Tag Archives: Long Island City

First-ever Queens NYC Lit Festival to take place in August at LIC Bar

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Image courtesy of Queens NYC Lit Fest

Long Island City will celebrate the literary community of Queens next month during a two-day festival — the first of its kind in the borough.

The Inspired Word, founded by journalist Mike Geffner, is presenting the first-ever Queens NYC Lit Fest on Aug. 1 and 2 at the LIC Bar, located at 45-58 Vernon Blvd.

The event, which is free and will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days, will celebrate the literary arts in Queens with a mission to bring together the diverse community through days filled with “heart, soul and love.”

“I think [this is] wonderful. I think that not enough events like this occur,” said Megan DiBello, one of the organizers and performers for the Queens NYC Lit Fest. “It’s really lovely to be a part of this community and grow. It’s nice to be part of a community.”

DiBello will also serve as one of the hosts during the festival together with Audrey Dimola.

During the event, there will be an open mic in LIC Bar’s private room where artists will perform 5-minute-long poetry, prose and spoken word. The days will also feature works from writers Paolo Javier, a former Queens poet laureate, and newly named Poet Laureate Maria Lisella.

Queens-based reading series, groups and organizations will also take part in the two-day event with some of them having vendor tables selling books and other items in the bar’s backyard garden.

The main bar section will be selling drinks along with featuring musical performances by Queens-based musicians.

“So many people are using spoken word, poetry and music to channel all their thoughts to create something beautiful,” DiBello said.

All money generated at the event will go to the performers and artists taking part in the festival during the two days.

Donations of $1 and up will be accepted, and sponsors are still being accepted.

For more information on participating artists and vendors, and to purchase tickets, click here.


LIC woman starts tour company to share her love for Queens

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Connie Murray

One Long Island City resident has decided to share her love for her neighborhood and borough through a new tour company aimed at giving participants a real Queens experience.

Connie Murray, the woman behind the Twitter account @fuelgrannie, has launched her own business called QueensStomp, which offers tours of LIC to locals and tourists.

Murray led her first tour in April as a Hunters Point bar crawl but now wants to incorporate her love for photography, walking and local architecture in areas such as Hunters Point, Court Square, Queens Plaza and Dutch Kills into future tours.

Her new tours will look to take participants throughout the western Queens neighborhood and experience it in a way locals do.

“It’s not just bars, not just food, it’s having a real Queens experience because it’s such a sweet and nice and cute area,” Murray said.

The idea for the tour company came after a friend suggested Murray get into the business and while she thought about the idea, travel guidebook company Lonely Planet named Queens as the best place to visit in the U.S. in 2015, and she knew the universe had aligned for her.

Currently, Murray is working on her brand and networking with other locals who offer tours — such as Joe DiStefano and Jeff Orlick — to create a tour model.

She added that she wants to incorporate her love for the city’s industrial architecture, sunsets off the East River and her taste for Queens-produced craft beer to create the perfect Queens experience to bring tourists back again and again.

“I think a lot of people are now coming specifically to Queens. They’re not just staying in the hotel hub in Long Island City,” Murray said. “They are actually coming to hang out in Queens.”

Although she grew up in Manhattan, Murray has been living in Long Island City for the past 17 years and said she fell in love the moment she made the move into Queens.

“I absolutely love it. I’m a New York gal, but I fell in love with New York hard when I moved into Queens,” Murray said. “Queens has so much to offer. It’s an extraordinary borough and I think it’s such an unsung hero in our city.”

At the moment — as she gets her feet wet — Murray said she is offering her tours for free as a way to get feedback and also get a better understanding of what she can expect once she starts charging for the tours.

Anyone interested in taking part in the tours can contact Murray via the QueensStomp website or reach out to her via social media.

In the future, Murray also said she hopes to get to know other Queens neighborhoods better so she can expand her tours deeper into the borough.

“I’m just really excited to see what is happening with my borough and I’m happy to be a part of it,” Murray said. “If I ever won the lottery, if I had a billion dollars I would not move back to Manhattan. I just love it here. I’m just so happy to be here.”

Murray plans to officially launch her tours by the end of July or early August and tours will take place seven days a week. For more information and updates, visit queensstomp.com or @queensstomp on Twitter.


Late LIC parks advocate to be honored with plaque at Gantry Plaza State Park

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Hunters Point Parks Conservancy

The Long Island City community will come together on the waterfront Saturday afternoon to honor the life and work of a longtime park advocate and community leader who died earlier this year.

The Hunters Point Parks Conservancy announced Friday they will be having a ceremony to honor its former president, Bill Bylewski, on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. in the garden at Gantry Plaza State Park.

Bylewski, who died in February at the age of 53 after battling with cancer, was one of the founding members of the community group Friends of Gantry Neighborhood Parks and dedicated countless hours as a volunteer gardener and leader to preserve Gantry Plaza State Park’s beauty.

After Hunters Point South Park was constructed and opened, Bylewski sought to see one “friends group” be formed dedicated to the needs of both parks. He then took the initiative to make sure the community came together to for the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy.

During Saturday’s ceremony, the group will unveil a plaque in memory of Bylewski. And local elected officals and leaders are expected to attend.

“Bill may no longer be with us but his commitment to our parks and the community will continue to live on and inspire us,” said Rob Basch, current president of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy.

Attendees to the ceremony are asked to enter the park at 49th Avenue and Center Boulevard. There will be light refreshments after the unveiling.


New LIC ‘amenity-rich’ 21-story building set to celebrate grand opening

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Images courtesy of World Wide Group

A new amenity-rich residential building is joining the growing real estate market in Long Island City.

Investment group Word Wide Group has announced that QLIC, located at Queens Plaza and 24th Street, will celebrate its grand opening next week on July 25. Advanced previews of the tower began on Thursday.

The 21-story residential tower features over 28,000 square feet of amenities, including a state-of-the-art fitness center, swimming pool, outdoor barbecues and picnic areas, a private garden, indoor parking and a bike room.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the grand opening of QLIC,” said David Lowenfeld, chief operating officer of The World Wide Group. “This is a significant milestone not only for World Wide Group, but for this neighborhood. With beautiful apartments and a host of amenities, QLIC is setting a new standard for residential living in Long Island City.”

QLIC, which is expected to welcome its first residents in September, includes a variety of 421 studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom rental units.


Since the building’s pre-leasing began in May, World Wide Group has received more than 2,500 inquires regarding QLIC, according to the investment group.

The site is also within a five-block radius of eight subway lines and one stop away from Manhattan.

For more information on QLIC and available listings, visit www.qlic.com.


Get to know the Queens Brewery at the LIC Flea

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Queens Brewery

This weekend, as you take a stroll through the LIC Flea & Food, make sure to stop by the Beer Garden and share a drink with the maker behind Queens Brewery.

The popular Long Island City flea market, located at Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, will continue its Meet the Queens Makers series as the Queens Brewery takes over the LIC Flea Beer Garden.

During the series, visitors will be able to get to know local breweries and speak with the makers behind the product.

Queens Brewery’s beer maker will be on hand to share information about their beer-making process, provide tastings and answer questions from visitors.

The LIC Flea Beer Garden exclusively serves beers brewed in Queens from local breweries including Rockaway Brewery, Queens Brewery, Finback and SingleCut.

This weekend the LIC Flea will also feature a live band and DJ, providing visitors with some tunes to enjoy.

A kids’ performance from The Secret Theatre, called “Princess Particular,” will also take place at the Flea on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. For more information on the show, click here.

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

For updates on the LIC Flea & Food market, follow on Facebook.com/LICFlea, Instagram.com/LICFlea and @LICFlea on Twitter.


VIDEO & PHOTOS: George Clinton gets funky at Queensbridge Park performance

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

With the Queensboro Bridge as the backdrop, the “godfather of funk” took the stage at Queensbridge Park Wednesday during a night filled with laughter and dancing.

About a thousand people flocked to the Long Island City waterfront park, located along Vernon Boulevard, to catch George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic during a free performance as part of SummerStage’s 30th anniversary summer festival.

The group, which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, performed classics such as “Give Up The Funk,” “Not Just Knee Deep,” “Maggot Brain,” “One Nation Under A Groove,” “Flashlight,” “Aquaboogie,” “P.Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up)” and many more.

Fans danced and sang along with the songs as Clinton jumped on stage with other group members.

Clinton has been referred to as one of the trendsetters of funk music and known for revolutionizing R&B during the ’70s. Parliament Funkadelic recorded three platinum albums and had over 40 R&B hit singles. Through the ’80s the group recorded as the P-Funk All Stars.

Wednesday night’s concert is part of a six-day festival taking place at eight local parks. The night before, Queensbridge Park presented the musical group Chi-Lites and on Thursday night it will host Large Professor (LP), a hip-hop songwriter, producer and DJ from Flushing, together with Marley Mark.

The performance was not Clinton’s first visit to Queens, as he came to the borough last October during a discussion and book signing event, for his memoir “Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You? : A Memoir,” at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria.


Police looking for suspect in attempted daytime mugging at Queens Plaza

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police released a sketch Thursday morning of a suspect wanted in connection with an attempted daytime mugging of a teenager at Queens Plaza in Long Island City last month.

According to authorities, the incident occurred at 5:45 p.m. on June 22 in front of a location on Queens Plaza South near 28th Street.

Reportedly, the suspect and four unidentified males approached the 19-year-old male victim as he walked through the area. Police said the group attempted to remove the victim’s property, then struck him repeatedly about the face and body with a metal object.

The incident was reported to the 108th Precinct; the victim was treated for minor injuries.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.


Fundraiser featuring art by girl with cerebral palsy to take place at LIC Flea

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of TJ Hodges

Long Island City will be coming together this weekend to celebrate a day filled with art and mingling, all for a great cause.

New York City-based events company Revolver Productions and the nonprofit Roses for Linda, which aims to help families with travel and medical expenses, is presenting the Roses & Rosé Summer Fundraiser Event on July 18 at the LIC Flea & Food, located at 5-25 46th Ave.

The charity event, which will run from 1 to 6 p.m., will raise money and bring awareness to families that have terminally ill loved ones and cannot travel to make that final connection with them.

According to Sasha Perelman of Revolver Productions, with this event they are aiming to create an environment where young entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals can get together, mingle and socialize while “celebrating a beautiful cause.”

She also added that they have received support from many local businesses and artists that will be dedicating their time on Saturday.

“The experience we had putting all of this together is really inspiring and moving and makes me feel like what I’m doing as an entrepreneur and small business is really helping out,” Perelman said.

Funds raised during the event will go to Roses for Linda, which was founded in 2011 by TJ Hodges after losing his loved one, Linda, to cancer. Family members could not afford to travel to see her before she died.

The event will feature live art created on site by artist Lynx Alexander, canvas photography by Amy McMullen’s D’Arte Collection, live poetry by Jeffrey Berg, a comedy performance by The Melting Pot Variety Show, original art by Jamie Stang Ellis, and more.

image (1)

Along with these activities, the charity will also include an auction of artwork featuring pieces from 4-year-old Lily Drake from Illinois. Lily was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was born and even though there were questions if she would be able to move, the toddler has shown she has a talent.

Hodges first heard of Lily through friends on Facebook and later reached out to her family to help them with expenses through Roses for Linda. He personally bought some pieces, and when he was contacted about doing a charity event, he knew he had to reach out to Lily’s family to ask if she could paint a few pieces to auction out.

“It was absolutely inspiring to see what she goes through,” Hodges said. “To just see the videos of her smiling with her art, to know that it helps not just with her morale but her muscle tone, is really inspiring.”

Although Lily’s family initially asked for the proceeds to go to families being helped through the nonprofit, Hodges said that any money raised from Lily’s pieces will go back to her family as a birthday present for Lily, who turned 4 on July 14.

For more information on the event and to purchase tickets, click here.


Rockaway Brewing Company hosts pop-up meals

| rmackay@queensny.org

Photo courtesy of Rockaway Brewing Company

For years, Long Island City-based suds purveyor Rockaway Brewing Company has handcrafted beer (stouts, pale ales, farmhouse saisons, etc.) during the week, but now it’s hosting pop-up meals on weekends.

Featuring artisan chefs and locally made food, chow sessions usually run from 5 to 10 p.m. on Fridays and 3 to 10 p.m. on Saturdays with sporadic Sunday activity.

This Friday, July 17, Traze will be in the taproom. This catering company specializes in two culinary treats: Falafel Pizza, herb-infused grandma crust topped with smoked gouda and cheddar cheeses, Halal cart-style white sauce, and crumbled Egyptian falafel; and Tex-Mex Pizza, herb-infused grandma crust topped with cheddar cheese, chile chipotle sauce, black beans and red onions.

On Saturday, Mr. Arborio King will serve Sicilian-style, ragu-filled, deep-fried risotto spheres, while Bill’s Balls will offer beef, chicken, eggplant, lamb, pork, sausage, steak, turducken and veggie meatballs on Sunday.

Other scheduled partners include Crudité, (July 24 and Aug. 8), which makes veggie-centered meals with fruit, lean non-animal proteins and wholesome grains, and Bittergreen (Aug. 14 and 15), a catering company that creates locally sourced feasts based on the hearty cuisines of New England and the Canadian Maritimes.

According to Justine Yeung, whose job title is “Beer Lady,” the brewery plans to organize these pop-up events until the fall or longer, if possible. Click here to see the calendar. Rockaway Brewery Company is located at 46-01 Fifth St. in Long Island City.


LIC building set to be completed by end of summer

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

A rendered image of the completed building.


Façade work at 22-22 Jackson Avenue is nearly done, with about 95 percent of the building covered in glass windows.

According to The Court Square Blog, the 182-unit Long Island City building is set to be completed by the end of the summer, which is right on time with its construction schedule.

The building will have 118,563 square feet devoted to residential units and 5,723 square feet set aside for retail space. The building will also include amenities and luxuries such as storage for bikes, a library, a pool, a gym, a lounge, a communal rooftop space, enclosed parking and private terraces.



Second LIC HENGE brings thousands to waterfront

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Mark Christie

As the sun set on Sunday, thousands in Long Island City were ready with their phones and cameras to capture the moment.

The Hunters Point Parks Conservancy (HPPC) hosted its second LIC HENGE on July 12, where visitors standing along the LIC waterfront were able to catch the sun setting as it aligned itself down 42nd Street in Manhattan.

HPPC held its first LIC HENGE event in May and after a positive response, decided to set up another night filled with fun and getting together with the community.

About 300 people showed up to the Sunday event, which took place at the LIC Landing, located at 52-10 Center Blvd.

Over 1,000 other people also lined up along the waterfront, according to Rob Basch, president of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy.

Henge 4

“It was another wonderful night on the waterfront and the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy was grateful that many, so many members of the community were able to attend and enjoy the best waterfront parks anywhere,” Basch said.

Afterward, people took to Instagram to post their photos using the hashtag #lichenge.


LIC Citigroup development site sells for $143M

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

A large site in Long Island City, owned by Citigroup, was sold last week to a Flushing-based developer for millions, according to a published report.

Citigroup sold the development site, north of One Court Square, to developer Jia Shu Xu of C&G Empire Realty for $143 million, The Real Deal reported on July 18.

In February, the site was reported to be up for sale and was estimated to go for $150 million.

The site is made up of nine parcels, located along 23rd Street between 44th Drive and 44th Road, each spanning 36,000 square feet.

The property has about 780,000 buildable square feet and most of the parcels are vacant, while others have industrial buildings. The zoning of the site allows for residential, office, retail and hotel space.


Come to BORO Mag party and help out The Secret Theatre

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

It is time to party at the LIC Flea & Food.

BORO Magazine will be hosting a fun day of live music, food from more than 40 unique vendors and drinks from the all-Queens Beer Garden with the Long Island City community at the popular market, located at  5-25 46th Ave., on Saturday, July 25, from noon to 4 p.m.

Money raised during the party will go toward The Secret Theatre, a local nonprofit cultural institution located at 44-02 23rd St.

To join the party, at the entrance of the Flea there will be a pack of two raffle tickets sold for $10, and each additional raffle ticket will be $5. A free beer from the Beer Garden is included with each ticket purchase, and visitors get a chance to win prizes. Partygoers are asked to meet up at the Beer Garden .

Entertainment for the day includes live music and a DJ, cornhole and kayaking on the East River.

A rain date for the party is set for the following day on Sunday, July 26.

To RSVP email your full name to party@boromag.com and for more information visit LICFlea.com or boromag.com.


Z NYC Hotel launches second annual rooftop yoga series in LIC

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Z NYC Hotel


Get ready to take your yoga to a higher level.

Z NYC Hotel is inviting guests to salute the city skyline during its second annual rooftop yoga series in partnership with yoga instructor Dina Ivas.

Participants will be guided through a dynamic Vinyasa-style yoga on the 14-story hotel rooftop, located at 11-01 43rd Ave. in Long Island City, while watching the sunset over the city skyline. Suitable for all levels and open to hotel guests and locals, the curriculum incorporates the unison of breath, movement, strength and flexibility, as well as stress-melting sequences that invigorate the body. Afterward, guests will enjoy complimentary skinny cocktails and light bites while enjoying the view.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Dina once again this summer,” said Lisa Gneo, director of sales and marketing at Z NYC Hotel. “Our rooftop yoga series last year was so successful that we have increased the number of classes from once a month to twice a month.”

Gneo added that the idea for the rooftop yoga series came from her having a healthy lifestyle and wanting to incorporate that into the hotel.

Along with providing the yoga classes, Gneo also hopes participants can sit and talk after the classes and network with new people.

“What better place to do yoga than on the rooftop? We wanted to create something different. When people come and see that view, they are just blown away,” Gneo said. “You do feel like it’s really intimate.”

Dina with Bridge

Yoga instructor Dina Ivas

Since 2002, Ivas has been leading yoga and fitness classes at some of the city’s top-rated fitness establishments. In 2010, she completed the 200-hour teacher training program at Sonic Yoga in Hell’s Kitchen. She currently teaches at Equinox Fitness Clubs and The Yoga Room, and also works privately with individuals and corporate clients.

Classes will be held at 7:30 p.m. on July 27 and Aug. 10, 24 and 31, weather permitting. A makeup class will be arranged if necessary due to weather. The hour-long sessions cost $35 per person.

Space is limited, so reserve your spot in advance by calling 212-319-7000 and ask to speak to reservations. There is a 24-hour cancellation policy. Complimentary transportation will be provided at 6:30 p.m. sharp from Manhattan at 59th and Lexington (in front of H&M).

For more information, visit www.zhotelny.com.


Free summer festival featuring more than 60 performers coming to Astoria Park

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Astoria Music & Arts

Astoria Park will shine bright next month during a day-long festival featuring more than 60 live performers, visual artists and activities for all ages.

The nonprofit Astoria Music & Arts, which is committed to supporting the diverse artistic community throughout Astoria and Long Island City, will be holding the New World Queens Festival on Aug. 29 at Astoria Park.

From noon to 9 p.m., visitors will be able to enjoy the free event that will feature live music, visual arts, dancers, performance artists and interactive children’s events.

Music during the festival will include bossa nova, reggae, ska, R&B, rock, psychedelic, Americana, indie, funk, blue grass and Afro-Cuban.

“For over seven years, AM&A has brought music, art, dance, theater, comedy and film to the Astoria community, and this summer at Astoria Park we will be throwing the greatest music and arts festival in Astoria,” said Doris Cellar, director of operations for Astoria Music and Arts.

The festival, which is pet-friendly and will focus on eco-awareness, is also expected to feature a pie-eating contest by Astor Bake Shop, and a family fun dance party experience, sponsored by Little Club Heads, for children ages 1 to 12 and their parents.

Visitors will also be able to find a dance tent featuring Sol Dance Center, a puppet show by Wonder Spark from Raising Astoria, a giant Kaiju Big Battel monster and more.

For more information, email astoriamusicarts@gmail.com or visit www.astoriamusicandarts.org or www.facebook.com/Astoriamusicandarts.