Tag Archives: Middle Village

Addabbo sends list of bus problems to MTA


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

A local legislator is hoping to put the brakes on bus problems in the region he represents.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo recently sent a list of complaints from constituents to the MTA about bus service on nearly 10 lines, including some that travel through the subway scarce neighborhoods of Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village, hoping the agency can resolve the issues.

The note includes problems such as buses frequently arriving 20 or more minutes behind schedule, multiple buses bunching together and buses passing by commuters with “not in service” signs. The lines include the Q18, Q11/Q21, Q54, Q55, Q67, Q38 and Q29.

“As we negotiate our state budget funding and administrative decisions, we must realize that these resources must be allocated rationally and efficiently,” Addabbo said. “Acknowledging that the MTA provides a critical service and that state resources are not infinite, we must impress upon the MTA to improve service for my constituents given the resources it has.”

Last month, The Courier revealed exclusively that the MTA plans to reduce overall service in April of the Q54, which riders in Middle Village and Glendale depend on to connect to subway lines in Jamaica and Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

During weekday “PM peak” hours—from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.—the Q54 will run every six minutes and 30 seconds, instead of every five minutes, according to the MTA’s January Transit & Bus Committee Meeting. During the evening schedule, which follows “PM peak” hours, the Q54 will run every 20 minutes instead of every 15.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Cops arrest Ridgewood and Middle Village graffiti vandals


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Follow me @liamlaguerre 

 

The next thing these vandals could be drawing is punishment.

Police arrested Joseph Guilfoyle, 43, of Ridgewood, and David Negron, 20, of Middle Village, for graffiti in numerous areas of Queens.

Guilfoyle was charged on Tuesday with eight complaints of graffiti in multiple precincts. He was wanted for vandalizing roadways, such as the Long Island Expressway, the Grand Central Parkway and the Van Wyck Expressway.

Negron was charged on Saturday with 21 individual acts of graffiti. He tagged just about anything he could find, according to police, including store fronts of local businesses, ATM machines, mailboxes, doors, emergency call boxes and payphones, mostly in Maspeth and Ridgewood.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

LAST COURSE: Patrons say goodbye to Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Rosanne Aliperti celebrated one wedding and 23 birthdays at Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant.

And 84-year-old Nathan Boland sometimes made the trip twice a day, rain or shine, for a good chicken Parmesan.

Thousands of diners like them left with full stomachs and empty hearts Sunday on the beloved Italian restaurant’s last day in business.

“It was like one big family here. It’s a shame,” said Maspeth regular MaryAnn Papavero. “It’s very depressing to think this is their last day when it was such a great institution.”

The neighborhood fixture at 62-96 Woodhaven Blvd. in Rego Park served hungry diners from across the city and Long Island for nearly 70 years. It opened in 1948 under Joe Abbracciamento and was later taken over by his sons, John and Joe Jr.

But after working in the restaurant since they were teenagers, the brothers plan to retire.

“It’s an overwhelming feeling, seeing the thousands of people who showed up today,” John, 60, said. “It’s a tribute to my father and my family, and it will be an everlasting memory.”

The decision to close was heartbreaking until the last hour, said his wife, Marie, after embracing customers — some who had grown into close friends.

“It’s very emotional for us,” said Marie, holding back tears. “We really don’t want to say goodbye to anyone. It’s going to be very hard to leave the people.”

People like Aliperti, 45, who walked into the restaurant on her wedding day on April 7, 1990 and essentially never left.

“I’ve spent every special day here — my wedding, every birthday, bridal showers, every anniversary,” said Aliperti, while wiping away tears. “They’re a part of our lives. I’ve had every beautiful moment here.”

The last day was also bittersweet for 86-year-old Mary Schmalenberger, who associates decades of happy memories with the longstanding corner eatery.

The senior has trouble walking and had not left the house in months, but made the trip from Middle Village to say goodbye.

“I wouldn’t miss this for the world,” she said. “There will never be another Abbracciamento.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Star of Queens: Matthew Silva, co-founder, People for the Pavilion


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Matthew silva

COMMUNITY SERVICE: Matthew Silva is co-founder of People for the Pavilion, an organization created in May of 2013 to fight for the preservation of the New York State Pavilion.

BACKGROUND: Born at Flushing Hospital, Queens, Silva lived in Middle Village until his family moved to Stony Brook, Long Island, when he was three.

“When in Queens, I would always see the buildings looking out the window of my parents’ car and I always wondered what they were,” said Silva.

Silva attended SUNY Oswego, where he studied technology and video production. He now works as an educator, teaching technology.

After learning the history of the New York State Pavilion, he started making a film to educate people about the significance of the site.

Two years ago, Silva involved his eighth grade class in his passion for the Pavilion and created a project allowing them to redesign the building for community use. “They loved it, and that’s part of what started the group [People for the Pavilion] –I realized there were a lot of people out there who had a connection to these buildings.”

While promoting his film last May, he met Christian Doran, and they came together and decided they would form an organization that would work to save the New York State Pavilion.

FAVORITE MEMORY: Because the organization is still so new, Silva says he is still enjoying every part of this adventure.

“This all began with a film, and film is a very powerful medium, so I would just say the most exciting part of all of this is the next milestone we reach.”

BIGGEST INSPIRATION: Although so many things inspire him today, Silva’s biggest inspiration is Phillip Johnson, architect of the New York State Pavilion.

“He [Johnson] was such a champion for the city and for arts and architecture, so I felt someone had to fight for his ailing work,” said Silva.

Silva finds that many people have a connection to these buildings and hopes that people will visit his Kickstarter page called “Modern Ruin: A World’s Fair Pavilion” and help in any way they can.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Silva and People for the Pavilion have had a lot of good luck since launching, but Silva feels the biggest challenge will be convincing the masses of the need to save the Pavilion and finding and funding an adaptive reuse that captures the imagination of people.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Popular tween spa launches in Middle Village


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

Young girls can now get special makeovers in Middle Village.

Seriously Spoiled, a salon and spa that targets tweens, had a soft opening on Feb. 15 of its new location on Metropolitan Avenue near 75th Street, which is also its first store in New York City.

“Middle Village is a good core neighborhood. There is a lot of foot traffic. The [Metropolitian] Avenue is really busy,” Seriously Spoiled owner Lisa Falco said.

Falco, a former sales director for cosmetics company Mary Kay, and her sister started the business six years ago after Falco’s daughter wanted to go to a spa for her birthday with friends.

The pair made a makeshift spa in Falco’s basement and realized the demand for a tween salon. Just half a dozen years later the Falcos now have three locations, with two others in Suffolk County.

The parties at the salons are dedicated to making the girls feel like princesses. Seriously Spoiled offers six different party packages, where tweens can throw two-hour private celebrations. Some packages include manicures, pedicures, chocolate facials, hair styling and other services, with prices ranging from $495 to $719 for eight to 10 guests.

All packages include special invitations, a tiara for birthday girls, sparkling pink lemonade, karaoke, and of course – a red carpet runway show to conclude.

“This is a place you can take them for just a special occasion or just because they want to get their nails done,” Falco said. “It builds confidence in young ladies, it teaches them how to take care of their hair and get a manicure. It’s all fun. And it teaches them good hygiene.”

For additional fees customers can order white or pink limousine service and massage therapy, among other services. Besides private parties the salon offers walk-in services and day packages, and has Seriously Spoiled clothes and other products for sale.

Falco said the Middle Village salon has already started hosting parties and has girls booked through April for their private room. Seriously Spoiled has also been a good business neighbor for Middle Village. The store has already hired 10 residents and has struck a deal with nearby Carlo’s Pizzeria to provide food for the girls after their parties.

The Falcos are planning to host an official grand opening of the salon in March with special deals.

For more information visit seriouslyspoiledsalonandspa.com

 

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Stalled Maspeth, Ridgewood, Middle Village transportation projects suffer more setbacks


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

Ridgewood residents were hopeful that reconstruction of the Metropolitan Avenue Bridge would finally start this spring, but it’s been delayed again.

The path, which is elevated over LIRR tracks where Metropolitan Avenue intersects Fresh Pond Road, carries major truck traffic and is long overdue for repairs. In 2007, city officials informed Community Board (CB) 5 it was in danger of collapse.

Financial troubles delayed its original reconstruction start date back in 2009, and at a recent CB 5 Transportation Committee meeting, it was said that it’s been pushed back yet again, because the project has to undergo review and redesign.

The bridge is just one of a few major transportation projects, together worth about $115 million, in CB 5 that just keep getting delayed. The Metropolitan Avenue Bridge alone could be a $25 million project, CB 5 District Manager Gary Giordano said.

“You are talking about a lot of money for one district,” Giordano said. “We keep bringing them up at our transportation meeting because we believe that they need to be done and want don’t want to forget about them.”

Developers are now considering building an abutment, eliminating one track under the bridge, to help the building process.

There is also the Grand Street Bridge project, which connects Maspeth to Brooklyn over Newtown Creek.

The 111-year-old bridge is so narrow that it can’t support two-way traffic, although it is a two-way span, with all the big rigs and city buses that traverse it. The new bridge would cost about $50 million.

The plan for a new bridge was ready to go when Sandy struck in 2012 and flooded the area. Now plans are being redesigned to meet new flood regulations.

Besides the bridges, major street rebuilding plans have also been set back.

The Wyckoff Avenue Reconstruction Project, estimated to cost about $20 million, was supposed to start during the summer of 2010, but has been pushed back to 2026, according to the city Department of Design and Construction (DDC).

The project would give Wyckoff Avenue new sewer lines, new water mains to replace the 70-year old ones, as well as a new concrete base on the roadway, new sidewalks and new curbing from Flushing Avenue to Cooper Avenue.

The community has been waiting on a similar project in south Middle Village for about two decades. The area from 73rd Place to 80th Street, between Metropolitan Avenue to Cooper Avenue, are due for new sidewalks, sewer lines, new water mains, signage and street lights, estimated to cost about $20 million. The project has a due date of 2022, according to the DDC.

The projects are pushed back because the city keeps putting funding to higher priority initiatives, CB 5 Chair Vincent Arcuri said. But Arcuri said the planned repairs would help boost the community and should be pushed.

“When you rebuild the streets, the property value increases,” Arcuri said. “It becomes an economic boost to the community.”



RECOMMENDED STORIES

Board approves proposed bike lanes in Ridgewood and Glendale


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Map courtesy of City Planning

Follow me @liamlaguerre 

 

Plans to add new bike lanes to Community Board 5 (CB 5) got the green light.

After an endorsement by freshman Councilmember Antonio Reynoso, CB 5 approved the proposed bike lanes in Ridgewood and Glendale on Wednesday with a 29-5 vote.

The Department of City Planning will begin implementing the phase one bike lanes of the proposal this summer, which connect to the Brooklyn network of paths.

One set flows parallel on Woodward and Onderdonk avenues from Flushing Avenue to Cooper Avenue. Another set runs on Harman and Himrod streets from Evergreen Avenue to Metropolitan Avenue.

“I’m very excited for this first step. I wish it could have been more,” said John Maier, co-chair of the CB 5 Transportation Committee. “I look forward to working with City Planning and the board to find phase two and possibly phase three.”

The city agency will also continue to evaluate the phase two bike lanes of the proposal, which could eventually add more paths and connect routes in Maspeth and Middle Village.

Phase two contains an expansive network of lanes throughout the rest of CB 5. However, residents have complained about a proposed lane on Elliot Street through Mount Olivet Cemetery between 67th Street and Mount Olivet Crescent. The two-way street is so narrow it is already dangerous for car traffic.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Star of Queens: Greg Vasicek, president and founder, Play4Autism Foundation


| editorial@queenscourier.com

IMG_1261

COMMUNITY SERVICE:  Greg Vasicek is the president and founder of the Play4Autism Foundation, a registered nonprofit organization that helps children on the autism spectrum get active.

BACKGROUND:  Vasicek grew up in New Rochelle, and started playing professional ice hockey at 18 in England.  After a 15-year career, Vasicek came back to the United States and decided to concentrate his efforts by pursuing hockey as an event promoter and coach.  Vasinek’s success in this field led him to establish partnerships with several corporations, which eventually served as a platform for his vision, Play4Austism.

Vasicek founded the organization in December of 2011 in Arizona.  After returning to New York in October of 2012 he expanded the foundation.

INSPIRATION: Vasicek has a nephew who is along the autism spectrum, who he cites as his inspiration in creating the Play4Austism Foundation.  Along with his nephew, Vasicek finds inspiration in his future wife, Helena, who has helped him a lot with his work for the organization.

GOALS: Vasicek has been able to help 20 to 25 kids in the Middle Village area, as well as kids in other areas outside Queens, like Arizona and Utah. Vasicek’s goal for his organization is to increase awareness of autism and to help children get the attention they need to develop social and recreational skills, while offering these services to parents at a minimal cost.

Play4Austim also partnered with Kidz into Action programs, which offer children the opportunity to improve their self esteem, leadership, social and communication skills.

FAVORITE MEMORY:  For Vasicek the most rewarding part of working with the kids and their families is just seeing them happy. “Just seeing a smile on a child’s face after tossing a football around for five minutes and the proud look and some tears of [their] mother or father is what it’s all about.”   

BIGGEST CHALLENGE:  The biggest challenge Vasicek has faced is finding a permanent location for his organization and for the people who help him out. “I definitely hope to find a place in the coming year that we can call home,” he said.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

EXCLUSIVE: MTA to reduce Q54 bus service


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

While the MTA has planned fare increases for 2015, the agency will decrease service for the Q54.

The bus, which travels on Metropolitan Avenue through train-scarce Middle Village and Ridgewood, connects riders to transit hubs in downtown Jamaica on one end, and Williamsburg, Brooklyn on the other.

During weekday “PM peak” hours—from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.—the Q54 will now run every six minutes and 30 seconds, instead of every five minutes, according to notes from the MTA’s January Transit & Bus Committee Meeting. During the evening schedule, which follows “PM peak” hours, the Q54 will run every 20 minutes instead of every 15.

The planned cuts didn’t sit well with riders.

“It’s slow as it is. I don’t think they send enough (buses). When I get off the train there are a lot of people that wait with me,” said Middle Village resident Jeanette Marmol, who takes the bus to connect to the M train when commuting to work in Manhattan. “That doesn’t make sense. This is a really long route. Why would they slow it down?”

In April, 49 buses citywide—eight in Queens—will see changes, which will account for a slight increase in overall service, Kevin Ortiz, an MTA spokesperson said.

Of the eight Queens buses that will be impacted, the Q54 is the only one that will see an overall reduction. The MTA plans to add a one-minute speed increase between buses during the Q54’s “AM peak” hours of 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.

“These changes are made to provide the most efficient and effective service possible and reflect changes in ridership patterns,” Ortiz said.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Queens hiker rescued after snowstorm strands him on Hawaiian volcano


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

NPS Photo/J.Ferracane

A Queens man is lucky to be alive after a snowstorm stranded the hiker near the summit of a Hawaiian volcano.

Alex Sverdlov, 36, a Middle Village resident and Brooklyn College professor, began climbing Mauna Loa, on the Big Island, Sunday, the National Park Service (NPS) said.

He reached the 13,677-foot summit on Tuesday after dropping off his heavy gear at a lower elevation, but, as he was descending, a snowstorm struck, creating white-out conditions.

That night, Sverdlov tried to find the gear he left behind, but was unsuccessful, the NPS said. With only the clothes he had on for protection and a bottle of frozen water, he decided to stay put until sunrise.

Photo courtesy of David Okita

He managed to locate his pack Wednesday morning, but with the deep snow, he didn’t go far, and was forced to spend another night on Mauna Loa.  Sverdlov, who had successfully, summited the volcano last winter, was “worried that he’d die” there, said the NPS.

“I’ve done many crazy hikes, but this one pretty much tops the bill,” said Sverdlov.

But the local park rangers hadn’t forgotten about him.

Sverdlov was the only registered hiker on the volcano after park management closed the mountain to visitors early Tuesday because of the weather. Park rangers first tried to call his cell phone, but couldn’t reach him. They then located his car on Mauna Loa Road, and when they saw it was still there Wednesday, rangers launched a helicopter search, locating him by 9 a.m. Thursday.

“Even the most experienced and prepared hikers can get into trouble in the park,” said John Broward, who serves as the park’s search-and-rescue coordinator. “What saved Alex is that he had a backcountry permit so we knew he was up there, he is extremely fit and he stayed calm. We’re all fortunate this had a happy ending.”

Despite the near-death experience, Sverdlov is not giving up his hiking adventures.

The same afternoon he was rescued, he applied for another backcountry permit, for the park’s remote coastal area, the NPS said.

“This time I’m going to the sunny part of the park,” Sverdlov said.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Ridgewood, Glendale could get new bike paths this summer


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Map courtesy Department of City Planning

The ongoing plans to add new bike lanes to Community Board 5 (CB 5) seem to be rolling along smoothly.

CB 5’s Transportation Committee voted unanimously on Tuesday to recommend proposed lanes in Ridgewood and Glendale, which could be implemented as early as this summer.

The proposal, which includes lanes in the Department of City Planning’s phase one plan, will now hinge on a full board vote in the CB 5 February meeting.

If the board approves the new bike paths, City Planning will begin implementing the lanes this summer. The agency will also continue to evaluate phase two, which would eventually add more bike paths and connect routes in Maspeth and Middle Village.

Phase one of the plans connect to the bike lanes in the Brooklyn network of paths.

One set flows parallel on Woodward and Onderdonk avenues from Flushing Avenue to Cooper Avenue. Another set runs on Harman and Himrod streets from Evergreen Avenue to Metropolitan Avenue.

Phase two contains an expansive network of lanes throughout the rest of CB 5. However, residents have complained about a proposed lane on Elliot Street through Mount Olivet Cemetery between 67th Street and Mount Olivet Crescent. The two-way street is so narrow it is already dangerous for car traffic.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Dmytro Fedkowskyj mulling a run against Assemblymember Marge Markey


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Dominick Totino Photography

There may be a showdown in the Democratic primary race for Assembly District 30 later this year.

Middle Village resident Dmytro Fedkowskyj, a former member of the city’s Panel for Education Policy (PEP), which serves to improve the welfare of schools and students in the city, is giving a lot of thought about running against incumbent Marge Markey.

“I had many people come up to me and ask me, ‘what are you going to do now? You’ve tackled and handled that job so well, why don’t you run for office,’” Fedkowskyj said, referring to his time on the PEP.

District 30 is comprised of Maspeth, Woodside and parts of Long Island City, Middle Village, Astoria and Sunnyside.

Fedkowskyj, an accountant and father of three, was a member of the PEP for five years, since former Borough President Helen Marshall appointed him in 2008.

He advocated for Queens students and parents in the position, until he resigned on December 31, as Marshall left office.

Former colleagues say what makes Fedkowskyj special is his ability to draw people together.

A graduate of Grover Cleveland High School, Fedkowskyj is an alum of SUNY Empire State College. He started his community outreach with Community Education Council District 24 in 2004. He served as chair of the School Construction and Zoning Committee before he was appointed to the PEP. Fedkowskyj also served as a trustee for the city’s Board of Education Retirement System from 2008 to 2013.

Despite his experience, challenging Markey, who has held office since 1998, may be difficult. Markey has won at least 60 percent of votes in her last three elections against Republican opponents. But given that the area is mostly Democratic, Fedkowskyj criticized her wins.

“In an Assembly district that holds almost 2-1 Democrat over Republican voters, one has to question why she hasn’t won a general election by a larger margin,” Fedkowskyj said. “Maybe voters are just looking for change.”

Michael Armstrong, a spokesperson for Markey, said that she will run for re-election, but didn’t comment on Fedkowskyj.

Photo courtesy of Assemblymember Marge Markey

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Organics collection service extending to Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

The Department of Sanitation’s organics collection program is branching out to Queens.

Starting in April, residents in Middle Village, Maspeth and Glendale will be able to participate in the program, which targets food scraps, food-spoiled paper and yard waste, such as leaves, to recycle. The program is already underway in parts of the other four boroughs.

The organics collection program is part of the city’s plan to expand recycling. The city spent more than $85 million exporting organics to landfills last year, and hopes that an expanded recycling program will lower that cost.

“If we can collect organics, we can avoid landfills disposal fees and convert the organic material into compost, an organic fertilizer, or clean renewable energy,” said Ron Gonen, deputy commissioner for recycling and sustainability. “It’s a win for taxpayers, it’s a win for the environment and it’s a win for local jobs.”

The containers are brown and come in a small kitchen size and a bigger curbside size as well. The program is volunteer-based, but the bins will be delivered to all buildings with nine or fewer residential units.

The Department of Sanitation asks that residents put only food-soiled waste, food scraps and yard waste in the bins. This means no metal, glass, plastics, cartons, animal waste, foam items, clothing or electronics are allowed in the organics bins.

People participating in the program do not need to line their organic trash bins, but if they want they can line them with newspaper, paper bags, cardboard, clear plastic liners or compostable liners approved by the Department of Sanitation.

The organic trash collected from Queens will be transferred to a composting facility upstate, according to a Sanitation Department representative.

For more information on the organics recycling collection program, visit www.nyc.gov/organics.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant set to close after nearly 70 years


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

A beloved Queens eatery that has fed generations for nearly 70 years will soon be serving up its last course.

Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant, a neighborhood fixture at 62-96 Woodhaven Boulevard, will close March 2, as longtime owners prepare for retirement.

“We just want to sit back for a little while, relax and breathe the fresh air,” said owner John Abbracciamento, 60 . “It’s bittersweet. But, basically, it’s time.”

The Italian eatery opened in 1948 under Abbracciamento’s father, Joe. Over time, it became a staple in the borough.

“We’ve taken care of people from the day they were born,” Abbracciamento said. “It’s a wonderful treat to be a part of their lives and some of the most important occasions that they would celebrate. We will sadly miss that part of it.”

Abbracciamento has known the restaurant life since he was 13.

It was not an easy decision to put it to rest after the baton was passed down to him from his late father, Abbracciamento said. But it was a necessary one.

“It was my father’s dream,” he said. “My brother and I kept it going. But I’ve just come to the point in my life where I just need some time to clear my head and move forward.”

“We had a nice, long run — a very successful run,” Abbracciamento said. “It’s just time to just relax a little bit.”

Longtime patrons said the loss of the local icon is a blow to the Queens dining scene and to the community.

“I’m sad. I’ve known them for 30 years,” said Leon Sorin. “They’ve been working hard for many years. Maybe it’s time.”

John Harrington, 73, has been coming for the “out of this world” lasagna for 38 years.

“I was shocked when I heard it was closing,” he said. “It’s a shame because you don’t have any good restaurants around.”

Ed Wendell, a lifelong Queens resident, called the restaurant “the go-to place” for Italian cuisine.

“It’s one of those places where a lot of people are going to look back now and say, ‘Man, I wish I had gone more,’” he said. “It will be missed.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES:

Parks Dept. hosts snow activities in Juniper Valley Park


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

The first snowstorm of the new year was every child’s dream. It gave youngsters an extra vacation day from school and a snowy wonderland where they could play.

The Parks Department hosted free activities in Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village on Saturday, courtesy of massive amounts of snow from Winter Storm Hercules, to which hundreds of children and parents took advantage.

The recreation division of the city agency provided free sleds, hot chocolate, snow shoeing and music for children to enjoy the snow in the park.

“It’s vital to the community to have open spaces where they can come out, play sports, relax, make friends and socialize,” said Liam Kavanagh, first deputy commissioner of the Parks Department. “We want them to do it year round. Snow days encourage people to come out climb those hills, slide down, and come out in the winter time when they might not otherwise be in the park.”

It’s an annual event that the recreation division tries to sponsor on the first sighting of large snow storms.

The Parks Department holds the free activities at just five parks around the city, one from each borough. They chose Juniper because the hilly environment provides a great bunny slope for children, but there also weren’t impediments.

“They don’t have good hills in those locations,” said Iris Rodriguez-Rosa, Queens’ chief of recreation for Parks. “Although it’s fun we want the kids to do it in a location that is safe.”

While the massive amount of snow dropped on the city shut down streets, and made for hellish commutes for some, for others the snow was excellent winter fun.

“It’s absolutely wonderful, it makes the whole day wonderful for the kids,” said Jennifer Suffel, a Middle Village resident. “I think its a great part of our community and I would hate to see it stop. its good clean fun the kids should be having.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES