Tag Archives: Graffiti

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 11/08/2011: Boxing legend Joe Frazier dies, 67


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Severed Foot Found On Front Lawn In Rosedale; Turns Out To Be Bear’s

There’s relief in Rosedale this morning after a gruesome discovery rattled nerves. A man taking out the garbage Sunday night found what appeared to be a severed child’s foot on his front lawn. Police responded to the scene to investigate. On Monday morning, the Medical Examiner’s Office determined the foot was that of a bear. Read More: CBS News

 

 

Man Arrested For Alleged Groping Of Shayne DeJesus On Train

Police in Queens say they’ve arrested the man who allegedly groped Shayne DeJesus at the Union Square subway station. Froylan Andrade, 39, is charged with sex abuse after cops were able to identify him from a photo DeJesus snapped on the train. Read More: WPIX

 

 

Feds forced to return nearly $1 million to Gallagher’s 2000, a Long Island City strip club 

The feds have been ordered to return nearly $1 million seized from a Queens strip club after a judge cleared the owner of civil charges of financial improprieties. Robert Potenza, the pistol-packing owner of Gallagher’s 2000 in Long Island City, ran afoul of government agents who suspected the strip club king had made more than 100 bank deposits in amounts less than $10,000 in order to avoid federal reporting requirements. Read More: Daily News

 

 

Graffiti legend was also an NYPD cop

Police have discovered the identity of one of New York City’s most prolific graffiti vandals — and he’s one of their own. Steven Weinberg, 43, of Flushing, a patrolman who retired from the NYPD in 2001 after hurting his leg, is the notorious “Neo” — one of the peskiest subway taggers of the 1980s. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Boxing legend Joe Frazier dies, 67

In another era, Joe Frazier—”Smokin’ Joe” to anybody who cared about boxing—might have perched serenely atop the heavyweight boxing division for a decade, his powerful punches and stolid visage epitomizing pugilistic grace. Mr. Frazier, who died Monday at age 67 after a brief bout with liver cancer, was small by heavyweight standards. But he was a warrior who smothered his opponents with punches, including a devastating left hook he used to end many of his fights early. Read More: Wall Street Journal

Waging war on Woodside graffiti


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer - Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer united with residents of Woodside on November 1 to remove unwanted graffiti in the neighborhood.

The war against graffiti in Queens is never ending, but Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer has no reservations about arming himself with a brush and leading the charge.

The councilmember united with CitySolve, a graffiti removal company, and residents of Woodside on November 1 to stand in opposition to the vandalism that has plagued the neighborhood.

During the demonstration, Van Bramer painted over graffiti at the corners of 57th, 58th, 63rd and 64th Streets along 39th Avenue.

“Vandalizing private property with graffiti is a crime against the individual who owns the property and the surrounding community,” said Van Bramer. “I am proud to fund this free, district-wide service which aims to eradicate graffiti in our neighborhoods. We can’t get every tag, but we’re certainly going to do our best to get those reported to us within a week. That can only enhance the quality of life in Woodside and throughout all of the neighborhoods I represent.”

The councilmember’s fight against graffiti began roughly a year ago, when he initiated his District 26 clean-up program. Now in its second year, the program has led to the cleaning of over 1,000 locations, including monthly graffiti removal on the corridors of Broadway, Skillman Avenue, 43rd Avenue, Roosevelt Avenue and Woodside Avenue. The initiative recently expanded to include 43rd and 48th Avenues as well.

As part of the program, residents of District 26 can also report graffiti anywhere in their community by calling 718-383-9566, ext. 3, and the unwanted vandalism will be removed within a week.

Along with funding the anti-graffiti program for $30,000 a year through the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, Van Bramer also supports graffiti clean-up days with groups like Sunnyside United Neighborhood Network, Woodside on the Move and the 114th Citizens Observation Patrol.

Residents of District 26 appreciate the efforts taken by Van Bramer, and they are hoping he can help rid the area of graffiti once and for all.

“I think graffiti can be demoralizing to a community,” said Sheila Lewandowski, a resident of Long Island City and a victim of graffiti. “You choose how you want the front of your place to look, and when someone vandalizes it without your permission, they are laying claim to its appearance, and I find that very demoralizing. I believe the councilmember’s anti-graffiti campaign is a very positive way to bring people together to reclaim the appearance of our community.”

 

Artist’s plight after cleaning up blight


| ecamhi@queenscourier.com

After textile designer/artist Paola Belotti transformed a graffiti-laden wall in a Maspeth alleyway into a giant Tuscan mural last August, she not only elevated a “wall of shame” to a “wall of fame,” she brought a sense of peace and beauty to many of the local residents.

The mural was born through a happy accident that occurred while at an afternoon barbecue in the alleyway behind Maspeth Wines & Liquors on 69th Street. After learning of her talent, the owner had asked her to simply cover the graffiti behind his store that she noted “looked terrible.” She suggested a mural of Tuscany to reflect the theme of wine.

Through the three weeks it took to complete, the mural unfolded organically – without any sketches.

“It is everything in my mind. I grew up in Italy where I could see vineyards, barrels, lemon trees, wall fountains with lions, bricks and columns,” noted Belloti of her work.

She recalls meeting residents who were curious and joyful at the transformation. She said many commented on how peaceful it made them feel. She also recalls hearing local employees making plans to lunch in the alleyway, so they could enjoy “lunch in Tuscany.”

“With my mural I wanted to give a message of simple beauty and serenity, instead of the screaming graffiti, and I think I achieved that,” she said.

Painting the mural also gave her the “therapy” she needed during a difficult time.

“I was going through all these difficult moments. My Green Card had been denied … I was really struggling.”

The struggle is ongoing for Belotti. After 14 years of being a successful textile designer with a Midtown firm, she is now facing deportation.

Originally from Lake Como, Italy, she was recruited to New York in 1997 under a work visa. When her Green Card was denied at the same time she was laid off in 2010, she knew she was facing deportation. She is now here under a tourist visa and is appealing her Green Card.

Belotti claims her lawyer did not submit a thorough Green Card application back in 2002.

She says she has put thousands of dollars into renewing her visas and believes it would be an “extreme hardship” to start her life and career over again in Italy.

Belotti calls art her “passion” and wants to continue her career in the U.S. because she believes she has “much to offer.”

“I own an an apartment,” she said. “I have my own bank account and no debts.I have always obeyed the law and have paid my taxes diligently from the first day I arrived in the U.S. I was hoping to one day have the privilege of voting.”

Since the mural, Belotti has been commissioned for various paid and unpaid projects, but has yet to find a permanent job.

Although somewhat downtrodden by the struggles, she remains determined.

“At least I can say I tried,” she said. “I will try hard to stay until the last straw.”