04/15/14 1:00pm

NLJ

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

aa_n

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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04/09/14 3:00pm

bourbon-street-bayside

Bourbon Street, the Cajun-style eatery located at 40-12 Bell Boulevard in Bayside, hopes to build out a rooftop bar for the summertime. The Daily News reports that “patrons would dine and drink al fresco in the 2,500-square-foot outdoor seating space, lit with Louisiana lantern-style street lights… there would also be an open-face barbecue pit and raw seafood bar on the roof.” Sounds lovely! There aren’t any other rooftop bars like it in the neighborhood. The owner of Bourbon Street hopes to open the space by the restaurant’s 15th anniversary, which is this summer. They still do not have approval from the New York State Liquor Authority or the Department of Buildings.

First Rooftop Bar Planned for Bustling Bayside Boulevard [NY Daily News] GMAP

Photo via Facebook

04/04/14 12:00pm

flushingFlushing
33-26 158th Street
Broker: East Coast Realtors
Price: $998,800
Sunday, 1 pm – 4 pm
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maspethMaspeth
67-18 54th Avenue
Broker: Century 21
Price: $579,000
Sunday, 12 pm – 3 pm
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baysideBayside
28-43 202nd Street
Broker: Carollo Real Estate
Price: $578,000
Saturday, 1 pm – 3 pm
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chCambria Heights
115-68 232nd Street
Broker: Laffey Fine Homes
Price: $399,000
Saturday, 1 pm – 3 pm
GMAP

04/03/14 1:00pm

ManhattanTransfer

One group made music history, another’s music soothed a nation after a historic tragedy. The Manhattan Transfer was the first band to win Grammy Awards simultaneously in the jazz and pop categories in 1981. Since then, the harmony quartet, which promotes its “vocalese” genre, has won nine more Grammys over a four-decade career. The New York Tenors feature Daniel Rodriguez, the NYPD officer whose amazing voice comforted a grieving nation after 9/11. He performs with Michael “The People’s Tenor” Amante and Andy “Irish America’s Favorite Son” Cooney. What do these groups have in common? Both have upcoming shows at Queensborough Performing Arts Center. The Manhattan Transfer (above) takes the stage on April 6th at 3 pm, while New York Tenors (below) croon on April 12th at 8 pm.

Details: The Manhattan Transfer, Queensborough Performing Arts Center, 222-05 56th Avenue, Bayside, April 6th, 3 pm, $40.

Bonus details: The New York Tenors, Queensborough Performing Arts Center, 222-05 56th Avenue, Bayside, April 12th, 8 pm, $40.

3T

Photos: QPAC

03/28/14 9:45am

New York City Urban Field Station-fort-totten-park

Today the Times profiled the New York City Urban Field Station, a science laboratory operating out of a building — pictured above — that once housed officers at the Fort Totten Army base. (Now it’s Fort Totten Park, situated on a peninsula of Bayside.) The center studies “the vast ecosystem that encompasses the city’s five boroughs,” particularly focusing on the Million Trees Initiative. According to the Times, “Scientists at the field station are also using sophisticated mapping techniques to identify the neighborhoods and streets most in need of additional tree canopy. And they are monitoring which trees survive best and under which conditions.” The second floor of the field station hosts visiting scientists, and the views from Fort Totten Park aren’t bad at all. Scientists look out onto sweeping views of Little Neck Bay.

Former Queens Fort Revamped for Work on Ecology [NY Times]

03/25/14 1:00pm

FT

Forget the thermometer, the Queens calendar of events has declared that “Spring has Sprung!” The borough will host countless outdoor activities over the next month, starting with a few running, walking and peeping opportunities this weekend. The fun starts on Friday with the 5 Miles Marking 5 Decades Fun Run, a two-loop road race that starts and ends at the north end of Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s Meadow Lake, at 4:30 pm. Organized by Queens Distance Runners, this event commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1964 World’s Fair.

On Saturday, early risers can enjoy a bird walk through Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge led by American Littoral Society naturalist Don Riepe.  Meanwhile at 1 pm, attendees can combine a stroll with a nature lesson at Bayside’s Fort Totten, where Urban Park Rangers will discuss scientific concepts and weather phenomena, such as lightning, thunder, clouds, the water cycle, hurricanes and extreme storms.

On Sunday, the official Queens historian, Jack Eichenbaum, will guide a historic stroll through Flushing. He will take his troops to the 1964 Quaker Meeting House, the 1661 Bowne House and the (1774-1785) Kingsland Manor, where the Queens Historical Society is exhibiting Practicing Equality, Quakers in Queens. If that’s not enough, hardcore types can walk the winter-ravaged Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways and learn beach dynamics with American Littoral Society naturalist Mickey Maxwell Cohen. There will be plenty of flotsam and jetsam and the chance to learn about the area’s surprising wartime history.

Details (one): 5 Miles Marking 5 Decades Fun Run, Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s Meadow Lake, March 28th, 4:30 pm, $25/$15 for members of Queens Distance Runners and the Queens Tourism Council/$8 for junior high and high school students.

Details (two): Early Spring Bird Walk, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, March 29th, 10 am. Free, but RSVP to NEChapter@littoralsociety.org or 718-474-0896.

Details (three): Exploring Clouds, Fort Totten, Bayside, March 29th, 1 pm, free.

Details (four); Quaker Flushing, meet at northwest corner of Main Street and 37th Avenue, March 30th, noon, $15/$20 with part of the proceeds going to the Queens Historical Society. RSVP required to Jack Eichenbaum at jaconet@aol.com.

Details (five): Spring Tide Walks, meet at parking lot near Jacob Riis Park’s Entry Pavilion, March 30th, 10: 30 am, free but RSVP to bmcohen2@gmail.com or 718-474-0896.

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 Top photo: Fort Totten FB; bottom photo: American Littoral Society

03/24/14 1:00pm

Swan2

Get ready for a trip through a fairy tale kingdom with a beautiful princess, a wicked witch and young-love romance. The Moscow Festival Ballet is going to perform Swan Lake at the Queensborough Performing Arts Center on March 30th. The troupe, founded by legendary Bolshoi Ballet principal dancer Sergei Radchenko in 1989, will mix opulent costumes and sets, traditional mime, Tchaikovsky’s tremendous score, and breathtaking dance moves to tell this magical tale of a heroic young prince who fights to free a swan maiden from an evil sorcerer’s spell.

Details: Moscow Festival Ballet: Swan Lake, Queensborough Performing Arts Center, 222-05 56th Avenue, Bayside, March 30th, 3 pm, $42 or $39.

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03/18/14 11:00am

01.potomogeton

I must admit to being stumped by a sign I encountered in eastern Queens, and found that it indeed was a misspelling.

Eastern Queens has a collection of vast parks – the familiar Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Kissena Park and its Corridor, Alley Pond Park, and Cunningham Park. (Aside from Forest Park and Astoria Park, western Queens is somewhat park-starved.) There are also parkways -– green spaces along car-only parkways built by traffic czar Robert Moses in the early 20th century such as the Belt, the Cross Island, and today’s scene at Grand Central Parkway. I was rambling along Bell Boulevard just north of the GCP in March 2011 when a sign caught my eye at the corner of 86th Avenue, which serves as the northern border of the GCP along with some relatively undeveloped parkland. It read: Potomogeton Park, which I assumed was a Native American place name. Googling it, I found that it was the common water plant with floating leaves, found in most parks. I never knew its official name, and the Parks Department hasn’t either, since the correct spelling is potamogeton, with an a instead of an o after the first t. Hey, it would have stumped me in a spelling bee as well. The name is actually Greek in origin.

02.potomogeton

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03/14/14 12:00pm

rego-park1Rego Park
63-44 Ellwell Crescent
Broker: Century 21
Price: $1,300,000
Saturday 1:00 – 3:00
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baysideBayside
42-29 204th Street
Broker: Re/Max
Price: $980,000
Sunday 1:00 – 3:00
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fhForest Hills
107-24 71st Road
Broker: Douglas Elliman
Price: $759,000
Saturday 12:30 – 1:30
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briarwoodBriarwood
139-21 85th Drive
Broker: Century 21
Price: $188,000
Saturday 1:00 – 3:00
GMAP