Tag Archives: Astoria

Modern Spaces set to open new Astoria office in October


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Logo courtesy of Modern Spaces  

Modern Spaces is now batting six for six in the retail estate office game.

The firm, which Eric Benaim launched in Long Island City in 2008, announced Monday that it is opening its sixth location in six years and its second in Astoria in October, hoping to hit a home run with the area as it did with its original neighborhood.

In a recent interview with The Courier, Benaim said he sees tons of potential in Astoria, which has already begun to see an influx of new development, and is why the neighborhood was chosen for the new office at 34-16 30th Ave.

“We are very happy to expand our Astoria reach with this new office, and are proud to be part of this community,” Benaim said. “The timing is opportune for us, as we have three new projects in Astoria that will be hitting the market early next year.”

The new office will be about 2,000 square feet and will house 25 agents. It will also have an outdoor garden space for events.

Lifelong Astoria resident Greg Kyroglou, who is the current managing director of the first Astoria location at 29-20 23rd Ave., has been promoted to managing director of the new office. He will also run the original Astoria location as well.

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Top 10 places to watch football in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

BY ECLEEN CARABALLO, ASHA MAHADEVAN AND CRISTABELLE TUMOLA

If you grow tired of watching the football games from your couch this season, there are plenty of bars in Queens that offer bigger TVs, fellow fans and an array of drink and beer specials to accompany the touchdowns.

Austin’s Steak and Ale House
82-70 Austin St., Kew Gardens
718-849-3939
austinsteakandalehouse.com

Photo courtesy of Austin's Ale House

Photo courtesy of Austin’s Ale House

Austin’s Ale House will be screening all of the games this football season on their 50-odd TV screens. In one of the rooms, they have TVs at the table. There is a 30-cent wing special all day on Sundays. Customers can also enjoy a Sunday brunch for $16.95 while watching the games, as well as 20 beers on draft and 50 beers in bottles.

Bar43
43-06 43rd St., Sunnyside
718-361-3090
bar43.com

For one, it has a sports bar with 10 TVs. Bar43 shows the games on all the days, and is offering specials on a mango fuel cocktail ($5) and high-water melon beer ($4).

Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden
29-19 24th Ave., Astoria
718-274-4925
bohemianhall.com

Bohemian Hall 3

Photo courtesy of Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden

There is happy hour between 5 and 7 p.m. every day, during which there are $4 mugs of craft beer. You can watch football games on the TV sets installed all over the garden. Sounds perfect? Ah, there is a catch. Bohemian Hall won’t have every game on, just the ones that are on local channels or ESPN.

Break Bar and Billiards
32-04b Broadway, Astoria
718-777-5400
break-ny.com

Photo courtesy of Break Bar and Billiards

Photo courtesy of Break Bar and Billiards

Break Bar and Billiards is showing all the games on 16 big-screen TVs and one 105-inch projector. Specials during the games are wings for $4.50 and beer towers (100 oz.) for $20. Happy hour is seven days a week, even when there is no game on.

Buffalo Wild Wings
107-16 71st Ave., Forest Hills
718-544-9453
buffalowildwings.com

Manager George Criskos of the Buffalo Wild Wings in Forest Hills claims that it has the best chicken wings. But he says that’s only the beginning. With 95 televisions and two 14-foot projectors, you can watch the game from every angle and drink one of its 30 draft beers or 26 bottled beers while you’re at it.

Hooters of Fresh Meadows
61-09 190th St., Fresh Meadows
718-454-2800
facebook.com/hootersoffreshmeadows

THE COURIER/File photo

THE COURIER/File photo

As football season kicks off, the manager prepares by filling Hooters with jerseys that the restaurant will be giving away. The team at Hooters believes its locale is the best place to go during football season because it roots for every team, and gives back to those who come visit with prizes from jerseys to tickets to games.

Katch Astoria
31-19 Newtown Ave., Astoria
718-777-2230
katchastoria.com

Photo courtesy of Katch Brewery & Grill

Photo courtesy of Katch Brewery & Grill

Tino Tsutras, general manager, describes Katch Astoria, as a “sports capable bar,” with its 63 TVs, 50 craft beers on tap and entirely handmade menu created from nothing frozen. During Sunday and Monday football there are 60-cent wing and $5 Brooklyn Brewery beer specials. Thursday is ladies’ night, with 50 percent off on sangria, house liquor, wine and Prosecco. Katch has every sporting event offered by satellite TV.

Miller’s Ale House at Rego Park
61-35 Junction Blvd., Rego Park
718-760-1090
millersalehouse.com

Photo courtesy of millersalehouse.com

Photo courtesy of millersalehouse.com

Miller’s Ale House has 70 TVs showing the games through 20 separate satellites. No blackouts, it says. You can watch every single game on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays. It has bucket specials (5 for $10), bottle specials (a pint of Bud Light for $2.75 and pitchers of Corona Light for $7) and food specials.

O’Neill’s Maspeth
64-21 53rd Dr., Maspeth
718-672-9696
oneillsmaspeth.com

THE COURIER/File photo

THE COURIER/File photo

With more than 50 TVs and surround sound, O’Neill’s wants to make you feel like you are at the game. Every day during football season, it’s offering $3 pints and $12 pitchers of Coors Light, Miller Lite and Pabst Blue Ribbon, $4 pints and $14 pitchers of Corona Light, and $3 sangria. On Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays there are Coors Light beer tubes with 10 wings of your choice for $25 as well as 5 for $15 Coors Light buckets and 5 for $20 Corona buckets. Thursday is ladies’ night with buy-one-get-one-free well drinks. On select weeks, Miller Lite, Coors Light and Corona reps come in and hold giveaways and raffles during the games. Grill rooms have personal TVs at each booth, and there are projectors in each of the catering rooms for private parties.

The Garden at Studio Square NYC
35-33 36th St., Astoria
718-383-1001
www.studiosquarebeergarden.com

File photo

File photo

The Garden is known for its 9-by-16-foot high definition video wall and its space, which fits more than 2,000 people in the garden. Chief Marketing Officer Pete Mason also proudly mentioned that it won “the ESPN ultimate sports bar challenge in NY for 2014,” and that “if you can’t be there at the stadium, this is the next best thing.”

What are your favorite places to watch football in Queens? Let us know by commenting below.

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Astoria Cove developers pay $43.5 million for remaining land


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of STUDIO V Architecture

Astoria Cove developers recently finalized the sale for the final bits of the land designated for the mega project, although they have yet to win any steps in the project’s land use case.

In the transaction, 2030 Astoria Developers LLC, the group behind the 2.2-million-square-foot project, bought four lots from Superior Steel Studs Inc. for $40.02 million, according to city records filed on Monday. The lots’ addresses are 8-51, 8-01, 4-55 and 4-57 26th Ave.

An additional lot on 4-34 26th Avenue was bought for $3.48 million from Rayan Realty Corp., according to city records.

The developers now own all properties associated with the project, according to Howard Weiss of Davidoff Hutcher & Citron, which represents the team of developers led by Queens-based Alma Realty.

However, the project still has to clear its Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) case. The City Planning Commission plans to hold a meeting on Sept. 29 about its decision on the proposal. Weiss said they are confident they’ll receive the commission’s blessing.

“I believe the City Planning Commission will approve the project as proposed with respect to the affordable housing and with respect to all the [aspects] of the Astoria Cove project,” Weiss said. “The reason why I feel confident is because the Astoria Cove project is consistent with the mayor’s housing plan.”

But most opponents of the development are hoping to see a change in the affordable housing part of the proposal.

Various coalition members and residents testified against the development in a City Planning Commission public hearing in August, calling for the project to include at least 50 percent affordable housing, while developers are proposing 345 units or 20 percent of the 1,723 dwellings.

In their recommendations to deny the project, both Community Board 1 and Borough President Melinda Katz also suggested that the developers increase the units for affordable housing.

Astoria Cove is expected to consist of five buildings, three on the waterfront ranging from 26 to 32 stories and two on the upland portion of the site, including a six-story residential building.

The project, which is anticipated to take more than 10 years to complete in four different phases, will also include about 84,000 square feet of publicly accessible open space.

Following the commission’s decision, the proposal will go to the City Council.

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Mexican restaurant Tacuba opens in Astoria


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Tacuba

Mexican-style restaurant Tacuba Cantina Mexicana, opened Tuesday in Astoria—just in time for Mexico’s Independence Day.

The restaurant, located at 35-01 36th St., is the seventh eatery for chef Julian Medina and partners Louis Skibar and Brian Sobhan, and their first outside of Manhattan.

Tacuba, named for a section in Mexico City, is a cantina-style restaurant that features a 3,400-square-foot dining room with custom-made Mexican lanterns, reclaimed wood, lights strung overhead, spacious booths and a bar.

The restaurant’s menu includes Mexican favorites such as tacos with homemade corn tortillas, various flavors of empanadas, guacamole and peruano, to name a few dishes. Take a look at more of the menu at We Heart Astoria.

Since cantina-style restaurants are known for having a lively bar scene, Tacuba offers an abundance of tequilas, mezcals, margaritas and cocktails.

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First Queens Art Intervention Day to offer interactive projects throughout borough


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos by RPGA Studios

Communities throughout Queens are set for an artistic intervention, looking to inspire, educate and empower residents and feed the pulse of the borough.

The nonprofit studio Rego Park Green Alliance, which uses creative methods to address community issues, will host the first Queens Art Intervention Day on Sept. 27 throughout the borough from Long Island City to the Rockaways.

“We see something that we are not happy with and we try to think about how we can fix it in a creative way,” said Yvonne Shortt, who started the studio and is currently the executive director.

The day-long event, which has a rain date for Oct. 4, will feature a total of 30 projects including murals, art installations, performance pieces, hands-on programs, and many more creative activities taking place outdoors in Astoria, LIC, Kew Gardens, Elmhurst, Rego Park, Forest Hills, Jackson Heights, Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Laurelton, Corona, Whitestone and the Rockaways.

QAIposter6

“We want our borough to be seen as a place that people want to come and do interesting things,” Shortt said. “We hope this will help Queens continue to grow and continue to thrive and not just have one spot thought of as artistic and creative.”

According to Shortt, along with being visually appealing, the pieces will also serve to bring about change and to get community members thinking about certain issues.

For example, posters for one project called “Stat Girl” depict a super hero displaying statistics on traffic accidents that have occurred on Queens Boulevard in the past two years. The posters will be put up all day down the thoroughfare.

stat girl photo by RPGA Studios

“We would love for people to stop and engage,” Shortt said. “It’s really about the communities themselves to find some inspiration and advocate for better communities.”

Shortt said that although there were over 160 submissions this year, funding, provided solely by Shortt, only allowed for 25 projects to be part of the event. In the future, she hopes to expand the event to more days and many more communities in the borough.

“There’s an active pulse throughout the borough of Queens and I’m very excited to help it move forward. I feel that if you have ideas and are willing to push it forward, that Queens is a very inviting borough.” Shortt said. “We’re showing the vitality of Queens.”

For more information and the full list of projects for Queens Art Intervention Day, click here.

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‘The Blacklist’ films bank robbery scene in Astoria


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Asha Mahadevan

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN 

The Sun City Bank came into existence in Astoria on Monday morning and then was robbed a few minutes later. If you missed all the action, don’t fret. Cameras across the street caught it all and you can watch it on “The Blacklist,” the hit NBC fictional crime show.

As season 2 of “The Blacklist” is set to premiere on Sept. 22, the cast and crew were hard at work in Astoria filming a bank robbery scene for the season’s fourth episode.

The series, which started last year, follows Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington (James Spader), one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives, who helps the Bureau nab criminals they didn’t know existed. His partner in this adventure is Agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone). Season 1 ended with this partnership breaking up and the task force on the verge of dissolution with its head Harold Cooper (Harry Lennix) on life support in a hospital.

On Sept. 15, Sun City Bank was the temporary name given to the First Central Savings Bank on 30th Avenue and 35th Street. The crew filled up the sidewalks across the bank with their cameras and recording equipment. Pedestrians were rerouted away as extras were urged to walk past the bank within camera range.

_3Blacklist

According to fliers posted by Woodbridge Productions Inc., the company producing the show, filming at this location is expected to continue until 9 p.m. The fliers also said the scene is expected to involve bulb flashes, bloodied actors, actors in police uniform and intermittent traffic control.

_2Blacklist

Interior scenes for the series were also being filmed on 36th Street between 30th and 31st avenues.

The actors shooting at the Astoria location, however, did not star in the first season, according to sources on the set. The second season has 22 episodes and filming will go on until May.

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Q&A: Modern Spaces CEO explains real estate in LIC


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Donna Dotan Photography Inc.

Eric Benaim founded real estate firm Modern Spaces in Long Island City in 2008, and within a handful of years led the explosion of residential interest in the neighborhood. Over the years, he expanded the company from LIC to Astoria, Manhattan and Brooklyn, and recently, Modern Spaces announced the launching of its commercial and investment property division, tapping into another side of the market.

In a question-and-answer session with The Courier, Benaim explained the current status of real estate in Long Island City and the transformation of the neighborhood.

Courier: How did you get inspired to start working in Long Island City?

Benaim: I guess I was always a Queens boy, and I started focusing in LIC back in 2005. I was a broker focusing mostly in Manhattan and at the time there were pretty much no brokers in the neighborhood over here, so I figured I would try to make this my niche. Just walking around you see the views of Manhattan, you see there’s a lot of potential over here and I stuck with it, and obviously it paid off. The neighborhood has changed dramatically since 2005.

Courier: Did you really think it [the transformation of LIC] would happen so quickly?

Benaim: No. Literally, from my window I see cranes everywhere, and it’s just crazy to see my skyline changing every day.

Courier: What is the real estate market in LIC like now?

Benaim: There is a lot of development. There was not that many condos being developed over the last couple of years, but condos are about to come back strong. We are seeing a lot of condo projects that are going to be coming online probably by first and second quarter of next year. And in regards to rental projects, a lot developers are doing stuff now whereas before it was predominately TF Cornerstone and Rockrose. now you are seeing a lot of big developers coming into the neighborhood that were never here before.

Courier: Why do you think there is a switch from rentals to condos?

Benaim: Because land prices have gone up a lot and when land prices go up so much it just doesn’t make sense to do a rental because the return on your investment does not really pay out. So it just makes more sense financially to do a condo rather than a rental. Rental projects that are coming along, these are projects sites that were acquired probably a year or more ago when land prices were a little more affordable than they are now.

Courier: Is LIC already a successful live, work and play community?

Benaim: I think [live, work, and play] has been established here. I remember when I first started showing clients around the neighborhood, there really wasn’t anything here. Not even a supermarket. Now we have three supermarkets already, and a fourth is opening up at the LINC, the Rockrose project in Court Square. There are a whole lot of restaurants— you know, restaurants open up here every week and now we are seeing more and more boutiques and stores opening up. Pretty much everything you need is here now. And regarding play, so we do have the bars and the night life now and LIC is a huge cultural destination. We have the LIC Arts Open, the Taste of LIC, MoMA PS1, the Chocolate Factory Theater and the LIC Flea. So there’s really a lot to do as well.

Courier: What has spurred you to go into the commercial side?

Benaim: We’ve done a little commercial these past few years, mostly like retail leasing. But a lot of our clients, whether it’s landlords who we’re doing their rentals for in walk-ups or if it’s a developer who we’re marketing their building or working with them, they never really came to us in the past, because they knew us as being residential brokers. So it was kind of like business that we lost out on. And it just seemed like the right time. Queens as a whole is in the spotlight right now and there’s not really a commercial company that can offer commercial services but still insight in the residential market.

Courier: What is the next neighborhood that has potential?

Benaim: We do see a lot of potential in Astoria, and other areas like Woodside, Sunnyside, Flushing and areas like Rego Park, where we just opened up a building called The Rego Modern. We rented 10 in the first open house [at The Rego Modern] and for high prices also, which they weren’t used to seeing. So that just shows that there is a lot of interest in Queens. Being a Queens boy myself it’s just nice to see that Queens is getting the spotlight that Brooklyn had stolen from us.

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Free event offers behind-the-scenes look at moviemaking in Astoria


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Pat Alvarado/Museum of the Moving Image

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

Forget LA — get a behind-the-scenes look at film production right here in Queens. The Museum of the Moving Image, Theatrical Teamsters Local 817 and Kaufman Astoria Studios is once again hosting New York on Location. The free, one-day event, scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 21 at the Kaufman Astoria Studios backlot, will showcase up to 20 working movie trailers and trucks for the public to visit and include movie professionals that visitors can talk to about what goes into making a film. Visitors can also get a close look at stars’ dressing rooms, cameras, props, costumes and special effects machines.

“New York on Location is a fun and engaging way for families and kids to experience what goes on behind-the-scenes of their favorite movies and television shows and meet the people who make them possible,” said Hal Rosenbluth, president of Kaufman Astoria Studios.

There will be professional demonstrations revolving around the moviemaking process. They will include stunt performers from films such as “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “Dark Knight Rises,” showing visitors how to survive a high fall or a street fight, makeup artists and hair stylists on how to fake bruises, and special effects professionals on how to create rain or snow. Visitors can buy food from Treat Trucks, the vendors who supply food to movie sets, and use the Honey Wagons, which are restrooms that are usually reserved for the stars.

“New Yorkers have grown accustomed to seeing movie trailers and trucks in their neighborhoods. New York on Location will allow them to step inside and talk to the dedicated and talented men and women who work behind the scenes in the film industry; and showcasing the work is at the core of the museum’s mission,” said Carl Goodman, executive director of the Museum of the Moving Image.

During the event, all the galleries of the museum will be open to the public for free.

New York on Location will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 21, on the Kaufman Astoria Studios backlot, at 36th Street between 34 and 35 avenues, and its surrounding streets. The Museum of the Moving Image is located at 36-01 35th Ave. in Astoria. A rain date for the event is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 28.

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Stavisky, Markey, Sanders win primary


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

File photos

Three incumbent Queens elected officials have easily taken the win in the Democratic primary.

State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, who was first elected to the state Senate in 1999 and is the only female member of the state Senate from Queens, won the race with 4,981 votes, holding onto 57.3 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results.

The Forest Hills resident ran against S.J. Jung, a Flushing resident, activist and president of the MinKwon Center for Community Action.

Assemblywoman Margaret Markey also won the primary with 1,880 votes and 75.2 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results. She has represented the 30th Assembly District, comprised of Maspeth, Woodside and parts of Long Island City, Middle Village, Astoria and Sunnyside, since 1998.

In the race for the 10th District, state Sen. James Sanders Jr., who was elected in 2012, took the win with 5,898 votes and 74.5 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results.

Photo via Twitter/@tobystavisky

Photo via Twitter/@tobystavisky

In other statewide elections, incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo easily defeated his two competitors at 61.7 percent with 93.2 percent of the precincts reporting, according to unofficial results. His running mate, lieutenant governor candidate Kathy Hochul, also took the win with 59.7 percent of the votes. 

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New legislation to protect Astoria school from ‘disruptive’ subway noise


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos by Angy Altamirano

Members of one Astoria school, located about 50 feet away from a subway platform, are hoping a new proposed bill will help bring “peaceful learning.”

The community at P.S. 85 is met daily with noise problems caused by the N and Q elevated subway line, which shakes windows and disrupts lessons, according to parents and teachers. 

Looking to bring a stop to the noise pollution, U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley announced on Monday the Peaceful Learning Act of 2014, new legislation that would require the formation of a program to lessen railway noise levels that “negatively impact” public schools in the city. 

“As another school year begins, it is unconscionable that so many children whose schools are located near elevated trains are forced to learn under these adverse conditions,” said Crowley. “If we are serious about helping our children reach their full potential, providing an adequate and peaceful learning environment is priority number one.” 

During the morning announcement, speakers were interrupted by trains passing by in front of the school. Teachers, parents and elected officials held up two fingers, a gesture used daily to pause school lectures every time a train passes.

During rush hour trains pass by every two minutes and during normal hours, every five minutes, according to officials.

The proposed federal bill will direct the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study on the impact of the subway noise on schools, determine acceptable ideas and evaluate the usefulness of noise reduction programs, according to the congressman.

Then schools that would be considered subject to unacceptable noise levels will be qualified to receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, together with local matching funds, to build barriers or acoustical shielding to soundproof the sites.

Last December, the P.S. 85 community and elected officials rallied to call on the MTA and Department of Education to help alleviate the noise problems.

“This cannot go on any longer. This school has been here for over a hundred years, trains came after, and the school has adjusted,” said Evie Hantzopoulos, vice president of the parent association at P.S. 85. “Our kids go with it, our teachers go with it. And we all know we shouldn’t get used to things that are bad for you.”

Rebecca Bratspies, who is director of the City University of New York School of Law Center for Urban Environmental Reform and also the parent of a third grader at P.S. 85, said last fall she and another parent, Eric Black, recorded a video from inside the classroom to show the level of noise students face. 

While they recorded, the parents measured the noise level in the classroom to be 90 decibels, almost double the normal standard. 

“[The children] come here every day trying hard to learn. They do their best,” said Bratspies. “Now we have to do our best.”

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Plans filed for 28-unit mixed-use residential building in Astoria


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Plans for a new six-story mixed-use residential and commercial building in Astoria were filed with the Department of Buildings on Thursday.

There will be 28 apartments in the building and 17 enclosed parking spaces on the lot at 26-05 28th St., which is currently vacant land, according to the filings.

The building, designed by Karl Fischer Architect, will have 20,578 square feet of residential space and an additional 4,355 square feet of space for commercial use.

The block is filled with residential apartments, and just a few properties down on 26-25 28th St., another residential apartment building with nearly 30 units looks to be nearing completion. However, it was recently hit with a partial stop work order.

26-25

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Health Department to treat parts of Queens against West Nile


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYC Department of Health

On Monday, Sept. 8, there will be West Nile spraying in parts of Queens to help reduce the mosquito population and the risk of the disease.

The spraying will take place between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next morning. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Tuesday, Sept. 9 during the same hours.

The following neighborhoods are being treated due to rising West Nile virus activity with high mosquito populations, according to the city’s Health Department:

Parts of Auburndale, Flushing, Fresh Meadows, Murray Hill Pomonok, and Queensboro Hill (Bordered by 46th Avenue, Holly Avenue and Kissena Boulevard to the north; Main Street and Elder Avenue to west; Long Island Expressway to the south; and Hollis Court Boulevard to the east).

Parts of Astoria, Jackson Heights, Steinway and Woodside (Bordered by 19th Avenue and 81st Street to the north; 45th Street to the west; 25th Avenue and Brooklyn-Queens Expressway West to the south; and Brooklyn-Queens Expressway East, 25th Avenue, 77th Street and Grand Central Parkway to the east).

WNV2

For the application, the Health Department will spray pesticide from trucks and use a very low concentration of Anvil®, 10 + 10, a synthetic pesticide. When properly used, this product poses no significant risks to human health.

The Health Department recommends that people take the following precautions to minimize direct exposure:

  • Whenever possible, stay indoors during spraying. People with asthma or other respiratory conditions  are encouraged to stay inside during spraying since direct exposure could worsen these conditions.
  • Air conditioners may remain on, however, if you wish to reduce the possibility of indoor exposure to pesticides, set the air conditioner vent to the closed position, or choose the re-circulate function.
  •  Remove children’s toys, outdoor equipment, and clothes from outdoor areas during spraying. If  outdoor equipment and toys are exposed to pesticides, wash them with soap and water before using  again.
  • Wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticides with soap and water. Always wash your produce thoroughly with water before cooking or eating.

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Suspects stole liquor from Bohemian Hall Beer Garden: police


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Cops are searching for three suspects who swiped several bottles of liquor from Astoria‘s Bohemian Hall Beer Garden earlier this week.

On Tuesday, around 2:30 a.m., two of the suspects jumped the fence of the beer garden, at 29-19 24th Ave., while the third stood as a lookout. The pair then made their way inside and removed bottles of vodka, tequila, bourbon, scotch, rum and gin, according to police. All three fled the scene together.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Astoria retail building sells for $32M


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Massey Knakal 

A corner retail building near the heart of Astoria’s Steinway Street commercial strip has been sold for $32 million.

Realty service Massey Knakal, which handled the transaction, announced the sale Friday of 2856-2860 Steinway St., which occupies the entire block front of 30th Avenue between Steinway and 38th streets in the burgeoning neighborhood.

The building houses a trio of long-term leases for New York Sports Club, JP Morgan Chase Bank and Duane Reade in more than 37,000 square feet. The sale breaks down to $627 per square foot.

The transaction indicates that investors are coming over from Manhattan and looking for new opportunities elsewhere, according to Massey Knakal chair Bob Knakal.

“With the value of retail properties in Manhattan increasing at a record breaking pace, it is not surprising to see demand spill over into the outer boroughs,” he said. “This transaction is a clear example of that dynamic, as there were many parties bidding who have been primarily Manhattan investors who are now broadening their property searches geographically.”

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Astoria church to celebrate 90 years of faith


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

One Astoria Catholic church will soon be celebrating nearly a century of serving the community.

The Immaculate Conception Church, located at 21-47 29th St., will be marking 90 years since it held its first Mass in 1924.

There are two celebratory Masses planned for this fall, followed by a party in the new year.

“It’s wonderful. It’s a great way of marking the accomplishments of the parish,” said Monsignor Fernando Ferrarese, the current pastor of the church, about the celebrations. “When you see the accomplishments of the parish over 90 years, you see the possibilities for a future as well.”

The Rev. Michael Lopez held the church’s first Mass in the Immaculate Conception School, which will also be celebrating its 90th anniversary, on Oct. 4, 1924. The church’s current building, located on the corner of 29th Street, was fully completed in 1951.

OLD PHOTO school

An old photo of the Immaculate Conception School (Photo courtesy Immaculate Conception Church)

The National Organization of Catholic War Veterans was started in the parish by the Rev. Edward Higgins in the 1930s and Post 1 is still located at the church as various other posts have become established throughout the nation.

“[The church] has been a unifying factor and the celebration of diversity that people from all different countries, all different walks of life, all believe in God and believe that God is the best thing for community,” Ferrarese said. “It brings us together, it gives us the virtues and values that we need as a city and it is a real anchor for people.”

The Astoria church now offers Mass in four languages — Spanish, English, Italian and Tagalog — and Ferrarese said he has seen the community and parish itself grow and bring a “wonderful mixture of people.”

Other programs and services the parish offers include a homeless shelter in the winter, a food pantry throughout the year, an introductory opera course, an active school, a religious education program and spiritual courses.

For the past five years, the church has also been holding film festivals every fall and spring. This fall’s festival, which begins on Oct. 17 and is free to the public, will surround the topic of “hate,” and screen three movies including “42.”

“We want to be able to give our people a real sense of growth of development on all levels,” Ferrarese said. “It also is a kind of way to introduce people to issues of faith.”

The first celebratory Mass of the church’s 90th anniversary will be on Oct. 4 at 5 p.m., and the second Mass will be on Dec. 7. The gala reception is expected to be held on Jan. 18, 2015, at Russo’s on the Bay.

For more information on the Immaculate Conception Church, visit www.immacastoria.org.

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