Tag Archives: Queens

Queens pols remember 9/11 during 13th anniversary


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@TonyAvella

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

Queens marked the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks across the borough on Thursday.

State Sen.Tony Avella, fresh off his victory in the primary, joined the 109th Precinct at the 9/11 Park Dedication ceremony in the morning to honor the lives lost 13 years ago. After the ceremony, he embarked on his annual motorcade, visiting the streets in his district which have been renamed after those who died that day. He hung wreaths on the poles of 26 streets that bear the names of the fallen.

Paul Vallone, councilman for Bayside, Whitestone, Auburndale, College Point, Little Neck, Douglaston, and North Flushing, observed the 9/11 anniversary with students at P.S.169 and Bell Academy

Assemblywoman Nily Rozic attended the remembrance ceremony at Queens College. The ceremony honored alum Mohammad Salman Hamdani, who died on 9/11, but was falsely implicated as a terrorist.

Rozic is expected to also attend the candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. in Bayside Hills

U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley released a statement in which he said that every detail of that day is etched in our collective memories.

“But just as vivid are the memories of all those we lost – mothers, fathers, children, friends, and complete strangers whom we, as a nation, grieved for as if they were family,” he said. These memories make today “a bit more manageable” and we should “honor our service members who continue to protect our nation.”

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman stated that “we continue to feel the ache of such a swift and immeasurable loss” but while we mourn the dead, “an attack meant to shatter us instead brought out the great hope and resilience within all New Yorkers and all Americans” and on this day, we should “recommit to our work toward a more secure future.”

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. called upon the people to not only remember the first responders and uniformed personnel in the city but to also “support our military who remain vigilant in the fight against the evil and hatred of terrorists.”

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Raccoons to be vaccinated in Queens, Brooklyn to help prevent rabies


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYC Health Department

BY ECLEEN CARABALLO

Wildlife biologists will distribute oral rabies vaccine in parts of Queens and Brooklyn this month to help prevent the spread of the virus among raccoons, according to the city’s Health Department.

The Health Department decided to take action after the continuing identification of raccoons and other animals with rabies in all five boroughs of New York City. Specifically, two cases of infected raccoons arose in Brooklyn this year. The most recent reported cases in Queens were a raccoon and opossum in 2010. In New York City and New York State, rabies occurs primarily in raccoons, skunks, bats and skunks.

The Health Department, and wildlife biologists with the United States Department of Agriculture and Cornell University are hoping the vaccine distribution will decrease those numbers. Cornell received state funding to pursue this program in New York City and it is an expansion of a program being conducted in Long Island and parts of upstate New York.

When brought to Queens and south Brooklyn, fixed bait stations will be placed in several wooded areas, parks, public green spaces, and even private properties with the owner’s permission.

rabies-vaccine

The vaccination being distributed is specifically for raccoons, and it will help to further limit the spread of rabies to other animals, including pets. Although it is not harmful to pets, and will not cause rabies, it can cause vomiting if several baits are consumed. In the case that pets do find it, do not try to take it away from them to avoid being bitten and exposed to the vaccine.

The bait itself will not harm people. But in rare instances, exposure to the liquid can cause a rash. In the unlikely event someone comes in contact with the liquid, wash his or her hands with warm, soapy water, talk to a doctor, and notify the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

For the raccoons, vaccinating them is harmless, and is used in many other U.S. locations.

Rabies, a viral disease that infects the central nervous system of mammals, can be fatal to humans unless treatment is administered soon after exposure.

There have been no human cases of rabies in New York City for more than 50 years.

 

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Malba defends its smell


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Eric Jankiewicz

Malba residents say something stinks about a recent website ranking that named their affluent neighborhood as the smelliest in Queens.

New York City real estate website BrickUnderground and apartment data site AddressReport compiled the list, which rated the 10 smelliest and 10 least smelly neighborhoods in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. The ranking used data from the frequency of 311 complaints for odor-related issues, such as missed trash collection, sewer backups and odors, vehicle and restaurant fumes, and dirty sidewalks and alleyways. The data was then weighted for each area’s population.

Malba was not only rated as Queens’ smelliest neighborhood, but also as the third smelliest in the three boroughs.

Malba locals had issues with the analysis, saying that the neighborhood, a section of northeast Queens with multi-million dollar houses and expansive water views, was clean, well-maintained and virtually odor-free.

“As a lifelong resident of Malba, I find this [ranking] highly insulting,” said Christopher Biancaniello, who likened the area to Beverly Hills.

“All of us homeowners take pride in our properties,” he added.

On a hot Friday afternoon last week, Steven Vitale, 24, who has also lived in the neighborhood his whole life, made an observation about the smell in the neighborhood.

“The smelliest thing here is me,” the jogger said, shirt soaked in sweat. “Otherwise, this area smells fine to me.”

Eliza Kalas, who has lived in Malba for the last five years, agreed.

“It’s not that bad here and it’s certainly not worth complaining about,” she said, referring to the 311 complaints. The only area she noticed with a slight smell was by the water on Boulevard Street.

USE

Other Queens neighborhoods on the smelliest list included Lindenwood, which came in at number two in the borough, followed by Neponsit, St. Albans, College Point, Howard Beach, Bayswater, Cambria Heights, Broad Channel and Beechurst/Whitestone.

Queens’ least smelly neighborhoods included North Corona, at number one, followed by Corona, Woodside and Elmhurst, Rego Park, Sunnyside, Jackson Heights, Bellerose, East Flushing and Ridgewood.

Nicholas Kaizer, vice president of the Malba Association, found issue with how the data was analyzed since, according to him, there are only around 400 homes in the area.

“Though not a statistician, it’s pretty obvious that the tiny size of the sample population seriously calls into question the value of the per capita method of analyzing odor complaints to the city,” he said, calling the data skewed.

“The sounds and smells coming off of our waterfront — and throughout our small neighborhood — are among our greatest assets and we jealously guard our native habitat, policing and tending to the grounds regularly, as our community has done for over 100 years,” Kaizer said.

-With additional reporting by Eric Jankiewicz

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Identify this place in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

DSC_0441

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

Last week’s answer to “Identify this Place”: Christ the King High School

CTK-2

 

 

Website names Malba Queens’ smelliest neighborhood


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Malba may stink, but Corona is breathing easy, according to a ranking of the city’s smelliest neighborhoods.

BrickUnderground and apartment data site AddressReport compiled a list of the 10 smelliest and 10 least smelly neighborhoods in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan, using data from the frequency of 311 complaints for odor-related issues that was then weighted for population. Among the complaints were sewer backups and odors, vehicle and restaurant fumes, and missed trash collection.

Malba was rated as Queen’s smelliest neighborhood and the third smelliest in the three boroughs after Brooklyn’s Greenwood Heights and Navy Hill. Koreatown was the smelliest area in Manhattan.

Other Queens neighborhoods with offensive smells included Lindenwood, which came in at number two, followed by Neponsit, St. Albans, College Point, Howard Beach, Bayswater, Cambria Heights, Broad Channel and Beechurst/Whitestone.

Overall, western Queens smelled better than the rest of the borough, with several of its neighborhoods landing on the least smelly list. North Corona was ranked as number one, followed by Corona, Woodside and Elmhurst. The remaining top 10 included Rego Park, Sunnyside, Jackson Heights, Bellerose, East Flushing and Ridgewood.

Starrett City and Brownsville were the least smelly in Brooklyn, and Roosevelt City and Battery Park City were the best smelling Manhattan neighborhoods.

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Identify this place in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

CTK 2

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

Last week’s answer to “Identify this Place”: A view of the skyline from Terrace On The Park

Queens with manhattan Skyline

Two Queens-bound lanes of Throgs Neck Bridge to close overnight this weekend


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Marisa Baldeo

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

Two of the three Queens-bound lanes on the Throgs Neck Bridge will be closed during overnight hours this weekend, while one lane will be closed during the day.

From Friday, Aug. 22 at 10 p.m. through Monday, Aug. 25, at 5 a.m., one lane to Queens will be closed due to construction. One additional lane will stay closed between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. on all three days.

According to the MTA, these closures can cause delays in traffic movement, so motorists should use the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge or Robert F. Kennedy Bridge as an alternative.

This is the fourth of the seven non-consecutive weekends that the MTA needs to replace 90,000 square feet of binder and asphalt overlay to deliver on its promise of a smoother riding experience, according to the agency. All work is heavily dependent on good weather.

For up-to-date information on MTA service status visit www.mta.info.

 

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Ridgewood bar hosts first variety and burlesque show


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of KissedPR

Queens County took on a whole new meaning when a Ridgewood bar hosted a burlesque show.

The first-ever Ridgewood Variety Show, held on Aug. 14, bedazzled patrons at the Queens Tavern on Fresh Pond Road.

“There were so many talented acts,” said Sarah Feldman, one of the organizers of the event and operator of the website Ridgewood Social. “The bar owner and the locals had a fabulous time.”

The two–hour show, held in front of more than 30 cheering guests, included drag, dance, singing, comedy and burlesque acts.

Headliners included New Orleans chanteuse Bronze Bettina, “Maven of the Underworld” Lady Zombie, premiere female drag queen Miss Crimson Kitty and Jantina, the “Burlesque Booty Queen.”

“This was a variety show and the difference between a variety show and a burlesque is you have an opportunity to entertain people with more unique performers,” Feldman said.

The event was put together by both Ridgewood Social and KissedPR, a public relations firm for small businesses. One person even commented on how the performances reminded them of what used to happen in Greenwich Village and said it was a “very New York City” kind of night.

The show worked out so well that Feldman was asked to put together another one and is hoping that she can have it as a monthly event at the tavern.

Already, she and the owner of the Queens Tavern have scheduled for the next show to be on Sept. 18 and hope for an even bigger crowd.

 

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Voice of Dora the Explorer, Queens native talks new show


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Bonnie Osborne/Nickelodeon

Even though Dora the Explorer is getting older and making a move to a big city, the Queens native and voice behind the popular cartoon is not going anywhere. 

Fátima Ptacek has been the voice of Nickelodeon’s 7-year-old “Dora the Explorer” since 2010 and will now also be the one behind 10-year-old Dora in “Dora and Friends: Into the City!”


L-R: Alana, Emma, Dora, Kate, Naiya, Pablo in Dora and Friends: Into the City! (Photo courtesy of Nickelodeon)

“She’s stunning, I’m so excited,” said Ptacek about the older Dora who will premiere on Monday, Aug. 18 on Nickelodeon. “Now that she’s in the city, she can identify with city kids.”

The 13-year-old actress says growing up and still living in Queens helps her understand her new role more because she can identify with being a city kid.

“I’m very proud to be living in Queens, it’s one of the coolest places I know,” Ptacek said. “I know it like the back of my hands. I make sure to brag about it to anyone.”

She said she loves living in the borough because of its diversity and food options.

“I’m a total foodie,” Ptacek said. “What’s great is right where I live. We basically have every nationality’s cuisine.”

In “Dora and Friends: Into the City!”, Dora moves to a city named “Playa Verde” and finds a new group of friends who embark on explorations with her including riding the subway, and going to school and parties. There is also a lot more music in this series, with a “pop-feel to it,” according to Ptacek.

Along with the new show, the Emmy-award winning series “Dora the Explorer” will also still air.

“I’ve really loved growing up with Dora and I am so lucky to be the first voice of this [new] show,” said Ptacek, who hopes both shows continue on for a long time. “I want my kids to be able to watch the show just how I did.”

Along with being the voice behind Dora, Ptacek has also performed on stage and starred in films, such as “The Rebound” with Catherine Zeta-Jones, and television shows such as “Saturday Night Light” and “Sesame Street,” where she was able to work alongside Michelle Obama.

She also serves as an ambassador for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, youth ambassador for the Latino Commission on AIDS and volunteers for foundations such as the SAG Foundation BookPALS program.

“Dora and Friends: Into the City!” premieres on Aug. 18 at 8 p.m. on Nickelodeon.

 

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NYC musician to perform, celebrate roots at Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of the Rectifist

BENJAMIN FANG

For Rectifist vocalist Marcus Lui, performing at the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival is extra special.

Lui, a New York City resident but a Hong Kong native, is thrilled to be celebrating the Hong Kong tradition. His local band Rectifist, formed in June 2012, will take the stage Aug. 10 at 12:45 p.m.

“For me, I feel great because I was born in Hong Kong. I came from there,” Lui said. “Now, there is a chance for me to perform at a festival about Hong Kong.”

Lui, who used to work for the Cantonese radio station AM 1480, said he has been to the Dragon Boat Festival almost every year. This will be the first time he’s playing the music.

Usually a hard rock and metal band, Rectifist will be paying tribute to the disbanded Hong Kong rock band Beyond by playing cover songs in its upcoming performance.

“Beyond is one of the very important bands from Hong Kong,” Lui said. He said their songs talked about the world, race and other societal issues.

Rectifist currently has five band members: Steve Cheng and Sylivan Tam on the guitars, Chun Yeung Au with the bass, Jeff on the drums and Lui, also known as Spark, as the vocalist. All were involved in a prior band named X-Scale before forming Rectifist. The band is influenced by the underground rock and grunge music scene.

Rectifist, which Lui said usually plays in local city venues with two to three hundred people-audiences, will play in front of a much larger crowd in this year’s Dragon Boat Festival in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

 

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More Slow Zones coming to Queens


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

More areas of Queens are slowing down.

The city’s Department of Transportation announced Friday the second phase of Arterial Slow Zones, which reduce speed limits to 25 mph, in 14 new locations throughout the city. New signs will be put up indicating the change.

Among the 14 locations are two Queens corridors. The first will run 5.8 miles on Roosevelt Avenue from Queens Boulevard to 154th Street and the approximate start month is set for September.

In December, the DOT is expected to begin implementing a 5.6-mile slow zone on Metropolitan Avenue from Onderdonk Avenue to 132nd Street.

“Slow Zones are a critical and widely endorsed element of Vision Zero,” DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said. “We are glad to work closely with local communities in bringing these life saving measures to corridors across the city. These 14 additional zones meet another goal we set in February.”

In May the DOT announced that Northern and Queens boulevards would become part of 25 planned Arterial Slow Zones implemented throughout the five boroughs.

The first phase of a Slow Zone for Northern Boulevard runs 4.2 miles long from 40th Road to 114th Street.

DOT also implemented a Slow Zone on Queens Boulevard stretching 7.4 miles from Jackson Avenue to Hillside Avenue.

 

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Street Talk: What is your favorite summertime beer?


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

street talk

CHRIS BUMBACA

“I like Bud Light, because it’s cheap!”
Tom Twist

“Curious Traveler Summer Shandy, it’s really good, and only available in the summer.”
Eric Berman

“Victoria beer, for the taste.”
Paco Castillo

“I like Sol beer, because it’s light and a good alternative to Corona.”
Ryan Gamble

“I like Sol, too, because it’s light and refreshing.”
Cheyne Gamble

“IPA Sam Rebel is nice.”
Joe Brandon

“Amstel Lite, for the taste.”
Eddy Filangeri

“I like Brooklyn beer, because my son introduced me to it.”
John Clark

 

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Overnight service disruptions on E, F, M, R trains this week


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File Photo

Starting Monday, July 21, there will be service disruptions on the E, F, M and R lines between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. in Queens and Manhattan for four consecutive weeknights, as part of the MTA’s Fastrack maintenance program:

  • E service will be suspended between Roosevelt Avenue and World Trade Center.
  • F service will be suspended between Roosevelt Avenue and 21 Street-Queensbridge.
  • M service will end early between 71 Avenue and Essex Street each night.
  • R service will end early between 71 Avenue and Whitehall Street each night.

Travel alternatives

  • Take the 7 between Manhattan and 74 St-Roosevelt Avenue or Queensboro Plaza.
  • Take the N between Manhattan and Queensboro Plaza.
  • In Manhattan, transfer at 5 Avenue/42 Street-Bryant Park 7/D/F, Times Square-42 Street/Port Authority 7/A, and 34 Street-Herald Square D/F/N.
  • Take the R between Queens Plaza and 71 Avenue. When R service ends, E trains run local between Queens Plaza and 71 Avenue until 10 p.m. After 10 PM, take the E Local between Roosevelt Avenue and 71 Avenue.
  • In Manhattan along 8th Avenue, take the A Local or C instead of the E.
  • Along 53 Street, use the D or nearby 6 and N stations instead.
  • Free shuttle buses run local between Queensboro Plaza and 74 Street-Roosevelt Avenue making station stops at Queens Plaza, 36 Street, Steinway Street, 46 Street, Northern Boulevard, and 65 Street.
  • In Queens, transfer between shuttle buses and trains at 74 Street-Roosevelt Avenue 7/E/F or Queensboro Plaza 7/N.

 

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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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