By JACKIE STRAWBRIDGE
Long Island City Flea and Food has expanded to Astoria. For eight consecutive Sundays this summer, Astoria Flea and Food will bring international and local cuisine, as well as antiques, crafts, art and fashion to the outdoor backlot of Kaufman Astoria Studios.
Long Island City Flea and Food, which occupies a parking lot on 46th Avenue and 5th Street, was established in 2013, and began its 2014 season last month.
The smaller Astoria Flea and Food showcases “the best of the Flea,” according to a statement released last month by Kaufman Arts District. The market takes advantage of the existing cultural landscape in the area, which houses not only the historic film and television studio, but also the Museum of the Moving Image, the Frank Sinatra School of Arts and the Queens Council on the Arts.
Amy Holmes moved to Woodside about nine months ago and was a first-timer at Flea and Food.
“It’s nice to see the food selection is really great, and I was really glad to see a lot of local restaurants,” she said. “It’s not just like the food you see at street fairs that are all over the City. It feels like it’s from Queens, and from the neighborhood specifically.”
For lunch, Holmes picked up a falafel pita from King of Shawarma, a vendor she recognized from a corner of Astoria that she used to frequent.
Three aisles of vendors stretch across the backlot of Kaufman Astoria Studios, on 36th Street between 34th Avenue and 35th Avenue.
The festival offers a cross-section of the diverse cuisines available in Queens. During the grand opening, customers enjoyed lobster rolls, kimchi, Japanese pancakes, kale and beet juices, Himalayan snacks and old
fashioned donuts, among many other options. About halfway down the block, vendors switch from food to flea, where home decorations, jewelry, crafts and art are on display.
Helen, who declined to give a last name, has been an Astoria resident for 40 years and visited Long Island City Flea and Food when it first opened last year. She felt the food available at the Astoria counterpart compared well to the original festival, but said, “I would like to have seen other varieties of [flea market] vendors.
Nevertheless, she said she “absolutely” plans to come back to Astoria Flea and Food in the coming weekends.
Astoria Flea and Food is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and will run for the next seven consecutive Sundays.
Reach Jackie Strawbridge at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JNStrawbridge.