64-21 53rd Drive, Maspeth, NY 11378
Barosa Restaurant Barosa Italian Restaurant can accommodate up to 70 people for a private affair. If outgoing catering is your desire we have a full catering store located two doors down from our restaurant to handle all your catering needs. Please visit www.barosas.com Valet Parking for lunch and dinner seven days a week. 62-29 Woodhaven Blvd, Rego Park â€˘ (718) 424-1455 Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Major credit cards accepted.
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QUEENS THE M AGA ZINE
Publisher Walter H. Sanchez Executive Editor Shane Miller Senior Editor Daniel Bush Writers Dawn Lim Matthew Bultman David Bonilla Jeffery Kuntz Holly Tsang Rachel Corsini Production / Design Nigel Chiwaya George Galvez Photographers Michael O’Kane Social Media Editor Holly Tsang Fashion Editor Holly Wilensky
The “A” Team 72-01 Grand Avenue, Maspeth, NY 11378 917-952-2156 917-952-2797 www.ateamhomesny.com 4 Fall 2010 www.itsqueens.com
Volume 2 Number 3 – Fall 2010 It’s Queens is published quarterly. Postmaster, send all address changes to It’s Queens – PO BOX 780376 – Maspeth, NY 11378. It’s Queens is a consumer magazine covering the people who move and shake Queens, from real estate trends to transportation, politics to entertainment, It’s Queens will bring our readers the ins and outs of the borough. It’s Queens is wholly owned and published by the Queens Ledger/Greenpoint Star Weekly Newspaper Group. We know enough about the borough, covering it week in and week out since 1873. Bulk mail Flushing, NY Permit #652. Copyright ©2008 It’s Queens. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without the permission of the publisher is prohibited. Any news or feature solicitation for publication in It’s Queens should be done so without expectation of use and without expectation of return to solicitor. Send correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org . Subscriptions are $7.95 per year. Inquiries for subscriptions - Mail to PO BOX 780376, Maspeth, NY 11378. (718) 639-7000. www.itsqueens.com
On the Cover: Rima Fakih
QUEENS THE M AGA ZINE
FEATURES 21 The It’s List
We rank the Top 15 Celebrities who are putting Queens on the map.
32 Rima Fakih
Miss USA 2010 talks about growing up in Queens.
42 Musco Lighting
Inside the Iowa company that lights New York City.
58 Forest Hills Gardens A community 100 years in the making.
Departments 8 Technology
Inside the Tablet Wars
11 Made in Queens Pianos, Wontons & More
13 Top Five Picnic Parks in Queens
16 Politics Geraldine Ferraro
18 Business Dutch Kills
46 Fashion The Dress Recycler to the Rescue
50 Designer Spotlight Monica Yepez
64 Blogging Queens www.itsqueens.com Fall 2010 5
Publisher’s Note WALTER SANCHEZ
What’s Hot What’s Cold One of the staff’s favorite pages in It’s Queens is the Hot & Cold feature (page 7) because we are forced to be as current as possible and things change so quick around here our collective heads spin constantly. QR (We call them 2D BQE) Bar Codes will rock the house soon. They are all over our newspapers each week and we have them throughout this magazine. If you don’t know what they are, ask your ten year old. He surely knows. Your cell phone can take a picture of the square code and the device goes directly to any website the bar code creator desires. It will be the hottest thing since sliced bread and you saw it here ﬁrst. Just download any bar code reader and away you go. (We have directions on page 8 and a whole page of codes on 57.)
Go Islanders Look for the Islanders to be making their way to the “getting hot” side of the chart soon if Queens leaders get their way. And Real Blogs will make their way into the “hot” zone soon, as more and more “authored” posts become mainstream and people in Queens trust them. Geraldine Ferraro has done more for women than almost anyone we know. She held a congressional seat in Western Queens four decades ago and 6 Fall 2010 www.itsqueens.com
was a pioneer before it was fashionable. See our proﬁle on page 17. Yes, Andrew Cuomo broke into our Top 15 Queens Celebrities list. Much of that had to do with the ineptitude of our current Governor David Paterson and that Cuomo is a clear frontrunner to be the next governor of New York State. Fifteen years ago his father Mario would have been on the list. Andrew has climbed to rock star status with the help of Paterson, and the best news is as governor he can’t do much worse.
Even Gene Simmons is from Queens Who would have known Nancy Reagan was born in Flushing and raised in Queens? On the “I already knew that” side of celebrity alley, Gene Simmons, Fran Drescher and Donald Trump come to mind, but Paul Simon is the favorite among music lovers. We’re not so celebrity-savvy around here, but everyone seems to like LL Cool J. His smooth style hip-hop is a cross between Shaft, Barry White, and “The Rock.” Part of our job here is to highlight places under the radar. Check out Dutch Kills Bar at the intersection of Jackson Avenue and Queens Boulevard. It’s all about the ice and the atmosphere on page 18. Miss USA Rima Fakih was actu-
ally pretty cool. Her teen years were spent in Queens and she could have been the girl you saw on the 7 train every morning. Check out our down-toearth interview with her on page 32. We’re getting into fashion around here. If you read any one of our six Queens papers you know Holly. She is like a comic book superhero who ﬁnds the best bargains in fashion. Check out page 46 and look for our Fashion Expo on November 13 in Hollis, Queens. Lots of local clothing designers, threads and cool people. Check out the Queens Ledger group of newspapers for details. We also shine the spotlight on a local bathing suit designer named Monica Yepez on page 50. Forest Hills Gardens is 100 years old. Our look at the one-of-a-kind neighborhood begins on page 58. We hope you enjoy the issue.
Queens Buzz HOT & COLD
MTA Fare Hikes: Want to know a great way to piss off millions of people? Cut mass transit ser vices, then announce plans for yet another round of fare hikes. That does the trick, every time. Nobody is talking about fare increases right now. As they say, out of sight out of mind. That will change, though, believe us. And it will get ugly.
A quick rundown of what Queens residents are talking about, and what they no longer care about.
2D Alert! See Page 57
Oliver Perez: Oh, Ollie. Why? Why refuse a minor league assignment, after sucking so badly in the Majors this year? The decision made little sense; but then again Perez himself – so talented, yet wildly inconsistent – remains an enigma. He’s one puzzle of a pitcher we can’t figure out. Time to move on.
The Shops at Atlas Park: Once upon a time, discussing the fate of the Shops at Atlas Park was ever yone’s favorite pasttime. (Okay, everyone who lives in Glendale, Middle Village, and Maspeth,) No more. The buzz surrounding the controversial outdoor mall has all but died – much like it’s many small businesses, who have packed up and 2D Alert! moved out. Oh well. Arguing over Atlas See Page 57 Park was fun while it lasted.
St. John’s Basketball: When was the last time you head anything about the St. John’s basketball team? Exactly. In March the Red Storm fired head coach Norm Roberts and replaced him with Steve Lavin, to great fanfare. Since then, mum’s been the word. College hoop fans across the borough are scratching their heads, and wondering when their favorite team will make another big splash.
Nicki Minaj: Hip-hop’s newest female superstar is a controversial seductress and bi-sexuality advocate who leaves little to the imagination. A lesser known fact? Nicki Minaj is straight outta Queens – South Jamaica to be exact. After countless collaborations, Minaj’s recent single “Your Love” rocketed her to stardom. And she’s just heating up. Stay tuned for her album, due out in November. Designer Drinks: If you’re looking for a new drink to spice up your night join the crowd at Rapture Lounge in Astoria, where The Rapture’Rita replaces a typical margarita and you can even indulge in a Tie Me To The Bedpost or a Sex On The Sofa. They may be more expensive than the average beer or mixed drink, but designer drinks – all the rage now in lounges from Astoria to Forest Hills – guarantee a good time. To jump on the designer drink bandwagon, save up, head to your local watering hole and order the craziestsounding thing they’ve got. You’ll look cool – we promise. Farmers Markets: Health-food conscious? Or just trying to change those fast food ways? These days, eating healthy in Queens is easier than ever. The borough boasts several top-notch farmers markets – and more pop up each year. Shopping for veggies and fruits at grocery stores is so last decade. Sustainable fresh produce is the wave of the future, and Queens is leading the way. The U.S. Open: Most people dread the end of summer, but tennis fans love it. For three precious weeks each year, they descend on Queens for the U.S. Open and excitement for the sport soars through the roof. Forget about the Mets, who play next door at Citi Field; while it lasts the U.S. Open is the hot sports ticket in town. www.itsqueens.com Fall 2010 7
New Tablet from Samsung to challenge the iPad
VS By Nigel Chiwaya Do you remember just last year when no one had any concept of the term “Tablet Computer”? Sure, there were those awful laptops that swiveled around so that doctors and med students could write on the screens with stylus pens, but it wasn’t until Apple released its iPad in April 2010 that true tablet computing entered the mainstream. There’s no denying that the iPad has been a critical success, after all, Apple did sell one million of them in only 28 days. But more importantly, software developers have embraced the iPad. While companies like the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated and Wired have used the iPad to create breathtaking digital versions of their print publications, companies such as Netflix, ABC, and Hulu have used the iPad to deliver entertainment, movies, and TV shows to users in ways never thought possible before. So it should come as no surprise that other companies are stepping up to the plate, hoping to get in on the tablet action. Just as with the iPod and iPhone before it, the iPad is seeing a number of very similarly styled tablet computers approach. And while many of them will truly be garbage, there is one in particular that consumers should keep an eye on. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is a 7-inch tablet computer set to be released here in the United States sometime this fall. The Galaxy 8 Fall 2010 www.itsqueens.com
Tab is a much bigger cousin of Samsung’s highly acclaimed Galaxy S smartphone line. Like the smartphones it evolved from, the Galaxy Tab runs the Android operating system, giving it access to over 70,000 apps in the Android market. At first glance, the Galaxy Tab and iPad look very similar, but Samsung threw in a few extras. The Galaxy Tab comes with dual cameras built in, one in the back, for regular photo taking, and one in the front for video-conferencing. Also, while the Galaxy Tab comes in 16GB and 32GB versions, the Tab will have a micro SD slot, allowing users to add extra memory up to 32GB. Samsung will also sell a keyboard doc very similar to the one Apple sells for the iPad, allowing users to get heavy typing done on the device. Pricing has not been announced as of yet, but if Samsung can release the Galaxy Tab at a price below $499 - the price of the cheapest iPad - then Samsung might have a hit on its hands. Does this mean that the Galaxy Tab will outsell, beat, or kill the iPad? Of course not. But it does mean that we might actually have a fight on our hands, and when companies duel, consumers win.
Star Codes are here The Star Codes are here, and boy are they awesome. Star codes are a type of bar code that you can scan with your phone to do all sorts
of wonderful things, from visiting a website to texting or calling a certain number to revealing a secret code. We’ll be using them quite extensively in this magazine, so here’s a primer on how to use them: First, visit the App Store on your phone. (If you’re an iPhone user, you’re going to the App Store, if you’re an Android user; the Android Market. A Blackberry addict? You’re going to the App World. Use a Palm phone? Look for the App Catalog.) Once you’re there, search for “QR Code Reader” and any number of apps should appear. We recommend NeoReader for the iPhone and Blackberry, Barcode Scanner for Android, and QR-Decode for Palm WebOS phones. Once you’ve got your app installed, open it and hold up the barcode. If you’ve got an iPhone or Android phone, the phone will scan and decode the Star code instantly. If you’re using a Palm or Blackberry, take a picture of the code, and the app will decode it for you. Test it out right here. Scan the code to see a video of the Samsung Galaxy Tab in action.
BQE 2D Scan this to see the Galaxy Tab in action
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Made In Queens DC Demirary Marble and Granite
The hot spot for custom countertops, fireplaces, mantels & flooring.
Steinway & Sons
Once upon a time Long Island City was a thriving industrial center. Really, it still is. But the neighborhood is changing. Now LIC is also an artist’s haven; steady gentrification has turned Queens’ old manufacturing hub into the next “it” neighborhood in the borough. Even so, despite the new art galleries, bars and towering condos, the neighborhood’s manufacturers haven’t gone anywhere. DC Marble and Granite – which specializes in stone works – has a thriving plant on grafitti-covered 51st Avenue. The company imports marble, granite and various other minerals. It also fabricates and installs custom countertops, fireplaces, mantels, tables, flooring and stairs for commercial and residential buildings alike. The company’s imports, too, are substantial: it offers 18 different varieties of marble and granite in an array of colors and styles that are custom cut with specialized machines on the shop’s expansive factory floor. Marble lobbies and granite countertops have always been in high demand – just not in Long Island City. Now, however, that is no longer the case, which means DC Marble could stay just where it is for a long time to come.
DC Demiray Marble and Granite Inc.
In 1853, German immigrant Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg – who 25-46 51st Avenue would later Americanize his name to Henry Steinway – founded his Long Island City piano manufacturing company, Steinway & Sons, in Manhattan. The (718) 482-6815 company took off, and, because of the limited space in New York’s Dcmarble.com smallest borough, Steinway village was founded near Astoria. The small community included a factory, housing for workers, a post office and parks. The village was incorporated into Astoria, but the plant is still owned and used by the company today. The factory, which is located at 1 Steinway Place, produces six different models of grand pianos, which are relatively large and expensive, and three models of upright pianos, the cheaper alterantive more suitable for the average city apartment. In total, 2,500 pianos are produced in the factory each year, 1,000 more than Steinway’s other factory in Hamburg, Germany. Pianos made in Astoria supply the Western Hemisphere, while those made in Hamburg supply the Eastern – though at every authorized Steinway distributor customers can request a piano from either factory, regardless of their location. Steinway & Sons has been on the cutting edge of technology since the creation of its Astoria factory a century-and-a-half ago and it has yet to slow its pace. In January of last year, the company installed the world’s largest rooftop solar-powered HVAC system at the Astoria plant. The system is meant to stabilize the temperature within the factory in order to better preserve the pianos and will be used as a test site for the effectiveness of solar technology in New York.
Steinway & Sons 1 Steinway Place | Long Island City (800) Steinway | Steinway.com
www.itsqueens.com Fall 2010 11
Made In Queens Rajbhog Foods To some, Indian cuisine with its inordinate amount of spice is an affront to the taste buds. But to many more it’s an exotic treat, a delicious escape from the customary and a chance to learn a culture through its fare. Rajbhog Foods, which sells sweets, snacks, ice cream, frozen goods, and also caters events, is a prime example of everything Indian cuisine has to offer. Indian immigrants Ajit and Lada Mody founded the company in Jackson Heights three decades ago in the hopes of providing authentic Indian cuisine to the neighborhood’s rapidly growing South Asian community. Business took off and franchises began sprouting around the country. Today, Rajbhog ships their products to 41 states and Canada but it’s still a family-run business — Sachin Mody, the founder’s son, is the company’s acting CEO. The company’s Flushing branch makes over 100 different kinds of vibrantly colored confections, each one a special cocktail of milk, flour, sugar and syrup. One popular sweet, Rasgulla, is made of chenna (Indian cottage cheese) and semolina and is cooked in sugary syrup. Salivating yet?
Rajbhog Sweets and Snacks 72-27 37 Avenue 41-23 Murray Street Jackson Heights Flushing (718) 458-8512 (718) 358-5105
College Point Kitchen & Baths
Wonton Food Inc.
The manufacturing industry in America has gone the way of tech support, namely to India and China. Pick up a phone and call a customer service hotline for help with your PC and you’re sure to get patched through to Mumbai or Beijing. Purchase some new furnishings for your office building and wait as they’re built and shipped from overseas. College Point Kitchen & Baths, which specializes in cabinetry, has been fighting the trend for over 30 years. Founded by Carmine Damato, this business has weathered the deterioration of local manufacturing and still creates its own work here in the States. The company’s spacious factory, located in College Point, is littered with modern and traditional equipment. Its workers have years of experience – most were, in fact, taught by Damato himself. The results of this combination can be seen in the work: intricate patterns and designs engraved upon embalmed and polished wood, a beautiful blend of artistry and functionality. Dealing only with wood, Kitchen & Baths creates custom designs to meet their client’s needs. And don’t worry about installation; they’ll take care of that too. The business is still family operated – Damato’s daughter and son run the onsite showroom – ensuring a personable shopping experience. Clearly, for this family, it’s all about the woodwork.
You call your local Chinese takeout restaurant, order the usual and wait for the delivery man. A knock. You answer, pay and feast. Afterwards, finally, you reach in the bag and extract the fortune cookie. You crack it, (discarding the cookie or eating it, depending on your mood) and read your prophecy. “You will have a very good year,” it says. You can thank Wonton Foods for that bold proclamation. The Brooklyn-based company is the largest producer of noodles, wrappers and fortune cookies in the country. Of course, with all due respect to our neighbors, Wonton didn’t make this list because of its headquarters in East Williamsburg. It did so because of its 4,500-square-foot factory in Long Island City, which produces 4.5 million fortune cookies a day – tops in the world. The factory, which was originally located in Chinatown, actually consists of two buildings. One contains the cookie line while the other houses the flour silo and machines. But Wonton Foods doesn’t just turn out one generic cookie after another. With a quick call or visit to the company website, you can order custom fortune cookies for any event at a very reasonable price. So if you want to have an amazing year instead of just a very good one, all you have to do is pick up the phone.
Wonton Food Inc. College Point Kitchen & Baths 20-40 129 Street | College Point | (718) 939-5907 220-222 Moore Street | Brooklyn, NY 11206 | Tel: (718) 628-6868 (800)776-8889 collegepointkitchens.com 12 Fall 2010 www.itsqueens.com
to the top picnic parks in Queens
A moveable feast from Astoria to Middle Village and beyond By Jeffrey Kuntz
Forest Park: Barbeque, Bandshell, Beautiful Woodlands A tree-lined path leads to a silent pine grove. But don’t worry, the bandshell and barbeque grills aren’t far away. Created in the late 1800s, the winding trails and footpaths that traverse Queens’ third largest park pay homage to its designer, Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect behind Central and Prospect parks. Bordered by Richmond Hill, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, Woodhaven, and Glendale, the east side of Forest Park has plenty of shade as well as open lawns, a playground with a sprinkler, a baseball diamond, and trails for hiking, jogging, and cycling. On the park’s west side you’ll ﬁnd barbeque grills, the Queens Greenhouse, dense forest, sports ﬁelds, and some of the most refreshing air in the borough.
Bring charcoal, ﬁre up a grill, then take a walk through Queens’ pristine woodlands and rock out at a free summer concert or theater event at the Seuffert Bandshell. Sports facilities include basketball, golf, tennis, volleyball, and more. Maps and event listings available online.
Address: Myrtle Ave, Union Turnpike, Park Lane South Get there: Q37 bus from Kew Gardens – Union Turnpike (F or E train) Free events & Info: www.nycgovparks.org/ parks/forestpark Phone: (718) 235-0815
Gantry Plaza State Park: Hammocks, private coves, breath-taking views With 12 acres of green space, piers, boardwalks, and unrivaled views of the Manhattan skyline, Gantry Park may be the best kept secret in Long Island City. Set on the East River south of the Queensboro Bridge, the park’s towering steel gantries hoisted freight off barges in the 1920s. Over the last 12 years, the city has transformed the area into one of Queens’ most accessible and well-equipped picnic spots. Pitch your blanket on the lawn across the river from the United Nations and take turns in large public hammocks. Then relax under shade trees and lounge in adirondack chairs in private coves along the boardwalk. Restrooms and waste bins are located on site. Free weekly concerts and theater events are listed online. John Rufﬁno, 41, grew up in Hunters Point and won the 2009 Brooklyn Derby with a ﬁsh he caught off Gantry pier. “The park is the best. It has the best views and the best people.” he said. “I caught a 42-inch snapper there last year.” Address: 4-09 47th Street, Long Island City, NY 11101 Get there: Vernon – Jackson (7) Free events & Info: nysparks.state.ny.us | Phone: (718) 786-6385
2D Alert! See Page 57 www.itsqueens.com Fall 2010 13
Juniper Valley Park: The Friendliest Park in Queens? For the residents of Middle Village, this is the spot. Relax in a shadedrenched grove of trees, run through the sprinkler and swing from the monkey bars, or play any of a dozen sports – Juniper Valley Park has something for everyone. Even history buffs. The property was once owned by gambling mobster Arnold Rothstein, whose notorious deeds inspired characters in The Great Gatsby, The Hustler, and Guys and Dolls. Among other crimes, Rothstein owed $225,000 in back taxes and was accused of ﬁxing the 1919 World Series. After he was killed in 1928, the city seized Rothstein’s land and created Juniper Valley Park. Today, the park’s east side provides a perfect sanctuary for quiet picnics. Cross 80th Street to the west and you’re in sport-lovers heaven. Middle Village natives Harold Laslo, 57, and Brian “The Balloon Man” Gregory, 53, love their neighborhood park. “There’s everything in this park,” Laslo said. “Baseball, softball, handball, horseshoes, shufﬂe-board. They even play cricket here. Two years ago [celebrity chef] Lidia Bastianich judged the bocce ball tournament.” “I have seen people here doing birthday parties. I did balloons for them,” added Gregory. “And there are a million kinds of food stores on Metropolitan Avenue. There are little Italian delis and more two blocks away on Dry Harbor Road.” Address: 80 Street, Juniper Boulevard North & South, and Lutheran Avenue Get there: Q45 bus from Jackson Heights – Roosevelt Ave (E, F, M, R, 7); Q29 from Woodhaven Blvd (M, R) Info: www.nycgovparks.org/parks/junipervalleypark Free events: www.junipercivic.com
Flushing Meadows Corona Park: Where Iron Man Goes For a Picnic
Astoria Park: Get Me To The Greek!
Once a dumpsite for ash in the 1930s, if any Queens park could be called a phoenix, it’s Flushing Meadows. Today, the park covers 1,255 acres – equivalent to approximately 950 football ﬁelds – where millions of people have ﬂocked to attend two World’s Fairs and explore the museums, lakes, and gardens. With Citi Field to the north, Queens Botanical Gardens to the east, Meadow and Willow lakes to the south, and the Queens Wildlife Center and the New York Hall of Science to the west – not to mention the futuristic Unisphere and Fountain of the Planets in the center of the park — you may ﬁnd yourself land – locked by your own curiosity. Our advice: barbeque on the east side of Meadow Lake, stroll around the Jurassic Playground, head to the Queens Wildlife Center, and weave your way across the grounds where Iron Man battled his Russian nemesis earlier this year. Basketball, tennis, handball, and soccer facilities are also on site.
The park’s name says it all. Sidewalk cafes and vibrant nightlife bring throngs of people to Astoria, but a grassy wonderland awaits on the other side of the elevated tracks. With an Olympic-sized swimming pool, expansive lawns under the Triborough and Hell Gate bridges, and gourmet Greek and Italian cuisine within walking distance, Astoria Park is a picnic tour-de-force. Like many parks in Queens, the park offers generous sports facilities, but on a hot day nothing beats a dip in the free public pool. Costas Mondinos, 39, was born in Cypress but has lived in Astoria for over 20 years. He said the park is always good for picnics, especially in the evening. “It’s the best,” he said. “Usually after 8 p.m., it’s cooler. You get a breeze off the water.” Mondinos also suggested where to stock up on picnic supplies. The haloumi cheese, he said, was exceptionally good. “If you want cheese you should go to the Greek places,” he said. “Haloumi cheese is from Cypress. You can put on charcoal and it doesn’t melt. Or you can eat it raw. It has a sharp ﬂavor and has a bit of mint with it.” For cold cuts, Mondinos suggested K & T 2 Quality Meats (3314 Ditmars Blvd) between 33rd and 35th streets.
Address: Grand Central Parkway, Van Wyck Expressway Get there: Mets – Willets Pt (7) Free events & info: www.nycgovparks.org/parks/fmcp Phone: (718) 760-6565
Address: Astoria Park South, 21 Street, Hoyt Avenue, Ditmars Boulevard, East River Get there: Astoria Blvd (N, Q) Free events & Info: www.nycgovparks.org/parks/AstoriaPark
14 Fall 2010 www.itsqueens.com
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Late in life, Geraldine Ferraro lands a special Queens honor By Daniel Bush
n Women’s Equality Day the Long Island City Main Post Office was renamed in honor of Geraldine Ferraro, who represented the area in Congress before making history as the first female vice presidential candidate of a major party. The rededication ceremony for the newly renamed Geraldine A. Ferraro Post Office, located at 46-02 21st Street, held in late August, happened to fall on the former congresswoman’s 75th birthday. In an interview Ferraro, who has battled cancer in recent years but remains an active force on the political scene, said the honor was perfectly timed; Women’s Equality Day marks the passage of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. “It’s wonderful that the renaming of the post office is being done on a day that celebrates” the women’s suffrage movement, she said. “I wish my mother were alive to see this.” Choosing a post office to honor Ferraro was appropriate, given her impact on postal services in Queens. Ferraro surprised colleagues when she volunteered for the obscure – and since renamed – Postal Office and Civil Service Committee, after winning New York’s 9th Congressional District seat in 1978. At the time, the district was drawn to cover a wide swath of Western Queens. The next year, she successfully lobbied the U.S. Postal Service to create a separate Queens zip code for the neighborhoods of Ridgewood and Glendale. It wasn’t easy. Though residents had called for the change for years, and pressured Ferraro to do something about it as soon as she took office, then-Postmaster General William F. Bolger was not buying the plan. That is, he wasn’t interested until Ferraro got him on the phone.
“He said, ‘We don’t change zip codes,’” Ferraro said the postmaster general told her. “I said ‘Yeah, yeah you do.’” To make her point, Ferraro collected some 50,000 signatures from residents supporting a new zip code. Later that year, 11385 was created. Letter writers from Fresh Pond Road to Doran Avenue rejoiced. (Today, community groups in Glendale are pushing for their own zip code, though the effort has stalled of late. Ferraro is following the story from a distance). All politics may be local, but Ferraro shone on the national stage as well, quickly rising to prominence in the Democratic Party. She was re-elected twice before being chosen as Walter Mondale’s Democratic running mate in the 1984 presidential election. Though they lost in a landslide to Ronald Reagan, her candidacy was seen as a watershed moment for women in politics. Ferraro said women’s rights have come a long way since then, but more work remains. “The workplace is still not what it should be,” said Ferraro, citing the dwindling but still significant gender gap in pay. “It’s not good enough.” But “major changes don’t happen overnight,” she added. “You have to be willing to change one step at a time.”
To this day, Ferraro insists she was selected as Mondale’s running mate because she is a woman. She said Senator John McCain made the same calculus when he chose then-Governor Sarah Palin to round out the Republican ticket in 2008. “I think if Palin was totally honest she would say the same thing,” said Ferraro. She scoffed at comparisons between herself and Palin, now a celebrity guest speaker and potential presidential candidate in 2012. “She was not then nor is she now qualified to be president of the United States,” Ferraro said of Palin. The two women will doubtless draw comparisons for years to come. But while Palin’s role in American life is still being written, Ferraro’s legacy is secure, especially in the Queens neighborhoods she represented in Congress. Nowhere is that more true than in Forest Hills, where Ferraro lived for 40 years before moving recently to Manhattan. Ferraro still returns to the neighborhood to shop at favorite stores on Austin Street. When her Queens friends tease her for moving away, she reminds them she’s still a Queensite at heart. “It’s not as if I moved to another country,” she said. “I’m only across the bridge. So it’s not a big deal.” www.itsqueens.com Fall 2010 17
Queens Business Profile
The drinks come first as LIC speak crafted libations
By Matthew Bultman Tucked away on industrial Jackson Avenue in Long Island City is a reminder of what cocktails and bars used to be. Complete with sawdust, live ragtime music, and hand-chopped ice, visitors cannot help but feel as though Al Capone and his gang could enter the dimly lit lounge at any time. Bartender Abraham Hawkins helped establish Dutch Kills bar with co-owners Richard Boccato and Sasha Petraske, the men behind the notoriously exclusive Milk and Honey lounge in Manahttan’s Lower East Side. Together, they created a place where cocktails were the main attraction, featuring an extensive menu complete with classic and modern drinks. “The setup is deﬁnitely oriented to18 Fall 2010 www.itsqueens.com
wards cocktails, and while we offer other things, this place is designed to make drinks,” Hawkins said. “We stress the bartender’s choice here; working with their repertoire and the customer to create the best drink.” Many of the drinks featured, including the Queens Park Sizzle, Flushing Cocktail, and Astoria Martini, pay respect to the growing nightlife scene in Queens by honoring places throughout the borough. A large number of these drinks were created by the Dutch Kills bartenders, making them exclusive to the lounge. Creating the drinks also means the bartenders can play with the ingredients, customizing drinks to a customer’s preferences. Hawkins’ skill was recently on display during a busy Saturday night.
Measuring out each ingredient with precision and care, Hawkins is oblivious to the conversations around him. Completely committed to perfection, he focuses as though his life depends on the quality of this one Eastside Fizz. Measuring out each shot of gin, Hawkins never lifts his gaze from the bottle. Next comes the wedge of lime, followed by a thinly sliced cucumber, all mixed together in a tall glass. The ﬁnal ingredient is the most important. “It’s all about the ice,” Hawkins says as he chops the hand crafted block into bite-sized pieces. “It’s the secret to a good drink.” After adding a sprig of mint to the top, Hawkins hands the Fizz across the bar. “I made it extra strong,” he said. “And
Queens Business Profi le The It’s List
keasy serves up finely
I will be insulted if you don’t ﬁnish it.” May 1st marked the one-year anniversary of the lounge, and it doesn’t seem to be losing its appeal. Already, Dutch Kills has received plenty of praise from customers and critics alike. Twenty years ago no one would have imagined an upscale bar like Dutch Kills could thrive in this part of Queens. Factories lined the streets and machinery hard at work was the primary sound. Famous for being a local hangout of prostitutes and drug addicts, the Jackson Avenue and Queens Boulevard intersection wasn’t an area where respectable residents wanted to hang out. But with time comes change, and
Hawkins said that Boccato, who grew up nearby, has a special attachment to the area. “Richie wouldn’t have wanted to open a bar here during the time he was growing up,” Hawkins said. “But the area is growing and changing and we want to be a part of it.” While reminders of the area’s sketchy past still linger, Hawkins said he expects that to change in the near future. He envisions a thriving business neighborhood, one where his bar is the cornerstone of the social nightlife. On this Saturday night though, Hawkins seems less worried about what the future holds for the business than he does mixing the next Queens Park Sizzle to perfection.
Dutch Kills 27-24 Jackson Ave Long Island City (718) 383-2724 www.itsqueens.com Fall 2010 19
Business Builders Seminars
Learn how to grow your business or organization September 13: Success Stories How some local organizations have thrived in recent years October 11: Market Your Way to Success Use these creative ideas to add customers and revenue November 8: Staff Your Way to Success Hire the right people to maximize the customer experience Time: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Includes time to meet your competition! Raffles: Proceeds will support Forest Hills Kiwanis projects Stay in touch: Facebook: Join “Forest Hills Kiwanis Business Builders Series” and continue the discussion Text “Kiwanis” to 21321 to receive notices of Forest Hills Kiwanis meetings 20 Fall 2010 www.itsqueens.com For more information and to join Kiwanis’ email list, contact Dan Olson, 718.551.8244
The It’s List
15 THE TOP
Celebrities You might think all of the stars come from Manhattan, but Queens has produced its fair share of well-known celebrities over the years. So many, in fact, that we could have hundreds of names for this issue’s It’s List. So instead of looking at every public ﬁgure the borough has produced, we narrowed our candidates down to people who are still out there representing the best that Queens has to offer, from musicians to actors to political ﬁgures. Here are your Top 15 Celebrities From Queens. www.itsqueens.com www.itsqueens.com Spring Fall2010 2010 21 21
The It’s List QUEENS CELEBRITIES
N RO ST TE AR
EW DR O N A OM CU
Political Figure New York’s Attorney General has spent his entire life in the political spotlight. The son of a former governor, Cuomo has followed in his father’s footsteps, building a successful career highlighted by his time as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Bill Clinton. Cuomo will look to add one more notch to his impressive resume this fall when he runs for the position his father held nearly 20 years ago.
14. Ron Artest
NBA Star f i player l The NBA champ and former d defensive off the year joins Nas as one of two Queensbridge products on the list. Artest has dealt with his fair share of controversy throughout his 11-year NBA career, most notably in 2004 when he was at the center of a brawl in Detroit, jumping into the stands and hitting a spectator. But Artest has remained true and loyal to his roots, visiting Queensbridge every year and funding a scholarship program for residents.
NE GE ONS M SIM
13. Nas Rap Star
in A product of the infamous Qu Queensbridge housing project, N Nas broke onto the hip-hop sc scene in 1994 with his debut albu bum Illmatic. Some 16 years, a be beef with Jay-Z, and one VIBE aw award later, he’s still at it. MTV ra ranked the platinum-selling artist and middle school dropout th the 5th best MC of all time, and hi his debut album received a perfec fect “ﬁve microphones” from rap m magazine The Source.
22 Fall 2010 www.itsqueens.com
12. Gen Gene Simmons
Musician/Television Star More commonly known as “The Demon,” this Jackson Heights native took rock and roll to a new level as a leader and co-founder of Kiss. With the ﬁre-breathing Simmons and his bass guitar in the lead, the group has sold over 100 million records nationwide. While the group has never been embraced by the critics, they still sell out arenas across the world to this day. The man with perhaps the most famous tongue in the music business has even cracked the world of reality television with Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels, a show that follow the daily exploits of his wife, daughter and son.
The It’s List QUEENS CELEBRITIES
Y NC N A N GA A RE
N FRA HER ESC DR
11. Nancyy Rea Reagan
Former First L Lady The wife of the late Ronald Reagan was perhaps one of the most inﬂuential First Ladies ever. Pioneer of the “Just Say No” drug campaign, Reagan created one of America’s most powerful youth organizations during her time in Washington. A former actress, Reagan was known for restoring what many refer to as a “Kennedy-esque” glamour to the White House. The Flushing native has remained active in politics even after her husband’s death, most publicly with her campaign in support of stem-cell research.
2D Alert! See Page 57
10. 0. Fra Fran Drescher
Actress/Activist Drescher made a name for herself during her time on the hit television show The Nanny, but it may be her contributions off the nown Born in screen for what she is best known. Flushing and ﬁrst-runner up for Miss New York Teenager in 1973, Drescher has taken an active political stance ﬁghting for women’s rights. She brieﬂy considered a run for the Senate, but instead focused her efforts on supporting Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. In 2008 she was appointed a U.S. diplomat, traveling around the world raising awareness on women’s health issues.
LD NA P O D UM TR
9. LL Cool ol J
Rap Star/Actor or Ladies Love Cool James and they’re not the only ones. After dropping out of Andrew Jackson High School in Cambria Heights, James Smith (better known as LL Cool J) struck gold and then platinum with four separate critically acclaimed hip-hop albums. Smith’s musical career helped him launch a successful career on the big screen, with appearances in popular movies like S.W.A.T and television shows such as NCIS, LL Cool J’s career has proven to be nothing if not versatile.
8. Donald ld Trump
Real Estate Mogul/ Television Star The Donald has taken the family business to the next level. Aft t empire, i ter taking over his father’s wealthy reall estate Trump expanded into the airline and casino business. In the process, he made the Trump brand a household name both here and abroad. Trump had gained national recognition long before his hit NBC show The Apprentice, but the show has propelled Trump to new heights. Today, this Woodhaven native is worth around $2 billion. Not bad for a kid who had to be sent to military academy because he couldn’t keep his nose clean at The Kew-Forest School in Forest Hills. www.itsqueens.com Fall 2010 23
The It’s List QUEENS CELEBRITIES
PA SIM UL ON
7. Paul Simon
Musician mber of the A 13-time Grammy winning artist and member t Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Simon got his start in the world of music with fellow Forest Hills native Art Garfunkel. Simon soon outgrew Garfunkel, and went on to a successful solo career, with its pinnacle arguably being the album Graceland, which was heavily inﬂuenced by the music of South Africa. The album won the 1987 Grammy for Record of the Year. A 1981 Simon and Garfunkel reunion concert in Central Park drew over 500,000 people, the 7th largest concert of all time.
E PH TO N S I R E CH ALK W
5. Chri Christopher Walken
Actor The son of Scottish and German immigrants, i actor t was b ld this Academy Award-winning born R Ronald Walken, named after English actor Ronald Colman. His mother Rosalie had show biz aspirations of her own, so in the 1950s Walken and his brothers were child television actors. The rest, as you know, is history. What you may not have known, however, is that Walken was born and raised in Astoria, where his father owned and operated Walken’s Bakery. There, he worked alongside famous Italian chef Lidia Bastianich and her mother. There must have been something special about that bakery, because both of the former employees are at the top of their ﬁelds. Walken has appeared in over 100 movie and television roles to date, as well as occasional stage roles. In 2010 he was nominated for a Tony Award in the category “Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play.” 24 Fall 2010 www.itsqueens.com
NY TO ETT NN BE
6. Tony B Bennett
Musician si It was clear early on that Tony Bennett was a talented singer. He performed at the opening of the Triborough h Bridge when he was just 10, the same year hi his ffather died. Years of hardship followed as Bennett and his siblings grew up in poverty. The Astoria native attended the High School of Industrial Art and dropped out at age 16 to support his family, but he continued to sing while waiting tables. In 1944, he was drafted into the Army where he joined the front line of World War II. He sang with military bands, but his big break came in 1949 when he was performing in Greenwich Village and was discovered by comedian Bob Hope. Hope asked Bennett to tour with him, suggesting that he nix his stage name of Joe Bari. Born Anthony Dominick Benedetto, he became Tony Bennett. Six decades later, Bennett, 84, has no in intentions to retire and continues to make music to our eears.
B BO AS T S CO
4. Bob bC Costas
Television Host/Broadcaster As a 19-time Emmy award winner, this Queens native has become one of the most honored studio hosts ever. A sharp memory and keen sense of humor has made Costas a household name and the face of the American media for the Olympics. Ranked the sixth best sportscaster of all time by the American Media Association, Costas has covered every major American sport for NBC during nearly three decades of service. Author and host of his own radio and HBO show, Costas has set the standard for broadcasters everywhere.
The It’s List QUEENS CELEBRITIES 3. Lucy Liu
Actress Named one of the “100 Sexiest Women” in both 2005 and 2006, the Charlie’s Angels and Kill Bill star has proven herself to be fully capable, both on the screen and off. While Liu, who grew up in Jackson Heights, has gained a reputation as a Hollywood bad girl for her knack for playing villainous characters, away from the screen she is viewed quite differently. The daughter of a civil engineer and biochemist who gave up their jobs in Taiwan to move to the United States, Liu speaks six languages and graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Chinese Culture.
Y LUC U I L
2D Alert! See Page 57
N RTI MA SESE OR SC
2. Martin Scorsese
Director Director of the hit mob Goodfellas, Casino, and The Departed, Scorsese combined his knowledge of ItalianAmerican culture and organized crime to open the door to the secret world of maﬁa life. Born and raised in Flushing, Scorsese is known for using New York settings in his ﬁlms. After brieﬂy considering entering the priesthood, Scorsese instead decided to pursue a career in the ﬁlm industry. Winner of 83 awards, including an Academy Award for Best Director, Scorsese seems to have made a wise career choice.
1. Adrian Brody
N RIA AD DY O BR
Actor As a child, Brody’s parents enrolled him in acting classes in an effort to keep him out of trouble. You could say their efforts have been well rewarded. In 2002, at age 29, the Woodhaven native became the youngest actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his role in The Pianist. With almost 40 movie appearances under his belt, Brody doesn’t appear to be slowing down. His most recent ﬁlm, Predators, grossed an estimated $25.3 million its opening weekend.
www.itsqueens.com Fall 2010 25
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queens beauty Miss USA Rima Fakih talks to Itâ€™s Queens about life in Jackson Heights By Daniel Bush 32 Fall 2010 www.itsqueens.com
ne of the ﬁrst things Rima Fakih did after winning the Miss USA Pageant was make a return trip to her elementary school in Jackson Heights. She probably didn’t have to. Beauty queens have surprisingly busy schedules; Fakih has since traveled to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Rwanda, and China — the list goes on and on. Yet there she was, in early June, at P.S. 69 on 37th Avenue. She arrived in an SUV accompanied by a small entourage, and signed into the school’s logbook as “Rima Fakih, Miss USA.” While she took a tour of the building, students assembled in the auditorium. Reporters waited, cameras ready. Fakih ﬁnally appeared, dressed in a bright green top, mini skirt and heels, and made her way to the stage for a round of “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader,” a televisiontrivia game that pits adults against grade
www.itsqueens.com Fall 2010 33
Cover Story RIMA FAKIH
school students. The questions are harder than one would think (quick: what is the body’s largest organ?), but Fakih performed ﬂawlessly, entertaining her audience during breaks in the game with detailed stories from her elementary school days. She remembered everything, and took special care to thank several of her former teachers by name. Halfway through the contest, Fakih landed a gimme: Where does the sun set? She was about to answer, then stopped. In the car ride from Manhattan to Queens Fakih had conﬁded, 34 Fall 2010 www.itsqueens.com
half-seriously, that she was nervous about the homecoming. Now, with the game and her return to Queens going smoothly, Miss USA smiled broadly and answered, “over the 7 train.”
Cover Story RIMA FAKIH
akih competed in her first beauty pageant for Miss Wayne County in Michigan, after her family moved there from Queens in 2003. Fakih had not wanted to leave New York City, but she enrolled in the University of Michigan and worked hard to fit in on a college campus far less diverse than the streets of Jackson Heights, where she was raised after immigrating from Lebanon in the early 1990s. “Everyone would talk to me and say, ‘you’re not from around here,’” Fakih said in an interview of her time in college, where she remembers standing out. Feeling different or out of place can spell trouble for young people, but Fakih, now 24, said her childhood in Queens helped ease her transition to life in America. Fakih grew up on 76th Street and 37th Avenue. When she was old enough to venture out on her own, she found the neighborhood was an exciting mix of cultures. “From 76th Street I walked two blocks in one direction and I felt like I was in India. Two blocks in the other direction, and I felt like I was in Mexico.” She loved the diversity. “You can live with such a diverse group of people and nobody judges you. You can be yourself,” said Fakih, who attended P.S. 69, I.S. 145 in Jackson Heights and St. John’s Preparatory School in Astoria, where she played basketball, volleyball and ran track. “I learned a lot of what I needed to in life and I have New York to thank.”
eauty queens are not generally known for their street smarts or toughness, but then, Fakih is not your average pin-up girl. “The reason I got involved in beauty pageants was for the scholarship opportunities,” she said. “I have so much student loans.” After the Wayne
shallow rich girls,” Fakih said, but that’s not the case. “These are beautiful women who can speak, who can laugh, who can make a dress look interesting.” Fakih herself would look good in any outﬁt. And she’s certainly worn her share of interesting ones on trips to Houston, Shanghai
County pageant she competed in several others while working her way through college, before winning Miss Michigan in 2009. That qualiﬁed her for the Miss USA Pageant, and on May 16 she became the ﬁrst Arab American to win the contest, making headlines around the world. Fakih beat out 50 women for the prize. She said the experience informed her perception of beauty pageant contestants. Most people “think we’re dumb, have no heart, and are
and the like since being crowned Miss USA. But along with the title come real responsibilities. As the face of Donald Trump’s Miss USA Pageant enterprise, Fakih will spend the next year doing education and outreach work to raise awareness about breast and ovarian cancer in partnership with organizations including Gilda’s Club and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. At home, Fakih plans to work with children at Elmhurst Hospital, and take a van
offering free mammograms to Jamaica, Jackson Heights and other neighborhoods with large low-income populations.
hen she isn’t on the road, Fakih lives in a 13th ﬂoor apartment in midtown Manhattan with 2009 Miss Universe Stephanie Fernandez. After her reign as Miss USA ends next year, Fakih will have to move out. She said she knows just where to go. “My plan is to ﬁnd a place in Queens because it’s a lot more affordable than Manhattan and its convenient,” she said. Once she moves back, Fakih, who doublemajored in economics and business management, is also considering law school. She hopes to use the degree to found an entertainment company that hires celebrities to support the efforts of non-profit organizations. All of this is far in the future, however, and months remain before Fakih, who is having the time of her life, must plot her next move. Earlier this summer Fakih, who is single, attended her first professional baseball game, at Citi Field. She came away with a crush on a Mets player (she wouldn’t say which one), but a boyfriend isn’t high on her to-do list. “I think being Miss USA is a full-time job. You don’t have a lot of time for boys,” Fakih said. She thought about this, then added, “But if the right one comes along, you can’t say no.” www.itsqueens.com Fall 2010 35
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Windows, Doors, Siding and Roofing What’s the three most important things to look for when shopping for Home Improvements?
Quality - Quality - Quality When shopping for home improvements, whether it be Windows and Doors or some type of Siding or Roofing, always make sure the products are the highest quality before going any further. Getting a good price is only a value if the products are top quality. After all, paying less but getting less quality products really isn’t a deal at all and certainly isn’t in your best interest. At Unified we only sell the highest quality lifetime guaranteed products from the best and largest national manufacturers. Small companies and local manufacturers go in and out of business almost overnight. As we all know a manufacturers warranty is only as good as the company behind it. Below you will see just some of the national manufacturer’s product lines we sell and install. Our manufacturer certifications, staff training and product knowledge is more extensive then most companies in the country and certainly stands out among local contractors and manufacturers. Unified completes approximately 6000 jobs per year doing everything from Windows, Doors, Siding and Roofing to Attic Insulation, Cultured Stone, Awnings and Porticos. It is this purchase power that allows us to keep our prices so low. Our record speaks for itself with hundreds of awards over the years and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. For 25 years our installers have been factory trained and experts at what they do and we never send or recommend other companies to install our products. By having Unified sell you the product and do the installation you’re assured the warranties are always handled by us no matter what the problem might be. Quality products are what our company was built on. You must be sure you’re getting quality products but that doesn’t mean you have to pay a high price. Don’t let high pressure salesman convince you to spend huge amounts by scaring you. Ask lots of questions, get many written estimates and take some time to think about your decision. At Unified we give you a completely free written estimate with each price broken down and we never pressure a customer to sign a contract. When we come to your home to give you an estimate, we’re only there for as long as it takes to answer your questions, no more and no less. So shop around, insist on quality products from large long standing companies and don’t let anyone scare you into spending more then you need to. Written by: Steven J DiMare President and Chief Executive Officer CertainTeed
By Holly Tsang Photos by Michael O’Kane
® First On America's Homes
Queens Wheels AUTOS
Wheels By Jesse Almonte
2010 Cadillac CTSV The CTS-V Sport Sedan has quickly established itself among the world’s highest performing luxury sedans, becoming the first production four-door on street tires to break the legendary eight-minute barrier at Germany’s famed Nürburgring. A unique grille that doubles front-end airflow to help enable its high-performance capabilities is one of the V-Series’ distinguishing features, along with an aggressive front fascia and raised center section of the aluminum hood that provides clearance for the supercharger. Highs: Impressive handling, outstanding power, appealing exterior design and stylish cabin with nice technologies. Lows: Front seats need more support and pricey when loaded with options. 38 Fall 2010 www.itsqueens.com
2010 Mazda3 The 2010 MAZDA3 has the soul of a sports car, ensuring that driving enjoyment is a top priority. In response to the rising expectations of a dedicated sport-compact customer base and new consumers attracted to a fuel-efficient yet highly versatile fouror five-door sedan Highs: A joy to drive, affordable, and highquality feel. Lows: Goofy-looking grill and controls are complicated.
2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid The Ford Fusion has been a huge hit, the No. 1-selling domestic car in 2009 thanks to distinctive features, smart technology and exceptional quality and satisfaction ratings. And, since Fusion offers something for everyone – a Hybrid model that’s America’s most fuelefficient midsize sedan, a Sport version and a selection of gas-powered engines paired with six-speed transmissions – there’s no reason for midsize sedan shoppers to look anywhere else. Highs: Incredible fuel economy, driving experience impressive equal of non-hybrid vehicles and comfortable interior built of highquality. Lows: Overpriced.
Queens Wheels AUTOS
2010 Volkswagen GTI The Volkswagen GTI has represented a potent combination of sports car-like finesse and tuned driving excitement in a versatile hatchback design. The GTI ushers in the sixth generation of Volkswagen’s “hot hatch” lineage, and continues the evolution of an award-winning formula that has impressed driving enthusiasts across the globe. Highs: No-charge scheduled maintenance program for three years, sporty performance, and impressive fuel economy for its segment. Lows: Rear seats don’t fold entirely flat, which hampers cargo space.
2010 Buick LaCrosse Redesigned from the ground up last year, the Buick LaCrosse luxury sedan rolls into 2010 building on the attributes that have made it an unqualified success.The LaCrosse offers a great design, all-wheel drive, a suite of advanced personal technologies and safety features, and a choice of two fuel-saving powertrains Highs: Appealing exterior design and pleasing performance. Lows: Not for sport-oriented buyers and bad trunk space. 2010 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid The Cadillac Escalade Hybrid is the world’s first fuel-saving hybrid applied to a large luxury SUV. It achieves an EPA-
rated 20 miles per gallon in the city, a 50percent fuel economy improvement over the non-hybrid model. The Escalade Hybrid models are powered by GM’s innovative, fuel-saving 2-Mode hybrid system and offer the same dramatic design, luxury and fullsize capability that have made the Escalade an icon. Highs: Same sassy styling at the regular Escalade, luxurious interior and exterior design, hybrid powertrain, and comfortable seating for eight. Lows: Pricey.
2010 Infiniti G37 2010 Infiniti G37 Sedan Features Refreshed Exterior Styling, Refined Interior and Enhanced Navigation System.The Infiniti G37 is an extremely well-rounded car, balancing the comfort of a commuter and the athleticism of a performance car. It’s available as a refined sport sedan, an aggressive coupe or a gorgeous convertible. Highs: Sharper handling, sexy exterior especially in coupe models and elegant interior styling. Lows: Pricey, expensive options, and coupe and convertible models offer little backseat and storage space.
tive model features give both the new BMW 3 Series Coupé and the new BMW 3 Series Convertible even greater appeal and style. Highs: Unparalleled steering and handling and a array of powerful engines Lows: Interior spacing and storage is limited some controls are confusing.
2010 Honda Accord The 2010 Honda Accord Sedan and Coupe receive significant updates including improved fuel economy, enhanced exterior and interior styling and the addition of a new leather-equipped Special Edition (SE) trim level. Available as either a sedan or a coupe in 4-cylinder and V-6 variations, the Accord offers a unique balance of style, performance, efficiency and value specific to each individual model. For 2010, the Accord evolves again with sharpened styling inside and out, fuel economy gains and a broader application of popular features. Highs: Roomy interior, impressive crash test scores, and smooth acceleration with V6 engine. Lows: Limited trunk space.
2010 BMW 3 Series
Driving pleasure in the BMW 3 Series is reaching new heights yet again in the 2010 model year. Carefully conceived modifications in design, a thoroughly updated and extended range of engines, as well as innova-
2010 Honda Fit The 2010 Honda Fit, a perennial favorite of the automotive press and customers alike, offers value and versatility in a fun-todrive and fuel-efficient five-door package. Compact on the outside yet spacious inside, the Fit stands apart from other entry-level vehicles with its multifunctional interior and high levels of refinement. Highs: A pleasure to drive, outstanding fuel economy for its segment, and innovative storage options. Lows: If you’re tall the front seat space is a bit cramped. www.itsqueens.com Fall 2010 39
40 F Fall ll 2010 www.itsqueens.com i
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Lighting the Way From Ground Zero to Citi Field, the story of a small lighting company in Iowa that grew to tackle some of the biggest projects in New York. By Shane Miller
Mets Stadium Citi Field (2009)
t was the early 1970s, and Joe Crookham and partner Myron Gordin had just made a modest sum of money designing and successfully selling a carbide scriber. Now Crookham found himself on Van Dam Street in Long Island City where he was trying to sell a company on three hobby knife handles he had designed. However, a company representative informed Crookham that he was only interested in one of the handles. No worries, thought Crookham, and he replied that perhaps he and Gordin would just market the other two handles themselves. “That’s when the guy said, ‘let me tell you a Fall2010 2010www.itsqueens.com www.itsqueens.com 4242Fall
little story,’” recalled Crookham. The story was about a major hardware company and a similar upstart business based on Long Island. At the time, the established ﬁrm owned better than half the market share in the sale of screwdrivers, and as a business model simply accepted that its competitors would sell the rest. But when this new company began aggressively going after another chunk of the screwdriver market, it didn’t sit by idly, and before long the start-up company had most of its screwdrivers back in its warehouse, Crookham recalled the story ending. Then the company representative said, “we have a major percentage of
the market share in the hobby knife business.” The point of the story wasn’t lost on him. “Well, I’m from Iowa and I’m not real quick,” he replied, “but I think I’m not going into the knife business.” While disappointed, the story gave Crookham an epiphany: if he and Gordin were going to be successful in business, they couldn’t try to break into an industry that was already dominated by a major player. A short time later he heard that a small sports-lighting company in Iowa — Muscatine Lighting Manufacturing Co. — was for sale. Musco Lighting Photos Courtesy of was born. Musco Sports Lighting, LLC
uscatine sits on the banks of a sweeping bend in the Mississippi River in the southeast portion of the state. Settled as a trading outpost in 1833, Muscatine would become known as the “Pearl Button Capital of the World” after a German immigrant began producing buttons by punching them out of clam shells harvested from the river — the small town’s ﬁrst major industry. Walk along the Mississippi River’s banks even today and you can ﬁnd dozens of clam shells with several neat little round holes. In his book, Life on the Mississippi, Mark Twain, who lived in Muscatine for a short time and worked at the local paper, wrote, “And I remember Muscatine — still more pleasantly — for its sunsets. I have never seen any, on either side of the ocean, that equaled them.” According to the 2000 census, Muscatine’s population was just under 23,000 people. For a town its size, Muscatine has always had a fairly stable industrial base, with several large companies — including HON Corporation, Bridgestone Bandag, Heinz and Monsanto, to name a few — with a presence there. While no city has been spared the hardships of the nation’s recent economic woes, Muscatine was able to weather those hardships a little better thanks to those large, established corporations, of which Musco Lighting is one.
ronically, we looked for a business where one company didn’t have a huge market share, and now we have a dominant market share in sports lighting,” Crookham said in a recent interview with It’s Queens from Musco’s corporate headquarters in Oskaloosa, Iowa. “I guess we decided that if you are going to be in an industry where there is one major player, it’s good to be that company.” When Crookham and Gordin ﬁrst purchased Muscatine Lighting Manufacturing Co. and changed the name to Musco Lighting, there were hundreds of little players in the lighting business. Times have changed. According to Crookham, one of the reasons that Musco has been so successful is because he and
Mets Stadium Citi Field (2009)
Red Bull Arena (2010) Photo Courtesy New York Red Bulls
Olympic and Paralympic Games (2010)_
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Churchill Downs (2010)
Gordin were looking to start a business, not necessarily follow a passion. “We wanted to get into a business,” he said. “Some people get into a business because they have a real passion and they have a really good idea, but they don’t have a chance because they aren’t objective. We’ve always been able to be objective.” Today, Musco Lighting is a leader in the industry and has an international presence. It built a manufacturing plant in China to service the growing Asian market, and today the company takes on projects all over the globe, from lighting the 2010 Winter Olympics to a racecourse in Qatar to a football stadium in Northern Ireland. And Musco is no stranger to New York City. The company is behind some pretty high-proﬁle projects right here in New York City. Have you ever been to a night game at either Citi Field or Yankee Stadium? That’s thank to Musco. If you’ve ever enjoyed nighttime tennis at the U.S. Open then you’re familiar with Musco’s work. The company even had a presence during one of the grimmest times in New York City Fall2010 2010www.itsqueens.com www.itsqueens.com 4444Fall
Joe Crookham and Myron Gordin in 1982. history, lending its mobile light trucks to assist in the cleanup of Ground Zero in the months following the terrorist attacks of 9/11. After 30-plus years in the business, Crookham says he is still a bit overwhelmed at Musco’s success. “I still ﬁnd it pretty amazing that we can be here in Oskaloosa and Muscatine and be doing projects likeYankee Stadium and Citi Field and lighting Churchill Downs and the Olympics,” he said. But despite becoming one of the most recognized names in the sports lighting business, Musco hasn’t lost sight of how it got there. “For every Citi Field, there are 1,000 Little League ﬁelds,” said Crookham. “It’s a lot more rewarding to work with a local group that is trying to light their kids’ ﬁeld, and everybody gets excited when it is ﬁnally accomplished.”
You might not think much has changed in the sports-lighting world since the days people ﬁrst began competing past sundown — put some big lights on top of some poles and turn them on. However, Musco Lighting didn’t become the largest sports-lighting company in the world simply by happenstance, but rather because the company has always been forward-thinking and at the forefront of new technology. In fact, Musco Lighting was barely a year into existence when the company began marketing its ﬁrst innovation, the Sports Cluster. Prior to Musco’s innovation in 1977, lights were assembled one at a time on site. With the Sports Cluster, however, Musco presented the ﬁrst factory-assembled and -wired light that was then transported to the client and erected. From there, Musco continued to make advances. In 1982 it launched Musco Mobile Lighting — trucks outﬁtted with lights that could be driven to a location and used temporarily. It was Musco Mobile Lighting that made the ﬁrst night game at Notre Dame Stadium possible, and, on a more somber note, aided in the relief efforts at Ground Zero following the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center. Today, the company is going eco-friendly, rolling
out its newest product, Light-Structure Green, an energy-efﬁcient polelight system. It’s Queens recently got a tour of Musco’s manufacturing plant in Muscatine, Iowa, and a ﬁrsthand look at the manufacture of Musco’s cutting-edge, energyefﬁcient new product. Brett Nelson, a 23year veteran of Musco and current general manager of the Muscatine plant, explained that one technological advance involves using a number of small aluminum reﬂectors instead of one big aluminum reﬂector. This allows Musco engineers to use less light — therefore less energy — but do more. “For instance, if we have a light that is by a foul line, we can engineer it so that the light goes on the ﬁeld, and less into the foul area,” said Nelson. “It has increased the energy efﬁciency of our product signiﬁcantly.” In fact, the ecofriendly lights are used at the new home of the New York Mets — Citi Field. The lights are expected to save the Mets owners $1.2 million over the next 25 years. But if you think it’s only the big boys who can afford to go “green” guess again. “Doing the big projects has allowed us to get noticed, but it’s still the parks and recreation projects or local soccer team that is the bulk of our volume,” said Nelson. “the beauty of our product is that the high school football ﬁeld or the Little League team gets the same product as a Major League Baseball stadium.” (Shane Miller)
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A Quarterly Q l Magazine Designed for for Fun, Fun Trends and Hot Stuff in QUEENS.
QUEENS FASHION & STYLE: WINTER PICKS, BOUTIQUES & MORE
Queens Fashion THE DRESS RECYCLER
The Dress Recycler in action, on the streets of Queens listening to the “Fashion Crisis” hotline... 46 Fall Fall2010 2010 www.itsqueens.com www.itsqueens.com 46
2D Alert! See Page 57
Fashion CRISIS SOLVED!
Holly Wilensky is
The Dress Recycer For those in dire need of a fashion “uplift: “Never fear, The Dress Recycler is here!” This bargain fashion Superhero erhero has vintage and thrift shopping powers that will help you learn to sniff ff out bargains, teach you styling tips and tricks while educating you on garment arment construction; all for your fight against the crime of paying retail prices ices for clothing and accessories. Read on for the fashion crisis just solved d recently for a woman from Astoria.
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Queens Fashion THE DRESS RECYCLER Meet Regina from Astoria. She‛s got a wedding to attend this weekend with nothing to wear and a miniscule budget. With only a couple of days before the event, she realized that this might be a little more challenging than she thought.
This fashionista damsel in distress is classified as a true fashion crisis. Her despair alone was more than any superhero could bear! Then the call was received on the Fashion Crisis Hotline from Regina - “Help Me Dress Recycler!”
“Put down those overpriced dresses, it is I, The Dress Recycler here to save the day! I will help you find a dress, shoes and a bag for your event without paying full retail prices.” “Let me show you how!”
Regina soon revealed her budget consisted of only $100. We started searching for dresses in her price range with no problems at all staying under her budget.
A perfect fit, but wait! If the wedding you are attending is a daytime wedding, then this particular dress is probably a little to formal for daytime. This 1950‛s shimmer green taffeta strapless dress is a true gem. It proved to be very sophisticated with a classic 1950‛s Hollywood vibe. 48 Fall Fall2010 2010 www.itsqueens.com www.itsqueens.com 48
Know the code! Make sure you know the appropriate dress code for the time and place of your event. After 5 p.m. - formal; before 5 p.m. - semi-formal.
Queens Fashion THE DRESS RECYCLER Each one of these dresses fit well into our frugal $100 budget. They looked stunning on, had no damages and all zippers were intact and working fine. However, they still weren‛t exactly what Regina was looking for.
Print control! Be wary of big, overstated prints. This large abstract print dress may look good on the hanger, but is too overpowering for anyone less than 5‛2”. Since Regina is 5‛ tall, this dress will probably drag her down instead of making her look long and lean. Some additional bargain, vintage and thrift shopping pointers: • Check for damages! When shopping vintage or second-hand, always look twice for damages. Rips, tears, and stains can hide at seams, hems, or armholes. Always check to make sure the zipper works and that there are no missing buttons. • Check the soles! When buying vintage and second-hand shoes, always check the soles. Soles in good condition mean there has been minor or no wear, therefore will last longer. • Check the inside! When buying vintage and second-hand purses, look carefully for damages. Always check the inside and make sure all closures function well. • Wash at home! Make sure to clean all items thoroughly. Wash at home with a mild detergent and hang to dry. Most vintage clothing and fabrics are very delicate and need gentle care. It will save on dry-cleaning bills and will ensure a longer life for your vintage find.
Until we found this beautiful three-tiered floral print georgette dress with spaghetti straps. This dress came in 1st place at the frugal fashion finish line! • A perfect fit • Flattering to her body shape • Very versatile; can be worn for day or night • Can be worn 3 out of 4 seasons • Washable at home-no need to dry clean • Only $55 Vintage Shopping in Queens Loveday 31 33-06 31st Avenue Astoria, NY 11106 (718) 728-4057
With fabulous platform shoes ($25) and a beaded clutch ($18) both in good condition, another fashion crisis was solved. Total bill: $98!
To thrift, bargain, and come out ahead fashionable and frugal, an open mind is key. With The Dress Recycler, anything fashionable is possible! For more fashion education, vintage and thrift shopping tips, and styling tricks, please visit www.thedressrecycler.com.
Stray Vintage and More 48-09 Skillman Avenue Sunnyside, NY 11104 (718) 779-7795 Ditmars Thrift Shop 31-20 Ditmars Boulevard Long Island City, NY 11105 (718) 545-2529 Instant Replay 72-20 Austin Street Forest Hills, NY 11375 (718) 544-3556 www.itsqueens.com Fall 2010 49 www.itsqueens.com Fall 2010 49
a Bathing S u i t and a
Dream Local Designer Spotlight: The Monica Yepez Bathing Suit Collection By Holly Wilensky
true example of a woman having the courage to follow her dreams is Monica Yepez. Yepez tossed her briefcase aside and moved to the United States despite speaking limited English, with hopes of one day designing her own swimsuit collection. Monica has now gotten the reputation as the “Queen of the Bathing Suit.” Ecuadorian attorney-turned-Queens resident, Yepez is proof that the “American Dream” does indeed exist. It’s no surprise growing up near exotic beaches so close to the equator that Monica dreamed of designing bathing suits. And having watched her mother in action as a seamstress in high demand, it only made sense that her natural talent for garment design and construction would push her further into the fashion world. After ditching the lawyer “power suit” for good, she started to see the bathing suit as a possible key to her future. As each of her creations 50 Fall 2010 www.itsqueens.com
of the Bathing Suit.” became a reality, the thought of being her own
“Break the idea boss became more and more appealing. At the of the potentially time, her dream of starting her own business boring two-piece with seemed like an unreachable goal, however, the idea was forever imprinted in her mind. plain colors.”
While working for the first time in the U.S, it didn’t take her long to establish a Feeling this reputation as a well-respected sample maker. summer? Working for several different labels throughout her career, she Find the Monica Yepez soon worked her way up to designer, and her favorite fabrics to work with swimsuit collection at were the brightly colored, off the wall patterns and prints. Yepez took the American swimsuit and gave it new life. The Monica Ye- www.monicayepez.com or at Beverly Boutique pez swimsuit collection came from the desire to “break the idea of the poat these Queens and tentially boring two-piece with plain colors.” Her goal soon became creating Brooklyn locations: a new product in the swimwear industry by designing a one piece that gives the illusion of a two piece. Hello high dives, boat rides and cliff jumping – • 30-50 Steinway Street no more losing your bikini top! Astoria, NY Monica’s pieces have been part of international projects like the 2009 (718) 204-1364 calendar of the Brazilian model and actress Ana Carolina Da Fonseca. From • 1325 Kings Highway there the reviews and comments poured in from the international press. Brooklyn, NY Since her collection primarily is bright, bold and made for a younger cus(718) 336-0326 tomer, Monica is currently bringing new styles and expanding her line for a • 37-35 82nd Street more diverse customer. Jackson Heights, NY Stay tuned! (718) 205-0237
Find Monica Yepez on MySpace, Facebook, or email her directly at monicayepezswimwear@ gmail.com for more information or custom orders. www.itsqueens.com Fall 2010 51
Queens in photos City Comptroller John Liu beat a drum on July 31 as he prepared to launch dragon boat practice with his team, comprised of office staff. The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival took place on August 7-8.
On July 28, Community Mutual Aid Teams of Neighborhood Watch, a Flushing-based neighborhood watch group that is 300-plus members strong, protested a rising trend of violent crimes in Flushing.
The 112th Precinct Community Council celebrated the nationwide Night Out Against Crime event on August 3. Left to right: 112th Pct. Community Council Sergeant-At-Arms Karen Mongiello, Deputy Inspector Christopher Tamola, Chief Patrick Conry, 112th Pct. Community Counci President Heidi Chain, Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, former Councilwoman Melinda Katz, and Captain James Marron. Fall2010 2010www.itsqueens.com www.itsqueens.com 5252Fall
Queens in photos
On August 27, Paola Belotti proudly posed with a lifesized mural of a Tuscan landscape she painted over a graffiti-ridden wall in a Maspeth alley. Belotti was commissioned to paint the mural by the owner of Maspeth Discount Wines and Liquors, so she felt that an image of wine-rich Tuscany would be a fitting and beautiful way to brighten up the space.
A designer’s market on July 21 highlighted some of the best local creative talent. It was co-sponsored by artist Mieko Anekawa, KrisTEES boutique owner Kristie Foster and Brick Cafe owner Kristen Connolly.
On May 27, O’Neill’s owner George O’Neill, back left, treated children from the special education classes at P.S. 153 and P.S. 229 to pony rides, balloon animals, face painting and a hot buffet lunch. www.itsqueens.com Fall 2010 53 www.itsqueens.com Fall 2010 53
FROM DEXTER COURT TO 100th STREET SHOP WOODHAVEN! ON WOODHAVEN’S JAMAICA AVENUE FROM DEXTER COURT TO 100TH ST 2 HOUR PARKING FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE “CLEAN, SAFE, EXTRA SECURITY, SPECIALIZED ‘SMALL TOWN’ SHOPPING” Located exit 17 on the Belt Parkway, Cross Bay Blvd, to Woodhaven Blvd. Also by “J” Train and Jamaica Avenue Buses Most Stores Open late on Friday & Saturday, Also Some Open on Sunday BANK Queens County....... 80-35 Savings Bank ........ 93-22 Chase ................... 84-01a Community Federal Savings Bank ........ 89-07 Washington Mutual ................................ 90-14 BAKERY Pan Ugo Bakery ... 84-42 La Casa del Pandebono ............................... 90-12 Paneorama ............ 95-20 BEER & SODA DISTRIBUTOR Discount Beer & Soda ................................ 93-25 BUTCHER - MARKET La Palma Meat Market ................................84-25 CARPETING F&J Carpeting....…89-18 CELLULAR & PHONE RELATED STORES Universal Multi-Services Inc........................... 76-08 Verizon Wireless.... 80-05 A-One Electronic Cellular Phone & Jewelry ... 85-07 T-Mobile ................ 90-07 Sprint PCS ............. 90-24 Radio Shack ...........92-11 CPR Wireless ........ 93-29 Cellular Explosion 95-07 CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS
Woodhaven/Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance............. 78-15 WBID/Greater Woodhaven Development Corp ..............................84-01b Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association .............................. 84-20b CLOTHING - ATHLETIC Sports Lane .......... 85-15 Pro Trend Sneaker Store ............................... 92-13 LADIES’ APPAREL Mary’s Fashion Boutique ................................ 79-10 Rainbow Shop ....... 85-12 Today’s Girl ........... 85-13 Baby Blue Ladies... 91-17 Maragarita’s Outlet ............................... 95-07 MEN’S Valerie’s Men & Women’s ............ 80-17 Exclusive ............... 84-26 R.S. Army/Navy .... 91-13 CONFECTIONERY Schmidt’s Candy .. 94-15 CRAFT STORE Smiley Yarn .......... 92-06 FLORIST Park Place Florist ...87-14 FOOT CARE Podiatry ................ 86-12
Podiatrist Doctor .. 87-24 Woodhaven Footcare..................95-11 FURNITURE J&L Furniture……78-19 Iveria Furniture…..84-23 ICE CREAM Baskin Robbins ......84-13 Carvel .....................88-22 Baskin Robbins ..... 92-17 INVESTIGATIVE SERVICES LaBella Investigations .................................84-01 OPTICAL Woodhaven Optical ............................... 89-21 Evan David Optician ............................... 90-08 Price Optical .......... 93-01 LIQUOR STORES Rich Haven Liquors ............................... 85-11 Pina Liquors .......... 89-21 Deegan’s Wine & Liquors ............................... 95-19 MARKET C-Town ................. 74-39 Green Open Market ............................... 77-20 Sam’s Deli............. 80-01 Scaturro’s ............. 84-39 Harry’s Grocery Store ...............................86-06 Jamaica Gourmet Deli ….............................89-02 Jea & Son……....... 92-05
Minimarket ............ 95-13 C-Town Bravo ....... 98-02 HEALTH Health Store Vitamins ............................... 84-09 INSURANCE State Farm Insurance ............................... 79-22 Allstate .................. 84-15 Ohlert & Ruggiere 89-11 JEWELRY Prime ..................... 91-04 OFFICE SUPPLIES GJ Office Supplies 80-13 PARTY STORE Paola’s Party Land 89-06 PHARMACY Health Max ............ 80-09 Duane Reade ......... 80-30 Woodhaven Pharmacy .................................86-22 Rite Aid ..................89-10 Medex Pharmacy .. 96-02 PHOTOGRAPHY/ FRAMES Woodrich Glass & Mirror .................................86-11 Woodhaven Gallery 87-01 SHOES Payless Shoe Store 89-22 Orthopedic Shoe Store .................................90-03 PIZZERIAS Lane Pizzeria ......... 75-19 Domino’s Pizza ..... 78-02 A Taste of Italy ...... 84-07 Sal’s Pizzeria ......... 85-07
DeLeo’s Pizzeria ... 90-10 Carlos Pizzeria .......92-15 Jeebo’s Pizza and Pasta……..…...95-08 POLISH Polish Deli Hetman’s ............................... 84-24 PRINTING Beat the Clock ........97-13 RESTAURANTS May May Kitchen (Chinese Food) ...... 74-22 Fried Chicken Restaurant ................................ 74-38 King Wok Chinese Food ......... 79-09 Shanghai Kitchen ...80-11 Subway .................. 80-28 Frank’s ................... 80-29 Fresco Tortillas ...... 84-17 Palace Fried Chicken...................84-50 Japanese/Sushi ...... 85-18 The New Pops ........85-22 Thai Restaurant ......86-05 Kentucky Fried Chicken ................................ 87-17 Ho Wan Take-Out .. 88-22 Caridad Restaurant 90-19 McDonald’s ........... 91-01 Avenue Diner (Formerly Forest View Restaurant) ............................... 91-06 Carnival House (Chinese) ................................ 92-09 Dunkin’ Donuts ..... 92-17 ................................ 84-13
LET WOODHAVEN’S STORE KEEPERS PERSONALLY ASSIST YOU!
Located exit 17 on the Belt Parkway, Cross Bay Blvd. to Woodhaven Blvd. Also by “J” Train and Jamaica Ave. Buses Most Stores Open late on Friday & Saturday. Also Some Open on Sunday
Popeye’s Chicken .. 92-20 Manor German Deli ............................... 94-12 Mama Meena’s – Filipino…….......….94-20 Dumpling House ... 95-12 Cheung King ......... 97-17 El Anzualo ............. 98-01 UPHOLSTERY Polo’s Upholstery .. 77-09 Imperial Upholstering ..... ................................ 86-08 VARIETY Melanie’s Gift Shop .................................79-17 Gift Shop ............... 79-16 Liberty ................... 80-16 Dee ‘n Dee ............ 80-19 GEM ...................... 84-33 Hallmark Cards ..... 86-03 Discount Express ....91-04 Priceless ................ 91-07 VIDEO STORE Tyler’s Video ......... 79-24 Marquee Video ...... 85-08
AND MANY MORE!
Michael R. Bloomberg Mayor, City of New York
25 BLOCKS OF “SMALL TOWN” SHOPPING 718 805 0760 718 805 0202 CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED AT MOST WOODHAVEN STORES
(Photos by Michael Oâ€™Kane)
Queens in photos US OPEN
Roger Federer looks focused while facing Paul-Henri Mathieu on September 4
Venus Williams during her match against Rebecca Marino on September 1
Maria Sharapova reaches for the ball during her match against Beatrice Capra on September 7 www.itsqueens.com Fall 2010 55 www.itsqueens.com Fall 2010 55
OLYMPIA An Old Gym with a New Beginning
Gym & Tanning
Fam Family Fami amilyy owned ow o wned wned and operated opera erraated ted Newly renovated State of the art equipment 3 floors, personal trainers, nutritionists, shakes, healthy treats & more
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$54.99 First Time Tanners
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New Customers Join For A Year Plus tax, free hat with initial sign up NO SIGN-UP Fees!!!
Unlimited Tanning Mix and Match
Student and School staff Show your ID and tan in any of our beds for
Sundays: Tan for Free with purchase of a lotion packet
BQE QUEENS LEDGER BROOKLYN STAR
2D Bar Codes open up a whole new level of reader interaction. By scanning the bar code with your phone, you can visit a webpage, watch a video, send a text message, and more. Ready to get started? Here’s how: First, visit the App Store on your phone. Once you’re there, search for “QR Code Reader” We recommend NeoReader for the iPhone and Blackberry, Barcode Scanner for Android, and QR-Decode for Palm WebOS phones. Once you’ve got your app installed, open it and scan the barcode.
Scan this to watch Lucy Liu on Jimmy Kimmel. (p. 25)
Scan this to learn more about Scan this to watch Paul Simon Atlas Park. (p. 7) at Central Park. (p.24)
LL Cool J
Gantry State Park
The Dress Recycler
Scan this to watch LL Cool J perform “I’m Bad”. (p. 23)
Scan this to watch a concert at Gantry State Park. (p. 13)
Scan this learn more about the dress recycler. (p. 46)
Scan this to watch Nicki Minaj’s “Massive Attack”. (p. 7) www.itsqueens.com Fall 2010 57
100 years later, a garden still grows in Forest Hills 58 Fall 2010 www.itsqueens.com
By Holly Tsang
hen ﬁnancier Russell Sage died and left his fortune to his wife Olivia, she decided to invest it in a planned community where people of all different income levels could live together in a beautiful garden environment. Thus marked the birth of Forest Hills Gardens.
Today most of the houses in the neighborhood cost millions of dollars, but a century after its founding, Forest Hills Gardens remains a close-knit community where everybody is friendly with their neighbors. “You have something where everybody knows each other,” said Susanna Hof, whose family is in its sixth generation in the Gardens. “It’s a small town and yet you’re 13 minutes from Manhattan. There aren’t many places like it.” Many of the residents grew up in the Gardens and chose to stay and put down roots, but none have done so for as long as Floyd Hasselriis, 88, the longest inhabitant of the Gardens. He still lives in the house his parents bought back when there were just two houses on the block. He also recalls that in its beginnings, P.S. 101 was a one-room schoolhouse. “The trees were little then, too,” said
Hasselriis. “Now they’re a lot more than full grown. Most of the trees are over a hundred years old.” Lifelong Gardens resident Cheryl Cuddeback pointed out that little has changed in the Gardens, but sometimes change can be a positive thing. “For the longest time we were a lilywhite, WASP-y community,” she said, “but I love that now we embrace and welcome people from all walks of life, all nationalities, all backgrounds.” Cuddeback mentioned the Gardens is a wonderful place to raise a family because it is a place that observes annual traditions such as Children’s Day, when children are treated to an outdoor fair, and the singing of Christmas Carols in Station Square. Catherine Reyes pointed out there is also plenty for the adults as well. She belongs to a women’s club that regularly hosts lunches and events. There is a legal chapter and an art chapter www.itsqueens.com Fall 2010 59
for those with common interests, but if one ever gets bored, the city is just a short train ride away. “We’re not a cultural vacuum; we’re close enough to theaters, museums 60 Fall 2010 www.itsqueens.com
and the opera that we can enjoy it,” said Reyes. She added, “In the summertime I love my garden but if I lived in the city I wouldn’t have one unless I lived in a townhouse.”
Cuddeback said that living in a community like the Gardens means everyone knows each other’s business and, often times, secrets. “I know a lot of families that live here and there are problems, but we all live through them,” said Cuddeback. “I think it’s because of the community.” Terri Osborne pointed out the intimacy is just something that comes with the territory. “What you’re buying into is you’re sharing with your neighbors,” she said, “and you’re showing other people that co-operative ventures can succeed in a community dynamic.” It’s not the only thing homeowners are buying into, though. The Forest Hills Gardens Corporation sets specific guidelines for exterior construction and alteration of homes. For example, homeowners must submit samples before painting their houses, rooﬁng must be of red clay tile and security doors should be simple in design. Reyes has no qualms about shelving her creative license. “It’s not a price, it’s a pleasure,” she said. “If you
â€œFor the longest time we were a lily-white, WASP-y community, but I love that now we embrace and welcome people from all walks of life, all nationalities, all backgrounds.â€?
Cheryl Cuddeback with husband Norm Mendl at the Forest Hills Gardens centennial celebration. Left: Cuddeback on her 6th birthday.
“We’re not a cultural vacuum; we’re close enough to theaters, museums and the opera that we can enjoy it.” Longtime Forest Hills Gardens resident Catherine Reyes in front of her house.
choose to live here you should abide by the covenants.” Hasselriis, the Gardens’ longest resident, noted that the private community has managed to retain its character even after all these years. Asked about his hopes for the future of the only neighborhood he’s ever lived in, Hasselriis replied simply, “Just keep it nice.” At the Gardens’ centennial celebration in June, Angela Duff, co-chair of the Forest Hills Gardens Centennial Committee, said she hoped more than anything that residents would remember what a treasure their beloved neighborhood really is. “This community was laid out with parks and open spaces so that neighbors could get together, and here we are 100 years later, still doing that,” said Duff. “One-hundred years today in this throwaway world is nothing to be sniffed at.” 62 Fall 2010 www.itsqueens.com
Your Smile Speaks For You Make sure it says the right things.
Dent Care Dental, LLC. Family and Cosmetic Dentistry Christopher P. Kitson, DDS Arthur R. Volker, DDS
47-01 Queens Blvd Suite 407 Sunnyside, NY 11104 (718) 937-6750 www.dentcaredentaloffice.com
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Kevin Wolter Head Mechanic
Rick Metzger Partner
Auto Repair Corp. 74 - 02 Grand Avenue, Maspeth
Your Queens Money Voices BLOGS
Blogs of Queens The Forest Hills Gardens Blog foresthillsgardens.com Audience: People with an interest in Forest Hills Gardens A blog about this private community in Queens focused primarily on the possible development of the historic stadium at West Side Tennis Club, but touching on topics and issues surrounding Forest Hills Gardens and Forest Hills at large.
Blue Collar Corner bluecollarcorner.com Audience: Right-leaning Political Junkies Written by Andrew Sullivan, who grew up in Woodside, Blue Collar Corner tracks city, state, and national politics with a rightwing slant. The blog regularly features original interviews and events that Sullivan scours the city to track down.
Sunnyside Post sunnysidepost.com Audience: People interested in news related to Sunnyside and Woodside Sunnyside Post is an oft-updated blog generally related to news items and events taking place in Sunnyside and Woodside. Recent posts include hard news items like Amtrak restoring trees along a railway in the neighborhood and happenings like a fundraiser for the Sunnyside-Woodside Boys & Girls Club at a local pub.
LIQCity liqcity.com Audience: Active LIC-ers Love living in Long Island City? So do the staff of LIQCity. It’s evident that these bloggers care about their neighborhood and know exactly what’s going on at any given moment. Read about major development projects, controversial local issues, upcoming events, new stores and restaurants, even featured resident artists. Sometimes a post is just a photograph of everyday goings-on, a simple snapshot of the beauty and quirkiness of LIC. If you’re a newcomer to the nabe, read up on your LiQCity and you’ll be talking, thinking and living local in no time. 64 Fall 2010 www.itsqueens.com
QueensYour Voices BLOGS Money Local718 Queens local718queens.com Audience: Foodies and People Watchers Take a virtual stroll through Local718 Queens and you’ll be amazed at how many great people, stores and restaurants there are in your borough that you never even knew existed. Be sure to check out the photo gallery—nature, parades and food never looked so amazing! This blog will transform the way you view the already colorful cultural fabric of Queens.
Why Leave Astoria WhyLeaveAstoria.com Audience: Astoria Lovers If you love Astoria (whether you live there or not) chances are you’re a member of the bloggish social networking site WhyLeaveAstoria.com. Why indeed, when there’s so much to do; the popular site features upcoming events of all kinds, sponsors parties and serves as a forum for groups of like-minded individuals.
The Foodista foodistanyc.com Audience: Astorians, Foodies, Astorian Foodies There isn’t enough time for you to try out all the restaurants in Astoria, and frankly, you probably don’t have enough discretionary income (need we remind you we’re still in the midst of a recession?) to give them all a taste, either. Enter The Foodista, an Astorian whose mission is to “infuse the Astoria community with local culinary intelligence.” She shares her eating experiences, tries out new eateries and then writes up an honest opinion (e.g. the time she got all hyped for All You Can Eat Gnocchi Night at Testaccio and the food fell short of expectations). Thinking of trying out that hip new vegan restaurant but hesitant about parting with your hard-earned cash? Check with The Foodista first. www.itsqueens.com Fall 2010 65
Grand Florist W E A P P R E C I AT E YO U R PAT R O N AG E
Our Grand Community, For Over
BQE 2D: Scan this to visit our Business Directory
6537 GRAND AVENUE | MASPETH, NY, 11378
DELIVERY IN ALL FIVE BOROUGHS
Vision to Plan. Strength to Build. Stability to Endure.
Continental Avenue Forest Hills Bayside Elmhurst Jackson Heights Queens Boulevard
Cord Meyer Development LLC, 111-15 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills, NY 11375 For real estate inquires, please call leasing office 718-268-2500 ext.114
Visit us at: www.cordmeyer.com