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|Shave the Stache - QSAC Quality Services for Autism Community 2|
Save the Stache Astoria
QSAC Fundraiser Hosted at the Redken Saloon Hair Salon in Astoria
January 22, 2018 / Astoria Neighborhood / Queens Community Issues / Queens Buzz NYC.
A week ago I headed over to the Redken Saloon Salon in Astoria for the 7th annual Save the Stache fundraiser. I had attended the event last year, watching quite a number of local celebrities for a day, shave their beards and mustaches in order to raise funds for QSAC which is the acronym for Quality Services for the Autism Community.
Quality Services for the Autism Community [aka QSAC] has programs designed to help families enable their children to do more for themselves as well as the community. QSAC offers emergency fund assistance for unexpected crises as well as reimbursement options for some of the things not covered by other government / private / social programs. The organization also provides respite services in the home as well as overnight stays away from home, to provide a bit of a break to the caregivers. And QSAC helps families find and coordinate services to help children with autism, as well as providing offsite “home environments that foster independence, community integration, individualization and productivity”.
|Shave the Stache - QSAC Quality Services for Autism Community |
Shaving the Stache & Making the World a Better Place, One Human at a Time
Benefit for Quality Services for Autism Community [QSAC] at the Redken Saloon Salon in Astoria, featuring Art 4 Healing
January 10, 2017 / Astoria Neighborhood / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Buzz.
It was the first weekend night of the New Year, which after the relaxing holidays generally tends to be fairly low key. The streets were quiet on a clear, cold January evening as I made my way up 30th Avenue toward Steinway Street. I didn’t really know what to expect at the Shave the Stache benefit at the Redken Saloon Salon, where the event has been hosted for the past five years.
Unlike the silent streets, the Redken Saloon Salon was bustling with life when I arrived. I was warmly greeted by members of the Quality Services for Autism Community [aka QSAC], as I made my way into the salon.
William Balash: Man About Town
One of the first people I met was William Balash. He’s a big man, who at the time, was sporting a hearty crop of whiskers, which he told me he’d been growing since October. He introduced me to Patricio Barrientos, External Affairs Coordinator of QSAC, who provided me with a bit of background information about the group, including that it was founded in 1978 by Queens parents of children with autism who were searching for more productive ways to raise autistic children, than were currently available at the time. Today QSAC serves 2,100 people with autism in NYC and on Long Island.
In the photo at right are the men who had their whiskers shaved, alongside those who shaved them. Back row from left to right are: Mike Christoforotos, Spiro Aganastopoulous, Janos Kanta, Nicholas Halvatzis, Jerry Crisafis, Joe Vaccaro, Sofia [hair stylist], Ken Marzocco, and Paul Halvatzis. The two men kneeling are Nicholas Zikos and Bill Balash, while the two men seated are Steve Sirgiovanni and Larry Litwack, with Redken Saloon Salon owner Frank Arcabascio standing between them. Last, but not least, is Jim Halvatzis standing far right.
Art 4 Healing Obtains Art Donations for Benefit Auctions
William and Patricio introduced me to Katrizyna [aka Katrina] Kozena, of Art for Healing NYC. Katrina told me that the group was founded circa 2001 and gets artists to donate works which are auctioned off at fundraising benefits to help those in need. The proceeds from the auctioned art are shared by both non-profits and the artist receives free publicity. Art for Healing doesn’t provide art therapy, which oftentimes includes interpretation of artworks after they’ve been completed; but rather Art 4 Healing uses art as a means of enabling people to emotionally connect with themselves in ways that may not be available in daily life.
Katrina showed me the work being auctioned off this evening, which was a wood painting by a Latin American artist. The artist’s name is Angelo Romano who currently lives and works in NYC, but is a Spanish artist immigrant from Latin America. The work was a hand painted wooden totem pole – acrylic on wood. In the photo at right is Katrizyna Kozena of Art4Healing.org.
Click here a bit later today for the rest of the story including more photos and video about Shave the Stache benefit for QSAC in NYC.
|Astoria Halloween Parade|
HORROR on Ditmars ends Ghoulishly in Astoria Park
The Astoria Family Halloween Parade Marches Down Ditmars to Astoria Park Halloween Celebration
October 30, 2016 / Astoria Neighborhood / Holidays in Astoria Queens / Queens Buzz.
It was ghoulish, it was hairy and in fact it was just plain, downright SCARY. There’s just no other way to describe the Astoria Family Halloween Parade.
There were ghosts, goblins, witches, monsters and people back from the dead. They came by the hundreds and in all sizes. They were tall, small and everything in between. There were likely over one thousand people who came to participate in the tenth annual Astoria Family Halloween Parade.
Yet, even though I was surrounded by all of these frightening monsters, I felt a certain calm. Why? Why so calm amidst all of this horror?
IT WAS SCARY, BUT ... thankfully there were plenty of Super Heroes Around
Because there were possibly even more superheroes in the crowd. Wonder Woman, Superman, Batwoman, Batman and how about those Ninja Turtles?
The ghouls, goblins and their parents congregated at Ditmars & 31st Street beginning at 11.30 am filling all four corners and then some with plenty of people decked out in full Halloween garb. The weather was amply cooperative climbing well into the 70’s and I heard some of the monsters complain that they were overheating … but not the devils … they seemed to feel right at home – if not a bit chilly.
The police cordoned off one lane of Ditmars between 31st Street and Astoria Park and at noon, the families packed up and marched down to Astoria Park along the East River. The families came streaming down the Great Lawn and started taking their places on the grass in front of the stage erected by the Central Astoria Local Development Corporation also known as CALDC.
CALDC had organized a Halloween event, which they called the First Annual Batty Over Halloween Celebration. The free event included face painting, balloon twisting, a children's Halloween sing along, cotton candy and munchkin pumpkins giveaway.
All in all it made for a fun outing for the kids and parents of the neighborhood who embraced both the parade and the Halloween after party. The parade was started around 2006 and continues to be organized by the Astoria Moms Meetup Group and Queens Mamas.
Click here to view the Astoria Family Halloween Parade 2016 slide show.
|Astoria Park - International Culture Festival|
Astoria International Cultural Festival
May 31, 2016 / Astoria Neighborhood / Ethnic Culture in Queens / Queens Buzz.
On Saturday May 21st from 1.30 until past 6 pm, there was a series of cultural performances held on the Great Lawn of Astoria Park. The event was hosted by the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition [CALDC] to showcase the multi-ethnicity of tne neighborhood.
Nearly a dozen local cultural groups performed, including Ballet Los Pampas representing Argentina, KUD Halaturko representing Bosnia, Croatian Franciscan Fathers Youth Club, Ayazamana Cultural Center representing Ecuador, Cretan Association representing Greece, NYC Bhangra representing India, McManus School of Irish Dance, The Braata Folk Singers representing the Caribbean / Jamaica, and the Korean Traditional Music and Dance Center.
There was a crowd that numbered in the hundreds over the course of the afternoon. Many brought lawn chairs and blankets to sit upon while they watched the show. The weather cooperated as the temperature was in the 60's and while at times cloudy, it was dry.
Several food vendors came out to augment the cultural celebration, now in its second year. As I came late in the afternoon, I had missed the prime time of that part of the event. In the photo at right you can see one of the performers walking up the Astoria Park Great Lawn after her performance.
Click here for a brief video of some of the 2016 International Culture Festival in Astoria Park.
|DanceWorks New York City NYC at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts|
DanceWorks New York City
Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria Hosts DanceWorks
November 23, 2015 / Astoria Neighborhood / Modern Dance in Queens / Queens Buzz.
I just returned from one of the most exciting dance performances I’ve seen in a long, long while. The dances were performed at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria on Saturday night. Unfortunately, DanceWorks performances may only be seen twice a year and the next one isn't until May 21st 2016 at this same location.
The show opened with a short introduction by DanceWorks Founder Lisa Mara, and DanceWorks New York City Director Jackie Arcy. Their introduction was followed by a dance video. And then the show began.
The show presented about two dozen original works and literally included a cast of about 140 dancers and choreographers. All of the dancers and choreographers had auditioned to participate in the show and then practiced and rehearsed for 16 straight weeks. The show lasted two hours, but the time flew by.
The photo above shows one of the dance performances at DanceWorks New York City at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts.
Click here to read the rest of our report about the semi-annual performance entitled DanceWorks New York City NYC at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria.
|QNS Collective: Real Estate Development in Dutch Kills Photos|
QNS Collective: We Will Still Be Here
Local Artist Photographs Dutch Kills Real Estate Development For Posterity
January 19, 2015 / Dutch Kills LIC / Art Exhibits in Queens / Queens Buzz. It’s not often one gets to see a bit of history in the making. But last Saturday evening I made my way to the QNS Collective in Astoria / LIC to see a bit of it.
The event was the opening reception of We Will Be Here, a photographic exhibit by Salvador Espinoza about the changes taking place in the Dutch Kills neighborhood of Long Island City. The exhibit included 13 framed photos hanging on the walls of the second floor of the QNS Collective, a modern new office space in Astoria / LIC. Another twelve will be rotated into the exhibit during the course of its showing which runs through February 6th.
Dutch Kills Neighborhood Changing Fast
The photos are a recent look at the changes taking place in the Dutch Kills neighborhood. The photos were shot in black and white over the past year, and provide a personal glimpse of the development of the Dutch Kills neighborhood by someone who grew up in it and has spent the better part of his life living there. The photo above shows Salvador standing in front of one of his photos where his brother held up a photo of a vista one would previously encounter while standing at the Queensboro Plaza subway station, which is now hidden behind a number of shiny new highrises.
Salvador told me that he moved out of the neighborhood for a few years [to Sunnyside] and he frequently returned to visit family and friends. He started noticing significant changes to the neighborhood occurring between each visit. He thought that someone should start recording the changes, because the neighborhood he grew up in, would soon vanish into the past. After giving the idea some thought, he concluded that perhaps he was the one to do it. So he reached out to the Queens Council on the Arts and they provided him with a small grant to pursue the project.
Salvador Espinoza Photographer, Director & Collaborator
Many years ago Salvador had been an amateur photographer, and when he took up this project, he began anew. Over the course of the past year he started taking photos of the neighborhood including some of the everyday houses that likely will soon be demolished and replaced by apartment buildings, as the value of Dutch Kills real estate has skyrocketed in recent years.
Some of his photos include his neighborhood friends. I met Chris of EQ Lyrics, who is included in one of the photos of the exhibit. Chris had just completed a music video and tonight - as part of the exhibit opening - we were to witness the first public showing of Chris’s music video. Salvador directed it and Chris plays the leading male role.
The lights dimmed, the crowd gathered around in a sort of amphitheater configuration, and the video began. The video is shot entirely in the LIC / Dutch Kills / Astoria neighborhood. The video is called A Beautiful Day which Chris told me was about, "getting drunk and banging chicks in the city" [a photo still from the video is to your right]. We've embedded the video at the end of this story.
Click here to read the rest of our story about the photo exhibit We Will Still Be Here, about the changing face of Dutch Kills real estate, at the QNS Collective through February 6.
|The Legend Of Hell Gate Horror - Halloween Astoria|
The Legend Of Hell Gate Horror
Hell Gate Horror Myth May Have Real Origins
October 19, 2014 / Astoria Neighborhood / Queens Culture / Queens Buzz. It’s not often one stumbles upon a legend and then finds himself riddled in its mysteries. But so it was last Saturday evening, while biking through Astoria Park that I encountered an older gentleman who called to me asking for help. It was near dusk as the sun began setting behind the skyline and the shadows grew longer.
He was sitting on a park bench overlooking the Hell Gate Bridge and dressed in clothing of years gone by. He had not shaved in several days and his hair was a bit disheveled. I sized him up as I approached and determined that he was probably ok.
“Hi. What’s up?” I asked.
“I need help.” He replied. I looked at him inquisitively as he didn’t appear to be in any immediate predicament, near as I could tell.
“What can I do for you?” I asked.
“I see by your bag that you work for a [web] magazine. Are you a reporter?” I nodded affirmatively. He pulled some photos from his coat and handed them to me.
I started thumbing through them, seeing what seemed to be photos of ghosts flying through the Astoria neighborhood. The photos weren’t that clear and mostly in black and white. I didn’t really know what to make of them.
The man looked at me intently, as if to measure my interest. “I’m trying to get back in.” He said. I looked at him stupefied. “What?” He repeated, “I’m trying to get back in.”
“I heard you the first time, but I don’t understand what you mean.” I replied.
He went onto explain. “The Hell Gate Bridge began construction over one hundred years ago. The construction went on between 1912 and 1918. I was one of the construction workers and every year right around Halloween we’d throw a party in this neighborhood, near a cemetery.”
“Nobody believed it at the time, but there were rumors that the cemetery was haunted and that those who walked through it around Halloween time, risked losing their body to one of the ghostly spirits. It seemed like pure nonsense, even at the time, one hundred years ago, as new scientific breakthroughs were being made all the time. Trains, autos, light bulbs and bridges like Hell Gate were examples of the huge changes we were seeing. Nobody really believed it, and certainly not me … but I was wrong.”
Click here to read the rest of the story about the Legend Of Hell Gate Horror.
|NYS Health Insurance Exchange Navigators Queens|
NYS Health Insurance Exchange Navigators
The following is a list of the NYS Health Insurance Navigators as of November 12, 2013. You can also find these on the NYS Health Insurance website.
Click here to review a summary report outlining the many aspects of the Affordable Healthcare Act / Obamacare in Queens.
And click here for a list of NYS Health Insurance Exchange Navigators.
|5 Boro Bike Ride In Queens: Astoria Park Rest Stop Photos|
32,000 Bikers Pass Thru Queens: 5 Boro Bike Tour
May 5, 2013 / Long Island City & Astoria / Biking Queens / Queens Buzz. This Sunday some 32,000 bicyclists rode through Astoria and LIC on their way to completing a 40 mile bike ride through all five boroughs of NYC. Photographer Abdel Berrera caught up with them at the Astoria Park rest station where many took a moment to catch their breath.
Many of the cyclists come from other countries and other states. The bikers see this as a nice way to see all of New York City, not just Manhattan.
There are two 5 Boro Bike Tour rest stops: the first in Astoria Park and the second at the Con Ed rest station along the East River. Many took some time out to make adjustments to their bikes, gear and selves; and consumed a bit of food before resuming the relaxing trip and heading on to Brooklyn and Staten Island.
Click here to read a brief report and to see a photo slide show of the 5 Boro Bike Ride in Queens shot by Astoria photographer Abdel Berraha.
|Proposed Changes For PS 122|
Astoria Moms Defend Children’s Rights
Madmen: Bloomberg Dept of Education Does A Don Draper
March 19, 2013 / Astoria Neighborhood / Queens Schools / Queens Buzz. Editorial / Report. We attended a Community Board One Meeting Tuesday evening, following up on the concerns of Astoria parents, regarding the proposed changes to PS 122, which were recently announced by the Department of Education [DOE].
Having spent a week in pursuit of information from the DOE about the proposed changes – statements regarding the difficulty in obtaining information from them - rang true.
In the photo above, Anastasia Cunningham and her son talk about how the Dept of Ed hasn't put anything in writing, hasn't conducted any impact study, and she talked about how the changes could possibly destroy the learning environment that contributes to the success of PS 122 in Astoria.
Click here to read the rest of our Editorial / Report on the Community Board One Meeting regarding Department of Education proposed changes to PS 122 Astoria. Story & photos by Michael Wood.
|Dept of Ed Plans Big Changes For PS 122|
Battle For Control Of PS 122 Astoria
Dept of Ed Announces Big Changes & Few Details
Public Education Could Be Defining Issue Of NYC Mayoral Race
March 17, 2013 / Astoria Neighborhood / Queens Schools / Queens Buzz. The Department of Education announced its intention to make sweeping changes to PS 122 on February 28, 2013 to the PTA of the school. We were told of the general gist of these changes by PS 122 PTA members and parents. We then followed up with the Department of Education, to be sure we understood the Department of Education’s announcement correctly.
Before we discuss the general gist of the Department of Education plans for PS 122, it helps to have a bit of background to better understand what appears to be happening.
There are several important elements that seem to be at the core of the issue: 1) the Department of Education’s plans to reconfigure one of the most successful public elementary / intermediate schools in Queens and the NYC school system, 2) the Department of Education’s sudden interest in providing the school children of PS 122 grades K through 5 with the opportunity to continue matriculation within the same school [building] throughout all eight grades [6 – 8], and 3) Success Academy Charter Schools announcement that they plan to open a new charter school in Queens school district 30 in August of 2014.
Click here to read the beginning of our DRAFT report about the Department of Education Plans to reconfigure PS 122 in Astoria. Be advised that there is a Community Board One Meeting March 19, Tuesday evening beginning at 6.30 pm at the Astoria World Manor and a PEP Meeting on March 20th in Brooklyn. The large top photo above was published with permission by Nigel McKenna and the second photo was taken by Queens Buzz of NYC Comptroller and possible Mayoral candidate John Liu listening to concerned PS 122 parents at a United Community Civic Association meeting in Astoria.
|NY Power Authority Deconstructs Poletti Power Plant|
Poletti Power Plant Deconstruction
NY Power Authority Works To Safely Remove Materials
March 11, 2013 / Astoria / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Buzz. I attended a meeting on Thursday evening about the de-construction of the Poletti Power Plant, which is situated on the NY Power Authority site in the northwest section of Astoria. The meeting was sponsored by the United Community Civic Association [aka UCCA] and the event was held at the Augustana Lutheran Church on Ditmars Blvd in Astoria Heights.
The bottom line is that current plans call for the de-construction of the old Poletti Power plan to be completed by December 31, 2014. Current planning is underway to figure out how to approach the removal of the old plant materials. Some of the issues include routing of them via trucks through Astoria or via barge on the East River.
We were told that the plant is not being demolished, but rather de-constructed in a manner similar to reverse construction. The New York Power Authority, a government agency, is managing the project.
Click here for the rest of our report, including photos of the NY Power Authority & Poletti Power Plant de-construction. By Michael Wood.
|Pedestrian Malls In Queens - Newtown Plaza Astoria|
Pedestrian Malls In Queens
Meeting On Astoria Pedestrian Mall Tuesday
September 10, 2012 / Astoria / Queens Community Issues / Queens Buzz. On Tuesday evening September 11, there’s a Community Board 1 meeting at the Astoria World Manor on 25-22 Astoria Blvd. One of the topics on the agenda is which DOT [Department of Transportation] proposal to approve, regarding changing the traffic configuration in and around the intersection of Newtown Avenue and 30th Avenue in Astoria.
According to the Queens DOT, this intersection is the site of numerous accidents, and is more dangerous than approximately 90% of all intersections in Queens. It’s not difficult to understand why, as it is the nexus point for five roads: east & west on 30th Avenue, north & south on 33rd Street and northwest on Newtown Avenue [see map on next page]. The photo to your left was taken on August 25th when Newtown Avenue was temporarily converted into a pedestrian plaza.
Click here to read our report on the Newtown Plaza, in which we include related reports on other pedestrian malls in Queens, NYC and NYS.
|TA Queens - Century Bike Ride In Astoria Park|
Century Bike Riders Come Through Queens
TA Queens Volunteers Work Astoria Park Rest Stop
September 10, 2012 / Astoria / Sporting Activities in Queens / Queens Buzz. On Sunday it was in the 70’s and low 80’s, sunny & dry. The day couldn’t have been much better for a one hundred mile bike ride through all five NYC boroughs. And so it was as I headed down to the Century Bike Ride Queens rest stop in Astoria Park.
The Century Bike Ride was started by Transportation Alternatives in 1990, long before there were any real bike lanes in NYC. The first ride attracted about 200 riders, while the ride in 2012 attracted over 6,000 riders. Since that first ride, literally hundreds of miles of bike lanes have been mapped out in NYC; and the city plans to expand NYC bike lanes by about 50 more miles in 2013 - ten of which will be laid out in Queens. This expanding network of bike lanes is due in part to the work of volunteers of the non-profit organization Transportation Alternatives.
Click here to learn more about Transportation Alternatives Queens and the Century Bike Ride in Queens of 2012.
|Astoria Park Fireworks|
Astoria Park Fireworks
2012 Astoria Park Fireworks Photos & Brief Report
June 25, 2012 / Astoria / Queens Culture / Queens Buzz.. We tracked the weather on the Doppler radar screen via Queens Buzz [see weather link on right side bar of front page] throughout Monday. The radar successfully predicted that there wouldn’t be any rain Monday night by show time, which is between 9.15 and 9.30 pm.
Nonetheless, we thought the torrential showers that plagued us Monday morning and returned briefly in the early evening, would cause people to shy away from the best Independence Day fireworks display in New York City. Not so.
|5 Boro Bike Ride In Queens - 5 Boro Bike Tour in Queens|
5 Boro Bike Ride In Queens - 5 Boro Bike Tour In Queens
Viewing Times & Locations for 5 Boro Bike Ride in Astoria LIC Queens
May 2, 2013 / Long Island City & Astoria / Bikes & biking in Queens / Queens Buzz. On Sunday, May 5th at 7.45 am the 5 Boro Bike Tour will begin at the southern tip on Manhattan just north of Battery Park.
5 Boro Bike Tour Course & Map
The bike tour is the biggest of its kind in the USA, hosting approximately 32,000 cyclists each year who travel of 40 mile route between the hours of 8 am and 6 pm on a Sunday when NYC auto traffic is diverted to accommodate the tour.
Click here for a map of the 5 Boro Bike Tour in Queens.
|Spanish Culture & Flamenco Dancing In Queens|
Flamenco Dancing In Queens
American Bolero Brings To Queens The Dance & Music Of Old Spain
March 16, 2012 / Astoria / Dance in Queens / Queens Buzz. I went to watch the American Bolero Dance Company perform Tablao Flamenco on Friday night. There were eleven performances by a panoply of dancers and musicians, who sensually revived the heart and soul of ancient Andalusia and colonial Spain.
The performances were exciting to watch. The dancers’ hard heels struck the wooden stage floor, in a staccato rhythm. And as the taps resounded in the air ... the cantadores emoted the melodies of Spain's Medieval past, filling the theater with vibrations of the spirit.
The dancers’ fast-footed movements, belied the beautiful tranquility of their lithe upper torsos and slender arms, flowingly extended up into the air, entrapping us as we watched. In the photo to your right is Gabriela Granados, dancing the flamenco in Astoria.
Click here to read the rest of our review of Tablao Flamenco – flamenco dancing in Queens.
|Websites & Social Media In Queens - Astoria|
House Rules Of The Internet Age
Astoria Realtor Goes From Finding Homes To Building Families
February 27, 2012 / Astoria / Queens Buzz. I met Kim Parshley a few years ago. Kim is a Queens resident who makes her living renting apartments and selling houses for Halvatzis Realty in Astoria. Kim has a disarming charm that fits the moniker of ‘the girl next door’ and she sees herself as a Matchmaker. In her youth she helped her friends make connections, and as an adult she matches apartment hunters to apartment owners.
In the summer of 2010, while working on another story, I met an older Astoria native with whom I became fast friends. He had a warm avuncular charm and a welcoming home that made me feel comfortable right away. Kim had also recently met this man, and like myself, she quickly took to him as if he was family.
Click here to read more about one of the new social networking websites in Queens.
|Greek Homeowners Astoria - Thanksgiving 2011|
Queens Greeks Give Thanks By Sharing
Greek Homeowners Association Feeds Thousands
November 24, 2011 / Queens Buzz. On Thanksgiving Day I was the witness to an event I had wanted to attend for years - the Greek Homeowners Thanksgiving Lunch. Every year, since 1989, the Greek Homeowners Association has been feeding hundreds and then growing to thousands on Thanksgiving Day. I had heard about this event numerous times, and I had been wanting to attend for years.
The Greek Homeowners Association is located along 31st Street just north of 30th Avenue in Astoria. Their quarters are in a modest two story building, which one could normally walk by without noticing, but not on Thanksgiving Day. On Thanksgiving Day, outside the Association, there were people milling about, as well as many coming and going ...
You can see a some of the action in the photo above left. Click here to view our report including a photo slide show of the Greek Homeowners Association Thanksgiving Day lunch in Astoria Queens.
|Astoria Music Now - Rock Concerts In Queens|
Rock Concert Dampened By Weather
… but the music played on …
August 21, 2011 / Astoria / Live Music / Queens Buzz. The Astoria Music Now venue had to be changed early Sunday morning due to weather forecast predicting severe thundershowers similar to what we saw a week ago. To make matters worse, it didn’t rain Sunday until after 4 pm, and even then it was only a quick light shower … but for those who followed the Astoria Music Now musicians into the Astoria performance venues around the neighborhood ... the music played on.
Given that the venues were dispersed around Astoria, we saw far fewer performances than in prior years, so we’ll link back to prior reports to give you a flavor of the concert musicians because there were a number of returning bands this year.
We started at the Quays where we saw two new comers to the festival: The Sorely Missed and Jon Christopher who performed with two new accompanists - Jason playing bass guitar and Ben Nathan percussionist [see photo above]. Click here to read more about the Astoria Music Now - rock concert in Queens.
|Astoria Park Fireworks Photos - 4th Of July In Queens|
Astoria Park Fireworks - Photos
4th Of July Fireworks In Queens NY
Updated June 16, 2013 / Astoria Park Fireworks. The following report should provide the information you will need to know the time of the Astoria Park fireworks. Other events are scheduled the same night including live music.
June 30, 2011 / Astoria Neighborhood / Parks & Sports / Queens Buzz. I just returned from the Astoria Park Fireworks display - easily one of the best fireworks displays you'll find in the country. The Astoria Park fireworks are done by the world famous Grucci Fireworks company, which is a family run business that has been in the fireworks business for over a century. While the highlight of the evening was the fireworks, it's worth mentioning that thousands sat comfortably on the Great Lawn of Astoria Park and were treated to an array of beautiful music performed by the Astoria Symphony.
Click here to read our report and view dozens of photos of the Astoria Park Fireworks.
|Radio Stations In Astoria Queens|
Astoria’s Greek Radio Station
Astoria Radio Station Adding AM Band In Queens
January 4, 2011 / Astoria / Queens Buzz. I just returned from a visit to a local, primarily Greek speaking, radio station in Astoria. The station is called Nexus Productions Radio, which is broadcast over the internet, as well as through the airwaves on the AM band.
I had been invited to participate as a guest on one of the station’s English-speaking programs entitled Innovative Business Discussions. The weekly show has been on the air for just over a month, and it’s dedicated to talking about issues associated with running a small business in Queens.
Click here to read the rest of this report, including numerous photos of the Greek speaking radio station in Astoria.
|Leaf Fest 2010 - Astoria Park|
Astoria Leaf Fest 2010
December 4, 2010 / Astoria / Queens Buzz. Leaf Fest 2010 is the annual harvest of fallen tree leaves in Queens parks along the western shorefront. Thanks to environmental activist and Leaf Fest correspondent, Jules Corkery, we have a full report about the Leaf Fest 2010 effort in Astoria Park, along with a couple of photos she provided.
Click here to read the report and view the second photo about the Leaf Fest 2010 in Astoria Park.
|Musical Saw Festival In Astoria|
NYC Musical Saw Festival
8th Annual Festival Held At The Hellenic Cultural Center In Astoria
August 7, 2010 / Astoria / Queens Buzz. The 8th annual Musical Saw Festival was held at the Hellenic Cultural Center in Astoria. This fine art dates back to 17th century when woodcutting musicians around the world simultaneously began developing the saw as a musical instrument. In time a number of companies started manufacturing saws to cater to this part of the market.
The art form emerged in places as far away as Sweden, France and Japan; but we understand that America has emerged as the center of the art form. The Musical Saw Festival held in Astoria is the world's largest and the following report captures some of its flavor.
Click here to view a short report on the NYC Musical Saw Festival in Astoria. The photo to the left was taken by Pat Merino.
|Queens Rock Concerts |
Cool Breeze & Music Attracts Thousands
Bands Beat The Heat @ Astoria Music Now
July 24, 2010 / Astoria / Queens Buzz. Dire predictions of hot & humid were about the only ones who didn't show on Saturday at the Astoria Music Now rock festival in Astoria Park. A cool dry breeze wafted in off the river making it feel more like the low 80's and dry. You can see this for yourself in the photos we took that show few people, if anyone, actually sweating it out.
Twenty-nine bands, mostly local, came out to play and thousands came out to watch and listen. Click here to view a slide show and report with photos of Astoria Music Now 2010.
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|Photos Of 5 Boro Bike Ride 2010|
Photos - 5 Boro Bike Ride In Queens
May 2nd, 2010 / LIC & Astoria / Queens Buzz. It was a sunny, hot, humid morning as I biked my way over to the Queens Boro Bridge to watch 30,000 Five Boro Bike Riders descend into Queens.
None of them seemed to be having any difficulty, as they made their way up 21st Street to Astoria Park. I followed along and shot some photos and it's worth saying that 21st Street is in need of some repair. It's a rumbling road that one would expect to find in a third world nation, not along the East River waterfront of America's largest city.
Click here for a few particulars, a slide show and 5 boro bike ride photos 2010 in Astoria Park and Queens.
|Holy Friday In Astoria|
Greek Orthodox Church In Astoria
Holy Friday Procession In Astoria
Astoria / April 4, 2010. In the Greek Orthodox tradition, last week was the holiest week of the year. Last Friday, I had the opportunity to photograph the parishoners of St Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church as they made a procession through the streets of Astoria to commemorate the death of Jesus Christ. The procession included a man carrying the cross, followed by altar boys, musicians, clergymen and by men carrying the the epitaphios, which resembles a casket decorated with flowers.
We'll post a full report later today or later this week, but in the meantime there's a slide show of the procession last Friday which numbered in the thousands.
Click here to view our report and photos of the Greek Orthodox Holy Friday procession in Astoria by St Demetrios parishoners.
|Queens Fashion Week Arrives|
"Lights, Action, Camera"
Queens Fashion Week Underway
Models, Designers and Paparazzi
Astoria & LIC / February 18, 2010. Some of the top designers with Queens connections collaborated with many up-and-coming Queens models to strut their stuff at the Queens Fashion Week opening night. The event took place tonight, after a week delay due to snowstorms, at the Standard Lofts, a recently renovated factory building turned residence along Northern Blvd at the foot of Steinway Street.
About twenty eight models participated in the event, walking down the runway with beautiful new clothing, designed to complement their figures and forms. The models consisted of both females and males, nearly all of whom I believe were in their twenties. This is a report of the first day of the event, which took place on a Thursday evening. Friday is the young designers night, which will be followed on Saturday with a day of exhibits with the closing runway show on Saturday evening. Click here to view the rest of our report on the opening night of the Queens Fashion Week.
|Queens Fashion Week 2010|
Queens Fashion Week 2010
Casting Call Gets Good Response
January 18, 2010 / Astoria & LIC. The Queens Fashion Week casting call gathered a lot of attention this past weekend, as we estimate somewhere in the neighborhood of one hundred people responded to the possibility that they could become Queens next super model.
We paid a visit to the event to watch the next Giselle or Marcus strut their stuff. And enjoyed seeing the excitement in the contestants' eyes at their prospects for fame. The show is intended to not only provide Queens residents with an opportunity for publicity, but Queens designers as well. About ten local designers have signed up to publicize their work in the February event.
Click here to view our full report on the casting call for Queens Fashion Week.
|Recycle Fest - Astoria Queens NY|
Recycle Fest In Astoria
Environmental Activism In Astoria Queens
This is a rolling summary of brief reports about green activities in Astoria and along the East River waterfront of Queens NY. To date we have a story about Queens Green Drinks and one about the Recyclefest held in Astoria in Spring 2009. Transportation Alternatives and government agencies will also be covered in this section as well as in separate reports.
|911 Memorial Services - East Elmhurst Queens NY|
We Will Not Forget
911 Memorial Services In Queens
East Elmhurst / September 12, 2009. I attended a memorial service at St Michael's Cemetery in East Elmhurst on Saturday commemorating the deceased of 911. The service was largely attended by the families of the deceased firemen, police officers and EMT's. I was struck by the poignancy of the day, during which family members expressed their ongoing grief and sense of loss, which they have carried with them every day for the past eight years.
This memorial service was very much a personal grieving and expression of loss. The photo to your right was taken of a firetruck standing outside the chapel at St Michael's where the memorial service was held. Click here for a full report about the 911 Memorial Service at St Michaels Cemetery in East Elmhurst.
|Astoria Park - Astoria Music & Arts / Astoria Music Now |
We Want The World
And We Want It Now
Astoria Park / July 25, 2009. So sang Jim Morrisson at the Astoria Music Rockfest Saturday in Queens. After drinking a half quart of vodka and smoking some stuff, he jumped up onto the stage with the full energy of ... Hey, just kidding. This is the 21st century, not the seventies. Things have changed. Astoria park once a dangerous place, was today a bit more like Central Park and home to over a thousand music fans. There were fifty bands and acts spread out over four stages throughout the park. The event began at noon and went until sundown. The day couldn't have been better. Click this link for a full story about Astoria Music Now 2009 in Astoria Park including photos and click this link to go directly to view additional photos of Astoria Music Now 2009.
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|4th Of July Fireworks - Fireworks In Queens July 4 2009 LIC|
No Fireworks In Queens On July 4th
Queens / Updated July 1, 2011. Queens won't have direct access to any public fireworks displays on Monday, July 4th, 2011 [and didn't Saturday 7/4/2009]. The Macy's 4th Of July Fireworks extravaganza is being lit on the Hudson River between Manhattan and New Jersey between 24th and 50th Streets. This is the third time [first in 2009] in about 25 years that this event will not take place on the East River where 4.5 million Queens residents and Brooklynites can also share in the view, along with the 1.6 million Manhattanites.
To find the reason for this change, get specifics on the 4th of July fireworks event, read about the Independence Day Fireworks Display in Astoria Park Thursday night June 30th [was Monday, June 29th in 2009] and find out more about other options for this 4th of July weekend, click this link to Queens Fireworks - 4th of July Fireworks in Queens NY 2011 / 2009.
|Queens Green Drinks Events - Astoria Queens NY|
Queens Green Drinks Event In Astoria 2008
Queens Green Drinks started hosting monthly events in the borough in May of 2008. Helen Ho picked up the mantle after attending one such event sponsored at the Queens Botanical Garden in September of 2007. She schedules six months of events in advance, many of which will be posted on this site each month. The following is the story of one such event, held on October 25th, 2008 at Build It Green in Astoria.
|Astoria Street Fair - Astoria Queens NY|
Astoria Street Fair Photos
The Broadway Merchants and Professionals Association sponsored a good old fashioned street fair for Memorial Day weekend in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens NY.
|Queens International Film Festival 2009 - LIC / Astoria|
Queens Film Festival 2009 Begins
Astoria / November 10, 2009. The Queens International Film Festival begins this Thursday. This year the festival will show about 300 different films including shorts, documentaries, animation, music videos as well as a complete offering of feature films. The event is scheduled to take place largely in two locations, one of which is the main center of activity – the Frank Sinatra School and the second of which is a nearby screening location, the Holiday Inn on 29th Street. Click here to view our report about the Queens Film Festival 2009.
|Astoria Neighborhood - Queens|
Events, Restaurants, Shopping & Things To Do In Astoria NY
May 2018 / Astoria Neighborhood / Queens Buzz NYC.
The Astoria neighborhood section contains stories about events, attractions, restaurants and shopping in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens. The Astoria neighborhood has numerous restaurants, both authentic ethnic and New York chic. Steinway Street and Ditmars Blvds and streets adjacent to them provide excellent neighborhood shopping venues, so residents can stroll along the boulevards and streets to find the things they're looking for and meet for lunch, drinks or dinner. Lastly, the Astoria neighorhood is teeming with life as it is home to some of the best parks in the NYC Metro area, as well a youthful nightlife. Click here to enter the fun locale called the Astoria neighborhood.
|Astoria Things To Do / Astoria Events|
Astoria Things To Do / Astoria Events - Queens
Astoria Things To Do & Astoria Events
Astoria / Queens Buzz. The Astoria Events section contains stories about various musical, theatrical and other events that have or will occur in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens NY. The Astoria neighborhood is home to a number of performing arts groups, art exhibits, historical sites and schools - all of which host events on a continual basis. Astoria is also home to some of the very best parks in the NYC Metro area, including Astoria Park along the East River.
Click here to enter the Astoria Things To Do & Astora Events section of Queens Buzz.