Finally Fridays – Astorian Successes

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in Finally Fridays

For this edition of Finally Fridays, we thought we’d give some shout-outs to local Astorians and Astoria businesses that are enjoying great success these days. We love supporting our neighbors and hope you’ll find some inspiration in their good fortune!

SITE’s 5 Year Anniversary. Our own Mackenzi celebrated five years with SITE, her wonderful shop on 34th Ave. Judith and I were in attendance last night and it was so fun to see all the happy faces and outpouring of support as Mackenzi basked in the glow of all her hard work over the past five years. She had a photo booth (pictures on Facebook), some delicious treats from Gardenfreude and Cobbler Hill (I bought a strawberry rhubarb cobbler – btw they are gluten free!), and plenty of wine. Lots of happy people were there last night. Congratulations on 5 years, Mackenzi!

Married with Dishes. Tamara Reynolds and her husband Karl Wasserman star in the new show, Married With Dishes, set to premiere this Sunday, April 22 at 8pm. Tamara has worked hard over the years, hosting The Sunday Night Dinner, doing catering, writing a book, and serving as a host on another Cooking Channel program, Unique Eats, among other things. If you get the Cooking Channel, tune in to Married With Dishes on Sunday night. Congratulations, Tamara, on your TV success!

Guidebook Writer Extraordinaire. Zora O’Neill, one of the founders (emeritus) of The Sunday Night Dinner, and co-author of Forking Fantastic with Tamara Reynolds, writes guidebooks to far away and exotic lands. Her latest book, a new edition of the guide to Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque by Moon, has been released! To celebrate, she’s giving away three copies on her website. Check it out – your last chance to enter is on Sunday, April 22 at midnight. Congrats on these new editions, Zora!

Allergic to Salad Classes. Stacey Ornstein is well-known in Astoria for her food activities – she’s a gardener at Two Coves Community Garden, helps run the Astoria CSA, and she also teaches cooking classes for kids. She has successfully funded her latest set of classes through IOBY, which is awesome! She is teaching a kids healthy cooking class on Sunday, April 22 – appropriate for kids ages 4-10 – from 10-11:30am at Gym-Azing (27-14 23rd Avenue) here in Astoria. If you’d like to sign up for the class, email her at They’ll be making homemade from scratch pasta, yum. Congratulations on your amazing classes, Stacey!

Beyond Kombucha. More and more, you’re seeing kombucha from Astoria’s own Beyond Kombucha all over the place. The bottles are in stores, their Mava Roka has been on tap at places like The Queens Kickshaw, and now their “Love Potion” Jun (a honey-based kombucha) is on tap at Cafe Bar. They’ve been at the Queens Botanical Garden and were at the inaugural Queens County Market. You’ll also find them at the upcoming Taste of Queens event on May 1 at Citi Field. The only place from here is up, guys. Congratulations on all your success, Beyond Kombucha friends!

And finally…

Food Lovers’ Guide to Queens. If you’ll permit me a moment to allow the spotlight to fall on me, I’m pretty psyched to tell you that I’m writing a book. It’s called Food Lovers’ Guide to Queens and it will be a guidebook to food all over Queens. I’ve been researching for a little while and it’s been a truly delicious process. It’s slated to be published by Globe Pequot Press in December 2012;  I’ll let you know when it’s out. I’m honored to be writing this book and bringing positive attention to Queens. Yay!

Do you know an Astoria who deserves a shout-out for their recent success? Let us know in the comments!

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