03/20/17 1:13pm
The noodles are perfect, the broth is delicious and the ramen bowls are handmade in Greenpoint. Photo: @Takumenlic via Instagram

The noodles are perfect, the broth is delicious and the ramen bowls are handmade in Greenpoint. Photo: @Takumenlic via Instagram

A few weeks ago a friend who lives in Long Island City invited me to come over, mentioning that if we got hungry we could pop around the corner from her house to a Japanese izakaya where we could grab some snacks and sake. I’ll admit it, I was dubious. Long Island City has lots of choices for Asian food, but none that I’ve loved. There’s mediocre Thai in spades, just like the rest of New York City. Mu Ramen has delicious food, but the wait is always a problem and frankly, they’re just not that friendly. Hibino I do like, but I wouldn’t call it an izakaya.

What I was shocked to find, tucked behind the 108th Precinct, less than a block from the Vernon-Jackson stop on the 7 train was a perfect neighborhood restaurant, a place you can indeed pop into for some snacks a beer, but that also feels fancy enough for a special night out. (more…)

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04/03/14 3:43pm
If it's been a while since you've holograms up close, they're still truly outrageous. Photo: Meredith Craig de Pietro

A hologram at the soon-to-close Holocenter in Long Island City. If it’s been a while since you’ve these 3-D artworks up close, they’re still truly outrageous. Photo: Meredith Craig de Pietro

Holograms are trending right now, with rumors of an Amy Winehouse hologram getting ready for a world tour. A quick recap of other recent holograms: The 2006 autumn/winter runway show of the late Alexander McQueen featured a ghostly Kate Moss shimmying on the runway. Then in 2008, Will.I.am made a holographic appearance on CNN during the presidential elections. The craze culminated in 2012, when Tupac Shakur’s posthumous hologram caused a stir at Coachella. But guess what? None of those were really holograms. They are all just examples of high tech 3-D projections, essentially fancy CGI.

Real-deal holograms are both more complicated and simpler. There are a few different ways to make holograms, but all require laser beams, interference and diffraction. Even without spending millions of dollars, the visual effects can be spectacular, as my son and I recently discovered when we visited the Holocenter in Long Island City. And you don’t have to understand the mathematics behind the science to feel the magic in the art. My 4-year-old son has gone to many museums and galleries, and usually finds the experiences enjoyable, but this particular show actually blew his mind. (more…)

11/18/13 8:57am

M. Wells Steakhouse opened last week in a rehabbed auto body shop in LIC. Photo: M. Wells

M. Wells Steakhouse opened last week in a rehabbed auto body shop in LIC. Photo: M. Wells

If you get off the G train at Court Square in Queens and smell something burning, don’t be alarmed. Just follow the wood-fired aroma three blocks north and turn into the yard of the old auto body shop on Crescent Street. No, it’s not burning rubber. Yes, our sister borough is picking up on the reclaimed industrial space trend, but instead of opening a mechanic-chic hipster bar like Hot Bird or Mission Dolores, Queens has gone and one-upped up us by turning the old Collision Inc. space into a full-fledged fine dining affair.

The Backstory: M. Wells Steakhouse, which soft-opened last week and officially debuts tonight, is the much-anticipated comeback from Hugue Dufour and Sarah Obraitis, the French-Canadian husband-and-wife team who opened M. Wells Diner in Long Island City in 2010.  The original spot garnered rave reviews for its bone-marrow-in-a-boxcar concept; The New York Times even called it worth flying to Queens for. A rent dispute shuttered the restaurant just a year later, cementing its legend as the greatest Queens restaurant that barely ever was. While the duo opened the casual M. Wells Dinette inside P.S. 1 last year, anxious foodies have been awaiting their full-fledged return.
(more…)

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10/30/13 9:00am

HS_600x600 Dec. 5, 2013 commemorates the 80th anniversary of the end of Prohibition. It also marks the first annual Village Voice Holiday Spirits event, featuring an array of more than 25 distilleries, wineries and other booze-makers from New York City and beyond. Think of this as the holiday party you’re treating yourself to–no drunken co-workers to avoid, and no chance of the punchbowl running dry. Holiday Spirits will be held on two floors of Studio Square in Long Island City, with dazzling, panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline. With spirits from local favorites like Greenhook Ginsmiths, Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur and Breuckelen Distilling, you’ll enjoy delicious sips of signature winter-themed cocktails all night, along with hors d’oeuvres, live jazz music from The Blue Vipers of Brooklyn and a set from DJ Tim Martell and more. VIP ($70, early admission and a gift bag) and general admission ($50) tickets are available now.