LIKE my confrere Graydon Carter, The Editor regularly fetes and has been feted in all the au courant and poshest locales. Be it LA for the Oscars, Aspen & St. Tropez on the slopes, or spending the month of August with my good friends Tom & Gisele at Bob Craft’s cabin on Nantucket, the LICtalk private jet is wheels up throughout the year. Unlike Graydon, whose loafers are surgically attached to his feet, there’s also a generous dollop of ‘most interesting man in the world‘ to many of my endeavours, which I’m sure most readers are aware of. Thus my only regret is not knowing what regret feels like.
Yet there are times when even I need a little respite, TLC without …ahem, and some home cooking. For that I can think of no better place to immerse myself than Queens. Whether it be wandering through the hundreds of picnic’s and bbq’s taking place in Flushing-Corona Park on the weekends, beaching in the Rockaways, or the massive public pool in Astoria, an off-kilter non-NYC vibe permeates, at least for those Manhattan and north-Brooklyn centric.
Two other recent forays continued this aura. The first was to the Ecuadorian restaurant Rincon Melania on Queens Boulevard. While the immediate surroundings and LIC in general were very quiet on the night I went, the restaurant was at 90% capacity. I’d like to tell you I was the only one there who didn’t speak Spanish, but there was a smattering of gringos in the predominantly ex-pat crowd. Go hungry or expect to go home with a doggy bag.
The second Queens ‘vacation’ was to Sushi On Me, an omakase bar in Jackson Heights. We went for the 5pm seating and it was a sweltering August late-afternoon as we descended from the 7-train to a gritty and foul stretch of Roosevelt Avenue. ‘Are we in the right place?’ we asked at the designated address. ‘Go downstairs’ instructed the ground floor shopkeeper. We did and pushed through an unmarked door to enter a heavily air-conditioned cave with a great soundtrack.
I’ll leave it to others to rate the virtues of their omakase, most of which are raves. What I will say is that it’s accompanied by unlimited sake, which the hosts pour and partake in generously, and by the end of the
journey meal everyone knows each other. No fights ensued this time, but at the conclusion when we departed the cave and ascended to gritty and foul and still-sweltering Roosevelt Avenue, there was no mistaking that we weren’t in Hokkaido any more.
//IN case you lacked a sense of urgency to avail yourself of the best real estate deal in Long Island City, the powers-that-be have extended the deadline to September 13. If your total household income is between $20,606-$212,685, you may qualify for a brand new rent-stabilized apartment on the Long Island City waterfront. All I can say is you’d be a fool not to.
Hunters Point South Affordable Housing – at 5203 Center Blvd