Tag Archives: Citi Field

90-year-old Mets fan, WWII vet honored at Citi Field


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky

BENJAMIN FANG

A veteran’s service to wounded soldiers earned him recognition with his favorite team.

Longtime Mets fan Leonard Merer, 90, was given a New York State Senate proclamation on the night of his birthday, Aug. 4, by state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky. The Mets selected him as its Veteran of the Night.

Merer was a medic during World War II. His notable service included tending to the many casualties in Normandy after D-Day.

For his service, French President François Hollande recently awarded Merer the Insignia of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.

 

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Watch ‘Sharknado 2’ strike Citi Field


| editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

BENJAMIN FANG

Watch out Mets fans—the Sharknado is back and it’s hitting Citi Field.

Sharknado 2,” the sequel to the fictional made-for-TV movie about a whirlwind so strong it lifts man-eating sharks into the city, will premiere on the Syfy network on Wednesday at 9 p.m.

In the movie, swarming sharks attack humans next to iconic New York City sites, including Citi Field, home of the New York Mets.

As sharks fall out of the sky and water floods the city streets, Ian Ziering, who plays the protagonist, goes around town killing the deadly animals.

“Sharknado 2,” also features Tara Reid, Vivica A. Fox Vivica A. Fox, Mark McGrath and Judah Friedlander.

 

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What to do if there is an LIRR strike


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Metropolitan Transportation Authority


Subways, shuttle buses, and even ferries– the MTA is pulling out all the stops to supplement LIRR service in case 5,400 workers strike starting on July 20.

As contract negotiations with unions continue to fall apart and the impending LIRR strike draws closer each day, the MTA released its contingency plan Friday to address the 300,000 riders that would be stranded daily with the loss of the train service.

Most of the MTA’s plans focus on Long Island customers, but there are resources and tips for riders from Queens and other boroughs.

There will be 4,000 free, secured parking spots at Citi Field and an additional 3,000 spots at Aqueduct Racetrack, where drivers can drop their cars and then take the No. 7 or A trains to work. Through social media and digital platforms, such as Twitter and a LIRR mobile app, agency officials plan to update riders on how many spots are available in the lots and traffic conditions.

The transportation agency also hired 350 school buses, which lack air condition, to shuttle riders from stations in Long Island to the No. 7 train near Citi Field, the A train in Howard Beach, and also the M and R train station on Woodhaven Boulevard. The buses will run from Long Island into Queens between 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. and return to Long Island from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

There will also be ferry rides that can carry 1,000 passengers per day from Glen Cove to 34th Street in Manhattan on 40 minute rides. But the MTA warns that parking near to the ferry is very limited.

The MTA is encouraging riders to telecommute if they can work from home. According to officials, about 18,000 workers already plan to do so.

Through its free lots and shuttle buses, the transportation agency estimates it can handle about 15,000 passengers daily, more than double the 7,000 passengers daily from the 1994 LIRR strike contingency plan.

“When the LIRR unions went on strike in 1994, Long Islanders had very limited options. There were no park-and-ride lots, no ferries, no real-time monitoring, no telecommuting,” said MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast. “Today, the MTA has a far stronger, more robust, multifaceted plan. Working with the state and elected officials from across Long Island and the city of New York, we are providing more shuttle buses, thousands of parking spots near subway stations, a ferry service, real-time traffic management and real-time parking monitoring.”

The MTA doesn’t yet know how much per day the contingency plan will cost, and officials said they hope not to have to use it.

For more details on the plan, click here.

 

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Where to celebrate the Fourth of July around Queens


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Macy’s

Friday makes the 238th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and, weather permitting, Queens residents can celebrate the country’s birthday with a boom.

The Macy’s fireworks extravaganza has moved back to the East River after a five-year hiatus, but the show is centered downriver in Brooklyn.

Still, there are many spots to view the fireworks — but not all of them are free.

Z Hotel in Long Island City is selling tickets to watch the fireworks show from their rooftop lounge. Tickets go for $66.56 for kids and $166.03 for adults.

On Center Boulevard, LIC Landing by Coffeed will be hosting an all-you-can-eat barbecue with a view of the fireworks for $100 a ticket.

The Starstream VIII, which sails from the Flushing Marina, is having a waterborne viewing party that includes dinner and a cash bar for $125.

Cheaper options include Resorts World Casino, which is hosting a free viewing event at Bar360 and on their sixth-floor parking lot.

Another free option is the Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City on the East River.

And baseball fans will be treated to a fireworks display at Citi Field as the Mets host the Texas Rangers.

But the baseball may be a washout and the fireworks may fizzle as Hurricane Arthur took aim at North Carolina Thursday and is expected to impact much of the East Coast.

 

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Bacon and Beer Classic coming to Citi Field


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Bacon and Beer Classic

JANAE HUNTER

Bacon, beer and baseball will come together next month when Citi Field hosts the Bacon and Beer Classic.

Started by Cannonball Productions, the Bacon and Beer Classic is part of a series of events hosted by major league baseball stadiums throughout the country. Fans of baseball, as well as both bacon and beer, will get the chance to taste history as they walk through the stadium, sampling craft beer and bacon inspired goodies. There will also be live music, dancing, games, beer schools and cooking demonstrations.

“This certainly won’t be a run-of-the-mill experience for guests. The Bacon and Beer Classic brings together the best in local food, brews, and entertainment,” said Kate Levenstien, founder of Cannonball Productions and the Bacon and Beer Classic. “Because New Yorkers are such die-hard sports fans and so knowledgeable about craft beer and gourmet food, we’re thrilled to be hosting our next event at Citi Field in July.”

The Bacon and Beer Classic takes place at Citi Field on July 26. Tickets for either the brunch or evening session start at $39 and can be purchased here.

 

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Bicyclist struck and killed near Citi Field


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


A bicyclist was fatally hit by a minivan near Citi Field Tuesday afternoon, cops said.

The victim, who has yet to be identified by police, was riding his bike westbound on Roosevelt Avenue around 126th Street at about 12:50 p.m. when he was struck by a Mercury Villager that was driving in the same direction, officials said.

The bicyclist was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said the driver remained at the scene of the accident and the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad is investigating.

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Forest Hills restaurant makes the pitch for Citi Field


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

A Queens restaurant is vying against two other New York City businesses for a chance to serve food in Citi Field this baseball season.

Corfu Grill has been serving Greek flavor for 10 years in Forest Hills and the owner, Georgios Aspiotis, hopes to bring the food of his hometown of Corfu to Mets fans. Citi Field announced the competition on May 23 and anyone can vote for one of the three restaurants. The competition ends on June 6 and the winner will be announced before the start of the July 5 home game against the Texas Rangers.

“I’m a winner,” Aspiotis said while drinking iced Greek coffee­—a stronger version of regular coffee with the coffee grounds in the cup­—in his Austin Street restaurant. “People will be coming to the games just to eat my food.”

Having created the menu himself, Aspiotis is proud of all of the dishes but for a baseball game, the gyros and chicken kebabs are his dingers.

“Most people eat hot dogs at a game,” he said. “I’m going to give them something better and it’s still portable. Gyros are like hot dogs. You have the bread on the outside and the meat inside.

But there’s also so much more inside our gyros that people will love.”

Sports fans are not the only people to declare the food a hit.

“I’m a big fan,” said Millie Lloyd, a Forest Hills resident. “I love the food.”

Lloyd spoke as she ate a chicken kebab plate in Corfu Grill. The meal, Aspiotis said, is one of the best sellers and if he wins, he plans to put them on a skewer at a stadium concession stand that will be provided for him free of charge for the duration of this season.

Aspitotis’ confidence isn’t misplaced. He is currently leading the competition with 44 percent of the votes. Lady M Confections, a pastry shop in Manhattan, has 30 percent, and Ceetay, a sushi restaurant in the Bronx, wis in last place with 24 percent.

To vote, click here.

 

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Mets roll back ticket prices for 50th anniversary of Shea Stadium


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy the New York Mets

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

Mets fans will have something to cheer about, at least when it comes to the cost of tickets.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the team’s former home, Shea Stadium, the New York Mets announced Sunday that it will roll back ticket prices for games this coming weekend.

A limited number of tickets will be available for $3.50, when the Mets host the Atlanta Braves from April 18 to 20. Shea officially opened on April 17, 1964, when the Mets hosted the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The team will also offer some baseline box seats for $19.64, with an eight ticket per person limit. Tickets must be purchased in advance over the phone or online at Mets.com/1964.

The offer will not be available at team stores, ticket windows or on game day.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Thursday: Sunny to partly cloudy. High around 60. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph. Thursday night: Rain showers early becoming a steady light rain overnight. Low 41. Winds E at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Cirque du Soleil Armaluna

Cirque Du Soleil is back at Citi Field. Emerge yourself in Amaluna, a mysterious island governed by goddesses, guided by the moons cycles, and enchanted by an emotional story of love put to the test.  Tickets go from $45- $145. Runs until May 18 at various times. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Plane diverts to land at JFK, skids onto grass

Nobody was injured after a Delta flight from Atlanta to LaGuardia was diverted to JFK when the pilot reported a possible hydraulics problem. Read more: ABC New York

Chinatown skin infection outbreak spreads in NYC, number of cases doubles

The number of New Yorkers suspected of having a rare skin infection that comes from handling raw seafood, causing skin lesions, pain and swelling to the hands and arms and even difficulty moving fingers, has more than doubled, officials said Wednesday. Read more: NBC New York

Overdose doctor valued money over life: prosecutors

A Queens doctor on trial for manslaughter in the overdose deaths of two patients he prescribed painkillers to, valued money over human life, prosecutors charged Wednesday in Manhattan Supreme Court. Read more: New York Post

Privacy concerns nix New York student-data plan

New York has reversed course to use an Atlanta-based company to store student data for parents and officials to use to track student progress, after the plan triggered privacy concerns and a legal challenge. Read more: NBC New York

Supreme Court strikes down overall limits on campaign contributions

In a decision that could transform American politics, the Supreme Court overturned the decades-old limits on the total amount of money individuals can contribute in every federal election. Read more: New York Daily News

Mayor de Blasio to throw first pitch at Mets’ Opening Day


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

Baseball season is almost here, and the new mayor wants to get in on the action.

Mayor Bill de Blasio will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the Mets’ Opening Day at Citi Field on Monday.

The mayor will be accompanied by children from the East Harlem Tutorial Program, who were affected by the recent building collapse.

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Mets to wear patch honoring late broadcaster Kiner during 2014 season


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@Mets

The Mets will pay tribute to their longtime broadcaster Ralph Kiner, who recently passed away, by wearing a commemorative uniform patch on the right sleeve of their jerseys throughout the 2014 season, the team announced Sunday.

Kiner will also be honored during a pregame ceremony on Opening Day at Citi Field on March 31, the Mets said. The ceremony will include a video tribute and the unveiling of a commemorative logo on the left field wall. Kiner’s five children will participate in the event.

The Mets will additionally commemorate Kiner with a display at the Mets Hall of Fame and Museum chronicling his 52 years with the team. They will also place a Kiner logo on the grass behind home plate at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie, home to Mets spring training and the St. Lucie Mets Minor League team.

Kiner was a Mets broadcaster since the team’s inception in 1962, and called games for more than 40 seasons. Previously, he was a Hall of Fame player who spent most of his 10-year career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 40s and 50s.

He passed away on Feb. 6 at age 91.

-With additional reporting by Liam La Guerre

 

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Sen. Tony Avella, park advocates sue to stop Citi Field mega mall


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy NYCEDC

State Senator Tony Avella and a long list of Queens park advocates are suing the city to stop a mega mall from coming to Citi Field.

The 1.4 million-square-foot shopping center is part of a major $3 billion project by Sterling Equities and Related Companies to redevelop Willets Point.

The ambitious and controversial plan, approved Oct. 9 by the City Council, also includes the cleanup of 23 acres of contaminated land and the eventual construction of housing units with commercial and retail space.

The group filed the suit Feb. 10 in New York County Supreme Court, saying the project cannot proceed without state Legislature approval under a doctrine that protects state parkland.

The suit also seeks annulments of city approvals.

“It’s a serious principle here,” Avella said. “If the city is allowed to get away with this, what’s to stop them next time? If we keep giving it away, someday we’ll wake up and there will be no parks.”

 

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First Queens Baseball Convention reveals spirit of Mets fans


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

New York Mets fans have heard this maybe a million times—they have a troubled franchise.

The team has not won a World Series in nearly three decades, and have been disappointing in the last five years as they have struggled just to stay above .500.

That’s just scratching the surface of issues, but even as frustrating as that has been, the spirit of Mets fans is alive and well, and was strongly represented by more than 400 fans at the first-ever Queens Baseball Convention (QBC) Saturday.

“It’s pretty exciting. We may not be in the playoffs every year, but it’s cool to see everyone, and the spirit of Mets fans,” said Andrew Hermida, an illustrator, who was selling his original Mr. Met drawings at the QBC.

The event, which was at McFadden’s bar in Citi Field, was organized by a trio of die hard Mets fans—Shannon “Shark” Prior and Keith Blacknick, the pair behind blog site Metspolice.com, and The 7 Line clothing brand founder Darren Meenan.

The premise was simply to celebrate the past figures of the franchise, a hopefully fruitful future, and just being Mets fan–and there was plenty for fans to do. Wearing orange and blue shirts, jerseys, caps, socks, shoes, and jackets, the Mets faithful played games, enjoyed Mets trivia, bought parts of the old Shea Stadium and Mets memorabilia, paraded in their jerseys, and talked about the past and the upcoming season.

“Hundreds of people paid $35 to celebrate a team that hasn’t won anything in years. It’s like some weird cult,” said Mets fan and comedian Jeff Hysen, who was the event’s MC.

Parents attended the QBC with their children, who brought their children, as generations of fans were present. The kids tried their hand at a dunk tank and got their faces painted.

The event surely attracted many fans for its guest speakers, which included former players Ron Darling and Ed Kranepool, members of the Mets 1986 and 1969 World Series teams respectively.

The former players signed autographs for fans, and had question-and-answer sessions. Even Darling, who is now a baseball broadcaster, was astounded at how much love fans showed their troubled franchise.

“You guys never give up,” Darling said about Mets fans during his forum. “I don’t know how you do it.”

That’s because to some, being a fan isn’t about winning.

“Sports is not about winning, it’s about enjoying the sport. I don’t think it’s exciting to be on the winning team every year. You have to have something to play for,” said Heidi Springer of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, who attended the event with her husband and two sons.

The first QBC attracted a strong crowd, many of whom said they would like to see the event return. Organizers did say they would like to make it an annual event, but are just happy for the turnout of the first QBC.

“The good part about it is everyone that’s involved in it is a Mets fan,” Meenan said. “It’s really a team effort.”

 

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Convention center and 25-story hotel headed for Corona


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy of Fleet Financial Group

A convention center complex as big as a city block, with a 25-story hotel and apartments, may be coming to Queens. 

Fleet Financial Group plans to build a roughly 106,000-square-foot convention center, the largest in the East Coast, at 112-21 Northern Blvd. in Corona.

The $200 million real estate project also includes 292 river-view hotel rooms, 236 luxurious apartments, a shopping center and a high-class restaurant.

“That area is really booming. It’s going to be great for Queens,” said Fleet president Richard Xia.

The site is near Citi Field, where a major $3 billion redevelopment project, including a mega mall, is slated for Willets Point. It is also by the Grand Central Parkway, about two miles from LaGuardia Airport.

“People pass by, but they never stop here,” said Xia, who lives and works in Flushing. “It’s going to be something that will create a lot of jobs and, in the meantime, bring a lot more business activity to Queens.”

Fleet purchased the 1.67-acre property — currently the site of the DiBlasi Ford dealership — last month for $17 million, according to Xia.

The company is also in the midst of completing an 18-story Westin Element hotel, with a medical center, at 42-31 Union St. in Flushing.

Construction of the massive complex in Corona, dubbed the Eastern Emerald Center, would create nearly 3,000 jobs, Xia said.

Work is expected to start this June and end in 2017, though the proposal still needs approval from Community Board 3, the Queens borough president and the city.

The project has support from Queens Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Seth Bornstein and Queens Chamber of Commerce President Al Pennisi.

“It sounds like a really good idea,” Bornstein said. “We lack quality, large-scale space for events. It would really be a benefit to the borough.”

Pennisi said the city “could use more than one” facility like the Javits Center in Manhattan.

“[The Chamber] thought of this project,” Pennisi said. “It’ll bring conventions of all sizes into a modern facility. Everybody will benefit from it.”

Councilmember Julissa Ferreras and Victor Rodriguez, a Corona resident who owns a mini market near the proposed complex, hope the development will be a boon for the neighborhood.

“I think it’s good for us,” Rodriguez said. “It’ll bring more people here.”

But a local educator, who did not want to be named, said the slated site is near too many schools on an already accident-prone portion of Northern Boulevard.

“To have something of that magnitude, and all these people coming to town, I can’t see how that improves anything,” she said. “Money is good and people need jobs, but there are so many other things not fixed as is.”

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Connecticut man arrested for threatening Mets


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

A Connecticut man has been charged for allegedly making threats against the New York Mets.

Aryn Leroux, 42, of West Haven, was arrested Wednesday for making threats against the baseball team’s players, coaches, executives as well as Citi Field, according to the AP, and charged with misdemeanor threatening and breach of peace.

He reportedly made the threats through Twitter.

 

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