03/17/17 2:55pm
Pic via LIC Flea & Food

Pic via LIC Flea & Food

I’ve got pocket warmers in my pants and most of Brooklyn is currently covered in ice but spring is right around the corner and with it returns outdoor flea markets. LIC Flea & Food will open its fifth season on the weekend of April 8 – 9 (that’s only three weeks away, people) out across the Pulaski and beyond Newtown Creek on the Long Island City waterfront. (more…)

06/29/16 12:04pm
Photo by Gabrielle Westfield.

Photo by Gabrielle Westfield.

When I was first asked to cover a press preview of the eats at the LIC Flea & Food this year, I assumed that I would just get to try a couple of different food vendors that grace the Queens region and call it a day. After all, other than having a few friends who live in Astoria, my only real connection to Queens is falling asleep drunk on the G train and finding myself in Long Island City with a half-eaten slice in hand. Sleep training aside, no one prepared me for the food marathon I was about to endure, with some of Queens’ finest vendors itching for you to try their latest culinary creation that you can find at the LIC Flea every weekend. They include innovative food mashups (mac-n-cheese waffle sliders), refreshing summer treats (masala chai-flavored ice pops) and seasonings that traveled all the way from the Dead Sea.

Queens is one of the most ethnically diverse urban areas in all five boroughs, so naturally its foods reflect this. From now until October, locals get to taste how some of these different cultures cross-pollinate their menus. (more…)

05/03/16 12:00pm

A tasty brew at SingleCut Beersmiths awaits you with your new Queens Beer Book.

Beer drinkers of Queens, rejoice! The second annual Queens Beer Book, full of coupons for 31 beers at 31 different beer halls, breweries, restaurants and beer shops in Queens, is now on sale!

We’ve been doing our smash-hit Brooklyn Beer Books for years now and are coming back to Queens for a second year to embrace the burgeoning beer scene in our neighboring borough. The books cost just $30 and you can cash in each ticket for a beer at a carefully curated selection of bars in Astoria, Bayside, Forest Hills, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Ridgewood and Woodside. It’ll help you discover new bars and breweries in the area and motivate Queens drinkers to get out and try new brews outside of their normal repertoire — many of which are brewed right in Queens. Buy one now before they sell out! (more…)

04/20/16 8:00am
Here's the part where you have to walk instead of bike. Via Flickr user Marc van Woudenberg.

Here’s the part where you have to walk instead of bike. Via Flickr user Marc van Woudenberg.

May, the amuse-bouche of summer, is soon approaching and with it comes the annual TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour. For 39 years running, the 40-mile tour through all New York’s boroughs has billed itself as “the largest charitable bike ride in the U.S.” On May 1, a stampede of 37,000 riders will shut down the automobopolis (I’m trademarking this) that is our city for half the day as they ride freely in the middle of streets, across bridges, and even on some highways. I’ve done it five years consecutively, and this year, I cannot wait to skip it.

Sure, on the surface the Five Boro sounds great: you get to tour New York on a bicycle alongside thousands of other cyclists (evincing varying degrees of enthusiasm), and go where no bicycles ever get to venture on any other day: the FDR Drive and the BQE. You’re biking 40 miles, so it feels healthy and you get to have a sore ass at the end. There’s even a festival in Staten Island at the finish line, in Fort Wadsworth, just at the foot of the Verrazano Bridge. And all of that would be great! Except you’re actually walking a lot of the time, and you only really ride through three of the boroughs, and it will cost you $94.  (more…)

04/08/16 3:46pm
Opening weekend at the LIC Flea is here. Via QNS.com.

Opening weekend at the LIC Flea is here. Via QNS.com.

Spring is here (mostly) and that means it’s the return of outdoor market season! Break your usual market routine and head up to Long Island City this weekend for the opening of the fourth annual LIC Flea. The vendors include a selection of artisans, food vendors, jewelry makers and more. But one of the highlights not to miss is the all-Queens beer garden, the first destination to serve a full lineup of Queens-based breweries. It’s got eight beers on tap, serving up tasty brews from Queens Brewery, Rockaway Brewery, Finback, Singlecut, BigAlice and Bridge and Tunnel. After all, we heard a lot of smart people are going to Queens these days.  (more…)

03/31/16 1:00pm
You can finally believe the hype. Photo by Sam Corbin

You can finally believe the hype. Sam Corbin/Brokelyn

[Update: 4/29: The bike lane is now open!] Earlier this week, the DOT released its 2016 bike maps featuring 15 miles of new lanes in Brooklyn alone. Among the miles were included those promised to us long, long ago on the Pulaski bridge, which connects Brooklyn to Queens, from Greenpoint to Long Island City. No opening dates had yet been announced, but now we’ve got an exciting update for you from the office of Assemblyman Joe Lentol, whose district includes the Pulaski Bridge.

Lentol’s communications director, Edward Baker, told us that the bike path will be ready to ride by April 30th at the latest. “It could be done before then,” he added.

At this point, we’ve got a fool-me-twice mentality. We wanted to see the lane’s progress for ourselves, so one of our Brokelyn bike couriers (not Ilana Glazer, but we wish it was) went out to the bridge to snaps some pics of the path-in-progress and get additional intel from construction workers on-site. Verdict? Yeah, this thing might actually be ready in April.  (more…)

03/25/16 8:42am
Coming soon in 2016: the 2nd annual Queens Beer Book.

Coming soon in 2016: the 2nd annual Queens Beer Book.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard of the Brooklyn Beer Book, our guide to all places craft beer, snacks and backyards in Brooklyn (which, by the way, we still have a few copies of on sale). But did you know that Brokelyn also publishes a Queens Beer Book? That’s right, we’ve gotten to know our way around the beer scene in Queens, and we’re seeking nominations for your favorite spots to be considered for the second annual edition. Tell us which bars you want to see included! (more…)

02/17/16 1:00pm
Better than the Gowanus dome, any day. Patrick Lauke / Flickr

Better than the Gowanus dome, any day. Patrick Lauke / Flickr

Yes, it’s true, I live in Queens. Like you, I naturally believe Queens is the absolute worst. It’s the gateway to Long Island, the subways are unnaturally above ground, there’s a neighborhood there actually named Flushing (like the toilet) and it seems like every TV shows about the borough tells us that one can only move up from Queens. That said, it’s a little bit silly that you don’t live here. Now hush, readers, hush. Just hear me out: recently, my Cool Friend From Brooklyn drunkenly confessed that he could no longer afford his less-than-swanky $3,300 Williamsburg one-bedroom. Having given him the death-in-the-family reaction I knew he thought appropriate, I asked what he planned to do next. His ideas ranged from a completely illogical Airbnb scheme to a SXSW-aligned Texas relocation.

After assuring my Cool Friend these options were really cool, I introduced the idea of Queens as a place in New York City where people live and where he could potentially also live. Texas sounds great, but instead of changing jobs, friends, lifestyle and life expectancy; maybe first consider Queens as a Brooklyn alternative. People do, in fact, live here. We live here for less, we spend less on the crap we buy there and we get way more painting done. Here’s why. (more…)

08/13/15 10:49am
Congratulations, Queens! via Flickr user Thomas Hawk

Congratulations, Queens! via Flickr user Thomas Hawk

Queens has been prophesied to be a new Brooklyn for some time now, even if no one exactly knows what they mean when that tag is applied to a city. And while the two places will never be exactly the same, Queens has at least become like Brooklyn in one aspect: soul-crushing rent. For this month anyway, the median rent in Queens is higher than Brooklyn’s. Enjoy it, suckers! (more…)

02/12/15 3:57pm
long island city

The hip new place to complain about the rent. via Flickr user jlwelsh

You know what everyone who’s anyone is sick of? Complaining about the rent in Brooklyn. It’s soooo mainstream that even the Clinton braintrust is doing it. If you wanna be on the cutting edge, get in on the hip rent complaining that all the kids are doing, you have to change it up. You have to start complaining about how Queens is expensive as hell now, like Douglas Elliman’s new real estate report that says Queens’ rent is higher than Brooklyn’s rent. (more…)