This is a series of posts featuring our artists who are making things happen in and around our great borough of Queens. Please check back weekly for new posts.
Photographer – Event Organizer
Which Queens neighborhood do you live in and for how long?
Astoria for 12 years with a 2 year break in Sunnyside Gardens
Tell us more about your work.
I am a photographer that focuses mostly on environmental portraiture but I love a good landscape, especially anything with inclement weather.
Are there any favorite places in Queens that you like to photograph?
I have one spot that a friend showed me that is an oasis of greenery and trees in the center of these large urban apartment buildings. It’s so quiet and unexpected.
What do you love most about Queens?
I love that you are immersed in a million different cultures and that it’s filled with such a variety of ethnicity. Everything feels authentic and each neighborhood has something to offer. I love that no matter how many times it’s declared so that it will never be tragically hip.
Do you have any “only in Queens” moments you’d like to share?
I had dinner at a restaurant last night called Annam Brahma in Jamiaca. It’s a vegetarian restaurant that is operated by the followers of the late famed guru Sri Chinmoy. I didn’t really know much about it before I went (we were there to photograph and interview a writer that lived nearby). The place was so interesting; the entire place was a shrine to Sri Chimnoy. There is one wall devoted to his progress as he went on to train in weightlifting and lifted 7,000 lbs with one hand. The staff all had the enlightened look of hardcore meditators (much less stressed looking than the typical Ny’er), the food was delicious and everyone was very kind. Yet after doing a bit of googling you see that Sri Chimnoy was accused of running a cult that prohibited its members from dating, eating meat, alcohol, socializing outside the circle and owning pets. The entire thing is so random and so queens to me.
So many good restaurants have opened in Astoria lately-
I love Queens Comfort for the brunch, I need to get there early enough for their creative take on donuts (and it’s BYOB), Queens Kickshaw is great to eat at anytime but I love the Friday night music series, eclectic and always good. Il Bambino is classic. Olde Prague just opened by the Brewhouse- I’m looking forward to more live local music coming from there. Gian Pierro bakery is amazing. I just got these sugar donuts filled with cannoli cream. Soriso’s deli makes everything delicious- I always wind up leaving with items I have never had before. Via Trenta is great for dinner too. Antika – the grandma square shaped pizza is unreal. Might be the best pizza I’ve ever had. Ha, I’m making myself hungry.
Audrey DiMola and I launched glitter and doom last month (glitteranddoom.com). We are hoping to have a launch party in a few months with live music and limited editions of G & D in print. I am working with Queens Council on the Arts as their coordinator for the Queens Art Express Block Party on June 22. I’m also photographing their featured artists throughout the process. Come fall, the collective I work with (inbloomcollective.com) are going to have the 2nd Annual Astoria Art Festival.