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Things To Do This Weekend in Queens

Climate March Rally Astoria Park, Cherry Blossom Festival Roosevelt Island, Modern Dance LIC, Spring Concerts, MacBeth & Circus

April 28, 2017 / Things To Do Queens / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Buzz.

queens things to do*Weekend Weather - 4/28 - 4/30/17

The temperature highs will be around 80 on Friday & Saturday, falling back to 60 on Sunday. The temperature lows will be around 60 dropping to 50 on Sunday. Winds will be around 10 -15 mph and humidity will be around 50 - 65% through the weekend. No rain is in the forecast.

 

Queens Subways - allow extra time. The 7, N, E, F, and G trains look to be operating normally, with some local stop issues where you have to backtrack, and the Q doesn't operate on weekends in Queens. Click here for details on the MTA Weekender. FYI - There's been work on the #7 slowing things down a bit, and possibly new work coming to other key lines like the E to prepare for automated trains.

*Climate March Rally in Astoria Park Tonight. The photo at right shows some of the signage from the UN Climate March in 2014. There's going to be a huge Climate March in Washington D.C. on Saturday so the folks from Astoria March, Astoria City Councilmember Costa Constantinides and others are doing a local rally here on Friday [see details below].

 

A bit more work to do. Asterisked events have been updated.

 

Friday & Weekend - Climate March Rally Astoria Park 6.30 pm, Spring Concerts, Resonance II Modern Dance, Jimena's Yellow & MacBeth

queens things to do queens*Biking in Queens. The photo at right shows a cyclist rolling down 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights.

*There's a Climate March Rally on the Great Lawn near Shore Blvd in Astoria Park from 6.30 - 7.30 pm [social / free].

*Legendary Graham principal dancer Miki Orihara's second solo concert reflects upon the lineage of dance, from classical modern to the present. Resonance II includes works by choreographers Merce Cunningham, Lar Lubovitch, Charlotte Griffin, and Tanroh Ishida/Orihara. Orihara draws upon her intimate knowledge of classical modern dance to inform her personal view of contemporary work. Films will precede performances and begin at 7 pm with dance at 8 pm Friday and film at 2 pm and dance at 3 pm on Saturday at the LaGuardia College Performing Arts Center at 31-10 Thomson Avenue in LIC[dance / $20].

*Performances of Shakespeare's Macbeth begin at 7.30 pm and run Wednesday through Sunday at the Secret Theater at 44-02 23rd Street in LIC [theater - $18 / $20]. The run ends 4/30/17.

*Spring concerts at Thalia Theatre at 41-17 Greenpoint Avenue in Sunnyside beginning at 8 pm Friday & Saturday and at 4 pm Sunday. Performances include Divas of Spain which is a dance and song homage to famous singers [Fri], on Saturday there's a performance of Afro indigenous music by a Dominican quartet, and on Sunday there's a performance of Spanish operettas & romantic Latin songs [$35].

*A new performance, Jimena's Yellow, opens at precisely 5.41 pm at the Chocolate Factory at 5-49 49th Avenue in L.I.C., and at 5.42 pm Saturday and at 5.43 pm Sunday. You may still be able to get tickets for next weekend, when the start time staggering continues - ending on Sunday April 30th at 5.49 pm [theater / $20].

*There's a Terrarium Class Date Night at Luludi Living at 23-07 24th Avenue east of 23rd Street in Astoria [social / $110 for two people making one terrarium].

 

Weekend. The Noguchi Museum at 9-01 33rd Road & Vernon Boulevard in LIC / Astoria is hosting an exhibit entitled Self Interned, 1942: Noguchi in Poston War Relocation Center [art / free].

The Fisher Landau Center for Art at 38-27 30th Street in LIC has on display three exhibits entitled Intuitive Progression, Language as Representation and LORNA SIMPSON: Hypothetical? the last of which runs through August 7th [art / free - open Thurs - Mon 12 noon - 5 pm].

 

Saturday - Circus, Cherry Blossom Fest, Modern Dance

*Grafitti Mural in Sunnyside. The photo at right shows a mural on 47th Street in Sunnyside.

*There's a Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival at Four Freedoms Park from 12 noon to 5 pm [kids / music / free - details at www.facebook.com/events/271202969969067]

queens things to do*Legendary Graham principal dancer Miki Orihara's second solo concert reflects upon the lineage of dance, from classical modern to the present. Resonance II includes works by choreographers Merce Cunningham, Lar Lubovitch, Charlotte Griffin, and Tanroh Ishida/Orihara. Orihara draws upon her intimate knowledge of classical modern dance to inform her personal view of contemporary work. Films will precede performances and begin at 7 pm with dance at 8 pm Friday and film at 2 pm and dance at 3 pm on Saturday at the LaGuardia College Performing Arts Center at 31-10 Thomson Avenue in LIC[dance / $20].

*Performances of Shakespeare's Macbeth begin at 7.30 pm and run Wednesday through Sunday at the Secret Theater at 44-02 23rd Street in LIC [theater - $18 / $20]. The run ends 4/30/17.

*The Queens Museum has ongoing exhibits including the NYC Panoramic map, the Tiffany glass collection and the World's Fairs [art - $8 / $4 / kids under 18 free].

*UniverSoul Circus at 177 Roy Wilkins Park [at about 118th Avenue] in Laurelton, Queens from 4/25 thru 5/3 with performances running all day from mid morning to early evening [kids / $22 - at www.universoulcircus.com].

*The Genius of Geoffrey Holder is on exhibit at the Miller Gallery in the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL) at 161-04 Jamaica Avenue in Jamaica [art / free]. Choreographer, designer, director, and actor, Holder, has a long history in the performing arts. In this exhibition, he is honored for his career in dance and theater, his Tony Award-winning work as director and costume designer for The Wiz, and contributions to the repertory of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater & Dance Theater of Harlem. The gallery is open from 10 am to 6 pm Mon - Sat and the exhibit runs thru May 30th.

 

There's a Closing Party for the exhibit We Have Always Lived in the Future beginning at 7 pm at the Flux Factory at 39-31 29th Street in LIC [art / free but donations welcome].

The current exhibit, Making Marks: Digital Sketches to Painted Stories, will be at the Dorsky Gallery | CP at 11-03 45th Avenue in LIC thru 4/16. Hours are Thursday through Monday from 11 am to 6 pm [art / free - 718.937.6317 or dgcpgallery@gmail.com].

Also see Friday & Weekend Events above and / or click to Queens Events Member Calendar to view a number of additional weekend events.

 

Sunday - Circus, Art, Film, Theater, Music

queens things to do*The Wall. The photo at right shows the changing skyline in Long Island City, where towering buildings have been popping up like weeds. This year nearly 9,000 new units are expected to come online in LIC.

*UniverSoul Circus at 177 Roy Wilkins Park [at about 118th Avenue] in Laurelton, Queens from 4/25 thru 5/3 with performances running all day from mid morning to early evening [kids / $22 - at www.universoulcircus.com].

*The Queens Museum has ongoing exhibits including the NYC Panoramic map, the Tiffany glass collection and the World's Fairs [art - $8 / $4 / kids under 18 free].

*Spring concerts at Thalia Theatre at 41-17 Greenpoint Avenue in Sunnyside beginning at 8 pm Friday & Saturday and at 4 pm Sunday. Performances include Divas of Spain which is a dance and song homage to famous singers [Fri], on Saturday there's a performance of Afro indigenous music by a Dominican quartet, and on Sunday there's a performance of Spanish operettas & romantic Latin songs [$35].

*Performances of Shakespeare's Macbeth begin at 7.30 pm and run Wednesday through Sunday at the Secret Theater at 44-02 23rd Street in LIC [theater - $18 / $20]. The run ends 4/30/17.

 

There's an exhibition dedicated to Martin Scorsese at the Museum of the Moving Image at 36-01 35th Avenue in Astoria [thru 4/23]. Scorsese was a prolific filmmaker who captured on film some of the variety and uniqueness of NYC in decades past. [film - $15 / $11].

At PS1 MoMA at 22-25 Jackson Avenue in LIC there's a Spring Open House from 12 noon to 6 pm and it's free [art / music]. There will be live performances in the VW Dome at 2, 3.30 and 5 pm which was described as being about, "... a mundane superhero, Anxietina, who channels her anxiety into miraculous small acts of creation and destruction."

Click here for stories about Queens street fairs, Queens farmers markets & 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.


Queens Things To Do - This Week

New Ferry Service begins, LaGuardia Airport Development Public Comment Meeting

queens things to do*Weather Forecast as of April 28, 2017 for week of 5/1 - 5/5/ 17

The temperature highs will be in the low 70's, dropping to 60 on Thursday & Friday. The temperature lows will be in the 50's throughout the week. There's over an 60% chance of rain on Thursday and Friday. The winds will be 10 - 20 mph throughout the week. The humidity will start the week around 80, drop into the 40's by Wednesday and rise to about 70 by Friday.

*Pedestrian Bridges Planned at LaGuardia Airport Expansion. The photo at right shows the new pedestrian bridges planned at LaGuardia Airport as part of the upgrade / expansion project.

Monday - New Ferry Service Begins

Today the rollout of the new ferry service begins. You can purchase tickets via their app or at a kiosk on the dock. For the ferry stops, fees and rollout go to www.ferry.nyc.

Wednesday - LaGuardia Development Public Info & Comment

*There’s a Public Hearing on LaGuardia Airport Development at the Sheraton LaGuardia East at 135-20 39th Avenue in Flushing. The information session runs from 3 to 6 pm, and the public hearing runs from 7 to 9 pm.

*The details for most of these events may be found on the Member Calendar for Queens Events which contains listings by arts, non-profits & community orgs.***

Also see events that run through the Weekend as noted above as well as clicking into the September events calendar which has a list ofvenues that have ongoing things to do. Click on the link above to go to the Member Events Calendar to view events. And click here tofind art, theater or film open calls, jobs openings, affordable housing, government sponsored classes & funding.


Update: LaGuardia Airport Development Project

First Phase Moving Along with Second & Third Phases About to Begin

April 24, 2017 / Astoria Neighborhood / Queens Real Estate / Gotham Buzz NYC.

laguardia airport construction redesign LGAI attended a Community Board One meeting at the Astoria World Manor on Wednesday, April 19th. People representing the LaGuardia Airport development project were scheduled to provide the community with an update regarding several of the multi-billion dollar renovation projects associated with LaGuardia Airport, that are either currently in the works or nearing the end of the planning process.

The presentation was split into three parts: 1) LaGuardia Airport development project construction updates, 2) traffic mitigation efforts and 3) community outreach including job opportunities related to the projects.

Click here to read our report on the LaGuardia Airport development project & expansion, related job opportunities, its possible impact on travel times to the airport and the public hearing details on May 3rd, 2017 in Flushing. We have also included a small bit of history about the airport and the fight over the property and development in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The graphic at right was created as part of the LaGuardia Airport development project.


Orwell's 1984 in 2017: Newspeak or NewsCorp?

Rupert Murdoch's Orwellian NewsCorp

animal farm george orwell rupert murdoch donald trumpApril 4, 2017 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Film / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz.

On April 4th several New York City arts organizations provided their audiences with the opportunity to watch the film, Ninteen Eighty-Four, based on George Orwell's book by the same name. Orwell published the book in 1949 - just a few short years after the fall of Adolph Hitler and his Nazi regime. The significance of the April 4th date is that that is the date first inscribed in the diary of Winston Smith, the central character and protagonist in the book / film.

Orwell [born Eric Arthur Blair in 1903] was a journalist and novelist who covered the Spanish Civil War in 1936 - 1937, during which the Communists fought the Nationalists for control of Spain. In 1938 Orwell wrote the book Homage to Catalonia about the war, and one of the notable quotes penned in that book was,

"One of the most horrible features of war is that all the war-propaganda, the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting."

When World War II broke out, Orwell [who had tuberculosis] was declared "unfit for any kind of military service" by the British Medical Board. Nonetheless, Orwell spent two years [1941 - 1943] as a broadcaster for the BBC's Eastern Service. Around the time he left the BBC, Orwell began work on a book entitled Animal Farm which he finished and published around the end of the war in 1945. The book talked about how a democracy of pigs was eventually corrupted by those at the top, who fashioned the governance to serve themselves, while exploiting the other members of the farm. One of Orwell's notable quotes penned in that novel was,

"All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others."

Between the end of the war through to the end of his life [died 1950], Orwell kept on writing - finishing and publishing his last novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four- in 1949. In the film 1984, Newspeak is the party language and is characterized by a diminishing vocabulary which is designed to limit thoughts of opposition to the party and leadership, in order to maximize party influence and control.

NewsCorp Newspeak: Rupert Murdoch's NY Post & Fox 'News'

I've been watching Rupert Murdoch's Newscorp and 21st Century Fox media outlets for about a year now.

The Mayor is Innocent but Murdoch's NY Post 'Fake News' Headlines & Stories Fuel a Perception of Corruption

ny post fake news ny post liesI started tracking them because I found the NY Post coverage of the allegations [the investigation was closed in March 2017] surrounding Mayor de Blasio's fundraising - to be propagandistic. For nearly a year the NY Post appeared to publish out-of-context, one-sided, significant distortions of the events surrounding the Mayor. The unrelenting NY Post propagandistic accounts appeared to fall well outside of the guiding principles of American journalism.

 

Given Murdoch's prior history of election meddling around the globe [see Murdoch corruption or Fox propaganda], one might easily surmise that Murdoch's propagandist attacks on Mayor de Blasio are an attempt to discredit the Mayor in advance of the 2017 election. Thus, since April 2016, I started watching Fox News and their team of commentators - several of whom appear to be unabashed propagandists.

 

Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and Janine Pirro top the list - but in Murdoch's media empire, these top performing masters of media distortion, are far from alone.

 

Fox & Hannity's Newspeak: Appears to Tell their Audience to Believe What they Say Now, & to Forget Everything they Said Previously

Fox 'News' Hannity is a good example of a Newspeaker, because he appears to conveniently forget or omit things that don't fit into many of his narratives, including things he himself has previously said.

Hannity appears to believe in the old adage that one should,

"never let the facts get in the way of a good story".

In Orwell's 1984 novel / film the rulers teach the people to forget the past, so that the people will believe anything that is told to them. To help this forgetting process along, the rulers change the narratives or prior reports of people and nations in the past.

The simplest example of removing subjects' memories in the film - removing statements of truth so-to-speak - was getting the subjects to believe that 2 + 2 = 5. If the ruling class says it's 5, then it's five - not four.

On Fox 'News' Hannity we see some striking parallels of such flip flops on 'truths'. In 2010 Hannity was calling for hacker Julian Assange to be imprisoned. But in January 2017, Hannity appeared to mostly forget that Assange hacked and stole government information. In 2017 Hannity even provided a public platform for Assange, interviewing the allegedly treasonous hacker; and by some accounts, treating Assange who is wanted for sex crimes in Sweden, with kid gloves.

What changed? Perhaps Rupert Murdoch's Fox News talking points on the Assange narrative, which in 2017 appears to be promoting the notion that Donald Trump did not collude with the Russians to win the 2016 presidential election. The Fox propaganda network doesn't seem to want to wait for the law enforcement officials to complete their work, before pronouncing Trump innocent.

Is this a modern day Orwellian 1984, where we are asked to forget Fox 'News' and Hannity's prior narrative, and believe what they are telling us now?

 

Mega Multi-Millionaire Hannity Appears to be a War Promoter

sean hannity war promoter liarI've been watching Hannity shows for about a half year now, and I find his hypocrisy nearly legendary. Hannity portrays himself as a working class guy, while he rakes in about $30 million per year and owns multiple multi-million dollar mansions / homes and flies around the country on private jets.

 

Oliver North and Sean Hannity founded a charity, Freedom Alliance [Concerts], for the families of veterans of the Iraq War - a war which Hannity and his Boss Murdoch promoted using the 'fake news' that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction [WMD].

 

Murdoch's Fox 'News' and Hannity's ongoing rhetoric calling for a war in Iraq appeared to enhance Fox ratings and revenue, seeming to benefit Hannity, O'Reilly and other members of the Murdoch propaganda network, while destroying the lives of hundreds of thousands of others [I'm including the Iraqi civilians too].

 

 

Hannity's Freedom Concerts: A Self Promotion Venue?

Hannity has a Charity for Iraq Veterans' Children - some Believe it's Self Serving

phony sean hannity fake hannity sean hannity hypocriteAccording to Conservative blogger Debbie Schlussel and other reports, I began to get the impression that Hannity's charity is as much a funding source to promote and pay for Sean Hannity public relations efforts, as it is a vehicle to help the children of Iraq War veterans.

 

In a March 19, 2010 post, Schlussel reports that she received the following information from a contact at Fox.

 

"Hannity's Freedom Concerts [fund his] use of a Gulfstream 5 plane to fly [him around], a fleet of either Cadillac or Lincoln SUVs ... and several suites at really expensive hotels ..."

 

Schlussel goes on to question how much of the funds raised, actually go to the children of Iraq veterans.

 

 

 

 

More than Half the Proceeds go to the Programs

An April 2, 2010 Mother Jones report notes that the non-profit Charity Navigator downgraded the Freedom Alliance [concerts] to two stars following a complaint by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington[CREW]. The CREW complaint said that it was unclear how much money actually made it to veterans' children.

sean hannity propagandist liar media terrorist sean hannity fox news propagandaIn a March 22, 2010 report by CNS News, a conservative site, reported Hannity's response to the above allegations as:

"The statement posted by the Freedom Alliance is 100% truthful and accurate. I have NOT taken a single penny from the Freedom Alliance or from concert sales EVER! I pay all the travel costs for my staff, family and me, and I have personally donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the FA and military charities."

In Charity Navigator's most recent rating dated March 1, 2017 for the fiscal year of 2015, the Freedom Alliance received a 78 rating and reports that about 57% of the charity proceeds go to the programs they deliver.

Orwell's message to us seems relevant to this conversation as in Homage to Catalonia, Orwell tells us that,

"One of the most horrible features of war is that all the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting."

Click here to continue our exploration of Hannity & Murdoch's Fox 'News' propaganda using the warning signs lef to us in George Orwell's books, 1984 and Animal Farm.

We'll take a look into one of Murdoch's huge Australian tax breaks, one of Murdoch's fabulous Australian homes, Ted Koppel's claim that Murdoch's Fox 'News' Hannity is bad for America, how deregulation benefits the Murdochs versus the American working class, and how Murdoch's propaganda machine support for Trump - less than 100 days into the new Administration - already appears to be providing Murdoch and Fox 'News' with handsome returns.


Street Music in Jackson Heights

Inti & the Moon Jazz Band at 72nd & Roosevelt Subway Stn

April 2, 2017 / Jackson Heights Neighborhood / Jazz Musicians in Queens / Queens Buzz.

One of the great things New Yorkers experience almost daily, are the millions of cultural exchanges that take place every day in our city of world. Sometimes it's a discussion with a cab driver about where he grew up. Or about the ethnic food being served at a savory new or old restaurant. Or about an unusual design, color or cut of clothing that captures one's attention and curiosity in a store or on the street. Or a discussion about the origins of an unfamiliar accent at a bus stop or on the subway. Or an artwork depicting a foreign scene or point of view at an small art gallery exhibit opening.

... and then there's the wonderful music ... that one periodically encounters ... on the streets of NYC. It could be Asian classical, Middle Eastern or Hindi Rock, or Latin Fusion ... to name a few.

With the warming weather, the opportunities to hear the sounds from distant locales around the planet, multiplies. The NYC Parks Department, and organizations affiliated with many of the local parks, as well as the MTA, host cultural performances which make Queens and NYC the great tourist destination that it has become today.

The video above captures some of the Latin Fusion sounds of a small jazz band called Inti & the Moon that I came upon last Saturday. They occasionally play at the Jackson Heights subway station on the lower level where you transfer between the #7 line and the E, F or R. And they have a Facebook page by the same name, so if you're interested in them doing a gig, you can reach the band leader and lead guitarist, Geo at 646.427.0894.


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.

I'll have more to report about the discussion held at the LIC Partnership Real Estate Breakfast - which as always - was very informative.


U.S. Taxes & Budget: Trump is Whose Voice?

Stock Market adds Trillions & Working Middle Class Gets What?

March 6, 2017 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Business & Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Has Rupert Murdoch's Fox News mouthpiece, Sean Hannity, been pushing hard for tax reform because the Trump tax plan will be good for the working class people - one of which he appears to pretend to be? Or because the Trump Tax Plan will be good for mega multi-millionaires like Sean Hannity and mega multi-billionaires like Hannity's boss, Rupert Murdoch?

How Much a Phony is Fox News Sean Hannity?

Does he Pretend to be Working Class Guy ...

- So he can Dupe Fox News Viewers into Supporting a Tax Plan that Favors NOT them -

... but Mega-Millionaires like Him?

sean hannity propagandist hannity show propaganda fox news

Hannity hasn't been a working class guy for in the neighborhod of two decades. In fact, according to Forbes in a 2015 survey Hannity is a very rich man. According to Zillow Hannity owns a palacial home on Long Island worth millions [see Zillow photo at right] and a second home located in a wealthy enclave in Naples, Florida.

 

Forbes published that Sean Hannity's earnings in 2015 were $29 million [see graphic at right]. So it's not implausible to guess that Hannity may have purchased the second home in Florida, so he could claim residency there in order to avoid NYS taxes, which Hannity has been publicly complaining about for years.

Which tax candidates and priorities do you think Sean Hannity is supporting - yours - or his own and Boss Murdochs?

 

Televangelist Hannity Preaches Gospel According to Murdoch

Fox News & Hannity Dictate Orders to Republicans ... Implied Threat is Suffer the Wrath of Murdoch's Propaganda Machine?

Hypocrisy & Half Truths on Hannity on Fox News Tonight?

fox news propaganda hannity propagandists lies on fox newsI'm using Fox News propagandist Sean Hannity as an example of what appears to be the incredible hypocrisy and misleading information regarding Trump and the Trump tax plan, being provided by Murdoch's Fox News, one of America's largest TV networks.

 

It appears Hannity lures unwitting viewers into believing he's a working class guy - when he isn't - so his viewers will take his advice when he labels political candidates and public issues in childly simplistic terms of 'US' vs 'THEM' and 'GOOD' vs 'BAD'. Hannity seems to use small words and incessantly repeats himself, instructing his viewers like they are a bunch of five year-old kids who don't have the contextual experience nor even the infantile analytical skills required to think for themselves.

Fox and Hannity oftentimes appear to make no attempt to find and disseminate the truth on issues or government officials, but instead appear to propagandistically promote or punish those who do not bend to their will, as exemplified in the Business Insider headline to your right. The implicit message to Republicans appears to be obey us - or suffer the consequences of losing your elected government post - because our audience believes us and will do what we tell them to do.

Fox News Hannity's pugnacious rhetoric sounds kind of Nazi-like. This seems to be an indication that the FCC has granted and entrusted these people with way too much power - and that they appear to be corrupting it to serve their own selfish interests.

Click here to continue reading this report about Fox News propaganda & Hannity, O'Reilly propagandists on Fox News which is a lead into a report about how it appears they will profit handsomely from their propaganda services.


De Blasio Delivers State of the City Address

Mayor Takes Humanist, Social Science Approach to Solving NYC Problems

NYC Crime Down, Stop N’ Frisk Down 97%, NYC Public School Graduation Rate Up, H.S. Drop Out Rate Down, College Bound Graduates Up, 70,000 Children Enrolled in Universal Pre-K, Financing Initiated on 62,000 Units of Affordable Housing, NYC Budget Surplus

See Related Analysis of Reporting by Multi-Billionaire Owned NY Post

photos apollo theater harlem de blasio state of the city address nycFebruary 14, 2017 / Harlem Neighborhood / NYC Government & Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

I attended Mayor de Blasio’s third State of the City Address at the Apollo Theater in Harlem on Monday. The beautiful old theater, built in 1904, didn’t admit African Americans until thirty years later. And it was in 1934 that the historic theater began earning the fame it has today, by becoming the showcase for African American musical and theatrical legends.

In the photo at right is the Apollo Theater as seen from one of the balcony booths prior to the beginning of Mayor de Blasio's 2017 State of the City Address.

 

Fighting Tyranny & Thomas Paine: These are the Times that Try Men’s Souls

There were a number of performances and speeches leading up to the Mayor’s address, including a performance by the Dorothy Maynor Choir of Harlem and an operatic delivery of the Star Spangled National Anthem by FDNY’s Regina Wilson. Recently deceased Detective Steven McDonald’s son, Conor, gave a speech, as did NYC First Lady Chirlane McRay, the Reverend David Ramos, Rabbi Arthur Schneier and Imam Souleimane Konate.

The Pledge of Allegiance was delivered by Jian ‘John’ Yuan Lin, Chyna Huertas and Eva Lin. And the Reverend Michael Walrond, of the First Corinthian Baptist Church, gave a fiery, inspirational speech talking comparing the national state of affairs today to the American colonists fighting to shake off the shackles of tyranny. He cited the words of American Revolutionary Thomas Paine, who in 1776 said,

“These are the times that try men’s souls.”

Just before the Mayor came on stage was a video highlighting the de Blasio Administration accomplishments.

 

Mayor de Blasio Standing Big & Tall for All New Yorkers

america's mayor de blasio nyc

The Mayor came onto the stage, beginning by thanking the various people and departments that helped make his Administration’s accomplishments possible. His thanks always include his wife, Chirlane McCray, who has been evolving in her role as NYC’s First Lady.

 

Here’s a sampling of the de Blasio’s efforts to make New York a better place for all New Yorkers. Some of the information came from the video presentation referenced above, which I have augmented with some additional research and information obtained in prior reporting efforts.

 

In the photo at right stands a weary, but determined, Mayor Bill de Blasio at his 2017 State of the City Address at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

 

I. De Blasio Administration NYC Public School Achievements

A. Social Science & Humanist Approach to Education

• Universal Pre-K Enrollment 70,000
• Advanced Placement For All
• Drop Out Rates Down
• Graduation Rates Up
• College Bound Graduates Up

america's mayor de blasio nyc

The slide at right shows some of the gains made by the de Blasio Administration with the NYC public school system over the past three plus years.

 

1. Stop the Bleeding – Stop the 'CORPORATE' run Charter Schools from Maximizing Profit at the Expense of Maximizing Human Potential

Editor's Note: There is a BIG DIFFERENCE between the NON-PROFIT CHARTER SCHOOLS and FOR-PROFIT CHARTER SCHOOL CORPORATIONS. Non profit charters are generally older organizations, designed as an alternative in response to failing public schools decades ago, and whose focus is on improving education - not improving profits.

By contrast the FOR-PROFIT CHARTER SCHOOL CORPORATIONS generally arose in the 21st century, and this group appears to be pillaging the public school system by recruiting and siphoning off the good [low cost / high performing] students so they can maximize profits – not enhance public education.

The despicable consequence of this for-profit charter school strategy is that they are simultaneously robbing the most vulnerable, disadvantaged children of anything resembling an opportunity in life as promised in the founding documents of this nation.

Family background continues to be the highest determinant [have the highest correlation] of a student’s academic achievement.

So the de Blasio Administration has significantly slowed the corporate charter school assault on the public education system.

 

Corporate Charter School Business Strategy Comparable to Old Health Insurance 'Gaming the System'

Recruit the Academic Achievers, 'the Healthy Ones', Because They're Most Profitable & Shun the Rest

america's mayor de blasio nycIt appears the charter school corporations have employed a strategy designed to recruit and retain the best students to their schools, while leaving the rest behind. They appear to recruit the kids who are already performing well, because the performing children cost the least to educate, thus providing the highest return to the hedge fund profiteers because the funding is allocated on a per capital / per student basis. High performing student enrollments also enable corporate charter schools to claim they are ‘performing well’ because they've recruited the highest scoring students.

The recruitment and retention strategy referenced above resembles the old health insurance strategy of recruiting the healthy people to buy health insurance as they are the most profitable, while denying those who aren’t blessed with good health because they cost the most to keep healthy. This was a systemic inequity Obamacare attempted to eradicate.

In the photo at right stand an Imam [Islam], a Rabbi [Jewish] and a Reverend [Christian] all sharing the same podium with a message of love, peace, respect and understanding.

 

2. Help the Youngsters & Maximize Human Potential – Not Profits

The De Blasio Administration pushed through universal Pre-K, which has enrolled 70,000 students since its inception in the Fall of 2014.

When this first came out I, and a number of people I know, didn’t really grasp the importance of this effort. As family support is the highest determinant in a child’s success, many youngsters were entering the public school system at a significant disadvantage vis a vis their better parented peers.

By accessing these kids while they are younger, and providing access to the guidance and resources of the public school system earlier, the NYC Public School system now has a greater chance of motivating these kids, which will inevitabley empowering them, raising their self esteem, and give them a chance at a far more engaged and productive life.

I now get it. And this seems like it can only be a good thing for all of society, as it will reduce societal costs of failing these people early on.

MAXIMIZE HUMAN POTENTIAL - Good Public Policy Costs Less in Long Haul & Enormously Benefits Society

america's mayor de blasio nycThis approach to education enables us as a society to maximize our human potential, which will benefit all the community - and in some small way - all mankind. Not only is this a more humanistic approach to engaging these children, but it's more cost effective in the long haul, as those left behind will inevitably cost society more through lost opportunities, lost productivity, and increased spending on health, human services and criminal justice programs.

In the photo at right is the Mayor on stage at the Apollo Theater with all of the people working for the city that he honored that night including policemen, firefighters, sanitation workers and educators. The Mayor appears to be one who is very much in touch with the middle & working class rank and file of New York City.

Click here for our report about Mayor Bill de Blasio's State of the City Address 2017 including an update on crime, the affordable housing crisis, the city's finances, sanitation and social activism.



Over a Century of Railroad History in Sunnyside Yards | hell gate bridge sunnyside yards history queens railroad history new york city nyc history queens
Over a Century of Railroad History in Sunnyside Yards

Over a Century of Railroad History in Sunnyside Yards

Railroad Historian Dave Morrison Brings Back to Life the Glorious Past of the Queens Rail Yard & the Hell Gate Bridge at the Greater Astoria Historical Society

January 15, 2017 / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Astoria Neighborhood / Queens History / Queens Buzz.

On Saturday afternoon I attended a lecture and book signing event at the Greater Astoria Historical Society in the Quinn Building, only blocks from the Museum of the Moving Image. The book is entitled Sunnyside Yards and the Hell Gate Bridge and it was written by Railroad Historian Dave Morrison of Plainview, New York. The Greater Astoria Historical Society hosted the event as part of its Hell Gate Centennial commemoration efforts.

It didn’t take Dave long to convince those of us in attendance that he was not only an expert in the subject, but also a passionate railroad history aficionado. Dave’s presentation included photos from the book, as well as many other photos he’d collected which didn’t make it into the book. In the photo at right, Dave Morrison signed a number of copies of his new book, Sunnyside Yards & the Hell Gate Bridge, following his presentation of excerpts from it at the Greater Astoria Historical Society.

Dave began his story in Brooklyn, in the mid 1800’s, when the residents of Brooklyn protested building a train rail yard in the borough because of all the noise, dirty coal steam and traffic it would bring to the fast growing, bustling borough.

Click here to read the rest of the story, including a photos, of the presentation made by Dave Morrison about the history of Sunnyside Yards and the Hell Gate Bridge.




Queens World Film Festival | queens world film festival QWFF don cato queens world film fest katha cato queens world film festival astoria museum of moving image mimi film in queens
Queens World Film Festival

Queens World Film Festival 2017

Labor of Love on a Queens Corner

March 20, 2017 / Astoria Neighborhood / Cinema & Film in Queens / Queens Buzz.

I attended the 7th annual Queens World Film Festival on Sunday at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. I chose to view the Queens Corner block of films, which showcased some of the films made in Queens and / or by Queens filmmakers.

 

Queens World Film Festival Opening Night

I had missed opening night, but so did most others, as the snowstorm shut down the Museum of the Moving Image that night. Don and Katha Cato, Founders of the Queens World Film Festival, improvised and held opening night at Armando’s Restaurant in Jackson Heights. They showed the films on a screen at the bar and read subtitles, which were too small for the audience to read. Katha told me that it wasn’t perfect, but with the food and wine served at Armando’s – it was fun.

The Queens World Festival includes a mix of locally made films, as well as films made around the world. Don and Katha solicit the films via exchanges dedicated to facilitating film festivals and submissions – including using some websites from other parts of the world. Katha mentioned that people flew in from as far away as Nepal, Germany, Italy, England, Canada and other states such as California to participate in the festival.

QW Film Festival Attendance & Locales

queens world film festivalThis year the Queens World Film Festival aka QWFF consolidated its viewing locations to the Museum of the Moving Image and the Zucker Theater in Kaufman Astoria Studios, which helped give the event more of a consolidated feel versus prior years when screenings were spread throughout Astoria, LIC and Jackson Heights. Both the Museum of the Moving Image and the Zucker Theater are within a block of one another. And the Astor Room, a restaurant located in a subterranean portion of Kaufman Astoria Studios, was used to host the awards ceremony and became an interim gathering space.

The festival attracted in the neighborhood of 5,000 visitors in 2016, and while the figures were not yet in, Katha thought they might not match the prior year due to inclement weather and the consolidation of screening rooms and locations this year.

QWFF Films Curated by Don Cato

The Queens World Film Festival is curated by Don, who is aided by Jennifer Griffith. They received about 500 films this year and narrowed the submissions down to 135. Of the 135 about 26 were made in or by Queens filmmakers. A number of the submissions also came from Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx and Staten Island, so New York City is well represented.

The film viewing blocks are arranged in an intuitive fashion. Don takes notes while reviewing the submissions and over time similarities, differences, subjects and themes emerge. Katha adds her two cents to the emerging categories while the couple is consolidating the choices and organizing the films into viewing blocks.

Don & Katha Cato Founders Queens World Film Fest

Don and Katha are pursuing a labor of love … literally … as the couple met while collaborating on a film / theater project many years ago. The couple continues to pursue their passion outside of the Queens World Film Festival as Katha is an actress and Don produces films. Don currently teaches at the Digital Film Academy in Manhattan.

Click here for the rest of our story including brief reviews and photos of some of the films I saw at the Queens World Film Festival in 2017.




NYC Crime Continues To Drop, Breaking Records

Mayor de Blasio & NYPD Discuss City Safety & Ongoing Improvements

February 7, 2017 / Crime in Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Government / Queens Buzz.

public safety nyc crime rates queens crimeThis just came in on the heels of our coverage of the Public Safety discussion below. Mayor de Blasio and NY Police Commissioner O'Neill spoke in the Bronx regarding ongoing efforts and results in improving safety in the city. The following are some of the crime statistics noted in their meeting taken directly out of a press release sent by them.

 
Chief of Crime Control Strategies Dermot Shea, NYPD: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Good afternoon, everyone. As you’ve heard, we have begun a strong start to 2017 in terms of overall crime reduction. Strategies that have been put in place to address repeat offenders, illegal gun possession and gangs are having the desired effect. We’re building on the momentum of the last few years.

  • So, some of the highlights for crime statistics from this January – overall index crime is down 0.2 percent for the month of January. When you carry it over to this morning, we are now down 2.7 percent in overall index crime in New York City.
  • To note – with the overall index crime, January marks the tenth consecutive month of reduced index crime. That’s the momentum we’ve been talking about. Currently, four out of five boroughs in New York City – all but Queens – are down to start the year.
  • Homicides – we recorded 20 homicides in January. That’s down two from 22. That 20, as the Mayor alluded to, is the lowest January that we have ever recorded going back a minimum into the 1960s.
  • Shooting incidents – down 1.7 percent in January. Last January we hit the modern mark with 59 shooting incidents. We came in with 58 this January.
  • Talking about momentum again – nine of the last 13 months we’ve had a reduction in shooting incidents. Nine of the last 13.
  • Three months in a row we’ve had a reduction in shooting incidents in New York City. We have now, when you look at New York City as a whole, we now have 24-hour periods where we do not record a shooting incident in New York City. That kind of thinking was impossible in the not too distant past.
  • This is the new normal. We want to build on it and we feel that we will build on it but there’s still plenty of work to do.
  • Stabbings and slashings for January – down 7.2 percent.
  • Robberies – down 7.5 percent. Lowest January robbery number we’ve seen.
  • Felony assaults in New York City – down 5.4 percent.
  • Burglaries tied the lowest mark set last year.
  • Transit crime – down 1.4 percent.
  • And housing crime – not to be outdone – down 1.9 percent.
  • Clearly, a wide breath of crime across New York City – property and violent crime, down.
     
    But there is, I alluded to, there is still work to do – three categories we saw increases in January.
  • Rape was up 8.9 percent.
  • Grand larceny, specifically, credit card related skimming and forging of checks – those two drove grand larcenies. And grand larceny was up for the month of January 4.7 percent.
  • And lastly, rounding out the crime totals – stolen vehicles which we have seen drop to unprecedented lows saw an increase of ten cars for January. So, that’s 480 versus 470 – a two percent increase.

Commissioner O’Neill: Okay, thanks, Dermot. We’ll take your questions.
 
Question: Do you think it’s possible, really to keep driving crime down further at this point? And how could you achieve that?

O'Neill's response was yes, with some added context.



NYPD Commissioner O'Neill on Stop N' Frisk & Cybercrime

City & State Organizes Informative Program About Public Safety in NYC & Cybercrime

public safety nyc crime rates queens crimeFebruary 6, 2017 / Battery Park NYC / Crime & Safety in Queens NYC / Queens Buzz.

I attended a City & State program dedicated to exploring the many facets of community safety in New York City. The program started with a half hour speech by the new Police Commissioner, James O'Neill. He discussed his background which includes a long line of successive promotions in law enforcement, starting with the transit police in Brooklyn in 1983.

Background: NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill

O'Neill has held many positions, including taking charge as the commanding officer of the Vice, Narcotics and Fugitive Enforcement Divisions - each for a period of time. His most recent position was as Police Chief, during which time he oversaw the management of the neighborhood policing program. The neighborhood policing program was implemented in 2014, during Mayor de Blasio's first term, with the intent to build relations and trust between the police and the communities they serve. The concept is that if the community works with the police to ferret out and penalize the perpetrators, crime will continue to stay at all time lows.

 

Neighborhood Policing: Intelligent Approach to Safety That Works?

public safety nyc crime rates queens crimePart of the problem with past police / community relations is that most of those interactions with the police came with a negative connotation to them, for example as when being ticketed, or picked up for bad behavior.

The idea with neighborhood policing is to develop positive interactions by facilitating interactions between individual officers and individual members of the community, so that if and when the time comes, there's enough trust between the officer and community member to work collaboratively to round up and penalize law breakers.

O'Neill's speech was followed by a forum of four experts who have had some involvement in the governance of law enforcement in NYC. The panel included NYC Councilman Jumaane D. Williams of Brooklyn who is the Chairman of the Committee on Housing & Buildings, Elizabeth Glazer who is the Director of the NYC Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, and NYS Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol who is the Chairman of the NYS Assembly Committee on [criminal] Codes. The panel was moderated by City & State Features & Opinions Editor, Nick Powell, who has been covering crime in New York for many years.

 

Stop 'N Frisk - The Facts vs the NY Tabloid Hype?

public safety nyc crime rates queens crimeThe panel explored numerous aspects of public safety in NYC, including a number of the successes NYC has been having with neighborhood policing, which is why the police / community clashes you see on the news are coming from other parts of the country - not NYC.

Needless to say, the job of the police force is never done, and challenges remain, but generally the forum had an upbeat tone due to the progress being made under Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioners Bratton & O'Neill. One of the changes that's been helpful in community relations has been the drastic reduction in stop 'n frisk, which in spite of what the NYC tabloids purport, hasn't resulted in a spike in crime [see charts to right].

I did a bit of research, and found a couple of charts published in an April 11, 2016 report by the Brennan Center for Justice. The Brennan Center is a non-partisan, non profit research center at the NYU Law School. The two charts shown here graph the significant reduction in stop 'n frisk, while also showing no attendant spike in crime. In fact it is believed that over the long haul the reduction in unwarranted stop 'n frisk searches will have a positive impact on law enforcement community relations, as vast swaths of the populace that were searched with no result, will no longer feel that their privacy has been unnecessarily violated.

 

Cybercrime - Anonymous, Stealthy, Cross-Jurisdictional

public safety nyc crime rates queens crimeThe second segment of the forum discussed some of the challenges facing the FBI with regard to reigning in cybercrime. The panel included Joel Stashenko who is the Albany Bureau Chief of the New York Law Journal, Nasir Memon who is a Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at NYU, Timothy Howard who is the Assistant U.S. Attorney and Cybercrime Coordinator for the NYS Southern District Office, and Prashanth Mekala who is the Supervisory Special Agent of the NY Field Office of the FBI.

The challenges facing law enforcement regarding cyber crime are different than most other criminal activity. For example cyber crime is generally anonymous, more insidious and hence more difficult to detect. And oftentimes the break-ins come through multiple legal jurisdictions which makes gaining access for tracking and prosecuting more challenging.

 

Budapest Convention of 2001 on Cybercrime Helping

public safety nyc crime rates queens crimeBut progress is being made. There was a Budapest Convention on Cybercrime which was passed in 2001 and became effective in 2004. More nations are signing on, as the accords enable law enforcement to move more quickly in multiple jurisdictions in response to cybercrime events.

As in community policing, establishing trust between the victims and law enforcement is critical in enabling governments to catch the criminals. Oftentimes companies victimized by cybercrime are concerned the access they provide to law enforcement may be used against them in other regulatory and civil proceedings. One of the panelists told us that the information they seek is soley for the purposes of catching the criminals, not to share with other regulatory agencies or people. And that the less time between the breach of a system, and obtaining access to analyze it, the greater likelihood that law enforcement can track them down, because in cybercrime the 'digital fingerprints' oftentimes disappear.

 

Speed of Response Helps Law Enforcement Respond

public safety nyc crime rates queens crimeWhat's happened recently is that company security has increasingly been delegated to the legal department of a firm, because the company is then protected from disclosures because of attorney client privilege.

But what then happens, because the lawyers seek to mitigate legal risk / blame, is that there's a slow response by the company to enabling law enforcement to do their jobs in track down the criminals. One panelist noted that oftentimes what companies are trying to keep secret [their blame / culpability] comes out in the wash anyhow.

One of the panelists noted that oftentimes the biggest threats come from within an organization. Someone is turned to the dark side, or is careless - resulting in the breach of security. Currently the NSA [National Security Agency], the CIA [Central Intelligence Agency], the DOD [Department of Defense] and the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] are all working to mitigate the risks associated with cybercrime.

They had a third panel about mitigating disaster risk, like from terrorism or cataclysmic events such as hurricanes, but I didn't stay.

Organized by City & State Magazine, Website & Events

Many thanks to City & State, which is an informative magazine publisher and events organizer. Their work seems to be predominantly in the area of government, politics and social issues. You can visit their website at www.cityandstateny.com.



Sorry: A Work of Art ... a Masterpiece?

Modern, Multi-media Melange Explores Emotions of Misunderstanding

laguardia performing arts center original theatrical productions modern dance nyc queensJanuary 23, 2017 / Long Island City Neighborhood / Performing Arts in Queens / Queens Buzz.

I attended a performance of Sorry, a multi-media dance, poetry and theatrical work that came about from a two year residency at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center in Long Island City. I went in expecting to see a modern dance performance, but experienced so, sooo much more.

I was instructed to arrive a bit early as there's free form dancing that begins about thirty minutes prior to the performance opening. When I arrived, I couldn't distinguish between the audience members and the cast, as some of the people in the crowd were quite good dancers.

The performance was held on the stage of the Main Theatre, which the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center has quite skillfully transformed into a modern dance / theatrical space - which is quite separate, but a subset of the original, traditional, Grecian auditorium style of the Main Theater itself.

After a while the performance began with an Islamic, American immigrant poetically recanting a mournful separation he was in the midst of experiencing with his girlfriend. One of the walls lit up with a life-size passing #7 subway train, as the orator took us with him on a current-day journey through the boroughs of New York City as witnesses to the angst in his life.

laguardia community college long island city queens near midtown nycIt was a bit like the movies, although so much more real, as we sat huddled in the ambient darkness of the theater, with life size video murals sweeping by, accompanied equally large still life photos and a three performer live cast. The music and choreographed dances allegorically captured the powerful troubled feelings of the characters portrayed.

The work explores the near universal, difficulty of human relationships in a modern, mixed, urban environment. Relationships complicated by gender roles, ethnicity and cultural learning - that are being sorted out simultaneously by all of us whether knowingly or not, as we travel through space and time in what may intermittently seem our lengthy, but short lives.

Later this week I'll continue this, including the addition of video and photos, but you only have a few days left to see it [Wednesday, Thursday & Friday at 8 pm] - and seating is limited [www.lpac.nyc - $20].


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.

 



Queens State of the Borough Address

Katz Delivers Her Third State of the Borough Address

queens president melinda katz queens state of boro addressJanuary 27, 2017 / Jamaica Neighborhood / Queens Politics & Government / Queens Buzz.

Last Friday I headed down to Jamaicatown to watch Queens Borough President Melinda Katz deliver her third State of the Borough Address at the Milton Bassin Performing Arts Center at York College.

I entered the auditorium shortly after she began her address where she was talking about her role in the good progress that the de Blasio Administration Education Department, headed by Carmen Farina, is having in moving the needle in enhancing both infrastructure and performance in the NYC Public School System.

As an example about of third of the trailers have been removed, with plans for another third to be removed this year. This means kids are back in regular classrooms - after possibly decades long neglect by prior Administrations [need to confirm this statment].

I'll have more on the Queens Borough President's State of the Borough Address sometime soon.



Late Night Dining in Jackson Heights

BQE Billiards Serves Eclectic Mix of American, Greek & Latin Favorites

late night dining jackson heights queens restaurantsOctober 18, 2016 / Jackson Heights Neighborhood / Jackson Heights Restaurants / Queens Buzz.

I headed over to BQE Billiards and Bar for a photo shoot last week. They were working on developing a new website and I was helping them create the food photos. The side benefit of this excursion was that I was also able to partake in the feast that followed, where we all sat around and enjoyed sampling much of the food that was photographed. In the photo at right is the gyro plate sitting atop a counter space located within the pool area and overlooking the ping pong and arcade sections of BQE Billiards and Bar in Jackson Heights.

This story is going to include a review of some of the food I sampled, as well as delving into the history of one of Jackson Heights intrepid small businesses. BQE Billiards and Bar was founded 25 years ago by four partners, two of whom remain involved in the business today. So get comfy as we begin by traveling back in time, to the not-so-ancient Greece of the 1960's.

One of the founding partners, Nick, told me that as a boy he used to keep a watch in a Grecian winemaker's vineyard. As he grew older he was given the responsibility for tending a flock of sheep on the hills of Greece. Around the time he became a legal adult, Nick talked to his father about leaving the small town he grew up in, to seek out places and opportunities where he might be able to make a better go of things. His father, while reluctant to see his son depart, understood the calling of the young man, and sent him on his way.

late night dining jackson heights queens restaurantsNick sought work aboard a ship, the SS Andreas Panou. The ship ran into technical difficulties in the Greek port of Piraeus, so Nick and his crewmates were sent ashore to get a bite to eat, since the mess hall had no electricity. The foreman wanted the young lads to return before they had been able to get some food and they refused. The foreman and the Captain subsequently discharged Nick and his friend in October 1965.

Nick recalled how he sought and secured passage working aboard another ship. Less than six months later, in March of 1966, while on a transition in Vancouver, Canada; he noticed a newspaper written in Greek. Since he had not read anything in Greek for weeks, he bought the paper where he learned that the SS Andreas Panou had crashed off the coast of Spain.

In the photo at right, from left to right, are Andreas, Nick and Theo of BQE Billiards and Bar in Jackson Heights.

Click here to read the rest of our story about the history and the late night restaurant dining at BQE Blliards and Bar in Jackson Heights.


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 / April 4, 2016. 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.





Astoria Furniture Stores Have It All - Queens

desk chair furniture stores shops shopping astoria queens nyAstoria Shops / Astoria / Queens Buzz. 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. 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 16, 2017 / Astoria Sunnyside Woodside Jackson Heights Long Island City LIC Flushing Jamaica / Queens Buzz.

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 2017 season including links to maps. Click the other link below for an updated list of Queens Street Fairs schedule of 2017 through June of this year, including dates and maps showing their locations. The second half of the season will be likely be updated in June of 2017.

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.



Is Trump Pushing America into Arms Race with Itself?

Proposing $54 Billion Defense Budget Increase - Why?

February 28, 2017 / NYC Government / NYC Business / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Tonight President Trump will address the nation regarding his plans for the U.S. One of the notable previews given by sources within the Administration is that Trump plans to increase Defense spending by $54 billion. I decided to take a quick look at some of the economic statistics to see if that appears warranted, especially vis a vis other priorities.

trump u.s. government spending deficits

U.S. Government Deficits

The first chart [Congressional Budget Office] shows that the U.S. government has been spending more than it has been taking in. The gap widened in the wake of the September 2008 near financial meltdown, as tax receipts fell and fiscal stimulus [government spending] was needed to keep the economy going.

The higher levels of debt continued through the first term of the Obama Administration and then fell sharply back to Bush II era levels during the second term of the Obama Administration.

The net result is that near financial meltdown resulted in higher government deficits, which added to the overall U.S. government debt.

 

U.S. Government Debt

trump u.s. government debt chart wikimedia wikipediaThe second chart [Wikipedia] shows U.S. government debt relative to U.S. GDP. GDP is the acronym for Gross Domestic Product, which is a measure of the nation's economic output in goods and services.

The chart shows that the overall U.S. government debt relative to GDP rose significantly in the wake of the 2008 near financial meltdown. Currently the U.S. debt level is equal to about an entire year of U.S. economic output.

Many economists think that the U.S. has an unhealthy level of debt as it doesn't provide much slack for unforseen circumstances, like the 2008 near financial meltdown or prolonged involvement addressing international crises.

 

U.S. Defense Spending One Third of Global Total

About Equal to the Next 8 Nations Combined

trump u.s. defense spending relative to the rest of the worldCurrently the U.S. appears to overspend on military operations vis a vis the rest of the world. The U.S. military accounts for one third of defense spending in the world and its budget is roughly equal to the military budgets of the next EIGHT leading defense spenders in the world.

 

You can see this in the chart at right which was created by the Institute for Strategic Studies and published in the Washington Post.

 

U.S. Economy Less than a Quarter of Global Total

About Equal to Only the Next 3 Nations Combined

u.s. economy size relative to worldBy contrast the U.S. economy represents less than a quarter of the global economy [versus a third of defense spending] and the U.S. economy is equal to the next THREE leading economies in the world [versus eight nations in military spending].

 

In the chart at right you can see the U.S. economy depicted in size versus the next eleven economies in the world. The chart was prepared by the International Comparison Program [ICP] which involves the World Bank in making its comparisons.

 

Does Trump Proposal to Increase Defense Spending $54 Billion Make Sense?

So my question is why is the president proposing to INCREASE defense spending, when we're spending so much more - relative to the size of our economy - than the entire rest of the world?

When private industry is asked to do so much more, with so much less, because it's possible with technology - does it really make sense to increase military spending?

It seems this sort of prolonged drain of resources - financed by borrowing from other nations on the backs of our children - actually weakens us, not strengthens us.

We'll find out how President Trump justifies this tonight. Next week I'll have more for you to consider about other national / economic priorities that the data indicates have far greater need for more resources than the U.S. military.

Isn't Trump the Greatest Negotiator in the World?

The Defense department spends well over a HALF TRILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY. Is it possible that those in charge of our Defense spending are not good managers of the money they are given? Shouldn't former businessman President Trump teach them how to operate more leanly and better NEGOTIATE their contracts?

Aren't Security Risks Today Best Solved by Intelligence not Big Military?

It seems these days the real security risks are not so much military as they are terrorist. That would imply a change in strategy from spending on big hardware, to spending on intelligence. Unfortunately calm, thoughtful, intelligence appears to be in short supply at the White House these days.


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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