travel tip: explore neighborhoods in your own city

astoria main photo

As I mentioned in this post, my friend came to visit one weekend. She’s familiar with New York (went to NYU); however, like all good New Yorkers you get accustomed to your own neighborhood and settings and don’t always venture out to explore other parts of the city. This is especially true of Manhattanites.

On a whim, we decided to break the mold and go explore a neighborhood neither of us had ever visited ~ Astoria, Queens. First impressions, trying to get out there and back on the weekend sucked! Badly! None of the typical trains were running (N, Q, M) so we had to take the 7 and then take a shuttle bus there and back. Not fun!

As this was an on-the-whim exploration, we didn’t have a set itinerary or complete grasp of where to go. After a quick Google search and reading TimeOut New York and Yelp reviews, we were off. We started at the landmark Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden. I’m not a beer drinker, but when in Rome….It was cool (literally, it was breezy outside) but that didn’t stop anyone. They had performances by local Astoria artists and folks were out there having a good time eating, dancing, drinking and with no issues or crazy drunkenness ensuing. Astoria did “Stand Up” to shoot final scenes of a documentary. Oh, and the pierorgies were good too!

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After leaving the “garden party”, sans big hats and Chanel suits, we took a walk down the street to see more of the neighborhood and to visit one of the neighborhood’s noted vintage boutiques, Loveday 31. With hip hop sounds filling the quaint space and racks of wonderfully curated and affordable vintage pieces (I found a vintage Christian Dior blouse for only $30 in there!), this is definitely a place to visit if you find yourself in the neighborhood.

Due to MTA’s inefficiency in providing transportation sources, we didn’t have too much time to explore other parts of the neighborhood as we had to get back to get ready for dinner reservations. Overall, in my short stint there, the neighborhood was very quiet and much more residential. Definitely felt like a community, but some parts looked like it could use some love and updating. You can see potential, but the overall vibe just wasn’t my full cup of tea…




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