31 Things You Only Understand If You Live in Astoria

Guys. We’ve got hammocks

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For New Yorkers who can't stomach spending $4,000 a month on a studio but don't want a 45-minute commute, there's Astoria, Queens--land of giant public pools, actual backyards and hammocks. Here are 31 things you understand only if you live here. See you at Il Bambino.

1. At least one of your friends has an amazing, suburban-sized backyard (and if you’re really lucky, it’s you).

2. ...And if not, you just go to Il Bambino and hang out in the garden all summer.

3. Going to the airport is the easiest thing ever. Enjoy your $50 cab ride, Manhattanites. We’ll just jump on the Select Bus with our MetroCard.

4. Oh, and we have a Costco. So we can buy all the wheels of cheese.

5. And blueberries. And pineapples. And avocados.

6. The 7 train sucks, especially on the weekends.

7. But hey, at least it’s better than the L and makes it really, really easy to get to games at Citi Field.

8. You never get lost, because the cross street is literally in the street address. 32-35 30th Avenue? Oh, that’s between 32nd and 33rd streets.

9. (OK, once you accidentally went to 30th Street instead of 30th Ave. But that was one time.)

10. If you’ve never had a grandma slice from Rizzo’s or Rose & Joe’s Italian Bakery, you haven’t lived.

11. And you know the halal food cart on the corner of 34th Ave. and Steinway St. is, hands down, the best in all of NYC.

12. Astoria is also home to two of the best damn Italian restaurants in the whole city: Trattoria L’Incontro and Vesta Trattoria.

13. And don’t even get us started on the Greek food.

14. If you live in a building that looks like this, chances are your apartment was originally built for Steinway & Sons piano factory employees.

15. So basically, you’re a part of Astoria history, people.

16. Also, you can still take a factory tour, which is an amazing thing to do when your family is in town and you’re trying to burn some time.

17. And then there’s the amazing (and uh, a little spooky) Steinway mansion, which we can’t believe isn’t in some Connecticut suburb.

18. You know that Lockwood is the best place ever to buy a last-minute birthday, wedding or housewarming present.

19. And you’ve come to terms with the fact that the only time your Manhattan friends visit is when they take their once-a-year summer pilgrimage to the beer garden.

20. ...Which is fun, but they’ll never know the glory of SingleCut. Or Studio Square. Or the Strand Smokehouse.

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Kendra the Escapologist

21. But you don’t mind, because then they won’t find out that Astoria Park Pool is arguably the best (and biggest) in the city.

22. ...Just don’t forget your combination lock or wear improper attire, because that place is harder to get into than 1Oak.

23. You’ve totally bought shoes at Easy Pickins and you’re not ashamed to admit it.

24. And you’re beyond proud to live in the birthplace of Christopher Walken, Cyndi Lauper, Tony Bennett and Iris Apfel.

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25. Jackson Hole Airline Diner doesn’t just have the best burgers; it’s also where Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci steal a truck in Goodfellas.

26. Oh, and we also have our own film studio, Kauffman Astoria. Orange Is the New Black, Sesame Street and a bunch of other stuff is shot here, NBD.

27. And the Museum of the Moving Image has a life-sized model of the girl from The Exorcist, so clearly it’s one of the coolest museums in the city.

28. Going for a bike ride in Astoria is actually relaxing. Ahhh, not getting sideswiped is the best.

29. And when you go to Gantry State Park, there are hammocks, y’all. Hammocks.

30. When people ask you, “Why don’t you just move to Brooklyn?” you just smile and nod…

31. ...Because you don’t want anyone to know it only takes 15 minutes to get from Astoria to Midtown on the N train. (Shhh.)

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Lindsay Champion

Freelance Editor

From 2015-2020 Lindsay Champion held the role of Food and Wellness Director. She continues to write for PureWow as a Freelance Editor.
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