When you walk out of our apartment door, you enter a small hallway area that is common to the 3 apartments in the home we live in. Our landlady has it decorated, it's very homey and welcoming:
Go down the first set of stairs and glance to the right:
Henry was quite excited to see that I put his toys out in the garden.
Back down the stairs and through the white gate
Turn right and head toward Ditmars Blvd, one of the main streets in Astoria.
Our house is the third on the block. An alley way separates the shops on Ditmars from the houses.
Whomever painted the sign on the roadway must have a 2 year old, "no, no!" And don't you just love how there IS a car parked there? Sometimes there are 2 or 3!
After the alleyway you can smell it. It being the bakery. Martha's Country Bakery. The smell of donuts and cupcakes. All with lovely outdoor seating. Joe purchased two cupcakes from them the other night, one peanut butter and one vanilla with chocolate frosting. Both were tasty, but the peanut butter was mmmmm, mmmmm, mmmmm!
Standing on the corner of 37th Street (our street) and Ditmars, facing south, you see Alba's Pizza across the street.
Henry already recognizes this as the "Pizza Store" and often asks if we are going there for lunch or dinner.
To the left (east) is the dry cleaners, a cheap Chinese food place (we have yet to eat at) and the grocery store.
A look at Ditmars, still facing the same direction (east).
Alright, let's head west, walking toward 31st Street where the train is. On our same block, next to Alba's, is a hardware store.
This shop has a bunch of stuff in it. Household needs (such as soap), toys, and random junk no one really needs. These "99 cent and up" type stores are very common.
We are still on our block...a deli we have yet to try, but I've read good things about.
Two good lookin' guys walking down the street.
And lookee...another bakery. We haven't tried this one yet.
I'm not exactly sure what this locked box on the street corner is...but it's decorated with various stickers which is not at all surprising.
Walking a bit further down the street we see Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company. We have tried this place and it is tasty. Joe purchased some bagels for his breakfasts and the other day I got us a couple sandwiches. The bagels are HUGE! and delicious. Surprisingly, I have yet to try their coffee!
On the same block is this little shop. We went inside the other day and they sell all sorts of hardware type items and household goods. We purchased a metal cart from here that we use for hauling big loads, like for laundry...or toting home an air conditioner from 2 miles away.
It's very common for these types of stores to have a bunch of stuff on the sidewalk for sale.
And guess what? Another bakery! We haven't tried this one either.
One cool kid.
Also along the street is a butcher.
"Greek & Italian Specialties" is what the awning reads.
Across the street is a very popular, and well known Greek restaurant called Taverna Kyclades...the blue awnings between the trees. They have quite a bit of outdoor seating and the sidewalk area is very narrow here. There is often a wait for seating, so sometimes navigating with the stroller though this area is an adventure.
There are several sushi restaurants in our neighborhood - I've heard this one is good...Watawa.
We are almost to 31st Street now. There is big bank on our left with a few benches that are almost always full with people waiting for the bus.
The corner of 31st and Ditmars is a busy intersection.
Looking to the left (South) as we cross 31st Street. The bridge you see there with the billboard on it is the train.
I bought strawberries from this guy the other day for $2 which I thought was a good deal. Then I saw them for 99 cents and now they are 3 for $4.
Walking down 31st toward the train
You never know what you might see on a New York City street...
Passing the stairs for the train. This has recently been changed - it was the N and W stop, but as of June 27 some major changes are being done to subway and bus routes and one of them is that the Q line now comes to Astoria and there is no more W train. It's a bit of a bummer because the W goes directly to Joe's new office. With the Q coming here instead he'll have to transfer to another train to get to work.
Walking under the train bridge
Just on the other side of the bridge is the post office - which was our final destination on this little walk...so now we are going to turn around and head back toward our house.
But first! Henry learned a new skill today while he and I were grocery shopping. He can now show 2 and 3 with his fingers. He was quite proud when he shouted, "Mommy! I did it!" in the middle of the cheese section. Here he demonstrates it for all to see...
Another shot of the train bridge - it's impossible to capture in one shot, it's just massive!
On the other side of the bridge - Key Food, the green awning, across the street is another grocery store. I haven't been in there yet.
And what do we have here? Another bakery! AND pizza. It's Joe's dream come true!
Too bad my name isn't Rose!
Walking down the street just a few feet is a Street Meat stand. There are a couple more across the street too. These are usually pretty tasty eats, but we haven't tried any here in Astoria yet.
A typical street view in our neighborhood - just to show you all that YES, there are TREES here! :)
This is our street, 37th.
Here is a better shot of the grocery store on our block.
And the laundromat.
In case you are wondering, $1.75 to wash and $0.25 per 8 minutes to dry.
And the oh-so-wonderful Dunkin' Donuts that is at the corner of 38th and Ditmars. One block baby!
We went inside for a couple iced coffees and Henry was given a free donut. He was thrilled!
After our little walk the boys headed to the park, just 1.5 blocks away. I'll take pictures there soon to share. I hope this gives you an idea of our little neighborhood that we are finding ourselves liking more and more each day!