He’s the mesmerizing master of the marimba. Makoto Nakura‘s artistry, virtuosity and showmanship enlighten and entertain audiences at the same time. On Saturday, the Japanese percussionist will offer a concert in his adopted hometown, Forest Hills, thanks to Musica Reginae. The program includes Nakura’s own transcriptions of Bach’s Solo Partita in E major and Saint-Saëns’ Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso; the pyrotechnic display of Paganini’s Caprice no. 24 and Stravinsky’s Three Movements from Petrushka, and more recent works by Japanese composers Toshi Ichiyanagi and Toshio Mashima. Plus, he will be accompanied by violinist Jesse Mills and pianist Barbara Podgurski from the Oratorio Society of Queens.
Details: Making Music with the Marimba, The Church-in-the-Gardens, 50 Ascan Avenue, Forest Hills, December 7th, 7:30 pm. $20 adults/$15 seniors/$10 students/free children under 12.
In late November, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved plans to build a visitor center at the historic Bowne House property. The proposal includes a new 1,250-square-foot building, which will hold a gallery, lobby, two restrooms and an office, altered pathways and new fencing. We got our hands on the approved LPC proposal, which includes details on the site plan, the layout of the visitor center, and the materials that will be used. See all the images after the jump…
The New York Times published a nice piece on Rufino Garcia, a delivery truck driver based at the 5Pointz warehouse. Garcia hated graffiti, constantly painting over any that popped up on his truck, until 5Pointz curator Jonathan Cohen (aka Meres One) painted his signature lightbulbs on the truck. Says the Times, “The truck has not been touched since, Mr. Garcia said; graffiti taggers tell him they are kept at bay by the reverence they feel for Meres One.” After the infamous whitewashing, the vehicle is now held up as a 5Pointz remnant — people stop to take pictures and ask to paint the blank roll-down gate in the back of the truck. Garcia took, as the Times states, “the unexpected role of an accidental apostle of the art form he once reviled.”
Crain’s reports big news for the shores of Long Island City: The city tapped TF Cornerstone and the nonprofit Selfhelp Community Services to develop the second phase of Hunter’s Point South. According to the HPD, this is the last and largest development pushed by the outgoing Bloomberg administration. TF Cornerstone will build two towers, 36 and 41 stories, with 1,193 apartments. 400 of them will be market rate, the rest will be affordable for moderate-income families. 100 units will be reserved for low-income seniors. The buildings will feature rooftop gardens, decks, and a children’s playroom. There will be roughly 20,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space with room for a prekindergarten, medical facility, restaurants and a rock climbing gym (doesn’t LIC already have one of those?). The architects of the second phase is the Office for Design and Architecture.
There are already two buildings under construction, with 925 affordable units, for the Hunter’s Point project. The waterfront park and the school are already open. The development spans a total of seven parcels — the second phase will take up three of them — and the de Blasio administration will be in charge of developing what’s left.
UPDATE: Tons of renderings from ODA right after the jump!
The Queens County Market is hosting a pie bake-off this Sunday and donating all the proceeds to Oxfam America, for relief and re-building efforts to Typhoon Haiyan. Tickets cost $12 to sample pies and vote for your favorite. Besides featuring local bakers, the bake-off will have pies from Singlecut Beer, Queens Kickshaw, Edible Queens and the Queens County Market. To register to compete, or to buy a ticket — go here.
Astoria’s Paul Raimonda Playground is getting some exciting upgrades, according to DNAinfo. The Parks Department will replace an unused bocce ball court with an adult fitness area, add benches, replace asphalt, and reconstruct the flag pole. Parks also plans to build out a spray shower area that is shaped like a Steinway piano (the Steinway & Sons factory is nearby), with pre-cast concrete piano keys and a musical scale in bronze lettering. The second phase of the project includes repairs to the gate, new playground equipment, and resealing the basketball court. Work should kick off in the fall of 2014.
Will the Food Bazaar ever open at 42-02 Northern Boulevard? We’d really like to know! When the company announced it was moving into the space a year ago, the ETA was early 2013. Then word was that it would open in October. Now the Sunnyside Post reports that it’s opening next week. When the day finally comes, the supermarket will feature an open food court, a fresh fish market, an in-store bakery, and street-level and underground parking. It’s the sixth Food Bazaar for Queens.
Technically, it’s when the sun reaches its most southern declination. Effectively, it’s the shortest day of the year in terms of daylight hours for those living north of the Equator. Artistically, it’s has been the inspiration for dance, literature, mythology, painting, religion and ritual for centuries. Locally, it’s the perfect time to head to the Queens Botanical Garden. On December 8th, the Flushing oasis will celebrate the winter solstice with live music by the acappella group Rough Dozen, botanical craft workshops, a special holiday market, garden tours and a tree lighting that morphs into a seasonal sing-along. There’s also a rumor that Santa Claus will show up.
Details: Winter Solstice Celebration, Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, December 8th, 12:30 pm to 5 pm, Free. (QBG admission is free from November 1st through March 31st.)