Hot Dog!

Interstate Bakeries opts to keep Jamaica factory running, retaining hundreds of jobs

Interstate Bakeries opts to keep Jamaica factory running, retaining hundreds of jobs

Crain’s New York

Hot dogs won’t lack buns in Queens

By Hilary Potkewitz

Published: February 22, 2009 – 5:59 am

Residents of Jamaica, Queens, can sleep soundly. Their buns are staying in the oven.

After emerging from bankruptcy early this month, Interstate Bakeries Corp. wasted no time in trumpeting the glad tidings: Its Jamaica factory, the city’s largest maker of hot dog rolls, will remain open. The century-old plant on 268th Street and Douglas Avenue has about 350 full-time and more than 100 part-time workers. Its products are made under the Wonder Bread and Nature’s Pride labels.

“This was extraordinary news for us,” says Richard Werber, director of the business services group at the Greater Jamaica Development Corp. “We want to hold on to those manufacturing companies, because generally speaking, their jobs pay far better than retail jobs and provide a clearer and higher ladder for advancement.”

About 70% of the plant’s employees live in Queens, according to GJDC data. Kansas City-based Interstate filed for Chapter 11 in 2004. It has closed several facilities in the Midwest, eliminating hundreds of jobs.

Though the Jamaica plant isn’t Interstate’s most advanced facility, New York is one of the company’s largest markets, so keeping production here made sense, according to Interstate.

As a bonus, New York ranks No. 1 in the nation’s top 10 hot dog-eating cities, buying about $113 million worth of franks a year, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council’s most recent survey. That’s not surprising, given the Big Apple’s multiple sports arenas, Coney Island’s Nathan’s Famous and an army of street vendors.

Queens also has bragging rights in that Shea Stadium beat out other Major League Baseball venues in the all-important hot dog sales standings, the council says. Mets fans ate more than 2 million dogs—with buns—last season, barely six miles from Interstate Bakeries’ cargo bay.


The Nanny (Fran Drescher) for New York Senator

From U.S. News & World Report

The Nanny (Fran Drescher) for New York Senator
February 06, 2009 04:50 PM ET

By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

Fran Drescher seems to have a thing for jobs that last six years. First it was The Nanny, the sitcom that ran from 1993 to 1999 and, through reruns, continues to win her fame and fortune. And if the Queens cackler gets her way, her next job could also come with a six-year term: Senator from New York. While she lost out to former Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand for the seat vacated by Hillary Clinton, President Obama’s new secretary of state, the Nanny tells Whispers that she isn’t giving up her goal. “It is something that I am very seriously contemplating.”

Cancer Schmancer

Cancer Schmancer

Gillibrand is formidable. She’s a good fundraiser, and her moderate politics makes her an upstate fave for the 2010 special election. But Drescher isn’t worried. “I could set up very quickly if I throw my hat in the ring,” she says. “I feel like I can generate an interesting, and even a crossover, mix of people who would come to my support.” She received encouragement from Democratic lawmakers and donors as recently as Obama’s inauguration, when she was the house guest of Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Her pals have advised that she can hold off announcing. “I may have a little bit of time,” she tells us, “because of my celebrity component and ability to raise large amounts of money more easily.” And her New York-ness, notably her nasally laugh, is a plus, she says. “I get New York.” In the meantime, the cancer survivor who started the Cancer Schmancer Movement to urge women to be tested for cancer has been asked by the Obama team to stay on as an international women’s healthcare envoy, a position she held under George W. Bush.

“Last Summer at Coney Island”

“Last Summer at Coney Island”

(aka, Mayor Bloomberg never met a developer he didn’t like)

When Vintage New York Is Lost

From the NY Times

February 8, 2009
When Diners Pick Up Stakes, and Vintage New York Is Lost

Hey, Alabama, you want a piece of us?

Olde New York, that is.

Now that an Alabama couple have purchased the Cheyenne Diner on Ninth Avenue and 33rd Street, they say they are eyeing the historic Ridgewood Theater in Queens, which played movies from 1916 until it closed last year.

Ridgewood Theatre

Ridgewood Theatre

La Barge, Wyo., snared an even more revered restaurant, the Moondance Diner, which sat near the Holland Tunnel and was New York’s oldest diner.

A Sicilian town is taking an East Village video store’s legendary collection of 50,000 movies.

And from Pakistan came interest in another New York icon: the Astroland Rocket at Coney Island.

No, it’s not the faltering economy that’s putting venerable New York up for sale and shipment. It may be just coincidental that there is a flurry of outliers who are in a New York state of mind and want a part of it.

“We’re not taking anything from New York — the diner needed saving,” said Cheryl Pierce, who with her husband, Vince, bought the Moondance in 2007 for $7,500. They spent $40,000 to move it 2,125 miles to La Barge in western Wyoming, where it opened on Jan. 12 after a delay to replace a roof collapsed by snow.

It is hardly a new phenomenon, of course. New York has been exporting its bounties, willingly and unwillingly, since the days of Peter Stuyvesant and marauding redcoats.

More recently, according to the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, cast-iron eagles from the old Pennsylvania Station and Grand Central Terminal have turned up at suburban estates, a kiosk from the 1939 World’s Fair is now a restaurant in New Jersey, parts of an 18th-century ship found at 175 Water Street were sent to the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Va., and old subway cars are swimming with the fishes as artificial reefs off the Delaware coast.

Many years ago, when New York saw no more need for all of its elevated lines, it sold the iron for scrap to the Japanese, who were particularly happy to receive it, said Lloyd Ultan, the Bronx County historian. “Put it this way,” he said, “we got it back in the form of artillery shells and kamikazes.”

Read the complete article…………

Fort Totten on the “Fringe”

The "Fringe" can now be seen on FOX

The "Fringe" can now be seen on FOX


On Thursday February 5, 2009 the TV show “FRINGE” is  scheduled to shoot interior and exterior scenes at Fort Totten Park.

Approximate time:    9am – 6pm

Nassau lawsuit targets Queens strip club billboard

The Stripper

The Stripper

From Newsday

Nassau lawsuit targets Queens strip club billboard


7:59 PM EST, February 3, 2009

Reaching across the county border, Nassau County has filed suit against a strip club in Queens, arguing that the club’s risque billboards featuring a nearly naked woman are a public nuisance and should be removed.

The suit, filed Monday in State Supreme Court in Mineola, names the operators of the Platinum Club on Rockaway Boulevard and Long Island Business Llc, the owner of the property, and asks that the two signs be taken down.

Although the club is in Queens County, its signs can be viewed from Nassau, said Nassau County attorney Lorna Goodman.

“The impact of the offense is on the citizens of Nassau County,” Goodman said.

The billboards show a blond woman wearing several thin strips of strategically placed black material. Goodman said the image violates a section in New York’s penal code that prohibits the display of graphic images that appeal to a “prurient interest in sex.”

The signs have caused a stir in the communities around heavily traveled Rockaway Boulevard since they were erected in October, and have been the subject of community protests.

“People don’t want it thrust in their faces,” said Nassau County Legis. Jeff Toback (D-Oceanside). “Now that they’re taking what’s going on inside and brought it outside, that’s what this public display law is designed to combat.”

New York City Councilman James Sanders Jr., who represents the area that contains the club, said he welcomes the suit and added that the city planned to file an amicus brief.

Read more…………..