Joe Brostek
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September 12, 2014
Now is the time for the people's voices to drown out the airplanes!
New Mexican restaurant to open on 36th St.
by Jess Berry
Sep 12, 2014 | 92 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Residents of Astoria can get excited about adding a little spice to their life come Sept. 16 with the grand opening of Tacuba, a new Mexican restaurant on 36th St. Chef and owner Julian Medina and his partner Louis Skibar already own six successful Mexican and Latin-inspired restaurants in Manhattan. Tacuba will be their first outer-borough venture, and Medina says he is excited about the location. “I think Astoria is an up-and-coming neighborhood, but it’s not exploded yet, like DUMBO or Williamsburg,” he said. “I think people in Astoria appreciate food and also there are not a lot of Mexican restaurants that offer drinks and full service.” The restaurant will open in time for Mexico’s Independence Day, and with a menu of inventive cocktails (liquor-filled pineapple for two, anyone?) and food ranging from seafood platters to tacos, the celebration is sure to be a smash hit. Medina explains that the inspiration for the look and feel of Tacuba is a Mexican cantina. Decorated with custom-made Mexican lanterns, lights strung overhead, reclaimed wood and spacious booths, Medina describes the vibe as “very laid back.” “It’s fun, with a lot of Mexican lanterns and a Mexican feel, but a very relaxed environment,” he said. The cantina concept, one that Medina says he is “very excited” about, separates Tacuba from Medina and Skibar’s other restaurants, like upscale Toloache on W. 50th or Latin diner Cappelia on W. 14th. One thing that will be no different from their other restaurants will be the quality of the food. Tacuba will offer tableside-made guacamole, four types of empanadas and traditional carnitas, as well as less common dishes like octopus and chorizo surf and turf or veggie tacos with zucchini, sweet corn, hibiscus flowers and pickled jalapenos. And for the nights when you really want to let loose, Tacuba’s relaxed atmosphere will get more festive with its elaborate cocktails, DJ music or live mariachi bands. Medina is particularly excited for Tacuba’s signature cocktails, which will come served in a pineapple, watermelon or coconut. For Medina, the hope is that the restaurant will become a local favorite in Astoria, as well as a destination restaurant for greater Queens. “I’m very excited to go to Astoria, that we are opening in Queens and that not only people in the neighborhood can come but people from all over Queens,” Medina said.
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Kiwanis celebrates another year, looks forward
by Andrew Shilling
Sep 12, 2014 | 142 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kiwanis Dinner
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September marks the end of another year of fundraising efforts by the New York District Kiwanis International, and the organization’s governor Joe Aiello was the center of the celebration. Kiwanis clubs from all over the state – Glendale, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Long Island and Chinatown included - celebrated Aiello’s year of leading the charge at a dinner at Roma View, located at 160-05 Cross Bay Blvd. in Howard Beach. Aiello has been a member of the Glendale club since 1995, the Glendale’s president since 2008, and the Kiwanis West lieutenant governor since 2010. As governor of the state Kiwanis in 2014, he set a goal of signing up 1,000 new members. “Our main goal was membership, but the purpose is for the children,” Aiello said. “We help the children in every way we can because they’re the future of our districts and our communities.” His administration has reached 945 new members since last October. Stephen Sirgiovanni, lieutenant governor of the Queens West Division, has also worked with Aiello, visiting clubs across the state to help add more members. “Everybody knows the governor’s goal is 1,000 members, and everyone’s trying to get their people in to get to that number,” Sirgiovanni said. “We still have 24 days and that’s our mission.” Starting on Oct. 1, Kiwanis West member J.P. DiTroia will take over as the new lieutenant governor, and Eric Paul, member of the West Seneca Club, will replace Aiello as the next governor. While Paul led the ceremonies at Roma View, Saturday night was all for Aiello. “I’m not going to say this is a little more special, because the word little doesn’t work here, the man is a giant,” Paul said at the dinner. “He has succeeded every step of the way and we are proud to call him a member of our club, a member of our division and certainly a member of our state division.”
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Century Tour teams up with Vision Zero for 25th Anniversary
by Chase Collum
Sep 12, 2014 | 94 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
More than 7,000 cyclists took to the streets for the 25th Annual NYC Century Tour on Sunday, many of whom were riding to raise money to fund the Mayor's Vision Zero initiative. The ride was hosted by Transportation Alternatives, which has been an integral community partner for the mayor's office on the road to Vision Zero. “We're really glad to welcome back people [from this year's tour] who did the Ride for Vision Zero, which is a new initiative this year which allows people to raise money for street safety and New York City's initiative to end serious injuries and deaths in traffic,” said Laura Silver, a Transportation Alternatives spokesperson at the Century Tour's Prospect Park rest stop and finish line. “Having a lot of people ride around on the streets is definitely a way to feel good about our streets and feel safer,” Silver said. Madeline and Corinna Rhum, a mother-daughter duo, rode 55 miles together from 7:45 a.m. until almost 4 p.m. after last year completing the 35-mile course. “I've been biking for many years, and when my daughter was old enough, I thought it was time for her to do the Century Ride,” Madeline said. Corinna, who entered the eighth grade last week, has already had to endure the loss of two members of her Park Slope school community, one of which was a close friend, to traffic-related incidents. She and her mother both wore placards on their backs that read, “We are riding in memory of Sammy Cohen-Eckstein and Joey Sellers.” Cohen-Eckstein had ridden the 100-mile course of the Century Tour with his father last year before he was killed by a van driver on October 8. Sellers was killed by a hit-and-run driver on July 2 while waiting for a bus with her family after returning home from summer camp. “Especially because I know Sammy did this and Joey, they were both traffic-related deaths,” she said. “Joey was one of my pretty good friends and Sammy went to my synagogue and my school in the grade above me, and that really motivated me.” Together, the Rhums were able to raise $475 for the Vision Zero fund. And while the ride had a serious tone to it this year, there were of course some riders who were participating purely for the sport of it. “Recently I did the Five Borough Bike Tour, and I heard this was coming up so I really wanted to do it,” said Matt Jones, who moved from London to Park Slope with his family about a year and a half ago for work and has been riding seriously for about six years.
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