New Summer Event: Writing to Ditmars

New Summer Event: Writing to Ditmars


Join Mission to (dit)Mars this summer for a 3-part, interactive mindfulness and writing workshop designed specially for Queens-based writers and artists to gain inspiration from our own neighborhood.

Mindfulness and Creative Writing teacher Emily Herzlin will lead the class in walking meditation, mindfulness on the subway, mindful eating, and writing prompts to enrich our creative experience as well as our experience of Queens.

We’ll start off with our first workshop in Gantry Plaza State Park, travel in our second workshop along the NQ train line and write (yes, on the subway!) and end our writing mission in—where else?—Ditmars, for mindful eating and food writing at Martha’s Country Bakery.

$5-$10 suggested donation for each class. Attend just one, two, or all three. Stay tuned for more specific descriptions of each class, and instructions regarding where to meet up.

No experience with mindfulness necessary. Writers of all genres welcome.



Sunday, June 16th, 12-2pm (rain location TBA)

7 train to Vernon-Jackson, walk to the East River.

In Part I of our summer writing workshop series we’ll explore the waterfront at Gantry Plaza State Park. On the agenda: sense perception awareness exercises, walking meditation, writing prompts, sharing writing aloud (optional,) and more.

Writers of all genres welcome. No experience with meditation necessary.

Meet promptly at noon at the Gantries between 49th/50th Ave. and Center Blvd. From there we will depart as a group to another location. (Try to arrive at the meeting place a little early, around 11:45am.)  Here are some points of interest at Gantry State Park.

Bring paper and something to write with.

In case of rain, we will meet at a location tba, and an email will be sent to those who RSVP in advance. You can check our Facebook page for updates, too.

NOTE: it is not necessary to RSVP, but helpful for us to get a head count.


Sunday, August 11th, 2-4pm

In Part II of our summer writing workshop series we’ll investigate our joyful, wretched, bored, exhausted, amusing, richly complicated relationship to the NYC subway. On the agenda: basic introduction to mindfulness, journal prompts, awareness exercises and subway writing prompts, personal writing time, and sharing writing aloud.

Meet promptly at 2pm at Packard Square Café, 41-43 Crescent St, near Queensboro Plaza. We will meet there briefly for introductions and instructions. (They have a small outdoor seating area out back, where we will be if weather permits. Otherwise we will meet inside.) From there we will board the train at Queensboro Plaza. More instructions will be given on the day of the workshop.

Bring paper and something to write with.

NQ Train to Queensboro Plaza.

Note: It is not necessary to RSVP, but helpful for us to get a head count.

PART III—MARTHA’S COUNTY BAKERY (Ditmars): Sunday, August 25th, 3-5pm

In the grand finale of our summer writing workshop series we’ll indulge–mindfully–and practice mindful eating and write about food at the Astoria favorite, Martha’s Country Bakery. On the agenda: basic introduction to mindfulness, food-based writing prompts, sense perception exercises, discussion and sharing writing aloud, and, of course, dessert.

Meet promptly at  3pm at Martha’s Country Bakery. We’ll most likely be inside at a table, but if it’s crowded we will get a table outside. If it’s REALLY crowded we will gather at Martha’s, get our pastries, and walk to Astoria Park for the workshop.

Bring paper and something to write with, and enough cash for a pastry or two plus tip.

N/Q Train to Ditmars

Martha’s Country Bakery
3621 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria, NY 11105
$5-$10 suggested donation

Note: It is not necessary to RSVP, but VERY helpful for us to get a head count to secure enough seating.
Any questions, feel free to email

Please RSVP below:


At the tender age of twelve, Emily decided she would grow up to be the female Frank Rich and get paid to write about theater for a living. But then, in a summer writing workshop at Young Playwrights Inc. just before she made the arduous journey from Long Island to NYU, she discovered what it means to write a play. After studying different flavors of writing at Columbia and Naropa Universities, these days Emily mostly writes creative nonfiction and poetry (publications include USA Today, The Millions, The Women’s International Perspective, and more.) She has folded mindfulness meditation into her creative life to tackle the writing roadblocks that inevitably pop up, and to broaden her awareness in order to excavate more material to write about. Emily is training in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at UMass Medical School this summer, and has taught meditation and creative writing for the past two years at Columbia University, The Interdependence Project, The New School, and GreenspaceNYC. Check out her writing and other upcoming classes at or follow her on Twitter: @emilyherzlin.

(Emily’s love affair with Astoria has been the kind of thing where you’re tentative at first, but then you let go and fall hard, and then you discover all the things that annoy you about each other, but you deeply love each other anyway and can’t stop eating at bakeries.)



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