Party Like a Rock Star – Every Wednesday!

Wednesday is THE night to come to Hells Gate Social for some video game fun and drink specials. It’s ROCK BAND night! You always wanted to be a rock star, so come live out your fantasies with this multi player and super fun game. Play the guitar, bass, drums or sing your favorite songs. Enjoy a Miller High Life or Busch beer and a shot of bourbon for only $3! The fun starts at 7pm and goes on till everyone is done letting out their inner Rock Star! Trust me – its a great time :). I played once and became an instant addict.

Also this week at Hells Gate Social, come to hear some great music from some local Astoria bands. On Thursday, July 31st, AM Preacher plays at 9pm and Two Seconds to Midnight play at 10pm. They are both amazing!
And as always Hells Gate has Happy Hour every day from 7pm-9pm daily and a great indoor/outdoor space.

Hell Gate Social is at

12-21 Astoria Blvd


Low on Cash? How bout trying some Rock and Bowl Karaoke!!

Rock and Bowl was initiated on July 22nd and will now be every Tuesday at Maric Lanes in Astoria.

From 8:00PM till 12:30AM you can get $3 Beer Bottles, $3 Shots of Tequlia, Jack Daniels, Southern Comfort w/ lime, or Kamikaze. It will cost $3 per game to Bowl and you get FREE bowling shoe rental! You can also pay $1 to enter the Strike Challenge Jackpot Raffle. Pretty affordable, right??

In addition to these great drink/bowling prices, there will be Karaoke, Singing and Dancing…all to a new laptop karaoke system with over 100,000 songs to choose from. Feast your eyes on the COSMIC BOWLING VENUE complete with glow in the dark bowling balls! How can you say no!? So gather some friends and get your bowling/karaoke glow on!

Maric Lanes is located in Astoria Queens on 49 Street between 19th & 20th Ave.

How About Dinner and A Movie With Some New Friends?

I am always interested in checking out the latest movies being released and discovered a new enjoyable way to do it. On there are so many different social groups doing exciting things in the NYC area. I had joined the Dinners, Movies, and More Meetup Group (which says singles preferred but all are welcome) and thought that the Dark Knight would be the perfect flick to go see with a fun group of new people.

Since there were so many people interested, this meetup event met at a bar for some drinks before the movie instead of the usual movie then dinner plan. We went to Bar 13 (35 East 13th Street and a block from the theater), which in the evenings is super crowded, but ended up being the perfect spot to go before our Saturday 7:40pm showing at the Regal Union Square 14 theater. There was a 2 for 1 drink special for beer and mixed drinks and a nice roof deck area for us to meet and mingle at.

After a couple of drinks, it was time to head over to get in line for the Dark Knight. Our group organizer had planned out the timing perfectly and we had all gotten to know eachother a bit at Bar 13 so we were ready for the movie. Since we were in line at the right time, we were able to get a group of seats in the same area together.

Needless to say, the movie was intense and fantastic! We all had so much to talk about afterwards that we decided to find a place to eat and converse about it some more. Since it was across the street and it was someone’s birthday at midnight, we decided to head over to Max Brenner for some delectable desserts. I was amazed that they were able to accommodate our group so quickly, as we had 16 people interested in hanging out after the film. I had never been there before but every single item looked so delicious that you wanted to try everything. So we enjoyed our varied and delicious treats for a while before it was time to call it a night and go our separate ways.

Overall, the night was a great success. I got to meet many new people and even make some friends. What a fantastic way to enjoy fabulous drinks, an amazing film, and delicious food all in one night! I would definitely recommend that others give this group a try. I know I plan to go again for another fine evening in the future.
To join this or any other meetups go to
Check out more details about Max Brenner at

Summer Fitness, Art and Film All in One Place!

Summer seems to go so fast! It is already almost August! Before summer slips away completely, there are some excellent opportunities to enjoy some free fitness, art and film in the great outdoors at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City. There are weekly free Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi classes offered on the park grounds during the week and on weekends.

If you’d rather enjoy a great film, this summer celebrates the 10th Annual Outdoor International Film Festival and there are different films screened every Wednesday through August 27th (weather permitting). Each week focuses on a different country or culture and will feature cuisine from local restaurants for sampling in addition to music performances. Sit on the lawn with a view of the Manhattan Skyline and get transported to another place with all your senses!

And since this is an art center, there are numerous exhibits and classes going on to indulge your inner artist. Check out for a full schedule of events and all the details!

If that isn’t enough to float your boat 😉 then the Long Island City Boat House and Partnerships with Parks host free boating from Hallets Cove (the Sculpture Park’s beach). You can choose to Canoe or kayak on Sundays through October 12th (weather permitting) and all for free! For more details go to .

Enjoy Great Music In Astoria This Saturday!

On Saturday, July 26th, head to beautiful Astoria Park to enjoy the first annual Music and Art Festival – Astoria Music Now. Astoria Music Now is an all day long festival of arts and local music featuring Pop Mafia, Bliminal, Little Creatures, The Tarantinos, Gutter and Spine, Kite Operations, The Swedes, Dirty Wings, Bayard Russell and Friends, We Are Darien, Drum Dharma Drums. The weather is supposed to be great and this event is free so you should definitely plan to stop by!
Here is the myspace link with more information and some music samples:
For more treats for your eyes and ears head to Hell Gate Social to experience SubKulture. Astorian locals, DJ Belladonna and DJ Scandal, are teaming up to present SubKulture, a monthly retro rock and classic alternative music party at Hell Gate Social. This Saturday launches this event. This is guaranteed to be a fun night with great music at a very chill location. There will also be art exhibitions by local artists as well as retro music videos and cult movies projected on the walls. There is no cover and Hell Gate Social has a really nice indoor space and also an outdoor garden area to enjoy.
Here is the myspace link which has a sample playlist and more details:
Get out there and enjoy!

Anticipation for a Full Moon Hike!

It’s official. I have signed up for a September Full Moon Hike offered by Outdoor Bound. The hike is described as a 5.5 mile hike to a mountain top, followed by a lakeside fire for roasting some smores and swimming in the lake for those daring hikers. You bring a flashlight but with the bright full moon in the sky your eyes will eventually adjust so that you can see without any artifical lighting. It sounds like so much fun! I can’t wait! Of course, I will have a full report once I get back on how it went! 🙂

If you are interested, go to As of now there were openings in the September and October Full Moon Hiking trips.

Give Some Love to Furry Friends in Need

If you are like me and have a serious love for animals, there is a great way to reach out to help those in need. Through New York Cares – an excellent volunteer organization – you can sign up to spend time volunteering at local animal shelters to give cats and dogs some much needed love and affection. You can sign up to give shelters dogs a nice walk or spend time with the shelter cats to give them attention and love while in their kennel area. I have found both experiences to be extremely rewarding. Since my apartment is small and my 20 year old cat is not fond of having other pets in my household, this has been an excellent way to reach out to other animals. I sign up as often as possible and there is never anything more rewarding than watching a homeless animal find a loving new owner and a new home.

You can go to and search under animal care to find volunteer projects available. Or check with your local animal shelter to see what programs they offer and how you can help. Here is the link for BARC in Brooklyn:

Hiking to Van Slyke Castle Ruins

I had wanted to sign up for a hiking adventure for a while but was looking for the right one. Luckily, I found it at the MMA site for a Hike and Swim Majestic Ruins of the Van Slyke Castle in NJ. I couldn’t say no! I have not hiked since I was a kid at camp so this would be a new experience for me to do this as an adult. Having had fun at every event I participated in with MMA so far I didn’t think I could go wrong.

I showed up with my mom’s hiking books (which thankfully she lent me), a new cooling water bottle and a standard water bottle which together amounted to my minimum 2 liter water requirement, and a bagged lunch. I was ready to go! The drive was approximately 45 minutes outside of midtown Manhattan over the GWB. Once we started I immediately started to realize what I was in for… lots of uphill on what I thought was a very rocky terrain. We hiked first to Ramapo Lake and then made our way onto a trail around one of the neighboring mountains. With the hot and humid weather and lack of previous hiking experience, I found the uphill sections feeling a bit endless at times and rather difficult for me without some breaks in the middle. However, once you got to a lookout point you felt the reward of the heights you have climbed to get there. I was immensely thankful for my cooling water bottle too! I definitely needed it and had some envious fellow hikers.

After a lunch by the lake, we finally made our way towards the Van Slyke Castle Ruins. This was what I had been looking forward to the most so I was quite excited, even though I knew it meant more uphill climbing. It was well worth it. As an avid photographer, I took advantage of all that remained of this once glorious building. I would love to come back to view it in the fall or winter when there is less greenery and it will be more exposed.

Once we descended that mountain, our hiking day finished off with a brave swim in the lake. I say it was brave since there was some plant life that seemed to have taken over the water so that if you went in, you would have some interacting with you while you were swimming. I must say though, after all the hard work we did during our hike, most of us quite enjoyed the refreshment of the lake.

All in all, it was a fantastic day. I was encouraged by our trail leader that the more I hike the better I will get at both the uphill climbing and the effect on my knees. I took a rested the following day and my knees were fully recovered from the pain I was feeling immediately after the hike.

This hike was a combined outing with Outdoor Bound and MMA participants. Everyone was really nice and made the experience that much more fun. I would definitely recommend this to someone just starting out with hiking and anyone with an interest in taking pictures of the castle ruins. As I said earlier, I definitely plan to go back sometime!

Indulge Your Artistic Side

If you are in the mood for an enjoyable day in Central Park with other people who love to sketch/draw/paint or whatever, then the Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup group is perfect for you. I went this Saturday and had such a great time. It doesn’t matter what your talent level is. Everyone is open and friendly and you will be inspired by all the talented people around you. It has been a while since I did any sketching, so this was an encouraging first start. I will definitely plan to attend the next meetup date I can make it to.

To join this or any other meetups go to