Tag Archives: Queens

What to do in Queens this weekend and beyond

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Bring out your inner creator, enjoy live music in Corona, dive into Oktoberfest in Flushing and do more at these events around Queens.

Saturday, Sept. 26

Creators of all ages will be returning for their fourth year to show off their inventions at the World Maker Faire. More than 650 creators will be exhibiting anything from origami earrings to a battery-free universal remote. Learn DIY projects to try at home while talking with head representatives from NASA. Admission is $30, seniors $25, students $20, children 2 to 17 $15, children under 2 free. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26, and Sunday, Sept. 27. The New York Hall of Science at 47-01 111th St. in Corona. For more information call 800-998-9938 or visit www.makerfaire.com

Celebrate the Jamaica Performing Arts Center’s sixth year hosting the Making Moves Dance Festival. Enjoy a two-part showcase, including outdoor and main stage original presentations. The outdoor presentation is free at 2 p.m. The evening showcase is at 7 p.m. $15 adults, $12 seniors/students, $10 Jamaica Arts Center members. Jamaica Performing Arts Center, 153-10 Jamaica Ave., Jamaica.

Experience the rhythmic workshop of Haitian master drummer Oneza Lafontant. Celebrate the Harvest Moon with a drum circle on the Rada and Petwo drums, then enjoy a jam session with the entire group. No experience is necessary. Space is limited to 20 participants. Call to reserve your drum. 7 p.m. at Flushing Town Hall’s garden. 137-35 Northern Blvd. in Flushing. For more information, call 718-463-7700 ext. 222.

Ridgewood Social needs your help restoring Rosemary’s playground. Volunteers are welcome to help clean the park, paint benches, plant flowers and bake goods for the bake sale. Be sure to come dressed in clothes you can get dirty. Free. 10 a.m. at Rosemary’s Playground. 7-51 Woodward Ave. in Ridgewood. If you would like to donate baked goods or for more information visit www.facebook.com/LetsFixRosemarysPlayground/.

Join Queens Library in a meet-and-greet with the author of “Stealing Fire: A Memoir of a Boyhood in the Shadow of Atomic Espionage.” Listen to Professor Boria Sax discuss writing his memoir of living in the world of espionage. Free. 2:30 p.m. 108-19 71st Ave., Forest Hills. For more information, call 718-268-7934.

!Oye Corona! Visit the Corona Plaza to enjoy live music, art workshops, dance performances and storytelling. Learn about indigenous Mexican culture and the connection it has to our communities today. The event is free. 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Queens Museum 103rd Street and Roosevelt Avenue in Corona.
Sunday, Sept. 27

Dive into Oktoberfest with the Voelker Orth Museum’s Grandma’s Kimchi dish workshop. Learn the savory variations of one of Korea’s most desired cuisines. The vegetable dish made with cabbage pickled in a brine of ginger, garlic, scallions and chili pepper will be shared with you by some local home cooks who will put their own spin on the traditional dish. Begins at 2 p.m. The suggested donation is $3. 149-19 38th Ave., Flushing. For more information, visit www.vomuseum.org

The Happy Hedgehog Band is inviting you to read this tale by Martin Waddell and make your own music in their marching band. Enjoy live animals, crafts, and a nature walk. Register your children at www.alleypond.com. 5 to 6 p.m. Alley Pond Environmental Center, 228-06 Northern Blvd., Douglaston. For more information, contact 718-229-4000.

The Kew Gardens Council for Recreation and the Arts Incorporated presents Kew Gardens Community Arts Day, “The Diversity of Queens Artists.” Local artists organized a diverse mix of fine art, painters, photographers, glassmakers, potters, jewelry artists, illustrators and fiber artists. Listen to Kew Gardens Musicians at an outdoor show while you watch sidewalk chalk artists transform Queens Concrete into an art piece. Free. 11a.m. to 5 p.m. in Kew Gardens Cinemas Park, Austin Street and Lefferts Boulevard, Kew Gardens. For more info call 917-881-3358 or visit http://www.kewgardensarts.com/kew-gardens-community-arts-day/.

Maspeth Federal invites you to come out for their 14th annual Maspeth Classic Car Show. The show presents anything from vintage cars to trucks and four-by-fours. All proceeds will go to Maspeth Town Hall. Car entries should arrive at 10 a.m. The show begins 11 a.m. Free to spectators. Maspeth Federal Savings Parking Lot at 69th Street off Grand Avenue in Maspeth. For more information call 718-335-1300.

Monday, Sept. 28

Learn how to protect yourself as a tenant or a landlord in a workshop presented by Central Astoria Local Development Coalition. Open to the public, the workshop will provide housing advice and assistance including the responsibilities of tenants and landlords. Learn about the basic rights of tenants, rent increases, rent surcharges and complaint forms and procedures. 6 p.m. at Queens Library 14-01 Astoria Blvd. in Astoria. For more information visit www.centralastoria.org/events/.

Combine the intensity of an aerobic workout with the fun of a belly dancing class in a belly-cise class taught by instructor Cashel Campbell. Good for all levels. 6 p.m. at Queens Library 98-27 Metropolitan Ave. in North Forest Park. For more information, call 718-539-2330.

Bring your children out for Mother Goose time at the Queens Library. Get the opportunity to have stories read to your kids ages 19 months to 3. Free. 11 a.m. at Queens Library, 20-12 Madison St. For more information call 718-821-4770.

Tuesday, Sept. 29

The Queens Historical Society is opening a new exhibition dedicated to women who at one point in their lives lived and worked in Queens. The showcase, entitled Leading the Way: Six Outstanding Women of Queens, features six women of diverse fields and backgrounds including Helen Keller, Betty Friedan, Rise Stevens, Lisa Randall, Grace Lee Boggs and Yeou-Cheng Ma. Cost is $5 adults, $3 seniors/students, free for Queens Historical Society members. The exhibition repeats Sundays, Tuesdays and Saturdays through May 31. 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Kingsland Homestead in Margaret I. Carman Green Weeping Beach 143-35 37th Ave. in Flushing. For more information call 718-939-0647 or email info@queenshistoricalsociety.org.

Ridgewood Savings Bank presents a workshop on how to buy your first home. Bank representatives, mortgage consultants and a licensed architect will be present to take you through the process from cost analysis to what criteria to consider when choosing the right home. Learn what the do’s and don’ts are when filing the mortgage application preparing for closing. Free. 6:15 to 8:15 p.m. Ridgewood Savings Bank, 7102 Forest Ave., Ridgewood. Limited seating available. To reserve a seat, call 718-240-4818.

Wednesday, Sept. 30

Reliable Power Alternatives Corporation and Direct Energy have teamed up with the Long Island City Partnership to teach clients how to lower their energy bills while managing their budget and risk profile. They welcome their clients to meet with staff members at Shi Restaurant for a happy hour and introduction. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 4720 Center Blvd. in Long Island City.

Shake those hips and join a high-octane Zumba workout in Little Bay Park. This exercise blends multiple dance movements from all around the world. Free. 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. Cross Island Parkway between Utopia Parkway and Totten Avenue, Bayside. Groups will meet at the hockey rink. For more information, call 718-352-4794 ext. 302.


Identify this place in Queens

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Do you know where in Queens this photo was taken? Guess by commenting below! The answer will be revealed next week.

Last week’s answer to “Identify this Place”: Bridge on 216th Street over the LIRR in Bayside


Panel of experts talk Queens real estate trends at LIC conference

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Kelly Marie Mancuso


The latest news and trends in the “World’s Borough” was the focus of a panel discussion, “From Food to Fashion: What’s Trending in Queens Real Estate” at the 2015 Real Estate Subway Series Queens held at the Renaissance Event Hall in Long Island City on Monday.

Schneps Communications co-publisher and LIC Flea and Food founder Joshua Schneps was joined at the panel by fellow panelists Margaret T. Ling Esq. of First Nationwide Title, RXR Realty executive vice president Seth Pinsky and Justin Cole, assistant vice president of leasing for Macerich. Faith Hope Consolo, world-renowned consultant and chair of The Retail Group with Douglas Elliman Real Estate, moderated the panel.

The panel discussed the ways in which cultural, social and economic trends in Queens have contributed to the boom in both retail and residential real estate throughout the borough.

According to the panelists, the thriving diversity in both culture and cuisine is one of Queens’ best qualities.

“I think the big difference between Queens and really any of the other four boroughs, but especially Brooklyn, is that Queens is a collection of communities,” Pinsky observed.

Schneps agreed: “We have over 18 different publications because we recognize that there are different demos in all of the different areas of Queens and Brooklyn and beyond.”

The LIC Flea and Food features more than 80 vendors representing roughly 85 different nationalities.

“It reflects the diversity and that people are looking for diversity, especially when it comes to cuisine,” Schneps explained. “Cuisine could be a big driving force and an attraction for tourism.”

“Food follows fashion,” Consolo said.

Many of the panelists observed that growth and trends throughout the borough were often driven by the tastes and preferences of a younger demographic, or “millennials,” flocking to Queens in search of affordability, cultural diversity and great public transit.

The panelists also noted that many of the changes happening in Queens’s commercial real estate are also due in part to a shift in the workforce. Pinsky believes that newer creative businesses ranging from tech start-ups to artisan goods producers are looking to establish outposts in Queens not only to be closer to the workforce here, but because they are seeking the unique architecture and character that Queens has to offer.


Schneps speaking on issues concerning retail and real estate growth in Queens with moderator Faith Hope Consolo

“This is an interesting time for Queens on the office front,” Pinsky said. “We’re increasingly seeing the establishment of creative enclaves along the Queens waterfront. You now have a workforce that’s very entrepreneurial and looking to work in the areas in which they also live.”

When asked to name some of the popular hot spots throughout the borough, Schneps said that both Long Island City and Astoria were at the forefront due to an abundance of diverse retail opportunities, eateries and a vibrant, growing population.

“If you go to 30th Avenue on a Friday night, it’s booming with a lot of outdoor cafes, mostly owned by young business owners in their 30s,” he explained. “I think a tremendous opportunity is Steinway Street in Astoria. Steinway Street is always known as the shopping street and the central part of Astoria. I think there is a huge opportunity here from a retail perspective.”

Schneps also observed that there was great opportunity for growth and expansion in Rockaway Beach as a result of the growing population of young artists and 20-somethings in the area.

“In terms of hot neighborhoods, I think there is a very long list of neighborhoods in Queens that are hot for all different reasons,” Pinsky said. “If you drive east from Flushing along Northern Boulevard, you will see how those neighborhoods heading all the way out to Little Neck have been completely transformed into Little Korea or Little China. There are phenomenal opportunities out there.”

The panel also grappled with the issue of the increased demand for affordable housing in Queens and beyond.

“The challenge that we’re facing as a city is a challenge of affordability,” Pinsky explained. “That challenge is coming from the fact that more people, companies and visitors want to be here than we’re able to accommodate. It’s a symptom of our success as a city, and not a failure.”

Pinsky believes that affordable housing efforts should be directed to the needs of the poor, who have often been displaced the by middle class after being priced out of their neighborhoods. He also argued that greater investments need to be made with regard to transit improvements, as middle class members tend to relocate along transit lines.


PHOTOS: First Poseidon Parade makes a splash in Rockaway Beach

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Kelly Marie Mancuso


Sea-lovers of all ages donned a colorful array of costumes, fins and floats and strutted down the newly refurbished boardwalk during Rockaway Beach’s inaugural Poseidon Parade on Saturday.

The parade is the brainchild of the Rockaway Mermaid Brigade, the reigning Motorized Float champions at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade for the past two years. After representing the Rockaways for years at the iconic parade, the group was inspired to bring the fanfare and festivities to the shores of Queens.

“We’re honoring the ocean and artistic expression, like we experience each year in Coney Island,” wrote parade co-founder and 2015 Queen Mermaid Casey Brouder. “Poseidon is a symbol that speaks to the resilience of Rockaway. After all we have been through as a community, we can pay homage to the strong and beautiful ocean we can’t seem to live without.”

Adults and children masquerading as mermaids, sea creatures and pirates participated in the parade, with special prizes awarded for Best Bike, Best Baby Carriage and Best Pet. A post-parade celebration featuring face-painting and a DJ was held at the Beach 95th Street plaza.

The Poseidon Parade also included a tribute to Whalemina, the beloved whale sculpture and symbol of the Rockaways that was washed inland and shattered along Shore Parkway at the height of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

A large inflatable version of Whalemina was created by artist Geoff Rawling and anchored to a grassy spot near the boardwalk at Beach 95th Street for the duration of the parade. Parade goers posed for photos and were encouraged to sign the big balloon as a tribute to Whalemina.


Rockaway Beach residents Nicholas Rowe and Joshua Southerton are part of a group working to raise funds to replace the Whalemina sculpture. The new whale would also be created by Rawling, who also refurbished and redesigned the original Whalemina after she was brought to Rockaway Beach in the 1990s from the Central Park Zoo where she was previously known as Jonah.

“We’re trying to raise $20,000 so that we could have a new, permanent whale,” Southerton explained. “Once we do, we’re going to dismantle this whale and make it into a permanent mural for Rockaway Beach.”


Some of the Rockaway residents and members of the group working to recreate Whalemina pose in front of the inflatable version of the beloved whale.

Both Southerton and Rowe explained that they each still have a small piece of the original mosaic Whalemina sculpture found near their homes after the storm. Local author Laura Cryan even wrote a children’s book in Whalemina’s honor with artwork by Rawling.

“There’s been a whole lot of fundraising efforts,” Southerton added. “We’re really trying to pull the community together and bring back our whale.”


What to do in Queens this weekend and beyond

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Watch some movies by the waterfront, paint with mud, experience Latin culture and do more at these events around Queens.

Saturday, Sept. 19

Hunter Point Parks is inviting all families to enjoy free outdoor movies. Each feature and short film screened at the event will coincide with a planned “New York” theme, including standout independent films from this year’s Queens World Film Festival. Snacks and refreshments will be served. Free. Begins at sunset. 52 Center Blvd., Long Island City. For more information, visit http://queensworldfilmfestival.com/events/.

SculptureCenter invites you to see two brand-new exhibits featuring the work of artists Anthea Hamilton and Gabriel Sierra. Hamilton’s “Lichen! Libido! Chastity!” explores American pop culture from the 1970s onward through music and fashion. Sierra’s “Numbers in a Room” showcases the artist’s unique architecture and geometry. Free. 6 to 8 p.m. 44-19 Purves St., Long Island City. For more information, call 718-361-1750.

The Rego Center presents a new, kid-friendly educational live show, “Big Top Science.” Presented like a circus, the show helps teach children basic science skills in a fun and interactive way. Free. 1 to 1:45 p.m. 61-35 Junction Blvd. in Rego Park. For more information, visit http://regocenter.com or call 718-275-2696.

Families with young children are invited to attend a special storytime session of Barnes & Noble’s latest Picture Book of the Month selection: “Bug in a Vacuum” by Melanie Watt. Listen to the tale of an adventurous bug that flies into a house one day and encounters far more trouble than it bargained for. Free. 11 to 11:30 a.m. 23-80 Bell Blvd. at Barnes & Noble in The Bay Terrace shopping center. For more information, call 718-224-1083.

Sunday, Sept. 20

Children of all ages are invited to participate in a day of fun and interactive activities at the Playground for All Children. “In Search of Something Special” is a family event celebrating children of all abilities. Includes sculpture making, mud painting and other hands-on, sensory exercises. Free. 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 20. Near 111th Street and Corona Avenue in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. For more information, visit http://queensmuseum.org/events/.

Maspeth Federal Savings invites families to enjoy a day of games, rides, face painting, petting zoos and live entertainment at “Smile on Maspeth Day.” Free. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Main office parking lot at 69th Street and Grand Avenue. For more information, visit http://maspethfederal.com/ or call 718-335-1300.

Join the critically acclaimed Con Brio Ensemble for this year’s Twilight Concert, a celebration of classical music. Hear the works of Schumann, Reinecke, Fuchs and Toc as played on the violin, cello and piano. $12, $10 students/seniors. The Church in the Gardens at 50 Ascan Avenue in Forest Hills. For more information, email dianamittler@aol.com or call 718-459-1277.

Experience Latin arts, crafts, food and music at Carnavale De La Cultura Latina (or the Carnival of Latin Culture). Children of all ages are welcome to enjoy a wide range of entertainment including a petting zoo, pony rides, face painting, games and giveaways. Free. Noon to 6 p.m. Junction Boulevard between Roosevelt and 37th avenues. For more information, visit http://carnavalculturalatina.com/ or call 718-457-5395.

Flushing Meadow Park offers family-friendly entertainment at the Fantasy Forest Amusement Park. Come see The Amazing Captain Faust and watch as he performs live illusions and sleight-of-hand tricks. Free. 2 to 2:45 p.m. Located next to the Queens Zoo in Flushing Meadow Park. For more information, email info@nycarousel.com or call 718-788-2676.

“Readings with Film: Alissa Quart and Brandon Downing” is the first in an ongoing series that looks at the secret history of the marriage of cinema and poetry. This reading, screening and discussion will shed a bright light on the present and the past of these unusual bedfellows. Alissa Quart’s new book “Monetized” is a volume of verse about movies and television. Brandon Downing’s “Dark Brandon” is a volume of film-driven poetry. His collaged video works, featuring poetic and absurdist subtitles, will also be screened. 2 p.m. Tickets are $12, $9 for senior citizens and students, free for members at the Film Lover level and above and can be ordered online at http://www.movingimage.us/.

Monday, Sept. 21

Learn how to play chess and dominoes with the Chess and Dominoes Club at the Glen Oaks library. The club welcomes players of all skill levels, including absolute beginners. Noon to 3 p.m. 256-04 Union Tpke., Glen Oaks. Call 718-831-8636 for more information.
Tuesday, Sept. 22

NYC Parks needs your help restoring Little Bay Park. Volunteers are welcome to assist in removing harmful vines and vegetation to prevent damage and maintain the forest’s well-being. Be sure to dress in long pants, boots and clothes that can get dirty. Registration is required. Free. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Totten Avenue, south of Duane Road in Little Bay Park. For more information, visit http://nycgovparks.org/registration/nav/1860/ or call 212-360-2761.

Learn how to prepare yourself and respond accordingly to any disaster at the Citizen Preparedness Corps Training Program. All participants will receive a free Citizen Preparedness Corps Response Starter Kit. Free. 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. P.S. 195 William Haberle School at 253-50 149th Ave. in Rosedale. To register and for more information, visit http://prepare.ny.gov/training-events/.

Wednesday, Sept. 23

Adults are welcome to attend “Shape Up NYC: Yoga for Adults.” Instructor Wahnita King will be leading the session as she focuses on core strengthening and total-body flexibility. Please bring your own mats as seating will be first-come, first-served. Free. 5 to 6 p.m. Queens Library in Ridgewood at 20-12 Madison St. For more information, call 718-821-4770.
Thursday, Sept. 24

Spend a night at the opera and enjoy the new play “This Takes Place Close By” from playwriting team “thingsNY.” In the aftermath of a storm, six characters share their perspectives through word and song as they attempt to cope with this natural disaster. Based on real life events as a result of Hurricane Sandy. $15 pre-sale, $20 at the door, $10 students/seniors. Knockdown Center at 52-19 Flushing Ave. in Maspeth. For more information, visit http://queenscouncilarts.org/calendar/ or call 347-505-3010.

Learn how to protect your business and yourself from credit card scam at “How Credit Cards Will Affect You,” a business seminar for businesses with credit card machines. Hosted by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. Free. 10 to 11:30 a.m. Queens Borough Hall at 120-55 Queens Blvd., second floor. For more information, call 718-286-2859.


Habitat for Humanity’s first NYC ReStore shop opens in Woodside

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Kelly Marie Mancuso


Habitat for Humanity board members, volunteers and local elected officials gathered in Woodside on Saturday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of the borough’s first ReStore shop, located at 62-01 Northern Blvd.

The newest 3,500-square-foot ReStore shop features new and gently used items for the home, including building materials, fixtures, appliances, furniture and home accents, at 60 to 80 percent off their original retail prices. The proceeds from the sale of their merchandise directly benefit Habitat for Humanity and help build homes for people in need.

While there are roughly 15 shops upstate and on Long Island, and more than 850 ReStores nationwide, the Woodside ReStore is the first of its kind in New York City.

“We’re really excited about Queens as the location for our first [New York City] ReStore,” explained Karen Haycox, chief executive officer for Habitat for Humanity New York City. “We’ve been working in Queens for the last several years, really focusing on our home building initiatives, but this takes  our relationship with the Queens area to a new level. We want to bring great retail opportunity to the Queens market, as well as build a customer base and awareness of Habitat and the work that we’re doing.”

In addition to offering discounted appliances and home goods, the Woodside ReStore will also host special workshops, do-it-yourself classes and family-oriented community meetings in the store’s upper level.

“It’s really a great way to deepen our engagement with the Queens citizenry, which is so important to us,” Haycox added.

“We also picked Queens because most of our construction projects are happening here in Queens,” said Sarah Fox Tracy, Habitat for Humanity NYC director of marketing and communications. “We have high hopes for expanding, maybe to Brooklyn eventually, but first things first.”


Woodside ReStore manager Frank Hinck (center) and his team

The ReStore merchandise is donated by individuals as well as local contractors, home improvement companies, architects and corporate donors like cosmetics retailer Sephora, which donated several tables to the new store. The store accepts drop-off donations and will even make arrangements to pick up larger furniture or appliances from donors’ homes.

The new store was filled with everything from paintbrushes and tools to couches, wall art, cabinet sets and washing machines. “The stock changes over so much so you have to keep coming back,” Haycox added. “That’s what’s so amazing about this. It’s a different handful of stuff every time you come in.”


Gary Gilbert, community liaison for Assemblyman DenDekker, issued a citation to Chief Executive Officer Karen Haycox

The ReStore Sept. 12 grand opening was celebrated with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony which included Habitat for Humanity board members and local elected officials. Deputy Borough President Melva Miller wished the store and organization continued success. Gary Gilbert, community liaison for Assemblyman Michael DenDekker, issued a special citation on behalf of the Assemblyman to Haycox, ReStore manager Frank Hinck and the organization for their efforts within the community.

“It’s a really successful model for us, and we also feel it helps spread the message of Habitat around the city,” Tracy added. “People can come in the store, shop and get to learn a little more about our mission, what we’re doing. It’s also really great for treasure hunters in the city.”


The new Habitat for Humanity ReStore shop, located at 62-01 Northern Blvd. in Woodside


Identify this place in Queens

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


Do you know where in Queens this photo was taken? Guess by commenting below! The answer will be revealed next week.

Last week’s answer to “Identify this Place”: 61st Street – Woodside 7 train station 



Identify this place in Queens

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


Do you know where in Queens this photo was taken? Guess by commenting below! The answer will be revealed next week.

Last week’s answer to “Identify this Place”:  Borden Avenue between 5th Street and Vernon Boulevard in LIC


Queens rental prices take the lead

| stephen.preuss@cushwake.com

File photo

Multiple publications are highlighting Miller Samuel’s report on NYC rental prices. According to the report, despite record numbers in Brooklyn, median rents in Queens have surpassed those of Brooklyn. Long Island City appears as the front-runner for Queens, driving up the numbers to bring Queens in the lead.

According to Jonathan Miller at Miller Samuel, “The drivers are a robust city economy with near-record employment, and tight credit. You’re still seeing many first-time buyers tipped back to the rental product.”

The demand for apartments in NYC and the boroughs has grown so strongly that the market basically drives itself. Luciane Serifovic at Elliman claims, “We don’t even have to advertise our apartments anymore. We have clients lined up waiting for vacancies.”

In Queens, the median rent high gained 14 percent since last year at $3,016 a month, while Brooklyn had a 4.1 percent gain at $2,968 a month. Manhattan’s rental prices grew 6 percent for a median price of $3,419 a month.

Aside from rental prices, Queens has taken the lead in development. Long Island City, Flushing and Jamaica, among other neighborhoods, are being rapidly developed. Specifically in Flushing, Sky View Parc is slated to begin the next phase of development for the third tower consisting of 235 units with balconies, as well as two more towers with a total of approximately 560 units following in the next few years.

Although not on the rental side, the existing units in the towers at Sky View Parc have sold for record numbers for Flushing upwards of $1,000 per square foot, as well as in the One Fulton Square project on Prince Street.

Residential sale and rental prices are both hitting record numbers in Queens and are expected to continue to increase as it does not seem that development in Queens is going to slow down anytime soon.


Stephen R. Preuss is an executive director in the Capital Markets Group of Cushman & Wakefield, where he focuses on investment sales for various Queens neighborhoods. He has transacted in over $1 billion of investment and commercial real estate over his 15-year career. During his tenure, he has sold over 125 properties to date with an aggregate value of over $650 million.


Identify this place in Queens

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


Do you know where in Queens this photo was taken? Guess by commenting below! The answer will be revealed next week.

Last week’s answer to “Identify this Place”: 88th Street and Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights



Queens real estate sales drop, but turn bigger profits in recent months: report

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

File photo

Reflecting a market gripped by high demand and low supply, real estate sales in Queens decreased slightly but yielded higher prices during the second quarter of 2015, according to a report from broker Cushman & Wakefield.

Approximately 230 properties across the “World’s Borough” changed hands between April and June of this year, a 7 percent drop from the number sold during the first quarter of 2015. Even so, the aggregate sales consideration this quarter — the volume of money exchanged in real estate transactions — reached $835 million, an 8 percent increase from the first quarter.

Cushman & Wakefield described the first six months of 2015 as the second-highest dollar volume the Queens real estate market has seen within the first half of any year, with $1.6 billion in real estate sales generated.

“[At $313 million], development sites accounted for 20 percent of all dollar volume,” the report indicated, “followed by retail properties, with $259 million accounting for 16 percent of the total dollar volume.”

The average price for all types of real estate sold in Queens was $3.4 million, an 18 percent jump from the first half of 2014.

Queens’ strong real estate numbers were evident of a continued upward trend in New York City’s real estate market. According to the report, $37.8 billion in sales activity took place through June, and the city is “on pace to exceed the previous cycle’s high established in 2007.”

“The first half of 2015 will go down as one of the best six-month periods in the city’s history,” said Adrian Mercado, Cushman & Wakefield managing director of research. “All submarkets and property types are firing on all cylinders with market activity outpacing our year-end forecasts.”

Cushman & Wakefield catalogued 141 sales in Queens in which properties were sold for $1 million or more during the second quarter of 2015, accounting for 61.3 percent of real estate transactions during the period.

Among the most lucrative deals were the $71 million sale of an office building at 33-00 Northern Blvd. in Long Island City; a $4.35 million sale of a 23-unit lot of apartment buildings at 1705-1725 Putnam Ave. in Ridgewood; a $72.25 million sale of a 144-unit apartment building at 11-15 Broadway/30-50 21st St. in Astoria; and a $8.8 million sale of a 43,800-square-foot industrial building at 72-42 60th Lane in Glendale.


Identify this place in Queens

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


Do you know where in Queens this photo was taken? Guess by commenting below! The answer will be revealed next week.

Last week’s answer to “Identify this Place”: View from the 90th Street-Elmhurst Avenue 7 train stop


The Catskills Comes to Queens celebrates the best in farm-to-table fare

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Kelly Marie Mancuso


Foodies from across the borough were given the chance to sample farm-fresh epicurean delights during The Catskills Comes to Queens, a tasting event celebrating the farm-to-table movement, held at Flushing Town Hall on Saturday.

The culinary event was created by New York Epicurean Events co-founders Chef David Noeth and Joe DiStefano, famed food writer behind Chopsticks and Marrow, the wildly popular guide to adventurous eating in Queens.

“As someone who’s been writing about food in Queens for years, it’s always been a dream of mine to do a food festival,” DiStefano explained. “In early 2015, I met Ellen Kodadek, the executive and artistic director of Flushing Town Hall, and she told me that they wanted to do more culinary programming. For months beforehand, I’d been having all sorts of wonderful meals made with Catskills-sourced ingredients—grass-feed beef, farm-fresh eggs, free-range chicken, locally foraged mushrooms—at my business partner David Noeth’s house.”

“At some point the idea hit us: Why don’t we go into business together and help showcase all these wonderful products, help the farmers and expose the people of Queens to some great food?” DiStefano added.

Chef Nate Felder's pork belly

Chef Nate Felder’s Berkshire pork belly with red pepper marmalade.

The Catskills Comes to Queens featured a delectable array of mountain-fresh fare from some of the borough’s best chefs. Chef David Noeth’s beef heart tartare was accompanied by cheese from Vulto Creamery in Noeth’s native Walton, New York.

Chef Nate Felder of The Astor Room in Astoria topped tender maple syrup-cured Berkshire pork belly with a red pepper marmalade and served them over a bed of sour cream grits. Lamb and goat tacos dressed in homemade queso fresco, crisp corn salsa and an earthy corn crema were on the menu at New World Home Cooking Co. courtesy of The Food Network’s 2010 Chopped champion Chef Ric Orlando.


The Food Network’s 2010 “Chopped” champion and New World Home Cooking Co. Chef Ric Orlando.

Smokehouse favorites were popular throughout the festival. Chef Alfonso Zhicay of Casa del Chef Bistro in Woodside featured succulent short ribs braised in an intoxicating blend of fruit chutney and Madeira wine served atop a briny bed of homemade pickled carrots and cabbage.

Chef Danny Brown's

Chef Danny Brown’s torchon of La Belle Farms foie gras and guinea fowl.

Chef Danny Brown, of Danny Brown’s Wine Bar and Kitchen in Forest Hills, crafted an exquisite torchon of La Belle Farms foie gras and guinea fowl accompanied by hazelnut oil and fresh microgreens. Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 7 runner-up and Sotto 13‘s Chef Ed Cotton offered a twist on traditional American fare with his mini rabbit and mortadella hot dogs served between toasted brioche buns topped with mustard and spicy kirby relish.

Bravo's "Top Chef" Season 7 runner up and Sotto 13 Chef Ed Cotton prepares his rabbit and mortadella hot dogs

Bravo’s “Top Chef” season 7 runner-up and Sotto 13 Chef Ed Cotton prepares his rabbit and mortadella hot dogs.

Smokey fare ruled the outdoor courtyard of Flushing Town Hall as well, where Chef Tyson Ho’s whole barbecued hog from Arrogant Swine took center stage, its head displayed on the table, presiding over the festivities. Guests were delighted by bite-sized treats, such as the lamb sliders from Chef Harry Hawk of Schnack and the Eagle Hollow Farms barbecue chicken sliders from Chef Lou Elrose of the soon-to-be-opened Charred smokehouse and bar in Middle Village.

Smoked beef tongue sliders from Harry & Ida's Meat and Supply Co.

Smoked beef tongue sliders from Harry & Ida’s Meat and Supply Co.

Adventurous eaters enjoyed the warm, earthy smoked beef tongue sliders topped with birch bark-infused mayo and pickled heirloom tomatoes from Chef Will Horowitz of Harry and Ida’s Meat and Supply Co., while M. Wells Steakhouse Chef Hugue Dufour’s lamb tagine provided a flavorful feast for the senses.

Chef Hugue Dufour unveiling his gigantic lamb tagine

Chef Hugue Dufour unveiling his gigantic lamb tagine.

Silk Cakes bakery’s Pandan cupcakes topped with coconut buttercream and white chocolate truffle nearly vanished in an instant. Delicate pastries by Rudolf Merlin at Creme French bakery and Leske’s Bakery’s peanut butter and Cotton Hill goat cheese donuts provided a sweet finish.

“We like to think that we’re bringing the best products in New York State to the New York’s best chefs at New York City’s best venue,” DiStefano added. “And what better place to do it than Flushing, which was once itself farmland.”







PHOTOS: Ridgewood residents bid farewell to community garden under tracks

| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photos by Kelly Marie Mancuso


After a nearly two-month-long battle with the MTA to keep the garden gates open, local supporters and volunteers paid a final farewell to the Ridgewood Community Garden on Monday night with a barbecue and garden party.

The garden was created earlier in the year as a way to breathe life into the 2,250-square-foot tract of derelict land beneath the M train line at Woodward Avenue and Woodbine Street. Supporters of the garden worked to clear and renovate the land, remediate the soil and install milk crate planters and planting beds for vegetables, herbs and flowers. The garden recently yielded small crops of cherry tomatoes, dill, peppers and zucchini sprouts.

“From the beginning, the Ridgewood Community Garden was conceived as a simple experiment in neighborhood resilience,” explained Ridgewood Community Garden representative Clark Fitzgerald. “After living through the experience of Hurricane Sandy, and seeing what New Yorkers became capable of when they got organized together, my friends and I discovered and settled in this beautiful neighborhood, whose spirit and culture exemplify resilience and autonomy. Since moving to Ridgewood, never have I felt so at home in New York — and I grew up in the city.”

The group envisioned the garden as a community hub where Ridgewood residents could gather to enjoy the much-needed green space while also experiencing urban farming firsthand. Back in June, however, the MTA issued a vacate order to the garden and its volunteers, followed by padlocking the gates surrounding the land to prohibit garden access.

In the past two months, Community Board 5 and local elected officials such as Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan and City Councilman Antonio Reynoso have tried to intervene on behalf of the garden. Despite the groundswell of community support, several attempts to reach an amicable agreement with the MTA to keep the garden have failed.

“This summer we gathered here, as farmers, families, fitness enthusiasts, mycologists, doctors, teachers, carpenters, artists, friends and neighbors, and bore witness to what we are capable of when we put our minds to it,” Fitzgerald said. “We cleaned up a toxic waste dump, built raised beds, ran a compost hub, designed a rain catchment and irrigation system, remediated literally tons of polluted soil and turned a legendary eyesore into a gathering place and community sanctuary, only to have it taken from us for no reason.”

On Aug. 3, the MTA granted supporters access to the garden for one final farewell. Neighborhood volunteers, including local children and their parents, worked to rescue the bulk of the remediated soil from large troughs and planting beds. The children, unaware of the garden’s fate, continued to water the plants and flowers as the sound of the M train shuffled by overhead. Garden volunteers and supporters were treated to a special barbecue, complete with hotdogs, grilled vegetables and refreshments from Topos Bookstore, as well as cups of locally made IPA from Finback Brewery.

As for the possibility of finding a new location for the Ridgewood Community Garden, the group and its members remain optimistic.

“We are probably not going to pursue legal action, though it is well within our rights to do so,” Fitzgerald said. “We are going to keep moving forward. Despite tonight’s eviction, this vision of a resilient Ridgewood can and must be tended to, in newer, perhaps greener pastures, and for far longer than just one summer. As we celebrate tonight, let’s start thinking about our future together.”


Alleged Queens gang members busted in undercover gun, drug sale operation

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Eight purported street gang members from Queens have been charged after peddling guns and drugs during undercover buys, prosecutors announced.

“Illegal firearms that flood our streets pose a serious and deadly threat to public safety and the distribution of illegal drugs is a plague on our society. For those arrested, the message could not be clearer: law enforcement has no tolerance for those involved in the weapons and drug trade,” District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement Tuesday.

According to prosecutors, seven of those arrested were alleged members of the Trinitarios, “a violent New York-based Dominican street gang,” and the eighth defendant is a reputed member of MS-13, another “violent street gang primarily composed of Central Americans.”

The buys, which took place in Queens between November 2012 and June 2014, included a total of 14 guns, with ammunition in some cases, and cocaine, MDPV and marijuana, according to the district attorney’s office. During that time, the members were unknowingly selling to NYPD operatives.

In one case, Lucas Singh, 30, of College Point, allegedly sold an undercover agent a defaced cut-down rifle along with 50 rounds of ammunition on July 30, 2013, for $850. He is also accused of selling another undercover operative a defaced .357 magnum revolver and a .32-caliber semi-automatic Kel-Tec pistol with ammunition for $1,200 on June 4. A week later, Singh sold the same operative a .38-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver, and a .380 semi-automatic Kel-Tec pistol with 12 rounds of ammunition for $1,200.

The remaining defendants were identified as Eddie Cruz, 28 and Clase Wellington, 26, both of Glendale; Marcello Esquival, 26, of Jackson Heights; Francisco Gil, 25, Carlos Rosario-Mejia, 30, and Reginald Rosa, 25, all of Jamaica; and Angel Sanchez, 23, of Woodhaven.

They are variously charged with criminal sale of a firearm, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a firearm, criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal sale of marijuana.