It’s in Queens
#MonthlyPicks | January 2019 by José Alvarez
There’s nothing like a warm, fresh Colombian pastry with your coffee in the morning. Seba Seba Bakery has dozens ─ from Almojábanas to Deditos ─ served fresh all day from branches in Jackson Heights and Corona. For lunch, try 969 NYC Coffee on 80th Street, one of the best kept secrets in Jackson Heights. They serve fresh Japanese cuisine and onigiris of all kinds, a favorite being spicy crab. Finally, try Arepa Burger on Northern Boulevard for an authentic Venezuelan cachapa. As a New Yorker of Venezuelan descent, I can tell you this is the real deal.
Queens really does have it all. From parks with sweeping views of the skyline to hole-in-the-wall restaurants with food to excite even the most critical foodie. Top pick without a doubt is the Queens Night Market, an outdoor bazaar ─ more of a festival ─ that happens on Saturday nights during the warm weather. Thousands of people celebrate their love for global food and culture and simply rejoice with friends and live music behind the New York Hall of Science.
Nothing like walking through Queens microcosms, particularly in Jackson Heights. You can be eating Momos one second then find yourself catching the final minutes of a soccer match in a restaurant packed with yellow Colombian jerseys.
Taking a stroll through Queens will tell you a lot about its history but also its future. I love admiring the city skyline from a distance on Northern Boulevard. Even more captivating is the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, the gateway to the borough that we often pass by too quickly without appreciating.
A native New Yorker who loves to jaywalk and eat bagels, José Alvarez grew up in Manhattan, but after finding Queens, he’s never going back. The graduate of Fieldston School and City College runs the handmade soap company Treestar*. He uses premium, organic, food-grade, plant oils in his products and each purchase plants one tree.