Page 1

The Paper

How We Met

Date Night Ideas

a quarterly guide to astoria, queens

February Gift Guide

volume 02 | february 2017





Body by Astoria

We’re back! That’s right friends, we’re doing a second volume of this crazy thing we call The Paper. Notice anything different? We’ve decided to make our paper bigger in every sense of the word. We’re bigger in SIZE, STORIES, and LOVE for Astoria. We learned so much in our inaugural issue, and we want to say thank you for your valuable feedback; we think you’ll notice other changes in this LOVE filled edition. Speaking of love, no matter your relationship status, we’ve got LOTS of ideas from some of our favorite Queens Instagram friends on how to plan a perfect date in the neighborhood (page 10). One of our favorite duos, The Crafty Lumberjacks, teach us how to make not one, but two DIY projects (page 22). We’ve got sweet places to buy sweets, ways to stay on track with that whole New Year’s Resolution to look good naked—for after you've eaten the aforementioned sweets, and adorbs stories from small business owners describing how they met their ONE. It goes without saying (but we’ll say it again) but what you hold in your hand wouldn’t be possible without our amazing team of contributors. It takes an actual village to make The Paper; advertisers, writers, photographers, designers, printers, small business partners, and many more. Thank you again to all of the above and, in the interest of this volume’s theme, to our partners—Kellner & Daniel—for always supporting our We Heart work. Don’t forget to share how you’re using, reading, or playing with The Paper by using the hashtag #thepaperbywha—you can find us all over the place @weheartastoria. We'd love to hear from you, give us a shout out at Enjoy! Mackenzi & Emily

: s r o t i d e e from th



The Sweet Spot

Date Night Ideas



Gift Guide

The Queens Kickshaw Cocktails


How We Met …


D.I.Y Wire Heart & Candy Snow Globe

Recommended Date Nights Mackenzi's favorite date night spot is Mar’s over on 34th Avenue, by far the sexiest vibes in Astoria. When Emily is going out for the evening, she always hits up Off the Hook. Great oysters, fantastic (and strong) drinks, and a nice ambiance (especially when summer hits—she loves the outdoor space)

How We Met Mackenzi + Kellner “We met at a trade show in Manhattan. Thanks Lockwood <3” Emily + Daniel “Daniel and I met our junior year of high school and started going out the summer before our senior year. We amazingly still really like each other.”


on the cover

FOUNDERS Mackenzi Farquer Emily Rios CONTRIBUTORS Edible Queens Heart of Queens Single Girl Cookies The Crafty Lumberjacks QueensEats Queenscapes QueensofQueens Queen of Astoria DESIGN Kristen Long Evangelia Mokos WRITERS Dorian Cervantes Meg Cotner Mackenzi Farquer Lindsay Goyette Emily Rios PHOTOGRAPHY Cover photographer: Andrew Escoto Cover art direction: Kristen Long DIY: The Crafty Lumberjacks BUSINESSES Astoria Coffee Kurry Qulture Petals & Roots Q.E.D. Sweet Afton The Bonnie The Queens Kickshaw

Petals & Roots feature flowers from all over the world and create unique floral designs for every occasion.    Located at 31-27 31st Street, Astoria Mention The Paper and receive a 15% discount.

“Pete and I knew each other as children, crossed paths in our teens, and reconnected in our 20s, when sparks flew! Both lovers of beauty and thoughtful details, our similar taste led us to open Petals & Roots in 2012 to present flowers in a way that highlights their natural beauty. We love being a part of the lasting impressions our work makes on the people who give and receive them.”

BODY by Astoria

by Dorian Cervantes

Okay, now that we are a few weeks into 2017 and that New Year’s Resolution you made— you know the one, GET INTO THE BEST SHAPE OF YOUR LIFE—is beginning to look a lot like your New Year’s Resolution for 2018, you’ve probably found yourself in the February slump. Don’t beat yourself up over this; the confidence and motivation are there, maintaining it is the hardest part. Here are my top five tips for keeping your mind right and that booty tight to get you passed that New Year’s goal slump.

tip 1

train with a fitness pro

I know what you’re thinking, of course she is going to say get a trainer, because SHE IS A TRAINER! Listen, before I was a fitpro I worked with a coach, I know first hand the positive effects of having someone there to not only train you, but also to hold you accountable. Even now, I get tired, I can’t kick my own ass all the time, so I look to my fellow coaches for a little extra guidance and #fitspo when I need it. A coach will not only create a custom program for you, but they will help you make goals that are specific, simple, and attainable. It is their job to help motivate you and help you reach your peak physical potential.

tip 2

boutique bargains

If private training is not in your budget I totally understand, it can get crazy expensive, so take advantage of New Student Rates. These are short-term commitments and typically very affordable. And, after all, you can stick to anything for a week. Right now I am totally obsessed with Y7 Studio, basically it’s hip-hop yoga. For $45 you get two weeks of unlimited classes. This is a mega deal when you consider that each class is usually $25 bucks. (FYI, that cost does not include a mat or towel—and you will need a towel, because it gets SWEATAY). If hip-hop yoga is not your jam, check out Class Pass. They are offering unlimited classes for $19 and the options for classes are almost endless. Y7 Studio has locations in Brooklyn, Flatiron, SoHo, Union Square, and the Upper East Side, learn more at



tip 3

recruit your FITFAM

Get together with your friend or family and start a workout club. Training with others creates healthy competition, when working out with someone else the intensity is always a little higher and we tend to push ourselves a little more. Can’t find friends that want to work out with you? First of all, get new friends. Just kidding, not really, but there are apps that can actually find a workout buddy for you. Checkout WORKOUTBUDDIES ( It connects you with local people with similar fitness goals and capabilities. It’s free and the reviews are good.

tip 5

tip 4


The workout playlist is ESSENTIAL! As an artist, an athlete, and a coach I know the power music has in the studio and at the gym. The playlist is so special because YOU create it. These are YOUR jams that inspire YOU to totally boss out and crush your workout. If you don’t already have a library of music I suggest using Spotify or Tidal, where there are hundreds of thousands of songs and music videos to choose from. These apps make it easy to make a playlist and it will only cost you about $10 a month. Find Dorian on Spotify at

treat YO self

(and not with food or alcohol)

A little incentive goes a long way and rewarding your progress might be the extra push you need to keep your eyes on the prize. I am all about that spa day reward. You have physically and mentally pushed your body to its limit. It’s time to give it the break it needs. One of my fave spa’s in the city is the Cowshed Spa at Soho House ( I know, I sound totally bougie right now, but, uhm hello, the title of this tip is called treat yo self, dammit. You don’t have to travel for an amazing spa, though. You can stay and book your next massage at Thai New York Spa on 21st Street in Astoria or Kata on Vernon Boulevard in L.I.C. There you have it, my five tips for staying motivated. But what I want to make really clear is that, above all else, it is most important that in order to set yourself up for success your goal must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely, and to remember to have patience with yourself and with the process. You are AWESOME and capable of great things. HAPPY 2017!

xoDorian Cervantes

Petite Showgirl / Fitpro @DORIANROCKSFIT

Dorian Cervantes ( is a professional dancer and fitness professional certified through the American Council on Fitness with over ten years of coaching experience. When she is not leading classes or coaching private clients she can be found as a featured dancer with The Love Show NYC ( She is the creator of SHREDD IN THE PARK, a one hour conditioning class that runs every Sunday from May through September in Astoria Park and Gantry Park. If you can’t wait till the summer, you can train with her at Club Fitness NYC, where she leads cross training classes and her signature hybrid class, Cardio Dance Your ASS Off.



t e e Sw The

Spot By Meg Cotner

February is a lot of things: The shortest month of the year, the height of winter’s bleakness, and time for Valentine’s Day. If you’ve been in any of the local drugstores in the past month, you’ve no doubt seen a lot of big brand candy, chocolates, and those cute little cards. To counter that, here are some alternative ideas to sweeten up the holiday, (mostly) Astoria-style.

La Guli Pastry Shop La Guli is one of the oldest bakeries in Astoria, and this much loved neighborhood institution offers up heart shaped and decorated cookies, cakes, and cake pops during February.    Located at 29-15 Ditmars Boulevard, Astoria

Lockwood Along with great housewares, gifts, candles, and clothing, Lockwood always has all sorts of delicious edible sweetness lying around. Grab one (or several) of their Compartés organic chocolate bars—the donuts & coffee, pink elephants, and cereal bowl flavors are all huge favorites. The Brooklyn-made Mast Brothers mini bars are also really cute and much loved.    Located at 32-15 33rd Street, Astoria



OK Café Cookies and ice cream are the name of the game at Ditmars-area OK Cafe. They’ll have some cute seasonal cookies and Lovelet ice cream sandwiches (by Melt Bakery), perfect for the holiday. And if you want to stop by on Valentine’s Day proper, owner Giselle tells us, “We will be dolling the place up for an especially romantic candlelit evening atmosphere, which makes it the perfect stop for dessert and coffee or a glass of wine.”    Located at 22-04 33rd Street, Astoria

Single Girl Cookies Renee Heitmann, the Single Girl herself, tells us that she will be part of the Astoria Tiny Market, a semi-regular pop-up market, this time at Judy & Punch (34-08 30th Avenue) on Saturday, February 11, from 2pm to 6pm. She says, “I'll have my best sellers, especially salty sailors—giant cookies stuffed with Nutella and topped with sea salt. I’ll also have my signature chocolate chip cookies, Nutella stuffed shortbread cookies, heart shaped almond sugar cookies, dark chocolate espresso brownies, and maybe something else special like a raspberry linzer tart.” If you can’t make it to the market, know that you can regularly get her goodies—salty sailors and chocolate chip cookies, specifically—around Astoria.    Available at Astoria Bier and Cheese (35-11 Ditmars Boulevard), Château le Woof (30-02 14th Street), and soon at Joe's Garage (45-01 23rd Avenue).

Sugarcube Sugarcube is a little café and dessert shop tucked away on a side street in L.I.C. They offer dessert and gelato pairings for $10, including some uncommon gelato flavors, including rosewater vanilla, orange blossom almond, kir royal (Chambord with champagne), black currant with elderflower and mint, and lemon crème brûlée, alongside more familiar ones like dark chocolate, roasted pistachio, and strawberry Greek yogurt. Their chocolates are very special and beautiful—their chocolate bars are made using a 3D printer (with custom designs available). They also offer an assortment of gorgeous and delicious chocolate bonbons for sale, that are perfect gifts for the one you love.    Located at 10-16 50th Avenue, Long Island City

The Bonnie We’ve learned that The Bonnie’s new chef, Nick Testa, will be making a skillet-baked chocolate chip cookie affogato for two, topped with vanilla ice cream and an espresso glaze. This sounds incredibly delicious. Located at 29-12 23rd Avenue, Astoria

MitchMallows Entrepreneur Space superstar Mitchmallows are offering artistic cherry and vanilla flavored marshmallow hearts, coated in sparkly technicolor sugar, nestled in a stylish clear window box. Order by February 7 to ensure delivery for Valentines Day.    Made in Queens and available online at 9

date night ideas W

hether you’re completely single, in a long-term relationship, or starting to get butterflies with someone special, we could all use some new ideas for dates. We asked some of our favorite local influencers to share their favorite date suggestions, and they didn’t disappoint. Now, it’s your turn to get out there and make a date with Astoria. Share your perfect Astoria date with us!    #whadates


SLIGHTLY SEXY: Dutch Kills Their cocktails are wonderful and the ambiance is dark and moody, perfect for dates. Located at 27-24 Jackson Avenue, L.I.C.

DATING FOR ADULTING: Crescent Grill For fancier, upscale dates, we love Crescent Grill in L.I.C. They have great cocktails, Queens beers on tap, and the food they serve is some of the best in Queens for fine dining. Located at 38-40 Crescent Street, L.I.C.

SUMMER LOVIN': Anable Basin Sailing During the summer months Anable Basin Sailing is great for drinks and Eastern European food. Located on the East River north of Gantry Park, we like to go here for a drink and snack and then catch the outdoor movies at the Gantry Park Summer Outdoor Movie series. Gantry Park is also where we took our engagement pictures, and it’s a nice spot just to spend time with someone special. Located at 04-40 44th Drive, L.I.C. 10



THIRD DATE ROMANCE: Agnanti There’s something special about Agnanti—the delicious seafood, the roaring fireplace, and the lively atmosphere measure up for a great experience. It’s also a major plus that Agnanti is right on the edge of Astoria Park, the perfect place for an after dinner stroll. I’ve always had great date experiences at Agnanti and highly suggest it for a third or fourth date. Located at 19-23 Ditmars Boulevard, Astoria

DATING IN DAYLIGHT—Perfect for Tinder Meetings: St. James Deli & Museum of the Moving Image St. James Deli may be the best-kept secret in Astoria. A bodega on 34th Avenue, they have the best tacos I’ve had in the neighborhood. There is a small area for seating and the prices cannot be beat. Follow tacos up with a trip to the Museum of the Moving Image and catch a featured film or wander around the exhibits, which include a permanent installation dedicated to Muppet’s creator Jim Henson and a Martin Scorsese retrospective running through the end of April. Located at 34-02 34th Avenue, Astoria (St. James Deli) & 36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria (MOMI)

@queenscapes NICE + EASY: Noguchi Museum & M. Wells Steakhouse On a slow paced Saturday, we’ll start our night early at the Noguchi Museum on Vernon Boulevard before the 6:00pm closing hour, to take in the amazing stone and architectural work. With its wide open spacing, the Noguchi Museum is the perfect place to unwind and relax at the still surprisingly unsaturated L.I.C. location. We’d wrap up the night with a romantic dinner at the nearby M. Wells Steakhouse at MoMA PS1. Although on the pricey side, indulging in M. Wells’ amazing custom cocktails always does the trick before your meal. Located at 09-01 33rd Road, Astoria (Noguchi Museum) & 43-15 Crescent Street, L.I.C. (M. Wells)

KEEP’N IT SPICY: The Standing Room & Don Coqui Start things off at The Standing Room comedy club on Vernon Boulevard. The bar here is small, but always lively with a great ambiance on a Saturday night. After drinks head to the back of the club and enjoy the comedy show. Afterward, head over to Don Coqui restaurant and lounge on 31st Street for some Puerto Rican culture, food, and dancing! Located at 47-38 Vernon Boulevard, L.I.C. (The Standing Room) & 28-18 31st Street, Astoria (Don Coqui) 11


@queensofqueensny DINNER WITH A VIEW: Luna This is one of our favorite spots for sushi and sashimi in the borough, both for the excellent quality of fish and the great views. The restaurant has a roof deck facing Steinway Street that overlooks the heart of Astoria and one on the very top with views of the city skyline. We recommend choosing a seat outside with your date and starting with the sashimi special and a couple lychee martinis! Located at 32-72 Steinway Street, Sixth Floor, Astoria

BUDGET BABES: Astoria Bier & Cheese Who in New York City isn’t on a budget! ABC is one of the best places in Astoria to get the most for your money, and with no lack in quality or service. With locations on Ditmars and Broadway, this local favorite is easily accessible for all Astorians. If you’re treating your date to a night out, you won’t break the bank when they order a beer flight, cheese plate, or sandwich, all for around $10 each! Located at 34-14 Broadway & 35-11 Ditmars Boulevard, Astoria

MIX IT UP: Cocktail classes at Proof + Gauge One of our favorite spots for cocktails in L.I.C. is Proof + Gauge, a tasting room owned by Astoria Distilling Company, makers of Queens Courage gin, located in the Falchi Building. Impress someone special, treat them to one of the cocktail making classes, held on the third Wednesday of every month. Join founder Chris Murillo as you make three of your own cocktails and enjoy appetizers. You can book a class at $60 a person on their website! Located at 31-00 47th Avenue, L.I.C.

THREE'S A CROWD: Break Bar & Billiards Looking for a group activity? Break Bar & Billiards is a lively spot for groups with a lot to offer! With eighteen beers on tap, fifteen HD televisons, and (of course) plenty of games to choose from, including pool and arcade games, it’s an easy spot at which to spend hours on end. For the perfect and affordable #SundayFunday, don’t miss their free pool all day! Located at 32-04 Broadway, Astoria



@singlegirlcookies CARBS + COCKTAILS: Vite Vinosteria & The Queens Kickshaw Start with dinner at Vite Vinosteria followed by drinks at The Queens Kickshaw. I love the food at Vite, not to mention the excellent service and incredibly warm atmosphere. They don’t serve the risotto of the day every day, but when they it’s a can’t miss option. As a date spot, it’s a sure winner. And the new cocktail menu at TQK is amazing, and the place is the perfect balance of intimate and casual, making for a perfect end to a (hopefully!) great evening. Located at 31-05 34th Street, Astoria (Vite) & 40-17 Broadway, Astoria (TQK)

NOT SO MUNDANE: Q.E.D. & Flattopps If a date seems up for something a little more fun, I'd say let's catch a show at Q.E.D. and then test their fun-o-meter with a trip to Flattopps. The kitchen is open late (and turns out great, indulgent food), the bar offers tasty and inventive drinks, and a featured DJ (and disco ball) keep things moving. Things can get a little wild. Located at 27-16 23rd Avenue, Astoria (Q.E.D.) & 33-06 Ditmars Boulevard, Astoria (Flattopps)

@heart_of_queens DATE SPOTS THAT NEVER FAIL: Milkflower, Sek’end Sun, Il Bambino, & Butcher Bar Milkflower: the only thing more romantic than sharing a pizza and side of meatballs is getting a pizza just for yourself. We love the food at Milkflower (brussels sprouts pizza?!) and the ambiance. Sek'end Sun: If you're up for a random Tuesday date night, our favorite place to go is Sek’end Sun for their $12 burger & beer special. Plus, it’s a great place to snap a selfie in front of a glowing neon QUEENS sign. Il Bambino: A plate of crostini and the Italian meatloaf panini—enough said. Butcher Bar: Maybe not a first date spot because, well, RIBS! But make no mistake, the house dry-rubbed ribs are to die for. Located at 34-12 31st Avenue, Astoria (Milkflower); 32-11 Broadway, Astoria (Sek’end Sun); 34-08 31st Avenue, Astoria (Il Bambino); & 37-10 30th Avenue, Astoria (Butcher Bar)

GET FANCY: Trattoria L’Incontro Have a fantastic Italian meal at Trattoria L’Incontro—like say, pear and gorgonzola risotto and a bottle of wine— but be warned, there are more specials than menu items, and the dedicated wait staff are happy to present them to you from memory. Afterward, walk a few blocks down Ditmars Boulevard to Astoria Park and catch the sunset over the Hell Gate Bridge. Located at 21-76 31st Street (@Ditmars), Astoria 13


@edible queens GO FISH: Astoria Seafood A late lunch at Astoria Seafood would be my ideal date idea. The fish couldn’t be any fresher (it is also a fish market, after all), the kitchen staff any friendlier, and it’s BYOB, so a fun way to experiment. And if conversation is feeling challenging, playing a game of Name that Fish makes for a fun icebreaker! Located at 37-10 33rd Street, L.I.C.

WHA_Ad_02.qxp_Layout 1 1/17/17 9:32 AM Page 1

THE Brass Owl BOUTIQUE Quay Sunnies

Dolce Vita Sandals Urban Expressions Heather Hawkins Jewelry

PJ Salvage

Mention this ad and get 10% off any regular price purchase! (VALID THROUGH APRIL 30, 2017)






just a hint of

01/ UNDIE COUTURE lace bralette $20 thebrassowl. com 02/ ANTIDOTE CHOCOLATE BARS each $7.95 03/ SATYA heart chakra necklace $85



03 04

02 05

cozy night



01+02/ LAVENDER LABEL pomegranate soap $6â&#x20AC;¯+ vanilla lavender soap $6 03/ EVIL QUEEN "forever alone"candle $22 04+05/ THE ASTORIA BOOKSHOP Love Poems by Pablo Neruda $11.95 + How to Love by Thich Nhat Hanh $9.95 15


show some

unconditional 01


01–03/ SWEET STRAY accessories for your li'l partner $12 each



02 01





01/ CALL ME CARAMEL gruyere caramels $20 02/ QUEENS COURAGE avaliable at Astoria Park Wine & Spirits, Astoria Wine & Spirits, Omega Wine & Spirits 03/ UNNA BAKERY swedish cookies $9.00 per box



TH E Q UEEN S KIC KS H AW cocktails

knickers in a twist


he main inspiration for these two cocktails is also the general theme behind our Valentine’s Day dinner this year, in which we explore the idea of complimentary and contrasting flavor profiles—bitter, sweet, salty, tart— in creating harmonious pairings with food and drink,” says Jena Ellenwood of The Queens Kickshaw. “After all, the best things in life are achieved in a balancing act between different points in a complex spectrum of tastes and aromas.”


most precious blood


knickers in a twist Jena Ellenwood, The Queens Kickshaw 1.5 oz Queens Courage Old Tom Gin 1.5 oz Carpano Antica .5 oz Amaro Sfumato 2 dashes Peychaudâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bitters Build in mixing glass. Add ice and stir. Strain into a martini glass or a coupe. Garnish with a blood orange wheel. Barkeep Notes: I really enjoy putting a spin on classics; the inspiration for Knickers in a Twist is the Hanky Panky, which was created by one badass lady bartender at the Savoy Hotel. I use local Queens Courage Old Tom Gin to lend a little sweetness as my base. The smoky notes from the Amaro and the hint of cherry from the bitters bring to mind old Hollywood glamour with an edge. The lady who is sipping this could engage you in titillating repartee or, just as easily, rip your heart out and keep on walking. Why not buy her a drink and find out?

most precious blood Dean Nunez, The Queens Kickshaw 1.5 oz Royal Dock Gin .25 oz Luxardo .5 oz meyer lemon juice (regular lemon is great too) .5 oz rosemary-infused simple syrup Build in mixing glass. Add ice, and shake. Double-strain into a martini glass or a coupe. Garnish with a beet juice-soaked blood meyer lemon wheel. Barkeeps Notes: I love the color of beet juice and wanted to do a cocktail with it for Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day. I really love the color. Most Precious Blood is my take on a New York Sour, which is one of my favorite drinks to make. I use gin because it really works with the beets, and instead of doing a wine float I soak Meyer lemons in the beet juice to set on top of the cocktail. Over time the drink turns from a milky white to an almost fluorescent red, with a concurrent evolution in flavor.


HOW WE MET… from liz

s ’ e e ff o C a i r o t As e e L s i n n e D & k c Liz Wi

“Dennis and I met as students at The Ohio State University. I was working as a waitress at a diner on campus, and Dennis would frequent the place in the evenings to drink coffee and study music. We always had great conversations, not to mention he was a really good tipper. When we graduated, Dennis came to New York City and I kept moving around from place to place. We stayed in touch by phone for two years—pre-smartphone, so we’re talking LONG, actual voice-to-voice phone calls, people, that’s commitment—until I finally realized I was totally in love and couldn’t really live without him. I moved here to join him, and soon after we embarked on our mission to make a coffee shop in Queens as great as the coffee shop we spent so much time in together. Our wish every day is to recreate that amazing communal environment where we found so much friendship and comfort… just with better coffee!”

from kambri & christian “We met in December 2002 at the Gershwin Hotel,” where Finnegan was setting up for his weekly show Portable Comedy. Crews was there with a few fellow female bloggers who had decided to meet in real life and support another blogger who was trying stand up comedy for the first time. Later, the bloggers and comedians repaired for drinks at the now-shuttered Limerick House, followed by a cab ride to Astoria, where they both lived. A few days later, Crews e-mailed Finnegan to invite him to a friendly brunch to talk comedy and producing, which led, inevitably, to another comedy show at the now-defunct Ye Olde Tripple Inn. This time the cab ride ended in a walk to her doorstep, where he announced: “Okay, I’m going to leave now, before I try to make out with you.” It was kind of one of those, “Hey, if you take this serious, then I’m being serious, but if you’re totally weirded out, it’s just a big joke,” says Finnegan. Several days later—January 15, 2003, to be exact— the two had their first official date at Café Bar, which, thankfully, is still open. 20

Q.E.D’. s Kambri CtriaewnsF&innegan Chris


from vanessa

Kurry Qulture’

s Vanessa & Sonny Solomon

“Sonny and I met at the bar Taj Lounge in 2002. He was celebrating a friends’ anniversary and I was a tourist from Los Angeles. He ended up showing me around for the three days I was here [in New York City]. I was headed to Houston for a week to visit friends. When I finally got home, I found an eight-page handwritten letter that basically summed up to ‘The time I spent with you were the most beautiful days of my life.’ I joined a student exchange program through Hunter College and moved in with Sonny the following year. We’ve been in the same building since; good apartments are hard to come by ;-).”

from chelsea

“We were working at a pan-Asian small plates restaurant in San Francisco, Mike as a food runner and myself as a server, both fresh out of college and not really looking for a serious relationship. A mutual friend was trying to set Mike up with another woman, but I knew it wouldn’t be a good fit, so I sat back and waited. We had our first ‘date’ on Easter of 2003. Mike wooed me with a bowl of vanilla ice cream and crushed peanuts that he scored from his buddies in the kitchen. We shared it on the to-go packing station in the back of the restaurant during a break from our shift, and went home together that night—but we kept it PG-13 for a while, honestly. After greasy breakfast at the Pork Store Cafe on Haight Street—still our favorite diner—we held hands on the bus and we got all the butterflies. Thirteen years later, we’re married with a baby and still get all fluttery when we hold hands.”

The Bonnie & Sweet Afton’s Mike Di Tota & Chelsea Morse from jen

“Ben and I theoretically met via the internet. I was living in Toronto at the time, and he was in San Francisco. I was planning to travel to China to photograph the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze, a massive hydro-electric project that was raising water levels, displacing millions of people, and submerging archaeological sites. After sending emails to random photographers whose dam photography was online, Ben responded with a long and thoughtful email. We kept in touch over the years, updating each other about our travels, photography, and projects. In 2004, the University of St. Lawrence in Canton, New York, invited him to show his Three Gorges photographs, and they asked him to invite two other photographers. It was me and another, and that’s how we first met in person. We moved to New York together in early 2006 to be together.” 21

. Y . I D.


wire heart candy snow globe

Copper Hearts


Love notes, cards, and photos fit perfectly between these copper wire hearts, when two become one. You’ll be making two back-to-back hearts with one piece of wire. The wire is easily bendable with your hands, but you can also use pliers if you have them.

Wire | Wooden block Drill | Glue gun


1. Make your first heart by twisting the wire in the center, flipping it upside down, and continue to shape a heart. This may take a bit of trial and error, but it’s so worth it!

Cut a piece of wire about two feet long with your wire cutters.

Once your first heart is formed, twist one end of the wire around the bottom, bring it around, and form your second heart.


3. You’re almost done! Clean it up a little and cut the wire to whatever height you want.


Drill a small hole in the center of the block, careful not to drill all the way through. Glue the wire to the block and your photo holder is done!


NY Candy Snow Globe


Crafty Tip: Before you begin, make sure your souvenir fits into the jar… we learned that the hard way!


Jar | New York souvenir | Glitter Glue | Glue gun | Sprinkles

2. Make your Empire State Building (or your other souvenir) light up with love by adding pink and purple glitter.


Once the glitter is dry, hot glue the Empire State Building on the inside of your jar lid. Add sprinkles into the jar and screw the lid on tight.

Turn it upside down and admire your work! Great job! We’re in a NY state of love!

FROM THE CRAFTY LUMBERJACKS The Crafty Lumberjacks, Andrew Boza and Dennis Setteducati, are Astoria residents and have been said to be the most recognizable couple on 30th Avenue! Their small blog began about five years ago and now has bloomed into a full time business. They have been featured in Buzzfeed, DIY Network blog, Urban Bear, Gay Star News, The Vegan Roadie, and the lifestyle magazine Sweet Paul, among others. They were recently picked up by HGTV’s digital team and are featured monthly on HGTV’s YouTube Channel, Handmade. Follow Crafty Lumberjacks on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube for DIY inspiration and their upcoming Crafts and Cocktails events all around the city! Instagram: @craftylumberjacks



The Paper Vo. 2