Tag Archives: Long Island City

Man arrested in shooting outside LIC club that left four injured


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via NYPD

Police have arrested one of two suspects wanted in a shooting outside a Long Island City club that left four bystanders injured last fall.

The NYPD announced Friday morning it collared 23-year-old Traevon Robinson of Jamaica, who was charged with four counts of felony assault and three counts of reckless endangerment.

Authorities said Robinson and an unidentified suspect were in front of Allure Club and Lounge, at 33-02 Queens Blvd., about 10:45 p.m. on Oct. 19 when they both pulled out guns and started firing at each other.

Four people were caught in the crossfire and taken to area hospitals for treatment. A 37-year-old man was struck once in the chest, and a 19-year-old woman, a 28-year-old man and a 23-year-old man were each hit once in the leg, authorities said.

Following the shooting, police released surveillance video of one of the suspects, who was later identified as Robinson.

Police are still looking for the second shooter, but did not have a description of the suspect.

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Queens World Film Festival to kick off fifth year


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Image courtesy Jamil Lahham

Along with recent celebrity sightings, including Oscar winner George Clooney, Astoria is ready to continue shining with this year’s Queens World Film Festival — bringing over a hundred unique local and international films to the booming borough.

The festival, celebrating its fifth year running, will take place from March 17 through March 22 and feature 117 films, with 19 works from Queens. The films include short and feature narrative, documentaries, animation and LGBT pieces.

“It will be a week of something for everyone,” said festival director Katha Cato, who arranges the event along with her husband Don and a group of volunteers. “I’m so excited about the caliber of what we are about to expose Queens to.”

This year the six-day festival, which officially received a nonprofit status this year, brought in over 400 submissions from across the nation and around the world.

“Five [years] just feels like I can breathe a little bit. We made it to year five and that’s important,” Cato said. “We are experiencing and feeling it.”

The festival begins on March 17 at 8 p.m. at the Museum of the Moving Image, located at 36-01 35th Ave. in Astoria. The evening will feature a block of six films, including two from Queens filmmakers.

“You can do any kind of shot and any type you want in Queens, to represent any nation or any demographic. You can find it somewhere, somehow in this borough,” Cato said. “You can create a lot of different worlds here and with these studios starting to understand that and with a film festival, this could be a huge industry here in this borough.”

The short narrative "Short Steps" by Queens filmmaker Laura Aguinaga is one of 19 Queens films at the film festival.

The short narrative “Short Steps” by Queens filmmaker Laura Aguinaga is one of 19 Queens films at the film festival.

Opening night will also recognize director Leon Ichaso, known for movies such as “El Cantante” starring Jennifer Lopez, as a “Spirit of Queens” honoree. The festival will also present Ichaso’s film “Bitter Sugar” on March 18 at the Museum of the Moving Image.

Throughout the festival, the independent films will be divided into different blocks based on subject and shown at venues such as The Secret Theatre in Long Island City, P.S. 69 in Jackson Heights, and, for the first time, daily showings at the Museum of the Moving Image.

“It’s about pairing [the films] together to create the proper context so they all look, sound and feel the way the filmmaker wanted it,” Cato said. “And we are creating community within these filmmakers who are perhaps on the same journey and might perhaps work together [in the future].”

Closing night of the festival will feature a screening of the film “Dukhtar (Daughter)” by Afia Nathaniel and be followed by an award ceremony at the Museum of the Moving Image.

“I just hope everyone knows that a lot of love went into this festival and we’re going to fix any mistakes we encounter, but we want you to really experience the films,” Cato added. “Just experience them, don’t judge them. It’s a different medium, there aren’t studio films.”

Tickets for opening night and the rest of the festival are still available at www.queensworldfilmfestival.com.

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LIC Flea & Food set to open for third season in April


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Bradley Hawks

Although winter might still be hanging on for a few more weeks, a sign of warmer times has finally shown up as the third season of the outdoor LIC Flea & Food is set to open in April.

The popular Long Island City flea market, located at outdoor lot by the waterfront at the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, will make its grand re-opening on Saturday, April 11.

Items for sale include food and drinks, collectibles, antiques, arts and crafts, hand-crafted jewelry and fashion, and much more. Visitors will be able to enjoy a lineup of returning LIC Flea favorites and also bring brand-new faces coming to the market.

LIC Flea allows shoppers to find unique vintage finds and also have the opportunity to meet curators and crafters — which make the flea market a one-of-a-kind place to shop and find everything you need.

“We’re thrilled to be kicking off the third season of LIC Flea & Food,” said Joshua Schneps, LIC Flea & Food president. “We have an awesome lineup of vendors from past seasons and many exciting new vendors.”

Some new food vendors include Lumpia Merienda, Chuta Madre and CakeBox NYC. Other new vendors are Anna Harper Jewelry and Queens³.

Returning favorites are Butcher Bar, Tea & Milk, Vivian Jewelry and Paris Images.

LIC Flea & Food will run every Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 6 p.m., through the end of October.

Potential vendors whose dreams have been to sell their product at the LIC Flea still have time to apply to the market. Applications are being accepted for the new season by registering online at www.licflea.com.

Here are some new LIC Flea & Food vendors to check out during opening weekend.

Chuta Madre
chutamadre.com
facebook.com/chutamadreny
Instagram and Twitter: @chutamadrenyc
Chuta Madre is a traditional Ecuadorian sanducheria crafting authentic homemade pork and turkey sandwiches. Their sandwiches are marinated with a unique blend of spices that bring the mouth-watering taste of South America to Long Island City. The process of slowly cooking the meat gives the sandwiches the perfect tenderness. Starting this business has always been a passion for the owners, who are excited to bring to the public homemade street fare and other tasty menu items.

Anna Harper Jewelry
Etsy.com/AnnaHarper
jewelry@AnnaHarper.com
Instagram: @jewelrybyannaharper
Anna Harper Jewelry handcrafts heirloom quality designs in recycled metals. Copper, sterling silver, fine silver and 24-karat gold jewelry, designed in classic and modern styles. All stones are responsibly resourced. Each piece is designed with the environment in mind, using old world techniques instead of modern mass production. Custom orders gladly accepted.

CakeBox NYC
facebook.com/CakeBoxNYC
CakeBox NYC is a concept deliberately spurned out of the simple desire to fulfill your sweet tooth. Their diverse array of unique Tres Leches cakes embrace the melting pot of ethnic backgrounds that have been the staple of New York City. CakeBox NYC will leave you salivating for more. “Life Is Too Short, Eat Dessert First!”

Queens³
Queens³ specializes in one-of-a-kind hand-crafted sewn goods. Each product is lovingly designed and carefully constructed by its two owners, Jer and Brady. “We’re just two queens in Queens that love to sew,” said the owners. They offer unique pillows, tote bags and pet beds made from vintage and designer fabrics. Find them on social media and Etsy @queenscubed.

Lumpia Merienda
lumpiamerienda.com
facebook.com/lumpiamerienda
Instagram and Twitter: @LumpiaMerienda
Lumpia Merienda started with a mother’s Filipino eggrolls, or “lumpias,” and the voracious appetites that gathered around the poker table every Friday night. Four friends are now bringing these addictive and crispy snacks to the masses for the first time at LIC Flea & Food, where they will fry up savory, sweet and vegetarian versions.

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Russian café chain Stolle opening first US location in Long Island City


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre 

Russian café chain Stolle, which has more than 49 locations in Russia and Europe, is opening its first American shop in Long Island City.

The bakery signed a 10-year lease to set up in a 2,175-square-foot space in the Falchi building, where there are already a number of eateries, including Doughnut Plant and Juice Press.

Much like other tenants in the Falchi building, a converted warehouse at 31-00 47th Ave., Stolle will be divided into a production side and a café.

Stolle was established in Russia in 2002 and is known for its sweet and savory pies. As one of the most diverse counties in the United States, Queens has a variety of foreign eateries and was an attractive choice for the retailer, among other future locations in and around the city.

“We are particularly excited to launch our brand in New York City, where there is a true melting pot and a genuine interest in experiencing other cultures and foods,” said Irina Belska, co-owner of the Bakery Group LLC, the company bringing the Stolle brand to America.

Aaron Fishbein of Winick Realty Group represented Stolle in the transaction, and Dave Tricarico of Cushman & Wakefield represented Jamestown LP, the owner of the Falchi building.

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Astoria Boulevard development site sold, will become new residential building


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Modern Spaces

An Astoria development site was sold for $4.8 million and will be transformed into a residential building, according to real estate firm Modern Spaces.

The lot at 8-25 Astoria Blvd. offers up to 33,751 buildable square feet, the real estate firm said.

A Modern Spaces team of Evan Daniel, Edward DiTomasso and Alice Chan represented the buyer and seller. Daniel said the new owner has the intent to use the site for residential development.

The sale equates to about $142 per buildable square feet, which is much less than land values in nearby Long Island City.

Partly because of the lower land prices, Astoria has become a hot neighborhood for development. Not far from the site, the Hallets Point and Astoria Cove mega projects will bring about 4,000 units, and hundreds of other apartments are planned around the area.

“Northwest Astoria remains relatively undeveloped but with several major projects in the pipeline, this area contains some hidden jewels for developers both local and abroad,” said Daniel, executive vice president of the real estate firm’s commercial division. “With land values in neighboring Long Island City hovering around $250 per buildable square foot, some may actually view the price point of this property, and several around it, as a ‘bargain.’”

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LIC shop plans to serve bike community with coffee, beer and great service


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos by Peter Dressel

Cyclists will soon have a spot in Long Island City where they can grab a coffee or drink a cold beer with fellow lovers of the sport.

Jane Kenyon and Damon Strub are the founders of Nomad Cycle, a bicycle shop that emphasizes providing services to the cyclist community, which opened its doors on Jan. 29 in LIC.

Nomad Cycle is currently located at Strub’s former seventh-floor architecture studio located at 51-02 21st St., but the founders plan to move the shop to a storefront location by the summer.

After making the move and applying for a beer license, Nomad Cycle plans to be a bicycle shop, café and taproom, the first in Queens.

“Manhattan and Brooklyn are very dense with bike shops and coffee shops. It seems to me that Queens, certainly this area in Queens, is growing and needs shops like these,” said Kenyon, a professional cyclist who has competed in international races. “We’re more interested in being part of the community and building relationships with our clients.”

For now, the business offers bike services and repairs, professional bicycle fittings, DIY repair work stations available for rent, and a master mechanic on hand to provide assistance.

There are also hands-on classes and other bike-related events taking place at the shop. Restored and vintage bicycles are available for sale, and they have access to a distributor of Italian bicycles.

“We’re really going to focus on quality, not necessarily expensive. We’re not going to carry stuff that is going to break down,” Kenyon said. “If you come in and tell us what you want, we’ll work with you to source with you and build up what you’re looking for.”

Kenyon and Strub are currently looking for the new location for Nomad Cycle and would like to be closer to the route most cyclists use.

When they make the move, they will first open as a bike shop and café and then apply for a beer license. The plan is to become a community space where people can hang out and socialize.

Photo by Damon Strub

Photo by Damon Strub

“When we do move to a storefront, we would like to be part and parcel a community space for cyclists and non-cyclists and a place that attracts people to hang out,” Kenyon said. “If you are into cycling, you know you’ll always find other cyclists to talk to.”

Although the shop plans to combine the love for cycling and beer, Kenyon added that they emphasize that their customers should stay safe on the roads. The shop even hopes to have a car service available for any cyclists who might have had a beer too many.

“What we would say is please drink responsibly,” Kenyon said.

Nomad Cycle is open Tuesday through Friday from noon to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit nomadcycle.com.

Photo by Damon Strub

Photo by Damon Strub

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Selling point: Joe Abbracciamento site sells again and more big sales


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

The closing and sale of the nearly seven-decade-old Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant in Rego Park caused an emotional stir in the neighborhood last year.

The buyer, Criterion Group, had plans to demolish and build on the property, but nearly one year after the eatery closed, the new owner has sold the property. That transaction is just one of the big sales in the borough over the week.

Address: 62-98 Woodhaven Blvd., Rego Park
Price: $10,850,000

Plans to transform the former site of Rego Park’s beloved Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant haven’t gone anywhere. The restaurant and adjoining buildings were sold to 62-98 Realty LLC, a firm based in Flushing, for $10.8 million, according to city records filed on Friday.

After the family-owned eatery closed and was sold along with the adjoining buildings on the block for $9 million to Criterion Group, according to property records, permits were filed by the new owners to demolish the buildings and build a seven-story residential building on the lots with nearly 120 apartments and 60 parking spaces. The stores attached to the restaurant were closed last year for the impending demolition, which has not occurred as yet.

Address: 39-34 43rd St., Sunnyside
Price: $8,100,000

This warehouse building near Torsney/Lou Lodati Playground traded hands for $8.1 million, according to city records filed on Tuesday. Jay Kestenbaum is the buyer.

Last year, the FDNY tried to acquire this site to store about 100 spare and reserve fire engines, according to published reports. The plan needed Uniform Land Use Review Procedure approval from the city. Although it was approved by Community Board 2, the plan was met with some opposition. Residents cited potential problems of increased traffic and noise. The FDNY withdrew its application and plans for the site in August.

Address: 39-50 24th St., LIC
Price: $5,675,000

Greiner-Maltz Investment Properties closed on this apartment building on Tuesday. The four-story, 30-unit building has 21,680 square feet of space. There are also two vacant retail spaces in the building on the ground floor. The sale has yet to hit city property records.

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LIC industrial facility with big development potential on sale


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield 

A large, under-utilized industrial property in Long Island City that can legally be used for buildings seven times larger than what is currently on the site is being listed for sale, according to global real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

The property includes several buildings that have a total of 26,113 square feet of space. But the site can legally accommodate buildings with as much as 200,500 square feet of space, according to the real estate company.

The facility is located at 50-09 27th St., close to major highways such as the Long Island Expressway and Midtown Tunnel, as well as the Pulaski Bridge, meaning it could be attractive for distribution companies looking for easy access to Manhattan and Brooklyn.

“This area is quickly emerging and its close proximity to several mega projects as well as transportation options makes this an extremely appealing site for both users and investors,” said David Chkheidze of Cushman & Wakefield, who is marketing the property with Conrad Martin.

The property was sold by Harsco Corporation to a group of companies for $9.5 million in 2008, according to city records.

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What to know about Queens rents in January


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Charts courtesy of MNS Real Estate

Overall most Queens renters didn’t see much of a change in rates from December to January as prices increased just 0.21 percent to $2,103.96.

However, select areas experienced more significant changes, revealing important neighborhood trends, according to data from MNS Real Estate’s January Queens Rental Market Report.

It’s back over $4,000

The most expensive rents for studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments can be found in Long Island City, as is the norm. But in January, the average rents of two-bedroom apartments in Long Island City climbed over the $4,000 mark for the first time since May of 2014 to an average of $4,044, according to the report. After hitting a low of $3,747 in June of 2014, prices fluctuated for a few months before slowly rising toward the end of the year.


A bargain in Jackson Heights  

Tenants paid about an average of $1,514 for rental studios in Forest Hills in January, which is 6.62 percent less than the previous month and the largest percent drop that month. It was a significant decline in rates, but renters looking for a bargain should focus on Jackson Heights studios, where prices are $114 less at an average of $1,400 per month. Of the neighborhoods analyzed in the borough in January, Jackson Heights has the lowest prices for studios.

Rocketing Rego Park

Rego Park is continuing its hot streak. Average prices in the neighborhood are continuing to burn through residents’ wallets as new luxury units recently entered the market. For the month of January, average prices for two-bedrooms in the neighborhood rose a whopping 17.1 percent during the month to $2,598. From November to December 2014, Rego Park rental studios saw an stark increase of 12 percent in average rents.

 

Click here to read the full report.

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Daughter still hopeful as search for missing Astoria man enters second week


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Poster via Findphil Facebook page

Heather Arabadjis hasn’t given up hope as the search for her missing 63-year-old father, who suffers from various mental disorders, reaches its second week without any leads.

Philip Arabadjis, who is about 5 feet 11 inches tall, 290 pounds, and has brown and grey hair, was last seen leaving his apartment complex on 20th Avenue and 20th Street in Astoria on Feb. 12 at around 10 p.m., according to his daughter. He was wearing a flannel shirt with black sweatpants and was without shoes or a jacket.

Arabadjis has a medical history of schizophrenia, diabetes, related symptoms of dementia, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), making it hard for him to breathe.

Since he went missing, Heather has set up Facebook page called “Findphil” where she posts updates on the search for her dad.

Feeling like the response from police is slow, she has conducted two organized searches and visited hospitals in Queens and other boroughs, as well as homeless shelters. She plans to continue searching subway and train stations such as Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station.

Philip Arabadjis (Photo courtesy of NYPD)

Philip Arabadjis (Photo courtesy of NYPD)

She is currently waiting to hear back from the NYPD’s Missing Persons Unit on video feeds in the area that could have caught her father walking away from his home. The Alzheimer’s Association also has their own detective on the case as well.

“We don’t really know where he is. We’re not sure if he stayed in Astoria or Long Island City,” Heather said. “I’m just trying to do everything on my end to see what we can do to find him. Whatever anyone says I’m doing, I’m searching on any tips, still putting up flyers and contacting hospitals. Volunteers are contacting hospitals daily and recording notes.”

Heather describes her father as a homebody who likes to keep to himself and did not have friends. He has no identification on him, is not aware of where he lives or his name and may be unresponsive to questions and look lost.

“He was kind of scared of people. I believe he didn’t feel accepted. He didn’t like to take trains and buses because of other people,” she said. “Growing up, people were scared of him – that’s how it is in society when you don’t know what something is, you are afraid of it.”

Heather added that her mother is staring to lose hope after these two weeks have brought no leads. She added that she hopes to bring her father home soon so she can help provide a better future for her parents.

Heather said she has felt a large amount of support and love from people volunteering to help in the search during what has become a dark time of not knowing what has come of her dad.

“I’m so thankful knowing that there are so many kind-hearted people out there,” she said. “To all the people that are helping me, I always say God bless them. It makes me warm inside during such dark moments. That’s what keeps me not depressed. It keeps me going, because there is so much positive energy and you need that in a time of sadness.”

A $10,000 reward is being offered for any information that leads to finding Arabadjis.

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FreshDirect selling mega LIC facility ahead of Bronx move


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield

As online grocer FreshDirect is getting ready to pack up and exit Long Island City, the company is listing its massive Queens waterfront facility for sale.

FreshDirect has hired Cushman & Wakefield to sell its facility at 23-30 Borden Ave. ahead of its move to the South Bronx, which was approved last year.

The grocer bought the facility in 1999 and is hoping to sell and then lease back the property from the new owners for about a year while it begins to wind down operations in Queens.

The manufacturing and storage complex is in high demand because of recent trends in city real estate, according to Bob Knakal, chairman of New York Investment Sales for Cushman & Wakefield, who is heading marketing for the property with David Chkheidze.

“In recent years, the progression of the New York City real estate market has exerted upward pressure on the value of repositioning the city’s once-thriving industrial, warehouse and manufacturing properties,” Knakal said. “As a result, the demand for this product type has never been greater and continues to attract the attention of a rapidly transforming distribution industry.”

The building has about 276,705 square feet of space and 406,552 buildable square feet under current zoning regulations.

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Citigroup selling huge LIC development site


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

 

Citigroup, which is known for building One Court Square — the city’s tallest building outside Manhattan — is looking to sell a massive development site near the tower, according to a published report.

The nearly one-acre development site in Long Island City, which takes up about half a block and is bounded by 44th Road, 23rd Street and 44th Drive, is being marketed by Jones Lang LaSalle.

The lot has up to 780,000 buildable square feet and could sell for as much as $150 million, according to the New York Times.

Current zoning at the site allows for it to be developed into a mixed-use building with space for residential, retail, hotel or office space.

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City collecting proposals for Sunnyside Yards feasibility study


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo via NYCEDC Sunnyside Yards Feasibility Study RFP

Mayor Bill de Blasio is moving full steam ahead with his plan to create 11,250 housing units over Sunnyside Yards, although Gov. Andrew Cuomo has voiced opposition to it.

The city’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC)  announced Friday a request for proposals for a yearlong comprehensive feasibility study for building over the rail yards. The agency is collecting proposals until March 20.

The study will examine the prospect of decking the enormous rail yard, and building homes, schools, open spaces and community facilities for the neighborhood as well as improving public transportation and infrastructure, while not interfering with train operations in the yards.

“This is the first step in understanding whether development of the Sunnyside Yards is possible, and what it could contribute to the city and surrounding communities,” de Blasio said. “This is a tremendous opportunity to deliver on our vision of a more affordable city and smart development that responds to the needs of surrounding neighborhoods.”

De Blasio first announced his plan for the yards during his second State of the City address in January, but hours later Cuomo disagreed with using the yards because of long-term plans for it.

But Cuomo is not the only politician to oppose developing Sunnyside Yards. When an idea to build a new Jacob Javits Center over the rail yards surfaced last year, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan didn’t immediately respond favorably to that plan.

Both shared concerns of major development in the area without first addressing issues current residents are facing, including lack of sufficient public services. State Sen. Michael Gianaris addressed Community Board 2 earlier this month about the proposal as well, and stated similar concerns.

“Any talk of thousands of new housing units at Sunnyside Yards should be secondary to meeting our significant existing infrastructure needs,” Senator Gianaris said. “Western Queens is already in need of many more schools, parks and open spaces, and vastly improved mass transit, particularly on the 7 line. As this process unfolds, I look forward to working with the community to ensure our voices are heard loud and clear when it comes to Sunnyside Yards.”

Building over the yards is a key part to de Blasio’s goal of building and preserving 200,000 affordable housing units — 80,000 of which will be new construction — in the next 10 years.

There are nearly 200 acres of land at the site, 113 acres that are owned by Amtrak, 66 by the MTA and the remainder by private owners, according to the EDC’s request for proposals.

The EDC is working with Amtrak, which is in favor of development over its section of the yards.

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New literary series in LIC to bring writing community together


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Images courtesy of Catherine LaSota

One Long Island City writer is setting the stage for fellow lovers of the art to share their work and a cold drink.

Catherine LaSota, who moved into the western Queens neighborhood a year ago, has started a new monthly series called the LIC Reading Series. Set to premiere on April 14 at 8 p.m., the series will take place in the carriage house located behind LIC Bar at 45-58 Vernon Blvd.

On the second Tuesday of every month, the series will host three writers reading their pieces. LaSota, who will be the host during each event, said that the plan is for at least one of the writers to live in or write about Queens or have some other relationship to the borough.

“There is such great writing happening in Queens and I wanted to add to the thriving community that is already here,” LaSota said. “There is a big community of awesome writers here in Queens.”

For the first two months, every writer who will take the stage is either originally from Queens and now lives somewhere else, or currently resides in the borough. 

The premiere night in April will feature readings by Audrey Dimola (author of “TRAVERSALS”), Bill Cheng (author of ” Southern Cross the Dog”) and Joseph Salvatore ( author of “To Assume a Pleasing Shape”). 

The goal of the series is to showcase works from poets, fiction writers and, in the future, some memoir and non-fiction writers. 

LaSota has also partnered with the Astoria Bookshop, located at 31-29 31st St., to have books for sale at the events, including those of the readers for each night. 

“I’ve found that the community of writers and people who are interested in writing is one of the most supportive communities I’ve come across,” LaSota added. “I hope to foster a supportive community for readers in all stages of their careers.”

The LIC Reading Series is free to the public, although LaSota said she encourages those who attend to support the LIC Bar, which was chosen because of its accessibility and being known as a location where writers like to go during the summer to read and enjoy a beer.

“I’m really excited because everyone I’ve approached about this is really excited and saying ‘Yes, I’d love to read,’” LaSota said. “I think there is a real interest in this and I think we’re going to have a good crowd.”

For more up-to-date information visit, www.facebook.com/LICReadingSeries.

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George Onorato, former Queens state senator, dies


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File Photo

Updated 5:00 p.m.

Lifelong Queens resident and former state Senator George Onorato, who served the 12th Senate District in western Queens for over two decades, died on Saturday. He was 86.

Onorato began serving the district, which encompasses Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside and parts of Woodside and Maspeth, in 1983 until he announced his retirement in 2010. He was succeeded by state Senator Michael Gianaris, who currently holds the position.

“George Onorato will always be part of the fabric of western Queens,” Gianaris said. “He dedicated his long and happy life to serving others and making the communities he represented better places to live. George Onorato served our country, our state and our neighborhoods in a way that made a positive difference in people’s lives. I will miss him. My thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. May his memory be eternal.”

Onorato graduated from Long Island City High School and served in the United States Army from 1950 to 1952.

Former state Senator Serphin Maltese, who served with Onorato in the state senate for many years, remembered him as a ” true man of the people.”

“He gave a special view on things,” Maltese said. “I’m sorry to lose him.”

Onorato was married to Athena Georgakakos and had three children, Joanne, George and Janice.

Visitation is scheduled at the Joseph Farenga & Sons Funeral Home at 38-08 Ditmars Blvd. in Astoria on Tuesday and Wednesday from 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.

A funeral mass is scheduled to be held on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Church at 22-17 45th St., followed by burial at St. Michael’s Cemetery at 72-02 Astoria Blvd. in East Elmhurst.

With additional reporting by Robert Pozarycki

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