Tag Archives: Flushing

Pedestrian killed after attempting to cross LIE in Flushing

| amatua@queenscourier.com

Image via Google Maps

A man attempting to cross the Long Island Expressway Saturday night was struck and killed by a car, police said.

The 34-year-old man was hit near exit 24 in Flushing at about 9:45 p.m. as he was trying to cross from south to north in the vicinity of 169th Street.

According to authorities, the pedestrian ran from the center wall of the expressway into the left travel lane and was struck by a Toyota Suburban. The driver attempted to brake and swerve to the right to avoid him.

EMS transported the victim, whose identity is pending family notification, to NewYork-Presbyterian/Queens where he was pronounced dead.

The investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made.


Queens College ranked fifth in Northeast for ‘Best Bang for your Buck’

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

File photo

Queens College has once again been recognized for being financially friendly.

The Flushing institution recently earned fifth place in a ranking of four-year colleges giving students the “Best Bang for the Buck” in the Northeast.

The ranking was compiled by Washington Monthly according to which Northeast colleges offer the best value for their cost based on net price (including tuition, textbooks and other costs), how many admitted students make it to graduation and whether graduating students go on to earn at least enough to pay off their loans.

According to the Washington Monthly, only 3.7 percent of Queens College students have to default on their student loans, and the school graduates 53 percent of admitted students. Also, 35.7 percent of Queens College attendees use Pell grants to help pay for costs at the school.

The list will be included in the Washington Monthly’s book, “The Other College Guide: A Roadmap for the Right School for You.” The guide is inspired by Washington Monthly magazine’s signature college rankings, and aims to provide honest and practical information to streamline the college selection process by including the school rankings, profiles of select universities and other tidbits of useful advice.

When announcing the ranking on Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo cited his pride at having Queens College included in the top five spots in the Northeast ranking, along with three other New York schools. The other New York City colleges named were Baruch College in first place, Lehman College in third place and John Jay College of Criminal Justice in fourth place.

“New York has a long and proud tradition of providing a high-quality, affordable education through our public colleges and universities,” Cuomo said. “This latest ranking further emphasizes the value of earning a degree right here in New York and I am proud of these CUNY campuses and this well-deserved recognition.”

The recognition is not the first time that Queens College has been noted by a publication for its educational value. In February, the school earned a place on Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s top 10 list for the nation’s “Best Value” colleges.


Beach Boy Brian Wilson to perform at Queens College

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Kupferberg Center for the Arts

There will be good vibrations at Queens College this October.

The Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson will be performing a selection of classic hits and material from his new solo album at the Flushing college located at 65-30 Kissena Blvd. on Oct. 9.

Wilson’s solo album, “No Pier Pressure,” was released in April, and the show will also feature The Beach Boys founding member Al Jardine.

The performance is slated to begin at 8 p.m. at the Kupferberg Center for the Arts in the Colden Auditorium. Tickets run from $39 to $89 and are on sale now.

Brian Wilson is one of pop music’s most deeply revered figures, the main creative force behind some of the most cherished recordings in rock history and co-founder of The Beach Boys.

He played an active part in creating the band’s distinctive sound, co-writing, arranging, producing and performing in more than two dozen The Beach Boys Top 40 hits.

Wilson was only 20 years old when the group released their first album, Surfin’ Safari, in 1962. The group went on to have nine consecutive “gold” albums including classics like “Surfer Girl,” “I Get Around,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” “Help Me Rhonda” and “California Girls.”

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit kupferbergcenter.org.


Cops seek Flushing purse snatcher

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for the thief who took a 57-year-old woman’s purse as she was heading up to her Flushing apartment Sunday night.

While the victim was walking up the stairs to her residence, located near Sanford Avenue and Bowne Street, at 10:40 p.m. the suspect — described as an Asian man — followed her from behind and asked her a question, authorities said. He then snatched the victim’s purse from her shoulder before fleeing.

The victim was not injured.

Anyone with information regarding the suspect’s whereabouts 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.


Teens from Little Neck and Flushing to serve as US Open ball persons

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of New York Junior Tennis and Learning

It’ll be the experience of a lifetime.

Two Queens kids from the NY Junior Tennis and Learning (NYJTL) program will be front and center as ball persons at the U.S. Open next week to assist their favorite players throughout the games.

Shelly Yaloz of Little Neck and Gabe Sifuentes of Flushing will be two of six NYJTL students who beat out hundreds of others for the honor of serving as ball persons this year. Ball persons stand courtside at tennis games to retrieve stray tennis balls, replace old balls with new ones and do other tasks such as supply players with towels or bottles of water.

The competition to make it as a ball person is intense, with prospective candidates tested on how fast they can run and how far they can throw, among other qualifications. As part of the program, NYJTL requires all of its participants to try out for the prestigious summer job, in addition to daily 4-hour training sessions during the summer and fitness conditioning and training.

Yaloz, 14, has been playing tennis with NYJTL since she was 8 years old and has never been a ball person before. She is proud of her competitive spirit, which she uses to her advantage as a tennis player.

“I’m a big fighter; in any match, I’ll try to fight,” she said. “I like the feeling of winning.”

Sifuentes, 15, attends St. Francis Preparatory School in Fresh Meadows and has been a ball person at the U.S. Open before and says that he learned a lot from the experience. He also used to attend the games every year with his family, even before he got the chance to actively participate on the courts.

“You can watch the pros deal with situations when they’re under pressure, so you can put [that experience] into your life and your tennis tournaments,” Sifuentes said.

Elena Bantovska, director of player development and competition at NYJTL, said that kids travel from all over the country to try out as ball persons, and the staff at the tennis center hoped that their students would be inspired by seeing their peers on the courts with the pros.

“It’s a huge experience to be on the court with one of your role models. That inspires them to do better and hopefully to compete on the grand stage as well,” Bantovska said.


Martial arts tournament to be held at Queens College

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy of World Fighting Martial Arts Federation

Each year, the U.S. Open Martial Arts Championship, one of the premier martial arts competition events on the East Coast, brings together hundreds of competitors from around the world to compete in a variety of matches. This year they are headed to Queens College to battle it out to find out who is the best.

The World Fighting Martial Arts Federation (WFMAF) is hosting the fifth U.S. Open Martial Arts Championship on Oct. 4 at Queens College, located at 65-30 Kissena Blvd. in Flushing.

Elite martial artists will compete in a variety of events in several different divisions and weight classes to win medals and cash prizes.

Competitors will face off in open-hand and weapons form competition in kung fu, karate, taekwondo, and wushu, as well as combat competitions in light contact sanda (light contact sparring), ultimate sanda (full contact sparring), shuai jiao (Chinese wrestling), judo, push hands, chi sao sparring and short weapons sparring.

At the culmination of the event, the grandmasters in attendance will give demonstrations of the arts, not normally seen at many venues.

For more information on how to register to be a participant or to order tickets, visit the WFMAF website.


Flushing gets its first craft cocktail rooftop bar

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Leaf Bar and Lounge

Flushing is turning over a new leaf and joining the craft cocktail craze.

The northeast Queens neighborhood has welcomed its first craft cocktail bar on the rooftop of One Fulton Square, a new development located at 133-42 39th Ave.

Leaf Bar and Lounge, owned by Todd Leong and Helen Lee, is an Izakaya-style bar that looks to pair crafted cocktails with Taiwanese and American small plates — also described as xiao-chi or small eats.

The name of the bar represents the growth and change in the Flushing community and as second generation Asian Americans, Leong and Lee aim to showcase the flavors and philosophy of their culture and create a new drinking experience for the Flushing crowd.

The cocktails and food are created by Taiwanese Chef Henry Lin and a team of Chinese American mixologists.

Leaf’s drink menu is comprised of seasonal and botanically inspired cocktails such as The Hellcat made with jalapeno-infused Jose Cuervo Tequila, agave nectar, fresh lime, coriander and smoked red alder sea salt; the Les Fleurs du Mal made with chamomile tea-infused Bird Dog Bourbon, chamomile tincture, fig, basil, chamomile honey and lemon; and the 6-8 Weeks Barrel-Aged Manhattan made with George Dickle Rye and Carpano Antica Vermouth.

The small plates menu is inspired by Taiwanese night-market items and Chinese-American classics. Some dishes made to pair with cocktails include gua bao Taiwanese pork belly buns, hamachi kama yellowtail collar, northern tiger pork and chive dumplings and Taiwanese popcorn chicken.

The décor of Leaf also draws inspiration from the name of the bar as a large tree sits in the center made from reclaimed wood, and roots and branches twisting up toward the ceiling. Leather-upholstered banquets, low- and high-top tables, and a reclaimed-wood bar seating 12 surround the tree.

Leaf also features a glass-walled patio with a view of the Manhattan skyline and a terrace.

For more information, visit leafbarandlounge.com or call 718-865-8158.


Flushing welcomes Chinese rickshaw rider on world tour

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the office of Peter Koo

Councilman Peter Koo came out to the Flushing library Saturday to welcome Chen Guanming, a Chinese farmer riding his rickshaw around the world to spread the Olympic message of peace among nations.

Chen, 60, began to pull his rickshaw around the globe after being inspired by the arrival of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. He made his way through Asia and Europe to arrive in time for the London Olympic Games in 2012, and then continued on through Canada and the United States.

“I started doing this to challenge myself and to spread the Olympic spirit of world peace around the world,” Guanming said. “I hope to encourage people to work hard, stay healthy by exercising, and to realize that no dream is too big if you have the will to accomplish it.”

So far, Chen has traveled over 170,000 kilometers through 24 nations. His next destination is Washington, D.C, and he expects to arrive in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro in time for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Koo said Chen is an inspiration to the young and old and he was grateful that so many Flushing residents came out to encourage his spirit. The councilman awarded Chen with a certificate to honor his dedication to promoting international harmony.

“The state of the world today is plagued by incidents of terrorism, financial crisis, hunger and disease,” Koo said. “In his travels, Mr. Chen has seen more than most of us ever will, and with sheer force of will and an impenetrable optimism, his passage begets a glimmer of hope and encouragement for all he encounters.”

Chen will be making appearances with his rickshaw all this week at the Flushing library to meet and pose for pictures with well-wishers. Anyone interested in his travels can visit his website.


West Nile spraying to target northeast Queens

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Image courtesy of NYC Health Department

Another round of West Nile spraying is set for parts of Queens next week in an effort to reduce mosquito activity and the risk of the virus.

The treatment, which will include spraying pesticide from trucks, will take place on Monday, Aug. 24, between the hours of 8:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. the following morning. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Tuesday, Aug. 25, during the same hours.

Last weekend, the Health Department reported the season’s first human case of West Nile virus in a Brooklyn man. The patient, who was hospitalized with viral meningitis and over the age of 60, has been treated and discharged.

Though no cases have reported in Queens this season, the following northeast neighborhoods are “being treated due to rising West Nile virus activity and because they have high mosquito populations”:

Parts of Auburndale, Bayside, Bay Terrace, Beechhurst, College Point, Flushing, Linden Hill, Malba, Murray Hill and Whitestone (bordered by Cross Island Parkway, Clearview Expressway and the East River to the north; Flushing Bay to the west; Northern Boulevard, 153rd Street, 35th Avenue, Utopia Parkway, 42nd Avenue, Clearview Expressway, 33rd Avenue, 215th Place and 31st Road to the south; and Cross Island Parkway to the east).

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

The Health Department recommends that people take the following precautions to minimize direct exposure:

  • 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; however, if you wish to reduce the possibility of indoor exposure to pesticides, set the air conditioner vent to the closed position, or choose the re-circulate function.
  • 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.
  • Wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticides with soap and water. Always wash your produce thoroughly with water before cooking or eating.



New Sanrio boutique brings official Hello Kitty merchandise to Flushing

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of The Shops at SkyView Center

Hello Kitty says hello to Flushing!

Sanrio, the Japanese brand behind iconic cartoon character Hello Kitty, has opened a boutique in Flushing.

The 1,500-square-foot store is located at The Shops at SkyView Center, and its grand opening took place on Sunday. Guests at the event were treated to Hello Kitty appearances and giveaways of toys, temporary tattoos and balloons, in addition to free gifts with their purchases.

The store carries a mix of original and exclusive items featuring mega-popular Sanrio characters such as Keroppi the frog and Hello Kitty. Hello Kitty NY Mets merchandise will be in stock, as well as stationary, sportswear, accessories, school supplies, home decor, luggage, jewelry and more.

While there are many other authorized Sanrio retailers in the city, there is just one full Sanrio boutique other than the Flushing location. The other storefront is a pop-up shop with a smaller selection of items located in Times Square at 1565 Broadway planned to stay in the area until the holiday season of 2015. A permanent Sanrio location previously situated in Times Square closed in April 2014.


Jamaica and Flushing commuters sign petition calling for better bus service

| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Riders Alliance

More than 2,000 people in Flushing and Jamaica reportedly signed a petition to demand improvements to the bus service along the Q44 bus route, according to a transit advocacy group.

Formed in 2012, the Riders Alliance organizes transit riders to call for better service and to influence transit funding and policy. The organization began collecting signatures for a petition meant to spur city agencies to adopt Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) along the Q44 route, specifically on Parsons Boulevard and Main Street.

The Riders Alliance will deliver the petition to the Department of Transportation (DOT), Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and elected officials in Flushing and Jamaica. The DOT is currently studying the implementation of Select Bus Service along the Q44.

Josselyn Atahualpa, the Queens community organizer for Riders Alliance, said that she, along with other Riders Alliance members, began collecting signatures for a petition last October to gauge residents’ interest in the adoption of BRT. Though some community members vocalized opposition to the plan, Atahualpa said most people want to see changes to the route along Jamaica, which was recently named New York’s  neighborhood with the longest commute.

“We support the current proposal that they released in late May,” Atahualpa said. “We just want to see it implemented quickly and on time.”

The Q44, which links Jamaica, Flushing and the Bronx, serves 44,000 riders daily. The plan would add designated bus lanes on Sutphin Boulevard, Archer Avenue and Hillside Avenue in Jamaica. Main Street between Northern Boulevard and the Horace Harding Expressway in Flushing would also receive designated bus lanes.

As a senior, I don’t drive and I can’t walk long distances,” said Jeanne Majors, who is a Jamaica resident and member of the Riders Alliance. “I often rely on buses, but I’m tired of their unreliability and how overcrowded they’ve become. Buses come late, and older buses are difficult for me to board. I want reliable service and Select Bus Service can provide that.”

The DOT is planning to hold community meetings to discuss the proposed SBS service this fall but not all residents are on board with the plan. Yvonne Reddick, district manager for Community Board 12, said the Q44 along Jamaica has a short wait time and other bus services, such as the Q4 that runs through Jamaica and Cambria Heights and the Q41 that runs through Jamaica and 164 Avenue in Howard Beach, could benefit from SBS.

“I have monitored that Q44 that comes through Jamaica,” Reddick said. “That bus is the best bus that comes through Jamaica and I said that to the MTA. The longest you may wait for that Q44 is something like 3 minutes.”

Reddick said the Q4, which runs along Merrick Boulevard, has some of the longest wait times; she blamed part of the problem on the abundance of dollar vans that speed up and down the boulevard “like we’re in the wild west.”


Crews wipe out hateful message found written in Flushing sidewalk

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of City Councilman Peter Koo

Whoever wrote an anti-Asian message into the sidewalk near a Flushing condominium won’t have the satisfaction of seeing it any longer.

Crews from the Department of Transportation (DOT) on Tuesday morning erased the slur from the sidewalk slab in front of the Cherry Manor Condos at 141-18 Cherry Ave. A photo of the vandalism, apparently written while the cement was drying after being recently poured, was posted on a Facebook group on Saturday and subsequently shared with City Councilman Peter Koo.

Koo’s office then contacted the DOT and the condo management, both of which resolved to take action as quickly as possible. The DOT’s Sidewalks and Inspection Management Division buffed away the markings.

“It is critical that the community take an immediate stand against this kind of hate speech wherever and whenever it surfaces,” Koo said. “We embrace our diversity here in Flushing as a strength that should be celebrated and nurtured, and we will stand vigilant against racism in all forms.”

No one knows who wrote the message on the sidewalk, but the 109th Precinct is investigating the crime.


New Flushing store sells frozen treats inspired by Korean shaved ice

| asuriel@queenscourier.com


Shoppers and residents of Flushing can enjoy cold and sweet relief during the last days of summer with the opening of a new frozen treat store.

Snowdays opened in Flushing on Friday at 37-20 Prince St. and sells shaved cream, a frozen dessert that mixes the fluffy texture of snow with the taste and creaminess of ice cream.

The store has another location in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, but the new Flushing spot has its own exclusive red bean flavor, which is not available anywhere else. Other flavors stocked at both locations include green tea matcha, New York cheesecake and a coconut-flavored vegan option.

Founder Tony Quach first tasted frozen shaved cream while living in Los Angeles. It was created as a new take on wildly popular shaved ices from Taiwan and Korea flavored with toppings and syrup.

Quach brought the dessert to the east coast soon after his first shaved cream by opening his first storefront at 241 E. 10th Street.

“It was the best thing I had ever tasted. There was nothing like it,” Quach said. “What was first a cool new place to take friends for dessert quickly turned into an obsession and craving.”

According to the Snowdays website, the company replenishes their inventory daily in small batches on the premises with fresh organic dairy from the Hudson Valley and seasonal ingredients such as hand-roasted black sesame seeds and real cream cheese.

Dewan Tarek, director of events and catering at Snowdays, said Flushing was a natural choice for a second location because of the strong Asian fan base which has grown around the dessert.

“Flushing is a thriving Asian neighborhood, so it felt like a natural transition,” Tarek said. “Shaved cream is inspired by Taiwan and Korea so it makes sense to bring it to the people.”


Elderly man found dead at Flushing’s Maple Playground in apparent suicide

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Robert Stridiron

A 74-year-old man was found dead inside Maple Playground in Flushing early Saturday morning after an apparent suicide, police said.

The man’s body was discovered hanging from a piece of exercise equipment at 6:45 a.m. on Saturday in the playground located near Kissena Boulevard and Maple Avenue, authorities said.

The victim’s name has not been released and an investigation is ongoing.


Fish die in Flushing’s Kissena Lake after flash floods

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Parks Department

More than a hundred fish in the lake of Flushing‘s Kissena Park died this week after recent flash flooding cut off their oxygen supply.

Residents in the Flushing area observed fish of all sizes gasping for life or floating dead on the surface of the lake from Tuesday night through Wednesday.

According to the Parks Department, natural wells fill Kissena Lake with water, but green-blue algae growth precipitated by the flash flooding caused oxygen levels to drop off and endanger the fish. Workers from the agency were at the lake Wednesday with mechanized pumps to add oxygen to the water and prevent any further damage from being done.

“Starting Wednesday morning, NYC Parks staff have worked quickly to address this issue, bringing in aerating water pumps and coordinating with DEC to investigate further,” the Parks Department said in a statement.

An estimated 150 fish were killed in total as of Thursday, but this number is expected to rise as more fish float to the surface.

The department reported on Friday that the oxygen levels have been restored and the water is once again safe for fish.