Tag Archives: Long Island City

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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TF Cornerstone celebrates sixth building opening on LIC waterfront


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of The Marino Organization

SALVATORE LICATA

TF Cornerstone kicked off the opening of its final project in the six-building Center Boulevard complex on the Long Island City waterfront last week.

The real estate company celebrated on June 12 the opening of the luxury apartment tower 4610 Center Boulevard, a 26-story building which curves around the iconic Pepsi-Cola sign by the East River.

Designed by architecture firm Arquitectonica, 4610 Center Boulevard is made up of 584 units including studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments.

The final project also marks a decade of the company helping pioneer the western Queens waterfront.

TF Cornerstone’s six-buildings encompass 2.6 million square feet and include 2,800 rental units, 184 condominiums, 35,000 square feet of retail space, and acres of parkland and open space.

“When TF Cornerstone purchased this property in Long Island City, more than 10 years ago, our vision for the neighborhood went beyond just developing beautiful buildings,” said Jon McMillan, director of planning for TF Cornerstone. “We sought to create an entire new waterfront community for our residents.”

The Center Boulevard development is a four-minute subway ride away from Midtown Manhattan on the 7 train, and accessible by the G, E and M trains.

 

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LIC nonprofit Local Project turns to Kickstarter to survive


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Images courtesy of Local Project

After having to move out of the building that housed 5Pointz, one nonprofit is turning to Kickstarter to help stay at the site it has called home for the past few months.

Local Project, a nonprofit arts organization, has offered exhibitions, mentoring programs, classes, co-working space, residencies for artists and much more since starting in 2003. It previously had its headquarters and gallery at 45-10 Davis St. in Long Island City inside the warehouse of the graffiti mecca.

After the property’s owners decided to sell the location to construct two high-rise apartment buildings, members of Local Project were left wondering where to go and were excited when they found a new location at 11-27 44th Rd.


Local Project’s new location at 11-27 44th Rd. (Photo by Carolina Peñafiel)

However, after having to deal with a 50 percent rent increase, the nonprofit needs help raising money to pay two months of rent in order to continue being part of the community.

“It’s a New York problem, paying rent,” said Carolina Peñafiel, founder and director of Local Project. “We’re hoping to be able to breathe. We didn’t expect it to be so hard to get back on track. ”

The organization started a Kickstarter “Buy a Brick” campaign Thursday with a goal to raise $6,100 by July 12. As of Friday afternoon, $1,045 has been raised.

Supporters will receive gifts after donating on Kickstarter including a personalized brick on Local Project’s supporters’ wall, with a $25 pledge or more.

“It’s a new location, it’s a different crowd, there’s no 5Pointz in here that can back us up,” Peñafiel said. “Now we’re building this up again. Everyone that comes in lives in the area and they appreciate what we are doing.”

Once Local Project meets their goal Peñafiel said the organization would then be able to have time to create a strategic plan and put it into place to ensure it thrives for more years to come.

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

“We’re looking at this very positive,” Peñafiel said. “The horizon looks awesome and there are all of these opportunity and all of these great things we want to get back to work on.”

To donate to the Kickstarter, click here.

 

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LIC Summit to highlight booming western Queens neighborhood


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo: Peter Aaron/Esto. Courtesy of Museum of Moving Image

The various traits that contribute to the boom of Long Island City will be the talk of a day-long conference dedicated to the western Queens neighborhood.

The Long Island City Partnership, along with co-hosts Modern Spaces and The Queens Courier, will showcase the first LIC Summit, called “LIC Now: Perspectives and Prospects.” The day-long event will take place on Tuesday, June 17, at the Museum of the Moving Image, located at 36-01 35th Ave., starting at 8 a.m. and will be followed by a cocktail reception and networking at 4:30 p.m. at Kaufman Astoria Studios.

“The summit is intended to really highlight the incredible authentic mixed-use community that is Long Island City and it is important not just locally but citywide and nationwide,” said Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the LIC Partnership. “It’s also an opportunity to dive into the issues that are continuing challenges for the community and a moment to take stock on how we should plan for the future.”

The LIC Summit will highlight Long Island City’s real estate market, infrastructure, arts, cultural, television and film community, industrial sector and expected future as a technology hub.

“Long Island City is experiencing an explosive change right now and is a huge economic driver for not only western Queens, but the city as a whole,” said Eric Benaim, CEO and president of Modern Spaces. “This summit was created to address the ongoing and emerging trends and needs of this transformative neighborhood.”

The keynote address will be delivered by the city’s Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen, and other featured speakers include Borough President Melinda Katz, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and many more.

“This is really meant to be a dialogue between the panelists with the audience. Everybody who is there is part of the content of the conference,” said Lusskin, who hopes the LIC Summit will become an annual event. “We really hope that we will have a really diverse and high quality audience that is both local constituents and citywide leaders.”

For more information and to register click here.

 

Below are the categories for the LIC Summit panels, which will each be moderated by experts and leaders in their industries.

Keynote Panel – LIC: Big City, Big Picture 9:15–10 a.m.

Services & Amenities: Current Successes, New Opportunities – 10:15-11 a.m.

Television & Film – 10:15-11 a.m.

Commercial & Industrial Real Estate
11:20 a.m.-noon

Keynote Speaker: Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen
1-1:45 p.m.

LIC as a Tech District – 2-2:45 p.m.

Residential Real Estate – 2-2:45 p.m.

Arts & Culture – 3-3:45 p.m.

 

 

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Fun-filled Father’s Day weekend at the LIC and Astoria Fleas


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Bradley Hawks

Long Island City and Astoria will be buzzing this weekend, just in time for the FIFA World Cup and Father’s Day.

This Saturday, June 14, visitors to the LIC Flea & Food will be able to try their kicks out at a World Cup-themed event. Those who are able to score goals will go home with prizes.

The LIC Flea is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is located at the outdoor lot by the western Queens waterfront at the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue.

On Sunday, HGTV’s “Flea Market Flip” will make its return to the Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios with host Lara Spencer, co-anchor on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Each week on the show, contestants, who participate in teams, are given $500 to explore items at different flea markets. The participants search for objects they can buy, fix and then “flip” for a higher selling price. By the end of each show, the contestants display their transformations and battle it out to win all the profits earned.

There are only two more Sundays left of the Astoria Flea, located at the outdoor backlot at 36th Street and 35th Avenue from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., so don’t forget to check it out.

With Father’s Day this weekend, both the LIC Flea and Astoria Flea are the perfect spots to come down and find that perfect gift for dad from the wide array of vendors offering food and drinks, collectibles, art, fashion, vintage items, antiques and much more.

For more information visit www.licflea.com.

 

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Teens graduate from LIC watchmaker program


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

A group of city high school students is using time to their advantage.

Luxury watch retailer Tourneau recognized seven students, the third group of kids to complete the company’s Watchmaker Program, during a graduation ceremony Thursday at its headquarters within the Falchi Building in Long Island City.

During the eight-week “Art of Watchmaking” program, students are given the opportunity to learn the skills needed to possibly begin a career as professional watchmakers.

The Tourneau Watchmaker Program was started last year by Terry Irby, a third generation watchmaker and Tourneau’s technical director. With more than 600 watches in need of repair coming into the western Queens site, an aging staff and the number of American watchmakers dropping almost 90 percent since the 1950s, Irby was keen to get the younger generation involved in the trade.

“Watchmaking is a skill that most often stays in families, because it takes a long time to learn,” said Irby. “As a kid, I loved it – I couldn’t wait to help my father. Now, my career is about passing those sills on. These students can take what they learn with them and support their families.”

The company has since collaborated with Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day School, which in partnership with Comprehensive Development Inc. (CDI) selects students at the school to take part in the program.

Before entering the program, each student is interviewed by Irby who tests their skill and gets a look at their interest in watchmaking. Once accepted, students learn the history and mechanics of watches, take apart watches, examine every piece and then reassemble watches and clocks.

“What we’re looking for are real opportunities for students to be exposed to the world of work and hopefully learn some skills,” said Margaret Aylward , associate executive director for CDI. “The idea is that at least it hooks them in in a way that keeps them engaged and learning.”

Two Queens students were among the graduates during the June 12 ceremony. Ayushi Pant, 18, who was born in Nepal and about four months ago moved to the United States and now lives in Jamaica, and 19-year-old Frank Kwarteng from Corona, both received diplomas and white lab coats for completing the program.

“I really feel blessed and really happy,” Pant said. “I like taking things apart and putting them back. Patience is one of the most important things of being a watchmaker. I learned how to be patient, how to solve problems and not panic. This is how we’re going to succeed in the end.”

Some of the graduates will take the skills they learned and apply it to their future careers, while others will continue their work with Tourneau being accepted into full-time internships.

“I want to try to continue watchmaking and see how far I could go with it,” Kwarteng said. “It’s the best program. I learned a lot about watches and I never thought I would get into watches like this.”

The next group of students are expected to begin the Watchmaker Program in the fall.

 

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Jackson Heights student, muralists color LIC


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Edward Fernbach


It has been 22 years since muralists and friends Alex Cook and Pasqualina Azzarello collaborated on a piece, and now with the help of Jackson Heights resident Sunny Hossain, they are adding color to Long Island City.

The artists have come together to replace a fading mural located on a former meatpacking plant located at 46-01 Fifth St. The building is now home to Rockaway Brewing Company, the LIC Community Boathouse and the nonprofit Recycle-A-Bicycle, which provides environmental education and job training through youth education programs.


Photo by Alex Cook

The group not only revamped the mural on 46th Avenue but also stretched it around the corner of the building so that it can been seen down on Fifth Street.


Photo by Pasqualina Azzarello

The original mural was completed in 2006 by Azzarello while she worked with summer youth employment participants as a freelance teaching artist for Recycle-A-Bicycle. However, she always felt the mural needed more.

The Brooklyn resident then went on to become executive director for the nonprofit in 2009 and after leaving in early 2013, she kept the mural on her to-do list as she continues to be involved with Recycle-A-Bicycle.

“For the last number of years, while that mural had become a mini-landmark in the neighborhood, we always had the feeling that it wasn’t as complete as it could be,” said Azzarello. “We wanted to create a new mural that more accurately reflected the new sense of vibrancy in that part of town.”

About two months ago, Cook, who lives in Boston, Mass., reached out to her with interest to work on a collaborative mural in New York and Azzarello contacted Karen Overton, founder of Recycle-A-Bicycle and current executive director, with the idea of revamping the mural.

To Azzarello’s surprise, Overton was also looking to revitalize the mural after being contacted by Edward Fernbach, a teacher at P.S. 993, a District 75 school located within the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria. Fernbach wanted to know if his student Sunny Hossain could help to fix the peeling mural,to receive school credit as part of an internship program. District 75 schools are designed to teach and support students with various learning challenges.

“Sunny happens to be a phenomenal artist and I wanted to emphasize his strength rather than the place he has challenges,” Fernbach said. “He is going to be in the art world, no question about it. He has his foot in the door and he isn’t going to let it close behind him and he is going to keep on going forward.”

This mural project is the first for the 16-year-old, who is a student at P.S. 993. Hossain said he loves to be creative, and working with Azzarello and Cook has helped him develop his artistic skill. He said he felt very proud after seeing the piece come together.


Photo by Edward Fernbach

“We had a lot of fun. I never had an experience like that,” said Hossain, who will next work on a mural at the Broadway branch of the Queens Library in Long Island City. “I never knew I could do so many things with art. It gives me inspiration to continue my art.”

The theme of the colorful and celebratory mural, which took about 10 days spanned over a few weeks to complete, surrounds the “joy of riding a bicycle,” according to Azzarello.

“It has meant so much to Alex and me to support Sunny in this way,” Azzarello said. “We are reminded of how many people supported us as young artists. The fact that we are now in a position in our lives to work together and help support a young artist with incredible talent and vision is very meaningful.”


Sunny Hossain and Alex Cook (Photo by Pasqualina Azzarello)

The brand-new mural will be unveiled at 46-01 Fifth St. on Friday, June 13 at 4 p.m. and light refreshments will be served.

 

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Google in talks to buy LIC-based Songza: report


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Songza

Long Island City-based free music streaming service Songza is in talks to be bought by Google, according to a published report.

The tech giant had previously been looking for a streaming service and is offering Songza $15 million, according to the New York Post.

Songza co-founder Eric Davich said he could not comment.

Songza, which provides music to about 5 million users in the United States and Canada, delivers the listener the right music at the right time through the biggest library of expertly curated playlists through an Android, iPod, iPad or PC. All the playlists are handpicked by music experts and DJs.

The music on the playlists on Songza, which on average feature 60 to 80 songs, are personalized to each listener based on implicit behavior, like pressing thumbs up or down to a song, or explicit behavior, such as your habits and when you listen to certain music. Songza takes into account data; such as time of day, time of week, and the device you are using, to recommend playlists based on the moment.

“We’ve always been keen in figuring out the best way to help people discover music,” Davich previously told The Courier. “Music is something that people consume as a lifestyle enhancement. It’s not something people consume as a product.”

 

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LIC veteran, photographer joins 70th D-Day anniversary in Normandy


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Troy Benson

BY ALAN CAPPER

Tony Vaccaro, a Long Island City resident, WWII veteran and photographer, traveled to Normandy Friday for the 70th anniversary of D-Day, which cost over 3,000 Americans their lives.

Although there were a large number of American veterans at the June 6 commemorations, Vaccaro holds a special place because an exhibition of his war photography is the centerpiece in the The Mémorial de Caen museum in Caen, Normandy.


Photos by Tony Vaccaro

He spent time with President Barack Obama and President François Hollande of France and was honored for his contributions to the commemorations. After the D-Day ceremonies his exhibition will tour other French cities and Vaccaro is already the subject of a film made for French television.

“I’m honored to have been invited to this event and it provides me with the opportunity to remember my fellow American soldiers who did not return from these savage battles,” Vaccaro said.

After the D-Day landings Vaccaro took part in the major battles which took him and his brother soldiers from Northern France to the fall of Berlin, carrying his camera and taking what would become award-winning photographs.

 

 

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