A Spring in Your Step: The Perfect Weekend for the Change in Season
By Vincent Velotta
Wake up, Astoria! The sun is out! And with it, we’re all waking up from far more than a typical winter hibernation. With everyday life finally taking a turn back towards normalcy, you may want to spend a weekend engaging in something other than the eight-hour Netflix binges and indulgent Doordash orders we’ve all grown accustomed to. Allow me to plan out your itinerary:
KICKOFF: Let’s start the weekend off the right way: bright and early. Can’t get started without your coffee fix? Head over to the Local Bar & Cafe and grab a cozy breakfast in this stylish hotel eatery. Caffeine junkies are welcome as early as 9am and are encouraged to come back at 5 o’clock to wind down with their bar menu.
1302 44th Ave. | 347.738.5251 @thelocalhostels
THEN: Take a walk over to Welling Court to see some of NYC’s most impressive graffiti art. The Welling Court Mural Project has transformed the neighborhood into an expansive collection of over 140 murals by numerous artists around the world. Come have your breath taken away (and rack up those likes on the ‘Gram) at no cost to you!
11-98 Welling Ct. | 646.954.5537 | @wellingcourtmuralproject
FINALLY: Try out the promising new Cuban restaurant, Quimbao. There’s outdoor and indoor dining, live music and a Ropa Vieja sandwich (a classic Cuban dish with shredded beef and vegetables) that makes me want to stop writing this and head over there right now.
3301 36th Ave. | 718. 806.1335 | @quimbaonyc
KICKOFF: Start your Saturday with some therapeutic exercise. Shake the work week out of your system at Sol Dance Center, where classes ranging from Jazz to Hip-hop and more are offered all week. Check their online schedule to see when your preferred style is hitting the dance floor.
30-16 Steinway St. | 347.305.1889 | @soldancecenter
THEN: After your workout, treat yourself to a delicious, healthy meal with a view at LUNA Asian Bistro & Lounge, where you can gaze at the Manhattan skyline while chowing down on a plethora of sushi, teriyaki and tempura options that are made fresh right in front of you.
32-72 Steinway St. 917.832.7911 | 347.935.3955 @lunaasianbistro
FINALLY: Wash your day down with a drink and maybe some friendly competition at Steinway Café-Billiards: a roomy pool hall with plenty of tables and screens to go around. This is the perfect place to end the night with a few rounds of pool accompanied by a few rounds of drinks.
3525 Steinway St. 718.472.2124 @steinwaybilliards
KICKOFF: Looking for an eccentric change of pace? Then Fresco’s Cantina invites you to a brunch like no other: their “Chismosas with Mimosas” drag brunch. Be sure to make a reservation as they fill up quickly! Brunches led by hosts, Hibiscus and Catrina Love Lace, on Sundays at 12pm and 3pm.
12-14 31st Ave. | 347.808.7338 @frescoscantina
THEN: Say goodbye to a local gem. After 15 years, beloved gift shop, Inside Astoria, will be shutting down at the end of the month. Pay them a visit and support them in their final days with the neighborhood. Inside (no pun intended) you’ll find a diverse selection of items ranging from home decor to unique gifts, most of which are Astoria-themed.
28-07 Ditmars Blvd. | 718.956.4000 | @insideastoria
FINALLY: Get yourself a meal that’s sure to kick your Sunday scaries to the curb and help you forget about the impending Monday morning doom. At Botte Bar, you can pick out a classic wine and pasta dish from their Roman-inspired menu and finish your weekend with a proper party for your taste buds. Try the intriguing Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina (potato gnocchi, tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella and basil), or perhaps the more traditional Chicken Parmesan over Rigatoni Marinara.
25-07 Broadway Ave. | 718.433.9079 | @bottebar