11/06/15 1:04pm

Queens Genocide Discussions

Many historians call it “the moment that changed everything,” because they consider it the German Third Reich’s first mass action against Jewish people — and the harbinger of things to come.

On November 9, 1938, anti-Semitic violence swept through Germany, Austria, and part of the occupied Czechoslovakian territories in what is now known as “Kristallnacht” or “The Night of Broken Glass.” As police stood by, Nazis and other anti-Semitic groups destroyed Jewish-owned businesses, wrecked their homes, killed randomly, burned synagogues, and generally brutalized as many Jews as possible.

A few borough activities will mark this anniversary with solemn, but interesting and even uplifting events.

On November 9, Sarah Lawrence College German literature professor Roland Dollinger will discuss Kristallnacht at the Central Queens Y. Then, the Forest Hills venue will screen Hitler’s Children, a documentary on the descendants of high-ranking Nazi leaders and how they struggle with the guilt and their families’ legacies.

The following day, November 10, the Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center in Bayside will host a panel discussion with three genocide survivors.

Hanne Liebmann was born in Germany in 1924. She was deported to the Gurs concentration camp in southern France in 1940. While her mother died in Auschwitz, Liebmann was rescued by the Children’s Aid Society and hid in a children’s home before using false papers to cross the border into Switzerland (and safety) in 1943.

Before turning 10, Jacqueline Murekatete had lost her entire family during the 1994 genocide by the Hutus against the Tutsis in the African country Rwanda. Currently, she runs Jacqueline’s Human Rights Corner and speaks in forums around the world on her genocide-prevention activities.

As a little girl, Adisada Dudic witnessed a major massacre in Srebrenica, a town in modern day Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 1995. Though the area was a United Nations-designated safe haven, Serbian soldiers killed more than 8,000 Bosnians there, while about 20,000 civilians fled. Dudic is currently an attorney in Washington, DC, who specializes in global immigration issues. She also helps maintain an extensive global immigration library.

Another image and information on a third event are on the jump page.


10/23/15 1:00pm

Ambassador Dennis Ross

Over the past three decades, nobody has worked harder to bring peace to the Middle East than Ambassador Dennis Ross. His career began with a position in the Pentagon during President Jimmy Carter’s administration. He then served as director of policy planning at the State Department for the first President George Bush, followed by a stint under President Bill Clinton, when he helped negotiate the 2000 Camp David talks, and a post as a special adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during President Barack Obama’s first term.

On Sunday at 3 pm, Ambassador Ross will discuss his new book, Doomed to Succeed: The U.S./Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama, at the Forest Hills Jewish Center. As the subtitle suggests, this book is not about the more frequently covered diplomacy efforts between Arabs and Israelis, but rather a history of Israel’s relationship with the United States. (President Harry S. Truman recognized Israel 11 minutes after the country declared statehood in 1948.)

More information on the event and a photo of Ambassador Ross are on the jump page.


Gilbert Gottfried at Queens Theatre

“The Comedian’s Comedian” is coming to Queens. A stand-up performer since age 15, Gilbert Gottfried hit the big time in 1980, when he became a cast member on Saturday Night Live. Known for his lack of political correctness and inability to obey boundaries, Gottfried also did a series of improvised promos for MTV, appeared regularly on Late Night with David Letterman, and had parts in Beverly Hills Cop II, Problem Child, and even as a parrot in the Disney animated film Aladdin.

On Saturday, August 22, Gottfried will perform at Queens Theatre as part of a fund-raiser for the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps, which serves Forest Hills and Rego Park with two New York State-certified ambulances and a first responder truck.

Gottfried is the main star, but there will be various opening acts by quality comedians and some other activities. More information and another photo are on the jump page.


08/04/15 9:45am


Last week, I showed BQ readers the highlights of my walk down the entire length of Metropolitan Avenue, from the East River waterfront all the way to its eastern end at Jamaica Avenue, with an emphasis on its Queens identity east of Newtown Creek. I only got us as far as 69th Street, just east of the last stop on the M train.

Metropolitan  Avenue is about 13 miles long, end to end, and today’s highlights cover a lot of territory from Middle Village to Forest Hills. If you’re not up to the challenge of walking the whole way, that’s fine: simply take the M to the end of the line and grab the B54 bus heading east, which runs nearly the entire length of the avenue with a detour into The Shops at Atlas Park.

The best way to see a neighborhood, though, is by putting one foot in front of the other; behind the wheel or the handlebars, there are other things to pay attention to, such as cars and traffic regulations.


07/20/15 1:00pm


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

07/03/15 1:00pm


On your mark. Get set. Go…but not too fast. On July 12, the eighth annual Tour de Queens will take participants on a roughly 20-mile loop that starts and ends in Astoria Park. Basically a rolling parade, the tour rides en masse at a family-friendly pace –about 10 mph — with NYPD escorts, volunteer safety marshals, and occasional stops at intersections to gather riders. This year’s route goes through Long Island City, Sunnyside, Rego Park, Forest Hills, and Corona with an optional rest stop with light snacks and water at Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village.

Proceeds go to Transportation Alternatives, a nonprofit that promotes bicycling, walking, and the use of public transit in New York City.

Details: Tour de Queens, meet in the Astoria Park parking lot off 19th Street and Hoyt Avenue North, Astoria, July 12, 8 am check in, $22.50.

Photo by Tour de Queens

06/05/15 12:00pm


This is a very spacious two-bedroom rental in Forest Hills. Both bedrooms are king-sized, and there is an extra dining room or office on top of a huge living room. The kitchen is a bit narrow, but the appliances are stainless steel including a dishwasher and built-in microwave. There is also laundry in the building. The monthly rent is $2,650.

The M and R trains are a quick walk from the building, and the E and F train the QM12, Q23, and Q60 buses are in the area too. There are grocery stores, pharmacies, and dining options all within walking distance. Click through for more photos.

68-09 Booth Street, #5J [The Silverstein Collection LLC] GMAP (more…)

05/21/15 1:00pm


The Woodside zip code – 11377 – lost more native sons during the Vietnam War than any other area in the United States. Many other neighborhood residents made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of their country over the past centuries, and 34 individuals who lived or worked in Woodside died during the Twin Tower terror attacks on September 11, 2001.

On Monday, members of the John V. Daniels VFW Post 2813 will honor veterans by placing a wreath at the flagpole at John Vincent Daniels Square near Roosevelt Avenue and 52nd Street at 11 am. Also, after a 10 am mass, the St. Sebastian War Veterans group will host a parade that kicks off from the St. Sebastian School parking lot at Woodside Avenue and 57th Street.

That’s only part of it. Queens has about 55,000 veteran residents, more than any other borough in New York City. It also hosts the country’s biggest Memorial Day parade (in Little Neck/Douglaston). Here’s a list of local parades scheduled for this weekend. (more…)

05/08/15 12:00pm


This one-bedroom condominium in Forest Hills is part of The Windsor, built in 2005. The kitchen has stainless steel appliances and a granite countertop peninsula. The unit includes its own washer and dryer. Building amenities include a 24-hour doorman, fitness center, and roof terrace. The monthly rent comes in at $2,600.

Willow Lake is three blocks away, and Forest Hills Stadium is two blocks away. There are plenty of shops, bars, and dining options nearby. The E, F/M, and R trains; Q60, QM18, Q23, and Q64 buses; and the Forest Hills LIRR station are all within walking distance. Click through for more photos.

107-24 71st Road, #4 [Madeleine Realty of Queens LTD] GMAP (more…)

05/01/15 9:45am

In 1928 the New York State Education Department devised an initiative to mark places of historical significance, and over the next four decades, almost 2800 such markers were placed all over the state.

The signs themselves are marvels of design, in my opinion. Most of them feature dark blue backgrounds with gold raised block lettering and trim, though there are variations in color, lettering, and very occasionally shape, just to change it up, I imagine. The state discontinued the series in 1966 after high-speed travel on expressways became the norm.

This flickr page that assembles photos of the markers taken by various photographers illustrates the basic, simple and readable design of these signs.  (more…)