Its Queens, Fall 2011
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It’s difficult not to notice some sweeping changes in the Queens social and political landscape this fall. Just when you thought we were safe, in “historical movement” fashion, a Republican (who was endorsed by Ed Koch, of all people) wins the congressional seat that has been held by a Democrat since Calvin Coolidge was president. The Occupy Wall Street Movement is sweeping across the world and demanding attention. Although many might think the protests are a necessary distraction, it is still a bit unnerving that there are so many people willing to join this group at the drop of a hat.
A good part of the Queens social scene gets a facelift this season as the long-anticipated Aqueduct Racino opened on October 28, bringing a new type of gambling to the borough. Though gambling has always existed at Aqueduct, the addition of slots at the racetrack will certainly save the horse racing industry – at least for a while – and create a fabulous destination spot in Queens. We’re excited about the expansion prospects for the Aqueduct area. In the category of “really cool stuff you wouldn’t come across anywhere except here,” how about our Made In Queens feature on beekeeper Chase Emmons, who does his craft on a rooftop farm in LIC. Check it out on page 9. You can admit that you have had some of that tasty grub from one of those mobile food trucks throughout the borough of Queens. Sure, some restaurants owners have their issues with them, and their A, B and P ratings with the Department of Health might not use the same measuring standards, but we give
you an insider’s look at the new permanent food truck lot in Long Island City. Pia Toscano is the new celebrity of Queens, and has performed around the borough for years. The American Idol contestant became an overnight smash and now has a record deal. Check out our interview with her beginning on page 30. Kaitlin Monte is the newly crowned Miss New York. We sat
down with this bright, energetic young lady who talked to us about life in Astoria and her efforts to end bullying. Our It’s List this issue ranks Queens Kickstarters – a bunch of overachieving individuals who have one common trait: they think outside the box. They do take risks, but there is no real reward without passion and risk. We love our top 15 Queens Kickstarters, which begins on page 22. Who says you have to travel out of Queens to get an out-of-mind experience? We couldn’t believe how many people in Queens have a passion for riding horses. Our feature on horses and a Forest Hills riding school will surely leave you intrigued. It begins on page 36. And finally, Maspeth is mourning the tragedy of losing a well-liked young man named George Gibbons recently. He was innocently riding in the back seat of a cab, while someone was driving the wrong way on 58th Road and hit the cab head-on. It is quite difficult not to question why it’s the innocent people who lose their lives in these incidents and the ones who cause it walk away. George leaves a lot of people who loved him searching for answers.
Walter (Walter Sanchez, Publisher)
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