Van Bramer, Community Light Up Hunters Point
On December 3, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer and more than 100 Long Island City children and parents celebrated the expansion of the holiday lights along Vernon Boulevard at the Hunters Point Holiday Lighting ceremony in front of LIC Bar. The festive snowflakes grace the boulevard every holiday season from 44th Drive in Hunters Point but this year they have been extended to include the blocks between 45th and 50th Avenues. The holiday celebration included Christmas carols sung by students from P.S. 78, led by Gianna Cerbone-Teoli, owner of Manducatis Rustica, a reading of several Christmas stories by the fireplace inside LIC Bar’s carriage house and a performance by local jazz group, The Charlie Brown Christmas Trio. Hot chocolate, cider, cookies, donut holes as well as many other special treats were provided by local Long Island City businesses which included Bartleby and Sage, Alobar, Sweetleaf and Manducatis Rustica. Community Board 2 and its Chair Joe Conley, and LIC Business Women were instrumental in making the event possible. The event was organized in an effort to help celebrate the recovery of LIC Bar which suffered significant damage as a result of Hurricane Sandy as well as urge residents to support local businesses this holiday season. The lights were officially lit by Van Bramer, who was joined by Gayle Baron, executive director of the Long Island City Partnership, and Sheila Lewandowski, Community Board 2 member and founder of the Chocolate Factory Theater.