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The Paper a quarterly guide to astoria, queens

Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Food + Drinks

Small Business Saturday

volume 1 | winter 2016

Editors Note It’s hard to believe that six years ago, We Heart Astoria was just an idea sparked over a stack of pancakes. Over time we’ve become a whole team of late-night, early-rising N/Q/ M/R train-riding bloggers. Food still inspires our biggest ideas, and The Paper is a direct result of a great slice of Stun Dunn pizza shared amongst friends.

their busy schedules. Thank you for helping us make this inaugural issue so meaningful. To our We Heart Astoria writing team; GUYS—we made a newspaper (WHAT!). Finally, to the In Company design team, thanks for making us look so good. In the following pages you’ll see that this Paper is like no other. We want this to stick with you; we want you to keep these articles for ideas and inspiration, we want to keep you shopping in Astoria on Small Business Saturday, and most importantly we want you feel connected to this place we call home.

Speaking of food, don’t miss the Punjab Christmas from our friends at Kurry Qulture on page 33. Be sure you use our Holiday Gift Guide on page 16 for all the people on your shopping list. If you’ve ever wanted to make Rosemary Simple Syrup for a classic cocktail, local mixologist Mike from Sweet Afton & The Bonnie can teach you.

This was an ambitious dream and through the support and encouragement of the Astoria community, our dream is now a reality.

The Paper wouldn’t be possible without the help of our team and contributors. We asked business owners to write articles and share personal stories during breaks in

Photo: Mackenzi Farquer

Until Vol. 2, Mackenzi & Emily


Table of Contents

6–7 8–10 12–14 16–20 22–24 26–28 30–33 35–38

Where to Give This Holiday Season

Holiday DIY

Small Business Saturday

Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Style

Holiday Food + Drinks

Holiday Traditions

New Year’s Eve in Astoria

Contributors Founders: Mackenzi Farquer Emily Rios Writers: Matt Archambault Meg Cotner Mackenzi Farquer Lindsay Goyette Tia Keenan Nicole Panettieri Emily Rios Dixie Roberts Ana Stone Design: Kristen Long Evangelia Mokos Photography: Cover: Andrew Escoto Fashion: Dixie Roberts DiY: Ana Stone Businesses: Adega Wine & Spirits Astoria Bookshop Astoria Bier & Cheese Astoria Wine & Spirits Grand Wine & Spirits HiFi Records Kurry Qulture Lockwood LoveDay 31 Q.E.D Queen’s Comfort Sac’s Place Sweet Afton The Bonnie The Brass Owl The Stonework Triboro Beverage Want to be a contributor? Reach out and get involved!

33-06 31 st Ave

Astoria, NY




1:34 PM

Find your #Fitfam at the new

Simply Fit Astoria! Indoor Cycling Barre Dance Cardio PiYo Kickboxing HIIT Pilates Personal Training









Be Simply Your Best with Simply Fit Astoria 37-20 Astoria Blvd S Astoria, NY 11103 (347) 639-0489 simplyďŹ


Charitable Giving

Where To Give This Holiday Season By Meg Cotner


Greater Astoria Historical Society

The Astoria Performing Arts Center—more commonly known as APAC—is much beloved in the neighborhood and is Astoria’s premiere live theatre experience. Along with presenting performances of both new and classic theater works, they provide educational opportunities for youth and a performance program for Queens seniors over 60 years of age.

Dedicated to “preserving our past and using it to promote our community’s future,” GAHS hosts programs to keep Astoria’s history in the public’s eye. They present public events, lead field trips and walking tours, and show exhibits on the area’s future in their space on the 4th floor of the Quinn building. If Astoria’s history is important to you, a gift to GAHS is the way to go.

How to give: Gifts can be made online by credit card and Paypal. By check, mail to Astoria Performing Arts Center, Inc., 34-12 36th Street, Suite 1-232, Astoria, NY 11106. APAC is a 501(c)3 organization.

How to give: Gifts can be made online by credit card and Paypal. By check, mail to Greater Astoria Historical Society, 35-20 Broadway, 4th Floor, Long Island City, NY 11106.


Illustrations: Kristen Long

The holidays are a time for giving and sharing, and giving to local organizations is a worthy thing to put on the top of your list. Here is our list of local places to give this season, organizations that can definitely use your help, whether your interest is in people, places, or things.

Charitable Giving

Green Shores

Hour Children

This volunteer-run community organization does so much to help our Western Queens waterfront, from cleaning it up, to celebrating it, to ensuring access for all in the area. Their work benefits many people across all demographics.

Part housing, part training and outreach program, LIC-based Hour Children is a comprehensive community organization that helps women and their children affected by the prison system by providing education, skills and support. Bottom line: their goal is to be a catalyst in breaking the cycle of intergenerational incarceration. They also run a food pantry, and overall they help these women and their children build successful lives here in the “real world.”

How to give: Currently donations are accepted by check made out to City Parks Foundation, 830 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10065, Attn: Finance Department. Indicate “Green Shores NYC” in the memo line.

How to give: Gifts can be made online by credit card and Paypal, done through the trusted Network For Good. Recurring donations are encouraged. Hour children is is a 501(c)3 organization.

Queens Library

Zone 126

The Queens Library—with branches on Steinway, in Old Astoria Village, and on Broadway in Astoria— is an amazing resource for our neighborhoods; it’s hard to fathom the idea that we could be without libraries. The Queens Library system is a home for books, of course, and also holds classes and workshops, shows movies, provides a safe place for kids, and much more; they are essential to the health of our community.

This small nonprofit focuses its work in LIC (zip codes 11101, 11102, and 11106) and their mission is “driving community transformation for children and families in Astoria and Long Island City’s concentrated pockets of poverty” in the aforementioned zips. Their vision is for “every child to graduate from high school prepared for college, and enter the workforce equipped with the skills needed to thrive in a 21st century world.” So, education and skills for young people is their bag.

How to give: Gifts can be made online by credit card, and can be dedicated to a friend or loved one and will be made to the Queens Library Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) and 509(a)(1) and 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) organization.

How to give: Gifts can be made online with a credit card and Paypal. Giving to Zone 126 is really worthwhile—for every dollar you donate, they bring in three. Zone 126 is a 501(c)(3) organization.


Do Do It It Yourself Yourself

Holiday DIY By Ana Stone The name of my store, The Stonework, pays homage to my family. I grew up in a household of artists and makers that all share the last name, Stone. The literal definition of stonework is, “the parts of a building made of stone”—and that’s what my store is, the lessons I’ve learned that gave me a solid foundation to build my shop. Growing up, my mom was always repurposing. “Don’t get rid of that, I can use it for something!” were words I knew all too well. However, unlike an episode of Hoarders, with a little ingenuity and know-how, my mom really did reuse those things for “something.” One of my favorite upcycled projects my mom taught me is the sweater wine bag, it’s actually one of the first things I remember hand sewing. During the Holidays, there are three things we’re in no shortage of, old sweaters, last minute gifting and the need for alcohol. So go ahead and dust off that old sweater you haven’t worn in years and repurpose it in three different ways to offer a quick and easy personalized touch to your gifts.

Materials Needed: One loved sweater | Scissors or a rotary cutter | Needle & thread (I like embroidery thread for this) | Twine or ribbon | Wine (try not to drink)


Do It Yourself


1 5



9 6



10 7




Do It Yourself

1+2 Insert wine bottle through the sleeve with the top of the bottle toward the cuff of the sweater. Stand the bottle up to get an idea of where you want to cut the arm of the sweater off.

3 Cut the arm of the sweater off the body in straight line with scissors or a rotary cutter. Flip the sleeve of the sweater inside out, so the right sides are together.



Flip the wine bag right side out and insert the bottle. Take your twine or ribbon and wrap it around the neck of the bottle, add a little card if you have it, perfect for letting the receiver know who gave them this awesome handmade gift bag with booze inside. Fold down the excess on the top of the bag

With the needle and thread (I like embroidery thread for this, it’s heavier and works well with the knit sweater), sew the two ends together with a whip stitch

You’re all set, get ready for bragging rights when you tell everyone at the party that you made that wine bag out of one of your *favorite* sweaters.


Lay the bottle and newly forming wine bag side by side and cut the cuff off the sweater leaving a few inches between the top of the cut and top of the wine bottle. Don’t throw away the cuff, we’re going to be using that later!

7 8–11

Remember that cuff I told you not to throw away? Now it’s their turn. Simply cut the cuff off of both sleeves and now they’re a perfect pair of cup cozies to give or keep for yourself! If you’re feeling extra crafty, go ahead and throw some embroidery thread into them in any design.


The bottom of the same sweater makes for a beautiful garnish on any gift. One sweater that was destined for an eternity in the back of your closet just made gift giving for the Holidays personal, unique and up cycled.





Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday in Astoria Show Your Astoria Pride when you #ShopSmallAstoria By: Nicole Panettieri, Owner, The Brass Owl When people ask me what I love about Astoria, I always say “the sense of community.” That sense is no clearer than on Small Business Saturday, when my boutique, The Brass Owl, and the myriad other local businesses are overflowing with local residents proud to support Astoria’s mom and pop businesses.

and staffed by local residents, which means that when you shop local you are investing back into your community. And as business owners and Astoria residents, we are dedicated to bringing you one-on-one attention, personalization, and the right assortment for your specific needs. So yeah, it should give you all the feels when you shop local. During my first year in business, I was inspired by a customer who came in with a collection of #shopsmall pins that she had collected from each of the Astoria stores at which she shopped. I was so moved by her that last year, to celebrate our loyal locals, I spearheaded a group of independently owned retail stores in Astoria banding together for our first ever Small Business Saturday Retail Crawl. It’s kind of like a traditional pub crawl, only with more shopping bags and less chance of someone being sick. (That said, if you decide to bring a flask along while you sneak away from your family holiday gathering, no one will judge.) This year, the Retail Crawl is back, and even more stores have signed on to take part! When you shop at 8 or more participating stores, you will be entered to win a grand prize featuring items from all 17 participating stores (approx. $600 value)!

Small Business Saturday is a shopping holiday sponsored by American Express as a response to the craziness of Black Friday. Falling on the Saturday after Thanksgiving—this year that’s November 26— Small Business Saturday encourages and incentivizes people to get out of the malls and off their computers, and instead out into the brickand-mortar businesses that proudly serve local communities. Why is it so important to shop small, though? According to the American Independent Business Alliance, a “non-profit organization dedicated to helping communities become more self-supporting and resilient through fostering a culture that values and supports independent business and local entrepreneurs,” when you spend $100 in a locally owned store, $48 of that money ends up staying in the community versus just $14 from chain stores. Many of these stores are owned


Small Business Saturday

This day is not about scoring the best deal like Black Friday, it’s about supporting mom and pop shops in your community. However, as business owners, we like to thank you for your support. With that in mind, many local stores will have great discounts and giveaways. Check out all the excitement:

Astoria Bookshop

With $20 or more purchase, choose from grab bag of bookish goodies With $50 or more purchase, receive a free Astoria Bookshop tote bag With $75 or more purchase, receive a free Astoria Bookshop tote bag or enter your name into a drawing for a $25 Astoria Bookshop Gift Certificate


Lavender Label

10% off entire purchase With $50 or more purchase, receive a free bar of soap Other free gifts throughout the day

Lockwood & Lockwood Style

20% entire purchase With $100 or more purchase, receive a free gift

20–50% off entire store

The Brass Owl


Double Loyalty Points 30% off all shoes and more specials announced 8am With $10 or more purchase, receive a free Brass Owl cosmetic bag With $100 or more purchase, receive a free “From Astoria, With Love” tote

25% off entire purchase With $50 or more purchase, receive a goodie bag

Broadway Silk

20% off entire purchase

Chateau Le Woof

Holiday Bazaar With $10 or more purchase from QED receive 2 QED Show passes

10% off sales over $20

Petals & Roots QED

$3 Special—a cup of coffee for you and a chicken foot for your dog A free coffee with any purchase of large dog food bag or frozen bag Samples, giveaways, and a prize raffle

The Stonework

10% off already reduced apparel 20% off all denim

The Geekery Roll the die for a discount

Toca Store

HiFi Records

20% off entire purchase

10% off new releases and re-issue vinyl 10% off Rega & U-turn turntables 15% off Kanto powered loudspeakers 15% off Elac loudspeakers

Jumping Bulldog

Launching new stocking stuffer candle line: Lucissima Free doggie happy hour in 2 shifts for daycare: 11–1 and 2–4 (must be by appointment because space is limited. All dogs must have proof of vaccination prior to drop off).


Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday Retail Crawl November 26th 2016 Thank you Astoria for your dedication to shopping local all year long. To thank you, a group of independently owned retail stores have come together to host a Retail Crawl. When you shop at 8 or more participating stores you will be entered in to win a grand price from all 17 stores.

Here’s what you have to do:


Cut/tear out this passport from The Paper by We Heart Astoria (or passports will be available at participating stores)


On Small Business Saturday shop at 8 or more participating stores and have your passport signed at time of purchase


Drop off your completed passport at The Brass Owl before 12/2/17

Astoria Bookshop 31-29 31st St. 718-278-2665

The Geekery 42-11 Broadway 718-606-2853

Lockwood 32-15 33rd St. 718-626-6030

The Stonework 37-06 Ditmars Blvd. 718-606-0828

Belief 24-01 29th St. 917-832-6491

HiFI Records 23-19 Steinway St. 718-606-1474

Lockwood Style 33-02 Broadway 718-626-3040

Toca Store 14-05 31st Dr. 718-204-8622

The Brass Owl 36-19 Ditmars Blvd. 347-848-0905

Inside Astoria 28-07 Ditmars Blvd. 718-956-4000

Loveday 31 33-06 31st Ave 718-728-4057

Broadway Silk 35-11 Broadway 718-728-2519

Jumping Bulldog 26-30 23rd Ave. 718-606-0147

Petals & Roots 31-27 31st. St. 718-267-1700

Chateau Le Woof 30-02 14th St. 718-626-9663

Lavender Label 29-03 23rd Ave. 774-255-3915

QED 27-16 23rd Ave. 347-451-3873


Don’t forget to tag us on Facebook and Instagram (@shopsmallastoria) and use #shopsmallastoria

*Cut this page out and bring it with you!

Gift Guide

Sexy Batch Cookies ( Prices range from $3–$5

Happy Camper Stuff ( Wall Hanging, $60 *custom Astoria made giant knitting needles

Lockwood (32-15 33rd Street, Astoria Enamel Pin, $12.95

Astoria Park Wine & Spirits (28-07 24th Avenue,

Gift Guide

Illustration: Kristen Long

Petals & Roots (31-27 31st Street, Cactus Cap & Twinkly Cactus, $125-150 Christmas Cards by In Company, $5 Madgriguera Workshop Planter, $60 *Free hand delivery with mention of WHA ad

Astoria Gift Guide

One of the inspirations for publishing The Paper was seeing our annual WHA Gift Guide in print. 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 this Small Business Saturday, November 26th. So without further ado, welcome to our 4th annual We Heart Astoria Gift Guide!


Gift Guide


b. c.





*all prices on the following page



Gift Guide


f. e.








*all prices on the following page

Gift Guide



Habor’s Tonic Syrup

Museum of The Moving Image

( Haber’s Tonic Syrup is not just for gin—it pairs excellently with vodka, rum, and bourbon as well, $9.95.

(36-01 35th Avenue, Camera Pencil Sharpener, $16.99; Pac Mac Ghost Light, $29.95; My Cinema Light Box, $24.99.

b. c. d.


Mischief Studio Foil Prints

Broadway Silk Shop

( Foil Beer or Coffee Prints, 8x10”, $14. *Made in Astoria

(35-11 Broadway) Hand made prints on vintage dictionary pages, $15.


Dani Prints

Unified Queens

( Tie Dye Totes, $20 each. *Made in Astoria

(, also available at Lockwood) Astoria Diving Club, 1936 T shirt, $30. *Astoria based company

l. m. n.

The Astoria Bookshop

(31-29 31st Street, In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from Over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs by Grace Bonney, $35; Swing Time by Zadie Smith, $27; They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel, $16.99.

(30-2 14th St, Long Island City, Lumps of Coal-Grain Free Dog Treats, $11–13.

The Brass Owl

(32-15 33rd Street, Assorted mugs, $16.25 each; Enamel Pin, $12.95.

Chateau le Woof



(36-19 Ditmars Blvd, S’well bottles, $25–45 (various sizes); “I Represent Queens” Ornament, $30.

f. g.

Loveday 31

(33-06 31st Avenue) Reversible Acrylic Scarf, $28; Mod World Acrylic Gloves, $22.

o. p. q.

Pretty Whitty Paper

( Caffeine Mug, $11–14 depending on personalization.

The Geekery HQ

(42-11 Broadway, Ticket to Ride: Rails & Sails, $79.99.


(24-01 29th Street, Ocean Hoody in Navy, $64; Lighthouse 5 Panel Hat, $36.


(27-16 23rd Avenue, 642 Tiny Things to Draw or Write About Books, $10.


SquareWine & Spirits

Queens Knits

( Queens Knits Infinity Scarf in Mustard, $35; Queens Knits Coffee Cup Cozy with N Train Felted Design, $10. *all styles Made in Astoria


Illustration: Kristen Long

(24-20 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, Prestige(Three red/two white in lacquered cigar box), $84.99.



THANK YOU Greek Grill House 34-01 30th Ave., Astoria, N.Y., 11103 718-721-7217

Holiday Style


Holiday Style By: Dixie Roberts

The holiday season is full of opportunities to step out in your best. Whether it’s your annual office cocktail party, a decadent New Year’s Eve bash, or the ever-important meeting of your significant other’s parents for the very first time, Astoria has everything you may need to put your best fashion forward.


Holiday Style

New Year’s For the ladies, Lockwood Style has a wide array of great selections to say goodbye to 2016. Use your New Year’s celebrations as an excuse to step out in something sparkling, like this YUMI embellished neck tulle dress ($175). Stay warm while you party hop in this feminine pink swing coat with detachable fur collar ($210), and speaking of party hopping, footwear is key! We love this cute, versatile black flat ($65)


If you’re looking to start 2017 with a throwback, stop by LoveDay 31 for vintage style that’s sure to impress. Owner Ivona recommends heading over for top holiday trends like sequined cocktail dresses, lush textured fabrics and jeweled chokers. Add a glass of champagne and you’re ready to count down to midnight!

c. d. b. e.

New Year’s in New York requires a few things: Layers to fight against the late December temps, an on-point ensemble and a travel-friendly container for your celebratory beverage of choice. Newlyopened men’s boutique The Stonework has all of the above in spades. Owner, Ana Stone has curated the perfect look to keep you warm, stylish and celebration focused, no matter how you choose to ring in 2017.

a. Ricki Lang for NUIT gold top ($45) b. Unbranded Black Selvedge Chino ($88) c. Native Youth Olive Check Shirt ($79) d. Down The Hatch 6oz Flask ($42) e. Red Wing Moc Toe 2964, ($279)


Holiday Style b.

Meet the Parents


Holiday’s often mean that all important “meet the parents” moment with your significant other. Snag a few extra compliments from her Mom with this ensemble from The Stonework, including a little something to ensure even your hair is making the best first impression.





Be pretty in pink to meet mom and dad with this feminine YUMI sweater from Lockwood Style ($110), paired with a versatile, flattering YUMI black skirt ($95) and finished with understated yet stylish accessories like this double crystal bangle ($34.95).

g. h.

Cocktail Party Texture is king this holiday season and what better place to “wow” than your workplace hol- i. iday cocktail party? Stand out from your fellow coworkers in vintage velvets and metallics from LoveDay 31, both on-trend for this celebratory season. Toss on a sparkling choker to finish off your look.



l. m.

Accessorize all your holiday looks by stopping at The Brass Owl. We love these!

a. Schott NYC Heavyweight Cowichan Sweater ($145) b. Left Field NYC Miner Chino ($184) c. Red Wing Iron Ranger 8085 ($319) d. Alternative Apparel Weekender ($48) e. Uppercut Deluxe Pomade, ($17.99) f. Yumi sweater ($110) g. Yumi black skirt ($95) h. Double Crystal bangle $35.95) i. Jacquard little black dress ($55) k. Bou-Cou statement choker ($35) l. Urban Expression metallic clutches ($50) m. Chelsea Crew velvet heels ($70).



Perfect for Parties / Events Billiards, Ping Pong, Arcade Games

17 HDTVs Showing Every Game! Mention this Ad an

32-04 Broadway Astoria, NY 11103


d Receive

1 HOUR of FREE GAME PLAY! @BreakAstoria 25

Holiday HolidayFood Food++Drink Drink

Holiday Food + Drinks Food + Drink

Photo: MikeDi Tota

Cocktail: Sweet Afton

When it comes to gifts, few things delight the drinkers in your life like a thoughtfully chosen bottle of their favorite booze. Here are some gems you’ll find in the neighborhood that are guaranteed to foster some holiday cheer‌ even at your mandatory holiday office party.


Holiday Food + Drink

Buy Local Astoria Wine & Spirits

The spacious layout will make the crowded holiday shopping season seem not so bad. Live close by? Sign up for their new rewards program and earn points on your gifts toward your own purchases in the new year!

Local Beer Nerds

Transmitter Brewing PH2 Passion Fruit Sour - Queens - $14.99 Any enthusiast of local beer will be thrilled to unwrap a sour from Long Island City’s Transmitter Brewing. This sour is complex, balanced, and easy drinking with exquisite tart citrus.

Holiday House Party

Watershed Bourbon - OH - $51.99 For a small gathering with friends, you can afford to really wow them. Watershed’s delicate vanilla & caramel aroma and toasted coconut finish is a surefire crowd pleaser.

Open-Minded Wine Drinkers

The Bruery Terreux Confession - CA - $32.99 This sour blonde is blended and fermented with riesling grapes and wild yeast. Wine and beer drinkers alike will be astonished at the result, an unlikely harmony that’s dry, funky, and fruity.

Simple Gift for a Friend

90+ Cellars Lot 116: Cabernet Sauvignon - CA - $15.99 When you don’t need to splurge on a gift, it’s fun to choose something that suits the season. Vanilla and blackcurrant aroma, full body, and long finish makes this a perfect red for cooler weather.

Grand Wine & Liquor

This massive store has a wide selection (including Long Island wines) and competitive pricing. Their sparkling wine selection is particularly good for holiday shoppers, as are the pre-fab gift baskets available.

Adega Wine & Spirits

This highly rated shop offers regular tastings and free classes that will help you make an educated gift purchase. Gift baskets of your selections are assembled for you and can include glasses, if you like.

Thanksgiving Host

Vieux Télégraphe Télégramme - France - $51.99 Enjoying a full Thanksgiving meal? Thank the chef with this juicy, well rounded red. Medium bodied, this is a perfect pair with traditional turkey day dishes, and your wine snob in-laws will be floored.

Something Special for a Couple

Möet & Chandon Nectar Imperial - France - $54.99 If you want to give something that can be enjoyed on a special occasion, this champagne is a total winner. Tropical fruitiness from three champagne grapes isn’t overly sweet, but is uniquely rich.

Trendy Spirit Enthusiasts

Expresiones de Corazon Añejo (Van Winkle) - Mexico - $114.99 World renowned Old Rip Van Winkle bourbon barrels were hand selected by master distillers to age tequila for 23 months. This is a special bottle that will elevate any home spirit collection.

Astoria Bier & Cheese - Ditmars

Build your own gift baskets of beer, cider, and artisanal groceries. The staff will have suggested lists, along with advice on pairing should you want to add some quality cheese to your gift (like truffled pecorino!).

Triboro Beverage

Celebrating it’s 80th anniversary in 2016, this fourth generation business is an Astoria institution that boasts by far the largest selection of beer in the neighborhood as well as a full roster of kegs that can be delivered right to your door. Plus they have Utopias(!).

Cider Lovers

Millstone Cellars Hopvine - MD - $19.99 Among the selection of cider in large bottles, you can’t go wrong with the unique ciders of Millstone. Their Hopvine is dry-hopped with cascade, aged in oak barrels, and conditioned with ice cider.

Stout Lovers

Evil Twin Brewing Imperial Biscotti Break - NYC - $16.99 Respected Gypsy brewer Evil Twin has announced they will open a brewery in Queens. Show you’re in the know by gifting Imperial Biscotti Break, a superbly rich imperial porter with coffee, vanilla, and almonds.

Astoria Bier & Cheese - Broadway

The beer selection rotates at this popular beer shop to accommodate the rapid pace of new modern breweries. Staff can help you navigate imports that will excite your beer nerd friends, but large format bottles are great easy gifts and range in price from casual ($10) to rare & specialty options ($40).

Office Holiday Party

Brooklyn Brewery Insulated Lager - Brooklyn - $199.99 Cheaper kegs are available, but this crowd-pleasing winter seasonal is worth the upgrade. American black barley is added to pilsner malt for a touch of delicious roastiness.

Tea+ Cafe

This new cafe offers all the necessary accoutrements to take advantage of their wide selection of loose leaf teas.

Tea Lover or Non-Drinker

8oz Cranberry Harvest, 8oz Vanilla Chamomile - Queens - $37.90 These two selections suit the season. Vanilla Chamomile looks particularly nice with lemongrass, licorice, and hickory. Buy in bags or in 8oz metal cylinders for easy wrapping.


Holiday Food + Drink

Cocktail Recipes By: Mike DiTota

Spiced Old Fashioned

In an Old Fashioned glass, combine rye, syrup and bitters. Fill with ice and stir. Garnish with cinnamon stick and orange twist. To make the spiced syrup: 1 cup Sugar in the Raw 1 cup water 3 whole cloves 3 allspice berries 3 whole star anise pods 1 cinnamon stick

Ingredients: 2 1/2 oz rye 1/2 oz spiced syrup* 3 dashes Barman’s Baked Apple Bitters (or Angostura) 2 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters 1 cinnamon stick and 1 orange twist

Add all the ingredients except rosemary to a shaker and fill with ice Shake, and strain into a chilled coupe Garnish with fresh rosemary

In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a simmer. Remove from heat and add spices. Steep until cool. Strain, removing spices, and refrigerate for up to two weeks. Barkeep’s notes: “There’s no better drink than an Old Fashioned in the winter. It warms you from the inside out. This variation on a basic simple syrup is also great to sweeten coffee or tea.”

Winter Classic

Buy This!

To make the rosemary maple syrup: 1 cup maple syrup 1/2 cup water 2 sprigs fresh rosemary In a small saucepan, bring the maple syrup and water to a simmer. Remove from heat and add rosemary sprigs Steep until cool. Strain, removing rosemary, and refrigerate for up to two weeks Barkeep’s notes: “My cocktails really come from a culinary perspective — ingredients that work as well in food as in drinks — and I use a ton of rosemary in my cooking, particularly with pork. Maple and rosemary are a terrific fall and winter combination. This syrup is also killer on pancakes, or as a dip for breakfast sausage.”

Ingredients: 2 oz bourbon 1/2 oz amaro (such as Cardamaro) 3/4 oz rosemary maple syrup* 1/2 oz apple cider 1/2 oz lemon juice 2 dashes Angostura bitters 1 sprig fresh rosemary


Tia Keenan is the author of The Art of the Cheese Plate: Pairings, Recipes, Style, Attitude (Rizzoli), and the “Cheese Wisely” column for the Wall Street Journal, and fifth generation Queens resident. The Art of the Cheese Plate book signing takes place December 8th at Lockwood Shop (32-15 33rd Street, Astoria) from 6-8pm. RSVP at TheLockwoodShop/



for updates on tastings and upcoming art shows!

28-07 24th Ave. Astoria, NY 718-606-1142


weheartastoria_ad_8x5_10.17 v2.indd 1


10/17/16 9:00 PM

Holiday Tradtitions

Holiday Traditions There are so many ways to celebrate the holidays. We have delicious meals and cocktails to enjoy with the company of family and friends. We remember songs and books that remind us of years past. We look back on childhood memories that make us smile and feel warm inside, despite the chill in the air. Astoria is rich with tradition. We have old school eateries that have been in the neighborhood for decades, and we have inventive new dining destinations that serve up traditional ethnic cuisine with a modern twist. We have a thriving arts scene that gives Astorians of all ages something to watch, read, or listen to. The small business owners of our community play a big part in our holiday season, so we asked a few to share their traditions with us. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Hi-Fi Records

No holiday party is complete without a killer playlist. Our friends from HiFi Records give us their perfect collection of songs to celebrate the season. Winterlong - Pixies You Are The Best Thing - Ray La Montagne Everyday Will Be Like a Holiday - William Bell In The Cold, Cold Night - The White Stripes Block Of Ice - Thee Oh Sees Can't Wait Too Long - The Beach Boys Eight Days of Hanukah - Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings

Angel of the Snow - Michael Yonkers Winter's Love - Animal Collective Plump Righteous - The Black Lips and King Khan & The BBQ Show Holiday Road - The Dalhmanns  White Winter Hymnal - Fleet Foxes Wild Is The Wind - David Bowie 30

Holiday Tradtitions

Sac’s Place In a constantly-changing neighborhood, one thing remains the same: Astorians love to gather around great food and great people. This has been a recipe for success for Sac’s Place, an Italian institution on Broadway since 1989. Owners Anthony and Domenico Sacramone took a moment to share almost three decades of Queens holiday memories with us.

When we opened as a restaurant in 1999, we started serving the traditional Christmas Eve meal of the Feast of the Seven Fishes. Regulars loved it because they got to experience a traditional Italian Christmas Eve. Transplants, who came from all over, would walk in and wonder if there was a party going on. Christmas music would play, the staff would bustle with trays of seafood, family would stop by to say, “I’m going to Mamma’s; when are you going?” (In the early days, my brother and I would take shifts at Sac’s and then sneak out to go around the corner to our mother’s house.)

When we opened the pizzeria in 1989, Astoria was a small town. Everyone knew everyone. You couldn’t walk down the street without having to stop and say hello. Christmas Eve was always special. All day, until late at night, customers would stream in, along with friends and family. We would laugh, open some homemade wine, and talk about life and family. The whole neighborhood was in a good mood. All of the local business owners would stop by, too. Usually a bottle of liquor was exchanged for good luck in the New Year.

Astoria is busier and bigger these days but it still has a small town feel on Christmas Eve. Astoria will always remain a  comfortable  place to be.


Holiday Traditions

Astoria Bookshop Looking for a good book to get you through the holiday madness? Whether you’re looking for a cozy romance to keep you warm or a sharply dark collection of Christmas musings, the staff at Astoria Bookshop have the perfect match for you! From Gabby: If you're looking for a Christmas novel to cuddle under the blankets with while you sip your peppermint stick hot cocoa, What Light by Jay Asher is the book for you. The novel follows Sierra, who spends most of her life on her family's Christmas tree farm in Oregon (yes, you read that right) but travels every November to sell pines from their family's lot in California. This year she meets sweet and kind Caleb, who's haunted by a mistake he made years ago. What Light is the winter romance of the season--about second chances, the magic of the holiday spirit, and hot chocolate.

From Ian:

“A Christmas Memory” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, by Truman Capote This hearthside gem about the innocence of youth and familial bonds sneaks its way into my required winter reading year after year. Thanks to Capote’s excellent prose, it touches on the sentimental without ever feeling maudlin. Few other short stories transport you so completely to a feeling, to that warm, chestnut-roasting sensation that the holidays always bring for me.

From Lexi:

Every December, I re-read  Hogfather  by Terry Pratchett. This is not your typical sugarplums-and-tinsel kind of Christmas story. Set in Pratchett's wondrously rich Discworld, it's a tale about the importance of belief and faith. And yes, it also has wizards and assassins and tooth fairies and Death dressed up in a red suit with a fake beard. It is everything I want out of a yuletide tradition.

From Connie:

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson is a children's classic, a screwball comedy about a family of juvenile delinquents who decide to take over the town's Christmas pageant -- even though they've never even heard the story. A delight for readers of all ages.

From Bari:

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris is a very twisted and darkly funny remedy for stress and family dysfunction. David Sedaris rules my holiday season!


Holiday Tradtitions

Kurry Qulture One of the best parts of living in Astoria is the variety of cultures and flavors represented. Sonny and Vanessa Solomon of Kurry Qulture, the fantastic upscale Indian restaurant on 30th Avenue, share what their holidays look, taste, sound, and feel like in their big Punjabi family. Sonny has a large extended family living in the United States, so our Christmas Eve bash has roughly thirty family members attending. We all get together in one of the larger homes around 6pm on Christmas Eve. The boys go off to one area and open up their Johnny Walker Black bottles, while the women catch up over wine and chai. The 20-somethings are in charge of refilling wine glasses and keeping the kids entertained. As the families enter, each one brings bags full of gifts and places it under the tree. By midnight, it’s hard to see any floor anywhere under or near the Christmas tree.  The food is usually all Indian. There’s goat stew and chicken korma for dinner. There’s pakodas and chicken kebabs to munch on while drinking.  There’s vegetarian pulao, a few vegetarian curries, dal, and usually two aunts are near the stove frying--either pakodas or puris for the evening. There are endless supplies of chai available and the aunts will take turns pouring cups of tea for whoever wants. The kids, knowing no one is monitoring them, take handfuls of cake, cookies, and chocolate and leave crumbs all over the house. All of the dinner items sit pretty on the table and everyone knows not to touch them. They will be served after midnight.  Around 10pm, Mela Aunty will gather us all around and pull out sheets of carol songs. The whole family takes turns singing English and Hindi carols for at least an hour. Then


there’s more chatting and laughing and everyone starts looking at the clock. The time between 11pm and 12am  is torture—the kids are antsy and tired (and usually changed into pajama bottoms at this point), everyone’s hungry, and there’s A LOT of presents to be opened and trash to be collected. But we all wait till midnight... A very tipsy Sonny dresses up as Santa every year and passes out presents exactly at 12am. The littlest ones go up to him and tug on his beard, or they run to their mothers in fear. But he didn’t fool our son Ishaan—that little two year old ran to me and said “That’s Dada, Mummy!”  We try to organize the chaos as much as possible, but it’s always chaos! Imagine thirty-five tired and tipsy, yet joyful, people opening presents all at once. This usually lasts about forty-five minutes.  Our Uncle Raju then calls everyone to the dining room where he will say a prayer. The kids moan and groan, but Uncle Raju continues his prayers. And continues his prayers. Finally, we hear an impatient and loud AMEN from everyone and the feasting begins.  Some of us return home, some stay over. Without fail, the entire family is up at 8am for Christmas Day church service and we all wish each other well and return home. But none of us return empty handed—we all have “care packages” of Indian dark rum cake, gujia, and shakarpare made by the aunts. And every year they always say the same thing—Sonny’s mom makes them best.  And that’s a big fat Punjabi Christmas…

New Years Eve

Your New Year’s Eve in Astoria By Meg Cotner

The end of the year is almost upon us! Whether you’re gonna party at a local establishment, celebrate at (yours or a friend’s) home, or just sleep through it til brunch the next day, here are some ideas we’d like to share with you for the big calendar flip.

Want to look your best for the final party of the year? Astoria’s got you! Fabulous looks and quality party clothing can be found at these local boutiques: Loveday 31


Vintage apparel and accessories for all sorts of looks and sizes.

Photo: Andrew Escoto

Women’s straight sized and plus sized clothes, accessories, and bags.

The Stonework

The Brass Owl

The newest boutique clothing store in the area, this one caters to the men in the neighborhood, with clothes, accessories, and footwear.

A variety of accessories, stockings, shoes, and scarves.


New Years Eve

Choose to Party Out Celebrate In the Neighborhood

We’ve been writing about New Year’s Eve celebrations for years and here are some our picks for fun party action, judging from prior times. Check the websites for more details as we get closer to the big night. All will likely offer a champagne toast at midnight.



The Queens Kickshaw

Bohemian Hall

LIC Market


A warm, rustic space in LIC offer- This space on the edge of the A WHA favorite, they offer beer, ing American plates with farm- Vernon Blvd commercial area has wine, cider, and now cocktails. to-table influences. been around for 100 years and Meatless menu. offers plenty of brews on tap. Great music, too. NYC’s oldest beer garden that offers Czech and Slovak food and drink.

A lovely out of the way place offering New American food. They often do two seatings on New Year’s Eve.

A cozy bar on 35th Ave offers tasty tapas, sandwiches and more along with wine, beer, and cocktails.

Diamond Dogs


Sweet Afton + The Bonnie

Southwestern food in a high energy atmosphere. Frozen margarita central.


Two hip bars run by the same group that offer well-crafted cocktails, and small but high quality menu.

Photo: Oleg March

A chill bar (no food) on 31st Ave playing awesome music.

New Years Eve

While going out is fine for some, having a party a home is the way to go for others. Great food, drink and looks for the table are easy to find in the neighborhood. Here are some ideas to make the evenings extra special.

Choose to Party In What to Serve


Decorate your table with flowers from local florist Petals & Roots ( They’ll make a beautiful arrangement or loose bouquet for your holiday table (or help you put together a hostess gift if you are heading to a party at a friend’s home).


The premiere spot in Astoria for locating hard cider is The Queens Kickshaw (, so head there to fill up your cider growler. Beer growlers can be found at a variety of places but our favorites are Astoria Bier & Cheese ( and Singlecut ( Get your bubbly at Astoria Park Wine & Spirits (, where they carry tasty Astoria sparkling wine!


Photo: Petals & Roots

Edibles are so varied, and so personal, but one great option is plates of cured meats and pickled foods from Muncan Foods ( On the vegetarian front, Rosario’s (, Parrot Market (, and Astoria Bier & Cheese offer terrific meatless options with cheeses, dips/spreads, and snacks.


Order your celebration cakes from local baker Aloria Cakes (, and bakeries La Guli Pastry Shop ( or Astor Bake Shop ( We can guarantee they’ll all be delicious.


New Years Eve

Where to Recover the Next Day Brunch it Up

Along with bowl games, the Rose Parade, and plain old sleeping in, one of the best things you can do on January first is go have brunch. Check their websites/social media for more details on specials.

The Queens Kickshaw

Sparrow Tavern

Creative brunch dishes that do not rely on meat.

Great brunch cocktails and lots of good egg dishes.

Queens Comfort

Sweet Afton + The Bonnie

Considered one of the best brunches in Astoria, their tasty and quirky dishes have high appeal. BYOB. Be prepared for lines.

Known for their brunch burgers.

They solid brunch spot is also very popular with Astorians, with a very reliable menu prepared with excellent.


Photo: The Queens Kickshaw


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