02/07/13 3:00pm

We don’t have to try to convince you that Queens has awesome restaurants. Plus, you actually have a chance of getting a Valentine’s Day reservation here without having connections. But if you’re ready to think outside the dinner-and-flowers box and impress your one-of-a-kind date with something more creative than a dinner reservation, here are some uniquely romantic adventures to inspire you.

queens panorama

For NYC lovers: If your valentine is a geography or architecture geek, or simply has an appreciation for the five boroughs (or even just one borough), take them to see the Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum of Art. This permanent exhibit is an eye-opening 3D model of the entire city. The two of you can pore over every detail together, getting close as you point out places you’ve been and places you want to go (together) someday.

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02/04/13 2:00pm

confetti-lunar-new-year-parade-flushing-queens

Lunar New Year is the single most important holiday of the year in many East Asian cultures. This year it falls officially on February 10, but the holiday really translates to a week or two of celebrations for many Queens residents of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan and Mongolian heritage.

The New Year is a time of getting together with family, paying respects to ancestors, enjoying great food, conjuring good luck, and celebrating the beginning of spring. Traditionally, the Lunar New Year is also like a communal birthday, with everyone turning a year older at the same time.

Here we’ve laid out some of the cultural traditions and special foods of each version of the holiday – and, of course, where you can celebrate in Queens.

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01/22/13 3:00pm

 hollywood-sign

Image source: Oreos on Wikimedia Commons

Plenty of New Yorkers have made it big in Hollywood over the years. But which movie stars are from Queens? Since we’re in “awards season” between the Golden Globes and the Oscars, we thought it was a good time to pay homage to all the big-time filmmakers and actors who come from our fair borough.

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01/11/13 3:00pm

Compost Bins at Sunnyside Greenmarket Western Queens Compost Initiative

It’s easier than ever for Queens residents to green their routines, thanks to the increasing number of compost initiatives around the borough. Several libraries, Greenmarkets, community gardens, and other organizations have become drop-off sites for your kitchen scraps, so that your food waste doesn’t have to go into the landfill.

If you’re ready to go green in 2013, here are the many locations you can bring food/plant scraps to be composted. Most of these drop-off sites are open year round, and more locations will be added soon.

Long Island City

LIC Community Garden – 49th Avenue, between Vernon Blvd and 5th Street (GMAP)
Sundays, 10:00am-1:00pm

Long Island City CSA, Hour Children – 36-49 11th Street (GMAP)
January 19 and February 2, 10:00am-2:00pm

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01/08/13 2:00pm

newtown-literary

Image source: Newtown Literary 

The first issue of Newtown Literary opens with a poem by Bob McNeil written from the perspective of the borough of Queens. From the first-person point of view, it chronicles the long history of Queens – from the time of the Matinecock to the current-day cultural hodgepodge – and sets the stage for a collection of pieces that are mostly by Queens writers or about Queens in some way.

Newtown Literary (which is named after Newtown, one of the original towns that became part of Queens) is a new publication inspired by the diversity of Queens and dedicated to sharing “fiction, creative nonfiction, essays, and poetry that go beyond entertainment and storytelling.” (more…)

01/07/13 3:00pm

oh-bernice-reading-cafe-marlene-sunnyside-queens

Image source: Oh, Bernice!

Brooklyn and Manhattan are well known for their literary talent, but Queens has its share of writers and lovers of the written word too. A lot of up-and-coming writers in the borough are honing their craft and finding an audience at literary readings, several of which happen on a monthly basis in cafes, bars, and libraries in various neighborhoods. Here’s our guide to hearing from emerging and accomplished local authors and poets, and sharing your own work if you are one!

First Tuesdays at Terraza 7, 40-19 Gleane Street, Elmhurst, NY 11373 (GMAP) – This monthly poetry series is run by Richard Jeffrey Newman, whose work we read in the first issue of Newtown Literary. It’s a walk-in open mic where everyone is welcome to share or listen to poetry (get there early to sign up to read). It’s a friendly atmosphere, and most of the time there is someone new sharing their work. There is a $5 suggested donation. The next installment – which is coming right up on Tuesday, January 8 – will feature readings by Sweta Srivastava Vikram, a poet, novelist, and essayist who lives in Jackson Heights and was also featured in Newtown Literary‘s first issue.

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12/19/12 11:00am

candlelight-vigil-sunnyside-queens

Last night, over a hundred Sunnyside residents gathered outside Sunnyside Reformed Church to commemorate the lives lost in the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Particularly, the group was paying tribute to the victims who had ties to the neighborhood: six-year-old Ben Wheeler lived in Sunnyside as a baby, and the step-sister of principal Dawn Hochsprung also lives in Sunnyside.

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12/17/12 3:00pm

A little while back, we compiled a long list of books that take place in Queens. And even though Manhattan gets most of the glory for its impressive amounts of on-screen time, there are plenty of movies and TV series that are set in Queens, too. Here’s our guide to the best films and TV shows that weren’t just shot in our borough, but actually give Queens a significant part in the story.

Films

chop-shop-movie

Chop Shop (2007)
This indie film made the rounds in the Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, and other prominent international film events. The director, Ramin Bahrani – who was also behind Man Push Cart, the 2005 film about a struggling street vendor from Brooklyn – won a “Someone to Watch” Independent Spirit Award in 2007. The film centers around the story of 12-year-old Alejandro, an orphan living in the Willets Points section of Corona, where he works at an auto body repair shop, sells candy on the subway, and dreams up other schemes to get by. The movie is full of scenes depicting Flushing Meadows Park, the auto body shops of Willets Point, and the 7 train.

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12/14/12 12:00pm

menupages-launches-in-queens

Image source: MenuPages

Exciting news for Queens: our borough is now included on MenuPages, the website that publishes restaurant menus online and provides a place for restaurant goers to review their experiences. MenuPages only served Manhattan for a while, and eventually launched in Brooklyn; now it covers every single neighborhood of Queens, finally capturing the diverse yumminess in these parts.

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