Last Thursday, the 82nd Street Partnership held two public hearings in regards to expanding the Jackson Heights – Corona BID, a proposal up for its final vote this summer. DNAinfo attended the evening meeting and reports that it was filled “overwhelmingly with the BID’s opponents.” Local organization Make The Road New York spoke against the plan for the first time in public, stating that the current BID proposal wouldn’t help or support business owners. A major concern of expansion is displacement of small, local business owners by rising commercial rents.
The expansion proposal includes the blocks from 82nd Street to 104th Street and Roosevelt Avenue, as well as Junction Boulevard to 35th Avenue. BID supporters argue that it will be used to fund events, assist small businesses and help with street maintenance, safety and cleanup. Business owners and landlords will pay a yearly fee, determined by a special assessment, to support it.
Two important meetings are coming up this Thursday in regards to the proposed Jackson Heights – Corona BID. The 82nd Street Partnership, who is behind the proposal, will present their final district plan for the Business Improvement District. The organization is nearing the end of the public review process — a final vote to establish the BID will happen this summer. This meeting offers community stakeholders the opportunity to express their opinions on the proposal, which has caused some controversy. Attendees must sign up at the meeting, and will be limited to speak for two to three minutes.
This first meeting is Thursday, July 24th, from 8:30 am to 10:30 am at Aliento de Vida, 103-12 Roosevelt Avenue. The second meeting is also on Thursday, July 24th, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. That one is located at Sabor Latino Restaurant, 95-35 40th Road.
Jackson Heights and Corona residents, here’s your chance to participate in Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero street safety initiative! The goal of Vision Zero is to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries in New York City to zero. Tonight there will be a community workshop for these two neighborhoods in particular. Bring your ideas and suggestions in regards to safer biking and walking throughout the neighborhood, education and enforcement regarding street safety, and improved access points to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
The workshop begins at 7 pm tonight and lasts until 8:30. It’s at the Corona Public Library, 38-23 104th Street. Event details from Transportation Alternatives here.
Bria Skonberg is on fire! The trumpeter/vocalist/composer was recently nominated as “Up and Coming Jazz Artist of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists’ Association and she won a New York Bistro Award for “Outstanding Jazz Artist.” A Canadian transplant who can hula-hoop while playing, Skonberg (above) has performed as a bandleader and guest artist at more than 50 jazz festivals in North America, Europe, China, and Japan and headlined at Symphony Space, Birdland, and Dizzy’s. (Hmmm, if she keeps this up she’ll be compared to Satchmo soon.) On July 19th, Skonberg’s quartet will perform at Satchmo’s former residence, the Louis Armstrong House Museum, as part of the venue’s Hot Jazz/Cool Garden summer concert series. In addition to great music and Skonberg’s pure, playful and sultry voice, attendees will be served Armstrong’s favorite dish, red beans ‘n’ rice, and sweet tea.
Details: Bria Skonberg Quartet, Louis Armstrong House Museum, 34-56 107th Street, Corona, July 19th, 2 pm, $18 in advance, includes a pass to tour the house which is valid for six months ($20 at the door without house pass.).
More information on the Hot Jazz/Cool Garden series is on the jump page.
Next week, people in a large, public lawn in Queens will follow the yellow brick roadas Dorothy Gale searches for a wizard who can allegedly return her to Kansas. Then, in late August, the same public green space will become supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, as per a nanny with an umbrella and magical powers.
It’s the 75th and 50th anniversaries of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs, which took place in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and it’s the 75th jubilee of The Wizard of Oz’s debut as well as the 50th anniversary of the Mary Poppins launch. The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation is celebrating these many milestones by hosting an outdoor screening of The Wizard of Oz (above) on July 9th and a showing of Mary Poppins (below) on August 20th in what Borough President Melinda Katz likes to call “The World’s Park.”
There will be dancing in the streets. Many, many streets…bars, cemeteries, gardens, historic houses, malls, parks, nonprofits, restaurants, stoops and triangles, too. On June 21st (aka the longest day of the year), Make Music New York will host a Summer Solstice festival consisting of more than 1,000 free concerts throughout the five boroughs. From 10 am to 10 pm, musicians of all persuasions — hip hop to opera, jazz to punk, high school bands to pop stars — will do their things. Queens, of course, will be in the center of the action. For example, South African artist Toya DeLazy will perform her unique blend of hip hop, jazz and electronica at LIC Landing (52-10 Center Boulevard, Long Island City) at 1 pm. Meanwhile from noon to 4 pm, the Queens Council on the Arts (37-11 35th Avenue, Astoria) will present Reggae artist Desmond followed by Instrumental Jazz Fusion by Mind Open. Six hours of music and dance are scheduled at the Spaceworks LIC Block Party (33-02 Skillman Avenue, LIC). All told, Astoria, Corona, Elmhurst, Glendale, Jackson Heights, Jamaica, LIC, Ridgewood and Sunnyside will host events.
Welcome to the new terms of engagement. Science museums have always offered hands-on exhibits and participatory programs, but now the New York Hall of Science is putting visitors in the driver’s seat and giving them the keys. With the newly launched Design Lab, attendees think, build, test, and refine their ideas, putting creative design and engineering to work. Located on the lower level of the Central Pavilion, the Design Lab is a permanent exhibition consisting of five visually and thematically distinct activity areas. Visitors use common, everyday materials to learn that expertise comes from experimentation, critical thinking, and collaboration. Here are the five activity areas:
Backstage, where visitors devise solutions to performance-based activities. During this first summer, visitors will make jointed shadow puppets out of index cards, fasteners, sticks and tape.
Sandbox (above), where museum-goers build large structures out of such materials as wooden dowels and rubber bands.
Studio (below), where visitors build small, tabletop structures and add their own creations to a collaborative project. This summer’s activity challenges participants to build structures from cardboard, circuits and pipe cleaners that would make their city a happier place.
Treehouse, a split-level area for experiments and activities requiring a vertical drop. The first activity in this space gets museum-goers to use pulleys, zip lines and other items to create a method to move objects between the two levels.
Maker Space, which actually opened in 2012, lets visitors use tools that convert design ideas into prototypes.
Details: Design Lab, New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Summer hours are Monday – Friday, 10:30 am – 4:30 pm; Saturday, 11 am – 5:30 pm; and Sunday, 10:30 am – 5:30 pm. Free with admission. Camp and school groups can reserve sessions for a fee at 718-699-0301.
Summer is about to be in full swing… and it’s time for youngsters to work on their swings — and jumps, sprints and putts. On July 1st, the City Parks Foundation kicks off its free 2014 Summer Sports Program in 12 green spaces in Queens. CityParks Tennisprovides free tennis lessons to children, ages six to 16, and concludes with tournaments at the Central Park Tennis Center and Flushing Meadows Tennis Center in mid-August. CityParks Golfprovides free lessons and equipment to boys and girls, ages six to 16. CityParks Track & Fieldgives kids, ages five to 16, the chance to learn the basics of the sport, from hurdles and relay races, to long jump, shot put and javelin throw. Participants then have the opportunity to compete in an organized meet at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island. The Queens schedule follows.
The controversial proposal to expand the Jackson Heights – Corona BID from 82nd Street to 104th Street along Roosevelt Avenue is coming up for a vote. The Times Ledger reports that ballots will be delivered to 1,500 addresses within the proposed BID at the end of June. The 82nd Street Partnership collected enough signatures from property and business owners, as well as residents, to move forward with the vote — the Partnership announced “overwhelming support” for the proposal late last year. The Department of Small Business Services will ultimately decide if the BID did enough outreach before they vote to approve the expansion. Then the BID moves to the Interagency Review Board before finally getting submitted to the City Council.
There’s been pushback from business owners regarding the BID expansion, with concerns that it will bring in real estate investors, chain stores, wealthier shoppers and tourists. Proponents of the BID argue that it will bring cleanliness, public safety, pedestrian safety and better public spaces to the area. To address some of the controversy, the 82nd Street Partnership shortened the BID proposal last year.
A Q’Stoner tipster was wondering what kind of supermarket was moving into the row of stores along 99th Street bordering LeFrak City, and it turns out it is the Chinese chain GW Supermarkets. It’s a small grocery store chain with eight locations throughout Boston, Maryland, Georgia, Virginia and two on Northern Boulevard in Flushing.
The grocer will occupy a large space that is now undergoing a massive renovation. (According to the GW Supermarket website, the store will have multiple delicatessens, as well as a produce and seafood selection.) It’s expected to open this summer. As our tipster says in regards to the rendering, “Apparently, they expect albinos and ghosts to shop there.” GMAP