Tag Archives: Little Neck

Fashion’s Night Out in Queens


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Kristie Foster

For the fourth year in a row, Fashion’s Night Out, an event celebrating and promoting clothing, shoe and accessory stores, will try and get New Yorkers to spend their cash and boost the economy.

But the fashion festivities on September 6 are not just for the chic boutiques of Manhattan. Stores in all five boroughs have signed up to participate, from small independent shops to chains and large department stores.

The event also includes retailers from across the country and the world, as well as online vendors. Last year, 18 countries participated and there were 4,500 events in the U.S.

In Queens, six stores — in Astoria, Elmhurst, Flushing and Little Neck — are taking part.

KrisTEES, a women’s contemporary boutique in Astoria, has participated in Fashion’s Night Out since its inception.

Owner Kristie Foster sees it as a way to not only promote her business, but also to get people excited about fashion and help the whole retail community.

“[Fashion’s Night Out] puts the fun back into fashion,” said Foster.

She opened her store six years ago and sells clothing and accessories from many international and local small designers.

When the recession hit it became particularly difficult for small boutiques and up-and-coming designers to sell their fashions, she said. Though people have loosened their wallets, business is not what it was before the economic downturn, she continued.

Fashion’s Night Out, which is promoted by Vogue magazine, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the city’s official tourism and marketing organization, NYC & Company, encourages stores to sell everything at full price, said Foster.

It’s one of KrisTEES’ most popular events of the year, she said, and she sells around three times more merchandise than on an average day. And each year, more people find out about the event, she added.

Fashion’s Night Out is not just about shopping. The event’s official hours are from 6 to 11 p.m., but each store is allowed to extend its hours and do its own special event.

This year, KrisTEES features an art exhibit, a series of modern dance performances, music and cocktails. Also, anyone who spends $100 that night will receive a special leather gift.
“I always try to go over and beyond,” said Foster.

To see the full list of participating stores, visit fashionsnightout.com.

Little Neck neighbors want problem tree removed


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Neighbors in Little Neck say a rotted tree rooted on a popular pathway is on its last leg and poses a danger to pedestrians passing beneath its falling limbs.

“I walk on the street. I’m so afraid of walking under this tree that I make a detour,” said Vicky Cosgrove, 61, pointing to a problematic maple at 48-03 Marathon Parkway. “It’s very dangerous.”

According to Cosgrove, the tree is hollow inside and has a number of dying or already dead branches, especially on one long arm that looms over her neighbor’s front yard, where a three year old often plays. The threatening timber, Cosgrove said, is also situated on a sidewalk where many J.H.S. 67 students venture to and from the school located less than half a mile away.

“I’d hate to see a branch come down and kill a kid,” she said. “It’s ridiculous.”

Nahid Neysani, 56, who lives in the house in front of the tree, said it was once flanked by two other trees of the same poor condition. They were removed, she said, after a few branches came down on her fence and made noticeable dents.

Still, she said she was told by the city the last tree standing on her street was not a problem.

“They’re not rushing anything,” she said. “If we have crazy wind or storms, maybe the branches will break.”

Cosgrove said she filed multiple reports to 3-1-1 and even placed calls to higher ups in the Parks Department out of frustration, although her efforts were in vain. According to a recent 3-1-1 inspection report dated June 6 of this year, the Department of Parks and Recreation inspected the tree “but the condition was not found.” The service request was also listed “closed” with no planned further updates.

“I’m no arborist, but to say this tree was inspected and no conditions were found — I don’t believe them,” Cosgrove said. “Are they blind? I was livid. Nothing gets done with the city. They tell us, ‘If you see something, say something.’ When we do, we are treated with contempt.”

But the agency changed its tune soon after The Courier reached out for more information at the end of June.

A Parks Department spokesperson said after the city tree was inspected last week, it was determined to be “in poor health” and will be removed within the next 30 days. The tree will not be felled immediately though, the spokesperson said, because it is still alive and not split.

“I’m a tree hugger. I love trees, but you have to maintain them,” Cosgrove said. “Sure, you can’t help everything. If a tornado came tomorrow and a tree hit you on the head, some things can’t be helped. But this is an accident waiting to happen.”

City trees are inspected and pruned on a block-by-block basis in a portion of each community board every year, a Parks spokesperson said.

 

Conti’s, a star along Northern Boulevard


| GFEHLING@queenscourier.com

Conti's restaurant

Northern Boulevard in Little Neck hosts some of the finest restaurants in the New York metropolitan area. A star among this galaxy is Conti’s, at 249-11 Northern Boulevard. A warm welcome by partner Alessandro was the opening to a very pleasant and relaxing dining experience.

With subdued music supplied by keyboardist Lynn and pleasant lighting, the atmosphere of this 75-seat restaurant, with a nicely appointed bar, offered something not possible in larger eateries — the ability to converse with my dining partners in normal tones.

Opening cocktails were generous and my Negroni was mixed to perfection.

Good-sized appetizers were presented in the most decorative manner, with crab meat served in a star of fennel leaves. Prosciutto ham was served with roasted peppers and mozzarella.

The calamari grilled with lemon and balsamic vinegar was the most tender and sweet I have had in a long time. The mushroom appetizer offered a combination of shiitake, portobello and porcini topped with shaved parmigiano cheese and a truffle oil drizzle. Thinly-sliced raw filet mignon with arugula salad, shaved parmigiano and a truffle oil drizzle was delightful. Oyster offerings were raw, casino and Rockefeller.

Each of us had a different entree, including a double-cut tender veal chop grilled to perfection with a side dish of homemade green and white linguini; chicken with asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes; red snapper with a parmigiano crust sautéed in a dry vermouth and lemon sauce served over broccoli rabe; and sesame-crusted ahi tuna over spinach, garlic and oil. All portions were generous and pleasing to the eye and palate. Delicious in everyone’s opinion.

Also offered but not sampled are whole branzino, sea bass and striped bass broiled whole with garlic, oil and white wine on the side. A great pasta entrée is homemade gnocchi in a chunky veal osso bucco sauce. Gluten-free pasta is available, and it was fabulous. One of our chicken dishes was prepared gluten-free — amazing. Those on a celiac restricted diet will really appreciate this.

The desserts we sampled were homemade Italian cheesecake and Napoleons, and both were light and delicious.

One must visit Conti’s to enjoy a stellar culinary experience.

Queens celebrates Memorial Day


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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Thousands of Queens residents lined the streets this weekend to celebrate the troops past and present who have fought to protect the country.  Check out the photos from every parade.

Click here to see all the pictures from the Whitestone Veterans Memorial Day Parade.

Click here to see all the pictures from the Maspeth Memorial Day Parade.

Click here to see all the pictures from the Little Neck Memorial Day Parade.

Click here to see all the pictures from the Laurelton Memorial Day Parade.

Click here to see all the pictures from the Howard Beach Memorial Day Parade.

Click here to see all the pictures from the Forest Hills Memorial Day Parade.

                                                           

420 North: Service, selection, sumptuous


| padler@queenscourier.com

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On busy Northern Boulevard, just a mile east of Little Neck, sits a new restaurant that is worth the short drive, 420 North. It’s easy to remember because it’s the address too.

With easy parking, I entered the handsome, newly-renovated space that features an ample, beautifully-designed bar and attractive, warmly-lit dining room.

The hostess took us to a beautifully-set table and introduced us to our waiter.

The Italian continental menu is unique in that the restaurant has a wood-fired hearth enabling the chef to create dishes that range from artisan pizza to a juicy seafood paella.

Our meal began with a selection from their multiple choices of appetizers. I particularly liked the lump crab cakes, pan seared and served on spring greens with a tasty dill mango Remoulade. One of my husband’s favorite dishes is baked clams, and the ones at 420 North are done just right. The whole clam is topped with garlic herb breadcrumbs. Our friends had the classic onion soup, with plentiful tender onions and topped with a rich Gruyère cheese melted to a crustiness. We also sampled the semolina-dusted crispy and tender fried calamari.

I liked their chopped house salad with Romaine hearts, amply topped with tomatoes, onions, roasted peppers and artichoke hearts, all tossed in a pungent, perfectly-balanced red wine vinaigrette. Of course there is also a classic Caesar salad topped with amply-shaved Parmesan cheese in a perfectly-blended dressing that didn’t overwhelm the salad.

I couldn’t resist trying one of the personal pizzas and I was glad I did. The fungi pizza of wild mushrooms, overflowing with fresh mozzarella cheese topped with white truffle oil, was delicious.

We shared a dish of pappardelle, topped with a porcini mushroom cream sauce and cooked al dente, just how I like it.

After ordering wine from their ample, well-priced menu we selected our main course. The paella, cooked in their wood-fired oven, was overflowing with shrimp, clams, mussels, scallops, tilapia and chorizo sausage in a tasty sauce; it was accompanied by rice. It’s a must-try dish!

Another unique dish is their chicken 420. It’s a perfectly-cooked, moist, oven-roasted chicken with sausage, peppers, onions, potatoes and ample garlic served with a tasty Broccoli Rabe. It goes by many names, but this combination on the bone is hard to find.

Of course we had to sample some of their home-made desserts. They are both tasty to the palate and beautiful to behold.

At 420 North the service is attentive and professional, highlighted by the personal touch offered by one of the partners always in attendance to mingle with guests and make sure everything is to their liking. It certainly was for us, and I can happily say, try it — you’ll love it!

Make-A-Wish Foundation marks 9,000th wish in Queens


| amanning@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation

Little Neck resident Tyler Cacioppo had a ball last week as the Make-A-Wish foundation granted him his wish to play with his favorite soccer team, the New York Red Bulls. Cacioppo marked their 9,000th wish in the Metro New York area.

Cacioppo is an active 12-year-old with Crohn’s disease, a form of inflammatory bowel disease that usually infects the intestines. Diagnosed shortly before his sixth birthday after having been sick for a month with 104 degree fevers every day, he has lived half his life filled with doctor’s appointments, surgeries, and hospital visits. On a more daily basis, Cacioppo said that, “I have to go to the bathroom a lot during classes, and my friend’s usually don’t because they don’t have Crohn’s.”

None of that has stopped his ever-growing love of soccer, which he took up after seeing his older brother playing the game. Since then Cacioppo has taken the position of family soccer player, joining a travel team in the fifth grade, which he loves because he gets the opportunity to play against more competitive teams.

Although it is a common misconception that the Make-A-Wish foundation only grants the wishes of children with terminal illnesses, they serve those with life-threatening illnesses as well. They came to find out about Cacioppo through his gastroenterologist, Dr. Cindy Haller from Cohen’s Children’s Medical Center, who submitted Cacioppo as a very deserving candidate.

The foundation partnered with the New York Red Bulls soccer team to give Cacioppo a gift he will never forget. He was “pumped” before meeting the team, which includes his favorite player, French World Cup star Thierry Henry.

“It was really fun; it was cool how they passed the ball around. I learned many things that I can tell my team,” said Cacioppo as he excitedly described practicing with the Red Bulls before their big game against the L.A. Galaxy. “My favorite moment was practicing with the trainer Mike and Thierry Henry.”

Cacioppo also got to collect autographs and chat with the team over lunch in their players’ lounge. He then enjoyed the game, which the Red Bulls won, much to his delight. He even got to take home a signed game shirt from Henry.

Patti Cacioppo, Tyler’s mother, said that the process was very easy for them. It was a welcomed break from the stress and anxiety of having to see her son in pain so often.

“I always had this thought in my mind that Tyler’s life was going to be a fairy tale, that yes he was going to have ups and downs, but never did I think he would have to go through any of the things he has endured,” she said.

“Watching Tyler those two days being able to enjoy himself outside his normal doctor’s appointments, hospitals stays, nasal gastric tube feedings and just be a kid who loves soccer was one of the happiest moments I have had in a very long time,” she continued. “I wish it was longer.”

Mike Petke, assistant coach of the Red Bulls, immensely enjoyed helping grant Cacioppo’s wish, saying that he “had such a wonderful, emotional and gratifying day and I will never forget Tyler or his family.”

“I hope that I helped him take his mind off of his situation, even for a few minutes,” said Petke. It is safe to say that he did just that.

Police Blotter


| tcimino@queenscourier.com

Mario Minaya, 33, is charged with making off with his two-year-old daughter.

111th Precinct

Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck, Auburndale, Hollis Hills, and Fresh Meadows

Serial robber?

Police are investigating an armed robbery that occurred in the 111th Precinct on Saturday, October 1 at a Dunkin Donuts/gas station located at 219-02 Horace Harding Expressway (between Bell and Springfield Boulevards).

The perp allegedly entered the location at around 6:30 a.m., displayed a firearm, and demanded that cash be put into a black plastic bag before fleeing the scene. He was described by three witnesses as a white male, wearing a blue-hooded sweatshirt and a half -mask.

Police officials believe that the suspect is the same armed man who struck two other gas stations on Thursday, September 29. Although witnesses described that suspect as a male black, he was allegedly dressed in the same blue hooded sweatshirt, used the same black plastic bag, and also demanded cash at gunpoint. There were no reported injuries in connection with the robberies.

112th Precinct

Forest Hills and Rego Park

Seek phone thieves

Police are looking for suspects they say are wanted in connection with a robbery that occurred within the confines of the 112th Precinct.

On Sunday, September 18, the victim, a 26-year-old woman, was walking in the vicinity of 97th Street when the suspects approached her and slapped her iPhone4 from her hand. One of the suspects picked up the phone before they all fled in an unknown location.

The victim did not sustain any injuries as a result of this incident.

The suspects are described as being four black males, 14-16 years old, 5’5″-5’8″ with medium builds.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.

114TH PRECINCT

Astoria, Long Island City, Woodside, and Jackson Heights

Gun-point robber sought

Police are looking for a man they say robbed a parking garage at gun point.

On Monday, October 3, the suspect entered a parking garage located at 38-32 13th Street, pointed a gun at the 47-year-old victim and demanded money. The victim complied and gave the suspect an undetermined amount of cash. Once the suspect obtained the cash, he ordered the victim to turn away and fled on a bicycle.

The suspect is described as a black male, 20 to 22 years old, 5’6-5’8, 160 pounds, with a skinny build. Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.

115th Precinct

East Elmhurst, North Corona and Jackson Heights

Man arrested for making off with daughter

A man has been arrested and charged for allegedly making off with his daughter and threatening the mother that she would never see the child again.

On Thursday October 6, the mother of the missing child, Ashley Minaya, 2, received a call from the father, who said that she would never see him or the child again. The mother reported to police that she left the child with the father earlier in the day when she was leaving for work.

Police located the father and child later that day. Mario Minaya, 33, is charged with custodial interference and endangering the welfare of a child.