It's in Queens Weekly Column
Two upcoming events are clear signs that the weather is about to get better: a St. Patrick's Day parade and a workshop on vegetable gardening. Other options include a huge NYC trivia competition, a Turkish cooking class, Asian fan dancing, jazz, opera, and film. Here's the rundown.
Highlights of the Month
The Paper Factory Hotel has defined the ultimate New York City boutique hotel experience. In the heart of Long Island City's urban scene, at the crossroads of the charming Kaufman Art's District and trendy Astoria, The Paper Factory Hotel is an ideal choice for the seasoned business traveler as well as the lifestyle-driven tourist eager to access the vibrant city.
37-06 36 St., Long Island City
"Belleza y Felicidad" at SculptureCenter
44-19 Purves St., Long Island City
March Picks by Don Cato's (Jackson Heights Friendly)
Wander Streets: Every once in a while it's fun to amble down 35th Avenue to Legends Tavern for a drink in an old neighborhood tavern. I have taken a Shining to it. Nothing fancy but, there is great Texas BBQ happening in the back. Thursdays to Sundays walk over to Espresso 77 for a glass of wine, fine art, live music or a dreamy coffee drink. Afzal is five years and growing. Seems like The Sweet Smell of Success. Meanwhile, need a special, threaded nut? It's the Jackson Heights Supply at 88th Street on 37th Avenue. They are the real deal in hardware. Speaking about nuts, want something fresh, organic in food stores to avoid the usual Try the Downtown Natural Marketon 37th Avenue near 85th Street. They have Nancy's cottage cheese from the Springfield Dairy in Oregon. It's made by Ken Kesey's brother! (I lived in Eugene, Oregon, for 15 years) and their dairy products come from their own dairy herd up the beautiful McKenzie River. (Kesey wrote One Flew of the Cuckoo's Nest and played the major role, along with his Merry Pranksters, in Tom Wolfe'sThe Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.)
Unique Treats: Just off 76th Street near 31st Avenue in the Jackson Heights Shopping Center is the crème de la crème in the Metropolitan Area for French pastries at amazingly reasonable prices:Cannelle Patisserie. This is worth an out-of-the-way trip and soon to open a new place in LIC. This moment from Once Upon a Time in Americasays it all.. In late summer our Queens World Film Festival screens free movies on Rockaway Beach at Beach and Beach 96th Street. Always a great audience by the ocean. Rockaway Taco is right there with the most scrump-deli-ish, dripping-ly fresh, oh my gosh giant flavor.
Historic Feats: As I jog all around the area, I often pass by the historic Jackson Cinema, where my lovely wife Katha and I once would enjoy a Christmas Day movie with our daughters. One of the last community cinemas it is now sadly boarded up. There is the Louis Armstrong House Museum on my way the Flushing Meadows Corona Park where I loop around the Queens Museum.Loop after loopof history is visible every day around every corner in the new shops and flavors that refresh an old space. One day the new will be old, and the cycle will continue. That's the nature of nature. Every day is a loop: Groundhog Day.
Don Cato, is the Artistic Director of the Fifth Annual Queens World Film Festival. Don landed in Jackson Heights in 1986 from Oregon, home of the Ducks, via Boston, home of the Sox, via the Michigan State, home of the Spartans. He's originally from Fredonia, New York, home of the first gas well in the US and Captain Cushing, who invented the torpedo during the civil war and sank a confederate Iron Clad. However, he argues that Queens is the new Gold Rush.
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