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An inside look at UBS Arena at Belmont Park

The New York Islanders playoff run ended with a game seven defeat in the NHL semi finals, and since then the sprint to finish the construction of their new home stadium, UBS Arena at Belmont Park, has intensified.
BQE Media recently toured the arena construction site, where as many as 700 construction professionals are at work daily, readying the new arena for the Isles to occupy next season. While there are still many nuts and bolts to tighten before hockey games and concerts can take place, the arena is coming together. “It’s very exciting for those of us working on the project to actually see signage,” said Michael Sciortino, Senior Vice President of Operations and Assistant General Manager of UBS Arena, “It’s a real milestone.”
According to the new venue’s website, “UBS Arena is a part of the $1.5 billion redevelopment of Belmont Park that includes a retail village and hotel. The project is expected to generate approximately $25 billion in economic activity, including 10,000 construction jobs, 3,000 permanent jobs and major infrastructure improvements.”
Although the new sports and concert venue is loaded with modern technology, it will borrow from great New York sites of the past. Architects referenced the original Madison Square Garden, Ebbets Field, the former home of the Brooklyn Dodgers in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, and even from Grand Central Station in creating UBS Arena’s identity. “It’s an old New York design when talking about the aesthetic of the arena, there’s a Grand Central Station and an early-1900’s New York feel with a lot of the tile and brick work,” said Sciortino.
Sciortino, a Rockland County native and Long Island resident since 2005, spent two years as Vice President of Operations at the Chase Center in San Francisco, home of the Golden State Warriors, handling the day-to-day operations at the facility. For him, hiring construction crews with the right experience has been key. “The architect is Populous, the industry leader for sports and entertainment venues – full stop,” Sciortino said. “The finishes inside and out are stupendous.”
Although the Isles were born into a brand new Coliseum in 1972 and played three seasons at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn starting in 2015, those involved with the UBS Arena project are tasked with the job of creating the world-class stadium Islanders fans have been demanding for decades. The “Isles” closed out their tenancy at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, in Uniondale, Long Island with one final win, sending their series with the Tampa Bay Lightning to the limit in front of a passionate crowd that just didn’t want to leave.
In the design process, the Isles made sure to equip their new home with a number of amenities that were weak points at their previous venues.
First, the Isles made sure to add the luxury spaces like bars and suites that the Nassau Coliseum never had enough of. At UBS Arena, there will be eight bars with views of the ice and several “VIP suites and clubs inspired by New York.” According to a press release dated May 8, UBS Arena has already sold out of 80% of premium seating.
The Isles faced critics league wide when they moved to the Barclays Center, a venue that was built for basketball and has many seats where views of the hockey nets are obscured to the crowd. The new venue was designed to replicate and improve upon the sight lines at the Nassau Coliseum, known for its intimate vibe and robust views.
Another area where the Isles will have an advantage league-wide is in the bathroom. While fans found crowded restrooms at the Nassau Coliseum, Sciortino says UBS Arena will have the best restroom-to-fan ratio locally and in the NHL overall. There are 68 guest-facing restrooms, 12 of which are “family style.”
Still, Sciortino says the Isles won’t be able to host games in the building until November, forcing the team to start the season on the road. Recently, plans were announced to hold the Isles preseason games in Bridgeport, CT, where the Isles have their farm team.
With much work left to do, Sciortino and his staff are poised for challenges that may emerge in the completion process.
“We prepare for everything we know about. I’m always most nervous about the thing that we don’t know about yet,” Sciortino says. “There’s some gremlin in this building that no one knows about yet that is going to create a problem for us later, we just need to be prepared.”

Local pols respond to City’s new budget

On June 30th, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and various members of the City Council gathered in the City Hall Rotunda to celebrate the passage of the fiscal year 2022 budget for New York City.
The $98.7 billion budget is the largest in the City’s history, roughly 12 percent higher than last year’s leaner, pandemic-influence budget of $88.2 billion. The 2022 budget passed by the closest of margins, with 32 City Council Members voting in favor and 17 against.
Mayor de Blasio and speaker Johnson are praising the fiscal plan as a key step in the City’s post-pandemic recovery. However, many critics — including current and incoming City Council members — are still upset with the result.
“This is one of the greatest investments in working families in the history of New York City,” de Blasio said during Wednesday’s press conference. “We are sending resources to the communities who need it most, this is a radical investment in working families and that’s what we need right now to come out of this pandemic and move forward.”
The budget includes many programs focused on recovery, including a $24 million provision to hire unemployed people in economically distressed neighborhoods.
Additionally, the budget (which has not yet been made open to the public) reverses many of the cost-saving cuts made to City agencies last year, including those to the Parks Department, Sanitation, and libraries.
Since the announcement, elected officials in Queens and Brooklyn have shared their thoughts on the budget.
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards viewed the budget favorably, praising the Mayor for restoring funding to some services and allocating new funding for programs that can specifically benefit Queens.
“Here at Queens Borough Hall, I am thankful that many painful cuts to the Borough President’s Office from Fiscal Year 2021 are restored and now improved in this year’s budget,” Richards wrote in a statement. “I applaud Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Johnson, Finance Chair Dromm and the Council for securing a budget that places Queens and the rest of our City on a path to recovery.”
He continued: “This pandemic also unfortunately propelled a pandemic for hate, particularly against our Jewish, Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI), and Muslim communities. As Queens saw a rise against hate, I called for these investments and I am proud that the $4 million AAPI Community Support and $1 million Hate Crime Prevention initiatives are included in this budget.”
Multiple City Councilmembers from Queens, including Peter Koo from District 20 (Flushing) and Adrienne Adams from District 28 (Jamaica), followed suit, issuing statements that celebrated budget victories for their own constituents and communities.
Brooklyn’s Borough President and Mayoral frontrunner Eric Adams shared a sentiment similar to that of the Queens BP, writing “I am pleased to see that this budget restores cuts to services including parks and sanitation, which are vital to our public health and quality of life, as well as cuts to our community boards, which represent the most local form of our civic engagement.”
However, many progressive-leaning politicians have taken issue with some of the provisions included in the budget. These concerns are focused primarily on the additional $200 million in funding awarded to the NYPD, which critics believed to be ill-advised after a year-long movement to decrease the department’s budget in response to police violence nationwide.
Mayor de Blasio defended the additional funding, stating that they are aimed at improving the NYPD’s “IT Needs” and cutting overtime spending.
“We want to have the department be effective, we need better technology to do that,” de Blasio said. “The other piece — and I say this very openly — we worked together on overtime. We reduced overtime a lot.”
In addition to the current City Council Members who opposed parts of the budget, a number of incoming Council Members also expressed concerns.
Our paper spoke with Jennifer Gutierrez, who recently won the election to represent District 34 (which encompasses parts of Bushwick, Ridgewood, and Williamsburg in both Brooklyn and Queens).
“For so many New Yorkers in organizing and movement spaces, there were a lot of expectations that this budget would work to remediate the glaring shortcomings from last year’s budget,” Gutierrez said. “Together, we demanded more transparency, an equitable recovery program, and divestment from the PD to invest in common-sense initiatives.”
Gutierrez continued: “It seems there were zero lessons learned in this opaque budget cycle. We have a lot to learn from, a lot to fight against, and a lot left to deliver for all New Yorkers.”

Young people volunteer in Forest Hills

Children have proven that if they see a way to improve their neighborhood, they have the power to collaborate, whether by exercising a green thumb, the stroke of a paint brush, or by pursuing other activities.
For many children who volunteered with their parents, June felt like a community spirit month, and some felt inclined to participate in more than one event and made friends while they were at it. As a result of Home Depot’s humanitarian mission, multi-colored varieties of flowering bushes known as hydrangeas were donated by the Glendale branch, in addition to begonias, impatiens, and petunias. In collaboration with this columnist, an approximate 50 volunteers landscaped The Howard Apartments’ large lawns on 66th Road on June 18 and revive the local residential community garden concept, which can be traced to the 1930s. That led to a landscaping opportunity on June 25 with 25 volunteers to further beautify the properties. The community’s youth ranged from age 4 to 16.
Howard Apartments resident Myitzu Min Zu and her family, including her 9-year-old son Orratha, received a first-hand lesson in gardening and applied the finishing touches on June 29. “My son had a wonderful time planting colorful hydrangeas,” she said. “Orratha likes nature so much, that he believes planting trees and flowers would restore the balance in the whole world. He thinks it needs restoring because of the air pollutants, and now he knows it is hard work, since he experienced planting them himself. He said it was great letting him have his first experience gardening, and he would like to say thank you.”
Between the gardening opportunities was an event by the Forest Hills & Rego Park Graffiti Cleanup Initiative that improved Forest Hills on June 27, attracting 15 volunteers, as young as age 5.
“A beautiful and cleaner community makes us happier,” explained Juliana Zakowski, whose 6-year-old child Dylan volunteered. “I was very proud of him, since he did a great job taking care of the plants, making sure they were dug deep enough.”
“I learned the basics of community service, and would like to say that volunteering is extremely important for the experience and the skills that you learn,” said 16-year-old High School for Math, Science, & Engineering student Darren Hamilton, who volunteered with his mother Amy Hsu. He continued, “I enjoyed the gardening events and the Forest Hills mailbox graffiti cleanup, since I felt as if I was contributing to the community in a relatively large way. Graffiti on mailboxes and in general can be curbed by maintaining objects more and more thoroughly.” To further improve the community, he would like to learn what the community is requesting. “It will directly benefit the community with direct input,” he said.
His mother said, “It was a great feeling seeing him work in a group setting and engaging with other people.” In order to maintain the community routinely, she suggested having students engaged continuously and on a rotational basis in community activities and stressing the importance of civic awareness. She said, “Teens should feel proud to live in a neighborhood where the landscape includes trees, flowers, and zero graffiti. In the future, they can proudly say they contributed to the beauty of their neighborhood, and pass on this mindset.”
Evelyn Vargas watched in pride as her daughter Valentina Galdamez, a PS 175 student volunteered. She said, “It’s very important for our children to learn about empathy, community, teamwork, and making a positive difference in our world, even if it’s a small one. All these aspects are cultivated through volunteering. I would like my daughter to learn that this world is not just ‘about me,’ but ‘about us.’” To achieve that reality, she recommended more volunteer efforts, being good role models, and exposing uncivil behaviors on social media. As a believer in the broken windows theory, she said, “If a neighborhood is neglected, it only calls for more neglect and antisocial behavior.”
Galdamez said, “I felt proud of myself because I planted flowers in front of a building and we made it look beautiful. I learned that taking care of a building is better than leaving it plain. It is important to volunteer because you can help the community become better, and it is fun to do.
In the past, she volunteered with her best friend by cleaning Rockaway Beach. Each opportunity leads to further brainstorming. “We can pick up garbage from the street. Sometimes I have toys that I don’t like anymore and another kid might want them, and I may want what another kid doesn’t play with anymore. Another idea is giving old clothes that don’t fit to other people who cannot afford new clothes.”
“I wasn’t present at the gardening events since I had to work, but knowing that both of my children are very eager to participate in events to help the community makes me proud,” said Yin Wu. She suggested bi-weekly or monthly volunteer opportunities as a beneficial means for maintaining the community, which would also mount to a fun learning experience. “Having our children contribute is a wonderful way of encouraging future contributions to great causes,” she said.
Her 15-year-old daughter Brianna said, “It’s always uplifting to be able to help the community. Taking simply a few hours from your schedule to do volunteer work can prove to be fun and helpful.” She has faith that people of all ages can easily find volunteer opportunities. “Activities such as cleaning up environments and communal locations, repainting or refurbishing areas, and working at places such as public libraries can all be great opportunities.”
Wu’s sixteen-year-old son Alex said, “It was fun to try something that I have not done before. Working together with many people on a big community project was a blast! I learned how to properly dig a hole and plant flowers in a suburban environment, and I never thought that it would be an exciting activity.” His ideas for volunteering are sweeping local parks, eliminating weeds, or assisting in nursing homes. “Even if you think that a small community activity feels like it has little to no effect, it will have a great impact in the long-run,” he said.

104th Police Blotter

Monday, June 21
Stephanie Morales was arrested at 478 Grandview Avenue for felony assault by Officer Jaswal.
Guadalupe Vidal Martinez was arrested at 1719 Linden Street for misdemeanor assault by Officer Mark.
Cristian Michaca Zurita was arrested at 1719 Linden Street for strangulation by Officer mark.
James Kearney was arrested at 478 Grandview Avenue for misdemeanor assault by Officer Jaswal.
Steven Dross was arrested at 64-03 60th Place for criminal possession of a weapon by Officer Troia.

Tuesday, June 22
Miguel Herrera was arrested at 73-35 71st Place for grand larceny auto by Officer Duran.
Edwin Soto was arrested at 73-35 71st Place for grand larceny auto by Officer Duran.
Ruben A. Rivera was arrested at Menahan Street and Onderdonk Avenue for aggravated unlicensed operator by Officer Bartichek.

Wednesday, June 23
David Vaquero was arrested at 64-02 Catalpa Avenue for misdemeanor assault by Detective Scrimenti.
Moises Fuentes was arrested at 61-41 56th Street for burglary by Detective Rochford.
William Sykes was arrested at 583 Grandview Avenue for petit larceny by Officer Gutierrez.
Emanuel Henriques was arrested at Norman Street and Myrtle Avenue for reckless endangerment by Officer Santos.
Lenny Velo was arrested at Norman Street and Myrtle Avenue for reckless endangerment by Officer Santos.

Thursday, June 24
Wilmer Miguel Carlosama Lopez was arrested at 73-41 70th Street for grand larceny by Detective Moon.

Friday, June 25
Glenn Joran was arrested at 905 Wyckoff Avenue for possession of burglar tools by Officer Moise.
Mario Peters was arrested at 60-58 55th Street for robbery by Officer Hynes.
Nicolas Aguirre was arrested at Flushing Avenue and Metropolitan Avenue for criminal possession of stolen property by Officer Petito.

Saturday, June 26
Katherine Riquelme was arrested at 1722 Greene Avenue for third-degree assault by Detective Wright.
Bryan Fernandez was arrested at 72-06 ForestAvenue for third-degree assault by Officer Candelaria.
Syed Hussain was arrested at 66-60 Hul Avenue for third-degree assault by Detective Bublin.
Yunga Bryam Coronel was arrested at 57th Drive and Rust Street for aggravated unlicensed operator by Officer Nisbett.

Sunday, June 27
Jaime Chuindra was arrested at 413 Grove Street for third-degree assault by Officer Prizeman.
Elizabeth Ortiz was arrested at 57-39 Cooper Avenue for criminal mischief by Officer Gonzlez.
Jose Rivera was arrested at 1701 Palmetto Street for third-degree assault by Officer Shaid.

Back to normal at Forest Park Concert Series

Here’s a sign that things are getting back to normal and it’s a sign that will bring smiles to lots of faces. The Forest Park Concert Series is back, kicking off 7 consecutive Thursdays of shows at the Seuffert Bandshell. All concerts start at 7:30 p.m. and are sponsored by The Forest Park Trust and Maspeth Federal Savings.
The popular concert series kicks off this Thursday, July 8th with an Elvis Tribute Show featuring impersonator Lamar Peters. According to his webpage, Peters “takes you back to the best of 1950’s Elvis rockabilly and through the 60s, and 70s of Elvis Presley’s career.”
And here’s an interesting tidbit; Lamar Peters is a 2nd generation Elvis impersonator. His father, Gregg, has been an Elvis impersonator for over 40 years and he’s still going strong!
On the following Thursday (July 15th), we have what sounds like a terrific show – Forever Plaid, a musical presented by Plaza Theatrical Productions. In the show, 4 members of a young singing group (The Plaids) are killed in a car accident on the way to their first big show.
The Plaids are given the opportunity to return to Earth for one final show during which they tell the audience stories about their lives and perform some of the greatest hits from the 1950s.
Rick Larrimore and Atlantic Crossing, the ultimate tribute to Rod Stewart, returns to the bandshell on July 22nd. We saw him at the bandshell back in 2014 and the lead singer was really good.
Next up on July 29th is Satisfaction, a tribute to The Rolling Stones. Tribute bands are popular and Satisfaction is right up there logging over 4,000 shows in 20 years.
The following Thursday (August 5th) sees the arrival of Fleetwood Macked, the Ultimate Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band have one area where they are extra-authentic; the lead singers imitating Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham are married in real life!
There will be plenty of dancing in the aisles on August 12th as Gloria’s Miami Nights Latin Experience will perform the hits Gloria Estefan, Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin and Selena. Looking at their performances online, we’re going to get a high energy show with lots of horns!
And the series comes to a close on August 19th when Captain Jack, the Ultimate Live Billy Joel Tribute Band, comes to Forest Park.
That’s quite a lineup! Many thanks to Portia Dyrenforth, Administrator of Forest Park, for putting together such a nice slate of shows.
We have enjoyed many shows at the bandshell in recent years; we even have our own little area where we sit and meet friends for each show. The Seuffert bandshell is a lovely place to sit on a summer evening and enjoy live music.
Speaking of the Seuffert Bandshell (pronounced Soy-fert), it is nearly 100 years old and is named after bandleader George Seuffert Sr. For many years, Seuffert and his band entertained people at the bandshell and it was officially named in his honor in 1979.
But have you ever heard of a man named Harry Tourte? He was the President of the Homestead Civic Association, was popularly known as “The Mayor of Woodhaven,” and was the driving force behind the erection of our beloved bandshell (which cost $25,800 to build at the time).
“For years, Mr. Tourte worked for a bandstand in Forest Park and carried his fight to every department of the Greater City which had any authority in the matter,” said the Leader-Observer of Harry Tourte.
But there’s a bittersweet ending to this tale. As the bandshell was being built, Harry Tourte was stricken ill and hospitalized. It looked for a while that he might recover in time for the opening but he took a sudden turn for the worse and passed away having never laid eyes on the bandshell he was responsible for getting built.
“Harry Tourte was an indefatigable civic worker,” said the Leader upon his death. “Forest Park’s bandstand is truly a monument to his efforts, one which he was not privileged to see, but will be dedicated to his memory.”
Sadly, there is no sign or marker for Harry Tourte, but when you next get there, say a quiet word of thanks to him for bringing this beautiful bandshell to life, for future generations of Woodhavenites to enjoy.

Astoria Sports Complex President Steps Down

By Stephano Polis
After 45 years of service and as President, I am sad to say goodbye to the community that I love, Astoria and Long Island City.
I started this journey at the age of 29. I was single, not a worry in the world. Today I am seventy-four years (young) (thank God very healthy) married to the most amazing wife, have three wonderful children and just 3 months ago I became a grandfather of two beautiful healthy granddaughters.
I, in these 45 years, have weathered many glories and heartaches, all in the name of Astoria.
It all started 1976 when my late beloved father Giuseppe, my late beloved brother Nicolo and myself, purchased an old abandoned ice house in a NYC auction (my brother’s workplace).
Today the abandoned ice house, after many transformations, is known as one of the largest sports complexes in NYC.
Now the space offers elevator service, parking, full health club, a spin room, aerobics, zumba, yoga, olympic style swimming pool, hot jacuzzi, sauna, swimming lessons, two soccer fields with plexiglass walls and astro-turf fields, children birthday party room with super size jumping castle and super slide, private dining rooms, and a penthouse catering hall with fine dining, dancing, and view of Manhattan.
All of the above given amenities were supervised by the owners with unbeatable customer service, dedicated professional staff and above all at unbeatable low prices.
The Complex has won many awards, and with each award received, it gave me the strength and vision to add more and more amenities and floor space, all for the community of Astoria.
My sincere thanks go to all of my loyal, dedicated employees that I had the pleasure of working with.
A special thanks go to my wonderful hard working children, Joseph, Paulete, and Victor. The complex is what it is today because of them.
My children first started coming to the complex when they were babies, to play basketball, help me with birthday parties and interact with other children. They came to learn the value of hard work and learn to love what they were doing, serving the customers and the community of Astoria with courtesy and respect.
Today more than ever, I am very proud of them and am proud to say that they are my children.
On a final note, I want to thank all my loyal customers. It was a pleasure serving you and I wish you good health and happiness.
It’s time for the president to hang up his keys and put on his dancing shoes and hope to God for good health and time to spend with my adorable family especially my grandchildren.
Best regards,

EmblemHealth Expands Community Health Care Services in Flushing, Queens

EmblemHealth, one of the nation’s largest non-profit health insurers, announced the opening of its newest EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care center, located at 41-61 Kissena Blvd, Flushing, NY 11355.
The Flushing Neighborhood Care center is free and open to the entire community, with staff who speak multiple languages and are trained in delivering culturally competent services and support. Anyone who needs insurance can also get help onsite from team members who can guide them through the process of signing up for affordable coverage.
“EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care provides crucial support to the communities we serve. Our centers offer virtual appointments, health education classes, and connections to community resources so that those most impacted by COVID-19 can continue to receive the support and care they need,” says Beth Leonard, EmblemHealth’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer. “We are thrilled to bring these vital services and resources to the residents of Flushing.”
The new site is part of EmblemHealth’s ongoing community investment strategy to address social determinants of health, the social and economic conditions that disproportionately affect health risks and outcomes in diverse and underserved communities.
The new location is in the heart of Flushing, Queens to accommodate and meet community members where they are. With multiple Customer Care Navigators who live in Flushing, the location is fully equipped to provide culturally competent services and digital literacy support. EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care’s professionals offer support in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. Neighborhood Care’s locations in other boroughs offer support in additional languages, including Spanish. EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care Flushing center is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm.
EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care Flushing is co-located with Advantage Care Physicians (ACPNY)—part of EmblemHealth’s family of companies—where community members can also access medical and specialty services at the recently expanded ACPNY medical office.
With the opening of Neighborhood Care Flushing Center, residents now have access to a one-stop shop for health care and community resources, where they can find doctors, free wellness classes, Customer Care Navigators who can answer questions about health benefits, and more.
With 13 locations across New York City and Long Island, EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care is open to the entire community and provides in-person and virtual customer service, offers health and wellness resources like yoga and meditation, and helps people access additional community resources to address barriers to their health like food insecurity, transportation and more.

Thief, a new ‘80s themed bar in Williamsburg

The 1980’s graffiti, art and music scenes are things of legend, and restaurateur John McNulty offers a small taste of them with Thief, his new Williamsburg bar that opened last week.
“It’s my modern take on a neighborhood bar, and I can’t wait to bring it to the city at this moment of resilience,” says McNulty. “I dig the low key, casual vibe of a dive bar more than anything else but also appreciate a killer glass of wine. I hope a visit to Thief will help our visitors steal back some of the time they lost to the pandemic.”
Thief is open daily on Monday through Friday from 5pm – 2am, Saturday and Sunday from 12pm – 2am; located at 595 Union Ave (on the corner of N 11th).
McNulty has over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, and during this time he learned that the casual, friendly vibe of a good dive bar is impossible to beat. With Thief, he hopes to pair this type of atmosphere with an upscale, contemporary bar program and some edgy, ‘80s style.
Their chicken parm sandwiches are one of the great foods they offer along with their killer wine menu that focuses on small producers that McNulty discovered throughout his years in the restaurant industry.
For those on a budget, there will always be pours below $10 on a list that includes some pinks and oranges along with an array of reds and whites. On hot days you can opt for a Friesling – a frosty glass of frozen riesling.
The Summer Nights offers a twist on the classic Old Fashioned by mixing reposado tequila with oranges bitters and peaches, while the Supersonic amps up a gin and tonic with celery shrub and a cucumber ice cube.
While a destination on it’s own, Thief is also perfect for a pre or post-meal libation for guests hitting one of the area’s popular restaurants – a selection of aperitif and after dinner drinks await visitors who are dining nearby. In keeping with the unpretentious vibe, McNulty promises neighborhood friendly beers like Miller Lite and Estrella Jalisco will flow alongside some select craft rarities from Other Half, Stillwater Artisanal and many more.
Thief also offers a large take out window, allowing passerbys a taste of the fun with a custom menu that can be enjoyed on-the-go. Take-out and delivery have become a crucial solution for many bar operations in NYC, and Thief’s take-out window is an extension physically built into the design of this new space to accommodate a wide range of customers and their varying needs.
Occasional live music will also capture the creative energy that coursed through the early ‘80s, while a top-notch sound system will fill the room with gritty soul. The double entendre hidden in the bar’s name hints at the spirit Thief hopes to add to the neighborhood: a thief is a tool used by producers of all things beverage (wine, beer, spirits) used when sampling from their barrels, and the classic meaning of the word should inspire you to purloin some precious moments for yourself.
For more information, please visit or follow along on Instagram @thief.bk.

Mailman attacked by bikers in Greenpoint

On Monday June 28th, a United States Postal Worker was assaulted by three men on dirt bikes in Greenpoint. The unprovoked attack was captured by the security camera of a nearby store, and has since been made publicly available on the NYPD Crime Stoppers website and youtube channel.

The mail carrier (whose name is being withheld for privacy reasons) was pushing his mailcart down McGuinness Boulevard near Nassau Ave at around 6 p.m. when three men on electric dirt bikes rode up onto the sidewalk behind him. The bikers then dismounted their vehicles and began to punch and kick the man.

The victim began fighting back against the attackers before multiple passerby came to his aid. The three bikers then fled, travelling south down McGuinness Boulevard.

The entire incident unfolded during broad daylight while local businesses were still open.

According to the NYPD, the mail carrier sustained multiple broken bones in the face and was taken to Woodhull Hospital for treatment. Luckily, he is in stable condition.

The NYPD is requesting that anyone with information regarding the attack reach out to the Crime Stoppers Hotline at -800-577-TIPS (8477). Information can also be submitted via the Crime Stoppers website,, on Twitter @NYPDTips.

The attack in Greenpoint adds to the growing trend of violent crimes in New York City. According to a recent statistics report by the NYPD, overall crime in May 2021 was up 22 percent from May 2020.

Brooklyn Diocese dedicates new Church in Williamsburg

On Tuesday, June 29th, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio and other officials from the Diocese of Brooklyn gathered to dedicate a new Church and art center. The creation of new churches in the five boroughs has become a rare occurrence in recent years, making Tuesday’s event a powerful milestone, especially after the pandemic limited the capacity of Churches for close to a year.

The new Church, Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church is located at the corner of S. 3rd Street and Berry Street in Williamsburg. With a maximum capacity of 550 people, Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church will easily expand the number of masses and services that the Diocese will offer in North Brooklyn.

Bishop DiMarzio chose to dedicate this new church on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, a Catholic feast celebrated annually on June 29. Immediately following the Mass, Bishop DiMarzio blessed the new parish center building, which includes a new arts center focused on community engagement. The art center comes equipped with a newly renovated 600-seat theater and is housed in the Historic Williamsburg Opera house, which was built in 1897.

“We have witnessed a ceremony that few get to see in a lifetime because there are not that many new churches, certainly not here in Brooklyn and Queens, but this completely new renovation making a new church here on the ground level, giving us so many classrooms and a public center is truly unique,” Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio said in his homily.

He continued: “This new church, this new center, this new beginning, this new evangelization is something that gives us inspiration. I am happy that I have been here as Bishop now to see this day. It is a long time in coming but I pray that together today we take heart. We become new disciples of the new evangelization effort. We reach out to others who need us. Those who are already Catholics; those other Christians; those who know not the faith and need to encounter Jesus Christ.”

Monsignor Anthony Hernandez, the former pastor of the Parish who helped bring about the new construction project, also shared remarks.

“Today is a very important day for Ss. Peter and Paul Epiphany Parish and the Diocese of Brooklyn,” Monsignor Hernandez said. “With the inauguration of this new church and center, this parish, which has existed since before the Civil War, will begin a new chapter of outreach and evangelization to the people of Williamsburg, as well as to the people of Brooklyn and Queens.”
The last time a new church was opened in the Diocese of Brooklyn was in 2008 at Our Lady of Snows in the Floral Park section of Queens. The last church renovated and re-dedicated was the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, located in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn in 2014.

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