07/28/15 1:00pm
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It’s kind of like Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game — which pits superstars from one league against their counterparts in the other circuit — except with this challenge, everybody wins.

On August 1, Flushing Town Hall will host The Catskills Comes to Queens, a premiere farm-to-table, food-and-wine tasting with more than 20 chefs, pitmasters, and culinary artisans. Attendees will be able to walk around the venue’s outside garden, theater, and exhibition space, sampling such delicacies as rabbit mortadella hot dogs, lamb tagine, Cuban-Chinese spit-roasted goat, whole hog BBQ, and crispy tripe with Sichuan peppercorn and jalapeño. (more…)

07/24/15 1:00pm

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Poet and novelist George Dawes Green founded The Moth, a nonprofit dedicated to the art of storytelling, in 1997. His aim was to revive a favorite childhood pastime: spinning yarns with his buddies on his Georgia porch during hot summer nights while moths zoomed in and out of sight.

He ended up creating a phenomenon, and that’s no fish tale.

Currently, Green and his fellow Moth raconteurs run storytelling programs in almost 20 cities. Plus, they have a weekly podcast, a national public radio show that won a 2010 Peabody Award, and a book.

On Monday, July 27, The Moth spearheads a friendly “StorySlam” at Flushing Town Hall. The night’s theme is “business,” and anyone with a true (well, mostly true), five-minute narrative about a professional dealing can apply to participate.

The format is straightforward. Potential contestants put their names in The Moth Hat. Contenders take the stage (no notes allowed) after their names are randomly picked from the pool. Judges selected from the audience then choose the StorySLAM winner.

Details: The Moth StorySLAM, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing. July 27, 7 pm, $10.

Photo by Flushing Town Hall

07/22/15 1:00pm

NYSP

The New York State Pavilion has a tremendous history and an uncertain future. Designed by legendary architect Philip Johnson and built for the 1964 World’s Fair, it once had 100-foot columns suspending a 50,000 square-foot roof with multi-colored panels. It also boasted three towers (measuring 60 feet, 150 feet, and 226 feet, respectively) and a 26-foot replica of the St. Lawrence hydroelectric plant. Then there was Texaco’s map of New York State with 400-pound terrazzo mosaic panels. An estimated 51 million walked through it.

After the World’s Fair, the site was a concert venue — the Grateful Dead and the Rolling Stones played there — and even a roller rink. But it experienced years of neglect and abandonment until People for the Pavilion, an advocacy group, was launched about three years ago.

This Sunday, the Queens Historical Society will screen Modern Ruin, a documentary that was written, directed, and edited by Matthew Silva, who co-founded People for the Pavilion.

Details: Modern Ruin, Queens Historical Society, Weeping Beach Park, 143-35 37th Avenue, Flushing, July 26, 2:30 pm, $10 with limited seating.

Photo by New York State Pavilion Facebook Page

07/20/15 1:00pm

HtH

What is Antonio to do? He’s a well-respected community leader, but through a complex effort to help a friend in love he owes a pound of his own flesh to a man who despises him.

And what about that pathetic Sir John Falstaff? He devised a get-rich-quick scheme that backfired big time. Now he’s being humiliated bigger time.

These two scenarios come to eight Queens parks in July and August (the Bronx, Jersey City, and Southampton, too). The Hip to Hip Theatre Company is back for its ninth year, providing free, family-friendly performances of Shakespeare plays. This summer, Woodside-based co-founders Jason and Joy Marr have chosen The Merchant of Venice, a dark drama about a 16th century merchant, Antonio, who defaults on a loan from a moneylender, and The Merry Wives of Windsor, a comedy about a flat broke, alcoholic aristocrat, Sir John Falstaff, who tries to bed the wives of two rich men. However, the women are not amused and respond with a series of practical jokes.

The fun begins on Wednesday with Merchant at the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. On Thursday, Merry Wives plays at Crocheron Park in Bayside. Then, the professional actors do 17 more productions in such neighborhoods as Forest Park, Fresh Meadows, Long Island City, and Sunnyside.

Click here for the complete schedule.

Photo by Hip to Hip Theatre Company

07/17/15 1:00pm

Ewaste

The numbers just don’t add up. A glass bottle takes one million years to biodegrade, while a monofilament fishing line delays six centuries, and a plastic bottle takes 450 years. No wonder garbage dumps keep getting bigger and bigger.

Electronic waste is even more concerning. As it often contains lead, mercury, and cadmium, it is responsible for roughly 70 percent of the toxins in landfills, while making up only about 1 percent of their volume. That’s why e-waste recycling is required by state law as of January 1, 2015.

On Sunday, the Queens Botanical Garden will host a drop-off center for unwanted e-waste that will be disposed of in an environmentally responsible way that separates hazardous chemicals from water streams and the atmosphere.

Acceptable items include computers, fax machines, keyboards, printers, and scanners. (For a complete list, click here.) The event is sponsored by the Lower East Side Ecology Center.

Details: Summertime Electronic Waste Recycling Event, QBG Parking Lot, Crommelin Street between Blossom and Cherry avenues, Flushing, July 19, 10 am to 4 pm, free.

Bonus details: There will be a special workshop from 1 pm to 3 pm on July 19 during which children will be able to make crafts out of recycled and repurposed items.

Photo by Lower East Side Ecology Center

07/13/15 1:00pm

fno

On Thursday, the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce will host Flushing Night Out at Flushing Town Hall. It’ll be a social event with plenty of food, fashion, crafts, live performances, and an electronic dance music set by deejay Black Maroon.

The list of vendors includes the following: Snowdays (shaved ice cream); NY Makgeolli (Korean rice wine); Phil & Sons (Italian pizza); Dosa Hutt (Indian dosas); Odin’s Musubi (Hawaiian BBQ); Panda Café (bubble tea and shaved ice); J. Leather Goods (handcrafted leather fashion); W&T Seafood (raw oysters and shrimp cocktail); Peach and Lily (Korean cosmetics); and Sam’s Ice Cream (fried ice cream).

A second Flushing Night Out is scheduled for the same location on August 21.

Details: Flushing Night Out, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, July 16 and August 21, 6 pm to 11 pm, free.

Photo by Flushing Night Out

07/10/15 1:00pm

FG2

You won’t believe your ears or your pocketbooks. Queens is about to experience a streak of fantastic, free, outdoor concerts over the next five days. Listeners will be able to bring their folding chairs, blankets, and dancing shoes to Flushing, Long Island City, Queensbridge, and Sunnyside and enjoy everything from hip hop to polka to R&B. George Clinton, Parliament Funkadelic, and the Chi-Lites are the biggest acts, but some performers, such as minimalist musician Florent Ghys (above), are masters of lesser-known genres.

Here is the schedule:

  • The Glukh Polka Band plays polkas, waltzes, and polonaises at Flushing Town Hall on July 12 at 2 pm.
  • Florent Ghys mixes minimalist music with classical forms, musique concrète, and even clapping and hair dryers as part of the Bang on a Can series at Noguchi Museum on July 12 at 3 pm.
  • The Chi-Lites, a group from the 1970s Chicago scene that was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in 2000, kicks off the borough’s SummerStage series at Queensbridge Park on July 14 at 7 pm.
  • Gerard Carelli & His Orchestra do a wide variety of swing music in Juniper Valley Park on July 14 at 7 pm.
  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, bring their unique funk to Queensbridge Park as part of SummerStage on July 15 at 7 pm.
  • Yesterday and Today, a Beatles tribute band, jams near the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park on July 15 at 7 pm.
  • Large Professor, a hip hop star from Flushing, and Marley Marl, a hip hop star from Queensbridge, take the stage at Queensbridge Park as part of SummerStage on July 16 at 7 pm.
  • Alí Bello & The Sweet Wire Band perform Latin jazz fusion in Sunnyside’s Bliss Plaza on July 16 at 6:30 pm.
  • Soul Inscribed plays a mix of hip hop, dub, funk, and soul, while Jennifer Cendaña Armas tells diaspora stories as part of SummerStage in Queensbridge Park on July 17 at 7 pm.

Photo by Florent Ghys

07/07/15 1:00pm

fth

There’s unique. There’s really unique. There’s incredibly unique. And then there’s the new Dance in Queens program at Flushing Town Hall. Over six Thursdays, this six-part lecture-and-dance workshop series will get participants walking, talking, moving, and grooving to Chinese, Mexican, Korean, and Indian music and immigrant experiences.

The fun begins on July 9, when Jack Eichenbaum, the official Queens historian, leads a walking tour through Flushing with an emphasis on observing and discussing the neighborhood’s historic houses and modern day diversity. The rest of the schedule follows.

  • July 16: Queens Chinese Immigration and Dance Workshop with Ling Tang, who will teach traditional ribbon dance.
  • July 23: Mexican Immigration to New York and Dance Workshop with Alberto Lopez, co-founder of Calpulli Mexican Dance Company.
  • July 30: Flushing’s Koreatown and Dance Workshop with Song Hee Lee, who will discuss her personal story from principal dancer at the Pusan Metropolitan Dance Company in Korea to launching her own troupe in NYC. She will also teach sogo chum (small hand-drum dance).
  • August 6: Little India and Dance Workshop with Abha Roy, who will teach kathak, a classic dance form of northern India.
  • August 13: Artists from the series will participate in a “Talk-Back and Tasting” with finger food.

Details: Dance in Queens, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, July 9, July 16, July 23, July 30, August 6, August 13, tour starts at 6:30 pm, workshops start at 7 pm, $12/$6 for children.

Photo: Flushing Town Hall

BQ.pav2

A recent visit to the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows found the “modern ruin” in the midst of a makeover.

The Local Union 806 Structural Steel and Bridge Painters  are restoring the Pavilion in an attempt
to return it to its former glory. The repainting is slowly but surely making a difference.

The walls inside the “Tent of Tomorrow” have been restored to splendor. (more…)

07/01/15 1:00pm

Lego

There’s a camp for just about anything these days, but this one is unique, as it’s specifically designed to provide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)-based education without books.

From July 6 through July 31, Flushing Town Hall will offer LEGO Camp with Bricks 4 Kidz to children (ages 5-12). With full-day and half-day options, each week counselors will present a new design challenge to provoke spatial and critical thinking. The camp’s philosophy is that children learn best when engaging in hands-on, creative, and educational play. The weekly themes will include Amusement Park Camp, Space Adventure Camp, Super Hero Academy Camp, and Robotics.

Details: Lego Camp with Bricks 4 Kidz, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, July 6 through July 31, $225 a week for half day or $450 a week for full day or $800 per month to $1,600 per month.

Photo by Flushing Town Hall