Tag Archives: Rego Park

Q&A: Modern Spaces CEO explains real estate in LIC


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Donna Dotan Photography Inc.

Eric Benaim founded real estate firm Modern Spaces in Long Island City in 2008, and within a handful of years led the explosion of residential interest in the neighborhood. Over the years, he expanded the company from LIC to Astoria, Manhattan and Brooklyn, and recently, Modern Spaces announced the launching of its commercial and investment property division, tapping into another side of the market.

In a question-and-answer session with The Courier, Benaim explained the current status of real estate in Long Island City and the transformation of the neighborhood.

Courier: How did you get inspired to start working in Long Island City?

Benaim: I guess I was always a Queens boy, and I started focusing in LIC back in 2005. I was a broker focusing mostly in Manhattan and at the time there were pretty much no brokers in the neighborhood over here, so I figured I would try to make this my niche. Just walking around you see the views of Manhattan, you see there’s a lot of potential over here and I stuck with it, and obviously it paid off. The neighborhood has changed dramatically since 2005.

Courier: Did you really think it [the transformation of LIC] would happen so quickly?

Benaim: No. Literally, from my window I see cranes everywhere, and it’s just crazy to see my skyline changing every day.

Courier: What is the real estate market in LIC like now?

Benaim: There is a lot of development. There was not that many condos being developed over the last couple of years, but condos are about to come back strong. We are seeing a lot of condo projects that are going to be coming online probably by first and second quarter of next year. And in regards to rental projects, a lot developers are doing stuff now whereas before it was predominately TF Cornerstone and Rockrose. now you are seeing a lot of big developers coming into the neighborhood that were never here before.

Courier: Why do you think there is a switch from rentals to condos?

Benaim: Because land prices have gone up a lot and when land prices go up so much it just doesn’t make sense to do a rental because the return on your investment does not really pay out. So it just makes more sense financially to do a condo rather than a rental. Rental projects that are coming along, these are projects sites that were acquired probably a year or more ago when land prices were a little more affordable than they are now.

Courier: Is LIC already a successful live, work and play community?

Benaim: I think [live, work, and play] has been established here. I remember when I first started showing clients around the neighborhood, there really wasn’t anything here. Not even a supermarket. Now we have three supermarkets already, and a fourth is opening up at the LINC, the Rockrose project in Court Square. There are a whole lot of restaurants— you know, restaurants open up here every week and now we are seeing more and more boutiques and stores opening up. Pretty much everything you need is here now. And regarding play, so we do have the bars and the night life now and LIC is a huge cultural destination. We have the LIC Arts Open, the Taste of LIC, MoMA PS1, the Chocolate Factory Theater and the LIC Flea. So there’s really a lot to do as well.

Courier: What has spurred you to go into the commercial side?

Benaim: We’ve done a little commercial these past few years, mostly like retail leasing. But a lot of our clients, whether it’s landlords who we’re doing their rentals for in walk-ups or if it’s a developer who we’re marketing their building or working with them, they never really came to us in the past, because they knew us as being residential brokers. So it was kind of like business that we lost out on. And it just seemed like the right time. Queens as a whole is in the spotlight right now and there’s not really a commercial company that can offer commercial services but still insight in the residential market.

Courier: What is the next neighborhood that has potential?

Benaim: We do see a lot of potential in Astoria, and other areas like Woodside, Sunnyside, Flushing and areas like Rego Park, where we just opened up a building called The Rego Modern. We rented 10 in the first open house [at The Rego Modern] and for high prices also, which they weren’t used to seeing. So that just shows that there is a lot of interest in Queens. Being a Queens boy myself it’s just nice to see that Queens is getting the spotlight that Brooklyn had stolen from us.

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Report: Queens rental prices drop in August


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Charts courtesy of MNS Real Estate 

The fluctuating Queens rental market saw a decrease in prices in August, after increases in July, according to the “Queens Rental Market Report” by MNS Real Estate.

Average rents throughout the borough dropped 3.74 percent from $2,113 in July to $2,034 in August, the report stated.

The report focused on several neighborhoods, including Long Island City, Astoria, Ridgewood, Flushing, Rego Park, Forest Hills and Jackson Heights.

The biggest changes occurred in studio apartments in Ridgewood, where prices dropped 43.5 percent — about $848 — to $1,100, the least expensive rental price for any type of apartment in the borough. The average price of a studio in the borough is $1,550, according to the report.

Studios page

Also, two-bedroom units in Jackson Heights dipped 26.12 percent to $1,841 from $2,494 in July, a decrease of $653.

“Smaller neighborhoods in Queens are seeing slower progression, however more new developments are scheduled to open their doors in the coming months offering high-end amenities and exceptional convenience,” the report said. “As is evident from the overall decrease in prices this month Queens is expected to have up and down monthly fluctuations, but long-term projections have prices increasing steadily.”

Flushing had the largest decrease in overall average rents with 7.47 percent. Two-bedroom units in Flushing experienced a fall of 17.8 percent from $2,599 in July to $2,136 in August.

The biggest increase was in Ridgewood, where prices for one-bedroom apartments rose 15.3 percent or $260 to $1,960.

Prices in Astoria and Long Island City remained fairly stable, although dropped slightly, according to the report.

Click here to view the full report.

 

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Man wanted for punching R train rider in Rego Park


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A straphanger punched a man without saying a word as an R train stopped at a station in Rego Park last month, police said.

The victim, a 20-year old man, was on a southbound R train at about 11:45 a.m. on Aug. 23 when he was assaulted, cops said. The suspect allegedly punched the victim in the mouth and nose as the subway doors opened at the 63rd Drive station before fleeing on foot.

There were no words exchanged by the two men prior to the attack, according to police.

The victim suffered a bloody nose and a cut on his upper lip, but was not hospitalized due to the assault.

Cops describe the suspect as a white or Hispanic man in his late 20s to 30s, 5 feet 7 inches tall and 170 pounds. He was last seen wearing a pink short sleeve polo shirt, and white, pink and gray stripped shorts with a white string.

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.

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Report: Queens rental prices increase


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Charts courtesy of MNS Real Estate

Rental prices are continuing to rise in the borough, according to the Queens Rental Market Report by MNS Real Estate.

Rents in Queens jumped about 1.76 percent from approximately $2,077 in June to $2,113 in July, according to the report, which targeted several Queens neighborhoods, including Long Island City, Astoria, Ridgewood, Flushing, Forest Hills, Jackson Heights and Rego Park.

The largest percentage increase in rent prices was seen in studios in Jackson Heights, which saw a 21 percent jump over a month. Studios in the neighborhood shot up from $1,238 in June to about $1,500 in July.

Two-bedrooms in Flushing also experienced a huge surge as prices soared more than 15 percent—an increase of $345 from $2,254 in June to $2,599 in July.

web Market report Jax Hts

The most expensive neighborhood was Long Island City. Although prices fell 0.65 percent for the month because of “a maturing luxury rental market,” according to the report, the average rent prices ranged from $2,410 for a studio to $3,908 for a two-bedroom apartment.

“The rental market throughout Queens is still following the patterns of recent months as the borough continues to see major growth, particularly in Long Island City and Astoria,” the report points out. “With new developments and conversions hitting the market recently, renters have flocked to these areas seeking more options and value for their money.”

Market report page 2 beds web

Studios in Forest Hills had the largest percentage decrease. Prices for a studio in the neighborhood dropped 27 percent ($501) from $1,851 in June to $1,350 in July.

To see the full report, click here.

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Suspects sought in Rego Park laundromat holdup    


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Three men robbed a Rego Park laundromat at gunpoint, forcing the employees into a bathroom before running off with the cash, cops said.

The holdup took place at the Rego Park Megawash, located at 62-82 Woodhaven Blvd., around 4 a.m. on Aug 8, according to police.

After entering the business and announcing a robbery, the suspects, two of them armed with a gun, ordered the laundromat’s two employees into the bathroom, officials said. The suspects then fled with money they took from the register. No one was injured.

Police have released surveillance video of the suspects as they approached the laundromat and fled from the robbery.

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.

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West Nile spraying to target areas of Queens this week


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYC Department of Health

On Wednesday, Aug. 27, there will be West Nile spraying in parts of Queens to help reduce the mosquito population and the risk of the disease.

The spraying will take place between the hours of 8:15 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next morning. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Thursday, Aug. 28 during the same hours.

The following neighborhoods are being treated due to rising West Nile virus activity with high mosquito populations, according to the city’s Health Department:

Parts of Auburndale, Murray Hill and Flushing (Bordered by 25th Avenue to the north; Murray Street to the west; 45th Avenue to the south; and 192nd Street, Francis Lewis Boulevard and Utopia Parkway to the east).

Parts of Elmhurst, Forest Hills, Forest Hills Garden, Forest Park, Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Rego Park and Woodhaven (Bordered by 63rd Avenue, 80th Street and Long Island Expressway to the north; eastern boundary of Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Metropolitan Avenue, 73rd Place, Myrtle Avenue and eastern boundaries of Mt. Lebanon and Mt. Hope to west; Park Lane South to the south; and Metropolitan Avenue and Alderton Street to the east).

For the application, the Health Department will spray pesticide from trucks and use a very low concentration of Anvil®, 10 + 10, a synthetic pesticide. When properly used, this product poses no significant risks to human health.

The Health Department recommends that people take the following precautions to minimize direct exposure:

  • Whenever possible, stay indoors during spraying. People with asthma or other respiratory conditions  are encouraged to stay inside during spraying since direct exposure could worsen these conditions.
  • Air conditioners may remain on, however, if you wish to reduce the possibility of indoor exposure to pesticides, set the air conditioner vent to the closed position, or choose the re-circulate function.
  •  Remove children’s toys, outdoor equipment, and clothes from outdoor areas during spraying. If  outdoor equipment and toys are exposed to pesticides, wash them with soap and water before using  again.
  • Wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticides with soap and water. Always wash your produce thoroughly with water before cooking or eating.

 

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Health Department to treat parts of Queens against West Nile


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Images Courtesy of NYC Department of Health

On Tuesday, Aug. 19, the Health Department will treat parts of Queens to help reduce the mosquito population and the risk of West Nile virus.

The treatment, which will spray pesticide from trucks, will take place between the hours of 8:15 p.m. and 6 a.m. the following morning. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Wednesday, Aug. 20. during the same hours.

For this spraying, the Health Department will use a very low concentration of Anvil® 10+10, a synthetic pesticide. When properly used, this product poses no significant risks to human health.

The Health Department recommends that people take the following precautions to minimize direct exposure:

• Whenever possible, stay indoors during spraying. People with asthma or other respiratory conditions are encouraged to stay inside during spraying since direct exposure could worsen these conditions.

• Air conditioners may remain on, however, if you wish to reduce the possibility of indoor exposure to pesticides, set the air conditioner vent to the closed position, or choose the re-circulate function.

• Remove children’s toys, outdoor equipment, and clothes from outdoor areas during spraying. If outdoor equipment and toys are exposed to pesticides, wash them with soap and water before using again.

• Wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticides with soap and water. Always wash your produce thoroughly with water before cooking or eating.

LOCATIONS:

Parts of Corona, Forest Hills, Forest Hill Gardens, Flushing, Kew Gardens Hills, Queensboro Hill and Rego Park (Bordered  by Long Island Expressway, College Point Boulevard and Booth Memorial Avenue to the north; 99th Street, 67th Avenue and Austin Street to the west; Jackie Robinson Parkway and Grand Central Parkway to the south; and Main Street to the east)

Parts of Bellrose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Hollis Hills, Glen Oaks and Little Neck (Bordered by Long Island Expressway, Douglaston Parkway and Van Zandt Avenue to the north; Cloverdale Boulevard,73rd Avenue and Springfield Boulevard to the west; Hillside Avenue to the south; Little Neck Parkway, Leith Road, Hewlett Street and Langdale Street to the east.)

 

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ULTA Beauty opens up in Glendale shopping center


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

It was a beauty-full day on Friday at The Shops at Atlas Park as it welcomed ULTA Beauty to its complex.

This is ULTA Beauty’s second store to come to Queens with the first location opening up in Rego Park three years ago. The 10,000-square foot location at the Glendale shopping center has more than 20,000 products for both men and women. It features 20,000 beauty products, 4,000 testers and more than 1,000 scents while also offering in-store services for skin care, hair and eyebrows.

More than 200 people lined up for its Aug. 15 grand opening with the first 100 receiving gift certificates ranging from $5 to $100 for future purchases.  The store will also be offering free makeovers and consultations all weekend.

“ULTA is all things beauty, all in one place,” said Kelly Smith, who manages all grand openings for ULTA Beauty.  “We are truly a beauty destination for Glendale, and our ULTA beauty experts are ready to help with all of your beauty needs, from the basics to the perfect shade of lipstick to the newest hair tool.”

 

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Rego Park special needs school closing, displacing vulnerable students


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Salvatore Licata

A Rego Park school for children with special needs closes on Friday and many of the disabled students of the year-round school have nowhere to go, family members told The Courier.

Life-Skills School, which served students with mental and secondary emotional challenges ages 9 through 21, was the only school of its kind in Queens.

Its closure leave a vulnerable population without a local specialized school to go to.

“I have no real options for my brother right now,” Theresa Michie, whose brother Randy attended Life-Skills, said. “I don’t know what else to do.”

Parents and guardians of about 43 students received a notice from the school saying it was closing in 90 days, as required by the state, but many say they were not given enough time to make other arrangements.

While some parents have already found schools for their children, many children have yet to be placed.

“No one knew until late May that this was going to happen,” said Peg Rasmussen, whose daughter Gabriella goes to the school. “It was cruel to wait so long to tell us.”

Rasmussen was one of the lucky ones. She said she was able to place her daughter in an appropriate school with the assistance of state Sen. Joe Addabbo’s office.

“I was very fortunate to be able to help Mrs. Rasmussen and her daughter,” state Sen. Addabbo said, “but there are still children that need the proper assistance.

Barbara Hendricks, director of the Life-Skills board of trustees, said she only gave the allotted amount of time because she was trying to look for other options and because if she had told families earlier, she would have had “pure chaos on [her] hands.”

“The school was running on a deficit for years now,” Hendricks said. “We wouldn’t have been able to fund the programs our students need this year. I did not want to do this. It was a very difficult decision.”

Life-Skills is a nonprofit private school that is publicly funded by New York State. With salaries, high rent prices and the lack of enrollment, the school did not have enough money and now must shut its doors, according to Hendricks.

When the closure notices went out, each child was paired with case worker to help with the placement process. The options for many parents depended on the classification of disabilities their children have. Some children were placed in private specialized schools in Queens, but others were given the option of going out of the borough or to District 75 public schools, such as Randy was offered.

But some children, like Randy, who go to Life-Skills have been let down by public schooling already, which makes his sister reluctant to put him back in the system.

“I took him out of public school already because it was not working for him,” said Michie, who lives in Astoria. “Now, the only school like Life-Skills that is currently willing to take him is in Westchester. I can’t send him there.”

There were many days that Michie had to rush over to Life-Skills because of situations involving her brother.

She said if she sends Randy to Westchester and a problem arose it would take her over an hour to get there, which is too long for her to feel safe.

Hendricks said that 95 percent of the displaced children have been offered slots in private schools “all over” the city and surrounding counties, but 13 families had yet to accept the outplacement. She added that she frequently follows up with the Department of Education and that they are working closely with all students to place them in schools that work for them.

For now, guardians and parents who do not like the options they were given will have to keep looking for viable schools. Michie said it is very difficult to find a school close enough for a child with multiple disabilities, like her brother Randy.

“We just have to hope that we can find a place to send Randy,” Michie, who cancelled a trip to Florida just in case she has to meet with a school, said. “[Since she got the letter] It’s been a headache every day.”

 

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Rego Park man facing eviction jumps to death: reports


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

A Rego Park man jumped four stories to his death Monday after a marshal came to serve him an eviction notice, according to published reports.

The 61-year-old man leapt from his Wetherole Street apartment window at about 12:45 p.m., the New York Post said, and fell into the building’s courtyard when he heard the knocking at his door.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

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79-year-old woman fatally struck by van in Rego Park


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


An elderly pedestrian was killed Friday morning after she was hit by a van in Rego Park, cops said

The victim, a 79-year-old woman, who has yet to be identified by police, was trying to cross 99th Street at about 8:40 a.m. when she was struck as the vehicle was making a left-hand turn from 62nd Road, authorities said.

The woman was taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Police said the driver remained on the scene and the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad is investigating.

 

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Queens filmmaker co-creates first ‘TV series’ made exclusively for Instagram


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of “Artistically Challenged”

A Queens man and his fellow filmmakers are hoping their “TV series” is an Insta-nt hit.

Artistically Challenged,” the first “TV series” written, directed, shot and formatted specifically for Instagram, launched on July 1, with seven episodes. Rego Park resident Aleks Arcabascio, and co-producers and co-writers Samuel Delmara and Jeremy Boros, are releasing an episode each day until the end of the month, when all 32 videos will be available on the photo sharing app.

“Instagram is where my friends and family my age spend so much of their time and attention anyway and if that’s where the eyeballs are at, why not make something for them?” Arcabascio said.

The series, shot over two weeks in more than 20 locations throughout New York City, including several in Queens, surrounds the story of Nick Romaine, played by Boros. Romaine is a struggling young artist “who tells a small lie and becomes an overnight celebrity only to find that his success comes with a hefty price.” Among the crazy characters that Romaine meets are powerful players in the New York art world, and the series examines the fine line between art and trash, according to the creators.

One of the biggest challenges for the writing trio was penning the series within Instagram’s 15-second video time limit.

They saw an advantage, however, in the platform’s ability to share content, and tag the entire series with the account name.

“The ultimate compliment is that people are sharing [the show],” Delmara said.

The filmmakers also had to work with a 640-by-640 pixel square screen to fit the smartphone format.

Queens resident Aleks Arcabascio (right) helps set up a shot while directing “Artistically Challenged.”

Arcabascio, who also co-directed “Artistically Challenged” with Delmara, compared the “minimalist storytelling” process to making a silent film.

“A lot of what we knew about film grammar got thrown out the window when we understood the time and space we had to use,” he said.

Filming was made easier by their volunteer crew and others who helped them along the way, including those who lent them spaces to shoot scenes.

One of those locations was Arcabascio’s parents’ Long Island City pizzeria, An Italian Affair, where they filmed episode 2. Episode 21 was shot in the Astoria dentist office of his father’s friend.

His parents also own Redken Saloon Salon in Astoria, and the place was used as a home base when filming the dentist scenes. The salon is also where Arcabascio honed his filmmaking skills. As a young boy he would make flip books out of Post-it pads when he would help sweep hair off the floor for tips on Saturdays.

Arcabascio, who was born in Whitestone and moved to Long Island as a child, turned to animation in middle school and soon discovered video. Shortly after graduating from NYU in 2012, where he studied film and television, he settled in Rego Park. Since that time has kept busy with several production, writing and directing projects, including creating the web series “The Four Thirty in the Morning Show.”

He would like his future filmmaking plans to include another season of “Artistically Challenged.”
Arcabascio also hopes their endeavor will inspire similar Instagram creations.

“The limits are pretty concrete, but the possibilities are endless,” he said. “I can’t wait to see where it goes and I’m glad we’re a part of that.”

Episodes of “Artistically Challenged” can be viewed on Instagram at @actheseries.

 

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New architecture exhibit shows possibilities for QueensWay


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Image courtesy of Carrie Wilbert

A new exhibition is opening Thursday that features winners of a QueensWay design competition.

The Center for Architecture will be hosting the exhibit, “QueensWay Connection: Elevating the Public Realm,” and the competition, which occurred earlier this year, was held by The Emerging New York Architects committee of the American Institute of Architecture.

In the competition, contestants were asked to come up with theoretical designs for what the 3.5-mile stretch from Rego Park to Ozone Park could be used for. The four winning designs and an honorable mention of the biennial competition will now go on to be displayed in Manhattan, where the Center of Architecture is located.

The QueensWay, an abandoned rail line, has been a point of much debate and controversy, with advocates arguing that it should be turned into a high line-style park.

Since the LIRR Rockaway Beach Line was abandoned in the 1960s, little has been changed to the elevated train. But over the last few years, The Trust for Public Land and Friends of the Queensway are currently studying the area.

New York Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, along with the Queens College Urban Studies Department, launched a community impact study to help assess the best use for the line.

The competition received 120 entries form 28 countries. They were judged, according to the EMergin New York Architects, “based on the design’s ability to provide an effective and welcoming transition between the street and future greenway.”

But the assumption that the line will be a “future greenway” is a premature  at this point.


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Mini-documentary features ‘remarkable stories’ from Queens magic shop


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Michael “Six” Muldoon


America already knows he’s “Got Talent.” A new mini-documentary is now showing how one Queens magician has helped a pair of local tricksters and countless others through his shop.

“The Magic Man,” a six-minute film recently released on YouTube as part of Bacardi’s The Untameable Series, features Rogue Magic and Funshop on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst.

The store is owned by 35-year-old Briarwood magician Roger “Rogue” Quan who appeared on the July 1 episode of “America’s Got Talent,” and also owns Rogue Magic Bar & Theatre in Rego Park.

Quan opened the store in 2000, and in addition to selling tricks, the business became like a sanctuary for local youngsters.

“I pushed these kids. If they needed money, needed a place to stay,” Quan said, he helped them out. “I created another family and they helped me out.”

Two of those people’s stories are the focus of “The Magic Man” — Ridgewood resident Michael “Six” Muldoon and Brooklyn native Devonte Rosero.

Both men have made careers out of magic after dealing with personal struggles.

At a young age, Muldoon, now 25, coped with having a sixth finger and weight issues. His Maspeth house burned downed when he was 11 and his parents separated around that time.

Muldoon found magic at about age 13, and bought his first trick from Quan’s store.

“It kind of became an addiction after that,” said Muldoon, who eventually started working at the shop.

Quan not only helped give Muldoon the confidence he needed, but also his stage name — ”Six.”

“He gave us a place to connect, to be open, to find ourselves,” Muldoon said.

After Muldoon nearly died from a ruptured spleen at 18, and was looking to give back, Rosero, who had just met the founder of Magicians Without Borders, suggested that Muldoon work with the organization.

Today, the two are still involved with the group, which travels to more than 30 countries “using magic to entertain, educate and empower.”

They also both started System 6 Magic, a company that produces playing cards and DVDs, and have each become accomplished performers and entrepreneurs.

Though he became interested in magic at an early age, in his teen years Rosero, now 24, started associating with local street gangs.

After landing in the hospital, Rosero received a call from Quan, whose shop he used to go to four or five years earlier, urging him to try out for a magic competition, he recalls in “The Magic Man.”

“If Rouge had not called me, I would be in jail or dead,” Rosero said.

The mini-documentary is not the first time Quan’s magic shop and some of the people it’s helped have been captured on film.

A full-length documentary called “The Magic Men,” featuring Rosero and another local magician, Miles Thorn, was screened at the Woodstock Film Festival in 2013. The film’s producer is trying to get it distributed for full release in New York City, according to Quan. He believes it may have been the reason the filmmakers behind the Bacardi piece came calling.

The aim of the Bacardi series is to tell “remarkable stories of irrepressible spirits from around the world.”

Some of that spirit is summed up in how Quan answers the question about why he does what he does in the documentary.

“Why do I do it? Because I want people to believe. That’s what magic’s all about.”

 

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WATCH: Queens magician performs staple gun Russian roulette on ‘America’s Got Talent,’ wows judges


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo by Craig Blankenhorn/NBC


Queens magician Roger “Rogue” Quan took his chances with one out of four loaded staple guns on “America’s Got Talent” Tuesday night and four out of four judges loved it.

The Briarwood resident and owner of  Rogue Magic and Funshop in Elmhurst performed his staple gun Russian roulette routine on the July 1 episode.

Judge Mel B acted as an assistant, loading one industrial staple gun and shuffling it with three empty ones in a bag. Then, using her “woman’s intuition” she had to pick the three empty ones out of the bag and fire each of them at his temple.

“Do not trust me,” Mel B said as she was about to choose the third gun.

But Quan did trust her, and it was empty. Then, with the fourth gun, he stapled a photo of himself into a piece of wood.

The “dangerous magic” trick as Quan described it rendered Mel B and fellow judges Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Howard Stern nervous during the performance and impressed at the finish.

But most importantly it left them wanting more.

“I haven’t seen anything like it. I thought you were fantastic. I want to see more of you,” Klum said.

“You entertained us. It was a great presentation. After seeing that I can’t wait to see you again and that’s how this works,” Stern said.

“It was the most fulfilling moment of my performing career,” Quan told The Queens Courier.

Quan is now slated to appear on Judgment Week later this month, where it will be decided which 48 acts will compete in the live show.

 

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