Tag Archives: 50th Anniversary

Officials announce events to mark World’s Fair anniversary


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

The “world’s borough” is ready for its six-month-long anniversary party.

Officials unveiled a long lineup of Queens events and cultural exhibits Friday to celebrate the 50th and 75th anniversaries of the 1964 and 1939 World’s Fairs held in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

Festivities begin in April and include 50-cent rides on the historic carousel and a rare tour of the iconic New York State Pavilion.

“Both [fairs] were seminal events that had wide impacts locally, nationally and internationally,” Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said. “As borough president, there isn’t anybody I speak to about the World’s Fair that doesn’t have a story about it.”

An official opening ceremony will take place at the Pavilion April 22. Visitors will be given a rare chance to slap on hard hats and tour the fair icon.

Revelers in the borough can also visit the park, near the Unisphere, May 18 for a full day of festivities and the Queens Museum for a peek into Andy Warhol’s controversial project, which was painted over before the 1964 fair’s opening day.

“With these anniversary events, we will take a look back at the fairs and a look forward to the future of Flushing Meadows – the world’s park and Queens’ backyard,” said Liam Kavanagh, the Parks Department’s first deputy commissioner.

For a full list of borough-wide events, click here.

 

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BP Katz commemorates Beatles anniversary


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Borough President Melinda Katz appeared on the “Jim Kerr Rock ‘n Roll Morning Show” on Q104.3 Friday to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first visit to America.

It was 50 years ago today when the flight carrying the “Fab  Four”  to the U.S. arrived at John F.  Kennedy Airport, where they were greeted by thousands of screaming fans and a huge throng of reporters who came to the airport for the Beatles’ first U.S. press conference.

Since that day the borough of Queens has played host to several other major Beatles events, including their August 1964 concerts at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills and their 1965 and 1966 shows at Shea Stadium (with the sold out 1965 show being the first concert ever to be performed in a major sports stadium).

In recent years Sir Paul McCartney has made several trips to Queens for performances at Shea Stadium and Citi Field, and visited the Frank Sinatra School for the Arts in Astoria this fall, where he performed for and took questions from students.

During her radio appearance, the Borough President presented host Jim Kerr with a proclamation that notes all those important Beatles events. and pays tribute to the band for the great joy and excitement it has brought to people throughout the world.

“Beginning with their arrival in the U.S. during the dark days after the assassination John F. Kennedy, The Beatles have had a profound positive impact on our nation and have brightened the lives of countless millions of people,” Katz said. “As Borough President and as a lifelong Queens resident, I am proud that our borough has played such an important role in Beatles history. Thank you to Jim Kerr and everyone at Q104.3 for inviting me to their station to help mark today’s anniversary.”

 

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Banner Day returns, brings out the fans


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

banner day

Wearing a sparking golden crown and wielding a play horse, 1971 Banner Day winner Debby Brandon stood in line on the outskirts of Citi Field for the event’s return.

The contest, which was halted in 1996 but revived this year for the team’s 50th anniversary, featured more than 300 Mets fans parading around Citi Field with signs of their love and commitment to the team.

Brandon, 53, was devastated when the event was halted, but rejoiced in its return on Sunday, May 27.

“We’re thrilled,” Brandon, a resident of Middle Village, said. “We used to enter all the time.”

She entered the contest this year with a theme based on the Triple Crown, referring to the possibility of the Mets winning a third World Series title this year.

The event brought back memories of when she won Banner Day when she was just 12 years old.

Back then, Brandon dressed up in a handmade Mr. Met costume with her friend, who sported a Statue of Liberty outfit.

As they walked across the diamond, Brandon held a banner which read in colorful, bubble print “Even the Lady is a Mets fan,” while her friend held one that said “Come on baby light my fire,” – in reference to the popular song by “The Doors.”

The contest judges loved the idea and the girls won a trip to Puerto Rico.

They took one more person with them on the trip, Lynn Rapkiewicz, Brandon’s sister and the inventor of the idea.

“It was a good idea,” Rapkiewicz said. “We’re real New Yorkers and the whole idea was the Statue of Liberty represents all of New York, and to us New York is always the New York Mets.”

For the return of Banner Day the sisters attempted to win top prize again while also passing down the tradition.

Rapkiewicz, 63, thought of a similar idea for her grandchildren, Danny and Samantha Hodurski. Because the event ran on Memorial Day Weekend, Danny, 9, dressed up as Uncle Sam and Samantha, 7, wore the Lady Liberty costume.

“Baseball is all about tradition,” Rapkiewicz said. “It was rewarding for me to see my grandchildren become part of the next generation of Mets fans.”

The kids held a banner that said “I want to yell ‘yippie’ for the next 50 years.”

Although it did not win the top prize, when the youngsters walked the warning track on Citi Field, fans yelled “yippie” in response.

Fans reminisced and traded similar stories as they waited for the competition to start.

Mary and Roger Bow, a husband and wife pair from Bayside, entered Banner Day in 1984 when they were just high school friends.

Two years later they married and more than a decade after that they had a child.

Now the entire family, including son Andy, now 14, participated in the contest with a revamped version of the couple’s original banner – a Mets influenced rendering of the famous picture of soldiers planting the American flag after World War II.

“This is so exciting,” Andy said “I love how my parents have been doing this since they were so young and how I get to be a part of it.”

Banner Day participants were so happy with the return that they wished the event would come to stay.

“I think it’s a great thing,” Rapkiewicz said. “The Mets, I think more than anybody, have been about the fans. To have them bring this back is great.”

Mets celebrate 50th anniversary with $2.50 tickets


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Citi Field

For about the price of a ride on the 7 train, Mets fans can head to Citi Field to watch the Mets take on the Washington Nationals on Wednesday afternoon.

The Mets are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their inaugural game on April 11 with 1962 ticket prices. Tickets in Citi Field’s Promenade Reserve cost just $2.50 for the matinee.

On April 11, 1962 the Mets’ Roger Craig faced off against Larry Jackson of the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium in the team’s first game with New York losing 11-4.

Though the prices are the same, the outcomes have been very different for the 50th anniversary edition of the team. While the 1962 Mets opened the season with nine losses, this year’s team has sped out of the box with three wins over their rival, the Atlanta Braves.

During the Mets inaugural season reserved tickets at the Polo Grounds, the team’s home during their first two seasons, were $2.50 — which after inflation comes to about $19 in present day dollars.

Wednesday’s tickets may be $2.50, but the pitching match-up is priceless. Mets ace Johan Santana is set to face Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg. Though each pitcher is coming off a lost 2011 season — Santana missed the whole season, while Strasburg returned in September — they opened the season pitching to their reputation as aces. Strasburg tossed seven innings of one-run ball, while Santana held the Braves scoreless over five.

Fans can purchase tickets online at Mets.com/MetsBirthday or at the Citi Field ticket windows next to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.

Tickets must be purchased in advance and are going fast, more than three tickets are not available together in the $2.50 section.

 

Fifty years of Amazin’


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Mets 50th Anniversary Logo - FINALw

The New York Mets are commemorating their golden anniversary in Amazin’ fashion.

In honor of their 50th season, the Mets, who played their first game on April 11, 1962, are initiating an array of tributes, including a new, celebratory logo.

Third baseman David Wright, first baseman Ike Davis and outfielder Lucas Duda were joined by six season ticket holders from the club’s inaugural season to introduce the changes on November 16.

The 50th anniversary logo integrates the same fundamental elements of the team’s classic blue and orange skyline symbol, with accents of gold to celebrate the milestone. The patch will be positioned in place of the current logo, on the left sleeve of team jerseys, as well as on the back of blue game caps.

The Mets will also don different uniforms, with blue pinstripe or white being worn at home and grey on the road, reflective of the jerseys the club wore in its inaugural season. The primary home uniform will be the pinstripe, paired with the blue caps, and white and black alternates will be worn only on select dates. The black dropshadow will also be removed from the Mets script logo, letters and numbers.

One of the Mets’ favorite pastimes, Banner Day, is also returning. Banner Day, which began in 1963, will have a unique 50th anniversary theme, complete with fans parading around the warning track holding signs representing their favorite memories from the team’s history.

Each decade of Mets history will be celebrated throughout the upcoming season with a series of alumni bobblehead giveaways, commencing in April with Mets legend and Hall of Famer Tom Seaver. Other promotional giveaways will include 50th anniversary logo caps, T-shirts and collectibles. One fortunate fan at each home game will also receive an authentic No. 50 jersey, embroidered with the name “FANTASTIC.”

To show reverence to the team’s past, the Mets Alumni Association presented by Citi will also make several appearances throughout the season, and new exhibits highlighting Mets 50th Anniversary artifacts will be featured in the Mets Hall of Fame & Museum in time for Opening Day on April 5.

To get information about the Mets’ plans for their golden anniversary, fans can visit the newly-launched Mets50.com web site. Visitors will be encouraged to share photos of their favorite Mets memories to enter the “FANtastic at 50” sweepstakes and win a pair of 2012 Mets season tickets. Other website features include an interactive timeline detailing significant and influential moments in Mets history and archival footage from the past half century.

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 11/17/2011: Top fund-raiser for Comptroller Liu charged with funneling sham donations


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Activist Patricia Dolan killed crossing Hillside Avenue

Patricia Dolan, longtime Community Board 8 member, president of the Queens Civic Congress, Kew Gardens Hills Civic Association and the founder of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Conservancy, was struck and killed as she crossed Hillside Avenue on Tuesday, November 15. Police say Dolan, 72, was crossing the thoroughfare near 198th Street — on her way to a CB 8 Transportation Committee meeting — when she was struck by a 1998 Nissan sedan driven by an unidentified 57-year-old woman.  EMS responded to the scene and took Dolan to Jamaica Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Read More: Queens Courier

David Wright expects to stick around with NY Mets for 2012 MLB season

David Wright joined Ike Davis and Lucas Duda for a press conference to announce some of the Mets’ plans for their landmark season, which includes the return of Banner Day and, in April, a Tom Seaver bobblehead day. Davis and Duda both pronounced themselves fit from the injuries that affected them last season — Davis’ ankle is “full-go right now” and Duda is over his concussion. Read More: Daily News

Fairway supermarket opens in Douglaston

Foul weather did not dampen the excitement on the lines of eager customers awaiting the grand opening of the long-anticipated Fairway Market. “It’s been so long since we had a nice, big [food] store like this,” said Doris Mayne of Douglaston.  “It’s about time.” Customers lined up over an hour before the doors first opened, anxiously awaiting the store that has been over two years in the making. Read More: Queens Courier

Politicians Push For Expansion Of Good Samaritan Law At Queens Anti-Crime Rally

Elected officials in Queens are calling on residents to come together to stop crime. In the wake of an attack on a young girl and several robberies, local politicians attended an anti-crime rally Wednesday in Astoria. They spoke about legislation, including expanding a Good Samaritan law to businesses. Read More: NY1

Romanian duo sent to prison for thefts using doctored Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards

Two Romanians in the U.S. on journalism visas were tossed in prison for up to three years Wednesday for starring in a true-crime story of theft by way of doctored Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards. Daniel Gheorghe and Ionel Cristian Popa, both 33, were convicted of re-encoding the gift cards with stolen bank account information and then using them to withdraw almost $18,000 from a JPMorgan Chase bank in Queens. Read More: Daily News

Noise abatement equipment muffles ear-splitting MTA fan in Hunters Point 

Silence is golden for noise-addled residents of Hunters Point. Noise abatement equipment recently placed on a large fan that exhausts fumes from a nearby subway tunnel has muffled its ear-splitting racket, according to state Sen. Michael Gianaris. Read More: Queens Courier

Top fund-raiser for Comptroller Liu charged with funneling sham donations

A top fund-raiser for Comptroller John Liu was busted by the feds yesterday for allegedly providing the city’s chief fiscal officer with thousands of dollars in sham donations in order to evade campaign-finance laws. The charges against Xing Wu “Oliver” Pan yesterday delivered a devastating blow to Liu’s ambitions of running for mayor in 2013, and have raised questions about his role as the city’s top fiscal officer. Read More: New York Post

Drugs hidden in innocent flier’s luggage

A former Yankee Stadium security guard lost his job, went through a humiliating full-body strip search and faced the threat of spending the rest of his life in jail — all because someone planted two bricks of cocaine in his luggage. Roger Levans, 56, of South Ozone Park, Queens, said the cascade of horrors began Dec. 29, 2010, after he got off his Delta Air Lines flight from Guyana, where he’d been visiting family for Christmas — and didn’t end until March, when the US Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn finally dropped its bombshell drug charges. Read More: New York Post