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LIC Real Estate Breakfast

LIC Partnership Event Discusses How LIC is Evolving

April 23, 2018 / Long Island City Neighborhood / LIC Real Estate Queens / Queens Buzz NYC.

lic real estate long island city real estate prices inventory lic queens nycA bit over a week ago, I attended the LIC Partnership Real Estate Breakfast at the Ravel Hotel just south of the Queenboro Bridge at Vernon Blvd.

I've been attending the event since 2010 and it's been interesting to watch Long Island City's twists and turns during its incredibly rapid transformation. In 2010 large developers and big money were streaming in with critical mass, real estate prices were rising incredibly rapidly and large six and seven digit real estate transactions were happening periodically - if not more often - in spite of some of the hangover uncertainty left by the W. Bush financial crisis of the Fall of 2008.

The audience at the breakfast was still comprised of a fair number of familiar local faces as well as an increasingly large number of new interested parties.

The LIC Partnership executive level management changed in 2013 and 2014 and we started receiving fairly comprehensive data about units approved for construction, units under construction and units built. The numbers went from the low single digits THOUSANDS to the high single digit thousands, cresting last year at 9,000 new units that were expected to be built. This year it's 3,000 units.

lic real estate long island city real estate prices inventory lic queens nycDuring this time the audience began to attract vast numbers of outside interested parties, comprised of financiers and real estate developers and brokers, and less of the familiar local faces.

This year there was something of a settling down of the big business interest, and what I'd call the emergence of a new set of familiar local faces [see photo above right]. The familiar local faces of the past included artists and independent businesspeople, while the new locals are those working for some of the new businesses which have come into the Long Island City neighborhood.

I'll have more on the LIC Real Estate Breakfast including photos, later this week.

The photo above shows the LIC Partnership Real Estate Breakfast panelists [from left to right] including Chris Doeblin - Owner of Book Culture, James Orsini - COO Vayner Media, David Scharfstein - Co-Founder Fifth Hammer Brewing Company, Charlie Stewart - Co-President & CFO Altice USA and moderator David Brause - President Brause Realty.


Things To Do in Queens This Weekend

No Manhattan #7 Subway Link, Earth Day, Greek Flag Raising Ceremony, GreenSpace Modern Dance, Little Women, Art, Film & Avante Garde Theater

queens things to doApril 20, 2018 / Things To Do Queens / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Buzz NYC.

Good Weather . The Temperature highs will be in the low 50's Friday, rising to the low 60's Saturday and Sunday. The temperature lows will be around 40 throughout the weekend. There's No Rain in the weekend forecast. Winds will be a blustery 20 mph Friday and then falling to a low breeze of 10 mph for the rest of the weekend. The Humidity will be about 40% throughout the weekend. Click for Queens Weather.

MTA / Public Transit. The #7 Subway has some signal work going on in the Steinway Tunnels and Manhattan, so there won't be any #7 between Queensboro Plaza and Hudson Yards. The Astoria bound R & N trains have some work going on between Brooklyn at 36th Street & Manhattan at Canal Street so express stops only. There is also an ongoing disruption is the N & W Subways in Astoria at 30th through 36th Avenue stops which are closed for renovation [there are buses]. The Manhattan bound E Subways skip Briarwood and 75th, so you'll have to double back to reach the local stops. The F trains have work going on in both Manhattan and Queens - most notably Manhattan bound trains skipping Sutphin, Briarwood and 75th Street. The G Subway has no construction / maintenance issues this weekend.

The photo above right shows the Queensboro Bridge in LIC in the background about mid morning earlier this week. It wasn't long ago that you'd only encounter blue collar workers in this area, but as you can see by the photo - that's begun to change.

 

Friday - Rough Draft of Stepchild & Magic Constructs, Take Root Modern Dance

queens things to doThe photo at right shows some members of the audience at the Rough Draft Festival at LPAC in LIC this month. The festival ends this weekend - see details below.

The Noguchi Museum at 9-01 33rd Road at Vernon Boulevard in LIC / Astoria [art / free].

The Rough Draft Theater Festival ends this weekend at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center at 31-10 Thomson Avenue. On Friday they're presenting the final performance of Stepchild, a story about a poor deaf child's life during the Italian Renaissance, in the Little Theater beginning at 7 pm [$8 / $10 rsvp at http://www.lpac.nyc]. Also on Friday there's a reading of Magic Constructs beginning at 7 pm in the Black Box Theater which "documents and deconstructs the saga of becoming oneself" about the life of a transgender immigrant living in NYC in 2018 [free but rsvp at http://www.lpac.nyc].

Green Space at 37-24 24th Street [#301] in LIC presents Take Root Presents Christopher Unpezverde Núñez & Guests and Samuel Hanson beginning at 8 pm Friday & Saturday [dance / $15 at www.GreenSpaceStudio.org or at door $20 cash / $22 credit card / more details at Queens Events Member Calendar]. The performance was described as, "a collage of memories based on childhood experiences. It explores the male stereotypical behavior and the obsolescence of imposed masculinity in children. It’s a choreographic piece conceived to confront the stereotypes of masculine and feminine behaviors based on childhood experiences, poems, toys and philosophy."

 

Saturday - Greek Flag Raising Ceremony, Little Women, Take Root Modern Dance, Rough Draft Festival ends at LPAC w/ Skinnamarinkqueens things to do

The photo above right shows the Hell Gate Bridge in Astoria in the distance one early morning this budding Spring week. Astoria Park comes back to life, as the warmer weather begins to return.

There's a Greek Flag Raising Ceremony beginning at 12 noon in Athens Square Park at 30th Street and 30th Avenue in Astoria. The event precedes the Greek Independence Day Parade in Manhattan on Sunday.

The Gingerbread Players presents Little Women at St Lukes at 85 Greenway South at 72nd Road in Forest Hills beginning at 2.30 pm Saturday and Sunday and also at 7.30 pm Saturday [$15 / $12 groups / theater / Queens Events Member Calendar]. The play is also being performed Friday at 7.30 pm, and Saturday & Sunday at 2.30 pm April 27 - 29.

The Rough Draft Theater Festival ends this weekend at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center at 31-10 Thomson Avenue. On Saturday they're presenting the final performance of Skinnamarink in the Little Theater beginning at 7 pm [free but rsvp at http://www.lpac.nyc]. The play was created and is being performed by Brooklyn-based Little Lord Company.

Green Space at 37-24 24th Street [#301] in LIC presents Take Root Presents Christopher Unpezverde Núñez & Guests and Samuel Hanson beginning at 8 pm Friday & Saturday [dance / $15 at www.GreenSpaceStudio.org or at door $20 cash / $22 credit card / more details at Queens Events Member Calendar]. The performance was described as, "a collage of memories based on childhood experiences. It explores the male stereotypical behavior and the obsolescence of imposed masculinity in children. It’s a choreographic piece conceived to confront the stereotypes of masculine and feminine behaviors based on childhood experiences, poems, toys and philosophy."

 

Sunday - Little Women & Fertile Ground Modern Dance

st pats for all parade sunnyside queensThe photo at right shows one of the student artworks adorning the halls of LaGuardia Community College at 31-10 Thomson Avenue in LIC. The Rough Draft Festival ends there this weekend - see details above.

The Gingerbread Players presents Little Women at St Lukes at 85 Greenway South at 72nd Road in Forest Hills beginning at 2.30 pm Saturday and Sunday and also at 7.30 pm Saturday [$15 / $12 groups / theater / Queens Events Member Calendar]. The play is also being performed Friday at 7.30 pm, and Saturday & Sunday at 2.30 pm April 27 - 29.

Green Space at 37-24 24th Street [#301] in LIC presents Fertile Ground New Works Showcase beginning at 7 pm [dance / $13 online at www.GreenSpaceStudio.org / at door $13 cash, $15 credit card]. This month the showcase features the work of "Featuring work by: Barbara Mahler, Debbie Mausner Dance Collective, IQL, Michelle Huber & Madison Palffy Teadora".

 

WORK IN PROGRESS. ASTERISKED EVENTS HAVE NOT BEEN UPDATED.

* The Sculpture Center at 44-19 Purves Street in LIC is hosting an exhibit entitled Carissa Rodriguez: The Maid and an In Practice series exhibit entitled Another Echo [art / free but $5 / $3 donation appreciated - thru 4/2/18].

* PS1 MoMA at 22-25 Jackson Avenue in LIC has two programs running this weekend. On Saturday Jenny Hval is sold out, while on Sunday at 1 pm and 3 pm there will be screenings of Leilah Weinraub's feature film, Shakedown, which is "a dreamlike depiction of Los Angeles’s urban lesbian strip club scene in the early 2000s and the culture that surrounded it", and at 6 pm there's a performance of Hair Wars which "began as an informal stage show in Detroit nightclubs, used as a quirky marketing tool for hair stylists in the mid 1980s" [art / $15 / $13].

* The Flux Factory at 39-31 29th St Long Island City is exhibiting Flux City 6, which is a cycle of city creation and destruction, rebirth and cataclysm, a phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes, Godzilla-traipsing-in-from-the-sea-in-fire-and-chaos. The program begins each Saturday [March 3, 10 & 17] at 10 am with some sort of Creationist Effort and continues into the evening when it ends with a Destructionist Effort. They end the event at midnight - except on March 10 when it ends at 10 pm [art / free / donations welcome].

* Q Museum.

Also see art exhibits and film above in the Friday & Weekend section.

 

Next Week 4.23.18 - TBD

Coming soon.

 

Farmers Mkts, Street Fairs & Member Events Calendar

Click here for reports about Queens farmers markets, Queens street fairs & some shopping venues in Queens.

Also see Friday & Weekend Events above and / or click to Queens Events Member Calendar to view a number of additional weekend events. And click here for free summer concerts in Queens, free summer movies in Queens and free things to do and free summer theater in Queens & things to do.

BOOK REVIEW NEXT WEEK: Under the Mets Grandstands by Seymour Butz.


Spring Has Arrived

The Trees are Blooming and Warmer Weather is on its Way

historic richmond town staten island nycApril 17, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / Queens Buzz NYC.

This weeks our deciduous trees have begun budding and flowering. We can see the bright pea green buds and the white tree blossoms popping out everywhere. This unique period of springtime lasts only a week or two, so enjoy the majestic beauty while it lasts.

The photo to your right shows what is a very ordinary view of a back wall of apartment windows in NYC, as it comes alive with nature's beauty. The budding trees add oxygen during the day and carbon during the night to our atmosphere. And provide shelter from the hot sun during the summer and some privacy between neighbors as well.

So enjoy these magical week(s) as nature blossoms and our deciduous trees awake from their wintry slumber.


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How We Hear @ Rough Draft Theater Festival

New Play Explores the Changing Nature of our Political Dialogue

reynaldo piniella nyc actor photo lindsay tanner actress nyc photo rough draft festival laguardia performing arts center lic queensApril 9, 2018 / Long Island City Neighborhood LIC / LaGuardia Performing Arts Center / Experimental Theater in Queens / Queens Buzz NYC.

Last weekend I had an opportunity to watch one of the new plays performed at the 5th Rough Draft Festival at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center in LIC. The play was entitled How We Hear by Emily Lyon.

It was an exploratory exposition of what how the American national dialogue has changed over the past century and a half [158 years] and it was as much an experience, as it was a performance.

What Lyon did with the next hour and half of our time was an interesting journey through selected excerpts of our national debate. But even more importantly, Lyon took us on an exploratory journey - including some real time processing - of how new forms of mass media, with the incredible proliferation of information venues and access, impacts our ability to have a honest dialogue about important issues facing our society in a way that everyday Americans are able to process.

Lincoln Douglas Debates @ LaGuardia Performing Arts Center

I arrived shortly before the performance began and found a seat not far from the stage. The performance was given a short introduction by Handan Ozbilgin, the Rough Draft Festival Director and shortly thereafter, one of the seven Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 [August 21 – October 15] began. The debates were the first ever between two Senate candidates vying to for a U.S. Senate seat [Illinois]. They became an instant sensation, and became the forerunner of the platform upon which Lincoln would run for president in 1860. It’s worth noting that at the time the Senators were elected by state legislatures – not by a direct tally of state citizens’ votes.

 

How We Hear by Emily Lyon @ Rough Draft Festival

emily lyon playwright lpac rough draft festival 2018While Triney Sandoval, the Hispanic man who played Douglas, didn’t resemble Stephen Douglas facially, he was an actor and orator of the first degree, and comported himself as one might imagine Douglas. His elocution and diction were very precise, cadenced and reminiscent of an earlier age. And his Hispanic heritage, in what was – over a century and a half ago – an Anglicized age, seemed purposeful in adding an ethnic layer and some complexity, to what was possibly a simpler time.

Sandoval, as Douglas, talked about the Lecompton Constitution, which was one of the hot issues of the time. The Lecompton Constitution which was a competing, pro-slavery, constitution for the state of Kansas induction into the United States, which also explicitly stated that only white males would have the right to vote.

Ironically, Stephen Douglas, a Democrat, helped the Republicans defeat the pro-slavery constitution by aligning with the other northern Democrats who were against it. The southern Democrats were supportive of it.

 

States Rights Vs Human Rights: Early American Hypocrisy or Dialectic?

laguardia performing arts center rough draft festival licSandoval, as Douglas, then went on to accuse Lincoln and the Republican Party of that time of being a northern political party – not a national political party like the Democrats were. Douglas then cited excerpts from speeches made by Lincoln which seemed at odds with each other, where it appeared Lincoln appealed to the anti-slavery sentiment while giving speeches in northern cities like Chicago while appealing to the racial prejudice of the south, while in southern Illinois cities like Charleston [which is about the same latitude as St. Louis, Missouri and Kansas City] by stating that he did not support allowing Black men to become whites equals, citing they weren’t fit for the role of jurors and what not.

Stephen Douglas was a Democrat, but he wasn’t pro-slavery per se. He was for the rights of states to decide for themselves what institutions to create and how they should conduct their business. He noted that all of the Founding Fathers had kept their slaves through the Revolutionary War. And Douglas reminded voters of Lincoln’s speech in 1858 in Springfield, Illinois where he said that “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” And that one day the United States would either be all slave or all free.

CLICK here to read the rest of our report of the LaGuardia Performing Arts Rough Draft Festival performance of How We Hear.


Taste of LIC & Queens Restaurants

An Established Event Tries out New Venue & Welcomes Newcomers

queens restaurants lic restaurants long island city queens nycUpdated April 2, 2018 / June 6, 2017 / LIC Neighborhood & Astoria Neighborhood / LIC Restaurants / Queens Restaurants / Queens Buzz NYC.

About a week ago, the Chocolate Factory Theater Company announced the 13th annual Taste of LIC would be returning in June. I attended the 12th annual Taste of LIC at the Kaufman Astoria Studios Lot on 35th Avenue at 36th Street in Astoria / LIC. This was the first year the event was held away from its original waterfront venue under the gantries in Gantry State Park along the East River.

Sheila Lewandowski, one of the co-Founders of the Chocolate Factory Theater Company, told me that they made the change because the chefs weren’t allowed to cook in Gantry State Park. Now, on the Kaufman Astoria Studios Lot chefs can now do live performances of their cooking.

The Chocolate Factory Theater is an avant-garde dance and theater company that hosts live multi-media dance and theatrical performances in LIC. The non-profit theater company has organized the event since its inception. The proceeds help fund the organization’s work. Brian Rogers is the co-Founder of the Chocolate Factory, who we'll meet a bit later in this report.

I arrived about on time for the general admission and made my way in, perusing the entire scene before starting to photograph and sample my way through the tent.

I bumped into Steven Hitt, the Executive Director of the LaGuardia College Performing Arts Center. Steven mentioned that the dance troupe, Rioult, was planning to move into Queens in early 2018, and that they were currently in the process of setting up office space and studios not far from where we stood. Later in the evening he introduced me to Amy Harrison, the Executive Director of Rioult. Steven mentioned that the Joffrey Ballet Company also moved one of its programs to LIC, and is periodically using the LaGuardia College Performing Arts Center as a facility.

It seems while many of the independent artists have left LIC over the past five or so years, many other groups from Manhattan and Brooklyn have been making their way in. The Joffrey and Rioult dance companies have chosen LIC in lieu of Manhattan, due in part to the affordability, convenience and accessibility of the LIC location. I was to learn more of such migratory movements, as the night wore on.

I'll have the rest of this report later this month, including numerous photos of the event.


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Sunnyside Shines BID - Annual Meeting 2018 | sunnyside shines bid sunnyside shines business improvement district sunnyside queens nyc jaime faye-bean executive director sunnyside shines bid john vogt board chairman sunnyside shines bid
Sunnyside Shines BID - Annual Meeting 2018

The Sunnyside BID Shines Brightly

Sunnyside Shines BID Holds Annual Meeting & Annual Recap

March 27, 2018 / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Queens Business / Queens Buzz NYC.

On Monday, Sunnyside Shines, the Business Improvement District organization serving Sunnyside held its annual meeting. The Sunnyside business improvement district includes Queens Blvd between 38th and 50th Streets and along Greenpoint Avenue from 50th to 42nd Streets and most points in between.

As you can see from the photo at right, the meeting was well attended. Somewhere in the neighborhood of fifty to one hundred people spent some time at the meeting, and I found it to be pretty informative regarding what's going on in the Sunnyside business community.

 

Sunnyside Shines BID Executive Director Jaime Faye-Bean & Board Chairman John Vogt

sunnyside shines bid sunnyside business improvement district queens nycSunnyside Shines BID Executive Director, Jaime-Faye Bean was there to present the BID’s annual results and she,along with John Vogt, Chairman of the Sunnyside Shines BID also presented a number of awards to community members for their contribution to the business district.

One of the things that struck me as I watched the events of the evening unfold, was the holistic approach to business development that the Sunnyside Shines BID had undertaken this past year. It struck me not just because there were so many people in attendance, but because of their enthusiasm, their achievements and the BID achievements in building momentum for the business district as a whole. You’ll see more clearly yourself as I describe the night.

I arrived a couple minutes late and Public Advocate Letitia James came to speak to the group about what her offices does and she encouraged the audience to contact her if they had any issues where they thought she and her office could help. According to Wikipedia, the NYC Office of Public Advocate,

“The Public Advocate is a non-voting member of the New York City Council with the right to introduce and co-sponsor legislation. … The Public Advocate also serves as an ombudsman for city government, providing oversight for city agencies, investigating citizens' complaints about city services and making proposals to address perceived shortcomings or failures of those services.”



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Queens World Film Festival 2018 | queens world film festival 2018 QWFF 2018 queens film festivals nyc at museum of moving image astoria queens nyc queens world film fest
Queens World Film Festival 2018

Queens World Film Festival 2018 To Begin

The Queens World Film Festival Comes to the Museum of the Moving Image Astoria

March 12, 2018 / Astoria Neighborhood / Queens Neighborhoods / Film in Queens / Queens World Film Festival / Queens Buzz NYC.

The 8th annual Queens World Film Festival begins on Thursday, March 15th at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. This year the festival will run eleven days, present 189 films, from 36 countries, in three screening rooms at the Museum of the Moving Image and the Zukor Screening Room at KAS in Astoria.

Tickets cost $15 per show, which you can obtain online at http://www.queensworldfilmfestival.com, and you may obtain a discount of $3 [$12 per ticket] by inputting the promo code qwff8.

The photo at right shows a scene from one of the films, entitled Lilly Riggs, by Brooklyn filmmaker Naman Gupta, which I'll tell you about later in this report while providing highlights about several films in the eleven day event. The information contained in this report was collected from the Queens World Film Festival website and in an interview with the Queens World Film Festival Artistic Director, Don Cato, and the Executive Director, Katha Cato.

Click here for an overview of the schedule and films for the Queens World Film Festival 2018.



Indie Cade 2018 at Museum of the Moving Image NYC | indie cade 2018 museum of moving image astoria queens nyc indie cade video arcade video game makers video event nyc queens museum of the moving image momi astoria
Indie Cade 2018 at Museum of the Moving Image NYC

Museum of the Moving Image: Indie Cade 2018

MoMI Hosts Community of Evolving Video Art Gamers

February 26, 2018 / Astoria Neighborhood / Film & Video in Queens / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Buzz NYC.

A week ago I attended the Indie Cade East gathering at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. I had been to previous Indie Cade events at the Museum of the Moving Image, and each time I go I try to find something new and different.

It was a relatively balmy February day as I made my way to the Museum of the Moving Image along 35th Avenue at 36th Street. There were people milling about outside, discussing video games, as I entered the museum.

Memories of Astoria Video Mural

Along the left side of the entrance lobby, there was a video mural running along the wall, made by a Brooklyn artist, Ezra Wube, which showed painted scenes of the Astoria neighborhood. And directly in front of me, people were engaged in video games and hanging out on the benches adjacent to the snack bar. After checking in, I headed into the main theater to see what was playing as it was only a couple hours before closing time on Sunday afternoon.

There were people watching and discussing a black and white video, which was a combination of modern video art and representations of nature. The video continually morphing into and out of the real / surreal depictions, accompanied by rhythmic acoustical music, providing a mind bending experience if you gave it time and let it in. Given my time constraints, I decided to continue into the rest of the Indie Cade event, as delving more deeply into this work would likely consume the rest of my visit.

Museum of the Moving Image – Indie Cade East Exhibits

On the second level there was an interactive video that worked a bit like a game show. The player would be prompted by pick up lines / questions that the video game maker had collected, and then prompted for a multiple-choice response. Generally one of the questions was quite rude, and if you chose that one, the game ended more quickly. I suppose a bit like in real life : ) as some of the pick up men in the game would flee – which as one woman told me – isn’t exactly like what happens in real life.

Within that exhibit space there was a video explaining how the game was made. I’m not sure if this is a part of the exhibit entitled Indie Cade Presents: A Decade of Design, so I’m not sure if it will remain at the Museum of the Moving Image as part of that exhibit which is scheduled to run through June 17th, 2018.



Click here for things to do on the Upper East Side UES, or things to do in Midtown Manhattan NYC, or things to do in the East Village and here for Whitestone hair salons.

 


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Jessica Ramos Opens Campaign Office

IDC Member Jose Peralta Faces Serious Challenge This Year

queens things to doMarch 19, 2018 / Jackson Heights Neighborhood / Queens Politics / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Buzz NYC.

It was a cool Sunday morning as I made my way over to the campaign office opening of Jessica Ramos in Jackson Heights. I parked my bike outside their 72nd and Broadway headquarters and began my march up to the fourth floor.

 

At the fourth floor landing the door opened into a very bright, sunlit room that seemed to reflect the mood of the people in it. Jessica Ramos, a former Ethnic Media & Outreach staff member of the de Blasio Administration, was staking out a position in what appears to be a serious challenge to NY Senator Jose Peralta.

IDC - Republicans Running as Democrats?

I was greeted warmly by the folks inside, who appeared to be a combination of Jessica Ramos's family, friends, neighbors and interested supporters. All of them, appeared to be interested in sending NYS Senator Jose Peralta home from Albany, as they opined how Peralta had betrayed not just them – but all Democrats – by becoming an Independent Democratic Caucus member. In January 2017 NYS Senator Jose Peralta joined the Independent Democratic Caucus [aka IDC] which has aligned itself with the Republicans in Albany, thereby giving the Republicans control of the NYS Senate.

In the photo at right, some of the folks who attended the campaign office opening of Jessica Ramos who is challenging Jose Peralta for the NYS Senate seat representing Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst and Corona.

More to come later today or this week.


Queens Chamber Hosts Tax Seminar

Accountants From Mazars Provide Overview of Tax Changes

queens business finance taxes queens nycMarch 5, 2018 / Jackson Heights / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Business / Queens Buzz NYC.

Last Thursday I headed over to the Bulova Corporate Center to attends a free tax seminar hosted by the Queens Chamber of Commerce. The seminar content was targeted toward small and medium sized businesses and their owners, in an effort to help folks navigate and plan their way through the new tax law changes.

The presenters included Mazars Partner James Wienclaw; and Senior Managers Donald Crotty and Michael Pappas. Mazars is an organisation specializing in audit, accountancy, tax, legal and advisory services. All three men are Certified Public Accountants [CPA’s] and the presentation took about two hours, including questions.

 

Tax Reform Plan of 2017 Includes Many Changes

Per an audience member request, we started with the Individual Tax Provisions. Generally the tax reform plan, entitled the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, kept the seven tax rate brackets, but generally lowered the tax rates for all brackets queens tax plan preparation impacts nycexcept the lowest bracket – which includes singles earning up to $9525. The plan did not extract the 3.8% tax which funds the Affordable Care Act [aka Obamacare].

To partially offset the tax rate reductions, many itemized deductions were scaled back. Perhaps one of the most significant changes in deductions was that they set a limit for deductions for state and local taxes at $10,000.

Based on research I had done around the time of the Tax Reform plan enactment, this part of the tax plan will most negatively impact taxpayers in Democratic states like New York and California - both of which already contribute more to the federal coffers than they receive.

Click this link to view the OpEd report we posted just prior to the passage of the Trump Tax Plan to see an Atlantic Monthly chart showing what every state receives back on each dollar sent to Washington, D.C. [scroll down, it's near the end of the story].

As you can see in the Kiplinger map at right, as a general rule the Republican states are the net recipients of federal government funding, while the Democratic states are the net contributors into the federal coffers. There's some irony there, as it's generally the Republicans who complain the most about welfare.

We’ll post the rest of our report on this presentation later this week, and it's worth viewing as there were a number of major tax law changes.


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Chinese New Year Parade - Flushing Queens NYC | chinese new year parade 2018 flushing chinese new year parade 2018 queens chinese & korean culture new year parade & celebrations nyc queens 2018
Chinese New Year Parade - Flushing Queens NYC

Queens Chinese New Year Parade & Celebrations in Flushing

The Year 4716, or the Year of the Dog, has Begun

February 19, 2018 / Flushing Neighborhood / Queens Holidays / Flushing Chinese New Year Parade & Celebrations / Queens Buzz NYC.

On Saturday I made my way east to Flushing to watch the Chinese New Year parade in Flushing. The Flushing neighborhood of Queens rivals the Chinatown neighborhood in Manhattan for the leading center of Chinese culture in New York City and along the East Coast of the United States.

The photo at right shows a few of the 'dogs' celebrating the year of the dog in the Flushing Chinese New Year Parade.

 

Flushing Chinese New Year Parade 2018

The parade kicked off at 11 am just east of the Queens Crossing Mall at Main Street and 39th Avenue. They headed south along Union Street, west along Sanford Street, before heading north along Main Street terminating just after passing the Queens Crossing Mall.

Literally thousands participate in the parade itself and likely north of 10,000 spectators come out to watch the grand cultural celebration. Participants march in groups, dressed in traditional costumes, harking back to ancient times. And there were also many floats, which were generally associated with local businesses and organizations.

The Flushing Chinese New Year parade is an evolving cultural event as Korean and Japanese marchers and floats also participate in the parade. And in the last few years I’ve noticed westerners marching dressed in traditional costumes, possibly as cross cultural / Americanized couples and friends join in the fun.



Flushing Historic House Tour - Historic Sites Queens History NYC | flushing history flushing holiday historic house tour queens historical sites queens historical societies history in queens flushing corona nyc
Flushing Historic House Tour - Historic Sites Queens History NYC

Flushing History: Walking Through American Colonial History in Queens

America’s Colonial History Comes Alive in the 30th Historic House Tour in Flushing Queens

December 12, 2017 / Flushing Neighborhood / Flushing History in American Colonial Queens / Queens Buzz NYC.

This past Sunday, six historic sites in Flushing and one in the Corona neighborhood of Queens, coordinated to host the 30th annual Holiday Historic House Tour. For four hours visitors were invited into Queens colonial, as well as 19th century [1800’s] pasts, in the neighborhood of Flushing. The 20th century Louis Armstrong House in Corona, also participates in this event.

The map at right shows the Queens historic sites participating in the Holiday Historic House Tour in Flushing this past weekend.

It had snowed the day before, but it was only a few inches and by Sunday most of it had pretty much gone away. It was sunny with temperatures in the low 40’s, so not a bad day for walking around Flushing. The group of historic sites has it set up so you can either buy the one ticket to see all seven sites, in advance, online [$15] – or purchase the ticket on the day of the event from any one of the historic sites wherever you start your self-guided historic tour [$20].

The first two stops are by far and away the two most significant sites, as together they represent one of the most important cornerstones of the Bill of Rights in the American Constitution – religious freedom. So let us delve into America’s colonial past in Queens, starting with the Bowne House and the Friends Meeting House.

Click here to continue reading our report about our American colonial past in Flushing, as seen on the Queens History - Flushing Historic House Tour.



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Queens Borough President State of the Borough Address 2018 | queens borough president melinda katz state of the boro address queens boro president melinda katz state of the borough address
Queens Borough President State of the Borough Address 2018

Queens State of the Borough Address 2018

Katz Delivers Her Fourth State of the Borough Address

January 29, 2018 / Astoria Neighborhood / Queens Politics & Government / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Buzz NYC.

I headed over to the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School on a rather balmy January morning last Friday. The temperatures were unseasonably high in the 50’s and it was dry.

I arrived a bit late for the speech, so I watched it on Youtube over the weekend. The first eleven minutes included introductory performances and speeches, including the Pledge of Allegiance, a singing of the National Anthem, a brief thanks by Gideon Frankel the Principal of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School, and a call out to the local pols in attendance by Deputy Borough President Melva Miller.

What U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer Didn't Say was Notable

u.s. senator chuck schumer ny photoAs far as I know, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer was not given any advance billing as being one of the speakers today, but he came onto the stage and spoke to us. For a moment I thought we might hear why he had decided to take the Democrats into a showdown about a federal government shutdown with President Trump less than a week ago [Friday, January 19th], and why he then backed off that negotiating stance less than three days later, agreeing to reopen the government by midday Monday, January 22nd.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Schumer Mentions Support for Dreamers & Immigrants, but Not a Word About the Government Shutdown Showdown

But U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer didn’t say a word to us about the shutdown per se, less than a week after it had all gone down. I couldn’t help but wonder why?

Was the shutdown: 1) a part of the growing theatrics of the federal government - as a bid to demonstrate Democratic solidarity with immigrants and Dreamers, or 2) a real effort to win concessions from the Republicans for immigrants, or 3) an ill-planned showdown that only took into account the bi-coastal Democratic leadership [Democratic Senate Minority Leader Schumer - NY & Democratic House Minority Leader Pelosi - CA] that represents densely populated urban areas with large immigrant populations, while ignoring the constituencies represented by Democrats who come from states that are more rural and suburban, and have small immigrant populations?

Schumer was on stage for a bit less than 15 minutes and in that time he told us about how he had cared for his elderly father who now lives in Queens. He referenced Melinda’s second term in office as the ‘peaceful passing of the torch’ which didn’t make a whole lot of sense because Katz is moving from her first to second term so there's no real torch passing going on. And he credited Katz with bringing ferry service to the borough, which I am sure she helped lobby, but which at its core was a Mayoral action. Schumer's visit was not hailed in advance, and he seemed a bit unprepared, so I wondered why he'd decided to speak, and whether he’d been rattled by the events of the prior week?

U.S. Senator Schumer concluded by telling us a story about how Ben Franklin and the framers of the Constitution were concerned about whether the people would actively participate in their own democracy, and whether a self governance system would attract honest candidates / office holders to serve. He then told us that he thought that the politicians on the stage, and the people in the audience today, were proof that both were working.

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz State of the Borough Address 2018

Queens Borough President Katz followed U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer. She talked about having recently completed ACL reconstructive surgery.

She said that during her first term the Community Board membership in Queens has undergone a huge transformation with 30% of the members being new.

There are three ways to view the significant change in the composition of the community boards: 1) it’s a fresh influx of new blood that represents some of the demographic changes going on in the borough, or 2) a huge loss of experienced community board members, possibly replaced by political appointees, thus creating an easier path for real estate developers to obtain variance approvals, or 3) both.

I don't yet know which it is, but I reckon over time, it should become more clear to us all.



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Mother's Day Restaurants In Queens | queens restaurants mother's day restaurants in queens mothers day restaurants in astoria lic sunnyside woodside jackson heights mothers day restaurants in queens nyc
Mother's Day Restaurants In Queens

Mother's Day Restaurants In Queens

Mother's Day Restaurants in Astoria, LIC, Sunnyside, Woodside & Jackson Heights

Queens Restaurants / May. Mother's Day is less than one week away. It's a good time to let your loved one know you care. Flowers, gifts and brunch or dinner are always welcome, as is any thoughtful gesture that provides some measure showing your appreciation of your mother or the mother of your children. After all, without mothers, we would all cease to be.

It's best to book a restaurant reservation for Mother's Day brunch, as on Mother's Day in Queens, many restaurants are full. So if you're thinking about eating out at a restaurant this Mother's Day in Astoria, LIC, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, Woodside or Flushing; it's best to do your research early, and call ahead to book Mother's Day restaurant reservations.

Mother's Day History - Restaurants In Queens

The origins of Mother's Day in the United States began with the efforts by Anna Jarvis in honor of her own mother. According to Wikipedia, Anna began the campaign in 1905 - the year her mother died - and in 1910 West Virginia was the first state to adopt it as a holiday. In 1914 Woodrow Wilson made the second Sunday in May as a national holiday to honor mothers.

Click this link to view a brief guide of Mother's Day restaurants in Queens 2016 where you will find links to Queens restaurants we've reviewed. The restaurants we've reviewed include a mix of high, medium and budget priced restaurants that are spread throughout the borough and offer a large variety of ethnic cuisines. Enjoy.



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Astoria Furniture Stores Have It All - Queens

desk chair furniture stores shops shopping astoria queens nyAstoria Shops / Astoria / Queens Buzz NYC.

The furniture stores located on the southern end of Steinway Street in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens seem to have something to offer to just about everyone. This part of Steinway is a furniture shopper's mecca, offering plenty of choices from classical colonial, to urban apartment living to bedding to suit nearly every spine.

I took a quick trip there, which is easily accessible via the N, W, G, R or V subway lines and within a sturdy walking distance from Long Island City, Astoria, Sunnyside and Woodside. Just up the street from Steinway is Broadway and two blocks further north is 30th Avenue, where you'll find a number of great Queens restaurants where after a good morning or afternoon of shopping, you can kick back in an enjoyable ambiance - or in the good weather along one of the sidewalk tables - ane enjoy a bit of coffee and some delicious food. Click here to learn more about the furniture stores in Astoria Queens.


Click for free checking in Queens or to buy eyeglasses Astoria, for Astoria hair salons, for Astoria wine stores, for Jackson Heights immigration lawyers, for Midtown dentists & Midtown Chiropractors, and for things to do in Queens. Eyeglasses in Jamaica NYC and bike stores Queens.


esquire mens clothing store astoria ny queens Mens Clothing Styles - Queens

Shopping Queens / Astoria Neighborhood / Queens Buzz NYC.

Esquire Men's Clothing Store continues to serve the greater Astoria and Queens area, as it has for over thirty years. The shop is owned and managed by Frank and Kevin Adhami, and their father, who is in his eighties, still visits the store on an almost weekly basis.

Esquire is located along Steinway Street between 30th and 31st streets. The store contains a wide selection of men's coats, suits, casual wear, shoes and men's accessories like belts and ties.

This story will provide some information about the store itself as well as fashion recommendations for the Spring and for job hunters.

Click this link to view a story written on Men's Clothing In Astoria Queens NY. Click here for men's clothing stores in NYC, and here to buy Stone Rose shirts in NYC, and here to buy Alberto pants in NYC, and here to buy Eton shirts and here to buy Hugo Boss sneakers in NYC. Click here for Astoria / LIC Queens tile stores serving Brooklyn, Greenpoint & Williamsburg or here for abayas in Queens & Brooklyn NYC and for hijabs in Queens & Brooklyn NYC.


Queens Farmers Markets

street fairs queensApril 4, 2018 / Astoria Sunnyside Woodside Jackson Heights Long Island City LIC Flushing Jamaica / Queens Buzz NYC.

Jackson Heights was the first year 'round farmers market in Queens, Forest Hills was the second year 'round farmers market, and Sunnyside was the third year 'round farmers market in Queens. So now Queens has three farmers markets operating year 'round and nearly a dozen seasonal farmers markets.

Click the link below to see a listing of the Queens Farmers Markets operating during the rest of the 2018 season including links to maps. Click the other link below for an updated list of Queens Street Fairs schedule of 2018 through the first couple of months of the 2018 season, including dates and maps showing their locations. We will continue updating and adding to the street fair calendar throughout the season.

Click here for our updated posting of Queens Street Fairs - Queens NY. Click here for a listing of the Queens Farmers Markets. You will always find both street fairs and farmers markets for the current month in the Queens Events section of the site [see top tool bar for button / link]. Click here to view the map of the Jamaica farmers market. Click here for Bronx street fairs.


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LIC Real Estate Boom Appears to be Slowing

A Near Doubling of New Units Coming on the Market this Year, so there Appears to be a Pause, as Investors see how Quickly the Market Adjusts to the new Inventory & new Interest Rates

March 28, 2017 / LIC Neighborhood / Queens Real Estate in LIC / Queens Buzz.

lic partnership real estate breakfast lic partnershipI attended the LIC Partnership Real Estate Breakfast just over a week ago. For the first time in a long while, I could actually find a seat. There had been a snowstorm the day before, so that may have contributed to my luck in finding a seat, but the event also did not appear to sell out as quickly as in prior years either.

This is not to say that LIC development is over ... and likely not by a long shot. But for the moment, the urgency seems to be abating as we all watch to see how things play out; while another 22,000 modern, fairly upscale apartment units come on the market.

According to the LIC Partnership, in the past decade nearly 12,000 new units have been created in LIC. Of those, less than 3,000 were sold to owners. In 2017 nearly 9,000 new units are coming into the market.

The principles of economics state that when supply goes up, if demand doesn't go up by an equal amount, then it is likely that prices will go down. So it's likely that a near doubling of new apartment supply in LIC this coming year could dampen rental prices for a while, and possibly sale prices too.

Interest rates are also rising. And again according to the principles of economics, when interest rates rise, generally the prices of high dollar value purchases decline, because interest rate increases add to the cost of the monthly payments associated with large purchases like real estate.

More regarding the discussion held at the LIC Partnership Real Estate Breakfast - which as always was very informative - at a later date.


Queens Real Estate

Real Estate in Astoria, Jackson Heights, Long Island City LIC, Sunnyside, Woodside, Flushing, Jamaica

queens real estateQueens NY / 2017. These links will take you into sections & reports on the Queens real estate market in Queens beginning in 2009.

These reports include reviews of apartment rental prices, as well as condo, co-op and home prices and availability in the Queens market.

We have also done neighborhood specific reports about Astoria real estate, LIC / Long Island City real estate, Jackson Heights real estate, Woodside & Sunnyside real estate, Flushing Real Estate and Jamaica Real Estate. Click here to view Long Island City apartments for rent LIC.

While we found these neighborhoods mirrored / trailed many of the national trends, we found some interesting differences, including differences from neighborhood to neighborhood.

Click here to read the Queens Real Estate market analysis 2009. Click here for Jackson Heights realtors and Jackson Heights real estate.


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Trump Tax Plan: A Morally Bankrupt President’s Gift?

Are Billionaires Trump & Murdoch Bilking America’s Unborn Babies?

trump tax plan for rich billionaires steals from americas unborn babies trump tax plan sucksUpdated 12/26/17 _ December 19, 2017 / New York City Neighborhoods / New York City Business / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Like many of you, I have been watching the Trump Tax plan make its way through Congress. While Trump and his cohorts were whipping together the tax package, I was doing research on the possible implications of some of their tax policy proposals.

According to an October 20, 2017 PolitiFact report [based on the plan at that time, which has since been modified],

"... in the first year of changes, the top 1 percent are projected to draw a little over half the tax savings. The threshold of 80 percent going to the top 1 percent is projected for the tenth year."

While directionally this statement is likely to hold [meaning the plan is biased toward the rich], the exact numbers as to how biased the Trump Tax Plan will be for the wealthy - based on the final bill - remains to be calculated.

In this report we look at a number of tax cuts included in the final bill including repatriation of overseas profits, reduction of the estate tax, reduction of the corporate tax and the blue vs red state tax increase. We include a review questioning why the Trump Administration is pushing this deficit expanding / debt increasing fiscal stimulus package - when we're in a full employment economy with rising wages. We also include how the Trump Tax Cut Plan has been treated propagandistically by Rupert Murdoch's media outlets, as he appears to personally and corporately benefit immensely from the tax cuts.

But before we begin, we take you on a quick review at some key characteristics and prior dealings of the man behind the plan – Donald J. Trump.


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