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.”
An “intervention,” as the term is used in modernity, is when the family and friends of an addict or alcoholic gather to let the offending party know how their bad behavior is affecting the larger group. The idea is that the addict will be shamed into seeking some sort of professional treatment for their various issues. Clearly, things cannot continue as they are and the addict must mend their ways and conform to societal norms. There’s even a TV show called “Intervention” which presents the dramatic and emotional confrontations which ensue during these gatherings.
As everybody knows, those of us who live in Queens are dross consumerists. All of our time is spent at big box stores, fast food establishments, or just mindlessly sitting in traffic while going nowhere important. Work, breed, and die, that’s us. Brooklyn, on the other hand, has artisinal pickles, salty chocolate, and bacon ice cream. Queens needs to be more like Brooklyn, say the Brooklyn people. Well… that’s what everyone in Brooklyn and Manhattan thinks should happen around here.
Hence, the Queens Art Intervention was created, to expand our limited minds and offer a dab of color and smattering of high culture to our otherwise drab existence.
Tomorrow, the Department of Transportation plans to beautify concrete barriers in Jackson Heights. Twenty volunteers from New York Cares will paint designs created by the Greek artist Eirini Linardaki along the pedestrian walkway at 37th Avenue and 69th Street. They will be out working from 10 am to 3 pm.
The design, which you can see after the jump, will stretch across 150 feet of concrete barriers. It depicts the game of pick-up sticks. According to the DOT, “The artist aims to have the mural act as an illustration of the game, as a colorful abstraction, and as a New York City grid.” Pictured above is an example of the DOT’s past work with barrier beautification.
Last year, in the run up to Halloween, I told you about the “White Lady of Astoria,” a spectral presence which has been remarked upon by more than one resident in my corner of the neighborhood. Also described in 2013 was the historical story of the ”Blissville Banshee” nearby Newtown Creek.
Our love for Open House New York weekend runs deep, and we already gave you a preview of what will be happening in Queens on October 11th and 12th. Today at 11 am, OHNY opened up reservations for specific sites, which tend to fill up fast. (Many other events do not require reservations.) We Heart Astoria compiled an awesome list of all your options in Western Queens — Astoria, LIC and Sunnyside. Events include tours of the Greater Astoria Historical Society, the Welling Court Mural project (partially pictured above), Smiling HogsHead Ranch and the Sunnyside Gardens Historic District. Check out the full list, which includes around 20 sites, here.
The NYC Parks Department and the Historic House Trust released an RFP for a site-specific art experience at the Lewis Latimer House, in Flushing. Specifically, they are looking to commission a Queens-based artist to create a site-specific installation on the grounds of house — work that will “forge connections between the Latimer family’s African-American heritage and Flushing’s current Asian and Latin American residents.” The official RFP lives here [PDF].
Proposals are being accepted through October 31st, 2014 and artists must be based in or native to Queens. The installation is expected for June of next year. You can read more on the history of the Lewis Latimer House both here and here.