Models Of Queens
While shopping at a Nubian heritage store in Jamaica, 22-year-old Makeda Benjamin was discovered by a modeling scout.
All of Queens should cross their collective fingers in the hope that actress Marcia Gay Harden earns a nomination for an Academy Award in recognition of her riveting performance in "Mystic River."
She has endured a family disaster that happened in our borough, and could surely use a boost.
Harden suffered a personal tragedy last month when her six-year-old nephew and 10-year-old niece died in an Astoria house fire. Hardenís former sister-in-law, Rebecca Lynn Harden Ė the mother of the two children Ė also died in the tragic blaze.
The actress is expecting the birth of twins these days, and published reports suggest that the family tragedy has been understandably difficult for her. Harden told one reporter that she has begun praying with her five-year-old daughter Eulala every night. "I donít find comfort in my faith," she said, "but Iím trying."
Harden already has one Oscar on her mantle for best supporting actress for her 2001 role in the film "Pollock."
Now she is being touted for her breathtaking performance in "Mystic River," a film that focused on the same themes of family tragedy and loss that have now shaped Hardenís real life.
Queens, Stuck In The Web
Mayor Bloomberg came to Queens Center Mall last week to promote shopping during the statewide tax-free week, but there is another mall a little farther south that seems oddly eager for Queens customers.
The Manor Shopping Center, located at the junction of Jarretsville Pike and Sweet Air Road, features nearly two-dozen enticing retail options, ranging from the beloved Bagelmeister to Sahara Tanning.
Even the most avid Queens mall rat has probably not heard of the Manor Shopping Center, however, because it is situated in Jacksonville, Maryland Ė some 200 miles from Queens.
The real mystery, then, is why the Manor Shopping Center has taken over the official government Internet address for Queens: www.queens.nyc.ny.us. While you might expect to find a host of official info on the borough at that site, you will only find a rather remedial list of shops at the Manor Mall in Maryland. What gives?
As a marketing move, the tactic of usurping the official Queens web address makes little sense. After all, how many Queensites would possibly take a four-hour drive to patronize Terryís Toys, Trains & Things, one of the shops in the Manor Shopping Center? Perhaps the mix-up is the result of some unknowable quirk of the unknowable World Wide Web.
At presstime, no one could answer the question for QConf. Weíll keep you posted.
The Short Of It
Who wears short shorts?
Apparently not Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who was presented with an orange pair of baggies on Jan. 27 during Borough President Helen Marshallís State of the Borough speech.
Marshall gave the oversized shorts to the Mayor to thank him for helping push through the funding to build a swimming pool/ice hockey complex in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
Bloomberg said he will wear them the next time his press office stages a swimming pool event.
"You are the best Queens Borough President since I have been Mayor," Bloomberg quipped.
Both Bloomberg and Marshall were elected in 2001 and took office in 2002.
ź ź Sound Bites ź ź
The AIDS epic was produced at the Kaufman Astoria Studios and filmed on-scene at dozens of locations in Dutch Kills.
Film crews worked feverishly in the Dutch Kills Community, shooting on-location in local diners and shutting down streets and avenues to make the most of centuries-old architecture in the area.
Cheers! A QConf spy recently told us that they sighted a certain attractive Queens elected official with two female companions "boozing it up" at the Forest Hills hotspot Five Burros.
The pol talked with bar patrons about the Democratic primary in Iowa and reportedly downed tequila shots until the wee hours.
Itís Not Easy Being Green
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is ready for St. Patrickís Day.
The billionaire bachelor headed to Macyís at Queens Center Mall on Jan. 27 to take advantage of tax free week, and decided to buy an outfit thatís definitely in the spirt of St. Pattyís.
As he walked down the aisles of the store, searching for that perfect piece of clothing, he stopped and picked up a light olive green jacket. One of the reporters at the event asked him what he was going to wear with something so coloful, and he replied without hesitation, "A green shirt."
To the Mayorís surprise, the witty reporter said, "Please donít," implying that the ensemble would contain just too much green.
The Mayor disagreed, however, and explained that he would wear it on St. Patrickís Day.
The reporter laughed at the Mayorís quip, and shook her head.
We wonder if prior to his reelection campaign, the jet-setting Mayor might be a subject of "Queer Eye For The Straight Guy."
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