A Festivistmas Kwanzaannukah holiday tradition, the MTA runs vintage Subway cars on the M line on Sundays in the month of December. The rolling stock is maintained by the MTA’s Transit Museum, and I make it a point of attending the event every year. This Q’stoner post from last year goes into some detail on what to expect onboard these relics of NYC’s golden age, but I wasn’t too happy with the quality of the photos from 2013, and have been practicing my subway shooting skills in the intervening interval.
Yesterday, I put myself to the test, and rode the Shoppers Special with my camera. Lots of shots from what I saw onboard follow, after the jump. (more…)
Long Island City residents erected a protest sculpture along Jackson Avenue, in response to the city’s plan to install its own pink sculpture at the cost of $450,000. The Department of Cultural Affairs revealed a rendering for a bright pink, eight-and-a-half-foot-tall sculpture last month as part of a Jackson Avenue streetscape improvement project. Residents protested the color and the cost, as well as the lack of public inclusion. And as DNAinfo has shown, the protest has taken the form of another sculpture. The colorful and angular piece includes a sign that says: “This is not against the artist. It is against the misuse of our tax dollars. It cost $350 dollars to make this sculpture which we are donating to Long Island City and there are many local artists that would do the same so this money could be spent on something constructive like education.” It’s unclear who the artist of the protest sculpture is.
The proposal for the pink sculpture is still in development and needs to be reviewed by the Public Design Commission. It wouldn’t be installed for another 18 months.
To mark the one year anniversary of the whitewash of 5Pointz, the independent filmmaker P.J. Monsanto released an 18-minute documentary about the infamous graffiti warehouse. Titled “We Don’t Need More Rats Here,” it chronicles the artists’ efforts to save the building after the owner, Jerry Wolkoff, announced plans for a new residential development, and their reaction after all their work was painted over in the dead of night. There are also plenty of amazing shots of the building during its glory days, covered in artwork. Now, of course, the warehouse is under demolition.
MoMA PS1 selected five finalists for its 2015 Young Architects Program, according to the website Bustler. Every year PS1 selects promising young firms and asks them to submit a design for the museum’s outdoor courtyard. The winning design is then installed for the summertime. Last summer, The Living won with this organic brick structure, pictured above. This year, finalists are Andres Jaque/Office for Political Innovation, based in Madrid and New York, brillhart architecture from Miami, Erin Besler from Los Angeles, The Bittertang Farm from New York, and Studio Benjamin Dillenburger, based in Toronto. Their courtyard designs must incorporate seating, shade and water, as well as environmental and sustainability measures.
A head’s up to all the literary types in Queens. Newtown Literary, a nonprofit, semi-annual literary journal that publishes Queens writers and poets, is holding a fundraiser on Monday, November 10th. It’ll be a Book Trivia Night, taking place at Break Bar and Billiards in Astoria. Teams will compete for prizes like books, gift cards, and other giveaways. (Prize donors include Lockwood, Astoria Coffee, Enigma Bookstore and The Secret Theatre.) Trivia won’t just cover serious literature, with rounds of questions on young adult lit and movies based on books.
The event begins at 7 pm. You can purchase tickets online for $8, or at the door for $10. All the details live here.
Introducing Q.E.D., a new Astoria venue that plans to host arts and crafts, stand-up comedy, tastings, poetry slams, game nights, walking tours, storytelling, gardening, and much, much more. The owner, Queens resident Kambri Crews, has dubbed it an “after-school space for grown ups” — a sort of all-inclusive art and performance space that will appeal to many. The classes and workshops will be priced affordably and will not require long commitments, and the space will be open to all different types of performers. (It’s also available to rent out for private events.) Q.E.D. is located a few blocks from the Astoria/Ditmars subway stop, at 27-16 23rd Avenue between 27th and 28th Streets.
Events at Q.E.D. will start up in early November. Upcoming classes include stand-up comedy for beginners, PR and Marketing 101, Intro to American Sign Language and Intro to Humor Writing. Upcoming shows include open mic nights, adult story time, book releases, podcast recordings and musical performances. Seems to us like an awesome addition to the neighborhood. GMAP
Here’s a cool video of the artist Borbay painting a commissioned piece of the Pepsi Cola sign along the Long Island City waterfront. At his website, he goes through the entire process with details and photos, and the final product is impressive indeed. Thanks to Curbed, who first posted the video.
After the Fair, a new documentary celebrating the legacy of the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, is now available on DVD and digital download! The film takes the viewers back to the fair, to illustrate how momentous it was at the time — a total of 51,000,000 people came to see it over two seasons. It also takes a modern look at the relics and history left behind, as well as how the fair continues to influence technology and pop culture today. After the Fair also includes interviews with fair attendees, workers, and builders.
Above, watch the first six minutes of the documentary. To purchase the full documentary, visit the website.
The 3rd Annual Astoria Arts Festival kicks off this Friday, October 10th and lasts 10 whole days. We Heart Astoria published a very helpful guide on the events to expect in the coming days, which are spread out over 30 local venues. You can also check out a full schedule at the Astoria Arts Festival website. Events include a kickoff party this Friday at Front Toward Enemy, a collection of music, vendors and artists at Singlecut Brewery, an Art Walk at different Astoria businesses, and a closing party on Saturday, October 18th at Old Prague. Can’t wait!
Over the weekend, the SculptureCenter celebrated its brand new addition: a 2,000-square-foot, one-story entrance lobby with a bookshop, seating area and restrooms; 6,500 square feet of flexible interior exhibition space; an elevator and stairway to the lower level galleries; and a 1,500-square-foot, enclosed courtyard for outdoor exhibitions and events. In honor of the opening, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer officially renamed the block the museum is located on — Purves Street — as Sculpture Street. (Of course, we know it as the craziest block of development in Queens.) Council Member Van Bramer helped fund the $4,000,000 expansion project.
Pictured above, that’s the Council Member with Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora, Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl, Mary Ceruti, the Executive Director of SculptureCenter, her daughter and Ruba Katrib, the curator of the upcoming exhibit “Puddle, pothole, portal.”