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Astoria Planning to Build The First Outdoor Movie Studio Lot in NYC!

June 1, 2012
Kaufman Studios in Astoria has planned an expansion to build an outdoor movie studio lot, which would be the first outdoor lot in New York City. The project is in review for the second time, as it’s been stopped once before.

Senator Charles Schumer is all for the project and is urging the National Park Service (NPS) to authorize Kaufman’s proposal for the expansion. Expansion would start by enclosing 36th Street between 34th and 35th Avenues within the lot and construct an entry gate at 36th street and 35th avenue in Astoria. This would create a “studio campus” comparable to the ones seen in Hollywood. 

 The new outdoor studio campus would allow for filmmakers and production companies to film outdoor exterior and special effect shots directly adjacent to the interior sound stages. This would allow for more movie and television clients to pick the location because it would accommodate all of their needs. Many choose other locations instead for interior and exterior location convenience.

In 2010, Kaufman Studios spent $23 million on an indoor studio. The president of Kaufman Studios, Hal Rosenbluth, is excited for the project and believes that it will add much growth to the studio industry in New York and economic development in the neighborhood.
Schumer is hoping that the project will be in the works soon and completed by the summer of 2013

What do you think about the expansion of Kaufman Studios? Do you think it will benefit the area? Let us know what you’re thinking on Plaza College’s Facebook page linked here

Citi Bike Expands to Long Island City

May 30, 2012


Citi Bike -sponsored by Citi Group- is expanding to Long Island City! The Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced that “Citi Bike,” which is New York’s bicycle share program, decided to add 10 stations in Long Island City. These new stations are an addition to the ones currently in Brooklyn and Manhattan.  The decision comes at a perfect time since May also happens to be National Bike Month!

Citi Bike is providing an eco-friendly way of transportation for New York City residents. The program will launch in July 2012 and be operated by Atla Bicycle Share. Citi Bike is the nation’s largest public bike share system with 600 docking stations and 10,000 bikes.

The new docking stations in Long Island City have been advantageously placed so bike riders have access to many prime locations including waterfront parks, the business district and much more! The docking stations can lodge between 15 and 60 bicycles and will be positioned on sidewalks, curbside road spaces and plazas.

Would you be interested in participating in Citi Bike’s program? Let us know on Plaza College’s Facebook page linked here.

How to Protect Yourself From Dangerous Rays This Summer

May 24, 2012
With summer right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about sunscreen and how to protect yourself from dangerous rays this season.

New FDA rules are helping ensure that we get the protection we pay for when purchasing “sunblocks.”

Sunscreens will be labeled ‘water resistant’ (as opposed to waterproof or sweatproof); they can no longer be called ‘sunblocks’ (as it overstates their effectiveness); and they can no longer claim to provide instant sun protection or to last more than two hours without reapplication,” reports CNN health.

Further, sunscreens can be labeled “broad spectrum” only if they protect equally against UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays cause aging, UVB are considered the main culprit of skin cancer (CNNHealth.com).

These changes will go into effect by summer 2013.

Here are a few frequently asked questions answered by some of the top dermatologists, courtesy of CNNHealth.com.

How much sunscreen do I really need to put on?
Anytime you’re planning to be outdoors, go with an SPF of at least 30 (45 for a little extra insurance) and put plenty on. The rule of thumb is 1 ounce on your body, and a teaspoon for your face, but derms advise being even more generous. Reapply every two hours – more often if you’re in and out of the water.

Are there any sunscreens good for oily skin?
Yes. What you want is an oil-free mineral block in an ultralight gel or liquid.
“Mineral sunscreens help mask redness, and because they reflect UV light, they help keep your skin surface cooler,” Rodan notes. While you’re at it, keep your skin clean by always washing your face after working up a sweat outdoors: Summer breakouts often have more to do with sweating than wearing sunscreen.

How do I know if I’m spraying on enough sunscreen? I feel like it all blows away!
Spray sunscreens aren’t as powerful as lotions, so the trick is to look for one labeled “continuous spray” (no need to pump; it keeps spraying as long as your finger stays on the button) and apply two coats — not one — every hour, Rodan says.

What should I look for in a sunscreen if I have sensitive skin?
All the dermatologists we interviewed recommend mineral-based or physical sunscreens made with micronized titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide instead of chemical sunscreens because they’re less likely to irritate sensitive skin.

Is sunscreen really necessary for lips?
Absolutely. In the past, it wasn’t unusual for lip products to come with little or no SPF. Thankfully, many companies have upped the level of protection in lip balms. That’s critical because skin cancers on the lower lip, in particular, are especially aggressive.

What’s the easiest way to stay protected when I’m working out?
Dab an SPF (of at least 30) stick or gel on your face, neck, and chest, and on hot spots like shoulders and the backs of your hands.
“The non-tacky sticks are great because they really stay put,” says Washington, D.C.–based dermatologist Dr. Tina Alster.
For the rest of your body, use a sunscreen spray. If you’re swimming or perspiring a lot, opt for one of the new formulas that are marked “water resistant” for up to 40 or 80 minutes.

I hate reapplying! Can I throw on a long-sleeved T-shirt instead at the beach?
“Most cotton shirts are no substitute for sunscreen,” Rodan says. “At best, they give you a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor, the equivalent of SPF for clothing) of 8 — and if they get wet, that devolves to UPF 2.”
Instead, invest in a long-sleeved rash guard — a type of shirt made up of a spandex and nylon mix that was originally used for water sports, but is now popular as a sun protector. Look for one with a UPF rating of 50+.
“Those things are lifesavers — total protection, even when wet,” Alster says. Likewise, your sun hat should be floppy, wide-brimmed, and made from a tightly woven material.

Will my SPF foundation do the trick for workdays?
“You’d have to slap on a heck of a lot to make it truly effective,” Green says.
A better idea: Layer. Wash your face, swipe on a few drops of antioxidant serum to boost your protection, and apply a tinted moisturizer or foundation with SPF 15 or more. Top it with an ultra fine SPF mineral powder. Green recommends carrying the powder in your bag for touch-ups during the day — especially if you’re lunching alfresco.

Twelve Social Media Words to Live By, Especially in the Work-Place

May 21, 2012
Don’t lie; don’t pry; don’t cheat; can’t delete; don’t steal; and don’t reveal- these seem to be the twelve social media words to live by. Many people believe that they’re blogging and tweeting anonymously, and they’re wrong. 
It isn’t uncommon anymore for employees to be fired because of Facebook posts, tweets or blogs that they think will never be linked back to them.

When tweeting, posting on Facebook or blogging, you need to remember that everything you post is possible to end up on your boss’s desk. Therefore, don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your boss to see. Many individuals argue “freedom of speech.” Yes, freedom of speech is applied to the government, but not to private businesses. If you bash your employees, company, boss or competitors on any social media site, it won’t take long until someone comes across it and you’ll more than likely find yourself unemployed.

Many people think the solution to not getting caught on social media sites is to post under a different name. However, posting under your real name keeps you from so called “going off the deep end”. If you’re brave enough to post under your real name and own up to what you post, then you shouldn’t run into any problems when your employer comes across your blog, Facebook or Twitter page.
Social media can definitely be helpful and used to your advantage with career opportunities when used appropriately and wisely. Do you have any tips for your fellow  classmates regarding social media and the workplace? Let us know on the Plaza College Facebook Wall, linked HERE.


New York Mets to Host 2nd All Star Game & Citi Field’s First Mid-Summer Classic!

May 18, 2012
The New York Mets will be hosting their second All-Star Game and Citi Field will be hosting its first Mid-Summer Classic in the 2013 season. Citi Field opened in 2009 in place of Shea Stadium, after almost a decade of planning and construction.

David Wright, a player on the New York Mets and five-time All-Star, believes that hosting the All-Star game in New York will be great for the city. David Wright had the privilege of playing in the 2008 All-Star game that closed out Yankee Stadium as well. He adds that it is a “tremendous stage.”

This will be the ninth time that New York hosts the All-Star Game. Yankee Stadium has been a host of the exhibition four times: 1939, 1960, 1977 and 2008. The Brooklyn Dodgers former home, Ebbets Field, held the game in 1949, while the New York Giants’ old park, the Polo Grounds, saw the stars come in 1934 and 1942. The New York Mets were the host of the All-Star Game at Shea Stadium in 1964, the third season for the franchise and the inaugural year of the new park. The National League won 7-4, thanks to a two-out, three-run walk-off homer by the Phillies’ Johnny Callison.


Will you be purchasing tickets to either event at Citi Field? Let us know on the Plaza College Facebook Wall, linked HERE.

14-Year-Old Keeling Pilaro Granted a Waiver to Play on the Girl’s Field Hockey Team

May 17, 2012


With a little persistence and determination, anything is possible!  This story should inspire all students out there to not give up on your goals and dreams; it is important to fight for what you enjoy!

Fourteen year old Keeling Pilaro has put forth quite the effort to live out one of his goals. The Long Island’s Southampton High School student has been granted a waiver to join the girl’s field hockey team. The decision was recently reversed after the athletic commission met and changed a decision they had previously made.

At first, the school’s athletic committee did not allow for Keeling Pilaro to play on the team because they thought he had become too skillful at the sport and felt the girls on the team would be at a disadvantage.

Pilaro was born in New York City but grew up in Ireland, where field hockey is extremely popular amongst male and female students. When Pilaro and his family moved back to New York, Keeling discovered not a single public high school in the state provided a field hockey team for males to compete on. Therefore, Pilaro’s only option was to join a girls’ team.

Many coaches and players at the school and from opposing teams were in full support of Pilaro participating on the girl’s field hockey team. If the school hadn’t reversed their decision, Pilaro’s family would’ve taken the case to court and filed a discrimination lawsuit in federal court against the school.

Have you ever fought for something you were passionate about?  Tell us about it on the Facebook page!

Plaza College Recoginzes the Hard Work & Dedication of the Jackson Heights Beautification Group

May 16, 2012
Plaza College is in full support of the Jackson Heights Beautification Group and recognizes all of their hard work and dedication into making Jackson Heights a better community for all. The College identifies the JHBG as a group that cares enough about the community to ensure it remains one of the most beautiful and historic neighborhoods in New York City. The College has also recently renewed their membership with the JHBG and couldn’t be any more honored to do so. We believe that the efforts of the JHBG have made Jackson Heights one of the most diverse, vibrant and safe environments in New York City.
The Jackson Heights Beautification Group (JHBG) is a 501(C) -3 nonprofit organization, established in 1988.  It’s a grassroots community organization of people who live and work in Jackson Heights and care enough to help make Jackson Heights one of the best neighborhoods in Queens and New York City.
Most of the original neighborhood of Jackson Heights is a National Register Historic District and a New York State Historic Register District. About half of the neighborhood has been designated as a New York City Historic District by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. The Jackson Heights Historic District includes 2,203 contributing buildings, 19 contributing sites and 3 contributing objects.
The JHBG is in support of high standards which include local pride, diversity, inclusion, cleanliness, greenery, civility, local schools, institutions and merchants and anything else that enhances or betters the Jackson Heights community.  JHBG is opposed to littering, crime, pollution, disorder, intolerance, landmark violations, noise and apathy.
Plaza College remains a proud Jackson Heights resident!

Taking a Deeper Look Into the Mind | Understanding Dreams

May 10, 2012
Scientists are trying to probe deeper into our minds to find some answers about dreams. Dreams have always been a mysterious phenomenon, questioning why some people experience nightmares while others spend their nights in complete bliss.  
Here is a little bit of what researchers know about what happens in dreamland!
1. Violent dreams can be a warning sign
As if nightmares weren’t bad enough, a rare sleep disorder called REM sleep behavior disorder causes people to act out their dreams, sometimes with violent thrashes, kicks and screams. Such violent dreams may be an early sign of brain disorders down the line, including Parkinson’s disease and dementia, according to research published online July 28, 2010, in the journal Neurology.
2. Night owls have more nightmares
Staying up late has its perks, but whimsical dreaming is not one of them. Research published in 2011 in the journal of Sleep and Biological Rhythms, revealed that night owls are more likely than their early-bird counterparts to experience bad dreams or nightmares.
3. You can control your dreams
If you’re interested in lucid dreaming, you may want to take up video gaming. The link? Both represent alternate realities, said Jayne Gackenbach, a psychologist at Grant MacEwan University in Canada.
4. Why we dream
Scientists have long wondered why we actually dream, with answers ranging from Sigmund Freud’s idea that dreams fulfill our wishes to the speculation that these wistful journeys are just a side effect of rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep. Turns out, at least part of the reason may be critical thinking, suggests Harvard psychologist Deirdre Barrett who presented her theory in 2010 at the Association for Psychological Science meeting in Boston.
Her research revealed that our slumbering hours may help us solve puzzles that have plagued us during daylight hours. The visual and often illogical aspects of dreams make them perfect
What are your thoughts? Let us know on the Plaza College Facebook Wall, linked HERE.

Plaza College Talent Show

May 7, 2012
This Friday, May 11th and Saturday, May 12th, Plaza College will host our annual Talent Show from 8-10pm.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased from Melissa Tortora or Randi Montgomery.

Plaza students and faculty/staff members will be singing, rapping, performing play acts, reading poems and stories and dancing! Don’t miss this great event showcasing our schools’ talents!

The Freedom Tower, Once Again the Tallest Building in NYC

May 3, 2012

The World Trade Center is once again the tallest building in NY.  More than ten years after the terrorist attack on the original buildings, the new Freedom Tower is well under way in its construction.  

The steel structure, known as The Freedom Tower, is still 500 feet shorter than it will be when complete, but it’s already a tribute to American resilience and strength.


The unfinished building stands at 1,271 feet, making it 21 feet higher than the Big Apple’s current record-holder, the Empire State Building, according to the New York Times.

The Freedom Tower will also be on its way to becoming the tallest building in the US. The Associated Press explains that title will come with an asterisk.

“Once completed, it will stand at 1,776 feet, 408 feet taller than the north tower it replaced. However, those final 408 feet come in the form of a giant needle that will sit atop the building’s roof.” If the needle isn’t counted toward the tower’s total height, the building would be only the second-tallest in the country, behind Chicago’s 1,451-foot Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower).

Do you think the giant needle should count towards the building’s height? Let us know on the Plaza College Facebook Wall, linked HERE.

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