04/18/14 1:00pm

Kaboom

Decisions, decisions, decisions and decisions. Or to be more specific: science, kites, film noir and eggs. There are some great options for family fun, entertainment and enrichment in the borough tomorrow, April 19th. It’s probably easiest to list them in bullet form.

  • Doktor Kaboom! This loveable nut performs original interactive “science comedy” for audiences of all ages. Blending the dramatic with the wonders of scientific exploration, the Good Doktor (above) keeps the crowd riveted with interest and rolling with laughter going on a sidesplitting journey of increasingly spectacular (and often successful) experiments designed to involve, excite, educate, and entertain. Back by popular demand, he returns to Queens Theatre (14 United Nations Avenue South, Flushing Meadows Corona Park) for 1 pm and 3 pm shows on Saturday$14 per ticket or $100 for a Family Series Flex Pass (10 tickets to use however you want.)
  • Let’s Go Fly a Kite! It’s National Kite Month, and the King Manor Museum (150-03 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica) is offering a chance to learn about these objects that can be used for scientific discovery, fun or design. Attendees will create, decorate, fly and take home kites. Noon to 3 pm, free.
  • Spring Egg-Stavaganza! Easter weekend at Queens Botanical Garden (43-50 Main Street, Flushing) is known for two things: blooming flora and egg hunts. Due to popular demand, there will be two sessions that will include games, crafts, scavenger hunts and prizes. noon to 1:30 pm and 2 pm to 3:30 pm, $5.
  • The Real Mann! Hollywood legend Anthony Mann was one of the greatest directors of two genres that seem very disparate: film noir, featuring nocturnal and claustrophobic dramas; and the Western, with dramas set against wide-open landscapes. The Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria) launches an eight-film retrospective on Mann with two movies on Saturday. T-Men at 4 pm is about treasury agents who go undercover to penetrate a gang of Los Angeles counterfeiters. Raw Deal at 7 pm tells the story of a woman who helps spring her boyfriend from a state prison so they can flee to South America. If these movies inspire, the museum will screen two more —  The Great Flamarion and Border Incident — on Sunday.

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04/17/14 1:00pm

Luge

Everything is going to go downhill next weekend. USA Luge‘s nationwide recruitment tour will make a stop in Bayside’s Crocheron Park on April 26 and April 27. The USA Luge Slider Search seeks to identify, train and qualify young athletes (boys and girls, ages 9-13) for the USA Luge Junior Development Team. Participants will learn the riding and steering basics with national team athletes and coaches before taking rides down a hill under the observation of those coaches. Those who demonstrate potential will receive an invitation to the US Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, where they will compete for a seat on the junior development team.

Details: USA Luge Slider Search, Crocheron Park, vicinity of 214th Place, Cross Island Parkway and 33th Avenue, Bayside, April 26th-April 27th, sessions run from 7:30 am to 6 pm, free and all participants will receive a USA Luge tee-shirt, click here to register or call 1-800-USA-LUGE.

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04/16/14 1:00pm

Joseph McElligott

Queens people never get tired of diversity. This Saturday, the New York Irish Center will host A Celebratory Feast of Irish and World Culture, a night that will include everything from poetry to string music to acting by a former boxer. The performers are part of Artists Without Walls, a troupe dedicated to uniting creative types from all genres to inspire each other…and then inspire their audiences. Co-founder Niamh Hyland (below), a singer/songwriter from the Emerald Isle, headlines the show with classical violinist Annette Homann, Nigerian spoken word artist Koro Koroye (above), TV and film actor Jack O’Connell, singer/songwriter Michael Brunnock and champion boxer-turned-actor John Duddy.

Details: Artists Without Walls: A Celebratory Feast of Irish and World Culture, New York Irish Center, 10-40 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, April 26th, 7:30 pm, cocktail hour before performances, $22/$11 for seniors, students and the unemployed.

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Top photo: Joseph McElligott; bottom photo: Artists Without Walls

04/15/14 1:00pm

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It’s the New York City marathon for word lovers. Queens Writes Weekend 2014 will facilitate more than 12 literary events at a minimum of six venues throughout the world’s most diverse borough over the last weekend in April. The fun will start on Friday, April 25th, with an open reading at The Astoria Bookshop featuring contributors to the third issue of Newtown Literary, a semi-annual journal. On Saturday and Sunday, the events will differ, but authors of all kinds — young, old, novice, expert — will simply sit down together and write for a few hours. Participants will then share the products of their efforts at an open mic event at Terraza 7 in Elmhurst on Sunday night.

Details: Queens Writes Weekend 2014, begins with Kick-Off Reading at The Astoria Bookshop, 31-29 31st Street, Astoria, April 25th, 7 pm, click here for times and venues on April 26th and April 27th, ends at Wrap-Up Open Mic at Terraza 7, 40-19 Gleane Street, Elmhurst, April 27th, 6 pm, suggested donations at all times to defray the costs of publishing Newtown Literary‘s fourth edition and other good works. So far, events are set for Astoria, Bayside, Corona, Forest Hills, Jackson Heights and Kew Gardens, but more sites are expected to be confirmed before the weekend begins. Schedule and venues will be posted and updated regularly on this page.

Photo: Audrey Dimola

04/14/14 1:00pm

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The posters bore messages such as “Don’t buy in Jewish stores,” “The inhabitants of this village want nothing to do with Jews” and “Jews not welcome.” Starting in 1933, the Nazi regime started segregating and curtailing the Jewish community throughout Germany and its occupied lands. To aide this oppressive effort, the government posted countless signs that degraded, harassed, offended and threatened the Jews. On April 23, the Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center at Bayside’s Queensborough Community College will launch a 2.5-month exhibition featuring photos of these signs. Curator Rabbi Isodoro Aizenberg, Kupferberg’s scholar-in-residence, adds another dimension by including testimonies of people who were directly affected by the laws and signs.

Details: Unwelcomed Words: Nazi Anti-Jewish Street Signs, Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center, Queensborough Community College, 222-05 56th Avenue, Bayside, opening on April 23rd, 7 pm, center is open weekdays from 10 am to 4 pm, free.

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04/11/14 4:00pm

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It took more than three years of extremely hard work to renovate the venue and get the proper city permits, but Pa-Nash Restaurant & Lounge officially opened on April 11 with a joyous atmosphere and free samples of spicy Moroccan meatballs, babaghanoush and the house specialty beverage. Located in Rosedale, between Idelwild Park and the Valley Stream border, this new eatery offers a “Euro Soul” menu that fuses Mediterranean and North African cuisine with Caribbean and Soul Food influences. The menu features everything from herb-crusted lump crab cakes with chive garlic aioli and toasted coconut to almond-crusted salmon and pistachio crumbed lamb chops with rosemary syrup and couscous.

In addition to a sit-down area in an upscale-but-relaxed atmosphere, Pa-Nash also has a 25-foot long bar with two flat-screen televisions, an exhibition space for local artists (below) and a downstairs lounge for live entertainment, including belly-dancing and comedy. Located at 144-14 243rd Street, Pa-Nash is very much a labor of love for the owners, Jamaica natives Annette and Noel Runcie, who have operated a Golden Krust branch in Queens Village for more than a decade.

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Photos: It’s In Queens

04/11/14 1:00pm

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Its real name is the “Bronx-Whitestone Bridge,” but most people simply refer to the span by the Queens neighborhood it touches. (i.e. “Traffic is steady on the Whitestone.”) Inaugurated by Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia on April 29, 1939, this suspension bridge, which spans the East River, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. On April 13th, the Queens Historical Society will host a special lecture by Mary Hedge, an archivist for MTA Bridges & Tunnels, and Aris Stathopoulos, deputy chief engineer at MTA Bridges & Tunnels. They will discuss the history and unique aspects of the Whitestone, such as its ultra sleek design, and the many measures the MTA has taken to make it more wind resistant.

Details: Bronx-Whitestone Bridge Anniversary Lecture, Queens Historical Society, Kingsland Homestead, Weeping Beech Park, 143-35 37th Avenue, Flushing, April 13th, 2:30 pm, free.

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Photos: QHS 

04/10/14 1:00pm

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The maestro has met the MC… and they make great music together. On April 12th, Flushing Town Hall will host Wil B and Kev Marcus, the members of the revolutionary group Black Violin. These classically trained violinists — who say their influences range from Shostakovich and Bach to Nas and Jay-Z — have created a music genre that mixes the violin, which first emerged in Italy’s Bresica area in the 16th century, with Hip Hop, which evolved organically at block parties in the Bronx during the 1970s. Get prepared for rhymes, dulcet tones and some great stage antics.

Details: Black Violin, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, April 12th, 2:15 pm, $12/$8 children. Buy two family shows and the third is free.

Bonus details: The Mark Wade Trio, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, April 11th, 8 pm. $15/$10 students. Bassist and composer Mark Wade leads his dynamic trio in an evening of original jazz compositions.

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Photos: Black Violin FB

04/09/14 1:00pm

Inst

The word “LEGO” is a combination of the Danish words “leg godt,” which mean “play well” in English. The original toys were made of wood, but in 1958, the LEGO Group introduced the interlocking brick, which currently comes in various colors, shapes and sizes and has a cult-like following around the world, mesmerizing adults as well as children. On Saturday, these plastic playthings will begin a long run in Queens, when the Museum of the  Moving Image offers 60-minute LEGO animation workshops for children twice a day through April 22nd. Led by a master builder, participants will work in teams to plan and create a stop-motion animated film. The same Astoria venue will screen The LEGO Movie in Dolby Digital 3-D from April 14th through April 18th. This stop-motion animated feature tells the story of Emmet, a perfectly average LEGO mini-figure who is mistakenly identified as the “most special, most interesting, most extraordinary person” and the key to saving the world. Meanwhile, the Queens Theatre on April 13th will open Iconic Symbols of the 1964 World’s Fair Reimagined — in LEGOs, a display of World’s Fair structures inspired by expert builder Cody Wells. They will be on exhibit through November 2nd. The Flushing Meadows Corona Park theater will go for more on May 18th with Build It!: A LEGO Workshop, three sessions after which each participant will leave with a mini-model of the New York State Pavilion.

Details for Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria): Master Builder Lego Animation Workshops, April 12th – 22nd, 1:30 pm and 3 pm, daily, $5 materials fee; The LEGO Movie, April 14th-18th, 1 pm daily.

Details for Queens Theatre (14 United Nations Avenue South, Flushing Meadows Corona Park): Iconic Symbols of the 1964 World’s Fair Reimagined — in LEGOs, April 13th – November 2nd, free; Build It!: A LEGO Workshop, May 18th, 11 am, 2 pm and 4 pm, free.

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Top photo: Flickr (notenoughbricks); bottom photo: MMI

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It’s a photo op, historic tour and urban spelunking activity. It’s also a celebration of the exact 50th anniversary of the opening of the 1964 World’s Fair. On April 22nd, the New York State Pavilion (above and below) will open to the public for three hours. Individuals will be able to put on hard hats (which will be provided and required), enter this remnant of the 1964 World’s Fair, and take photos of the interior portion, where the Tent of Tomorrow once stood. The New York State Pavilion Paint Project Crew will be on site to answer questions and talk about the structure’s past, present and future. Later, the Queens Theatre will present When the World Came to Queens, an exhibit featuring rare photos with behind-the-scenes anecdotes written by Bill Cotter, who has the world’s largest private collection of World’s Fair images. Cotter, a frequent attendee during the 1964-65 run, has also written several books, which he will be selling and autographing.

Details: Open Gate Event, meet at north entrance to NYS Pavilion, near Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, April 22nd, 11 am to 2 pm, free.

Bonus details: When the World Came to Queens, Queens Theatre, 14, United Nations Avenue South, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, April 22nd, 3 pm and 7 pm, free with $10 suggested donation. 

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Photos: People for the Pavilion FB