Popup Gift Shop this Saturday at Tacostoria

[From Tacostoria]
The Astoria New York Entrepreneurs Club is hosting a “Spring Into Summer” Popup Gift Shop on Saturday, June 12 from 11am to 6pm, showcasing a variety of products and services of women-owned Queens-based business. Featured vendors will showcase a wide variety of unique finds, such as gifts for Dads and Grads, jewelry, makeup and skin care, ceramics, painting kits, nail design strips, healthy living products, personalized gifts and much more.
Club member Rocco Del Greco, owner of Tacostoria Taqueria and Cantina, will host the popup gift shop at his restaurant at 36-05 30th Avenue (between 36th and 37th Street) in Astoria. Shoppers will get the chance to enter to win Dinner for Two from Tacostoria Taqueria and Cantina ($50 value, no purchase necessary).
The Club’s members who will be participating in this popup gift shop include: Elena Cruz of CareerProz-Resume Writer, Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski and Avon, Elizabeth Cruz of Handmade by eLIZabeth, Pauline Zammit of Let’s Have Fun With Ceramics, Maria Christoforou of NuSkin and Magical Moments Vacations-Travel Agent, Ileana Tescaru of Blacksea Spell, Lisa Mulero of Little Art Studio, Sophia Hrisomallidou of Hana Lima Craft Shop, Cindy Solis of Total Life Changes, Kelly Biondi of ColorStreet-Easy Nail Designs, Georgia Papadopoulou of NYC Academics, Margaret Ann Xanthos Sargent of State Farm Insurance and PS84 and their Hayward Gourmet Fundraiser.
Tacostoria, located on Astoria’s famous 30th Avenue, is a neighborhood taqueria and cantina serving up fusion-inspired tacos, blended burritos, quesadillas, slushees, sangrias and craft cocktails. Using fresh ingredients and homemade recipes, including vegan tortillas made by hand on premises daily, Tacostoria’s menu showcases a diversity of meat, seafood and vegetarian/vegan options with bold flavors and worldly tastes, a reflection of the spirit of NYC and its people. The restaurant’s web site is https://www.tacostoria.com.
The Astoria New York Entrepreneurs Club is a local Queens-based business group of entrepreneurs that come together to network, collaborate on projects and events and support each other’s growth and success. Members benefit from becoming part of a broader community of passionate business people who understand that it takes a village to build a successful business. The Club’s monthly “jam sessions” (currently held virtually through Zoom) are inspiring and energizing, and feature lively discussions, presentations on various growth ideas and best practices, opportunities to present each other’s products and services and welcome newcomers to the Club. Members collaborate to promote each other’s businesses through social media and cross promotions.
Social Media
Instagram: @astorianyentrepreneursclub

APAC presents Stuff, a radio play by Mrinalini Kamath


Astoria Performing Arts Center


a radio play

by Mrinalini Kamath

Astoria Performing Arts Center presents the world premiere of Stuff, a radio play by Mrinalini Kamath. Inspired by the 2015 New York Times article “The Lonely Death of George Bell,” Stuff tells the story of lives that intersect when a man dies alone in his cluttered apartment. Stuff is about living alone in modern times.

Stuff features Jen Anaya, Alan Ariano, Shabazz Green, Greg Horton, Jim Nugent, Shetal Shah, and David Shih, is directed by Dev Bondarin, with sound design by Caroline Eng and engineering by Jim Petty.

Stuff will be released in three episodes beginning Tuesday May 11th at 6pm, with each subsequent episode released on Tuesdays in May. The play will be available on APAC’s Five Ohm TV Channel (fiveohm.tv) and on Spotify and other podcast platforms. Listening is free of charge with donations suggested to be made to Astoria Performing Arts Center. More information can be found at www.apacny.org.

Mrinalini Kamath (Playwright) is a Queens-based playwright who attended Johns Hopkins University and the New School for Drama. She was a 2019 recipient of a Queens Council on the Arts New Works Grant for her play Term Limits and was a 2018 Ma-Yi/UWashington Mellon Creative Initiative fellow. Many of her short plays are included in Smith and Kraus anthologies, and she is a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab and the PlayGround Experiment, and is an alumna of EST’s Youngblood and the Mission to (dit)Mars Propulsion Lab. For more info about Mrinalini: mkwriter.com

Astoria Performing Arts Center, Inc. (APAC) is an award-winning non-profit theater company dedicated to engaging the residents of Astoria, Long Island City, and greater Queens in contemporary social and cultural issues through live performance and arts education. Established in 2001, APAC has produced a diverse mix of new plays and reimagined musicals and developed dozens of new works. APAC also provides a robust array of community and arts education programs that offer writing and performing opportunities to students, seniors, and residents of all ages with and without disabilities. Recent productions include the New York premieres of Marguerite by Michael Cooper and Anton Dudley featuring Tony Award-winner Cady Huffman and Jump by Charly Evon Simpson directed by Arpita Mukherjee.

BOAST: Best of Astoria Winter Virtual Party 2021 Wrap-Up


Michelle Slonim Rosenfeld and Ben Rosenfeld

The first virtual BOAST: Best of Astoria party is in the books! Thank you to everyone who attended. We learned a lot for next time we do a virtual event (although we hope next year it can be in person). Our gratitude goes to the musicians, Queens community groups and comedians who participated and presented. We hope everyone had a good time.

Congratulations to the raffle winners, who won prizes from The BonnieAstoria Performing Arts CenterAstoria Bier & Cheese, and The Thirsty Koala.

Would you like to be signed up for the BOAST newsletter, if you are not already signed up? Just comment here or email us at [email protected]. And if you want to sign up on your own, you can do that from the sidebar of the homepage. Also, let us know if you would like to purchase a magnet of the BOAST 2020 Winners. Here is the post with that graphic.

We want to give a shout-out and thank you to We Heart Astoria for plugging the BOAST party on Instagram. Their website and Instagram links are listed below in the Queens Community Groups section.

Here are the links for the performers and groups at the party.

Dan Rauchwerk
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2rHgkPts59Wrb1BidM8E6z

Andrew Weiss
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andrewweissandfriends
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andrewweissmusic/
TikTok: @andrewweissmusic
Website: www.andrewweissmusic.com

Jeff Prentky
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jeffjacobscomedy
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JambaJeff
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jeffjacobscomedy/

Dave Vargo
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dvargomusic
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/davevargomusic
Website: http://davevargomusic.com/

Queens Together
Website: https://queenstogether.org
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/qns_together/

Astoria Performing Arts Center
Website: www.apacny.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/APACNY
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/apacgram/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/APACnyc

Rocky the Pug
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/astoriapug/
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/g2SFcf

Greater Astoria Historical Society
Website: https://www.astorialic.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AstoriaHistory/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lichistory/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lichistory?lang=en
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkGJ3qj2sLweD5J7k-gTRyA

We Heart Astoria
Website: https://weheartastoria.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/weheartastoria/

Ben and Michelle Rosenfeld
New Parent Smell book: https://www.amazon.com/New-Parent-Smell-Thoughts-Pregnancy/dp/0990855228/
Michelle’s website: https://michelleslonim.net
Ben’s website: https://www.bigbencomedy.com
Ben’s TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@bigbencomedy
Michelle’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/michelleslonimcomedy/

Virtual Dance Classes for Children and Teens


[From Anastasia Soroczynski]

Registration is now open for our Virtual Dance Classes for Children and Teens!

Spring Semester: March 1st – May 28th

Our experienced and well-loved teachers (former teachers from RIOULT Dance Center) are here to offer your children engaging, professional programming that will keep them dancing well after the end of class. We cultivate your child’s artistic excellence through our classes for ages 3–15 in Ballet, Modern, Hip Hop, Creative Movement & Pre-Pointe.

Tuition: $122 plus 10% Off Multiple Class and/or Sibling Registration

Virtual Trials Welcome!

Sign Up at: https://forms.gle/G4GbNB9ATLfv7Swx7

Class Schedule includes:
Creative Movement (3–5 years) Tuesdays 4–5pm EST
Creative Movement (3–5 years) Wednesdays 10–11am EST
Ballet I (6–9 years) Mondays 4–5pm EST
Ballet II (10–15 years) Mondays 5:45–6:45pm EST
Pre-Pointe (10–15 years) Mondays 6:45–7:45pm
Modern I (6–9 years) Thursdays 4–5pm EST
Modern II (10–15 years) Thursdays 5:45–6:45pm EST
Hip Hop I (6–9 years) Fridays 4–5pm EST
Hip Hop II (10–15 years) Fridays 5:45–6:45pm EST

Interested in in-person private classes or pod classes, please contact Anastasia Soroczynski at [email protected].

Info on former teachers from RIOULT Dance Center. (The Center closed due to COVID and they have come together to still offer virtual dance classes through originality, vitality, and diversity along with artistic excellence during a time period that people are still so unsure of what to do.)

Anastasia Soroczynski (Director of Programing, Ballet & Modern Teacher)
Anastasia Soroczynski graduated with a BFA in Dance from SUNY Purchase in 2002. She has performed professionally for over 18 years; upon retiring from her professional dance career, Ms. Soroczynski transitioned into various teaching and administrative capacities. She has previously directed RIOULT’s in-school arts education program called DanceREACH and co-directed the RIOULT Dance School. Currently, the Education Director for Thistle Dance and Community Engagement Consultant for Gotham Dance Theater. Ms. Anastasia teaches extensively domestic and internationally. She is excited to work with your children and ignite their love of dance!

Marc Nuñez (Hip Hop Teacher)
Marc Nuñez is a Queens-based Choreographer, Dancer, and Fitness Instructor. Professionally, Marc has danced for Rihanna, Todrick Hall, Panic! at the Disco, Elijah Wood, BARE Dance Company and Entity Contemporary Dance, as well as played roles in musicals including Peter Pan (International Tour with Cathy Rigby), Newsies, Cabaret and The King and I. He has also appeared in commercials for Nintendo, Disney, and K-Swiss. Marc has directed productions of The Wizard of Oz and Sweeney Todd.

Marc is Founder and Director of Gotham Dance Theater since 2015 and Dance Curator at The Tank. Marc specializes in Contemporary, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Musical Theatre, and Heels. In fitness, Marc specializes in Dance Cardio and has taught at ChaiseFitness (Pilates-based workout) and fitBallet (circuit training). Marc holds a BFA in Dance Performance with Excellence in Choreography from the University of California, Irvine. Marc is a member of Actors Equity and represented by CESD Talent Agency.

Kerry McManus (Creative Movement Teacher)
Kerry McManus is a classically trained modern and ballet teacher. She began her dance studies at Eastern Connecticut Ballet under the direction of Gloria Govrin and Lise Reardon. She then continued her studies at Marymount Manhattan College and graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in dance. While in school she had the opportunity to perform the works of choreographers like George Balanchine, José Limón, Robert Battle and Jae Man Joo.

Kerry has taught ballet, modern and creative movement classes in Manhattan and Queens. She is currently training to receive a certification in Autism Movement Therapy.


A Magical Evening with the Foodie Magician through APAC

FoodieMagicianAPAC[From Astoria Performing Arts Center]

Plans for Valentine’s Day? Join us for A Magical Evening with the Foodie Magician on Feb. 14 at 7pm as the Foodie Magician astonishes across a Zoom screen!

Tickets are “pay what you wish” with a suggested donation of $10. More info at: www.apacny.org

Local attendees will receive a 10% discount off a future purchase at Astoria-based Bench Flour Bakers!


BOAST: Best of Astoria Winter Virtual Party 2021


Join us for the BOAST: Best of Astoria Winter Virtual Party 2021! This year we will be celebrating the 2020 BOAST Winners over Zoom. There will be music, comedy, a raffle, and we’ll hear from some Queens community groups. More details coming soon! It is happening on Sunday, Feb. 21, 4–5pm. You can register at boast.nyc/party. There is a suggested donation of $10, which will help BOAST continue supporting local groups and establishments. It is free to join the raffle—with prizes from Astoria Bier & Cheese, The Bonnie, and The Thirsty Koala—but send us a message that you would like to be entered in order to do so. We hope to see you at the virtual party!

Recognizing Astoria Restaurants


Illustration by Jen Robinson

Queens Together and BOAST: Best of Astoria want to recognize Astoria restaurants for the good work and community service they’ve done during the COVID-19 crisis.

These establishments provide meals and groceries to community fridges, hospital workers, senior centers, shelters, Ramadan Iftar boxes, food pantries, teachers and PAL centers.

Astoria stands strong in its commitment to small businesses, community service, and neighbors facing food and economic insecurity. We can get through this together.

Participating Astoria restaurants

Sac’s Place
Bund on Broadway
Ornella Trattoria
Zenon Taverna
La Mian Lounge
Sami’s Kabab House
Gyro World
Dino’s Pizzeria
Bel Aire Diner
Pochana Thai
Il Bambino
Bonoful Grocery
Kurry Qulture (now closed)
Nino’s AQ
King Souvlaki
Astoria Pizza Factory
Titan Foods

What can you do to help? Support these restaurants! Let’s get them through the COVID-19 crisis one meal at a time.

Photos from Queens Together

Don’t Idle Your Car


We’ve been walking around Astoria the last few days and have seen many people sitting in their car, idling their engine. We know it’s cold out, but please don’t do that! Not only is it bad for the car (wastes gas, burns up oil, drains car battery), but it’s bad for the environment and is detrimental to everyone’s health (contributes to air pollution). If you’d like to read more, below are some articles.

Here are five reasons to stop idling from New Roads.

Here is how idling affects your car from WBTV.

Here is why idling is bad for your car (and the environment) from Scott’s Fort Collins Auto.

Extras from the Survey


Vintage / Photo by Mor Mezrich

Not everything from the BOAST: Best of Astoria 2020 survey made it onto the site. Here are some noteworthy categories and entries, in alphabetical order. (Please check to make sure they are open before going.)

Best Brazilian Food
Favela Grill
Pao de Queijo

Best Date Spot
Sanfords Astoria
Sweet Afton
The Ditty (It’s scheduled to re-open once indoor dining resumes.)
The Letlove Inn
Vesta Trattoria & Wine Bar
Via Trenta Osteria & Wine Bar

Best Gym
Astoria Park
Blink Fitness
Lucille Roberts–Astoria
Matrix Fitness Club
Unlimited Body NY
Yoga Agora

Best Haircut
Casablanca Hair Salon
Crush Studio
GiGi Salon & Styling Studio
Imagination Unisex Hair Designs
Kings Hairstyling
Nikos & Tasoula Hair Style
Redken Saloon Salon

Best Happy Hour
Bubba’s Bistro
Chano’s Cantina
Judy & Punch
Watawa Sushi