NYC’s New Tech Hub is Queens

It was a full house at the second installment of the Queens Tech Meetup on Thursday, held on the top floor of Hunter’s Point Plaza in Long Island City. Despite the overcast sky and storm warnings, more than a 100 people braved the winds and the rains to attend the event organized by the non-profit,Coalition for Queens.


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Best Brunch In Queens


We are a city that loves to brunch, and brunch is alive and well in Queens…with a few twists. Here are some standout places to brunch it up in 3 neighborhoods. Don’t be surprised to see a burger with an egg on top, jumbo mimosas, or dim sum — these are some of the best places for weekend grub.

Vesta – Astoria – This popular Italian inspired locavore restaurant, serves one of the best brunches in Astoria, hands down. You can choose from both sides of the menu – breakfast from buttermilk pancakes to omelets, or lunch classics like burgers and pizza. The burger comes with an egg on top, as does the pizza – Vesta is famous for its cracker thin crust Hangover Pizza, which is topped with potato, pancetta, sausage, fried eggs, and spicy tomato sauce.

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Kew Gardens Cinemas


You don’t have to go into Manhattan to see the latest art house cinema.  Kew Gardens, here in Queens, has a theater that rivals the best – the Angelika, Sunshine Theater, Lincoln Center Cinemas – appropriately called Kew Gardens Cinemas.  With 1935 art deco interiors and a storied past that includes a stint as a porn theater, Kew Gardens Cinemas is a gem.

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Cool off in Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s Olympic Pool, one of the city’s best public pools

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The Aquatic Center at Flushing Meadows Corona Park (GMAP) is home to a gigantic, 25M by 50M swimming pool, the first indoor public pool built in the city for more than 40 years. While it was built as part of a failed bid by the city to host the Olympics, the pool has certainly become a boon for New Yorkers trying to escape the heat. The pool is in the new Flushing Meadows Corona Park Natatorium and Ice Rink building. When it opens later this year, it will be the biggest recreational complex ever built in a city park.

A photo filled recap of Mitch Waxman’s Newtown Creek Tour

On Sunday, we joined over 140 people aboard a New York Water Taxi for the Working Harbor Committee’s tour of Newtown Creek. The tour was narrated by Mitch Waxman whose encyclopedic knowledge and passion for the area can be seen on his blog The Newtown Pentacle, and on his tours and work as the historian for the Newtown Creek Alliance.

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Good eats at the El Rey Del Taco Truck in Astoria

Since its appearance on the Astoria food truck scene in 2006, the El Rey Del Taco truck has steadily gained fans and consistently gotten raves from locals and visitors alike, including ex-pat Californians (a notoriously difficult group to please when it comes to Mexican food in NYC). El Rey has not let up over the years on the high quality of their Mexican street grub, and it’s an Astoria favorite (and people get nervous when the truck mysteriously goes missing). Let’s hope they get to continue as they are, as new proposed rules are looming over NYC’s food truck scene. We know Astorians and Mexican food lovers alike would be devastated if anything were to limit El Rey’s presence in the community.

Image source: Flickr Creative Commons – user Pabo76

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The Western Queens Compost Initiative turns food scraps into a greener neighborhood

Through crowdfunding and partnerships with city parks, the Western Queens Compost Initiative (WQCI) opened in 2009, giving us another way to participate in the local green community, like joining a community supported agriculture (CSA) program.

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Proposed tech incubator evidence of growing tech scene in LIC

Queens is feeling the exciting impact of the NYC tech startup scene. Several big startups like 3D printing company Shapeways have chosen LIC as their company headquarters or factory location (they began printing this month). The first Queens Tech Meetup attracted over 150 attendees and a second meetup is planned for Thursday this week. We’re also making a push for tech and science education; students can learn entrepreneurial skills at CUNY’s Queens College and through classes facilitated by the Coalition for Queens, a nonprofit providing tech education in Queens.

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Top 5 bike paths and bike lanes for great long and short rides

There’s been much recent excitement for cycling in Queens. The Tour de Queens bike race draws 2,000 riders every year and the LIC Bike Parade just completed its fifth annual family ride. In East Flushing, the Kissena Velodrome has been making a comeback. A 10.4-mile greenway along the Western Queens waterfront is scheduled to be completed this fall, and Citi Bike shared bikes will hopefully bring another wave of enthusiasm to LIC. So when you want a nice weekend ride, here are some of our favorite safe, designated bike routes. You can also find them all on this map of Queens’ bike paths, lanes, and greenways.

Cross Island Parkway Greenway – Bayside - Enjoy a view of the Throgs Neck Bridge from Little Bay Park at the north end of this path. Then proceed past Fort Totten — adventurous spirits should take a detour to explore the 19th century artillery battery — and onto Joe Michaels Mile, a stretch popular with runners and rollerbladers. Continue south along the waterfront route for more uninterrupted riding.

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Traditional German pastries at Rudy’s Bakery and Cafe in Ridgewood

For years, Ridgewood had a thriving German population, immigrants who came to NYC in the early 20th century to work in breweries and knitting factories based on either side of the Queens-Brooklyn border. The neighborhood was replete with German butcher shops and bakeries. Rudy’s Pastry Shop is one of the few that remain from that time, and the only bakery; it’s become a beloved Ridgewood institution.

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We delve in to the news, life, culture and geography of Queens, finding the places, food and cultural adventures that make Queens unique.

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