BOAST 2018 Winners by the Numbers

There were a lot of BOAST: Best of Astoria 2018 winners. Here are some numbers from the results.

Total Categories
46 (20 in EAT, 12 in DRINK, 14 in DO & SEE)

Total Winners
142 (61 in EAT, 39 in DRINK, 42 in DO & SEE)

Total Write-In Winners
7 (3 in EAT, 2 in DRINK, 2 in DO & SEE)

Winners in multiple categories
5 – Queen’s Room: (1st place – 1, 2nd place – 2, 3rd place – 2)
3 – Vesta (1st – 3)
3 – QED (1st – 2, 2nd – 1)
3 – Gossip Coffee (1st – 1, 2nd – 1, 3rd – 1)
2 – Astoria Park (1st – 2)
2 – Il Bambino (1st – 2)
2 – Jujube Tree (1st – 2)
2 – Sanfords (1st – 2)
2 – Astoria Coffee (1st – 1, 2nd – 1)
2 – J’aime Nails (1st – 1, 2nd – 1)
2 – MOMI (1st – 1, 2nd – 1)
2 – Seva (1st – 1, 2nd – 1)
2 – Comfortland (1st – 1, 2nd – 1)
2 – The Astorian (1st – 1, 2nd – 1)
2 – The Bonnie (1st – 1, 2nd – 1)
2 – The Last Word (1st – 1, 2nd – 1)
2 – The Local Bar (1st – 1, 3rd – 1)
2 – Madam Marie’s (2nd – 2)
2 – Sek’end Sun (2nd – 2)
2 – Sweet Afton (3rd – 2)

Winners that have multiple locations
Library (4)
Brooklyn Bagel (3)
New York City Bagel and Coffee House (3)
Astoria Bier & Cheese (2)
Create (2)

Winners by location
36th Ave (N/W): 2
Broadway (N/W): 24
31st Ave: 7
30th Ave (N/W): 29
Astoria Blvd (N/W): 11
Astoria-Ditmars Blvd (N/W): 31
Steinway St (M/R): 9
LIC: 5


BOAST: Best of Astoria 2018 Winners Announced

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The BOAST: Best of Astoria 2018 results have been published to the BOAST website, and you can see all the winners on the EAT, DRINK and DO & SEE pages. You can also view the winners by location on the LOCATION page with an interactive map broken into categories, with subway stop in parentheses. We have added new photos to the site, as well as new Featured BOAST Locations on the sidebar. (If you want to be a Featured BOAST Location, write to us at hello@boast.nyc.) We also have some new categories this year, including Best Bagels, Best Bubble Tea, and Best Massage. We want to thank those who filled out the survey, especially those who did write-ups, and give a special note of appreciation to businesses who donated prizes: a trucker hat from The Bonnie, a Duvel Gift box from Astoria Bier & Cheese, ticket vouchers from Astoria Performing Arts Center, a VIP pass from Q.E.D., a gift card from Astoria Coffee, and a gift certificate from Trattoria Ora.

Congratulations to all the BOAST: Best of Astoria 2018 winners. These are the places that make Astoria great, and why we enjoy it so much.


BOAST: Best of Astoria 2018 Survey is Live

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Can you believe it’s already the end of 2018? We think this year completely flew by. The BOAST: Best of Astoria 2017 party at The Queen’s Room felt like it was just the other day, although it was in February! But with the end of the year comes the BOAST: Best of Astoria 2018 Survey! Please fill out the form and enter your name and email if you’d like a chance to win a prize. We always appreciate short write-ups about your favorite places, but keep in mind that there are 51 total categories, so answer as many as you’d like. The survey will be open until the last day of the year, December 31. There’s been a lot of change in the neighborhood in the past year, so we look forward to seeing what your favorites are right now. The link to the survey is boast.nyc/survey, and please share with anyone who knows and loves Astoria!

– The BOAST Team


APAC Announces 2018-19 Season featuring “Caroline, of Change” & “Queen”

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There will be performances of Luna Park on December 1 and 2.

[From Astoria Performing Arts Center]

Astoria Performing Arts Center Announces 2018-19 Season

Award-Winning Theater Presents 18th Season Featuring New York Premiere of Queen and Tony-Nominated Musical Caroline, or Change

Following an acclaimed 17th season that included sold-out performances, critical accolades, and multiple New York Innovative Theatre (NYIT) Awards for its record-breaking production of Follies, Astoria Performing Arts Center (APAC) returns for its female-driven 18th season, featuring a benefit concert of Luna Park: A New Musical and two mainstage productions: the New York Premiere of Queen and the Tony-nominated musical, Caroline, or Change.

Last season’s Follies also marked APAC’s final production at the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in Astoria, the company’s former home of ten years. APAC’s benefit concert of Luna Park will take place at the RIOULT Dance Center (34-01 Steinway Street) and APAC’s mainstage productions of Queen and Caroline, or Change will take place at the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens (21-12 30th Road) in Astoria.

“This season we are excited to be producing two shows which feature dynamic female characters, who, through sacrifice and struggle, reveal their humanity,” says APAC Artistic Director, Dev Bondarin. “In Queen, the careers and friendship of two women are put on the line as they grapple with the truth, while Caroline, or Change resonates anew with its tale of a Black woman navigating an America at a crossroads. We are also proud that with Caroline, or Change and our benefit concert of Luna Park we are presenting the work of two female composers. We are thrilled to continue providing high-quality professional theater to Western Queens audiences and glad to be producing at both the RIOULT Dance Center and Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens.”

On December 1 and 2, 2018, APAC will produce a two-performance benefit concert of Luna Park by Hyeyoung Kim (Music & Additional Material), Michael Cooper (Lyrics & Additional Material), and Daniel F. Levin (Book) at the newly opened RIOULT Dance Center. Set in Coney Island at the turn of the century, the musical chronicles the birth of the most iconic and controversial amusement park in the world. Both performances will be followed by a Coney Island-themed post-show celebration for select ticket buyers.  (more…)


Sugary Divinity at Comfortland

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The creative team behind Queens Comfort rolled out Comfortland in September. QC moved west on 30th Ave taking over the space formally housing Sugar Freak at 36-18 30th Ave. Comfortland took over the old QC location just east of Steinway on 30th Ave.

The sugary creations at Comfortland made by Montana D’Alessio Barbier and Jackie Legge will keep you coming back eager to try their new baked goods. Follow Comfortland on Instagram and you’ll be counting down the days/weeks/minutes ’til your next visit.

The cute donut shop ambience makes for a fun quick meal. The buttermilk biscuit sandwiches are divine. Pair it with the delicious truffle tots and take your donut to go.

Your reviewer is currently too full to eat the nutella creme brulee donut now, but can’t wait to sink her teeth in it in a few hours!

Comfortland
40-09 30th Ave
(631) 457-9815


The Sparrow Film Project Signup at The Letlove Inn

[From Sparrow Film Project]

Sparrow Film Project 2018 is now in its 10th year with major sponsorship from Kaufman Astoria Studio. The Sparrow Film Project is a short film competition where filmmaking teams have three weeks to fully complete a three-minute film.

We are proud to announce will be hosting the signup for the 2018 installment of The Sparrow Film Project on the night of Sunday, September 9th, at The Letlove Inn.

Registration will begin at 7pm and will close at 10pm when the assignment will be announced and teams who are present may draw their specific details. For those unable to attend or stay through the drawing process, their assignments will be randomly selected and sent to the team contact via email the following day. Entry fee is $20 per team in cash, $25 when paid online.

We will once again offer online registration beginning on September 7th at sparrowfilmproject.com for those unable to attend.

For more information please visit sparrowfilmproject.com.


Mike Vecchione’s New Comedy Album

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Mike Vecchione, an Astorian comedian who recently appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, recently released his second comedy album, The Worst Kind of Thoughtful.

Recorded live on Long Island at Governor’s Comedy Club, this high-octane comedy album from one of NYC’s top comedians gives you over an hour and twenty minutes of autobiographical stand up comedy.

The Worst Kind of Thoughtful covers a wide range of personal topics including: growing up as an Italian-American in the rust belt with an overbearing father, becoming middle aged, failed relationships, dating in his 40’s, the pain and pleasure of Indian food, dealing with millennials, getting his car stolen and having to travel on a Megabus to perform his stand up comedy all while living under a train in Queens.

The album can be purchased at www.ComicMIkeV.com/thoughtful

Ample Hills is Open in Astoria (yum)

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Last Friday at 4pm, Ample Hills Creamery opened on 30th Ave by 34th St, shortly after the 30th Ave N/W subway station re-opened (yay!). A line wrapped around the building while staff members brought out samples of the new 20/20 flavor, which has a marshmallow taste and a cotton candy swirl. Our trusty taste-testers came back after dinner to find the line still long. They opted for scoops in cups and sat in one of the few booths in the front window. One taster thought it will make a great place for first dates!

The new Astoria inspired flavor, Nectar of the Queens, made with local baklava, tasted like a sweet Greek goddess. The classic Peppermint Patty had a refreshingly clean taste. The Munchies flavor was good, but adding the Chocolate Trip made for a delightful pairing since you can pick two flavors to put in a cup. The line was much shorter the following day once normal hours resumed.

A tip from the couple behind our group in line: Divide and conquer. Ample Hills and Chip (30-06 34th St) are across the street from each other. One person picked up cookies at Chip and the other was waiting to buy ice cream at Ample Hills. Sounds like they had a sweet sandwich!

 

Ample Hills Creamery
34-02 30th Ave
amplehills.com
Sun-Thu: Noon-11pm
Fri-Sat: Noon-12am


Summers Movies in Astoria and LIC

It’s June, and that means this month outdoor movies are starting in Astoria Park and Hunters Point Park South, by the LIC ferry station. All movies begin around sundown.

Here’s the schedule for Astoria Park:
Friday, 6/15: Grease is the drive-in movie at the Astoria Park parking lot

After that the movies are shown on the Great Lawn.
Thursday, 6/21: School of Rock
Monday, 7/23: Bambi
Monday, 7/30: Moonstruck
Monday, 8/6: ET: the Extra-Terrestrial
Monday, 8/13: Casablanca
Monday, 8/20: Black Panther

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Here’s the schedule for Hunters Point Park South:
Saturday, 6/9: The Wizard of Oz
Friday, 6/15: Moonstruck
Thursday, 6/19: Sleepless in Seattle
Thursday, 8/16: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Saturday, 9/15: Ratatouille

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A Community for Comedy: Lisa Huberman Interviews Zoe Yellen, Host of Truth Serum at Q.E.D.

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Zoe Yellen at April’s Truth Serum show

“Horny! Horny! Horny!” comes the roar of the crowd at Truth Serum, the monthly comedy game show at Q.E.D. hosted by the boisterous Zoe Yellen. A comedian who performs regularly with the sketch comedy troupe Face for Radio at The Peoples Improv Theater, Yellen assembles a motley crew of drunken contestants for a raucous evening of trivia and dares that can include anything from the number of staircases at Hogwarts to a striptease accompanied by the Schindler’s List theme song. The crowd is invited to add their questions and vote for a winner by placing money into solo cups that is eventually donated to charity, and each night’s “Drunkest Audience Member” gets the honor of competing in next month’s show.

In between the game show rounds, Truth Serum highlights a wide variety of stand-up and sketch comedy. On the one side of the spectrum was Jack Pinsky telling jokes about awkwardly trying to sell a “g” of drugs in New Jersey, but unsure of whether that stood for a gram or a gallon, whereas as Aaron LaRoche’s deadpan served as a vehicle for jokes that riffed on how to avoid getting shot by the police, dead black fathers, and the sexual assault allegations against Morgan Freeman. The sketch troupe Mortals featured a dead-beat dad trying to impress his daughter by coming to her birthday party as “blender man” and a woman getting hit on by an HR rep while launching a #MeToo complaint.

I sat down with Yellen to learn more about the evolution of the show and what she loves about hosting shows in Astoria. Below are highlights from our conversation.

How long have been doing this show?
I started Truth Serum about two and a half years ago, but when I originally started, it was a talk show. It was me and one other person, and what we would do is it would be like a drinking game and casually get drunker…I would have one guest, and we would start out the beginning, we’d take a shot. And then there were certain rules to drinking, and basically the idea was that it would start out with kind of easy get to know you questions, and as we drank more it would get a little more ridiculous and a little more revealing. And in between the rounds I would have improv and stuff—and that was honestly mainly to get people there. At this point in this version of it, I feel like game shows need a break in between. I like having standup in between because it’s kind of like a palate cleanser. And so I did the talk show version of it for a while, and honestly it was just too much drinking….and it was podcast for a while. I’ve been doing it at Q.E.D. in this form since September or December.

And what’s your favorite part about working with Q.E.D.?
I like that they’re a community spot. First off, I love that it’s a 15-minute walk from my apartment. But even more than that, I love that it’s like—a lot of the people there and a lot of the shows are people from here, doing it for people here. I go here all the time for local events. So it feels almost like a home.

And how did you get into standup?
I started doing standup in college. I have since then not really done it very much because it is very time-consuming and I’d rather focus on other things. I just don’t think I am good enough to do it every so often. And then I started doing improv, and now I do sketch comedy and I like hosting, because it’s almost like the same high that standup gives you, but I don’t have to create a set, I can kind of just be myself and present something.

What do you think makes this show unique?
I’ve never seen anything like it—it’s something that I started cause I thought it was fun, and other people thought it was fun, and I just kind of kept doing it. It’s just kind of like a bunch of people hanging out and being loud and drunk together—but in a contained environment. There was one standup a couple of months ago who made this fantastic note about it. He was like, I saw this rowdy crowd and I was really nervous to go up there, and then as soon as the standup started you guys just kind of sit down like this. Everyone’s well-behaved when they need to be and rowdy when they need to be. And it just kind of feels like I’m having a fun night with my friends. It feels like a fun game night with my friends. (more…)