About We Heart Astoria

astoria park hellgate bridge

About We Heart Astoria

We Heart Astoria is a blog focused on the wonderful community of Astoria, Queens.

Through our posts, pictures, events and commentary, we aim to spread our love of Astoria to you.  Whether you’ve just moved to Astoria or have lived here all your life, we hope you’ll find this blog useful and informative—and that you’ll tell others about it.

We dedicate this blog to you.  Always be open with us, let us know what you’re thinking (both good and bad), and we’ll do the same.  The conversation won’t be dull, and it might get contrarian at times, but we can’t wait to start it.

About the Team

Mackenzi – Making her home, life and work in Astoria where she’s lived since 2003, Mackenzi is passionate about retail, community, and design.  She is the owner of the lifestyle boutique Lockwood Shop, and an active member of Community Board 1.  Mackenzi will shine a light on Astoria’s local business community, shopping news, and tasty vegetarian bites in the neighborhood.

Meg – Active throughout the community, Meg is dedicated to improving the lives of regular Astorians. She has helped to bring local, organic food to Astoria via the Hellgate CSA; founded the Queens Swap, a food swap based in Queens, and wrote a book called The Food Lovers’ Guide to Queens, paying homage to the rich food culture in Queens. Having spent many years as a classical musician, and as one who still cares deeply about the arts, she is also in-tune with various arts and music organizations in town. Meg will bring you news and views on her interests, which lie in sustainability, environmental issues, culture, recreation, and food.

Emily – Emily joined the team in 2013 and has brought her infectious and fun energy to the role of Business Development Director. In her role she manages our sponsored content and works to increase relationships with local businesses. Em (as we know her) also manages our events and serves as a media-partner liaison. She’s got a thousand ideas for We Heart and we can’t wait to see them in action! Emily worked for over eight years with the Girl Scouts and is now the Senior Manager of Youth Leadership at generationOn.

Lindsay – Lindsay has been eating and drinking her way through Queens since 2011. A casting director by day and Astoria explorer by night, you can usually find her checking out live music, theatre, or the newest neighborhood spot to enjoy a craft beer.

Marielle – Marielle Solan is a lifestyle photographer who specializes in weddings, families, music/theater and food. She grew up in Delaware but has called LIC, Queens home since 2006. Her work has been published in The New York Times, Time Out New York, The New York Observer, LPV Magazine, The New York Post, Brooklyn Vegan and Adbusters. She is currently a regular photo contributor to the company I Heart NY; you can view her work at www.mariellesolan.com.

Check us out on PopUp New York, the Queens Chronicle, the Queens Mamas and more.

Contributing Writers, Past and Present

We are grateful to our wonderful contributors for their content that adds great flavor to the blog. Here is a little bit about each of our regular contributing writers, in their own words.

Anne Noyes Saini – When she’s not editing economics books (or on a tennis court in Astoria Park), Anne Noyes Saini covers food culture, immigration, and the elderly in New York City—especially in Queens, where she lives. She loves exploring NYC’s diverse food cultures (both in and outside Astoria), through her work in audio (Forgotten Foods of New York), contributions to various food sites, and Twitter dispatches. Anne is the writer and photographer behind United Nations of Astoria on WHA.

Bradley Hawks – Thank goodness a picture paints a thousand words, and not a thousand calories, or Bradley Hawks’s ‘resume’ would be even more expanded. Food journalist for multiple publications (including Boro Magazine and Queens Courier), Bradley’s photography can also be seen on restaurant websites from all across the city, as well as his own website, Amuse * Bouche. Bradley is the writer and photographer behind Bradley’s Bites on WHA.

Clare Langan – Clare has worn many hats in the culinary business, from personal chef to prop stylist. A graduate from ICE, she currently works in food media. A supporter of home cooking, she loves scouting for new ingredients in Astoria. When she’s not hustlin’ in the kitchen, she’s chilling out at Yoga Agora or Queen’s Kickshaw. She’s the voice behind the site A Girl’s Gotta Eat and on Twitter at @GirlsGot2Eat. Clare is the writer, photographer, and recipe developer behind Secrets of an Astoria Chef on WHA.

Lucy – Lucy thoroughly enjoys dining alone – maybe it’s growing up in a big family, maybe it’s her job or maybe she’s just antisocial. Eating with her fingers, mercilessly  eavesdropping and reading interesting things while eating interesting food are a few of the other benefits. Her passions run deep and frequently run hot and cold and as such she won’t be blogging about places where she can’t find anything positive to say. When she grows up she hopes to be a mash-up of Lucy Van Pelt, Lucille Ball, Lucy Lawless and Lucy Honeychurch. Lucy is the writer and photographer behind Lucy Eats Alone on WHA.

Megan Green – Just realizing that writing about art is much easier than writing this bio, Megan Green is an Astoria-based fine art and commercial photographer. While generally found on the internet shooting cars (as Ponycargirl.com) and writing about cameras, she can’t be kept away from museums, galleries, and great music. She has lived in the Ditmars area since 1995 and is powered by coffee. Megan’s beat on WHA is the arts in Astoria and LIC.

Sue Yacka – Hailing from a food-obsessed household in central New Jersey, Sue fell in love with Astoria about a thousand times before finally moving to the neighborhood two and a half years ago. She indulges her love of food and Astoria on Twitter and on her blog. When not talking about food, She can be found working full-time for a non-profit doing anti-violence work, exploring New York neighborhoods on foot, or having a beer. Sue is honored to be a contributor to We Heart Astoria. Sue is the writer and photographer behind Tastoria’s Astoria on WHA.

Regarding Reviews

We Heart Astoria focuses on the positive aspects of Astoria and therefore we do not post negative reviews about local restaurants or businesses. Sometimes we are invited by restaurants or businesses to try their products and services, which we do our best to indicate. Under no circumstances are we compensated for a product or service in exchange for a good review. If we do not like something, we simply do not write about it.

Contact Us

You can contact the team at weheartastoria@gmail.com or for advertising inquires weheartastoriasales@gmail.com



If there’s room for me, I’d love to work with you all on this blog!!


This is the best blog on Astoria! LOVE your work! Thank you!


If anyone knows if the logo of this site is available on a tshirt, pillow, or the like, please shoot me an email!


This is very exciting! I am a huge fan of SITE & the Foodista blog & I love all things Astoria. You ladies are dynamo’s! Looking forward to learning more about what this area has to offer and hopefully become more involved.

Tina Mavrelis-Charalambous

First I think We Heart Astoria is fantastic!!! I am the owner and founder of Kidz Yoga! Is there any way the picture of my studio can be associated with my store’s name and contact info? Thank you very much!



Kudos & congratulations to this new and wonderful venture.
As a fellow Astorian I have a deep appreciation for all that happens
around our area. Knowing at least Judith and what she is
capable of I know all of you will be doing great things with site!!

You have fans already. Good luck and have fun :)

Sincerely – Tania

Frances Grace

Congratulations Ladies on your new blog WE HEART ASTORIA.

Astoria is the best place in the world to live. I was born in Astoria and grew up here. As a matter of fact, I live in the same house that I grew up in. I have seen this neighborhood change so many times and it just keeps getting better and better.

I know you will do an amazing job telling everyone all that Astoria has to offer. I love town. It’s my home.

Frances Grace
Dish du Jour Magazine


Thanks Fran. We agree with your feelings about Astoria – we heart it so much :) Hope to bring the community some valuable content through this blog. Excited to start on this adventure!

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