QUEENS FOR PUERTO RICO #QU4PR - RECAP

A little over a month and half ago, our Lead Curator Salvador Espinoza suggested that we organize a fundraiser for Puerto Rico to get help to the island after the devastation that was left behind created by Hurricane Maria. After some thought and preparation we came up with an idea for the Queens for Puerto Rico Relief Fund or #QU4PR. We teamed up to collaborate with Christian San Martin or otherwise known as The Visual Vandal, Bridget Bartolini of the Five Boro Story Project & Wendy Angulo of Wendy Angulo Productions and presented the #QU4PR photo and art gallery which focused on a dual theme of Queens community and Puerto Rican culture. The exhibit featured at two very different locations and two very unique venues in Queens.  The first event took place at La Gloria Restaurant and Lounge in the heart of Jackson Heights, Queens. We choose La Gloria primarily because we were looking to collaborate with the talented and community driven Christian "Pookierazzi" San Martin. Also known as The Visual Vandal, Christian has hosted the popular Boulevard Brunch at the La Gloria for over a decade. Also invited to the first round of #QU4PR were Queens Village resident D.J. Dubbcity and D.J. Steph Cakes. While we were planning our first event, we were contacted by Paul Serelis, owner of Vintage Wine Bar. Paul supports a local charity every month by donating 33% of his earnings from a select red & white wine. Tabbed as the Wine of the Month program, Paul choose Queenscapes and the "Queens for Puerto Rico Relief Fund" as his charity to support in November. To compliment these efforts, Paul also invited us to host a second fundraising event at the end of November. Because our first fundraiser focused on engaging community through a celebration of cultures, we thought it would be interesting to go a different route with the second fundraiser and concentrate on community building. To flesh out a program with no music and crowd engagement, we invited Bridget Bartolini, founder of the Five Boro Story Project and Wendy Angulo of Wendy Angulo Productions and incorporated story telling and spoken word artists along with poets who supplied performances that supported our main theme of Queens community and Puerto Rican culture.Nelson Lugo, Jessie Cotto, George Torres, and Joselynn Cortes all turned in amazing performances. Their pieces served as a fitting precursor to a subsequent open forum discussion geared towards folks speaking on current community projects and or upcoming ideas. In two events, totaling seven hours, accompanied with Vintage's Wine of the Month Program, we were able to successfully raise $2,501.80. Below is the breakdown of all donation money collected:   La Gloria Restaurant & Lounge 11/08 Entry, photo & raffle sales -$1,104.00 Domingo Carrasco & P.S. 129 - $500.00 Greater Astoria Historical Society - $100.00   Vintage Wine 11/30 Entry, photo & raffle sales - $314.00 Vintage Wine of the Month program - $433.80 Road to Greatness - $50.00   (100% of all money collected to be donated to @conprmetidos, a non partisan, non profit San Juan based charity.)   Words by Adolfo Steve Vazquez Photo by Taranita Cosales

A little over a month and half ago, our Lead Curator Salvador Espinoza suggested that we organize a fundraiser for Puerto Rico to get help to the island after the devastation that was left behind created by Hurricane Maria.

After some thought and preparation we came up with an idea for the Queens for Puerto Rico Relief Fund or #QU4PR. We teamed up to collaborate with Christian San Martin or otherwise known as The Visual Vandal, Bridget Bartolini of the Five Boro Story Project & Wendy Angulo of Wendy Angulo Productions and presented the #QU4PR photo and art gallery which focused on a dual theme of Queens community and Puerto Rican culture.

The exhibit featured at two very different locations and two very unique venues in Queens. 

The first event took place at La Gloria Restaurant and Lounge in the heart of Jackson Heights, Queens. We choose La Gloria primarily because we were looking to collaborate with the talented and community driven Christian "Pookierazzi" San Martin. Also known as The Visual Vandal, Christian has hosted the popular Boulevard Brunch at the La Gloria for over a decade. Also invited to the first round of #QU4PR were Queens Village resident D.J. Dubbcity and D.J. Steph Cakes.

While we were planning our first event, we were contacted by Paul Serelis, owner of Vintage Wine Bar. Paul supports a local charity every month by donating 33% of his earnings from a select red & white wine. Tabbed as the Wine of the Month program, Paul choose Queenscapes and the "Queens for Puerto Rico Relief Fund" as his charity to support in November. To compliment these efforts, Paul also invited us to host a second fundraising event at the end of November.

Because our first fundraiser focused on engaging community through a celebration of cultures, we thought it would be interesting to go a different route with the second fundraiser and concentrate on community building.

To flesh out a program with no music and crowd engagement, we invited Bridget Bartolini, founder of the Five Boro Story Project and Wendy Angulo of Wendy Angulo Productions and incorporated story telling and spoken word artists along with poets who supplied performances that supported our main theme of Queens community and Puerto Rican culture.Nelson Lugo, Jessie Cotto, George Torres, and Joselynn Cortes all turned in amazing performances. Their pieces served as a fitting precursor to a subsequent open forum discussion geared towards folks speaking on current community projects and or upcoming ideas.

In two events, totaling seven hours, accompanied with Vintage's Wine of the Month Program, we were able to successfully raise $2,501.80. Below is the breakdown of all donation money collected:

 

La Gloria Restaurant & Lounge 11/08

Entry, photo & raffle sales -$1,104.00

Domingo Carrasco & P.S. 129 - $500.00

Greater Astoria Historical Society - $100.00

 

Vintage Wine 11/30

Entry, photo & raffle sales - $314.00

Vintage Wine of the Month program - $433.80

Road to Greatness - $50.00

 

(100% of all money collected to be donated to @conprmetidos, a non partisan, non profit San Juan based charity.)

 

Words by Adolfo Steve Vazquez Photo by Taranita Cosales

#GivingTuesday - Queens Community House

Giving Tuesday, often stylized as #GivingTuesday for purposes of hashtag activism, refers to the Tuesday after U.S. Thanksgiving in the United States. It is a movement to create an international day of giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season. Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation as a response to commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving season (Black Friday and Cyber Monday). In honor of #GivingTuesday, we are highlighting the folks of Queens Community House. QCH is a multi-site, multi-service settlement house that serves the diverse neighborhoods of Queens. QCH was formed in 1975 (as Forest Hills Community House) to help heal the wounds of a neighborhood conflict. They offer 45 programs at 25 program sites in the following Queens neighborhoods: Long Island City, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Corona, Rego Park, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Jamaica, Ozone Park, Flushing, and Bayside.  Below is a list of the top 10 programs compiled by Jennifer Weil, Communications Coordinator at QCH. JEN'S TOP TEN FAVE (AND TOTALLY FREE) QCH PROGRAMS: 1. Queens Center for Gay Seniors - This is a Senior Community Center where LGTBQ+ seniors feel welcome and receive recreation, a hot lunch, field trips and other incredible opportunities.They literally just climbed Mohank Mountain together! They have all the fun!  We also have a similar programs for LGTBQ+ teens! 2. Our Social Adult Day Services Program - This program is particularly dear to my heart as it opens daily and offers support, social engagement, and therapeutic activities to older adults who are physically frail, socially isolated and/or memory-impaired. 3. Our Young Women's Leadership School - Everyday after school we teach middle school girls that they can do anything they put their mind to! Our girls recently competed in an Engineering competition where they placed 2nd! They are currently working on building their own robots! GIRL POWER! 4. Our Queens Connect Program - This amazing program trains out of school youth to become a part of the culinary field. After a six week program, they graduate with their safe food handler's license, many hours of in-kitchen training from an NYC chef, and placement in an internship where they work in a real NYC restaurant. Many of our graduates have gone on to open up their own business and become a part of the NYC culinary scene! 5. Our English Classes for Adults - We offer free classes three times a day to adults who want to learn English! Queens being the diverse place that it is - this is an incredible opportunity for so many people in our borough! 6. Our Immigration Counseling and Support programs -  This important programs serves immigrants and their families - Carmen, the director (or as I call her Super Woman!) helps so many families get the information they need to become citizens, turn in documents, apply for DACA, etc. She had so many calls this past year her cell phone BROKE! 7. College Access and Success Program -  We not only operate alternative highschool for students who don't fit the traditional mold of High School, but we also offer all kinds of College Access support with our CASP Program! Mentors and counselors help our students stay on track to graduate and apply to college. We have so many students in colleges across the country because of this program! 8. Friendly Visiting Program - I LOVE this program! Basically, any individual in our community can volunteer to be a "Friendly Visitor" to a home-bound senior. Meaning, that volunteer visits the senior weekly or bi-weekly just to hang out and chat. Maybe play games or take a walk. Many home-bound seniors are alone for most of the day, so this provides that perk in their day! We also deliver Meals of Wheels with FIVE vans a day barely covering our case load! 9. Teen Centers and Break Dancing - Our teen centers are open everyday until 10pm to allow for teens to have a safe space to socialize, play basketball, etc. One of the most popular teen programs we have is our Break Dancing programs! Breakers from ALL OVER THE WORLD come to our program to learn from our students and battle each other. We host events that pack our community center like no other program can! 10. And of course, a cause near and dear to my heart - our ELEVEN After School programs in Queens! I spent the last ten years in the After School world - so it warms my heart to know that over 10,000 kids have a safe place to go after school. In short, Queens Community House is an amazing organization that does amazing things for the people in Queens, and they need your help to stay afloat, thriving on public donations. If you'd like to donate today, click on the link below. Just remember, folks your neighbor benefits, you benefit, Queens benefits: https://www.qchnyc.org/donate/giving-tuesday-2017 Words via wikipedia.org, qchnyc.org, Jennifer Weil & Adolfo Steve Vazquez Photo by Adolfo Steve Vazquez        

Giving Tuesday, often stylized as #GivingTuesday for purposes of hashtag activism, refers to the Tuesday after U.S. Thanksgiving in the United States. It is a movement to create an international day of giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season. Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation as a response to commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving season (Black Friday and Cyber Monday).

In honor of #GivingTuesday, we are highlighting the folks of Queens Community House. QCH is a multi-site, multi-service settlement house that serves the diverse neighborhoods of Queens. QCH was formed in 1975 (as Forest Hills Community House) to help heal the wounds of a neighborhood conflict. They offer 45 programs at 25 program sites in the following Queens neighborhoods:

Long Island City, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Corona, Rego Park, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Jamaica, Ozone Park, Flushing, and Bayside. 

Below is a list of the top 10 programs compiled by Jennifer Weil, Communications Coordinator at QCH.

JEN'S TOP TEN FAVE (AND TOTALLY FREE) QCH PROGRAMS:

1. Queens Center for Gay Seniors - This is a Senior Community Center where LGTBQ+ seniors feel welcome and receive recreation, a hot lunch, field trips and other incredible opportunities.They literally just climbed Mohank Mountain together! They have all the fun!  We also have a similar programs for LGTBQ+ teens!

2. Our Social Adult Day Services Program - This program is particularly dear to my heart as it opens daily and offers support, social engagement, and therapeutic activities to older adults who are physically frail, socially isolated and/or memory-impaired.

3. Our Young Women's Leadership School - Everyday after school we teach middle school girls that they can do anything they put their mind to! Our girls recently competed in an Engineering competition where they placed 2nd! They are currently working on building their own robots! GIRL POWER!

4. Our Queens Connect Program - This amazing program trains out of school youth to become a part of the culinary field. After a six week program, they graduate with their safe food handler's license, many hours of in-kitchen training from an NYC chef, and placement in an internship where they work in a real NYC restaurant. Many of our graduates have gone on to open up their own business and become a part of the NYC culinary scene!

5. Our English Classes for Adults - We offer free classes three times a day to adults who want to learn English! Queens being the diverse place that it is - this is an incredible opportunity for so many people in our borough!

6. Our Immigration Counseling and Support programs -  This important programs serves immigrants and their families - Carmen, the director (or as I call her Super Woman!) helps so many families get the information they need to become citizens, turn in documents, apply for DACA, etc. She had so many calls this past year her cell phone BROKE!

7. College Access and Success Program -  We not only operate alternative highschool for students who don't fit the traditional mold of High School, but we also offer all kinds of College Access support with our CASP Program! Mentors and counselors help our students stay on track to graduate and apply to college. We have so many students in colleges across the country because of this program!

8. Friendly Visiting Program - I LOVE this program! Basically, any individual in our community can volunteer to be a "Friendly Visitor" to a home-bound senior. Meaning, that volunteer visits the senior weekly or bi-weekly just to hang out and chat. Maybe play games or take a walk. Many home-bound seniors are alone for most of the day, so this provides that perk in their day! We also deliver Meals of Wheels with FIVE vans a day barely covering our case load!

9. Teen Centers and Break Dancing - Our teen centers are open everyday until 10pm to allow for teens to have a safe space to socialize, play basketball, etc. One of the most popular teen programs we have is our Break Dancing programs! Breakers from ALL OVER THE WORLD come to our program to learn from our students and battle each other. We host events that pack our community center like no other program can!

10. And of course, a cause near and dear to my heart - our ELEVEN After School programs in Queens! I spent the last ten years in the After School world - so it warms my heart to know that over 10,000 kids have a safe place to go after school.

In short, Queens Community House is an amazing organization that does amazing things for the people in Queens, and they need your help to stay afloat, thriving on public donations.

If you'd like to donate today, click on the link below. Just remember, folks your neighbor benefits, you benefit, Queens benefits:

https://www.qchnyc.org/donate/giving-tuesday-2017

Words via wikipedia.org, qchnyc.org, Jennifer Weil & Adolfo Steve Vazquez Photo by Adolfo Steve Vazquez

 

 

 

 

Poco - A - Poco: A story of Puerto Rico by Joselynn Cortes

"The island is trying to survive, this is not living" quote by Joselynn Cortes, photographer and Queens native who has recently volunteered her time and much attention to the relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Along with starting a GoFundme page that has raised almost $5K in little over a month, Joselynn has spearheaded multiple hurricane relief drives for Puerto Rico. Cortes, also of Puerto Rican descent, made her first trip to Puerto Rico on Friday, October 6th, 3 weeks after Hurricane Maria initially hit. She arrived into the capital of San Juan on a one-way ticket, with over 350 pounds of supplies to disperse. She rented a car, and with a simple map, and NO GPS, Joselynn drove the entirety of the island, visiting Quebradillas, Utuado, Lares, Aguadilla, Aguada, Rincon, Moca, Mayaguez, Guanica, Yauco, Maunabo, Yabucoa, Humacao, Trujillo Alto, La Perla, Guajataca Dam, Patillas, Caguas, and San Lorenzo. Joselynn passed each town, not only dropping off items, but also taking inventory of relief items still needed from the mouths of the folks of the island. Joselynn also spend valuable time with the people of Puerto Rico, hearing their tales of survival and their stories of Puerto Rican orgullo, stories of strength under fire, all while documenting her journey for 7 days. Her second go-round was on November 2nd, where she stayed for 2 weeks and saw the same families she saw on her first visit, with all the items she promised she would bring back to the island. Tonight, Joselynn will host "Poco-A-Poco" a photo inspired fundraiser, where she will feature photos and raw footage of a hurricane devastated island at Hello Brooklyn located at 234 Union Ave, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Come out to hear her story, view her photos, and support a Puerto Rico still in dire need of help, 2 months after the storm. Photo by Joselynn Cortes Words by Adolfo Steve Vazquez   

"The island is trying to survive, this is not living" quote by Joselynn Cortes, photographer and Queens native who has recently volunteered her time and much attention to the relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

Along with starting a GoFundme page that has raised almost $5K in little over a month, Joselynn has spearheaded multiple hurricane relief drives for Puerto Rico.

Cortes, also of Puerto Rican descent, made her first trip to Puerto Rico on Friday, October 6th, 3 weeks after Hurricane Maria initially hit. She arrived into the capital of San Juan on a one-way ticket, with over 350 pounds of supplies to disperse. She rented a car, and with a simple map, and NO GPS, Joselynn drove the entirety of the island, visiting Quebradillas, Utuado, Lares, Aguadilla, Aguada, Rincon, Moca, Mayaguez, Guanica, Yauco, Maunabo, Yabucoa, Humacao, Trujillo Alto, La Perla, Guajataca Dam, Patillas, Caguas, and San Lorenzo.

Joselynn passed each town, not only dropping off items, but also taking inventory of relief items still needed from the mouths of the folks of the island. Joselynn also spend valuable time with the people of Puerto Rico, hearing their tales of survival and their stories of Puerto Rican orgullo, stories of strength under fire, all while documenting her journey for 7 days.

Her second go-round was on November 2nd, where she stayed for 2 weeks and saw the same families she saw on her first visit, with all the items she promised she would bring back to the island.

Tonight, Joselynn will host "Poco-A-Poco" a photo inspired fundraiser, where she will feature photos and raw footage of a hurricane devastated island at Hello Brooklyn located at 234 Union Ave, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Come out to hear her story, view her photos, and support a Puerto Rico still in dire need of help, 2 months after the storm.

Photo by Joselynn Cortes Words by Adolfo Steve Vazquez   

November Wine of the Month - Vintage X Queenscapes

Super ecstatic to announce that the team over at @DitmarsVintage will be dedicating their November’s Wine of the Month proceeds to the Queens for Puerto Rico Relief Fund! Their Wine of the Month program donates a whopping 33% of sales from 2 specific wines to a new local charity each month, and this month they are choose our #QU4PR campaign. Vintage is a multi-purpose wine bar/coffee shop in Astoria that emphasizes in using local, organic, green products and vendors. They are also dedicated to the Queens community, and each month they work closely with neighboring businesses and local organizations. To complement their donations, the folks over at Vintage have invited the @Queenscapes team over to their location in Astoria as a follow-up to tomorrow’s relief benefit at @LaGloria in Jackson Heights.  We’ll have a second print sale (with all of tomorrow’s unsold work) at Vintage, located at 23-14 Ditmars Boulevard, in Astoria on Wednesday, November 29th 2017 at 6:00pm. 100% of proceeds to be added to total collections for the Puerto grassroots non-profit @conPRmetidos. For people wanting to donate specifically for the “Queens For Puerto Relief Fund” you can go about it 4 different ways: Make a donation directly on ConPRMetidos.org. Add the hashtag #QU4PR to your full name on the “Donation Appearance” field and send your receipt to queenscapes@gmail.com Make cash donation tomorrow at La Gloria Restaurant and Lounge located at 86-13 Northern Boulevard, in Jackson Heights, tomorrow from 6:00pm - 10:00pm Purchase a designated @DitmarsVintage Wine of the Month anytime in November. Make cash donation on Thursday November 30th at Vintage located at 23-14 Ditmars Boulevard, in Astoria from 6:00pm - 9:00pm Words by Adolfo Steve Vazquez, photo by Frank Multari

Super ecstatic to announce that the team over at @DitmarsVintage will be dedicating their November’s Wine of the Month proceeds to the Queens for Puerto Rico Relief Fund! Their Wine of the Month program donates a whopping 33% of sales from 2 specific wines to a new local charity each month, and this month they are choose our #QU4PR campaign.

Vintage is a multi-purpose wine bar/coffee shop in Astoria that emphasizes in using local, organic, green products and vendors. They are also dedicated to the Queens community, and each month they work closely with neighboring businesses and local organizations.

To complement their donations, the folks over at Vintage have invited the @Queenscapes team over to their location in Astoria as a follow-up to tomorrow’s relief benefit at @LaGloria in Jackson Heights. 

We’ll have a second print sale (with all of tomorrow’s unsold work) at Vintage, located at 23-14 Ditmars Boulevard, in Astoria on Wednesday, November 29th 2017 at 6:00pm. 100% of proceeds to be added to total collections for the Puerto grassroots non-profit @conPRmetidos.

For people wanting to donate specifically for the “Queens For Puerto Relief Fund” you can go about it 4 different ways:

Make a donation directly on ConPRMetidos.org. Add the hashtag #QU4PR to your full name on the “Donation Appearance” field and send your receipt to queenscapes@gmail.com

Make cash donation tomorrow at La Gloria Restaurant and Lounge located at 86-13 Northern Boulevard, in Jackson Heights, tomorrow from 6:00pm - 10:00pm

Purchase a designated @DitmarsVintage Wine of the Month anytime in November.

Make cash donation on Thursday November 30th at Vintage located at 23-14 Ditmars Boulevard, in Astoria from 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Words by Adolfo Steve Vazquez, photo by Frank Multari

Queens For Puerto Rico #QU4PR - Announcement

While things slowly get better after the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, the island is still in a critical state. Puerto Rico is still severely lacking in resources and folks still have very limited access in transporting relief items throughout the island. So in an effort to help our neighborhood abroad, the Queenscapes team has partnered with Queens native Christian San Martin otherwise known as the Visual Vandal to create "Queens For Puerto Rico" #QU4PR: A Benefit for Hurricane Maria victims. The Queens based relief event will take place at La Gloria Restaurant and Lounge in Jackson Heights, Queens on Wednesday, November 18th 2017. The event, hosted by Queenscapes own, Denise Rea, will feature photographs and artwork from a multitude of Queens based artists, raffle giveaways donated by Queens owned businesses and live music from born and raised D.J.'s DJ Champ Beatz and D.J. Butch Rock. All money and items donated for the event will go to Puerto Rican charities, ConPRmetido and The Puerto Rican Family Institute. 100% of the event's monetary proceeds will go to ConPRmetido, a San Juan based independent, non-partisan and non-profit organization, established in 2012. This grassroots organization's mission is to strategically engage the island's diaspora's resource to implement solutions. All items will be donated to The Puerto Rican Family Institute. The Puerto Rican Family Institute, founded in 1960, is a nonprofit, multi-program family oriented health and human service agency whose primary mission is to prevent family disintegration and enhance the self-sufficiency of the Latino community. Minimum donation for entry to event is $10.00. You can make a donation directly on http://www.conprmetidos.org or pay at the door on day of event. La Gloria will accept the following relief items, toiletries, first aid kits, cleaning supplies, work gloves, hand sanitizer and canned goods, but will not accept clothes of any kind. Below are the current Queens based vendors sponsoring #QU4PR: ⁃ Good Neighbor Queens ⁃ Astoria Bookshop ⁃ Lockwood Shop ⁃ Queens Community House ⁃ Hi Fi Records ⁃ Idlewild Magazine ⁃ Ditmars Vintage ⁃ Up_Stand Movement ⁃ The Brass Owl ⁃ DutchKills Klothing Any other questions or inquiries please feel free to e-mail us queenscapes@gmail.com. or Christian @ bookthevisualvandal@gmail.com  

While things slowly get better after the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, the island is still in a critical state. Puerto Rico is still severely lacking in resources and folks still have very limited access in transporting relief items throughout the island.

So in an effort to help our neighborhood abroad, the Queenscapes team has partnered with Queens native Christian San Martin otherwise known as the Visual Vandal to create "Queens For Puerto Rico" #QU4PR: A Benefit for Hurricane Maria victims.

The Queens based relief event will take place at La Gloria Restaurant and Lounge in Jackson Heights, Queens on Wednesday, November 18th 2017. The event, hosted by Queenscapes own, Denise Rea, will feature photographs and artwork from a multitude of Queens based artists, raffle giveaways donated by Queens owned businesses and live music from born and raised D.J.'s DJ Champ Beatz and D.J. Butch Rock.

All money and items donated for the event will go to Puerto Rican charities, ConPRmetido and The Puerto Rican Family Institute.

100% of the event's monetary proceeds will go to ConPRmetido, a San Juan based independent, non-partisan and non-profit organization, established in 2012. This grassroots organization's mission is to strategically engage the island's diaspora's resource to implement solutions.

All items will be donated to The Puerto Rican Family Institute. The Puerto Rican Family Institute, founded in 1960, is a nonprofit, multi-program family oriented health and human service agency whose primary mission is to prevent family disintegration and enhance the self-sufficiency of the Latino community.

Minimum donation for entry to event is $10.00. You can make a donation directly on http://www.conprmetidos.org or pay at the door on day of event. La Gloria will accept the following relief items, toiletries, first aid kits, cleaning supplies, work gloves, hand sanitizer and canned goods, but will not accept clothes of any kind.

Below are the current Queens based vendors sponsoring #QU4PR:


⁃ Good Neighbor Queens
⁃ Astoria Bookshop
⁃ Lockwood Shop
⁃ Queens Community House
⁃ Hi Fi Records
⁃ Idlewild Magazine
⁃ Ditmars Vintage
⁃ Up_Stand Movement
⁃ The Brass Owl
⁃ DutchKills Klothing

Any other questions or inquiries please feel free to e-mail us queenscapes@gmail.com. or Christian @ bookthevisualvandal@gmail.com
 

Queens Village Portuguese American Soccer Club

While Queens is undoubtedly the most culturally diverse place on Earth, all cultures are not represented evenly throughout the World's Borough. Case in point: Portuguese (and no I'm not speaking of Brazilian folks, because Brazil is adequately represented in Astoria's Liitle Brazil.) I am speaking about the Portuguese people of Portugal. As far as I am aware, there isn't an annual Portuguese parade or celebration in Queens, and I always wondered why. Just this past Saturday, while walking in my home neighborhood of Queens Village,  I discovered the Queens Village Portuguese American Soccer Club on Jamaica Ave and 220th Street. The existence of this establishment immediately piqued my interest because of the close proximity (2 blocks away) to Mateus' Restaurant & Bar, one of Queens' most signature Portuguese locations. Did the proximity of these two Portuguese cultured locations signify the markings of a once Portuguese dominated neighborhood? Or was it just a coincidence? I figured if anyone would know the answer it would be at a typically culturally rich location like a soccer club. Attempting to reach out to the folks over at the Queens Village Portuguese American Soccer Club proved to be a dead lead, as the phone number provided has been disconnected. A semi-thorough Google search reveals however that this establishment was opened in 1997, but has existed as a not-for-profit entity since 1979. Or maybe, like most cultural soccer clubs in Queens, this one was like so many others, primarily a an invite only social club of older members of Portuguese descent, that watched soccer on weekdays, and used the location as a rental space on weekends. Either way, I'll keep snooping around until I get more answers. As the Portuguese proverb goes, A curiosidade matou o gato. Words and photo by Adolfo Steve Vazquez

While Queens is undoubtedly the most culturally diverse place on Earth, all cultures are not represented evenly throughout the World's Borough. Case in point: Portuguese (and no I'm not speaking of Brazilian folks, because Brazil is adequately represented in Astoria's Liitle Brazil.) I am speaking about the Portuguese people of Portugal. As far as I am aware, there isn't an annual Portuguese parade or celebration in Queens, and I always wondered why.

Just this past Saturday, while walking in my home neighborhood of Queens Village,  I discovered the Queens Village Portuguese American Soccer Club on Jamaica Ave and 220th Street. The existence of this establishment immediately piqued my interest because of the close proximity (2 blocks away) to Mateus' Restaurant & Bar, one of Queens' most signature Portuguese locations.

Did the proximity of these two Portuguese cultured locations signify the markings of a once Portuguese dominated neighborhood? Or was it just a coincidence? I figured if anyone would know the answer it would be at a typically culturally rich location like a soccer club.

Attempting to reach out to the folks over at the Queens Village Portuguese American Soccer Club proved to be a dead lead, as the phone number provided has been disconnected. A semi-thorough Google search reveals however that this establishment was opened in 1997, but has existed as a not-for-profit entity since 1979.

Or maybe, like most cultural soccer clubs in Queens, this one was like so many others, primarily a an invite only social club of older members of Portuguese descent, that watched soccer on weekdays, and used the location as a rental space on weekends.

Either way, I'll keep snooping around until I get more answers. As the Portuguese proverb goes, A curiosidade matou o gato.

Words and photo by Adolfo Steve Vazquez

Queens Hip Hop Festival

Tommy Lasorda, one of baseball's greatest managers ever to coach the game once said, "The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person's determination." When I met Ashley Dean, lately known as the Queen of Astoria, a few years back, the first thing that stood out was all the ambitious goals she held. After working with her on countless events (both mine and hers) over the last two years, I have noticed that she is more determined to realize all her lofty goals and dreams, than most people I have ever met. For myself, a Queens born kid, it has been an honor to watch this adopted Queens kid do her thing, in my home borough. From lending a hand in volunteer efforts in parts of Queens where even Queens born residents would never touch foot in, to organizing the 2nd Annual Hip Hop Festival to debut at the Queens Museum this Friday night, Ashley is accomplishing all her goals, one by one. Click on the link below for details & to purchase tickets for the 3 day event. See you guys there. https://www.queenshiphopfestival.com/ words by Adolfo Steve Vazquez   flyer by Queens Hip Hop Festival  

Tommy Lasorda, one of baseball's greatest managers ever to coach the game once said, "The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person's determination." When I met Ashley Dean, lately known as the Queen of Astoria, a few years back, the first thing that stood out was all the ambitious goals she held. After working with her on countless events (both mine and hers) over the last two years, I have noticed that she is more determined to realize all her lofty goals and dreams, than most people I have ever met. For myself, a Queens born kid, it has been an honor to watch this adopted Queens kid do her thing, in my home borough. From lending a hand in volunteer efforts in parts of Queens where even Queens born residents would never touch foot in, to organizing the 2nd Annual Hip Hop Festival to debut at the Queens Museum this Friday night, Ashley is accomplishing all her goals, one by one. Click on the link below for details & to purchase tickets for the 3 day event. See you guys there.

https://www.queenshiphopfestival.com/

words by Adolfo Steve Vazquez   flyer by Queens Hip Hop Festival

 

The spare parts of the Corona Railyard

Known to most insiders as "The Barn", the Corona Railyard serves as the home yard of the IRT Flushing Line 7.  It is located in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park near Citi Field, the National Tennis Center, and the site of the 1939 and 1964 World's Fairs. Corona Yard opened in 1928 and maintains the R188s and R62AS used on the 7 line. It also contains the Casey Stengel Bus Depot. (We'll save the details about the Casey Stengel Bus Depot for another day, another post.) While most of the photographers who come to the Corona Railyard look to shoot the wide angle view of the many trains lined up side to side, lately I am starting to find intrigue in the outlying sections of the railyard. The sections of the railyard that feature the trains old rusty abandoned pieces, as well as the newer shiny colorfully packaged train parts, yet to be installed. There is something visually pleasing to the eye when you contrast these old brown and new blue parts, amongst other industrial knick knacks, against the gray gravel backdrop of the railyard floor. Throw in some shadows, and add some key light that ALWAYS seem to drop down into the depths of this spot,  no matter what time of day, and you get some really interesting images. Curiosity always gets me though. What part was taken from what part of the 7 train? What new piece still in wrapping, will serve in making the 7 train faster? And on a different level who decides on how these items are arranged so haphazardly on the ground? Hopefully, I will take a tour soon, to get some of these questions answered, but in the meantime, I have fun wondering. So the next time you come out to the Corona Railyard, trying to chase the perfect sunset light to bounce off the top of those mammoth silver cars, think about moving your lens behind the light and into the shadows, you might find something you never knew existed. words and photo by Adolfo Steve Vazquez facts via Wikipedia.com  

Known to most insiders as "The Barn", the Corona Railyard serves as the home yard of the IRT Flushing Line 7.  It is located in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park near Citi Field, the National Tennis Center, and the site of the 1939 and 1964 World's Fairs.

Corona Yard opened in 1928 and maintains the R188s and R62AS used on the 7 line. It also contains the Casey Stengel Bus Depot. (We'll save the details about the Casey Stengel Bus Depot for another day, another post.)

While most of the photographers who come to the Corona Railyard look to shoot the wide angle view of the many trains lined up side to side, lately I am starting to find intrigue in the outlying sections of the railyard. The sections of the railyard that feature the trains old rusty abandoned pieces, as well as the newer shiny colorfully packaged train parts, yet to be installed. There is something visually pleasing to the eye when you contrast these old brown and new blue parts, amongst other industrial knick knacks, against the gray gravel backdrop of the railyard floor. Throw in some shadows, and add some key light that ALWAYS seem to drop down into the depths of this spot,  no matter what time of day, and you get some really interesting images.

Curiosity always gets me though. What part was taken from what part of the 7 train? What new piece still in wrapping, will serve in making the 7 train faster? And on a different level who decides on how these items are arranged so haphazardly on the ground? Hopefully, I will take a tour soon, to get some of these questions answered, but in the meantime, I have fun wondering.

So the next time you come out to the Corona Railyard, trying to chase the perfect sunset light to bounce off the top of those mammoth silver cars, think about moving your lens behind the light and into the shadows, you might find something you never knew existed.

words and photo by Adolfo Steve Vazquez facts via Wikipedia.com

 

Queens Night Market - Summer Recommendation

In 2015, John Wang left the state of his native Texas, and headed out to Queens with the ambitious goal of opening the first ever night market in New York City. Three years later, the Queens International Night Market features over 50 food & art vendors combined, a beer garden and also invites multiple performers each Saturday to the back lot of the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Park. "First and foremost, I wanted to create a beloved and welcoming cultural event - a community that prioritized affordability and inclusivity. I wanted to really leverage and celebrate what I thought was one of Queens' and NYC's greatest assets: its unparalled diversit." says Wang. Following John and his very early days with the Queens Night Market starting at the small parking lot at the the New York Hall of Science, I was super impressed and proud to see how far he has come with this simple yet awesome idea. On a good weather day, the Night Market easily attracts over 8,000 diverse visitors a night, and has become one of Queens' top summer attractions, and with a pretty reasonable price tags for ANY food item on sale, you cannot go wrong. If you had to attend only one Queens event that captured the true essence of Queens' international flavor, the Queens Night Market which has featured over 130 food vendors in over 60 different countries, is the one to attend this summer. Go to queensnightmarket.com now for more details. words and photo by Adolfo Steve Vazquez

In 2015, John Wang left the state of his native Texas, and headed out to Queens with the ambitious goal of opening the first ever night market in New York City. Three years later, the Queens International Night Market features over 50 food & art vendors combined, a beer garden and also invites multiple performers each Saturday to the back lot of the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Park.

"First and foremost, I wanted to create a beloved and welcoming cultural event - a community that prioritized affordability and inclusivity. I wanted to really leverage and celebrate what I thought was one of Queens' and NYC's greatest assets: its unparalled diversit." says Wang.

Following John and his very early days with the Queens Night Market starting at the small parking lot at the the New York Hall of Science, I was super impressed and proud to see how far he has come with this simple yet awesome idea. On a good weather day, the Night Market easily attracts over 8,000 diverse visitors a night, and has become one of Queens' top summer attractions, and with a pretty reasonable price tags for ANY food item on sale, you cannot go wrong.

If you had to attend only one Queens event that captured the true essence of Queens' international flavor, the Queens Night Market which has featured over 130 food vendors in over 60 different countries, is the one to attend this summer.

Go to queensnightmarket.com now for more details.

words and photo by Adolfo Steve Vazquez

The "Dollar Van" Lines of Queens

Growing up in Jamaica, Queens for a significant chunk of my life, you could not escape the existence of the "Dollar Van" circuit, and if you grew up like us without a family owned vehicle, you could not escape how essential Dollar Vans actually were. Birthed in 1980 after an eleven day MTA strike in New York City, the Dollar Van, (which is basically a larger sized gypsy cab) arose to help folks, primarily Caribbean immigrants, to get to and from work each day. Given the tab "Dollar" because it matched the fare of a typical one-way MTA ride at the time. Dollar Vans became less practical to use once the MTA introduced free bus to subway transfers in 1996, because it would cost almost double if you still had to use the subway. The popularity of these Dollar Vans however never really waned. Because of the overcrowding of a typical MTA bus during peak hours, and the huge population growth of Southeastern Queens, it looks like the Dollar Vans are here to stay. It has been established that Queens has at least seven Dollar Van Lines. Five that run from Jamaica up to the border of Nassau County and even extending in Valley Stream, Long Island, and two that originate in Manhattan's Chinatown and end in Chinatown Elmhurst and Chinatown Flushing. While the vans that service Southeastern Queens are primarily Caribbean owned and run, they are not exclusively used by any one ethnic group. The vans that occupy two out of the three Chinatowns in Queens (the third in Corona), are widely accepted to be shuttles that predominantly service the Chinese community. These Chinese lines are much smaller and don't run as frequent as the Jamaica lines.  Below are the 5 Primary Dollar Van Lines of Southeastern Queens (in order from top to bottom mirroring the map above): - Q83 route via Liberty Ave to Laurelton. - Q4 route via Linden Blvd to Cambria Heights. - Q5 route via Merrick Blvd to Valley Stream. - Q111 route via Guy Brewer Blvd/147th Ave to Rosedale.  - Q113 route via Guy Brewer Blvd/Rockaway Tpke to Far Rockaway.   words by Adolfo Steve Vazquez map provided by the New Yorker Magazine.  

Growing up in Jamaica, Queens for a significant chunk of my life, you could not escape the existence of the "Dollar Van" circuit, and if you grew up like us without a family owned vehicle, you could not escape how essential Dollar Vans actually were.

Birthed in 1980 after an eleven day MTA strike in New York City, the Dollar Van, (which is basically a larger sized gypsy cab) arose to help folks, primarily Caribbean immigrants, to get to and from work each day. Given the tab "Dollar" because it matched the fare of a typical one-way MTA ride at the time.

Dollar Vans became less practical to use once the MTA introduced free bus to subway transfers in 1996, because it would cost almost double if you still had to use the subway. The popularity of these Dollar Vans however never really waned. Because of the overcrowding of a typical MTA bus during peak hours, and the huge population growth of Southeastern Queens, it looks like the Dollar Vans are here to stay.

It has been established that Queens has at least seven Dollar Van Lines. Five that run from Jamaica up to the border of Nassau County and even extending in Valley Stream, Long Island, and two that originate in Manhattan's Chinatown and end in Chinatown Elmhurst and Chinatown Flushing. While the vans that service Southeastern Queens are primarily Caribbean owned and run, they are not exclusively used by any one ethnic group.

The vans that occupy two out of the three Chinatowns in Queens (the third in Corona), are widely accepted to be shuttles that predominantly service the Chinese community. These Chinese lines are much smaller and don't run as frequent as the Jamaica lines. 

Below are the 5 Primary Dollar Van Lines of Southeastern Queens (in order from top to bottom mirroring the map above):

- Q83 route via Liberty Ave to Laurelton.

- Q4 route via Linden Blvd to Cambria Heights.

- Q5 route via Merrick Blvd to Valley Stream.

- Q111 route via Guy Brewer Blvd/147th Ave to Rosedale.

 - Q113 route via Guy Brewer Blvd/Rockaway Tpke to Far Rockaway.

 

words by Adolfo Steve Vazquez map provided by the New Yorker Magazine.

 

Colombian Parade '17 - Photo Recap by @nevasatisfied

This past weekend on Sunday, July 23rd, veteran street photographer Ronald Daza, also known as @Nevasatisfied, attended the annual Colombian Independence Parade of New York City held in Jackson Heights, Queens. Daza, the talented and respected photographer has shot for clothing labels 10.Deep and SSUR, and has also been featured on the up and coming Street Dreams Magazine. The long time Queens resident of Colombian descent bared the humid temps and rainy weather to capture the joyous occasion. One of Queens' most colorful and well attended parades, it featured salsa & cumbia dancing, scenes of Colombian orgullo, and dozens of street vendors selling everything red, yellow & blue as Colombians celebrated their Independence from Spain. It was projected that over 75,000 folks came out to the parade that runs on Northern Boulevard from 74th Street to 86th Street. To see more of Daza's wide-ranging work go to his popular Instagram page: @nevasatisfied. words by Adolfo Steve Vazquez photo by Ronald Daza  

This past weekend on Sunday, July 23rd, veteran street photographer Ronald Daza, also known as @Nevasatisfied, attended the annual Colombian Independence Parade of New York City held in Jackson Heights, Queens. Daza, the talented and respected photographer has shot for clothing labels 10.Deep and SSUR, and has also been featured on the up and coming Street Dreams Magazine.

The long time Queens resident of Colombian descent bared the humid temps and rainy weather to capture the joyous occasion. One of Queens' most colorful and well attended parades, it featured salsa & cumbia dancing, scenes of Colombian orgullo, and dozens of street vendors selling everything red, yellow & blue as Colombians celebrated their Independence from Spain. It was projected that over 75,000 folks came out to the parade that runs on Northern Boulevard from 74th Street to 86th Street.

To see more of Daza's wide-ranging work go to his popular Instagram page: @nevasatisfied.

words by Adolfo Steve Vazquez photo by Ronald Daza

 

Photojournal spotlight - "Willets Point"

"The struggle is part of the story." That quote sums up my immediate thoughts every time I passed the area known as the Iron Triangle in the Willets Point section of Corona, Queens, specifically the immigrant struggle.  On first sight, The Iron Triangle was just an oversized junkyard that sat on unsteady and permanently flooded terrain. If you look a little closer though, it was evident the soul of this place lied in all of the undocumented immigrants that worked in this area. The folks (primarily men) you encountered, were right on the lip of the Iron Triangle, right off the numerous curbs off 126th Street. These men were colorful, they were animated, and they were in your face. If you drove down this area looking to replace your rearview mirror, you knew the jockeying of position to get as close to your car as possible was a deliberate move. Each man had a different approach to lure you into the garage that they would be eventually receiving a cut from for their effective referral. From sun up to sun down, this place was bustling and it was loud, and it was from sounds indicative of folks struggling to survive. My favorite photographic work from this area comes from Salvador Espinoza. You know Salvador, if you are familiar with Queenscapes, because he is the man behind all the curatorial work for the many exhibits we have featured since 2015. Salvador presented his photojournal, "Willets Point" a couple of years back, and the first time I saw it, it was the first time I was exposed to his photography. Salvador used various different formats to shoot a black and white body of work that is stark and descriptive and shows his subjects with a warmth and dignity that is not usually reserved for folks that are being wantonly displaced. "The Iron Triangle seems to possess its own unique rhythm at a time when most neighborhoods in New York all seem to be in predictable in its uniformity," Salvador writes. To view more of "Willets Point" and see a wonderful glimpse of an area almost entirely a memory click on the link below: http://www.salvadorespinoza.com/willetspoint Words by Adolfo Steve Vazquez photo by Salvador Espinoza  

"The struggle is part of the story."

That quote sums up my immediate thoughts every time I passed the area known as the Iron Triangle in the Willets Point section of Corona, Queens, specifically the immigrant struggle. 

On first sight, The Iron Triangle was just an oversized junkyard that sat on unsteady and permanently flooded terrain. If you look a little closer though, it was evident the soul of this place lied in all of the undocumented immigrants that worked in this area.

The folks (primarily men) you encountered, were right on the lip of the Iron Triangle, right off the numerous curbs off 126th Street. These men were colorful, they were animated, and they were in your face. If you drove down this area looking to replace your rearview mirror, you knew the jockeying of position to get as close to your car as possible was a deliberate move.

Each man had a different approach to lure you into the garage that they would be eventually receiving a cut from for their effective referral. From sun up to sun down, this place was bustling and it was loud, and it was from sounds indicative of folks struggling to survive.

My favorite photographic work from this area comes from Salvador Espinoza. You know Salvador, if you are familiar with Queenscapes, because he is the man behind all the curatorial work for the many exhibits we have featured since 2015.

Salvador presented his photojournal, "Willets Point" a couple of years back, and the first time I saw it, it was the first time I was exposed to his photography. Salvador used various different formats to shoot a black and white body of work that is stark and descriptive and shows his subjects with a warmth and dignity that is not usually reserved for folks that are being wantonly displaced.

"The Iron Triangle seems to possess its own unique rhythm at a time when most neighborhoods in New York all seem to be in predictable in its uniformity," Salvador writes.

To view more of "Willets Point" and see a wonderful glimpse of an area almost entirely a memory click on the link below:

http://www.salvadorespinoza.com/willetspoint

Words by Adolfo Steve Vazquez photo by Salvador Espinoza

 

Afrikan Poetry Theatre - #SeeYourCity

Established in 1976 by co-founders John Watusi Branch and Yusef Waliyaya, the theatre has been stationed at its current location, 176th Street & Jamaica Avenue, since 1979. Yusef Waliyaya and the late John Watusi Branch, in 1976 as a collection of poets, singers and musicians focused on jazz, funk, African rhythms and poetry. The Afrikan Poetry Theatre was incorporated in 1977 and found a home on Merrick Boulevard the following year. It moved to its current location, at 176-03 Jamaica Ave., in 1979. .On November 5, 2006, the theatre celebrated its thirtieth anniversary, where Queens Borough President, Helen Marshall declared the day “Afrikan Poetry Theatre” day. On June 25 of 2016, the intersection of Jamaica Avenue and 176th Street in Jamaica, Queens was named John Watusi Branch Way. Words via Wikipedia photo by Adolfo Steve Vazquez

Established in 1976 by co-founders John Watusi Branch and Yusef Waliyaya, the theatre has been stationed at its current location, 176th Street & Jamaica Avenue, since 1979. Yusef Waliyaya and the late John Watusi Branch, in 1976 as a collection of poets, singers and musicians focused on jazz, funk, African rhythms and poetry.

The Afrikan Poetry Theatre was incorporated in 1977 and found a home on Merrick Boulevard the following year. It moved to its current location, at 176-03 Jamaica Ave., in 1979.

.On November 5, 2006, the theatre celebrated its thirtieth anniversary, where Queens Borough President, Helen Marshall declared the day “Afrikan Poetry Theatre” day.

On June 25 of 2016, the intersection of Jamaica Avenue and 176th Street in Jamaica, Queens was named John Watusi Branch Way.

Words via Wikipedia photo by Adolfo Steve Vazquez