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Author Topic: Vanished Astoria  (Read 101794 times)

Offline Chris

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Re: Vanished Astoria
« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2007, 09:32:09 AM »
I'll take a look at 32nd & 30th Ave.

On the southwest corner a new office building w/ a bank on the ground floor has gone up since I moved to this part of Astoria in '01.   The building on the site came down and two of the businesses that were on 30th moved close by.   Pinocchio, a restaurant, moved across to the southeast corner of 32nd St. & 30th Ave.    A butcher shop moved several storefronts west on the block )the south side of 30th Avenue between 31st & 32nd Streets) where a bar used to be.   That block has also seen some other changes.   A Hallmark card shop went under and a shop selling beauty supplies has moved in.   And the Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin Robbins moved across the street.   A Hershey's or Hersey's Restaurant opened right after DD/BS moved, but quickly went under.   A Subway is in the space now.

As mentioned, the restaurant Pinocchio, is on the southeast corner.   What I can't remember is what was on that corner prior to Pinocchio moving in.

On the northwest corner a florist has always been there.  The block )the north side of 30th between 31st & 32nd) has had some changes.  The Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin Robbins store moved in from across the street.  I don't remember what was in that space before the DD/BR moved in.   There is also a guy who every couple of weeks sets up a table and sells used books.    What is odd is that he leaves the books there overnight with a canvas tightly tied over his wares.   But given all the vandalism in Astoria -- graffitti everywhere these days -- I am surprised he hasn't, ah, lost his wares.   I have no idea where he sleeps.   I see his van parked at night parked between 31st & 32nd Street on 30th right beside his books, but I don't think he sleeps in it.

On the northeast corner, is an island block,  is the Athens Cafe that packs 'em in during the warm weather months.   To me this is the spot that quintessentially defines Astoria.  I love the cafes in Astoria.  It gives the neighborhood such a European feel and they are much more inviting than those dingy bars that dot Astoria.   One bone of contention for me is the private appropriation of public space and one of the big violators is Athens when they move the chairs out to the sidewalk, taking up half the walking space.   Then their waitresses and waiters and customers waiting for a seat use the rest of the space as a corridor.   You can't get by.   Byzantino, the defunct cafe around the corner, also did this.

Offline neo11

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Re: Vanished Astoria
« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2007, 06:52:59 PM »
I'll take a look at 32nd & 30th Ave.

On the southwest corner a new office building w/ a bank on the ground floor has gone up since I moved to this part of Astoria in '01.   The building on the site came down and two of the businesses that were on 30th moved close by.   Pinocchio, a restaurant, moved across to the southeast corner of 32nd St. & 30th Ave.    A butcher shop moved several storefronts west on the block )the south side of 30th Avenue between 31st & 32nd Streets) where a bar used to be.   That block has also seen some other changes.   A Hallmark card shop went under and a shop selling beauty supplies has moved in.   And the Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin Robbins moved across the street.   A Hershey's or Hersey's Restaurant opened right after DD/BS moved, but quickly went under.   A Subway is in the space now.

As mentioned, the restaurant Pinocchio, is on the southeast corner.   What I can't remember is what was on that corner prior to Pinocchio moving in.

I'm having a hard time remembering as well.  I know that Pinocchio, when it moved, took over two stores...the corner and the one adjacent to it.  The adjacent store was a donut/coffee shop, and its old yellow sign that says "coffee" is still on that building. 

Across the street where the building now is, there was a convenience type store on the corner, and Pinocchio as you noted.

Quote
On the northwest corner a florist has always been there.  The block )the north side of 30th between 31st & 32nd) has had some changes.  The Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin Robbins store moved in from across the street.  I don't remember what was in that space before the DD/BR moved in.   There is also a guy who every couple of weeks sets up a table and sells used books.    What is odd is that he leaves the books there overnight with a canvas tightly tied over his wares.   But given all the vandalism in Astoria -- graffitti everywhere these days -- I am surprised he hasn't, ah, lost his wares.   I have no idea where he sleeps.   I see his van parked at night parked between 31st & 32nd Street on 30th right beside his books, but I don't think he sleeps in it.

On the northeast corner, is an island block,  is the Athens Cafe that packs 'em in during the warm weather months.   To me this is the spot that quintessentially defines Astoria.  I love the cafes in Astoria.  It gives the neighborhood such a European feel and they are much more inviting than those dingy bars that dot Astoria.   One bone of contention for me is the private appropriation of public space and one of the big violators is Athens when they move the chairs out to the sidewalk, taking up half the walking space.   Then their waitresses and waiters and customers waiting for a seat use the rest of the space as a corridor.   You can't get by.   Byzantino, the defunct cafe around the corner, also did this.

Athens did not take up the entire island originally.  It started out only on the side facing Key Food.  I think the other corner on 32nd Street was closed for a while before they took it over, but sandwiched in between was a shoe repair type shop.  Athens took that over a few years ago.  Before Athens was there, there was another Greek cafe named Floka for a few years.  That was back in the late 80s/early 90s.

Offline Debbie

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Re: Vanished Astoria
« Reply #32 on: June 23, 2007, 10:04:13 PM »
Does anyone remember the original Victory Sweet Shop on 23rd Avenue?  It was so charming, with all of their pastries in quaint glass cases.  It looked like a Sweet Shop (Zaharoplastion) out of 1960's Athens.  Also, the first cafe I recall in the area was Hilton, on 31st Street off of Ditmars.  Does anyone remember these shops?

Offline neo11

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Re: Vanished Astoria
« Reply #33 on: June 24, 2007, 12:57:45 AM »
Does anyone remember the original Victory Sweet Shop on 23rd Avenue?  It was so charming, with all of their pastries in quaint glass cases.  It looked like a Sweet Shop (Zaharoplastion) out of 1960's Athens.  Also, the first cafe I recall in the area was Hilton, on 31st Street off of Ditmars.  Does anyone remember these shops?

Oh wow, Hilton.  It was a bit before my time but I've heard my folks and others talk about them.  Hilton was where Fabco Shoes currently is on 31st near Ditmars, if I'm not mistaken.  I have an early memory of the place after it had already closed...the sign stayed up and the store remained vacant for a while.

There was another old-style Greek pastry shop I've learned about in the early 80s, I believe, called Munich (the owner apparently spent some years there), on Steinway and 25th Avenue, near Isabella's. 

There was also the original Lefkos Pirgos, which was owned by the current owners of Stamatis Restaurant.  I believe it was over on Ditmars.

Over on Broadway, there was the original Edelweiss, and the story I've heard is that it started as a tiny little place with a lot of outdoor seating that was open in the summer, with extension after extension added on until it became this huge, disjointed place.  It was quite busy though for many years and into the early 90s, and the same owners opened a second Edelweiss on Ditmars at the site of the current Mezzo.  There was also an Edelweiss restaurant across the street from the Broadway Edelweiss, where the Pollos a la Brasa place currently is.  That restaurant then became another Greek place, Santorini, in the late 80s, but didn't last more than a couple of years.  The sidewalk extension was built for Santorini (my dad was one of the folks who built it!) and has remained ever since.  I think the Edelweiss on Broadway ended up closing around 1996 or early 1997, not doing too well in the end as other cafes started springing up.  The one on Ditmars probably closed around that same time too.

Oh, I also remembered what used to be in the current Pinocchio location on 30th Ave...I believe it was a pizza shop, it may have also gone by the name Pizza Palace, though I'm not sure if it was related to the one on Ditmars.

jentastico

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Re: Vanished Astoria
« Reply #34 on: June 24, 2007, 08:14:12 PM »
I remember Astoria Bootery on 31st at the Ditmars stop.  Also, I could swear the now Fabco was a childrens store called Youth Town or something to that affect.  Does anyone remember that?  I remember it starting with a Y (it became Young World after the particular store I'm talking about) and I remember the awning being yellow-ish.  On a side note...I LOVED the Pergament on 31st Street between Ditmars and 21st Avenue.  I couldn't understand how they could've gone out of business.   


Offline Chris

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Re: Vanished Astoria
« Reply #35 on: June 25, 2007, 09:39:45 AM »
I remember Edelweiss.   It was one block east of Steinway on the south side of Broadway.   I think that must be 40th Street if Steinway is "39th Street."  The old Moose Lodge is right across the street.

A couple of other things.    People may not remember this but back in the 1980s the Mets were the number 1 team in town.    The Yankees were a distant second.   Shea, not Yankee Stadium, was the place to go as the Mets were perennial contenders, culminating in the '86 World Series.    Well, the Mets, like the Yankees, started to open "Mets stores" where you could by Mets souvenirs, buy tickets, etc.    Unfortunately, by the late 1980s/early 1990s the Mets' fortunes changed and the team tanked and the "Mets stores" didn't take off or at least the one that was opened on Steinway didn't take off.   You can still see the building on the east side of Steinway Street just north of 31st Avenue.    It is the third building, right next to Wendy's I believe.    The Mets redesigned the store front and if you look on the top or third floor you can still see the Mets' blue and orange colors.   There is a white circle still visible that has been painted over, but that was the Mets' logo.

I also seem to remember that there was a fairly large German restaurant on Steinway on the west side of the street.   It was either on the block between 30th and 28th Avenue or the one between 28th Avenue and Astoria Blvd. (where all the Arab cafes now are located).   Anyone remember that?   I never went in, but from what I understand Astoria used to be an Irish and German neighborhood.   This place must have been a vestige of that.

Offline metallica

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Re: Vanished Astoria
« Reply #36 on: June 26, 2007, 02:35:44 AM »
I remember the old soda/candy shop on the corner of Crescent Street and Astoria Blvd. Used to go in there as a kid and purchase a small paper bag full of candy for a dollar. I also remember a delicatessen on Astoria Blvd. between Crescent Street and 27th st. the old mom and pop type, just like the soda/candy shop. Ah the memories of growing up in Astoria!

Offline Ntrain

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Re: Vanished Astoria
« Reply #37 on: June 26, 2007, 07:06:27 PM »
I LOVE THIS POST!  Does anyone have pictures of ANY of the old stores?  I have some and would be willing to share...I would need to scan a lot of them in, but I get really nostalgic when I see them.  I WISH I took a LOT more because so much is missing.  One thing to do is look UNDER awnings and sometimes you will see the signs from the old stores that used to be there.  Check out the bodega on the corner of Crescent and Broadway -- it used to be the Crescent Corner Lunchonette, a comfortable neighborhood coffee shop/greasy spoon, and you can see part of the old sign under the awning.

Some other thoughts:

I bowled many times at the Strand Bowling Alley on Broadway between Crescent and 29th St., now a music rehearsal studio.

The Chinese restaurant on Broadway near Crescent used to be Wah Yuan now it is Hong Kong.

Phil's Delicatessen on Broadway between 30th St. and 31st St.

Dino's Pizza used to be on the southeast corner of Broadway and 30th St. and took up almost half of the block.

The Broadway Deli used to be next to the Sanford Diner.

Broadway Station used to be called the Broadway Tavern.

The now-defunct Dillon's Bar on Broadway between Crescent and 29th St. used to be the Spinning Wheel.

The North Fork Bank on the corner of Broadway and 32nd St. used to be the Greenpoint Bank for many years.

The Marathon Bank on the corner of Broadway and 31st St. used to be Interbank.  Marathon was about one block up on the other side but merged with Interbank.

Apple Bank used to be around Broadway and 36th St. but closed and is now a 99 cent store.

The Five and Dime on Broadway between Crescent and 29th St. where Blockbuster is now.

The Carvel ice cream store in the Broadway Shopping Center on Broadway and 21st St.

Regarding the Ranch Steak House, I remember a story about that place -- people were eating there and a bullet passed through the store.  Everyone was momentarily stunned but went right back to eating their meals.

Also in the Broadway Shopping Center -- the White Castle used to be a KFC, then it became a White Castle, then a White Castle/Church's Fried Chicken combo then back to White Castle alone.  The Samaria pizzeria has been in the shopping center forever, as has the post office.

Anyone remember Genovese?  It became Eckerd, which is now Rite-Aid.  So much for our neighborhood pharmacy.

That's all for now.  WE NEED PICTURES!!!

Offline Chris

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Re: Vanished Astoria
« Reply #38 on: June 26, 2007, 09:00:23 PM »

I bowled many times at the Strand Bowling Alley on Broadway between Crescent and 29th St., now a music rehearsal studio.

Do you recall when the bowling alley closed?  I seem to remember it being open when I moved here in '87 but never went there.


The now-defunct Dillon's Bar on Broadway between Crescent and 29th St. used to be the Spinning Wheel.

I remember when I moved to Astoria the bar that became the Spinning Wheel was closed.   Shortly after I moved it someone reopened it and named it the SW.    I noticed that when I walked by that spot in '04 the SW had closed.

The North Fork Bank on the corner of Broadway and 32nd St. used to be the Greenpoint Bank for many years.

And long before that it was a movie theatre.   That was way before my time, though.

The Marathon Bank on the corner of Broadway and 31st St. used to be Interbank.  Marathon was about one block up on the other side but merged with Interbank.

I think this bank was actually robbed not all that long ago.

Anyone remember Genovese?  It became Eckerd, which is now Rite-Aid.  So much for our neighborhood pharmacy.

I remember!   


Offline Chris

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Re: Vanished Astoria
« Reply #39 on: June 26, 2007, 09:12:56 PM »
One other place that is gone is a giant Greek seafood restaurant on 36th Avenue around 35th Street.  It was on the southeast corner.    It seemed to go out of business and was replaced by a Greek nightclub.   When I walked by yesterday it seemed to be a restaurant again. 

Things didn't look to good because on a Sunday, about 6:30, there was no one in this giant restaurant.

Offline neo11

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Re: Vanished Astoria
« Reply #40 on: June 26, 2007, 09:47:10 PM »
One other place that is gone is a giant Greek seafood restaurant on 36th Avenue around 35th Street.  It was on the southeast corner.    It seemed to go out of business and was replaced by a Greek nightclub.   When I walked by yesterday it seemed to be a restaurant again. 

Things didn't look to good because on a Sunday, about 6:30, there was no one in this giant restaurant.

That large Greek restaurant was named Galini.  It actually isn't very old.  It opened around 1997 and lasted a few years.  It became and is still a Greek nightclub, though one that also serves food and drink (similar to Zodiac).  The place probably does most of its business much later at night than 6:30, and also by renting out the place for parties and events.

Offline Chris

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Re: Vanished Astoria
« Reply #41 on: June 26, 2007, 09:51:07 PM »
That large Greek restaurant was named Galini.  It actually isn't very old.  It opened around 1997 and lasted a few years.  It became and is still a Greek nightclub, though one that also serves food and drink (similar to Zodiac).  The place probably does most of its business much later at night than 6:30, and also by renting out the place for parties and events.

I could be wrong -- I often am -- but I seem to remember that space always having a big restaurant in it.

Offline Debbie

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Re: Vanished Astoria
« Reply #42 on: June 26, 2007, 09:52:14 PM »
Indeed - it is now called Athena and gets going rather late at night.  The Chef worked in various fine Greek restaurants in the city, including Milos and Ammos (Manhattan Ammos, not Astoria Ammos).  He is an excellent Chef.

Offline mcdirk

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Re: Vanished Astoria
« Reply #43 on: June 27, 2007, 09:29:09 AM »
I remember the bowling alley on Broadway - it was very friendly and not too pricey.  I think it closed around 1997 or so?

Offline MaM

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Re: Vanished Astoria
« Reply #44 on: June 27, 2007, 10:10:39 AM »
nice pic NTrain and cool name Metallica lol  :mrgreen:

and i remember some of these places mentioned.  :-)


 

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