Five-time Grammy winner James Taylor comes to Queens to give a concert this week. He might want to arrive early and leave late so he can enjoy a huge foodie event, a ghost tour, outdoor movies, festivals and concerts, and even a chance to watch top-notch cricket. Here’s the rundown.
July 30, Haunting Histories and Legends of Astoria, 7:30 pm. This two-hour stroll visits some lesser-known historical sites and reveals tales of the neighborhood’s grim and ghostly past. Astoria is filled with tragic Hollywood film stars, voodoo, potters’ fields, grisly murders, poltergeists, hidden treasure, and deadly waters. $20/$25 at the door, location upon registration.
If you can’t beat them, make your own show. After a second-place finish on a Jeopardy! episode, Noah Tarnow created The Big Quiz Thing, a team-based, multi-generational trivia contest in 2002. With questions about geography, history, pop culture, science, and sports, teams (sometimes families) compete against each other — with audience participation at times — in such categories as the Lightning Round and the Text Message Challenge. There are “Smart-Ass Points” for entertaining-but-incorrect answers.
On August 4, Quiz Thing will begin a residency at Q.E.D., an eclectic cafe/working space/hang out spot in Astoria. During the kick-off, Tarnow will divide the audience into groups that will compete using an interactive app/website with tablets and smartphones. Shows will continue on the first Tuesday of each month (September 1, October 6, etc.) with no confirmed end date.
Details: The Big Quiz Thing, Q.E.D., 27-16 23rd Avenue, Astoria, August 4, 7:30 pm, $8 in advance/$10 at the door.
This three-bedroom, two-bath apartment is in an attractive brick building in Bayside, with a front terrace and lots of outdoor space. The living room is spacious with floor-to-ceiling windows that let a lot of light in, and there are two separate nooks for dining. There is a private entrance and private garage. The building also offers additional storage at no extra charge. The monthly rent is $2,500.
The building is across from Fort Totten Park and Lake. The area is mostly residential but there are small shops and dining options down Bell Boulevard, a ten-minute walk or five-minute bus ride away. The Q13, Q16, and QM2 are all within walking distance, and the Bayside LIRR station is a ten-minute drive away. Click through for more photos.
It’s kind of like Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game — which pits superstars from one league against their counterparts in the other circuit — except with this challenge, everybody wins.
On August 1, Flushing Town Hall will host The Catskills Comes to Queens, a premiere farm-to-table, food-and-wine tasting with more than 20 chefs, pitmasters, and culinary artisans. Attendees will be able to walk around the venue’s outside garden, theater, and exhibition space, sampling such delicacies as rabbit mortadella hot dogs, lamb tagine, Cuban-Chinese spit-roasted goat, whole hog BBQ, and crispy tripe with Sichuan peppercorn and jalapeño. (more…)
Brooklynites know Metropolitan Avenue as an east-west thoroughfare dividing the north and south sections of Williamsburg (though others consider Grand Street the true divider). It’s a street that holds some sentiment for me, as in 2010 lamppost maven Bob Mulero and I curated a NYC lamppost exhibition at the City Reliquary at 370 Metropolitan Avenue at Havemeyer Street.
I took advantage of a sunny weekend day to march the entire 13 miles (or so my iPhone indicated) of Metropolitan Avenue from the East River waterfront all the way to Jamaica, where Metropolitan peters out at the Van Wyck Expressway and Jamaica Avenue. It’s a relatively easy walk, which took me about six hours since I was constantly stopping for photographs. If you want a real workout and you’re younger than I am, you could probably power-walk the whole length in less than five hours, especially if you have good luck catching green lights.
Metropolitan Avenue was laid out in the early 19th century as the Williamsburg and Jamaica Plank Road, and was tolled in various locations. It was a farm-to-market road plied by farmers bringing wares to East River barges and then back east through fields and meadows to the town of Jamaica.
The land was sparsely settled in the early days, and the plank road was intersected only by Fresh Pond Road, 80th Street and Woodhaven Boulevard, which were all differently named then. It ran through the lost communities of Winantville and Columbusville, as well as a locale whose name is still used today, Middle Village, so named for its central location between Williamsburg and Jamaica. (more…)
There’s English-speaking Hollywood. There’s Hindi-tongued Bollywood. And there’s Mani Ratnam, the man who revolutionized and popularized India’s other major movie genre, Tamil-language cinema. Over a four-decade career, Ratnam has made boundless films that criticize politicians, challenge social mores, question intellectual thought, and reap commercial success.
The Museum of the Moving Image will pay tribute to this prolific director by showing three of his most powerful works—Roja, Bombay, and Dil Se—all of which investigate romance against the backdrop of Indian politics. (more…)
Poet and novelist George Dawes Green founded The Moth, a nonprofit dedicated to the art of storytelling, in 1997. His aim was to revive a favorite childhood pastime: spinning yarns with his buddies on his Georgia porch during hot summer nights while moths zoomed in and out of sight.
He ended up creating a phenomenon, and that’s no fish tale.
On Monday, July 27, The Moth spearheads a friendly “StorySlam” at Flushing Town Hall. The night’s theme is “business,” and anyone with a true (well, mostly true), five-minute narrative about a professional dealing can apply to participate.
The format is straightforward. Potential contestants put their names in The Moth Hat. Contenders take the stage (no notes allowed) after their names are randomly picked from the pool. Judges selected from the audience then choose the StorySLAM winner.
Details: The Moth StorySLAM, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing. July 27, 7 pm, $10.
It’s a chance to make history or at least take part in it.
The Greater Astoria Historical Society is going to host two unique parties this summer. From 1 pm to 4 pm on July 25 and again on August 8, all are invited to the Long Island City headquarters to scan old photos.
Do you have any pictures of the old neighborhood or beloved family members? This is the way they can achieve immortality. Agency members will scan the photos, return them to attendees, and then include the images in their archives.
It’s free, but the impact might be priceless.
Details: Summer Scan Party, Greater Astoria Historical Society, 35-20 Broadway, Long Island City, July 25, 1 pm, free.
This two-bedroom condo is a top floor unit in Far Rockaway—the building was built in 2005. Both bedrooms look spacious, and the kitchen has an open layout with the living room and dining room space. The kitchen has stainless steel appliances including a dishwasher. The light yellow painted walls make a nice contrast between the dark Brazilian cherry wood floors, and it looks like this condo also comes with a balcony.
The A train is a ten-minute walk away, and the Q22 and Q52 are down the street. There’s a playground across the street, and Freeway Dog Run is a short walk away. There are small shops, supermarkets, and dining options a three-minute bus ride from the building. The Queens Borough Public Library and a few schools are in the area. And Atlantic Beach is a 20-minute drive away.
The ask is $249,999 with an estimated monthly mortgage of $983.88. The tax is $449 for 900-square feet of space. Click through for more photos.
The New York State Pavilion has a tremendous history and an uncertain future. Designed by legendary architect Philip Johnson and built for the 1964 World’s Fair, it once had 100-foot columns suspending a 50,000 square-foot roof with multi-colored panels. It also boasted three towers (measuring 60 feet, 150 feet, and 226 feet, respectively) and a 26-foot replica of the St. Lawrence hydroelectric plant. Then there was Texaco’s map of New York State with 400-pound terrazzo mosaic panels. An estimated 51 million walked through it.
After the World’s Fair, the site was a concert venue — the Grateful Dead and the Rolling Stones played there — and even a roller rink. But it experienced years of neglect and abandonment until People for the Pavilion, an advocacy group, was launched about three years ago.
This Sunday, the Queens Historical Society will screen Modern Ruin, a documentary that was written, directed, and edited by Matthew Silva, who co-founded People for the Pavilion.
Details: Modern Ruin, Queens Historical Society, Weeping Beach Park, 143-35 37th Avenue, Flushing, July 26, 2:30 pm, $10 with limited seating.