Eat Your Heart Out Memphis!
Danielle Zhang – the face of the United Colors of Bennetton’s most ambitious campaign ever – is a rising star in the world of modeling, and she’s doing it right from her home in Woodside. The China native arrived in Memphis when she was 11, but left four years ago for the Big Apple after kids down south picked on her.
Now the successful model recalls her rise to the top with satisfaction, and takes pride in having beaten the odds.
Referring to the shot seen around the world – a close-up photo of Zhang used by the United Colors of Bennetton – she said, “It was on Fifth Avenue, on buses…it was everywhere, it was international. That just made me feel good about myself. I was the girl who was being teased, being told you can’t do that.”
Apparently she can.
Zhang has been featured in advertisements everywhere from Vogue to YM, from Glamour to The New York Times. A top model like herself needs her own look, and Zhang spilled the beans on where she gets her casual, sophisticated styles. Even though she is paid big bucks to wear designer brand t-shirts and sweaters, Forever 21 shoppers at Queens Center Mall can catch the 5’9" 17-year-old saving some bucks near the clearance rack.
For shoes, she struts from the runway to Steinway. “Oh my, they have a lot of good shoes there,” and “they’re not expensive,” Zhang said.
Paparazzi and celebrity wannabes don’t have to head far to rub elbows with her. When the busy model can’t head back to China to visit friends or family, she heads to another part of Queens for that hometown feeling.
“Main Street... that’s where I feel like I’m at home. I don’t like Chinatown, it’s too big and open,” Zhang explained.
The teen beauty says despite her affection for singing, she avoids the karaoke bar scene and prefers chic cafés like Sago, on Main Street and 39th Avenue in Flushing.
There’s one more horizon for Zhang to tackle: college. The High School of Business and Finance senior – who volunteers with children’s programs and hopes to start her own someday – said she has her eyes on Stanford, and this summer, has traded fashion magazines for SAT flashcards.
Although she is studying hard and is a good student, when it comes to keeping her model-like figure, the math seems a little off. Zhang said, “Chinese food everyday, workout once in two weeks, is that bad?”
A Shot In The Dark
Blackouts are known for traffic jams, long lines of people buying candles and canned food.
But there’s another, longer lasting legacy left behind whenever the City is plunged into the dark ages…blackout babies.
With nothing to do and plenty of people to do it with, rumors have swirled for decades about the Spanish-fly-like atmosphere of a city suddenly unplugged. The last two blackouts Queens and the rest of the City experienced were on July 14, 1977 and Nov. 9, 1965, and there were plenty of births to speak of nine months after both.
So let’s measure how we did this blackout. Let’s see the number of little brothers, sisters, nieces or nephews we’ll all suddenly have by May 14, 2004.
Just One Of The Guys?
Mayor Bloomberg made an unusual gaffe recently when he referred to some fellow elected officials – including Queens Councilmen Hiram Monserrate and Leroy Comrie and Council Speaker Giff Miller – as “guys like these.”
Now, you don’t get more guy-like than former cop Monserrate, or Comrie, a big-and-tall man who may be destined to take Miller’s job one day.
Problem was, those “guys” also included Councilwoman Melinda Katz, a young woman whose bright smile and blonde locks have distracted more than one male Council member during committee proceedings (we know – they’ve told us!).
The mayor, who was on a whirlwind tour of Queens the day before announcing that he’ll run for re-election, made a characteristically I’m-wrong-but-I’m-in-charge remark to follow up, asking Katz, “You don’t mind that I called you a guy, do you?”
And Katz, like the lady she is, was too demure to demur.
“No, not at all,” she said.
Just Another Night In The Weprin-Mobile
The citizens of New York can relax.
Neither rain nor snow nor – in this case – dark of night shall keep Councilman David Weprin from serving his city.
A first-person account released by Weprin’s office tells of his experiences during the recent power failure under the somewhat dramatic heading, “Weprin Continues to Serve During Blackout.”
The massive power outage caught Weprin in a midtown meeting, and while crawling through gridlocked traffic towards the “Queens Borough Bridge” [sic], the Councilman took on a carload of Queens-bound strangers.
Soon the car became a veritable United Nations of Queens, with a Haitian accountant from Long Island City, a Russian-born barber from Elechester, two women from Forest Hills and a Jewish politician based in Hollis.
“By now, I was getting the knack of the taxi business and contemplated driving a cab as an alternative to term limits,” Weprin deadpanned in his personal narrative.
Being locked in a slow moving sedan with a City politician might strike some as a nightmare, but Weprin’s ride endeared him to his passengers.
“One of the women asked me what I did and when I mentioned I was a City Councilmember, all of the passengers said they would vote for me,” he explained.
But it was not to be. Of the eight Queensites who rode the Weprin-mobile during the blackout, many races, religions, and ethnicities were represented, but one key demographic was missing.
“As fate would have it,” Weprin bemoaned, “none lived in my district.”
Mets Liquor: An Answer to Mets Problems
How bad are the New York Mets?
So bad that fans boo the team more than cheer them. So bad that legislation was introduced in the City Council this year to prevent irate fans from storming the field. So bad that there’s a liquor store down the street from Shea that bears the Mets name – and gives fed-up fans the chance to drown their sorrows in the company of Jack and Johnny.
In truth, the blue and orange liquor store on 108th Street and Northern Boulevard isn’t new this season. It officially became known as "Mets Wine and Liquor" in 1992, partly because of the Mets’ failure to do anything right that season, according to store sources.
The 1992 Mets finished with 72 wins and 90 losses, giving fans plenty of incentive to keep their Mets pride drowned in Mets Liquor.
This year, the Mets are once again as non-amazin’ as possible, and although the owner of Mets Liquor couldn’t say whether alcohol sales are directly related to the Mets’ performance at Shea, he did say there was one recent season he couldn’t remember at all.
That was the 2000 season, when the fluky Mets made it to the World Series. The storeowner said he didn’t really remember that...or maybe he didn’t want to talk about the one year Mets fans were heading to Shea more often than his store.