Tag Archives: Argentina

Influx of hipsters revives 90-year-old Ridgewood German bar


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Gottscheer Hall was on its way to closing down two years ago. But the Ridgewood bar and grill turned a profit in 2012 because of younger, more affluent patrons who began to appear in larger and larger groups.

People packed the Gottscheer Hall on Sunday to watch the World Cup final. The patrons that afternoon were either older and of German descent or younger and attracted to the German appeal of the bar and grill that derives its name from a region in Europe that was once part of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

“I like the history of the bar, the kitschiness. The beer is good and cheap,” Jonathan Deentler, 25, said as he ate a German pretzel and sausage with sauerkraut. “I guess you could say I’m being a cultural tourist.”

Deentler and his friends, who all live in Bushwick, began to come to the bar two years ago and have since often frequented it. Around that time, the Gottscheer Hall began to turn a profit, something that hadn’t been seen for 15 years, according to the bar’s secretary Roland Belay.

“The hipsters revived us,” Belay said. The German restaurant is celebrating its 90th anniversary this September but up until recently the business suffered a loss of patrons. Belay attributes this loss to the fact that the German immigrants who drank at the bar are getting older and dying off. The last big wave of Germans to the neighborhood was during WWII when the war displaced many Germans from the Gottschee region, now part of Slovenia.

“Every year we get fewer and fewer Germans coming here,” Belay said. “So we have to look forward and it seems like the hipsters will keep this business alive.”

Brian Questa, 26, lives in Williamsburg but decided to watch the World Cup match between Germany and Argentina in Gottscheer Hall. He, too, was attracted to the bar’s “authenticity,” something he thinks Williamsburg lost when it became gentrified. Questa plans on moving to Ridgewood soon because of cheaper rent and the charm of the neighborhood. He noted the irony of contributing to Ridgewood’s gentrification.

“I concede the fact that because there’s more young people taking an interest in it does make it more attractive to me,” said Questa, who identifies himself as a musical composer. “Unlike places like Maspeth where it’s all families living there.”

When Germany won the match, the bar erupted into cheers and German chants, with both the older Germans and the hipsters celebrating the moment. In the coming years, Belay and the other owners of the bar will have to juggle the necessity to make money with “preserving the German heritage,” as Belay put it. But he will also have to try not to make the bar “very fake,” like Questa said Williamsburg is.

“People come there to live in Williamsburg but it’s full of people just there to see and live in Williamsburg,” Questa said.

 

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Queens dogs to raise paws for favorite teams in World Cup


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos by Mauricio Hernandez


This year’s FIFA World Cup is receiving a ‘pawsitive’ reaction from four-legged fans throughout the borough.

Dog owners and their pets will be able to show their love for their favorite soccer teams Saturday in Jackson Heights, just less than two weeks before the big games kick off in Brazil, during an event called “Mi Mascota, Mi Seleccion,” translated to “My Pet, My Team.”

During the event, which will take place from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at the garden of St. Marks Church at 33-50 82nd St., both owners and dogs are asked to come dressed in their favorite team’s colors. The day will feature food and treats for dogs, a trainer, entertainment for the whole family and contests for both pets and their owners.

“It looks like we are going to have a large participation of Colombian, Mexican and Ecuadorian pets, which are the majority in Corona, Jackson Heights and Woodside in Queens,” organizer Mauricio Hernandez said in Spanish.

One of the sponsors, who will also be selling dog jerseys at Saturday’s event, is Dalila’s Petwear located at 90-12 37th Ave. in Jackson Heights. Some of the national team jerseys in doggie sizes include the United States, Colombia, Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil and many others.

“I’m very excited,” said Miguel Rodriguez, owner of Dalila’s Petwear. “This idea came out last year. It’s amazing.”

Proceeds from “My Pet, My Team” will go toward St. Mark’s Church, which recently had to deal with a flooded basement.

After the event, photos of the best-dressed pets will be available on www.MyPetMyTeam.com. For more information call 718-644-7072 or 347-447-4433. To purchase a jersey click here.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Clear in the morning, then mostly cloudy. High of 55. Winds from the NW at 10 to 15 mph. Friday night: Clear. Low of 45. Winds from the WNW at 5 to 15 mph.

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Come for a night of the best music from Argentina at the Centro Español De Nueva York in Astoria. The night will include dinner, a show and dance presentation. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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Queens Argentinians proud of new pope


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy The New York Daily News

BY MAGGIE HAYES AND ANGY ALTAMARINO

The world has been watching Pope Francis, from the moment he was chosen to head the Catholic Church, to his first Sunday mass and the day of his first tweet.

“Popes not only head the church, but they are a moral compass for the world at large,” said Dr. Patrick McNamara from the American Catholic League. “They are the blanket moral leader of the world. People of all religions recognize that.”

When the papal conclave chose Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Latin Americans around the world rejoiced. Latin America represents roughly half of the world’s Catholic population, and Queens residents hope that he can bring a new leadership to the church.

“I speak with my Argentinian heart when I say that God has blessed the whole world with Pope Francis, a being of light and so necessary for these difficult times the world is going through,” said Ivonne Sigaud, a Buenos Aires native living in College Point.

Many hope that Pope Francis can bring trust back to a church long plagued by scandal, while being a progressive leader that can conform with the modern times.

“I long for an urgent change in the [church], we need it in order to continue believing in it,” said Monica Insaurralde of Corona, also a Buenos Aires native. “I believe, hope, that this pope is the change.”

Also the first Jesuit pope, the Catholic community is wondering whether he will bring Jesuit attributes to his papacy. Typically seen as educators, Jesuits are known for open-mindedness when approaching everyday life.

“Jesuits were supposed to serve the pope, they weren’t supposed to become the pope,” said McNamara.“For a long time, [they] were seen as somewhat liberal. But I think he combines the best elements of progressive and traditional.”

Also the first pope of his name, Catholics around the world speculate he will draw inspiration from Francis of Assisi, a simple man known to empathize with and help the poor.

“[Pope Francis] was always a person who kept a low profile, a good man who was always on the side of humble,” said Hector Alberto Andrada from Buenos Aires, now living in College Point. “He walked the streets of Buenos Aires just like another citizen.”

Pope Francis reportedly never lived like the other Cardinals in Buenos Aires, but instead resided in his own apartment, took public transportation and actively worked with the people of Argentina.

“We are happy to know that they have trusted such a large mission to a simple man, recognized for his spirit of service,” said Fatima San Martin, a native of Misiones, Argentina. “They have put their eyes on South America, and specifically our Argentina.”

-With additional reporting by Anthony O’Reilly

 

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Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina elected as first pope from South America


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Aibdescalzo

BY MAGGIE HAYES AND TERENCE M. CULLEN

The papal conclave elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, the first South American and Jesuit pope, after one of the shortest conclaves in history. He selected the papal name Francis I.

The decision came just a day after the voting began on Tuesday, March 12, following the official end of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s reign at the end of February.

“Let us begin this journey together, this journey for the Roman Catholic Church,” said Pope Francis to a packed-tight crowd in St. Peter’s Square. “It’s a journey of friendship, of love, of trust and faith.”

Pope Francis, 76, was born in Buenos Aires, and was Archbishop of his native city from 1998 until last year. His career, thus far, has been spent solely in Argentina. He is the 266th pope and the first non-European choice in over 1,000 years.

“He’s a very holy and humble man,” said Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello of the Archdiocese of Brooklyn, which also serves Queens. “I think he’s a man who can bring a lot of trust back to the papalcy.”

In Catholic history, St. Francis was a man who came to serve the poor, and there has also never been a pope named Francis.

“It could mean that he’s not looking towards other papacies as inspiration,” said John Heyer, also of the Archdiocese.

Pamela Shea-Byrnes, head of Campus Ministry at St. John’s, said she was impressed by the new pontiff’s name choice – inspired by St. Francis of Assisi.

A champion of helping the poor, the new pope understood the message of Francis, which calls for those who can help to aid those in need, Shea-Byrnes said.

Much like St. Francis, Shea-Brynes said she believes the new pontiff will reinvigorate the church and help rebuild it.

During his first address as Pope, he requested that his followers “always pray for one another,” and asked for the crowd’s blessing, which evolved into a moment of silence throughout the previously rambunctious square.

As a Latin American, he represents nearly half of the world’s Catholic population, according to Heyer. Also as a Jesuit, Pope Francis could possibly bring a new open-mindedness to the church, as Jesuits are seen to be.

“[Jesuits] realize we live in a multifaceted, multicultural world,” said Heyer, who hopes Pope Francis can apply these attributes to the Catholic world.

According to the National Catholic Reporter, Pope Francis is against same-sex marriage, use of contraception and premarital sex. He has been, however, against clerical privilege, and criticized priests who refused to baptize children out of wedlock.

“The church needs to reconcile in many places and build back bridges,” said Heyer. “The Christian message is about love. If that’s the direction we can go in, then I think we’re going towards a good place.”

 

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