Tag Archives: Fourth of July

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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MTA service for the July 4 holiday


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by MTA / Patrick Cashin

The MTA will offer extra railroad service on Thursday, July 3 for the Fourth of July weekend. On Friday, July 4, subways, buses, the LIRR and the Staten Island Railway will operate on a Saturday schedule, and Metro-North Railroad will operate on a Sunday/holiday schedule with extra trains added. More details are below, according to the transit agency.

Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad

The LIRR and Metro-North will provide additional early-afternoon service from Manhattan on Thursday, July 3, for customers planning an early getaway for the start of the Independence Day holiday. Seventeen extra trains will depart Grand Central Terminal between noon and 4 p.m., and eight extra trains will depart from Penn Station between 2 and 4 p.m.  Train service that normally operates to the Hamptons and Montauk only on Fridays, including The Cannonball, will run on Thursday, July 3, instead.

For more details from the Long Island Rail Road click here and Metro-North Railroad click here.

NYC Subway

On Friday, July 4, subways will operate on a Saturday schedule. There will be no R Subway Line Icon service below Canal St. Customers are encouraged to use the Bowling Green 4, 5 and Fulton St 2, 3, 4, 5 A, C stations. There will be increased subway service on the 5, A, C, F, N and S 42nd Street Shuttle prior to and following the Macy’s fireworks celebration, which will originate from three barges located between The Manhattan Bridge and Pier 9 (near Old Slip) from 9:25 p.m. to 9:55 p.m.

NYC Buses

Buses operated by MTA New York City Transit and the MTA Bus Company will operate on a Saturday schedule on Friday, July 4. There are many routes that either do not operate on Saturdays or do not run on part of the route at certain hours. Customers traveling on the Fourth of July should check Saturday schedules, lines and routes.  The following bus routes may be affected by delays and detours:  M5; M15 SBS; M20; B25 and B63.

Staten Island Railway

Staten Island Railway customers looking to get a head start on the Fourth of July holiday will be able to catch earlier afternoon express train service on Thursday, July 3 with MTA Staten Island Railway’s Early Departure Getaway schedule. Extra SIR trains will be added earlier in the afternoon beginning at 2:30 p.m. from the St. George Ferry Terminal. There will be one express train and one local train awaiting every boat until 7:50 p.m. On the Fourth of July, SIR will operate on a Saturday schedule. Staten Island Railway is prepared to add additional service prior to and after the fireworks, as needed.

MTA Bridges and Tunnels

MTA Bridges and Tunnels will suspend all routine construction work at its seven bridges and two tunnels beginning 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 3, through Monday morning, July 7.

 

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Astoria’s The POP BAR to debut with July 4 bash, hot dog eating contest


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos by Angy Altamirano


Something new is popping in Astoria.

This Fourth of July, The POP BAR, located at 12-21 Astoria Blvd., is making its debut in the western Queens neighborhood during a grand opening “Backyard Bash,” including live music, cold drinks and a hot dog eating contest.

Visitors to the establishment, owned by Astoria resident Jeremy B. Osslund, will be welcomed by a one-of-a-kind colorful façade designed by 5Pointz aerosol artist Shiro.

Inside, more large work from the Japanese artist covers the wall above the door and spreads onto surrounding walls over seating booths. The bar top was done by graffiti artist YESONE, and in front of the bar, another wall is covered in over 700 pages ripped out of “Betty and Veronica” comic books.

“I’ve always sort of had a little bit of obsession with graffiti and 5Pointz and it has a special place in my heart,” Osslund said. “When I reached out to Meres, it was right after 5Pointz got whitewashed and I was like, ‘Let’s have a place where graffiti artists in general can actually come and put their work up.’ And celebrate the entire artistic history of Long Island City and Astoria.”

The POP BAR also features a gallery in the front, which until the end of August will include work by Shiro, YESONE, and Jonathan “Meres One” Cohen, curator and CEO of 5Pointz. All pieces are available for sale, and every two months, the gallery will change to feature different art forms by various artists.

Osslund, originally from Arizona, previously had worked as a consultant helping people open their own hospitality or food establishments. However, he then decided to follow what he was passionate about since a young age and opened his own location in the community he has called home for the past five years.

“There’s a future here, a very bright future,” said Osslund, who hopes opening The POP BAR will only be the beginning to building the neighborhood. “I’m really excited to show people my idea of what a good menu and drinks and a good time is, and hopefully everyone agrees.”

The establishment’s food is what Osslund calls “Pacific surf inspired” and mostly uses ingredients purchased from local vendors. The drink menu includes selections like a “Pimms Cup” that uses mint leaves grown right in the backyard of the bar. Along with indoor seating, the site also features a backyard seating area.

Along with the artwork up front, The POP BAR will also have movies playing on the backyard every day, with no sound, and on weekends will turn the sound up to show movies and an array of ‘90s TV shows.

Keeping up with the emphasis on pop culture, Tuesdays, which will be known as Tequila Tuesday, will offer $5 shots of tequila called “Bill Murrays” and movies with the actor will be show all day.

“POP is a word, it’s a verb, it’s an adjective, it’s everything. What is pop?” Osslund said. “Pop is a feeling you get, it’s the excitement when you are waiting for a bottle of champagne to pop, it’s after it pops and the thrill. Pop can be anything.”

The July 4 Backyard Bash begins at 5 p.m. and will feature music from the local band Another Dead Clown and a hot-dog-eating contest starting at 8:30 p.m. Artists will be present as well.

The POP BAR will be opened from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. on weekdays, and 5 p.m. to 4 a.m. on weekends. For more information visit www.thepopbar.com.

 

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Returning July Fourth fireworks could mean big biz for LIC waterfront


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Macy’s

It could be an explosive Independence Day for businesses around the Long Island City waterfront.

After moving to the Hudson River in 2009, Macy’s and Bill de Blasio announced Monday that the department store’s annual 4th of July Fireworks show is returning to the East River this summer.

The location change is expected to benefit restaurants, bars and other establishments along the river that previously saw increased traffic during the festivities.

“It was actually an emptiness that the East River had. It was basically a tradition we had lost for five years,” said Tony Raouf, owner of Riverview Restaurant & Lounge.

Located close to Gantry Plaza State Park, a popular fireworks viewing spot in years past, Riverview is planning on having a celebration with a band this year.

Waterfront Crab House, another Long Island City eatery near the East River, on Borden Avenue, used to close the street down during the holiday and hold a fundraiser for children’s cancer before the fireworks moved.

Parking changes and construction no longer make the closure possible, according to Barbara Heden, the restaurant’s manager.

“[This July Fourth] probably won’t be like it used to be, but will bring us business,” she said.

Heden expects business will quadruple compared to last year. She also said the newly-created Hunter’s Point South Park, which is located on Center Boulevard between 50th and 54th avenues and did not exist when the fireworks were formerly on the East River, will help bring in more crowds.

Z NYC Hotel, opened in 2011 at 43rd Avenue and 11th Street, is already developing special July Fourth events and programming for the holiday that it will be announcing soon, according to Lisa Gneo, director of sales and marketing.

“This will be a great opportunity for many businesses in Long Island City and another way to generate tremendous revenue for our hotel and the community,” she said.

The country’s largest pyrotechnic July Fourth display, the fireworks will be launched from the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time and from barges positioned on the lower East River.

Amy Kule, executive producer of Macy’s events, said at the announcement that the move to the East River is not permanent.

“I’m sure when there’s something else to celebrate — or a reason to move — we will look to do so,” she said.

But the mayor said he would do everything possible “to make [the East River location] as typical as possible — as frequent as possible.”

 

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Fourth of July fireworks returning to East River


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo: Ed Reed for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio

Updated 2:35 p.m.

A boom is coming back to the Queens waterfront this Independence Day.

After moving to the Hudson River in 2009, the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show is returning to the East River this summer, the department store and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

The country’s largest pyrotechnic July Fourth display, the fireworks will be launched from the Brooklyn Bridge and from barges positioned on the lower East River.

“What this means, the fact that fireworks come back to the East River, means that countless more New Yorkers will now be able to enjoy what is really the greatest annual fireworks show in the country,”  de Blasio said. “From Brooklyn to western Queens to the East Side of Manhattan, many more New Yorkers will be able to take part in this celebration, in their neighborhoods, on their rooftops, along the shoreline.”

The 2009 move not only left Queens residents without a place in the borough to watch fireworks on the holiday, but hurt businesses along the East River that saw increased traffic during the festivities.

“For too long, residents of our neighborhoods have been left out of what is not only a citywide, but a national event,” state Sen. Michael Gianaris said in a statement. “Once again, the Queens waterfront will be a participant in the grandest Independence Day celebration in the United States.”

 

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Macy’s, local pols to meet about moving fireworks back to East River


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

liducks fireworks2

Macy’s executives are planning on meeting with local politicians, including Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., to discuss moving its Fourth of July fireworks back to the East River. The meeting was scheduled for today, but was cancelled, said Vallone.

This July 4 was the fourth year in a row that the Macy’s fireworks display was on the Hudson River, leaving nowhere in Queens to see fireworks on the holiday.

Joining Vallone will be New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and State Senator Daniel Squadron of Brooklyn. To help their case, they will present Macy’s with a petition to return the fireworks to the East River. Since it was launched on June 28, over 3,000 people have signed the petition, said Squadron spokesperson Amy Spitalnick.

Vallone has been urging the department store to return the fireworks to the East River for years, but with de Blasio and Squadron’s help, Macy’s has finally agreed to sit down and discuss the move. “The East River is the heart of New York City and the people of Queens and Brooklyn should have front row seats,” he said. “Having it here on the East River helps Queens and Brooklyn businesses.”

Though Vallone would prefer that the fireworks were on the East River each year, Macy’s is likely to agree to alternating them between the Hudson and East rivers.

 

4-year-old boy drowns at Fourth of July party


| brennison@queenscourier.com

A Fourth of July party ended with tragedy after a 4-year-old drowned in a relative’s pool, according to authorities.

Police received a call at 6 p.m. of an unconscious child at a Douglas Manor home after he was found in the home’s pool.

The victim, Christos Voulkoudis, 4, was rushed to North Shore University Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Police said no criminality is suspected in the tragedy.

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Fireworks light up the night as New Yorkers celebrate Independence Day 

Millions of New Yorkers and tourists alike celebrated the nation’s birthday Wednesday night with the 36th annual Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks show. An estimated 40,000 fireworks lit up the sky over the five boroughs, propelled from two barges on the Hudson River in what was billed as the largest display in the country. The event was the culmination of days of preparations. Read more: [NY1] 

Beloved grandmother, a victim of callous hit-and-run in Queens, slowly recovering from horrific wounds

A beloved grandmother who was mowed down and left for dead on a Queens street last month is slowly recovering — but the callous driver is still at large. Bidi Kahn, 65, a widowed mother of six with “a bunch” of grandchildren, has been surrounded by her family at Jamaica Hospital as her face heals from the horrific wounds she endured in the hit-and-run nightmare. She said the support of her family has been keeping her going. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Saving the day just part of the daily rounds for MTA bus driver

Call him the Astounding Busman. The temperature plunged to 13 degrees at 6 a.m. that snowy Feb. 6, 2004, when Glen Moyles pulled his Q12 bus out of Casey Stengel Depot on Roosevelt Ave. in Queens and groaned over the Northern Blvd. overpass above icy Flushing Bay. Up ahead in the swirling white haze Moyles spotted an idling car parked in the right lane. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Queens-bound tour bus crash injures 23; no charges filed 

Police are investigating a tour bus crash in Westchester County that sent nearly two dozen people to the hospital Wednesday. New York State Police say the bus was traveling from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut to Queens just before 6:30 a.m. when the driver lost control on I-95. Read more: [NY1] 

Queens boy, 4, drowns in relatives’ backyard pool 

A 4-year-old boy drowned in relatives’ backyard pool during a Fourth of July party last night in Queens, authorities said. Firefighters arrived at the Beverly Road home in the Douglas Manor neighborhood just before 6 p.m. to find the unconscious child, identified by police as Christos Voulkoudis, lying next to the pool after he was pulled out by family members. Read more: [New York Post]

MTA cop shoots, kills psycho who stabbed him in the eye in unprovoked attack

An MTA cop who survived two wars as a Navy officer was stabbed in the eye by a police-hating lunatic at an LIRR station — but the bleeding officer managed to shoot his attacker dead before the man could strike again. “He’s a real hero,” MTA chief Joe Lhota said of Officer John Barnett, who has also served with the NYPD. Read more: [New York Post] 

What to do in Queens: July 4 holiday


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Even though you can’t see fireworks in Queens, there are still plenty of fun things to do around the borough this Fourth of July holiday.

 

TUESDAY, JULY 3

Fireworks at Citi Field
Following the 7:10 p.m. Mets game vs. the Phillies, the Mets will have its annual fireworks night at Citi Field. Don’t have tickets to the game? You can catch a great view of the fireworks from other location near the stadium, including the Home Depot parking lot, located at 131-35 Avery Avenue.

 

WEDNESDAY, JULY 4

Independence Day Festival in Queens Village
Starts at 10 a.m. at Sanford Avenue between Main Street and Union Street

Louis Armstrong Birthday Tours 
Louis always celebrated his birthday on the Fourth of July. The Louis Armstrong House Museum honors him by remaining open  from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  for special tours that include celebratory birthday photos, audio clips and a complimentary cupcake for kids 12 years old and under.

Skyline Princess NYC Fourth of July Fireworks Cruise
Skyline Princess’s Fourth of July Dinner cruise features a five hour cruise with a front row seat for the famous Macy’s fireworks display in New York Harbor. The cruise boards  from the World’s Fair Marina in  Flushing Meadows at 5:30 pm. Sailing time: is at 6:00 p.m. and it returns at 11:00 p.m.

Free Summer Movie at Socrates Sculpture Park
Celebrate July 4th with a program of short films that is funny, revelatory, dramatic and all-American. “The American Experience” starts at 7:00 p.m.


THURSDAY, JULY5

Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats
The Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats are coming back to Queens Theatre, located at 14 United Nations Avenue South, Flushing Corona Park in Flushing. There is a new cast, new acts and new thrills! Performances will include a combination of acrobatics, traditional dance, costumes, ancient/contemporary music and theatrical techniques.

Sissy McGinty’s Trivia Night
Sissy McGinty’s, located at 25-67 Steinway Street in Astoria, is holding their weekly Trivia Night from 9 p.m. – 11:45 p.m. This week, they will be celebrating the Fourth of July and there will be drink prize for the round winners and a bar tab for the champion.

 

FRIDAY, JULY 6

First Fridays at the the Noguchi Museum
The Noguchi Museum, located at 9-01 33rd Road in Long Island City, has a First Fridays feature which includes a pay what you wish admission with an extended evening hours (5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.). Beer and wine will be offered at the cash bar and a special programming will include “Center of Attention,” and others.

Rocky McBride’s Neon 80’s & 90’s Party
Rocky McBride’s, located at 27-01 23rd Avenue in Astoria, will be hosting a Neon 80’s & 90’s party f rom 7 p.m. – 3 a.m. Come out wearing your favorite neon and enjoy the night with drink specials and more!

Mariachi Flor de Toloache
The Mariachi Flor de Toloache, the all-female mariachi band, will be performing at the Queens Kickshaw, located at 40-17 Broadway in Astoria, from 9 p.m. – 11:30 p.m..

 

SATURDAY, JULY 7

Warm Up at MoMA PS1
Every Saturday this summer, starting July 7, MoMA PS1, located at 22-25 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City, has an outdoor series that features  live music, sound, performance and DJs. It is held at their courtyard. From 2 p.m. – 9 p.m., the admission fee is $15 and this includes access to all exhibitions and Warm Up.

 

 

 

Queens shut out, Macy’s fireworks again over Hudson River


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

For the fourth summer in a row, there will be no Fourth of July fireworks on the East River, and no place for Queens’ residents to see them in the borough. Instead, the 36th Annual Macy’s July 4 Fireworks will again take place on the Hudson River.

Restaurants near Long Island City’s Gantry Plaza State Park, a popular spot for viewing fireworks when they were on the East River, have seen the effects of the fireworks’ relocation. Since they moved, restaurants have fewer customers on July 4. Though some report greater differences than others do.

At Riverview Restaurant & Lounge there has been a significant difference for the last three Independence Days. Located just across from Gantry Park, at 2-01 50th Avenue, it was a tradition for people to come to the restaurant and watch the fireworks, said Riverview’s event coordinator, Doris Nowillo. Whether inside or outside, people could see them because of the restaurant’s large windows.

When the fireworks were on the East River, about 200 people would come to the restaurant, but now it is less crowded than an average night, she said.

Even after three years, people still call the restaurant, not knowing that the fireworks are only on the Hudson this year. After we tell them, they hang up and don’t make a reservation, said Nowillo.

“[July 4] would triple our business,” said Mimi McKenna, a hostess at The Waterfront Crabhouse (2-03 Borden Avenue). There used to be people lined up outside waiting for a table, but for the past few years, no one has had to wait to be seated, she added.

Italian restaurant Bella Via has seen about a 20 percent drop in customers since the fireworks relocated, but still does good business on the holiday, said owner Sal Polito.

Though the restaurant no longer has as many customers from other Queens neighborhoods, as it did when the fireworks were on the East River, it’s still busier on July 4 than other nights, said Polito.

Ryan Linchow, manager of Pan-Asian fusion restaurant Shi, at 4720 Center Boulevard, just across from Gantry Park, said that since the fireworks moved his restaurant has also had a 20 percent drop in customers on the Fourth of July. But “last year was still really busy,” he added.

It’s not just local restaurants that are pushing for the fireworks to return to the East River. “If there was a petition [to bring the fireworks back to the East River], all of Long Island City would sign it,” said Nowillo of Riverview Restaurant and a 37-year L.I.C resident.

Nowillo got her wish. On June 28, State Senator Daniel Squadron, whose district includes parts of Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan, and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio announced an online petition demanding that the fireworks return to the East River. Squadron and de Blasio, along with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, will meet with Macy’s in the coming weeks to move the fireworks back to the East River in 2013.

“What we all were told was a one-year hiatus on the Hudson has now become the new norm—leaving more than half the city out of the July 4 celebration,” said de Blasio at a press conference on June 28. “We look forward to sitting down with Macy´s to find a way to bring the show back to the East River, where more New Yorkers can be a part of it.”

In early April, Squadron along with other Brooklyn and Queens politicians, including Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., who represents Long Island City, sent a letter to Macy’s chairman, president and CEO, Terry Lundgren, urging him to bring the fireworks back to the East River this July 4. But they couldn’t convince the department store to make the move this year.

 

On July 3, following the 7:10 p.m. Mets game vs. the Phillies, the Mets will have its annual fireworks night at Citi Field.

 

 

 

MTA service for Fourth of July holiday


| editorial@queenscourier.com

The MTA will offer extra railroad service on Tuesday, July 3, to allow customers to get a head start on the Fourth of July holiday. On Wednesday, July 4, subways and buses will operate on a Saturday schedule, and theLong Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and Staten Island Railway will operate on a Sunday schedule. More details are below.

New York City Subway

On Wednesday, July 4, subways will operate on a Saturday schedule. There will be increased subway service on the 1, A, C, E, L and 42nd Street Shuttle S following the Macy’s fireworks celebration, which will originate from four barges located on the Hudson River between 18th and 43rd Streets from 9:20 p.m. to 9:50 p.m.

New York City Buses

Buses operated by MTA New York City Transit and the MTA Bus Company will operate on a Saturday schedule on Wednesday, July 4. There are many routes that either do not operate on Saturdays or do not run on part of the route at certain hours. Customers traveling on the Fourth of July should check Saturday schedules, lines and routes.

Long Island Rail Road

The Long Island Rail Road will provide additional early-afternoon service from Penn Station on Tuesday, July 3 for customers planning an early getaway for the start of the Independence Day holiday. The LIRR will be operating on a Sunday/holiday schedule on July 4th.

Metro-North Railroad

The railroad will operate 18 extra trains between noon and 4 p.m. for people leaving work early on Tuesday, July 3. In conjunction with this early rush hour, several regularly scheduled late PM peak trains will not operate

MTA Bridges and Tunnels

MTA Bridges and Tunnels will suspend all routine construction work at its seven bridges and two tunnels beginning at 1 p.m. on Tues., July 3rd through Wednesday’s July Fourth holiday to help smooth travel for drivers. Drivers can help ease traffic delays this year by taking advantage of several new initiatives, including the new MTA Reload Card, which allows motorists to reload E-ZPass accounts with cash at thousands of local retail stores, and the new MTA EZTravel app for iPhones, which allows passengers to see how traffic is moving at B&T crossings and other information.