07/29/15 1:00pm

Ryan Muir (hi-res)

If you can’t beat them, make your own show. After a second-place finish on a Jeopardy! episode, Noah Tarnow created The Big Quiz Thing, a team-based, multi-generational trivia contest in 2002. With questions about geography, history, pop culture, science, and sports, teams (sometimes families) compete against each other — with audience participation at times — in such categories as the Lightning Round and the Text Message Challenge. There are “Smart-Ass Points” for entertaining-but-incorrect answers.

On August 4, Quiz Thing will begin a residency at Q.E.D., an eclectic cafe/working space/hang out spot in Astoria. During the kick-off, Tarnow will divide the audience into groups that will compete using an interactive app/website with tablets and smartphones. Shows will continue on the first Tuesday of each month (September 1, October 6, etc.) with no confirmed end date.

NThashtag-Ryan Muir

Details: The Big Quiz Thing, Q.E.D., 27-16 23rd Avenue, Astoria, August 4, 7:30 pm, $8 in advance/$10 at the door.

Photos by Ryan Muir

07/14/15 9:30am

Hell_Gate_and_Triborough_Bridges_New_York_City_Queens

Astoria. Ditmars Boulevard. The subway signs on the R train advertised these outlandish, far-off locales as I boarded it in Bay Ridge, back when I lived there for the better part of three decades. But I never really thought to trouble this northwest section of Queens until I actually moved to the borough a couple of decades ago. (more…)

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

07/08/15 1:00pm

Athena

The moon just might hit your eye like a big pizza pie, and that just might be “amore.” Tonight, the Federation of Italian American Organizations of Queens will continue Italian Nights 2015, a series of live music and dancing at Astoria’s Athens Square Park that will take place every Wednesday night through August 26.

With a 7:30 pm starting time, attendees can expect everything from romantic crooning to lively dance music to jazz. The schedule follows.

  • Tony Pasquariello performs for those who love to dance and sing along to Neapolitan music tonight.
  • Tino croons Italian favorites from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s on July 15.
  • Andrea & Friends do Italian pop songs from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s on July 22.
  • Bruno Macari sings Italian classics while playing the keyboard on July 29.
  • International tenor Roberto Di Roma does old-time favorites from Central Italy with Mario Dispenza on mandolin and Joe Spadaro on guitar on August 5.
  • Filippo & Friends entertain will a diverse array of ditties on August 12.
  • Simona De Rosa sings Neapolitan jazz on August 19.
  • Marty Hroncich & Company close the series with songs and music from the Istria region and the Kvarner area of Croatia on August 26.

Details: Italian Nights 2015, Athens Square Park, 30th Street and 30th Avenue, Astoria, Wednesdays through August 26, 7:30 pm, free.

Photo by Athens Square Park

07/03/15 1:00pm

tour

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

06/25/15 12:00pm

21-29-71-street-astoria-queens-nyc-kitchen

Here’s a very nice three-bedroom, three-bath house in Astoria. The first floor is a duplex apartment with a basement. The basement has one of the bedrooms, the laundry room, a storage room, and a small bathroom. Both the first floor and the second floor have a bedroom, kitchen, and full bathroom. There is also access to a backyard and garage. The entire house looks recently renovated with new appliances, floors, and cabinets. Everything is very spacious as well.

The Q19 and Q69 are within walking distance, and the nearest trains (N,Q) are about a 20 minute walk. There is shopping and food options in the area and even more by the nearest trains. The ask is $1,075,000 with an estimated monthly mortgage of $4,044.04. There is an open house on Sunday, June 28. Click through for more photos.

21-29 71st Street [Keller Williams NYC] GMAP (more…)

06/23/15 1:00pm

Astoria

Get ready for four days of deep-fried Oreos.

The Astoria Park Festival 2015 will begin on Thursday and run through Sunday. Just like in past years, this family-friendly event will bring to the neighborhood an estimated 20 rides and live entertainment, not to mention some of the city’s most spectacular sunsets.

Attendees should expect the Dream Catcher, which spins around riders and moves them from left to right; Orient Express, a small roller coaster; a Ferris Wheel; and a fun house. (more…)

06/22/15 1:00pm

boo

These days, Astoria is known for its diverse restaurants, bustling commercial streets, and attached row houses. But the northwest Queens neighborhood also has a dark, lesser-known side.

That side includes “The White Lady,” a ghost who sometimes appears in the vicinity of 44th Street and 34th Avenue, according to locals. Some say she’s dressed like a high society woman. Others claim that her perfume fills the area when she’s out and about. (more…)

06/12/15 1:00pm

Wellington

The Welling Court Mural Project hit the scene in 2009 after residents of this Astoria microcosm invited Ad Hoc Art, a kind of think tank, to beautify their streets with urban images. The first unveiling took place in May 2010, with more than 44 murals of all colors, styles, and subject matter.

A tradition was born. Each year since, artists have come together to transform the area into a creative celebration and unique public art experience. (Organizers are quick to point out that it’s not graffiti because it’s commissioned.)
(more…)

05/28/15 1:00pm

Ayazama

There are many dress codes for this event. On Saturday, the Celebrate Astoria International Cultural Fest will fill Astoria Park with colorful costumes, beautiful music, and dazzling dances. The five-hour happening will perfectly demonstrate that Queens is a kaleidoscope, with performers from 11 different countries.

Scheduled entertainers — almost all of whom are local — include American Bolero Company, Ayazamana Ecuadorian Dance (above), Banatal Romanian Folklore, Bangladeshi Institute for Performing ArtsCalpulli Mexican Dance Company, Dahdoo Music of North Africa/Middle East, Filippo and the Songs of Italy, Issa Cabrera and her Brazilian folklore, Minbuza Japanese Folk Dance (below), Niall O’Leary School of Irish Dance, and Pontion Society Komninoi Dancers.

(more…)