JHCorona-BID

Two important meetings are coming up this Thursday in regards to the proposed Jackson Heights – Corona BID. The 82nd Street Partnership, who is behind the proposal, will present their final district plan for the Business Improvement District. The organization is nearing the end of the public review process — a final vote to establish the BID will happen this summer. This meeting offers community stakeholders the opportunity to express their opinions on the proposal, which has caused some controversy. Attendees must sign up at the meeting, and will be limited to speak for two to three minutes.

This first meeting is Thursday, July 24th, from 8:30 am to 10:30 am at Aliento de Vida, 103-12 Roosevelt Avenue. The second meeting is also on Thursday, July 24th, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. That one is located at Sabor Latino Restaurant, 95-35 40th Road.

Public Meeting Notice [Jackson Heights - Corona BID]
All Jackson Heights – Corona BID coverage [Q'Stoner]

07/16/14 4:00pm

vision-zero-meeting

Jackson Heights and Corona residents, here’s your chance to participate in Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero street safety initiative! The goal of Vision Zero is to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries in New York City to zero. Tonight there will be a community workshop for these two neighborhoods in particular. Bring your ideas and suggestions in regards to safer biking and walking throughout the neighborhood, education and enforcement regarding street safety, and improved access points to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

The workshop begins at 7 pm tonight and lasts until 8:30. It’s at the Corona Public Library, 38-23 104th Street. Event details from Transportation Alternatives here.

07/14/14 1:00pm

Bria

Bria Skonberg is on fire! The trumpeter/vocalist/composer was recently nominated as “Up and Coming Jazz Artist of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists’ Association and she won a New York Bistro Award for “Outstanding Jazz Artist.” A Canadian transplant who can hula-hoop while playing, Skonberg (above) has performed as a bandleader and guest artist at more than 50 jazz festivals in North America, Europe, China, and Japan and headlined at Symphony Space, Birdland, and Dizzy’s. (Hmmm, if she keeps this up she’ll be compared to Satchmo soon.) On July 19th, Skonberg’s quartet will perform at Satchmo’s former residence, the Louis Armstrong House Museum, as part of the venue’s Hot Jazz/Cool Garden summer concert series. In addition to great music and Skonberg’s pure, playful and sultry voice, attendees will be served Armstrong’s favorite dish, red beans ‘n’ rice, and sweet tea.

Details: Bria Skonberg Quartet, Louis Armstrong House Museum, 34-56 107th Street, Corona, July 19th, 2 pm, $18 in advance, includes a pass to tour the house which is valid for six months ($20 at the door without house pass.).

More information on the Hot Jazz/Cool Garden series is on the jump page. 

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07/03/14 1:00pm

Wiz

Next week, people in a large, public lawn in Queens will follow the yellow brick road as Dorothy Gale searches for a wizard who can allegedly return her to Kansas. Then, in late August, the same public green space will become supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, as per a nanny with an umbrella and magical powers.

It’s the 75th and 50th anniversaries of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs, which took place in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and it’s the 75th jubilee of The Wizard of Oz’s debut as well as the 50th anniversary of the Mary Poppins launch. The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation is celebrating these many milestones by hosting an outdoor screening of The Wizard of Oz (above) on July 9th and a showing of Mary Poppins (below) on August 20th in what Borough President Melinda Katz likes to call “The World’s Park.”

Details after the jump. (more…)

06/13/14 1:00pm

182007_10150096929412890_4505404_n

There will be dancing in the streets. Many, many streets…bars, cemeteries, gardens, historic houses, malls, parks, nonprofits, restaurants, stoops and triangles, too. On June 21st (aka the longest day of the year), Make Music New York will host a Summer Solstice festival consisting of more than 1,000 free concerts throughout the five boroughs. From 10 am to 10 pm, musicians of all persuasions — hip hop to opera, jazz to punk, high school bands to pop stars — will do their things. Queens, of course, will be in the center of the action. For example, South African artist Toya DeLazy will perform her unique blend of hip hop, jazz and electronica at LIC Landing (52-10 Center Boulevard, Long Island City) at 1 pm. Meanwhile from noon to 4 pm, the Queens Council on the Arts (37-11 35th Avenue, Astoria) will present Reggae artist Desmond followed by Instrumental Jazz Fusion by Mind Open. Six hours of music and dance are scheduled at the Spaceworks LIC Block Party (33-02 Skillman Avenue, LIC). All told, Astoria, Corona, Elmhurst, Glendale, Jackson Heights, Jamaica, LIC, Ridgewood and Sunnyside will host events.

Click here for a complete list of all performers, venues, and times in Queens.

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06/11/14 1:00pm

CreditNYSCI

Welcome to the new terms of engagement. Science museums have always offered hands-on exhibits and participatory programs, but now the New York Hall of Science is putting visitors in the driver’s seat and giving them the keys. With the newly launched Design Lab, attendees think, build, test, and refine their ideas, putting creative design and engineering to work. Located on the lower level of the Central Pavilion, the Design Lab is a permanent exhibition consisting of five visually and thematically distinct activity areas. Visitors use common, everyday materials to learn that expertise comes from experimentation, critical thinking, and collaboration. Here are the five activity areas:

  • Backstage, where visitors devise solutions to performance-based activities. During this first summer, visitors will make jointed shadow puppets out of index cards, fasteners, sticks and tape.
  • Sandbox (above), where museum-goers build large structures out of such materials as wooden dowels and rubber bands.
  • Studio (below), where visitors build small, tabletop structures and add their own creations to a collaborative project. This summer’s activity challenges participants to build structures from cardboard, circuits and pipe cleaners that would make their city a happier place.
  • Treehouse, a split-level area for experiments and activities requiring a vertical drop. The first activity in this space gets museum-goers to use pulleys, zip lines and other items to create a method to move objects between the two levels.
  • Maker Space, which actually opened in 2012, lets visitors use tools that convert design ideas into prototypes.

Details: Design Lab, New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Summer hours are Monday – Friday, 10:30 am – 4:30 pm; Saturday, 11 am – 5:30 pm; and Sunday, 10:30 am – 5:30 pm. Free with admission. Camp and school groups can reserve sessions for a fee at 718-699-0301.

designlab_opening2

Photos: NYSCI

06/09/14 1:00pm

At Central Park

Summer is about to be in full swing… and it’s time for youngsters to work on their swings — and jumps, sprints and putts. On July 1st, the City Parks Foundation kicks off its free 2014 Summer Sports Program in 12 green spaces in Queens. CityParks Tennis provides free tennis lessons to children, ages six to 16, and concludes with tournaments at the Central Park Tennis Center and Flushing Meadows Tennis Center in mid-August. CityParks Golf provides free lessons and equipment to boys and girls, ages six to 16. CityParks Track & Field gives kids, ages five to 16, the chance to learn the basics of the sport, from hurdles and relay races, to long jump, shot put and javelin throw. Participants then have the opportunity to compete in an organized meet at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island. The Queens schedule follows.

CityParks Tennis presented by Chase

  • Astoria Park, Astoria South and 18th Street, Tuesday and Thursday, 9 am to noon;
  • Alley Pond Tennis Center, Union Turnpike, Grand Central Parkway and Winchester Boulevard, Tuesday and Thursday, 9 am to noon;
  • Baisley Park, 155th Street and 118th Avenue, Tuesday and Thursday, 1 pm to 4 pm;
  • Brookville Park, Brookville Boulevard and Southern Parkway, Monday and Wednesday, 1 pm to 4 pm;
  • Cunningham Park, Union Turnpike and 193rd Street, Monday and Wednesday, 9 am to noon, and Tuesday and Thursday, 9 am to noon (Intermediate);
  • Forest Park, Myrtle Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard, Monday and Wednesday, 1 pm to 4 pm;
  • Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Monday and Wednesday, 9 am to noon;
  • Flushing Memorial Field, 149th Street and 25th Avenue, Tuesday and Thursday, 1 pm to 4 pm;
  • Juniper Valley Park, 62nd Avenue and 80th Street, Monday and Wednesday, 9 am to noon, and Tuesday and Thursday, 9 am to noon (Intermediate); and
  • Kissena Park, Rose and Oak avenues, Tuesday and Thursday, 1 pm to 4 pm.

CityParks Golf presented by René Lacoste Foundation

  • Mario Fajardo Park Field 10, Kissena Boulevard and Booth Memorial Avenue, Monday and Wednesday, 9:30 am to 10:30 am (6-8 years), and 10:30 am to noon (9-16 years);
  • Alley Pond Park Field 1, Winchester Boulevard and Union Turnpike, Monday and Wednesday, 9:30 am to 10:30 am (6-8 years), and 10:30 am to noon (9-16 years);
  • Baisley Pond Park, Foch Boulevard and 155th Street, Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30 am to 10:30 am (6-8 years), and 10:30 am -to noon (9-16 years); and
  • Flushing Meadows Corona Park Field 11, 56th and Corona avenues, Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30 am to 10:30 am (6-8 years), and 10:30 am to noon.

CityParks Track & Field presented by EmblemHealth

  • Astoria Park, Astoria South and 18th Street, Monday and Wednesday, 9:30 am to 10:30 am (5-7 years), and 10:30 am to noon (8-16 years);
  • Juniper Valley Park, Juniper Boulevard and 71st Street, Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30 am to 10:30 am (5-7 years), and 10:30 am to noon (8-16 years);
  • Forest Park, Myrtle Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard, Monday and Wednesday, 9:30 am – 10:30 am (5-7 years), and 10:30 am to noon (8-16 years); and
  • Detective Keith L. Williams Park, 173rd Street and 105th Avenue, Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30 am – 10:30 am (5-7 years) and 10:30 am to noon (8-16 years).

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JHCorona-BID

The controversial proposal to expand the Jackson Heights – Corona BID from 82nd Street to 104th Street along Roosevelt Avenue is coming up for a vote. The Times Ledger reports that ballots will be delivered to 1,500 addresses within the proposed BID at the end of June. The 82nd Street Partnership collected enough signatures from property and business owners, as well as residents, to move forward with the vote — the Partnership announced “overwhelming support” for the proposal late last year. The Department of Small Business Services will ultimately decide if the BID did enough outreach before they vote to approve the expansion. Then the BID moves to the Interagency Review Board before finally getting submitted to the City Council.

There’s been pushback from business owners regarding the BID expansion, with concerns that it will bring in real estate investors, chain stores, wealthier shoppers and tourists. Proponents of the BID argue that it will bring cleanliness, public safety, pedestrian safety and better public spaces to the area. To address some of the controversy, the 82nd Street Partnership shortened the BID proposal last year.

Jax Heights BID Ready for Expansion Vote [Times Ledger]

05/27/14 2:00pm

asian-supermarket-queens

A Q’Stoner tipster was wondering what kind of supermarket was moving into the row of stores along 99th Street bordering LeFrak City, and it turns out it is the Chinese chain GW Supermarkets. It’s a small grocery store chain with eight locations throughout Boston, Maryland, Georgia, Virginia and two on Northern Boulevard in Flushing.

The grocer will occupy a large space that is now undergoing a massive renovation. (According to the GW Supermarket website, the store will have multiple delicatessens, as well as a produce and seafood selection.) It’s expected to open this summer. As our tipster says in regards to the rendering, “Apparently, they expect albinos and ghosts to shop there.” GMAP

05/21/14 1:00pm

MAS

Jack Eichenbaum grew up in Bayside in the 1950s. He left for academic and vocational reasons in 1963, and when he returned from completing his doctorate in urban geography in 1976, he found a completely different borough. The mostly white, working class neighborhoods of his youth had transformed into multi-ethnic enclaves, creating the world’s most diverse county. Fascinated, he started giving walking tours of his beloved hometown in the 1980s, and in 2010, Eichenbaum was designated the official historian of Queens, as per the borough president’s office. The former city assessor has five upcoming tours, which are famous for the amount of local trivia he shares and the great restaurants he hits afterwards with participants. For more information, please see below.

  • Willets Point, Sunday, May 25th, 4 pm: East of Citi Field is a sewerless, hardscrabble area of auto junkyards and related businesses that has twice beaten back recent attempts at redevelopment. But since it’s located between the world famous baseball stadium and booming Flushing, public and private interests are again trying to transform Willets Point. Eichenbaum will walk from central Flushing to the area, while discussing political, economic and ecological issues and explaining why “Willets Point” is a misnomer. $20.
  • The World of the 7 Train, Saturday, May 31st, 10 am: Eichenbaum calls this full-day program his “signature tour,” although it’s actually a series of six walks (Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights, Corona and Flushing) and connecting rides. He focuses on the 7 train’s influence on surrounding neighborhoods. Lunch is in Flushing. Pre-register via jaconet@aol.com.
  • On and Off Jamaica Avenue, Sunday, June 8th, 10 am: After decades of dedication, redesign, and redevelopment, Downtown Jamaica is undergoing a renaissance as the borough’s major transportation center. Eichenbaum promises historic buildings, commercial activity, culture, and a surprise ending. $20.
  • Crossing Newtown Creek: Contrasting Industrial Brooklyn & Queens, Sunday, July 27th, 10 am: See remnants of the intense and largely unregulated industrial development that thrived along Newtown Creek during the late 19th century. See elegant Greenpoint highlights and East River shoreline redevelopment ending with shoreline views from Gantry Park and Hunter’s Point.
  • More Space and New Arrangements in Western Queens, Sunday, August 3rd, 10 am: During the first third of the 20th century, Western Queens nurtured developments where traditional open space/building area relationships were altered to create new urban architecture. Sunnyside Gardens and the Jackson Heights Historic District anchor this tour, which includes Phipps Garden Apartments, various Matthews Flats, the Metropolitan Life houses, and early truck-oriented industrial buildings.

Photo: Alex Engel