Saturday, March 24, 2012


What's your favorite local theater in Astoria? Like a real theater. With seats and lights and sound and real live actors...

Ahhh, but there is one: The Greek Cultural Center. It's on 30th Street just north of 30th Ave, in the basement of one of those big apartment buildings. When else will you be able to see a Greek play? In Greek? Much less understand it? That's what I thought.

There are English super-titles.

Take about cultured!

You know, from what I hear, the Greeks invented theater. And Democracy. And maybe also maybe demagoguery and cacophony and bankruptcrasia. But I'll have to look up last few.

Last night I saw "In Laws from Tirana," that hit play from Greece.

The play was very good. It was funny. I liked it. I laughed. I cried. I give it two thumbs up. It's about a daughter bringing home a boyfriend. And he's Albanian (it's not a spoiler if it's in the play's title). Hilarius antics ensue. But seriously, it's a good play. It's a comedy but deals with some serious issues. And it's cool to see a hit play from Greece, translated, right here in Astoria.

And it's in a small cozy theater I'd never been to before. And it's all it took me all of four minutes to walk from my door to my seat (is that what living in Brooklyn is like?). Who could ask for more?

The cast of nine was even outnumbered by audience members. But not by much. The theater holds about 60 and was half empty (or half full?). Everybody was dressed very nicely and many people spoke exotic languages like, well, Greek mostly. But also Albania. And perhaps some in the audience could have been a little quieter, but have a heart. I mean, how upset can one get when an elderly Albania lady, hair nicely done, is so overcome at some of the play's better lines that she feels compelled to repeat a few words?

Info on the play can be found here.

The Greek Cultural Center's website is here. It's not fancy. But you can email or call to make reservations. The play is generally on Friday to Sunday till May 6th. It costs $20. There are snacks of donuts and cookies during intermission. You can be sporting and leave a donation.

It sort of bothers me there's a good play in a small theater right here in Astoria and nobody knows about it. So go support your local theater. The one you didn't know about. And then feel smug about your cultured Astoria life.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Welcome to Queens

Welcome to peace.
A rather pleasant piece of graffiti.

Friday, March 16, 2012

While I was out...

Somehow without my knowledge a separated bike lane magically appeared on 1st Ave. How is that for fabulous? Two nights ago, I biked in peace all the way from Chinatown to 56th Street. The 2nd Ave bike lane goes all the way up to 49th St. And even is far North as 56 St is OK. Yeah, the last few blocks to the bridge are still old-school mess. But sometimes it's nice to be reminded about how far we've come!

And it's such a joy to bike through Queensplaza now.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Happy Pulaski Day!

Yes, it's Casimir Pulaski Day! Think of Pulaski when you're biking to Greenpoint. And think, too, why the bridge named in his honor, on a four-lane road, has six lanes for car traffic (more than 70 feet) while it squeezes bikes and pedestrians into less than one lane (seven feet).