Happy 4th of July to everyone! Enjoy the long weekend, and we’ll see you back here Monday, July 8.
Well, here we are, just a hop, skip and a jump across the Newtown Creek from where Brownstoner started over eight years ago. And it’s about time! As anyone driving down the FDR drive can see, Queens has been undergoing its own development boom in recent years, with a slew of glass towers on the Long Island City waterfront and more to come in the form a major affordable housing complex in Hunters Point South. Meanwhile, the Queens food scene, its panoply of ethnic offerings always a citywide destination, continues to thrive and demand more coverage than it’s getting. As does the borough’s fine arts scene. And then there are the neighborhoods. That’s what’s going to make this the most interesting part of the journey for us. Exploring and reporting on the nooks and crannies of such an incredibly diverse borough. We’ve got a lot to learn, but that’ll be the fun part. Helping us on that journey will be such local writers (and personalities!) as Forgotten NY’s Kevin Walsh and the Newtown Pentacle’s Mitch Waxman. Montrose Morris, who’s been writing about Brooklyn history and architecture for years on Brownstoner, will be doing her thing in Queens too. And the whole ship will be helmed by Roland Li, who’s been covering real estate for the likes of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Observer for the past several years.
So whether you’re new to the borough, just starting to think about living here or a dyed-in-the-wool old-timer, we hope that Brownstoner Queens will have something to offer everyone. And we hope that readers can help us make the site as interesting and informative as possible by sending in tips, photos and suggestions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anytime you see a new storefront getting fixed up or a blue construction fence being installed, we want to know. Just snap a photo on your smartphone and send it in. We’ll do the rest. Thanks for reading!
Image Source: Entrepreneur Space
The Entrepreneur Space is running out of space! On April 11, the LIC-based food-and-business incubator received more than 20 boxes of cookware, silverware, bakeware, cutlery and just about everything else a kitchen could want, thanks to a donation from Princess House, a party-plan, direct-selling company that promotes female entrepreneurship. Located at 36-46 37th St., the E-Space is a 12,500-sq.-ft., NYC Economic Development Corporation-sponsored hub with a fully equipped commercial kitchen, offices and classrooms that entrepreneurs can rent at below-market rates as they build their businesses. Consultant Kathrine Gregory (at right in photo with Princess House President and CEO Connie Tang) noted that this donation — valued at over $12,000 — will be put to extremely good use as the E-Space currently has roughly 170 clients who make everything from gluten-free baked goods to Greek garlic dip to designer marshmallows.
Image Source: SculptureCenter
When it comes to expansions, this group breaks the mold. On April 2, the SculptureCenter announced a renovation of its LIC facility that aims to improve the quality of the exhibition spaces and the visitor flow. The undertaking will create a 2,000-sq-ft. addition to the existing Purves Street facility, and the renovated facility will comply with all current building codes, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.
SculptureCenter will remain open during construction with some modification to its exhibition schedule and public hours. With an expected completion in fall 2014, the rehab includes the following:
Seen at the groundbreaking ceremony are (from left) Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall, City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, SC Executive Director and Chief Curator Mary Ceruti, SC Board Chair Sascha S. Bauer and NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin.
Image Source: Dominick Totino
See what happens when the mob world meets the publishing world! On March 7, the Queens Theatre will host the world premiere of HIT-LIT, a play that has been described as “a mistaken-identity screwball comedy in the tradition of Tootsie.” A satire of the publishing world, this original work tells the story of Phoebe Saint-Anne, an ambitious young editor who is searching for the next best seller. It was penned by Emmy Award-winning actor, comedian and writer Robert Wuhl, who created and starred in the HBO series Arliss. His credits also include Flashdance, Bull Durham and Tim Burton’s Batman.
Image Source: Scott Fetterman
According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, the Year of the Snake begins on Feb. 10. And according to Chinese folklore, seeing a snake in your house means that your family won’t starve. Don’t expect many snakes at Flushing Town Hall in the upcoming months, but prepare to consume a wide array of new year-related art, music, dance and workshops. The festivities begin on Feb. 3 with a virtuoso concert by the Momenta Quartet. Feb. 10 features dance performances from China, Korea, Taiwan, India, Egypt, Colombia and America. Frederic Chiu takes over on Feb. 16, playing classical music for an interactive workshop. Later on, the master pianist tickles the ivories with Chopin, Liszt and Prokofiev music relating to travel and nostalgia for one’s homeland, followed by the works of Chinese composer Gao Ping and French composers Debussy and Ravel, integrated with poetry from the Tang and Song dynasties by Dr. Hsing-Lih Chou (pictured above). Other activities include workshops on print making and lantern making, more poetry by Chou and an exhibition showcasing printing techniques such as silk screen, linocut, intaglio, woodblocks, aluminum foil and digital printing.
Chinese Lunar New Year Events
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing
Sunday, February 3, to Sunday, March 3
Times vary | Prices vary
Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Do you have something you just can’t keep to yourself about life in Queens? Do you have an event coming up, news about your neighborhood, or simply a strong opinion about such-and-such in the area? Then we want to hear from you!
We are always looking to hear about stuff going on all over the borough, so please – send it our way. Just contact us via email – text, photos, and video are all welcome. Rants and raves are, too. And you never know – you might just see your contribution here on the site.
We’d like to introduce you to a new food blog as part of the Blankslate family – Chopsticks + Marrow, written by Queens-based food blogger Joe DiStefano. You may have known him most recently from his work on World’s Fare, the blog associated with Edible Queens. There, you might have seen posts about dumplings, sandwiches, and unusual snacks found in the borough, among other things. (more…)
We wanted to post our good news – the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC) and BlankSlate (the folks behind QueensNYC) have formed a partnership on QueensNYC. Here is the press release.
(Long Island City, N.Y.) – The Queens Economic Development Corporation and BlankSlate — a partially Long Island City-based company that helps web publishers thrive, including Brownstoner, Brokelyn, DumboNYC, Bushwick Daily and Prince of Petworth — have formed a partnership on QueensNYC.com, a daily site about the happenings in New York City’s biggest and most diverse borough.
The site delves into the life, culture and changing landscape of Queens, focusing on the places, food and adventures in this unique borough, where more than 170 languages and dialects are spoken. While the site is primarily about Queens, it also makes relevant connections to the rest of NYC and other surrounding areas.
QEDC’s mission is to create and retain jobs through programming that grows neighborhoods, assists small businesses and promotes tourism and business development. As such, QEDC spearheads the Queens Tourism Council, which has its finger on the pulse of cultural, recreational, culinary and civic activities throughout the 80-neighborhood borough, which is home to more than 2.2 million residents and 45,000 businesses. (more…)