Models Of Queens
From Geek To Chic
Ivona of College Point was the popular geek in school, which is why she enjoys Jenny Jones program, "I was a geek and now I am chic."
She heard the jokes: she was too tall and flat-chested. Though she took it in stride, she still developed a complex. It wasnt until she shed her glasses and donned contacts that people looked at her differently.
At 12, people gave her business cards in malls and were asking her to model. Ivona introduced herself to Elite and Ford, but didnt take modeling seriously.
It was an encounter with Croatian top model Ljupka Gojiz, who does Pantene Pro-V commercials, that gave her some inspiration. Gojizs photographer told her about Miliken, the well-known modeling agency in Croatia. Ivona hooked up with the agency by email and started doing fashion shows and signed a hair contract. Shes even going off to Japan for a modeling gig. Yet she maintains that modeling is a "serious hobby."
Though she speaks perfect English with a bit of the "Queensite," Ivona is Croatian, true to the bone.
She came here on a family vacation at the age of six. Then war broke out in Croatia in 1990. "You pack your bag to go on vacation and you end up going for 13 years," she said. But it is like she never left, because Ivona hangs out with the Croatian community in Astoria at the smoky cafes on Broadway and Steinway: Valentina, Scorpio, and Millennium.
Her parents pushed her to do well in school. She attended JHS 129 in Ridgewood, JHS 194 in Whitestone, and Flushing HS. She is currently studying liberal arts at Manhattan College.
According to Ivona, 90 percent of the people that see her think she is stuck up, but five minutes with her and they start laughing because she is "down to earth."
When Ivona is depressed, shell take to the pen and spontaneously write poems in her journal. She doesnt think she is anything special as a model, but one distinctive feature is her chipped tooth.
Ivona doesnt discriminate when it comes to men, but she admits that she enjoys the special bond with her boyfriend from Astoria, who is also Croatian.
When asked what qualities she looks for in a guy, she recited three qualities she has spouted since she was 13: "He has to be taller than me because I suffered from a complex He has to be funny. If I am with a guy for an hour and he doesnt make me laugh, its over The third is a Croatian joke. Everyone has to have his last name end in "ic" (common for Croatians)."Gimme Your Tired, Your Poor...
A QConf reporter was shocked on Aug. 23 when her routine morning call to the Police Department met with the response, "Sorry, we cant give you the Queens incidents right now, can you call back later?"
The confused reporter, who calls the cops every morning at 10 a.m. for her daily dose of law enforcement news, asked why she was being turned away. The cop responded, "Oh, theres a paraglider on the Empire State Building with a torch. Were a little busy."
The reporter was slightly surprised by the officers comment. Immediately, comic book-like images of a guy flying through the air with a flame thrower rushed through the reporters mind. She excitedly thought, "Wow, what a great story! A crazy guy on a skyscraper burning everything in sight! If only it was in Queens so I could cover it." Curious about the whole thing, the reporter went online to get more information.
Upon further investigation, she found out that the police officer who gave her the information was slightly off the mark with his facts. Yes, there was a guy on a tall structure in New York . . . except he was a parasailor. And not a good one, because he was stuck . . . on a torch . . . being held by the Statue of Liberty.
Talk about a let down.Paula & Honest Abe
Paula Jones is now demanding her million bucks from real estate tycoon, Abe Hirschfeld. Jones sued former President Bill Clinton for sexual harassment back in his home state Arkansas where the alleged incident took place.
Hirschfeld, a publicity hound, held a press conference offering Jones a million dollars to drop the suit. Hirschfeld is a temporary resident of Queens, sleeping at Rikers Island and, at last check, a property owner in Jackson Heights. He is serving time for plotting to kill former billionaire business partner Stanley Stahl.
Jones had settled the suit two months later with Clinton. In a new suit, she claims that she filled her end of the bargain with the eccentric Hirscfeld and now wants him to pay up.Quick As A Rocket
If you see a stray rocket in Southeast Queens, Carol Gresser knows why.
Gresser, a Democratic candidate for Queens Borough President, spent the morning of Friday, Aug. 10 examining a dumpsite in Jamaica that local residents and activists are trying to get cleaned up.
At the same time, the Hall of Science was taking down one of its two Worlds Fair rockets in Corona.
Guess which event attracted more people.
When Gresser was told that most of the press was probably watching the rocket come down, she didnt get upset. She didnt criticize the priorities of the local media like some would-be politicians might. Instead she said with a grin, "Im sure people will be here next week when that rocket ends up in this dump, just like everything else."Bamboo Heaven
Bonsai and Bamboo are bringing luck and tradition to Queens residents through a quaint family-owned shop in College Point.
The Au family has a heritage of cultivating Bonsai manicured, miniature replicas of juniper, fica, and tea leaf trees.
The Aus have been sharing their craft with local residents, as well as neighbors from all over the tri-state area, for over two years at Jackies Bonsai & Supplies on College Point Boulevard.
"People come from all over," said Jacqueline Lam, owner. "Its by word of mouth."
In addition to the traditional bonsai, a luck-producing plant, the bamboo is cultivated in miniature by Jackie and her family. She said bamboo is easy to take care of. It requires no special care, no sun, and stays in water. Some were trained into flowing, sculpture-like shapes and prominently displayed in decorative handmade pots.
"Bamboo is the hottest thing around right now," Lam said with a smile.Hoohah Watch
Hoohah: A word coined by the editors of this column a number of years back, seems to be taking off.
From a recent New York magazine feature on "Dumping Your Therapist."
"August, as one might expect, is a common time for patients to get itchy, because the citys mental-health professionals have hightailed it to the Cape, Tuscany, or wherever it is that the International Psychoanalytical Association is holding its biannual hoo-ha."
|E-mail the trib|