Tag Archives: Little Neck

Bellerose residents demand mosquito help after years with no West Nile spraying


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of CDC

Bellerose residents say they live in a forgotten land when it comes to the city’s efforts to eliminate mosquitoes.

“You can’t go outside. You can’t make it from your car to your front door,” said Maria Donza.

The bloodsuckers are keeping residents on house arrest and even alert indoors, said Donza, who added she sits with a bottle of bug spray at home.

The city has not sprayed the area since before 2011.

Pesticide was scheduled for Bellerose in August 2011, but the order was eventually canceled, according to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s (DOHMH) website.

The department recently targeted neighborhoods north of Bellerose, spraying parts of Bayside, Douglaston, Douglaston Manor, Glen Oaks, Little Neck and Oakland Gardens on July 25 and early the next day.

“Everywhere else in Queens has been mostly getting sprayed,” said resident AJ Sonnick. “I don’t understand why Bellerose has been forgotten.”

The 20-year-old said he was bitten four times in the 20 minutes he was in his backyard the other day.

“This is a beautiful neighborhood. It’s a great neighborhood to live,” Sonnick said. “It’s a shame that we just can’t sit outside.”

A DOHMH spokesperson said Bellerose has not been sprayed because no West Nile Virus activity has been detected there.

The virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can cause encephalitis and meningitis.

Insects carrying the potentially fatal virus were recently found in Auburndale, College Point, Holliswood, Middle Village, Pomonok and the areas north of Bellerose sprayed last week.

The pesticide is taken as a last resort in areas where there is a high risk of West Nile Virus transmission, the department said.

Catch basins in Bellerose have been treated with larvicide twice this season.

“Though there may be an increase in floodwater mosquitoes citywide, these mosquitoes do not transmit West Nile Virus,” the DOHMH spokesperson said.

However, State Senator Tony Avella said the city should take measures before Bellerose makes the infected list.

“Every year, we have deaths from West Nile Virus. Every year, it resurfaces,” he said. “So why don’t we do a much more proactive spraying to reduce that population rather than wait until it explodes on us?”

Mosquitoes “don’t know what a boundary is on a map” and can fly into new nearby territories, the legislator added.

The city urged residents to call 3-1-1 to report standing water, which can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

 

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West Nile spraying in Queens this week


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of James Gathany/CDC

On Wednesday, July 24, there will be West Nile spraying in parts of Queens to help reduce the mosquito population and the risk of the disease.

The spraying will take place between the hours of 8:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next morning. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Thursday, July 25 during the same hours.

Neighborhoods: Parts of Bayside, Douglaston, Douglas Manor, Glen Oaks, Little Neck and Oakland Gardens.

Bordered by: Little Neck Bay and 39th Avenue to the North; Bell Boulevard, Long Island Expressway, Cloverdale Boulevard, 73rd Avenue and Springfield  Boulevard to the West; 76th Avenue, 263rd Street and Union Turnpike to the South; and Nassau County border to the East.

Parts of the following zip codes: 11361, 11362, 11363,  11364, 11426, 11427,  11004, 11005

For the sprayings, the Health Department will use a very low concentration of Anvil®, 10 + 10 a synthetic
pesticide. When properly used, this product poses no significant risks to human health.

The Health Department  recommends that people take the following precautions to minimize direct exposure:

  • Whenever possible, stay indoors during spraying. People with asthma or other respiratory conditions  are encouraged to stay inside during spraying since direct exposure could worsen these conditions.
  • Air conditioners may remain on, however, if you wish to reduce the possibility of indoor exposure to pesticides, set the air conditioner vent to the closed position, or choose the re-circulate function.
  •  Remove children’s toys, outdoor equipment, and clothes from outdoor areas during spraying. If  outdoor equipment and toys are exposed to pesticides, wash them with soap and water before using  again.
  • Wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticides with soap and water. Always wash your produce thoroughly with water before cooking or eating.

Photo courtesy of NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Board approves variance to move parking at former Scobee Diner site


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Community Board 11 approved a variance that would shift parking at the former Scobee Diner site.

The variance, which moves the parking lot to the back of the property, will improve safety, said Matt Carmody, a traffic engineer for new owner Lion Bee Equities. He said otherwise, drivers would have to back on to Northern Boulevard when leaving the popular eatery, thus holding up traffic and leading to accidents.

The variance will also convert some parking spaces in a residential zone to commercial spots. There will be 17 parking spaces in the new lot, including one handicapped space.

Scobee’s shut down two years ago when restaurant owners failed to reach agreement on purchasing the 252-29 Northern Boulevard property from the landowners.

Lion Bee Equities, a Great Neck-based company, has proposed transforming the site into a CitiBank on the first floor and a dentist’s office on the second.

The CitiBank would include a drive-thru ATM with a Little Neck Parkway entrance. Drivers would exit onto Northern Boulevard.

The community board’s Little Neck Land Use Committee originally told the developer to bring back a plan without a drive-thru ATM. But board members said removing the ATM turned out to be a non-starter.

Residents and some board members are worried the plan will turn Little Neck Parkway into a heavily congested area.
Vivien Lenk, who lives two blocks from the site, said the current plan could pose safety risks at the busy intersection with cars coming in and out.

“It’s really an accident, or many accidents, waiting to happen,” she said.

The board voted 24-18 to approve the variance on June 10.

 

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Little Neck fifth grader becomes councilmember for a day


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photos by William Alatriste/Courtesy of Karyl Jones

Her love for Queens landed her a seat in City Hall — and she’s only 11.

Katiya Jones of Little Neck became councilmember for a day after beating about 500 youngsters in an annual essay contest hosted by Councilmember Mark Weprin.

“Before I went, I thought it would be boring,” she said, “but I was proved wrong. It was a lot of fun.”

The fifth grader at P.S. 26 blew judges away with her “articulate and upbeat” essay, Weprin’s office said.

She listed her favorite locations in the borough, including the Marie Rose International Doll Museum in St. Albans and the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, peppering the essay with historical facts.

The paper also gave judges a sneak peek into Katiya’s artistic life of dance, performance and altruism. She said she helps feed the homeless at the Afrikan Poetry Theater in Jamaica during the holidays.

“Queens has many activities that I participate in,” Katiya wrote. “In the summer, I play tennis with the New York Junior Tennis League, as well as attend the YMCA day camp where I swim and take martial arts. I ride my bike in Cunningham Park and visited Rufus King Park.”

Katiya took a private tour of City Hall, attended a press conference and mock voted on real legislation in council chambers on May 22.

“It’s very busy,” she said. “You’re going all over the place. You have a lot of meetings and places you have to be.”

Still, she said the legislator’s life is not for her.

“I want to be a pediatrician, an actress, a dancer, a singer and a billionaire,” Katiya said.

She might not be so far from realizing her lofty dreams.

Katiya appeared in a “Saturday Night Live” skit in November 2010 and has landed television and radio commercials since she was six.

“She doesn’t have a shy bone in her body,” said her mother, Karyl Jones.

Once Katiya entered council chambers, she immediately took on the role of lawmaker, Karyl said.

“She was sitting there like she knew what she was doing, looking at the agenda and looking all serious,” she added. “We got a lot of out of it.”

 

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How to protect from hackers and spammers


| oped@queenscourier.com

BY CONGRESSMEMBER STEVE ISRAEL

In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, we are reminded of the importance of reevaluating our security procedures. However, we also must be conscious of another challenge: the threat to our personal information from cyber-attacks.

Cyber intrusions, most recently from hackers with Chinese IP addresses, have compromised the safety of our personal information on our computers. Just the other day, a fake tweet sent by hackers from the Associated Press’ Twitter account was able to briefly send the stock market into a freefall. With all this in mind, I would like to outline a few things you can do on your computers at home to protect your privacy online and make sure that computer hackers and spammers cannot access your personal accounts or information. The following information applies to both your email and social media accounts.

Use a strong password

Your password should be something that isn’t easy to guess. The longer the password, the safer your personal information. Passwords should have upper-case and lowercase characters, numbers and even punctuation and exclamation marks. Some sites will tell you how strong a password is, so you know how well protected your account is.

Connect your mobile device to your accounts

Adding your social media and email accounts to your mobile device will require that any password changes need to be confirmed by you through that device before they become effective. It’s an additional layer of protection that’s worth the extra text message or email you will receive from time to time to confirm changes.

Be careful what you click on and where you enter information

A lot of hackers send emails and messages that look legitimate and ask for your passwords and other personal information. This is called “phishing.” Hackers are very good at making fake websites that look almost identical to the legitimate page, so it’s especially important to be careful what you click on.

Never give up your password

No employee of any company will contact you through phone or email to ask for your password. If this does happen to you, call the company directly and report it.

Download free anti-virus software and scan regularly

Anti-Virus Software is readily available and free online. You should perform a virus scan of your computer every few weeks. One good program is Avast, or AVG, which can be downloaded at www.avast.com and free.avg.com.

Israel represents the 3rd District, including Whitestone, Douglaston, Little Neck, Bayside and Flushing.

 

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Grace Meng sworn in as first Asian-American from NY in Congress


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Maggie Hayes

The Courier tagged along on a bus trip to Washington, D. C. as the 113th Congress was sworn in.

It’s five in the morning, and over 100 people gathered outside in Flushing, anxiously waiting to board buses making the trek down to our nation’s capital to watch the 113th Congress — and the first Asian-American from New York — be sworn in.

Former Assemblymember Grace Meng made history last November when she was elected to represent the 6th Congressional District.

Community leaders and constituents journeyed to Washington, D.C. on Thursday, January 3 to witness her, along with Hakeem Jeffries, Gregory Meeks and Steve Israel, officially become members of the 113th Congress.

“We are very proud today,” said Councilmember Peter Koo. “It’s very historic. I hope that she [Meng] will be a role model and a trailblazer for the new generation.”

After the drive to D.C., supporters were able to watch the newly minted Congressmembers cast their first vote for House Speaker, and then be officially sworn in to the new session.

Hakeem Jeffries, Meng’s former colleague in the Assembly, was also sworn in to represent the 8th Congressional District — which includes Howard Beach, Ozone Park and Lindenwood. Jeffries faced a comparatively lighter general election than Meng, after the Brooklyn-based legislator beat Councilmember Charles Barron in a June primary election.

Incumbent members of Congress Joseph Crowley of the 14th District, Gregory Meeks of the 5th District, and Steve Israel of the 3rd held onto their positions in the House and were also sworn into the new session.

After the swearing in ceremony, Meng joined her constituents and spoke about upcoming plans in her new position. Gun control legislation, immigration reform and passing the Sandy aid bill are at the forefront.

“There are a lot of issues that we need to work on, and I look forward to working with you,” Meng said. “And you all are the eyes and ears of our community.”

 

Shopping may be in Scobee’s future


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

An applicant is looking to tear down a shuttered Little Neck diner to erect a retail and community facility in its place, according to a local community board.

Lion Bee Equities, a Great Neck-based company, has proposed transforming the former Scobee Grill diner into a two-story building with retail on the first floor and a community facility on the second floor, said Community Board 11’s district manager Susan Seinfeld.

The popular diner at 252-29 Northern Boulevard had been around for several decades before it shut down two years ago when eatery owners failed to reach negotiations to purchase the property from its landowners.

Retail plans were not yet known for the now vacant site, said Seinfeld, but there is a high possibility the equities firm would push for a medical facility or a day care on the second floor.

A public hearing for the proposal is scheduled for March, Seinfeld said.

Longtime Little Neck resident Larry Penner, who said he met his wife at Scobee’s on a blind date, welcomed the development.

“This would create jobs for construction people and contractors. I miss Scobee’s but neighborhoods change. Restaurants come and go,” he said. “I was kind of hoping a diner would come in there, but a lot of diners are disappearing in Queens.”

Where to find last minute gifts in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

OKG

THE POTTER’S WHEEL
20-33 83rd Avenue, Kew Gardens, 718-441-6614
Handmade items make great holiday gifts. Our gallery offers many one-of-a-kind treasures made by passionate, local artists. With over thirty years of experience, our studio exhibits many styles from which to choose. Gift certificates for classes make great gifts, too. Get Creative! Make your own gift!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MIEKA
45 Glen Cove Road, Greenvale, NY, 516-367-8755
Woodbury Common, 8285 Jericho Turnpike, Woodbury, NY, 516-367-8755

ELEGANT JEWELRY
45-31B Bell Boulevard, Bayside, 718-225.5000
Give Elegance this season! Pop the question with a custom made engagement ring from Elegant Jewelry and make the holidays sparkle! Specializing in designing engagement rings and wedding bands since 1983.

BELL FAMILY JEWELERS
40-21 Bell Boulevard, Bayside, 718-279-3035

LA BELLA BASKETS
Ameena Rodriguez (Gift Consultant # 6080), 888-809-9113
Beautiful gifts for a beautiful cause, including gift baskets, flower arrangements and cookie bouquets.

 

OKG JEWELRY
248-25 Northern Blvd. Little Neck, 718-423-2526

SHOE VILLAGE
45-22 162nd Street, Flushing, 718-762-1990
This winter get your loved one the gift of warmth and comfort with a pair of UGG AustraliaClassic Short Dylyn. This boot is made with premium genuine twin faced Sheepskin. UGG Australia has boots, shoes and slippers for women, men and kids.

Little Neck school gets leg up with donation


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Teachers at a local Little Neck elementary school now have the means to supply their classrooms after a major retail conglomerate gave the educators a $1,000 leg up.

P.S. 94 received $50 gift cards from Walmart on October 26 for 20 of its teachers to purchase school supplies and classroom resources, school administrators said.

“This is really the first time that a huge corporation has come up and given us something tangible we could use for the children,” said Principal JoAnn Barbeosch. “It’s very gracious that they’re doing this. It’s absolutely remarkable.”

Barbeosch said the shot in the arm was much needed for the small school with limited resources, which has been struggling after budget cuts.

Money given to P.S. 94 from the city has diminished tremendously, Barbeosch said, causing most teachers to have to shell out some $300 out of pocket each year to stock their classrooms.

“We run low on supplies and it’s hard to replace them,” said Heidi Bateman, a fifth grade teacher at the school, who spends at least $200 of her own money each year. “This is a great help.”

Walmart representative Nicole Estremera said each store in the company is given about $1,000 each year to donate to one local school in need.

The 41-77 Little Neck Parkway school is home to 427 students, roughly 25 full-time teachers and about 10 part-timers, Barbeosch said. The money would also be used to buy snacks, provide incentives for the classrooms and fill prize bins with seasonal goods like spider rings or fancy pencils and erasers, she said.

Dining and drinking al fresco in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Water’s Edge

BY SWEETINA KAKAR

Now that the summer heat is gone, but it’s still nice enough to sit outdoors, it’s a great time to dine or drink al fresco at one of these spots in Queens. 

Austin Steak and Ale House
82-70 Austin Street, Kew Gardens, 718-849-3939

The pub-styled restaurant in the Kew Gardens neighborhood allows for a casual dining and lounging experience. Austin Steak and Ale House serves comfort foods along with a large selection of spirits and domestic and imported beer. The menu consists of variety of options for lunch or dinner, along with brunch only available on Sundays. The outdoor seating area, a patio and garden, features fresh plants, trees and table umbrellas. It offers private dining for events or large parties. The restaurant’s operation hours are Sunday and Monday 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Tuesday to Saturday 12 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden
29-19 24th Avenue, Astoria, 718-274-4925

With long picnic tables, benches and outdoor grills under a large tent, this restaurant allows for a casual night out in the neighborhood of Astoria. Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden serves a homely outdoor and indoor environment along with a full course Czech dinner and grill menu and large selection of domestic and imported beer. They open their doors Monday through Thursday at 5 p.m., Friday at 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at noon. Their services are available until 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday and Sunday, and until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Cávo Café Lounge and Garden
42-18 31st Avenue, Astoria, 718-721-1001

A popular night scene in Astoria is also known for its Greek inspired dinner menu. With two rooms, a second floor and outdoor seating, Cávo Café accommodates most dinning preferences such as private parties, intimate dinners to eating at a party with a DJ. The restaurant has three large full bars located at both ends and outside. The large chandeliers, drapes hanging from the ceiling, fresh plants and dim lighting give the restaurant a classy yet cozy atmosphere. Thursday night Cávo offers free dinner for women and every evening from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. kids eat for free as well. The restaurant’s operation hours are Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., and Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Il Bacco
253-24 Northern Boulevard, Little Neck, 718-224-7657

This authentic Italian restaurant in Little Neck offers 27 years of experience in Italian cuisine and hospitality. The restaurant is decorated with warm colors, dark wood, heavy drapes, mosaic tiles and chandeliers for a cozy yet sophisticated environment. The rooftop garden is inspired by a Tuscan-style villa accompanied by fresh plants and flowers. The restaurant is equipped with two full bars, one outdoors and another indoors, with a wide variety of red and white wines. The restaurant opens every day at 11:30 a.m.. except for Sunday at 1 p.m., and closes at 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Jade Eatery and Lounge
1 Station Square, Forest Hills, 718-793-2203

Jade Eatery and Lounge is located in the neighborhood of Forest Hills. With its tranquil décor, a waterfall, ponds, inspirational quotes on the walls and a large Buddha, Jade is a popular dining spot for authentic Indo-Asian cuisine. Its menu features a full sushi bar and dishes inspired from Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai, Indian and Korea cuisines. Jade features an Aged Copper Lounge with a full bar, Private Moroccan-style Lounge for special events, a DJ and an art gallery with rotating exhibits. The restaurant has both outdoor and indoor seating from noon to 9 p.m. everyday, except Sundays, when it closes at 8 p.m.

LIC Bar
45-58 Vernon Boulevard., Long Island City, 718-786-5400

The 100-year-old bar, with its antique wood bar, tin ceilings, brick walls and outdoor area, is a casual and relaxing hangout in the very busy neighborhood of Long Island City. Adding to the mellow environment, acoustic bands perform live every Sunday evening. The full bar selections includes draft beers, single-malt scotch and mixed drinks. The garden is decorated with willow trees and heat lamps for chilly nights. LIC Bar is open for business Monday through Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.

Oasis Café and Bakery
196-30 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, 718-357-4843

Greek owned and inspired Oasis Café and Bakery serves more than bakery goods but breakfast, lunch and dinner entrees, also inspired by Greek cuisine, in the Flushing area. The outdoor garden features a Greek design with trees, a wooden deck, a sculpted water fountain, and pebbled ground. With three sections to the café, customers can either quickly come in to pick up their bakery goods or decided to sit indoors or outdoors for the entire Oasis experience. The indoor décor consists of neon colored lights and wall art for a modern and Greek infusion. The café includes two full bars, one indoor and one outdoors. The hours of operation are 7:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day.

Omonia Café
32-20 Broadway, Astoria, 718-274-6650

Omonia Café, established more than 30 years ago and located in Astoria, has a modern fun atmosphere with its colorfully lit ceiling and bar, dim lighting, spacious floor design and intriguing art. The café is enclosed by windows during cooler weather, continuing with the spacious pattern. The windows are opened up for the warmer seasons. The café serves brunch, lunch and dinner with a wide variety of European-influenced food. It’s equipped with a full bar and bakery, and is opened from 6 a.m. to 3 a.m. every day.

Penthouse808
8-08 Queens Plaza South, Long Island City, 718-289-6118

Penthouse808 is a rooftop located above Ravel Hotel in Long Island City, which overlooks the Midtown skyline and the Queensboro Bridge. Indoors or outdoors, there is a view of  the skyline through its large windows. The restaurant includes a full bar and serves Pan Asian cuisine with a sushi bar for dinner. The restaurant offers private dining for events and large parties. On weekends, during after dining hours, the restaurant becomes a popular bar and lounge with a DJ. Dinning hours are from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday.

Riverview
2-01 50th Avenue, Long Island City, 718-392-5000

With a warm yet classy interior, Riverview is one of Long Island City’s most popular dinner and drinks restaurants. The restaurant is a road apart from the river giving you the view of the Midtown skyline while seated either outdoors or indoors. Riverview serves from late morning brunches to late night after dinner drinks in their lounge area. Their menu includes pasta and salad dishes along with signature seafood appetizers and entrees, which they offer to deliver to the neighborhood of L.I.C. With it’s spacious interior set-up Riverview allows private parties while still being able to seat other reservations. The dining hall is open every morning at 11 a.m. and closes as late as 1 a.m. Friday and Saturdays. The lounge is open every night until 1 a.m., except for Friday and Saturday as it stays open for an hour later.

Water’s Edge
401 44th Drive, Long Island City, 718-482-0033

Just at the edge of Queens in Long Island City on the water, overlooking the Midtown skyline, is well known restaurant Water’s Edge. The off the ground restaurant has dinning seats on a second floor along with outdoor seating on its same floor terrace. The modern interior and large windows, allow you to embrace the city vibe, even across a river. The restaurant’s menu consists of pasta and salad to seafood along with sandwiches and meat entrees. Water’s Edge serves lunch, opening at noon, Monday through Friday, but serves dinner Monday through Saturday until 11 p.m. and is closed on Sunday.

 

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!