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OurLIC Newsletter

Friday April 9, 2010

OurLIC Announces CULTURE Section and NEW Contributors


We are pleased to present "CulturePop", "PANORAMA", "INTERSECTION", and "Ear to the Ground" by Insider Contributors who know what is happening in Long Island City because they live it every day as experts in their area.

The neighborhood is hopping with culture these days. Music, visual art, theater, dance. CulturePop is written by Sofia Landon Geier, an OurLIC Insider Contributor.

Art is the language of the human spirit. It is as old as our earliest civilizations. Art is a language that is also universal -- it speaks to us no matter what words articulate our thoughts. Living with art that not only reflects our vision but also expands our spirit is essential. The call and response of the human spirit is amplified through artwork. Come out. Look. Bring your check book. Buy art, buy local. P A N O R A M A will tell you the 'inside' and latest news about art in Long island City. It is written by Karen Fitzgerald, an OurLIC Insider Contributor.

This column in OurLIC will have a meaning for the word INTERSECTION both as a physical location as well as a place where there is a merging of diverse cultures. INTERSECTION is written by Dr. Jack Eichenbaum, an OurLIC Insider Contributor, Instructor, and Urban Geographer.

Everyone knows that keeping your "ear to the ground" means paying attention to what is happening around you; getting an early sign that something is coming, paying attention to rumors.

To us "ear to the ground" items are things that are not in a calendar yet, and stories that are still too early to write articles about. A well confirmed rumor will qualify.

Ear to the Ground is written by Dana Humphrey, an OurLIC Insider Contributor.


For questions, comments, and feedback please use our Optin Form or send an email about CULTURE to Arthur@CityEntree.com

People with Dreams ... and the Woman who makes them Possible.

Long Island City, New York March 26, 2010 - So...Where do aspiring food entrepreneurs go to live their dream...to take their food business out of their home kitchen and possibly become the next Mrs. Fields?

The Artisan Baking Center Kitchen Innovations (ABCKI) is the place for them, nurturing their growth, supporting their ideas and giving them the ability to build a business based on what they love. Bakers, candy makers, hot sauce makers, caterers; all of them have found a home here at ABCKI.

"August 2005 we started with one tenant" says Kathrine Gregory Director of Mi Kitchen es su Kitchen "and now we have 63. It is amazing and heartening." Gregory came to Lurie/The Consortium of Worker Education Inc. with the concept of working together to create an incubator-a commercial kitchen facility which could be rented by start-up food entrepreneurs as they needed. It was a win-win situation; the Center had a beautiful kitchen in use only 4 days a week, 10 hours a day. Now the kitchen is buzzing 7 days a week, 24 hours a day! In addition, the job training programs provide a steady stream of willing workers for these businesses. But there is still room for more tenants...for more businesses to satisfy the needs of the educated consumer... for more food mavens to create the next new taste we will all love.

Michelle Hughes explains the New Farmer Development Project of GreenMarket. The farmers are looking to prepare value added food products to expand their businesses. OurLIC had an opportunity to talk with Ms. Hughes and several of the farmers.

Go to Brochure for The Artisan Baking Center Kitchen Innovations

Full video interview with Kathrine Gregory and also with Michelle Hughes of GreenMarket along with farmers getting tips and instructions. Available in the left column of the jump page.


  • Entrepreneurs, farmers, and other food people can learn about food and food preparation.
  • Bakers, candy makers, pickle makers, and others use this large commercial kitchen available for rental.
  • Pizza and bread baking ovens are available.
  • Classes for start-up entrepreneurs are available.
    • Go to Full video interview with Kathrine Gregory and also with Michelle Hughes of GreenMarket along with farmers getting tips and instructions. Available in the left column in three segments of approximately three to five minutes each. The farmers are looking to prepare value added food products to expand their businesses.

      For questions, comments, and feedback please use our Optin Form or send an email about ARTISAN to Arthur@CityEntree.com

      ERDA's Workforce Development Program Trains People, and Helps Place Them in Jobs

      East River Development Alliance (ERDA) Workforce Development Program, Interview with Elizabeth Chominski, Business Accounts Manager

      Long Island City, New York April 1, 2010 - There is a tremendous positivity and energy on the third floor of the East River Development Alliance (ERDA) offices. This is the ERDA Career and Learning Center where job candidates are able to use internet enabled work stations to search, identify, and apply for jobs. In the Career and Learning Center participants access job leads prepared for them by Workforce Development staff to assist with their job search Employment listings are placed in binders organized by major industry sectors. The binders contain about a hundred job leads citywide and are updated weekly.

      Candidates are given training and coaching in job search skills, and assistance in reaching out to companies. This is part of a broader, cluster of community and individual development program and tools that have been organized by Bishop Mitchell Taylor and his team at ERDA. [ Go to OurLIC Profile of ERDA ] Elizabeth Chominski is the Business Accounts Manager and is responsible for attracting companies to participate in the program by hiring qualified and motivated candidates through ERDA. Local companies can contact ERDA by calling Elizabeth 718-784-0877. She is available to assist your company to fill entry and mid level positions quickly. Get ERDA's no cost recruitment service to work for you today.

      This is job creation, and investment in the future at its best. While most candidates are local to Long Island City, it is a citywide program for employment.

      ERDA has an aggressive employment services which includes job readiness assessments, placement in training programs, and referrals to local and city-wide employers. Career Counselors work to make sure each individual has the tools and support, such as childcare, income supports and counseling, he or she needs to obtain and maintain a job that provides a wage and security. In addition to preparing residents for employment, ERDA proactively works with local employers to identify job placement and job training opportunities thus providing direct job referrals to participants.

      Full video coverage of ERDA's Workforce Development Program is available in the left column in four segments of approximately three to five minutes each.


      • ERDA offers a no cost recruitment service to local and citywide companies.
      • Candidates are trained on how to make a positive presentation in an interview setting.
      • Candidates have use of the internet and are trained in conducting job searches online.
      • Candidates build confidence and gain more knowledge.

      Contact Elizabeth Chominski, ERDA's Business Accounts Manager to fill your open positions using ERDA's no cost recruitment service.
      Elizabeth Chominski
      Business Accounts Manager
      East River Development Alliance
      12-11 40th Avenue
      Long Island City, NY 11101
      T. 718-784-0877
      F. 718-729-1288

      Go to Full Video and Photo Coverage of ERDA Workforce Development Program.

      Go to OurLIC Featured Profile of ERDA.

      For questions, comments, and feedback please use our Optin Form or send an email about ERDA Workforce Development to Arthur@CityEntree.com

      Valerie Green BLOOMS with Dance Entropy and Green Space Opening April 9th

      Valerie Green and Dance Entropy Dance Company Prepare to Open BLOOMS at Green Space Friday April 9th at 8:00 PM.

      For the nightly lineup, to purchase tickets and further information visit their festival page information!

      Long Island City, New York March 31, 2010 - Valerie Green's Dance Company and her Green Space Studio are preparing to open the annual Blooms performances starting April 9th and running through April 18th. OurLIC visited Green Space and had the opportunity to video parts of a rehearsal and interview several of the dancers.

      City Councilmember and Chair of Cultural Affairs, Library, and Intergroup Relations; Jimmy Van Bramer; writes:

      "Dance Entropy is committed to making a difference in the community and improving the quality of life for all. Green Space offers ongoing modern dance and yoga classes for adults, and creative movement classes for children. Studio rental space is available for individual artists and dance companies. Take Root and Fertile Ground are a series of monthly performances that afford choreographers the opportunity to present their works."

      "Green Space offers Manhattan quality entertainment in Queens and for that we are a much richer community."

      Go to Video coverage of rehearsal in five segments.

      Take note that resident company Dance Entropy will perform only on April 9th and 18th, the opening and closing of the festival.

      For the nightly lineup, to purchase tickets and further information visit our festival page information!


      • Dancers talk with OurLIC about the importance of Green Space to them.

      Go to OurLIC Featured Profile of Dance Entropy and Green Space

      For additional video and performing arts, Go to OurLIC Stage

      Go to OurLIC Featured Profile of Dance Entropy and Green Space

      Go to Video coverage of rehearsal in five segments.

      For questions, comments, and feedback please use our Optin Form or send an email about Green Space to Arthur@CityEntree.com

      Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer holds his Second Town Hall Meeting.

      Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer and Community Board 2 Chair Joseph Conley moderated a panel to field questions by residents, while the Citycouncilmember's staff members took careful notes for "next day follow through".

      Long Island City, March 31, 2010 Long Island City - Seeking to create a more open government, responsive to community needs, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer held his second Town Hall Meeting at the Woodside Library. Participants from all neighborhoods in District 26 attended and were able to ask management of NYC and Queens agencies hard questions.

      NYC and Queens Agencies participating in the Town Hall Meeting included:

      • Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR)
      • Department of Buildings (DOB)
      • Department of Sanitation (DOS)
      • Department of Transportation (DOT)
      • Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)
      • Department of Education (DOE)
      • New York City Police Department(NYPD)

      Staff from both Van Bramer's and Conley's office took careful notes for follow through on issues that were surfaced by residents.

      Interaction between the Agencies and the residents was generally productive, with Agency Executives and Public Affairs Officers promising to address things that were being brought to their attention.

      Most glaring were complaints about landlord issues relating to abuses of the rent control and rent stabilization of properties. Complaints and requests for administrative actions have sometimes taken two or more years while illegal abuses of the system continue to go uncorrected.


      • Issues are sometimes complex. Immigrant's rights often prevent law enforcement from taking action.
      • St. Johns Bread of Life has upset the neighborhood around Park Playground.

      This Town Hall Meeting was recorded and is presented in its entirety exclusively by OurLIC.com. Forty-four video segments are being posted as they are loaded.

      Go to Full Video and Photo Coverage of Town Hall Meeting.

      For questions, comments, and feedback please use our Optin Form or send an email about TOWN HALL MEETING to Arthur@CityEntree.com

      Financing Seminar Organized by LICBDC

      Presentation made possible by the Long Island City Business Development Corporation [ LICBDC ].

      Long Island City, New York April 7, 2010 - The Long Island City Business Development Corporation held a Financing Seminar to help companies understand the state of the credit market for installment loans, commercial lines of credit, commercial mortgages, and alternative financing strategies.

      Full video coverage of the Financing Seminar and follow up Q&A are available in the left column (of the linked page) in twenty segments of approximately three to five minutes each.

      Participating speakers were:

      • Citibank
      • Valley National Bank
      • Asset Enhancement Solutions
      • US Small Business Administration
      • NYC Business Solutions

      Video segments have been loaded and are available for view.

      Go to Full Video and Photo Coverage of Financing Seminar.

      For questions, comments, and feedback please use our Optin Form or send an email about Financing Seminar to Arthur@CityEntree.com

      Borges & Piazzolla Tango at Thalia Spanish Theatre

      Borges & Piazzolla Tango at Thalia Spanish Theatre

      Thalia Spanish Theatre has evolved to the point where its combination of ingenuity, passion and talent both on and off-stage assures that each show is a winner. The musical Borges & Piazzolla TANGO, which had a sold-out run this past February and March was a particularly juicy production celebrating a legendary artistic collaboration. Jorge Luis Borges is acknowledged one of the most brilliant, influential writers of our time. Astor Piazzolla, a major musical figure in Argentina was inspired to set some of Borges' poetry to music, as well as Borges' classic revenge story "Hombre de la Esquina Rosada" (Man on Pink Corner or Streetcorner Man, depending on the translation) which Piazzolla turned into a dramatic seven-part suite for twelve musicians, a narrator and singer. Thalia's award-winning Artistic Director and choreographer Angel Gil Orrios joined the collaboration by adding an ensemble of superb tango dancers armed with concealed weapons and unconcealed desire. Gil also projected slides of Argentina onto the all-white set, creating the effect of a fluid gallery exhibit as dancers glided in and out of each other's arms.

      Borges was ecstatic about the music the classically trained Piazzolla paired with his poetry. They worked together on a 1965 album titled El Tango that included "Man on Pink Corner" and other pieces based on Borges' writing. Piazzolla himself played the bandoneón on that original recording, which unfortunately was allowed to go out of print and (gasp!) was never put on CD. Luckily, for all jazz and tango aficionados as well as fans of the great Borges, Thalia Spanish Theater filled Piazzolla's role with Thalia's Musical Director and frequent composer Raul Jaurena as Bandoneón Master.

      Whether or not you've read Borges, are familiar with Piazzolla's edgy musical genius, or speak Spanish, there's plenty to enjoy onstage at The Thalia Spanish Theatre. The neighborhoods of Western Queens are popping with arts and entertainment to suit every taste. Dig in.

      Borges & Piazzolla TANGO Photo credit: Michael Palma

      Go to CulturePop by Sophie Geire. Bookmark it.

      Queens Fashion Week 2010


      Okay, so the blizzard of 2010 put a crimp in Queens Fashion Week's ambitions, but you can't keep a good woman down when it comes to displaying the bangin' outfits and swingin' bling of Queens' innovative fashion designers. The good woman is Delali Osun Haligah, head of Osun Designs -- an Afrikan-inspired line of "Art to Wear" -- and the organizer of Queens Fashion Week. Osun (oh-shoon) Designs is known in the fashion world for one-of-a-kind hand-painted fabrics into clothing that moves with and shows off a woman's curves.

      Postponing the events for a week did not appear to have dampened the enthusiasm of the crowd that lined the concrete runway at Standard Motor Lofts, a raw space on Northern Boulevard generously donated by Jeffrey Rosenbloom and Acumen Capital Partners LLC for the event. The audience, which hailed from various sections of Queens -- Kew Gardens, Jamaica, Middle Village, Sunnyside, as well as parts of Brooklyn and the Bronx -- was understanding of the half-hour delay in getting the fashion show started. After all, February 18th's Gala Opening was the first event of the un-road-tested Queens Fashion Week. Unlike Thalia with its experienced crew of creative artists, Delali had assembled a cast of early-career fashion models, some getting their first taste of the catwalk. There were also a few nerve-jangling sound system glitches raising the fear that the show might end before it had a chance to get underway.


      Never underestimate the value of a great emcee. Mia Amber, a successful model, TV producer and actress was on the case, every inch of her six-foot tall, plus-size gorgeousness charming the crowd with easy banter and a warm, teasing manner that got several members of the audience on their feet for delightful impromptu posing on the runway. Amber held the event together effortlessly, drawing the local fashionistas into the show, making them feel part of it. With the sound system finally tamed, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga vocals accompanied the models as they displayed the couture of some of Queens' hippest designers.

      The American public is officially addicted to fashion thanks to television hits like "What Not to Wear", "Say Yes to the Dress" and of course, "Project Runway", which netted Queens Fashion Week its most well-known designer, Qristyl Frazier, a contestant on the iconic show's Season Six. Frazier's collection popped the cork on the Gala Opening with her line of colorful, easy to wear, and downright sexy dresses suitable for every body type. Stella Gialla Boutique stood out with the very first piece they sent down the runway -- a slinky, hand-knit red tank dress, crafted by the mom of one of Gialla's two owner-designers, Vanessa Reyes and Suzan Burdan, best friends who met on their first day at FIT. "Stella Gialla has opened up a store in The Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale and they also carry vintage home accessories," said Mia Amber. Gialla's one-of-a-kind knit pieces range from to and up. Designer Michael Williams' The Eye Collection featured Jamaican-themed printed dresses and T-shirts, with garments for men as well as women. Yes, there were handsome young male models striding down the runway, none of them plus-sized it must be noted. Michi Knitwear presented a line of luxurious body-hugging dresses and two-piece outfits so off-the-shoulder that onlookers wondered if the tops could possibly stay in place. They did, although this author wouldn't want to risk it.


      Mónica Yepez' swimwear floated by in barely-there shimmering mermaid style with a strategically slashed one-piece in basic black winning high marks. A horde of photographers who gathered hungrily at the end of the runway were especially taken with Yepez' collection -- and her models, none of whom were plus-sized. Hmm.

      A male model looked puzzled when asked if there were any plus-sized males in the fashion world. "Oh, yeah, there are ‘built' models," he replied, gesturing toward a young man whose pumped-up biceps had been on display earlier in an arresting blue sleeveless sweater. Fashion lovers in a post-show discussion in the VIP food line concluded that, for better or worse, the plus-sized male model is an idea whose time has not yet come. Osun Designs closed the show with verve by setting the crowd buzzing over a hot orange floor-length gown with undulating draping and deep ruffles. It was simple yet exciting, much like Queens Fashion Week overall.


      Delali Osun Haligah rightly kept the hype to a minimum, letting the fashions speak for themselves. Mia Amber made sure the evening's drama stayed focused on the designer's creations and cheered on the boldly beautiful models who had pinned their career fortunes to an unknown star. The gamble paid off for models, designers and audience at Thursday's Gala Opening. Surprisingly, the Fashion Expo held on Saturday February 20 (the only free event ) was a let-down with just a few local designers (or shops like L.I.C.'s Ethereal) exhibiting at small tables. There was one genuine find. O's Clothes. Unique, handmade felt neckpieces embellished with clusters of lush satin roses were breathtaking as were O's "handbag-shaped" vases filled with bronze satin roses. That's "O" as in outstanding.

      Queens Fashion Week 2010 was a brash up-start, and a mistake here and there can be forgiven in light of the daring decision to take on the established fashion world. That enterprising spirit built our borough's brand as the most culturally diverse spot on the planet. Queens Fashion Week 2011 is sure to be a hot ticket. Plan accordingly.

      Go to CulturePop by Sophie Geire. Bookmark it.

      Madera Cuban Grill's Light will Soon Shine on Vernon Blvd

      Find out about the Habana Style Grand Opening. VIP Sign-up is available at the website.

      Madera Cuban Grill and Steak House

      Cuba...Land of Romance!

      Bringing the romance, flavors, and excitement of Cuba to you, Madera Cuban Grill and Steakhouse will open in three weeks on Vernon Blvd in Long Island City.

      This warm and intimate restaurant will be serving delicious Cuban Cuisine and the type of tender, Mid-western Steaks you can only find in the finest Steakhouses...grilled to luscious perfection

      Dining ROom at Madera Cuban Grill and Steak House

      When Madera Cuban Grill opens on Vernon Blvd, Long Island City will welcome this new addition to our restaurant choices.

      Go to Pre-Opening Profile of Madera Cuban Grill and Steak House

      Go to Madera Cuban Grill and Steak House website.

      Space Womb Gallery welcomed visitors to their opening reception for Spontaneous

      Space Womb Opening

      Space Womb Opening

      LIC's visual arts scene is growing! Jongwang Lee and Aehee Kang Asano of Space Womb Gallery welcomed visitors to their opening reception for Spontaneous on Friday evening, April 2nd Running through April 18th, the show features fresh work from Aehee Kang Asano, Eliot Label, Fernando Rangel, Jongwang Lee, Michael Alan, Shalom Neuman and Woolga Choi. The gallery is located at 22-48 Jackson Avenue, hours noon -- 6, Wednesday by appointment only.

      Space Womb Opening

      Use OurLIC Party Button to Request a Quote. Corporate Events, Catering, Venues, & Parties

      Party Button

      'OurLIC Business' integrates with BizWiz Services for Business-to-business.


      OurLIC for Business provide companies, business people, and professionals in Long Island City with a platform offering the newest tools, technology, and space to communicate, share, publish, distribute video, exchange ideas, collaborate, seek solutions, and to reach out to accelerate their success.

      BizWiz, The Internet's Largest Business Network and Resource Marketplace, has been providing business-to-business services to help companies get connected to their markets and customers since 1995. It is a self contained system of services that can help any size company improve its business.

      BizWiz is owned and operated by Rainbow Pages Inc., the owner of OurLIC.com. Join BizWiz

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      OurLIC Networking

      An important part of the OurLIC platform, the OurLIC Networking service provides a way for residents, merchants, artists, business people and others to meet, social network, and get to know each other. It also provides a place to blog and publish for yourself and your organization. Please sign-up. It is a FREE service.

      Know Your Neighbors






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      If you are interested in special promotions on OurLIC.com or advertising in OurLIC Newsletters. If you would like to have your company or organization profiled in our GUIDE, or want display advertising, please contact Arthur Rosenfield at 646-920-4652 for rates.

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