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

07/02/15 1:00pm

Ladybugs

It’s been an Independence Day tradition for many years.

The Louis Armstrong House Museum kicks off its ninth-annual, three-gig Hot Jazz/Cool Garden series on July 4 with sizzling live music, red beans and rice (Satchmo’s favorite), and sweet tea. The Ladybugs (above), a traditional jazz vocal group known for intricate harmonies, lead the way. With a repertoire that favors music from the 1920s-1940s, all band members sing while each one plays ukulele, guitar, trombone, bass or drums.

Jon-Erik Kellso & Friends will take to the outdoor stage in the museum’s garden on July 18. A trumpeter who started playing in a big band at age 11, Kellso has jammed all over the world with such greats as Wynton Marsalis and The EarRegulars. On Monday and Tuesday nights, he shares the stage with Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks at Iguana on West 54th Street in Manhattan.

The final concert stars Cynthia Sayer & Her Sparks Fly Quartet on August 15. Led by acclaimed banjoist/vocalist Sayer, this classic jazz core pays tribute to Louis Armstrong with an eclectic repertoire that also embraces other musical influences of the 1920s and 1930s.

Plus, the exhibit Red Beans & Ricely Yours: Louis Armstrong & Food will be on display at the house during these shows.

Details: Hot Jazz/Cool Garden 2015, Louis Armstrong House Museum, 34-56 107th Street, Corona, July 4, July 18 and August 15, 2 pm, $18/$45 for series subscription.

Photo by The Ladybugs

06/11/15 1:00pm

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On Monday, we posted about the Historic Jackson Heights Weekend, which features two days of walking tours around the neighborhood. This was accurate as far as it goes, but it deserves an amplification, as there are guided treks all around the borough this weekend.

On Saturday, official Queens historian Jack Eichenbaum gives his signature expedition, The World of the 7 Train. It’s actually a series of six walks along with subway rides. He discusses the history and impact of the 7 line, while stopping in Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights, Corona, and Flushing, where the event ends with lunch, probably at a Chinese restaurant. (more…)

04/09/15 9:30am

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Just in time for the warm weather, LeFrak City managers, local elected officials, and campus residents participated in a joyous ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday to announce a complete revamp of a recreation area.

Located partially over an underground parking garage in Corona, the West Courtyard now features a 39,200-square-foot space with two courts that can host a wide range of sports, especially basketball and tennis. The facility, which is connected to a new campus-wide security system, also contains paved walkways, benches, picnic tables, and newly planted trees and shrubs.

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04/02/15 1:00pm

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The ongoing battle over which borough has the best restaurants will have a friendly skirmish during Queens Taste 2015 in Corona on May 12. More than 50 restaurants, dessert makers, and beverage providers are getting ready to provide samples of their products to an expected 800 attendees at this annual celebration, which will take place at the New York Hall of Science this year. More information and more foodie photos are on the jump page.

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04/01/15 12:00pm

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Here’s a pretty spacious two-bedroom rental at 54-09 108th Street, in Corona. It’s a light-filled condo with hardwood floors, decent sized bedrooms, and lots of counter space in the kitchen.

You’d get your own private terrace, and there’s also laundry in the building.

The rent of $1,675 a month isn’t bad considering you’d be steps away from Flushing Meadows Park, the Zoo, and the Queens Museum. The mall, other shopping, and the M and R trains are all about a 20 minute walk away. Click through for more photos of the interior.

54-09 108th Street, #5 [Century 21 American Homes] GMAP (more…)

03/27/15 1:00pm

RazberryPhotography

Bacon…beer…baseball…be there! After taking rookie-of-the-year honors in 2014, the second annual Bacon and Beer Classic returns to Citi Field on April 25. Part of a traveling show hosted at Major League stadiums across the country (when the home team is away, of course), this Flushing feast will feature bacon-infused products from about 50 local restaurants and suds from local breweries, along with interactive games, cooking demos, and music. More details and a photo demonstrating the beauty of beer are on the jump page.

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03/13/15 2:00pm

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In the colonial era, mile markers were often placed along the main road to inform the traveler of how many miles there were to go to the nearest big town, or how far away you were from it. In NYC, the now-defunct Post Road in Manhattan, Kingsbridge Road in upper Manhattan (now a part of Broadway), Kings Highway in the town of New Utrecht (now Bensonhurst, Brooklyn), Northern Boulevard in Jackson Heights, and Ocean Parkway, built in the 1850s, all had such mile markers. Ocean Parkway, in fact, had half-mile markers, only one of which, the 3rd mile marker, is still in place.

Railroads, too, have mile markers. I have been riding the Port Washington Branch of the Long Island Rail Road regularly since 1992 and have noticed the occasional mile marker along the route. Recently, though, I nailed down where most of them were, though most are in spots to inaccessible to photograph without getting killed by a train or risking arrest. (more…)

JHCorona-BID1

Last month, Council Member Julissa Ferreras announced that an agreement was close to being reached to establish a Business Improvement District from 82nd Street to 104th Street along Roosevelt Avenue; now DNAinfo reports that an agreement was reached to allow more community input. Both Council Member Ferreras and the 82nd Street Partnership came up with a proposal that will better represent the small business owners who initially opposed the BID. A minimum of eight commercial and residential tenants will serve on the 25-member board, with representatives for both street vendors and the LGBTQ community. There will also be one youth board member. (Previously, only property owners were required to serve on the board.) Any BID decision will require the approval of 18 members.

There is, however, a group called Queens Neighborhoods United that still opposes the BID — last week the group delivered a petition with 200 signatures to City Hall. The BID isn’t officially established yet, as a final vote by property owners still needs to be taken.

Jackson Heights-Corona BID Board to Include Street Vendor, LGBTQ Reps [DNAinfo]
All Jackson Heights Corona BID coverage [Q’Stoner]

03/06/15 3:00pm

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Right on the heels of this rendering release for the new LaGuardia Convention Center, developers have announced that, well, they’re not building a convention center. Times Ledger reports that Fleet Financial Group has significantly scaled back its plans — it will no longer be a convention center, but rather a conference hotel. (The original plans called for 106,000 square feet that included a 25-story hotel, apartments and retail.) As one of the developers told the Ledger, “The reason we scaled down is because we are trying to take more consideration about the existing traffic conditions in the area.”

Fleet has not yet finalized the details or design of the hotel, which will be called The Eastern Emerald Hotel. The developers are now doing an environmental cleanup of the site and will then move on through a land use process. Guess we’ve got to say goodbye to those flashy renderings!

Plans for Convention Center in Corona Scaled Back to a Conference Hotel [Times Ledger]
All 112-21 Northern Boulevard coverage [Q’Stoner] GMAP