Tag Archives: Long Island City

Cops searching for Queens serial bank robber


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD


Police are looking for a suspect wanted in five bank robberies and two attempted heists around Queens over the past two years.

The latest incident occurred on Tuesday around 4:30 p.m. at a Santander Bank on Northern Boulevard in Jackson Heights, cops said. During the robbery, the suspect passed a demand note but left without any money.

The other robberies, which date back to July 2012, took place in the Long Island City, Astoria, East Elmhurst and Middle Village areas of the borough, officials said. In the suspect’s most successful theft, on Dec. 12, 2012 at a Chase Bank at 77-01 31st Ave., he fled with $12,400, cops said.

Police describe the suspect as Hispanic, 30 to 35 years old, 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a baseball hat with a New York Yankees symbol on the front, a button down short sleeve shirt, tinted eyeglasses and a black wrist watch on his left wrist, and had a light beard connected to a goatee.

Authorities have released a photo of the suspect from the July 22 attempted robbery and a June 7 robbery at a Chase Bank at 77-01 31st Ave.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

LIC comedy club founder hosting new Fox stand-up show


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo by Adam Teixeira

A Queens native and founder of a Long Island City comedy club is bringing his years of experience producing laughs to a new show on Fox next month.

Steve Hofstetter, 34, who is in the process of selling the Laughing Devil Comedy Club on Vernon Boulevard to concentrate on his TV endeavor, is the host and executive producer of “Laughs,” a highlight reel show for stand-up comics.

Hofstetter started doing stand-up comedy at 13 years old to impress a girl. Though he failed to get the girl, he found a life-long passion for humor.

After college, he started performing in and producing stand-up shows, eventually making a full-time career out of comedy.

In late 2011, he opened the Laughing Devil Comedy Club when he realized there were no comedy clubs in Queens.

“Why not support the community that you actually live in,” the former Long Island City resident said.

A writing opportunity led him to move to L.A. about a year and half ago, and he and the Laughing Devil’s co-owner decided to put their business up for sale last summer. But Hofstetter ultimately decided to buy out his partner.

With “Laughs” set to premiere for a 13-week test run on August 2, he is now finalizing the club’s sale to the team behind The Stand, a Manhattan comedy club, which has been running Laughing Devil for the past couple of months, he said.

“I can’t imagine a bigger opportunity,” Hofstetter said about the show. “It’s one of those things where you think you’ve made it but you aren’t sure yet.”

Each week, “Laughs” will feature stand-up comics from around the country, compiled from clips sent to the show and showcases set up by comedy clubs. As host, Hofstetter introduces the clips to a live audience at The Laughing Derby in Louisville, Kentucky, one of three comedy clubs of which he is a managing partner, and provides humorous commentary. Each clip will include the comic’s Twitter handle and where to see the person live.

“This is going to be catch-your-breath funny,” Hofstetter said. “We are really going to introduce the world to some great comics.”

To mark the show’s debut, there will be a red-carpet premiere party at the Laugh Factory in L.A.
Hofstetter remembers growing up in Briarwood and watching “Comic Strip Live” on Fox, which was taped live from the Laugh Factory.

“It’s a wonderful way to go full circle,” he said.

“Laughs” will premiere on Saturday, August 2, in select cities, including in New York at midnight on Fox, and Sunday, August 3, on My9 at 11 p.m.

 

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Long Island City robber forces 90-year-old to drive to ATMs: cops


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD


A robber grabbed a 90-year-old man in front of a Long Island City supermarket last week and forced him to drive to two ATMs to withdraw cash, police said.

The victim was walking to his car outside of the Stop & Shop on 48th Street at about 10:45 a.m. on Friday when the suspect approached him, cops said.

The suspect grabbed the man by the neck and told him to hand over his wallet. He then demanded the victim’s PIN number and made him drive to two locations, where he took out money from ATMs, according to police.

Authorities said the suspect is in his 30s and has braids.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Queens natives start ‘non-touristy’ food tour of borough


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Richard Mumith

The founders of a new walking food tour, which is making its start in Long Island City, are looking to prove that Queens is the “king of the boroughs.”

Queens natives Richard Mumith and Sergey Kadinsky started the company Locals Finds Queens Food Tours to share their love for the diverse borough and bring tourists across the East River.

“We essentially started up for the tourists but now a lot of natives are becoming part of it too,” Mumith said. “We now want Queens locals to really see what is in their backyard.”

The three-hour tours, which began July 13 and take place every Sunday, look to combine the history, culture and food of the borough in what Mumith calls a “non-touristy ‘off the beaten’ experience.”

Every Sunday eight participants, who are told the meeting point after purchasing tickets, get together and sample food from six local Long Island City establishments, while also being given a tour by Kadinsky, who is a licensed tour guide, on the history and present details on the western Queens neighborhood.

The stops of the tour include Manducatis Rustica, Woodbines Craft Kitchen, Sweetleaf, Alobar, Rockaway Brewing Company and Sage General Store.

Mumith said the tours are starting in Long Island City because it is close to Manhattan and also has an “amazing industrial manufacturing history and artistic presence.”

“We’re really here to create a relationship with the communities,” Mumith said.

However, Mumith hopes to expand the tours into full weekends in Long Island City and later move them further into other Queens neighborhood such as Astoria and Flushing.

“We’re here to stay. We’re here to do all the great borough of Queens and each neighborhood presents something unique,” he said.

The Briarwood resident is even challenging the other four boroughs to try and beat the diversity and distinct cuisines offered in Queens.

“What people don’t know, when it comes to the culinary scene, Queens is the king of the boroughs,” Mumith said.

Tickets for the tours are $56 for adults and $42 for children 12 and under. The price of tickets include the tour, which begins every Sunday at 11 a.m., food tastings and an exclusive brochure featuring a map of the neighborhood, list of attractions, other restaurant recommendations and list of things to do.

For more information visit foodsofqueensny.com or call 800-656-0713.

 

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5Pointz demolition expected to begin in August: reports


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

The Long Island City site which once was home to the graffiti mecca known as 5Pointz could soon be gone.

Jerry Wolkoff, owner of the property on Jackson Avenue and Davis Street, said he hopes to begin demolishing the buildings in August after initially wanting to have started tearing down the site months ago, according to published reports. The demolition is expected to take up to three months to finish.

Wolkoff and his company, G&M Realty, hope to build two apartment towers—one 47 stories and the other 41 stories tall – with close to 1,000 rental apartments, 32,000 square feet of outdoor public space and 50,000 square feet of retail space between them.

In October, the City Council approved the developer’s proposal to build apartment towers to larger dimensions than allowed by current zoning rules.

Last November, Wolkoff ordered to have the building and all the aerosol work that covered it painted white overnight only a few days after artists and supporters held rallies looking to save the graffiti mecca and requesting the site be landmarked.

Wolkoff previously said the towers would include about 20 artist studios and outdoor walls designated for artists.

Wolkoff did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

 

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More fun at the Flea this weekend


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

flea

Even with the World Cup festivities coming to an end last weekend, more exciting things are on their way to Long Island City.

This Saturday, July 19, the popular LIC Flea & Food, located at the outdoor lot by the waterfront at the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, will be holding a cornhole contest. Cornhole is a lawn game where players take turns trying to throw bean bags into a hole on a raised platform. The prizes for the contest include a cornhole set and $100 in FleaBucks to spend at the market. Sign up to participate at facebook.com/licflea.

Also this weekend, HGTV’s “Flea Market Flip” will make its return to the LIC Flea 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.

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

In Astoria, the Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios is keeping strong and offering the best in food, drinks, antiques, clothing, art, accessories and much more. The market is open every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 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 it now will stay open until August 31.

For more information visit www.licflea.com.

 

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Five stories and one happy ending


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

IMG_2616

BRADLEY HAWKS 

One of the most promising new developments in Long Island City is the revitalization of the five-story space known as the Falchi Building, located at 31-00 47th Ave. in Long Island City. Occupying over 600,000 square feet formerly used as a warehouse by the late great Gimbels department store, and named after the famous Brazilian handbag designer, the Falchi Building is not far from the heart of LIC or the nearby student population of LaGuardia Community College. The hope of Jamestown, the developers of the Falchi Building — as well as 1250 Broadway and Chelsea Market in Manhattan — is that the food-focused ground level concourse will serve as a drawing point for the building’s employees, as well as visitors and neighbors from all over the city.

Recently, we stopped by with an empty stomach to sample some of the savory morsels they are currently offering.

Presently, a pop-up food counter called the Food Box is home to a handful of vendors who are serving unique, handmade, gourmet goods on weekdays. Offerings range from a Paraguayan empanada and pastry stand serving pastry pockets filled with seasoned meats and vegetables, alongside guava jam-stuffed cake rolls. A Jamaican barbecue counter serves up piquant plates of jerk chicken and rice, while down the row is a DJ who makes pies in glass jars (called Made from Scratch) and serves chocolate-coated strips of bacon. Creamy cups of cheesecake can be blended with any of an assortment of toppings.

There is even a stand for the Vendy Award-winning Khao Man Gai NY, serving some sweet variations of Thai iced tea, as well as traditional rice and chicken, and now a special brothless version of Tom Yum Noodles.

The rice noodles are generously tossed in a spicy Thai chili mixture, and loaded with slices of fish cake, like little seafood meatballs. The khao man gai itself sounds deceitfully simple, but each tray packs one of the most savory punches around. The jasmine rice soaks up the chicken fat from the poaching liquid, and the dish sings of cilantro and pandan leaves, creating a fascinating umami bouquet.

While the United Nations uses the upper floors for administrative purposes, and the Juice Press readies its space for an opening in the near future down below, Artisanal Premium Cheese is in the process of making the Falchi building its own slice of heaven.

Much of the building is still available for potential occupants, and sun-drenched rooms and hallways fill the loft-like spaces with promising offices and studios ripe for new entrepreneurs. It is an exciting time for Long Island City, and the Falchi Building is a lovely marriage of the old with the new, offering a space for both.

And knowing that we can now enjoy our favorite Thai street foods during the weekdays as well as at the flea, well that’s reason enough alone to pay the Falchi a visit.

For more information on the Falchi and all of its opportunities, visit falchibuilding.com.

Food Box
Falchi Building
37-00 47th Ave., Long Island City
Open weekdays for lunch

 

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Jazz and food at the Flea


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

flea

Music will continue to play throughout the LIC Flea & Food this weekend, as a renowned chef makes his way to the market.

Last Saturday, July 5, Jason Sagebiel of Sage Music and Nadeem at E9 Productions brought Argentine musician Soledad Liebeskind to the popular Long Island City market. Liebeskind performed with Agustin Uriburu and brought an amazing soul sound to the LIC Flea. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she was influenced by genres such as jazz, blues, soul, R&B, funk and hip-hop.

This Saturday, July 12, will be Jazz Day at the LIC Flea featuring a performance by Dandy Wellington and His Band accompanied by swing dancers. Other jazz artists will also perform.

Also joining the LIC Flea this weekend and on July 19 is Japanese Chef Koji Hagihara, who in 2002 became a sous-chef at Wakiya Ichiemicharou, one of the most prominent Chinese restaurants in Japan. He worked as the right hand of Iron Chef Yuji Wakiya. Hagihara moved to New York seven years ago and in 2009 joined Hakata Tonton in the West Village as manager and executive chef. He has also appeared on various television shows and taken part in events throughout the nation.

At the flea market Hagihara will be serving Shake Shake Cold Ramen. Visitors will be able to toss their ramen noodle salad, including shaved pork sirloin, fresh vegetables and special sesame dressing, in an individual container.

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.

On July 27, Hagihara will make his way to the Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios. The Astoria market is opened every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 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 it now will stay open until August 31.

For more information visit www.licflea.com.

 

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Dancer turns LIC dog walker after cancer battle


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Troy Benson

ALAN CAPPER

If you come to New York with a scholarship to study and learn ballet, it may seem a little incongruous to eventually become a dog walker.

Not so, says Ryan Stewart, who, after a bout with cancer derailed his dance career, walks dogs for Long Island City residents who mostly work in the day and cannot do it themselves. “Dancing ballet requires a great deal of patience and the use of physicality to communicate and send meaning. Body awareness and control are qualities that are needed for dog walking with different breeds and personalities.”

Ryan was raised with dogs and is a dog lover. He believes that what he provides is a service to the community, helping to make the joy of dog ownership more complete. One of the things that keeps him busy is the huge growth in dog ownership in the area.

“Although I studied dance and the arts, it seemed inevitable I would work with dogs,” said Ryan. “I was raised one of seven children — kind of like a pack environment.” He laughed. Ryan’s household chore was walking the family field spaniel. He was also born in the Chinese zodiac year of the dog. “What I think influences me the most is being adopted. It seems natural for me to work with dogs, who are also raised by different biological families. We have an unspoken bond.”

First starting as a trainer for dog commercials, Ryan looked for a consistent job with canines. After trying his hand at grooming, he settled on walks as a way to consistently interact with man’s best friend. As his reputation spread he was asked by more and more owners to walk their dogs, and soon he was looking after small packs. He is a familiar and interesting figure in the area and it can be quite startling to see him controlling five to 10 dogs at a time. Any dog owner knows that in any moment one dog might take a disliking to another, so seeing Ryan’s dogs completely at peace with no discord or angry exchanges is quite remarkable.

“Developing an eye for spotting trouble is key,” he said. “If I sense one dog that may be troublesome I put them really close to me to keep a sharper eye on them. I love pit bulls. They get a bad rep but you have to understand the breed. They weren’t bred to herd sheep!”

He said that he doesn’t have a favorite type, but that his next choice for ownership will be a border collie, for their sheer intelligence, or a German shepherd, because of their versatility and trainability, particularly for rescue. “The challenge will be to find a shelter dog who isn’t overly traumatized.”

As far as small or toy dogs are concerned, he says that there is no reason not to walk them with larger dogs — as long as the personality mix is compatible. Also, smaller breeds, or “toy dogs,” tend to live much longer lives than larger breeds, but all dogs and breeds respond to Ryan’s control with affection. He has certain standards when walking groups, not often talking to strangers, which might come across as rude. “My dogs require my full attention.” The coldest day doesn’t alter his no-glove policy. “My fingertips need to feel the leashes.” And the hottest day will never see Ryan wearing sunglasses. “Dogs like to see my eyes.”

Ryan’s original scholarship took him to Alvin Ailey School to study dance. He was scheduled to transfer to Juilliard when a diagnosis of lymphoma derailed his dance career. After 14 months of chemotherapy, Ryan realized that another profession should be looked into. In an interesting display of serendipity, one of Ryan’s most decorated canine mentors, Sue Sternberg, is the daughter of his oncologist. “It was a beautiful moment when I walked up to Mrs. Sternberg and told her that her mother had saved my life.”

Ryan still has a passion for ballet and takes lessons as often as he can during the week. It is difficult to think of a greater contrast to dog walking than dance, but he continues to feed his passion for both. So watch out for him in the neighborhood, and marvel at the discipline and affection that he engenders with the dogs in his care.

 

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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


By Queens Courier Staff | 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


By Queens Courier Staff | 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


By Queens Courier Staff | 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


By Queens Courier Staff | 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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