Shows Its Green
Environmentally friendly development practices
are steadily on the increase in both the City
and across the nation, and nowhere is that more
evident than at the Queens Botanical Gardens in
The new Visitor and Administration Center, which
was completed in September of 2007, is not only
structurally impressive, it’s also a marvel
of green practices. For each aesthetically charming
angle, there’s an environmentally favorable
The structure has been designed to attain the
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
(LEED) “platinum” certification -
the top certification in green design.
“It’s a demonstration project,”
said Scott Stefan, director of marketing with
the gardens. “We’re trying to show
people the way of the future. We’re trying
to demonstrate to architects and builders and
public policy makers that there are many things
you can do to mitigate global warming.”
One of its most impressive features is its ability
to conserve water.
The building uses 82 percent less water than a
conventional building, Stefan said. To accomplish
this, it uses compost toilets in its offices;
instead of using between one-and-a-half and three
gallons per flush, it only uses three ounces.
The public toilets couldn’t be designed
the same, as the City mandates public buildings
have flush water toilets; however, the building
is designed to recycle the water from faucets,
the dishwasher and a shower on the property instead.
The water is recycled through a system of marsh
grass and gravel, and then used as flushing water.
And to reduce the amount of storm water running
into the city’s sewer system, the building
is equipped with a canopy that catches rain and
leads it into a marsh area, where it drains into
an underground tank before being distributed to
a fountain and the waterway that outlines the
The center is also designed to be heated and cooled
in an energy-efficient way. Stefan said the building
uses heat exchangers, which pipe up water from
an aquifer 300 feet below the location which is
always at 55 degrees. In the summer, the water
is piped around the building to keep it cool;
in the winter, it is heated and distributed around
the building, keeping energy costs low.
The list goes on: the roof of the main building
is equipped with cells to harness solar power;
organic waste in the offices is thrown in worm
bins, which eat just about anything; and bamboo,
one of nature’s most versatile and easily
recyclable materials, is used readily.
“Lots of people when they see this [building]
say, ‘I can’t do that in my house.’
You can’t do everything but you can do two
of three things,” Stefan said. “If
you multiply by everyone doing that, we will see
a big drop in carbon emissions.”
Stephen Del Percio is the publisher of greenbuildingsnyc.com,
a Web site that profiles green projects in the
City. Del Persico ranked the botanical garden’s
visitor’s center as its top project of 2007,
but he said there were a number of other projects
in Queens worth noting.
Many of the projects are occurring in Long Island
City. Court Square Two, Citigroup’s new
528,000 square foot, 15-story building received
a LEED Gold certification in October of 2007,
better than the Silver rating it was seeking.
The $290 million building includes a number of
green development practices such as a gray water
system to cut down consumption, high-efficiency
lighting, formaldehyde-free wood doors and high
performance window glazing that will prevent 768
tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Citigroup has
also purchased wind power to provide for the building’s
energy load over the next five years.
And on top of Silvercup Studios is the largest
green roof built to date in the City, covering
35,000 square feet. The project grew from an initial
research study conducted by Balmori Associates
to determine the feasibility of creating a network
of green roofs in Long Island City. This area
has a great number of flat-roofed, low buildings
ideal for extensive green roofs, according to
a press release from Balmori.
“Our goal was to bring this sustainable
technology to Long Island City to help alleviate
some of the severe health problems, such as high
asthma rates, found there,” it states.
Mark Thomann, design director with Balmori Associates,
said Long Island City was the perfect location
to serve as a testing ground for green roofs.
“It is feasible that Long Island City could
be an experimental zone … where developers,
planners, government agencies, landscape architects,
architects and community advocates came together
to promote a vision,” he said.
Mean Business For Queens Economy
By Noah C. Zuss
While major development projects will change the
face of Queens and provide a future base for the
economy, current business hums along at the borough’s
Both John F. Kennedy International Airport and
LaGuardia Airport are incredibly important to
the economy of Queens and New York City more broadly.
Each facility is vitally valuable, and both provide
major revenue streams to the borough as business
centers and major employers.
The airports serve as air travel centers for voyagers
in the New York metropolitan region, coming to
and from other U.S. cities and international destinations.
In addition to travel, the airports also provide
ready-made commercial centers for the hospitality
and trade industry. Major cargo movers, hotels,
even aerospace and technology companies sprout
up near the airports, looking to take advantage
of intellectual capital and a highly skilled workforce.
The eldest and first major modern airport constructed
in Queens was LaGuardia Airport, named after former
New York City Mayor, Fiorello LaGuardia.
LaGuardia is smaller than its counterpart JFK,
and most flights out are destined for other U.S.
The airports taken together are major contributors
to the economy of Queens, and are inherently important
to the overall business of New York.
The New York City airport system is the largest
in the United States and processed an estimated
111 million travelers in 2007 – second only
to London in the world in terms of passenger traffic.
In the same period LaGuardia handled 25.3 million
passengers and JFK handled 47.8 million passengers.
While LaGuardia tends to handle more domestic
flights, JFK has made its mark for international
commercial and passenger business, and contributes
tens of millions to the Queens economy every year.
As international a city as New York is, Queens
and JFK International serve as the gateway to
the rest of the country for overseas visitors.
It also is the destination for travel from the
U.S. to many international locations overseas.
JFK accounted for 17 percent of outbound international
travel of all U.S. travelers who went overseas
in 2004, the largest portion of any U.S. airport
in the country. In 2000 JFK averaged almost 50,000
international-flight passengers each day, and
the JFK to London Heathrow trip is the top U.S.
international airport route, transporting over
2.9 million passengers each year.
The airport is also the jump-off point for several
other top international destinations, including
Paris, Frankfurt, and Tokyo with nearly 100 airlines
from over 50 countries operating regularly scheduled
flights from JFK.
Although JFK is most known for its traditional
position as the international gateway airport
in the United States, it also handles a large
number of domestic flights, which contribute even
more dollars to the U.S. economy.
JFK is hugely important for commercial flights
as well and is the country’s busiest international
air freight center as determined by the value
of shipments, and second busiest overall by value
including all air, land and sea U.S. freight.
Over one fifth of all U.S. international air freight
by value and 11% by tonnage moved through JFK
Thriving, Hospitals Struggling
By Michael Lanza
With more than 100,000 employees and nearly three-quarters
a billion dollars contributed to the borough annually,
it’s no wonder that health care is the second
largest economic sector in Queens.
Queens is home to 13 major hospitals and countless
physicians, nurses and other health care specialists.
The health care industry contributed nearly $746
million in wages to the Queens economy in 2004,
growing by 6.2 percent, according to a report
by the Office of the State Deputy Comptroller
for the City of New York.
The industry has some of the highest and fastest
growing wages in the City. The average salary
sector-wide amounted to $38,000, including an
average of $60,532 at doctor’s offices and
$52,578 at hospitals. Individual and family social
services, outpatient care and hospitals led in
job growth in 2004, while medical labs and residential
care job growth declined.
The Mount Sinai Hospital of Queens in Long Island
City received the designation Primary Stroke Center
last month from the Joint Commission, a non-profit
organization that accredits and evaluates health
care providers nationwide.
But the picture isn’t all rosy.
Hospitals have been facing financial pressure
nationwide, especially small-community hospitals
that are struggling to keep from closing. The
borough’s large immigrant populations, many
of whom lack insurance, are pushing the limits
of many local hospitals. Jamiaca’s Mary
Immaculate and Elmhurst’s St. John’s
Queens hospitals filed for bankruptcy in 2005,
but were bailed out and acquired by Caritas Health
Care, part of the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center
which saddles Brooklyn and Queens, for $40 million.
The financial pressures on hospitals and lack
of bed space are straining the Queens emergency
care system. In 2004 Queens had a paltry 1.8 beds
available for every 1,000 residents, contrasted
to a 6.5 average in Manhattan and 2.9 statewide,
the deputy comptroller’s report said.
But on the positive side, the lower than average
bed numbers mean the Queens health care industry
still has a lot of room for growth.
Malls Bring Big Business
By Michael Lanza
New York City can seem a little foreign to the
rest of country. The roadside strip malls and
retail mega centers that now characterize most
of Main Street America are conspicuously absent
from most of the dense urban sprawl of the five
But for those outsiders looking for a little familiarity,
Queens is great transition to the New York experience.
With its almost suburban feel and spacious lots,
Queens has distinguished itself from the rest
of the city as a prime spot for major retail outlets
and shopping malls.
The Queens Center and Queens Place Malls in Elmhurst,
The Atlas Park Mall in Glendale, Bay Terrace in
Bayside, The Flushing Mall in Flushing, The College
Point Shopping Area in College Point, The Metro
Mall in Middle Village and The Douglaston Plaza
in Douglaston offer all of the familiar fixings
American shoppers expect from their mega malls.
The Queens Center Mall, one of the busiest and
most profitable in the nation, features more than
150 storefronts over 623,000 square-feet. The
mall, which was expanded in 2004, has all the
familiar outlets people have come to expect, including
a JC Penny, Macy’s.
The malls have helped lead rises in the retail
industry throughout Queens.
The Queens Center Mall workforce contributed to
the nearly 13 percent of jobs in Mid-Central Queens
represented by the wholesale and retail trade
industry, the second largest employment sector
in that area, according to statistics from the
deputy state comptroller’s office in 2004.
In fact, retail ranked second or third as an employment
sector in most of the districts surveyed, including
Rockaway, Northern, Eastern, Southeastern and
The Queens retail scene offers a taste of American
suburbia. Whether that’s a good thing depends
on where your standing, but if you move a few
blocks in any direction you can be sure you’ll
find somewhere that feels like New York again.
of Higher Education
Learning Fuels Queens Economy
By Juliet Werner
Borough President Helen Marshall means business
when it comes to higher education. Marshall, well-aware
of a school’s ability to contribute to the
local economy, has encouraged CUNY Law School
to move from Flushing to Long Island City, specifically
the Queens Plaza area, which is about to undergo
a $30 million beautification and traffic improvement
“Because of this new energy and transit
accessibility, I am pleased to tell you that at
my urging, CUNY Law School is moving forward with
a plan to move to Long Island City,” Marshall
said in her State of the Borough Address earlier
Queens is home to five CUNY schools and one private
university, St. John’s. Queens College Economics
professor Clive Belfield said institutes of higher
education can indeed benefit the economy.
“It’s like a tourism industry,”
Belfield said. “Students buy clothes, take
transportation, eat in restaurants.”
Colleges and universities also deposit highly-skilled
workers into the community.
“Most graduates find their first jobs close
to their first university,” Belfield explained.
“It’s the straight employment effect.”
Silicon Valley emerged as a center of the technology
industry only because of its proxomity to Stanford
University, according to Belfield.
The Law School has included the move in its capital
plan and is currently seeking full funding.
“It’s mutually beneficial to both
Long Island City and CUNY Law School,” Borough
President Chief of Staff Alexandra Rosa said.
“For Long Island City, it will bring a much
needed 24-hour life to the Queens Plaza Area,
bringing with it economic development that the
students who spend money and participate in community
life will bring. And for CUNY Law itself –
it’s very difficult to get to in its current
location. It will also have increased access by
several modes of transportation to all points
of the City.”
Easier access to Manhattan’s best law firms
may sound like reason enough to move to Long Island
City, but according to CUNY Law School Dean Michelle
Anderson, 61 percent of graduates enter public
interest and public service practices.
“Many of our graduates who settle in the
New York area go to work right after graduation
in the local Queens community,” Anderson
said. “From Flushing to the Rockaways, they
serve a variety of needy constituencies –
immigrants, domestic workers, newly formed community
groups, the elderly, the impoverished, etc. It
is our mission to train students to serve under-represented
communities. This work begins while the students
are still in school where they develop a lifelong
commitment to justice for the under-served.”
Best Business Programs
with Queens Business Students
By Juliet Werner
The business major at Queens College has become
so popular that the department now requires candidates
to have a B+ average. Business is also the most
popular major nationwide, but here in Queens,
business programs focus on training students to
tackle the global economy.
Queens College offers bachelor degrees in both
Business Administration and Business and Liberal
Arts. The two tracks differ in their emphasis,
but both educate a highly diverse student body.
“Every student who comes through your door
you’re thinking how is this student going
to be different – and they are” Professor
Clive Belfield said, adding that knowledge of
another language sets many Queens students ahead
of the game.
“Many are lured by the idea of working on
Wall Street,” Belfield said. An internship
program places students in the financial sector
prior to graduation.
But Stephen Papamarcos, Dean of the Peter J. Tobin
College of Business at St. John’s University,
expects his students to find work in Queens.
“When one considers the speed with which
the world’s economies are globalizing, Queens
is well-positioned to get out in front of the
wave of history,” Papamarcos said. “Demographic
diversity, economic diversity, and vibrant trade
and transportation sectors all indicate to me
that… Queens is the future!”
St. John’s offers B.S., M.B.A. and M.S.
degrees, as well as an Advanced Professional Certificate.
Companies are already looking toward Queens for
“Invoking what has been termed the ‘value-in-diversity
hypothesis,’ many major companies have very
deliberately diversified work environments in
the belief that a multiplicity of perspectives
generates more and superior problem-solving alternatives
— a belief, by the way, generally supported
by the associated research literature. Our students
are almost uniquely positioned to succeed in the
modern workplace due to our location in this amazingly
diverse borough, and the fact that so many of
our students were raised here.”
Why did you pursue a degree in business?
Arash Vakil – Queens College
I decided to be a part of the Honors Business
and Liberal Arts Program (BALA) because I felt
it was the perfect complement to being a Media
Rosie Patane – freshman at Tobin
I knew I wanted to do something to make a good
salary when I finished school, doing a job I enjoyed
doing. I tended toward accounting because I like
numbers and I like working independently.
Monica Pemborde – MBA student at Tobin
With a degree in business, individuals can pursue
careers in both for-profit and not-for-profit
organizations, as well as pursue law degrees or
go into teaching. Who better to teach than someone
who has practiced in the field?
How has school prepared you for a career in business?
AV: Critical Thinking in Business, taught by David
Leventhal. - This course was vital in solving
the different challenges I face. It also
enabled me to “think outside the box”
and come up with alternate solutions to problems
that businesses face today. Reading the
NY Times as a daily requirement for the course
kept me well informed and is a habit I have continued
to this day.
RP: My business class has had a number of outside
speakers from all types of businesses. The exposure
has helped me to understand the business world
and how I might fit into it. There are a number
of business student organizations on campus, and
there are always opportunities at St. John’s
to meet with people who graduated from here and
who come back to speak about their careers.
While my major was accounting, I took courses
in operations management, organizational behavior,
capital and money markets, and managerial statistics.
These courses provide a solid business foundation.
More important is that St. John’s provides
opportunities for students to apply educational
experience in real-world settings. One such opportunity
is the Executive-in-Residence Program.
Where do you see your career taking you?
AV: While I am currently employed by a Fortune
250 company (EMC Corporation), I do foresee a
large number of opportunities developing in the
Long Island City region. With the current real-estate
boom and development in the area, there will certainly
be opportunities for new business to grow and
expand in Long Island City.
RP: I will probably work in Manhattan—at
least at first—but I will continue to live
in Queens. I want to raise my family here.
MP: I see my career taking me to the executive
level. I will be entering the field of public
accounting as an auditor. I will be focusing on
advancing in this field while looking to give
back to the community. I also see myself sharing
my experience and knowledge with others. Whether
that is in the form of teaching or through charitable
organizations is yet to be seen. I currently live
in Queens and plan to do so for the near future.
As my career progresses, I will be looking to
contribute in other ways, such as teaching basic
business skills to low-income families and talking
to youth about educational and career opportunities.
Back to Top
Institutions Build Better Communities
Learning Fuels Queens Economy
By Juliet Werner
A cultural institution can have a profound impact
on its surrounding community. Queens Museum of
Art Executive Director Tom Finkelpearl, who used
to teach a course called “Urban Development
and the Arts,” said Lincoln Center is frequently
used as the prime example of how an arts institution
can revitalize a neighborhood.
“At the onset a lot of people got displaced,”
Finkelpearl said. “On the other hand, Lincoln
Center became this fulcrum for the gentrification
for the Upper West Side.”
One need look no further than the musical “West
Side Story” for evidence of the area’s
more seedy past.
“How do you go from having gangs to having
safe environment,” Finkelpearl asked, adding
that building a concert hall, or a museum for
that matter, can’t hurt.
“We’re in a park, no one got displaced
by QMA,” Finkelpearl said. “But we’re
very active and we’re trying to help along
The Museum is currently moving forward with both
the “Heart of Corona” initiative and
the tentatively-titled “Parks and Immigrants”
initiative, which seek to improve the quality
of life for the museum’s neighbors and patrons.
“We’re making the community more livable
for people who are already living there,”
Finkelpearl said. “The side story is that
if crime goes down and health goes up and everyone’s
happier, it’s more likely that prices will
go up and people from the outside are going to
move in. And that’s already happened in
Long Island City.”
Cultural institutions also give local businesses
“Having the flavor of Queens when you have
a reception is important,” Finkelpearl said,
adding he frequently purchases the Museum’s
refreshments from a Corona empanada restaurant.
And Betsy Enright, Director of External Affairs
at Flushing Town Hall, said she is in the “talking
stages” with Kum Gang San, a Korean restaurant
across the street, regarding a business partnership.
Queens Theater in the Park, which entertained
more than 100,000 people last year, is in the
middle of a $22 million expansion project, which
will bring the first full-service restaurant to
“It’s not a performing arts venue;
it’s a destination for culture,” Mary
McNamara, QTIP Development Director said, adding
she hopes the new café/cabaret will encourage
visitors to extend their stay in Queens.
“People who live in Queens demand they have
what people in Manhattan have.” McNamara
Finkelpearl, a Queens homeowner, certainly fits
“What’s happened on the West Side
of Manhattan should happen in Queens,” he
said, adding he’d like to see the waterfront
refurbished with promenades, bike paths, etc.
Finkelpearl’s vision for waterfront recreation
may soon be a reality owing to a number of development
projects taking place across the borough such
as the Willets Point Redevelopment Plan.
“Whatever’s going to happen to the
iron triangle it’s going to be good for
the museum,” Finkelpearl said. “But
I’m very concerned about the workers…We’re
community activists. We want to make sure that
the little guy doesn’t get left out of the
Family Friendly Borough
A Destination For the Family
By Brad Groznik
Much of what comes to mind when we think about
development is office buildings and apartment
complexes but there is plenty of development occurring
in the borough’s cultural institution making
it easier to plan a Saturday with the family in
The New York Hall of Science, located just on
the edge of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, at 47-01
111th St., is the largest cultural destination
in the borough, drawing more than 450,000 visitors
Marilyn Hoyt, president and CEO of the Hall, said
since the center opened in 1986 the surrounding
area has been completely redeveloped.
“You just look across the street and everything
is new,” she said. “It’s the
phenomena when a cultural institution is placed
in an area.”
The center expanded in 2004 and plans for another
expansion in the future that will include a Rocket
Park miniature golf course.
“We’ve become and engine for business
development,” Hoyt said.
Just down 111th Street, the Queens Zoo, 53-51
111th St., is making its own strides in establishing
itself as an entertainment destination.
Dedicated to the animals of North America, the
zoo boasts a petting zoo and numerous activities
for kids and families alike.
Scott Silver, Queens Zoo director said the zoo
continues to welcome new animals into its natural
exhibits. Recently the zoo got Pronghorns, a deer-like
animal and the second-fastest land mammal on the
planet next to the cheetah.
The zoo is also expanding its reach south to exhibit
Central and South American animals like the newly
installed big-billed parrots. Silver said he also
hopes to get a jaguar in the next couple of years.
Sometimes what is best to do on a Spring day is
get back to nature and nowhere else is that easier
than at the Queens Botanical Garden.
A total 39 acres was secured for the Garden when
Robert Moses chose the spot just prior to the
1964 World’s Fair.
The newly finished visitor’s center is surely
to get the family thinking how to live more eco-friendly.
The center is the most advanced green building
in New York City, said Scott Stefan, QBG spokesman.
The center has a planted green roof, geothermal
heating and cooling, photovoltaic cells, two water
recycling systems, compost toilets and an interior
free of carpeting, upholstery, paints and veneers
that emit volatile organic compounds. Every first
and third Saturday of the month, QBG gives tours
of the center and all the green technology free
to the public.
QBG is also one of five composting teaching centers
in New York City funded by the Department of Sanitation
and the foremost composting teaching facility
in Queens. Stefan said it’s easy to start
composting in an urban garden.
The Museum of the Moving Image, located at 35th
Avenue at 36th Street in Astoria, is currently
under construction until 2009 but is already one
of the most popular destinations for residents
Just a walk around the area and, once again, it’s
easy to see the positive impact the museum has
had on the neighborhood.
“We’ve had a tremendous economic impact,”
Rochelle Slovin, director of the museum said.
The libraries in Queens are the busiest in the
City and constantly have programs for families
and kids to take advantage. For more information
about your local branch call (718) 990-0700 or
Businesses Hold On
Merchants Face Turning Point
By Michael Lanza
Most would agree that growth is a good thing.
But in a borough as large and diverse as Queens,
growth can be painful when people aren’t
“There’s a wave coming west,”
State Assemblyman Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights)
But many fear that wave will wash away some of
the diverse immigrant communities and the distinct
businesses they bring.
Peralta is working with the Queens Chamber of
Commerce to help those neighborhoods prepare for
the big changes coming to Queens. The chamber
is planning to create educational workshops for
small business owners and entrepreneurs, particularly
from the immigrant community, who might be left
“We want to teach merchants to create business
plans, how to maintain a budget, how to think
outside the box, how to avoid a summons –
and basically how to understand the rules,”
Peralta said. “We want to offer them creative
ideas to sell their merchandise and teach them
how to market themselves.”
Peralta and the chamber will also push to educate
business owners about the value of working together
to attract customers and share prosperity.
“Right now nobody’s interested in
unifying and cleaning up,” he said. “They
need to understand there’s strength in numbers.”
The immigrant owned small business community has
been under assault throughout the City. High rents
and increasing competition from large chains are
putting on a squeeze that many shop owners can’t
“There are outrageous amounts of rent being
paid because of the assumed consumption”
Peralta said. “Off the Roosevelt Avenue
corridor, on 82nd Street, they’re $20,000
a month rent. Those are Manhattan prices.”
With small businesses disappearing in his district
everyday, it became apparent that something needed
to be done.
“The simple fact is there’s high turnover,”
One of the more controversial solutions being
presented to merchants is to assimilate by adopting
franchises. There was a small furor in the Columbian,
coffee crazed, area of Jackson Heights when a
Starbucks opened its doors recently.
“The quality of the small shops has been
deteriorating,” Peralta said, “You
can still walk into the mom and pop shops, but
we want to bring the big shops too.”
The gentrification of many Queens immigrant communities
seems inevitable, but striking a balance between
spreading successful franchises and good business
practices while maintaining the character of the
community will be difficult. But for the moment,
Peralta prefers growth through assimilation if
the alternative is continued deterioration.
“Sometimes you’re the victim of your
own success,” Peralta said. “How to
stop it? That’s the $80,000 question.”
Pave The Way
Business Unite In Queens
Queens is a borough filled with emerging businesses
and economic development. The City of New York
helps new store owners get their feet planted
and clean up underdeveloped areas at the same
time by setting up Business Improvement Districts
(BIDs) all over town.
The businesses agree to form a BID and raise their
taxes to be spent on improving the area’s
quality of life.
According to the City, money from BIDs improves
sanitation and maintenance, public safety and
visitor services, marketing and promotional programs,
capital improvements and beautification for the
Today there are 59 current BIDs in New York City
and more are expected to form in the coming years.
Any commercial, retail, or industrial area in
the borough can apply for BID status. For more
information about forming and managing a BID,
visit the New York City Department of Small Business
Services at .nyc.gov/sbs or call 311.
The following is a list of the Queens BIDs and
their contact information.
Ernest J. Cury, President
37-06 82nd Street
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
Tel: (718) 335-9421
Fax: (718) 507-2977
Aaron Schwartz, President
Derek Irby, Executive Director
c/o Jamaica Arts Center,
161-04 Jamaica Avenue
Jamaica, NY 11432
Tel: (718) 298-5489
Fax: (718) 658-7922
Steven Dorf, President
Derek Irby, Executive Director
c/o Jamaica Arts Center,
161-04 Jamaica Avenue
Jamaica, NY 11432
Tel: (718) 298-5489
Fax: (718) 658-7922
Flushing Transit Hub
Jim Gerson, Chairperson
Mabel Law, Executive Director
39-01 Main Street, Suite 507
Flushing, NY 11354
Tel: (718) 888-1805
Fax: (718) 888-1248
Claude Brodwell, President
Janet Barkan, Executive Director
90-50 Parson Blvd., Suite 402
Jamaica, NY 11432
Tel: (718) 526-2422
Fax: (718) 526-0215
Herman Hochberg, Chairman
Theodore M. Renz, Executive Director
c/o Ridgewood LDC,
60-82 Myrtle Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385
Tel: (718) 366-3806
Fax: (718) 381-7080
Plaza/Court Square DMA
David Brause, Chairperson
Gayle Baron, Executive Director
29-10 Thomson Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101
Tel: (718) 786-5300
Fax: (718) 937-1799
Sam Pirozzolo, Chairperson
Marie Torniali, Executive Director
28-27 Steinway Street
Astoria, NY 11103
Tel: (718) 728-7820
Fax: (718) 728-7413
P.O. Box 4399
Sunnyside, NY 11104
Tel: (718) 899-8404
Fax: (718) 457-2278
Norman Burak, Chairman
89-00 Sutphin Boulevard
Jamaica, NY 11432
Tel: (718) 291-2110
Fax: (718) 291-2109
Matthew Xenakis, President
Maria Thomson, Executive Director
84-01 Jamaica Avenue
Woodhaven, NY 11421
Tel: (718) 805-0202
Fax: (718) 805-2929
Gains From Olympic Bid
By Ben Hogwood
The bid for the City to get the 2012 Olympics
began in 1994. Spearheaded by Dan Doctoroff, Queens
was to get a major portion of the venues and a
considerable number of upgrades to put them on.
The largest construction would have been the Olympic
Village in Hunters Point South, said Alexandra
Rosa, chief of staff for the office of Queens
Borough President Helen Marshall.
“But that did not take place,” she
The event would have established Flushing Meadows-Corona
Park as a national rowing and canoeing center,
with both flatwater and slalom canoe racing at
And three basketball training centers would have
been established at three schools in the borough:
the Aviation High School, the Queens Vocational
High School and the LaGuardia Community College.
The schools would have been outfitted with new
courts and support services.
“It’s more a long litany of hopes
that were dashed,” Rosa said upon reviewing
the development that wasn’t to be.
However, the borough did receive some renovation
as a result of the bid. A swimming pool and ice
skating rink already under construction in Flushing
Meadows-Corona Park was expanded so it could hold
Also, plans are underway to improve Breezy Point
Marina in the Rockaways, though not quite to the
extent it would have been upgraded for the Olympics.
While the Olympic Village wasn’t constructed
in Hunters Point South, the area just took its
first step to being rezoned for 5,000 new housing
units. The project will include more than 10 acres
of landscaped waterfront parkland, new retail
amenities and community facility space.
But generally, when the City lost its bid, the
borough lost most of the upgrades that were planned
along with it.
“There are many dashed dreams. That’s
why President Helen Marshall strongly supported
the 2012 Olympic bid,” said Rosa. “It
just wasn’t to be.”
Restaurants Draw In Business
By Brad Groznik
At the Taste of the World event April 14 held
in Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, it
was obvious Queens had something special.
“Look around, you can go around the world
just from the Queens restaurants in this room,”
said Spencer Ferdinand, executive director of
the Queens Economic Development Corporation, which
sponsors the annual event.
Nowhere else can you get such a wide array of
food from around the world than in Queens, he
“And Queens is so reasonably priced,”
he said, adding it makes it easy to experiment
when it doesn’t break your wallet.
Nicola Maurello, chef and owner of Pasticcio located
in the Shops At Atlas Park in Glendale, said it
was the second year his restaurant entered the
contest. Last year Pasticcio won best entrée.
This year Maurello was making hand rolled mushroom,
spinach and ricotta cheese cappaletti in the shape
of a Pope’s hat in anticipation of the cleric’s
arrival. This year the eatery again took the crown
with their entrée.
Also cleaning house this year was Steinway Restaurant,
102-05 Ditmars Blvd. in Elmhurst, which won the
overall Taste Master’s Award; best appetizer,
for its mushroom and spinach gnocchi; and best
alcoholic beverage for its pomegranate margarita.
Cascon Baking Company, 7-04 149 St. in Whitestone,
won best dessert for its cheesecake.
Coming up short-handed but still making it every
year was Dazies Restaurant, 39-41 Queens Blvd.
“We just really love meeting all the people
at the event,” Owner Tele Aquilino said.
The show “30 Rock” recently filmed
in the restaurant.
It was the first year for Kevin Coppins, general
manager for the Clearview Park Golf Course in
Bayside, which just opened a bar and grill.
“It’s been difficult being so close
to Bell Boulevard,” he said referring to
the restaurant laden street in Bayside. “But
it’s been a lot of fun too.”
Other standouts at the event were Austin Steak
and Ale House, 82-70 Austin St. in Kew Gardens,
which served plump steak samplers and tangy shrimp.
The Portuguese flare of O’Lavorador, 138-40
101 Ave. in Jamaica, had a steady line to taste
its garlic chicken and rice sampler.
The Taste Of The World event is used to raise
money for the borough’s restaurant week
held in September, also sponsored by Queens Economic
“We bring all the restaurants together for
the Taste Of The World,” Ferdinand said,
“and we have you explore Queens for Restaurant
During Restaurant week the participating restaurants
offer three-course lunches and dinner specials
or equivalent for roughly $20. More than 85 restaurants
participated last year.