Tag Archives: Frank Sinatra School for the Arts

Flushing resident in near-fatal motorcycle accident, family raising $500K for medical fees


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Michaelides family


The family of a Flushing resident and St. John’s University alum who was in a near-fatal motorcycle accident on Father’s Day is in a desperate struggle to raise half a million dollars for medical fees.

Anthony Michaelides, 25, lost control of his bike on June 15 while trying to merge into a freeway in Los Angeles and hit the guardrail, propelling him over the barrier and more than 100 feet down into a ravine, family members said.

He suffered double lung collapse, bleeding from his brain, a ruptured spleen, a lacerated aorta, severe damage to his liver, fractured wrists and a broken left arm. Despite the injuries, paramedics found him alive and currently he is in stable condition at Los Angeles County General Hospital under heavy sedation. His family is hoping to raise money through upcoming events and crowdfunding site CrowdRise.

“He is one of the sweetest and most generous persons you could meet. Whenever you needed help he was always right there,” said Michaelides’ cousin, Krysta, who started the CrowdRise page. “This is such a tragedy, I couldn’t sit back and do nothing. I think about him every day. But doing this and collecting donations like this is gathering positive vibes. It’s keeping me busy and in my mind, keeping Anthony alive for me.”

The family has raised nearly $50,000 on CrowdRise already. Michaelides’ alma mater, Frank Sinatra School for the Arts High School, is organizing a show with proceeds to benefit him to be announced at a later date.

Family and friends will host fundraising events at Republic Bar in Astoria on Wednesday night, in Pita Pan restaurant on Saturday, and in Five Guys Burgers and Fries chains in The Bay Terrace shopping center on Friday and Saturday in the College Point location. Proceeds from sales during the day at the eateries will go toward Michaelides. There will also be #saveanthony shirts on sale for $15 during the events.

Michaelides graduated from St. John’s University with a degree in psychology, and then earned a master’s last year from New York University in education counseling. His goal was to be a guidance counselor at Frank Sinatra, but since there were no open opportunities he moved to Los Angeles late last year.

The school called Michaelides a few weeks before his accident to let him know there was a position opening, a sibling said, but now he won’t be able to take it.

“It’s just really bad luck. Everything that happened is bad luck,” said Michaelides’ sister, Connie. “It would mean a lot to the family if he did get his dream job, but our priority is for him to get better.”

 

To donate, please visit the CrowdRise page.

To learn more about Anthony Michaelides, please click here

Upcoming fundraising event times and locations:

Wednesday, June 25th
Republic Bar
3329 Astoria Blvd
Astoria, NY 11103

Saturday, June 28th
Pita Pan
37-15 30th Avenue
Astoria, NY 11103
11 am- 2 am 

Friday, June 27th
Five Guys Burgers and Fries in Bay Terrace Shopping Center
210-33 26th avenue
Bayside, NY 11360
4 pm – 9 pm

Saturday, June 28th
Five Guys Burgers and Fries in Northside Plaza/College Point
132-01 14th avenue
Queens, NY 11356
4 pm – 9 pm

 

 

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BP Katz commemorates Beatles anniversary


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Borough President Melinda Katz appeared on the “Jim Kerr Rock ‘n Roll Morning Show” on Q104.3 Friday to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first visit to America.

It was 50 years ago today when the flight carrying the “Fab  Four”  to the U.S. arrived at John F.  Kennedy Airport, where they were greeted by thousands of screaming fans and a huge throng of reporters who came to the airport for the Beatles’ first U.S. press conference.

Since that day the borough of Queens has played host to several other major Beatles events, including their August 1964 concerts at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills and their 1965 and 1966 shows at Shea Stadium (with the sold out 1965 show being the first concert ever to be performed in a major sports stadium).

In recent years Sir Paul McCartney has made several trips to Queens for performances at Shea Stadium and Citi Field, and visited the Frank Sinatra School for the Arts in Astoria this fall, where he performed for and took questions from students.

During her radio appearance, the Borough President presented host Jim Kerr with a proclamation that notes all those important Beatles events. and pays tribute to the band for the great joy and excitement it has brought to people throughout the world.

“Beginning with their arrival in the U.S. during the dark days after the assassination John F. Kennedy, The Beatles have had a profound positive impact on our nation and have brightened the lives of countless millions of people,” Katz said. “As Borough President and as a lifelong Queens resident, I am proud that our borough has played such an important role in Beatles history. Thank you to Jim Kerr and everyone at Q104.3 for inviting me to their station to help mark today’s anniversary.”

 

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HS of Teaching schools Frank Sinatra in girls soccer championship


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Jasmine Bustos was determined not to leave the PSAL Division B girls soccer finals on Randall’s Island without a championship.

The Queens High School of Teaching girls soccer senior forward has netted more than 70 goals in her high school career, and was third in the entire city with 40 goals this season, but the championship game was her last chance to add a high school title to her resume before graduation.

Bustos earned her crown by pulling off a hat trick, leading the Tigers to a 4-0 win over the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts Lady Legends on Saturday.  

“It’s my last year and I really wanted this,” Bustos said, “I knew we had to pull it off this game or that was it.”

Bustos scored two goals in the second half and one in the first to give the Tigers a secure lead. Her third goal came in the 54th minute after she skillfully received a pass, weaved through defenders, ran up the right flank and blasted a rocket shot, which ricocheted off the goalie’s hands into the net.

That final goal came just eight minutes after her second, in which she dribbled around two defenders and hooked a shot on the opposite side of the diving goalkeeper.

“Just score, because it’s all for the team,” Bustos said she was thinking all game. But she added, “I didn’t think I was going to score three this game.”

Coming into the match head coach Alfonso Fernandez had a few words for his players.

“I told the girls to be strong,” he said.

The girls executed aggressively, just as Fernandez ordered. Bustos netted her first goal in the 12th minute and junior Makenzie Saborowski scored a goal later in the half. Saborowski smashed a free kick from about 35 yards out that floated perfectly over the goalie and found the back of the net.

“I knew it was going in,” she said. “I was aiming for the goal.”

During the season, the Tigers battled Frank Sinatra for the top of the Queens B-V conference. The teams tied as the regular season champions, each with a record of 11-1. The one loss each team had was a result of the split in their two previous matches.

The chilly championship game served as a decisive end for the rivals, and HS of Teaching dominated.

“I am very excited, because they’ve worked so hard all year,” HS of Teaching principal Jae Cho said. “Coach Alfonzo has really dedicated a lot of time to the girls. I am really happy to see the results of their hard work.”

 

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Lady Pink: Graffiti’s feisty first lady


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

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Graffiti was a man’s world— until she painted it pink.

Lady Pink, graffiti’s first and fieriest female figurehead, still reigns supreme as an icon in the American art arena. While her medium switched from subway cars and cinderblock walls to canvas over the years, the Astoria-based creative is still spreading her message — art is everywhere.

Lady Pink, born Sandra Fabara, emerged on the scene in 1979, when girl power prevailed and the public worshipped fierce, feminine idols like Charlie’s Angels and Marsha Brady. Riding on pure personality and perseverance, at 16, she busted into the proverbial boys club, proclaiming that girls could do anything boys could do, only better. The older male artists adopted her as their little sister and influenced by her fixation on historical-romance novels, they bestowed upon her the intentionally girly and definitely regal moniker, “Lady Pink.”

In the early 1980s, she scaled fences and scrawled her designs on subway cars.

“It was all about the adventure and the fame,” she said. “It was less about the art then, it was just teenagers having fun.”

She was expelled from the High School of Art & Design in Manhattan after some kids from the Bronx shot up the school during her first graffiti exhibit. While no one was killed, a stray bullet struck a kid in the back and injured him. After a heated argument with the principal and the dropping of a single f-bomb, Lady Pink’s show was shut down and she was told to leave school.

She said she didn’t like school anyway, but went on to graduate from public school.

In 1982, Lady Pink starred in the film “Wild Style,” a graffiti hip-hop amalgamation that elevated her to cult figure status. Regardless of the seemingly inseparable connection between the musical genre and the art style, Lady Pink says it’s a lifestyle she never subscribed to.

“The grassroots beginning are connected,” she said. “Other than that, there is little we have in common. They lump us up as background art so it can be a nice complete culture that can be packaged and sold. The truth of the matter is most graffiti writers are only exposed to the music of the area they come from.”

While working, Lady Pink listens to The Beatles and Metallica.

Graffiti remains, according to Lady Pink, very much its own entity, retaining what she feels is an incredibly sexist attitude.

“My background grants me respect but I see other young ladies struggling to be heard and seen,” said Lady Pink. “We have to bust our butts twice as hard to be seen and noticed.”

When she and her husband, another prominent graffiti artist whose tags terrorized multiple mayors throughout the 1970s and 1980s, work together on projects for their professional muralist company, she has him deal with the overtly-macho and occasionally misogynistic contractors and construction workers. She believes it’s about playing the game and not fighting nature.

A lifetime of running the streets, she says, prepared her.

“Graffiti to us when we’re young is like what people go to college for,” she said. “It’s boot camp for artists — how to work fast — how to work with sharks at your throat. It’s how to survive in the real world.”

Even though a portion of the population still regards graffiti as a nuisance and an eyesore, Lady Pink believes the art form gained legitimacy through sheer exposure. The artist has shown work in countless galleries and museums including the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles and the MoMA PS1. Nevertheless, there are always people waiting below her scaffold, ranting about the bright colors of the mural she’s painting.

“I get robbed, I get insulted, I get harassed by the police,” she said. “I welcomed the invention of the Walkman. I put on my music and shut them out.”

Lady Pink mentioned the newly announced demise of 5Pointz – graffiti’s holy land, recently fated to be closed and turned into high-rise apartment buildings. She hopes the displaced artists will find artistic refuge somewhere else, but recognized the city’s shortcomings in artistic preservation.

“That’s progress in New York City,” she said. “All murals are fleeting. You paint it and kiss it goodbye.”

The loss, she says, will be devastating in the annals of art history.

In contributing to the continuity of art, Lady Pink teams with kids from the Frank Sinatra School for the Arts. They design and paint public murals around Astoria and Long Island City, covering walls under the Hell Gate Bridge with sweeping images from Greek myths.

“I put the kids in big situations because that’s what happened to me,” she said. “Kids perform better when they’re given responsibilities and tasks beyond their comprehensions — their confidence grows.”

She insists her apprentices bring their own music to listen to while they paint.

“Music makes better art,” said Lady Pink. “I don’t know how art can happen in the quiet.”

Together, they put on their headphones and drown out the noise of the world.