Cinemart Has Free Popcorn

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October 28, 2015 - Forest Hills, Queens. Exterior shots of facade and entrance as well as interior shots of foyer and hallways at local independent movie theater Cinemart Cinemas. on Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills. 10/28/2015 Photographs by Tola Brennan

October 28, 2015 – Forest Hills, Queens. Exterior shots of facade and entrance as well as interior shots of foyer and hallways at local independent movie theater Cinemart Cinemas. on Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills. 10/28/2015 Photographs by Tola Brennan

The appeal of casually going to catch a flick has been decreasing as the whole outing clutches at the purse. A Manhattan movie ticket runs around $15 and WSJ reported the benchmark of $20 in 2010. Then add in popcorn for something like $8 and maybe a drink starting somewhere around $5. And have a look at these quaint prices from 2000 that NYT reported.

So at at time when movie ticket prices have steadily been rising, it’s all the more significant that Cinemart has bucked the trend. Owner Nicolas Nicolaou is not playing that. Not at all.

If you go to a movie at Cinemart, it’s $7. I has been $7 and it will continue to be $7 because by golly gee enough is a enough. Cinemart is not going to be some bridge troll clubbing on your good time.  No. Cinemart will give you free popcorn because you matter to Cinemart, not in a cold-blooded phony advertisement in your mail-slot to let you know kind of way, but in a buttery and crunchy kind of way, a grungy you’re seeing a movie and there’s no long line to deal with kind of way. If you go to Cinemart you will not feel robbed. You will not feeling sucked of all your cheerfulness. You will not feel like it’s some kind of technicolored corporate nightmare. None of those things. Not in the slightest.

You will feel like it’s a theater that opened in 1927 and has been in continuous operation since then. It will feel like high school students get their first job there. It will feel like it has been passed down in the family because it was passed down in the family. It might even feel a little ancient and that would be because parts of the entryway are the 1927 originals. You might even feel the the echoes of the regulars who come to Cinemart on Sundays.

Headstones and Queens CD5

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As I walked around my beat I started noticing something.  There are a lot of cemeteries in my CD: Linden Hill Cemetery (Ridgewood,) Mt. Olivet Cemetery (Middle Village,) St. Johns Cemetery (Middle Village,) Lutheran All Faiths Cemetery (Middle Village and Glendale,) Knollwood Park Cemetery (Glendale,) and Mt. Hope Cemetery (Glendale.)

Many of them have beautiful headstones and statues.  This is my favorite shot of one in Lutheran All Faiths Cemetery in Middle Village.

A memorial statue at Lutheran All Faith's Cemetary in Middle Village, Queens on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. (NYCity News Service/Kazi Awal)

A memorial statue at Lutheran All Faith’s Cemetary in Middle Village, Queens on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. (NYCity News Service/Kazi Awal)

Youngaitis’ Taxidermy Shop: The Only One in The Five Boroughs

John Youngaitis, 60, is the the last of his kind in New York City.  He learned Taxidermy by apprenticing for his father and has done it his entire life.

John Youngaitis standing next to one of his more impressive pieces in Middle Village, Queens on Friday, Sept. 18 2015. (NYCity News Service/Kazi Awal)

John Youngaitis standing next to one of his more impressive pieces in Middle Village, Queens on Friday, Sept. 18 2015. (NYCity News Service/Kazi Awal)

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A Sneak Peak into my Character Sketch

A short clip from an audio interview I did with Wendy Chua, one of the owners of Astoria’s first FLGS (Friendly Local Gaming Store). In this clip, Wendy discusses what sparked her and her business partner/boyfriend, Syrus, to open up shop in Astoria.

Meet The Shermans: Two Voices of The Briarwood Community

 

Larry and Sylvia Sherman, the Treasurer and the Vice-President of Briarwood Action Network (BAN), continue to help provide services and support to Briarwood residents along with the six other members of the network.  Photo By Nicole Ashley

Larry and Sylvia Sherman, the Treasurer and the Vice-President of Briarwood Action Network (BAN), continue to help provide services and support to Briarwood residents along with the six other members of the network.
Photo By: Nicole Ashley

Briarwood Action Network (BAN), one of the few community-focused organizations in the Briarwood section of Queen’s District 8, provides a platform for residents to help raise awareness on issues in their community. BAN also donates to the needy and hosts several other events within the community, such as “It’s My Park Day,” an event that helps beautify Hoover Park. Sylvia Sherman, 74, and her husband Larry Sherman, 82, are two board members of the network that have lived in Briarwood for over 20 years. They have hosted several BAN meetings inside their home on 83rd Avenue. They share their views on what BAN has done so far and what challenges the network has faced:

Q: Talk to me about the history of Briarwood Action Network. How did the network get started?

Sylvia Sherman: We are still very young. We are about four years old. One resident in the community had issues, particularly sanitation issues, and she called a meeting in her backyard. When we went there to see what was going on, we ended up meeting a few people who were very interested in the Briarwood community and who ended up forming Briarwood Action Network.

Q: What is the culture of the Briarwood community and how is this reflected through BAN?

Sylvia Sherman: Briarwood is one of the most diverse places, I believe, that exists. People who dress differently and who speak many different languages come to our events and, to some degree, connect with each other. Of course, the children always do this.

Q: How many people are involved with BAN and how do they give back to the community?

Sylvia Sherman: When we run a “Park Day” activity, we will easily have 100-125 people in the park actually working on different aspects. Some might be serving food but some will be sweeping. You may see a hundred there but the outreach has been to many more than that. There are different scouting groups throughout Queens. The Kiwanis club, which is an international organization helping children with all kinds of needs, has a chapter here: The Queens Boulevard Chapter. They work closely with us. So we have some input from them. It’s really hundreds of people working together in some way.

Larry Sherman: We get help from the police department, the fire department and Maple Groves Cemetery. We also work with a shelter. We have a family residence shelter ran by the Salvation Army. It happens to be one of the best shelters in the city.

Q: What have been some difficulties that you have faced as board members of the network?

Larry Sherman: I’m the Treasurer so I abscond with the money (He laughs). We’ve been in existence for four years and every time we have needed, people have reached out and donated. We really function off of donations. The challenge, though, is in the word “action.” It’s the main word in our name.The idea of bringing businesses together is somewhat difficult because they don’t all really want or understand what organizations can do. We have had one meeting with businesses and had limited success. But that’s one of our new projects.

Q: Have there ever been disputes with members of the network?

Sylvia Sherman: We, as a young group, are a work in progress. I talked about the wonders of people coming together and the community. We do have a diverse board. Diverse, in terms of ethnic and bi-racial background and, interestingly, in age. All those things bring points of views from different cultures. We all bring different points of views. I could say there have been disagreements about how to accomplish something or even what is the priority at the moment. But overall, I’d say, there is a unity and a dedication to what is good for the community.

Q: Finally, with the major construction project that is occurring in Briarwood, who are you most concerned about and how will they be affected?

Larry Sherman: Next door, we have a woman. She is in her 40s and she has to walk through all this mess every morning. I am very worried about her. She and her family are Polish immigrants.

Sylvia Sherman: Even though I am not being bothered by it everyday, it is just as important to me to know that my neighbors are suffering from the constant noise or the constant uncertainty. I think that is part of what BAN is about. There is always some focus on what affects you. It’s also a great focus on what’s affecting your neighbors. It’s about the community.

If you are interested in more information about the Briarwood Action Network, you can visit them at briarwoodactionnetwork.com.

Colombian Corona in solidarity with nationals expelled by Venezuela

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This gallery contains 11 photos.

Venezuelans and Colombians joined the demonstration in front of the Venezuelan general consulate in Manhattan on September 19.  The march was organized to protest against the expulsions of Colombians citizens living on the Venezuelan side of the border. Many of … Continue reading

On the Side — Goings on in Sunnyside, Queens

Advice for a productive day on 48th Avenue.

Photo by Devin Holt.  Wednesday, Sept. 11, Queens, NY.

Photo by Devin Holt. Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2015. Queens, NY.

Crews work on the corner of 48th Avenue and 38th Street as part of the Safe Routes to Schools project.

Photo by Devin Holt. Wednesday, Sept. 11, Queens, NY.

Photo by Devin Holt. Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2015. Queens, NY.

The work includes the addition of new curbs and neck downs, which are a type of sidewalk design that increase visibility and slow traffic.

Photo by Devin Holt. Wednesday, Sept. 11, Queens, NY.

Photo by Devin Holt. Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2015. Queens, NY.

Chan Hui struggles with the sign on his new corner store. He decided to change the marquee himself after a professional requested $500.

Photo by Devin Holt. Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2015, Queens, NY.

Photo by Devin Holt. Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2015. Queens, NY.

Hui considers possible angles as he prepares another section. He quit his job at a restaurant in Long Island to focus on running the bodega.

Photo by Devin Holt. Wednesday, Sept. 11, Queens, NY.

Photo by Devin Holt. Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2015. Queens, NY.

Hui says he chose the name “Simple Love” with his wife, who is also his business partner, because they are simple, loving people.

Photo by Devin Holt. Wednesday, Sep. 11, 2015, Queens, NY.

Photo by Devin Holt. Wednesday, Sep. 11, 2015. Queens, NY.

Art sprouts around the construction at 39th Street and 50th Avenue.

Photo by Devin Holt. Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2015. Queens, NY.

Photo by Devin Holt. Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2015. Queens, NY.

The conversation begins…

We’re student journalists at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism who are covering neighborhoods in Queens and we hope you will check here often for news about the people who live and work in them, photos that show what’s going on in these communities, announcements of upcoming events, interviews with people who have something to say about these neighborhoods and surveys that solicit your comments and observations.