A New Form of Community Organizer
Did you ever meet someone whose work stood out from a whole host of others mainly because it was a) so well thought out, b) contained the best information in a form that made it easy to use and c) conveyed such a love for the topics that the work came across as effortless and honest?
Meet Alia Akkam, the founder and editorial director of The Q Note. The Q Note is a Queens-focused website devoted to the arts, food, shopping, and culture of this most interesting of boroughs in New York City. Ms. Akkam is a Queens native who at 30 is full of the energy and enthusiasm it takes to make something this labor intensive come alive on the screen.
We met recently as she took a break from her day job to talk. It was a cold day and downtown Manhattan felt its own crowded, congested self. The way commercial space is used in Manhattan especially near Wall Street is the antithesis of Queens. This less favored borough is more residential but also less congested in the airways. The level of diversity though is greater in Queens where over 150 languages are spoken, the most of any area in the entire country.
This is part of what intrigues Ms. Akkam, a native of Queens who speaks quickly and with great precision about what her goals are: She is creating a site that will show the cultural diversity inherent to Queens and that fills a much-needed niche for the community.
The site is quite handsome and easy to navigate. Ms Akkam adds content not as a reviewer but almost as a consumer, or with an eye as to what the consumer of good information about food, events, theatre, restaurants, bakeries, bars, whatever it is that one who loves Queens would want to know to plan an outing.
Are you interested in the musical history of Queens? Recently there was a great article on the house Louis Armstrong lived in and the museum across the street built to keep his house from being destroyed by the number of visitors who come there.
Are you interested in celebrating the recent Chinese New Year? Ms. Akkam provided a long list of places to go and what to eat and when to show up in Flushing for this most magical of times.