Tag Archives: The Chocolate Factory

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Cloudy with occasional rain showers. High near 70. Winds SSE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 50%. Thursday night: Cloudy with occasional rain showers. Low 62. Winds SE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Liz Santoro: Relative Collider

Liz Santoro has choreographed a dance performance inspired by the relative collider, a machine that offers the opportunity to see, to measure, to quantify, to exchange information between nervous systems. Like the rings of particle accelerators, its structure holds value only insofar as it allows for the creation of an experience and production of specific results.  Runs Wed-Sat through May 17 at The Chocolate Factory in LIC. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

New 9/11 museum to be officially dedicated Thursday morning; President Obama to attend

The ceremonial dedication of the 9/11 Museum and Memorial will take place in Lower Manhattan Thursday morning, and it serves as a somber reminder of the terror that occurred almost 13 years ago and the resilience of all New Yorkers. Read more: ABC New York

Report: NYC may make another pitch to host Summer Olympics

Mayor Bill de Blasio says he has not had “serious discussions” about New York making a bid to host the Olympic Games. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Shake Shack founder fires back: Our burgers aren’t to blame

Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer says it’s hard to believe his famous food caused a Mets player and a Phillies manager to get food poisoning. Read more: New York Post

City Council calls for end to Madison Square Garden tax breaks

The City Council passed a resolution Wednesday asking the State Legislature to eliminate a property tax exemption for Madison Square Garden. Read more: am New York

Leader of sex-slavery ring gets life in jail

A Queens man was sentenced to life behind bars Wednesday for running a sex-slavery ring that lured young Mexican women to the Big Apple and New Jersey and forced them into prostitution. Read more: New York Post

 

Long Island City lights up for the holidays


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer's Office

The Long Island City community came together to welcome the holidays and make the season bright.

Over 100 residents young and old gathered with local elected officials and community leaders on Tuesday night to celebrate the holidays by lighting festive snowflakes along Vernon Boulevard.

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer worked together with JetBlue to a secure a $5,000 grant to bring the holiday lights to the thriving neighborhood.

The holiday celebration included Christmas carols sung by students from P.S. 78, led by Gianna Cerbone-Teoli, owner of Manducatis Rustica located at 46-33 Vernon Boulevard.

The night also included readings of special Christmas stories by the fireplace of LIC BAR, located at 45-58 Vernon Boulevard, and a performance by local jazz group, The Charlie Brown Christmas Trio.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High 53. Winds light and variable. Wednesday night: Cloudy. Low 46. Winds ESE at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Someone Once Called Me A Sound Man

The Chocolate Factory concludes its Fall 2013 season with Jon Kinzel’s dance piece, which integrates kinetic, auditory and visual elements while also exploring broader social issues related to identity, gender, language, culture and history. Wednesday, December 4- Saturday, December 7. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Cop charged with extorting Astoria restaurant owner

An NYPD officer and two people were arrested and charged with Hobbs Act extortion of $24,000, attempted Hobbs Act extortion and brandishing a firearm against a Astoria restaurant owner. Read more: The Queens Courier

Police: Man caught with stolen cash register on LIRR train 

Police arrested a man acting suspiciously on a Long Island Rail Road train Tuesday, and discovered he was carrying a stolen cash register. Read more: CBS New York

Mayor, Chancellor tout improved SAT and AP scores

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott were in Brooklyn Tuesday to highlight improving Regents, SAT and AP test scores among high school students. Read more: CBS New York

DOH turns up volume on loud headphone risks

The city Department of Health is warning New Yorkers about the risk of hearing loss when listening to loud music on headphones. Read more: NY1

Billy Joel to play open-ended run at Madison Square Garden

Exactly how much Billy Joel does New York want? We’ll soon find out since Joel and the Garden announced Tuesday that, starting in January, The Piano Man will begin playing one show a month, for “as long as the audience demands,” the star said. Read more: New York Daily News 

Obama launches strategy to move past health care woes

Seeking to regroup from his health care law’s disastrous rollout, President Barack Obama on Tuesday insisted that the sweeping overhaul is working and warned Republican critics that he would fight any efforts to strip away its protections. Read more: AP

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High of 41. Winds from the NW at 10 to 15 mph. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 36 with a windchill as low as 28. Winds from the West at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Will Rawls: The Planet-Eaters

Will Rawls: The Planet-Eaters, at The Chocolate Factory in Long Island City, is a reconfiguration of Balkan folklore that takes place somewhere between the U.S., Serbia and a space station. Wednesday, November 13 – Saturday, November 16 at 8:00 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

11 injured in four-alarm fire at Kew Gardens apartment building

A four-alarm blaze at an apartment building in Kew Gardens Tuesday night left several firefighters and residents hurt. Read more: The Queens Courier 

Angry parents meet with NY Education Commissioner on Common Core

Hundreds of frustrated parents, teachers and administrators gathered at a community forum on Long Island Tuesday to complain about the new controversial curriculum called Common Core. Read more: NBC New York

New York City’s 1 World Trade is tallest in US, committee rules

The new World Trade Center tower in New York knocked Chicago’s Willis Tower off its pedestal as the nation’s tallest building when an international panel of architects announced Tuesday that the needle atop the skyscraper can be counted when measuring the structure’s height. Read more: AP

Clinton: Let people keep health care coverage as promised

There is new pressure on the White House over a key aspect of the Affordable Care Act. Read more: CBS New York

Dante de Blasio named to Time’s influential teens list

The son of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has been named to Time’s annual list of influential teens, thanks in part to his now iconic hairdo. Read more: NBC New York

Francis Bacon painting sets auction record: $142 million

A 1969 painting by Francis Bacon has sold for over $142 million in New York, a record for most expensive artwork ever sold at auction. Read more: AP

 

What to do this weekend in Queens


| MKirk@queenscourier.com

SATURDAY, JANUARY 12

At 10:30 a.m., Alley Pond Environmental Center, located at 22806 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, will be holding an event titled “Young Chefs,” which invites kids to prepare homemade grilled cheese sandwiches and fresh banana split milkshakes. All materials will be included. Space is limited to eight participants and registration is required. Recommended for ages 7-12. Admission is $24 for non-members and $18 for members. For more information, call 718-229-4000, email contact@alleypond.com or visit alleypond.com.

At 2 p.m., Flushing Library, located at 41-17 Main Street, Flushing, presents the first part of the three-part Twilight Concert series, where Members of the Con Brio Ensemble will perform works by Brahms, Poulenc, Handel and others. The Ensemble is made up of critically acclaimed musicians, including violinist Alexander Meshibovsky, pianist Diana Mittler, oboist Alan Hollander and vocalist Barbara Ann Martin. Admission is $12 and $10 for students and senior citizens. TDF vouchers will be accepted. For more information, call 718-661-1200.

At 6 p.m., Dance Fusion, at 40-04 Junction Boulevard in Jackson Heights invites you to party your way into fi tness and the New Year with Zumba! Join us for an exciting and fun class taught by a licensed and experienced instructor. Even those who have never experienced this exciting new way to work out will love it! Classes are $10 per session.

With shows beginning at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., The Chocolate Factory, located at 5-49 49th Avenue, Long Island City, presents “There There,” an unpredictable and moving play about being the  wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time doing all the wrong things. For tickets and for more information, visit chocolatefactorytheater.org or call 212-352-3101.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 13

At 10 a.m., Queens Botanical Garden, located at 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, will be holding an electronic waste recycling event. Bring your unwanted or broken electronics such as old phones, chargers, handheld toys, TVs, cameras, holiday lights and more and they will be disposed free of charge. All participants will also have a chance to enter a free raffle to win a new 21-inch iMac and will also receive a “Green Karma” coupon worth anywhere from $5 to $500, redeemable at the Tekserve store. For more information, contact Darcy Hector at 718-886-3800 or dhector@queensbotanical.org.

At 2 p.m., Bayside Historical Society, located at 208 Totten Avenue, Fort Totten, Bayside, will be holding its Annual Art Show 2013. The event will also include a performance by Lindsay Megiddo. Those interested in submitting original works are encouraged to view an information packet and complete a registration form, both of which can be accessed at baysidehistorical.org on the Events page. For more information, call 718-352-1548 or visit baysidehistorical.org.

At 2:15 p.m., Flushing Town Hall presents New York City’s preeminent ambassadors of Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba and Plena music and dance. Lead by National Heritage winner Juan Gutirrez, this unique troupe of Puerto Rican master traditional artists and seasoned New York musicians are leaders in the resurgence of the Island’s traditional music in NY. Tickets are $12/$10 members/$8 children/$6 member children. Flushing Town Hall is located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard. To learn more, call 718- 463-7700.

At 4:30 p.m., Church-In-the-Gardens, located at 50 Ascan Avenue, Forest Hills, presents the second part of the three-part Twilight Concert series, where Members of the Con Brio Ensemble will perform works by Brahms, Poulenc, Handel and others. The Ensemble is made up of critically acclaimed musicians, including violinist Alexander Meshibovsky, pianist Diana Mittler, oboist Alan Hollander and vocalist Barbara Ann Martin. Admission is $12 and $10 for students and senior citizens. TDF vouchers will be accepted. For more information, call 718-268-6704.

ONGOING THRU SATURDAY, JANUARY 26

The Secret Theatre, located at 4402 23rd Street, Long Island City, presents “Urinetown, the Musical,” a Tony-Award-winning production set in a dystopian city where a water shortage has forced private toilets to be outlawed. Out of the residents who are furious over the fact that they have to share public facilities, a hero rises to lead them through a comedic, music-infused revolution. Evening shows Thursday through Saturday are at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m., with a special matinee performance on January 26 at 3 p.m. For more information, contact Alyssa Van Gorder at 718-392-0722 or pr@secrettheatre.com.

ONGOING THRU WEDNESDAY, MAY 1

The Louis Armstrong House Museum, located at 34-56 107th Street, Corona, presents its Louis Armstrong at Freedomland exhibit. The exhibit, curated by Louis Armstrong House Museum Archivist Ricky Riccardi, paints an intimate portrait of Armstrong on stage and off during the turbulent years of 1961 to 1964, spreading joy to fans young and old with his integrated band of all stars. Major funding for the exhibit is made possible by the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday through Sunday and closed on Mondays. Admission is $10 for adults; $7 for seniors 65 and older, students and children and free for members and children under four. A $6 group rate is available for groups of at least eight, in which case it is asked that an appointment be made. For more information, call 718-478-8274 or visit louisarmstronghouse.org.

MORE WEEKEND EVENTS

 

Citywide initiative to help cultural nonprofits, art funding


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/PHOTO BY ALEXA ALTMAN

The infamous moniker of “one percent” gained an innovative, positive meaning among the arts community.

At MoMA PS1 on Tuesday, January 8, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer announced his support for the One Percent for Culture campaign, a citywide initiative aimed at increasing funding towards art institutions and impressing upon the city the value of cultural nonprofits. The coalition, containing 245 members thus far, seeks to ensure that nonprofit cultural establishments, responsible for assisting the city to generate billions in annual revenue, are granted one percent of the city’s annual budget.

Currently, arts and culture organizations receive a quarter of one percent of the city’s yearly budget.

“We know that that number and the billions in revenue that get spun off because of that could not happen without culture and the arts,” said Van Bramer. “The economy of the city of New York could not stand without culture and the arts. It simply could not.”

Arts and culture bring in $7.6 billion for the city of New York every year and provide jobs for roughly 100,000 New Yorkers. According to Van Bramer, the tourism boom, recently announced by Mayor Bloomberg, is in thanks to art institutions that entice visitors from all over the world, adding that culture and the arts is one of the few areas of the city budget that generates revenue.

Cultural leaders from across the city joined Van Bramer to announce the initiative and speak on its behalf, including Klaus Biesenbach, director of MoMA PS1 and Eric Pryor, executive director of the Center for Arts Education. Charles Rice-Gonzalez, executive director of Bronx Academy for Arts & Dance (BAAD!) said increased funding for arts organizations creates a symbiotic relationship between culture and community, which serve to nourish and inspire each other.

“One Percent for Culture is about giving this vital segment, the arts of our city, a chance to come up to speed with the rest of the industry,” said Rice-Gonzalez. “We have managed to make a great impact with modest amounts. Imagine what could be done if one percent of the city’s budget is given to culture?”

Sheila Lewandowski, executive director of Long Island City playhouse The Chocolate Factory, said that with extra funding, she could afford to increase wages for the 100 artists on her payroll, purchase better equipment and decrease ticket prices.

“If we don’t value [art], we might lose it,” said Lewandowski. “One Percent for Culture is very valuable to my organization, a small very experimental organization, because it says we’re valuable. It’s the city saying ‘we see what you give back to the economy, to the quality of life, to everything.”

While Van Bramer called the announcement “a very exciting time,” the councilmember added that it was imperative to secure “the expense funding to follow the capital funding.”

“We have to be aggressive as a community. We have to know our value to the city of New York and make sure others know it too. Not everyone knows that we are keeping the city running. No one should ever doubt the power of art and the power of artists.”

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Hundreds dine at the annual Taste of LIC


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Sarah Yu

Dozens of Long Island City restaurants served up specialty snacks and sweet treats at the Taste of LIC. The seventh annual culinary cabaret drew several hundred hungry guests, smacking their chops for a sampling of the neighborhood’s finest fare.

Attendees crowded under an enormous white tent at Gantry Plaza State Park for the June 5 food festival, tasting everything from curried merguez meatballs from LIC Market to watermelon marshmallows from Mitchmallows

Bear Bar chef Natasha Pogrebinsky was ecstatic to participate in the event. She had high hopes for the promotional possibilities it could provide for her new restaurant, only open for the past seven months.

“We want to show off our amazing cuisine,” said Pogrebinsky. “It’s a chance for more people to meet us and have samples of our menu. We’re still pretty new. It’s a great chance to meet people in person. We’re a little bit out of the way, so we’re going to the people.”

The event benefitted The Chocolate Factory’s upcoming season of dance, music and theatre performances.

Shelia Lewandowski, the playhouse’s executive director, said the fair has the ability to bring together those responsible for providing some of the area’s best food.

“[The Taste of LIC] is a broad representation of the food and beverages that are all right here,” said Lewandowski. “It’s cool that you can discover all these things right in your backyard.”

The festival, now in its seventh year, began as a way for the theatre to bring together multiple parts of the community while raising money for programming at The Chocolate Factory. The first year, the Taste of LIC hosted roughly 12 restaurants and saw 200 guests. Every year, the festival grew.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer attended the celebration, sampling the featured cuisine. Van Bramer adored Manducatis Rustica’s grilled shrimp served on sugar cane – a combination he categorized as “unique and exciting.”

“I feel lucky to represent such a dynamic area that is home to so many cultural organizations and so many restaurants and small businesses supporting the neighborhood,” said Van Bramer.

The councilmember applauded the festival for its ability to introduce the public to what’s new and good to eat locally.

“You try stuff and say ‘Oh my God that’s really good! I have to eat there for real.’”

Additional reporting by Sarah Yu

Short-term parking announced in Long Island City


| smosco@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Steve Mosco

Fed up with commuters using their neighborhood as a parking lot, residents and community leaders of Long Island City banded together with the Department of Transportation, (DOT) and announced the reduction of 12-hour parking meters.

The new meter regulation, which accounts for 39 spots where Vernon Boulevard meets Borden Avenue, one block from the No. 7 Train, will now only allow two-hour parking from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer said that this new parking rule will keep commuters from hogging the spots while they work in Manhattan.

“Long Island City is not a parking lot,” said Van Bramer. “It is a thriving community where thousands have come to live and where we are seeing many businesses open every month. For Long Island City residents and businesses this is a welcome announcement.”

Businesses along the thriving Vernon Boulevard made numerous overtures for DOT officials to review the neighborhood’s parking regulations, making the claim that long term parking was hurting business and a short term parking plan more suited the area.

“Long Island City is not just a commuter stop on the way to Manhattan,” said Sheila Lewandowski, executive director of The Chocolate Factory, a theater in L.I.C. “A lot of people come here to eat and to shop – these new regulations will help ensure that when people park here, they are spending their money here.”

Mike Del Rey, owner of Bricktown Bagels on Vernon Boulevard for five years, said that parking has been a constant headache for him and his customers since opening in the neighborhood. He said that these new rules will enable bagel buyers to run in and get a quick breakfast.

“L.I.C. needed this,” he said. “I’ve only been here for five years, and I’m sure we needed this long before then.”

Maura McCarthy, Queens Borough Commissioner of the DOT, said that the new regulations will be studied and reviewed, and more changes could be on the way.

“Adjusting meter regulations can go a long way toward increasing parking options for Long Island City residents, visitors and businesses,” she said. “We are glad to work closely with local elected officials to make parking easier.”

Van Bramer also announced short-term metered parking was being added and parking regulations were adjusted along Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside, making parking more accessible for motorists, especially to customers of local businesses lining the corridor.