Ten Questions interview on Sugarzine, July 2009
Name: audrey dimola
Occupation: former managing editor of LIC arts/music/culture publication, ins&outs magazine (www.licmagazine.com). currently contributing writer/editor/photographer for liQcity (www.liQcity.com), a blog about life and real estate in long island city. resident leopard-printed rock & roller, “dancing queen” (thanks janene! ;)), and contributing event planner/PR for local organization, astoria music & arts (www.astoriamusicarts.wordpress.com).
Neighborhood: long island city/astoria
In one sentence explain why you chose queens over any other borough? i was born & raised here, baby! — i’ve spent my entire life in long island city and astoria, and the more i’ve gotten to explore it (and surrounding areas), the more i’ve loved it.
How do you contribute to the arts and culture? contributing to arts and culture in queens is something i hold extremely close to my heart. in the media organizations i’ve worked with, it has been most important to me to do all i can to write about, support, and promote the amazing artists, musicians, and performers in this borough. i’ve taken notice of the way queens is, more often than not, overshadowed by the goings-on in manhattan and brooklyn, and i want to do all i can to continue supporting and spreading awareness of the talent that is — and always has been — right here in queens. my catch phrase of sorts has become ‘let’s show NYC what QUEENS has to offer!’ :)
Your local watering hole and why? i don’t really have a watering hole — i like to EAT much more than i like to drink ;) and the restaurants i’ll mention in the next question have got that covered. but i’d like to hang out more at LIC bar and dutch kills — i really dig the old school vibe. blackbird’s, hell gate social, dominie’s hoek, and the quays are great too.
What’s your favorite restaurant in queens? very tough! but here’s some favorites — astoria: mundo, thai elephant, sanford’s. and these are actually bars but i do enjoy the food at: broadway station (ribs!), hell gate social (turkey sandwich!), and blackbird’s (chicken & fries!). i’ve been going to the bel-aire and neptune diners since i was a little girl. samaria pizza (in the plaza near bel-aire) is my favorite pizza! and in LIC: manducatis rustica is AMAZING, i’m ALWAYS in communitea, and i actually love the food at dominie’s hoek (in addition to the drinks).
What’s your favorite queens resident, living, dead, real or fictional? my italian family from astoria/LIC (!), and all of the people (artists, singers, musicians, photographers, fashion designers, music & art fans, writers, media, biz owners..) i’ve met through ins&outs and astoria music & arts — they’re all the characters i need ;) also, may i please just say that all of my comrades at astoria music & arts, kenny & diane (founders of LIC gallery/artisan store art-o-mat), ran from whyleaveastoria?!, gus of LIC bar, and DJ belladonna totally RULE? :)
Three places you take out of town guests to? the piers at gantry plaza state park in LIC, astoria park, socrates sculpture park, rainey park/the waterfront behind costco, up & down broadway, shopping on steinway street! and more people should take advantage of the amazing amount of ART in queens — i’d love to take people to sculpturecenter, local project, texas firehouse, and the LIC art center in LIC, to name a few. and one of the first things i do when someone is in from another ‘nabe or city altogether is to tell them about all of the spots for music/performance in the area — wonderland collective in astoria is another place you can’t miss, and i can’t wait for queensbridge theater!
Website you waste the most time on? i wouldn’t say waste! right now it’s time well spent on liQcity and flickr ;) but i’m also a total sucker for gala darling’s blog, icing, at www.galadarling.com, and you know, the usual — myspace, whyleaveastoria, etc. AND i’d like to take this opportunity to plug www.thewhiskeydregs.com — GREAT online spot for artistic content of all sorts!
One misconception about queens you would like to clear up? that there’s nothing going on here — that all the great bands, unforgettable parties, interesting art, and awesome venues are in manhattan and brooklyn. queens isn’t that far away — if you don’t live here, it’s worth the trip, and if you DO live here, it’s worth your while to check out all of the amazing things to do that are right here in your own ‘hood. also, LIC is a destination for more than just PS1 and water taxi beach, and astoria is worth the trip for more than just the bohemian beer garden! dig deeper! :)
In one word describe the vibe you get from queens? ECLECTIC!
What comes to your mind when you think of queens and music? all of the amazing people, promoters, DJs, singer/songwriters, bands, venue owners, and solo artists i’ve met while working to discover more about the music scene in queens. there are SO MANY people spread all over this borough working SO incredibly hard on their own music, their own venues, and their own shows, events, and festival series — i feel privileged to know these people, to work with them, and to come out to support their shows and events! some of my favorite local music-makers are illimanjaro (yeah kid), little embers, gutter&spine, hops, drew p, bliminal, pie boys flat, james call & erotic photo hunt, DJ belladonna & the DJs at hell gate social, and the astoria music project (TJ moss band, aaron lavigne band!).