John Wang grew up going to Taiwanese night markets—festive gatherings filled with people and plenty of street food—and last spring in a tribute to those memories created New York City’s first-ever night market, The Queens International Night Market.
Truth be told when Wang told me about it back in January I didn’t think he was going to pull it off, but by April he’d managed to bring what was at first a heavily Asian lineup to the New York Hall of Science parking lot. The market has a new home in Jamaica and is more international than ever with everything from Japanese takoyaki and Caribbean shark sandwiches to Peking duck baos and Romanian chimney cake, all of it delicious and diverse just like its home borough. (more…)
As diverse as the foodways of Queens are, there’s one cuisine that’s lacking, Sri Lankan. To experience Sri Lankan cuisine in New York City you need to travel to the motherland, Staten Island, specifically, Tompkinsville, which is home to 5,000 Sri Lankan’s, including Vijayakuman “Viji” Devadas. (more…)
Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most festive times for Hindus in and around Flushing. During the nine-day birthday party for the elephant-headed god, Šri Mahã Vallabha Ganapati Devasthãnam (aka the Ganesh Temple) on Bowne Street is a hive of activity. Ganesh Chaturthi always concludes with the Grand Ratha Yatrã, a parade through the streets of Flushing.
This year the parade was held on Sunday, Sept. 20, but I wasn’t able to make it. I did however have the good fortune to hang out with James Boo of 1 Minute Meal Films a few days before while he filmed modaka archana, the making and offering of the sweet modaka. The coconut-filled treat is renowned as Ganesh’s favorite food, so much that one of his many names is modakapriya. (more…)
In this era of Cronuts and Ramen Burgers it’s comforting to know there are still some things that are quintessentially old-school New York City foods, like the sandwiches at Katz’s Delicatessen on the Lower East Side. As I learned in “Deep Cuts,” the debut video from Season 2 of One Minute Meal Films one thing that makes Katz’s pastrami and corned beef sandwiches so special is the small platoon of cutters marshaled along the front counter. (more…)
As I wrote earlier this week the ginormous Pumas from Corona’s Tortas Neza, is one of my favorite sandwiches in Queens. It’s named for the truck’s owner’s favorite soccer team. The truck offers many other slightly less titanic sandwiches, each named for a Mexican soccer team. About a month ago some pals and I met up with James Boo to help him produce the above video love letter “to the moment of celebration when your oversized, painstakingly assembled sandwich hits the counter, informing you that those dinner plans will have to be postponed.” Tortas Neza is also one of the many food trucks and vendors that will be at the upcoming Viva La Comida! festival in Jackson Heights.