#MonthlyPicks | What Does A Musician/Civic Leader Love About Queens?
BY QEDC It's In Queens
Old Astoria Neighborhood Association President Richard Khuzami’s civic participation includes membership on Community Board 1, Queens General Assembly, and Eastern Mediterranean Business Culture Alliance. He’s also a composer and professional musician with a specialty in Lebanese percussion. His album Fused mixes Middle Eastern, Latin, North African, Pop, Reggaeton, and other genres. Here are some of Khuzami’s favorite Queens things.
I have a special place in my heart for Astoria Seafood. There’s no place quite like it in NYC. Fresh, inexpensive fish in a somewhat chaotic, but vibrant and lively atmosphere. This wholesale-seafood-distributor-turned-restaurant offers a unique, healthy alternative to many of the pricey seafood establishments throughout our city.
I like walking in Old Astoria from the 200-year-old mansions on 12th Street to the cultural institutions on the waterfront… And our waterfront parks (i.e. Astoria Park, Socrates Sculpture Park) are some of the best in NYC.
In addition to Old Astoria’s mansions (i.e. Steinway Mansion) and churches (i.e. Family Church) that are steeped in history, I like looking at old maps to see local growth and development. Let me add something old that is now new: NYC Ferry, which has an Astoria stop. It was removed many years ago, but now it’s driving economic growth in the neighborhood.
I love the diversity in Old Astoria. Once home to industrial and warehouse facilities, this area is seeing a rebirth with many new market and affordable residential developments. But it’s also keeping its ethnic and social diversity which exposes citizens to different perspectives so important in a just, equitable society.
Top image: Old Astoria Neighborhood Association