Community Board 1 approves Variety expansion with conditions

A map showing where Variety's members come from.

A map showing where Variety’s members come from.

The Variety Boys and Girls Club’s plan to expand to a new five-story facility, funded by a 14-story residential building, got the green light by Community Board 1 last night.

The conditional approval came with stipulations to address some of the board members’ concerns. Those conditions include:

  • Agreeing to set aside 30% of units as affordable at an average of 60% of the area median income (AMI),
  • Distributing the affordable units equitably, and providing subsidized amenities for those units,
  • Using materials that will lessen the visual intensity of the height of the building,
  • Committing to continuing existing and new club programs without fees year-round,
  • Increasing the number of scholarships available to cover costs of fee-based programs

CB1 member Tom Ryan added another stipulation that the building strive to be environmentally friendly and energy neutral, a motion that carried.

The board voted in favor of the rezoning, 29-8, with one abstention.

At the meeting at Astoria World Manor, club leaders made the case that the expanded facility was needed to serve a growing community. Matthew Troy, Variety’s executive director, said though the club serves more than 220 kids daily in their after school program, 642 children are on the waiting list.

“That really breaks my heart,” he said.

The new facility would double its capacity, and serve up to 500 students.

After the vote, board president Walter Sanchez said he was thrilled that the community supported the plan.

“Being able to use proceeds from a residential building to build a state-of-the-art club for community is a win-win all around,” he said. “I am glad the community board members saw that.”

The proposal now moves forward to the borough president’s office, who will recommend for or against it. The City Council will have the final vote.

Councilman Costa Constantinides said at the meeting last night he looks forward to partnering with the Variety Boys and Girls Club and CB1 to address concerns.

Met Opera coming to Socrates Sculpture Park

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They’re bringing the artists directly to the community.

The 2018 Metropolitan Opera’s Summer Recital Series returns this season, featuring young rising stars of the opera world.

Soprano Latonia Moore, tenor Mario Chang and baritone Joshua Hopkins will be performing across the five boroughs.

On Friday, June 29 at 7 p.m., the Met Opera is hosting a performance at Socrates Sculpture Park.

The events are free, and no tickets are required.

Watch “Grease” at Astoria Park at sunset

unnamedWe’re bringing it back to the 70s!

Catch a free screening of the hit film “Grease” at the Astoria Park parking lot located at Hoyt Avenue and 19th Street, tomorrow night at sunset (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

It’s going to be a drive-in movie night, so feel free to bring your car. If you don’t have a car, seating will be provided (but bring your own blanket or chair!)

It’s first-come, first-serve, so get there early and enjoy!

CHIP NYC & Variety Boys & Girls Club ‘Dream Cookie Contest’ submissions

Chip NYC and The Variety Boys & Girls Club have teamed up to support kids and families in the Astoria & LIC community.

Their “Dream Cookie Contest” gives participants the chance to submit a cookie idea for the chance to have their cookie created, baked, and sold by Chip NYC!

Chip NYC is also donating a portion of the proceeds of that cookie sold to the Variety Boys & Girls Club in support of Variety’s STEAM & STEM education programs.

The winner of the contest will win a $50 gift card to Chip, and have their picture taken with the Chip NYC Team to be published on the front page of the LIC / Astoria Journal Newspaper.

The winner of the contest will be announced at the “Chip In: Dream Cookie Event” this Saturday, June 9th, from 12-2PM, where event goers will receive a delicious Chip Cookie, as well as play games & activities in a fun, music filled atmosphere.

Here’s how to enter the ‘Dream Cookie Contest':1. Dream up your cookie by giving it a name.
(example: “Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cookie”)

2. List your combination of ingredients.
(example: My “Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cookie consists of Chocolate, Caramel, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal bits”)

3 (optional). Draw your cookie and take a picture of it.

4. Submit your “Dream Cookie” via email to [email protected] and post it to Instagram using the hashtag #chipinvariety to be officially entered into the contest. Participants can also submit their entry in person at the Variety Boys & Girls Club (21-12 30th Rd. Astoria)

Chip NYC, the deliciously creative cookie bakery, located at 30-06 34th Street in Astoria, has recently exploded onto the food scene; with the goal of providing customers the best tasting cookie experience they have ever had.

The Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens, located at 21st St. and 30th Rd. in Astoria, is a neighborhood center that provides a safe, active and positive environment where kids in the Astoria, LIC, and surrounding communities can make friends and explore and develop their passions.

The Variety Boys & Girls Club offers programs such as sports and dance classes, STEAM, Engineering, Coding, Cooking, Film Production, Robotics, and more. During the weekdays, Variety offers the largest after-school program in Western Queens, caring for nearly 200 children.

Both Chip NYC and Variety are vested in “customer experience”, so the two philanthropic-minded companies are hosting this contest to spark creativity, ingenuity, and motivation within kids in the community.

cookie experience they have ever had.

The entire Queens community is raving about Chip’s large, warm, gooey cookies – baked daily with the richest ingredients and with the utmost love and care.

The Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens, located at 21st St. and 30th Rd. in Astoria, is a neighborhood center that provides a safe, active and positive environment where kids in the Astoria, LIC, and surrounding communities can make friends and explore and develop their passions.

The Variety Boys & Girls Club offers programs such as sports and dance classes, STEAM, Engineering, Coding, Cooking, Film Production, Robotics, and more. During the weekdays, Variety offers the largest after-school program in Western Queens, caring for nearly 200 children.

Both Chip NYC and Variety are vested in “customer experience”, so the two philanthropic-minded companies are hosting this contest to spark creativity, ingenuity, and motivation within kids in the community.