01/28/15 1:00pm

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Two writers with intimate knowledge of Queens will participate in separate, upcoming enrichment events at the Greater Astoria Historical Society. On Saturday, Adrienne Onofri, who just published the guidebook Walking Queens, will lead a roundtable discussion on two of the borough’s hottest neighborhoods, Astoria and Long Island City. This licensed NYC tour guide, who also writes about theater for the Broadway World blog, will then sell and sign copies of her new book, which describes 30 routes to discover Queens on foot.

On Monday, Q’Stoner writer Kevin Walsh, a historian who also runs the Forgotten NY blog, will take attendees on an indoor tour of classic New York City storefront signs — with the help of slides. They come in all shapes and sizes and contain words in countless colors and fonts. Plus, some storefront signs have wacky and/or fascinating stories.

Saturday details: Discussion on Hot Neighborhoods and Book Signing, Greater Astoria Historical Society, Quinn Building, 35-20 Broadway, Fourth Floor, Astoria/Long Island City, January 31st, 1 pm, free.

Monday details: Kevin Walsh on Storefronts, GAHS, February 2nd, 7 pm, $5.
Photo: Kevin Walsh
01/27/15 1:00pm

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Food, more food, and books on food. What’s not to like? The Entrepreneur Space is a kitchen-and-business incubator that has about 175 clients who make everything from Finnish bread to designer marshmallows to catered finger food. On February 3rd, this Long Island City-based venue will celebrate its fourth birthday  with about 30 clients providing samples of their artisan products to attendees. Plus, authors of recent books about the borough — Andrea Lynn of Queens: A Culinary Passport; Adrienne Onofri of Walking Queens: 30 Tours for Discovering the Diverse Communities, Historic Places, and Natural Treasures of New York City’s Largest Borough; and Meg Cotner of the Food Lover’s Guide to Queens will be on hand to sell and sign copies of their tomes. To add to the fun, SquareWine & Spirits will provide alcoholic beverages, while caffeinated drinks will come from Coffeed, a specialty roaster/café less than a block from the E-Space. The event’s lead sponsor, Oscar, will be offering a new kind of health insurance plan before ObamaCare’s open enrollment deadline on February 15th.

Details: Cooks & Books Bash, Entrepreneur Space, 36-46 37th Street, Astoria/Long Island City, February 3rd, 6 pm to 8 pm, free.

Photo: Queens Economic Development Corporation

01/26/15 11:00am

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The incarceration rate for white men in the United States was 678 inmates per 100,000 residents in 2010, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Meanwhile, the rate for African American males was 4,347 inmates per 100,000 residents. In other words, African American males were roughly six times as likely to be incarcerated as white males that year.

This is the real world, but what about the reel world? What influence do film and television have on the psyche of African American males and the way they are treated by police, the criminal justice system, and society at large? This Sunday, the Museum of the Moving Image will host a panel discussion featuring prominent African American cultural commentators who will look at the history of how African Americans are represented in film and its consequences. The panelists include: Jelani Cobb, author of The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress and director of the Africana Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut; Mia Mask, a film professor at Vassar College and co-editor of Poitier Revisited: Reconsidering a Black Icon in the Obama Age, Black American Cinema Reconsidered, and Divas on Screen: Black Women in American Film; and Greg Tate, a writer, musician, and producer who worked as a staff writer at The Village Voice and authored Flyboy in the Buttermilk: Essays on Contemporary America and Everything but the Burden. Other participants will be announced as they are confirmed. More details after the jump.

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MarkHaydin

First, a definition: a “Bboy” is a breakdancer who performs for fun and/or money. (A “Bgirl” is a female who does the same.) Now, a second definition: a “Bboy battle” is a breakdancing competition with judges, a referee, sportscasters, ring models, and even a halftime show.

This Sunday, Queens Theatre will host the world’s first professional Bboy battle in breakdance history with the best in the business battling for bragging rights, a title, and $5,000 in cash prizes. The action-packed event will include floor routines, acrobatics, gymnastics, aerials, and even some martial arts with a live DJ spinning hip hop jams. Add to this a rap-dance show during the intermission and sportscasters engaging their online audience with play-by-play reports, replays, insight, and analysis. More details on the jump page.

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01/22/15 1:00pm

GregKennedy

Physics and geometry have never been so much fun! Greg Kennedy will perform Spherus, a nonverbal show with two accompanying aerial acrobats that incorporates trapeze, silks, and spinning hoops this Saturday at Flushing Town Hall. Trained as an engineer and a two-time international juggling champion, Kennedy spent five years with Cirque du Soleil. Now, he’s putting it all together with a juggling performance inter-spliced with video that illustrates and explains the principles of motion, light, energy, and gravity. For extra credit, he’ll give a workshop on creating beauty in motion after the show.

Details: Juggling Extravaganza, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, January 24th, 2:15 show, 3:30 pm workshop, $13/$8 for children.

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Photo: Flushing Town Hall

01/21/15 1:00pm

Yaisuri&John

Ah, the marked rhythms, strong postures, and abrupt pauses. The tangible passion and sensuality mixed with a rich history as an underground dance in Buenos Aires in the late 19th century. For the next eight weeks, Thalía Spanish Theatre will offer Tango 5 Senses, featuring live performances, chances to meet the protagonists, and dance lessons. With music composed, arranged, and directed by Latin Grammy winner Raul Jaurena, the shows will have a feel that is dynamic and playful, yet romantic. The cast boasts eight dancers, two singers, piano, clarinet, violin, and double bass. Shows will be on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays with a special Valentine’s Day Tango Lovers event with wine, tapas, and the stars. Workshops will take place on Saturday afternoons.

Details and one more photo after the jump. (more…)

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Circus Amok is known for its one-ring spectacles that manage to be outrageous, hilarious, political, and even sexy. The performers display traditional skills, such as juggling, acrobatics and clowning, but they also like to dance, do improv and mix gender roles. On January 24th, this troupe will bring its act to the Queens Museum to add spice to the Spooktacular Winter Ball. Attendees are encouraged to dust off their Halloween costumes and bring some tricks up their sleeves, while Circus Amok will provide the sideshow thrills. The lineup includes a heart-stopping scavenger hunt with fearless feather balancing; hippodrome bingo with genuine fake hippos; a palindrome parade through the world-famous Panorama; a big top bar; a ring toss raffle; and even clown face painting.

Details: Boo! The Winter Spooktacular Ball, Queens Museum, NYC Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, January 24th, 2 pm to 5 pm. Price range: $75 contribution (this is a fundraiser) for up to six tickets, six raffle tickets, and family membership; $150 contribution for up to six tickets, 12 raffle tickets, family membership, one VIP parking spot for the event, and the opportunity for advance sign-up for Big Time Summer Art Thing for Kids Summer Camp (placement not guaranteed); and $20 for a ticket, which includes one complimentary raffle ticket.

Photos: David Shankbone

01/16/15 1:00pm

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Modern day Long Island City is a whirlwind of construction, traffic, and well-dressed professionals hurrying to the subway. However, a local art space is about to change the pace. An Aesthetics of Slowness opens this Sunday at Dorsky Gallery. The exhibition features paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures that contemplate the uncertainty of physical experiences and perceptions, inviting viewers to look, wait, and look again. Many works are not clearly legible at first glance; they emerge only as the viewer moves from side to side, checking various angles. For example, Ashley Billingsley’s pencil drawing Fire in Woods I-IV, 2013, (above) reflects on anxious villagers awaiting invasion by hostile forces in a scene from Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 film, Seven Samurai. Another exhibitor, Brian Wills, uses thread to destabilize the perception of foreground and background in his portraits.

Details: An Aesthetics of Slowness, Dorsky Gallery, 11-03 45th Avenue, Long Island City, opening reception is January 18th, 2 pm to 5 pm, free, show runs until March 29, www.dorsky.org.

Photo: Dorsky Gallery

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First of all, the definition. Amigurumi is a traditional Japanese art form that involves knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals or other cuddly creatures. Second, the relevance. Resobox is currently displaying more than 4,000 amigurumi that were made by more than 140 artists from 32 different countries. In fact, the Long Island City gallery has turned its space into an “amigurumi room,” filled with a wide array of these handmade objects. Third, the pitch. These crafts are on sale… and Valentine’s Day is coming up.

Details: World Amigurumi Exhibition, Resobox, 41-26 27th Street, Long Island City, show runs until February 28th, admission is free, but pieces mostly cost between $20 and $50. Gallery is open on all weekdays, except Tuesday, 11 am to 5 pm, and weekends, noon to 5 pm.

Photo: Resobox

01/14/15 3:00pm

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Experience Korea and Japan for free without the jet lag this weekend. On Friday, Flushing Town Hall hosts the Korean world music group NorianMaro, which has 12 members who specialize in an innovative style of traditional performing arts with dance, music, singing, percussion, theater and multi-media. Expect colorful costumes, haunting chants, pulsing movements, dynamic drums, enchanting vocals, and imaginary narratives as the troupe takes the audience to Leodo, a fantasy island treasured by the people in Jeju, a beautiful province in Korea. More details and another photo on jump page.

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