People flock to Grand Avenue for street fair
by Holly Tsang
Sep 25, 2010 | 6702 views | 0 0 comments | 65 65 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Despite gray skies on Sunday, the rain held out for the annual Maspeth Street Fair, a much anticipated day of outdoor shopping, entertainment, food and fun.

Businesses and local organizations from Maspeth and surrounding neighborhoods set up booths up and down Grand Avenue.

Raw chef/server Angela Santamaria of Organic Village, a raw, vegan and organic restaurant, tantalized passersby's taste buds by offering samples of the eatery's falafel and rice pudding dishes.

“I see a lot of people eating street fair food like sausages,” said Santamaria. “I don't know how attracted they're going to be initially, but I hope they'll at least be curious about our food.”

The main goal of the day, however, was to let people know that Organic Village is open for business in nearby Glendale.

“We hope to have people's awareness about health and good food be more prevalent in this community,” said Santamaria.

Students from Maspeth-based Song and a Dance showed off some of the skills they learned at the performing arts school. Teachers, many of whom started off as students, distributed vouchers for free instruction in dance, karate, acrobatics, instrumentals, singing and more.

“We have good prices, we're local and we're a nice family school,” said acrobatics and contortion teacher Kristen Kopec, pointing out that students of all ages are welcome.

“You want to keep kids creative, enthusiastic and healthy,” added dance and music teacher Susie Barry, “and all the teachers there really do that.”

The street fair even brought participants from outside the borough, including East Village-based animal rescue organization Social tees, which had an onsite adoption bus featuring adorable cats and dogs.

“We don't care about the distance,” said founder Robert Shapiro. “A street fair is a larger venue where a greater percentage of nice people will be qualified to adopt from us.”

Shapiro said Social tees takes animals from the city pound on the day they are to be euthanized, at which point they are kept in custody until they find a permanent home.

Just two hours into the event, three people had already put in applications to adopt cats. Shapiro pointed out some people are able to complete same-day adoptions, while others require visits to their home.

“Street fairs are accelerated adoptions, but it's not black and white,” said Shapiro. “However, it's a great way to generate interest.”

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