Tag Archives: Viva La Comida!

Annual Viva La Comida to highlight local flavor in Jackson Heights

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

Mouths will water for a third year in a row as Viva La Comida takes to 82nd Street once again.

The Jackson Heights festival, which translates to “long live food” and is put on by the 82nd Street Partnership and local ‘food ambassador’ Jeff Orlick, will be held on Sept. 20 from 1 to 8 p.m. at the street’s intersection with Roosevelt Avenue.

It will feature the best in Queens food together with live music, art, dancing, family activities and much more.

Orlick, who leads food tours, handpicked the food trucks for the festival, which will also feature an art installation and a live demonstration by artist Adrian Bermeo.

The food trucks include The Arepa Lady, which recently opened a shop at 77-02AA Roosevelt Ave., Ricas Botanas, Coyote Dormilon, Mysttik Masaala, D’Angelo’s Sausage & Peppers, Mama’s Food,and Potala Fresh Momo.

Participating restaurants include Taqueria Coatzing, Golden City Chifa, Casa Rivera Carniceria, Limoncello, Tulcingo, Sabor Ecuatoriano Bakery, J&C Pastry Bakery and Kung Fu Tea.

There will be musical performances by Nova Safra Bateria, Jay Rodriguez Trio, CHIA’s Dance Party and Gerardo Contino y sus Habaneros.

For more information visit www.vivalacomida.com.


Op-ed: Why a Business Improvement District will help our business

| oped@queenscourier.com


As a small business owner on Roosevelt Avenue, I understand what it is to a run mom-and-pop shop in this neighborhood. My parents immigrated to Queens and set up the business I currently run.  For over a decade, our business has served as our family pride and our lifeline, and we have called Roosevelt Avenue our home.

We love Roosevelt Avenue, but we also know that it can be better. If you look just a few blocks away at the area within the current 82nd Street Partnership, you can see the difference. The street is clean and safe, with significantly less trash and graffiti. The Partnership helped get grants to pay for new storefronts, awnings, lights and signs. Businesses benefit from free marketing and promotion through the crowds that come to the street for events like Viva La Comida, as well as online and social media promotion.

Businesses along 82nd Street have a voice and an advocate that represents their interests and needs with city government, and can connect them with free services and workshops to help them strengthen their business and succeed.

We want that extra boost, too.

The good news is that we can have it. In the coming days and weeks, business owners, residents, and property owners located on Roosevelt Avenue from 81st Street to 104th Street, as well as Junction Boulevard from 40th Road to 35th Avenue, will have a chance to vote to extend the 82nd Street Partnership boundaries to form the Jackson Heights–Corona Business Improvement District. To us it’s a no-brainer — we will be voting yes.

As small business owners in Queens face more and more challenges – online retailers, chain stores, high rents, navigating city rules and regulations – it is important that we come together as a community to create a stronger, safer and cleaner Roosevelt Avenue where people want to live, do business, and shop, at all hours, day or night. We urge our neighbors to vote yes to the Jackson Heights-Corona Business Improvement District.

For more information on the proposed Jackson Heights–Corona Business Improvement District, please visit www.JHCoronaBID.org.

Monica Calderón is an owner of L&C Accounting Service Inc.



Viva La Comida brings food and fun to Jackson Heights

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos by Johann Hamilton


For the second year in a row, Viva La Comida lives on.

Hundreds of hungry New Yorkers descended upon 82nd Street in Jackson Heights on Friday, September 20 to take part in Viva La Comida, a festival featuring some of the best food in New York City. Combined with fantastic music, party-goers ate and danced the night away in one of the borough’s most dynamic and diverse neighborhoods.

“I was hoping they would have this event again this year, but I didn’t know if it was actually happening” said Will Morales, who moved to Jackson Heights with his family shortly before last year’s festival. “Seeing people here of all different cultures having a good time makes us feel so welcomed here. Hopefully this becomes an annual tradition.”

Viva La Comida, which basically translates to “Long Live Food,” offers not only some of the best fare in the city, but also an art exhibition from Hibridos Collective, an interdisciplinary organization that seeks to use community-based art practices to re-shape how people see their neighborhood. There was also live music from various bands, as well as a dance competition.

“Events like this are what make this city so great,” said Adelia Evans. “I love that we live in a city with this much variety. I don’t just mean cultural variety, but variety of food and music, too.”

Viva La Comida was started last year by the 82nd Street Partnership. By highlighting the cultural diversity of Jackson Heights, Viva La Comida is instrumental in promoting the small businesses in the area, as well as encouraging entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. More information can be found at www.vivalacomida.com.



Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup


Friday: Clear. High of 77. Winds from the SSW at 5 to 15 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 64. Winds from the South at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Viva la Comida!

Viva la Comida!, an outdoor festival in Jackson Heights from 4 to 10 p.m., combines the best food trucks in the city, live music, interactive art, dancing, a market and more. Free to attend. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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Viva La Comida draws thousands to Jackson Heights

| aaltman@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alexa Altman

Food fanatics swarmed Dunningham Triangle for Viva La Comida — a culinary and entertainment extravaganza.

Viva La Comida, which lightly translates to “celebrate food,” drew thousands of hungry guests who sampled Colombian, Peruvian and Salvadoran fare while enjoying vocalists and musical ensembles at the Friday, September 21 festival.

This celebration marks the first event hosted by the 82nd Street Partnership in Dunningham Triangle, which recently underwent renovations.

“We’re really happy with the way it went,” said 82nd Street Partnership executive director Seth Taylor of the festival. “There was a great turnout of both residents from Elmhurst and Jackson Heights but we also introduced 82nd Street to a number of people from outside the neighborhood, which was really exciting for us.”

Taylor said the partnership hopes to make Viva La Comida an annual event, adding that in coming years they hope to block off traffic and turn the affair into a full-fledged street festival. According to Taylor, community support for the event has been outstanding.

“[The feedback] has been positive,” said Taylor. “Everyone’s had really great things to say about it from the music to the food.”

Among those excited about the event are local businesses, who saw a spike in sales during the festivities.

Louie Suljovic, owner of Louie’s Pizzeria on Baxter Avenue, said business was booming on Friday. The pizzeria, which normally sees a crowd on Fridays, had a line winding out the door for nearly three hours and a full restaurant during the evening.

“We always have a pretty decent Friday but with Viva La Comida it was tremendous,” said Suljovic.

The businessman didn’t know exactly how many patrons his store had that day, but was ecstatic that people from all over the borough were coming to sample his food.

“We have really good food so when people are able to try our food and enjoy it, that’s what makes us happy,” he said.

Suljovic said he supports the possible return of Viva La Comida.

Jeff Orlick, who runs the popular food blog Iwantmorefood.com and hosts culinary tours around Queens, assembled a group of mobile food vendors to appear at Viva La Comida. The event co-producer said the festival will not only spotlight the recent renovation of Dunningham Triangle, but highlight Queens as a premier foodie junction.

“People will see it as a destination for excitement and fun and food,” said Orlick. “Hopefully people will come back more regularly.”

What to do with the kids this weekend

| ctumola@queenscourier.com



Friday, September 21

4 p.m. – 9 p.m., Viva La Comida!, the first-ever 82nd Street Partnership event, will shine a spotlight on the fun, food and entertainment options in Elmhurst/Jackson Heights. Food trucks will be everywhere, and the event will include the 82nd Street dance troupe from the Mestizo Art Center, performances by the NY Jazz Academy, the International String Duo and a pop-up crafts market in the Jackson Heights Cinema. Free.

Saturday, September 22

11:30 a.m., Come to aspecial screening of “Hotel Transylvania” at the Museum of the Moving Image before it hits the movie theaters on Sept. 28. In this major animated motion picture, Dracula (whose voice is provided by Adam Sandler) invites some of the world’s most famous monsters—Frankenstein and his bride; the Mummy; the Invisible Man; and others—to celebrate his daughter’s 118th birthday. Free with museum admission.

1:10 p.m., At Bark in the Park 2 attendees of the Mets baseball game against the Miami Marlins will have the opportunity to sit with their pooches and fellow dog lovers and their pets in designated seats. The profit of the dog ticket and a portion of the human ticket will benefit the North Shore Animal League. To participate in the pre-game dog parade, report to the Bullpen Gate by noon with tickets. This gate opens at 11:40 a.m.

3 p.m. – 8 p.m.,The Queens Museum of Art, in partnership with El Museo del Barrio, The Studio Museum in Harlem & cariBBeing, presents Carnival Panorama: Families Celebrate Carnival Traditions as part of the public programming for the current exhibition Caribbean: Crossroads of the World. This free event will include demonstrations of old Carnival Caribbean traditions, including musical workshops and performances. There will also be face painting and balloon sculpting.

6:30 p.m., The second annual Flicks in the Garden at Sunnyside Gardens Park will feature family-friendly live music and rare cartoons from the 1930s and 1940s. The folk Irish duo New York Trad will play music near an open dance floor before an outdoor cinema will be created.

7 p.m., The Third Annual Making Movies Dance Festival at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center will feature the Creative Outlet Dance Theatre, Synthesis, Dance Project, MAWU Dance and Latihente Dance.

Saturday, September 22 – Sunday, September 23

10 a.m. – 4 p.m., At the 2012 Fall Mamas Expo get insider access to local schools, services, specialists and products currently available to Queens families. Plus, there will be a marionette performance, business promotions, a screening of the Charlie Chaplin movie “The Kid” and all-day access to the Museum of the Moving Image.

11 a.m. – 6 p.m., The 30th Annual Queens County Fair at the Queens County Farm Museum is a traditional county fair with blue-ribbon contests in livestock, produce, home crafts, pie-eating, corn-husking, arm wrestling, hayrides and carnival rides.

Sunday, September 23

11:00 a.m.  – 2:00 p.m., Come to the Fall Family Festival at the Samuel Field Y for a day of arts and crafts, carnival rides and games, food and refreshments  as well as the first Summer Camp and Early Childhood Open House of the new season.

12 p.m., The annual Queens Hispanic Pride Parade in Jackson Heights will be held on Sunday afternoon.

2 p.m. – 8 p.m., A Time to Remember: An Evening of Positive Entertainment is a family event featuring interfaith and multicultural entertainment and messages in the form of music, dance, steel pan playing, arts, crafts, fashion, face-painting and games. Bring chairs and blanket. Free.



Friday, September 21 – Sunday, September 23

10:30 a.m. (Friday, Saturday) 1 p.m.(Sunday), Sesame Street Live will be at the Nassau Coliseum for three days, starting September 21.

Saturday, September 22

12 p.m. – 1 p.m., At the Museum of Modern Art’s Animal Adventures event, children and their parents can watch classic animated and live-action short films with an animal theme.

Saturday, September 22 – Sunday, September 23

11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., Come to the Long Island Children’s Museum this weekend to see Dora the Explorer Live! “Dora’s Pirate Adventure.”

Sunday, September 23

11 a.m., Family-friendly band Lunch Money is performing at the 92YTribeca, singing about roller coasters, giant cookies, getting dizzy and more childhood themed topics.

1 p.m. – 4 p.m., At the Eighth Annual Kite Flight on the rooftop of the Port Authority Bus Terminal, there will be free kite making and flying workshops, a musical performance by Louie & Subanda, a flying yoga demonstration by Om Factory, jugglers, unicyclists and other circus performers, face painting, street games and an old fashioned hot dog cart. Free.