Tag Archives: ABC

Whitestone family brings the Christmas lights back after winning reality show


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Eric Jankiewicz

The Lynch family keeps on shining.

After winning a reality competition series on spectacular Christmas lights last year, the Lynch family has put up their sparkling holiday decorations once again with a bunch of improvements and a whole new fan base. ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight” brought the family a winning prize of $50,000 and a level of fame that stretches past the borders of their Whitestone neighborhood.

“Just the other day I had a tour bus out front that came all the way from New Jersey,” Kevin Lynch said. “And before that we had some people from Norway here asking me for advice about how to do this stuff.”

Along with Lynch’s new fame, he has also upgraded his decorations.

“I did something different this year. I put LED lights in them and it made my display even brighter,” said Lynch, a retired firefighter. “You can see this house from pretty far away now. My goal is to see it from space. We’re not there yet, but we’re getting there. I’m waiting for that Christmas card from the man on the moon and when we do [get it], I know I’ve reached my goal.”


The house is ready for Christmas, with about half a million lights, according to Lynch, who puts up all the decorations up with the help of his wife, Tina. Thousands of plastic statues are carefully placed on the lawn, roof, balcony, windows and anywhere else he can fit them.

For 18 years, Lynch and his family have been decorating their house for Halloween and Christmas, with work starting in September. Halloween is a much smaller display that goes up even as he’s working on his Christmas lights.

But rather than completely disassembling the Halloween display, Lynch is able to adapt some of the ornaments so that they can be used for Christmas. In one case, a Halloween figure with a severed head is converted into a snowman. After Halloween, he brings down the ghouls and continues the frenzied race to assemble his legions of angels and nutcrackers.

The work is done now. And so Lynch prepared for the other part of the winter spectacle — the arrival of thousands of kids and their families who travel to Whitestone to gaze at his handiwork.

“There’s over half a million lights in the house. We like it big and bright. All the cords are buried in the ground so you can come up to the lawn and porch and take pictures,” Kevin said. “Get as close as you want and make sure to bring a letter for Santa.”

The display at Lynch’s home, 166-04, 23rd Ave., Whitestone, will stay up through Jan. 7, when he begins the laborious process of taking down all the decorations and putting them in storage for next year.


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Fun-filled Father’s Day weekend at the LIC and Astoria Fleas


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Bradley Hawks

Long Island City and Astoria will be buzzing this weekend, just in time for the FIFA World Cup and Father’s Day.

This Saturday, June 14, visitors to the LIC Flea & Food will be able to try their kicks out at a World Cup-themed event. Those who are able to score goals will go home with prizes.

The LIC Flea is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is located at the outdoor lot by the western Queens waterfront at the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue.

On Sunday, HGTV’s “Flea Market Flip” will make its return to the Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios with host Lara Spencer, co-anchor on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Each week on the show, contestants, who participate in teams, are given $500 to explore items at different flea markets. The participants search for objects they can buy, fix and then “flip” for a higher selling price. By the end of each show, the contestants display their transformations and battle it out to win all the profits earned.

There are only two more Sundays left of the Astoria Flea, located at the outdoor backlot at 36th Street and 35th Avenue from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., so don’t forget to check it out.

With Father’s Day this weekend, both the LIC Flea and Astoria Flea are the perfect spots to come down and find that perfect gift for dad from the wide array of vendors offering food and drinks, collectibles, art, fashion, vintage items, antiques and much more.

For more information visit www.licflea.com.

 

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HGTV coming to LIC Flea this Saturday


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Bradley Hawks

Cameras will be rolling into the LIC Flea & Food this Saturday, so don’t miss out.

HGTV’s “Flea Market Flip” will be filming an episode at the popular Long Island City flea market with host Lara Spencer, co-anchor on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Each week on the show, contestants, who participate in teams, are given $500 to explore items at different flea markets. The participants search for objects they can buy, fix and then “flip” for a higher selling price. By the end of each show, the contestants display their transformations and battle it out to win all the profits earned.

The LIC Flea is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is located at the outdoor lot by the western Queens waterfront at the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue.

“Flea Market Flip” was at the Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios last weekend.

The Astoria Flea is continuing strong at the outdoor backlot located at 36th Street and 35th Avenue on Sundays, bringing the best of vendors to the Astoria community.

Applications to be a vendor are still being accepted by registering online at www.licflea.com.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Tuesday: Snow likely. Temps nearly steady in the low to mid 30s. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph. 3 to 5 inches of snow expected.
Tuesday Night: Clear skies. Low 21F. Winds W at 10 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: The Re-Gift of the Magi 

This comedic play reveals why the Wise Men made their perilous journey. Balthazar, Melchior and Gaspar give Joshua an education in the shul of real life. Shows run until Dec. 21.at The Chain Theatre in LIC. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

‘Snow Alert’ issued for New York City

New York City’s sanitation department has issued a “snow alert” starting at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Read more: ABC New York

Whitestone family wins ‘Great Christmas Light Fight’ on ABC

The brightest house in Queens outshone three others in the country Monday night. Read more: The Queens Courier

Port Authority: 5 planes struck by snowy owls in tri-state area

The Port Authority has said they are working with the state Department of Environmental Conservation in order to relocate snowy owls after it was revealed that the agency had shot and killed some of the birds. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Audit: State DOT lacks records on railroad bridge inspections

An audit targeting the safety of New York state’s railroad bridges has turned up some startling information. Read more: CBS New York/AP

World leaders, South Africans honor Mandela

World leaders and joyous, singing South Africans honored Nelson Mandela on Tuesday at a Soweto soccer stadium that was two-thirds full amid cold, driving rain. Read more: AP

Whitestone family wins ‘Great Christmas Light Fight’ on ABC


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Tina Lynch

The brightest house in Queens outshone three others in the country Monday night.

The Lynch family from Whitestone won ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight” and $50,000 on Dec. 9, beating stiff competition from homes in California, Virginia and Georgia.

“I was jumping, screaming. I went crazy,” said Kevin Lynch. “After the show was over, every single one of my neighbors was on the block. People are coming by, honking their horns.”

The new reality-competition series pits four families against each other nationwide. They each have 20 days to come up with the most elaborate Christmas decoration designs.

“For me to do this in three weeks was tough,” said Lynch, 55, a retired New York City firefighter. “It’s like running a marathon.”

The father of three covered his home at 166-04 23rd Avenue with a blanket of at least 300,000 lights — all with underground wires, no cords — and more than 100 animatronics. There is even a projected Santa Claus, waving from the second-story window.

“I lived on coffee and espresso. I didn’t even eat until 1 o’clock in the morning,” Lynch said. “By 1 o’clock, I was dead. I couldn’t move. I’d pass out, take the kids to school, come back and do lights.”

That became the routine from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. for three straight weeks.

The over-the-top end result blew away Michael Moloney of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” who judged the competition on use of lights, overall design and Christmas spirit.

The display, with its vintage items and “childlike” décor, was “classy” and “magical,” Moloney said.

“This whole family clearly has Christmas spirit,” he said.

“We’re ecstatic. We’re thrilled, shocked,” said wife Tina Lynch.

The Lynch family has devoted 17 years to lavishly decorating their home, which was chosen by ABC through an extensive nationwide search, according to the network.

Even before filming the show, the Whitestone light site was a tourist destination and backdrop for wedding pictures, the family said.

“People come here from all over and send us Christmas cards with our house in them. It gets crazy here, but it’s all in good faith, all in good fun,” Lynch said.

The series continues December 16 and 23 with 16 more competing homes.

As for how much it costs to dazzle the nation for a month, Lynch said he would gladly show his electric bill — to anyone willing to pay it.

CLICK HERE TO SEE A VIDEO OF THE HOUSE

Watch Whitestone family compete for best Christmas lights on ABC


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Tina Lynch

A Whitestone family competing for the best Christmas lights display in the nation will find out Monday night if there is another reason to glow.

The Lynch family will be featured on ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight” Dec. 9 at 9 p.m.

They will see if their 166-04 23rd Avenue home, with its 300,000 lights, had enough sparkle and spirit to snuff out the competition.

The new reality-competition series gives four families, vying for a $50,000 prize, 20 days to come up with the most elaborate Christmas decoration designs.

“For me to do this in three weeks was tough,” said Kevin Lynch, 55. “It’s like running a marathon.”

A blanket of at least 300,000 lights — all with underground wires, no cords — covers Lynch’s over-the-top decorated home. There is even a projected Santa Claus, waving out of the second-story window.

The father of three said he made putting up lights his life every day from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. for three straight weeks.

“I lived on coffee and espresso. I didn’t even eat until 1 o’clock in the morning,” he said. “By 1 o’clock, I was dead. I couldn’t move. I’d pass out, take the kids to school, come back and do lights. And I got it done, which amazed me.”

But Lynch, a retired firefighter, will not know whether his lights shimmered or smoldered against the rest until a few hours before the show airs.

“It was a great experience,” he said. “It’s an honor in itself to be one of the 20 best houses in the country.”

Lynch has been lavishly decorating his home for 17 years. Even before filming the show, the Whitestone light site was a tourist destination and backdrop for wedding pictures, he said. It was even spotted in the skies by airplane pilots.

“People come here from all over and send us Christmas cards with our house in them. It gets crazy here, but it’s all in good faith, all in good fun,” Lynch said. “It’s part of the spirit.”

The houses will be judged on use of lights, overall design and Christmas spirit by Michael Moloney and Sabrina Soto of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

The series continues Dec. 16 and 23 with 16 more competing homes.

“It was very stressful, the whole time we were doing it,” said wife, Tina Lynch. “But it is exciting to see what will happen. It was worth it.”

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

 

Astoria takes center stage in new ABC drama


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy ABC/ Craig Sjodin

A group of Astoria gas station employees will face the ups and downs of winning the lottery this fall on ABC.

Premiering on Tuesday, September 24, ABC’s new drama series “Lucky 7” will follow seven employees at Queens’ fictional Gold Star Gas N’ Shop who for years have contributed to a lottery pool. The group’s wildest dreams come true when they win. Yet, after the celebration wears off they are faced with exploring their true values and overcoming problems that can change their friendships.

The first hour-long episode called “Pilot” starts at 10 p.m. and introduces Matt and Nicky Korzak, Samira Lashari, Denise Dibinsky, Leanne Maxwell, Bob Harris and Antonio Clemente as the seven employees and friends who hope to one day win the jackpot. Among the group of workers are two brothers, one a family man and the other an ex-con, growing romantic relationships and past hidden secrets looking to come out.

“Lucky 7” is based on the British television drama series and was written by David Zabel and Jason Richman.

The show is also executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey, Zabel and Richman.

 

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Queens-born ‘Bachelor’ contestant dead at 29 of apparent suicide


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos via Instagram

A former contestant on “The Bachelor” who was born in Howard Beach died Wednesday of an apparent suicide, according to reports.

Gia Allemand, 29, appeared on season 14 of the ABC reality dating show, competing for the affection of Jake Pavelka, coming in third. She was also on another ABC show, “The Bachelor Pad,” and worked as a model.

“I am in complete shock and devastated to hear the news about Gia. She was one of the sweetest people I have ever known,” Pavelka said via Twitter.

Allemand, who grew up in Staten Island and Long Island, was reportedly found unconscious at her New Orleans home Monday night by her boyfriend, NBA player Ryan Anderson. She was rushed to the hospital where she was listed in critical condition, but was later taken off of life support.

 

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Astoria chef competes on ABC reality show ‘The Taste’


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of ABC

The freshest face of foodie television is as fiery as her cooking.

Diane DiMeo, a self-taught Astoria chef and aspiring restaurateur, is a contestant on “The Taste,” a new ABC program that teams ambitious cooks with kitchen veterans for blind taste tests, battling it out for $100,000, a car and gastronomic glory.

DiMeo, who was selected by Anthony Bourdain, best known for his show “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations,” calls herself the bad-boy chef’s “female equivalent.”

“I identify with him,” DiMeo said. “You love to love him and you love to hate him. He’s just that guy.”

DiMeo, who has spent the past 22 years in kitchens across New York City, said her style was crafted by trial and error and the thick skin necessary to survive as a woman in a male-dominated industry.

“Women in the kitchen didn’t exist,” said DiMeo. “You were a pastry chef, but you were not an executive chef. I learned very quickly that I was going to get tough or get taken down – it’s definitely shaped my culinary style in a very renegade fashion.”

She hopes her presence as a strong, successful woman on a national cooking show creates a different identity for women hoping to make a name for themselves in the restaurant world.

DiMeo, who competed twice on Food Network’s “Chopped” and won once, said her cooking is identical to her personality – fiery and bold with global elements.

“There’s nothing wimpy about what I cook,” she said.

DiMeo moved to Astoria eight months ago, attracted to the neighborhood’s mix of authentic ethnic cuisine and new, innovative favorites.

“There’s already so much food there,” she said. “There are so many ethnicities and cultural restaurants and cuisine but it has new venues too. It’s a food scene that’s changing.”

DiMeo is currently in negotiations for a space on 30th Avenue in Astoria, where she hopes to soon open a new seafood restaurant, tentatively called Shell and Roe.

 

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