Walks in New York and elsewhere

My comments on buildings, shops, restaurants that catch my eye as I wander around New York City and other places.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Vernon Boulevard, 3

IMG_1626 (Small) Restaurant row continues a couple of blocks north of 48th Avenue, with excellent pizza at Bella Via,

IMG_1632 (Small) Masso, whose pedestrian Italian-American food doesn't live up to the restoration of the building, although the bar seems to have some appeal,

and Lounge 47, which offers a far more interesting menu of imaginative, well-prepared sandwiches and salads, as well as some American bistro specialities that can be enjoyed in its pleasant garden. IMG_1636 (Small) I learned here that cider served the Irish way, over ice, is a good accompaniment to a grilled lamb sandwich on Tom Cat bread.

IMG_1637 (Small) Communitea, an even more casual place, offers a wide selection of teas and coffees to youngish people who look like relative newcomers to the neighborhood. It's a Wi-Fi zone and many patrons bring their laptops and sit for a long time. A notice on the window tells a lot about the attitude of the owners, explaining how they turned some unexpungeable graffitti on the window into permanent artwork. IMG_1639 (Small) The NYC buildings department records show that new building permits were issued in 1924 and in 1926, but also that an alteration permit was issued in 1907. There is no demolition permit in the record. The building looks older than 1924-26 to me. Perusal of maps and deeds might better pinpoint the date of construction.

The northernmost outpost of the Hunter's Point restaurant row is L.I.C.Bar. sometimes known as "Draughts and Cordials" to those who read the signs on the windows. (Ok, it took me a while to figure out what the bar's real name was.)IMG_1821 (Small) IMG_1652 (Small)

Some of the old places remain. IMG_1627 (Small)

It's not only bars and restaurants. An upscale florist has opened. IMG_1630 (Small)
Because of the reflections, it's hard to see the orchid plants, but, believe me, they are there.

Even the exterminator has made an effort to be appealing. IMG_1633 (Small)
Those are wire sculptures of insects in the window.

Across the street from Communitea, a sign in the window announces that Hunter's Point Wines and Spirits will be opening on the ground floor of a recently renovated four-story building, originally, a one-story woodshop, built in 1923. IMG_1827 (Small)

From 47th Avenue, there is a good view of the Chrysler Building. IMG_1642 (Small)

Many artists live in this part of Queens, and the Art-O-Mat offers them an exhibition space, as well as a venue for lectures, poetry readings and workshops. IMG_1643 (Small)

IMG_1648 (Small) IMG_1646 (Small) It's well worth dropping in.

There is more art at the northern end of Vernon Boulevard, but before we get to it, we'll see a lot more industry.


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