786-7776 42-38 9TH St, LIC

(718) 545-2269 40-11 30th Ave, Astoria

Heart and Soul of Yoga (c,2) (610) 585-8613

32-18 35th St, Basement, Astoria

spas 81

Rejuvenate face and body (B,1) (718) 626-4434 26-17 23rd Ave, Astoria


5 Pointz (B,4) (317) 219-2685 45-46 Davis St, LIC


Kaufman Astoria Studios (C,2) (718) 706-5300 34-12 36th St, Astoria


MoMA PS1 (B,4) (718) 784-2084 22-25 Jackson Ave, LIC


Museum of the Moving Image (C,2) (718) 784-0077 36-01 35th Ave, Astoria

84 Canz (C,2)


(718) 392-0500 30-02 48th Ave, LIC

65 Super Nova Tattoos (c,1)

83 Break (B,2) (718) 777-5400 3208 Broadway, Astoria

85 Domain Wine Bar (A,4)

(718) 784-1110 10-63 Jackson Ave, LIC

64 Recycle-a-Bike (a,4)

Garden (B,1) (718) 274-4925 2919 24th Ave, Astoria

Astoria skate park (a,1) In Astoria Park at Hoyt Ave N. and 19th street

(718) 786-8660 46-36 Vernon Blvd, LIC


82 Bohemian Hall & Beer


61 Matted LIC (a,4)

62 Modern Spaces (a,4)


(718) 784-2350 50-04 Vernon Blvd, LIC

the Cave (A,4) (718) 706-8783 10-93 Jackson Ave, LIC

87 De Ja Vu (C,2)

(718) 267-8212 33-22 28 Ave, Astoria

88 El Ay Si (A,4)

(718) 389-8781 47-38 Vernon Blvd, LIC

100 Noguchi MuseuM (A,2)

(718) 204-7088 9-01 33rd Rd, Astoria

101 Socrates Sculpture Park

(A,2) (718) 626-1533 32-01 Vernon Blvd, Astoria


(917) 517-1492 10-13 50th Ave, LIC

89 hells Gate Social (A,2)

(718) 204-8313 12-21 Astoria Blvd, Astoria

90 Mix Cafe and Lounge (C,2)

(347) 642-4840 40-17 30th Ave, Astoria

69 Penthouse808 (A,3)

(718) 289-6118 8-08 Queens Plaza South, LIC

92 Rapture Lounge (C,2)

(718) 626-8044 34-27 28th Ave, Astoria

93 The Sparrow Tavern (B,2)

(718) 606-2260 24-01 29th St, Astoria

94 Studio Square Beer

Garden (C,3) (718) 383-1001 35-33 36th St, Astoria

95 Sweet Afton (C,2)

(718) 777-2570 30-09 34th St, Astoria

Want your business listed in our Map It Director y? Contact to learn how.

body + Soul

A New You For The New Year Story Suzanne Sitelman Photo Philippe Trinh

Rejuvenate Spa owner, Evelyn Gatzonis, follows a simple ideology: always provide customers with compassion and wisdom. And this approach guides her beauty philosophy too. As one of the few spas in Astoria to offer a more “holistic and conscious approach” to beauty and skin care, Rejuvenate treats customers with only the most natural, toxin-free products. According to Evelyn, clear, youthful-looking skin is the foundation of beauty. Skin is the barometer of one’s internal balance, a signal to the body when something is out of alignment. Evelyn and her staff consult with clients about their fitness, nutrition and health, providing valuable insight on how to achieve that elusive internal balance. This evaluation of a client’s overall well-being lets Evelyn offer individualized treatments that help relieve common skin imperfections, such as dryness, blotchiness or acne. It’s Evelyn’s holistic approach to beauty that distinguishes her spa from most others.


Despite Rejuvenate’s unique service, Evelyn insists that many effective skin care treatments can easily be created at home using simple, natural ingredients found in any regular pantry. Honey, for example, has great hydrating and anti-bacterial properties. By following Evelyn’s at-home instructions, one can build a simple skin care regimen that will help create a new, more beautiful self!

Owner Evelyn Gatzonis

FACIAL MASK: For a simple moisturizing facial mask for all skin types, mix/blend the following ingredients:

• • • •

Organic oats Small amount of water 1 teaspoon of honey Plain yogurt

For mature skin that requires an anti-aging facial treatment, mix/blend:

• 1-2 teaspoons of honey • 1 Egg white

She advises applying these masks for about 10 – 15 minutes as needed (twice per week). Evelyn even offers valuable tips for guys. Men should shave with Shea or coconut butter—instead of typical shaving creams that can dry out and age the skin—and apply 3 – 4 drops of tea oil mixed with distilled water afterward for rehydration. Evelyn’s holistic approach to beauty is quite simple: taking better care of oneself, both inside and out, using only natural, toxin-free products, will lead to a clear and more youthful complexion. Create an at-home beauty regimen from these simple rules and produce a new, more beautiful you! Learn more about Evelyn Gatzonis at page






There’s never been a better time to live green. Since january is an excellent month for new beginnings, we have a suggestion: let’s keep the “R” in resolution by embracing a whole bunch of other r’s. Ready? Here are six R’s to consider for a greener 2011:

1. Refuse

Just say no; this is as basic as it gets. The less we consume, the less we need the other five R’s. Keep it simple; downsize your electronics, your home and your life. Only buy the food, clothing, cleaning supplies (and everything else) that you will actually use. To quote the immortal Tyler Durden, the Fight Club character who rails against consumer culture, “The things you own end up owning you.” Own your freedom instead.

2. Reduce

Whether you call it precycling or reduction, it typically involves: • Choosing products that come with less packaging • Bringing your own shopping bag • Opting for a BPA-free, reusable water bottle • Shopping at thrift shops and used goods stores

3. Re-use

An old towel becomes a dishrag. A pickle jar becomes a pen jar. Organic, fair-trade, shade-grown coffee grinds become dye, cleaner or deodorizer. How you choose to re-use is your call. The green point is: view disposal as a last resort. Even when you’re stumped for a re-use angle, there’s always freecyling—giving the used item to someone else for free. Local Action: Head to the Queens Craigslist “free” section and post “free box of stuff on my stoop!!!” They will come from all over to collect. It’s a proven method of passing along stuff you shouldn’t throw away but also can’t sell. 20

4. Repair

We know about planned obsolescence: nothing is built to last, which keeps the consumer cycle rolling. Learn basic, DIY repair skills to toss a monkey wrench into that cycle, and use that monkey wrench at the same time. Local Action: Get started by visiting Andres Jimenez at his shop Astoria’s Bicycle Repairman or get involved with Recycle-a-Bike in LIC.

5. Recycle

With roughly 20 million tons of electronic waste thrown away each year, it’s clear we need to up the recycling ante. On a smaller scale, if we reduce (see #2) our consumption and re-use (see #3) what we have, we lead by example and create less personal waste. ARROW, which stands for Astoria Residents Reclaiming Our World, is an excellent resource for local recycling news. Local Action: Visit Build It Green!, New York City’s only nonprofit retail outlet for salvaged and surplus building materials. Buy materials, furniture and appliances to redesign your home, apartment or business.

6. Rot

Otherwise known as composting, rot is a process by which natural materials decompose through natural chemical reactions, often aided by fungi, bacteria and insects. It’s nature’s recycling program. We can resolve to rot in 2011. Local Action: Email the Western Queens Compost Initiative at to learn how to compost in Astoria and LIC! page


91 astoria’s bicycle repairman 60 build it green!

64 recycle-a-bike

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entertainment + nightlife

Raising the Bar

Your new home away from home

Story Christopher de la Torre Photos Alex Marshall

El Ay Si (pronounced “LIC”) on Vernon Boulevard

El Ay Si is similar to something you might find on the LES because it’s green. Most everything in the railroad-style space is recycled; ceiling beams are from a space nearby, and the 19th century French doors at the entrance are also salvaged. “Raising El Ay Si was organic,” says Duke. “Very trial and error. We practically lived in the space before construction to get a feel for it.”

With the closing of Max Fish—a dive bar and Lower East Side institution—many New Yorkers are reminded of how precious their local bars really are. It’s a dynamic Duke and X understood even before opening their bar last year. X managed The Orchard on the LES before teaming up with Duke for El Ay Si; they have a combined 25 years of experience. And the recipe works.

Now the duo is investing in a weekend party Duke hopes will bring more life to the hood. “DJs Love on the Run and Keith Brazil will be here,” he says. You can enjoy a Jim Jam, the bar’s signature cocktail that infuses bourbon and triple sec with fresh lime and muddled blackberry and orange. But if beer’s your choice, you can grab a 24-ounce Tecate “brown bag special” for $6. Draft beer is also available. “Owning a restaurant is more a lifestyle than a business,” X says. Time to get this party started.

is the best dive you’ve never heard of. The restaurantbar just celebrated its first birthday, and so far it’s been nothing but great for owners Jonathan Duke and Xerxes “X” Novoa. The venue has flown comfortably under the radar. But now they’re starting a weekend party that will make the bar your new home away from home.

Now the duo brings the same “local” feel to Queens— giving bar goers in their 20s and 30s a spot to call their own. “I like laid back,” says X. “I like a good hole in the wall.”


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88 El Ay Si

Jim Jam Cocktail Makes 1 Large 16 oz Drink Muddle 5 blackberries and 3 orange slices. Add the following and shake: ½ oz lime juice ¼ oz lemon juice ¼ oz simple syrup ¾ oz Cointreau 1 ¼ oz Jim Bean Coat a glass with Angostura bitters. Add ice. Strain mixture over fresh ice. Garnish with a basil leaf (slap leaf first to release the leaf ’s natural oils) and blackberries. Enjoy! Created by El Ay Si Mixologist Jenifer Faulkner



sorta secret UNDERGROUND

COMEDY CLUB Story Daniel Crown Photo Sean Donnelly

Peter Moses

Keep an eye out, Astoria. A number of the neighborhood’s best working comedians are bringing their acts back home. Literally. Like most innovations, local comedian Peter Moses’ stroke of genius was birthed out of necessity. For years, he and a group of Astoria-based comedians put on a comedy show in Ochi’s Lounge, a long-established outlet for independently produced comedy shows, located in the basement of Manhattan’s Comix Comedy Club. When the club came under new management in September, however, the shot callers decided to renovate the room and then promptly moved to shut it down. According to Moses, without any prior warning, many local comedians suddenly found themselves scrambling for new venues in which to perform. Moses and his roommates, Bryan Bruner and Evan Jacobs (also comedians), ultimately decided to try something new. “We live in Astoria,” Moses remembers spitballing with his roommates. “We have a big enough apartment. Why not just do a show from our living room?” What resulted was the “Sorta Secret Underground Living Room Comedy Show.” Actual credit for the idea remains up for debate. A few weeks later the comedians moved some furniture around, sent out a Facebook invitation and proceeded to put on a world-class comedy show from the comfort of their very own living room. The first show’s diverse roster featured some of New York’s most successful underground comedians, including Last Comic Standing contestant Sarah Tollemache, radio host Dave 24

Greek and veteran songster Henry Phillips. Subsequent performances have also included television’s Nick Cobb and Luke Younger. It’s no secret that Astoria, with its affordable rents and its close proximity to the city, has become a haven of sorts for some of New York’s best young comedians. And according to Moses, there is enough interest from local artists that the “Living Room Comedy Show” will happen monthly for the foreseeable future. For Moses and his friends, the show serves as more than an amusing novelty. He admits the idea is unprecedented. But he also believes that it might detach the comedians involved from the constricting marionette strings that control New York’s mainstream comedy world. The booking process can be arbitrary, leaving many talented artists at the whim of other people’s varying allegiances. “We might make a couple of bucks,” Moses said. “But the best part is that we get to put on a show that we like, put up comics that we enjoy, respect and want to see more of, and then introduce them to people who might not go to a comedy club.” Potential attendees can RSVP and obtain an address for the next show (taking place on Saturday, Jan. 15) at The show will also stream live at



Jason Villegas / photo Javier Iba単ez

Art Imitates Life:

Portrait of Astoria / Artist Jason Villegas Story Suzanne Sitelman

“Life imitates art” is the proverb that best suits Jason Villegas as he poses below his newest series of celebrity portraits fashioned out of recycled fabric. The wall of pop icons is part of a larger exhibition that will soon be on display at the McClain Gallery in Houston, Texas. The textile portraits, featuring artists such as Willie Nelson and David Bowie, have become the most profitable series in Jason’s vast collection. Created from various cloth cutouts, the extraordinary depictions capture the essence of these pop stars, their fabric eyes conveying surprising humanness. Though these images are well admired, Jason regards this collection’s popularity with mixed emotions. Like many artists, Jason fears that his newfound economic success might pigeonhole his artistic expression. He struggles to maintain the balance between creative ambitions and financial desires. After graduating with a Fine Arts degree from Rutgers University, Jason moved to Long Island City and then Astoria. He quickly fell in love with a community that supports what he terms as “do it yourself artists”—individuals who independently create, curate and exhibit fine art for the sake of creative achievement, without the need for fame or glamour. When asked about his New Year’s resolution, he simply states, “to find a job that will allow me to stay in Astoria.” As an artist, Jason describes himself as a social historian. He attributes his popularity to an ironic sense of humor and unbiased approach to his subject matter. His

work has been shown in galleries throughout the world, including the Socrates Sculpture Park here in LIC, where one of his totem pole installations is currently on display. Jason is fascinated with how consumer-driven trademarks evolve from indigenous symbols. His work demonstrates how society reprocesses native, mythological signs into brand labels, which are respected and valued. As these trademarks become global representations of consumerism, the recycled images are shared with these same indigenous communities, but are given new meaning. Mimicking this cyclical process, Jason uses second-hand, brand name clothing to create much of his artwork. Jason believes that society also transforms celebrities into mythological representations. Their images become larger-than-life symbols, inflated with consumerdriven value. Ironically, as his celebrity portrait collection becomes more successful, Jason struggles to balance his own popularity with genuine artistic expression. He fears that fame might change his creative process. As Jason confesses, “It’s hilarious that what I had as a commentary has now come full circle… and I myself am a slave to what I was talking about in the beginning.” Only time will tell whether consumerism or creativity wins out in Jason Villegas’ art. But he refuses to take his work too seriously, which is a good sign. And he continues to have fun.


Rendering of Museum of the Moving image


On January 15, 2011, Astoria’s Museum of the Moving Image—the country’s only institution dedicated to the art, industry and innovation of screen culture—reopens its doors. Still housed in its original building, the museum is now twice as big, with new screening and production rooms, additional educational programs and a striking new physical expression. The renovation marks a significant step for one of New York City’s most unique institutions. Museum of the Moving Image first opened in 1988, seven years after Rachel Slovin, then the executive director of the Astoria Motion Picture and Television Foundation, introduced the idea. The museum’s mission was to advance the public knowledge of all things screen. Slovin became its founding director, and guided the institution up to 28

and through the recent renovation. After overseeing the inauguration, she will retire. “I leave with an extraordinary sense of accomplishment,” she says. “Very few people have the privilege of creating an institution from nothing and knowing it will live long after them.” The museum will not only survive, but also thrive as a mustsee for New Yorkers and tourists alike. Thanks to a $67 million budget, funded by various organizations, government funds and individuals, the building has been redesigned and expanded—from 50,000 to 97,700 square feet—by architect Thomas Leeser. “The museum is a victim of its success and needs the space and amenities that a $67 million renovation and expansion will provide,” says Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, a supporter. “Museum of the Moving Image

is unique and we are very proud to have it here in Queens.”

New facilities include: • Redesigned ground floor and three additional floors • 267-seat theater • 68-seat Celeste and Armond Bartos Screening Room • Ann and Andrew Tisch Education Center • William Fox Amphitheater for student orientation • High-tech digital learning suite • Nam June Paik Experimental Production Studio • Café and museum store • On-site space for collection storage, improving access for researchers • 10,000-square-foot courtyard garden • Upgraded technology for “Behind the Screen,” the core exhibition that covers 15,000 square feet and offers “a comprehensive, interactive exploration of how films and television programs are produced, promoted and exhibited” • New entrance made of mirrored and transparent glass, with the words “Museum of the Moving Image” in three-and-ahalf-foot-tall letters The opening kicks off six weeks of programs collectively titled “Celebrating the Moving Image.” The inaugural festival will honor both the museum and screen culture itself. “Museum of the Moving Image embraces screen culture in all its forms and aspects,” says Slovin. “To do justice to our subject matter and show off our wonderful new capabilities, we needed nothing less than a six-week celebration.”

Opening weekend will feature: • Film screenings, including the premiere of a newly restored 3D digital version of The Mad Magician (1954) • Artist talk by Paul Kaiser of the OpenEnded Group • Musician Sxip Shirey performing as a one-man band on handmade instruments, accompanying Georges Méliès silent films • Family workshops three times a day

• “Signal to Noise,” a late-night art party on January 15 ($15 advance ticket or $20 at the door) • Free admission on January 17 (MLK Day), which includes a screening of an archival 35mm print of the 1970 documentary King: A Filmed Record, Montgomery to Memphis Check out the full list of programs for “Celebrating the Moving Image” at Exciting programs and exhibitions will continue long after the inaugural celebration. According to Chris Wisniewski, deputy director for education, the expansion lets the museum expand its programming and serve twice as many students as before. “The museum will be introducing hands-on workshops and demonstrations in the new Experimental Production Studio, expanded programming for elementary school students, and new seminars and institutes for teachers, as well as new weekend and summer programs for children, families, adults, and seniors,” he says. Programs address all types of screen culture—film, TV and digital, as well as historic and contemporary. “We focus on using them to open up a world of other topics for students, from history and politics to math and computer science.” There is certainly no shortage of ways to start a discussion. Museum of the Moving Image has 125,000 objects in its collection, according to its website. The artifacts cover a wide spectrum and include behind-the-scenes photographs of 1920s film productions, Wizard of Oz sheet music, a 1916 35mm motion picture projector, over a thousand film stills, a 1975 Casper the Friendly Ghost-themed board game, paper advertisements, a 1978 Jaws 2-themed Marvel Super Special comic book and much, much more. Even at twice its previous size, the museum can display only a small portion of its collection at any one time. With so much memorabilia and so many new spaces to show it, Museum of the Moving Image is sure to surpass all expectations.

Museum of the Moving Image is located on 35th Avenue at 37th Street in Astoria and is open Tuesday to Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (free admission 4 to 8 p.m.) and Saturday to Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults; $7.50 for seniors and college students; $5 for children ages f ive to eighteen and free for museum members, children under f ive years of age and teachers with valid ID. page


99 museum of the moving image


Profile for Julian Lesser

BORO MAG January  

Boro Mag Jaunuary

BORO MAG January  

Boro Mag Jaunuary