Thank you to everyone that participated in the Astoria Art Festival 2014! Stay tuned for more events, exhibits and community in January 2015!
Just around the corner from Astoria Beer & Brew, Bowery Bay is showcasing two artists as well as music by C0UC0U from 10PM – 1AM. DJs Zach and Paul, who have lived in Astoria for about five years, share a drumming background and passion for 90s R&B hits with female vocals. “We hang out and listen to mix tapes and underground rap, and naturally began exploring how that music fits into more traditional dance patterns,” says Zach.
The two DJ regularly on the Lower East Side, spots like the Delancey and Heathers, and would love to see a demand for their sets locally. “We want to see Astoria as a destination, rather than just a hangout,” says Paul. Head on over to Bowery Bay to hear more. The dance party has begun!
Owls for Olive just kicked off a set at Astoria Beer & Brew, where manager Rodrigo Urbieta has also creatively curated the work of four artists in a relatively small space (ceiling included). One artist showcased here tonight is Allison Ruiz, who was born in Astoria in a hospital that no longer exists. Her work is pen and ink, and features recognizable local spots like the Neptune Diner. A first timer in the Art Festival, Allison says, “It’s a very inclusive experience. Seeing everyone’s work has made me feel like I’m not alone. There are others in the neighborhood with similar endeavors.” Check out more of her work at http://www.allisonruiz.com.
Astoria Beer & Brew Event: Friday, October 17th at 9:00 PM
Check them out October 17th, Friday night at Bowery Bay!
Our favorite musicians are: Falcons and Destiny’s Child.
Right now we work in: looking for fun songs to remix is a full-time job.
We love Queens because: HoneyBuns are still $1
When we were kids we: had trouble sleeping but now we stay up as late as we want.
We find inspiration in: puppet-based educational programming for French children and R&B with female vocals. We want to be big in Japan but we will settle for Southeast Asia.
Do: come out to our sets.
Don’t: leave early.
Dream Project: Ciara and Future get back together, have another baby, and we DJ the christening. Jesus smiles approvingly from the back row but leaves before we can tell him about our soundcloud.
My favorite musicians are: My stock answers are usually theRamones, Replacements and Otis Redding, but it really depends on the situation. Sometimes I wake up in the morning with a Buddy Holly song stuck in my head that fits the mood perfectly, and other times I want to listen to nothing but Howlin’ Wolf all afternoon. Sometimes I need an amazing Alex Chilton turn-of-phrase and sometimes I need a Candy Snatchers song at 11.
Right now my work is: My work is equal parts totally stressful and incredibly fulfilling. I work at a marketing and branding agency that counts a lot of iconic brands as clients. Finding ways to be creative within corporate confines is difficult but also rewarding. You find ways to cut through the business bullshit and find ways to create something that resonates with people, just like a great song or story.
I love Queens because: I love Queens because of the energy of every single block. It is so palpable that you can almost hear it when you walk down the street. Living closer to the water in Astoria, I have a bit of a walk to the subway. The buzz of the cars going over the Triboro Bridge, the dogs barking and kids playing in the park, the ninety year-old woman sweeping the sidewalk for no apparent reason, it all combines to create an atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else.
When I was a kid: When I was a kid I had a lot of obsessions. My desire to know about everything and how it worked was so strong that sometimes I couldn’t decide what to focus on. I was in such awe of everything; one week it was baseball, then U.S. Presidents and then the history of my block. Not to be a wiseass about it, but just to KNOW. I guess I haven’t changed much.
I find inspiration in: I find inspiration in a good story. Whether that happens in a bar at 3am on a Tuesday or on the subway at rush hour, I always try to leave myself open to hearing one.
Do: Listen more than you speak, and visit places that terrify you.
Don’t: Worry about money. Either you have it or you don’t, and the worry does nothing to change that.
Dream Project: I want to be the person that gets to select baseball players’ batting songs.
Owner Donnie D’Alessio is in the kitchen, and resident DJ Rob Select is spinning all-vinyl rock, early R & B and soul. “I wanted people to have the opportunity to come here and see the art without feeling like they had to order a full dinner,” says D’Alessio, who is serving free banana Nilla Wafer cake donuts made from scratch by his sister Montana.
Over 30 of artist Brendan Carroll’s illustrations have replaced some of the family photos that fill the restaurant’s walls. Carroll became involved with Queens Comfort when D’Alessio commissioned him to paint murals on the outside of the restaurant and its roll-down gates. Since then, Carroll has worked as a host, done hand-drawn illustrations of daily specials and now maintains social media for the restaurant.
“I’m also a curator and have been working in museums and galleries for about 10 years, so I can bang out an installation,” says Carroll, who spent over five hours hanging his work at Queens Comfort. The subject of Carroll’s pen and ink drawings include his wife Marie, his beagle Hammer, Queens Comfort staff and celebrities.
“I think as an artist it’s important to show your work in the community where you live,” Carroll says of the Astoria Art Festival. “This is the first time I’ve seen all of my drawings up on a wall.”