Wikipages and MetroBoxTV Collaborate on Web TV Show

January 18th, 2008

Wikipages has partnered with MetroBoxTV to  create a new web tv show. Featuring businesses throughout the city, this show combines the local knowledge of Wikipages with the digital video qualities of MetroBoxTV. This show will be hosted by Wikipages co-founder and Community Manager Tracey Donvito. She plans to use her keen knowledge of this city to highlight businesses throughout NYC.

Wikipages was first introduced to MetroBoxTV last year, when founders Tracey Donvito and Benjamin Horst were interviewed for the program Blogspot. During the interview, they discussed their respective blogs: and They also explored several businesses in their local neighborhood of Astoria. After the successful airing of this interview, these two complimentary websites began plans for future collaboration. With the content that Wikipages provides and the video capabilities of MetroBoxTV,  the project of this Web TV show was born.

Founder Benjamin Horst says, “This is an exciting project because it sits at the intersection of two of the major current web trends: video content, and intensely local content. Wikipages and MetroBoxTV are both innovative online communities, so it will be fun and interesting to see the results of their collaborative project.

Entitled FiDi Revealed, the first features in the show focus on the Financial District, highlighting businesses on Stone Street and the surrounding areas. This show show is now live online, located here:

Creative Commons Content

September 9th, 2007

We’ve always intended Wikipages’ content to be distributed under a Free license, and spent some time looking at various options, including GFDL and the family of Creative Commons licenses. We wanted to make sure that information on Wikipages would be compatible with content from other similar sites (like Wikitravel and the Wikipedia), but unfortunately their licenses are slightly incompatible with each other.

Wikitravel’s copyright page made a strong case for the use of the CC-BY-SA license (Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike), and that is what we have selected for Wikipages as well. (See their carefully thought-out argument here.)

So today, I’m simply formalizing what has been our intent all along. Wikipages content is licensed under the CC-BY-SA version 3.0. We’ll flesh this page out with more detail over time, but for now we are just very pleased to be a new member of the Creative Commons family!

The New Face of Stamatis

September 3rd, 2007

Stamatis has been in the process of renovating a building right across the street to become their new location. One of the most famous Greek restaurants in Astoria, this popular establishment has been packed with people, as if everyone wants to get the most out of their old favorite before it moves. Their new spot has looked finished for a while now, but still hasn’t had its grand opening yet. Hopefully, their faithful customers will be happy with the change.

A Quiet Drink in a Cozy Spot

August 26th, 2007

I went out with Ben and a few single friends to Luca for dinner. After we had out fill of risotto and fried olives, I suggested we head to Cavatappo (owned by the same people) for some after dinner drinks.

I love this tiny wine bar. Located in the Upper East Side, Cavatappo has an Old World feel and a very warm vibe. The interior is brick with just a couple long tables and stools. Ingenious hooks are right under the table so that you can hang up your purse (why, oh, why don’t more bars have these?) The menu includes a wide selection of white, red, and rose and sparkling wines, as well as some snacks.

It was a nice, quiet place to catch up and drink tasty wine. Ben and I were having a blast, when I noticed that my friends were getting antsy. One said to me, “We’re going dancing at this club now. Do you guys want to come?”

I suppose if you’re in the mood for a wild night, Cavatoppo is not the place. I declined the invite for dancing. Taking Ben’s hand for the journey home, I pondered the differences between single and settled sociality, and how lovely a glass of wine can be.

Wikipages on CenterNetworks!

August 21st, 2007

CenterNetworks, the East Coast TechCrunch (but nicer) interviewed Wikipages’ founders Ben and Tracey yesterday.

Allen had this to say: “Tracey and Ben are very passionate about their idea and it seems like it could have some traction (will require a lot of work).” He also offered up a few suggestions on areas of improvement for the site (we share some of his feelings here and are planning changes to accommodate them).

It has been helpful in pointing more possible users our way, so I hope we can arrange more press attention in the future!

Back at the Beer Garden

May 15th, 2007

Last weekend, I went out with some old college friends, half of which coincidentally now live in Astoria. After a couple drinks at M.J. Armstrong’s in Union Square, we decided to head to the neighborhood favorite: the Beer Garden.

This was my first Beer Garden trip of spring and it was lovely. The weather was perfect (warm, but not stuffy), the crowd was perfect (lively, but no line), and, of course, the company was perfect. While Ben ate kilbasa, I proceeded to devour everyone’s fries at the table. We reminisced about college and stressed the importance of our old friend from DC moving to Astoria.

The night ended merrily, one of the best parts about it being the 5 minute walk home. Ah, the pleasures of a local bar!

Green Day

April 24th, 2007

I love this weather! Everything is warm and sunny, just in time for Earth Day last weekend.

To celebrate the holiday, Ben and I tried to spend as much time outside as possible. Saturday night, we went for a drink and a bite before a late night sing-along screening of Buffy the Musical. We decided on Caffe Reggio in the West Village. A nice tiny spot with outdoor seating that makes for good people watching. The cappuccinos and chocolate mousse were very tasty. Although the bathroom left a bit to be desired! The caffeine and sugar gave us the needed boost to fully participate in the midnight Buffy showing.

On Sunday, we went up to Central Park. We took the train to 86th and made our way through the park, seeing all my favorite sites along the way: Belvedere Castle, The Shakespeare Gardens, the Angel Fountain. Walked all the way through to 59th and 5th, where we can catch our train.

A truly great way to celebrate Earth Day!

A Cypriot Feast

April 15th, 2007

Last night, I visited one of my favorite restaurants in Astoria: Zenon Taverna. Located on 31st Avenue, Zenon serves delicious Cypriot and Greek food in a warm atmosphere. I first learned of the place through a friend, who had dated a Cypriot boyfriend in college, who had introduced her to the place. I fell in love with the restaurant from my first visit.

At Zenon, you can order one of several meals, which involve a whole selection of cold and hot dishes. I’ve always ordered the Vegetarian Meal, which includes a variety of tasty dips, salads, grilled vegetables, and (of course) haloumi. I love being able to eat a little of a lot of different things. It just seems to be the best way to eat. As my sister used to say, when she was little, “the chicken room is full, but the dessert room is empty”. Well, too much of one thing is just too filling for me. But this eating style is perfect.

I’d been craving this restaurant for a while, when a friend and former Astorian suggested we go out last night. So we met up at Zenon and it was everything I hoped it would be. My friend was amazed at the amount of dishes included in one meal. As dish upon dish was brought to our table, we tried to maintain a slow eating pace as the menu suggests. Everything was delicious and the price for the full meal came out to a mere $25 each.

With a contented, satisfied feeling, I looked around at the (slightly cheesy) paintings of Cypress on the walls and thought that I must go to Cypress soon. Any place with such good notions on food is definitely worth a visit.

Do You know the Dumpling Man?

March 24th, 2007

Last night, I tried a place I’d often passed, but never sampled: Dumpling Man. Located in the East Village, this place has always intrigued me with its eye-catching, adorable dumpling icon. On our way to the Public Theater to see King Lear, we wanted a quick bite to eat and Dumpling Man was perfect.

The menu is not terribly extensive. They serve veggie, pork, chicken, and pumpkin dumplings, steamed or seared. We got veggie for me, pork for Ben, and pumpkin to share. When I first took a bite of the veggie dumplings, I thought they had given me beef. I spit it out and Ben asked if they had confused our order. It turns out it was “wheat protein”. Good for you, I suppose, though I was not a huge fan. Just not what I was expecting.

The pumpkin dumplings were covered in honey and very sweet and delicious. Although it was all so filling, it was up to Ben to finish most of it.

We watched one of the women working with the dough to make the dumplings, all done in view of the diners. Very cool. Definitely a fun place for a quick bite!

Family Dinner on Sunday Afternoon

March 22nd, 2007

It was my birthday last week, so yesterday my parents, my sister, her husband, and Ben’s parents all came into Astoria to have an early dinner with Ben and me. At Ben’s suggestion, we decided to go to Trattoria L’Incontro, the best Italian restaurant in the city according Michael Halberion, former owner of the Steinway Mansion.

The restaurant is located just a block from the subway. Of course on Sunday, this block was full of treacherous icy pools and slippery slush, which I’m sure the parents enjoyed walking through. The entrance is odd, since there is an entrance on Ditmars, but not open to the public and then there’s the main entrance on 31st. The interior is lovely, forsynthias greet you as you walk in. The place has high ceilings and walls with large paintings of the Italian country-side.

We all sat down to a comfortable table. The restaurant was fairly crowded for a Sunday afternoon. The waiter came over to tell us the specials and, to our surprise, it took nearly ten minutes for him to do so. I couldn’t pay attention after a while. But the menu itself had many delicious sounding pastas and salads to choose from.

I ordered a goat cheese salad in a raspberry vinagrette and a pasta with basil and tomato. We spent the dinner talking about childhood plays and family memories. The food was delicious, but filling. I barely finished half my meal!

We strolled past Freeze Peach on the way home and picked up some tasty Chai to drink with the cake that my mother had baked. We all came back to our cozy apartment, and enjoyed the cake and the company. It ended up being the perfect family Sunday dinner.