Tag Archives: LIC

Men rescued after jumping into East River in Long Island City  


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Three men ended up in the East River off of Long Island City Monday night after one of the men jumped into the water to try and save the other two, police said.

On a challenge the pair leaped into the East River, but one of the men apparently didn’t know how to swim and both struggled in the water, according to published reports,

A good Samaritan passing by the area near 48th Avenue at about 8 p.m., went in to rescue the 21-year-old and 22-year-old, cops said. All three were then pulled to safety by police.

The good Samaritan refused medical attention at the scene.

The two other men were taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital in stable condition.

 

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Demolition begins at 5Pointz


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

The walls have started to come down at the Long Island City site which was once home to the graffiti mecca known as 5Pointz.

Demolition began Friday at the property on Jackson Avenue and Davis Street as crews teared down the back wall with bulldozers.

Last month, Jerry Wolkoff, owner of the property, said he hoped to begin demolishing the buidlings in August after initially looking to tear down the site months ago. The demolition is expected to take up to three months to finish.

Wolkoff and his company, G&M Realty, plan to build two apartment towers—one 47 stories and the other 41 stories tall – with close to 1,000 rental apartments, 32,000 square feet of outdoor public space and 50,000 square feet of retail space between them.

Jackson Ave 5

In October, the City Council approved the developer’s proposal to build apartment towers to larger dimensions than allowed by current zoning rules.

Wolkoff ordered to have the building and all the aerosol work that covered it painted white overnight last November, only a few days after artists and supporters held rallies looking to save the graffiti mecca and requested the site be landmarked.

Then earlier this month, Wolkoff released a rendering of a reserved space for graffiti which will be on the new building’s exterior near a rear courtyard, and will be open to the public. However, some artists and 5Pointz supporters are skeptical of the reserved space.

“Who knows what kind of artists it’s going to attract, what’s it’s going to be like and how are they going to manage that,” said Carolina Penafiel of Local Project, a non-profit arts organization which used to be housed in 5Pointz.

Jackson Ave 8

Penafiel stopped by the former graffiti mecca to watch the early demolition and reflect on it.

“It’s sad to see that nobody was able to do anything,” she said. “It wasn’t just a building. It was 5Pointz, you know? I don’t think you could build something like this again.”

 

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New accusations versus LIC art fraudster


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Richard Etts

The owner of a Queens foundry, who pleaded guilty early this year to selling a counterfeit sculpture worth $11 million, is allegedly behind another scam, according to a former New York City artist.

Brian Ramnarine, owner of the Empire Bronze Art Foundry in Long Island City, was arrested in 2012 for attempting to sell a sculpture advertised as genuine work by American artist Jasper Johns. In January, he pleaded guilty to three counts of wire fraud. He also pleaded guilty to falsely representing works from artists Robert Indiana and Saint Clair Cermin while he was out on bail.

Now, artist Richard Etts, a former New York City sculptor who has been living in California for the past 30 years, alleges one of his early pieces has met the same fate.

Etts was contacted by an art collector from Dallas, Texas, requesting authentication on a bronze Etts hand lamp, which the collector had purchased at an estate sale, the artist said. The artist was confused by the call because he says he never made any body sculptures out of bronze. All were made of plaster.

etts 101 hand desk lamp-003

Richard Etts’ original plaster sculpture

“Instead of denying that I made it, I requested photographs of stamps, signatures and dates,” Etts said. “And I was shocked to find that someone had forged my signature and put a different year on it and had the nerve to put their own stamp on it.”

In the photos he received, the sculpture is stamped with “Roman Bronze Works Inc.,” a company Ramnarine worked for before opening up his own foundry.

However at this point there is no direct evidence linking Ramnarine to the hand lamp.

Also, even though the original plaster sculpture was completed in 1972, the date 1983 also appears on the piece.

“What he has done is criminal and I’m getting no compensation for it and I want to prosecute if I can find the right person to handle this,” Etts said. “I want some money out of it and I want him to stop doing this.”

Etts also said he was thrown off by his large signature on the side of the piece.

“I would never deface my artwork with making my name so prominent on a piece of art,” Etts said. “He has made an effort of plagiarizing my signature.”

According to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York’s office, Etts must contact the Victims Witness Line to further investigate this incident.

Ramnarine’s attorney, Troy Smith, declined to comment.

Ramnarine’s sentencing on the earlier case has been adjourned until Sept. 19.

 

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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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LIC chef to compete in Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay”


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Natasha Pogrebinsky is at it again and this time she is looking to take on an iron chef.

The Long Island City chef, who has appeared twice on the Food Network’s “Chopped,” will now go head-to-head with chef Esther Choi on the network’s new series “Beat Bobby Flay” on Sept. 4 in hopes to move on and battle celebrity chef Bobby Flay himself.

“They were really impressed with me as a chef and as a personality on TV,” said Pogrebinsky, who is also the owner of Bear Restaurant located at 12-14 31st Ave., about getting offered a chance to appear on the show. “They wanted me back.”

In the episode called “Ladies First,” Pogrebinsky and Choi will “thrown down in the kitchen” creating one dish, which must feature a mystery ingredient given by Flay. The dishes will then be judged by chef Marc Murphy from “Chopped” and Katie Lee, co-host of “The Kitchen.”

“It was a lot of fun and it was great to be able to show off what I could do,” Pogrebinsky said.

Whoever comes out the winner in the first round will then be able to challenge Flay with her very own surprise signature dish.

“If I get to win the first round then I can go on to the next round and challenge Bobby Flay to cook a dish that is my specialty,” Pogrebinsky said. “If I make it to the second round then I get to throw him a curve ball.”

Pogrebinsky said her third appearance on the Food Network was a lot more intense because of the competition, yet it was fun because during the taping there was a live audience that included some Queens fans.

“In ‘Chopped’ you have a little more of a chance, here you have a 50-50 shot,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun to hear your fans from Astoria and LIC cheer you on.”

Just like her two previous “Chopped” premieres, Pogrebinsky said she plans on having a viewing party at Bear Restaurant, but details are still pending.

The “Ladies First” episode of “Beat Bobby Flay” will air on Sept. 4 at 10 p.m.

 

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Plans filed for 150-room, 26-story LIC hotel


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

A 26-story mixed-use hotel is coming to Long Island City.

The hotel, which will be located at 32-35 Queens Blvd., will have 150 rooms, New York YIMBY reported.

Raymond Chan Architect is designing the building.

The hotel will be just over 104,000 square feet, with a 44,400 square-foot community facility, according to filings owner Fongtar Realty made with the Department of Buildings.

A two-story commercial structure that currently sits on the property will need to be demolished before construction can begin.

 

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Auction at the Flea


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Locker Rockers

Let the bidding begin 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, will hold a charity auction on Saturday, Aug. 16, with the duo known as The Locker Rockers and auctioneer John Luke from A&E’s “Storage Wars: New York.”

The Locker Rockers are made up of Cary “The Flipper” Zimbler and Thomas “The Nose” Preston, co-workers at a realty company. 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. One of their recent finds was a used hockey stick signed by Wayne Gretsky valued at more than $8,000.

Auctioneer John Luke, born and raised in North Harlem, has been in the auction business for 15 years and will help The Locker Rockers with the charity event this weekend at the LIC Flea. The group will be auctioning off vintage and unique items they have found in storage lockers and also items furnished and donated by many LIC Flea vendors.

All of the proceeds from the charity auction will go to support Life’s WORC, a private, nonprofit organization offering care for people with developmental disabilities in Queens and Long Island.

Saturday will also feature a Home Sweet Home theme where visitors can purchase the best in furniture, home accessories and gift items.

Nonprofit Recycle-A-Bicycle will also be in attendance at the LIC Flea with refurbished bicycles made by local teens. They will be selling the bicycles as well as bicycle-related items and crafts.

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 three 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.

This Sunday, Aug. 17, the Astoria Flea will have guest DJ Johnny Seriuss spinning tunes from 3 to 6 p.m.

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.

For more information visit www.licflea.com.

 

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Actress Karen Black showcased at film festival in LIC


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

BY PAULINA TAM

The Second Annual Chain NYC Film Festival is underway in Long Island City, showcasing more than 100 films through Aug. 17. Documentaries, narratives and web series will be displayed alongside talkbacks and performances with famous and up-and-coming actors alike.

On Saturday, Aug. 16, there will be a retrospective of the career of the Oscar-nominated actress Karen Black, followed by a documentary by filmmaker Russell Brown, “Karen Black: On Acting.” That will be followed by a staged reading of her never-before-seen play, “Mama at Midnight” with actress Sean Young, who was in “Blade Runner” and “Ace Ventura.” The retrospective begins at 5 p.m., followed by the documentary. “Mama at Midnight” begins at 7 p.m.

Awards will also be distributed for several categories, including Best Narrative Feature and Best Screenplay.

For more information on the festival and a schedule of film showings, visitwww.chainfilmfestival.com. The festival is located at 21-28 45th Rd.

 

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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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BP library powers could lead to censorship: former trustee


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre  / File photo

Updated Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2:15 p.m.

The power of the Queens borough president to remove trustees from the Queens Library board could set the institution on the slippery slope to state censorship, one former trustee told The Courier.

George Stamatiades, a longtime Long Island City civic leader who spent two decades on the library board was removed — along with five other trustees — by Katz, who was granted the power to fire board members through recent legislation during a bitter battle over who controls the library.

Stamatiades said that much sway over the library board could be dangerous.

“Today, she gets rid of the board members,” Stamatiades said. “Tomorrow, through her influence, she says, ‘Hey, don’t buy any more of these books.’

“And then next week, she says, ‘Hey, get rid of all these books.’”

And, Stamatiades said, such power could lead to government monitoring each person’s reading habits.

“Next thing she’ll say is, ‘I want to know what books the community is reading,’” Stamatiades said. “Then it’ll be, ‘I want to know who’s reading them.”

Stamatiades, who was appointed to the board by former Borough President Claire Shulman, said that neither Shulman nor her successor Helen Marshall ever demanded specific action on any issue.

“Based on his comments, Mr. Stamatiades clearly hasn’t been paying attention. Neither I, the mayor, the Queens delegation of the City Council, the entire New York State Assembly, almost the entire New York State Senate nor the governor has commented on the content of materials at the Queens Public Library,” Katz said in a statement.

A firestorm erupted over the salary and spending practices of library boss Tom Galante and the board’s refusal to open the library’s books to city auditors. City funds — about 85 percent of the library’s budget — are routinely audited but the board steadfastly refused to make all of the financial data available to the city.

After much back and forth, state legislators passed a law giving Katz the ability to remove members for cause.

Last month, she ousted six trustees and Mayor Bill de Blasio fired two. All six of the trustees forced out by Katz appealed for reinstatement but were shot down by Katz in early August.

“The removed trustees, including Mr. Stamatiades, have fought against transparency into how library resources are spent and do not feel that they are accountable to the taxpayers of the city of New York,” Katz said. “My goal is to assure the people of Queens that their money is spent on furthering the educational purpose of the library. We need to end the static and get to work on advancing the purpose of the library.”

The six also filed a federal lawsuit against Katz, seeking to be returned to their positions, revocation of the state law that allowed for their ouster and money damages from Katz personally.

Court papers revealed the board hired former federal judge Barbara Jones to conduct to investigate information leaks from within the library.

The judge hearing the suit against Katz, U.S. District Court judge Roslynn Mauskopf, recused herself on Monday because of her long-standing friendship with Jones.

Stamatiades, who initiated the whistleblower probe, said 19 board members voted in favor of the investigation. But, he said, library staffers were uncomfortable investigating their bosses as were the library’s legal staff, so the job was outsourced to Jones.

“We needed an independent person,” he said.

On Tuesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein held a hearing on a motion from the ousted trustees asking for a temporary restraining order against Katz. He recommended to the trial judge that the motion be denied. The former trustees have until Aug. 29 to appeal the recommendation.

Doug Grover, the plaintiffs’ lawyer said the former trustees could not Let Katz’s actions go unchallenged.

“They brought this action to assert the independence of the Library and the right of every trustee to act without political interference,” Grover said.  “They are understandably disappointed by today’s outcome but remain true friends of the library and hope for its continued success.

“The trustees are evaluating their legal options in light of the decision today.”

Away from court, Mary Ann Mattone, a mayoral appointee to the library board, announced her resignation in a letter to de Blasio.

Mattone said she served on the board for 16 years “without blemish”  and is a member of the Queens Library Foundation.

But, she wrote,” I can no longer urge my friends to participate because of the acrimonious atmosphere that has been created.”

 

Stamatiades looked back fondly on his service to the library and said his commitment to the institution stemmed from love of his neighborhood.

“I guess it’s because I care about my neighborhood and the people around me,” he said. “There’s no other reason. If that’s bad … what can I tell you?”

He also said he being a library trustee was a blessing.

“If you could go to [a literacy class] graduation and hear a grandmother say, ‘I can now go home and read to my grandchild because of the Queens Library,’ well, you’d be going something,” he said.

 

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LIC museum showcases extensive history of elevators


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos by Angy Altamirano

Something is going down in Long Island City.

For the past three years the neighborhood has been home to The Elevator Historical Society, also known as the Elevator Museum, on the second floor of the bright yellow taxi building at 43-39 21st St.


Photo by Patrick Carrajat

The museum was started by Patrick Carrajat, 70, who has been active in the elevator business since he was 11 years old and went to work with his father every weekend.

“What 11-year-old boy doesn’t want to go to work with his father?” Carrajat said.

Since then Carrajat, who lives in Long Island City with his wife, has worked throughout the elevator business, owning his own company at one point, and is now an elevator consultant and expert witness.

After realizing that his own personal elevator collection was getting too large, he decided to find a place to begin the museum.

Among the items at the site are those he has collected for years, including what he calls his favorite piece – a cover of an interlock that he brought home the first day working with his father in 1955 – and items he buys on eBay as well as some donations.

“The museum came about because I had no place to put all of this stuff and I thought it would be a good idea to give stuff back to the industry,” he said. “I owe a lot to the industry. It’s a pay-it-forward type of situation.”

Before starting the museum, Carrajat also wrote a book called “History of the American Elevator,” which he says came out of a “near death experience” after he was scheduled to be on the 79th floor machine room of the North Tower on 9/11, but took the day off.

He said what intrigues him the most are the social and economic implications and importance of elevators to our everyday lives.

“If we didn’t have the elevator, New York City would stretch from north of Boston to south of Washington D.C. It would be five- or six-story buildings, that’s all it would be,” he said. “There is also so much interaction that can happen in an elevator. There’s a certain closeness in an elevator, you can’t avoid it. Our personal space gets invaded in elevators all the time.”

Carrajat says the museum welcomes, with no charge, about 500 visitors per year. He hopes the visitors, who to his surprise are mainly made up of “non-elevator people,” leave with a little better appreciation of the history and hopefully pass along to other people “that there are interesting small museums.”

In the end, Carrajat said the plan is for all the items in his collection to go to Elevator World, Inc., the publisher for the international building transportation industry, in Alabama.

“I fell in love with the business and wiser people have said, ‘If you love what you do, you don’t work a day in your life.’ I’m still waiting to go to work,” Carrajat said. “I think it’s a great thing to say at 70 that you love what you do and you keep doing it.”

Although people can stop by the museum, Carrajat recommends potential visitors call in advance just to make sure he is in. For more information visit www.elevatorhistory.org or call 917-748-2328.

 

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Furniture at the Flea


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

furniture

Visitors at the LIC Flea & Food this weekend will be able to find the perfect pieces to fill their homes.

The popular Long Island City flea market, located at the outdoor lot on the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, will hold a Furniture Flea on Saturday, Aug. 9, where vendors will offer an array of handmade, repurposed and vintage furniture pieces.

One of the vendors, G Design by Frank Gabrielsen, fabricates industrial style furniture for both the home and office. Pieces, created using reclaimed or new wood or metal, include coffee and conference tables, mirror and bed frames, and much more. Custom work is also available. For more information visit GDesignsLtd.com.

Another vendor, John J. Fondrisi or, as he’s affectionately known, “JJ,” has created an inspired brand by incorporating original fashion drawings by his grandfather Joseph Fondrisi from the Roaring ‘20s along with old black-and-white photos of his grandparents’ friends and family enjoying life during simpler times. JJ has also curated vintage home decor items, such as vintage barware, glasses and accessories as well as a few select refurbished and re-purposed midcentury antiques.

Other vendors include Valeria Munoz, and Robert Kelly of 30westvintage.blogspot.com.

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

In Astoria, the Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios will only be opened for four 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 eight consecutive Sundays starting in May, but it now will stay open until Aug. 31.

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

For more information visit www.licflea.com.

 

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Rural Route Film Festival to celebrate 10 years in NYC


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Antipode Films

One international film festival is celebrating its 10th NYC extravaganza with a weekend bash in Astoria.

The Rural Route Film Festival, organized by Astoria-based filmmaker Alan Webber, is marking a decade of showcasing international films that transport viewers beyond city life and into rural, country scenarios.

The event began in 2003, and through 2008-2009 Webber traveled around all the seven continents presenting the festival and its films.

“When Elephants Walk, the Grass Gets Beaten” (Photo courtesy of Silent Land)

This year’s anniversary celebrations will start on Friday, Aug. 8, and go on until Sunday, Aug. 10, at the Museum of the Moving Image, located at 36-01 35th Ave.

One of the themes for the festival this year, which will showcase five features and 11 short films, is the ancient pagan cultures of Eastern Europe. Films include those from Ukraine, Russia, Slovenia, Hungary, Somaliland, the United Kingdom and United States.

“I’m so proud the festival has been going this long,” Webber said. “Our 10th annual is not what I would’ve originally expected, with a wild sort of pagan theme, but the content is even better, and so much fun that I can’t wait to take it in myself.”

Select screenings will also be accompanied by appearances from filmmakers and live music.

For more information and a full schedule of the entire screenings, visit www.ruralroutefilms.com.

“Alan Webber has put together a truly dazzling and spectacular program of films for the 10th edition of the Rural Route Film Festival,” said David Schwartz, chief curator at the Museum of the Moving Image. “The selection of new and classic films and music will truly transport the audience.”

“Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” (Photo courtesy of Kino-Lorber)

The festival will conclude on Aug. 10 with a closing night program at the Brooklyn Grange rooftop farm located at 37-18 Northern Blvd. in Long Island City.

Tickets for each program at the museum are $10 for the public and free for museum members. A $27 festival pass for all screenings is also available. Advance tickets and passes are available at movingimage.us or at 718-777-6800.

 

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Rendering for Long Island City office building conversion released


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy Avinash K Malhotra


Meadow Partners released a rendering of its conversion of a Long Island City building on 42-15 Crescent St., which is set to be completed next year.

The building, which is being designed by Avinash K Malhotra Architects, was an office and retail structure that was bought by Meadow in December 2012 for $19 million, according to the Commercial Observer.

The structure will expand from its current nine stories to 11, according to Department of Buildings filings, and is expected to include 124 residential units and retail space on the ground floor.

 

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LIC Flea crowns winners of first Favorites Food Festival


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Bradley Hawks

The LIC Flea & Food was filled with winners this past weekend.

The popular Long Island City flea market, held every Saturday at the outdoor lot on the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, hosted the first Annual LIC Flea Favorites Food Festival, bringing the best food vendors from the market.

During the festival, vendors received “Flea Favorite” awards based on votes by a panel of judges and visitors to the market as well.

Judges included Bradley Hawks, editor-in-chief of BORO Magazine; Rob MacKay of the Queens Economic Development Corporation; NY1 reporter Arlene Borenstein; and bloggers Layla Khoury-Hanold of “A Glass of Rose” and Karen Siegler of “Markets of New York City.”

Husband and wife duo Chimere and Norbert Ward of Clean Plate Co. took home the “Food Vendor Winner,” Megan Griffey of Frittering Away was selected as “Beverage Vendor Winner,” and Ice & Vice was crowned “Dessert Vendor Winner” after wowing judges with its ice cream sandwich.

Visitors to the Flea on July 26 selected Drink More Good as the winner of “Visitor Favorite.”
Below we take a quick look into each of these winning vendors and see what makes them shine.

Clean Plate Co.

Chimere and Norbert Ward, the husband and wife duo behind Clean Plate Co., say they are still feeling the shock after taking home the “Food Vendor Winner” during the first annual LIC Flea Favorites Food Festival.
Saturday, July 26, was their last day participating in the LIC Flea and the Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman

Astoria Studios for the season and they served the panel of judges their signature dishes of smoked gouda mac and cheese and shrimp and grits.

“There were so many vendors,” Chimere said. “We didn’t think that was going to happen at all, we just weren’t prepared for that.”

Clean Plate Co., which this season has participated in the Astoria Flea, specializes in seasonal comfort & artisan preparation. The Ridgewood couple uses local ingredients and has vast knowledge and experience in various cultural cuisines.

“The flea by itself is just a great place,” said Chimere, who hopes to come back to the market during the holidays. “With so much great food out there, we are fans of the other vendors, we built a family with the other vendors.”

The couple also caters cocktail parties, private dinners and intimate affairs. They’ve also partnered with many other unique New York City businesses and venues for fabulous food events.

Frittering Away

Megan Griffey of Frittering Away was awarded as “Beverage Vendor Winner” for her reinvention of the lemonade stand.

Frittering Away, vendor at both the LIC and Astoria Flea, started out by refreshing customers with their original flavor, Strawberry Basil Lemonade. Then, the specialty drink maker shook it up with Watermelon Jalapeno Limeade. Last fall, as the leaves changed and thoughts went to warming, soothing beverages, Ginger Lemonade emerged. Frittering Away lemonades are made in small batches with fresh, seasonal produce.

Ice & Vice

Offering the judges their delectable ice cream sandwich, experimental ice cream pop-up shop Ice & Vice took home “Dessert Vendor Winner.”

Ice & Vice can be found at the LIC Flea on Saturdays and at Astoria Flea on Sundays, so stop by for a sweet treat to cool you down on a sunny day of exploring the flea. The shop handcrafts ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt in small, customized batches. Unique flavors include Crack-o-Lantern (pumpkin seed oil and crystallized ginger), Movie Night (buttered popcorn, toasted raisin, dark chocolate flakes) and American Beauty (creme fraiche and rose petal jam).

Drink More Good

Jason Schuler founded Drink More Good with one goal in mind — to make this world a better place.

This past Saturday, visitors at the LIC Flea believed he was doing just that and voted to have him awarded as the “Visitor Favorite Winner.”

Drink More Good’s syrups are small-batch, thoughtfully crafted, and handmade with locally sourced and organic ingredients. The syrups can be used to make homemade sodas that have 50 percent less sugar and calories than mainstream sodas and have no high-fructose corn syrup and or preservatives. The syrups can also be used as cocktail mixers.

 

A FLEA HUNT

Guests at the LIC Flea & Food are going to have to put on their hunting hats this weekend.

The popular Long Island City flea market will be hosting The Great LIC Scavenger Hunt on Saturday, August 2, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The scavenger hunt will take place within the flea market as well throughout the western Queens neighborhood.

To participate and compete to win some great prizes, guests must sign up online at licflea.com.

Teams, which will have different names, should be between two and six hunters, and participants should bring a camera.

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

In Astoria, the Astoria Flea & Food is offering the best in food, drinks, antiques, clothing, art, accessories and much more. Local art groups will be represented at the Astoria Flea.

The market is open every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the outdoor backlot of Kaufman Astoria Studios at 36th Street and 35th Avenue until Aug. 31.

 

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