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Queens Schools - NYC Public Education Issues | queens high schools queens intermediate schools jackson heights people for public schools jackson heights queens
Queens Schools - NYC Public Education Issues

People For Public Schools – In Jackson Heights

Dromm Discusses Educational Issues & What Can Parents Do To Help

May 28, 2014 / Jackson Heights / Queens Schools / Queens Buzz. I attended what was essentially a communal sit down dialogue Daniel Dromm, Chair of the NYC City Council Education Committee. He met with a six-month-old group that goes by the name of the Jackson Heights People For Public Schools. And together they discussed the plethora of issues being grappled with by educators, policymakers, parents and pupils in the wake of the Bloomberg Administration’s departure.

I consider myself to still be in the learning mode of trying to understand all of the issues faced by those managing public education so what follows is essentially a partial record of the discussion.

As background based what I do know from prior coverage in the Queens educational arena, the Bloomberg Administration embarked on an effort that appeared in some respects to favor de-unionizing and privatizing the NY Public School system via the closing of public schools which were staffed with generally experienced, unionized teachers; and opening privately run charter schools, generally run by fairly new teachers who worked for non-union wages. The Bloomberg Administration also moved toward splitting schools into smaller entities.

Click here to read more about a dialogue with Daniel Dromm, NYC City Council Chair of the Education Committee, about education & public schools in Queens.



LHCC - Affordable Healthcare Deadline Tonight

Enrollment Trending Toward 7 Million Target

affordable care act enrollment nysNew York State Of Health Surpasses 1.1 Million Applicants & 782K Enrollees

March 31, 2014 / Jackson Heights / Queens Healthcare / Queens Buzz. Get ready for an endless spin game about the enrollment numbers of the Affordable Healthcare Act aka Obamacare.

It appears the Administration is on target to achieve the first target they had set, prior to running into innumerable problems in October 2013 with the federal healthcare insurance website - healthcare.gov - when enrollments first began. Following the opening website debacle, the Administration lowered the enrollment targets from seven million to six million. They hit the six million number last week and the application and enrollment activity has spiked during the final week to submit an application.

affordable care act in queensThere are 36 states participating in the rollout of the national health insurance plan and 14 states which have opted out of the plan. New York state is one of the 36 participants and as of Sunday night, New York State had received over 1.1 million applications and nearly 800,000 people had enrolled. These numbers are up significantly versus three weeks ago, when applications were at about 900,000 and enrollment at about 500,000. As of early March, we were informed that about 70% of the enrollees were people who had not previously had health insurance. Hence by that metric the plan appears to be achieving its goal in New York State.

According to national reports, it also appears that the late applicants are skewing younger, which was another important metric for the Administration. The composition of young and older ages is needed to enable insurance company participants / healthcare plan providers make the financials work.

Opponents of the Affordable Care Act [ACA], essentially the entire Republican Party, say that the enrollment numbers are inflated, as the enrollment numbers don't take into account enrollees making their first payments. And many Democratic proponents of the Affordable Healthcare Act have run from it because of the early website problems.

We've attended a number of sessions on it and the regular folks attending these sessions have made statements saying that they are no longer locked into jobs they don't like because of health insurance, that the Affordable Care Act has significantly lowered their healthcare costs and that they are relieved to finally be covered by health insurance.

Applications must be submitted no later than 11.59 pm Monday night, March 31st. We understand that applicants will have another 7 days to provide documentation for application submissions that fail to meet the application criteria.


Queens School Changes

Educational Infrastructure Lags Population Growth

queens schools proposed changesJanuary 28, 2014 / Jackson Heights & Woodside Neighborhood / Queens Schools / Queens Buzz. I attended a Department of Education meeting to discuss the proposed changes scheduled for Intermediate Schools 230 and 145 in Jackson Heights. The plan calls for adding new space to I.S. 230, and then redrawing the district map for the two schools, so that going forward some children who would have attended I.S. 145 will enroll in I.S. 230. The children currently attending I.S. 145 will not be affected.

The intent of the plan is to alleviate the overcrowding in I.S. 145 which is operating above capacity. The overcrowding would be addressed by redrawing the school district maps following the completion of the new building at I.S. 230, so that fewer students would enroll in I.S. 145 going forward. The meeting was well attended as the I.S. 145 auditorium was fairly full when I arrived.

About half or better of the attendees were spanish language speakers and the Department of Education had not brought enough Spanish translation headsets to conduct the meeting bilingually without having the English presentation followed by a Spanish translation by a volunteer in attendance. A couple of community leaders drew my attention to this, and one of whom - an educator himself - was very irate. He explained that by not having enough headsets, the meeting would now accomplish about half as much in the same time period because of the time consumed in explaining things first in English and then in Spanish. With the headsets, the explanations would be been communicated simultaneously. He also noted that the translator was a volunteer and there wasn't any mechanism in place to ensure that the volunteer's translations were correct.

I.S. 145 recently suffered a tragic loss, as a student was killed by a motorist only blocks away from the school. Within the past six months three school age children living in the Jackson Heights vicinity have been killed by motorists, and the safety plan for the new building was one of the many concerns on the agenda. We'll post more about the meeting, and include an update about some of the proposed changes to address overcrowding in a Woodside school as well.

It seems that Queens schools, like other aspects of Queens public infrastructure [the #7 subway line / mass transit] and affordable housing, are lagging well behind Queens population growth and private development.


Jackson Heights Beautification Group - JHBG | jackson heights beautification group jhbg jackson heights neighborhood
Jackson Heights Beautification Group - JHBG

JHBG Celebrates 25 Years Of Service

Jackson Heights Beautification Group Celebrates 25

September 30, 2013 / Jackson Heights Neighborhood / Queens Issues / Queens Buzz News. I had the pleasure of spending some time at the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Jackson Heights Beautification Group’s existence. During the course of the evening I had the opportunity to talk to a number of members, many of whom had been with the organization for decades. And during the course of these conversations I came away having learned something about their collective accomplishments, and in some senses, the early to modern history of Jackson Heights.

Some of the JHBG's Accomplishments

The Jackson Heights Beautification Group [also known as JHBG] started when a group of residents decided to 'take back the neighborhood' from vandals doing property damage [grafitti], real estate developers knocking down high quality edwin westley photo jhbg jackson heights beautification grouphistoric buildings, people breaking sanitation laws [doggie doo], and developers trying to obtain zoning variances that would downgrade the neighborhood. But the community organization was not just about participating in the governance process and ensuring that the city laws and ordinances were enforced; they also sought to enhance the quality of neighborhood life.

Hence the Jackson Heights Beautification Group sought funding for summer concerts, helped bring a farmers market to Jackson Heights, worked collaboratively to create more public parkland [78th Playstreet & the Garden School Athletic Field], and most recently helped start an orchestra. They will be the first to tell you that they didn't do these things by themselves, but however modest, they did play an important role.

In the photo above City Councilmember Daniel Dromm gives an award to Jackson Heights Beautification Group President Edwin O'Keefe Westley honoring the neighborhood group's service to the community.

And so you may click here to learn a bit about the formation and history of the Jackson Heights Beautification Group, as well as a bit about the 20th century life in Jackson Heights as told by those who lived it.



Jackson Heights History

jackson heights historyJune 10, 2013 / Jackson Heights Neighborhood / Jackson Heights History / Queens Buzz. I dropped in on the Jackson Heights Beautification Group's annual historic house lecture, exhibit and tour program this past weekend. The event has been hosted by the group for about two decades and serves to inform the public about the history and architecture of the Jackson Heights neighborhood.

The lecture spans about a century, beginning with the Queens Boro Corporation's acquisition of huge plots of farmland [estimated 350 acres for about $3.8 million] that preceded the development of the neighborhood. The lecture is given by author, historian and realtor, Daniel Karatzas and the exhibit is owned by the Jackson Heights Beautification Group, a community non-profit organization. The exhibit contains old marketing brochures, newspapers, post cards and photos of the Jackson Heights neighborhood. At a later date, we'll post more about the historic weekend lecture and exhibit.


Health Fair: The How To's Of Maintaining The Human Machine

health fairs in queensJune 4, 2013 / Jackson Heights Neighborhood / Queens Healthcare / Queens Buzz. I attended a Health Fair in Jackson Heights on Saturday at the Lexington School for the Deaf. It was held outside in the playground, which was a large grassy field not far from the Bulova Building.

Inside the yard there were booth set up where you could have your lungs tested for things like asthma, have your heart rate and blood pressure measured, get a bone density reading to see if you're at risk of osteoporosis, have your glucose and cholesterol measured, and get a body mass index reading - all for free. For those folks who are managing their health without the benefit of insurance, it's a good one stop shop to get some sort of reading on a number of your vitals.

There were other, less health focused booths there too. For example a couple of booths provided coffee, bagels and fruit - like the Port Authority of NY / NJ and the NYC Department of Corrections. And some were set up to entertain the kids with balloons, dancing to music, yoga and the like. The event is hosted annually by Mt Sinai Queens and the United Civic Community Association. We'll post more later.


Queens World Film Festival | queens world film festival queens world film festival 2013 jackson heights astoria lic
Queens World Film Festival

Queens World Film Festival

Queens Film Festival Begins

March 9, 2013 / Astoria, LIC & Jackson Heights / Film in Queens / Queens Buzz. I attended the 3rd annual Queens World Film Festival opening Tuesday night at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. As I arrived, independent film producers, directors, writers, actors and actresses mingled in the lobby.

A local TV film crew was interviewing one of the festival participants as I started mingling with the crowd. I met one man who has film showing Friday, another with a film showing Thursday, and a Belgian couple who co-produced a thirty second short that was to be shown at the opener tonight [they’re shown conversing with City Councilmembers Dromm and Van Bramer].

It wasn’t long before the festivities began, which included several speeches by sponsors [some are listed at the end of this report] and the Queens World Film Festival founders, Don and Katha Cato of Jackson Heights.




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Jackson Heights News & Corona News - Briefs | Jackson Heights News briefs Jackson Heights Film and Food festival 2009 canceled Jackson Heights Queens NY
Jackson Heights News & Corona News - Briefs

Passover in Jackson Heights

Kehillat Tikvah Celebrates 5th Passover in Queens

April 1, 2013 / Jackson Heights / Judaism in Queens / Queens Buzz.  On March 26th I attended the fifth annual Kehillat Tikvah Tuesday evening at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Jackson Heights.  This Passover was hosted by Kehillat Tikvah, which is a relatively new community of hope, located in Jackson Heights.  Rabbi Laurie Gold led the evening of festivities.

I arrived around 6 pm as the organizers were finishing up last minute details for the event.  A U shaped table formation in the middle of the large room had been set, and there were containers of warm food laid out along a long table in front of the kitchen.  People within the community were conversing, and without much effort I was drawn into a conversation with the folks sitting next to me. 

Click here to read the rest of our report on the Kehillat Tikvah Passover in Jackson Heights later this month and click here for other Jackson Heights News briefs.




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Queens Schools - NYC Public Education Issues | queens high schools queens intermediate schools jackson heights people for public schools jackson heights queens
Queens Schools - NYC Public Education Issues

People For Public Schools – In Jackson Heights

Dromm Discusses Educational Issues & What Can Parents Do To Help

May 28, 2014 / Jackson Heights / Queens Schools / Queens Buzz. I attended what was essentially a communal sit down dialogue Daniel Dromm, Chair of the NYC City Council Education Committee. He met with a six-month-old group that goes by the name of the Jackson Heights People For Public Schools. And together they discussed the plethora of issues being grappled with by educators, policymakers, parents and pupils in the wake of the Bloomberg Administration’s departure.

I consider myself to still be in the learning mode of trying to understand all of the issues faced by those managing public education so what follows is essentially a partial record of the discussion.

As background based what I do know from prior coverage in the Queens educational arena, the Bloomberg Administration embarked on an effort that appeared in some respects to favor de-unionizing and privatizing the NY Public School system via the closing of public schools which were staffed with generally experienced, unionized teachers; and opening privately run charter schools, generally run by fairly new teachers who worked for non-union wages. The Bloomberg Administration also moved toward splitting schools into smaller entities.

Click here to read more about a dialogue with Daniel Dromm, NYC City Council Chair of the Education Committee, about education & public schools in Queens.



 
Hispanic Day Parade - Jackson Heights Queens 2012 | hispanic day parade in jackson heights queens hispanic parade nyc hispanic day parade queens jackson heights
Hispanic Day Parade - Jackson Heights Queens 2012

Hispanic Parade In Jackson Heights

Kaleidoscope of Costumes & Dance Performances By Latin Cultures

September 24, 2012 / Jackson Heights / Ethnic & Religious Cultures in Queens / Queens Buzz. On Sunday I went to Jackson Heights to watch the Hispanic Day Parade. The aesthetics of the parade provided a vibrant peek into the many cultures of our Latin neighbors who live here in Queens; and whose nations collectively represent our fastest growing and largest trading partners.

It was a beautiful sunny dry day, with highs in the high 70's. The parade started at 12 noon, lead in part by NYS Senator Jose Peralta and City Councilmember Danny Dromm. I settled in along the street side and struck up a conversation with a woman in the audience. We began talking about Latin cultures as the floats and performers came passing by.

In the photo to your right are some of the parade participants, who performed traditional dances in tune with the music. Click here to read the rest of our report and view a photo slide show of the Hispanic Day Parade in Jackson Heights.  Click here to read our report on the Hispanic Day Parade in Queens & Jackson Heights.  Story & photos by Michael Wood.



 



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Viva La Comida - 82nd Street Partnership Jackson Heights | jeff orlick iwantmorefood 82nd st partnership jackson heights viva la comida festival 2012 jackson heights food trucks in queens
Viva La Comida - 82nd Street Partnership Jackson Heights

Viva La Comida - 82nd Street - Jackson Heights

82nd Street Partnership Hosts Festival At Dunningham Triangle

September 24, 2012 / Jackson Heights / Food in Queens / Queens Buzz. On Friday evening the 82nd Street Partnership hosted Viva La Comida at Dunningham Triangle on 82nd Street at Baxter in Jackson Heights. The event was a fun, quirky preamble to the Hispanic Month activities that officially began on Sunday with the Hispanic Day Parade [click for Hispanic Day Parade report & photos].

I arrived while it was still light out. City Councilman Danny Dromm, Seth Taylor and City Councilmember Julissa Ferreras were standing for photos sandwiched between two men who’s names I will try to obtain and post at a later date. A performance by the youngsters from the Mestizo Art Center followed, much to the delight of the warm and enthusiastic crowd.

I made my way over to the food trucks where I tasted some delicacies and met interesting people … click here to read the rest of our report on Viva La Comida festival hosted by the 82nd Street Partnership in Jackson Heights. The photo to your left was taken from the inside of the Solber Pupusa food truck at the Viva La Comida festival on 82nd Street in Jackson Heights.



Passover Celebrations In Queens | passover in queens seders in queens lic jackson heights passover seders in jackson heights lic
Passover Celebrations In Queens

Passover in Jackson Heights

Kehillat Tikvah Celebrates 6th Passover in Queens

April 14, 2014 / Jackson Heights / Judaism in Queens / Queens Buzz.  On March 26th of last year I attended the fifth annual Kehillat Tikvah Tuesday evening at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Jackson Heights.  This Passover was hosted by Kehillat Tikvah, which is a relatively new community of hope, located in Jackson Heights.  Rabbi Laurie Gold led the evening of festivities.

I arrived around 6 pm as the organizers were finishing up last minute details for the event.  A U shaped table formation in the middle of the large room had been set, and there were containers of warm food laid out along a long table in front of the kitchen.  People within the community were conversing, and without much effort I was drawn into a conversation with the folks sitting next to me. 

Click here to read the rest of our report on the Kehillat Tikvah celebration of Passover in Jackson Heights.



 



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Jackson Heights Map / Elmhurst Neighborhood Map / Things To Do In Jackson Heights Queens | A map of cultural and entertainment organizations and neighborhood attractions such as the Lent Riker Homestead and Victor Moore Terminal in Jackson Heights Queens NY
Jackson Heights Map / Elmhurst Neighborhood Map / Things To Do In Jackson Heights Queens

Jackson Heights & Elmhurst Maps - Overview

Click to view two maps of Jackson Heights & Elmhurst: 1) Map of shops and restaurants in Jackson Heights & Elmhurst with links to shop home pages or stories on this site and / or 2) Map of Cultural Attractions in Jackson Heights & Elmhurst most for which there are reports about them to be found on this site.

Click here to view Jackson Heights & Elmhurst Maps - Shops, Restaurants and Cultural Attractions in Jackson Heights & Elmhurst Queens.  It's also a map of things to do in Jackson Heights Queens.



 



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Restaurants In Jackson Heights - Arunee Thai Restaurant | Arunee Thai restaurant in Jackson Heights Queens Thai restaurants in jackson heights thai food chicken massaman hot soup satay tom yum thai restaurants jackson heights queens
Restaurants In Jackson Heights - Arunee Thai Restaurant

Restaurants In Jackson Heights

Arunee Thai Restaurant

Jackson Heights Neighborhood / Jackson Heights Restaurants / Queens Buzz. Tonight I ventured out to a Thai restaurant in Jackson Heights that I had discovered on pure happenstance. I arrived at the restaurant around 7.30 pm on an cool overcast Saturday evening. More than half of the sixty seats had already been filled and it seemed the waiting staff had fallen a bit behind. As I sat there waiting, I began to doubt my choice.

As I surveyed the restaurant I noted that many of the customers were Thai, which I took to be a good sign, as I was looking for real Thai food, not some Americanized version of it. Within the next five to ten minutes, things completely turned. The waiting staff turned up the energy and within minutes it seemed that everyone who had been waiting now had a drink or appetizer sitting in front of them … myself included. Click here to read the full review of Arunee Thai restaurant including photos.



 
Restaurants In Jackson Heights - La Portena Argentine Steakhouse | La Portena argentinian restaurant jackson heights queens ny steakhouses in queens skirt steak good sirloin tenderloin steaks in queens argentinian steakhouse
Restaurants In Jackson Heights - La Portena Argentine Steakhouse

Restaurants In Jackson Heights

LaPortena Argentine Steakhouse

Jackson Heights Neighborhood / Jackson Heights Restaurants / Queens Buzz.  La Portena Argentinian Steakhouse isn't exactly the kind of restaurant that would come to mind when you think of Jackson Heights ... that is unless you live there. La Portena Argentinian Steakhouse is located at 74th Street and 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights. It's quite a popular restaurant which is what first caught my attention. While Indian, Bangladeshi, Thai and Nepalese restaurants first come to mind when thinking about Jackson Heights / Elmhurst restaurants, there's an entire Latin American flavor to the restaurant mix in the neighborhood - and the food and service are both very good. Click here to read a the full review of La Portena Argentinian Steakhouse, including more photos.



 



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Wine Stores In Jackson Heights & Elmhurst | table wine jackson heights wine stores in jackson heights wines wine stores jackson heights elmhurst queens
Wine Stores In Jackson Heights & Elmhurst

Wine Stores In Jackson Heights

Table Wine - Jackson Heights

Jackson Heights Neighborhood / Food & Wine / Queens Buzz. A fairly new wine store opened in Jackson Heights this past year called Table Wine. It appears to be a nice addition to the neighborhood as it’s a boutique wine store run by a husband and wife team from Queens. Ernesto, one of the owners, invited me to join them for a wine tasting one Sunday evening in March to meet a French vintner of some of the wines Table Wine sells.

Click here to read the rest of the story about wine stores and wine tastings in Jackson Heights & Elmhurst.



 
Elmhurst /  Jackson Heights Shopping Center & Map | shops and shopping in jackson heights elmhurst
Elmhurst / Jackson Heights Shopping Center & Map

Jackson Heights Shopping Center

Shops and Shopping In Jackson Heights

This page contains home page links, contact info, maps for stores and shops located in Jackson Heights & Elmhurst, Queens.

Click here to view places to Shop & Shopping in Jackson Heights & Elmhurst.


 




Chhaya Hits A Home Run

4th Annual Home Buyer Fair in Jackson Heights

chhaya home buyers fairJanuary 28, 2013 / Jackson Heights / Queens Business / Queens Buzz. The more I get to know about Queens, and the more familiar I become with the many immigrant communities to which Queens is called home, the more impressed I become with the intelligence of the American system and the immigrants who fuel the American dream.

One of the American dreams is to own your own home. To that effect Chhaya [pronounced chi - ya], a non-profit organization in Jackson Heights, helped facilitate that effort at its fourth annual Home Buyer Fair on Saturday. Attendance of the Home Buyer Fair was at an all time high of several hundred, up from about 30 attendees at the first one, just four years ago.

The Home Buyer Fair featured a number of brand name lenders in the morning, and a whole host of non-profit / community minded organizations in the afternoon. The fair was open to everyone [we posted it in our Queens Events calendar in the business section], and provided attendees with a whole host of avenues for purchasing a home. Click here later today to read the rest of our report about the Chhaya Home Buyer Fair.


Queens Builders & Contractors - Queens Bronx Builders Assn Trade Show | queens builders & contractors queens bronx builders association queens bronx builders assn trade show in east elmhurst queens ny
Queens Builders & Contractors - Queens Bronx Builders Assn Trade Show

Queens Bronx Builders Association

Building Businesses Slowly Improving - Builders Cautiously Optimistic

October 25, 2012 / Jackson Heights / Queens Business / Queens Buzz. I attended the Queens Bronx Builders Association Trade Show at the LaGuardia Marriott this evening. The show included between two and three dozen exhibitors showing just about everything and anything you might need to build a building. I went to get some sense of the mood of the building trades, given the economy has been the focus of many folks’ attention since the financial debacle of 2008.

The sense I got from most was that, while things are not great like they had been before the bust, they had ‘hit bottom’, and things appeared to be steadily improving. Most of the folks I spoke to were cautiously optimistic, saying they had some really good days but they also had some really slow days. A few of the people I spoke to were downright bullish. Only two people told me that things were still very rough out there.

As you know, this is not a scientific survey, but the joking around left me with the sense that what I had been told was somewhere in the reality ballpark.

Click here to read a report about the Queens Bronx Building Association Trade Show in Queens.

 



 

Forum - Condos & Co-ops Jackson Heights | condos co-ops in jackson heights queens real estate realtors jackson heights queens
Forum - Condos & Co-ops Jackson Heights

Condos & Co-ops Forum - Jackson Heights

December 7, 2010 / Jackson Heights / Queens Buzz. City Council Member Daniel Dromm, NYS Senator Peralta in tandem with ACCO [Alliance of Condo & Co-op Owners] organized a forum in Jackson Heights to inform people about their rights and responsibilities as condo and co-op owners.

In addition to the councilman and senator, the panel included two lawyers and the president of ACCO. About two hundred people showed up for the event, packing the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights. See photos in our report of the large crowd that attended this forum.

The panel informed condo and co-op owners in Jackson Heights & Queens about their rights, and discussed new state legislation which has been introduced to more clearly define the processes through which a tenant / owner can assert their rights. Click here to read the rest of our report about the forum for Jackson Heights condo / co-op owners in Queens.




Jackson Heights En Espanol

Desfile Colombiano 2012 & Fotos en Jackson Heights Queens | columbiano desfile en jackson heights fotos 2012 jackson heights desfile colombiano 2012 fotos queens Columbian Independence parade 2012 in spanish con fotos
Desfile Colombiano 2012 & Fotos en Jackson Heights Queens

Desfile Colombiano de 2012 en Queens

Desfile Colombiano Aclamado Por Miles

23 de julio 2012 / Jackson Heights / Queens Cultura / Queens Buzz. Asistí al desfile colombiano en Jackson Heights el domingo. Resultó ser uno de los desfiles más emocionantes que he asistido en Queens.

En algún lugar entre cinco y diez mil personas asistieron al desfile, muchos de los cuales tienen sus raíces precolombinas. El desfile fue emocionante, porque el entusiasmo de la multitud de las carrozas y actuaciones esplendorosas muchos disfrazados dadas por los participantes del desfile que conocían personalmente.

El desfile comenzó a las 12 horas en la 69th Street y Northern Blvd, y déjame decirte que nunca he visto Northern Blvd. ven tan bien. Haga clic aquí más tarde hoy para ver una presentación de diapositivas de fotos y leer el resto de nuestro informe sobre el Desfile de Colombia en Jackson Heights.




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