Things to Do in Astoria and Down Under The Triborough
The incredible popularity of DUMBO has created this new love for New Yorkers and that is hanging out in the magical and somewhat creepy space that is created under our massive bridges. If you are one of these LOSUBs (lovers of spaces under bridges), and getting tired of loitering under the various Brooklyn crossings, I have a new one for you that won't disappoint - the Triborough. Head to this neighborhood of Queens for a great day of water fun, ethnic eats, a kid-friendly beer garden, and maybe even a fun Museum stop.
Located right on the water and under the Triborough Bridge is Astoria Park with the City's largest public swimming pool, which is seriously impressive. Surrounded by concrete bleachers and with a bit of a Soviet feel to it, the pool was constructed in 1936 and is 330 feet long or about the length of a city block. The pool is sectioned off into different areas and includes a wading area for little kids. It is also flanked on one side with a kiddie sprinkler complex and the other with a diving pool that was empty as of this week and honestly looks way too scary for an amateur diver. There is also a playground right next to the pool with more sprinklers. The park also has tennis courts that are often empty during weekdays. There are plenty of places in the park to put down a picnic blanket after your swim and have some lunch. though I will say that while the park itself has great potential, it gets very low marks on cleanliness.
Next stop on your Astoria tour is one of my favorite places in all of NYC - the Bohemian Beer Garden. Great for kids (and there always plenty of them there) you can get yourself a delicious pitcher of beer and sit at one of their long shady picnic tables while you watch your kids play on the stage - it's a good idea to bring some toys for them to entertain themselves. The grill serves delicious sausages and fries and you can also order burgers, hot dogs, perogies and heftier Czech specialties. Check their site for times, weekends they open earlier but mid-week they mostly cater to a dinner time crowd.
If you still have room in you for dinner, check out S'Agapo on the corner of 34th Street and 34th Avenue. The restaurant serves up amazing light and delicious home cooked Greek food in a sweet and unpretentious restaurant that has cozy outdoor seating in the summer. The owner and staff are seriously kid-friendly and every time I've been there they bring over something special or sometimes even scoop up my daughter for a little tour of the fish counter leaving my husband and I to devour all the delicious food on the table. It's one of those restaurants where you can't order wrong since everything is totally delicious.
If you become enchanted with the neighborhood while there, check out the blog Joey in Astoria for general neighborhood news and Foodista for more places to eat. There is also the very cool and kid-friendly Museum of The Moving Image and if you are up for chekcing out a cool Greek supermarket, make a trip over to Titan Foods on your way home to take some Greek delecacies with you.