Queens Courier Year in Review: The top stories from October 2019

queens courier top oct stories
Photos St. John’s University, inset via RedStormSports.com/Gerri Hernandez/Casa Enrique/Angélica Acevedo

Take a look at the top stories from October 2019.

Queens Beer Festival in Long Island City offered unlimited local brews

Photos courtesy of Festival Media

The fourth annual Queens Beer Festival, the only festival in the borough that highlights the exploding craft brewery scene in New York City, took place from Oct. 5 to 6. This year’s Fest included about 50 different beers from about 25 local craft breweries, including Coney Island Brewery, Blue Point Brewery, Brookyn Brewery, Big aLICe, Gun Hill Brewing Company, LIC Beer Project, Montauk Brewing Company, and Mikkeller Brewing NYC.Mark Goldberg

Festival attendees enjoyed live music and other activities. Additionally, people were able to taste international cuisine from entrepreneurial chefs as well as shopping for handcrafted and vintage items offered by LIC Flea & Food vendors.

New affordable housing complex opened in Downtown Jamaica

Courtesy of Gerri Hernandez

A new 100 percent affordable housing complex opened in Jamaica giving 89 families a new home close to the neighborhoods transit hub.

City and elected officials joined Arker Companies to celebrate the ribbon cutting of the 14-story tower at 92-61 165th St., where the Archer Avenue Apartments became available to households earning roughly $30,000 to $58,000 a year. The building was already at 100 percent occupancy with units ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments. Residents have access to modern amenities including a laundry facility, bike storage room and a recreational room.

“Affordable housing in a predominant community of color is something we need to see more of,” Assemblywoman and Queens Borough President candidate Alicia Hyndman said. “With 100 percent affordability we are easing the burden of the high cost of residing in this city and at least a portion of our constituents will have a little more to save and recycle into their communities.”

National Grid vowed to end natural gas moratorium after Governor Cuomo laid down the law

Courtesy of Stop the Williams Pipeline

National Grid lifted its moratorium and began connecting more than 1,100 customers in Queens and Brooklyn to natural gas service after Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the utility to comply or face millions of dollars in fines.

The company had denied service to new and returning customers since May in response to continued opposition to the $1 billion Williams pipeline project, which was denied a permit by the state’s Department of Environmental Prevention over concerns it would contaminate New York Harbor. Cuomo announced on Friday the Department of Public Service would expand its investigations into National Grid’s conduct and whether it had prepared properly for meeting the needs of its customers given that the utility faces supply constraints this winter.

If the Williams pipeline were permitted to be constructed under New York Harbor to bring fracked natural gas from Pennsylvania to a terminus three miles off the coast of Rockaway Beach, it would not be in service until December 2020 at the earliest.

“It is the fundamental responsibility of our utilities to provide reliable service,” Cuomo said. “National Grid has acted in bad faith throughout this process — first by denying over 1,100 eligible customers with service and now by failing to fulfill its core responsibility.”

Long Island City restaurant earned Michelin Star for seventh year, while 17 others in Queens get Bib Gourmand Award

Photo courtesy of Casa Enrique

On Oct. 21, the renowned food authority announced the 2020 Michelin Star awardees, which included Casa Enrique in Long Island City. The Mexican restaurant earned one Michelin Star for the seventh consecutive year. 

Michelin recognized 76 restaurants across New York City and Westchester County, with Casa Enrique (5-48 49th Ave.) being the sole representative from Queens. Fifty-seven restaurants earned one star, 14 earned two stars and just five earned the coveted three-star rating.

James Beard Award winner Cosme Aquilar opened Casa Enrique in 2012. The chef came from Chiapas, Mexico, to the United States in 1998 and learned to cook his mother’s traditional Mexican recipes. “One can literally taste the regions and cities that Chef Cosme Aguilar’s menu explores, and many dishes honor his mother’s memory with recipes from his childhood,” the Michelin website says.

Michelin also named 17 Bib Gourmand restaurants in Queens out of 133 total establishments in New York City and Westchester County. The organization introduced Bib Gourmand in 1997 and recognizes restaurants that offer an “affordable and remarkable dining experience.” Some of the Queens restaurants include Alley 41 on 136-45 41st Ave., Flushing; Bellwether on 47-25 Vernon Blvd., LIC; and Houdini Kitchen Laboratory on 15-63 Decatur St., Ridgewood.

St. John’s University student cuffed for nearly gutting his roommate during a fight in Fresh Meadows: NYPD

Photo via St. John’s University, inset via RedStormSports.com

A St. John’s University student faced assault charges for allegedly stabbing his roommate at a Fresh Meadows frat house on the morning of Oct. 22, according to authorities.

Police said 23-year-old Justin Corpolongo was involved in a dispute with his roommate, 21-year-old Matthew Stockfeder, at a home on 172nd Street at 12:30 a.m. on Oct. 22. The dispute turned physical, with the two throwing several punches at each other, but it escalated when Stockfeder allegedly stabbed Corpolongo in the stomach with a knife, cops said.

“The University is aware of an incident involving a student and an alum that occurred at an off-campus location, not owned by the University, and is fully cooperating with the investigation by law enforcement officials.” Brian Browne, a St. John’s University spokesperson, said.

According to the criminal complaint, Corpolongo had Stockfeder on the ground and was holding him by his head when Stockfeder, plunged the knife into Corpolongo’s stomach. Corpolongo suffered a 4- to 5-inch deep cut in his stomach, which severed his small intestines. Surgery was required to fix Corpolongo’s injuries.

Police confirmed that Corpolongo is expected to survive.

Queens-based filmmaker Mark Goldberg was in search of people to appear in his new documentary ‘Life is EL’

Photo credit: Angélica Acevedo

Filmmaker and Astoria resident Mark Goldberg is working on a special New York City transit documentary entitled “Life is EL.”

The documentary will explore the history of the city’s elevated train tracks, and, most importantly, the way it has impacted the lives of the people who own businesses and live next to or underneath them. “Every borough has elevated tracks, somewhere,” said Goldberg, who has filmed Els all over the city.

“Life is EL” has been in the making since April 2018. Goldberg was first inspired to write the story after noticing the news surrounding the renovations and closures of subway stations across Queens. He said that while he had no problem getting businesses to participate in the documentary, getting individuals who live near elevated stations to participate wasn’t as easy.

“It’s a people’s story. It’s not just about the wheels turning on metal rails; it’s living and working under and around the elevated train tracks,” he said.

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