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

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

07/01/15 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

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

John_Ford_Portrait_005-detail-main-detail-main

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

SSPOutdoorCinema

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

06/26/15 1:00pm

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Over a five-decade career, Michael Bolton has sold more than 50 million records and won various American Music and Grammy awards. On Sunday, the pop rock balladeer takes his act to South Jamaica to headline Goovin’ in the Park.

Since its launch in 2001, this annual, all-day, outdoor concert has become a magnet for diverse talent with such past performers as Gladys Knight, Boyz 11 Men, Jimmy Cliff, and Patti LaBelle.

The tradition continues this year with Bolton joining R&B sensation Billy Ocean, whose hits include “Caribbean Queen” and “Loverboy,” and Judy Mowatt, a former background singer to Bob Marley who is currently enjoying a solo career. The Jamaican music acts Morgan Heritage, Cocoa Tea, Stitiche, and Capleton will perform, too.

Details: Groovin’ in the Park, Roy Wilkins Park, Merrick and Baisley boulevards, Jamaica, June 28, noon until nightfall, $59.95-$149.99.

Photo by Groovin in the Park

06/25/15 1:00pm

Flic

Bring your own popcorn. Actually, bring your own folding chairs, blankets, and beverages. The Queens World Film Festival and Jackson Heights Green Alliance will take care of the entertainment, while the city will provide the curb. On Saturday, this summer’s two FLIC NIC series, which show indie movies under the stars at two Jackson Heights venues, kicks off. They run until August 27.

The theme for FLIC NIC at Travers Park (aka 78th Street Plaza) on July 27 will be animation. Then only documentaries will show on July 25, while the August 8 event will screen the best works from the 2015 Queens World Film Festival.

FLIC NIC in Diversity Plaza is set for July 2, July 30, August 13, and August 27. Done in partnership with SUKHI NY and Friends of Diversity Plaza, these screenings will feature foreign cinema, including everything from Bengalase animation to Spanish love stories to Asian documentaries.

Details: FLIC NIC at Travers Park, 78th Street and 34th Avenue, Jackson Heights, June 27, July 25 and August 8, dusk, free.

Bonus details: FLIC NIC in Diversity Plaza, 74th Street and Roosevelt Avenue, July 2, July 30, August 13 and August 27, dusk, free.

Photo by Queens World Film Festival

06/24/15 1:00pm

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Live music is everywhere in Queens this week, and most of it is outdoors. Ditto for movies, and again most are outdoors. There are also surf competitions, festivals, and an International Mud Day celebration. Here’s the rundown.

June 25, Astoria Park Festival, through June 28. This annual summer favorite is jam-packed with rides, games, food, and entertainment. Free. Astoria Park Parking Lot, 19th Street and Hoyt Avenue, Astoria.

June 25, King Kong, 8:45 pm. Outdoor screening of a classic film. Free. Gantry Plaza State Park, Center Boulevard and 47th Avenue, Long Island City.

June 25, Interfaith Ramadan Dinner, 7 pm. The Turkish Cultural Center and Central Queens Y present this second annual meal with light kosher and halal cuisine, Turkish music, a call to prayer, and a short discussion on religion. $10. CQY, 67-09 108th Street, Forest Hills. (more…)

06/24/15 1:00pm

KK

King Kong first visited New York City in 1933, when he climbed the Empire State Building in a love-induced rage. On June 25, a good 82 years later, this oversize, gorilla-like animal will cross the East River and spend a few hours in Long Island City.

It’s not just a clear sign that Queens is eclipsing Manhattan as a tourism Mecca — it’s also the start of an outdoor movie series, CinemaLIC, that will run until September 19. Organized by NestSeekers International, Hunters Point Park Conservancy, and LIC Landing, this second annual series will give attendees that opportunity to enjoy classic and independent movies on the Western Queens waterfront with the Midtown Manhattan skyline as a backdrop. (more…)