Tag Archives: coney island

PHOTOS: First Poseidon Parade makes a splash in Rockaway Beach

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Kelly Marie Mancuso


Sea-lovers of all ages donned a colorful array of costumes, fins and floats and strutted down the newly refurbished boardwalk during Rockaway Beach’s inaugural Poseidon Parade on Saturday.

The parade is the brainchild of the Rockaway Mermaid Brigade, the reigning Motorized Float champions at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade for the past two years. After representing the Rockaways for years at the iconic parade, the group was inspired to bring the fanfare and festivities to the shores of Queens.

“We’re honoring the ocean and artistic expression, like we experience each year in Coney Island,” wrote parade co-founder and 2015 Queen Mermaid Casey Brouder. “Poseidon is a symbol that speaks to the resilience of Rockaway. After all we have been through as a community, we can pay homage to the strong and beautiful ocean we can’t seem to live without.”

Adults and children masquerading as mermaids, sea creatures and pirates participated in the parade, with special prizes awarded for Best Bike, Best Baby Carriage and Best Pet. A post-parade celebration featuring face-painting and a DJ was held at the Beach 95th Street plaza.

The Poseidon Parade also included a tribute to Whalemina, the beloved whale sculpture and symbol of the Rockaways that was washed inland and shattered along Shore Parkway at the height of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

A large inflatable version of Whalemina was created by artist Geoff Rawling and anchored to a grassy spot near the boardwalk at Beach 95th Street for the duration of the parade. Parade goers posed for photos and were encouraged to sign the big balloon as a tribute to Whalemina.


Rockaway Beach residents Nicholas Rowe and Joshua Southerton are part of a group working to raise funds to replace the Whalemina sculpture. The new whale would also be created by Rawling, who also refurbished and redesigned the original Whalemina after she was brought to Rockaway Beach in the 1990s from the Central Park Zoo where she was previously known as Jonah.

“We’re trying to raise $20,000 so that we could have a new, permanent whale,” Southerton explained. “Once we do, we’re going to dismantle this whale and make it into a permanent mural for Rockaway Beach.”


Some of the Rockaway residents and members of the group working to recreate Whalemina pose in front of the inflatable version of the beloved whale.

Both Southerton and Rowe explained that they each still have a small piece of the original mosaic Whalemina sculpture found near their homes after the storm. Local author Laura Cryan even wrote a children’s book in Whalemina’s honor with artwork by Rawling.

“There’s been a whole lot of fundraising efforts,” Southerton added. “We’re really trying to pull the community together and bring back our whale.”


Citi Field to host qualifier for Nathan’s hot dog eating contest

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Shea Communications

Baseball and hot dogs go together like fireworks and Independence Day.

So what better venue to hold the regional qualifier for the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest than Citi Field.

The top male and female finishers at the event, to be held on Sunday, June 14, at 11 a.m. in the main entrance of the stadium’s Jackie Robinson Rotunda, will go on to compete in the famous food-eating competition in Coney Island.

According to the legend, the event started on July 4, 1916, the same year Nathan Handwerker opened his hot dog eatery in the neighborhood, and has been held there annually ever since.

“The launch of the annual hot dog eating contest circuit signals the impending arrival of summer,” said Wayne Norbitz, president and COO of Nathan’s Famous. “As we celebrate our 99th year, Nathan’s Famous is proud to be part of the American summer and all the enjoyment that it brings.”

Winners of the June 14 regional at Citi Field will face last year’s champions, Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo.


Chestnut of San Jose, California, who will seek his his ninth straight title in 2015, holds the current world record for eating 69 Nathan’s Famous hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. Sudo of Las Vegas, last year’s female winner, consumed 34 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes.

The competition is sanctioned by Major League Eating and in recent years has attracted an estimated 35,000 fans. Millions of viewers also watch from home on ESPN, which first started airing the contest in 2004.

Those interested in competing in the qualifier at Citi Field should visit www.majorleagueeating.com for more information and to register. All competitors must be over 18 years of age.


Flood-resistant buildings to be installed on Rockaway Beach

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of NYC Parks & Recreation

This summer it will be safe to go back in the water.

Improved beachfront structures that adhere to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) new flood elevation standards will be installed at Rockaway Beach by Memorial Day weekend, according to the New York City Parks Department.

These modern-looking lifeguard stands, comfort stations and offices will also be placed at Brooklyn’s Coney Island and Staten Island’s Midland, Cedar Grove and Wolfe’s Pond Beaches.

“We simply don’t know how high sea levels will rise in future years. Building higher will help these new public amenities stand the test of time,” said the Parks Department in a January newsletter.

Sitting on top of concrete piles, the structures will be seven to 14 feet above ground level and four feet above boardwalk height at seven of the Rockaway sites and eight feet at another Rockaway location. They can withstand another storm surge similar to Sandy.

The structures, designed by Brooklyn-based Garrison Architects, will be installed at 15 different beach locations. Each of the 17 buildings will consist of two modular units that will be connected by a bridge.



Doe Fund cleans up Broad Channel

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

Broad Channel is seeing blue.

Nine workers from the Doe Fund, dubbed “the men in blue,” will help clean up a two-mile stretch of Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel, as the island still continues to recover nearly four months after Sandy hit.

The cleanup effort, which officially began on Friday, February 15, will run from the foot of the Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge to the American Legion Post 1404.

The Doe Fund gives homeless men and women a second chance by providing jobs and starting a new life. Staten Island, Coney Island and the Rockaways have been other areas the Doe Fund has cleaned up in wake of the storm. The men will pick up the roadside trash and haul it on to Department of Sanitation trucks.

“The garbage and the litter and the debris are still here,” said Councilmember Eric Ulrich. “People are going to be so impressed. They’re [the workers] going to do a top-notch job.”

Ulrich said he reached out to Doe Fund chair George McDonald two weeks ago to help clean up Broad Channel’s main thoroughfare, which is still littered with debris. Flanked by Doe Fund members and representatives from the National Park Service and the Department of Sanitation, Ulrich said the “Men in Blue” would be on Cross Bay Boulevard, picking up trash until the job is done. The goal, he added, is to have Cross Bay back to its pre-storm look, if not better.

Cross Bay Boulevard is the first view of the Rockaways visitors get and the road needed to keep that vista positive, Ulrich said.

The relationship between the Doe Fund and south Queens goes back to long before the storm, according to Community Board 14 chair Dolores Orr. The organization helps clean up Beach 116th street, an economic hub in Rockaway, every spring, Orr said.

“It’s equally important for the residents trying to recover themselves,” Orr said.

McDonald, who’s also running as a Republican for mayor, said the men and women of the organization were hard workers and dedicated to getting their life back on track.

“It’s on behalf of all the citizens of New York that we come here and help clean up,” McDonald said. “We are thrilled to be able to give back. I know this partnership is going to do great things for this community and I thank Councilmember Ulrich for thinking of us.”



Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Friday: Clear in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 37 with a windchill as low as 19F. Breezy. Winds from the West at 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Friday night: Clear in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 28F with a windchill as low as 19. Breezy. Winds from the WNW at 15 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: First Look Film Series

This annual showcase at the Museum of the Moving Image presents groundbreaking international cinema. Many of this year’s films take the form of journeys—geographical, emotional and artistic—with 26 works from a dozen countries. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Sandy-battered Rockaway businesses struggle to pay rent to absentee landlord

A pair of Rockaway stores that survived floods, tens of thousand dollars in losses and the exodus of customers due to Sandy now face a new challenge — battling an absentee landlord who wants them to pay up or move out. Read more: New York Daily News

House sets Friday vote for Sandy aid after criticism

The House is headed for a vote on aid for Superstorm Sandy victims after House Speaker John Boehner mollified Republicans from New York and New Jersey upset with his decision to cancel action on the bill. Read more: ABC New York

Meng, Jeffries among 84 new Congress members sworn in

New York City has two new members of Congress. Hakeem Jeffries, representing the Eighth District in Brooklyn and Queens, which includes Bedford-Stuyvesant, Coney Island and Howard Beach, and Grace Meng, of the Sixth District in Queens, which stretches from Ridgewood to Bayside, were among the 84 new members of Congress sworn in Thursday. Read more: NY1

Special election to determine replacement for Sanders’ Council Seat

Voters will be asked to head to the polls and choose a candidate in a special election to replace outgoing City Councilman James Sanders Jr. Read more: NY1

Attempted murder at Long Island mall

Police on Long Island say a man tried to kill another man in a mall parking lot. Read more: Fox New York

House chooses Boehner as speaker again despite dissent

Despite a rocky few weeks during the “fiscal cliff” fight, John Boehner won re-election as speaker of the House of Representatives on Thursday and will again lead Republicans as they take on the White House over federal spending. Read more: Reuters 



30 NYC schools looted after Sandy

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of schools.nyc.gov

In addition to homes and businesses, 30 schools have reported looting in some of the most Sandy-damaged areas, the New York City Department of Education told NY1.

Looters took $100,000 worth of equipment from Scholars’ Academy in Rockaway Beach. According to NY1, the stolen goods included approximately 90 iPads, six to 10 iMacs and two automated external defibrillators.

Scholars’ Academy is still closed because of storm-related damage, and a recovery and relief fund has been set up to help the institution.

At other schools thieves have taken cameras, calculators and a projector.

The lifted goods are reportedly not covered by insurance.

The NYPD recently reported that most of the 226 Sandy-related arrests were burglaries, and has assigned extra police on extended tours of duty to the Rockaways, Breezy Point, Coney Island and Staten Island. Authorities also brought in light towers, police cars and helicopters to help illuminate those areas.


226 Sandy-related arrests mostly burglaries, says NYPD

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

The NYPD is continuing to take measures to combat Sandy-related thefts, as burglaries went up during the week of the storm.

Though burglaries only increased about 11 percent compared to the same week last year, it was the only crime to go up between October 29, the day Sandy hit, and November 4.

In the 100th and 101st Precincts in Queens, which cover some of the superstorm’s hardest hit areas in the Rockaway Peninsula, the uptick in thefts was much more dramatic.

In the 100th, burglaries were up from 2 to 16 from the same week last year and in the 101st there were 33 burglaries, up from zero.

According to authorities, burglaries account for most of the 226 Sandy-related arrests.

With those stats in mind, the NYPD has continued to assign extra police on extended tours of duty to the Rockaways, Breezy Point, Coney Island and Staten Island.

The NYPD has also brought in 500 light towers to neighborhoods still without power and are helping to illuminate those areas with police car and helicopter lights.

Authorities are also warning residents about automobile frauds and thefts related to Sandy.

Tow truck drivers are allegedly taking storm-damaged vehicles without permission, then storing them in private auto pounds and charging exorbitant fees between $1,000 and $2,300 when the owners try to recover their cars, said police.

Additionally, the NYPD said that in other flood disasters, fraudsters will take vehicles that have been declared total losses and instead of scrapping them, will refurbish and resell the cars.

This Morning’s Headlines

| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

City tries to squelch 911 disaster report

The Bloomberg administration is waging an all-out battle to suppress a scathing report aptly called “911 CPR’’ — which has determined that the city’s emergency-dispatch system is on life support, The Post has learned. The document, formally known as the 911 Call Processing Review, charges that despite more than $2 billion shoveled at the problems, response times to emergencies, in which every second counts, have actually slowed. Read More: New York Post

One dead as subway trains hit two men

Two men were hit by subway trains in separate incidents yesterday, leaving one dead, authorities said. A drunken 24-year-old man first stumbled onto the elevated tracks at the Broadway station at 31st Street in Astoria, Queens, at around 5:15 a.m. and was struck by a Manhattan-bound N train, cops said. He was crushed and pronounced dead at the scene. His name was not immediately released pending family notification. Read More: New York Post

Dolan Marks Start Of Holy Week With Palm Sunday Mass

Cardinal Timothy Dolan led the faithful in prayer Sunday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral as Christians around the city and world marked Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem when he was greeted by cheering crowds waving palm leaves. It’s believed to have taken place during a time when he was facing increasing opposition from authorities and local spiritual leaders, even as his preachings were gaining him more and more followers. Read More: NY1



Coney Island Rides Soar As Fun-Filled Season Begins

Summer is still more than two months away, but Coney Island is getting a head start on the season. The neighborhood’s amusement parks officially opened Sunday with the annual blessing of the rides, and the traditional egg-cream christening of the Cyclone. The 85-year-old roller coaster was one of several rides to get a makeover. A small crowd waited for hours to be among the first 100 people to ride the famous attraction and got their thrills for free. Read More: NY1


Brooklyn baby drowns in tub

An 11-month-old Brooklyn boy drowned in a bathtub yesterday after his mother left him alone, law-enforcement sources said. Elijah Pardella and his 3-year-old sister were being given a bath inside their East New York apartment, the sources said. When the mom, Angelica Huertas, 24, left the bathroom, she left the drain unplugged. But Elijah sat on the drain and blocked it, according to the sources. Read More: New York Post



Woman disappears on Chinatown street

The NYPD is search for a 61-year-old woman from Chinatown who disappeared off the street Saturday night. Police say Vicky Vuong Ferrazza was walking along Mott and Grand streets at about 3 p.m. with her niece when she disappeared among the packed crowd. According to published reports, Ferrazza does not speak English and was not carrying identification. Read More: Fox News


NY Knicks hold off on Jeremy Lin injury announcement until after NBA playoff ticket deadline passes

The Knicks were eventually going to get around to revealing the troubling results of Jeremy Lin’s MRI but certainly not before last Wednesday. That was a crucial day inside the club’s executive offices at Two Penn Plaza because March 28 represented the deadline for season- ticket holders to purchase all four rounds of the playoffs. Read More: Daily News

Drunk teachers arrested after cops find cocaine, dagger in vehicle

A pair of drunken Bronx public schoolteachers were arrested after cops found cocaine and a dagger in their vehicle, police said. Diana Mancusco, 29, and Karen Aguilar, 26, were cuffed after cops spotted them pulling over and switching places on East Fordham Road in Belmont on Friday night. When officers stopped the vehicle, the driver said she had taken the wheel because her friend was wasted, a source said. Read More: Daily News