New York City neighborhoods can wax and wane in popularity like a boy band: hot one minute, not the next, and maybe hot again. On Friday, a once-gritty pocket of Astoria, Queens, where a steady stream of cultural and artistic institutions have sprung up over the years and ratcheted up the cool factor, will be designated an official artistic district by the city. The move will codify the cool and, it is hoped, keep the arts mavens and the businesses that cater to them flocking.
The area in Astoria, which is to be designated by an official proclamation at a ceremony on Friday, lies between 31st Street to the west, 34th Avenue to the north, Steinway Street to the east and 37th Avenue to the south. It will be called the Kaufman Arts District, a tip of the hat to the Kaufman Astoria Studios, the city’s mega-studio whose lots and stages sprawl across several acres and where movies and television shows like “Orange Is the New Black” have been made.