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Monday, Nov. 29
Dahn Bicas was arrested at 60-39 Maspeth Avenue for third-degree assault by Officer Christodoulou.
Anthony Young was arrested at 656 Woodward Avenue for petit larceny by Detective Wright.
Tuesday, Nov. 30
Amadu Bah was arrested at 66-26 Metropolitan Avenue for aggravated unlicensed operator by Officer Urrutia.
Jonathan Martinez was arrested at Putnam Avenue and Stier Place for aggravated unlicensed operator by DTS Santos.
Norbet A. Chin was arrested at 1928 Grove Street for child endangerment by Officer Claybrooks.
Wednesday, Dec. 1
Kevin Lugo was arrested at Flushing Avenue and Rust Street for making graffiti by Officer Martinez.
Duke Guerra was arrested at Flushing Avenue and Ruse Street for making graffiti by Officer martinez.
Kamil Andrezejczyk was arrested at 65-33 77th Place for strangulation by Officer Porcelli.
Efrain Pullutasig was arrested at 64th Street and Myrtle Avenue for possession of a forged instrument by Officer Teti.
Thursday, Dec. 2
Ivan Delgado was arrested at 64-02 Catalpa Avenue for aggravated harassment by Detective Scrimenti.
Allan Tiburcio was arrested at 64-02 Catalpa Avenue for strangulation by Detective Palminteri.
Joanne Pierce was arrested at 64-02 Catalpa Avenue for petit larceny by DTS Wright.
Victor Rodriguez was arrested at 78-16 Cooper Avenue for attempted murder by Detective Gerardi.
John Heenan was arrested at 78-24 74th Street for driving while intoxicated by Officer Fasano.
Luciano Feliciano was arrested at 1860 Putnam Avenue for criminal mischief by Officer Claybrooks.
Anshawn Ghee was arrested at 78-16 Cooper Avenue for criminal possession of a weapon by Officer Pickett.
Friday, Dec. 3
Vanessa Diaz was arrested at 1923 Harman Street for misdemeanor assault by Officer Mark.
Angel Matos was arrested at Woodbine Street and Forest Avenue for misdemeanor assault by Detective Scrimenti.
Thomas Sommella was arrested at 61-18 82nd Place for misdemeanor assault by DTS Wright.
Josue Ortiz was arrested at 58-33 Fresh Pond Road for misdemeanor assault by Officer Bartichek.
Jovani Cardozo was arrested at 89-55 Metropolitan Avenue for menacing by Officer Arfeen.
Saturday, Dec. 4
Lyza Linares was arrested at Otto Road and 69th Street for unregistered vehicle by Officer Clemente.
Angel Frias was arrested at Otto Road and 69th Street for unauthorized use of vehicle by Officer Clemente.
Richard Martinez was arrested at 70th Avenue and 69th Street for unauthorized use of vehicle by Officer Clemente.
Leonarde Rodriguez was arrested at 70th Avenue and 69th Street for unauthorized use of vehicle by Officer Clemente.
Alexis Vagasresto was arrested at 66-26 Metropolitan Avenue for petit larceny by Officer Giordani.
Charles Deveau was arrested at 675 Seneca Avenue for criminal contempt by Officer Chowdhury.
Sunday, Dec. 5
Christian Olovacha was arrested at Gates Avenue and Seneca Avenue for possession of a forged instrument by Detective Santos.
Dimas Peralta was arrested at Centre Street and Seneca Avenue for reckless endangerment by Officer Duran.
Darrin Chase was arrested at 68-01 Otto Road for petit larceny by Officer Pickett.
Nicholas Giacobbe was arrested at Margaret Place and 81st Road for unauthorized use of vehicle by Officer Kollbeck.
Nestor Cuesta was arrested at 62-65 84th Street for felony assault by Officer Durham.
There is an art to breathing life into a balloon.
Hampton Keith Bishop selects one of the 600,000 unblown balloons that are hanging on the wall in a rainbow of color.
It happens to be a pretty pearl lemon chiffon hue.
He attaches it to a precision air inflator, the black box that can be carefully calibrated to release .1 to 9.9 seconds of air in a single instance.
He sets the buttons — .5 of a second, 1 second, 1.5 seconds – stopping at each to show the results as he pumps up the balloon to the perfect size.
Size isn’t the only balloon attribute Hampton can change; he’s an expert at altering colors.
He deflates the pearl lemon chiffon balloon and stuffs it with a spring green balloon, inserting one inside the other on the top of a long stick.
The black box does its magic, and the balloon-within-the-balloon blossoms into a luminous green/gold watermelon.
“It is,” he says, “like mixing paint.”
Since he started HKBalloons NYC at the end of 2015, Hampton has literally blown up hundreds of thousands of balloons sans a single premature pop.
His creations have appeared at corporate and celebrity events, have been exhibited at art shows and have starred in films (Survivor is coming out this year) and on TV (he’s done projects for several shows, including Saturday Night Live, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, 30 Rock: A One-Time Special, Love Life, Blue Bloods, Girls5eva and Pose).
In 2018, for a satellite show by Maarkah at the Museum of the City of New York during New York Fashion Week, models wore gowns made of HKBalloons. (Hampton didn’t have a dress form handy so he used a body-size inflatable champagne bottle as a size guide for the expandable couture.)
And in the depths of the pandemic, Hampton created elaborate holiday balloon scenes outside his home office on Astoria Boulevard South facing Astoria Park.
“I didn’t have anything to do during the lockdowns,” he says. “I just needed to create something, so I designed them as messages of hope.”
Balloons, you see, represent happiness to Hampton, who is from Bowling Green, Kentucky. (If you listen carefully, you can still hear a slight accent through his smooth stage voice.)
He twisted his first balloon in first grade after his babysitter gave him a book on the subject.
His neighbor, a Ringling Bros clown who owned a costume shop, allowed Hampton to work in the store, tutored him on balloon twisting and mentored him on the finer points of musical theater, which was Hampton’s major at Belmont University.
“I was always fascinated by balloons and hot-air balloons,” Hampton says, “and I used to build giant sculptures out of trash bags in my front yard when I was a child. I loved being able to create something out of nothing.”
After graduating from college and working at Dollywood, Hampton moved to Astoria to hit the New York City musical-theater audition circuit.
Like all performers, he took a variety of jobs to pay the rent.
His stints with the custom holiday design company American Christmas, the show producer RWS Entertainment Group, and the party store Balloon Saloon proved pivotal to the formation of HKBalloons NYC.
The company (the HKB is Hampton’s monogram, and he’s delighted that it just so happens to end in B for balloon!) started out as nothing more than an imaginative idea.
“I started in my apartment with three to four bags of balloons,” he says. “And I twisted balloons in Central Park for tips at the end of the month to make enough money to pay my rent. Suddenly, it just took off.”
Hampton, who is a solo show, runs the company out of his basement and lives in the apartment above the office.
Sometimes clients ask him to replicate their designs; other times, they commission him to come up with ideas and execute them.
Large projects are blown up in sections in Hampton’s office and assembled on site, a job he likens to putting together a jigsaw puzzle.
“Sometimes, they take up my entire apartment, too,” he says, adding that when there’s still not enough space, he rents a box truck to store and transport them.
In May 2019, for instance, when HKBalloons NYC created the SNL set for the Jonas Brothers, Hampton made the 5,000-balloon sculpture in sections and trucked it to the Manhattan studio.
“I actually created it twice,” he says. “I did one for the color check and one for the live show. I popped all the balloons of the first one with scissors.”
That one really hurt, Hampton says, because nobody except the production crews got to see it.
That’s the thing about balloon sculptures – they are appealing, in large part, precisely because, like bouquets of live blooms, they aren’t supposed to last forever.
Speaking of forever, Hampton, who just turned 33, isn’t sure where his balloon business will lead him.
He’s at a point where he can pick and choose his projects, he’s just not sure what the next big thing will be.
He’s thought about expanding and hiring people to help him, but for now, he’ll just take things one balloon at a time.
Nancy A. Ruhling may be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @nancyruhling and visit astoriacharacters.com.
At a time when historic buildings are being demolished or altered, a new plaque program aims to spotlight architecturally and culturally significant buildings by explaining their history and distinctive architecture
It was founded by Rego-Forest Preservation Council with hopes that once property owners and residents are aware of a site’s unique characteristics and history, they will be maintained and preserved.
Forest Hills was named in 1906 by Cord Meyer Development Company, whereas Rego Park became official in 1923 thanks to the Real Good Construction Company. Early to mid-20th century buildings in the neighborhoods featured unique craftsmanship in styles ranging from Tudor and Colonial to Art Deco.
Academy Engraving, which is responsible for engraving the Tony Award statues, is working with the council to produce the bronze plaques.
“I feel it is extremely important to add a marker or plaque that explains the architectural significance and history of historic buildings,” said Academy Engraving founder and president Frank DiBella. “It definitely helps to stress the importance of preservation with the property owner and neighbors.”
DiBella grew up in Gravesend admiring and respecting the historic homes and buildings in his neighborhood.
“It was always exciting to discover a home built in the late 1700s and realize how many families came and went,” he said. “My favorite was Lady Moody’s home at 27 Gravesend Neck Road, which was famous in the neighborhood. My friends and I were proud it was in our own backyard.
“We also had the Wyckoff Bennett Homestead, a very interesting place built before the Revolutionary War,” DiBella added.
Dorothy Schreiber is board president of Hawthorne Court at 72-34 Austin Street, a Georgian Colonial residence built in 1931. It features a court entranceway, large decorative balcony, and dentil cornices, but the ornamental shutters are long-gone.
“It will help illuminate the historical presence of certain buildings and hopefully induce building owners to maintain and restore the unique village-like ambiance of our area, since presently Austin Street looks more like a shopping mall than a quaint village,” said Schreiber of the program. “A plaque will bring something special to our building.”
Kenney Vairo manages the six-story Forest Hills Towers at 71-50 Austin Street and its sister building, the four-story Edna Jean at 71-58 Austin Street, which is named for his mother.
“My grandfather Edward P. Kenney developed the buildings on Austin Street,” said Vairo. “He also owned three stores down the street where Chipotle is located, and a well-known bar and restaurant called Kenney’s. When he retired, my mother took over the real estate part at 23.”
Coming home to Sutton Hall at 109-14 Ascan Avenue offers a grand and charming experience. Built in 1931 by El-Walt Realty Corp, it is a foremost example of urban planning with English Manor design, evidenced by Medieval wood doors with stained glass, cupola, and half-timber and brick facade.
It was designed by Benjamin Braunstein, a Constantinople native and award-winning architect who was trained at the Hebrew Technical Institute and at the Beaux Arts Society.
He also designed several nearby buildings, including Valeria Arms, The Chatham, Marion Court, Remo Hall, Jupiter Court, Holland House, Tilden Arms, and The Wakefield.
“It is very important and delightful to preserve the history of our beautiful community,” said Leslie Lowry, a 40-year resident. “The plaques will show how proud and meaningful our homes are to us. When I enter my lobby, it makes me feel like I am entering an old castle, and my guests are always impressed.”
To acquire a plaque for your building, contact [email protected]
The concrete slabs that divide Hillside Avenue in Queens Village will soon be replaced with several new green drainage spaces, better protecting the eastern Queens neighborhood from flooding.
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Vincent Sapienza says the seven new green spaces along Hillside Avenue will capture millions of gallons of stormwater, reducing local flooding and overflows of the sewer system.
In September, an overflowed sewer system was a main culprit behind the damage sustained during Hurricane Ida.
“Pavement is not our friend,” said Sapienza outside Martin Van Buren High School last week. “We want to try and get as many permeable surfaces in the city as we can and let the ground do its work and soak up stormwater rather than have it runoff and cause flooding.”
The project is anticipated to break ground in late 2022 and construction will continue for up to 12 months. The total cost of the project is approximately $2.5 million.
True to its name, the stretch of Hillside Avenue in the northern part of Queens Village is situated at the bottom of a hill, parallel to the Grand Central Parkway. DEP says a minimum of 5 million gallons will be captured in the new green spaces, which will also serve as habitat for pollinators and other threatened species in Jamaica Bay.
Councilman Barry Grodenchik described the current medians as “a sea of concrete.”
“The honey locust trees didn’t do well here” said Grodenchik. “This is going to change the environment here. It’s going to make the area literally cooler, because we won’t have the concrete soaking up all this heat.”
Incoming councilwoman Linda Lee vowed to see the project to its completion.
“Hopefully it can be a space the students and the community can utilize, because one thing that COVID has taught us is that outdoor spaces cannot be taken for granted,” said Lee. “I think this project will be a huge resource and benefit for the community.”
Kirby Lindell, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1958, is thrilled with the planned upgrades.
“I’ve been writing letters since before Barry was the councilman,” said Lindell. “In the summer, the only thing that survived was the weeds.”
Instead, Lindell and his neighbors will soon see the patches of concrete replaced with new trees and native plantings, with the addition of environmentally friendly green infrastructure
“I am so happy,” added Lindell. “I know how difficult it is even for the local council people to get projects like this done with all the bureaucratic stuff that goes with it. It’s going to be so important to people in our neighborhood.”
The 2021 Holiday Season was officially welcomed to Woodhaven Friday night with a wonderful celebration capped by the annual lighting of the Holiday Tree at Forest Parkway.
Sponsored by the Woodhaven Business Improvement District, this year’s celebration included pictures with Santa, hot cocoa and balloons for the kids.
“What better way to start the holiday season than with one of Woodhaven’s favorite traditions, the Christmas tree lighting,” said WBID executive director Raquel Olivares. “It was so great to see so many people from the neighborhood coming together, especially children, to remind us why Woodhaven is a special place.”
It was a welcome return to normal. It was good to see so many people come out for this tradition, including the Color Guard from the Franklin K. Lane ROTC. But as much as I think they came out for the tree and the cocoa and the pictures with Santa, I think a lot of people came out to see each other.
Both of our representatives in the City Council were on hand for the celebration, Robert Holden and recently elected Joann Ariola. And Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar came by to wish everyone well.
We were happy to see them and appreciated them taking the time to visit Woodhaven, especially when they have so many other special celebrations in their districts to attend.
The students of PS 97, under the leadership of Ms. Caceres, did a wonderful job singing different holiday songs celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah, wrapping up with “Feliz Navidad.” I used to go to PS 97 when I was a little kid more than a few years ago, and as an alumnus I was very proud of these bright young kids.
The highlight of the night was, of course, Santa Claus. He came in, riding down Forest Parkway in a convertible driven by its owner, Community Board 9 chair Kenichi Wilson. Santa waved at the crowd and the kids cheered as loud as the train roaring into the Forest Parkway station.
There’s a nice story behind this year’s Santa, who was played this year by Officer Nick Salamone of the 102nd Precinct. This was his first time as Santa, and besides having the perfect first name to play St. Nick, he turned out to be a natural.
After a few tentative waves and getting a great response from the kids, our St. Nick let loose with a few booming “Ho Ho Ho’s” and everyone at Forest Parkway knew for certain that Santa had arrived. A few minutes later, Santa led the crowd in a countdown to lighting the tree.
Afterwards, children and their parents lined up to take pictures with St. Nick, while everyone else gathered in small groups and caught up with friends they hadn’t seen in a while. The temps were low that night, but we all got through it due to all the warmth generated by the people of Woodhaven.
It will be a memorable December for Forest Parkway Plaza. This coming Saturday at noon, the WBID will be presenting Frostbite Follies featuring the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus.
The Frostbite Follies consists of jugglers and clowns and various acrobats, as well as live music. They are currently barnstorming their way around New York City giving free outdoor performances.
There will be limited seating, so get there early to get a good view. The WBID will be providing popcorn and candy to all guests.
Congratulations to Raquel Olivares and Katty Garces and the entire Woodhaven Business Improvement District for their great work on this year’s tree lighting and for bringing the circus here to Woodhaven. It was great seeing everyone Friday night, and I hope to see you all again on Forest Parkway this Saturday.
Clergy, community leaders, and parishioners gathered at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Prospect Heights to watch as Robert J. Brennan was officially installed as the new bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn.
The installation, which was overseen by Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan, officially brought a close to Nicholas DiMarzio’s time as bishop. Dimarzio, age 75, originally submitted his letter of resignation on June 16, 2019.
“I can’t wait to get started, this is just incredibly exciting,” Bishop Brennan said ahead of the installation mass. “New York is a wonderful place to live. I’m going to be so happy serving the church here in Brooklyn and in Queens.
“From the day that my appointment was announced at the end of September, I just experienced such an incredible welcome,” Brennan continued. “Back in September my heartstrings were tugging as I was leaving Columbus [Ohio], but now that I’ve been here a couple days, I can’t wait to get started.”
During a question-and-answer session, Brennan explained that he is not committed to pursuing a concrete plan, but rather listening to the needs of the community and responding accordingly.
“I don’t have an actual program that says we are going to do X, Y, or Z. It would be, quite honestly, a little foolish on my part to come in and say, ‘okay, now it’s the Brennan way of doing things,’” the new bishop said. “There’s a rich history here and I want to learn from that.”
Bishop Robert J. Brennan was born and raised on Long Island, where he attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School in Lindenhurst and St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School in West Islip.