Tag Archives: Long Island City

Burglary spree hits LIC restaurants


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Updated Friday, July 11, 1:05 p.m.

A burglary suspect has broken into five Long Island City restaurants and bars since June, getting away with cash and electronics, cops said.

The crime spree started on June 11 at Andre’s Pizza, located on 40th Avenue. The suspect took $20 from the restaurant’s cash register by breaking through the glass front door police said.

He then allegedly used the same method to break into Manducatis Rustica, on Vernon Boulevard during the early morning hours of June 22. The burglar stole two iPads, two iPad minis and $700 in cash, according to authorities.

The suspect also took a Galaxy 10 electronic tablet and $100 from Woodbines on Vernon Boulevard three days later, and $850 from on June 27 the Seattle Café, on Queens Boulevard, cops said.

During the latest incident, around 4:20 a.m. on July 4, the suspect attempted to burglarize the LIC Bar, on Vernon Boulevard, by entering through a window, but fled before he could take anything, according to police.

Jeff Blath, owner of Alobar, on Vernon Boulevard, believes the same suspect that tried to burglarize LIC Bar may have attempted to break into his restaurant just minutes earlier.

According to the establishment’s security footage and a porter who watches the eatery, around 3:50 a.m. a man, wearing similar clothing, used a glass bottle to hit Alobar’s door several times before stumbling backwards and walking away.

The man damaged the door and was caught on camera heading in the direction of LIC Bar, just two blocks down the street, Blath said.

He reported the incident to police, but said it isn’t considered an attempted burglary, just criminal mischief.

Blath, who opened Alobar three years ago and has lived in Long Island City for seven years, said the recent crime spree is a “very rare occurrence” in the area.

“I do know this neighborhood is becoming known for its restaurants and bars, and it may draw positive and negative attention,” he said.

 

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City cuts ribbon on $6.65M Queensbridge Park project, seawall reconstruction


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

The Long Island City waterfront has just received a much needed facelift.

Officials cut the ribbon on Tuesday on the $6.65 million project in Queensbridge Park which included the restoration and improvement of the seawall, and the creation of a six-foot-wide waterfront promenade with benches and plants as well as a small pier at the north end.

“The completion of the Queensbridge Park Seawall restores access to the waterfront, access that has been denied for far too long,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “No longer do Queensbridge residents need to look at the seawall as it crumbles into the East River. Instead, residents will be able to enjoy a park and waterfront just as lovely as any in New York City.”

The seawall protects the park from high tides and covers some of the mechanisms and underwater cables that keep a number of subway lines in order. It was previously blocked off by a chain-link fence due to decades of deterioration.

This project, managed by the NYC Economic Development Corporation, included the reconstruction of the seawall using rip-rap revetment. Rip-rap, made up of large rocks, was used to protect the shoreline by absorbing and deflecting waves and also decreasing the effects of erosion.

“New York City’s 520 miles of shoreline is one of its greatest assets, and we are proud to continue reconnecting New Yorkers to their waterfront,” said Dmitri Konon, NYCEDC executive vice president for capital programs.

 

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LIC nonprofit reaches Kickstarter goal


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy Local Project

One Long Island City nonprofit will be able to keep its home after a successful online campaign.

Local Project, a nonprofit arts organization, started the fundraising on Kickstarter last month with a goal of raising $6,100 in order to help pay two months of rent. As of Tuesday, June 8, with three days still left in the campaign, the group surpassed the goal.

“I feel extremely accomplished. I’m extremely happy and super hopeful that everything is going to continue to go great,” said Carolina Peñafiel, founder and director of Local Project. “This is just a great thing for people to feel empowered and driven to continue working on our plan. It feels safe for a little bit.”

After having to move from its headquarters located at 45-10 Davis St. in Long Island City inside the warehouse of 5Pointz building, the group faced a 50 percent rent increase when making the move to a new site at 11-27 44th Rd.

Now with having met the goal, the organization will have time to move to its next step in creating a strategic plan and put it into place to ensure it thrives for more years to come, Peñafiel said.

Even with the Kickstarter campaign coming to an end on July 12, the group will still continue to collect money through fundraising and also an “El Hot Dog Boogie Rent Party” on Friday, July 11, starting at 7 p.m.

“Anything that comes in is extra and it helps us even more. It’s not over, that money will go to a safe place and keep us safe for a little longer,” Peñafiel said.

The party will feature music by local DJs, hot dogs and sauces by Pao & Cha Cha restaurant located at 23-03 Astoria Blvd., bread from Tom Cat Bakery located at 43-05 10th St., and beer from Lagunitas Brewing Company. There will be a $20 deal for two hot dogs and unlimited beer.

“It’s a way of celebrating to say thank you to people and celebrate. It’s part of the summer season at Local Project,” Peñafiel said.

Local Project also has a brand-new shared office/studio/co-working space for rent. The space was built using recycled materials and created by Long Island City artist Cristian Torres. For more information on the space click here.

Since starting in 2003, Local Project has offered exhibitions, mentoring programs, classes, co-working space, residencies for artists and much more.

Future plans for Local Project includes year-long exhibitions, events, a co-working space, mentorship for new curators and artists, a continuing partnership and student internships with the Information Technology High School in Long Island City and MoMA, and affordable creative workshops.

To donate to the Kickstarter until July 12, click here.

 

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Staycation at the LIC and Astoria Fleas


| editorial@queenscourier.com

lic flea

Have a beach day at the LIC and Astoria Fleas this weekend with sandboxes, mini pools and more summer fun.

Enjoy the sun while you shop for jewelry, fashion, gifts and more, and take a break to sample food, drinks and desserts from a diverse group of food vendors.

For jewelry, visit Vivian Jewelry at both flea markets. Vivian Park’s line emphasizes unique, handmade craftsmanship that makes each piece seem like a work of art. Imran Jewels imports high-quality gemstones and crystals to make bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings.

Looking for unique fashion pieces to stand out from the artsy western Queens crowd?

Look for Zachary Alexander Fashion, where the designer’s handmade items have a feel of nature, femininity and Americana.

The flea markets offer a huge variety of gifts, from bath products to plants to art to Legos. Taproot Organics offers chemical-free, organic shampoos and quick-shave bars for men. Spruce up your apartment with help from Cork Buds, which plants hardy succulents in upcycled corks and turns them into magnets and more that can add some green to your space with little care. Artist Ceil Witherspoon, who was born and raised in Long Island City, makes her artwork into items such as greeting cards, bookmarks, magnets and coasters. And C3Brix offers custom Lego models and figures, which are sure to delight both kids and kids at heart. Also check out items available by El Dorado Gift.

To find these vendors and more, visit the LIC Flea & Food on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the outdoor lot by the waterfront at the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue and the Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the outdoor backlot of Kaufman Astoria Studios at 36th Street and 35th Avenue.

For more information visit www.licflea.com.

 

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Western Queens artist Gildo discusses road to success


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Greg Testo

ALAN CAPPER

In a successful arts-based community like Long Island City, it is sometimes hard for an individual artist to stand out from the crowd. But an artist named Gildo has achieved this breakthrough through his breathtaking sense of creative purpose and the wide spectrum of his creative activities.

Just listing his activities is not enough. It is the in-depth approach he takes to each of them that gives him individual and collective recognition. From photography to joining the committee to develop color themes for lighting the Hell Gate Bridge, there is virtually no aspect of the visual arts that he does not touch.

Gildo was born and raised in Astoria, where he still lives with his Japanese wife. He began his love affair with photography when he was 13 and was gifted a 35mm camera. His passion for fashion photography led him to a degree from FIT and a successful career working in fashion and photographing some of New York’s top fashion models.

“I was a Long Island City guy who began practicing photography in Manhattan,” he said. That world took him to Studio 54 where he mingled with Andy Warhol and his glamorous set.

Not surprisingly he was very impressed by Warhol and still very much admires his work. “He borrowed Americana and made it his own,” says Gildo.

In fact, Gildo has used Warhol’s technique in a ten-framed painting using the style he learned from him. It is a retrospective of large photographs on canvas with primary and secondary colors. He calls the work “Andy à la Andy.” It’s Gildo’s intention to sell the piece and produce a limited number of prints to sell to Warhol admirers, too.

Among the iconic subjects he has photographed are Donald Trump, Calvin Klein, Henry Kissinger, Jack Lemmon, Kathleen Turner, Richard Branson, Philip Johnson, Sophia Loren and Jeremy Irons.

In the ‘90s he developed a modeling career and became an extensive traveler, visiting over 28 countries.

He is finishing a project with the Government of Montserrat Museum of Photography called “Paradise Not Lost: The Ghost Project After Hugo and Before the Volcano.”

He has returned home to his roots for his latest project, which includes black and white film and digital photographs of the Astoria/Long Island City area called “Then and Now, Forty Years Later.” He is also working on a retro photo expo of Roosevelt Island.

Whatever he does in the future, you can be sure that diversity will be a key component of his work.

For more information visit gildo.com.

 

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Where to celebrate the Fourth of July around Queens


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Macy’s

Friday makes the 238th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and, weather permitting, Queens residents can celebrate the country’s birthday with a boom.

The Macy’s fireworks extravaganza has moved back to the East River after a five-year hiatus, but the show is centered downriver in Brooklyn.

Still, there are many spots to view the fireworks — but not all of them are free.

Z Hotel in Long Island City is selling tickets to watch the fireworks show from their rooftop lounge. Tickets go for $66.56 for kids and $166.03 for adults.

On Center Boulevard, LIC Landing by Coffeed will be hosting an all-you-can-eat barbecue with a view of the fireworks for $100 a ticket.

The Starstream VIII, which sails from the Flushing Marina, is having a waterborne viewing party that includes dinner and a cash bar for $125.

Cheaper options include Resorts World Casino, which is hosting a free viewing event at Bar360 and on their sixth-floor parking lot.

Another free option is the Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City on the East River.

And baseball fans will be treated to a fireworks display at Citi Field as the Mets host the Texas Rangers.

But the baseball may be a washout and the fireworks may fizzle as Hurricane Arthur took aim at North Carolina Thursday and is expected to impact much of the East Coast.

 

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Astoria’s The POP BAR to debut with July 4 bash, hot dog eating contest


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos by Angy Altamirano


Something new is popping in Astoria.

This Fourth of July, The POP BAR, located at 12-21 Astoria Blvd., is making its debut in the western Queens neighborhood during a grand opening “Backyard Bash,” including live music, cold drinks and a hot dog eating contest.

Visitors to the establishment, owned by Astoria resident Jeremy B. Osslund, will be welcomed by a one-of-a-kind colorful façade designed by 5Pointz aerosol artist Shiro.

Inside, more large work from the Japanese artist covers the wall above the door and spreads onto surrounding walls over seating booths. The bar top was done by graffiti artist YESONE, and in front of the bar, another wall is covered in over 700 pages ripped out of “Betty and Veronica” comic books.

“I’ve always sort of had a little bit of obsession with graffiti and 5Pointz and it has a special place in my heart,” Osslund said. “When I reached out to Meres, it was right after 5Pointz got whitewashed and I was like, ‘Let’s have a place where graffiti artists in general can actually come and put their work up.’ And celebrate the entire artistic history of Long Island City and Astoria.”

The POP BAR also features a gallery in the front, which until the end of August will include work by Shiro, YESONE, and Jonathan “Meres One” Cohen, curator and CEO of 5Pointz. All pieces are available for sale, and every two months, the gallery will change to feature different art forms by various artists.

Osslund, originally from Arizona, previously had worked as a consultant helping people open their own hospitality or food establishments. However, he then decided to follow what he was passionate about since a young age and opened his own location in the community he has called home for the past five years.

“There’s a future here, a very bright future,” said Osslund, who hopes opening The POP BAR will only be the beginning to building the neighborhood. “I’m really excited to show people my idea of what a good menu and drinks and a good time is, and hopefully everyone agrees.”

The establishment’s food is what Osslund calls “Pacific surf inspired” and mostly uses ingredients purchased from local vendors. The drink menu includes selections like a “Pimms Cup” that uses mint leaves grown right in the backyard of the bar. Along with indoor seating, the site also features a backyard seating area.

Along with the artwork up front, The POP BAR will also have movies playing on the backyard every day, with no sound, and on weekends will turn the sound up to show movies and an array of ‘90s TV shows.

Keeping up with the emphasis on pop culture, Tuesdays, which will be known as Tequila Tuesday, will offer $5 shots of tequila called “Bill Murrays” and movies with the actor will be show all day.

“POP is a word, it’s a verb, it’s an adjective, it’s everything. What is pop?” Osslund said. “Pop is a feeling you get, it’s the excitement when you are waiting for a bottle of champagne to pop, it’s after it pops and the thrill. Pop can be anything.”

The July 4 Backyard Bash begins at 5 p.m. and will feature music from the local band Another Dead Clown and a hot-dog-eating contest starting at 8:30 p.m. Artists will be present as well.

The POP BAR will be opened from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. on weekdays, and 5 p.m. to 4 a.m. on weekends. For more information visit www.thepopbar.com.

 

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Renderings released for 50-story LIC development


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Renderings Courtesy of SLCE Architects

The sky’s the limit for real estate in Long Island City.

Rockrose Development Corporation has released renderings for its newest 50-story development coming to the western Queens neighborhood at 43-25 Hunter St.

Permits for the project were partially approved on June 27, according to records from the city’s Department of Buildings. As of yet, no start date has been released.

The 970,000-square-foot tower will be made up of 19,000 square feet of ground floor retail space and 974 apartments, of which 20 percent will be affordable units.

According to published reports, the development will also include a 14-story building adjacent to the 50-story tower.


Rendering of the 14-story building adjacent to the 50-story tower

There will be 18,000 square feet of interior amenity space and three large rooftop terraces. Amenities include a fitness center, basketball court, billiard room, rooftop solarium and great lawn, yoga studio, zen garden, screening room, library, children’s playroom, and a 38th floor rooftop terrace and lounge.

The building, designed by SLCE Architects, will be one of the tallest in Long Island City, according to published reports. Nearby in Astoria, 42-12 28th St. by developer Heatherwood Communities beats 43-25 Hunter St. with a total of 58 stories in height.

 

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Queens student turns garbage into money, gives back to library


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Queens Library


Someone’s garbage can be turned into someone else’s future, according to 14-year-old student Kashfia Zaman.

The Woodside resident is a sophomore at Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria who began a community service project after a teacher suggested students become involved in starting a volunteer project.

As part of the project, Zaman collects discarded bottles and cans, deposits them for cash, donates the money to the Queens Library at Long Island City, located at 37-44 21 St., and then asks local businesses to match the amount she collects.

“I thought to do something concerning the environment because of global warming,” said Zaman, who hopes to one day be a software engineer or computer programmer. “So I thought about recycling bottles and cans. And I remembered in my elementary school there was a teacher who, when she recycled bottles and cans, she would cash them in to help her sister, whose house fell down in a tornado. So I got all this money, and I decided to do something for the community.”

With the help of her teacher, Zaman drafted a written pledge and asked businesses to sign. She has received matching funds from Astoria business such as Imagination Unisex Hair Designer at 25-01 Newton Ave., Anthia Digenakis of Function Enhancing Physical Therapy at 32-76 31st St. and Guillermo Hung of Pao & Cha Cha at 23-03 Astoria Blvd.

“I decided to give it to the library because the library has always been a very important thing to me. It was always there for me. I could always go to the library and request as many books as I want,” she said.

So far, Zaman has collected more than $120 and purchased new books for tweens, children between 10 to 12 years old, at her library. She said she decided to help get books for younger children because she wants to help them get into the habit of reading and become inspired to volunteer and help out in their communities.

“I was completely blown away by the vastness of her project and I was excited to buy books for our children,” said Tienya Smith, community library manager at Queens Library at Long Island City.

Zaman said that she and a friend are also in the process of creating a website in which they discuss the importance of keeping more libraries open during the weekends, in order for students to have access to do their homework or use the Internet.

“On the website we have letters and pictures explaining why we would want to keep the libraries open on weekends,” she said. “My friend and I are also writing a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio asking him if he could make a little more space in the budget for libraries.”

 

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More retail coming to Long Island City waterfront


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of Winick Realty Group

More retail is on its way to Long Island City.

Leasing for the retail spaces in real estate company TF Cornerstone’s East Coast Development, a mixed-use project of six buildings located on the Long Island City waterfront, has been completed by Winick Realty Group.

Of the six buildings, eight retail leases were signed at 45-45 Center Blvd., 45-40 Center Blvd., 46-10 Center Blvd., 46-15 Center Blvd. and 46-30 Center Blvd., according to the realty group.

“Through the strong market knowledge we have gained by working with many Long Island City developers, as well as assisting many active retailers, we were able to achieve record rent numbers and secure strong tenants on behalf of TF Cornerstone,” broker Aaron Fishbein said.

Joining New York Kids Club, which announced last August that it would be opening up a 5,003-square-foot space at 45-45 Center Blvd., will be three new tenants that range from fitness to children’s clothing.

Fitness program I Love Kickboxing has leased a 2,967-square-foot studio at the location, and children’s salon and clothing store Mimi & Mo is expected to open a 1,239-square-foot shop as well. European Wax Center, offering waxing services for men and women, has also signed up to occupy 1,252 square feet at the site.

An Italian restaurant from TD Restaurant Group, which is still unnamed, has signed a lease for a 7,733-square-foot ground floor restaurant at 46-10 Center Blvd. located directly behind the Pepsi-Cola sign. The restaurant will also occupy a 2,200-square-foot outdoor terrace overlooking the East River. Latin fusion restaurant Blend, Sweetleaf Coffee and Espresso Bar and Crank Cycling Studio are also located within the building.

“Working together with Winick Realty Group, we have been able to craft an incredible mix of retailers that will serve the residents in the East Coast Development, as well as the entire Long Island City community,” said Steve N. Gonzalez, head of retail leasing for TF Cornerstone.

 

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MTA to begin weekend bus trial expanding service along Vernon Boulevard


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

DSC_11092

Starting this weekend, residents and visitors will have better access to the western Queens waterfront.

The Q103 bus line, which connects Astoria and Long Island City via Vernon Boulevard, will offer service to riders on weekends, starting Sunday and operate later on weekday evenings, according to the MTA.

In April, the transit agency said the schedule update would serve as a trial program, and it would receive comments from the community at an MTA public hearing to be scheduled at a later date. After the public hearing, a decision will be made to keep the service or not. It has not been determined how long the trial program will run.

“This announcement is a milestone for all of us who fought for years to get proper bus service for the growing communities of Astoria and Long Island City,” said state Sen. Michael Gianaris, who has been calling for the extra service on the bus line since 2011. “I am thrilled the MTA is finally realizing western Queens’ need for increased mass transit is real and pressing.”

Gianaris is also urging the MTA to make the Q103 expansion changes permanent.

The weekend service will run from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and, in addition, the Q103 will also extend its weekday service hours until 9 p.m., instead of 7:30 p.m. The travel path and bus stops will not be affected, the MTA previously said.

“These enhancements were all a result of listening to our customers and keeping close watch on changing ridership trends,” said MTA NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco.

Local leaders and business owners see the need to expand the Q103’s service as crucial to the growing neighborhoods.

“It is a positive step in improving transportation options in our neighborhood,” Councilman Costa Constantinides said. “The Vernon Boulevard corridor has been one of the more under-served transit thoroughfares in western Queens. Increasing bus service would be a vital resource to commuters traveling to Manhattan and to residents connecting from Astoria to Long Island City.”

According to officials, the Q103 ridership has been increasing in the past years, rising from 558 riders per day in 2011 to about 790 in 2014.

The MTA has also announced that this Sunday the Q19 will extend its western last stop from Astoria Boulevard and 21st Street to the East River waterfront at 27th Avenue and 2nd Street.

The Q102 will then also remain on 30th Avenue between Crescent Street and 8th Street, according to the MTA, with the stops on Crescent Street, Newtown Avenue and Astoria Boulevard to be relocated to 30th Avenue. All bus stops along Astoria Boulevard will instead be served by the Q19.

For more information visit www.mta.info.

 

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Kick it with the kids at the Flea this weekend


| editorial@queenscourier.com

pigbaby

This weekend the LIC Flea & Food will be “children central” with events featuring puppets, face painting and much more fun.

The popular Long Island City flea market will have Brooklyn-based Puppetsburg performing puppet shows, featuring hipster and tattooed puppets, for children up to 4 years old. There will be three performances throughout the day, the first at 10:45 a.m., then 12:45 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. Each show involves music, dancing and a brand-new puppet story.

Children will also be able to enjoy time in a bounce house, getting their faces painted, doing spin art sponsored by the ny k!ds club and entering a chance to win a free class, snapping pictures in a photo booth, mat fun for the little ones and a surprise special appearance by a princess.

The LIC YMCA will also be present providing activities, such as soccer skills, and visitors can enter to win summer memberships.

Visitors should also check out these following kid-centric vendors at the market: Linty Toes, Lowleepop, Layla Tov Monster, Tiny-you, Hocks Out Press, Custom Critters, Eight Thousand Miles, Ice & Vice, Ice Riders and more.

LIC Flea & Food is open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is located at the outdoor lot by the waterfront at the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue.

After enjoying a fun-filled Saturday in Long Island City, visitors can stop by the Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. this summer at the outdoor backlot of Kaufman Astoria Studios at 36th Street and 35th Avenue.

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

For more information visit www.licflea.com.

 

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Are these things to know about Queens before moving here?


| editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ File Photo

Before making the decision to move anywhere, it is important to know what makes the area shine.

And being one of the most ethnically diverse areas in the world, Queens is no exception.

Real estate brokerage website Movoto, which in April posted “10 Queens Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate,” has now created a list of the “21 Things You Need To Know About Queens Before You Move There.”

The list, which looks to let readers know about what Movoto calls “the royalty borough of New York City,” includes finding the best view in Long Island City, learning about the Jazz and Hip-Hop that runs in Queens’ blood, exploring the arts scene and farmers markets, and Queens being home to “an incredible array of entertainers” such as actors Adrien Brody and Lucy Liu, along with being one of the most ethnically diverse areas in the world.

Do you agree with these Queens facts? Click here to read the full list.

 

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Celebrations and surprises at the Fleas


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Bradley Hawks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information visit www.licflea.com.

 

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Local artists to capture Astoria in new exhibition


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Maria Belford

Astoria is ready for its photo op.

Artists, friends and Astoria residents Maria Belford and Sara Sciabbarrasi have come together to showcase their admiration for the western Queens neighborhood in a new exhibition opening this Sunday at the Long Island City café COFFEED, located at 37-18 Northern Blvd.

The show called “FACES & FIGURES: Art from Astoria,” which will have a June 22 opening reception from 7 to 10 p.m. and run until June 29, will feature photographs by Belford and bronze and steel sculptures by Sciabbarrasi.

The name of the exhibition comes from the idea that the photographs show figures of people more than their faces and Sciabbarrasi’s sculptures explore the detail and aesthetics of the human face, according to Belford.


Drain, 2011. Bronze, steel, wax & hair sculpture (Sculpture by Sara Sciabbarrasi)

“I am really excited about this exhibition in particular because it is in Queens and close to my neighborhood,” said Belford, who decided to organize the exhibition with Sciabbarrasi, her roommate, because she wanted to showcase another local artist. “I wanted to have something new and different. It’ll show the juxtaposition of the two different mediums.”

Belford, originally from New Hampshire, is a street/documentary photographer who said she looks to capture the mysterious side of strangers, allowing the viewer to see the image and make up their own story in their head.

“It’s all about capturing the moment. I’ve always been interested in the kind of spontaneous types of photos that one moment are there and the next they are gone,” Belford said. “A lot of my best photos come from days that I haven’t been actively shooting. I can’t really plan for anything ahead of time. I really don’t know what I will get when I go out.”

Although Belford snaps photos from all over the world, she said the exhibition will showcase photos she has taken of strangers in her Astoria neighborhood.


30th Ave, Astoria, Queens 2014 (Photo by Maria Belford)

“I can walk out of my door and see a wide array of people outside every single day,” Belford said. “It’s really interesting to see different types of people, old and young.”

All photographs and sculptures presented at the exhibition will be available for purchase.

For more information on the artists visit www.mariabelford.com and www.saradart.blogspot.com.

 

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