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Nearly 30 vendors, offering everything from trinkets to jewelry to hats, lined 41st Avenue near the Long Island Rail Road station Sunday when for the third straight week the Bayside Village Business Improvement District produced a street event designed to bring more foot traffic to Bell Boulevard.
“We have just put Bayside back on the map as the destination for people to go to,” proclaimed Executive Director Gregg Sullivan.
Sullivan had promised the second annual Bayside Village Arts and Crafts Fair, which followed a fire safety and music festival one weekend and retail expo the next, would be an upscale alternative to typical street fairs.
The area around the station underwent a bit of a face-lift for the event — Sullivan was able to have a trash receptacle removed and the concrete power-washed — which paves the way for a landscaping project designed to make the area a more inviting entrance to LIRR passengers.
With the intent of inviting Bayside’s Asian community to participate in the boulevard’s business activities, Sullivan and state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) welcomed Soprano Chen Min who, along with Arthur Lai, performed a few opera numbers, including one from “La Traviata.”
Avella said the performance exemplified the “significant diversity of Bayside.”
The day’s entertainment also included a band, dance groups and the musician Tingting Chen, who played a string instrument called a zheng.
Not far from the singers, Little Neck resident Terry Salles set up her booth, A Glass Act, where she sold stained glass pieces, which she makes as a hobby and normally sells at arts and crafts shows.
Inside Three Brothers Butchers BBQ, across the street from the fair, Tony Portillo said business had definitely picked up during the BID’s events.
“I wouldn’t say we’ve done double, but the day isn’t over yet,” he said.
Even Carlo Ferrante, a 42-year Bayside resident who lives across the street from the festival, got in on the action by setting up a yard sale in front of his home.
“It’s a hobby, I like to buy and trade golf clubs. I’ve got about 500 more in the basement,” he said.
The BID will host a Halloween window decoration contest for businesses on the boulevard this weekend, and Sullivan said November will feature a fashion show.
Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4574.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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