Tag Archives: Halloween

Douglaston Deli owner passing down legacy to son


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Matt Walters isn’t completely sure when he realized he wanted to own his father’s deli.

It could have been when he was 8 years old and cleaned out his parents’ kitchen cabinet so he could pretend to have his own store in the basement.

There was also a time, at one and a half years old, when his mother dressed him up for Halloween with a white shirt and black apron, like his dad’s deli uniform.

But one thing’s for certain, although he has two brothers, it was always decided that he would succeed his dad.

“There was never a question of who was going to take over either,” Matt said. “They knew I wanted to do it and they went their separate ways.”

He started working in the 42-year-old Douglaston Deli on Douglaston Parkway near Northern Boulevard 19 years ago, and will soon take it over from his dad, Richard, who plans to retire this year.

Matt has been learning how to operate the deli since he began his job there at 15 years old. Today the combo still works side by side at certain times of the day.

They don’t have defined roles, but the pair works in tandem to make sure customers receive their orders as soon as possible. With a certain quickness that comes with experience in the food industry, one takes orders, the other preps the food, which includes classic roast beef sandwiches and German style potato salad made fresh every day.

Photo courtesy Matt Walters 

While the neighborhood may have transformed in various ways since the deli opened, the store hasn’t changed much, and therefore holds a good relationship with the community. Matt plans to run the deli the same way as his dad.

“When people come in here they’re not a number,” Matt said. “We know them by first name and we’ve built up a lot of great relationships with customers around the area.”

Matt has no idea what’s in store for the next 42 years, but hopes the deli can stay in the family.

“I have a daughter that’s a year and a half old,” Matt said. “She might be the next owner of the deli.”

 

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Celebrate Halloween with your pet at LIC Flea


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy Spoil My Bitch

Our four-legged friends are coming to LIC Flea & Food for an early Halloween.

With just two weeks before the spooktacular holiday, LIC Flea is hosting a pet costume contest this weekend. On Saturday, October 19 and Sunday, October 20 visitors will be able to bring their four-legged furry friends to participate in the first pet costume Halloween contest.

If you don’t have a costume for your pet, LIC Flea vendor Spoil My Bitch mobile pet boutique will have a selection of costumes for small to big dogs you can purchase. Options include a fantasy dragon, duck, sailor, basketball player, sailor and even a cow.

“I’m so excited,” said Spoil My Bitch owner Roger Quesada, whose two-year-old Miniature Schnauzer Nina will also be at LIC Flea in costume. “When I started this business I wanted to sell cute outfits and I didn’t know how big the costume business was for dogs. It will be really fun to see people coming to the event and dressing up the animals.”

Kiki Pet Photography will be taking photos of all the participants and a winner will be awarded on Saturday, October 26. Prizes include LIC Flea & Food Bucks, a gift card from Ricky’s, a free 20-day potty break packaged from LIC Dogwalk, a free dog consult from Pooch Pals, a free office exam from City Vet and a discounted photo session with Kiki Pet Photography. The contest is also sponsored by LIC Doghouse and TF Cornerstone.

Visitors will also be able to donate clean dog items and unopened food and treats to “Rock & Rawhide” for dogs in need. Those people looking for a furry friend to call their own will also have the chance to adopt a pet through the pet adoption agency Zani’s Furry Friends, which will be at LIC Flea.

Even with the cute pets in costumes, people will not be left behind. The following weekend on Saturday, October 26 and Sunday, October 27 visitors of all ages are welcomed to come in their best Halloween costume and have their pictures taken. Winners will be selected to get LIC Flea & Food Bucks and the chance to be published in The Queens Courier.

You can sign up for the contest online or at the LIC Flea, located at 5-25 46th Avenue in Long Island City.

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Queens chocolate company gets $250K grant for Sandy recovery


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Terence Cullen

Normally, the staff of Madelaine Chocolate makes Valentine’s Day sweet for countless couples.

But this year, because of Sandy, their holiday was sweetened thanks to National Grid.

The gas company presented owners at Madelaine with a check for $250,000 on Tuesday, February 12 to help the confectioners continue their recovery. The money will go toward getting at least one leg of the Madelaine factory producing chocolate again, said co-owner Jorge Farber, and the staff back to work for Halloween candy.

“It’s a beginning for a long, long road that is ahead of us,” Farber said. “This grant from National Grid is the first substantial outside grant and resources we have received. It’s a very concrete first step because it helps us rebuild one of our 14 molding lines that produce chocolate.”

This is the first of several grants National Grid will give to companies in its floodzone that suffered severe damage from the storm. National Grid president Ken Daly said the power company has a $30 million fund, with roughly 100 companies applied. The amount of grant money will vary based on the company, he added.

Jack Friedman, executive director of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, said the grant would be a boost to Madelaine and the workers who live nearby.

“It’s going to help re-employ some of the workers who have been out of work since October, and probably will be out of work through the summer,” Friedman said. “And it’s going to help the community of Rockaway because most of their workers come from the local area.”

Madelaine, the largest Queens small business with about 450 employees, was the first on National Grid’s list, Daly said, because of the long working relationship between the two. The executives at National Grid are committed to getting Madelaine back and making candy as soon as possible.

“[For] many, many years, they’ve been supporting us as a company,” Daly said. “Today, it’s really our opportunity to return that support and help them get back up and running.”

Farber said the factory had already lost two seasons — Valentine’s Day and Easter — of candy production because of the damage from the storm. The combined cost of the damage and cost of doing business is still unestimated, he said.

The first of the eight kitchens, however, has been almost restored. That kitchen had a staff of 42 and produced about 46,000 of 100,000 pounds of chocolate per day.

The grant from National Grid was the first step in getting the staff back to work, as the company awaits potential loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. As more loans and donations come in, the staff can begin making chocolate goodies for distribution.

“We cannot lose another season,” Farber said. “We need to be back by Halloween.”

 

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Halloween safety tips


| bdoda@queenscourier.com

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While having fun is a prerequisite for any Halloween, safety should never take a backseat.

With the devastation the city suffered during Hurricane Sandy, many will be forced to forego trick-or-treating, but for those that do there are several safety tips that should be followed.

Con Ed offered some tips post-Sandy safety tips:

  • Avoid any downed electrical wires or equipment. Treat any wire that’s in the street or on lawns as if it’s carrying electricity, which can carry painful shocks. They also should avoid any puddles or standing water, which can conduct electricity. More than 5,000 wires fell during the storm
  • Be careful crossing streets, especially at corners with no red lights. Hold on to younger brothers, sisters and friends when crossing the street. Be sure to look both ways.
  • Carry a flashlight when walking even if the street is lighted, but definitely if Hurricane Sandy snuffed out street lights.
  • Children are urged to be careful near Con Edison work sites in their neighborhoods.

In the most recent data collected by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), an average of 20 pedestrians were killed each Halloween from 2005-2009, a 61 percent increase from the number of pedestrian deaths on any given day.

With Halloween falling on a school day, many children will be out trick-or-treating for candy after sunset. Drivers should be aware of their surroundings and be patient with the droves of trick-or-treaters crossing city streets. Motorist vigilance is extra important because many children will not cross at crosswalks and “dart out” in front of cars.

New York-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital provided tips on maximizing Halloween fun while minimizing potential danger:

• Always go trick-or-treating with your children. Do not let your children enter a stranger’s home or apartment.

• Do not let your children eat any candy before they get home and you examine it.

• Make sure your children throw away any unwrapped foods or candies.

• If your children are old enough to trick-or-treat by themselves, have them go in groups.

• If your children are trick-or-treating at night, make sure their costumes are bright in color, or have them wear reflectors.

• If your children are walking on dark streets, have them take a flashlight. If they are walking in apartment buildings, accompany them inside.

For the tech savvy, AT&T has compiled a list of tips to keep trick-or-treaters safe this Halloween:

• Make sure cell phones are fully charged before leaving the house.

• Pre-program contact information of parents and emergency numbers into your child’s phone and teach them how to access the numbers.

• Establish boundaries. Childrens’ trick-or-treating routes should be in familiar areas in the community. Many services, including AT&T’s FamilyMap Viewer, allow parents to locate a child’s exact whereabouts from their phone or computer.

• Set up periodic alarms with Halloween-themed tones as a reminder for trick-or-treaters to text or call home to check in between candy collecting stops.

And the most important tip to remember…have fun.

DIY Halloween costumes that won’t spook your budget


| editorial@queenscourier.com

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(BPT) – As the leaves turn, children of all ages begin their quest for this year’s “it” Halloween costume. If you’re like most parents, this typically requires thinking ahead and spending an average of $26.52 for each costume, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2011 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey.

The same study says seven out of 10 Americans planned to celebrate Halloween, and $1 billion was spent on children’s costumes alone. With many families continuing to feel the economic pinch, an average of 18.9 percent of consumers will make costumes instead of purchasing them this year. What to do if you’re not an expert sewer or crafter? Here are some DIY ideas from the experts.

Milva Di Lorenzo, Fashion Design faculty for Miami International University of Art & Design, suggests, “Start by doing research online – if you’re even a little crafty, there are many unique, fun costumes you can create with little money and no sewing.”

She recommends the following websites:

spoonful.com/halloween

www.marthastewart.com (click on Holidays link on left)

www.parenting.com/halloween-central

Kate Campbell, fashion coordinator at The Art Institute of Tampa, a branch of Miami International University of Art & Design, agrees. She also advises, “Get your child involved in creating the costume. Look at ideas and decide on a budget together. This ensures your child is excited about their costume, especially when their friends tout the ones from the store.”

For more inspiration, look at the quick costume ideas below from our experts.

Robot Costume

Needed: Gray sweat suit, one long aluminum dryer hose, two rectangular disposable foil pans, baseball cap, foil, colored markers, ribbon.

1. The foundation is a long-sleeve sweatshirt or undershirt and grey sweatpants.

2. Cut aluminum dryer hose in four parts. Place one on each leg over sweatpants for the legs. For arms, use ribbon attached to the hose with a stapler to connect the other two pieces across the child’s back. Put on like a coat, one arm at a time.

3. Attach the two disposable foil pans with ribbons close to the corners, making sure there’s enough space so it can go over the child’s head like a sandwich sign.

4. Have your child use markers to create buttons and knobs on the foil pans.

5. Wrap a baseball cap with foil and use as the robot’s hat.

Butterfly Costume

Needed: long-sleeved T-shirt and leggings in pink or any favorite color, poster or foam board in matching color, ribbon, tissue paper in coordinating colors, assorted embellishments, such as beads, glitter pens, rhinestones, hair band, pipe cleaners, hot glue gun or other adhesive.

1. The foundation is the T-shirt and leggings.

2. Draw (find an easy stencil online or free-hand it) large wing shapes on poster or foam board and cut them out.

3. Involve your child in decorating the wings. Make sure you plan the design before you start gluing.

4. Use ribbon to tie the wings together and to create backpack-style straps to hold them on the child’s shoulders.

5. Use additional poster board to create a belt to go around your child’s waist. Cut tissue paper in triangles and staple to the belt, overlapping at the top and with pointed ends down, to create a skirt. Decorate the head band and attach the pipe cleaners.

With a little imagination and patience, you can create unique Halloween costumes with your child and have fun, too! Finally, remember to take plenty of pictures!

New York cracking down on Halloween DWIs


| brennison@queenscourier.com


In an effort to keep the streets safe during the days leading up to Halloween, New York announced a statewide DWI crackdown.

Between October 26-31, all the counties within New York will be setting up sobriety checkpoints a saturation patrol to deter and catch drunk drivers.

Motorists are reminded that driving with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher will put them over the limit.

STOP-DWI, or “Special Traffic Options Program for Driving While Intoxicated,” is a comprehensive and financially self-sustaining highway safety program.

 

 

Halloween at the Hall of Science


| editorial@queenscourier.com

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The New York Hall of Science is putting a spooky and spirited, do-it-yourself twist on Halloween and the Day of the Dead.

From October 26-27, bats, catapults, pumpkin sculpting, piñatas, papel picado, and Halloween-inspired robots are all part of the celebration. The science museum, known for its focus on hands-on learning, will remain open until 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 27 so revelers can continue the Halloween fun into the evening hours. Most activities are free with NYSCI admission, though some projects and shows require a small materials fee.

Some of the highlights include:

• Pumpkin chucking demonstrations (Friday, Saturday & Sunday) where pumpkins are thrown hundreds of feet in the air by a 10-foot catapult. Free with admission.

• Live bat encounters (Saturday), a special show featuring live bats including a big brown bat, fruit bats, and a gigantic flying fox bat. $5 plus NYSCI admission.

• Pumpkin decorating (Saturday & Sunday) and sculpting (Sunday), where kids can bring a pumpkin from home and create their own masterpiece. Free with admission.

• Papel Picado workshops (Saturday & Sunday) where you can make your own elaborately designed banner. Free with admission.

• Giant piñata decorating (Saturday). Free with admission.

• Pumpkin carving demos with experts from Maniac Pumpkin Carvers (Sunday). Free with admission.

• Dead or Alive Party (Saturday from 5 – 7 p.m.), which includes a virtual costume party, music, live interactive video projections by Glowing Pictures, and food trucks. Free with admission.

• Plus Halloween-themed robots, giant bug sculptures, and spooky fog demonstrations. Free with admission.

The New York Hall of Science is located at 47-01 111th Street in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. General admission costs $11 for adults and $8 for children ages 2-17. General admission is free to all on Fridays from 2 – 5 p.m. and Sundays from 10 – 11 a.m. For more information, visit www.nysci.org.

Halloween events in Queens


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Here’s your guide to all the Halloween happenings in Queens this October.

Pumpkin Patch
Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Glen Oaks
Thru October 28
Saturdays & Sundays
11:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Haunted House at the Poppenhusen

The Poppenhusen Institute
114-04 14th Road College Point
Friday, October 26-Saturday, October 27
Wednesday, October 31
5:00-6:00 p.m. (ages 6-8), 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. (ages 8 and up)

Halloween Haunted House

Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Glen Oaks
Friday, October 26 – Sunday, October 28
4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

Children’s Fall Festival
Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Glen Oaks
Sunday, October 28
11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Dead or Alive
New York Hall of Science
47-01 111 Street, Corona
Friday, October 26 – Sunday, October 28

Thriller at the Battery
Fort Totten Park
Cross Island Parkway between Totten Avenue and 15 Road
Friday, October 26
6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Boo at the Zoo
Queens Zoo
53-51 111th Street, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Saturday, October 27-Sunday, October 28
11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Halloween Walking Tour
Hell Gate Bridge, Astoria Park (on Shore Boulevard)
Saturday, October 27
11 a.m.

Rockaway Canine Festival
Rockaway Freeway Dog Park
Beach Channel Drive at Beach 84 Street, Rockaway Beach
Saturday, October 27
11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Family Halloweenfest
Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning
161-04 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica
Saturday, October 27
11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Trick or Treat!
Louis Armstrong House Museum
34-56 107 Street, Corona
Saturday, October 27
1 p.m.-4 p.m.

3rd Annual Halloween Costume Party
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing
Saturday, October 27
8 p.m.

Bayside Village Halloween Family Festival

Bell Boulevard

between Northern Boulevard and 35th Avenue

Saturday, October 27

Noon-5 p.m.

Halloween-Remixed

Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing
Sunday, October 28
12:00 p.m.

Halloween on Ice
City Ice Pavilion
47-32 32 Place, Long Island City
Sunday, October 28
12:00 pm.-3:50 p.m.

CenterStage Halloween Concert
Sky View Center
40-24 College Point Boulevard, Flushing
Sunday, October 28
3:30 p.m.

Haunted Halloween Hike
Alley Pond Environmental Center
228-06 Northern Boulevard, Douglaston
Monday, October 29
4:30 p.m. (ages 5-7), 6:30 p.m. (ages 8-12)

Shocktoberfest
Playground For All Children
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Tuesday, October 30
4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Queens Zoo Trick & Treating and Halloween Festivities
Queens Zoo
53-51 111th Street, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Wednesday, October 31
3:00–5:00 p.m.

Jackson Heights Halloween Parade
Line up near P.S. 222  (87th Street and 37th Avenue)
Wednesday, October 31
5 p.m.

Halloween Party! Devil Science Theater 3K
Laughing Devil Comedy Club
47-38 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City
Wednesday, October 31
8 p.m.

 

 

Call to address gang violence in Flushing housing projects


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Councilmember Peter Koo.

 

In the wake of the most recent shooting at Flushing’s James A. Bland House, Councilmember Peter Koo held a town hall meeting to discuss new security protocol at the Bland and Latimer housing projects.

According to reports, on Halloween, October 31, Alex Botero, 21, was shot and killed in an elevator in the Bland House, located at 40-21 College Point Boulevard. He was shot once in the head at approximately 5:45 p.m. and was later taken to New York Hospital Queens in Flushing, where he was pronounced dead, reports say.

“This was a specific meeting to discuss serious crime issues that we wanted to address,” said James McClelland, chief of staff to Koo.

The meeting — held on Tuesday, November 15 — was planned months ago, after Koo and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn put $400,000 toward new security systems at the Bland and Latimer Houses, McClelland said.

The money is allocated toward security cameras and new “smart doors” that will allow residents to swipe in and enter if they are on the lease. The new doors also prohibit those who are not legally allowed in the building from entering, McClelland said.

The new security systems — aimed at putting a halt to “ongoing gang violence that has been recently reinvigorated” — could be implemented as early as January or as late as April, according to McClelland.

Prior to the shooting in September, according to a police source, two men, both in possession of weapons, were arrested following a shooting at the Bland House on Saturday, September 10.

The source said that a man was shot in the leg. One of the perps, according to the source, was wearing a bullet-proof vest.

Snow can’t stop Howard Beach Halloween!


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Howard Beach held a "Post Halloween Festival"

After an unexpected October snowstorm canceled Howard Beach’s traditional Halloween parade down Cross Bay Boulevard, the Howard Beach Kiwanis extended the holiday for an additional weekend to host their “Post Halloween Festival” on Saturday, November 5 at St. Helen School.

“We still had to do something for the kids,” said Howard Beach Kiwanis Club Secretary Dino Bono.

About 100 attendees filled the school’s parking lot for face painting, inflatable rides and a photo booth. A DJ spun tunes all afternoon and 20 kids took home $25 American Express gift cards as prizes for the best costumes.