Tag Archives: LIC Flea

Q&A: Modern Spaces CEO explains real estate in LIC


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Donna Dotan Photography Inc.

Eric Benaim founded real estate firm Modern Spaces in Long Island City in 2008, and within a handful of years led the explosion of residential interest in the neighborhood. Over the years, he expanded the company from LIC to Astoria, Manhattan and Brooklyn, and recently, Modern Spaces announced the launching of its commercial and investment property division, tapping into another side of the market.

In a question-and-answer session with The Courier, Benaim explained the current status of real estate in Long Island City and the transformation of the neighborhood.

Courier: How did you get inspired to start working in Long Island City?

Benaim: I guess I was always a Queens boy, and I started focusing in LIC back in 2005. I was a broker focusing mostly in Manhattan and at the time there were pretty much no brokers in the neighborhood over here, so I figured I would try to make this my niche. Just walking around you see the views of Manhattan, you see there’s a lot of potential over here and I stuck with it, and obviously it paid off. The neighborhood has changed dramatically since 2005.

Courier: Did you really think it [the transformation of LIC] would happen so quickly?

Benaim: No. Literally, from my window I see cranes everywhere, and it’s just crazy to see my skyline changing every day.

Courier: What is the real estate market in LIC like now?

Benaim: There is a lot of development. There was not that many condos being developed over the last couple of years, but condos are about to come back strong. We are seeing a lot of condo projects that are going to be coming online probably by first and second quarter of next year. And in regards to rental projects, a lot developers are doing stuff now whereas before it was predominately TF Cornerstone and Rockrose. now you are seeing a lot of big developers coming into the neighborhood that were never here before.

Courier: Why do you think there is a switch from rentals to condos?

Benaim: Because land prices have gone up a lot and when land prices go up so much it just doesn’t make sense to do a rental because the return on your investment does not really pay out. So it just makes more sense financially to do a condo rather than a rental. Rental projects that are coming along, these are projects sites that were acquired probably a year or more ago when land prices were a little more affordable than they are now.

Courier: Is LIC already a successful live, work and play community?

Benaim: I think [live, work, and play] has been established here. I remember when I first started showing clients around the neighborhood, there really wasn’t anything here. Not even a supermarket. Now we have three supermarkets already, and a fourth is opening up at the LINC, the Rockrose project in Court Square. There are a whole lot of restaurants— you know, restaurants open up here every week and now we are seeing more and more boutiques and stores opening up. Pretty much everything you need is here now. And regarding play, so we do have the bars and the night life now and LIC is a huge cultural destination. We have the LIC Arts Open, the Taste of LIC, MoMA PS1, the Chocolate Factory Theater and the LIC Flea. So there’s really a lot to do as well.

Courier: What has spurred you to go into the commercial side?

Benaim: We’ve done a little commercial these past few years, mostly like retail leasing. But a lot of our clients, whether it’s landlords who we’re doing their rentals for in walk-ups or if it’s a developer who we’re marketing their building or working with them, they never really came to us in the past, because they knew us as being residential brokers. So it was kind of like business that we lost out on. And it just seemed like the right time. Queens as a whole is in the spotlight right now and there’s not really a commercial company that can offer commercial services but still insight in the residential market.

Courier: What is the next neighborhood that has potential?

Benaim: We do see a lot of potential in Astoria, and other areas like Woodside, Sunnyside, Flushing and areas like Rego Park, where we just opened up a building called The Rego Modern. We rented 10 in the first open house [at The Rego Modern] and for high prices also, which they weren’t used to seeing. So that just shows that there is a lot of interest in Queens. Being a Queens boy myself it’s just nice to see that Queens is getting the spotlight that Brooklyn had stolen from us.

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Flea in full swing


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Ping Pong Winners

Just days before the US Open kicked off, the competition was in full swing at the LIC Flea & Food.

The popular Long Island City flea market, located at the outdoor lot on the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, held its 2nd Annual LIC Flea & Food Ping Pong Open Tournament on Aug. 23.

Many contestants competed throughout the day and the overall winner was Japanese high-ranking table tennis player Kazuyuki Yokoyama, who also goes by Kaz. The runner-up of the tournament was Wolfgang Busch, who co-founded the Pink Pong Foundation New York Chapter in 2002 in Brooklyn to promote table tennis, fitness and health in the LGBT community.

The winners were given Flea Bucks to use at the market and also took home bragging rights.

LIC Flea & Food is open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will be back on Sundays starting the following weekend and run through the end of October.This Sunday, Aug. 31, in Astoria, the Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios will be celebrating its final day of the summer at the outdoor backlot of Kaufman Astoria Studios at 36th Street and 35th Avenue.

Visitors to the Astoria Flea will enjoy a beach theme Sunday with kiddie pools and games spread throughout the market.

Since May, the flea market has offered the best in food, drinks, antiques, clothing, art, accessories and much more. Initially the Astoria Flea was expected to run for only eight consecutive Sundays.

The market will be open this Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.For more information visit www.licflea.com.

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Successful charity auction at LIC Flea, Ping Pong Open this weekend


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File Photo

The LIC Flea & Food saw great success this past weekend as the LIC Flea Charity Auction raised $1,000 for autistic and developmentally challenged children in Queens.

The popular Long Island City flea market, located at the outdoor lot on the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, held a charity auction on Aug. 16 with the duo known as The Locker Rockers and auctioneer John Luke of A&E’s “Storage Wars: New York.”

The Locker Rockers are made up of Cary “The Flipper” Zimbler and Thomas “The Nose” Preston. Just like in “Storage Wars,” the duo finds units that are being foreclosed or seized and they bid to win the contents of the storage containers. The duo currently has storage facilities of their own with items such as jewelry, furniture, sports memorabilia and antiques.
Auctioneer John Luke, born and raised in North Harlem, has been in the auction business for 15 years.

During the charity auction, the group auctioned off vintage and unique items they have found in storage lockers and also items furnished and donated by LIC Flea vendors Frittering Away, Jewel Dripped, Fiza Fashion, C3Brix, Bazaar à GoGo, Imran Jewels, A Spoonful of Brownies, Drink More Good, Razor Day, Queens Pop Photo and The Locker Rockers.

They were able to help raise $1,000 which will all go to support Life’s WORC, a private, nonprofit organization offering care for people with developmental disabilities in Queens and Long Island.

This upcoming Saturday, Aug. 23, the LIC Flea & Food will be holding its 2nd Annual Ping Pong Open just days before the US Open launches in Queens. Winners will get great prizes and bragging rights. To sign up click here.

LIC Flea & Food is open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will be back on Sundays starting in September.

In Astoria, the Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios will only be open for two more Sundays at the outdoor backlot of Kaufman Astoria Studios at 36th Street and 35th Avenue.
The flea market offers the best in food, drinks, antiques, clothing, art, accessories and much more.

Initially the Astoria Flea was expected to run for only eight consecutive Sundays starting in May, but it now will stay open until Aug. 31.

The market is open Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This weekend Astoria native DJ Johnny Seriuss will be spinning tunes once again at both flea markets.

 

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Celebrations and surprises at the Fleas


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Bradley Hawks

Long Island City and Astoria will be filled with celebrations this weekend.

On Saturday, June 21, the LIC Flea & Food will be marking its one-year anniversary and some vendors will be offering visitors special discounts and chances to win Flea Bucks to spend at the market.

Some of the special discounts include $10 All Day from Drink More Good, 10 percent off everything on the truck from The Nomad Truck, $5 select bracelets from Imran Jewels, $8 quart jars of lemonade from Frittering Away and 10 percent off all paintings from New York Flair. Additionally, anyone spending LIC Flea Bucks with C & C Couture Luxury Designs will receive 10 percent off the entire purchase (minimum $10 purchase).

The popular Long Island City flea market opened up last June at the outdoor lot by the waterfront at the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue. Since its opening, the LIC Flea has brought visitors the best in food and drinks, collectibles, art, fashion, vintage items, antiques and much more.

In the past year the market has also featured special events for the World Cup, Father’s Day and much more. The LIC Flea has also had special guests such as the Big Apple Circus and most recently HGTV’s “Flea Market Flip.”

The LIC Flea & Food is open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This Sunday, the Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios will surprise visitors as organizers plan to announce that the brand-new market will stay open until August 31.

Initially the Astoria Flea was expected to run for eight consecutive Sundays starting in May.

Visitors can stop by the Astoria Flea every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. this summer at the outdoor backlot of Kaufman Astoria Studios at 36th Street and 35th Avenue.

For more information visit www.licflea.com.

 

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Fun-filled Father’s Day weekend at the LIC and Astoria Fleas


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Bradley Hawks

Long Island City and Astoria will be buzzing this weekend, just in time for the FIFA World Cup and Father’s Day.

This Saturday, June 14, visitors to the LIC Flea & Food will be able to try their kicks out at a World Cup-themed event. Those who are able to score goals will go home with prizes.

The LIC Flea is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is located at the outdoor lot by the western Queens waterfront at the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue.

On Sunday, HGTV’s “Flea Market Flip” will make its return to the Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios with host Lara Spencer, co-anchor on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Each week on the show, contestants, who participate in teams, are given $500 to explore items at different flea markets. The participants search for objects they can buy, fix and then “flip” for a higher selling price. By the end of each show, the contestants display their transformations and battle it out to win all the profits earned.

There are only two more Sundays left of the Astoria Flea, located at the outdoor backlot at 36th Street and 35th Avenue from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., so don’t forget to check it out.

With Father’s Day this weekend, both the LIC Flea and Astoria Flea are the perfect spots to come down and find that perfect gift for dad from the wide array of vendors offering food and drinks, collectibles, art, fashion, vintage items, antiques and much more.

For more information visit www.licflea.com.

 

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HGTV coming to LIC Flea this Saturday


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Bradley Hawks

Cameras will be rolling into the LIC Flea & Food this Saturday, so don’t miss out.

HGTV’s “Flea Market Flip” will be filming an episode at the popular Long Island City flea market with host Lara Spencer, co-anchor on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Each week on the show, contestants, who participate in teams, are given $500 to explore items at different flea markets. The participants search for objects they can buy, fix and then “flip” for a higher selling price. By the end of each show, the contestants display their transformations and battle it out to win all the profits earned.

The LIC Flea is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is located at the outdoor lot by the western Queens waterfront at the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue.

“Flea Market Flip” was at the Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios last weekend.

The Astoria Flea is continuing strong at the outdoor backlot located at 36th Street and 35th Avenue on Sundays, bringing the best of vendors to the Astoria community.

Applications to be a vendor are still being accepted by registering online at www.licflea.com.

 

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Eat your veggies


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Bradley Hawks

BRADLEY HAWKS

If I had a dollar for every time my mother told me to eat my vegetables before I could have dessert, I would be a wealthy man. If I had simply eaten the vegetables and forgone the dessert altogether, well, I can only imagine… But the truth of the matter is that vegetables aren’t just good for you. They can be just plain good. Even fantastic. So this month I thought I would share some of my favorite vegetarian dishes I have been enjoying recently. Two of them may have eggs on them, but a few them are even vegan. My hope is that even those who do not identify as a vegetarian or vegan personally might find one or two things to consider ordering.

Beet Tartare with Mustard Seeds at M. Wells Dinette

Nothing is ever what it seems at M. Wells, in a most deliciously playful way. Golden beets are minced and tossed with a hint of horseradish and mustard seeds, then topped with a poached egg. It is a tartare that won’t raise your cholesterol or drain your pocketbook either.

22-25 Jackson Ave., Long Island City

Seaweed Salad with Sesame Dressing at Oyster Café of New York

Many Japanese restaurants boast a seaweed salad, but most renditions are swimming in sugar. At this new Oyster parlor, the ocean greens are also blue and red, tossed in a light sesame dressing that allows the ocean and earth to sing together.

25-07 Broadway, Astoria

Vegan Fried Chicken at Soulkofa at the LIC Flea

There is nothing remotely fowl about this mock chicken. The chef at Soulkofa has mastered a vegan fried version of the most tender, juicy chicken around that makes everything else taste like it is for the birds.

Vegetarian Meatloaf Sandwich at Queens Comfort

Who knows how the chef gets things so right at this Astoria hotspot every single time. This meatloaf tastes just like the name, and comes with a smear of sundried tomato ketchup, a blanket of melted cheddar, and a crispy crown of battered onion rings.

40-09 30th Ave., Astoria

Oeuf Gamin at Francis Café 

This dish is like a golden benedict plucked directly from the spring garden. A warm bed of ratatouille is flawlessly tender and tangy, topped with a triangle of goat cheese hash that could be eaten by the pieful. When that bright yellow yolk bursts over all of it, it gets pretty serious.

35-01 Ditmars Blvd., Astoria

Buckwheat Pasta with Potatoes and Fontina at Ornella Trattoria

His father ran a flour mill, so Giuseppe Viterale knows how to make a killer homemade pasta with unique flours, like this buckwheat tagliatelle topped with tender spuds and braised cabbage, all brought together with rich fontina cheese.

29-17 23rd Ave., Astoria

 

Astoria Flea opens this weekend


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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The wait is finally over, Astoria!

Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria, a partnership between the LIC Flea and Kaufman Astoria Studios, is opening this Sunday, May 4.

The city’s first-ever backlot market, which was announced two months ago, will bring the community the best in food vendors, antiques, collectibles, art, crafts, fashion and much more.

The Astoria Flea will be located in the studio’s outdoor lot, the first of its kind in New York City, which opened up in December at 36th Street and 35th Avenue.

“It will be a great place to experience in one place all the amazing food offerings, artists, crafts and boutiques that have blossomed all around Astoria and throughout western Queens,” said Tracy Capune, vice president of Kaufman Astoria Studios. “Having it on the back lot will allow people to see the Kaufman Astoria Studios campus, where you’re surrounded by all of this film history and the stages where shows like Orange is the New Black, Sesame Street and Alpha

Men are made. There isn’t another flea market like this in New York, or the country as far as I know.”

The market will operate every Sunday for eight consecutive weekends. Upon arrival at the Astoria Flea entrance at 35th Avenue, visitors will be welcomed by a brand-new 40-foot-high steel gate, designed by David Rockwell and the Rockwell Group.

Some vendors from the LIC Flea & Food, just a neighborhood away, will also set up a table at the Astoria Flea to offer the community the best in food, arts, clothing and much more.

Matthew Katakis, owner of Butcher Bar, has been an LIC Flea vendor favorite since it began last year. He will now bring his 14-hour smoked brisket and pulled pork, combination sandwich called The Monster and some other surprise items to the Astoria Flea, located just five blocks away from the Butcher Bar’s Astoria location at 37-08 30th Ave.

“We think the flea market is a good idea for the community in LIC and Astoria,” said Katakis. “It’s a great way to pass the day, meet new people, experience different cultures, types of food and vendors.”

The market, which is within walking distance from the M, R, N and Q train lines, is expected to act as an incubator to help promote and foster businesses along with the surrounding community.

“It will bring in people who have never been here before, but have maybe heard some of the buzz and have been wanting to check it out,” Capune said. “We expect people will roam and visit other stores and restaurants in the vicinity, so it will bring traffic to our neighbors in the Kaufman Arts District as well.”

Last month, Kaufman Astoria Studios, the Museum of the Moving Image and the Queens Council on the Arts announced the designation of the Kaufman Arts District, the first of its kind in the borough.

The Kaufman Arts District will span from 31st Street to the west, 34th Avenue to the north, Steinway Street to the east, and 37th Avenue to the south.

Vendors can apply to sell at the Astoria Flea at www.LICFlea.com. Updates are available through Facebook at www.facebook.com/AstoriaFlea and Twitter at @AstoriaFlea.

 

 

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Astoria Flea gets ready to launch


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

DSC_0246

With the LIC Flea & Food on a roll in Long Island City, a brand-new market is just about to set forth on a new adventure in Astoria.

The LIC Flea and Kaufman Astoria Studios have partnered up to bring the city’s first-ever backlot market called Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios.

The new market, which was announced two months ago, will launch Sunday, May 4, and bring the community the best in food vendors, antiques, collectibles, art, crafts, fashion and much more.

The Astoria Flea will be located in the studio’s outdoor lot, the first of its kind in New York City, which opened up in December at 36th Street and 35th Avenue.

The market will operate every Sunday for eight consecutive weekends, and the Museum of the Moving Image is working together with Astoria Flea in offering a buy one, get one free deal on tickets for the museum.

Upon arrival at the Astoria Flea entrance at 35th Avenue, visitors will be welcomed by a brand-new 40-foot-high steel gate, designed by David Rockwell and the Rockwell Group.

The market, which is within walking distance from the M, R, N and Q train lines, is expected to act as an incubator to help promote and foster businesses along with the surrounding community.

Last month, Kaufman Astoria Studios, the Museum of the Moving Image and the Queens Council on the Arts announced the designation of the Kaufman Arts District, the first of its kind in the borough.

The Kaufman Arts District will span from 31st Street to the west, 34th Avenue to the north, Steinway Street to the east, and 37th Avenue to the south.

Vendors can apply to sell at the Astoria Flea at www.LICFlea.com. Updates are available through Facebook at www.facebook.com/AstoriaFlea and Twitter at @AstoriaFlea.

 

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Spring is springing: 6 things to do this Sunday in Long Island City


| michael@warrenlewis.com

LIC things to do

Warren Lewis Sotheby’s International Realty is pleased to offer the following tips for explorers considering living in Long Island City.

Come to our Rental Open House at The Fusion
42-51 Hunter St.
2:45 to 3:45 pm

Loft-like living with deluxe finishing touches is yours at the Fusion. This 1,240-square-foot 2BR/2Bath is within eye-shot and minutes of mid-town Manhattan –N,Q,R,E,M,F,G and 7 trains get you everywhere!

And then you can…

Have brunch at LIC Market
21-52 44th Dr.
(Just west of 23rd Street)
Brunch: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Hit the LIC Flea

5-25 46th Ave.
(Outdoor lot by the waterfront at the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue)
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
(Photo by  Dominick Totino Photography) 

Visit MoMA PS1

 22-25 Jackson Ave.
(At the intersection of 46th Ave.)
King Britt presents MOONDANCE, A Night in the AfroFuture
12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Walk along the East River at Gantry Plaza State Park

4-09 47th Rd.
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Take in the Whitewash 5Pointz exhibit at the Jeffrey Leder Gallery


21-37 45th Rd.
12 to 6 p.m.

Want to know more about living in LIC?  Ask a local.  Email Michael@warrenlewis.com

The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 14,000 sales associates located in approximately 650 offices in 45 countries and territories worldwide. 

 

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LIC Flea 2014 season kicks off this weekend


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Jennifer Figueroa and Jessi Jungblut

The 2014 season of LIC Flea & Food is set to begin this weekend.

The popular Long Island City flea market will celebrate its grand opening for the season on Saturday, April 5, and Sunday, April 6, at the same outdoor lot by the waterfront at the corner of 5th Street and 46th Avenue. Items for sale at the market include food and drinks, collectibles, antiques, arts and crafts, fashion and more.

Along with many LIC Flea favorites and new faces bringing visitors a wide variety of foods and other items, opening weekend is expected to even have something for the soccer fans.

The New York Cosmos soccer team, who start their season against Atlanta on April 13 at Hofstra University’s Shuart Stadium, will be on site to bring activities for kids and families. The Cosmos truck will be at the LIC Flea with an inflatable kicking game for children, along with merchandise and tickets available for sale.

Fans will also be able to meet the New York Cosmos Girls both days and Cosmos players will be present Sunday to sign autographs.

Opening weekend will also introduce visitors to brand new vendors like Jennifer Figueroa of Mounted Paper. The Astoria artist, who opened her online shop on Etsy.com in January, will be at the flea market every Sunday selling handmade papier-mâché sculptures.

“I thought [LIC Flea] was cool and I wanted to be a part of it,” Figueroa said. “I’m really excited to show my items in person to engage with the community and get some feedback. I’m kind of nervous but super excited.”

Another new vendor is Jessi Jungblut of Paradox Thrift Shop, who will be selling items from a hand-selected collection featuring vintage clothing, jewelry, accessories, handbags, clutches, wallets and much more. She will be at LIC Flea both Saturday and Sunday during opening weekend, but throughout the season will be there only on Saturdays.

“I heard a lot of great things, a lot of buzz about the flea market,” Jungblut said. “I can just tell it captures a community and it’s just a nice spirit feel of a flea market, which tends to be lost in other flea markets. I’m excited to get my physical presence out there and I think it will be fun with the community.”

Other new vendors include Kimchi SmokeRobicelli’s, Sara Jenny Fries, King of Falafel & Shawarma, Grateful Bread Company, Vintage-Dealers Choice Jewelry and Nyan Soaps.

One returning LIC Flea favorite is Tea+Milk, which will be serving customers artisan teas. Tea+Milk’s menu is comprised of a wide range of unconventional teas that include aromatic flowers, fruits and bubbles.

Some more returning vendors include The Nomad Truck, An Artistic Taste, Bill’s Balls, Vint & York, Oconomi, Imran Jewels, Vivian Jewelry, Luke’s Lobster, Jam Jar NY, J&L Farms, and vintage items and vintage-inspired original designs by 1926.

LIC Flea & Food will run every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Applications are still being accepted for the new season by registering online at www.licflea.com.

 

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Last weekend for the LIC Flea & Food Holiday Market


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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It’s not too late to take a trip down to the LIC Flea & Food Holiday Market and pick up your last minute holiday gifts for friends and family. And while you’re there, try the world of different foods and take part in hands-on activities.

Thousands of visitors from near and far have visited the Holiday Market inside the warehouse, located at the corner of 5th Street and 46th Avenue. It is connected to the original lot, where this summer’s outdoor LIC Flea was held.

The Market features over 80 vendors selling something for everyone on your Christmas list.
New vendors rotate in every day, including at this weekend’s Market.

Along with the collection of unique vendors, LIC Flea also presents Dandy Wellington and His Band, who will be performing live at the market on Sunday. Inspired by the Jazz Age’s Big Band Era, Dandy Wellington has taken the sounds of the 1930s and 40s and created a world of well-dressed music.
JIB Lanes also provides a real bowling alley where visitors can try their hand. And, for soccer fans, the New York Cosmos has professional players signing autographs and offering soccer activities.

After all of the different activities, when you need refreshments, the LIC Flea features a bar, built specially for the Holiday Market and made of wood from the warehouse. The bar serves beer, wine and holiday cocktails.

Filled with the holiday spirit, children can line up to take pictures with Santa Claus. Saint Nick will be back this weekend from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The site is walking distance from the No. 7, E and G trains, and the LIC East River Ferry stop. It can also be accessed directly from Gantry Park’s walkway, along Anable Basin. A parking garage is available on 5th Street.

LIC Flea & Food Holiday Market will be open Saturday, December 21, and Sunday, December 22 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information visit www.licflea.com.

So, bundle up and go enjoy some unique food, music, fun activities and fill up on holiday presents.

 

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LIC Flea & Food Holiday Market: One-stop shopping and family fun


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

The LIC Flea & Food Holiday Market kicked off the season with a successful weekend full of holiday fun, as people shopped for friends and family, while indulging in food from all over the world.

Thousands of visitors, from near and far, came to the Holiday Market inside the warehouse, located at the corner of 5th Street and 46th Avenue. It is connected to the original lot, where last summer’s outdoor LIC Flea was held.

“We were thrilled to welcome thousands of shoppers to take advantage of local vendors selling holiday gifts and food at the Long Island City Holiday Market,” said Joshua Schneps, LIC Flea & Food president. “We look forward to the next two weeks. We offer one place to find a special gift for anyone in your life and it is a fun destination for the family.”

Many of LIC Flea’s favorite vendors made a return, along with some fresh new faces, totaling more than 75 unique vendors per day.

Kazuko Nagao, owner of LIC Flea vendor Oconomi who participated in the outdoor LIC Flea, said she saw a lot of regular customers return to the market — and also a large number of new visitors.

“We started off the holiday market really well. It was fantastic,” said Nagao, who will be serving Oconomiyaki, Japanese vegetable pancakes, both Saturday and Sunday. “A lot of people really liked the setup of the flea market because it is very spacious. I got a lot of good feedback from the customers.”

Another LIC Flea returning vendor is Clean Plate, owned by Chimere Ward, who will be serving a savory crab bread pudding and a smoked Buddha mac and cheese both days.

“It went very well. It was a lot of excitement,” said Ward. “The kids and adults had a great time and the vendors had a great time too.”

Vint and York Eyewear, founded by Dmitriy Israel and Larisa Ginzburg, also made an LIC Flea comeback selling vintage inspired eyewear with a modern twist.

“It was great because we got to see our existing customers and we gained some new ones,” said Ginzburg. “We saw the atmosphere was very warm and inviting, it was great.”

A brand new face who joined the LIC Flea family this holiday season is Drink More Good, founded by Jason Schuler, who will be at the market both Saturday and Sunday. This vendor is selling three different flavored soda syrups, in order to create “better-for-you soda,” or flavored seltzer.

“It was a really great experience for us,” said Schuler. “Just a really festive environment. People just seemed genuinely interested in what the local vendors had to offer.”

Schuler said he plans on being a part of the LIC Flea outdoor market, opening again in April.

Along with the array of unique vendors, LIC Flea also presented Dandy Wellington and His Band, who performed live at the market on Sunday. Inspired by the Big Band Era of jazz, Dandy Wellington has taken the sounds of the 1930s and 40s and created a world of well-dressed music.

JIB Lanes also provided a real bowling alley where visitors could try their best hand at getting a strike. For soccer fans, the New York Cosmos had professional players signing autographs and offering soccer activities. Other players are also expected to come down to the Flea.

After all of the different activities, when you need refreshments, the LIC Flea now features a bar, built specially for the Holiday Market and made of wood from the warehouse. The bar serves beer, wine and holiday cocktails.

Filled with the holiday spirit, hundreds of children lined up to take their pictures with Santa Claus. Saint Nick will be back this upcoming weekend from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The site is walking distance from the No. 7, E and G trains, and the LIC East River Ferry stop. It can also be accessed directly from Gantry Park’s walkway, along Anable Basin. A parking garage is available on 5th Street.

LIC Flea & Food Holiday Market will be open December 14, 15, 21, and 22 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

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LIC Flea a boon to the community; comes back April 2014


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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Since LIC Flea & Food opened five months ago, it saw weekends filled with growing amounts of success as family, friends and people from all over New York made their way to Long Island City and made the market their weekend destination.

The outdoor market kicked off on June 15 and since then has offered the community quick access to public transportation, a wide variety of vendors and economic growth in the growing community.

“I’m so grateful to all the amazing vendors that took part in the first season of LIC Flea & Food,” said Joshua Schneps, LIC Flea & Food president. “The participation of the vendors is what made LIC Flea so special. We were fortunate to be embraced by the community and have thousands of people discover and enjoy the neighborhood.”

Since its inaugural weekend, residents and visitors from near and far have been able to enjoy unique vendors selling food from around the world, including “designer” delicious chocolates, pizza right out of a portable oven, marshmallows of every flavor and unique popcorn. LIC Flea has also featured antiques, artists’ works, vintage clothing, costume jewelry and more for the family.

“When I heard about the Flea, I was really excited because finally Queens had a flea market,” said Kazuko Nagao, owner of LIC Flea vendor Oconomi, who regularly serves Oconomiyaki, Japanese vegetable pancakes. “It’s kind of sad it’s coming to an end but we’re definitely excited to come back.”

Throughout the months LIC Flea has celebrated Japanese heritage, welcomed the Big Apple Circus, HGTV’s show “Flea Market Flip,” a Charming Child Contest, a pumpkin patch straight from the farm, our furry four-legged friends were invited for an early Halloween costume contest and visitors were also able to take free kayak trips at the Anable Basin right next to the market.

During LIC Flea’s last weekend, which was on October 26 and 27, visitors were able to participate in a workout during CrossFit Long Island City’s Barbells for Boobs fundraiser, raising money for Barbells for Boobs, a nonprofit breast cancer organization. LIC Flea also held a bar crawl through the neighborhood offering $1 half pint beers at certain locations.

And since LIC Flea brought in people from all around the borough and the city, local business have also been positively impacted as new customers made their way through the neighborhood as well.

“It both brought attention from people that lived in the neighborhood to come out and do something they normally do, but also brought people from all over the place,” said Marcus Burnett, co-owner of Rockaway Brewery, located across the street from the market on 46-01 5th Street. Burnett said he saw a 50 percent increase in sales during the summer. “It has been a big increase in business because of it. It was a good vibe.”

LIC Flea will back in Long Island City in mid April 2014.

“We were fortunate to be embraced by the community and have thousands of people discover and enjoy the neighborhood,” said Schneps. “The first year was a great way for us to create a following and we look forward to the upcoming season.”

LIC Flea & Food is within walking distance from the No. 7 train and East River Ferry LIC/Hunters Point stop. Riders can also transfer from the N and Q lines at Queens Plaza to connect to the No. 7 train.

LIC Flea is already looking for new vendors with unique and high quality hand crafted items, vintage items, artisan items and as well as fantastic food to participate in next year’s market. Applications can be completed at www.licflea.com.

 

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LIC Flea’s final weekend this season: Give back, get fit, have fun


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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It has been five months since LIC Flea & Food opened and with every weekend filled with growing amounts of success, there is still one more chance to make it your weekend destination.

The last two days of this year’s LIC Flea will be on Saturday, October 26 and Sunday, October 27 at 5-25 46th Avenue in Long Island City.

On Saturday, CrossFit Long Island City will be hosting the Barbells for Boobs fundraiser at the LIC Flea from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Barbells for Boobs is a nonprofit breast cancer organization founded by Zionna Munoz in 2009, after her best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. Its mission is to offer funding through the Mammograms In Action Grant Program for qualified low-income men and women who need screening and/or diagnostic procedures. Fundraisers are now held at different CrossFit locations throughout the country. Munoz will attend the LIC Flea CrossFit workout. During the event, participants will take part in a CrossFit workout known as “Grace,” where men and women perform benchmark exercises known as Clean and Jerks. Coaches will be available to assist anyone new to the CrossFit routine.

“[In CrossFit] we help each other and rise to the occasion,” said Vadim Noskov, CrossFit LIC owner and head coach. “Cancer is such a thing that there is not a single family in the world that isn’t affected by it.”

In order to participate, visit crossfitlic.com, where you can make a donation and then reserve your spot in one of the “heats,” taking place every 30 minutes on Saturday. You can also donate at http://fundraise.barbellsforboobs.org/fundraise/team?ftid=24844 or onsite at the LIC Flea.

“It’s helping a great cause and will also bring our community a little bit closer,” said Noskov.

On Sunday , LIC Flea will hold a bar crawl through Long Island City offering $1 half pint beers at Rockaway Brewery, Alewife, Open Door and a few other locations. In order to participate, you must come by LIC Flea and pick up a wristband.

LIC Flea will be open this weekend from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will back in Long Island City in April, 2014.

So come on down to LIC Flea & Food this weekend to explore vendors, give back while getting a CrossFit workout and enjoy some Sunday drinks with family and friends.

For its final 2013 weekend, LIC Flea will be hosting a fundraiser and bar crawl.

 

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