Meet Astoria

Christine Gibson

Meet Astoria this month welcomes Christine Gibson, owner of Queens Knits, her own small business of handmade knitwear. Christine is born and raised in Flushing, but is now married and raising a family in Astoria. She studied international relations and worked for some New York-based non-profits, but has been a stay-at-home mom and owner of Queens Knits, for the last couple of years. Follow her @queensknits and on Etsy. We love her Jack Skellington ornament (clever!), dog cowls, coffee cozies with slogans such as Love is Love, Male Tears, and Vote Them Out, ear warmers and of course, beautiful scarves.

QS: You grew up in Flushing and now live in Astoria. What is one difference between the two neighborhoods?

CG: The part of Flushing that I was raised in was very residential, so I would have to take a bus to get to the 7 train and then take a long ride from Main Street into Manhattan. It felt like more of a suburb, whereas in Astoria, as soon as we step out of our door, we’re on busy Steinway Street and busy 30th Avenue. It’s a really close walk to the N/Q or M/R train and then it’s only 15 minutes to Manhattan, so it feels a bit more like a city neighborhood than Flushing did. I also don’t use a car here, which is awesome. My husband drives to his job in the Bronx, but I hardly ever drive. I’m terrible at it! I can walk to basically anything I need (stores, banks, post office, laundry – you name it) which is so helpful with Queens Knits, because I am always at the post office. There’s also more to do here, with Socrates Park, The Noguchi Museum, MoMA PS 1, the Museum of the Moving Image – you don’t really need to leave Astoria to have an art-filled day!

QS: What is it like raising children in Astoria?

CG: It’s expensive! You have to compromise on space – both indoors and outdoors. I won’t know what to do when our kids no longer want to share a room, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons. We love the diversity of our neighborhood, the schools and we love all the activities we can do for free at places like the library, local parks, and more.

QS: Do you have a favorite spot in Astoria?

CG: My new favorite spot in Astoria to hang out would be Socrates Sculpture Park. I always make sure that we see the new exhibits as soon as they go up. Every single year we have gone to the Halloween Harvest Festival, the Summer Solstice Celebration, Jazz Foundation of America concerts, outdoor movies and more. Socrates is so family friendly, it’s the perfect way to get in touch with nature and art at the same time, and best of all it’s free!

QS: What do you think makes Astoria such a wonderful neighborhood?

CG: There are so many things that make Astoria wonderful. I love the blend of old and new, the smiling faces of older folks as they’re out doing their shopping, and also the baby boom that allows our kids to have friends up and down the street. The blend of cultures, religions, ethnicities, the languages, the food, – it’s such a rich community when it comes to culture and I love that the most!

—Melissa Mennona

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2018-12-01 digital edition