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A recent visit to the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows found the “modern ruin” in the midst of a makeover. The crowd-funded New York State Pavilion Paint Project is restoring the Pavilion in an attempt to return it to its former glory. The repainting is slowly but surely making a difference.

The walls inside the “Tent of Tomorrow,” have been restored to splendor.

 

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Original roof of the Tent of Tomorrow

The Pavilion was designed for the 1964 World’s Fair by famed architect Philip Johnson, whose other works in NYC include the interior of the Seagram Building on Park Avenue, the Sony Tower — formerly the AT&T Building — on Madison Avenue, and the “Lipstick Building” on 3rd Avenue and East 43rd Street.

The Pavilion has three parts: the Tent of Tomorrow, the three Observation Towers, and the Theaterama.

The Tent of Tomorrow is a structure of sixteen concrete towers supporting a 50,000 square-foot roof. When it was completed, supports held thousands of panels in the colors of New York State: different shades of orange and blue.

Fairgoers could ascend the three Observation Towers on “Sky Streak” capsule elevators built on the towers’ outsides. At the top of the towers — 60, 150 and 226 feet tall — visitors enjoyed observation decks and restaurants.

 

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Inside the pavilion, there were somewhat stodgy exhibits on NY State power plants and Hudson River School painters, but there were also rides for the kids as well as modern renderings of steam trains and classic cars.

Texaco funded a giant terrazzo map of New York state made with information from Rand McNally, the Google Maps of its day.

Unfortunately, after the Fair, the Pavilion was more or less on the road to being a “modern ruin.” For a time it was a concert venue that saw the likes of Led Zeppelin and the Grateful Dead performing within the walls. Later, it was a skating rink. N the terrazzo Texaco map any favors, and it crumbled into ruins; some square pieces of it have been salvaged to be exhibited from time to time. The blue and orange roof panels became unstable and had to be removed, with only their supports left in place.

 

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The Fair’s fiftieth anniversary was a turning point. On April 22nd, 2014, the Tent of Tomorrow was opened to the public for the first time in years. Some of the spirit of the old Fair returned with the on-site photo exhibitions and Belgian waffles. Crowds numbered an estimated five to ten thousand visitors.

The restoration spirit is in the wind for the Pavilion, as well as other older remaining Fair attractions. The Fair’s Rocket Thrower statue was newly cleaned in 2013, and work is currently going on with the Freedom of the Human Spirit statue near the Unisphere.

 

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In the spring of 2015, the Pavilion Paint Project began work on the Pavilion’s exterior “crown,” giving it a bright yellow color to match that used on other repainted portions. Soon, the Pavilion will shine like it did in 1964 and 1965 when strains of “It’s a Small World After All” or Beatles hits could be heard throughout Flushing Meadows.

Kevin Walsh is webmaster of the award-winning Forgotten NY and the author of Forgotten New York and, with the Greater Astoria Historical Society, Forgotten Queens.

07/03/15 1:00pm

tour

On your mark. Get set. Go…but not too fast. On July 12, the eighth annual Tour de Queens will take participants on a roughly 20-mile loop that starts and ends in Astoria Park. Basically a rolling parade, the tour rides en masse at a family-friendly pace –about 10 mph — with NYPD escorts, volunteer safety marshals, and occasional stops at intersections to gather riders. This year’s route goes through Long Island City, Sunnyside, Rego Park, Forest Hills, and Corona with an optional rest stop with light snacks and water at Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village.

Proceeds go to Transportation Alternatives, a nonprofit that promotes bicycling, walking, and the use of public transit in New York City.

Details: Tour de Queens, meet in the Astoria Park parking lot off 19th Street and Hoyt Avenue North, Astoria, July 12, 8 am check in, $22.50.

Photo by Tour de Queens

11-02-49-avenue-hunters-point-queens-nyc-living-room

This two-bedroom condo is part of L Haus, a 10-story building in Hunters Point. The master bedroom has an en suite bathroom and walk-in closet, and the second bedroom has a guest bathroom. The ceilings are high, and the windows are sizeable. The kitchen has all new appliances and a peninsula for extra counter space.

The building has a gym, yoga studio, community recreation facilities, and a roof deck. The monthly rent is $4,150, and this unit is available for August 1.

The 7, G, and LIRR trains are all within walking distance of the building. The B32, B62, Q67, and Q103 buses are in the area too. There are parks, shops, and dining options surrounding the building, and you get excellent views of Manhattan. Click through for more photos.

11-02 49th Avenue, #5F [Douglas Elliman] GMAP (more…)

07/02/15 1:00pm

Ladybugs

It’s been an Independence Day tradition for many years.

The Louis Armstrong House Museum kicks off its ninth-annual, three-gig Hot Jazz/Cool Garden series on July 4 with sizzling live music, red beans and rice (Satchmo’s favorite), and sweet tea. The Ladybugs (above), a traditional jazz vocal group known for intricate harmonies, lead the way. With a repertoire that favors music from the 1920s-1940s, all band members sing while each one plays ukulele, guitar, trombone, bass or drums.

Jon-Erik Kellso & Friends will take to the outdoor stage in the museum’s garden on July 18. A trumpeter who started playing in a big band at age 11, Kellso has jammed all over the world with such greats as Wynton Marsalis and The EarRegulars. On Monday and Tuesday nights, he shares the stage with Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks at Iguana on West 54th Street in Manhattan.

The final concert stars Cynthia Sayer & Her Sparks Fly Quartet on August 15. Led by acclaimed banjoist/vocalist Sayer, this classic jazz core pays tribute to Louis Armstrong with an eclectic repertoire that also embraces other musical influences of the 1920s and 1930s.

Plus, the exhibit Red Beans & Ricely Yours: Louis Armstrong & Food will be on display at the house during these shows.

Details: Hot Jazz/Cool Garden 2015, Louis Armstrong House Museum, 34-56 107th Street, Corona, July 4, July 18 and August 15, 2 pm, $18/$45 for series subscription.

Photo by The Ladybugs

07/02/15 12:00pm

47-45-245th-Street-douglaston-queens-nyc-house

This four-bedroom, two-bathroom rental is over a three-story house in Douglaston/Little Neck. The first floor has a very spacious living room with a fireplace, the dining room, and the kitchen which has new appliances. There are three bedrooms and one full bath on the second floor, and the fourth bedroom is in the finished attic on the third floor. The basement is finished too and has a washer and dryer.

The Douglaston LIRR station is a five-minute drive or an 18-minute walk away from the house. There’s a Super Stop & Shop, public library, and dining options about a ten-minute walk away. There are also public schools in the area. The monthly rent is $3,500. Click through for more photos.

47-45 245th Street [Laffey Fine Homes] GMAP (more…)

07/01/15 1:00pm

Lego

There’s a camp for just about anything these days, but this one is unique, as it’s specifically designed to provide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)-based education without books.

From July 6 through July 31, Flushing Town Hall will offer LEGO Camp with Bricks 4 Kidz to children (ages 5-12). With full-day and half-day options, each week counselors will present a new design challenge to provoke spatial and critical thinking. The camp’s philosophy is that children learn best when engaging in hands-on, creative, and educational play. The weekly themes will include Amusement Park Camp, Space Adventure Camp, Super Hero Academy Camp, and Robotics.

Details: Lego Camp with Bricks 4 Kidz, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, July 6 through July 31, $225 a week for half day or $450 a week for full day or $800 per month to $1,600 per month.

Photo by Flushing Town Hall

79-22-147th-street-kew-gardens-hills-queens-nyc-kitchen

This two-bedroom rental is part of a four-story building in Kew Gardens Hills. The two bedrooms and living room are both look very spacious. The kitchen is on the smaller side, but it still has good counter and cabinet space. The bathroom has a small window and new elegant tiles. Broker fee, heat, and hot water is included in the monthly rent of $1,700.

There are small shops, grocery stores, and dining options around the building. The Q20A, Q20B, Q44, Q46, QM1, QM5, QM6, and QM7 buses are all within walking distance. The nearest train (E, F) is a 20-minute walk or an 11-minute bus ride away, and the Kew Gardens LIRR station is a 5-minute drive from the building. Click through for more photos.

79-22 147th Street, #E4 [Swythe Inc] GMAP
(more…)

07/01/15 11:00am

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The big news this week is the Macy’s fireworks show, which will happen in the sky above Long Island City on July 4. There’s also plenty of outdoor fun with concerts, movie screenings, and even a beach campfire. Here’s the rundown.

July 2, Outdoor Movies, dusk. The Queens World Film Festival presents independent foreign films. Free. Diversity Plaza, vicinity of 74th Street/Jackson Heights subway stop.

July 2, Beach Campfire, 7 pm. National park rangers organize a campfire. Bring fixings for s’mores, blankets, and beach chairs. Free. Jacob Riis Park, Boardwalk and Beach 169th Street.

July 3, Young Mr. Lincoln, 7 pm. Shown as part of The Essential John Ford, a tribute to the consummate American filmmaker, Young Mr. Lincoln presents a series of minor, mainly fictionalized events examining the U.S. president. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Kaufman Arts District.

July 4, Hot Jazz/Cool Garden Series, 2 pm. The Ladybugs provide the music. The house provides the red beans, rice, sweet tea, tours, and birthday cake in honor of Satchmo’s birthday. The Ladybugs are a traditional jazz vocal group known for intricate harmonies and experimental arrangements with ukulele, guitar, trombone, bass, and drums. $18/$45 series subscription. Louis Armstrong House Museum, 34-56 107th Street, Corona.

July 4, Pilgrimage, 2 pm; Judge Priest, 4:30 pm. Shown as part of The Essential John Ford, a tribute to the consummate American filmmaker, Pilgrimage is about a mother who sends her son to war to prevent his marriage to a woman she doesn’t like. In Judge Priest, Will Rogers plays a noble judge who tries to vindicate the secret father of a girl and change southern prejudices. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Kaufman Arts District.

July 5, The Prisoner of Shark Island, 2 pm; The Grapes of Wrath, 4:30 pm; Judge Priest, 7 pm. Shown as part of The Essential John Ford, a tribute to the consummate American filmmaker, Prisoner of Shark Island is about Dr. Samuel Mudd, the man who unwittingly treated John Wilkes Booth after Lincoln’s assassination. With Henry Fonda, Grapes of Wrath is an adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel about Depression-era Okies on the road to California. In Judge Priest, Will Rogers plays a noble judge who tries to vindicate the secret father of a girl and change southern prejudices. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Kaufman Arts District.

July 6, Bug Week + Bug Day, through July 11. From 1 pm to 3 pm, take part in insect- related activities. Hold a Madagascar hissing cockroach, observe bees in a hive, make a bee mask. $12-$15. New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Corona.

July 6, Lego Camp with Bricks 4 Kidz, through July 31. Each week children (ages 5-12) get a new design challenge that builds spatial and critical thinking and engages them in creative and educational play. Themes include: Amusement Park Camp, Space Adventure Camp, Super Hero Academy Camp, and Robotics. $225 per week for half day or $450 per week for full day; or $800/month to $1,600/month. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing.

July 7, The Iron Giant, dusk. Outdoor movie screening. Free. O’Donohue Park Performance Space, Beach 17th Street and Seagirt Boulevard, Far Rockaway.

July 8, Live-In Maid, 7 pm. The 17th annual, eight-week Outdoor Cinema Festival includes open-air cinema, music, dance, and food. All films are presented in their original language with English subtitles and every film is projected onto a 40-foot wide screen. Live-In Maid is about a still-elegant divorcée, living in a fashionable Buenos Aires apartment. Her maid of 30 years massages her feet and freshens her drinks, but makes moves to abandon her. Free. Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City.

July 8, Bridges and Sunsets: Roosevelt Island Tour, 6:30 pm. Official Queens historian Jack Eichenbaum leads a walking tour of the Roosevelt Island bridge and a stroll down to the island’s southern tip, where a new park honors FDR. $20, jaconet@aol.com.

July 8, Italian Nights 2015, 7:30 pm. The Federation of Italian American Organizations of Queens presents outdoor live music and dancing every Wednesday through Aug. 26. Free. Athens Square Park, 30th Street and 30th Avenue, Astoria.

Photo by 20th Century Fox

06/30/15 1:00pm

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One could ponder how such a grump guy could produce such poetic films. But one could also ponder how any human could direct more than 150 movies of such high quality over a lifetime.

John Ford, whose career ran from 1917 to 1965, was the consummate filmmaker who specialized in westerns and creating conflicts between good and evil. But he also liked dramas and pitting order against chaos, nature against civilization, and law against ethics.

From July 3 through August 2, the Museum of the Moving Image will present The Essential John Ford, a tribute series that will screen 20 of the honoree’s films.

First up is Young Mr. Lincoln, a series of minor, mostly fictionalized events that examine President Abraham Lincoln’s character. Other movies include Pilgrimage, which is about a mother who sends her son to war to prevent his marriage to a woman she doesn’t like; Judge Priest, in which Will Rogers plays a noble judge who tries to vindicate the secret father of a girl and change southern prejudices; and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, which stars a grizzled old cavalry captain who has one last mission before his impending retirement: to prevent a new Native American war.

Other scheduled classics are Wagon Master, a western about a Mormon expedition across Utah, and The Searchers, which depicts the star’s quest to find his abducted niece and the Comanche chief who kidnapped her.

Click here for a full schedule.

Details: The Essential John Ford, Museum of the  Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Kaufman Arts District, July 3 through August 2, times vary, $12/$9 seniors and students/$6 children (ages 3–12).

Photo by 20th Century Fox

06/29/15 1:00pm

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A young Bob Dylan, an aging Argentine socialite, a 1950s French pop icon, and exploited Bangladeshi workers are coming to Long Island City this summer.

On July 1, Socrates Sculpture Park will roll the tape for Outdoor Cinema 2015. To be celebrated on consecutive Wednesday nights, this 17th-annual festival features international films on a 40-foot-wide screen right after lovely sunsets. Plus, the origin of each movie sets the tone for the accompanying music, dance, and food. (For example, on a night that a Czech movie is showing, there will be Czech music, dance, and food.)

Here is the schedule.

  • July 1, Dont Look Back, England. This documentary depicts a 1965 tour through the United Kingdom by a 23-year-old Bob Dylan.
  • July 8, Live-in Maid, Argentina. This comedy tells the story of an aging divorcée in Buenos Aires whose wealth is gone and whose beauty is fading..
  • July 15, Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life, France. Though not a documentary, this movie is a biography of 1950s French pop star Serge Gainsbourg, a heartthrob who bedded Brigitte Bardot and other glamorous.
  • July 22, Iron Crows, Bangladesh. This painful documentary informs on workers who make $2 a day ripping apart out-of-operation ships in horrible conditions.
  • July 29, Kings of the Wind & Electric QueensIndia. This documentary revolves around a Hindu festival held along the Ganges River on a full moon day.
  • August 5, Cold Conflicts, Sweden. This collection of short films delves into intense relationships.
  • August 12, Wadjda, Saudi Arabia. This is the first film ever directed by a Saudi woman. It’s about a 10-year-old girl who challenges a man-dominant world by trying to get a bicycle so she can race a local boy.
  • August 19, AliceCzech Republic. This an off-the-wall version of Alice in Wonderland with animated animals and objects.

Details: Outdoor Cinema 2015, Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, July 1 through August 19 on Wednesdays at dusk, free.

Photo by Socrates Sculpture Center