From The Lips Of A Local

Each week we feature a different local, sharing their unique experiences on what makes NYC the best place, ever.  Hey, we never said New Yorkers weren’t cocky.  

This week we’re delighted to be chatting with writer, Meg Cotner!  We simply love her Astoria-centric blog and passion for NYC!


Name: Meg Cotner

Occupation: I am a freelance writer and editor, social media strategist, and founder of the beloved neighborhood blog, We Heart Astoria. I’m also a published author – I wrote Food Lovers’ Guide to® Queens: The Best Restaurants, Markets & Local Culinary Offerings (Food Lovers’ Series), a guide to restaurants, shops, and markets in the borough of Queens.

New Yorker since: I’ve lived in the city since 2005.

What hood do you live in? Astoria.

Where do you get your morning coffee? I often make it at home with beans I get from Long Island City’s Sweetleaf or local Astoria roaster Native Coffee, but when I go out, I often get it at The Coffee Pot, which is a little deli near my apartment. Their iced lattes are my favorite – just a little bitter and very refreshing. I’m also a fan of the coffee at The Queens Kickshaw, where I’ll always get a strong cup and gorgeous streamed milk; the abovementioned Sweetleaf is my go-to in neighboring LIC, where their lattes are fab.

Restaurant you’d be really, really sad bordering on clinically depressed if they closed: That would have to be Il Bambino, one of my very favorite restaurants in Astoria. I adore their food—panini, crostini, tapas, and salads, excellent small but focused wine list, and kickass desserts like their silky rich chocolate torte and panna cotta. The flavors are wonderful and I always enjoy my time there.

Every tourist must visit: I absolutely think the Panorama of City of New York at the Queens Museum (which is undergoing and expansion right now, re-opening November 9, 2013) should be on every tourist’s list. It is just spectacular and gives any visitor—or local—a great bird’s-eye perspective on this city. It was built by Robert Moses for the 1964 World’s Fair, and even has model airplanes taking off and landing at JFK and LaGuardia Airports. And the Queens Museum is near the Unisphere, which is just so cool. Outside of Queens, I would say the Staten Island Ferry, since you get such great harbor views from the ferry, plus it’s free.

NYC trend you’re currently loving/hating: I love the expansion of bike lanes and Citi Bike, and I despise rompers on grown women with a passion.

Favorite way to while away a (non-workday!) NYC afternoon: I think seeing a movie at the Museum of the Moving Image is a great way to spend a free afternoon. Either before or after you can wander around the museum and check out the permanent exhibits with old movie cameras, costumes, and a few interactive features. Or check out the temporary exhibits; recent ones have focused on Jim Henson and Breaking Bad. They also have a little cafe with great coffee and baked goods, and a new outdoor courtyard with tables and chairs.

NYC’s best kept secret: The Noguchi Museum in Long Island City. Isamu Noguchi’s sculpture work is beautiful and I love how they have placed it within the museum space, including the peaceful sculpture garden (I always stop by the fountain). They also have a number of public and educational programs, including live music, docent-led tours, and Friday evening gatherings.

To connect with this awesome New Yorker, visit her on her blogFacebook, and Twitter (x2).



Want to be featured as the New Yorker of the week?  Drop us a note at! 






  • I just want to come back to NYC soon and visit some more places!!!

  • Agness says:

    It’s incredible how passionate people can be about their living place! I love watching movies so seeing a movie at the Museum of the Moving Image would also be a great way to spend my Saturday or Sunday afternoon :).
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  • Maria says:

    I love Meg Cotner too and just checked out her blog. Nicely done!
    Also love the tip on the Queens Museum – good choice – hope they continue the Tuesday Twitter conversation #EduTues
    Maria recently posted..Haiku – Take FlightMy Profile

  • Jess, perhaps this plays to your blog theme, but seems you have taken a detour with this series of posts that non-Yorkers have difficulty finding interest. First I was bookmarking restaurants to try next time I’m in town. (Not often.) Then I was trying to find comparable spots locally.
    Now I am beginning to feel like you invited me to a party but excused yourself to powder you nose a couple of hours ago. I am left alone with guests whom I have nothing in common. Where are the sweet animated, insightful, and witty antics of Jesse. Please come out from beneath that covered buffet table or from behind the garments hanging in the coat closet. The mic is on. Your name has been announced. It’s karaoke time! 😉 recently posted..Pinterest is Growing Site TrafficMy Profile

    • Used York City says:

      Haha, aww Kevin! Thanks so much for your honesty, duly noted and appreciated!

      The idea behind this series is to get locals’ perspectives on favorite spots that other locals (or tourists!) may find of interest, that myself or other regular contributors may not even know about.

      But don’t worry, your voice has been heard and I’ll make sure to fine balance the series with personal anecdotes, as well!;-)

  • A museum exhibit featuring (the best show ever created, IMO) Breaking Bad? Sign me up. Though you had me at the panna cotta. I suppose it’s too late to get a shot of grown women in rompers…?

    Thanks for the vicarious slice of life in NYC, Meg 🙂
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    • Used York City says:

      Haha, next time I spot one on the street I’ll try to snap a photo just for you, Linda!;-)

  • memographer says:

    Nice interview! Will, definitely, dig into Meg Cotner’s blog for more.
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