Tag Archives: Queens

Identify this place in Queens

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Jamaica home views 2

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”: Colden Center 



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”: Queens Plaza 



Street Talk: What are you doing for Mother’s Day?

| asuriel@queenscourier.com



“A hibachi restaurant, probably. I was thinking about one in Brooklyn.”
Kelly Thompson


“I celebrate with my wife and daughter. We’re going to eat and do whatever my wife wants.”
Shang Gu


“I hope my daughters will have something great planned for me!”
Simone Perry


“My mom lives in Pennsylvania so I’m probably going to visit her. My birthday’s the week before so it’s a mother-daughter thing.”
Laura Kitterle


“Actually, I work. Nothing else to do.”
Alex Alverado


“I’m seeing [singer] Audra McDonald with my mother. It’s a surprise!”
Isabel Salane


“I have to work. I work in a restaurant, and it’s the biggest day of the year.”
Hugo Herrera


“I’m going to honor my wife and take her out to dinner.”
Richard Vespi


10 places to watch the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight in Queens

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

The “fight of the century” is a already being used to describe the upcoming boxing match between welterweights Floyd Mayweather and Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao on Saturday, May 2. The two men, both considered among the finest fighters of their generation, have never faced each other in the ring.

With millions of people around the world anticipating the fight, sports bars and restaurants all around Queens are hosting events for local fans.

33-08 Broadway, Astoria
(718) 626-5393

This neighborhood sports bar with multiple screens over the bar is charging $25 per person to get in on Saturday. Classic finger foods are available to purchase, including favorites such as jalapeno poppers and mozzarella sticks made with panko breadcrumbs.

Katch Brewery & Grill
31-19 Newtown Ave., Astoria
(718) 777-2230

Katch is the perfect place for those looking to watch the fight in a more relaxed atmosphere, with the staff looking to maintain an intimate feel. General manager Tino Tsutras tells The Courier that the brewery is not likely to be filled with people swarming the aisles on foot.
“We don’t want a crazy night,” said Tsutras. Katch will be charging a $25 cover until it’s filled to capacity, but in order to guarantee entry for the night, interested parties can make a table reservation. Reservations must spend a minimum of $100 per person, and can have up to four people.

Rocky McBride’s
27-01 23rd Ave., Astoria
(718) 777-2723

Ladies can take advantage of the discount they will be able to receive at Rocky McBride’s for the May 2 fight. The cover charge of $40 for females includes access to a three-hour open bar from 9 p.m. to midnight, but men are required to pay $60 for the same event at the sports bar. Everything on the drink menu is included in the open bar except shots, drinks on the rocks and specialty drinks.

Beer Belly’s
39-17 Bell Blvd., Bayside
(718) 631-2337

There are two levels of viewing parties at Beer Belly’s, but both promise to be a raucous good time. The cover charge at the main level downstairs is $25 in advance and $30 at the door, and offers $4 shots of fireball cinnamon whiskey all night long. The VIP upper level will cost $75, and comes with a 4 1/2 hour open bar and buffet from 8.30 p.m.

Bourbon Street Cafe
40-12 Bell Blvd., Bayside
(718) 224-2200

A $30 entrance fee will allow you to watch the fight and dine in at the Cajun-style restaurant, which was named after a street in New Orleans. The sporting event will be projected onto screens visible from each table, and guests will be able to sample the cuisine of executive chef Frank Lynch, whose specialties include BBQ braised short ribs and shrimp over cheesy grits.

Buffalo Wild Wings
107-16 71st Ave., Forest Hills

The national sports-bar chain is a mainstay for big events, so to avoid the expected crowds attendees should arrive earlier than the 9 p.m. seating time. The venue is only accepting cash payments for the $20 entry fee.

Cobblestones Pub
11718 Queens Blvd., Forest Hills
(718) 263-9754

A $40 cover charge at the door will get boxing fans two free beers at Cobblestone’s. The extensive menu has options ranging from fish and chips to baby back ribs and sandwiches, but regulars swear by the chicken wings.

Penthouse 808
8-08 Queens Plaza South, Long Island City
(718) 289-6118

Fight night at the 900-square-foot lounge has a general admission price of $25, but dinner and VIP packages are also available, with some including premium bottles of champagne for a party of eight people. DJ Three-Sixty and DJ Eric will be providing tunes for the Champagne Saturdays, an after-party at the rooftop venue on top of the Ravel Hotel which offers incredible views of the East River and the Manhattan skyline.

64-21 53rd Dr., Maspeth
(718) 672-9696

The family-owned establishment, which has been in Maspeth since 1933, is charging a $25 cover fee to watch the fight in its casual dining steakhouse on Saturday. The American-style cuisine includes an appetizer menu with extensive seafood options, and entrees of burgers, steaks, and bone-in roasted garlic chicken.

Miller’s Ale House
61-35 Junction Blvd., Rego Park
(718) 760-1090

Miller’s is charging $30 to watch the ringside action on screens at the national steakhouse chain. Saturday night’s special dish is a perfectly seasoned flat iron steak grilled to order for $15.99.

Did we miss your favorite spot? Post your own by commenting below so The Queens Courier community can join you this Saturday. 


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”: Newtown Road near 47th Street in Astoria




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”: Cross Bay Boulevard and 157th Avenue in Howard Beach 




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”: New York Hall of Science


Suspects sought in more than a dozen burglaries across three boroughs

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are seeking three men in the burglaries of more than a dozen businesses around the city, including 12 in Queens, where as much as $10,500 in cash was taken during one theft, authorities said.

According to police, the suspects typically break into the businesses by clipping the lock on their front entrance roll gates.

The series of burglaries and several attempted thefts include at least 17 locations across Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan, dating from January to April of this year:

  • On Jan. 22, at about 4:52 a.m., the suspect(s) entered Good Market, located at 61-05 39th Ave. in Woodside, and removed 25 cartons of Marlboro cigarettes, $300 in cash and a safe containing $4,000.
  • Between 11 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 7, and 10 a.m. on Feb. 8, the suspect(s) entered Cigar Hookah Inc., located at 65 West 14th St. in Manhattan, and removed $6,526 in cash.
  • On Feb. 15, 2015, between 4:11 and 4:30 a.m., the suspect(s) entered Ping’s Restaurant, located at 83-02 Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst, by clipping the lock for the side door roll-down gate but fled without taking anything.
  • On March 1, at about 2:30 a.m. the suspect(s) entered Homecrest Pharmacy, located at 1826 Gravesneck Rd. in Brooklyn, and removed $100 in cash.
  • On March 1, at about 4:17 a.m., the suspect(s) entered Taran Grocery, located at 43-10 45th Ave. in Sunnyside, and removed $1,000 in cash.
  • On March 2, at about 2:30 a.m., the suspect(s) entered the Deep Trading Corporation, located at 29-10A 30th Ave. in Astoria, and removed $10,574 in cash from the safe.
  • On March 5, between 4:50 and 5:10 a.m., the suspect(s) entered a Saba Deli located at 232 Underhill Ave. in Brooklyn, and removed $80 in cash.
  • On March 5, at about 5:40 a.m., the suspect(s) entered Kingston Pharmacy, located at 1106 Saint Johns Pl. in Brooklyn, and removed a safe containing $6,000 in cash.
  • Between 5 a.m. on March 9 and 10 a.m. on March 10, the suspect(s) entered Sharp Rite, located at 1682 East 13 St. in Brooklyn, and removed an empty safe which was later recovered in the vicinity of the location.
  • Between 2 and 8:30 a.m. on March 10, the suspect(s) entered Lake Pavilion, located at 60-15 Main St. in Flushing, through the rear basement door, and removed $600 in cash and multiple checks.
  • On March 13, at about 5:50 a.m., the suspect(s) entered Franny Lew Wine and Liquor, located at 198-29 Horace Harding Expwy. in Fresh Meadows, by prying open the front door but fled without any goods.
  • Between 11:45 p.m. on March 13 and 11 a.m. on March 14, the suspect(s) entered New Great Wall, located at 69-13 Woodside Ave. in Woodside, and removed $100 in cash.
  • Between 1 and 8 a.m. on March 14, the suspect(s) entered a restaurant, located at 192-20 Northern Blvd. in Flushing, by breaking the front door but fled without any goods.
  • Between 5:05 and 5:20 a.m. on March 14, the suspect(s) entered Sushi Fusion and Grill, located at 105-43 64th Rd. in Forest Hills, and removed $520 in cash.
  • Between 5:05 and 5:20 a.m. on March 14, the suspect(s) entered Super Glatt Kosher Mini Market, located at 105-45 64th Rd. in Forest Hills, and removed $250 in cash.
  • On March 17, at about 3:30 a.m., the suspect(s) entered Elmhurst Pharmacy, located at 81-06 Baxter Ave. in Elmhurst, by prying opening the front door and removed $100 in cash.
  • On April 1, at about 2:50 a.m., the suspect(s) entered N&K Jmart, located at 79-23 Northern Blvd. in East Elmhurst and removed $5,500 in cash.

Authorities have released a photo of one the suspects from the March 13 burglary at the New Great Wall restaurant located at 69-13 Woodside Ave. in Woodside.

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



Detectives talk woman out of jumping off Kosciuszko Bridge

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

A pair of NYPD detectives spent around two hours Monday talking a suicidal woman off the edge of the Kosciuszko Bridge, according to police.

That morning, police arrived about 11:30 a.m. to find the 45-year-old Brooklyn resident on top of a pipe on the outside of the bridge, which connects Greenpoint, Brooklyn, with Queens.

Two detectives—Meghan Kinsella, a 14-year veteran who works as a domestic violence officer, and Steven Stefanakos, a 24-year veteran who has spent 20 of those years with the Emergency Service Unit—moved into action to try to talk the woman out of taking her life.

At first, according to police, the woman wasn’t responsive to either of the detectives as they took turns engaging her in conversation.

“I tried to convince her that no matter what, we would be with her every step of the way,” Kinsella said. “He would talk and I would talk. I didn’t even realize I was there for two hours. I was completely focused on her.”

When Stefanakos, who is an instructor with the NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit and teaches officers how to interact with emotionally disturbed people in crisis, mentioned the possibility of the woman having a family or children, she grabbed back onto the wire, authorities said.

“I told her, ‘I don’t know what is going on and what is happening with you, but give us [a] chance to talk to you,’” he said.

Kinsella also told the woman, who is a mother of one, that she was strong enough to get through the situation, and the detectives were finally able to convince her to come off the edge of the bridge.

As video footage of the rescue released by police shows, officers were able to pull the woman to safety, and EMS took her to Elmhurst Hospital for treatment.

“It’s a huge relief. It actually is euphoric because you made a difference in somebody’s life, right there and then,” Stefanakos said.

“I’m a mom so I just wanted to get her home safe with her family,” Kinsella added.


Two Jamaica women accused of plotting terrorist attack

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons/Stu Rapley

Updated Friday, April 3, 10:14 a.m.

Federal agents arrested two Jamaica women Thursday for plotting to carry out a terrorist attack on American soil, officials said.

Noelle Velentzas, 28, of Inwood Avenue and Asia Siddiqui (the latter also known as Najma Samaa and Murdiyyah), 31, of 84th Road, who were former roommates, were taken into custody Thursday morning as a result of an investigation dating back to May 2013. They are U.S. citizens and, up until recently, shared an apartment at an unspecified Queens location.

According to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, Velentzas and Siddiqui allegedly shared “violent jihadist beliefs,” openly sympathized with known terrorists, made contact with al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and expressed a desire to launch an attack of their own in the U.S.

They reportedly educated themselves on bomb-making and visited local stores to purchase or research materials typically used to construct explosive devices.

Upon her arrest, Siddiqui had in her possession numerous propane tanks and instructions for converting them into explosive devices, federal sources said. Those instructions were reportedly downloaded from an online jihadist publication.

Their plot was foiled, however, through the efforts of an undercover federal agent, who obtained information from them through numerous meetings and conversations over the last two years.

“We are committed to doing everything in our ability to detect, disrupt and deter attacks by homegrown violent extremists,” U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta E. Lynch said in a statement. “As alleged, the defendants in this case carefully studied how to construct an explosive device to launch an attack on the homeland. We remain firm in our resolve to hold accountable anyone who would seek to terrorize the American people, whether by traveling abroad to commit attacks overseas or by plotting here at home.”

Law enforcement sources said Siddiqui’s alleged terrorism ties date back to 2006, when she became close with Samir Khan, who later became a prominent figure in AQAP. Khan left the U.S. for Yemen following his relationship with Siddiqui and wrote propaganda magazines and bomb-making manuals for terrorists.

In September 2011, Siddiqui allegedly sent a sympathetic letter to Mohammad Mohamud, who was in federal prison for plotting to bomb a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon, in 2010, authorities said.

Federal authorities intercepted the letter, which had the return address listed as “Najma Samaa” from 94-20 Guy R. Brewer Blvd. in Jamaica — the actual address of York College, from where Siddiqui graduated.

Velentzas, in meeting with the undercover operative in 2013, praised the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and praised its mastermind, Osama bin Laden, as her hero. To illustrate that point, she showed the agent her cellphone, which had as its background image a picture of bin Laden carrying an AK-47 machine gun.

Following the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 — in which two terrorists converted pressure cookers into deadly explosive devices — Velentzas reportedly became obsessed with using pressure cookers as weapons.

FBI agents interviewed Siddiqui at LaGuardia Airport in July 2014, during which she denied having any connection to terrorists. After being allowed to leave, she reportedly told the undercover agent that she believed the agency was onto her and that she must delete incriminating “stuff” from her email accounts.

Between August 2014 and this February, Velentzas and Siddiqui allegedly continued talking about previous terrorist attacks —such as the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, in which a fertilizer bomb in a truck was used to destroy the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building — and researching bomb-making skills. They visited a local Home Depot and other stores and browsed through or purchased items known to be bomb-making components.

According to federal agents, in discussing specific, high-profile targets Velentzas mentioned in December 2014 potentially striking a police funeral, considering that the funeral that month for Detective Rafael Ramos in Glendale drew 25,000 mourners.

Velentzas and Siddiqui, who were ordered held without bail during their arraignment Thursday afternoon, were charged with conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction against persons or property in the U.S. and face life in prison if convicted.


Identify this place in Queens

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Queens Hall  of Science

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”: Ridgewood Reservoir


Ridgewood reacts to first episode of ‘Weird Loners’

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Anthony Giudice


Imitation is not always the sincerest form of flattery.

A group of Ridgewood residents had mixed feelings as they gathered at a local bar to watch the premiere of “Weird Loners,” a new Fox comedy that uses the area as the inspiration for the show’s setting.

“The group [that lives in the] house in the show represents the patrons of the bar,” said Steven Lewis, co-owner of Queens Tavern, who, with Sarah Feldman from Ridgewood Social, had the idea to hold a screening party at the bar. “There has never been a show centered in Ridgewood on TV. The show was better than I thought it would be.”

“Weird Loners” centers on four relationship-challenged 30-somethings who unexpectedly end up in each other’s lives and start bonding while living next door to each other in a Queens townhouse.

According to creator and executive producer Michael J. Weithorn, the setting is based on Ridgewood, though the show’s current scripts don’t directly mention the area. There are future plans, however, to more directly feature the neighborhood in the sitcom.

 Becki Newton as Caryn, Zachary Knighton as Stosh, Meera Rohit Kumbhani as Zara and Nate Torrence as Eric (Michael Becker / FOX/Copyright 2014 FOX Broadcasting)

Becki Newton as Caryn, Zachary Knighton as Stosh, Meera Rohit Kumbhani as Zara and Nate Torrence as Eric (Michael Becker/FOX/Copyright 2014 FOX Broadcasting)

About 25 to 30 people came out to the Queens Tavern Tuesday night to check out the show’s 9:30 p.m. debut and share their opinions, with the bar handing out noisemakers to the crowd so they could jeer at any mention of the borough.

During the fun and sarcastic mood of the evening, the crowd booed at the large living room of Becki Newton’s character Caryn and the exterior shots of the neighborhood. Weithorn had the set designer research Ridgewood’s old buildings, but the show was shot in Los Angeles.

“The show was corny,” said Morgan Pielli, who has lived in Ridgewood for two and a half years. “I thought it represented Ridgewood terribly. The set looked nothing like it.”

Liz Babish, who has also resided in Ridgewood for around two years and hails from New Jersey, was more optimistic about “Weird Loners” as a comedy, but said it wasn’t a reflection of her area.

“It has potential,” she said. “The show has a ‘New Girl’ vibe. Ridgewood was not represented at all.”

Babish was right about the “New Girl” feel — Jake Kasdan, an executive producer for the Zooey Deschanel series, is also an executive producer for “Weird Loners,” and even directed the pilot.

Attendees overall had positive reactions to the entertainment value of the first episode, which lays out how the four main characters — Caryn (Becki Newton), Stosh (Zachary Knighton), Zara (Meera Rohit Kumbhani) and Eric (Nate Torrence) meet and end up living adjacent to each other in Queens. The final scene finds the foursome mocking and then crashing a nighttime wedding in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

But they felt the comedy featured little of Ridgewood, and what it did portray wasn’t an accurate depiction.

“It didn’t show anything of Ridgewood. I hope it gets more street views of Ridgewood,” said Timothy Bakth, who has lived in Ridgewood for all 31 years of his life. “Being from Ridgewood my entire life, I wish they would have taken a look at Ridgewood 10 years ago; many things have changed.”

Queens Tavern is holding another viewing party next week, on April 7 at 9 p.m. “Weird Loners” airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on Fox.


Ridgewood bar to hold viewing party for ‘Weird Loners’ premiere

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Michael Becker / FOX/Copyright 2014 FOX Broadcasting

The neighborhood that inspired the backdrop of a new Fox comedy will be holding a viewing party at a local bar for its premiere that is likely to be filled with more jeers than cheers.

Weird Loners” is about four relationship-challenged 30-somethings who unexpectedly end up in each other’s lives and start bonding while living next door to each other.

Creator and executive producer Michael J. Weithorn, who also co-created “The King of Queens,” decided to use Ridgewood as the setting for the show.

He had the set designer research the old buildings of the neighborhood for the Los Angeles-shot show, and used a Polish delicatessen he visited in the area as a child for the inspiration for the background of two of the characters.

But these attempts to replicate Ridgewood don’t seem to be sitting well with some of its own who are planning on attending a party to watch its depiction on the small screen.

A “Let’s Watch ‘Weird Loners’ Together…Party” is set for Wednesday at 9 p.m. at Queens Tavern, at 68-69 Fresh Pond Rd., hosted by Sarah Feldman from Ridgewood Social, who will be grabbing the mic during commercial breaks. According to the event description:

Grab a beer and uncomfortably watch the first episode at Queens Tavern on their full screen! Be in awe of how large their indoor apartment is! Then ask yourself… “if that is considered weird by mainstream standards… what am I?” Make bets with your fellow friends on how long until this show gets cancelled!

P.S. The word “Quooklyn” is banned from the party.

If the show does get the ax early on, locals won’t need to worry about any direct references to Ridgewood.

According to Weithorn the show’s current scripts don’t directly mention the neighborhood so far, but there are future plans to feature it more prominently in the comedy.


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”: Jamaica near the LIRR station 







Queens native starts campaign to fund Dennis Hopper’s final film

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of "The Last Film Festival"

One filmmaker is turning to Kickstarter and the Queens community she grew up in to help put the finishing touches on what will be known as the late Dennis Hopper’s last movie, filmed completely in the “World’s Borough.”

Linda Yellen is one of the creative minds behind the comedy “The Last Film Festival,” which began filming in 2009 with a cast including Hopper, known for the classic film “Easy Rider,” Golden Globe-winner Jacqueline Bisset, JoBeth Williams, Chris Kattan, Donnell Rawlings, Katrina Bowden, Joseph Cross and Leelee Sobieski.

The film, written by Yellen and Michael Leeds, follows a Hollywood producer, played by Hopper, whose recent film was rejected by every film festival except a small town festival named the O’Hi Film Festival.

Although the movie surrounds a small town, it was actually filmed in Queens, some parts in Astoria and others in Forest Hills, the neighborhood Yellen grew up in.

“I loved growing up in Queens. It was so accessible to Manhattan but it also had the feeling of small town and community. It was always so friendly,” Yellen said. “It was a wonderful thing to sort of return home.”

The majority of the film was shot in Forest Hills, with scenes taking place at Forest Hills High School, where Yellen attended school. During the 2009 spring break, the actors were housed in the high school classrooms, which replaced the use of dressing rooms and trailers.

“There was always a great appreciation for the arts and culture in Forest Hills,” Yellen said. “I learned about the art of filming and directing in Forest Hills.”

The cast of "The Last Film Festival."

The cast of “The Last Film Festival.”

Although Yellen no longer lives in the borough, she said she is constantly traveling back to visit her mother, who still lives in the same building Yellen grew up in and who had a small part in the film as a “biker chick.”

During the filming, Yellen recalls walking the streets of Forest Hills during lunch with Hopper, who would take pictures of everywhere he went in the borough.

“A lot of those early experiences helped shape my identity and it gave a special pleasure to Dennis Hopper. He got to learn a lot about me as we took a lot of those walks,” Yellen said. “He loved [Queens].”

Tragedy then struck when, just a few scenes short of finishing the film, Hopper became ill and later died of cancer at the age of 74 in May of 2010.

“He was a picture of health and vitality and he just gives a multilevel comedic act [in the film],” Yellen said. “He had no idea he was sick; we had no idea he was sick.”

Hopper’s passing left a hole in the hearts of the cast and crew, and the film was set aside for a while until Yellen decided to pick it back up this year, which will mark the fifth anniversary of Hopper’s death.

However, in order to finish the film, Yellen made the decision to turn to Kickstarter, with a goal of $90,000, because she felt it was a way to get to the fans directly. The crowdfunding site also followed Hopper’s idea of “always looking for ways to go around the system.” As of March 25, $64,174 had been pledged.

The funds raised by the campaign will go toward all post-production aspects that are required to finish the film, including using movie clips to replace Hopper in scenes.

“This is a way of [the fans] saying we want this and we want to say we support this film and this comedy,” Yellen said. “This picture was made as a labor of love. Just the pleasure of doing good work and wanting it out there and wanting people to laugh a lot.”

The Kickstarter’s deadline is on April 9. To donate click here.