It’s in Queens
#MonthlyPicks | October’17 by Richard Mullings
Local residents chime in on their favorite places to eat, learn, walk, and have fun. This month’s picks are by Richard Mullings.
Louis Armstrong’s former house, which is now a landmarked museum near 107th Street and 37th Avenue in Corona, is one of my favorite historic places. He was one of the greatest jazz musicians of color in history, and you can learn all about his classic performances, his life, and his influence on jazz, which set a precedent globally. This month the Louis Armstrong House Museum is hosting its “50th Anniversary of What a Wonderful World” exhibit until the end of October. Exhibit items include Satchmo’s original arrangement of “What a Wonderful World”, rare photos from the original 1967 recording date, albums, sheet music, news clippings and much more.
The Door Restaurant in Jamaica (16307 Baisley Blvd.) serves the best-tasting Jamaican island cuisine in Queens, in my opinion. The chicken soup and ackee and saltfish are amazingly delicious and well-seasoned. The dining atmosphere is polished and well-spaced, while the staffers are always smiling and very attentive to customer needs. Another great place is SL Lounge & Restaurant, an Ecuadorian spot at 40-15 Warren St. in Elmhurst that has upscale cuisine. Going inside reminds you of a venue in Manhattan with is diverse atmosphere, architecture, great lightning, fancy tables, and performance stage. It’s also cozy, and the DJ plays all types of genres. I highly recommend my favorite dish, the skirt steak with fried plantains, diced tomatoes, and scallions sautéed in garlic sauce.
The best place to enjoy tres leches cake is Pan Fino, a Colombian bakery at 85th Street and Northern Boulevard in Jackson Heights. It’s a must go! There’s no other establishment that gives you such a huge cake layered with cream and condensed milk. And the taste is amazing.
Steinway Street in Astoria has a plethora of great places to hang out. From cocktails and hookahs at Melody to dining and salsa at Don Coqui, the neighborhood has a great nightlife atmosphere. It’s also the perfect place to lounge hop from 28th Avenue through 36th Avenue. I enjoy running along the bay overlooking RFK Bridge and the beautiful skyscrapers in Manhattan. It also has peaceful nooks to read a nice book, take a dog for a walk or simply enjoy the natural greenspace. Plus, it’s convenient to public transportation.
Richard Mullings grew up in Corona, but he moved to East Elmhurst in 1991. The City College of New York graduate plans to pursue an MPA at Baruch College next year. Currently, he’s the Queens Economic Development Corporation’s Neighborhood Program Coordinator.