25 February 2011

In Astoria? In which I mention many local businesses...

I passed by the site of the former Himalayan Tea House, the place that had a decent menu but not much else, not to mention crazy hours. I don't miss it like I thought I would. Besides, with places like Bare Burger and Il Bambino right there, I almost didn't notice it was gone. Even so, its absence has especially impressed in me the need for a proper tea place in Astoria. Now when I say Astoria, I am referring to my neck of the woods, near the heart of Steinway Street, a quick walk from Woodside and Long Island City.

Speaking of which, Cafe Triskell (best crepes in town and a nice tea menu) and Panera Bread are close to my criteria, but they're straddling LIC, and Martha's Bakery is bit of a walk away for me on a rainy day. Gian Piero's is nearby, but for me that's strictly to go; some of the clientele are dirty old mannish. And therein is another problem with my area: they're either patronised by hipsters or men who just make me feel uncomfortable. So what's the compromise? Starbucks? I'm not anti-Starbucks, even so, it's Starbucks.

There are other places I like in roll-out-of-bed walking distance from me, but they lean toward brunch and full-on meals, and I wouldn't feel comfortable just getting tea and cake if that's all I wanted. Is that just me being insecure? Maybe a little. But speaking of which, there's still a few surviving diners/coffee shops nearby, but heaven forfend you come alone - it's the counter for you! I loathe dining at the counter, especially alone.

So what's the solution? Can someone open a little place near me that would satisfy my tea needs? It really doesn't have to be frilly - that's also intimidating...not for me, but I'd like a good variety of people to be comfortable in this mythical place. Something like the former Shane's Bakery in Woodside. They had scones, people! It was like the Irish Tea and Sympathy. Why did it close?! Even if it was still open, it was still to far away from me.

I guess this post is a bit of a rant, with a touch of daydreaming. You just can't have it all. I mean, I waited for years for someone to open bookstore/cafe in my neighborhood, and with the closing of a bunch of Borders, this looks less possible than ever. I will sigh now, and wait patiently for suggestions/recommendations.

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