It is a known fact that Queens, New York is an extremely diverse place. You can travel all around it and experience so many different cultures. With that comes all types of foods! At the Queens International Night Market that is exactly what you get, different types of foods from all over the world. So of course my friend, Joanna and I had to see what all we could eat!
Once again I was out on the hunt for some good food in Queens, New York. It really isn’t hard to find good food in my hometown. You can get cuisine from anywhere in the world right in this one borough. This time we decided to get some Korean BBQ and Thai inspired ice cream.
I don’t recall how I heard of this place, I do remember finding the menu on the internet and immediately telling my friend we need to go. The menu items looked pretty cool and unique. Krave It is a sandwich shop and eatery also serving pizza, beer, and more. I held on to the menu in my browser for a while and when we finally got the opportunity to go we were both pretty amped.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am from Queens, New York. I love exploring and learning more about my borough. It is the largest and more diverse in New York City. Queens has so much to offer, but many people don’t realize it. A great way to get an introduction to Queens is to go on a food tour. Queens Food Tours has started giving food tours in Long Island City and I got the chance to check out a neighborhood in my borough in a different light.
I like to try new places, especially when the menu looks appetizing. Browsing through the internet I discovered Mom’s Kitchen in Astoria, Queens. It has only been open for a few months and I wanted to check it out. What really grabbed my attention was their milkshakes.
Being a Queens, New York native and growing up not too far from Flushing Meadows Corona Park, I was excited to find out there would not only be a summer stage at the park, but a full on festival. The Only in Queens Summer Festival made its debut with a great line up of performances from Kid ‘N Play, Mack Wilds, and Ginuwine.
One would think that Mitsubishi’s little car would get swallowed up in a big city like New York. But similar to the plasma purple coat, the Mirage shined bright during my adventure for the week. My time with the car would take me around 2 of the 5 Boroughs, Queens and Manhattan. If I’m being honest, I was a bit worried about driving round the big city. I even thought about doing a defensive driving course to help me gain a bit more confidence driving around a busy place. I even looked up a company called my improv, but I think I’ll be fine, just got to wait and see what happens I guess.
In 2010, he successfully began his road to stardom by releasing his first mix tape, Creative Control which was hosted by the acclaimed DJ Mick Boogie. It not only made a splash in the underground music world, thus surpassing industry expectations, but mainstream outlets such as Source Magazine also titled Chris as one of the top “hot up and coming rappers.”
Chris started his career at a young age by watching people from his famed neighborhood such as Nas and Mobb Deep reach global music success. Though he was still only listening and creating lyrics as a hobby at this time, he realized his “dream” of doing what he loved, sharing his life experiences but at the same time never forgetting his roots, could actually become a reality. He eventually developed his own signature style by combining and intermixing the sounds from his role models, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Kanye, Diddy and Fabolous, just to name a few. In fact, this is what sets him apart from other artist hopefuls. He is a lyricist who is able to switch styles like chameleons who changes colors. His music has many faces where it appeals to all individuals, from strugglers, to hustlers, to playboys, and even to women.
And like his role models, instead of focusing his music on money, drugs and women, Chris aspires be a performer who tells his story through music. He stays true to his belief as his DJ Mick Boogie hosted mix tape, Creative Control, does just that. The title itself was created as a representation to hip-hop and its growth. Over time, he felt that hip-hop had been watered down to the point where artists were not talking about their true experiences. Therefore, Creative Control was a statement to the industry saying that he had complete power on what was on it. Because at the end of the day, Chris will never forget where he came from and he will always appreciate his roots.
HollyDayz: What part of Queens, NY are you from?
Chris Jones: I grew up in Queensbridge in Long island City
HollyDayz: Each area of Queens has its own identity, what identity does you area have?
Chris Jones: Long island City birthed great Artist, Basketball stars but it was also known for violence unfortunately.
HollyDayz: Name the top 3 things to do in Queensbridge/LIC?
Chris Jones: The area has changed a great deal since I was a teenager and I find myself enjoying the new restaurants like Blend On The Water. I still enjoy the view from the famous River park behind Queensbridge housing and I believe the best pizza is still made at Polito’s.
HollyDayz: Who are your influences?
Chris Jones: My influences were the guys who lived a block away from me as a kid. Nas grew up on the 40th side of Vernon. Havoc of Mobb deep grew up on 41st side of 12 street and the list goes on. It’s easy to say Jay-z, Biggie, Pac but watching nas film “Nas is like ” on my block really did it for me
HollyDayz: What opportunities do you think are available to you as a hip hop artist that you can only have in NY?
Chris Jones: To be honest there aren’t a lot of opportunities for NY artist. We have so many talented artist who get over looked because we are putting out music with substance. It will take co signs from successful artist to help a young NY artist take off. But you know what they say ” If you could make it here .. You could make it anywhere.” Look at French Montana, he continued to work hard and promote his music until a few doors finally opened for him.
HollyDayz: How do you think living in Queens has influenced you music?
Chris Jones: It has influenced it a great deal. IT gives life to the stories I tell in my music. Songs like Fall Back , and Schemin Scream Queens.
HollyDayz: What are some things people wouldn’t know about Queens?
Chris Jones: Queens is beautiful .
HollyDayz: Do you have a particular go to spot to eat in Queens?
Chris Jones: Moca Bistro in Forest Hills ..
HollyDayz: What makes New York hip-hop so different from another place?
Chris Jones: Its Real. From the days of the Tunnel to now Griffin or Perfections. All the hot new artist love to come here and perform because the energy here is hard to ignore.
HollyDayz: Many say New York hip-hop has fallen off, what are your thoughts on that?
Chris Jones: That is a joke. In a year we will see if folks are singing the same tune.
HollyDayz: Where is your favorite place to go that brings out your creativity?
Chris Jones: I honestly don’t have one place. Before I start a new project, i just go out and live. The words come naturally after you spent a good year going through ups and downs.
HollyDayz: Are there any artists you would like to work with in the neat future?
Chris Jones: I would definitely want to work with Curren$y.
HollyDayz: Describe your music to someone who has never heard it.
Chris Jones: Imagine a classic New York feel with a more polish flow. I mean who could be more polished than Jay, Big and Nas but im part of a different era but i feel like we were cut from the same cloth.
HollyDayz: Describe Queens for someone who has never been.
Chris Jones: Imagine heaven … (laughs) Imagine a diverse area where everyone will show you how far hard work can take you. Dreams are made reality or destroyed due to bad choices. Queens is reality.
Being from Queens, New York I had to write this. Especially since Lonely Planet named Queens the number 1 destination to visit for 2015. When flying into New York you land in Queens at either JFK or LGA. There are so many things to see and do in Queens I could be writing for along time. Here is my 5 fun things to do in Queens, NY!
1. Head over to Flushing Meadow Corona Park. There is so much to do there I can make an entire other post about it! If you love soccer that is definitely the place you want to be! There are tons of games going on all around the park. There are also a ton of volleyball games happening as well. Bike riding, skateboarding, rollerblading and more can be done here. Many people also have picnics and parties. Pay a visit to the New York Hall of Science and the Queens Museum. Even visit the Queens Zoo while your there. You can even ice skate at the World Ice Area year round. It is beautiful and was once home to the Worlds Fair. Some structures are still standing.
2. Eat your way around the world. Queens is extremely diverse. Food from all around the world can be found right in Queens. Head over to Jamaica and taste some amazing Caribbean food. If you are in the mood for Greek or Italian then Astoria is where you want to be. Fancy some Chinese food? Flushing is certainly the best place to find it. Craving some Indian food, no problem, Jackson Heights has got what you are looking for. Queens is heaven for a foodie.
3. Walk around on the beach. Yep, Queens has a beach. You can hop on the A train out to Far Rockaway and relax or take a stroll along the beach. Far Rockaway Beach is the cities only legal surfing beach! There are also concession stands or you can enjoy a picnic. Basketball and volleyball courts can also be found there.
4. Make your way over to Forest Park. There are many things to do at this park. Go horseback riding or on a hike. You can even try your hand at an 18 hole golf course. Be nostalgic and take a ride on the carosel. Hit the running track, play some handball, or baseball. There are constantly events going on at the park.
5. Enjoy watching the pros play sports. Queens is home to the New York Mets. Fan or not the new Citi Field Stadium has been gushed about. They also have the infamous Shake Shack inside the gates. Firework displays have been known to happen after some games and around the 4th of July. Performances have also happened after games as well. If baseball isn’t your fancy then not too far away is the Arthur Ashe Stadium, home to the US Open! This stadium is actually in Flushing Meadow Park. Pin for future reference
There is so much more fun things to do in Queens that I will have to write more in the near future! Have you ever enjoyed any of these things in Queens? Did you even know you could find all of these fun things to do in Queens?
Typically when you go to a concert, it is held at a venue you have been to, or at the very least, heard of. In this case I had never heard of, or been to this venue. When I heard that Drake and Lil’ Wayne were going on tour, and they would be in my hometown of Queens, NY, I had to go.
The venue they chose? Forest Hills Stadium.
It is a tennis stadium. Even radio personalities and everyone I asked didn’t know what to expect from this venue. No one had ever been there. I did a little researching to get a feel of what I could be getting myself into, but I still felt a little left in the dark. I had been to Forest Hills so many times and have never seen this stadium.
I did however find out that not only was it the site of the US Open in the 1920’s before it was moved to the Arthur Ashe Stadium, but that The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Barbara Streisand, and Simon & Garfunkel have all performed there in the 60’s and 70’s.
When the day final came to go to the concert, I was anxious to see what this place was going to look like, and how the seating was going to be. I could tell I was in the right place when I got to the area because I saw an excess amount of people, even though Forest Hills is usually crowded, and an abundance of police. After stopping to grab some food because concerts never start on time, the best thing to do was follow the crowd.
If you drive to the venue, prepare to park far and walk or get towed or booted if you try to park close by. There are signs saying you can only park with a permit. ***Take public transportation to the stadium. The E/F/R subway lines to Forest Hills – 71st Avenue or the Long Island Rail Road to the Forest Hills Station.***
As I walked to the venue I realized that it was a trek to get to the actual entrance of the stadium. Not sure how long I was walking, but it felt like awhile. It also seemed a bit disorganized. The lines were more like groups of people everywhere. If you wanted to drink inside, you had to stand on another line to show your ID and get a bracelet, otherwise you could just go in. I skipped that line and headed in.
Once inside there were a bunch of pop up places to grab food, which I thought was pretty cool. Standard prices, $4 for water. There were also merchandise stands and a porta-potty area. There were a ton of porta-potties, with no set line to use one. As usual they were so disgusting. Holding it if you can is suggested.
Heading to your seat is a bit of a challenge in itself. Before you can climb the steps to get to your seat people are re checking your tickets. Then you walk up steep narrow steps. Once you finally get up the steps you can see the entire stadium. It looked pretty cool. The concert was sponsored by Capcom so they had Drake Vs. Lil Wayne on the stage in video game form. There was an app you could download to determine who came on stage first, which I thought was pretty cool.
The seats weren’t the best. The majority of the seats in the stadium were actually hard benches. I picked great seats as far as the stage was concerned. The benches are numbered so you have a little spot. People were spilling drinks on others, and there was no back support. It was very uncomfortable. I knew it would be murder on the back. There is however a small section of the stadium with actual seats, unless you sat in the fold out chairs in front of the stage. If you aren’t a fan of smoke or people being too close to you, this isn’t the venue for you. You’re in very close proximity to people,and whatever it is they are doing. I was a bit annoyed, but I tried to block it out.
The entire concert looked sold out. I was wondering how the neighbors felt about all the people and very loud music as the stadium is in a residential neighborhood. The concert was amazing and as a Drake fan I was glad the audience chose him to win the battle that night.
Once the concert was over and you begin to take that long walk back, I noticed how much garbage was everywhere. It was pretty disgusting. If I lived in the neighborhood I would be pretty upset. There were also bright lights the police set up that were shining into apartment houses, which would have also upset me if I lived there. Some of the residents were sitting outside watching everyone walk by.
Overall it was a great concert and a pretty cool venue. It was an experience and depending who would be performing there, I would consider going again.