We're headed to Queens and this time to Astoria! I love hearing how excited people get about where they live, and why they chose to live there. Meet Preetha from Astoria!
Astoria is a middle-class and commercial neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens, bounded by the East River and is adjacent to three other Queens neighborhoods: Long Island City, Sunnyside (bordering at Northern Boulevard), and Woodside (bordering at 50th Street).
Preetha has moved three times in three months, but two of those have been in Astoria because she just loves the area so much.
Is it friendly for people new to the city (is it safe throughout the day and night)?
It's very safe and friendly, I haven't felt unsafe and have been out late at night. If I do have a late night and get home, even at midnight there are people everywhere.
Around the Salvation Army (46th and Broadway) is especially good because it's near the trains, shops, and supermarkets. There are lots of options for groceries, and everything you need, so I recommend it very highly!
Why do you like (or dislike) living in the area?
I love the diversity of restaurants, people, and just the fact that there is so much going on. You can walk around in one small area past a Columbian Bakery, an Ecuadorian Restaurant, a Brazilian barbecue, it's a melting pot!
From groceries to gyms, from hairdressers to banks, it's all at your fingertips. There's a range of everything you could possibly need!
It's also really quite affordable. A haircut (wash cut and blow dry) for example for me cost $45 including tips! Fruit and veg is also cheaper which is fantastic when you're looking for fresh produce.
It's less than a half hour trip into the center of Manhattan and is really well connected.
There's nothing I really dislike. I genuinely mean that. If I absolutely had to find something, it would be that there are not too many parks nearby and therefore there's a lack of nature and outdoors. It's not too hard to find some though.
Would you say it was a cheaper neighborhood, an average-priced neighborhood, or an expensive neighborhood?
I'd say average. It's definitely not expensive.
How would you describe a clichéd person living in the area and how do they live?
It's all over the place and hard to define.
There are college kids and young professional families with small kids. There are young couples and there are also elderly retired folks like one Portuguese man who has lived in my building for 26 years!
What is your favorite bar in the area to go with friends?
I prefer a bakery over a bar and I can really recommend the Columbian Bakery in the area. They have coffee to die for, and I go there way too often.
Do you have a favorite spot to go alone or quietly with others (venue or not)?
I LOVE food so there's Leli's Bakery, I think the owner is Maltese, and it's a really nice place to hang out, catch up with friends, or go with a big group. It's laid back, the food is amazing and the staff are always very friendly.
Do you have a favorite café or deli and what is your order?
I'm definitely café but always love trying different things. I love Poké places but don't have a regular order.
Out of 10 how would you rate the neighborhood for: Overall? Kids? Going Out? Quiet Living? Food? As a tourist?
Kids: 8 – From what I've seen there are always lots of kids outside playing
Going out: 10 – There are places to cater for every taste
Quiet: 9 – It's quite good to get away from the hustle bustle
Food: 10 – Easy
For tourists: 8 – But there are no landmarks or touristy things
Overall: 10 – I've been super impressed and want to stay as long as possible
In a few words, how would you sum up the neighborhood?
Lively. Diverse. Friendly.
Anything else you’d like to add about the area?
It's all really positive and I have very high standards!
All About Neighborhood Champion, Preetha
How do you describe yourself in one sentence?
I'm a student of life and a world traveler.
What is your favorite thing to do in the city (outside of your neighborhood)?
I love Broadway Plays, they are my biggest weakness. With discount tickets you have to pace yourself. Gold Star is great for discount tickets, as well as entering as many lotteries as possible.
Where do you call “home” and where are you “from”?
I lived in Australia for 20 years and I grew up in Sydney. I lived there for such a long time and call it home.
I was born in India, moved to the Middle East, Australia, and now here!
Now’s your chance to promote whatever you want (your business, your hobby, your cool idea, or something you love)
I'm actually looking for work in financial services, compliance, banking insurance (let me know)!
I love writing and I have a blog, so also really want to continue that!
Preetha can be found at @vpreetha10 on Instagram!
From America Josh
I will admit I haven't traveled much to Astoria, but consider it added to the list, thanks Preetha!
Introducing Neighborhood Champions!
Other Champions: Meet Nico from Cobble Hill, Meet Erin from Long Island City, Meet Rachael from FiDi/Seaport, Meet Edwina from Williamsburg, Meet Scott from Greenwich Village, Meet Josh of Alphabet City
Getting to know a neighborhood in New York is one of the most interesting and fun parts of living here. Building community, understanding the nuances of streets, bars, cafés, and cultures, and knowing what’s cool (and what’s not) makes you feel like you’re really part of the city. So, I want to hear about yours!
So. Are you my next Neighborhood Champion for your neighborhood? If so, send an email to [email protected] and we’ll arrange a time to meet!