Category Archives: Queens Tribune

Students Get NBA All-Star Treatment

Last week, as New York City welcomed some of the biggest names in professional basketball for the start of the 2015 NBA All-Star Game, league officials announced that they would reach a seasonlong goal: to interact with more than one million students at 100 public schools across the five boroughs.

On Feb. 13, NBA Cares – an outreach initiative addressing the importance of education, youth, family development, health and wellness – came to PS 20 in Flushing to engage students in fun, fitness and basketball-related activities.

Originally appeared in the Feb. 19 – 25, 2015 edition of the Queens Tribune

Big Shifts In Queens’ Jewish Demographic

Queens has seen a major shift in its existing Jewish population in recent years. This change in demographics – whether for better or for worse – has already led some synagogues to shutter their doors, while others have found solace in merging with other neighboring temples.

Cynthia Zalisky, executive director of the Queens Jewish Community Council, said that while it is unfortunate, several Conservative synagogues have closed in the borough in recent years.

“In certain areas, we’re losing the Jewish population,” Zalisky said. “It’s dwindling demographics. The populations of these temples are all elderly.”

This originally appeared in the May 28 – June 3, 2015 edition of the Queens Tribune

CB 3 ‘OK’s Proposed School In Jackson Heights

To try and ease overcrowded schools in Jackson Heights, the School Construction Authority is proposing a new elementary school at 69-01 34th Ave., the former site of White Castle’s regional headquarters.

Representatives with the SCA met with members of Community Board 3 on May 21, to propose the acquisition and demolition of the existing property in order to make way for a 450 seat elementary school.

This story originally appeared in the May 28 – June 3, 2015 edition of the Queens Tribune

Bayside Boxer Triumphs At Golden Gloves

Stepping into the ring at the Barclay’s Center on April 2, 25-year-old boxer Stylianos Kalamaras of Bayside was confident he would defeat his opponent Franklin Johnson and take the title as the 2015 New York Golden Gloves Light Heavyweight Champion. With five victories under his belt – two by way of knock-out – Kalamaras was the only contender to knock his opponent to the canvas. “I fight very aggressively,” Kalamaras said. “In the amateurs, you don’t really see people getting knocked out a lot.”

Originally appeared in the April 9 – 15, 2015 edition of the Queens Tribune.

Throughout 14 of his fights, Kalamaras said not one of his opponents made it out without bleeding or getting hit to the floor. The main event, on April 2, was no different. “I feel amazing,” Kalamaras said about winning this year’s Golden Gloves tourney. “This is something everyone dreams about.”

Kalamaras said winning the Golden Gloves was something he had been trying to do since 2011, when he was eliminated by majority decision in the tournament semifinals over a heavily favored opponent.

Before becoming a Golden Gloves contender, Kalamaras was a three-time junior Olympic gold medalist, five-time national champion and six-time international champion in judo. By age 16, when he decided to pick up the gloves for the first time, he was already a natural.

“I don’t get nervous [fighting in front of people],” Kalamaras said. “I knew I would make it.”

Today, Kalamaras serves as an engineer with the U.S. Navy and is a full-time student at Queens College, where he is pursuing a degree in exercise science and nutrition. He added that winning this year’s Golden Gloves Championship was a once in a lifetime experience, which he hopes will open more doors to future competitions.

Court Square Wants Its Parking Back

Residents and business owners around Court Square in Long Island City joined city Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) outside of a five-story parking facility last week, to call on the city Department of Transportation to restore 190 public parking permits that were withdrawn by the agency in April.

“The city has to have sensible parking,” Van Bramer said on June 12. “But the Department of Transportation, a few months ago and without consultation, changed the rules.”

Van Bramer said that in addition to reducing the number of monthly permits, the DOT imposed a new policy to distribute 210 permits on a first come, first serve basis. But because the permits must be renewed monthly, the policy has created a “Hunger Games” like situation, leaving people to fight in line to renew their existing permits.

Long Island City Gets Ten Times As Tasty

More than a thousand people filled the tents at the Gantry Plaza State Park on Tuesday, to chew and nibble on some of the freshest and most uniquely prepared cuisine from more than 50 local eateries, at the 10th annual Taste of LIC.

Since its inception in 2005, Long Island City’s own Shelia Lewandowski, executive director and co-founder of the Chocolate Factory Theatre, has helped lead the charge by organizing the annual celebration of cultural and culinary excellence. All of the proceeds from the event went to help keep the arts alive in Long Island City.

Craft Distillery Comes To Queens

Photo/Courtesy of Queens Courage

Photo/Courtesy of Queens Courage

Nothing beats a cold cocktail on a hot summer day. Well, for fans of mixology, the “World’s Borough,” has finally inspired a drink as unique
as Queens itself.

Introducing Queens Courage, a refined interpretation of Old Tom gin—a clear spirit popular in the 1800’s, before Prohibition—craft-brewed in Astoria. Unlike the more popular variations of gin—such as “New American” and the standard “London Dry”—Old Tom provides a sweeter taste, smooth enough to drink neat, mixed or on the rocks.

“A lot of classic cocktail books call for Old Tom gin,” Christopher Murillo, founder of the Astoria Distillery, said. “It’s crazy that one of the key tools that bartenders need isn’t being produced. Queens Courage is an Old Tom gin that would work well with these classic cocktails.”

This story originally appeared in the Queens Tribunes annual Dining Guide.

Queens Taste 2015

Queens Taste 2015

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Pavilion Will Get A Fresh Coat Of Paint

It has been 50 long years since Queens, the aptly-dubbed “World’s Borough,” played host to the 1964-65 World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

Now, five decades later, New York City Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver joined local elected officials and community leaders, on Wednesday, to announce plans to repaint and restore the “Tent of Tomorrow,” a one-of-a-kind structure that is emblematic of the Borough.

“The Tent of Tomorrow is an iconic symbol of Queens,” Silver said. “It’s a highly visible structure that you can see on both sides of the Grand Central Parkway and Long Island Expressway, but we haven’t been able to give it the treatment it deserves until now.”

This story originally appeared in the May 7, 2015 edition of the Queens Tribune.

Queens CB’s Say ‘No’ To Term Limits

Queens Community Board leaders are not fans of imposing term-limits on its members.

Last year, City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) and Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) proposed legislation to place term limits on all Community Board appointees, capping service at six consecutive two-year terms – a maximum of 12 years.

“I saw the impact that term-limits had on communities and particularly communities that were underrepresented,” Dromm told the Queens Tribune last December. “We need to have new blood and new people sharing their ideas. Communities change and so I think Community Boards should change.”

This story originally appeared in the May 7, 2015 edition of the Queens Tribune.