Tag Archives: spain

LIC loses some free Wi-Fi hotspots amid bankruptcy scandal

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


Long Island City has lost some of its connection.

Spain-based Wi-Fi provider GOWEX, which was announced last year as one of the organizations that would help bring free Wi-Fi access throughout the city, has filed bankruptcy and had “dozens” of its hotspots go offline, according to the New York Post.

Some of the hotspots include areas in Long Island City, the Bronx and Staten Island, the Post said.

According to the Post, analysts at Gotham City Research posted in a July 1 report that GOWEX had lied about the size of its contract with the city’s Economic Development Corporation, claiming it had 100,00 hotspots throughout the world, when it actually had about 5,000.

Founder and CEO of GOWEX, Jenaro Garcia resigned after he admitted he inflated the revenues, according to the Chicago Tribune.

When it was announced last year, GOWEX was expected to help bring free Wi-Fi access to the Long Island City area with the network being installed along the Vernon Boulevard, Jackson Avenue and Queens Plaza commercial and retail corridors.

GOWEX had a contract with the EDC worth $245,000 and it has paid the company about $185,000 so far, according to published reports. The contract with GOWEX runs through September 2016.



East Elmhurst boy runs again to raise money for autism programs

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Larry Sillen

One East Elmhurst boy is getting his running shoes ready once again to help make a difference.

Max Moore, 10, will be participating in the June 29 Achilles International Hope and Possibility 5 Mile Race in Central Park for a third time.

“We are super thrilled to see Max enjoy running and to see that he is eager to run each year,” said Max’s mother Jacqueline Moore.

This year will be Max’s second time running to raise money and bring awareness for the Queens Museum’s ArtAccess Autism Initiatives. Last year the youth raised $1,279 in funds online, surpassing his goal of $1,000.

“For us it’s a huge honor, it really moves us. It’s inspirational to us. He’s our hero,” said Michelle Lopez, manager of ArtAccess and Autism Initiatives at the Queens Museum. “It feels really good to know that he is doing this, this is his activity of choice. He chose to run again, to run for us.”

The 10-year-old, who is autistic himself, has been part of the ArtAccess Autism Initiatives together with his family. This past year they have been involved in the museum’s new project called emPOWER Parents, a partnership between the Queens Museum and Museo ICO and its cultural partner, Hablarenarte, in Madrid, Spain.

According to Lopez, the funds raised by Max last year helped contribute to the program.

The partnership uses the arts, art therapy and technology to create and put into effect crucial programming for families of children with autism. It also creates an international network and “digital bridge” where the families can share their experiences.

Max’s mother said the program has allowed him to connect with new friends in Spain who share the same interests.

Max has been preparing for Sunday’s race for the past three months with Achilles Kids, a nonprofit organization that provides training and racing opportunities for children with disabilities. He has been with the group for about four years and in the past few months has been training in Central Park and also participating in several other 5K races.

“I think the Achilles Kids Family is quite an exceptional group of kids, parents, staff and volunteers,” Moore said. “One big family that gets larger and larger every year.”

This year Max will again be running alongside Marissa Fong, a guide provided by Achilles, and his dad, John. Although his mom said John will try to keep up with Max, he might not be able to; last year, Max left him at the three mile mark and went on to finish the race in less than one hour.

“What is wonderful is that running can be something he can enjoy in the future,” Moore said. “That is all we can ask for as parents, that we help him to find his joys and passion in life. We hope Max will continue to run further distances when he gets older and maybe one day accomplish a triathlon.”

To make a donation click here.




Queens Museum “emPOWER”s families of children with autism locally and in Spain

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of emPOWER Parents photography team

Parents and families of children with autism from Queens are now making a connection to those in Spain, thanks to a $73,000 grant.

The Queens Museum, in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, received a 2013 Museums Connect grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs and the American Alliance of Museums. The grant permits the Museum to launch “emPOWER Parents: Fostering Cross Cultural Networks between Families with Autism.”

EmPOWER is a partnership between the Queens Museum and Museo ICO and its cultural partner, Hablarenarte, in Madrid, Spain. The partnership uses the arts, art therapy and technology to create and put into effect crucial programming for families of children with autism. It also creates an international network and “digital bridge” where the families can share their experiences.

The Queens Museum has been creating programming for children and adults with special needs since 1983 through its ArtAccess program. Since then, the museum’s autism initiatives, through contribution from partner organizations and participants, have been adapted for museum settings, public libraries and schools. Now through emPOWER, the initiatives will enter a new phase allowing parents to design resources based on their needs.

The bi-national network of emPOWER is made up of parent advocates and allows parents of children with autism to have the resources to affect institutionalized change in both countries, request improved programming in schools and include their children’s learning styles in community programs. Participating parents gain skills in teaching and behavioral methods and lead programs with other local families. They maintain and broadcast resources in both English and Spanish, sharing their knowledge and creative interventions by parents via a blog site.

The museum will hold closed sessions for emPOWER once a month. For more information visit here.




Euro Cup nets crowds for Queens bars & restaurants

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Maria Moreira sat at the bar of Lenny’s Clam Bar in Howard Beach and watched in silence as Spain continued to score — and score — on Italy to take the 2012 Euro Cup.

A soccer fan, she said that many Americans don’t enjoy the game as much.

During big tournaments, however, restaurant owners and Queens residents say everyone starts to become a fan.

Joe De Candia, who owns Lenny’s, said there had been consistent crowds around the bar area during Euro Cup games.

After Spain scored its second goal Sunday, July 1, the mood died down “like a balloon deflated,” he said.

Across the street, Saffron restaurant had two Spanish flags flying in front and a sign inviting customers to come watch the game. Inside, only one person sat at the bar.

Herbert Duarte, Saffron’s manager, said that there too there had been crowds.

The cultural celebration that is soccer spans throughout Queens.

As Italy defeated Germany on June 28, German fans at Zum Stammtisch in Glendale donned black or white jerseys with names like “Klose,” “Ballack,” or “Schweinsteiger” on the back.

Werner Lehrner, who co-owns the restaurant with his brother Hans, said fans had been coming regularly for games — especially when Germany was playing.

“We’ve been getting 80 to 100 people,” he said.

Zum Stammtisch’s back room was converted into a viewing area during games with a 10-foot projector screen. As Germany slowly began to fall apart in the semi-finals, that back room was filled with sighs and frustration.

Despite their win over Germany, Azzuri fans were let down by the 4-0 loss to Spain — which claimed its third consecutive major title.

Spanish La Liga Week 24 Roundup

| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Real Madrid were fortunate to maintain their double digit lead in the race for the La Liga crown in Week 24, after a resilient Rayo Vallecano side made life very difficult for the league front runners.

Los Blancos were able to overcome Rayo 1-0 thanks to a beautiful back heel finish by Cristiano Ronaldo – easily one of the top goals of the campaign thus far. Rayo appeared the more interested side for a large part of the game, with Piti hitting a post and Michu being denied by a last minute tackle by Sergio Ramos in the first half.

Madrid manager Jose Mourinho reportedly admitted his team was lucky to escape with three points. Rayo not only held a larger percentage of the possession – 54 percent to Madrid’s 46 percent – but they also had more than double the corner kicks, 12 to five.

The teams went into the break with the match at a scoreless draw, but Madrid’s greatest goal threat put them ahead in the 54th minute, when Ronaldo collected a loose ball in the box and powerfully propelled a shot with the back of his foot through a crowd of defenders, past Rayo keeper Joel and into the far corner.

Despite a myriad of second half scoring opportunities for Rayo, substitute Jose Maria Callejon should have sealed the game for Madrid nine minutes from time – when Ronaldo’s cross found him alone in front of net – but the Spaniard’s touch on the ball sent it dribbling past the post and out for a goal kick.

Late game heroics by Lionel Messi kept Barcelona from slipping further behind Real in the standings, as the Blaugrana bested Atletico Madrid 2-1 at the Vicente Calderon.

Messi had a goal called back early in the first half after referee Perez Lasa ruled the Argentine controlled the ball with his hand – an offence for which he received a yellow card – but Dani Alves opened the scoring in the 36th minute. Messi eluded three defenders to lay the ball wide to Cesc Fabregas, whose cross found an unmarked Alves in the box for an easy finish.

Radamel Falcao brought Atletico level in the 49th minute by finishing Gabi’s corner, but Los Rojiblancos were destined to be denied the draw by the brilliance of Messi nine minutes from time.

The Ballon d’Or winner sent a stunning free kick curling over keeper Thibaut Courtois and into the far corner of the net for a magnificent goal. The play was not without controversy, however, as Atletico asserted they were still assembling their wall when the free kick was struck.

Despite going ahead early, third place Valencia were undone 2-1 by Sevilla in front of 50,000 supporters at the Mestalla.

Alberto Costa put the hosts in front in the 25th minute with a blistering, low strike from roughly 25 yards away that found the left corner of the goal.

Sevilla responded just nine minutes later, when Jesus Navas’ cross from the right found the head of Gary Medel in the center of the box.

Navas ultimately burned Valencia a second time by providing the decisive goal in the 70th minute. The Spaniard struck an easy finish after Frederic Kanoute’s pass found him alone in the six yard box.

In a clash of European hopefuls, Levante restored some semblance of order in their season by defeating Espanyol 2-1 at the Cornella-El Prat.

Espanyol came into the match behind fourth place Athletic Bilbao only on goal difference, while Levante were a mere point behind Los Leones.

Valdo put Levante ahead in the 24th minute when he received Arouna Kone’s pass in space and fired home past Francisco Casilla.

The frustrated home supporters were forced to wait until the 75th minute for an equalizer, when Kalu Uche headed home Joan Verdu’s floating free kick from the right side.

Ruben Suarez’s free kick from 30 yards restored Levante’s lead with less than two minutes remaining – proving to be the decisive play and providing the Valencia-based side with a gripping victory.

Villarreal – with their heads now above the relegation zone – rescued a point in a suspenseful 2-2 draw against Athletic Bilbao at El Madrigal.

The hosts struck first 10 minutes from the start thanks to a lovely free kick by captain Marcos Senna. The match went into the break with Villarreal in front, but Bilbao responded 17 minutes after the restart when substitute Fernando Llorente delivered a calm header to the back post.

The visitors captured the lead a mere four minutes later, in the 66th, when Markel Susaeta broke free on a counter attack and fired past keeper Diego Lopez.

Villarreal wasted no time in equalizing, as substitute Nilmar scored a rebound goal in the 68th minute after Bilbao keeper Gorka Iraizoz failed to hold a relatively weak strike by Alejandro Martinuccio.

Malaga thrashed lowly Real Zaragoza 5-1, with four goals in a span of 21 minutes. The La Liga bottom dwellers, who have now lost 15 matches thus far this campaign, took a shocking lead on Carlos Aranda’s goal in the 23rd minute, but Sebastian Fernandez headed home an equalizer for Malaga on the stroke of halftime. An own goal by Paulo Da Silva sparked Malaga’s onslaught, prompting subsequent strikes by Martin Demichelis, Isco and Jose Salomon Rondon.

Elsewhere in Spain, Osasuna stayed in the mix for a spot in Europe by defeating Granada 2-1 with a pair of first-half goals.

José Antonio Dorado Ramírez’s own goal cost Real Betis two points, as they tied 1-1 with Getafe.

Real Sociedad leapfrogged Mallorca in the La Liga standings with 1-0 victory provided by Imanol Agirretxe’s 79th minute goal.

A penalty by Christian Stuani in the 74th minute provided Racing Santander with a 1-1 draw at home against Sporting Gijon.

La Liga Week 20 Roundup

| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Real Madrid are hoping seven is their new lucky number, as Los Blancos increased their points lead over archrivals Barcelona at the top of La Liga to more than half a dozen with a 3-1 victory over last place Real Zaragoza.

After being dismissed from the Copa del Rey midweek, Madrid was playing from behind early after an 11th minute goal by Zaragoza’s Angel Lafita. A quickly played free-kick sprung Carlos Aranda on the right wing, and his cross found the foot of Lafita, who beat Iker Casillas from close range.

Real, who haven’t won La Liga in three seasons, immediately stormed back in an effort to get level before the half. A Karim Benzema attempt was blocked by defender Maurizio Lanzaro, and Kaka squandered two opportunities to bring Los Merengues level on crosses from Mesut Ozil and Marcelo. The Brazilian was ultimately able to equalize in the 32nd minute, firing a low shot past keeper Roberto Gago after Ricardo Carvalho’s through ball sent him clear into the area.

The hosts took the lead a mere four minutes after the restart, when Ozil’s cross from the right found the foot of Cristiano Ronaldo, who calmly tapped the ball into the back of the net. Seven minutes later, it was the German playmaker’s turn to get on the score sheet. A superb build-up by Granero and Kaka left Ozil streaking into the left side of the area, and he hammered the ball with his left, forcing it past Roberto from a tight angle.

Barcelona, who sat eight points behind after Madrid’s win, was able to manage only a point by playing to a scoreless draw with Villareal at El Madrigal.

The Blaugrana were lucky not to be sunk by the Yellow Submarine, who could have taken the lead on several different occasions during the first half.

It was Barcelona, however, that had the best opportunity of the half – and possibly the game – when Lionel Messi was one on one with the charging Diego Lopez 17 minutes in. The Argentine calmly chipped the ball over the goalkeeper, but the ball squirmed past the post – allowing the home fans to exhale.

As the game progressed, Barcelona pushed the hosts back deeper into their own third.

Substitute Cristian Tello ran to the byline and cut back cleverly, finding Cesc Fabregas waiting in the 78th minute. The Spaniard’s low shot was deflected on its way to goal, allowing Lopez to get a hand to it and push it firmly against the bar.

With five minutes remaining, a brilliant give and go between Alexis Sanchez and Messi left the World Player of the Year alone with Lopez, who blocked the subsequent shot with his legs. The rebound spilled to Fabregas, whose shot was horrendously off target.

Valencia continued its disappointing form since the New Year, conceding an 88th minute equalizer to squander two points in their 2-2 draw with Racing Santander.

Racing – fourth from last in the league – took an unlikely lead in the opening two minutes with a goal by Adrian Gonzalez, but Aritz Aduriz second-half brace put Valencia ahead. Los Che could not hold the score however, as Bernardo Espinosa drew the home side level two minutes from time.

Valencia has now secured only three points from a possible dozen since the start of 2012.

Confident Getafe deflated Levante 2-1 for their fourth win in their last six La Liga matches. The visitors from Madrid went ahead just after the half-hour mark, as Dani Guiza was able to finish the rebound from his own shot. Getafe grabbed their second in the 82nd, when Diego Castro fired home after Gustavo Munua saved another strike by Guiza. Levante converted a penalty in stoppage time to complete the scoring.

Espanyol moved even with Levante for fourth place in the league with a gritty 1-0 win over Real Mallorca at the Estadi Cornella – El Prat. Vladimir Weiss provided the game’s only goal in the 18th minute, after Mallorca keeper Dudu Aouate collided with one of his own defenders, allowing the Slovakian to strike an easy goal. Aouate’s day worsened two minutes after the break, when he was sent off for bringing down Rui Fonte just outside the area.

A hat-trick by Fernando Llorente proved crucial for Athletic Bilbao, as Los Leones bested Rayo Vallecano 3-2 at Vallecas. The back and forth game saw Bilbao trailing after an 11th minute goal by Michu. The away team did not wait to equalize, with a header by Llorente finding the back of the net only five minutes after going behind. The big Spaniard gave his side the lead in the 23rd, when he chest-controlled a long ball, turned Mikel Labaka and fired beautifully into the far corner. The hosts equalized a mere three minutes later with a rebound goal from Javi Arribas, but Llorente completed his man of the match performance with a 68th minute winner.

A scorching start – with three goals in the first 19 minutes – proved decisive for Malaga in defeating Sevilla at La Rosaleda.

Weligton headed Malaga in front in the seventh, and Seba Fernandez re-established their lead after Antonio Luna equalized for Sevilla.

Despite the exciting early play, the game was defined by the bad temperament of the players, with 12 yellow cards – five for Malaga and seven for Sevilla – and a red card in the 79th for Alarcon Isco, who had been booked just five minutes earlier.

Atletico Madrid continued their renaissance under new manager Diego Simeone by besting Osasuna 1-0 at the Reyno de Navarra. The visitors snatched the only goal of the game five minutes before the break when Diego Godin finished from close range.

Elsewhere in Spain, Granada bested Real Betis 2-1, and Real Sociedad thrashed Sporting Gijon 5-1, fueled by a brace by David Zurutuza in the first three minutes.


Spanish La Liga: Week 18 Roundup

| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

There were tight matches at the top of the Spanish La Liga in Week 18, with Barcelona and Real Madrid narrowly escaping with three points following hard fought bouts.

Madrid faced a defensively resilient Mallorca side in front of 20,000 fans at the Iberostar Estadi on January 14. After a 39th minute goal on a glancing header by Tomer Hemed, the Madridistas found themselves in the unfamiliar position of playing from behind. Los Blancos controlled possession for the majority of the game (73 percent), but beyond a Sergio Ramos header that struck the post, they found it challenging to break down the stingy Balearic Island side.

Los Merengues were able to ultimately equalize in the 72nd minute. Mesut Ozil found Gonzalo Higuain behind the defense on the left side of the box, after which the Argentine calmly chipped the ball over the outstretched arms of Mallorca keeper Dudu Aouate. After getting their first taste of goal, the visitors went in search of a winner, and Cristiano Ronaldo nearly provided one with a thunderous long-range strike that jolted the crossbar. Madrid concluded their comeback six minutes from time, when Spanish starlet Jose Maria Callejon blasted a rebound that fell to his feet passed the out of place Aouate.

Reigning champions Barcelona also met stiff competition at the Camp Nou in the form of Real Betis. The Blaugrana were ahead 2-0 by the 12th minute thanks to an open netter by Xavi and signature Barcelona ball movement leading to an easy goal for Lionel Messi. Andres Iniesta stormed at the Betis defense and found Alexis Sanchez on the left wing. Sanchez delivered a pinpoint pass across the box to the 2011 FIFA Ballon d’Or winner, whose touch sent the ball racing passed Betis keeper Castro.

The Verdiblancos fought back to equalize with strikes by Ruben Castro and Roque Santa Cruz – the first goals surrendered by Barcelona at home all season – but the Seville-based club was undone by a second yellow card issued to Mario in the 70th. Sanchez restored the lead by displaying his powerful right foot on a brilliant strike in the 75th, which Castro got a hand to but was unable to keep out of his net.  Barca struck four on a penalty by Messi four minutes from time.

Valencia was stunned by 14th place Real Sociedad at the Mestalla, where they had previously lost only once thus far this campaign. Despite dominating most statistical categories, the home side was thwarted by a 56th minute goal by Antoine Griezmann.

Elsewhere in Spain, Atletico Madrid added to the misery of Villarreal with a 3-0 thrashing at the Vicente Calderon. A brace by Radamel Falcao and an 80th minute goal by Diego further buried the sinking yellow submarine, now placed second from the bottom.

Sporting Gijon topped Malaga 2-1 in thrilling fashion. After Ruud van Nistelrooy equalized for Malaga in the 87th minute, Oscar Trejo gave Gijon the victory in the 90th.

Osasuna’s 11-game unbeaten run at home came to an end, as Los Rojillos were bested by Racing Santander 2-0.

Athletic Bilbao thrashed fourth place Levante 3-0 with a brilliant first half that left them two goals ahead at the break.

Granada was beaten by Rayo Vallecano 2-1, and Sevilla and Espanyol played to a scoreless draw.

Bottom dwellers Real Zaragoza, who had managed only 10 points before the weekend, were unfortunate not to secure their third win of the season after an own goal by Javier Paredes 11 minutes from time gave Getafe the 1-1 draw.

Painted into my memory

| josh.schneps@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Galerie Porte Heureuse.

On our recent honeymoon to Spain and France, my wife and I wanted to bring something home that would remind us of our trip for the rest of our lives.

I have collected a few pieces of artwork from local artists over the years and thought a painting, sculpture or photograph would be a great memento. We started off in Barcelona and made sure to take plenty of pictures, but didn’t find anything that caught our eye.

From Barcelona we flew to the south of France, staying in Cannes. Cannes was one of our favorite stops. We spent our time relaxing on the beach, taking in breathtaking views of the Mediterranean and dining at fine restaurants. It reminded me of the Hamptons on steroids. But nothing caught our eye to take home and everything was extremely expensive.

We drove through the hilltops of historic Provence to get to our next destination, which was a beautiful town in the hills of Provence called Joucas. The hotel and spa, Le Mas des Herbes Blanches, was a spa overlooking a magnificent landscape of the valley below, full of wineries with hills in the background.

Before checking in, I noticed a painting from a local artist displayed in the lobby. It was a beautiful. The artist made great use of colors and there was something in that painting that I was drawn to, but it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for.

The next day we went out and adventured into the different surrounding hilltop towns. As none of the roads had names, at each intersection we just followed the signs pointing in the direction of the town we wanted to go to. The towns and landscapes seemed like movie sets. Towns were literally carved out of and into the hilltops.

Our drive took us to a town named Roussillon where we decided to have lunch before heading to a winery where we had an appointment for a tasting. But we couldn’t resist walking through the narrow streets of this village to explore and discover the town’s hidden jewels.

Walking up to an art gallery, Galerie Porte Heureuse, I noticed a painting in the window that resembled the one in our hotel. We decided to go in and found that several of this artist’s works were on display.

After inquiring, I learned the artist, Andre Deymonaz, was a well-respected and very talented painter. His artwork is exhibited in many countries and five of his paintings have been chosen by the French national postal services for stamps featuring “everyday scenes in Polynesia.”

I was drawn to all of his paintings. Most of his works depict people with blank faces, only leaving small dots for eyes and a nose, giving a touch of mystery to each of his characters.

Deymonaz’s use of colors and beautiful settings makes his art captivating. He depicts scenes from cafe terraces to outdoor markets to the hills of Provence to lagoons in Tahiti.

It was a painting on the far wall in the back of the gallery that Tracey and I found breathtaking. I asked a lot of questions about the piece.  I knew that a piece like that would be making a substantial investment.

I am the kind of person that knows what I want when I see it (like my wife), but I also like to take my time and do research when making an investment. All of the works of art by Andre Deymonaz are a treasure.

Because of our appointment at a winery, we were rushed and I didn’t feel comfortable making a quick decision. I knew we would not have enough time to come back to Roussillon, so I took a bunch of literature including the website of the gallery (www.galerie-porteheureuse.com) and figured I would have the rest of our honeymoon to think about it.

For the rest of our trip and after I arrived home, I kept thinking about that painting. It captured the landscape of Provence I never wanted to forget. After a few email exchanges, I bought the painting and had it shipped to my apartment within a couple of weeks.

I look at the painting every day, bringing a smile to my face and the memory of my honeymoon. Perhaps one of Andre Deymonaz’s painting would recreate a memory you have?