QCA hosts High School to Art School exhibit

Photo Courtesy Queens Council on the Arts

Photo Courtesy Queens Council on the Arts

Swing by the Queens Council on the Arts, located at 37-11 35th Avenue, to check out its latest exhibition: High School to Art School.

The exhibit celebrates the accomplishments of young artists. Their portfolios and artwork will be on display, highlighting the many techniques and concepts central to the program.

Best of all, the exhibit is free! Drop by between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. from May 21 until June 11.


A monster AAU basketball tournament is coming to L.I.C.

The Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens, The Artest foundation, and CM3 Elite have joined forces to bring a top tier AAU basketball tournament to Astoria, Queens.

The Artest Foundation Summer Classic will be held at the Variety Boys & Girls Club in L.I.C. on July 29, 30, and 31st (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).

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The tournament is already receiving attention from national and local media sources such as ESPN, Hot97, The Queens Ledger Newspaper & The Astoria / L.I.C. Journal.

The hosting team is top 10 ranked CM3 elite. The Summer Classic should attract top AAU teams in the tri-state area, including RENS, PSA Cardinals / Team SCAN, Long Island Lightning, The Gauchos, & more.

There are four divisions. Boys 17u, Boys 16u, Boys 14u, and Girls 17u. Sign your team up here.





Variety Boys & Girls Club 3v3 Basketball Corporate Challenge is this Sunday!

The Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens is hosting their annual 3v3 Corporate Challenge Basketball tournament this coming Sunday, May 22nd, from 10AM – 3PM.

Companies such as Edward Jones, Stephen Hans & Associates, The Queens Ledger Newspaper, CM3 Elite, Heroes Basketball, The Artest Foundation, and more, are entering teams that will lace ‘em up for a good cause. Click here to register online.


Here are 3 reasons why your company should have a team in the 3v3 Corporate Challenge at the Variety Boys & Girls Club in L.I.C..

1. Good Exercise! – Experts claim that the average person burns over 300 calories while playing 30 minutes of basketball. The cardiovascular workout from a basketball game is also very beneficial to your heart and lungs.

2. Fun! – What’s better than shooting some hoops with your friends on a Sunday afternoon? Pretend you’re Steph Curry shooting 3’s, and then relax while chowing down on some chicken, burgers and hot dogs. I know what you’re thinking… what about the calories I burned from reason #1, good exercise? Well… c’mon, live a little!

3. A Good Cause! –  All money raised will be used to help fund the Club! The Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens is the largest after-school program in Western Queens. With more than 1,000 members paying $35 (or less if the family cannot afford it), they care for nearly 200 children daily, with special programs continuing on until 8:30 pm.


Contact Matt Troy at 718-728-0946  or email info@varietyboysandgirlsclub.org for more information.

Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens | 21-12 30th Road. Long Island City, New York 11102




Astoria Houses leader honored in Albany

Claudia Coger

For so many years, Claudia Coger has led the Astoria Houses Residents Association. Now she’s getting recognized for her service.

Coger was honored by State Senator Michael Gianaris as one of the Senate’s “Women of Distinction.” Each March, the legislative body hosts a display that honors distinguished women, from leaders in the suffragist movement to pioneers in education, science and the arts. Last Tuesday, this year’s honorees were celebrated at a special ceremony at the state Capitol.

“Ms. Coger’s contributions have enriched the quality of life in our community,” Gianaris said. “She has been a tireless advocate for residents and a powerful voice for social welfare, education and tenant’s rights. It is a honor to thank Ms. Coger for her continued service.”

Residents share thoughts on streetcar proposal

BQX_map_(From Mayor's Office)

Astoria residents got their chance to weigh in on the proposed Queens-Brooklyn Connector (BQX) streetcar Monday night at the Variety Boys and Girls Club.

Officials from the Department of Transportation (DOT) and NYC Economic Development Corporation were on hand to deliver presentations and facilitate small group discussions. Residents spoke about who would be impacted, what the ridership would look like and what routes they preferred.

The streetcar would run 16 miles along the waterfront from Queens to Brooklyn, connecting neighborhoods from Astoria and Long Island City to Red Hook and Sunset Park. According to the mayor’s office, it would serve about 700,000 residents and commuters, and up to 50,000 people daily.

The total cost would be about $2.5 billion, which raised some concerns among residents. One resident said a dedicated bus lane would do the job instead.

If all goes according to schedule, shovels would be in the ground by 2019.

Greek media pioneer honored with street co-naming

kastanas group photo

The late Demetris Kastanas, founder of the national Greek Television program and bi-weekly Eseis Magazine, was honored on Saturday with a street co-naming.

31st Avenue between Steinway and 41st streets will now be called “Demetris Kastanas Way.”

Kastanas founded the television program in 1975, which later became a channel in 1987. Eseis Magazine covered the many issues affecting the Greek-American community.

“Demetris Kastana helped promote Hellenism and Democratic values throughout his life,” said Councilman Costa Constantinides. “We honor him because he served as a great example of civic engagement.”

State Senator Michael Gianaris added that he remembered watching the channel’s Saturday afternoon television show with his grandmother when he was a child.

“There is not a single Greek-American in New York whose life has not been touched by Demetris Kastanas,” Gianaris said.

Nomiki Kastanas, Demetris’s widow, said she was proud and deeply humbled by the street co-naming.

“Although we miss him deeply, it gives us an inner peace knowing that all his years of hard work, and sacrifice have been vindicated, recognized and appreciated,” she said.

Suspect wanted for attempted burglary

1252-16 Burglary 114 PDU 5-3-16 photo

Police are looking for a man who attempted to rob a woman in Astoria.

Last night, at approximately 1:15 a.m., the suspect followed a 21-year-old woman into her building’s lobby near Broadway and 36th Street. According to authorities, he attempted to push his way into her apartment, but was ultimately unsuccessful.

The man then fled down 36th Street.

Police describe him as a Hispanic man, 30 to 35 years old, approximately 5’10” and 180 pounds. He was last seen wearing a dark long overcoat, lightly colored shirt and another light-colored shirt wrapped around his head. He was also sporting a backpack.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM.

A video of the man following the woman into her apartment is shared below: