Celebrating 21st birthday at Giglio Feast

Enrico Saviano of Middle Village honors heritage and ancestors

While many 21-year-olds might spend their birthday hungover, Middle Village resident Enrico “Eddie” Saviano spent his day immersed in family tradition.

The Saviano family

As the son of Italian-American parents, Saviano saves the date each July to partake in Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s Giglio Feast, a 135-year Brooklyn tradition.

Along with his father, Anthony, and cousin, Frank Armano, Saviano serves as a “lifter” at the feast, meaning he is one of the hundreds of men who helps carry the 82-foot Giglio structure and a boat— “La Barca—along North 8th Street and Union Avenue.

Thousands of people from all walks of life come together at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church to celebrate this tradition.

In fact, police say that 114,000 people came out to the July 10 celebration, which is Saviano’s birthday.

“A lot of people from the neighborhood in Williamsburg came from Nola in Italy. The story goes that Turks had invaded the town and they took back an old widow’s only son. So, the bishop of the town, San Paolino, went to the Turk in Africa and said, ‘I’ll exchange my life for his, so he can go back and help his mother,’” Saviano said.

Enrico Saviano, Enrico Saviano, Frank Armano, and Anthony Saviano.

The Giglio with San Paolino on top and the boat with the Turks on it represents this tale.

Saviano’s father’s family came to Brooklyn from Naples, and his mother, Carmela, is of Sicilian ancestry.

“When Eddie was born, Anthony didn’t do the lifting as much, but then they started the children’s Giglio and he put his son right into it,” Carmela Saviano said.

“I’ve been with Anthony since I’m 14 years old, so I’ve watched him do it, and now I’m watching my son do it, so it’s really like a coming of age thing,” she continued. “It makes me cry seeing them under that structure each year.”

Eddie Saviano explained that the Giglio lift is not just something that anyone could do—the tradition is incredibly hard on the body.

“It’s heavier than you think and it’s tough, especially when the ground is uneven,” he explained. “Your shoulders are hurting you for a couple of days, and there are marks and bruises on your shoulders afterwards.”

The family added that each man under the Giglio and boat holds about 150-to-200 pounds, due to the heavy materials the structures are made of, as well as the speakers, clergy, and band who stand on top of the float.

Although only men perform the official Giglio lifts, children ages five and up of any gender can participate in the children’s Giglio, as shown by Saviano’s younger sister, Nancy.

Saviano’s grandfather, also named Enrico, was very involved in the tradition, passing it on through the generations.

“We do it for the sake of tradition,” Saviano said. “After every lift, my dad and my cousins grab a beer for my grandfather because he did this for many years, so I’m excited to carry on that tradition as well in honor of him.”

Assault suspect still at large

No arrests have been made

Two women were physically assaulted on June 16, along Myrtle Avenue in the vicinity of the Glendale Library.

One of the victims—a 33-year-old woman, who requested to remain anonymous—said that a man punched her in the back of the head and shortly thereafter, punched another woman in the head and attempted to push her into the street.

A male witness working at a garage for Mount Lebanon Cemetery stayed with the women until the police arrived.

The Glendale Register ran a story last week describing the attacks, and at the time of publication, did not have an image of the suspect or information about him.

Since then, an employee of the cemetery posted a photo of the suspect that was captured by surveillance footage.

Christina Wilkinson, a member of Juniper Park Civic Association, promptly forwarded the image to Councilman Robert Holden, who then sent it to Cooper Rapid Rehousing Center.

The shelter confirmed that the individual was a resident of the shelter at the time of the assaults, but left on June 26.

The 33-year-old victim said that after searching for the perpetrator in the surrounding area and being unable to locate him, officers from the 104 Precinct took their statements, and a photo of the suspect from the cemetery’s security footage.

No arrests have been made in regards to this incident, and the victim feels “blown off” by the cops.

“It felt like the detective that I spoke to a few days later was blowing me off. He didn’t seem to know about the security footage, even though both of the officers who responded saw it, and I believe one of them took a picture with his cell phone,” she previously told The Glendale Register. “It just kind of felt like nobody was going to do anything about it, or that it wasn’t an ‘important crime,’ like a ‘there are bigger fish to fry’ type of thing.

In a Facebook post to the Glendale Civic Association group, Wilkinson said that Deputy Inspector Kevin Coleman, the 104’s new commanding officer, had not seen the photo of the suspect that was posted online.

Her post also says that the officers claim there were no witnesses, and that they’d been looking for the security camera footage of the attacks.

“Since they collected the screenshot, if the police followed up with the shelter that day, they could have arrested that man,” Wilkinson said. “I think what [Holden] was most upset about was that we used to get notified by Community Affairs that a pattern was occurring and to be alert, but we’re not getting that anymore.”

She brought up the recent robbery pattern across neighborhoods in Queens, one of which happened on 80th Street and Cooper Avenue in Glendale—where an elderly man was shoved to the ground and his gold chain was removed by two individuals on a moped.

“The civic groups have been very upset lately because the communication has been lackluster coming from the precincts,” Wilkinson said. “We find out about crimes in the newspaper or on TV that are happening in our own neighborhood, and we feel that there needs to be better communication from the precinct.”

The assault victim said that she’s lived in Glendale for most of her life, and has never felt unsafe—but is now on high alert when she goes out.

“I feel like there’s somebody still out there who maybe is looking to harm people or possibly doesn’t even remember harming people, depending on what his situation is,” she said. “I almost feel like nothing’s going to happen unless he does something again.”
Wilkinson feels that the homeless shelter is actively harming Glendale and its surrounding neighborhoods.

“It’s just been a revolving door of people who really need to be monitored, and they’re not,” she said. “Most of them don’t even know where they are, so they’re wandering around performing crimes of opportunity. Many of them have mental health or substance abuse issues… I don’t know why anybody would think this would be something that would enhance the community rather than be a detriment.”

Toy drive for Eid al-Adha

In partnership with the Muslim Entrepreneur Association, New York State Senate candidate Japneet Singh traveled throughout Queens to distribute toy bags to kids for Eid al-Adha on July 9.

Starting at Masjid Al-Abidin in Richmond Hill, Singh, along with Abdul Rahman of the Muslim Entrepreneur Association, gave away 500 bags to boys and girls at four different locations throughout the borough, including Masjid Al-Furqan on 76-18 Glenmore Avenue in Ozone Park, the Cityline Ozone Park Civilian Patrol Food Distribution Event in Ozone Park and the Hillside Islamic Center.

A family displaced by the recent South Richmond Hill house fire on 125th Street between 107th and Liberty avenues visited Masjid Al-Abidin while Rahman and Singh were giving out toys. The Santram family had a special surprise from Rahman and Singh for the daughter, who recently began college — an Acer laptop to help with her studies.

“[Singh and I] both went to Queens College and we both know how tough it is, especially with everything that is going on,” Rahman told the family. “The Muslim Entrepreneur Association is always here for you.”

Eid-al Adha is the second and bigger of the two main holidays celebrated in Islam. Also known as the “Feast of Sacrifice,” the two-day holiday began at sundown on Friday, July 8, and continued into Saturday. It is a celebration and remembrance of the Prophet Ibrahim’s devotion to Allah when he willingly sacrificed his son.

Hundreds were at each of the mosques that Rahman and Singh visited, and their gifts brought smiles and happiness to children of all ages who were celebrating Eid al-Adha, as well as those at the food pantry to who they extended the joy, even if they were not celebrating Eid al-Adha themselves.

For more information on the events and goodwill of the Muslim Entrepreneur Association, visit their Facebook at @MEA.Global.Association or their Instagram at @mea_network. Japneet Singh is running in District 15 for the New York State Senate, with his main competition in the primary election for Democratic candidate being incumbent Joseph Addabbo Jr. Elections are on August 23.

WinC x King Manor at Rufus King Park

The Women in Comics Collective, or WinC, partnered with the King Manor Museum in Jamaica to host a free outdoor comic book festival on Saturday, July 9. Located within the Rufus King Park, King Manor held free tours while WinC brought vendors, work- shops and live events.

Regine L. Sawyer, the coordinator and founder of WinC, gave away free comics — from Batman to the X- Men — at a vibrant purple booth. The collaboration “WinC x King Manor” was all thanks to her reaching out to Kelsey Brow, executive director of King Manor. There were numer- ous booths scattered across King Manor.

There were artists selling buttons, comics and other forms of custom-made art from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday, along with live music and free pizza available in the afternoon. In an interesting surprise that certainly contrasted the historic building that served as their backdrop, WinC invited The Rogue Alliance, a Star Wars inspired stage combat performance team based in New York City, to use their lightsabers in mock battles in front of King Manor.

More information on WinC can be found on their website at www.womenin- comicscollective.org



Ditmars Starbucks worker claims illegal firing

Starbucks worker Austin Locke has been a leading voice for the unionization of the Starbucks at 31st Street and Ditmars Boulevard.

He has worked there for the past three years, spending six in total with the company.

Austin Locke protesting outside Starbucks

His name was the first in the letter workers sent to Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz detailing how they have experienced “all sorts of harassment, racism, sexism, and physical violence on top of fewer hours, meager wages, and poor staffing.”

Less than a week after he and his team unionized on June 30—making them the second in Queens to do so—Locke was fired on July 5 for what he calls “bogus reasons” in a video posted to the official Twitter account of the organizers at the Ditmars Boulevard Starbucks (DitmarsSBWU).

“I was just recently fired here illegally for unionizing the store,” he said in the video, in which he also announced a rally will be held on July 22 at 6 p.m.

A Starbucks spokesperson denies these allegations, instead stating that Locke was fired due to violating health and safety standards, failing to comply with COVID-19 violations and violating the Starbucks code of ethics.

“Austin Locke is no longer with Starbucks for blatant violations of our health and safety standards, as well as failing to uphold our mission and values,” a spokesperson stated. “Our health and safety standards are in place to protect our partners and the communities we serve, and we cannot ignore blatant violations that put others at risk. A partner’s interest in a union does not exempt them from the standards we have always held. We will continue to consistently enforce our policies.”

Having two previous violations during his time with Starbucks, a spokesperson stated that he received his third violation, or “corrective action,” when he refused to have his temperature taken when he showed up for work the day after calling out sick with COVID-19.

He also alleged a coworker had physical contact with him, despite video evidence proving that to be false, according to the Starbucks spokesperson.

Locke is demanding reinstatement and backpay for the days since he was fired, and announced via Twitter that there will be a rally on July 22 at 6 p.m. for these demands.

The demands of the Ditmars Starbucks include increased wages, free full-coverage healthcare, and more sick time. Among elected officials who have shown support for the recent vote to unionize is State Senator Michael Gianaris.

“Congratulations to the latest Queens Starbucks workers exercising their right to organize and join a union,” he said in a recent statement. “Organized labor is the foundation of a strong working class, which we need now more than ever. I am thrilled this movement keeps growing, and I am proud of the workers leading this fight.”

Half a mile away, the Astoria Boulevard and 31st Street Starbucks celebrated a unanimous vote on June 6, making it the first in Queens.

The two Starbucks join a movement of hundreds of other stores that are making clear their frustration with being underpaid and understaffed.

Such a movement can be seen In Buffalo, New York, where a unionized Starbucks on Elmwood Avenue informed local leaders they would be going on strike on July 9 due to changing staff schedules.

In a message published on the Starbucks news website on July 11, Shultz — who returned to Starbucks as interim CEO in April after retiring in 2018 — states that “we need to reinvent Starbucks for the future.”

He presents, in this message, five new moves to reinvent Starbucks, and a set of principles for a new partnership at Starbucks.

This message can be found at stories.starbucks.com.

First Female Eagle Scout in Queens

Kayla Chow, 19, has recently become the first female Eagle Scout in Queens. Born in Fresh Meadows, Chow was congratulated on Tuesday, July 12 by U.S. Representative Grace Meng for her status, and her tremendous accomplishments, after her awards ceremony in late May.

“I am incredibly proud to congratulate my constituent Kayla Chow, and I commend her for this historic accomplishment,” said Meng in a press release on July 12. “She is an exceptional individual who through hard work, community service, and determination rose to reach this great milestone. I was honored to take part in her ceremony, and I know that she will serve as a wonderful role model and inspiration to other female scouts in our borough and across New York City. I wish her all the best for a bright and successful future.”

Chow is a founding member of Scouts BSA’s Female Troop 253 in Flushing. This unit launched in 2019 — the year that the Boy Scouts of America began allowing girls throughout the country to join the program. From that point onward, the flagship Boy Scouts program was renamed Scouts BSA.

Becoming an Eagle Scout is the highest achievement attainable in Scouts BSA. Chow officially began an Eagle Scout in April 2021, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the “Court of Honor” ceremony, was postponed until May 2022.

“Being the first female Eagle Scout in Queens is a huge honor,” said Kayla Chow in a press release from Meng. “I am extremely proud to have earned this accomplishment and I thank Congresswoman Meng for being part of it. I encourage younger scouts or anyone who wants to join Scouts BSA, to go for the highest rank that they can possibly achieve, and of course, it would be great to strive to become an Eagle Scout. Always do your best, don’t get discouraged, and have fun along the way.”

Chow has earned 26 merit badges as of press time, which are awards given to scouts for increasing their knowledge and abilities in a certain area of studies such as cooking, rowing, or camping.

An honors graduate of Benjamin Cardozo High School’s Da Vinci Program in BioMedical, Chow is now entering her sophomore year at City College of New York with a full scholarship, with hopes to major in Architecture.

Chow currently serves as an Assistant Scoutmaster for Female Troop 253.

Ridgewood locals form bike collective

Ridgewood Rides to focus on community rides, activism

Last week, concerned Ridgewood cyclists gathered at Grover Cleveland Park to voice their safety concerns and ideas for improved bike infrastructure in the community.

By the end of the meet-up, a new biking group, “Ridgewood Rides,” was formed—which will focus on hosting group bike rides, spreading awareness about bike safety, and advocating for protected bike lanes.

Rachel Albetski, an urban planner, resident of Ridgewood, and former chair of North Brooklyn Transportation Alternatives Activist Committee, organized the meet-up in the park, encouraging neighbors to join and talk about the most troublesome areas for cyclists in the area.

“I think the intention is that we want to continue doing community building through these weekly community rides that would just be open for anyone,” Albetski said.

“We go around and bike, but then another contingent would be more going towards the advocacy route, actually starting to really push the electeds, the DOT, and the community board to come and do a comprehensive neighborhood traffic study and improve the bicycle network.”

Several attendees brought up the concern for bikers on Metropolitan Avenue, due to the fact that the bike lane is simply painted and not protected, as well as other bustling streets such as Fresh Pond Road.

“The infrastructure is not there. Metropolitan is really bumpy. I think one of the biggest pet peeves that I have for biking in Ridgewood is that cars are really aggressive on these streets—even though we have a lot of one way pairs,” Bree Mobley, a Ridgewood resident said at the meet-up.

“We’ve also had a ton of construction on Himrod and Harman…and the access to the Ridgewood Reservoir is shady in certain parts, and it just doesn’t feel that great,” she continued. “It’d be great to expand the network and then make those connections better.”

Juan Ardila, who won the Democratic Primary election for Assembly District 37, also attended the meeting to show support for the group’s efforts.

“The biggest pet peeve about Maspeth is that we are absolutely aggressive with cars. There are no bike lanes; it just does not exist there,” Ardila said.

“So trying to see what we can do to bring some of that good energy down to Maspeth, see what we could do to expand it in Ridgewood as well to make it safe and accessible for people who do want to bike,” he continued. “I want to bike a lot more than what I currently do, so having these protected bike lanes and pedestrian safety is a big issue that needs to be addressed.”

Albetski said that throughout her career as an urban planner, she’s advocated for street safety for many years, and feels that the biking community has a great opportunity to achieve their goals now.

“If people are up for it, I think we kind of have a really great opportunity now to take energy and translate that into really advocating for what we want to see for change,” she said. “And now we have Juan [Ardila] which is awesome, because we have someone who can support our goals on a broader level. I’m just super excited that we have this momentum.”

Ridgewood Rides plans on petitioning, bringing those signatures to Community Board 5, and asking that they request the DOT to do a comprehensive study of the area’s streets to ensure that cyclists’ needs are being met.

But another main component of the group’s mission is to hold community bike rides throughout local neighborhoods.
This was inspired by Mollie Lauffer, also known as “Ridgefood” on social media, who first organized a pool noodle bike ride in Ridgewood during May.

“The significance of the noodle is that it prevents people from getting too close, because drivers do what they call a ‘close pass’ and want to get around you,” Lauffer said.

“It shows them that they can’t just get right on top of us and they have to give us space,” she continued. “You getting around in your car is not more important than me getting somewhere on my bike.”

Ridgewood Rides will hold their next group bike ride in and around Ridgewood on Thursday, July 14.

Its total distance is 10.2 miles with an average speed of 10-12 mph, and will make stops at Juniper Valley Park, Ollie’s Ice Cream Shop, and Fresh Pond Cocktail Club.

With opposing views in mind, the group discussed that having protected bike lanes would benefit everyone on the street, not just cyclists.

“It’s less about an individual bike lane and more just about creating an overall feeling of safety for everyone,” Albetski said.

“So from your 90-year-old grandma to your eight-year-old kid, we just want everyone to feel like they can come and ride a bike in the neighborhood,” she continued. “I think that would be best accomplished through a network design and fully integrating into the existing bike network that already exists.”

Singh to go toe-to-toe with Addabbo

Candidate Japneet Singh runs for State Senate

Japneet Singh is looking to represent his vast, yet often disenfranchised community up in Albany.

The 28-year-old candidate has challenged incumbent State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., and candidate Albert Baldeo in the Democratic primary on August 23.

The winner will determine who will run in the November general election to represent the Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Forest Hills, Maspeth, and Richmond Hill communities.

Singh was raised in a Sikh household and brought up by immigrant parents from Punjab, India, who moved to the Richmond Hill community when he was just an infant. He spent his entire childhood in the area, where he attended the local public schools.

After graduating from John Adams High School, he went on to receive both a Bachelors in Accounting, Economics, Finance, and International Business and a Masters degree in Accounting from CUNY Queens College.

It was there that he discovered his passion for public service. An active participant in student government, Singh served as the vice-chairperson of senior college affairs with the CUNY University Student Senate, where he oversaw the interests of over 500,000 students.

Hoping to represent his community in a similar fashion, he is running for Senate on a campaign platform targeting key issues in the district, including public safety, education, government transparency, and housing.

Singh said that one key issue is the need for more community-based policing in the district. This past year, the community has witnessed five different hate crimes against Asian-Americans between the ages of 55 and 72.

“These are people my parents and grandparents’ age, who have seen the fear and devastation with their eyes. It’s emotional at that point,” Singh said, adding that the language barrier, confusion, and fear of deportation are some reasons why people in the Sikh community are afraid to call the cops.

It is his hope that by working with the community he can help build better relationships with the NYPD.

According to his campaign website, he also plans to work to amend bail reform, increase the minimum sentencing for hate crime offenders, implement background checks for weapons, fund rehabilitation for at-risk youth, and provide funding for a Sikh community watch and other community safety organizations.

Another key issue his campaign focuses on addressing is educational inequity in the district. Singh said that the construction at John Adams High School has been ongoing since 2012.

“It’s still going on. It has been 10 years. If you took that same school and put it in the Upper East Side or Williamsburg or Long Island City, it would’ve been done,” Singh told The Queens Ledger in an exclusive interview. “They spent $50 million building the library in Long Island City but they can’t spend $50,000 for kids? There’s no reason Astoria has electric car chargers, but we don’t even have trash cans.”

He said that the construction at M.S. 228 has been ongoing since he graduated in 2008. “And you know what’s so funny. It’s in my backyard. I have to look at it every single day,” he continued. “If it was Astoria it would’ve been done… There’s a real problem there.”

It was a lack of local educational infrastructure that motivated him to run for City Council against Speaker Adrienne Adams in 2021, according to Singh. He was particularly disappointed with how she had given South Jamaica schools nearly a million dollars in discretionary funding, compared to Richmond Hill, which was in the tens of thousands of dollars range.

Another critical proponent of his campaign is the need for government transparency. During his interview with The Queens Ledger, Singh touched on the $220 billion state budget, and its lack of investment in higher education.

“I think when a billion dollars is going to a stadium instead of coming to communities that need it, that’s a big problem,” Singh said. “I think the last time you had a tuition freeze for students was in 2018. Since then tuition is going back on the rise.”

He added that every year politicians tout the investments being made to fund public schools and how nobody is doing anything to see them through.

“Year after year these budgets are passing, yet every day people are doing less and less. There’s a problem. A systemic problem,” he said. “Take a look at who is doing what and I think we need to make sure that we keep all those elected officials accountable.”

Housing is another big focus of his campaign. While he is a staunch supporter of passing the Good Cause Eviction Act, he said that he also understands some of the nuances which need to be addressed as well.

“I think we need to look at it as well. There are some cases where, if they’re in good financial standing and are driving great cars and they’re still not being evicted, they’re just taking advantage of landlords,” Singh said. “Unfortunately I get a lot of calls from people complaining that they haven’t paid rent in a year, but they’re ordering take out every single day, they have nice cars. We need to reassess those. But in general, for the people who have a legitimate reason why they can’t pay rent, we definitely need to make sure we support them.”

Singh is also in support of reforming laws that increase the cost of building more housing, reducing property taxes on multifamily rental properties, and passing legislation to legalize basement apartments in the district.

“As a property owner, I was actually doing a lot of work with Hurricane victims, especially in Queens, where two people were lost due to illegal basements and couldn’t get out,” Singh replied. “I think there should be a push to make the illegalized basements legal and to help homeowners facilitate those costs as well. Sometimes they are asking for an arm and a leg and some people can afford that. But I also don’t encourage illegal basements that aren’t going to be supportive of their tenant either.”

He said that it needs to be a two-way street where the government works with homeowners, and where homeowners and tenants can feel confident trusting their elected officials will work for them.

WWII Veteran celebrates 103rd Birthday

It’s not often you get to celebrate a milestone. Over the weekend Jack Stollak celebrated his 103rd birthday at Brandywine Living at The Savoy in Little Neck with his favorite, lox and bagels, birthday cake, and a poker game with his friends.

Stollak was born on July 9, 1919. He grew up the son of Polish immigrants, who moved into a place on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where he lived with two brothers and one sister.

He is a World War II veteran, who spent four years in the U.S. Army fighting the Axis forces in the Atlantic theater. Upon his return, Stollak received several medals honoring him for his service as a sergeant.

Stollak as a young man fighting overseas during WWII

During his time in the military, while stationed in London, he tried to locate his father’s sister, Rose Miller, at an address he had been given. But when he got there, he found the location was converted into a factory.

Stollack said he then went across the street, asking one of the neighbors if she remembered anyone who had lived there. The neighbor sent him to a Rabbi, who he said had a small congregation of people, but recalled that she had moved away. Then the Rabbi’s daughter walks in and says that she had recently seen her on the bus. From there he went to a local butcher who remembered her and said she was a customer of his. The butcher then took him to an old house, where he finally found his aunt.

“I’m your brother’s son,” he said.

While his family moved to the U.S. in the early 20th century, several members of his family moved to London while others moved to Israel.

Then in 1948, he married his wife of 73 years, Eva, and the two of them went on to settle down in a home in Maspeth. Stollack recalls that his wife had made her wedding gown out of French silk, which he had been given as a souvenir from his colonel after raiding a German silk factory.

Together they went on to have three children, Lynne, Ira, and David—who passed away at the age of 63.

Stollak is also an avid baseball fan, particularly the New York Yankees. One of his fondest memories was meeting Babe Ruth when he was a child.

“Babe used to come by the stadium in a roadster and he liked kids so he was very willing to say ‘hi’ and give autographs,” Stollack said. “I was so excited to get his autograph that I picked up a piece of paper off the ground and handed it to Babe. Babe from the side of his mouth said, ‘Get a clean piece of paper kid!’ I got a clean paper from another boy and got Babe’s autograph.”

Stollak, still living it up at 103

Jack and Eva enjoyed going on cruises. For their 50th wedding anniversary, they renewed their vows on an Alaskan cruise ship.

After they retired to Florida, his wife had missed the Big Apple so much that they moved into Brandywine Living at the Savoy in 2015.

Sadly, Jack lost the love of his life two years ago, in 2020, but he still keeps her close to his heart, adding that his 73 years of marriage was one of his greatest accomplishments.

Today, Stollak still remains active and engaged with his friends through musical entertainment and poker games. His friends say he has a great sense of humor and is always telling jokes or witty stories.

“My doctor told me I’m the healthiest 103-year-old he’s ever seen,” Jack said. “He said I was the healthiest—not the smartest!”

The Eighties Strike Back in Middle Village

Rubix Kube performs at Juniper

As part of Councilman Robert Holden’s summer concert series in partnership with NYC Department of Parks and Recreation and Queensborough Performing Arts Center, Rubix Kube rocked the house last Thursday.

Hundreds of locals gathered in the Multi Purpose Play Area of Juniper Valley Park for “The Eighties Strike Back Show” by the celebrated tribute band, self described as the “rad lovechild of a Rock concert and a Broadway musical.”

From Michael Jackson to Madonna, the group’s singers, musicians, and dancers wowed the audience with the hottest tracks from the decade.

The band’s frontman, Scott Lovelady, transformed himself into the iconic faces of the ‘80s with the costumes to match, as did the danc- ers with their flashy neon wardrobe reminiscent of the time.

They were also joined by 11-year- old vocalist and drummer, Kobi Reese—who channeled Billy Idol for the night.

Rubix Kube’s frontwoman, Cherie Martorana Neve, hails from Massachusetts and lives in New Jersey. She was proud to perform on the Juniper Park stage for a lively crowd of people.

Although the ‘80s has so many hits and genres of popular music, Martorana Neve said her favorite song to perform by far is “Under Pres- sure” by David Bowie and Queen.

“It’s an incredible song that’s sung by two of the most legendary and talented musicians of all time. Most of all, the lyrics of that song are more relevant now than they have ever been,” she said.

“When we perform the song now, it’s like everything going on in the world for COVID, politics, just get- ting older, growing, everything. We get emotional when we perform that song; I actually cry sometimes and get teary eyed,” she continued. “It’s just a very moving song, but in all the right ways. Not a lot of songs do that, but music does that in general.”

Michael Jackson’s signature moves

For more free concert fun, check out this week’s Rolling Stones tribute band—Satisfaction—on July 14 at 7 p.m. in Juniper Valley Park.

Little Billy Idol

Cherie Martorana Neve

Hair metal was well-represented


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