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Summer in Astoria

April 10, 2014


As I am tossed along by the wind currents that barrel through tunnels between skyscrapers, I yearn for the melting away of layers, the fresh breath of spring on my skin.

Someday, not so long ago, I was free and easy, on the interstate, rushing away from the city for a weekend escape in nature. I was savoring frozen yogurt on a late, sweltering summer evening. I was too hot. I slept with the windows open.

I came home from any commute drenched from sweat and discomfort, and I stood under a stream of cold water and washed with spearmint soap until everything tingled and my skin forgot the city grime.

Then I lay motionless in my towel on the bed in front of a fan waiting to be cold again. I drank complicated cocktails on rooftop bars with a view. I wore open-toed heels and threw on flip flops to run around the neighborhood. There were weddings and country cabins and LIRR journeys to the boardwalk. Playing guitar on the roof.


And again and again…before and before…the years are circles marked by summers and the summer vacations I took. Reading books on the beach and at the pool and on the back porch. Growing up with the flowers all around me, marking the seasons by crocus and peony and autumn joy.

This is my fourth summer in New York, which feels somehow weighty, as though my time here has been longer than it has.

It’s my third summer in Astoria.

With those free and easy months quickly approaching, I feel the urge to build anticipation for my favorite parts of summer here in Astoria, my adopted Queens home. So, here’s a quick hit list of what I’m looking forward to.


1. Swimming in the adult lap swim, mornings and evenings at the Astoria Park Pool


2. Grabbing Eurotart yogurt with kiwi, blueberries, strawberries, and chocolate shavings at Vanilla Sky


3. Nighttime films in Socrates Sculpture Park and Astoria Park


4. Eating outside at Bareburger and in backyard gardens at Leng Thai, Astoria Bier and Cheese, and Il Bambino and drinking outside at The Strand and Studio Square.


5. Not being cold walking home in the cold after hot yoga at Bikram Yoga Queens.

6. Writing on my roof, in Central Park, in Socrates Sculpture Park — wherever my traveling journal takes me!


7. The farmer’s market in Socrates Sculpture Park!


8. The LIC Flea, which kicked off its second season last weekend. I’ve never been. This year it’s definitely on the list, especially because they’re opening a new location closer to me, at Kaufman Astoria Studios (starting May 4.)


Farm Photos By Lily Kesselman Photography, LLC

9. Spring Pop-up at Queens County Market on Sunday May 4… how awesome does this look?

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