We survived the hurricane and my area wasn’t hit as badly as we feared we might be. Many of my neighbors had flooded basements, and there were some fallen trees, but thankfully no serious damage, and most importantly, no lives lost.
As I canvassed my neighborhood checking out the damage, I grew to appreciate my neighborhood more than I think I have in the past – people were out helping each other, sharing supplies, cleaning public property, it was heart warming.
So in salute to my wonderful neighborhood, I’m going to introduce you guys to some of Astoria.
For those of you unfamiliar with NYC, this is what the entire city looks like:
When people refer to “the city” they mean Manhattan. Above the island of Manhattan is the Bronx, which is attached to New York State and the only borough that’s not on an island! Staten Island is to the south, and is also an island, as its name suggests. Queens and Brooklyn are attached to Long Island, which stretches out further east.
I grew up in Queens, first in Woodside, then Forest Hills, and now in Astoria. See if you can find all three neighborhoods:
If you had a hard time finding it, Astoria is the westernmost neighborhood in Queens, located on the East River across from Roosevelt Island. I live two blocks from the river, and it’s a beautiful sight.
Astoria is a rather large neighborhood, so here’s a helpful map to break it down for you even further:
Astoria has historically been a Greek neighborhood, though over the years many ethnicities have come here and it’s as multicultural as any other neighborhood in NYC. That said, we still have an amazing variety of Greek restaurants and these really exclusive “members only” Greek retirement and community clubs. They’re always packed with people, often older men. Most of them serve food, and if you’re sneaky, you can peek in and watch them gesticulate and argue in Greek over wonderfully delicious-looking food.
I snuck in a few shots of some local clubs:
We also have beautiful wall art in some of the tunnels in the Greeker part of town. They recently had a three day Greek festival in this area:
And then we also have your more customary wall art:
And then art that’s not customary at all:
And we have intricately designed Greek churches:
And our own fancy dance company!
Of course this doesn’t begin to cover all the awesomeness of Astoria – we have several parks (one that’s a sculpture park!), hundreds of amazing places to eat, cool bars, spunky clubs, and several live music venues. If you’re ever in NYC brave the East River and come into Queens!