Our residence in New York was located in the borough of Queens and specifically in Astoria. As I learnt from our Greek taxi driver, the area owes its name to John Jacob Astor, the wealthiest man in America at that time. It is linked to Manhattan by the N train and usually takes half an hour to get there. But even if you choose to stay in Astoria for a lunch or drink you won’t regret it. The shops offer good quality food at more reasonable prices than in Manhattan and they have a unique style.
The Greek presence in Astoria is easily made perceivable. At day two I woke up from my Jet Lag by a Greek woman talking loud on the phone. A little bit later we walked out of the house to explore New York and saw three middle aged men to give directions to each other in Greek. When we arrived at the 30th street, where most of the shops are situated, we kept watching signs in Greeklish: Elliniki Agora, Akropolis, Opa-Opa, Ovelia. At an instrument-selling shop they even give Bouzouki lessons and further away is placed the fan club of Olympiacos. Frankly speaking, I was a wee bit confused about my location. Was I in New York or at home?
A classic scene, which is seen in every american movie takes place at a diner, where the characters order pancakes, omelette, milkshake or something else equally american. Our diner was right opposite the greek club Caprice and was incredibly convenient for our midnight munchies. Its name is Neptune and it belongs to a Greek owner, as does the majority of the diners in New York. In the 1990s it has won the first prize among the diners in New York, as written explicitly in every souplas. The decoration is obviously inspired by the sea world and greek mythology. I particularly loved the shell-shaped couches!