On Sunday, December 6, seven Queens landmarks will open their doors to the public during the 28th Annual Holiday Historic House Tour. Sponsored by the Queens Historical Society, merry participants will be able to walk at their own pace to the different venues and take a dedicated shuttle from Flushing to Corona from 12:30 pm to 5 pm.
The participating sites — Bowne House; Flushing Town Hall; Friends Quaker Meeting; Kingsland Homestead; Lewis H. Latimer House Museum; Louis Armstrong House Museum; and Voelker Orth Museum Bird Sanctuary & Victorian Garden — will be decorated as they were during Christmas celebrations of yore to present a glimpse into their pasts. They will also offer special, time-honored activities, craft fairs, and refreshments.
More images and descriptions of the venues and their tour plans are on the jump page.
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.
His full name is Brian Douglas Wilson, and he’s a living legend. As a founding member of the Beach Boys, he has written (or co-written) more than 25 Top 40 hits, such as “Surfer Girl,” “I Get Around,” “Help Me Rhonda,” and “California Girls.” He’s also enjoyed a multi-faceted, six-decade career as an actor, band leader, musician, producer, singer, and voice-over actor.
This Friday, Wilson will launch his 2015 Fall Tour in Queens with his new band, which includes Al Jardine, another Beach Boys founder. More information and another photo of are on the jump page.
Modern day patrons of Flushing Town Hall are used to hearing great live jazz. They are also used to hearing many different accents, especially coming from natives of China, Korea, India, and Latin America. Well, this weekend will be a bit different. The jazz will still be great, but the accents will be French Canadian.
On Friday, the Alain Bédard Auguste Quintet will perform modern jazz, original compositions, and “catalytic improvisations” or jam sessions which are the brainchild Bédard, a pianist who founded the label Effendi Records.
Then on Saturday, the Yves Léveillé Quartet will play tunes inspired by jazz as well as classical and world music. A composer and pianist, Léveillé (above) is known for refined, melodious harmonies. He recently won the 2015 Opus award for best jazz concert in Quebec. A discount offer, more information, and a photo of Bédard are on the jump page.
All hail trees! They provide habitat and food for birds, insects, and other living creatures. Plus, they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Finally, they add value to a home, provide shade on a sunny day, and block wind.
All help trees! The NYC Parks Department is in the process of counting and mapping street trees throughout the city. The data collected will further the agency’s understanding of — and ability to care for — the city’s urban forest. The Parks Department estimates that only 25 percent of Flushing’s street trees have been mapped. The neighborhood was a nursery in the 19th century, but currently the area is losing its canopy due to increasing development and population.
All hands on deck for trees! Trees Count! 2015 is a volunteer-powered campaign to map, count, and care for all of NYC’s street trees. Organizers are currently recruiting do-gooders to canvass Flushing on September 26 from 9 am to noon. Volunteers will be trained on how to identify and assess street trees, using simple site surveying tools and software to map them block by block. For more information, contact Jennifer Sun at email@example.com and go to the jump page.
View of Citifield from the Passerelle Boardwalk over Corona Yard
With the recent completion of the United States Open tennis tournament at Arthur Ashe Stadium and the now-expected ascension of the New York Mets into the National League baseball playoffs for the first time since 2006, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park finds itself at the center of New York City’s professional sports life as summer 2015 draws to a close. Let’s take a look at some of these venues as well as the park itself. (more…)
There’s a lot of mystery surrounding “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Nobody knows the exact date that Shakespeare wrote this comedy. Plus some scholars argue that it was penned for an aristocratic wedding in England, while others opine that the Bard created it to celebrate the feast day of St. John. And then there are those fairies that pop in and out.
On September 19 and 20, the Queens Botanical Garden will add mysticism to the mysterious play, which portrays the adventures of four young Athenian lovers in a forest. The four plots will mix and match in the Flushing green space’s wooded area under the direction of Alex Schirling, a singer, producer, director, and stage manager who has worked for the Broadhollow Theatre Company and the Queens College Theatre Guild, where he also served as musical director. More information and another photo are on the jump page.
New York Fashion Week ends on September 17…and then the real styles hit the city.
On September 18, Mango, a international clothing company based in Barcelona, will host the F/W Runway Show at its Queens Crossing branch in Flushing. With the theme “70’s Revival,” the fun will feature various models showcasing a collection which is inspired by music icons from the 1970s. Leather coats, bell-bottom trousers, drainpipe trousers, and flowing blouses are a few of the garments on tap, while the designs glorify glam with low necklines and shiny details, imitating rockers such as Janis Joplin, Grace Slick, Patti Smith, and Blondie.
After the runway show, there will be a complimentary open bar. More details, the chance to register for free, and another photo are on the jump page.
Helen Keller (1880-1968) is best known for her triumphs over adversity. The “miracle worker” was the first deafblind person to graduate from Radcliffe College, and despite her lack of communication skills, she wrote 12 books and founded a large nonprofit to help people with disabilities.
But Keller actually battled her popular image. She was a proud activist and suffragette who was once under FBI surveillance due to her Marxist political views. She regularly contributed columns to the Socialist Party press and gave lectures on Communism across the United States.
She also lived in Forest Hills from 1917 to 1936.
On Sunday, the Queens Historical Society will screen The Real Helen Keller, a documentary that examines the flesh-and-blood woman behind the myth. The film is produced in spoken English and British Sign Language. Another photo of Keller and more information on the event are on the jump page.
Since the mid 1600s, the heart of Flushing (named by early Dutch cartographers Vlissingen, later bowdlerized to Flushing by the settling Brits) has been the T-shaped intersection of the present Main Street and Northern Boulevard. In its early years Flushing was a hotbed of religious conflict, as the New Netherland colony Director-General Peter Stuyvesant was intolerant of any other religion but the Dutch Reformed Church; the colonists’ burgeoning religious independence led to the creation of the Flushing Remonstrance, a display concerning which can be found at Flushing Library; and the travails of John Bowne, whose early-1660s home still stands on Bowne Street. (more…)