Monday, June 25, 2012

It's Astoria (Not 'A Story, Uh')

From Roosevelt Island, Astoria is just a short hop away on the Q102 bus (which has the added bonus of sounding like an adult-contemporary radio station). So yesterday we decided to have a family adventure and check it out.

You know you've arrived in Queens when you see a gym devoted to Ultimate Fighting (mixed martial arts) that has classes for kids.

Astoria seems to be an increasingly vibrant neighborhood, with lots of hip restaurants and bars. I imagine it's what parts of Brooklyn looked like 15 to 20 years ago. We had a great lunch at a New Orleans-themed place called Sugar Freak.

On the downside: Other than Astoria Park, there's little in the way of green space. You can walk block after block down treeless streets in the hot sun. And I've never had to give the kids "earmuffs" more often than while strolling through Queens. Residents are very open in how they express themselves!

That said, we enjoyed Athens Square, which is outfitted with classical columns and statues of Ancient Greek figures. (I'm glad the euro crisis hasn't dampened the Greek pride around here.)

And the elevated subway tracks made me nostalgic for West Philadelphia.

The one disappointment: When Elliot heard we were gong to Astoria, he thought he was going someplace to hear "a story."

Talk about false advertising!