12/18/14 4:00pm


Man, the Parks Department is really on a role with parks in Queens. They kicked off the community process for improving both Captain Tilly Park in Jamaica and Conch Playground in the Rockaways. Now they are holding a meeting regarding improvements for Louis Simeone Park in Corona. Tonight, the Parks Department is inviting the community to share input and feedback on what they would like to see in the upcoming renovations to Louis Simeone Park. It’ll take place from 6 to 8 pm at St. Paul the Apostle, 98-16 55th Avenue.

All three of these parts are a part of the Community Parks Initiative, a city-wide initiative to improve small and underutilized parks. The parks in Queens under this new program are Astoria Heights Playground, Bowne Playround in Flushing, Corona Mac Park/Simeone Louis Park, Grassmere Playground in the Far Rockaways, Rockaway Community Park/Conch Playground and the Van Alst Playground in Astoria.

Photo via NYC Parks

12/17/14 10:00am


Introducing “NoCo,” another ridiculous neighborhood name invented by brokers that is never gonna stick. According to DNAinfo, “The seller of newly built luxury condos on Northern Boulevard is calling the section of Corona “NoCo” to infuse it with some “cool” — but the moniker has confused residents who say they’ve never heard of the nickname.” Can’t say we’re surprised the nickname hasn’t spread like wildfire! The developments, located along Northern Boulevard west of 106th Street, include the Sage House Condos off 112th and the 106 Condos off 106th. And at 112th Place there are plans to build a convention center, which some developer claims will be called the “NoCo Convention Center.”

The website for 106 Condos states, “106 Point Condominiums is a new ground up development built along Northern Boulevard in the heart of North Corona; known affectionately by residents as ‘NoCo.’” Every resident DNAinfo spoke to said they had never heard of the name before. “No one has ever called anything NoCo over here,” a longtime resident said, “No one — and you can quote me on that.”

Welcome to ‘NoCo,’ the Corona Blocks With Luxury Apartments [DNAinfo]

Google Map via DNAinfo

12/10/14 1:00pm


The next chance to root for the Mets is during spring training in Florida. But the next chance to have a blast at Citi Field is this Saturday at the inaugural Winter Fest. Family-friendly fun is the focus with the mandatory meet-and-greet with Santa, as well as arts & crafts provided by Oriental Trading, appearances by Mr. and Mrs. Met, cookie decorating, winter-themed games, holiday décor, caroling, and specialty eggnog. There’s also a charitable aspect to the festivities, as the hosts, Metropolitan Hospitality, will raise funds for Toys for Tots, a nonprofit that collects new, unwrapped presents to distribute as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children. An array of New York legends put their creative imprint on official Major League baseballs. These decorated and autographed balls will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to Toys for Tots.

Details: Winter Fest, Citi Field, 123-01 Roosevelt Avenue, Corona/Flushing, December 13th, 1 pm to 5 pm, $10/$7 for children, free parking in Lot G for ticket-holders (enter at Hodges VIP Entrance).

Bonus detail: Attendees are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped donations to Toys for Tots.


Photos: Citi Field/Metropolitan Hospitality

12/09/14 1:00pm


Go ahead, deck the halls. But for real holiday inspiration, head over to any one of four fantastic concerts scheduled for this upcoming, jam-packed weekend. The fun begins on Friday with a special show at Queens Museum featuring the Corona Youth Orchestra, the Corona Children’s Orchestra, and the No Frontiers Children’s Orchestra playing Beethoven and other classics. There’s a double dose on Saturday, as the Forest Hills Choir performs a collection of choral pieces, such as “Magnificat” and “O Magnum Mysterium,” which honor the Virgin Mary. At night, the Queens College Choral Society, whose membership includes high school students and adults who have been with the group for more than 40 years, does Handel’s Messiah and other favorites with a full orchestra. Finish the fix — and get another dose of Handel’s Messiah – on Sunday when Our Lady of Martyrs Church’s Sacred Music Society joins forces with the Oratorio Society of Queens to offer an annual concert that always involves tremendous audience participation.

Four sets of details after the jump. (more…)

11/18/14 1:00pm


Remember: Whatever happens under the mistletoe, stays under the mistletoe. As part of the 27th Annual Holiday Historic House Tour, seven local landmarks will offer seasonal refreshments, organize time-honored activities, and provide glimpses of Christmas celebrations from as far back as the 17th century on Sunday, December 7th. Visitors will be able to check out any (or all) of the venues — Kingsland Homestead; Voelker Orth Museum; Lewis H. Latimer House Museum; Friends Meeting House; Flushing Town Hall; Bowne House; and Louis Armstrong House Museum — and a van will continuously run between sites from 1 pm to 5 pm.

After the jump, more information on each participating venue and its tour plans… (more…)

11/11/14 1:00pm


Guinness World Records 2014 declared last year’s model to be the largest in the world with 152 houses, 65 trees, five train cars, four cable cars, and an underground candy subway station. This year’s GingerBread Lane is even more impressive, weighing more than 5,000 pounds and stretching up more than seven feet in some spots. It contains only edible ingredients — gingerbread, icing, and candy — and creator/chef Jon Lovitch drafted, designed, planned, built, baked, decorated and made it by hand. Check out this exhibit’s busy schedule at the New York Hall of Science on the jump page.


10/27/14 1:00pm


Over the last dozen years of Louis Armstrong’s life, the jazz legend liked to joke that Jack Bradley was his “white son.” The famous composer/singer/trumpeter didn’t have any biological children, and he was black. But he and Bradley, a professional photographer and avid sailor, became extremely close after meeting through a mutual friend in 1959. As such, Bradley had almost unlimited access to Satchmo, and he took countless photos of the star while collecting more than 2,500 sound recordings, fan mail, set lists, diet charts, handwritten notes, laundry receipts, rare books, and figurines. Bradley is still alive today, but the Louis Armstrong House Museum acquired his collection in 2005. It took years to relocate all the treasures and then arrange, preserve, and catalog them, but the Corona museum unveiled the collection last week. Visitors can check out rare recordings from the 1920s; a Giardinelli trumpet mouthpiece; unique photos of Pops on the road; and photos of Armstrong at home shortly before his death on July 6th, 1971.

Details: The Jack Bradley Collection, Louis Armstrong House Museum, 34-56 107th Street, Corona, open Tuesday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm, and Saturday/Sunday, noon to 5 pm, $10/$7 for seniors, students, and children.

Photo: Louis Armstrong House Museum

10/22/14 1:00pm


Take me out to the Fall Fest. Take me out to Paint Nite. Don’t expect peanuts and crackerjack, but Citi Field is ready to rock during two upcoming events. On October 26th, the Mets home stadium’s field level concourse will host four hours of trick-or-treating, photo opportunities with Mr. and Mrs. Met, costume contests, pumpkin-carving, apple-dipping, and a mini Oktoberfest. Plus, the Mets and City Harvest will organize a food drive, and those who donate at least 10 items of nonperishable food will get a voucher for a pair of tickets to a game in April 2015. (Donors get 15 percent discounts on select, on-site merchandise too.)

On November 6th, the Flushing Nine and Metropolitan Hospitality will host the first ever Paint Nite at the ballpark. Each participant will take an art class and paint Citi Field on a 16” x 20” canvas to take home. More information on jump page.


10/08/14 1:00pm


Would you like to see how the Bowne House Restoration is proceeding? Or how about checking out the Sri Maha Vallabha Ganapati Devasthanam, which is also known as the Hindu Temple Society of North America or the Bowne Street Temple? What about the TWA Flight Center, Smiling HogsHead Ranch, LIC Community BoathouseLouis Armstrong House Museum, Noguchi, and the newly renovated SculptureCenter?

The 12th annual Open House New York Weekend will take place this Saturday and Sunday, and there are 36 listed nook and crannies to explore in Queens (although tours are starting to sell out…so hurry!)


09/18/14 10:00am


Queens has caught the participatory budgeting bug. DNAinfo reports that the latest district to welcome the community budgeting forum is District 21 under City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras — Corona, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and LeFrak City. This fall, residents of those neighborhoods will get the chance to propose how to spend $1,000,000 within the district. Residents commonly fund school improvements, street safety measures, park renovations and more.

There are three neighborhood assemblies scheduled to kick the process off. The first is happening on September 25th, 6:30 pm at Elmcor, 98-19 Astoria Boulevard in East Elmhurst. On October 1st, there’s another 6:30 pm meeting at Transfiguration of Christ Greek Orthodox Church, 38-05 98th Street in Corona. Finally, a 6:30 pm meeting on October 2nd at Sherwood Village Community Room, 55-25 98th Place, Corona. All of the meetings will have Spanish translators present.

All Participatory Budgeting coverage [Q'Stoner]