Tag Archives: Astoria

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.


Welcome fall with Astoria Flea Night Market and LIC Flea

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Jill Lotenberg of Jill Photography

Summer has unofficially bid us adieu, but there is still time to enjoy some outdoor fun in both Long Island City and Astoria.

This Saturday, Sept. 12, visitors from near and far can take a trip to Astoria to celebrate the opening of the Astoria Flea & Food Night Market at Kaufman Astoria Studios, which announced it will be launching its all-Queens Beer and Wine Garden – which visitors have come to love at the LIC Flea & Food.

The night market will be open for three consecutive Saturdays in September including Sept. 12, 19 and 26. from 6 to 11 p.m. and will include the best in food and flea vendors, and live music.

This weekend also marks the start of fall at the popular LIC Flea & Food, located at Fifth Street and 46th Avenue. There are only eight weekends left of the outdoor season so don’t wait to visit the market and meet some of the new vendors, while also enjoying favorites from the 2015 season.

Visitors can enjoy treats such as delicious fries from Bulldog Burgery and Crafty Cue BBQ’s pastrami Ruben. Pick up some fall duds from Dutch Kills Klothing, SM Designs and baubles from Scripted by Design.

Guests can also cool off at the LIC Flea Beer Garden, the only venue exclusively serving beers brewed in Queens from local breweries including Rockaway Brewery, Queens Brewery, Finback and SingleCut.

LIC Flea & Food runs every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through the end of October.

For updates follow on Facebook.com/LICFlea, Instagram.com/LICFlea and @LICFlea on Twitter.


Suspects sought for Woodside hit-and-run robbery

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Police released images on Friday of two men wanted for striking a man with a car, then taking his property near a Woodside nightclub last month.

The hit-and-run robbery occurred at 2 a.m. on Aug. 15 outside the Medusa Lounge located at 25-18 50th St.

According to authorities, the perpetrators – described as black males – chased the 29-year-old man out of the lounge, entered a nearby black vehicle and then struck the victim.

Once the victim was on the ground, police said, the suspects exited the vehicle and removed the man’s necklace, money and cellphone, then got back in the car and sped away.

Officers from the 114th Precinct responded to the incident; the victim was taken to Lincoln Hospital in stable condition.

Anyone with information regarding the robbery is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.


Mother and son arrested after her boyfriend found shot, set on fire in Astoria

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Updated Tuesday, Sept. 1, 4:18 p.m. 

An Astoria woman enlisted the help of her children this weekend to get rid of the body of her boyfriend, whom she shot twice after a dispute over infidelity and money, according to authorities.

Dawn McIntosh, 46, has been charged with murder, criminal possession of a weapon, tampering with physical evidence and endangering the welfare of a child alongside her 21-year-old son Donte Watkins, who has been charged with tampering with physical evidence, in connection to the death of 43-year-old Shron McWhorter.

If convicted, McIntosh, who was ordered held without bail at her arraignment on Tuesday, faces up to 25 years to life in prison and her son, held on $5,000 bail, faces up to four years in prison. Both were ordered to return to court on Sept. 15.

Police found McWhorter’s body on fire after receiving a 911 call regarding an unconscious man in the rear of a location on 14th Street in Astoria at about 6:57 a.m. Saturday. After the FDNY extinguished the flames, the victim was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Investigators also discovered that McWhorter had been shot two times, once in the chest and the other  in the torso.

The victim’s body was also so badly burned that investigators could only identify McWhorter by a “Sugar Sha” tattoo on his left arm, according to published reports.

McWhorter, who is from Brooklyn, and McIntosh were in a relationship and had been arguing over problems of infidelity and money prior to the shooting, police said.

According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, after shooting the victim McIntosh asked her children — 15-year-old Zanasia McIntosh and 21-year-old Watkins – for help in disposing of McWhorter’s body. Watkins is charged for trying to lift the body into his mother’s Jeep after she asked him to do it.

“The defendant is accused of a particularly heinous crime in which she fatally shot her boyfriend and  then tampered with evidence by, among other things, setting the deceased’s body on fire. At the same time, it is alleged that she enlisted the aid of her teenage daughter and adult son in an attempt to cover up her involvement in the crime,” Brown said.

McIntosh allegedly then lit McWhorter’s body on fire, disposed of the firearm used to shoot him, washed the bloody clothes she had been wearing during the shooting, and moved McWhorter’s car from the crime scene to the street.

According to published reports, upon investigating the scene, authorities found a fingernail on the victim’s body and during questioning an investigator noticed McIntosh had only nine out of 10 fingernails.

McIntosh later provided information admitting to shooting McWhorter, police sources said.

Editor’s note: An earlier version, based on information provided by the NYPD, incorrectly identified Dawn McIntosh and Donte Watkins as siblings instead of mother and son, and also initially had the victim’s name as Shawn instead of Shron. We regret any confusion that may have resulted. 


Star of Queens: Debra Toscano, actress, singer and voice teacher

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Debra Toscano

PERSONAL BACKGROUND: Debra Toscano is originally from Long Island but has resided in Bayside for about 15 years. She comes from a musical background with a father who worked as a music teacher and she had a lot of early exposure to the music industry. She has one older sister, who is also in the music industry as a piano player and drummer.

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND AND CAREER: Toscano is a professional singer and actress who works as a music teacher in Frank Toscano Music School in Astoria, which is owned by her father. He has owned the school for over 50 years, and Toscano currently teaches there as a vocal coach. She is also working on movie called “Bohemia,” which will feature her own original screenplay and begins filming in January.

CONTRIBUTION TO THE COMMUNITY: Toscano brightens the day of hospital patients by visiting with the cast of her last film project, a crime drama dubbed “Snitches.” They created a program called Snitches Give Back to visit both children and adults in local hospitals, talking with patients, signing autographs, and giving out headshots to bring cheer into the lives of patients.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Toscano says her biggest challenge as an actress is getting consistent work and locking in a gig. While acting has a glamorous image to those outside the profession, finding good acting parts and doing good work can be difficult for performers.
“When you’re in one gig you’re always looking to secure the next one,” she said. “Booking the work is always the biggest challenge to keep yourself motivated.”

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT: Toscano is most proud of singing the national anthem for major sporting events including games for the New York Jets and Giants, and the U.S. Open.
“That’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever done because it’s a huge honor to sing the national anthem.”


Man found shot, set on fire in Astoria

| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Google Maps

Updated Sunday, Aug. 30, 10:28 a.m.

A man was found shot and engulfed in flames behind an Astoria building Saturday morning, according to officials.

The FDNY responded to a 911 call at 6:57 a.m. on 12th Street near 27th Avenue and found the victim, who has not been identified, engulfed in flames.

After extinguishing the fire, authorities found the man had also suffered from a gun injury on the left side of his chest, police said. EMS pronounced the victim dead at the scene.

There are no suspects and police are still investigating.

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.


Astoria lumberyard site on sale for possible residential, commercial development

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Image via Google Maps

With a prime location, an Astoria site recently put up for sale could be an attractive opportunity for buyers looking to invest in the area.

The development site located at 69-15 Astoria Blvd. is currently on the market and is considered a “versatile property” available for potential residential or commercial development, according to GFI Realty Services Inc., which has been named the exclusive sales agent for the property.

“69-15 Astoria Blvd. has a great deal of versatility, and we expect to draw the interest of investors looking to convert it to commercial or residential use,” said Gavin Bolsom from GFI Realty who will oversee the marketing of the site with Sasha Berg. “New York is experiencing an influx of young professionals, and opportunistic buyers will be drawn to the potential of constructing 14 residential units in prime Astoria.”

The location, which is within walking distance of the N and Q trains, is currently home to a family-owned lumberyard whose owner is looking to retire and close up shop. The site has a maximum buildable area of 9,500 square feet.

With a high demand for residential spaces in the Astoria area, Bolsom added that the location – which faces both Astoria Boulevard and Hazen Street — would be great for future residents as it is found in close proximity to various cafes, restaurants, lounges and cultural institutions such as Kaufman Astoria Studios, the Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria Park and more.

“One of the attractive components of this property is its frontage on both Astoria Boulevard and Hazen Street,” Bolsom said. “With this unique setup, the property is well positioned for a drive-through commercial enterprise. With its visibility from the Grand Central Parkway, there also exists the potential for significant advertising revenue.”


Two sought after shots fired outside Astoria housing complex

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for two men in connection to a shooting incident in Astoria Tuesday afternoon.

At about 2:15 p.m. one of the suspects was in front of the Astoria Houses at 2-10 27th Ave. when he took out a gun and fired shots, authorities said. He then fled with a second man in a blue four-door sedan.

No injuries were reported.

The NYPD has released a photo of the vehicle and describe the suspects as black males in their early to mid-20s who were wearing white T-shirts.

Tuesday’s shooting incident comes after a similar report of shots fired outside the same housing complex the previous night. No one was found injured.

Anyone with information on the suspects 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 by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.


New program to restore rent-regulated apartments to buildings in western Queens

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Images courtesy of state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman's office

A group of state and city officials are getting together to crack down on landlords throughout the five boroughs — including a handful in western Queens — who they say could be breaking the law.

State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the city’s Department of Housing Preservation & Development Commissioner Vicki Been announced Wednesday that notices were sent out to 194 building owners throughout the city who accepted “lucrative” tax breaks under the state’s 421-a program without complying with the law’s rent regulation requirements by registering their apartments as rent-regulated.

The state passed Section 421-a of the Real Property Tax Law in 1971 as a way to motivate the construction of rent-regulated housing and condominiums in New York City. The law gives a partial exemption from city property taxes for the owners of these newly constructed residential multi-family buildings for at least 10 years.

The owners of these buildings, found throughout the five boroughs and most of whom own one building of less than 50 units, provide housing to more than 2,400 families and individuals who are entitled to rent-regulated leases under the law.

A high concentration of these buildings are found in Brooklyn and Queens, with neighborhoods that include Astoria, Long Island City, Corona and Elmhurst.

“Landlords of rental buildings who accept these tax incentives must follow through on their end of the bargain and offer rent-regulated leases to their tenants,” Schneiderman said. “The Real Estate Tax Compliance Program we are announcing today will safeguard tenants’ rights, protect more than 2,000 units of New York City’s rent-regulated housing stock, and ensure that our important and limited tax dollars are properly spent.”

The notices, which were sent out Tuesday, alert building owners to the possible legal consequences they face, including revocation of the tax breaks, if they do not register the apartments as rent-regulated and give tenants rent-regulated leases.

In the letter, the owners are also given details on the one-time, non-negotiable chance they have to “cure the violations” and “avoid further enforcement action.”

The governor’s Tenant Protection Unit (TPU) will monitor the registrations filed by the owners. If the owner fails to register properly, TPU could then look into putting an administrative order freezing current rents, along with pursuing overcharge actions against the owners for collecting improper rents. TPU will also seek damages on behalf of tenants.

“We will not tolerate landlords who break the law and deny their tenants rent-regulated leases, plain and simple,” Cuomo said. “This partnership will help ensure that building owners who benefit from the 421-a program are living up to their responsibilities. Owners who are not currently in compliance should get their act together immediately or face the real possibility of having the TPU freeze rents, pursue overcharges and seek damages.”


Kaufman Arts District’s first luxury condominium hits market

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Image courtesy of Modern Spaces

A luxury condominium — the first of its kind in the newly designated Kaufman Arts District —has hit the market and seen instant success in just one week.

Real estate firm Modern Spaces has began sales for The Marx, located at 34-32 35th St. in Astoria, and in the first week 20 percent of the building has already been sold.

The Marx offers 33 one- and two-bedroom units at prices starting in the $600,000s and two-bedroom apartments priced under $1 million.

“The Kaufman Arts District is an established, dynamic neighborhood that gives people access to the best creative institutions the city had to offer. Living at The Marx presents a unique opportunity to move into a vibrant Astoria neighborhood that is rich with amenities, dining and service retail to serve the families that have long called the area home,” said Eric Benaim, CEO of Modern Spaces.

The building features homes with open layouts and hardwood floors, and many of the apartments have private terraces. Kitchens feature custom cabinetry, a breakfast bar and high-quality appliances. Master bathrooms include rainhead and hand-held glass-enclosed showers and heated towel bars.

Amenities at The Marx include a rooftop terrace with gas Weber grills, a private bike room, a fitness room, a virtual doorman security system and laundry facilities.

“We are very excited that The Marx has appealed to so many buyers. It’s the first luxury development that has opened since the area has been designated the Kaufman Arts District and shares the same streets where popular shows such as ‘Orange is the New Black,’ ‘Nurse Jackie’ and ‘Sesame Street’ are filmed. We think the building — like its entertainment neighbors — will be a big hit for many different types of buyers,” Benaim said.

The seven-story condominium, which is being developed by a joint venture between Kaufman Astoria Studios and Procida Companies, gets its name from the property’s history located on the site where the Marx Brothers filmed movies such as “Animal Crackers” and “Coconauts.”

The Kaufman Arts District, designated in 2014, includes institutions such as Kaufman Astoria Studios, Museum of the Moving Image and the Queens Council on the Arts.

“We’re thrilled to bring even more life to this thriving and historic neighborhood. Hundreds of professionals visit and work in our studios, and many have fallen in love with Astoria and all it offers,” said Hal Rosenbluth, CEO of Kaufman Astoria Studios. “We’re delighted to offer the homes at The Marx to our regular constituents and newcomers alike.”


Two wanted for questioning after shots fired in Astoria

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Cops are trying to find two persons of interest after shots were fired in an Astoria parking lot Monday night.

The incident happened at about 10 p.m. in front of the Astoria Houses, located at 1-04 Astoria Blvd., authorities said.

Responding officers did not find any injuries.

Police have released video footage of two men they would like to question in connection to the shooting. The first individual is described as a black male who was last seen wearing jeans, black sneakers and a white tank top. The second man is black, 5 feet 10 inches tall and 140 pounds. He was last seen wearing black denim shorts, black sneakers and a blue hooded sweatshirt.

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 are strictly confidential.