Tag Archives: Kaufman Arts District

Lonely Planet names Queens best place to visit in US next year


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the Queens Tourism Council

Move over, Manhattan — Queens is the must-see U.S. destination of the coming year, according to a leading travel guidebook company.

The borough has made it to the top of the list of Lonely Planet’s Best in the U.S. 2015. Selected by Lonely Planet’s authors and ranked by its U.S. editors, the list consists of 10 perennial favorites, places with timely reasons to visit and understated destinations that are ready for their time in the spotlight.

“I’ve seen how Queens has transformed from one of the forgotten boroughs to one of the exciting places to visit,” said Regis St. Louis, coordinating author of Lonely Planet’s USA and New York City guidebook.

This year was the first time that Queens made the annual online list, which was released on Wednesday.  The rankings expand on Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel 2015” guidebook, which came out in October, and chose Washington, D.C., and Rocky Mountain National Park as its top city and regional picks among world destinations.

St. Louis, a 14-year New York City resident, who currently lives in Brooklyn, was one of several authors to nominate Queens for the Best in the U.S. 2015 list.

It was clear from our passion and our feedback about Queens that it should be number one on this list,” he said.

Rounding out the top 10 are Western South Dakota,  New Orleans,  the Colorado River region, North Conway, N.H., Indianapolis, Greenville, S.C., Oakland, Calif., Duluth, Minn., and California’s Mount Shasta region.

Queens food truck

What made Queens stand out among those destinations were reasons obvious to anyone familiar with the borough, such as its diversity, Rockaway Beach and its art institutions.

As St. Louis writes on the Lonely Planet website, Queens is  “New York’s meltiest melting pot,” and that is not only reflected in the number of languages that are spoken there, but also in its culinary offerings.

“It’s something that has always been there, but it’s something that people are just beginning to discover,”  he said about the diversity.

He also highlighted Rockaway Beach’s growing trendiness and the borough’s burgeoning arts scene, noting the Queens Museum’s recent makeover and the newly christened Kaufman Arts District in Astoria.

Rockaway(7)

“You don’t have to stay in Manahattan anymore. You can come base yourself in Queens now,” St. Louis said.

That sentiment applies to both residents and tourists, as another advantage Queens has to offer is its boutique hotels, which have been growing in number.

Anyone looking for something that is not in the average guidebook should try Queens’ microbrewery scene, said St. Louis.

Microbreweries have exploded around the country, he said, and it’s surprising that so many of them have made their way to Queens.

These small-batch or nanobreweries, such as Finback Brewery and Rockaway Brewing Company, are just another example of what stands out in the borough’s food and drink scene, he explained.

Z Hotel in Queens, NY roof top

“People are looking for the next thing and there are some really interesting things happening in Queens,” St. Louis said. “There are so many great secrets … you never run out of things to do and see.”

To mark Queens topping the Best in the U.S. 2015, Lonely Planet is giving away the Queens chapter from its recently released New York City guide as a free e-book until Feb. 1, 2015. To get the free download, visit www.lonelyplanet.com/queens-ebook.

Find out more about this year’s list at www.lonelyplanet.com/best-in-the-us-2015.

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LIC Flea vendor to open natural tea shop in Astoria


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Tea and Milk

After looking around for the perfect spot to open their first shop, the owners of LIC Flea & Food vendor Tea and Milk have chosen Astoria, where they plan on opening their doors in January.

The decision to open shop in the western Queens neighborhood came after experiencing positive customer input during the LIC Flea & Food and Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios, according to Mathew Wong, one of the co-owners of Tea and Milk.

“This is it, we’re ready and we’re going to do it,” said Wong, who co-owns Tea and Milk with Wilson Ng and Kendy Ng. “Customers have been asking if we are going to open a storefront. We hear that and feel very proud and people have actually been pushing for it.”

On Dec. 2, Wong, along with his partners, signed the lease for a 400-square-foot shop on 34th Avenue, within the Kaufman Arts District.

The exact address is still being kept secret until construction is complete; however the group plans to hold a soft opening by the end of January.

“It feels amazing,” Wong said. “It’s good to be able to add to what Astoria already has. The variety is great and we want to contribute to it.”

At the shop, Tea and Milk plans to serve its customers artisan teas with a menu consisting of a wide range of unconventional teas that include aromatic flowers, fruits and bubbles. Wong emphasized that their teas are made with natural ingredients such a real fruits, chia seeds and real taro.

The shop, which will have seating for about 10 people, will also include coffee and pastries, and may have food from other chefs and vendors.

“The design won’t look like a typical tea shop,” Wong said. “We want people to stay.”

Between the soft opening and the grand opening, the group plans to test hours of operation, looking to open at 7 a.m. and close around 8 or 9 p.m.

According to Wong, in the next five years they would like to expand to have two or three more shops.

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Block party to be held at Kaufman Astoria Studios


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File Photo

To start off the summer, the Queens Council on the Arts (QCA) will host a block party in the newly formed Kaufman Arts District filled with local artists, food and much more.

The QCA Block Party, which will take place on the first day of summer on Saturday, June 21 from 4 to 10 p.m., will be located at the backlot of Kaufman Astoria Studios and feature musicians from Make Music New York, a barbecue throwdown by local restaurants, a poetry slam and an evening film screening.

In March, Kaufman Astoria Studios, the Museum of the Moving Image and the Queens Council on the Arts announced the designation of the Kaufman Arts District, the first of its kind in the borough.

The Kaufman Arts District spans from 31st Street to the west, 34th Avenue to the north, Steinway Street to the east, and 37th Avenue to the south.

This block party, which is expected to be the kickoff of more upcoming Astoria events, is QCA’s fourth Moveable Feast Artist Dinner event, which serves as a fundraiser to support the High School to Art School Portfolio Program.

Admission to the QCA Block Party will be $35. For more information click here.

 

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Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios celebrates successful opening


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Bradley Hawks

The Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios arrived with a boom this past weekend.

The city’s first-ever backlot market celebrated a successful grand opening on Sunday with thousands of people in attendance.

The Astoria Flea, a partnership between the LIC Flea & Food and Kaufman Astoria Studios, will operate from the studios’ outdoor lot, the first of its kind in the city, every Sunday for the next seven consecutive weeks.

Upon arrival at the Astoria Flea entrance at 36th Street and 35th Avenue, visitors are welcomed by a brand-new 40-foot-high steel gate, designed by David Rockwell and the Rockwell Group.

“Kaufman Studios was the perfect setting for Astoria Flea,” said Joshua Schneps, LIC Flea & Food president. “It was exciting to see the community’s response with thousands of people attending and taking advantage of the amazing shopping and food vendors.”

CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM OPENING WEEKEND

Visitors of all ages and from all over the city were able to enjoy the best in food vendors, antiques, collectibles, art, crafts, fashion and much more.

“We’re excited to be at Kaufman for the next seven Sundays and look forward to being an attraction for the neighborhood and a place for local residents to congregate,” Schneps said.

Photo courtesy of Kaufman Astoria Studios

In March, Kaufman Astoria Studios, the Museum of the Moving Image and the Queens Council on the Arts announced the designation of the Kaufman Arts District, the first of its kind in the borough.

The Kaufman Arts District will span from 31st Street to the west, 34th Avenue to the north, Steinway Street to the east, and 37th Avenue to the south.

For this upcoming weekend, the LIC Flea & Food and Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios will be the perfect locations to celebrate mothers. On Saturday, you can get some Mother’s Day shopping done in Long Island City and on Sunday, treat your mom to a relaxing day in Astoria.

Vendors, from small to big, can apply to sell at the market at www.LICFlea.com. For more information visit Facebook.com/AstoriaFlea or follow @AstoriaFlea on Twitter.

 

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Kaufman Arts District is first of its kind in Queens


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

Astoria is ready for the world to know it’s the place to be for the arts.

The western Queens neighborhood gathered Friday to celebrate the announcement of the designation of the Kaufman Arts District, the first of its kind in the borough.

The district was created in partnership with Kaufman Astoria Studios, the Museum of the Moving Image, and the Queens Council on the Arts.

During the announcement, the partners of the arts district received a proclamation from Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer on behalf of the City Council.

The mission of the arts district will be “to advance and promote the area as a world class vibrant cultural destination and home for creative industries,” officials said.

“This corner of Queens has quickly become a vibrant community of cultural venues and arts organizations that have attracted some of our generation’s greatest artists,” Van Bramer said.

The Kaufman Arts District will span from 31st Street to the west, 34th Avenue to the north, Steinway Street to the east, and 37th Avenue to the south.

“Over the years, Kaufman Astoria and western Queens have blossomed side by side into a citywide landmark and a neighborhood that doubles as a world-class destination for the arts,” Senator Michael Gianaris said.

Within the boundaries of the Kaufman Arts District are the Museums of the Moving Image, The Astor Room, Studio Square NYC, the Queens Council on the Arts, the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, UA Kaufman Astoria Cinemas, the Astoria Performing Arts Center, and the Theater Development Fund’s Costume Collection.

“The creation of this arts district opens the community to more opportunities to experience the extensive creative activity in our midst,” said Carl Goodman, executive director of Museum of the Moving Image. “We’re going to really work together to bring this neighborhood to the next level.”

For more information on the arts district, visit here.

 

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