Tag Archives: Glendale

Eateries to offer free samples ahead of Queens Restaurant Week


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Queens Economic Development Corporation

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

Take your palate on an adventure as the Queens Restaurant Week kicks off with a free lunch on Oct. 6 at The Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale. Thirteen eateries will offer free samples of their dishes to everyone who attends, starting at noon.

The eateries participating in the kickoff include Agora Taverna, Austin’s Steak & Ale House, Bourbon Street, California Pizza Kitchen, Chili’s, Deluge, Family Restaurant, Fiamma 41, Neir’s Tavern, O’Neil’s, Shiro’s of Japan, The Fortune Society and Uncle Peters. The event will also include speeches by politicians such as Borough President Melinda Katz, City Council member Elizabeth Crowley and state Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr.

The 11th Annual Queens Restaurant Week officially begins on Oct. 13 in almost 30 neighborhoods across the borough. Cuisines of every variety, such as French, Greek, Uruguayan and Salvadorian foods, will be on offer with around 150 local restaurants participating. Specials and deals vary according to the eatery, but most of them will offer a three-course dinner for $25 per person and lunch for $14. It is also up to the restaurant’s discretion as to which days of the week they want to offer the specials. The Queens Restaurant Week will go on till Halloween.

If you have wanted to try a different cuisine without tearing up your wallet, here is your chance.

For a complete list of participating restaurants, click here.

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Motorcyclist killed in Glendale crash


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

AmbulanceInMotionHC0507_L_300_C_Y-624x416

A 38-year-old motorcyclist is dead after a collision in Glendale early Sunday morning, according to police.

At about 4:10 a.m., David Malave was riding his bike eastbound on Cypress Avenue when he struck a curb and began to skid toward a second motorcyclist, a 43-year-old man who was stopped at a red light on Cypress Avenue and Cypress Hills Street, cops said. Malave’s motorcycle struck the rear of the second bike before coming to a rest.

Malave was taken to Jamaica Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The 43-year-old man was not injured in the accident, according to authorities.

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Two Glendale residents searching for kidney transplants


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

When the workday ends for Debbie Zeni, she returns to her Glendale home to her husband and two children, Ava, 8, and Dario, 9.

But before she can spend time with them, she has to meet with another member of the household: Nancy #3.

Nancy #3 is Zeni’s dialysis machine and its name was coined by her two children as it is now the third one to have taken residence in their home.

Zeni needs to use it each day for over two hours because she has a condition called polycystic kidney disease, a hereditary condition where cysts form on the kidney.

Both of her kidneys have been completely non-functional for almost two years, so she needs Nancy #3 to survive.

“It is a real hardship each day,” Zeni said. “But you just have to keep fighting and not give up hope.”

Zeni’s appearance would not cause anyone to think that she is fighting for her life each day, and many times when she breaks the news to people, they respond with a look of disbelief.

This also applies to James Deifel, one of Zeni’s friends who also is suffering from kidney complications. Deifel, a Glendale resident and father of two, has a condition called focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), which has currently depleted his kidney function to about 16 percent.

Still, each day, he gets up and goes to work for Verizon in order to support his wife, Claudia, and two children, Julia, 9, and Michael, 13.

There is no cure for either Zeni or Deifel’s diseases. The only option for either is a kidney transplant.

Each has gone to family members and are on a transplant list, but neither has found a match.

But they are not giving up hope and neither is Deifel’s wife, who is now trying to up the chances to find a donor by using social media.

Last week, Claudia Deifel started a Facebook page called “Glendale Kidney,” where she has listed both her husband’s and Zeni’s conditions along with their case managers’ information. The page has already received more than 1,500 shares, and she is hoping that getting the word out to the community and beyond will better the chances of finding donors.

“I thought to myself, let me start with the community and get the word out to people,” Claudia Deifel said. “All I could do is keep putting the word out there and hope the right person sees it.”

Contrary to popular thought, with today’s technology, a kidney transplant requires only minimally invasive surgery. The donor would first have to take a blood test to see whether a match existed.

But both Zeni and Deifel understand the difficulty involved in kidney donation.

“We are aware it would really take a special type of person for a stranger to donate an organ to another stranger,” Zeni said, while holding Ava on her lap. “But if I get a kidney, I know I would live to a ripe old age.”

As they continue to fight, both are humbled with the overwhelming response they have gotten from the community via Facebook. They hope that as their story spreads, their chances of finding a match will grow.

“It’s great to see that friends of friends in the community have been spreading the word around,” Deifel said. “Remember, it only takes one.”

To find out more information, visit “Glendale Kidney” on Facebook.

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Cops looking for Queens jewelry store thieves


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Police are searching for a suspect who tried to rob a Glendale jewelry store last month before holding up a Rego Park jewelry store with two other men this month.

The first robbery happened on Aug. 16 at about 12:20 p.m. at a jewelry store on Myrtle Avenue near 69th Place, cops said. After displaying a gun, the suspect struck a 64 year-old man with the butt of the weapon before fleeing empty-handed. The victim was not taken to the hospital.

Cops believe the same man, along with two other suspects, robbed a jewelry store on Queens Boulevard near 64th Road at about 1:50 p.m. on Sept. 5, according to authorities.

One of the suspects displayed a gun and discharged one round into the floor. The suspects then took several pieces of jewelry and fled and in a gray BMW X3. None of the robbery victims were injured.

Authorities have released video footage from the latest robbery.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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New group formed to fight proposed Glendale homeless shelter


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo by Jeff Stone

The fight goes on.

A new group named the Glendale/Middle Village Coalition has formed to combat the proposed homeless shelter site on Cooper Avenue.

“Instead of everyone doing little things on their own [to combat the site] we will form one group to make a stronger argument,” said Salvatore Crifasi, co-founder of the coalition.

The group was formed just a couple of weeks ago. Its main argument is that the site will serve better as a school campus than a homeless shelter for the most overcrowded school district in the city, Crifasi said.

They also believe the city did not properly assess the site as a homeless shelter for its impact on the environment and have hired a lawyer to help them in their argument.

Whenever a government agency proposes a project they must go through State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR), which requires an environmental impact assessment.  A “negative declaration” is given to a site, such as the one on Cooper Avenue, when it is determined that whatever is proposed for it would not have a significant impact on the environment.

“The negative declaration that was issued for the site does not accurately depict what the homeless shelter would do,” said Chris Murray, the attorney hired by the coalition. “The city was just trying to rush this thing through.”

The coalition is still trying to raise enough funds for the legal fees in order to bring this case to the state Supreme Court. The negative impact statement was issued on June 12 and by law there is a four-month window to file a legal challenge, Murray said. This gives the coalition about a month to raise money for their lawyer to bring a case.

“There are other alternatives that we feel will have a better impact [on the community],” Crifasi said. “We are trying to raise enough money [for legal fees] and find a better solution for the site.”

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Petition: turn proposed Glendale homeless shelter site into a school


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo by Jeff Stone

A petition has been started to turn the proposed homeless shelter site on Cooper Avenue into an educational facility to better accommodate the overcrowded School District 24.

“We are not happy about the shelter,” Kathy Masi, president of the Glendale Civic Association, said at a Community Education Council meeting on Tuesday. “We are asking the DOE to take a look at the location of Cooper Avenue and the two adjoining properties [for a possible school].”

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

All residents at the meeting were urged to sign the petition, which was started by residents of Glendale and Middle Village, with the help of the Glendale Civic Association, asking for a school in the already over-saturated district. Residents believe that turning the site into a specialized school that runs from pre-K to high school would be the optimal usage for the site, whereas if it were turned into a homeless shelter, the child-to-school ratio in the district would grow even more.

“I just cannot comprehend the logistics,” said Nick Comaianni, president of the Community Education Council for District 24. “Doesn’t the city take a look at this?”

A “green light” was given for human habitation of the land after concerns were voiced about a former chemical complex on the site, according to the petition.

The petition urges the the city instead to acquire the site and build an educational complex there, citing a “dire need of school seats for children of District 24, the most overcrowded school district in NYC.”

“The location would serve as a good site to alleviate problems already present in District 24,” Masi said. “Building a school would be a great alternative for that site.”

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West Nile spraying to target areas of Queens this week


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYC Department of Health

On Wednesday, Aug. 27, there will be West Nile spraying in parts of Queens to help reduce the mosquito population and the risk of the disease.

The spraying will take place between the hours of 8:15 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next morning. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Thursday, Aug. 28 during the same hours.

The following neighborhoods are being treated due to rising West Nile virus activity with high mosquito populations, according to the city’s Health Department:

Parts of Auburndale, Murray Hill and Flushing (Bordered by 25th Avenue to the north; Murray Street to the west; 45th Avenue to the south; and 192nd Street, Francis Lewis Boulevard and Utopia Parkway to the east).

Parts of Elmhurst, Forest Hills, Forest Hills Garden, Forest Park, Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Rego Park and Woodhaven (Bordered by 63rd Avenue, 80th Street and Long Island Expressway to the north; eastern boundary of Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Metropolitan Avenue, 73rd Place, Myrtle Avenue and eastern boundaries of Mt. Lebanon and Mt. Hope to west; Park Lane South to the south; and Metropolitan Avenue and Alderton Street to the east).

For the application, the Health Department will spray pesticide from trucks and use a very low concentration of Anvil®, 10 + 10, a synthetic pesticide. When properly used, this product poses no significant risks to human health.

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.

 

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Glendale balloon artist hits a healthy 500K views on YouTube


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo by The Courier/ Salvatore Licata

One Glendale resident is ballooning her way to YouTube stardom and getting healthier in the process.

Grace Brigham, better known as “Candy Twister” or “Candy the Clown NYC,” hit over 500,000 views on Monday for a video where she fits her full body into a balloon. She considered this a great feat, but more important than her balloon tricks leading to internet limelight was how they helped her battle Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

“I wasn’t sure how the video was going to do at first, but seeing the hits I get now blows me away,” Brigham said. “Ever since I’ve been making balloon art I feel better.”

Brigham started as a balloon artist at 42 years old while transitioning jobs and said she knew she had a niche for it. She is fighting MS, an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord, but said since she started her balloon art many of her symptoms have gone away.

“Memory is always a big issue for people with MS,” Brigham said. “But I never forget how to make any type of balloon character. Doing balloon art is my passion I always feel great when I’m out there doing a show.”

Brigham began doing balloon shows at restaurants like Applebee’s and Miller’s Ale House in Rego Park, where she is still a main attraction. She has done a great deal of shows around the city and can make virtually anything her patrons ask her on the spot. She even worked on a team with 74 other balloon artists to make a five-story, 50,000 balloon replica of “Jack and the bean stalk.”

She decided to try her famous “Climb in Balloon Stunt 1: Candy Twister,” as listed on YouTube, for the first time last year by a friend’s house to see how it would work out. With its success, both in person and online, Brigham works the trick into every staged show she hosts.

Photo by The Courier/ Salvatore Licata

Photo by The Courier/ Salvatore Licata

“People are always blown away to see how much work I put into my shows,” Brigham said. “But when you do what you love, everything just becomes fun. That’s what makes it kind of special.”

Brighman will be playing her next show at the Rego Park Center on Queens Boulevard on Sept. 14 at 1 p.m. Along with staged shows she specializes in all types of private events.

To find out more about Candy Twister go to candytwistedballoons.com or Candy the Clown NYC.

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ULTA Beauty opens up in Glendale shopping center


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

It was a beauty-full day on Friday at The Shops at Atlas Park as it welcomed ULTA Beauty to its complex.

This is ULTA Beauty’s second store to come to Queens with the first location opening up in Rego Park three years ago. The 10,000-square foot location at the Glendale shopping center has more than 20,000 products for both men and women. It features 20,000 beauty products, 4,000 testers and more than 1,000 scents while also offering in-store services for skin care, hair and eyebrows.

More than 200 people lined up for its Aug. 15 grand opening with the first 100 receiving gift certificates ranging from $5 to $100 for future purchases.  The store will also be offering free makeovers and consultations all weekend.

“ULTA is all things beauty, all in one place,” said Kelly Smith, who manages all grand openings for ULTA Beauty.  “We are truly a beauty destination for Glendale, and our ULTA beauty experts are ready to help with all of your beauty needs, from the basics to the perfect shade of lipstick to the newest hair tool.”

 

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Residents nervous about Glendale homeless shelter impact on schools


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE QUEENS COURIER/ Photo by Salvatore Licata


Hundreds of residents voiced concerns of potentially overcrowded schools at a forum on the impact of a proposed homeless shelter in Glendale.

It would be irresponsible to put kids in a shelter that you cannot fit into its zoned school district, said Nick Comaianni, president of the Community Education Council for District 24 at the Wednesday meeting at P.S./I.S. 28.

“District 24 is already the most overcrowded school district in the city,” Comaianni said. “This is not a strategic place to house these children.”

Thirty-one of the 39 schools in the district are already over capacity, ranging from about 110 to 150 percent saturation, according to Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley.

Adding the 125 families that are proposed for the Cooper Avenue shelter would mean the children living there would have priority to go to school in the area.

Increasing the number of seats to accommodate these families would be too much of a burden on the schools in the area, Crowley said.

“We need to find nearly 5,000 high school and elementary school seats for children already going to school in the area,” she said. “We have to do everything we can do to make sure [the proposed shelter] turns into a school to house these 5,000 children already overcrowding the district.”

The site was looked at two years ago by the School Construction Authority (SCA) but was deemed inadequate because of its proximity to busy Cooper Avenue and because there was a chemical plant  next door, among other things, according to Mary Lease, a representative from the SCA.

However, because Independent Chemical Corporation would now like to sell, adding that land to the land of both the vacant factory and the Hansel ‘n Gretel meat processing plant, which is for sale, means the SCA is re-considering the nine acre plot for a school, Lease said.

To buy the land, the SCA first has to do environmental assessment tests on all three of the sites.  At this point, only Hansel ‘n Gretel has agreed to let the SCA on their property to do an environmental review, with the owner of the vacant factory and owner of the Independent Chemical Company denying access, according to Lease. Without all three sites, the SCA will not build a school there, according to Lease.

Samaritan Village, the nonprofit organization looking to build the homeless shelter on the site, wants to lease the vacant factory for 60 years.

The proposed lease has not made its way to City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office yet, according to Crowley.

“We have to keep pressing upon the mayor’s office and continue our fight,” state Sen. Joe Addabbo said. “We have a serious issue regarding the overcrowding of our schools and this is not an issue that will go away.”

There is one possibility that may alleviate the further overcrowding of schools in the area if the homeless shelter is built. The school of origin program is one where children who move from one district to another can stay in the school they attended previously. This is a condition that parents of the homeless children may consider which can help some of congestion.

But considering that District 24 schools are already at 30 percent higher capacity than any other district in the city, adding even a couple of children to the schools would be too much, Crowley said.

Residents of the district asked both Crowley and Addabbo what the plans are going forward.

Crowley said she would make sure the chancellor of New York City Schools, Carmen Fariña, is aware of the issues that are already facing the district even without children from the shelter. Addabbo said he will continue to fight and send letters to the mayor’s office about the negative impact this shelter will have on the community.

But both agreed that residents also need to voice their concerns to the comptroller’s and mayor’s offices to show there is great concern for their children’s education.

 

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Local politicians urge city to delay Ridgewood Reservoir plans


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

A plan to alter the Ridgewood Reservoir is being challenged by several local politicians, who say proposed “changes will significantly harm the natural and largely undisturbed habitats of the animals that currently live there.”

The letter, sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday, was written in response to a meeting held in Glendale on June 30. During that meeting the Parks Department outlined a plan to connect the three water basins that make up the reservoir together by “creating three very large breaches in the reservoir’s surrounding berms,” according to the letter. The plan has been controversial and many community members have argued against making any changes to the old reservoir.

The reservoir is made up of three water basins that are isolated from one another sitting on 50 acres of land, according to the Parks Department. The reservoir originally supplied water to Brooklyn until 1959 and has since become a park that is home to an array of wildlife. Some of the wetland plants in the reservoir are on the endangered and threatened lists.

The Parks Department proposed the changes because it claims that the resevoir is currently a flood hazard.

“We ask that the NYC Parks Department be granted a waiver so they can delay the proposed work,” the politicians wrote in the letter in response to the plans. The politicians argue that along with disturbing animal habitats and cutting down 470 trees, the construction is a waste of money.

“The proposed project to breach the dam of the Ridgewood Reservoir will cost the city at least $6 million. We believe that there are many other areas where the city can spend this money including building more schools, improving our infrastructure, upgrading our transportation system, and many other capital requests that our Community Boards have highlighted.”

The letter was signed by state Sens. Joseph Addabbo and Michael Gianaris, Assemblyman Michael Miller, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, Councilman Antonio Reynoso and U.S Reps. Nydia Velazquez and Grace Meng.



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Glendale deli manufacturer closes down after more than 140 years in business


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

A deli manufacturing business in Glendale announced that it’s closing for good after more than a century of providing deli meats.

Hansel N’ Gretel, which has been processing food on Cooper Avenue since 1970, ceased operations in June and is putting the site up for sale, according to a statement from the company.

“It was the last deli meat manufacturer in NY. When Mr. Rattner died in 2012 we knew it was only a matter of time before it closed,” Doreen Fleming wrote on Facebook when she heard that it was closing. “At least it didn’t go bankrupt. Sad because a great bunch of good people worked there.”

The owners of Hansel N’ Gretel, the Rattner family, offered no reason for closing and declined to discuss the matter.

A spokeswoman for the  family said that they would begin to auction off the manufacturing equipment in September.

The building sits on more then two acres of land and the area is an industrial zone, according to city records. Real estate agency Avison Young is brokering the sale of the site and they advertise it as  a “multi-purpose” plot.

Hansel N’ Gretel opened in 1872.  The company originally operated in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District and moved to Glendale in 1970 to accommodate the increase in work, according to a press release.


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Paperwork filed to convert Glendale abandoned warehouse to homeless shelter


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo by Jeff Stone

Developers have filed paperwork with the Department of Buildings to convert an abandoned Glendale warehouse into a homeless shelter, according to city records.

The site, at 78-16 Cooper Ave., is where the city proposed a homeless shelter through Samaritan Village. The estimated cost, according to the records, is $3,727,100. The building permits are pending until City Comptroller Scott Stringer signs off on the proposed homeless shelter, a bureaucratic process that can take months or years according to Stringer’s spokesman.

The owner, according to the filed paperwork with the Department of Buildings, is Daniel Rabinowitz and the request for construction was filed on July 11.

“I don’t have a response,” Rabinowitz told The Courier. “I try to do the right thing. I don’t mean any harm.”

Several residents recently became aware of the filing and many in the group suggested swamping the applicants with calls and emails, a strategy they used on Stringer’s office and other politicians.

“So since the project has not gone to the comptroller’s office yet—why is the building owner filing permits for construction—are they all so confident that this will pass the comptrollers office or is the corruption deep enough that it will?”  Kathy Masi, president of the Glendale Civic Association, asked on Facebook.

 

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Twirling Glendale girl goes for gold


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Eric Jankiewicz

SALVATORE LICATA

Trina Catterson will try to “twirl” her way to gold at the World Baton Twirling Championships in England next month.

Catterson, a Glendale resident, earned her way to the United States national team to represent the country in the international event, which is equivalent to the Olympic Games for twirlers, by finishing in second place at the national tournament in early July. At only 13 years old she is nervous yet excited to have such an honor bestowed upon her.

“I’m very grateful to represent the junior women and my country in this event,” Catterson said. “It’s great to see all the practice and dedication put in by me and my family pay off.”

Catterson started twirling at age 4 and won gold at her first national competition at age 7. She tested her skills at her first international competition two years ago in France and came home with a bronze medal in the junior pair’s competition. Since Catterson first picked up a twirling baton her mother knew she had something special.

“She has a natural gift for this sport,” Kathlene Catterson said. “From the start she could do certain tricks as a 4-year-old that many kids can’t do until they are 7 or 8.”

Twirling is an aerobic sport that incorporates dance and gymnastic moves while swinging a baton in the air or around the body. Trina first learned about the scarcely publicized sport from her mother, who was once a twirler herself.

There are numerous routines that make up the sport and Trina has nearly mastered every one of them. She credits this achievement to daily practices on her own, practice with her Elite coach, Alaine Robbins, about twice a week, and her work ethic.

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” she said. “This sport taught me what hard work really is, and I know that no matter what you do you will always be successful as long as you work hard.”

Catterson will be competing for gold in the solo and freestyle portions of the international competition in Nottingham, England from August 4 to the 10. She said this competition will be the peak of her season but has bigger dreams for the future.

“When I’m done with twirling I want to start my own studio to teach young kids how to twirl,” Catterson said. “It taught me so much about life and what could happen when you dedicate yourself to something.”

 

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Glendale beekeepers bring honey to Queens


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Glendale is home to two bee aficionados and their honey is making a buzz.

“Bees aren’t adversaries; they’re an asset,” Glendale resident Toby Bloch said. “There were a lot of people interested in bee hives so I thought it would be a cool experience to have them.”

Bloch is an amateur enthusiast and his single hive is located in the Glendale community garden on 88th Street. The garden is run by Gian D’Elia and during a recent tour of the garden he said that the bees add to the garden’s atmosphere.

“They add a level of authenticity we didn’t have before,” he said. “And it helps the honey-making process since we have so many flowers in the garden for them.”

Bloch isn’t the only bee man in town. Tom Wilk lives in Glendale but has 10 beehives across Queens producing honey for local sale.

Wilk, who who spoke briefly to The Courier from vacation in Europe, runs a local business called Wilk Apiary, and the Glendale community garden currently houses one of the Wilk beehives.

Wilk also has hives in Long Island City, Ridgewood, Maspeth, Astoria and Middle Village. In each of those neighborhoods, the honey is sold in local markets. And in 2013, Wilk’s honey from Astoria won the Blue Ribbon at the Queens County Fair, according to the business’s website.

Local honey like Bloch’s and Wilk’s is “very good honey,” Bloch said. “It’s more white than anything else and it has this almost minty flavor to it.”

This fall, Bloch plans to harvest the honey his hive makes. It will be his first harvest since his last colony of bees died in the winter.

“I’m super excited,” he said. “It’s going to be great.”

 

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