Models Of Queens
Queens Goes Latin
Almario has craved, sought, and basked in the spotlight for years. Whether
auditioning members for a teenage pop band, competing in beauty pageants,
or hosting a television show, she has always been at home when performing.
a photo shoot in Latina magazine and a modeling contract with
Wilhelmina Models are simply the latest results of her drive to succeed.
The national photo search chose Almario and two other winners out of 5,000
contestants. She will appear in a summer issue of Latina magazine.
photo shoot was really fun,” she said.
“We were pampered. We got our makeup and hair done. It was a long
day, but wonderful.”
a 23-year resident of Jackson Heights, recently moved to New Jersey. She
still visits her old neighborhood at least once a week, either for dinner
at Latin restaurants such as Tierras Colombiana and Natives, or to stock
up on cosmetics at Ingrid’s Beauty Salon on Roosevelt Ave.
said the move across the Hudson actually placed her closer to Manhattan,
where she is fulfilling her dreams not only as a model, but also as a
television host on the new NBC show “Latin Access.” So far, the show
has given her the opportunity to interview stars like singer Mark Anthony
and Bon Jovi band member Tico Torres.
entertaining bug first struck Almario at 14, when she became infatuated
with the Latin boy band Menudo. Years of watching their videos and
listening to their beats motivated her to cast her own all-girl singing
group. One of the girls she chose for the group had an uncle who happened
to be a talent agent. He got her into commercials, and behind a camera for
the first time.
won several contests in the 90s, including Ms. USA Latina and Ms. Puerto
Rico, for the Puerto Rican Day parade in New York, but gave them up to
choreograph dance performances for churches, parties, and beauty contests.
it came to school, she stuck to her passions by studying dance at Hofstra
University and acting at the School for Film and Television. She
attributes her college years to giving her the concentration she needed to
achieve the success she now enjoys.
“Right now I’m all focused on my work,” Almario said. “If you’re going to do this career you have to be full force. There’s a tremendous amount of competition out there. If you see yourself doing something else, you should probably go do it.”
Ramon Gonzalez has the world in his front yard. The East Elmhust resident has a seven-foot, steel model of the Unisphere from a display at the 1964’s Worlds Fair.
the World’s Fair closed, Woolworth's
in Times Square bought the model and placed it as a display. “I always
look at this thing and fell in love with it,” said Ramon Gonzalez, 73, a
1972, Woolworth's got a new manager who offerred it for sale at a low
price. That’s when Gonzalez and his wife, Helga, walked into the
store. Since then, Queens’ symbol of diversity has been proudly
displayed in their front yard.
bought the whole thing for $95, no tax,” said Gonzalez.
He explained that it cost him more to get a truck to transport the
top of the globe is a silver painted mannequin hand, which holds the flag
of his native Puerto Rico.
has developed quite an environment around the globe. He decorated the
front yard with a multitude of colorful objects that he bought at a 99
cents store. Barbie Doll-like toys are strapped to the gate, along with
other children's dolls and artificial flowers.
had flags of the world on the
yard’s perimeter. After the Sept. 11 attack, they were replaced with
dozens of American flags. Gonzalez,
a patriot, served in WWII and the Korean Conflict.
He met his wife in Berlin in 1954.
plans on making a music video in his front yard called Christmas in
Outer Space in the Summer Time. He
will have politician look-alikes of Bill Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, and Ed
Koch sing Christmas carols around the Unisphere during the summer.
Parks Commissioner Henry Stern, the enthusiastic and eccentric
leader of the Parks Department for some 15 years, said goodbye to the job
he loves in early February in favor of Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s guy Adrian
Starquest left the top spot for good, he called every City agency that he
has ever worked with to say thank you to the employees and bid them adieu.
spoke to a recipient of one
of the calls, a long-time employee of the City of New York. He received
the call from Stern thanking him for all of his hard work assisting in
various Parks projects. Our Queens resident found it all hard to believe,
especially since he had only dealt with members of Stern’s office a few
times over the phone.
decided to remember the little guys before he left.
the little guys won’t ever forget it.
performing a ceremonial “passing of the torch” to Leroy Comrie
at his inauguration last month, Archie Spigner, ever the comedian,
couldn’t resist giving his successor a playful jab.
remember when Leroy came for his interview all those years ago,” said
Spigner of the then 22 year-old much thinner Comrie.
came in on a bicycle – Leroy, you should’ve kept the bicycle!”
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