Astorians, allow me to be blunt: you have shitty taste in bread. Or maybe you have good taste, but bread in Astoria sucks.
There was a great french bakery on Broadway. It closed because people complained it was more expensive than the bad bakeries. Duh... because they take time to make bread right and use butter in their pastries.
I usually buy my bread from [eyes to ground in slight shame] Panera. Their sourdough is pretty good, which is more than I can say about any other bakery here. Hell, they have sourdough. And I also like the bagels from Brooklyn Bagels (though they're a bit too big). Other than that it's pita, reheated frozen Portuguese rolls from Tradefair, and the occasional no-knead home-baked bread.
Well now there's new great cafe in town, cute and tasty, with home-cooked Moroccan food. You can get French baguettes with bite and taste from Balthazar, the french bakery in Manhattan. And they cost just $2! Real croissants, too. Just $1.75 for plain and or $2.25 for chocolate or almond.
But you might not know from the outside. Here it is:
So now you know.
So go there, make the sweet guy happy. And keep him in business we can all buy good bread.
Harissa 34-05 30th Ave. (formerly and still maybe owned by Angel's Steak--Angel, buddy, you had a nice place, but maybe you shouldn't put steak in the name if you don't actually sell, er, steak!).
In a very sad farewell, Greek House foods closed (the little place between the vegetable stands on 30th Ave). That was my Greek store. He was my man, and always gave me good feta. Luckily, there are still other Greek places (and objectively, Mediterranean may be better Greek store. But they don't know who am I. I don't know their whole family from working in the store). I just hope he retired by choice and not necessity.
Also a sad goodbye to Marino and Sons fish store. Since 1932 says they sign. Plus I feel guilty because just the day before I saw them closed, I thought, "30th Ave could actually do with one less fish store." But I didn't think it would come true! Plus, Marino was probably the best of the lot (though they're all pretty good).
And here's a picture of the new Roosevelt Island trams. They're testing them now. They can run independently of each other. Plus they have more glass to see out of.
And just so you don't think I actually get up to ride at 8AM on a Sunday morning, please note I had been up all night. And I still am. [Rock!]