Tag Archives: shopping

Shopping may be in Scobee’s future


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

An applicant is looking to tear down a shuttered Little Neck diner to erect a retail and community facility in its place, according to a local community board.

Lion Bee Equities, a Great Neck-based company, has proposed transforming the former Scobee Grill diner into a two-story building with retail on the first floor and a community facility on the second floor, said Community Board 11’s district manager Susan Seinfeld.

The popular diner at 252-29 Northern Boulevard had been around for several decades before it shut down two years ago when eatery owners failed to reach negotiations to purchase the property from its landowners.

Retail plans were not yet known for the now vacant site, said Seinfeld, but there is a high possibility the equities firm would push for a medical facility or a day care on the second floor.

A public hearing for the proposal is scheduled for March, Seinfeld said.

Longtime Little Neck resident Larry Penner, who said he met his wife at Scobee’s on a blind date, welcomed the development.

“This would create jobs for construction people and contractors. I miss Scobee’s but neighborhoods change. Restaurants come and go,” he said. “I was kind of hoping a diner would come in there, but a lot of diners are disappearing in Queens.”

Click with confidence: three tips to protect your privacy when shopping online


| Brandpoint@queenscourier.com


If the growing online shopping statistics from the past few years have been any indication, buyers will again be flocking to online retailers this holiday season – perhaps in larger numbers than ever before.

However, as people become increasingly savvier as Web shoppers, awareness and concerns about online privacy and safety have also grown. As many as 91 percent of consumers say that they’re concerned about privacy when shopping online. Frequent news stories about consumer information being sold or mishandled have helped contribute to an atmosphere of mistrust, and more than half of consumers say they don’t trust businesses with their personal information.

For those who love the convenience and choice that come along with online shopping, there are a few ways to ensure that your information is kept safe and private.

1. Read privacy policies. You’ve probably seen them countless times, but how often have you actually read a privacy policy? If you’ve shopped without reading, you’re certainly not alone. While 97 percent of websites have a privacy policy, those documents average nearly 2,500 words – which is almost twice as long as the Declaration of Independence. It would take the average person at least 10 minutes to read that, and not too many online shoppers want to spend that much time. However, reading the privacy policy will give you the details about what a site is doing to keep your information safe.

2. Adjust your privacy settings. With a bit of tweaking, you can adjust your cookies and make your computer more protected and cut down on inadvertent data leakage. However, be prepared to spend some time doing this, and remember that each browser is different. If you use multiple browsers on multiple computers, you’ll need to configure them all to your preferences. If making those changes is beyond the scope of your technological knowledge, you can try asking for help from a savvy friend or family member, or an electronics store employee might be able to help.

3. Look for privacy verification seals. Perhaps the easiest, quickest way to ensure that an online retailer is trustworthy is to look for seals and logos certifying a website’s privacy practices, such as the green TRUSTe Certified Privacy Seal. It’s an easy at-a-glance way to get an idea of how dedicated a retailer is to protecting its customers, but keep in mind that if you want to learn more, you can click on the seal to get more detailed information about the sites privacy practices. There are also browser add-ons that can help you find e-commerce sites that carry the seals, and an online directory of participating websites that you can browse.

During the holiday season, you can shop with more confidence if you know that your personal information is safe. And as retailers learn that consumers demand more privacy measures, they’re responding by making their policies more easily available.

Shopping and dining in Flushing


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Sky View Centerw

BY MELISSA MOTT

The diversity of food in Flushing brings credibility to one of its many nicknames: “The Food Capital of Queens.”

According to Dian Yu, executive director of the Flushing Business Improvement District, the high population density area, especially downtown, is “definitely known for the food.”

“We have a new name,” he said, “food, fun and Flushing.”

Hungry diners — including celebrities and tourists from all over — travel far and wide to visit Flushing’s award-winning Joe’s Shanghai at 136-21 37th Avenue. The restaurant, with two other locations in the city, is widely recognized for its New York favorite, soup dumplings.

The downtown neighborhood also boasts a number of diverse and reasonably priced restaurants, Yu said, and Main Street is a hub of restaurants and shops.

Flushing also has the second biggest Chinatown throughout the boroughs, according to Yu.

“We have Chinese supermarkets, which have farmers’ markets and regular sections [full of] fresh produce, fish and Asian products,” he said. “It’s fun to shop in Flushing.”

However, there’s more to Flushing than unique food experiences, Yu said. The neighborhood offers a variety of stores to meet any shopper’s needs at very reasonable prices.

Shoppers can find Macy’s on Main Street, and only a short distance away — at 40-24 College Point Boulevard — Sky View Center stands as the newly built regional mall. The area’s largest mixed-use, multi-level shopping destination hosts stores such as Target, Old Navy and Bed Bath and Beyond.

“Not many people know it, but this is the place to be,” Yu said. “We’re the diamond in the rough. Not everyone knows how good we are, but the people who do won’t go anywhere else.”

LIC’s best boutiques


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

LOVEDAY31Aw

Loveday 31

33-06 31st Avenue, Astoria

718-728-4057

This vintage mecca serves up the most perfect 50s taffeta party dresses, lux coats and cocktail rings at ultra-affordable prices. Scour the heavenly wall of leather boots for a one-of-a-kind pair and even score a classic piece from a major designer like Prada or Gucci.

Site

35-11 34th Avenue, Astoria

718-626-6030

While Site doesn’t specialize in fashion – unless you’re counting the “I heart Astoria” T-shirts – it’s too adorable to not include. The perfect gift shop, Site carries just about every kitschy kitchen fixture available. Something called a Corkcicle? They have it. Dinosaur-shaped Christmas-tree ornaments? They have it. Also check in for cool, retro maps, gadget covers in delightful prints and super-cute kids stuff.

Kristees

24-01 23rd Avenue, Astoria

718-204-5031

Tucked away in a mostly residential sliver of neighborhood, Kristees is the kind of high-fashion oasis Astoria needs. Stop in for color-blocked sweaters with zipper accents, leather, lace-up moto pants and super-soft T’s – all at a variety of prices. The store works with many lesser-known designers, including some local talent like Asami and Queens 77, whose stu can only be found at Kristees.

Hanger

30-74 Steinway Street, Astoria

347-808-9093

Hanger shines amongst a sea of dime-a-dozen Steinway stores. Incredibly affordable and sinfully trendy, Hanger carries scores of brightly-hued handbags, monogrammed sweaters and studded jackets. Think H&M and Zara, but on a local level.

Cherry

40-37 23rd Street, Long Island City

718-786-8645

It may be by appointment only, but we’ll wait to get in. The upscale, vintage clothier boasts shoes, jewelry and accessories from the turn of the century up through the 80s. And you can’t beat that kind of intimate atmosphere. Shopping without crowds is how we wish we could shop everywhere.

Shoppers line up for savings on Black Friday


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Billy Rennison

Fighting off the tryptophan, shoppers made their way out after Thanksgiving dinner eschewing sleep and leftovers for some early morning shopping.

Nearly 150 million people were expected to take advantage of Black Friday sales throughout the country this weekend, according to a National Retail Federation (NRF) survey.

For some, Black Friday has become a tradition with Thanksgiving dinner providing the necessary energy for the shopping spectacle waiting the next morning.

“You eat, relax a little and then you’re ready to shop,” said Marilyn Bloom as she waited online outside Macy’s in Queens Center.

An estimated $586.1 billion will be spent during the holiday season, according to the NRF, a 4.1 percent increase from last year.

“Though the Black Friday tradition is here to stay, there’s no question that it has changed in recent years; already there is a tremendous amount of excitement and anticipation surrounding retailers’ Thanksgiving and Black Friday promotions,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

Many shoppers have begun to skip the long lines of Black Friday, instead opting for the ease of buying online on Cyber Monday. For others, the yearly practice of lining up the night of Thanksgiving has become a tradition.

“I do this every year. I prepare, check the deals and know exactly what I want. That’s how you have to do it, or you’ll be lost,” said Gabrielle Gandy, 37.

While Black Friday has begun to creep deeper into Thanksgiving – some national chains opened as early as 8 p.m. on Thursday – most stores in Queens Center waited for the stroke of midnight before opening their doors.

A DJ spinning records on the bottom floor provided the soundtrack to the party-like atmosphere in the Queens mall.

Z100’s Skeery Jones was also on hand giving customers a chance to win gift cards to the mall through a bevy of games.

As midnight approached, a New Year’s Eve like anticipation built outside Macy’s, which had the mall’s longest line, with customers even counting down the time until the doors would open.

“You have to get in there fast, but you don’t want to get stepped on,” said Erick Cruz as midnight approached.

Once crowded hallways emptied as shoppers flooded into stores as soon as the gates rose.

While some shops had hundreds of people lined up waiting to get in, others had none allowing shoppers to stock up on savings while avoiding the waiting and the crowds.

“It’s kind of crazy not to come. You’re paying less and there’s not even a line,” said Vic Calderon at Banana Republic, which no lines, but was offering 40 percent off.

A couple of blocks west at Queens Place, buyers looking to stock up on gadgets lined up outside the mall’s Best Buy hoping to score the hundreds of dollars of savings the electronics megastore was offering on televisions, computers and phones.

A floor up at Target, customers poured in at 9 p.m. to stock up on clothing, electronics and appliances.

Wielding multiple bags in each hand, Rachel Morales, 36, said however crazy it may get on Black Friday, the crowds are well worth it.

“I’m done Christmas shopping. Maybe just a couple of more small things,” she said. “Wait to the weekend before Christmas and then you’ll see craziness.”

Dine while you shop in Bayside


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Melissa Chan

The 230 businesses that line Bell Boulevard are 230 reasons alone to visit one of the busiest commercial corridors in the northeast portion of the borough, according to Bayside Village’s executive business director.

The popular strip is well-known for its long established eateries and beloved bars, but Bayside Village Business Improvement District’s (BID) executive director, Lyle Sclair, said there’s more to the boulevard, long deemed “restaurant row,” than a place to grab a bite.

A majority of businesses — 32 percent — along the tree-lined streets are made up of professional practices, ranging from medical doctors to lawyers, accountants, bankers and realtors, Sclair said. Eating and drinking establishments only represent 27 percent of businesses.

“People definitely know us for the bars and restaurants, but a lot of people don’t know that you can get all your wedding day needs on Bell Boulevard too,” Sclair said.

Brides and grooms planning their nuptials can find everything from their dresses and tuxedos to hair and makeup services along the strip, the business head said. They can also buy their wedding rings, book their honeymoons and even pick out lingerie for the big night.

Auburndale also boasts its hidden foodie gem, Durso’s Pasta & Ravioli Company, while Fresh Meadows is home to its own collection of cuisines along 188th Street and Union Turnpike.

THE COURIER/Photos by Melissa Chan

For a shopping mecca filled with an assortment of entertainment, shopping and dining options, without the bustle and congestion of the city, visit The Bay Terrace Shopping Center at 211-01 26th Avenue and Bell Boulevard. The center features one dozen restaurants, including Tony Roma’s and Outback Steakhouse, and more than 30 shops.

Motorist dies of apparent suicide while driving on the Throgs Neck Bridge


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Motorist dies of apparent suicide while driving on the Throgs Neck Bridge

A 36-year-old man killed himself with a shot to the head while driving on the Throgs Neck Bridge on Monday night, police said. The man was heading northbound from Queens toward the Bronx in a 1999 Chevy Silverado when he took his own life just before he arrived at the tollbooth, cops said. After the driver pulled the trigger at 7:11 p.m., police said, the man’s silver pickup truck slammed into another car and then careened into a tollbooth entrance. Read More: Daily News

‘Junk-justice radar’ on high alert in Queens district attorney’s office conviction of Tejpal Singh

This is last week and two court officers lead convicted murderer Tejpal Singh into the Queens courtroom of the Honorable Michael B. Aloise, a courtroom jammed with Sikh men in turbans. They uncuff him at the defense table. Aloise oddly stands through loud arguments from high-powered defense attorney Stephen G. Murphy, who charges that in Singh’s case, the Queens district attorney’s office has convicted yet another in a parade of innocent people. Read More: Daily News

Sex suspect takes plunge

A depraved sicko nearly plunged to his death from a fourth-floor window after sexually attacking a young woman in her Queens apartment building, police sources said yesterday. Gustavo Avila, 20, was listed in critical condition at Elmhurst Hospital following Wednesday’s incident on 83rd Street in Jackson Heights, sources said. Read More: New York Post

Long Island man arrested in killing of young mom and her 2-year-old son

A Long Island man has been arrested for killing his one-time love interest and her 2-year-old son, whose little body was found in a freezer, police said. Jerry Lewis, 24, repeatedly stabbed Shakeela Planter, 21, on the morning of December 18 inside the North Bay Shore apartment they had been sharing, police said. Lewis did not spare Planter’s son, Jaiden Planter, police said. He beat the toddler, stuffed his body into a plastic bag and stashed him in his mother’s freezer, police said. Read More: Daily News

Miracle survivors

A Queens family of six driving upstate for the holidays “miraculously” survived a frightening accident that sent their SUV tumbling off the highway and launched the youngest of the clan out of the car. Although his entire family was hospitalized after the early-morning wreck yesterday near the town of Bethlehem, 42-year-old dad Eli Rowe sounded grateful that things didn’t turn out worse. He said their 2010 Mercedes veered off the rain-soaked New York Thruway and flipped over multiple times as they were headed from Flushing to Lake George for a family getaway. Read More: New York Post

Shoppers take it all back

With Christmas finally over, throngs of sale-crazy shoppers flocked to stores across New York yesterday in hopes of correcting Kris Kringle’s little mistakes and ringing in 2012 with huge savings. “It’s crazy how chaotic it is,” said Alex, a 27-year-old college student who was exchanging a $230 sweater for a $200 button-down shirt at Saks Fifth Avenue. He declined to give his last name in an apparent bid to spare the gift giver’s feelings. The Saks sale — in which many posh items at the high-end store were slashed up to 70 percent — led to “lots of pushing and shoving,” said one witness. Read More: New York Post

‘Double-dater’ teacher

Gerard Cassidy, a physical-education instructor at a Queens middle school, was caught in a love triangle and fired for having an “inappropriate relationship” with an ex-student — while dating her mom, The Post has learned. Cassidy, 44, who taught at MS 137 America’s School of Heroes in Ozone Park, lost a fight for his $83,600-a-year job even though the 16-year-old student recanted her claim that she had sex with the teacher, according to city Department of Education documents and court records. The age of consent in New York is 17. Cassidy denied any wrongdoing. Read More: New York Post

Comptroller: Last Year’s Christmas Blizzard Cost City About $2M In Settlements

The city is still paying the price for its sluggish response to the major blizzard from exactly one year ago, in the form of liability claims. The City Comptroller’s office says it has paid out nearly $2 million in liability claims so far, and there may be more to come. The biggest settlement so far was $150,000 for a man who fell in an icy parking lot that was not shoveled properly by the city. Another $100,000 thousand went to a Brooklyn cemetery where headstones were damaged by a falling fence after snow had been dumped against it. Read More: NY1

Felonies Sharply Increase This Year In The Rockaways

Even as police report that crime rates remain mostly flat around the city, statistics show felonies have spiked in parts of the Rockaways section of Queens. Burglaries in the 100th precinct, covering Broad Channel, Breezy Point and Belle Harbor, are up 144 percent this year. Felony assaults have jumped 66 percent, robberies are up 31 percent and grand larcenies 26 percent over last year. Residents in Belle Harbor who spoke with NY1 said they are aware of the increased crime in the area, but generally still feel safe. Read More: NY1

Elmhurst Fire Sends Two To The Hospital

Investigators say two people were hurt when a fire broke out inside the Martinique Plaza residential complex in Elmhurst on Sunday morning. The two victims were taken to Elmhurst Hospital, and two others with minor injuries were evaluated at the scene. The fire started on the second floor of the building, but firefighters put it out before it spread to other floors. Read More: NY1

Radio’s Lynn Samuels dies at 69

Lynn Samuels, longtime doyenne of New York’s talk-radio airwaves, died of a heart attack over the weekend. She was 69. An unabashed liberal, Samuels mixed searing political commentary with humor, sarcasm and at times profane observations about living in the Big Apple, attracting a loyal following over more than three decades on the air. Broadcast on SiriusXM satellite radio from her Woodside apartment, her distinctive voice — raspy with elongated vowels — instantly established her as a native New Yorker. Read More: New York Post

Fiancee of Sean Bell urges NYPD Chief Ray Kelly to fire officers in beau’s shooting death


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Fiancee of Sean Bell urges NYPD Chief Ray Kelly to fire officers in beau’s shooting death

Sean Bell’s fiancée Thursday urged the city’s top cop to sack all five officers who fired in the shooting frenzy that killed her beau on their wedding day in 2006. Nicole Paultre-Bell made the demand of Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly after an NYPD trials commissioner recommended Tuesday that one of the cops, Detective Gescard Isnora, be booted from the force for violating department protocol while undercover and firing the first shot in the 50-shot barrage. Read More: Daily News

Mayor Michael Bloomberg breaks ground on Willets Point redevelopment 

Mayor Bloomberg broke ground Thursday on a controversial redevelopment that he vowed will transform gritty Willets Point into “a major engine for economic growth.” Bloomberg unearthed dirt with a slew of elected officials just steps from the mix of auto body shops and junkyards that abuts Citi Field. Read More: Daily News

Enter The Courier’s Giveaway of the Day Contest

The holidays are in full swing and in keeping with the spirit of the season of giving The Queens Courier is handing out free prizes daily. Today, four tickets to the North Shore Towers Cinema will be raffled off.  All you need to enter is an email address and your zip code. Click here to enter the contest. Check back daily as new prizes will be offered each day.  Yesterday, Robert Vasquez took home two tickets to the St. John’s Red Storm. Via Queens Courier

21 charged in scheme to defraud NY car dealerships

Members of a New York City auto crime ring busted this week bribed people into applying for expensive automobile loans for Cadillacs, Porsches and other luxury cars, then defaulted on millions of dollars and sold the cars on the black market. One of the 50 cars wrongly procured, a Porsche, was used to dump the body of one of two victims shot in 2009 inside the Long Island condo belonging to pro football player Jonathan Vilma, authorities said. Read More: Wall Street Journal

Disgraced former New York Controller Alan Hevesi will keep rotting in prison as parole board turns him down

 

Disgraced former state Controller Alan Hevesi was denied his first attempt at parole Thursday and will spend at least another year behind bars, the Daily News has learned. The once powerful Queens Democrat is serving a one-to-four year sentence at medium-security Mid-Hudson Correctional Facility in Oneida County for his role in a massive pay-to-play pension fund scandal during his tenure as state controller. Read More: Daily News

Alexander’s Secures $275M Refinancing of Rego Park II in Queens

 

Alexander’s, Inc. has completed a $275 million refinancing of its 610,000 square foot Rego Park II shopping center located in Queens. The seven-year loan bears interest at LIBOR plus 1.85 percent and amortizes based on a 30-year schedule. The proceeds of the new loan were used to repay the existing loan on the property. Alexander’s, Inc. is a real estate investment trust that has seven properties in the greater New York City metropolitan area. Read More: CityBizList

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hundreds rush Queens Center mall for Black Friday shopping


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Melissa Chan.

There’s no time to nap for Fahad Azad.

The Black Friday shopper told The Courier he had been awake since 5 a.m., but still plans on spending the entire day hunting down good deals.

“We want to buy things,” he said. “This is the only day that we can get a big sale and where people can buy a lot of stuff. The electronic sales are way too good.

“These long lines are tiring, but it’s worth it,” he said, adding that he has already saved close to $100.

Like Azad, hundreds of eager, ambitious shoppers busted down the doors of Queens Center mall on Friday, November 25 at midnight with one thing in mind — sales, sales, sales.

“If you’re doing your entire Christmas shopping, and you’re spending close to a thousand dollars for the family, it’s definitely worth it to come out,” said Steven Steinerman.

He happily waited on an entire store-length long line to purchase a basketball on sale for $10, while his wife, Esther, took advantage of the “33 percent off any team item deal” at Modell’s.

“The long lines are a little bit inconvenient, but we’ll live through it,” Esther said. “The weather is nice, and I didn’t have to wake up at 5 in the morning to get a good deal.”