Archive for the ‘Off the Beaten Track in…’ Category

Wanna be a superhero? Shop your way into it.

Photo courtesy:

Photo courtesy:

Holy crud! We’ve all dreamed of being Batman, Superman, Batgirl, Catwoman and all sorts of superheroes. We’ve idolized our comic book heroes and wanted their super powers.

If you had a super power what would it be and why? is a question that you must ask before graduating high school. It is a requirement to have this discussion!

Now, you can fulfill your dreams. Though in your early to mid twenties, this fantasy is no longer a sign of absolute 100% mental health, the world is a beautiful place that caters to all lunacies/desires.

The Brooklyn Superhero company on 5th Avenue in the Park Slope area has everything you need in order to become a superhero. Capes, masks, certificates, ninja nunchucks? Who knows? Their Website lacks information, but you can read all about them here on Yelp.

Off the Beaten Track: Astoria/LIC –AMMI Newly-Expanding and Open

The American Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria has re-opened, despite being in the process of a major expansion, which will make it bigger and better than ever.
It’s a bargain at $10 per adult [discounts for children, students and seniors]. It’s free on Friday from 4pm to 8pm.

AMMI is not an all-day affair; you can get through it in less than two hours. But definitely check out the schedule of film screenings. And, despite the Greek exodus to suburbia, you can still find some good Greek food, as well as awesome Middle-Eastern, Latino, and Italian bakeries and eateries. Check out this video tour by a local opera singer, as he eats his way through doughy, yeasty treats.

The American Museum of the Moving Image

The American Museum of the Moving Image



I captured this from a wall in Chinatown, and it kinda got me thinking. I feel like sometimes, the message is simple and strong. I wish there was more like that.

Off the Beaten Track in… South [Beach] Bronx — Who Knew?

Art Deco architecture and an artist colony in the South Bronx? I don’t like when neighborhoods keep secrets from me, but this is a secret the Bronx has kept until now.

As Seth Kugel reported this week, in the NY Times this past weekend, you can combine a trip to see Yankee Stadium for the last time, with a trip to another kind of history — architectural history.

But forget you’re in the Bronx and think you’re in South Beach [for a second]? I don’t know…..maybe in the heat wave of the last few days, you could stretch the imagination. The South Bronx’s bad rap has not lent itself to exploring the neighborhood around Yankee Stadium, but things have changed.

Three blocks away from the stadium is the largest collection of art deco style buildings outside of Miami [who knew?]. And Kugel recommends the jerk chicken from the Feeding Tree Restaurant
or a panini from the Press Cafe

And the Mott Haven neighborhood to the south, long known for antiques, has become an artist colony! There are art galleries like Haven Arts and 2 upscale bars — The Bruckner Bar and Grill and Alexander’s Cafe. If you prefer to have a drink after the game, try the newly-opened Gallery Lounge.

This will be the last year to see The House That Ruth Built

Off The Beaten Track In… Rego Park, Queens

Rego Park, Queens
quick facts:
location: Central Queens bordered by Elmhurst and Forest Hills
subway stop: 63rd Drive, Rego Park [V and G lines]
Brief history: Basically farmland until the 1920s, when the REal GOod Construction Company purchased the land and built 575 eight-room homes; apartment buildings followed. Until 1962, there was a Long Island Railroad station in Rego Park.

I decided to start this series closest to home, where I live. When I say “I live in Rego Park”, I get one of two responses:
1) Where’s that? or 2) Oh, isn’t that where the mall is?…….Actually the Queens Center Mall is in Elmhurst, just over the LIE. Rego Park is becoming a shopping mall of sorts, with a little mall on the Boulevard [Sears, Marshalls, Circuit City, Bed Bath and Beyond, Old Navy], and another one to come in 2009 [Home Depot, Kohl’s, Century 21].

Bukhara-on-the-Boulevard? Rego-stan? Uzbekistan flagForest Hills’ poorer cousin? Shopping mecca? If you judge Rego Park by its hub — the corner of 63rd Drive and Queens Blvd., you’re missing something. Venture down 63rd Drive toward 99th Street, up to 108th Street, and further down to 67th Avenue, and notice a scene which looks like it could have come out of Anatevka or “Borat”. Stores have signs in Cyrillic Russian lettering, and in winter, many heads are covered with big fur hats, and in all weather, “babushkas”. Rego Park is the center of immigrants from what is now Uzbekistan, a former Soviet Republic, and specifically from the areas of Bukhara,Samarkand, and Tashkent. These are not the Russians of Brighton Beach. These are people of Central Asia. If you walk on the north side of Queens Boulevard up 63rd Drive past Citibank, CVS, and Dress Barn, you enter another world. Walk down the long block toward 98th Street. and stop in the delis with the signs in Russian — one is mid-block, and the other on the corner. You will see an amazing array of smoked fish, cheeses, pickles, fresh yogurts, sweets, breads, and pastry. Continue on just past 99th Street and stop into Tandoori Bukharian Bakery. Eat a samsa – the Central Asian version of the Indian samosa. If you walk to 108th Street, otherwise known as “Bukharian Broadway”, you run into even more of these Central Asian delicacy shops. The fresh yogurt is amazing, and the sweets are like nothing you have tasted before.

But Rego Park is also getting an influx of young American families, and young professionals who are sick of paying rents $3,000 a month for an apartment the size of a walk-in closet, or who are sick of paying rent at all, and want to own a co-op for less than $500,000. There is now a Starbucks at the corner of 67th and Queens Boulevard, and a new vegan place with Soho-like decor and soft couches across the boulevard [Tierra Sana]. But the old standbys are still popular — London Lennies [seafood] on Woodhaven Blvd, Ben’s Best serving up kosher deli for over 50 years, and Knish Nosh [knishes and other Jewish dishes. Other places that don’t disappoint are Avellinos [Italian] near the 64th Street entrance to the subway, Tung Shing Palace, [Chinese] one block east from Avellinos, and the Shalimar Diner on 63rd Rd. across from the library.

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