Marriott International’s Renaissance Hotel is coming to Flushing

Photo courtesy of Tangram

Photo courtesy of Tangram

The Renaissance Hotel, a four-star hotel from Marriott International, is making its way to Flushing.

SCG and G&T Group announced last week that the 208-key Renaissance will anchor Tangram, a 1.2-million-square-foot mixed-use development.

Tangram is currently under construction, and is scheduled to open in 2020.It will offer residential and commercial units, wellness and entertainment, a food hall and beer garden, and a 4DX movie theater.

With Renaissance, Tangram has included a luxury hotel with a signature restaurant, two bars, a massive terrace and more.

“Our goal from day one was to build the best hotel for the world-class destination we are creating at Tangram,” says Winfred Zhang, president and CEO of SCG America. “Renaissance Hotels is an impressive global lifestyle brand and could not have been a better fit for us.”

The Renaissance will market itself as “minutes from LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport.” It will be a perfect fit for international travelers who end up in Flushing.

Renaissance hotels has more than 160 locations in 35 countries around the world.


Queens College offers free tax prep assistance

Ceremony to publicize the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program.

Ceremony to publicize the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. Photo credit: Andy Poon, Queens College

Queens College has opened its doors for the second year to offer free tax preparation to students, staff, faculty and the general public.

The program is part of the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, or VITA.

The initiative runs through April 15 and is open for people who make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and taxpayers whose first language is not English.

An IRS-certified volunteer will assist with electronic filing.

Consultations with VITA staff are by appointment only on Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Make an appoint by email at or by phone at 718-997-2980.

Clients should bring these documents with them for the consultation:

  • Current year’s tax package, including all W-2s and 1099s
  • Last year’s return information
  • Information on other income and deductions/credits
  • Proof of checking account for direct deposit (like a voided check)
  • Proof of identity
  • Social Security or individual taxpayer ID cards

Champions of undocumented immigrants to speak at Queens College conference

Jin Park

Jin Park

On Tuesday, March 12, Queens College is hosting a daylong conference on “Race, Identity, and Liberation: Transforming K-12 Public Education and the Academy for the Greater Good.”

The keynote speakers at this conference are Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and Jin Park, the first Rhodes Scholar with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. Both are undocumented immigrants.

The theme of their talk will be “Define American.”

Vargas, a native of the Philippines, came to the U.S. when he was 12 years old.

Park, a recent graduate of Harvard University, graduated with a combined degree in molecular and cellular biology and ethnicity and migration rights. He grew up in Queens after coming to the U.S. from South Korea at the age of seven.

The event will take place at the Music Building at Queens College from 8 to 11 a.m.

See the full agenda for the conference here.


‘Joe Femenia Way’ coming to College Point


This summer, an intersection in College Point will be officially named after a longtime civic leader.

Councilman Paul Vallone announced that the intersection of 23rd Avenue and 130th Street will be co-named “Joe Femenia Way” in memory of the late civic association president and community stalwart.

A co-naming ceremony will be organized in the summer.

“The tragic and unexpected passing of Joseph Femenia was a great loss for all of College Point,” Vallone says. “The victories and ongoing battles to preserve and protect College Point will always be part of Joe’s great legacy.”

“He will now be forever remembered for generations as they look to the street sign recognizing his great legacy. I will forever cherish Joe’s friendship, vision and the leadership he displayed as we worked together.”


Register for the 5K on the Bay Fun Run

Courtesy of/Guardians of Flushing Bay

Courtesy of/Guardians of Flushing Bay

On Saturday, April 6, runners will participate in the third annual 5K on the Bay Fun Run, hosted by the Guardians of Flushing Bay.

The run will take place along the Flushing Bay Promenade, starting at the World’s Fair Marine Pier 1.

The course will loop around the promenade, culminating at Pier 2.

Of course, runners and walkers of all ages and abilities are welcome!

The registration is donation-based, with all proceeds going to support Guardians of Flushing Bay’s advocacy.

Register for the event here:

For questions, contact


The case for a commemorative stamp honoring Chinese railroad workers

Meng Photo

This May marks the 150th anniversary of the completion of the country’s first Transcontinental Railroad.

What some may not know is the role of Chinese immigrant laborers who helped make it happen.

That’s why Congresswoman Grace Meng and 34 other members of Congress are calling for a commemorative postage stamp to honor the 12,000 Chinese-Americans who contributed to the railroad.

Chinese laborers constituted nearly 80 percent of the workforce of the Central Pacific Railroad Company. Nearly 1,200 of them died from work-related accidents.

Meng first introduced the idea of a commemorative stamp for the 150th anniversary in 2014.

The push has support from many notable Asian-American lawmakers, including Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Congresswoman Judy Chu of California and Congressman Andy Kim of New Jersey.


Queens College gets “Best Value” designation again

Queens College campus

For the second straight year, and the fourth in six years, Queens College has been named a “Best Value College.”

The Princeton Review bestowed the designation on the school for providing a “first-rate education to generations of students from all backgrounds.” The company noted that QC maintains “an incredibly affordable price tag while constantly expanding its offerings, programs, centers and institutes.”

QC was previously given the designation in 2014, 2015 and 2018.

Selections are made based on a Return on Investment (ROI) rating score with more than 40 data points, including institutional data, surveys of students and alumni surveys.

“Queens College has consistently provided equal opportunity for our students to achieve their dreams,” says QC President Felix V. Matos Rodriguez.