Click the heading above to view food & wine events this month in Queens. Click the following links to go directly into one of these Queens Neighborhoods: Astoria, Flushing, Jackson Heights, Jamaica, Long Island City and Sunnyside.
Viva La Comida en Jackson Heights
Food Trucks and Latin Culture on 82nd Street
The festival began as a showcase for some of the neighborhood food trucks in tandem with dance and music cultural performances. The first year the event was held at Dunningham Triangle with some of the trucks lined up along 82nd Street, but the space was too tight for the venue and busy street. In the subsequent years 82nd Street was blocked to enable pedestrian traffic and picnic tables, and the stage was moved from facing a narrow sliver of Ithaca Street, to facing 82nd Street.
Originally the festival ran through the day and into the evening, but this year it was scheduled to begin at noon and run until 7 pm. I arrived about 2 pm and stayed a couple of hours as things were just getting going. There were folks lined up in front of several food trucks and others seated at the picnic tables. I noted about a half dozen food trucks, some of which were returning from prior years. And before deparating I saw a dance performance by a local group.
'Viva La Comida' means 'Live Food' which is intended to be a cheer of sorts, kind of like "long live the Queens". Salud.
Giving Thanks In Queens
Sunnyside Reformed Church Hosts Communal Feast
November 24, 2014 / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Queens Culture / Queens Buzz. I attended the fourth annual Thanksgiving Dinner hosted by the Sunnyside Reformed Church. The purpose of the feast is to commemorate the Thanksgiving holiday and to celebrate community.
Reverend Neil Margetson and his wife, Gretchen, hosted the event along with the help of the Elder Vice President Marie Joyce and many others in the community [see slide 8 of the photo slide show]. The culinary crew, creators of the repast, included Chris and Karen Demarecaux who were ably helped by David Feffer [see slide 6 of the photo slide show]. There were a host of other helpers who set up the chairs and tables and attended the serving line. Reverend Margetson remarked that "Folks just chipped in and it all came together".
In the neighborhood of one hundred and fifty people came to celebrate the holiday, enjoy a good meal, and to socialize with others in the community. It was a record turnout for the event. The reverend started the feast with a prayer and the dinner was followed with spirited conversation. In the past the dinner has been followed by story telling and / or musical performance.
The next event is the ecumenical tree lighting on Thursday December 4th at 7 pm starting outside the church with a procession down to Queen of Angels Catholic Church followed by an appearance by Santa with hot chocolate and cookies. It's ecumenical because five neighborhood churches will be participating including All Saints Episcopal, the Grace Fellowship Presbyterian and the Christ Lutheran Church in Woodside. Reverend Margetson said that the Sunnyside Reformed Church is working to build a spiritual community through the hosting of cultural events.
Click here to view a slide show of the Thanksgiving Dinner photos at the Sunnyside Reformed Church. And click here to read a story about the Sunnyside Reformed Church.
Viva La Comida
Jackson Heights Celebrates Queens Food & Culture
September 22, 2014 / Jackson Heights Neighborhood / Jackson Heights Restaurants / Queens Buzz. Saturday afternoon I headed over to Dunningham Triangle at 82nd Street & Baxter in Jackson Heights. The third annual Viva La Comida Festival had begun earlier in the day and I decided to check it out.
They had blocked off 82nd Street between Roosevelt Avenue and Baxter and had converted the short one block adjacent to Dunningham Triangle into a performance area - complete with elevated stage.
Along 82nd Street there was a musical / dance performance going on with a distinctly Latin flavor, reflecting the indigenous roots of many of Jackson Heights and neighboring Corona residents. My first stop was the D'Angelo food truck for a spicy Italian handmade sausage with sauteed peppers and onions on a fresh semolina bread. It tasted even better than it sounds. We'll have more about D'Angelo's later in the story, including a couple more photos of the sandwich I devoured.
I headed over to the main stage to see what was going on. By late afternoon the Jay Rodriguez Trio had taken the stage and began playing some really good Latin flavored jazz tunes. They played their instruments like jazz magicians, deftly transitioning the melodious rhythm from one musician to another in a string of rhythmic solos that had the audience jamming to the beat.
I started photographing them doing their thing and came up with a separate photo slide show which will show them gettin' down. I visited the Jay Rodriguez website and the music on the site, is a bit more artsy and esoteric than what they played for us at Viva La Comida.
Special thanks goes to outgoing 82nd Street Partnership Executive Director Seth Taylor, as well as iwantmorefood curator Jeff Orlick. We'll have more about both of them and their past and future endeavors in the full report later this day / week.
Curated Cuisine At The Taste Of LIC
June 3, 2014 / LIC Neighborhood / LIC Restaurants / Queens Buzz. It was a dark and stormy evening as I began preparing to head down to the Long Island City waterfront to cover the 9th Annual Taste of LIC. I could hear the raindrops falling on my airconditioner, making a sporadic tinny pitter patter that told me I should not go.
An angelic voice whispered in my ear, "You're going to miss the Chocolate Factory's signature event". My tummy grumbled, "I'm sick of your cooking" ... thus making it's voice heard and it's vote counted too ... so soon I was on my way, umbrella opened, walking through the rain to the fabulous #7 subway line - the main artery of public transit in Queens.
As I came up the stairway onto Vernon Blvd, I began to feel like I had made the right decision. To be sure, clouds were overhead, but there weren't any raindrops fallin' on my head. E'nuf said.
As expected, the inclement weather had impacted attendance and thinned out the crowd relative to prior years - but there was still a good turnout - of likely over a thousand people. The attendance provided more opportunity for relaxed interactions and more space to photograph and converse with the restaurateurs. Some of them remarked the same, telling me that in the past they were so busy serving folks that they scarcely had a moment to talk to any of them. But tonight Mother Nature, as sometimes it is her way, took control of the remainder of the day.
Next Monday we'll take you into the tent of the Taste of LIC, share with you a sampling of some of the fine foods, a bit of the fun & fancy, and introduce you to a few beverage makers and a new chocolatier too. Included with this account will be an accompanying photo slide show of the curated cuisine event. Proceeds go to the Chocolate Factory Theatre in LIC and many thanks to Sheila Lewandowski and Brian Rogers, both of whom organized the event.
Bon Appetit & Bon Jour.
Taste of Sunnyside in Photos
One might think that this location could be distracting with the subway moving to and fro overhead, but with the live musical performances going on in the foreground, I didn't once - during the hour and a half that I was there - notice the subway overhead.
The crowd attending this event has changed over the years. This year the people in attendance seemed to be primarily in their 20's, 30's and 40's. In prior years, many of the attendees had already endured an additional decade or two of wear and tear.
I was informed that there were well in excess of 600 paying attendees, and a number of additional tickets were distributed for business and charitable purposes. Rachel Thieme, Sunnyside Shines Executive Director, was the primary organizer supported by the Board including John Vogt, Chairman and Artie Weiner, Treasurer - all of whom are shown in the slide show included in this report.
Click here to read the rest of our report including a slide show of photos of Taste of Sunnyside 2014.
New Supermarket - Queens Plaza 2014
August 29, 2013 / Long Island City LIC / Food & Wine / Queens Buzz. In June of this year, Foodcellar & Co inked a deal with Rockrose Corporation on a lease for 14,500 square feet on the ground and subterranean levels near Queens Plaza. The deal appears to be a win for both parties as the Queens Plaza neighborhood is in need of an modern supermarket which will facilitate Rockrose's business and residential real estate sales and rentals into the area. And it is also a win for Foodcellar & Co because Queens Plaza is an emerging business and residential center because of its location with regard to public and private transportation.
The new supermarket will be the second Foodcellar & Co store in Long Island City. The first Foodcellar & Co store was opened in August of 2008 on 47th Road just off Center Blvd. The store recently celebrated its fifth anniversary with an in-store all evening event where they had set up food and beverage booths so customers could sample unique food products around the store.
The new store will be configured a bit differently than the current Foodcellar to suit the tastes of a different area. I spoke to the management team who told me that they expected to be servicing both a business office clientele during the day and a rapidly growing residential population at all times.
In the photo to your right are the three partners of Foodcellar & Company: Metin Mangut, Burack Can and Erhan Baceci at the celebration of the Foodcellar & Company fifth anniversary in late August 2013.
Queens Food - Buzz Directory
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Hunters Point Farmers Market Update
Down To Earth Markets Files Application With NYC
April 9, 2013 / Food in Queens / Long Island City Neighborhood / Queens Buzz. Down To Earth Markets, one of the leading organizers of NYC farmers' markets, has applied for a market permit to set up a farmers market in Long Island City. They hope to set up the seasonal farmers market on 48th Avenue between Vernon Blvd and 5th Street on Saturdays from 9 am to 4 pm, beginning in the June / July time frame; and run the market through November.
Down To Earth Markets received support from Community Board 2, along with the Hunters Point Civic Association, prior to filing the application. Assuming approval of the application, the Down To Earth Farmers Market will offer a mix of fresh farmers produce, livestock, bread, baked goods, fish and related items. Down To Earth Farmers Market generally sources its goods from local farmers and includes a number of specialty food items such as pickles, pasta and meat from local producers.
Several years ago there was a farmers market in the same location, but it was run on Wednesdays and didn't offer a very wide selection of goods. In the interim, the Hunters Point neighborhood has continued to change, attracting new families into the area. The proposed Saturday farmers market, organized by one of the leading organizers of farmers markets in the NYC metro area, has already received strong support from local government officials and civic leaders, as well as many of the local residents with whom we've spoken.
Down To Earth Markets manages a number of farmers markets throughout NYC and surrounding area, including two farmers markets in Queens: the farmers market outside the Botanical Gardens in Flushing and the Farmers market in Jamaica. In the photo above you can see a Down To Earth Farmers Market in Jamaica.
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Food & Wine In Astoria
Astoria Farmers Market - Map
Astoria Street Fair - Photos 2008
Food & Wine In Flushing
Flushing Farmers Market - Map
Glendale Farmers Market - Map
Food & Wine In Jackson Heights
Corona Farmers Market - Map
Elmhurst Farmers Market - Map
Food & Wine In Jamaica
Jamaica Farmers Market - Map
Food & Wine In LIC / Long Island City
Food & Wine In Sunnyside & Woodside
Sunnyside Farmers Market - Map
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Ridgewood Farmers Market - Map
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