Tag Archives: Italy

L’Arte del Gelato opening factory, first Queens spot in LIC


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Jamestown

Long Island City is getting a taste of “la dolce vita.”

L’Arte del Gelato, which has three locations in Manhattan, has stationed a cart outside The Food Box located in the Falchi Building at 31-00 47th Ave.

The cart will be serving 12 flavors of gelato on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will be offering a buy one, get one free gelato deal every Friday. Nine of the popular flavors will stay the same and three flavors change every Monday.

“I think this is an upcoming area,” said Francesco Realmuto, owner of L’Arte del Gelato, about deciding to open up a spot in Long Island City, the first in Queens. “I think the building is great. There are a lot of people in the area, there is a lot of new construction. I think the next couple of years we’ll see a stronger community.”

L’Arte del Gelato products are made from recipes brought from Sicily, where Realmuto is from, and feature all-natural ingredients found in either local markets or imported from Italy.

“We’re a really authentic product,” said Realmuto, a Ridgewood resident. “We’re a great product.”

The gelato cart will be in front of the Falchi Building as long as weather is permitting, according to Realmuto, and will come back in the spring.

In the next couple of weeks, Realmuto also said he plans on opening a gelato factory inside the Falchi Building. The factory will make gelato to sell to supermarkets such as Dean & DeLuca.

The Food Box is a 2,000-square-foot pop-up artisanal food fair located on the ground floor of the five-story, 657,660-square-foot, multi-tenant and mixed-use building.

Vendors within The Food Box include Karu Café, ReCaFo, Made from Scratch and Mrs. Soupy & Friends.

Last year, Jamestown announced the multi-million dollar repositioning and capital improvement program at the Falchi Building, built in 1920 as a warehouse and distribution facility. This program includes façade and lobby renovations, furniture upgrades, art installations and the introduction of food purveyors, such as L’Arte del Gelato and Artisanal Cheese.

Other Falchi Building tenants include jewelry manufacturers, government and medical offices, and media, technology and engineering companies.

 

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Little Neck woman celebrates a century


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

Woodrow Wilson was president, Babe Ruth played his first professional game and the world’s first transcontinental telephone line was established, the year Maria Regina Lucarelli was born.

Lucarelli, a resident of Brandywine Senior Living at the Savoy in Little Neck, will turn 100 years old on Sunday, April 13, and she will have a birthday party at the senior home to celebrate her experiences during the last century.

To reach the century mark, Lucarelli didn’t have to rely on a fountain of youth or a special anti-aging potion. Her advice to younger people is to just take it easy.

“You let each day go with whatever happens,” she said. “Go with the flow.”

Lucarelli’s life has been a wild ride through some of history’s darkest moments, including World Wars I and II and the Great Depression, as she struggled to achieve the “American Dream.”

Lucarelli was born in Toritto, Italy, in 1914. As a child, she traveled with her parents to America, where she completed junior high school and learned English. Eventually, she moved back to Italy to settle down and help her family during the Great Depression.

In 1947, she married Filippo Lucarelli, a conductor and musician, and the pair had two daughters in Italy. In 1953, when the family decided to board a ship to move to America permanently, the couple learned at the last minute that Filippo’s papers weren’t in order. She went alone and he remained in Italy with the children.

Initially, the problem with Filippo’s papers should have taken a few weeks to fix, but ended up splitting the family up for about seven months, becoming the most devastating period of Lucarelli’s life.

“That was the biggest obstacle I think my mother and father had to face,” said Lucarelli’s daughter, Chiara Ceglian. “I just can’t imagine the heartache that everyone felt at that time.”

Photo courtesy Chiara Ceglian 

After the family was reunited, they lived in a small apartment near Gramercy Park in Manhattan, where the rent was a bargain at $50 a month.

In America, Lucarelli used her skills as a seamstress to become a fashion designer working for department stores, such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman.

She also mended clothes for private clients, “saving every penny” she earned, Ceglian said. After Lucarelli gave birth to her final daughter, the family moved to a house in Long Island with a relative. Then Lucarelli used her savings to buy her own house in Long Island, where she remained until she retired.

Her daughters are hosting her century birthday party, but cake and drinks aren’t on Lucarelli’s mind these days.

“I made it through the bad,” said Lucarelli, who is a great-grandmother of two. “I’m happy to be alive.”
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Osteria Italiana: For a real Italian experience


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Looking for real Italian food, but can’t go to Italy? Then how about Maspeth?

Osteria Italiana, which loosely translates to “Italian restaurant,” opened up over the summer on 61st Street near Grand Avenue with a familiar face.

Head chef and part-owner Michael Zampitelli, who is an Italian native turned Maspeth resident, brings nearly 40 years of Italian cooking experience to the neighborhood. Zampitelli owned a popular restaurant in nearby Glendale, which was forced to close in 2008 due to high rental costs.

Zampitelli, who has worked in the restaurant business starting as a teenager in Rome, wants to bring affordable, authentic Italian food to the neighborhood with Osteria.

Chicken cordon bleu

“Everywhere you go in the city, the neighborhoods are mixed. You can find everything,” Zampitelli said. “Personally I think in Maspeth there are no real Italian restaurants. You find diners and pizzerias, but no real Italian restaurants.”

Aside from Zampitelli’s extensive Italian cooking experience, Osteria’s food is authenticated by the ingredients, such as cheeses and olive oil, which are imported directly from Italy.

The menu at Osteria is wide and can satisfy many taste buds.

Starters include soups, salads and appetizers. One appetizer, the eggplant parmigiana, is covered with fresh mozzarella and Parmigiano cheese with a savory marinara sauce.

Spaghetti alla carbonara 

Entrees include a range of pastas, chicken, veal and fish dishes.

Zampitelli’s spaghetti alla carbonara is a masterpiece at $11.95, for those not watching their waistline. The pasta dish is a mix of pecorino cheese, a creamy sauce and bits of bacon.

The chicken cordon bleu, at $14.95, is a hefty meal with big pieces of tender chicken, served with mushrooms and mashed potatoes.

Desserts on the menu include an Italian cheesecake with ricotta cheese and tiramisu, along with other Italian classics. And of course wines, such as merlot, are on the menu as well.

With Zampitelli’s return, some of his long-time customers have followed him to Osteria. He believes it’s because of the quality of his food and the friendly way he treats his patrons.

“Everyone who comes here we treat like family, that’s why they’ve follow me for many, many years,” Zampitelli said.

Osteria Italiana
57-57 61st Street, Maspeth
718-894-4391
Hours: Monday-Sunday Noon-11 p.m.
Cash only
Wheelchair accessible
Delivery

 

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Cavo: A little bit of something for everyone


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Bradley Hawks

It is a juicy hamburger stuffed with decadent, velvety foie gras—like a gigantic beef ravioli nestled on fluffy brioche.  It sits on a bed of crumbled feta and is topped with a ribbon of kefteri cheese and pickled onions.  It is the filet mignon of burgers, and it is just the tip of the iceberg at CavoAstoria’s premiere restaurant, complete with garden, lounge and club.

For years, Cavo has been serving elevated Mediterranean cuisine in one of the most sophisticated dining rooms this side of the Hudson—and the current menu is certainly no exception.  A front bar splits off to additional seating areas on the side, before opening up to a vaulted dining room with giant cloth-covered chandeliers.  Beyond that, steps descend into a sunken garden with waterfalls and foliage cascading down two-story walls.

Cavo showcases a lovely blend of favorite dishes primarily from Greece and Italy intermixed with accents from all over the world—under the direction and expertise of Omari Dacosta, most recently of Danny Meyer’s barbecue hot spot, Blue Smoke.  Dacosta has also worked in the kitchens of Trestle on Tenth, Pera Mediterranean Brasserie, and Red Rooster in Harlem.

At Cavo, the Greek influences are certainly the most pronounced.  Ravioli is stuffed with Greek cheese and arrives under a blanket of creamy feta with white truffle essence. Exceptionally tender octopus is charcoal grilled with lemon and extra virgin olive oil, presented simply, yet still an outstanding dish.  Jumbo lump crabmeat is forked into hearty cakes, and stacked with fennel shavings and celery root puree.

A watermelon salad sings with tomato and feta, and jumbo shrimp arrive wrapped in phyllo dough.  Entrees range from plates of pasta loaded with fresh seafood, to an artichoke feta risotto, Chilean sea bass, and even a filet mignon with lemon potato gratin.

Desserts are equally sublime.  A granita of strawberries sits on a Greek yogurt panna cotta, dressed with shavings of lime zest. Nutella crepes are stuffed with walnut banana compote.

Cocktails range from Cavo’s famous sangria, to a cucumber basil Collins or lychee martini.  Sweeter spirits range from a chocolate martini to a sparkling raspberry watermelon diva martini.

From start to finish, dining at Cavo will leave you wanting to return.  Perfect for an intimate weekday dinner or a weekend evening of dancing, there’s a little bit of something for everyone.

Cavo
42-18 31st Avenue, Astoria
718-721-1001
Closed Mondays
Open daily at 5 p.m.

BRADLEY HAWKS

 

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Flushing woman blows out 101 birthday candles


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

A Flushing centenarian blew out the candles on her 101st birthday cake as she rang in the new year.

Gaetana Capalbi turned 101 on January 1, attributing her long life to good habits.

“I live a clean life,” she laughed, “[with] no drinking or smoking. I never did.”

Capalbi came from Sicily to the United States and settled in Astoria with her father and one brother in 1932, her family said. She found employment in a small local millinery operation before embroidering for a dress factory and later working assembly jobs in factories for 20 years.

“Those days, we worked for nothing, for pennies,” Capalbi said. “I never thought I would live to 101. It was a nice life, an easy life. It was beautiful.”

Capalbi married her late husband, Frank, and together they had one son, Donald, in 1945. She has been living in Flushing with Donald for 38 years.

Comptroller John Liu presented Capalbi with a commendation on behalf of the city during her birthday bash, recognizing her for “living life to the fullest” and for “serving as a living example of the successful immigrant experience.”

 

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Euro Cup nets crowds for Queens bars & restaurants


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Maria Moreira sat at the bar of Lenny’s Clam Bar in Howard Beach and watched in silence as Spain continued to score — and score — on Italy to take the 2012 Euro Cup.

A soccer fan, she said that many Americans don’t enjoy the game as much.

During big tournaments, however, restaurant owners and Queens residents say everyone starts to become a fan.

Joe De Candia, who owns Lenny’s, said there had been consistent crowds around the bar area during Euro Cup games.

After Spain scored its second goal Sunday, July 1, the mood died down “like a balloon deflated,” he said.

Across the street, Saffron restaurant had two Spanish flags flying in front and a sign inviting customers to come watch the game. Inside, only one person sat at the bar.

Herbert Duarte, Saffron’s manager, said that there too there had been crowds.

The cultural celebration that is soccer spans throughout Queens.

As Italy defeated Germany on June 28, German fans at Zum Stammtisch in Glendale donned black or white jerseys with names like “Klose,” “Ballack,” or “Schweinsteiger” on the back.

Werner Lehrner, who co-owns the restaurant with his brother Hans, said fans had been coming regularly for games — especially when Germany was playing.

“We’ve been getting 80 to 100 people,” he said.

Zum Stammtisch’s back room was converted into a viewing area during games with a 10-foot projector screen. As Germany slowly began to fall apart in the semi-finals, that back room was filled with sighs and frustration.

Despite their win over Germany, Azzuri fans were let down by the 4-0 loss to Spain — which claimed its third consecutive major title.

Germany fans disappointed in loss to Azzuri


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

As their team fell to Italy in the Euro Cup semi-finals Thursday afternoon, Germany fans that poured into Zum Stammtisch in Glendale banged tankards of beer against wooden tables as they saw their hopes dashed.

The restaurant has been hosting Euro Cup 2012 viewing parties, to the delight of German-American fans in the neighborhood.

Steve Brunner said Zum Stammtisch has been a meeting place for residents and German fans in the neighborhood to cheer on their team over a few beers.

“[Soccer is] part of the German culture and you get a feel of that when you’re in this place,” he said.

Brunner’s own interest in soccer developed four years ago when he was in the Black Forest for a family wedding. He and his uncle decided to visit Munich, where they saw Germany play Austria — and instantly became a fan.

The restaurant has brought in decent sized crowds for games that are normally played in the late morning or mid-afternoon.

“We’re getting 80 to 100 people,” said Werner Lehner, who owns the restaurant along with his brother Hans.

Lehner said Zum Stammtisch especially gets a crowd when the German National Team is playing, bringing in familiar friends and dedicated fans from the neighborhood.

After Italy scored its second goal, the packed back room – with a 10-foot projection screen – was filled with boos and the sounds of fists banging on wooden tables.

One fan screamed, “Do they have this referee’s family tied to a tree somewhere in Europe?”

‘Draw’ing inspiration from Astoria


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

ROOFTOP Actionw

A blank canvas – lacking a defined identity and purpose – can be a daunting task for any artist. Many grow to hate its vacant stare, praying for inspiration to end the monotony of its colorless complexion. Often, it can lead to hasty or unimaginative work.

Such dilemmas are nonexistent for Louie Gasparro, who adores his canvas as much as, or perhaps more than, his work – because his canvas is his city.

Gasparro, an urban contemporary street artist born and raised in Astoria, found his feet in art in a nontraditional manner.

“When I was a kid, I would ride the ‘RR’ train to Queensboro Plaza and the No. 7 to Main Street, and that’s where I first saw bubble writing and cartoons on the train,” Gasparro said. “The fact that it was moving on a train, it was like a flying cartoon in front of me.”

Following his fascination for the flying images he observed, Gasparro grew to create icons of his own. He began visiting train yards after dark to spray paint – a practice he continued for roughly six years. He would draw his tag name, “KR.ONE,” or whatever images he viewed in his mind’s eye, aiming to evoke the same joy in other subway riders that he experienced as a kid.

“I tried to take this flowing and fantastical lettering and combine it with my graffiti style lettering,” he said. “Graffiti when it began was name based. It was all about how many different ways I could draw my name and bend the alphabet.”

In his early years, Gasparro credits cartoons, comic books and the rock and roll album covers his brothers gave him for motivating his artistic creations. Artists he admired include Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso.

A classic western Queens kid, Gasparro received his entire education in Astoria and Long Island City schools. His art edification he left to his own studies, having never received any official training.

As Gasparro grew in age, and as an artist, he never struggled to find inspiration – wherever he looked, it was in view.

“I’m inspired by good people, truth, music and nature,” said the 46 year old. “I get inspired easily, I guess because I still have this childlike approach to it all. I get inspired so easily because there are so many things I appreciate that are all around me.”

His greatest inspiration, however, will always be his hometown – where he discovered his craft and found his first professional work as an artist.

“Where I grew up was the perfect vantage point for me to view all the different graffiti styles happening at the time,” he said. “From 1974 to 1983, I absorbed all of that which was going on with graffiti. I wouldn’t trade when and where I grew up for anything. I grew up around the corner from Kaufmann Astoria Studios. I met Aerosmith when I was 12. I saw Michael Jackson and Diana Ross making “The Whiz” when I was a kid. I was immersed in art growing up – it was around every corner I turned.”

Beginning in the early 1980s, Gasparro was commissioned to paint murals across western Queens, and he was particularly well known in Astoria. He painted frescoes for neighborhood spots such as the Beebe Diner, Boutique 92 and a schoolyard located at 28th Street and 36th Avenue in Dutch Kills, affectionately known as 204 Park. He has also been featured numerous times at L.I.C.’s 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center – an outdoor art exhibit space considered by many to be the Mecca of graffiti.

Gasparro’s most common graffiti topics are assorted lettering fonts – which he considers the purist form of the art – and subjects pertaining to New York. Along with his urban contemporary street art, Gasparro also enjoys creating abstract and fantasy pieces.

What he relishes most, he says, is the process of combining many genres and forming a free flowing finished product – allowing the piece to come together on its own.

“Fifty percent of the time I’ll be bold, and I’ll look at the canvas and just go immediately. I just go for it,” Gasparro said. “I get in an improvisational flow – like jazz. You have to take chances and you will make mistakes, but you have to make mistakes to achieve perfection.”

Gasparro has also pursued a career in his second passion – music. He joined the band Murphy’s Law in 1982 and traveled the world performing as a drummer. Regardless of where he went, his true love was never far away.

“I went to Europe and I was amazed. Europe really grabbed graffiti and held it to its bosom and nurtured it,” Gasparro said. “Europeans have had art and culture for centuries, so they have more of a vision. America is a much younger country when you compare it to a country like Greece. Graffiti is huge in Greece, Italy and Germany.”

Despite its international popularity, Gasparro is proud that graffiti is from New York, and his neighborhood was a leader in the art’s rise to fame.

“Graffiti is a worldwide phenomenon. It is probably the biggest art movement in the world, and it is from New York,” he said. “The phenomenon that it has become is because of New York. I don’t know of any other art movement that so many people were doing at the same time.”

Gasparro does not appreciate the negative connotations often applied to the word “graffiti.” The art was never about breaking the law for him, but meant something more than the paint in the can.

“When people asked me why we were doing graffiti, I told them we had to express ourselves,” he said. “What we felt was so deep that we had to go big. We were expressing ourselves in a big way. There is the graffiti problem, but what about the art side? We can’t always look at the negative. Why can’t we get kids who are acting out and get them to express themselves through this art form?”

Now an accomplished artist, Gasparro is frequently commissioned to work on clothing, furniture, cars and even private homes. He has been published in several anthologies, and is currently in the process of writing a book of his own – chronicling the life and work of Don 1, an influential graffiti artist.

He was recently re-welcomed to the site of his artistic genesis, when his work was displayed in an exclusive show – Bringer of the Kolor Storm – on March 10 in L.I.C. More than 100 people attended the event – which featured Gasparro’s urban, contemporary, fantasized, graffiti-style art – and every painting was purchased. Due to its success, Gasparro is currently planning a subsequent show.

“For me to come back and do a show in my hometown, where I practiced and started – the place that turned me on to art – was amazing,” said Gasparro. “It is great that LIC has become this artistic place when an artist like me can show my stuff.”

TSA apologizes to elderly women for strip search at Kennedy Airport


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

TSA apologizes to elderly women for strip search at Kennedy Airport

In an about-face, the feds have admitted wrongdoing in the cases of two elderly women who say they were strip-searched at Kennedy Airport by overzealous screeners. Federal officials had initially insisted that all “screening procedures were followed” after Ruth Sherman, 89, and Lenore Zimmerman, 85, went public with separate accounts of humiliating strip searches. But in a letter obtained by the Daily News, the Homeland Security Department acknowledges that screeners violated standard practice in their treatment of the ailing octogenarians last November. Read More: Daily News

Governor Cuomo’s public pension bomb

Gov. Cuomo lobbed a political grenade at New York’s powerful public-employee unions yesterday, proposing a radical pension overhaul for future city and state workers as part of his $132.5 billion state budget plan. Cuomo said the plan would save New York City $30 billion in pension costs over 30 years, while saving $83 billion for the state and local governments outside the city over the same period. “We can no longer sustain the current pension system,” Cuomo said, citing a projected 185 percent treasury-busting increase in pension costs from 2009 to 2015 if nothing is done. Read More: New York Post

Bayside mourns beloved father of six

When Lawrence Hilsdorf was laid to rest, an entire community cried. The 55-year-old, affectionately known as “Larry,” was more than just a Bayside resident – he was a neighborhood icon, and his roots in the community ran deep. He went to Sacred Heart, then Bayside High School, before settling to raise his own family in the area. The father of six boys – Charlie, 25, James, 20, twins Billy and Bobby, 18, Patrick, 15, and Jack, 13 – Larry put his life on the line as a police officer beginning in 1981, first with the Queens North Task Force, and then with the 114th Precinct in Astoria. Read More: Queens Courier

Hunt for cruise victims on hold as wreckage shifts

Italian rescue workers suspended operations Wednesday after a stricken cruise ship shifted slightly on the rocks near the Tuscan coast, creating deep concerns about the safety of divers and firefighters searching for the 22 people still missing. The $450 million Costa Concordia cruise ship had more than 4,200 passengers and crew on board when it slammed into the reef Friday off the tiny Italian island of Giglio after the captain made an unauthorized maneuver. The bodies of five adult passengers — four men and one woman, all wearing lifejackets — were discovered in the wreckage Tuesday, raising the death toll to 11. Their nationalities were not immediately released. Read More: New York Post

Giants passing game could slip against 49ers if weather is bad

There is zero percent chance the Giants will be able to operate their high-flying passing attack at peak efficiency Sunday against the 49ers in the NFC Championship. Anyone who thinks they can is all wet. The cohesive, rugged, old-school (think defense first) 49ers would be a challenge no matter where and no matter what the conditions, but looming up ahead is the true test whether or not the Giants are an all-weather team. After a rousing 37-20 Divisional beatdown of the defending champion Packers in the cold at Lambeau Field, go figure that a trip to northern California could be fraught with soggy peril for the Giants. Read More: New York Post

Wikipedia goes dark in protest of anti-piracy legislation

Free online knowledge site Wikipedia has gone dark as part of a protest over legislation in the US Congress intended to crack down on online piracy. The English version of the online encyclopedia shut down at midnight Tuesday ET. The website will be inaccessible for 24 hours to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) introduced in the House of Representatives and the Senate version, the Protect IP Act (PIPA). It was replaced with a message that read, “Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge.” “For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the US Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia,” it went on. Read More: New York Post

Residents Protest Jackson Heights Supermarket

Some Jackson Heights residents and elected officials have declared the Trade Fair store on 37th Avenue a blight on the neighborhood and are rallying for it to clean up its act. Read More & Watch the Video: NY1

Two Correction Officers Sentenced In Connection With 2008 Rikers Assaults

After reaching a plea deal with the Bronx district attorney’s office, former Correction Officers Michael McKie and Khalid Nelson learned their fates Tuesday in State Supreme Court in the Bronx. City investigators said the pair were among officers at Rikers Island running an intimidation campaign known as “the program,” and they had ordered teenage inmates to beat up others to maintain discipline in the adolescent unit. McKie, seen above left, who pleaded guilty to assault, was sentenced to two years in state prison. Nelson, seen above right, who pleaded guilty to attempted assault, was sentenced to one year. Read More: NY1

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.”

Parade is source of (Italian) pride


| tcimino@queenscourier.com

10627Italian_flag

Get ready to paint the town green, white and red this weekend.

This Sunday, Howard Beach will be awash with Italian pride as the Howard Beach Columbus Day Foundation Inc. presents its 6th annual Columbus Day Parade.

Beginning at noon on Cross Bay Boulevard, there will be floats, live entertainment, Italian delicacies and specialties (zeppole anyone?), elected officials — and a lot of “orgoglio” (pride).

Previous parades have drawn thousands of spectators and honorees such as Rosanna Scotto from Fox 5.

The Howard Beach Columbus Day Foundation is a non-profit organization whose goal is to promote the Italian culture and well-being of society by scholarships, educational programs and community activities.

Every year, the Foundation celebrates the largest Italian-American Columbus parade. Spectators travel as far as from Italy to participate in the enjoyment of the parade.

The Foundation rewards its members and supporters by a Dinner Dance Gala to commemorate their hard work and dedication. This year, it will recognize six honorees: Nicholas DiMarzio, Roman Catholic bishop, diocese of Brooklyn; Sergeant Anthony Cesarano, president of the NYPD Columbia Association; Mitchell Weiss, NYPD chief clergy liaison; Josephine Maietta, board member of Italian Heritage and Culture Committee of New York; former U.S. Senator Alfonse D’Amato and entertainer Angelo Venuto.

The Gala will be held on September 29 at 6:30 p.m. at Russo’s On The Bay.