Tag Archives: Meres One

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

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos by Angy Altamirano

Something new is popping in Astoria.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



5Pointz artists bring aerosol art to Long Island not-for-profit center

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

Two months after the 5Pointz building was whitewashed overnight, the artists are still going strong now presenting their artwork at a Long Island not-for-profit art center.

The group of artists, including 5Pointz curator and CEO Jonathan Cohen known as “Meres One,” have come together for an art show called “WALL WORKS: The Art of Graffiti” at the Gold Coast Arts Center, located at 113 Middle Neck Rd. in Great Neck.

The opening reception for the show was held on Sunday, which marked the two month anniversary of what 5Pointz spokesperson Marie Cecile Flageul calls the “criminal whitewash.”

“Today is two months following the criminal whitewash and nothing has happened to the building, so to us it’s a way to keep the light on as well,” said Flageul.

5Pointz was whitewashed overnight on Nov. 19, after owners of the property on Jackson Avenue and Davis Street in Long Island City, the Wolkoff family, ordered the action.

The artists were invited to present their art at the not-for-profit organization and thought the location made perfect sense because 5Pointz is also a not-for-profit group and had a lot of programs inclined to children just like the Gold Coast Arts Center, said Flageul.

She also said there are numerous art shows by 5Pointz artists planned for throughout the year.

The Long Island art show, which was curated by newly appointed gallery curator and Long Island City resident Jude Amsel, features aerosol art on small to large canvases, walls of the gallery, subway maps, real street signs and many more. The show also features a white sculpture by Hunt Rodriguez called “Rest in Power 5Pointz” which people can sign, leaving a piece of them with the art.

“I don’t think the reach of this culture has fully gotten out to Long Island,” said Cohen, whose pieces in the show include a series of five different canvases each depicting one of the boroughs with elements that stood out to the artist. “5Pointz is on a pause state right now, but it will start again. It is a positive program, so it’s good to let people see that there is some artistic ability and talent that go into this and it isn’t the perceived negative thing that everyone thinks.”

All the pieces in the show are for sale and 35 percent of the sales go to the Gold Coast Arts Center, with the remaining amount going towards the artists.

“WALL WORKS: The Art of Graffiti”  also features works from Carols “See TF” Game, Luis “Zimad” Lamboy, Shiro, John Paul O’Grodnick, Veronique Barrillot and Kid Lew. The show is on display until March 2.