Tag Archives: Astoria

Astoria’s Trinity Lutheran Church to celebrate 125th anniversary with several events

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Betto Mares Yáñez

Astoria‘s Trinity Lutheran Church will hold a yearlong celebration to honor its 125 years of service to the community.

Councilman Costa Constantinides presented the church with a proclamation at the kickoff concert on Saturday, Oct. 3, where several classical pieces were performed, including three songs composed by Trinity member and Astoria-based composer Susan Stoderl.

Trinity Lutheran Church was founded in 1890 by German immigrants from Lower Manhattan. Services at the church were originally conducted in German, but changed to English in the 1920s.

According to its website, Trinity Lutheran Church’s members include people from Tanzania, Poland, Sierra Leone, Spain, Peru, Germany, Hungary, Israel, India, Egypt and more. To celebrate their diversity, the church will host a 125th anniversary dinner on Saturday, Dec. 5.

On Sunday, Nov. 22, Metropolitan New York Synod Bishop Robert Rimbo will preach at the 10:30 a.m. services in honor of the quasquicentennial. The celebration will end on Saturday, April 16, 2016, with a concert titled “Handbells and History of Trinity & Astoria/Long Island City.”

For more information on the events, visit the church’s website here.


Astoria resident wins big on ‘Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris’

| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Astoria resident Steven Tarca can see Kaufman Astoria Studios from his window.

On Tuesday, Sept. 29, Tarca was in the building as part of the studio audience for “Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris,” a live variety show that debuted on NBC on Sept. 15. Tarca, a guest service supervisor at the Empire State Building, was asked through Facebook by show staff if he wanted to attend the show, and possibly get a chance to participate in a segment called “Get Lucky.” Tarca said he was chosen based on his active presence on social media.

During the segment, an audience member is picked at random to join Harris on stage and answer a number of questions pertaining to news and current events. For every question answered correctly, the participant receives a prize. Tarca said he read up on the news the week before his segment and also skimmed pop culture websites. His studying paid off and Tarca answered 6 out of 8 questions correctly.

“I had no idea that I was going to be picked but in the case that I did, I was very much reading up on the news for the week and keeping my eyes turned to social media for anything that’s been happening,” Tarca said. “[I’m in] complete shock. I’m still kind of recovering.”

Tarca decided against answering the bonus question, which could have resulted in his winning all 16 prizes, or possibly forfeiting the prizes he already won if he answered the question wrong. The contestant went home with $5,000 in cash, a bathtub full of Snickers bars, a hoverboard, tickets to the Broadway production of “Spring Awakening,” kitchen appliances from Cuisinart and a diamond necklace.

“My phone was off the hook the minute the show ended,” Tarca said.

Though he didn’t get to interact with Neil Patrick Harris after the segment, Tarca said the host told him he was doing a good job and shook his hand during the commercial break. The Astoria resident went to college in Staten Island, then moved to Brooklyn and later attended graduate school in Florida. But his favorite home has been Astoria.

“When I lived in Brooklyn I didn’t really have a sense of community and neighborhood that I get here in Astoria,” Tarca said. “It’s a completely different feel. The feeling of the community here is really incredible.”

To watch the full episode of “Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris,” click here.


Astoria woman wakes up to find burglar in her apartment: police

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Police are looking for a burglar who entered an Astoria apartment through an unlocked window and accidentally woke up a woman.

The suspect entered a residence in the vicinity of 21st Street and 26th Road on July 22 at approximately 5:40 a.m., according to cops. A 38-year-old female sleeping on a couch at the time of the incident confronted the man, who then fled through the front door. He was last seen fleeing westbound on 26th Road.

No property was removed from the residence, and the victim was not harmed.

Authorities described the suspect as a Hispanic man who is 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs 180 pounds. He has black hair and was last seen wearing a black T-shirt and black shorts.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.


Astoria dog run receives $1M in funding

| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Costa Constantinides

Astoria’s four-legged friends will soon have a park to call their own.

Elected officials gathered under the Robert F. Kennedy (Triborough) Bridge last week to announce the allocation of $1 million to build an official dog park in the neighborhood. The park, which is currently a basketball court, will be located at Hoyt Avenue North between 23rd and 24th streets.

Councilman Costa Constantinides allocated $500,000 for the dog park after it received 773 votes from the community through participatory budgeting. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is also providing $500,000 for the construction from her discretionary capital funds.

“Building a new dog run will bring great benefits to the entire community,” Constantinides said. “This lot will be a designated place where dogs can play safely and share full enjoyment with their owners. I am especially proud to know that our residents selected this project through participatory budgeting and that the community showed support for it.”

Currently, Astoria residents can bring their dogs to Astoria Park during off-leash hours from 6 to 9 a.m. or to Bugsy’s Dog Run, an unofficial dog park that is administered by the Department of Environmental Protection. According to the Astoria Dog Owners Association website, the run is inadequate for several reasons. The space experiences frequent flooding, there is no fresh water source for dogs, and the fence enclosing the area is too low and has many holes.


According to a 2012 study conducted by the New York Economic Development Corporation, Astoria has one of the highest cat and dog ownership rates in Queens with 30,001 to 41,627 pets living in the neighborhood.

According to Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski, construction for projects such as this dog park take about a year and a half to begin and the Parks Department will hold meetings to receive suggestions on designs from the public.

Community Board 1, the Astoria Dog Owners Association and the Old Astoria Neighborhood Association will be in charge of cleaning and maintaining the park.

“In a borough of families, dogs are very much a part of many New York families’ lives,” Katz said. “The Astoria Dog Park will become the newest public treasure in the neighborhood offering a safe environment for families to enjoy with their four-legged family members.”


Man found fatally shot on Astoria street

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Google Maps

A 26-year-old man died early Sunday morning after being found shot on Steinway Street in Astoria, according to authorities.

On Sunday, at about 3:59 a.m., officers from the 114th Precinct responded to a call regarding a person being shot outside of 25-86 Steinway St.

Upon arriving, cops found the man – whose identity is pending family notification – in front of the location with gunshot wounds to his body, police said. Emergency personnel transported the victim to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

There have been no arrests and the investigation is still ongoing.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.


Man wanted for snatching purse in Astoria bar

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Police are looking for a man wanted for stealing a purse belonging to a patron at an Astoria bar on Saturday.

The victim, a 25-year-old woman, was inside Oliver’s Astoria Bar located at 37-19 Broadway at 2 a.m. when she left her pocketbook at the bar as she used the restroom.

During her absence, the suspect removed her purse, which contained multiple credit cards and an iPhone 6, according to authorities. 

Police from the 114th Precinct responded after the incident, and the man is now wanted on charges of grand larceny.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.


Man wanted for exposing himself while riding subway in Astoria

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Police are asking the public for assistance in identifying a suspect wanted for exposing himself on a Q train in Astoria earlier this week.

On Sept. 21 at about 12:57 p.m, a 27-year-old female riding on a Ditmars Boulevard-bound train, in the vicinity of 31st Street and 30th Avenue, saw the suspect exposing his penis and engaging in a lewd act, according to cops.

The perpetrator is described as a white male in his 30s with brown eyes and black hair, standing between 5 foot 5 and 5 foot 8 inches tall.

He was last seen wearing a red, short-sleeved T-shirt with a black design on the front, black shorts and white, orange and gray sneakers.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.


Astoria Park Alliance to host second day of annual Shorefest this Sunday

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Everyone loves spending a day by the shore.

The Astoria Park Alliance is gathering families together for seaside events during its seventh annual Shorefest on Shore Boulevard.

Vehicular traffic along Shore Boulevard will be closed off during the festival, the first day of which took place on Sunday, Sept. 20. A second day of festivities is planned for Sunday, Sept. 27, in Astoria Park from 1 to 7 p.m.

Activities offered on the first day of the festival included free taekwondo lessons, scooter races, ukulele lessons, massages, glitter tattoos and rollerblading lessons.

Dance and music performances entertained the audience under a sky bright with perfect weather conditions, and an interactive, transformable play space allowed children to test their creativity and build their own environment.

Council member Costa Constantinides was in Astoria Park on Sunday to take part in the festivities. He commended the Astoria Park Alliance and the organization’s co-chair, Martha Lopez-Gilpin for arranging the annual event and opening up the shore to those who may not normally be able spend time at local waterfronts.

“Our waterfront provides resources and is home to diverse marine life, however much of our community lacks access to the water,” Constantinides said. “Shore Fest is an opportunity for the neighborhood to have an unobstructed connection to the waterfront while enjoying Astoria Park with their families.”

Astoria Park Alliance trustee Steve Simicich said that the event encouraged residents to get out to the park for some sunshine and fresh air without the fear of being in the way of oncoming traffic.

“Shore Fest expands Astoria Park up to the Shoreline and allows parkgoers to utilize and enjoy this beautiful waterfront promenade,” Simicich said.


Teen wanted for two separate robberies in Astoria

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Image/video courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a teen they say robbed two 14-year-old boys in separate occasions in Astoria last month.

The first incident happened on Aug. 25 at about 6 p.m. when the suspect – described as a black teen between 14 to 16 years of age – approached the victim near 8th Street and Astoria Boulevard and demanded his iPod while threatening to physically harm him, according to authorities. The suspect then took the iPod and fled the scene.

Two days later on Aug. 27 at about 4:40 p.m., the same suspect went up to another 14-year-old boy in front of 34-25 Vernon Blvd. and demanded his cellphone while saying that he had a weapon; however a weapon was never displayed, police said. The suspect took the victim’s iPhone and fled the scene.

The suspect was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and the NYPD has released video surveillance footage of the teen.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.


Panel of experts talk Queens real estate trends at LIC conference

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Kelly Marie Mancuso


The latest news and trends in the “World’s Borough” was the focus of a panel discussion, “From Food to Fashion: What’s Trending in Queens Real Estate” at the 2015 Real Estate Subway Series Queens held at the Renaissance Event Hall in Long Island City on Monday.

Schneps Communications co-publisher and LIC Flea and Food founder Joshua Schneps was joined at the panel by fellow panelists Margaret T. Ling Esq. of First Nationwide Title, RXR Realty executive vice president Seth Pinsky and Justin Cole, assistant vice president of leasing for Macerich. Faith Hope Consolo, world-renowned consultant and chair of The Retail Group with Douglas Elliman Real Estate, moderated the panel.

The panel discussed the ways in which cultural, social and economic trends in Queens have contributed to the boom in both retail and residential real estate throughout the borough.

According to the panelists, the thriving diversity in both culture and cuisine is one of Queens’ best qualities.

“I think the big difference between Queens and really any of the other four boroughs, but especially Brooklyn, is that Queens is a collection of communities,” Pinsky observed.

Schneps agreed: “We have over 18 different publications because we recognize that there are different demos in all of the different areas of Queens and Brooklyn and beyond.”

The LIC Flea and Food features more than 80 vendors representing roughly 85 different nationalities.

“It reflects the diversity and that people are looking for diversity, especially when it comes to cuisine,” Schneps explained. “Cuisine could be a big driving force and an attraction for tourism.”

“Food follows fashion,” Consolo said.

Many of the panelists observed that growth and trends throughout the borough were often driven by the tastes and preferences of a younger demographic, or “millennials,” flocking to Queens in search of affordability, cultural diversity and great public transit.

The panelists also noted that many of the changes happening in Queens’s commercial real estate are also due in part to a shift in the workforce. Pinsky believes that newer creative businesses ranging from tech start-ups to artisan goods producers are looking to establish outposts in Queens not only to be closer to the workforce here, but because they are seeking the unique architecture and character that Queens has to offer.


Schneps speaking on issues concerning retail and real estate growth in Queens with moderator Faith Hope Consolo

“This is an interesting time for Queens on the office front,” Pinsky said. “We’re increasingly seeing the establishment of creative enclaves along the Queens waterfront. You now have a workforce that’s very entrepreneurial and looking to work in the areas in which they also live.”

When asked to name some of the popular hot spots throughout the borough, Schneps said that both Long Island City and Astoria were at the forefront due to an abundance of diverse retail opportunities, eateries and a vibrant, growing population.

“If you go to 30th Avenue on a Friday night, it’s booming with a lot of outdoor cafes, mostly owned by young business owners in their 30s,” he explained. “I think a tremendous opportunity is Steinway Street in Astoria. Steinway Street is always known as the shopping street and the central part of Astoria. I think there is a huge opportunity here from a retail perspective.”

Schneps also observed that there was great opportunity for growth and expansion in Rockaway Beach as a result of the growing population of young artists and 20-somethings in the area.

“In terms of hot neighborhoods, I think there is a very long list of neighborhoods in Queens that are hot for all different reasons,” Pinsky said. “If you drive east from Flushing along Northern Boulevard, you will see how those neighborhoods heading all the way out to Little Neck have been completely transformed into Little Korea or Little China. There are phenomenal opportunities out there.”

The panel also grappled with the issue of the increased demand for affordable housing in Queens and beyond.

“The challenge that we’re facing as a city is a challenge of affordability,” Pinsky explained. “That challenge is coming from the fact that more people, companies and visitors want to be here than we’re able to accommodate. It’s a symptom of our success as a city, and not a failure.”

Pinsky believes that affordable housing efforts should be directed to the needs of the poor, who have often been displaced the by middle class after being priced out of their neighborhoods. He also argued that greater investments need to be made with regard to transit improvements, as middle class members tend to relocate along transit lines.


West Nile spraying scheduled for parts of Queens on Monday

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photos courtesy of the Health Department

In continuing efforts to reduce mosquito activity and the risk of West Nile virus, the Health Department will spray pesticides in several parts of Queens next week.

Pesticide trucks will be out spraying on Monday, Sept. 21, between 8:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. the following morning. In case of inclement weather, spraying will be delayed until Monday, Sept. 28, during the same time frame.

The following areas in Queens are scheduled to be sprayed:

  • Parts of Astoria, Ditmars, Steinway and Woodside, bordered by 20th Avenue and 35th Street to the north; 28th Avenue, 43rd Street and Newtown Road to the west; Broadway and Northern Boulevard to the south; and Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, 30th Avenue, 78th Street, Astoria Boulevard, and 75th Street to the east.
  • Parts of Blissville, Elmhurst, Sunnyside, Maspeth, Middle Village, West Maspeth, Ridgewood, and Woodside, bordered by Queens Boulevard and Thomson Avenue to the north, 29th Street and Dutch Kills to the west; The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and Metropolitan Avenue to the south; and the LIRR to the east.
  • Parts of Forest Park, Richmond Hill, and Woodhaven, bordered by Metropolitan Avenue, Union Turnpike, and Myrtle Avenue to the north; Forest Park Drive, Park Lane South, and 88th Street in the west; 101st Avenue to the south; 104th Street, Jamaica Avenue, 115th Street, and Park Lane South to the east.

For the sprayings, the Health Department will use a very low concentration of Anvil 10+10, a synthetic pesticide. When properly used, the spray poses no significant risks to human health.

To minimize direct exposure to the spray, the Health Department suggests taking several precautions:

First, 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, but to reduce indoor exposure set the vent to closed. 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. If exposed to pesticides, wash exposed skin and clothing with soap and water.


New district manager takes the helm at Community Board 1

| amatua@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angela Matua

There’s been a changing of the guard at Community Board 1.

Florence Koulouris is the new Community Board 1 (CB 1) district manager, taking over for the recently retired Lucille Hartmann. Koulouris served as Hartmann’s assistant for the last eight years, and she told The Courier she is most excited to attend the monthly community board meetings and interact with community members and different city agencies.

“I’m a people person, and I think that’s a big part of the district manager,” Koulouris said.

The CB 1 area, which includes Astoria, Long Island City and Woodside, is the most ethnically mixed community in New York City, according to nyc.gov, and more than 118 nationalities call these neighborhoods home. A development boom has recently transformed the landscape and Koulouris said affordable housing is the most pressing issue facing Community Board 1.

Astoria Cove, the 2.2-million-square-foot project on the Astoria waterfront, is one example of a development that will drastically alter the neighborhood, and Koulouris said she is proud of the work the board did to ensure affordable housing there. More than 460 units of the 1,723 apartments will be designated for affordable housing.

“We are the trendsetters with the Astoria Cove project. I think the work that the board did is going to set a very high bar for the rest of the city,” Koulouris said. “Our board worked diligently to negotiate affordable housing.”

Long Island City will also soon be home to the tallest building in the borough when a 70-story apartment building near Queens Plaza begins construction. The mixed-use structure will surpass the Citi Bank tower and contain 930 apartments and nearly 15,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor.

The newly anointed district manager also praised the new traffic calming measures in Astoria. As part of a Neighborhood Slow Zone, more than 55 blocks in Astoria, from Astoria Boulevard to 30th Avenue and Steinway Street to 21st Street are receiving 14 speed bumps, 20 gateway intersection treatments and 20 mph pavement markings from the Department of Transportation throughout September.

Koulouris also said she, along with the community board, are looking forward to the expansion of Citi Bike in their area. Long Island City already has 12 docking stations and Citi Bike recently announced that they will double the number of bikes in Queens by 2017 to include parts of Astoria.

“We have a lot of wonderful things coming to our community,” Koulouris said. “I look forward to working with the people of the community and the board members. We have a very diverse group of people. It’s going to be exciting.”


Astoria saxophonist for ‘The Tonight Show’ adds gig at local smokehouse to array of projects

| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Rondettejazz.com

Saxophonist Ian Hendrickson-Smith has played with longtime funk band Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings and Amy Winehouse, and is currently accompanying The Roots on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

Starting this month, Hendrickson-Smith will bring his brand of funk to The Strand Smokehouse in Astoria every Sunday night.

An Astoria resident for the past five years, Hendrickson-Smith said he attended his “neighborhood watering hole” frequently and became friends with the manager and bartenders. Once they discovered that he was a professional saxophonist, the group invited him to perform at the restaurant.

Hendrickson-Smith, along with four professional musicians who he has dubbed “The Strand Band,” played a few one-off shows and were successful in stirring the crowd, he said.

“Two weeks ago, it was the Sunday before Memorial Day and it was jammed in there and we had people dancing on the tables and freaking out,” Hendrickson-Smith said. “I mean, when the place is packed we can lift them up into a frenzy.”

The staff at The Strand Smokehouse invited the group back and they will now be playing free shows every Sunday night at 7 p.m. for the next several months.

Hendrickson-Smith has assembled a diverse group including Clark Gayton on trombone, guitarist Al Street, organ player Eric Finland and drummer Eric Kalb. Each of the musicians have many years of experience, and have individually played with performers such as Sting, Bruce Springsteen, St. Vincent, David Byrne and more. The ensemble will be playing a “funky” and “swampy” collection of music at the restaurant.

Hendrickson-Smith began playing the flute in the fourth grade and discovered then that he wanted to make music his career. He switched to saxophone right before attending the Manhattan School of Music.

Ten albums and many performances later, he was asked to join The Roots crew when Jimmy Fallon took over hosting duties for Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show.”

“It was a very sudden thing. I got the phone call on a Friday and I was at work on Monday,” Hendrickson-Smith said. “It was pretty unexpected.”

The saxophonist said he really enjoys working with band leader Questlove, who is “very clear and concise about what he wants,” which allows for the true vision of the music to shine through.

Hendrickson-Smith also owns and operates his own record label, Rondette Jazz. Started in 2014, the record label was originally a vehicle for releasing his own music but he soon started releasing records for his friends. This is his second attempt at running a label, he said, after the first label he owned with his friends was unsuccessful. This time, the musician controls every aspect of a release including mixing, promotion and artwork.

“This is a labor of love for sure because I’m putting out jazz music primarily,” Hendrickson-Smith said. “So the market for jazz is very slim but I love the genre so much. I’m really swamped but you know, it’s a joy [and] I love doing it.”

Though his career is filled with unexpected twists and turns — he was given one night’s notice to play a show with U2 at Madison Square Garden earlier this summer — Hendrickson-Smith said the uncertainty keeps his music “palette interesting” and allows him to play a variety of music. He said he is excited to showcase the music he and his friends have been working on and will eventually record The Strand Band’s music in a studio.

“I think it’s a really unique, cool, interesting thing that even in Manhattan I think would stick out a little bit,” he said. “And the fact that it’s in Astoria and there’s no cover charge, I would just push people to come out and give it a try and at least see if they dig it.”

The ensemble is scheduled to play for a few months but Hendrickson-Smith said it all depends on the community’s reaction. He’s hoping that people will spread the word and tell their friends about the shows because “[there are only] so many times I can ask my friends to come out [so] we’re depending on the neighborhood to respond.”

The Strand Smokehouse is located at 25-27 Broadway and serves a variety of smoked meats, sides and brunch items.


Participatory budgeting for District 26 to begin Thursday

| amatua@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Residents in Woodside, Astoria, Long Island City and Sunnyside will get a chance to decide how more than $1 million in capital discretionary funding will be used to improve their communities.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer is hosting a kickoff party to celebrate the second year of participatory budgeting in his district. Last year, $1.5 million was used to upgrade the Long Island City Bikeway, purchase a van for seniors living at the Jacob Riis Settlement House and fund playground upgrades in the Queensbridge houses, among other projects.

The kickoff party will take place Monday night at the Sunnyside Community Services located at 43-31 39th St. at 6:30 p.m.

“Last year our participatory budgeting initiative delivered over $1.5 million in real results to neighborhoods throughout the 26th District. This year we are aiming to broaden our outreach efforts to all neighborhoods and build on the success we had in the initiative’s inaugural year,” Van Bramer said in a statement. “Participatory budgeting gives all New Yorkers the ability to participate in a grassroots process that has and will continue to successfully allow residents to allocate millions of dollars directly to the projects they love the most.”

Beginning Sept. 17, Van Bramer will host 10 neighborhood assemblies throughout District 26 to educate residents about the participatory budgeting process and allow them to propose capital projects to improve their neighborhoods.

The following locations will be used for the neighborhood assemblies:

  • Sept. 17, Christ Lutheran Church, 33-57 58th St., Woodside, 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Sept. 22, P.S./I.S. 78, 46-08 5th St., Long Island City, 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Sept. 24, Community Room, Big Six Towers, 59-15 47th Ave., Woodside, 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Sept. 29, Woodside Library, 54-22 Skillman Ave., Woodside, 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Oct. 1, Broadway Library, 40-20 Broadway, Long Island City, 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Oct. 6, Sunnyside Library, 43-06 Greenpoint Ave., Sunnyside, 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Oct. 8, Long Island City Library, 37-44 21st St., Long Island City, 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Oct. 13, Woodside Houses Community Center, 50-19 Broadway, Woodside, 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Oct. 15, Ravenswood Houses, 35-40 21st St., Long Island City, 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Oct. 20, Jacob Riis Settlement House, 10-25 41st Ave., Queensbridge, 6 to 8 p.m.


Museum of Moving Image to celebrate Jim Henson’s birthday with puppet-inspired activities

| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Mark Zimmerman/Flickr

The creator of Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Bert, Ernie, Big Bird and many other beloved “Muppets” will be honored later this month in Astoria.

Jim Henson, the beloved puppeteer who produced “The Muppet Show,” will receive a special birthday celebration at the Museum of Moving Image with a number of educational activities for children.

The museum will host Family Fall Day on Sept. 26 and families will get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create puppets, along with screenings of two shows produced by The Jim Henson Company.

From 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., kids will be able to build paper-bag puppets using several materials, design Henson-inspired characters and perform puppet karaoke at the museum’s Digital Learning Suite.

Scenes from episodes of “Dinosaur Train” and “Sid the Science Kid,” two children’s shows produced by The Jim Henson Company, will screen several times throughout the day and the 40-minute compilation will also include a behind-the-scenes clip about digital puppetry techniques used in “Sid the Science Kid.”

Adults and children 10 and up can also purchase tickets to a conversation with Rollie Krewson, a longtime Henson Creature Shop puppet designer and builder.

Henson began designing puppets in high school and created a five-minute sketch comedy puppet show while in college called “Sam and Friends.” He joined “Sesame Street” in 1970 and was responsible for developing characters for the show during his 20-year tenure. He also created puppets for movies like “Fraggle Rock,” “The Dark Crystal” and “Labyrinth.”

Henson, who died in 1990, would have been 78 on Sept. 24.

Museum admission for children 12 and under is free. The museum is located at 36-01 35th Ave. Click here for more information.