03/04/15 1:00pm

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Though last night’s snow might confuse the issue, it’s time for Queens gardeners to start preparing their summer vegetables. This is the key to earlier harvests, greater variety, healthier crops, stronger soil, easier transplanting, and especially more satisfaction and enjoyment.

This Sunday, Queens Botanical Garden Director of Education Emeritus Fred Gerber will host a workshop dedicated to growing indoor vegetables during the warm weather months. There should be something of interest for everybody from the novice to the experienced gardener with the greenest of thumbs. Details on the jump page.

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Panorama

You don’t have to be a geek to participate in the Panorama Challenge this Friday…but it sure helps! The world’s only geographical trivia-based game that involves the world’s largest architectural model is now in its eighth year at the Queens Museum. The contest will consist of audio clues and laser-pointers highlighting assorted NYC landmarks, bridges, neighborhoods, parks, etc. Each location will be pinpointed by a laser-wielding tour guide from Levys’ Unique New York. Teams of 10 contestants (more or less) will then try to identify each site. More information on following page.

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03/02/15 1:00pm

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It’s an urban legend that allegedly took place in a rural area. Takako Konishi, an office worker from Tokyo, was found dead in a Minnesota field on November 15th, 2001. (That much is undisputed.) Her death was ruled a suicide, but an alternate theory has many believers: She died looking for money that was hidden in the 1996 movie Fargo, which she thought was based on a true story. This Thursday, independent filmmakers David and Nathan Zellner will be at the Museum of the Moving Image to participate in a preview screening and Q&A about their new feature film, Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, which is based on this legend. More information and an additional photo are on the jump page.

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02/27/15 1:00pm

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Wonderful sounds of Asia, Europe, and Latin America will fill the Queens air this weekend during three different concerts. The fun starts on Saturday afternoon, when the EastRiver Ensemble presents a workshop on Chinese music at 1 pm, followed by a concert at 2:15 pm. This group presents traditional folk music, dance, and acrobatics with a focus on the Dongbei and Hebei regions of north China. Instruments include the yangqin (dulcimer), the pipa (lute), flutes, fiddles, and percussion. More photos and information are on the jump page.

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WorldsPark

It’s time for a change. Since last December, various community advisors have been meeting periodically to discuss improvements to Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Part of The World’s Park: Reconnecting a Regional Park with Its Neighbors project done in partnership with the NYC Parks Department, the Queens Museum, and Design Trust for Public Space, the focus is on the planning, design, and stewardship of the 1,225-acre public space. This Sunday, the public gets to provide input at the World’s Park Community Forum at Queens Museum. All are invited, plus there will be simultaneous Spanish and Mandarin translation and activities for non-speakers. More information on jump page.

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02/25/15 1:00pm

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At first glance, calligraphy is a visual art. But upon further investigation, its characters and images also express philosophy, culture, and inspiration. Chao-Lin Ting (above) has been engaging in this practice for roughly nine decades. The Chiangsu Province native is world renowned for his seal and semi-cursive scripts. This Sunday, the 102-year-old will co-present an afternoon dedicated to calligraphy at Flushing Town Hall. At 1 pm, Ting and James Shau will teach the basics of the Chinese genre, while Seoul native Yoo Sung Lee, a professional with over 30 years of practice who wrote a chapter in the World Encyclopedia of Calligraphy will inform on the Korean styles at 3 pm. Plus, the town hall’s walls are currently covered with Ting and Lee’s work as part of the Dynamic Writing: A Century of Calligraphy exhibit, which runs until March 22nd. (Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 5 pm.)

More details, another photo, and bonus details on jump page.

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02/24/15 1:00pm

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There was a time when some Irish people thought that New York City streets were paved with gold. Well, on Sunday, a Sunnyside/Woodside thoroughfare will be filled with innumerable Emerald Isle natives and many other marchers during the St. Pat’s For All Parade. This 15th annual event was founded in response to the never-ending conflict over openly gay participation in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Manhattan. Thus, organizers of the Queens march emphasize the diversity of the Big Apple’s Irish and Irish American residents, especially the LGBT community. Beyond the ethnic groups, expect such entities as the Sunnyside United Dog Society, the Ethical Humanist Society of Queens, and veterans agencies.

Details: St. Pat’s For All Parade, Skillman Avenue from 43rd Street in Sunnyside to 56th Street in Woodside, March 1st, 1 pm (assembly and remarks), 2 pm (step off), free.

Bonus details: Lunar New Year, Queens Center Food Court, 90-15 Queens Boulevard, Elmhurst, February 28th, noon to 6 pm, free. Events include a martial arts demonstration with Kung Fu Master Long Fei Yang, Korean and Japanese drummers, tea tastings, and the Dragon Dance. The first 200 people who bring an event social media post (like this one) will receive a red envelope with a prize.

Photo: St. Pat’s For All

02/23/15 11:00am

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Most don’t survive their third year, but the 5th Annual Queens World Film Festival is about to begin its six-day run on March 17, and it keeps growing and growing. A total of 116 flicks — of all imaginable lengths, themes, and languages — will screen at various venues in Astoria, Jackson Heights, the Kaufman Arts District, and Long Island City this year. But beforehand the organizers are going to hold a special night to introduce some of the filmmakers, festival directors, and special guests as well as show 10 trailers of selected movies. More information and another photo on jump page.

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It’s time for some warm thoughts. This Sunday, the New York Hall of Science will host the Mamas Summer Countdown, a two-generation, information-and-fun extravaganza with opportunities for parents to start planning for June, July and August with local day and sleepaway camps, summer classes, vacation possibilities and more. Exhibitors include GoGo SqueezNew York CosmosQueens ZooOasis CampsSamuel Field YThe American Camp AssociationThe Kiddie Academy of Whitestone/Flushing, and Usdan Center. On the other hand, children will be able to make puppets, get their faces painted, do crafts and enjoy other activities. More than 1,500 people attended last year’s event, and organizers are expecting even more this Sunday.

Details: The Mamas Summer Countdown, New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Corona, February 22nd, 10 am to 2 pm, free with museum admission — $15/$12 for children (2-17), students, and seniors (62+)/free for children under age 2.

Bonus details: Mozart and Beethoven, The Con Brio Ensemble presents Magic Flute, Archduke Trio, and other master works, The Church-in-the-Gardens, 50 Ascan Avenue, Forest Hills Gardens, February 22nd, 4:30 pm, $12.

Photo by the New York Hall of Science

THE MAGIC OF BILL BLAGG PLEXI

Even the most skeptical audiences are forced to question their cynicism while watching Bill Blagg at work. On a journey that started at age 5 when he received his first magic set, Blagg doesn’t waste time with cards or rabbits. He prefers illusions and his signature effect: The Dancing Hank. Then he throws in some off-the-cuff comedy and audience participation. (Some might levitate; others might disappear.) On Saturday, he will give two shows at Queens Theatre. More information and an another photo are on the jump page.

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