01/14/16 9:00am

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Flushing’s RKO Keith’s Theater, a movie palace that opened in 1928, is now known for its long and troubled history. Notably, the Flushing developer Thomas Huang was found guilty of partially gutting the landmarked interior and dumping 10,000 gallons of oil in the basement during redevelopment. The building then moved on to a few different owners and has pretty much sat vacant for more than 20 years. (more…)

12/14/15 1:00pm

BeBe Winans at Kupferberg Center for the Arts

He’s a third-generation member of the First Family of Gospel. He has various Grammy awards in his trophy room. And now, he’s preparing for a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day concert in Flushing, and the host venue is offering discounts on ticket prices.

BeBe Winans, who is is known for “vocals that soar, harmonies that chime, and lyrics that touch the heart and soul,” will perform at the Kupferberg Center for the Arts on January 17 as part of a program that includes a keynote address from Reverend Floyd H. Flake, Senior Pastor of the Greater Allen AME Cathedral of New York, and a ceremony honoring Andrew Jackson, Executive Director of the Langston Hughes Community Library in Corona.

Tickets are $35, but readers of this blog can get 20 percent discounts by using the code “MLKKCA” before January 15, 2016. More information on the concert and another image are on the jump page.

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12/09/15 1:00pm

Lou Donaldson at Flushing Town Hall

They call him “Sweet Poppa,” and he’s arguably the best alto saxophonist of all time. Lou Donaldson found his sound — a jazzy, blues-drenched, soulful groove — in 1952. He continued to sweeten it over the years as a pioneer in the Bebop and Hard Bop genres, which feature fast tempos, instrumental skill, and improvisation. He made a series of classic recordings, most notably “Alligator Bogaloo,” during the 1950s and 1960s with Blue Note Records. On Saturday, December 12, he brings his quartet to Flushing Town Hall for a special concert. More information and another image are on the jump page.

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12/03/15 1:00pm

The Tchaikovsky Spectacular

It’s basically a “buy-one-get-three-free” deal.

On Saturday, December 5, the State Ballet Theatre of Russia will present highlights from The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and Sleeping Beauty during its well-traveled Tchaikovsky Spectacular at the Kupferberg Performing Arts Center’s Colden Auditorium in Flushing.

Attendees can expect a glittering production with spectacular athletic feats, ornate costumes, live classical music, and lavish sets. Some might also expect a sit-down dinner and/or the chance to meet Elsa from Disney’s Frozen. More information on these unique offers and two more images of the production are on the jump page.

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11/19/15 1:00pm

Holiday Historic House Tour

Now we know why Santa Claus is coming to town!

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.

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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.

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10/05/15 1:00pm

Brian Wilson performs at the Kupferberg Center

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.

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10/01/15 1:00pm

The Yves Léveillé Quartet at Flushing Town Hall

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.

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09/23/15 1:00pm

TreesCount! 2015 in Flushing

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 jennifer9280@gmail.com and go to the jump page.

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flushing-meadows-citifield

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.
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