Page 1

The Paper

Cookie Swap

Small Business Saturday

a quarterly guide to astoria, queens

Holiday Gift Guide

volume 05 | november 2017

11103 k r o y w e n , ia r o t s 33-21 31st ave, a


BsaR EAKFA ST! sattuurd rdaayy && ssuunnddaayy 99aam m ‘‘ttiill 1122::3300

valid thorugh 12.01.2017


EDITOR’S NOTE A Note from the Editors: Can you believe it?! It’s crazy to think that an entire year has come and gone since we released Volume I to you, our readers. Our very first issue covered holiday magic, local gift ideas, holiday traditions, and ways to ring in the New Year. During the next 12 months we tackled it all, including local date ideas (Vol. II), profiles of local business owners and their significant others (Vol. II), awesome Astoria singles (Vol. III), publisher out guide to the best of Astoria (Vol. III), and, most recently, a summer fashion shoot featuring our favorite local badass business ladies (Vol. IV). Did you know that links to all of our past issues can be found on Yep, it’s true. What can you find here in Vol. V? Well we’re right back where we started! Looking to stay local this holiday season? Take advantage of our “Small Business Saturday” guide (page 5) as your passport to supporting the neighborhood. Don’t know what to get your roommate, Secret Santa, or mom? Don’t worry, we’ve got you! Wse our “2017 Holiday Gift Guide” (page 14) for all your gift giving needs. Want to mix it up with friends and do something a little different? Host a cookie swap! For ours, we invited some of our favorite local bakers to join us for a party chock-full of sweets, treats, and champagne (page 10). Take your cookie swap one step further and show of your craftiness, with a little bit of holiday DIY, courtesy of “Crafting with the Lumberjacks” (page 7)! Despite having a great year here at The Paper, 2017 was a bit of a mixed bag. Join us as we take a look back over the year gone by (page 19), and think about the New Year to come. We sincerely want to thank our writing team, contributors, advertisers, partners, and designers for being a part of this endeavor. We also can’t thank you enough for picking this up and giving it a read on the train, coffee spot, bar, or the comfort of your home. If you like what you see, show us how you use The Paper out and about in the wilds of Astoria. Use the hashtag #thepaperbywha. See you in 2018! Mackenzi & Emily




small business saturday

7. 10.

crafting with the lumberjacks

sweet holiday fun

2017 holiday gift guide



looking back at 2017

NYE 2017


Contributors FOUNDERS Mackenzi Farquer Emily Rios WRITERS Meg Cotner Lindsay Goyette CONTRIBUTORS Crafty Lumberjacks DESIGN Kristen Long COVER PHOTOGRAPHY Mariana Martinis of Glyph Creative Studio BUSINESSES

Aloria Cakes and Gourmet Sweets The Astoria Bookshop Belief The Brass Owl Broadway Silk Store Château le Woof Chip NYC Chocolate Factory Theatre The Ditty The Geekery HiFi Records Inside Astoria Lavender Label Lockwood Lockwood Paper Lockwood Style Loveday 31 Museum of the Moving Image Petals & Roots Ovelia Q.E.D. The Queen’s Room Salt & Bone Sandwich Kings The Standing Room The Stonework Vaccaro’s Bakery & Café Vintage Wine Bar Wine Stop NYC

on the cover Mariana Martinis of Glyph Creative Studio takes her charisma, creativity, and originality to capture countless memories. With artistic styling and commercial appeal, she leaves clients with shots and an experience unlike any other. The belief that is invoked at every shoot: “A great snapshot can stop a moment from running away forever.” You can view her work at or follow her on Instagram @mmartinis.


Do Your Holiday Shopping During


It’s that time of year again, when the holiday shopping season commences! Sure, there is Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday, but we’re here to give some love to Small Business Saturday, when the focus is on smaller, local, independently owned shops. Astoria has some wonderful indie stores that a plethora of “perfect gift” offerings! For those unfamiliar with it, Small Business Saturday is a modern shopping “holiday” founded and sponsored by American Express; it was a reaction to the intensity of Black Friday—the Friday after Thanksgiving and unofficial start of the holiday season. The aim is to encourage people to get out and shop at local neighborhood boutiques and stores, supporting local business owners and putting money back into the local economy. Nicole Panettieri, owner of The Brass Owl on Ditmars Blvd., is the driving force behind Astoria’s Small Business Saturday blitz, and she’s back again this year to organize it. “As a community, Astoria supports small business all year round and all of us business owners are incredibly grateful,” she explains. “This day is also our way of saying thank you for your support, which is why we do the Shop Small Astoria Retail Crawl.” This year 16 stores are participating, and along with the opportunity to support your local businesses, there will be plenty of discounts and specials available, as well as giveaways—including a chance to win a grand prize of gift cards from all participating stores (a $450 value). As in years past, you get a “passport” to take with you to the different stores, and at each place you shop you get check it off in your passport. When you shop at four stores you get a goody bag—a Shop Small Astoria custom tote—filled with items from each store. And if you stop at eight or more stores, you get entered into the drawing for the aforementioned gift cards grand prize. You can pick up the passport at any of the participating stores, or download it online. Here’s where to shop during Small Business Saturday, with an indication of any specials and/or discounts planned at the writing of this article:

THE ASTORIA BOOKSHOP 31-29 31st Street

BELIEF 24-01 29th Street

THE BRASS OWL 36-19 Ditmars Blvd. Free gift with $10 purchase, bigger gift with $100 purchase, 15% off entire store, 30% off shoes, mimosas & cookies. Extended shopping hours: 10am–9pm.

BROADWAY SILK STORE 35-11 Broadway 10% off all purchases over $25.

CHÂTEAU LE WOOF 30-02 14th Street Free drip coffee with any dog food purchase.

THE GEEKERY 42-11 Broadway Grab bag, and you can roll a D20 dice for a discount.

HIFI RECORDS 23-19 Steinway Street 10% off new vinyl releases, buy three new records and get fourth 50% off, buy three used records and get fourth 50% off, 10% off loud­speakers, turntables, vinyl record care, headphones, and electronics.

INSIDE ASTORIA 28-07 Ditmars Blvd. 20% off your highest-priced item.

LAVENDER LABEL 29-03 23rd Avenue

LOCKWOOD STYLE 33-06 Broadway Free gift with $100 purchase, 20% of total purchase. Extended shopping hours: 10am–9pm.

LOVEDAY31 33-06 31st Avenue 20% off entire store.

PETALS & ROOTS 31-27 31st Street 15% off for Small Business Saturday crawl participants.

LOCKWOOD 32-15 33rd Street Free gift with $100 purchase, 20% of total purchase. Extended shopping hours: 10am–9pm.

Q.E.D. 27-16 23rd Avenue $5 Brooklyn Lagers & $2 popcorns while you shop. Anyone who spends over $50 at the Craft Bazaar will get an Admit 2 pass to Q.E.D.

LOCKWOOD PAPER 33-02 Broadway Free gift with $100 purchase, 20% of total purchase. Extended shopping hours: 10am–9pm.

THE STONEWORK 37-06 Ditmars Blvd. 15% off entire store, first 15 customers get a free customized bandana.


Announcing The Wrap Bar available exclusively at

LOCKWOOD PAPER Professionally wrapped gifts starting at $5

is in for Bring th one 10% off ce ar ser vi Wrap B

Lockwood Paper | 33-02 Broadway (on 33rd St.) | 718 626 3040 | @lockwoodshop



with the Lumberjacks

The Crafty Lumberjacks, Andrew Boza and Dennis Setteducati, are Astoria residents and have been said to be the most recognizable couple on 30th Ave.! Their small blog began about five years ago and now has bloomed into a full time business. They have been featured in several publications, including Buzzfeed,

the DIY Network Blog, Urban Bear, Gay Star News, The Vegan Roadie, and lifestyle magazine Sweet Paul. They were recently picked up by HGTV’s digital team and are featured monthly on Handmade, HGTV’s YouTube Channel. Follow Crafty Lumberjacks on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube for DIY inspiration.

to go full out! It’s Christmas and time your cocktails Add festive flourishes to with this simple craft.

Bottle Brush Christmas Tree Cocktail Stirrers


ons on pa

ge 8! 7


lumberj acks


You'll Need




4. 3. 1. Wire Cutter/Heavy Scissors 2. Skewers 3. Small Bottle Brush Trees 4. Gold Sharpie 5. Electrical Tape



Using a wire cutter or heavy scissors, cut off the tip of a skewer to fit your glasses.

2. Drill a small hole into the tree base your bottle brush trees to fit on top of the cut side of the skewer. Glue your tree down with a bit of craft glue. No drill, no problem! A little hot glue will do the trick.


For extra flair, add some gold to the top of your skewer with a Sharpie.


Stir, drink, and be merry! 8


One cannot live by Whiskey alone …HOT WHAT'S WHAT'S RUNNER'S DELIGHT NOT that’s why we have great food too Over 140 Whiskeys Seasonal Menu Dinner Tue – Sun (Bottomless) Brunch Sat - Sun

1933 Ditmars Blvd (Corner of 21 Street) Astoria, NY Yes, we do have a Whiskey Club



beer, cocktails, love


34-04 31st Ave, Astoria, NY 11106 929-522-0061


We invited some of our favorite local bakers to the Queen’s Room for a fun-filled Cookie Swap with a side of milk, champagne, and plenty of shenanigans. If you try your hand at baking any of these recipes or hosting your own Cookie Swap tag us @weheartastoria!

Holiday time is baking time, and the best way to double or triple your cookie consumption is to host a Cookie Swap. Invite a group of friends, and have each person make enough of one kind of cookie to share. At the party, sample the treats, then trade! Everyone leaves with finished gifts—and plenty of new recipes.

About the Queen’s Room: Queen’s Room is a new café/bar on Ditmars Blvd. that offers something for everyone. Come in early for a coffee and house made pastries and stay late for an innovative dinner menu and craft cocktails. (36-02 Ditmars Blvd., Astoria)



Astoria Food Network Stars: Yep our local bakers are TV stars!! Single Girl Cookies was a recent contestant on Food Network’s Bakers vs Fakers! Vinny of Vaccaro Bakery & Café has competed on Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship and will be featuring alongside Guy Fieri on the upcoming show Guy’s Big Project, which will air on November 5 at 9pm on Food Network.

Anastasia Cunningham is the founder and owner of Aloria Cakes and Gourmet Sweets, a custom-order bakery based in Astoria, Queens. Her Astoria roots go deep; her community is not only her home, but her playground. Anastasia is a first generation child of Greek immigrants who first earned her baking chops in her grandmother’s kitchen. She draws inspiration every day from her heritage, you can taste it in her authentic Greek confections and smell it when you walk into her commercial kitchen. To see samples of Anastasia’s work, or for more information, check out Aloria Cakes on their official website at or follow her on Instagram @aloriacakesnyc

Chip NYC began as a hobby, as we sought to recreate the simple taste of our favorite childhood sweets. We started baking and sharing with our friends, and quickly grew to opening our first Chip NYC boutique cookie bakery in Astoria, Queens. Each of our cookie creations are baked daily with the richest ingredients—one of them being LOVE. During the holidays, the Chip NYC team really loves baking in the festive mood! One of our favorite holiday recipes is molasses ginger cookies! It’s the perfect cookie to share with Astoria! Lein Uong is a Ditmars local, but has only been baking in the neighborhood for a few months. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, she quickly got a job at Magnolia Bakery and spent her days making their famous banana pudding and assorted cakes. Lein opted to keep it local, and is baking at Queen’s Room, where she uses her passion and creativity to make decadent scones, loaves, and her famous strawberry yogurt cake! You can follow the Queen’s Room @queensroomnyc or follow Lein @leinuong. Big Vinny’s (Vincenzo Vaccaro) passion for baking was inspired by his traditional Italian parents. With a baker for a father and a chef for a mother, Vinny received a head start to a promising career. He can make anything from bread, cookies, and pies to a six-foot fondant cake with lavish details and edible sequins. Big Vinny has continued his father’s legacy by keeping the “Vaccaro” name at the top of the baking industry. In his own words, he is “forever grateful to have been born in a bag of flour.”

Renee Heitmann is the founder of kindnessproject-turned-small-business Single Girl Cookies. In an effort to connect to her community and spread a little kindness, she makes weekly cookie deliveries to businesses throughout Astoria, and has been doing so for almost five years. Now you can find Renee’s highly sought after baked goods at a few locations around the neighborhood, including Astoria Bier and Cheese Ditmars, Château le Woof, and Sorriso Italian Salumeria. When not baking, Renee is living her dream of being a working musician in NYC. Follow her on Instagram (@singlegirlcookies) or Facebook (SingleGirlCookies) for drool-worthy photos and to see where her next kindness cookie drop will be!


MONSTER COOKIES 1 stick butter 11/2 cups light brown sugar 1/2 cup sugar 3 eggs 1 tsp vanilla 1 16oz jar of creamy peanut butter

irl G e l g Sin es Cooki

Syrup: 4 cups sugar 3 cups water 2 tbsp lemon juice (fresh is best) 4 tbsp honey

Aloria Cakes & Gou rmet Sweet s

Combine the sugar and water in a heavy sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon juice and honey and boil over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool while you make the cookies.

41/2 cups oatmeal 2 tsp baking soda 1 cup chocolate chips 1 cup M&M’s Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream together butter and sugars. Add the eggs, vanilla, and peanut butter. Mix well. Then add your oatmeal, baking soda, chocolate chips, and M&M’s. Drop on a greased cookie sheet or parchment paper. Bake for 7 minutes, pat down cookies with fork, bake for an additional 10 minutes. Makes 20 large cookies.

HOLIDAY SCOTCH COOKIE RECIPE Ingredients: 11/2 lb brown sugar 11/2 lb sugar 21/2 lb butter 3 lb, 4 oz flour - 1/2 cake flour 1 tbsp salt 1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking Soda 8 eggs Vanilla flavor 3 lb butterscotch chips 11/2 lb nuts (whatever you like!) Pink grapefruit jam for filling

Vacca ro BAKER Y

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 F. Beat butter and sugar. Add salt and vanilla. Scrape bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, letting each mix in well. Add flour, baking soda, chips, and nuts, making sure not to overmix. Using an ice cream scooper, scoop dough out and place on a parchment paper lined pan. Bake for 13 minutes. Note: If desired, toast the nuts before adding to the mix!


NUT-FILLED SPICED COOKIES (Yemista Melomakarona)


12 oz butter 6 oz brown sugar 6 oz granulated sugar ½ cup molasses 1½ ounces honey 1 egg 1 tsp cinnamon Pinch nutmeg Pinch cloves 1 tsp ginger 1 lb, 5 oz all-purpose flour 2 tsp baking soda Directions: Cream the butter and both sugars until fluffy. Add the egg, honey, and molasses. Mix until incorporated. Add all dry ingredients. Let dough sit in refrigerator for 2 hours, then roll into balls. While rolling, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake until golden brown and cooked through.

Cookie dough: 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 1 egg 1 cup vegetable or canola oil Filling mixture: 1/2 cup orange juice 3 cups ground walnuts 3 tbsp sugar 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds 1 tsp baking soda 2 tablespoons prepared syrup 2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp nutmeg 1/2 tsp nutmeg 5 to 51/2 cups flour Cream the butter in the bowl of a large stand mixer until light in color (you can use a hand mixer, too!). Add the sugar and mix until it looks creamy and white. Add the egg, beating well to combine. While the mixer is on low speed, gradually add the oil. Mix the orange juice and the baking soda in a separate bowl, and then add to the butter mixture. Combine the baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg with one cup of the flour and add that to the mix next. Gradually add in 3 cups of flour. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and start adding in the remaining flour and kneading with your hands. The dough should be soft, and not sticky, but also not dense. This is when the intuitive side of Greek baking comes in. When in doubt, stop adding flour! Put all the ingredients for the nut mixture together in a bowl. Now it is time to form the cookies. Pinch a piece of dough about the size of a large walnut, or about an inch in diameter, and press it in the palm of your hand to make a circle. Place a scant teaspoon full of the nut mixture in the center of the dough. Pinch the dough together to enclose the filling, while making the cookie into an oval shape. Put the cookies seam side down, about an inch apart, on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. (Save the remaining nut mixture!) Once all the cookies are done, they will bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until light brown. Allow the cookies to cool for five minutes, while you reheat the syrup briefly. Using a slotted spoon, dip the warm cookies into the warm syrup, a few at a time, waiting for them to absorb some of the syrup. Remove the cookies from the syrup with the spoon and place them into individual cupcake liners. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining nut mixture. Cool completely and store in a covered container. Cookies will keep for about 10 days. Makes about 50 cookies.

PUMPKIN PECAN THUMBPRINT COOKIES 1/2 cup butter 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup pumpkin purée 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tbls pumpkin Spice 1/4 tsp salt 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup pecans, finely chopped


Maple glaze: 1/4 cup powdered sugar 1-3 tbsp good maple syrup Whisk together until smooth and takes on a nice icing-like consistency. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in pumpkin purée and mix until combined. Add all dry ingredients and mix just until combined scraping the bowl as needed. Scoop cookies and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Make an indent in each cookie using your thumb or the back of a spoon. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies, rotating the pan halfway through. Allow the cookies to cool before filling with maple glaze. 12




These selections mark some of our favorite things in Astoria, both from local small businesses and indie makers alike. Support the neighborhood, shop local, and don’t forget to check out the Shop Small Crawl (see page 5) this Small Business Saturday, November 25. So without further ado, welcome to the fifith annual We Heart Astoria Gift Guide! Make sure you tag us on your local shopping adventures.

1. The Stonework (37-06 Ditmars Blvd.,, Public Supply Notebook, $16; Bookmark, $14; Mine Luggage Tag, $17; Apprvl Good Luck Patch, $7. | 2. The Brass Owl (36-19 Ditmars Blvd.,, Little Arrow Don’t Quit Your Daydream Unicorn Keychain, $16; Bonnie Jonas Gemstone Earrings, $25; Astoria Is My Hood Tote, collaboration with The Brass Owl and David Orellana, $18. | 3. Dorrarium (, Enamel Pins: Team Alfredo-Golden Red, $14;14Cherry on Top–White Bandanna, $10; The Great Wave of Ice Cream, $15; Good Night Saturn, $15. | 4. Petals & Roots (31-27 31st Street,, Selfie Vase with Succulent, $40.


5. rplusd Designs (, Pizza Is My Best Friend 3D Printed Earrings, $10; You’re a Gem 3D Printed Ring, $5; I Heart Tacos 3D Printed Earrings (white), $10. | 6. Lockwood Style (32-15 Broadway,, Pinch of Color Lipstick (color shown Mia), $24; Bitchstick, $10; Eco Garden Toning Mist, $10; Jolii Lipstick (color shown Amore), $20; Aromatherapy Chakra Boost Oils, $14.95. Push Lock Wallet (black or blush), $24; Hologram Card Holder, $12 | 7.Lockwood (32-15 33rd Street,, Glitter Avocado Ornament, $12.95; Glitter Piñata Ornament, $12.95; Formulary 55 Petite Soap Bar (assorted scents), $6.50. | 8.Lockwood Paper (33-02 15 Broadway, on 33rd Street,, Things To Do In Queens Checklist, $9.95; Written in the Stars Notebook (navy), $16.95 Gold Boxed Twist Pen, $18.95. | 9. Belief (24-01 29th Street,, Leisure Skateboard Deck, $45; Prehistoric Socks, $14.


10. 34th Street Designs (, Succulent Tank, $20 ; French Bulldog Cosmetic Bag, $15; Cat Cosmetic Bag, $15. | 11. The Astoria Bookshop (31-29 31st Street,, Rad American Women: A-Z Postcards, $12.99; On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, $8.99; Demagoguery and Democracy, $9.95. | 12. Lavender Label (29-03 23rd Ave,, Organic Handmade Soap Bars, $6; Soap Sample Sets, $10; Washcloth Set, $15. | 13. Stacy Tracey Design (, 16 I’ve Got My Thinking Cat On Canvas Change Purse, $6; Felt Craft Fox DIY, $6. Lookin’ Sharp Tote, $19.99; Oh Kale No! Tote, $19.99. | 14. Broadway Silk Shop (35-11 Broadway),


15. WidyCat (, New York City Houses 2018 Calendar, $20; Hellgate Bridge Holiday Greetings Card, $5. | 16. Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th Avenue,, Hologram Viewer, $10.95; Love and Romance Movie Top Score Game, $9.99; Assorted Keychains Showing Our Vintage Collection, $4.50. | 17. Cricket La Lou (Instagram @totes_cricket_lalou), Don’t Tell Me to Smile Hand Embroidered Tote, $25, Como Se Llama Hand Embroidered Tote, $25. | 18. Château le Woof (30-2 14th St, Long Island City, Bocce’s Bakery Reindeer Fuel Dog Biscuits made with Peanut Butter, Molasses, and Ginger, $7; Huggle Hounds17 Knottie Snowman Stocking Stuffer. $6. | 19. The Geekery HQ (42-11 Broadway,, Assorted Games: Coup, $14.99; Exploding Kittens, $24.99; Rick and Morty Total Rickall, $14.99; Sushi Go, $12.99.



LOOKING BACK | at 2017 We thought we’d look back at the year and highlight some of the things that were particularly notable in the neighborhood during 2017. From politics to the arts to food news, it surely has been an eventful year!


Vintage wine bar opened in the old Waltz-Astoria space and brought a lively spirit again to this quiet section of Ditmars. We learned that parts of the Netflix sensation The OA were filmed here at Kaufman Astoria Studios. In the “We Still Can’t Believe It Happened File,” a TV game show host and failed real estate developer was inagurated as POTUS. MOMI was home to the short-lived He Will Not Divide Us video installation. Postcards became a de rigueur form of protest. The Women’s March was one of the biggest marches/demonstrations in the history of the world.


Sugar Freak closed, which made Astorians sad. They later opened across the street, which made Astorians very happy. He Will Not Divide Us was shut down on February 18. It now lives at le lieu unique in Nantes, France. Lumen by Jenny Sabin Studio won the Young Architects Program competition award at MoMA PS1.


Our annual Best of Astoria competition commenced. The Spring Retail Crawl, inspired by a very successful Small Business Saturday during the 2016 holiday season, was launched. Paul Simon played a benefit concert at Materials for the Arts in Long Island City.



The Entrepreneur Space turned six! The LIC Flea turned five. Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas honored WHA’s Mackenzi for her “extraordinary contributions to the Western Queens community.” Citi Bike Astoria maps were released. We learned which projects won funding via Participatory Budgeting: new street tree plantings, bus countdown clocks, accessibility to the Astoria Library, tech upgrades for school libraries, solar panels for the Steinway Library, and a STEM Lab at The Young Women’s Leadership School. Beloved Astoria cafe and sometimes-restaurant 60 Beans changed hands and now operates as Queens’ Room. A rally for the earth’s climate took place in Astoria Park. Winegasm, a great wine bar with a memorable name, closed after many years in business. Going in Style, filmed partially in Astoria, was released.

Queens Beer Week started. Our Best of Astoria Bash was a hit! Winners of the Best of Astoria campaign were announced. Salt & Bone opened in the old Burnside Biscuits space (which was the old Athens Cafe space). Major weekend subway disruptions on the N/W line started this month and continued through September. Anthony Bourdain’s TV show on CNN, Parts Unknown, focused on Queens for one episode. Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Twin Peaks returned to television.





The inaugural Backlot Art Festival opened in the Kaufman Arts District. The immensely popular Astoria Park Carnival returned. Former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Astorians were part of the 20 million Americans who watched him. Spider-Man: Homecoming, filmed partially in Astoria, was released.

The much-anticipated permanent Jim Henson Exhibit opened at MOMI. Q.E.D. launched the first community podcast studio in the neighborhood. 2017 marked the 11th year anniversary of the 2006 Astoria Blackout.


Lockwood Paper opened. The Chocolate Factory Theater announced that their search for a new space is over; they’ll be operating out of Dutch Kills next season. The Queens Kickshaw said goodbye to Astoria. We also learned about its replacement, a Chinese restaurant. A sea turtle found its way to the East River—a rare occurrence—and Ovelia’s Peter Giannakis helped save its life. The Astoria Ferry opened for business at the end of the month. Thrillist votes Astoria’s Sandwich Kings the best place for a sandwich in all of New York state.


Citi Bike launches in Astoria and expands further into LIC. Astoria was featured in the New York Times, as part of their “series highlighting things to see, do, eat, and drink in neighborhoods near our ferry landings.” Shore Fest shortened its timing to one weekend (as opposed to three) and produced this summer festival as an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization for the very first time. The old Kosciuszko Bridge was finally demolished (via implosion).


Subway apocalypse arrives in Astoria, with the 30th and 36th Avenue stops predicted to be closed for eight months starting October 23. Local baker Renee Heitman, AKA Single Girl Cookies, was on the Food Network’s Bakers vs. Fakers show. The term “Westoria” is coined and the local press finds out, leading to much consternation among Astorians. The fall of Harvey Weinstein and the discussion of sexual harassment came into full focus and Astorians couldn’t stop talking about it. Frank Zagotti’s Newtown Backyard Film Festival gets some major love from the New York Times.

[all night happy hour] monday [geeks who drink]

trivia every monday at 8pm

[$10 burger & beer]

every tuesday: 5pm to 11pm

[wine down wednesday]

$6 glasses / $25 bottles all night $2 off any food item: 5pm to 11pm

[industry night]

every thursday: 20% off aer 8pm for service industry professionals

[$20 prix fixe menu] every friday [live music] every sunday: 7pm to 9pm

[happy hour daily 5 to 8pm]

32-11 broadway in astoria, queens



N E W Y E A R ’ S E V E1 7 20

As the clock strikes midnight we begin a brand new year. From wild parties out on the town, to pajama parties in the comfort of your own home, everyone rings in the New Year a little differently. Our timeline for this issue made it difficult to share a full roster of local events and parties, so we asked our featured guests, friends, and We Heart staff to tell us about big parties of the past, favorite NYE traditions, and how they handle the dreaded idea of New Year’s resolutions.

“Every year I host a cocktail party for friends filled with tasty food, signature cocktails, and lots and lots of games. Cards Against Humanity (and my endless expansion packs) are a favorite, but guests have been known to bring some, too. My southern friend makes queso dip and chips when the night starts to stretch into the wee hours…” —Mackenzi from We Heart Astoria

“My family and I attend a kid friendly NYE party thrown by some of our closest friends in Astoria. It’s a tradition that’s been going for more than 10 years. On New Year’s Day, we cut into the traditional Greek New Year’s day bread, which hides a coin that is baked into the bread. Whoever gets the coin once we split up the bread has good luck for the rest of the year!" —Anastasia of Aloria Cakes and Gourmet Sweets

“By the time NYE rolls around my husband and I have just returned from visiting family in Texas. Between the packed airports, chaotic family schedules, lugging luggage… well, I love my family, but all that family togetherness means that when I return home I need a minute. What we’ve done the past couple of years is hit up Bier and Cheese and put together an epically awesome spread. The staff at Bier and Cheese are so knowledgeable, make sure you tap their expertise if you want to do some at home cheesing. Toss some booze in the mix and I’m set to say Happy New Year.” —Emily from We Heart Astoria

“I am super boring on NYE. After a long, exhausting holiday season at the store I love to relax at home. We usually have a few friends over to talk, laugh, and eat. I like to get really cheesy store bought “Happy New Year” hats and tiaras for everyone to wear. I also love making appetizers, so I do a whole spread of dips and finger foods. And every year I force my husband to take a selfie with me. Sometimes he even smiles.” —Nicole from The Brass Owl



“Two years ago on December 30 (the day before NYE), I started my own tradition of taking the time to write out how I think my year went—the good, the bad, and the ugly. I had a whirlwind of a year in 2015, and I started thinking about people I hold close to me, and those who had drifted. My mind started to wander and I just found myself writing. This was prior to me starting my blog, so I was using good old-fashioned pen and paper. I held on to that piece of paper as the ball drop count down began. Five, four, three, two, one… I hugged and kissed my family, went into my backyard and lit that paper on fire. On New Years Day, I write. I think about all the things I wish would happen and how I am going to make them happen. Once I’m done with what looks like my “New Year Manifestations,” I pin it to the back of my planner. I was never a fan of resolutions, so I figured manifesting what I want would be a lot more successful and it has been! —Athena from Chip NYC

“My NYE plans the past few years have been all over the place. Last year was five episodes of The OA on Netflix and in bed by 11:30pm. Others have been renting houses with friends or attending concerts. What I like to do when the New Year begins, isn’t making restrictive resolutions, but making a resolution to cross 12 items off my ‘bucket list.’ No matter how big or small, I’ve got 365 days to do it. Items that I checked off in 2017 were as big as travel to Nashville, and as small as finally have dinner at Mombar on Steinway. For 2018, a few items on my list include: • Learn to Salsa dance at #SalsaInQueens, • Run a 5k in under 30 minutes, • Finally go to a New York Rangers game. Check back with me in 2019 to see how it went!” —Lindsay from We Heart Astoria

“My new year’s even plans rarely call for grandeur or partying. I’m usually home with my family in the Finger Lakes and we keep it pretty low key. One year I was the bartender at our home gathering and got everyone D-R-U-N-K and have since been banned from making drinks at family gatherings. Last year was the most fun in recent memory. We made an all out feast (with steaks we still talk about) and then went to a VIP blacklight light bowling! I don’t know how we’ll top last year, but I’m sure we’ll try!!” —Renee from Single Girl Cookies

“I’m from Venezuela and on NYE the church would ring the bell 12 times at midnight, and while it was ringing everyone would eat grapes, 12 to be exact. For each grape you ate you would make one wish for the New Year, so you made a total of 12 wishes. I still do this every New Year’s, except now I eat my grapes as I see the ball come down on TV.” —Mariana from Glyph Creative Studio

“We don’t have a New Year’s Eve tradition, but somehow we end up a bar every year bringing in the New Year with a party. If it were up to me (and not my huband, Andrew) we would be on the couch watching a good movie and sipping on wine. Hopefully this year I can convince him to stay home!" —Kristen from In Company Paper




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The Paper Vo. 5  
The Paper Vo. 5