08/31/15 1:00pm

Queens International Night Market Moves to Jamaica

The Queens International Night Market opened with a bang – not to mention Chinese barbecued squid, Argentine grilled steak, and Japanese octopus balls — last April. Based lightly on outdoor markets that are popular throughout Asia, more than 20 food tents set up shop in the New York Hall of Science’s 100,000-square-foot parking lot and thousands of hungry and curious people attended.

The food and fun continued and even grew on the following Saturday nights with hand-pulled noodles, shaved ice, and live entertainment. But on August 15, the bazaar had to close down due to logistical, calendar issues.

Now the magic is back, but not in the same location.

On September 5, the Queens International Night Market will re-open in the vicinity of 168th Street and 90th Avenue, about one block from the bus terminal in Jamaica. More than 100 independent vendors are expected to join the spectacle, which will run from 6 pm to midnight. John Wang, the organizer, plans to run the market through October 31. More details and another mouth-watering photo are on the jump page.

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08/28/15 1:00pm

Little Anthony and the Imperials at Resorts World

In 1957, a group known as The Chesters formed in New York City. They had a distinct, soulful doo wop sound with harmonies, and the lead singer, Jerome Anthony Gourdine, liked to sing in a high-pitched falsetto voice. A year later, they changed their name to Little Anthony & the Imperials and released their first hit, “Tears on My Pillow.” Then came “Shimmy, Shimmy Ko Ko Bop,” and “Goin’ Out of My Head.” Members came and left, and the group broke up and reunited a few times, but their songs were always popular and they always attracted large audiences.

Now, after almost 60 years in the music business, a 2009 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a completed farewell tour, Little Anthony & the Imperials are still going strong. On Sunday, August 30, they will perform at Resorts World Casino New York City in Jamaica. More details and another photo are on the jump page.

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08/25/15 1:00pm

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Percussion has the largest musical family. Instruments can be hit, scraped or shaken to create different pitches, notes, and sounds. Plus, they add rhythm and spice to everything from classical music to hip hop to jazz.

Two special upcoming Queens events are based on percussion. The first one is a harvest moon celebration at Flushing Town Hall on August 29. Grammy nominee Juan Gutiérrez, who directs the group Los Pleneros de la 21, will lead a workshop for all-comers followed by a group drumming circle. This San Juan native received the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship in 1996.

The other event involves African cadences. Details and a photo are on the jump page.

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08/24/15 1:00pm

Jamaica Back to School Festival

Notebooks? Check. Pencils! Check. Really fun event that helps ease the dread of the upcoming academic year? Check.

On Saturday, August 29, the 165th Street Mall will turn into a budding fashionista’s dream space with young models (ages 5 to 13) exhibiting the season’s new threads on a red carpet. Entitled “The JCKidz Back-to-School Fashion Show: Kidz w/Style and Confidence,” this power-packed event will showcase clothes by young designers Tyyann of Pinky Sez and Savanna of Savanna Banana, along with featured styles from children’s stores on Jamaica Avenue.

More information and another photo are on the jump page.

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08/11/15 1:00pm

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Walking westbound on Jamaica Avenue from 160th Street, pedestrians see a major transit hub, various fast food joints, commercial buildings, and other pedestrians with handheld devices and the ultimate in fashion and technology. But once they reach 153rd Street, they can take a right and trade the bustling modern city for an 18th century farm that now functions as a museum. King Manor takes its name from one-time owner Rufus King, a framer and signer of the Constitution, one of the first senators from New York State, the ambassador to Great Britain under four presidents, and an outspoken opponent of slavery.

Pedestrians who head to King Manor on August 14 or August 15 will meet artisans dressed in traditional garb and they’ll watch free demonstrations of crafts that were popular in the 1800s. They will also be able to enjoy traditional music on a hammered dulcimer and fiddle by the Triple-A String Band and tour the restored house to see rarely displayed objects from the collection.

One more photo, details on King Manor, and the schedule for Friday and Saturday’s program are on the jump page.

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08/05/15 1:00pm

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Put it this way: More than 200,000 participants and more than 500 vendors can’t be wrong.

It’s time for the 19th annual Jamaica Arts & Music Summer (JAMS) Festival. On Friday, a mega concert will take place in Rufus King Park from 5 pm to 10 pm. Toni Ann Semple, a Queens native who blends African and Native American rhythms into R&B and other genres, will headline the show. Ditto for Guyanese Christian singer Dallas Forte and DJ Jordan Knoxx, a locally bred “mixologist.”

On the following day, August 8, the Jamaica Avenue strip from 170th Street to Parsons Boulevard will be converted into a pedestrian-only zone. One section will host a classic car show, while another will offer a safe play area for children. More musicians will perform in another segment, and other areas will focus on food, health, and senior issues. More information and another photo are on the jump page.

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07/31/15 1:00pm

Sobers

He’s considered the best all-rounder (batsman and bowler) ever. Over his three-decade career, he played all over the world in international tournaments, professional leagues, exhibitions, and all star games. Now, he’s going to enjoy a Queens weekend.

Sir Garfield Sobers, a cricketer from Barbados who played for the West Indies squad between 1954 and 1974 and was knighted by Queens Elizabeth II in 1975, will participate in a Legends Weekend at Idlewild Park in Jamaica on Saturday and Sunday. The 79-year-old will join other phenomenons from the 1970s-1990s, such as Shivnarine Chanderpaul from Guyana, Gus Logie from Trinidad and Tobago, and fellow Barbados native Gordon Greenidge, in friendly matches against a New York City-based squad. More details on jump page.

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07/16/15 1:00pm

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Four-time Grammy Award winner Karen Clark Sheard is going to launch her new gospel album…and she wants to do it in Queens.

On Friday night, Sheard, who is known for her multi-octave vocal range, will introduce Destined to Win during a special concert at the Greater Allen AME Cathedral of New York in Jamaica.

She will share the stage with John P. Kee, who is known as “The Prince of Gospel Music.” With a soulful, husky voice, Kee is an inductee into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame with two Billboard awards, one Soul Train award, and seven Grammy nominations. He currently leads the New Life Fellowship Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Faith Evans, a seven-time Grammy nominee, will also perform as part of the show. Over her roughly two-decade career, Evans has released eight studio albums.

Photo by Greater Allen AME Cathedral of New York

06/26/15 1:00pm

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Over a five-decade career, Michael Bolton has sold more than 50 million records and won various American Music and Grammy awards. On Sunday, the pop rock balladeer takes his act to South Jamaica to headline Goovin’ in the Park.

Since its launch in 2001, this annual, all-day, outdoor concert has become a magnet for diverse talent with such past performers as Gladys Knight, Boyz 11 Men, Jimmy Cliff, and Patti LaBelle.

The tradition continues this year with Bolton joining R&B sensation Billy Ocean, whose hits include “Caribbean Queen” and “Loverboy,” and Judy Mowatt, a former background singer to Bob Marley who is currently enjoying a solo career. The Jamaican music acts Morgan Heritage, Cocoa Tea, Stitiche, and Capleton will perform, too.

Details: Groovin’ in the Park, Roy Wilkins Park, Merrick and Baisley boulevards, Jamaica, June 28, noon until nightfall, $59.95-$149.99.

Photo by Groovin in the Park

05/01/15 9:45am

In 1928 the New York State Education Department devised an initiative to mark places of historical significance, and over the next four decades, almost 2800 such markers were placed all over the state.

The signs themselves are marvels of design, in my opinion. Most of them feature dark blue backgrounds with gold raised block lettering and trim, though there are variations in color, lettering, and very occasionally shape, just to change it up, I imagine. The state discontinued the series in 1966 after high-speed travel on expressways became the norm.

This flickr page that assembles photos of the markers taken by various photographers illustrates the basic, simple and readable design of these signs.  (more…)