Tag Archives: Rego Park Center

Glendale balloon artist hits a healthy 500K views on YouTube


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo by The Courier/ Salvatore Licata

One Glendale resident is ballooning her way to YouTube stardom and getting healthier in the process.

Grace Brigham, better known as “Candy Twister” or “Candy the Clown NYC,” hit over 500,000 views on Monday for a video where she fits her full body into a balloon. She considered this a great feat, but more important than her balloon tricks leading to internet limelight was how they helped her battle Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

“I wasn’t sure how the video was going to do at first, but seeing the hits I get now blows me away,” Brigham said. “Ever since I’ve been making balloon art I feel better.”

Brigham started as a balloon artist at 42 years old while transitioning jobs and said she knew she had a niche for it. She is fighting MS, an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord, but said since she started her balloon art many of her symptoms have gone away.

“Memory is always a big issue for people with MS,” Brigham said. “But I never forget how to make any type of balloon character. Doing balloon art is my passion I always feel great when I’m out there doing a show.”

Brigham began doing balloon shows at restaurants like Applebee’s and Miller’s Ale House in Rego Park, where she is still a main attraction. She has done a great deal of shows around the city and can make virtually anything her patrons ask her on the spot. She even worked on a team with 74 other balloon artists to make a five-story, 50,000 balloon replica of “Jack and the bean stalk.”

She decided to try her famous “Climb in Balloon Stunt 1: Candy Twister,” as listed on YouTube, for the first time last year by a friend’s house to see how it would work out. With its success, both in person and online, Brigham works the trick into every staged show she hosts.

Photo by The Courier/ Salvatore Licata

Photo by The Courier/ Salvatore Licata

“People are always blown away to see how much work I put into my shows,” Brigham said. “But when you do what you love, everything just becomes fun. That’s what makes it kind of special.”

Brighman will be playing her next show at the Rego Park Center on Queens Boulevard on Sept. 14 at 1 p.m. Along with staged shows she specializes in all types of private events.

To find out more about Candy Twister go to candytwistedballoons.com or Candy the Clown NYC.

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Queens residents get jump on Black Friday with Thursday shopping


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Red sales tags were everywhere on Thursday ahead of Black Friday.

After thousands of Queens residents stuffed their faces with turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing, they went to grab doorbuster deals from retailers around the borough.

Black Friday, which has become one of the most successful shopping days for stores nationwide, now starts on Thanksgiving Day and customers had no problem with that.

“The stressful part is actually the waiting,” said Brian Astacio, a Ridgewood resident. Astacio waited three hours in line for the Best Buy in Queens Place mall to open at 6 p.m. to buy electronics and a big-screen TV.

“It’s good in a way because you get things you always wanted for cheap,” he added.

For the first time ever Macy’s, one of the country’s largest and oldest department chains, opened on Thanksgiving day at 8 p.m.

The line for the retailer stretched to more than 200 people about 20 minutes before it was about to open in Queens Center Mall, and that was just on the first floor entrance. Another line with hundreds of shoppers waited near the doors on the second floor.

“It’s become more of a culture thing,” said Maspeth resident Maryam Wasef, who was first in line at the Macy’s. “It’s interesting, because its the only time of the year you could get everything and everyone just saves for it.”

Wasef said she was on the hunt for perfume and a jacket, or anything else that may have a great discount.

Around the Rego Park Center mall consumers were exiting with large bags from stores such as Toys“R”Us and Kohl’s.

But there isn’t a little Black Friday without a little craziness.

Some customers complained about the pushing and shoving from fellow shoppers and about people who brought young children out for the evening.

“Just rudeness. It’s chaos,” said Forest Hills resident Farrah Krenek.

The shopping continues today, as many stores will still be serving their deals from last night, followed by more discounts for Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, the online shopping bonanza.

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Rego Park shopping center may soon have housing


| editorial@queenscourier.com

A developer has filed plans to build a new residential tower on top of a shopping center in Rego Park, city officials said.

The city’s Department of Buildings (DOB) approved a work permit on June 24 to allow Vornado Realty Trust to construct 314 housing units above the Rego Park Center at 61-35 Junction Boulevard, according to the department and published reports.

According to The Real Deal, the 24-story building would likely be a rental complex.

The shopping center, located near the Long Island Expressway, is home to many stores, including Costco, Marshalls, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Century 21. It opened in 2010.

Vornado declined to comment as of press time.

 

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