Ashrita Furman is a local celebrity. While he is not managing a health food store in Jamaica, he attempts to break world records. According to this documentary, he has broken 350 world records. I’m sure he has broken more since the making of this. You can check out the entire 24 minute documentary about him here. When you’re in the neighborhood, you can stop by and say hello. Also, tons of footage of Queens, that’s not just stock footage you’d see on episodes of King of Queens.
Today I learned that the “ASW” building, the large, incongruous factory-type building on 23rd Avenue near Steinway, is the former Astoria Silk Works factory. From a quick Google search, this excerpt from The Encyclopedia of New York City:
"Factory in Astoria, Queens, established in 1820. Part of the West Point foundry owned by Gouverneur Kemble, it was one of two factory sites; the other was in Cold Springs, Long Island. Astoria Silk Works was owned by investors that included Jacob Ruppert and William Steinway. The mill was located on Steinway Avenue (now Street) near Potter Avenue (now 23rd Avenue). It was composed of brick buildings, marked by ‘ASW,’ that still stand today. A fire in 1914 closed the factory permanently."
Today it’s home to various businesses, including a dance studio, a photographer, a tattoo shop, Astoria Sound Works (which makes good use of the old initials), and more.
Head to the LIC Flea& Food while the weather is still great! The outdoor market has different food vendors each weekend. Pictured here is Hong Kong Street Cart. Try the Green Mango Salad with Lemongrass Chicken or the Cold Peanut Noodle.
LIC Flea & Food, 5-25 46th Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101
Experience the flavors of Romania in Sunnyside! Romanian Garden serves hearty dishes like stuffed cabbage, polenta, meatball soup, and meats fresh off the grill. To start get a variety of appetizers. Chiftele (fried meatballs), caseavel pane (fried cheese), and salata de vinete (eggplant salad spread) will do you right.
Romanian Garden, 43-06 43rd Avenue, Sunnyside, NY 11104
Believe me when I say one bowl of Dan Dan Noodles is not enough. You’ll be asking for more so top off that heat with Spicy Cold Noodles and Sliced Pork Belly in Chili Garlic Sauce. Little Pepper in College Point serves up the best Sichuan food I have ever had in NYC.
Little Pepper, 18-24 College Point Blvd., NY, NY 11356
For one of the most powerful views of the skyline, witness it reaching above the horizon of grave markers at Calvary Cemetery in Woodside—one of the oldest cemeteries in the United States. With over 3 million interments (more than any other cemetery in the U.S.) and managed by St. Patrick’s Cathedral, it is the posthumous home to numerous Civil War soldiers, mobsters, politicians, and artists. The oldest gravestone is dated 1718. An original adult burial plot cost $7.
This smoked hot dog from Butcher Bar at the LIC Flea was one of the best ever, with homemade pickles, sweet BBQ sauce, and raw onions. They actually smoke it on the grill with the brisket and ribs, infusing all that intense flavor.