Sometimes those accidental finds turn out to be the best places around. I certainly had no expectations when I ducked into this little hole of a bar in Astoria after arriving ridiculously early for a dinner at a nearby restaurant. I sidled up to the small bar and ordered a beer, which I proceeded to drink very slowly. While sitting, I scanned the walls of the place, which are lined with broken junk, knick-knacks and something that I can only assume is that “found art” crap that New Yorkers are so fond of. It’s as if a giant tornado took a Soho lounge into its grip, slammed it down in the East Village for a spell and then whisked it away to the other side of the river to a non-descript block of a non-descript neighborhood in Queens. The clientele looked more artsy than, I don’t know, Queensy. The bartender had tatts covering his neck, and had an accent straight out of a 1985 cold war thriller. The music was a mixture of punk, rockabilly and classic bar tunes. I was so glad I fell into this joint, that I begged to come back after dinner. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who knew about this bar. It was packed with cool twenty-somethings chatting and drinking to their heart’s content. I was seriously impressed with the hipness factor of the place. Who knew Queens could elicit such feelings of cool? [MF]

34-18 34th Ave., Queens