A little while back I wrote a series on the top ten places I’ve visited around the world, and I just realized I never post the last one. Coming home from Morocco reminded me of how much I love our little home in Astoria, Queens. No matter how amazing the adventure is, no matter how transformative the experience, I’m always struck by how much I love to come back home. I seriously get giddy when I’m in line for Immigration.
When Mike and I were looking for a new apartment (2.5 years ago) I was really pushing for Brooklyn. However, even the smallest apartments on the very border of the “cool” spots were still over $1,500 a month. Mike kept mentioning Queens and I said, “over my dead body.”
I finally gave in and looked at a few apartments in Astoria. Now we have an enormous apartment (by NYC standards), our rent is cheap (by NYC standards) and I fall in love with the area all the time. Here are some reasons why I call Queens my home:
1. Our landlord is awesome.
2. This was the first apartment where I was allowed to paint the walls, and it was the first time I got to buy furniture, so it really feels like home.
3. The restaurants are amazing. Here are some of my favorites:
Dewine: You have to try the Dates and Devils.
Queens Kickshaw: delicious craft beers and even more incredible grilled cheese sandwiches. I’m a huge fan of the Gruyere and the Gouda. Brunch is also amazing – get the poutine!
Mundo: Once you try the Red Sonja you will crave it for the rest of your life.
LIC Market is a hole in the wall filled with rich food.
4. There’s lots to do. You can visit the Museum of Moving Image, where you can practice doing voice overs, see old movie clips, and use original filming equipment. It’s even free on Fridays. You can get some delicious fresh greens at the Astoria Farmer’s Market. You can take a stroll through Astoria park and visit the Socrates Sculpture Garden, the Noguchi Museum, or MoMa’s PS1 for some culture.
5. For celebrity hounds, Astoria’s the place to be. The Kaufman Astoria Studio brings actors like Paul Rudd, Julia Roberts, Will Smith, Meryl Streep and the muppets of Sesame Street to our humble neighborhood.
6. People are friendly here. I know my mailman, all the store owners and the regulars on the street. When I lived in Manhattan I never saw the same face twice, but here I feel like I’m a part of a community.
If you’re looking for a place to live in New York City, don’t forget to look at Astoria!