04/22/15 1:00pm

JazzDay

Sometimes nine hours of great music in one day is just not enough. This Saturday, Flushing Town Hall will present a free, 10-hour celebration of jazz with performances and workshops.

Organized by the Queens Jazz OverGround, this annual event will highlight the talents of the many borough-based jazz musicians. Attendees will be able to watch student jazz combos and middle and high school bands during the day and seven Queens-based professional ensembles in the evening.

They will also be able to attend master classes and an educational workshop for children. Another photo and the schedule are on the jump page.

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04/22/15 12:00pm

123-33-83-avenue-kew-gardens-rental-living-room

This one-bedroom apartment in a Kew Gardens high-rise comes with excellent views and nice features. It was recently renovated with new hardwood floors, built-in AC units, and has new marble and tile in the bathroom. The kitchen is spacious, with a built-in microwave and dishwasher. The building itself has a new laundry room, a 24-hour concierge, and a private parking garage. Heat, hot water, and gas are included in the $2,200 monthly rent.

The Q10, QM18, Q60, and LIRR are all within walking distance. There’s a grocery store next door, a park and playground nearby, and dining options are down the street. Click through for more photos.

123-33 83 Avenue [The Silverstein Collection LLC] GMAP (more…)

1939 World's Fair, sjsu.edu 1

A World’s Fair brought the nations of the globe together for a celebration of culture, technology and commerce. Like the Olympics, cities and countries would lobby and fight for the opportunity to host this international event. Architects and visionaries dreamed up buildings and spaces that would reflect the best that modern civilization could be.

Scientists and inventors, innovators and merchants looked forward to introducing new wonders, even new foods and entertainments. A World’s Fair could be a glorious event. Especially in a time of economic disaster, with the threat of war hanging over the globe. That was the setting for the New York World’s Fair of 1939-1940.

There have been many great World’s Fairs. One of the greatest was the Chicago World’s Exhibition of 1893, which introduced the world to the wonders and power of electricity. It also ushered in the White Cities and City Beautiful Movements, which brought classical architecture to cities and towns across the nation, and gave New York City such structures as the Brooklyn Museum and Grand Army Plaza, Penn Station, the Municipal Building, the Met, and approach to the Manhattan Bridge.

In 1935, in the middle of the Great Depression, a group of Manhattan businessmen decided to form a committee and lobby for a World’s Fair in New York City. They thought that a grand international exhibition could help lift the economy of the city, and perhaps even the country, out of depression. (more…)

04/22/15 9:45am

Hatleberg2

It appears that this week’s activities are sponsored by the letter “F.” Fun-seekers can frolic with Flamenco, funny girls, foreign films, flea markets, festivals, a farm, a fling, a fair housing workshop, and a Flushing Bay cleanup. Here are the facts. (more…)

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04/21/15 1:00pm

ODH

This Wednesday marks the 45th anniversary of the first official Earth Day, which many people consider the birth of the modern environmental movement. Since it’s mid-week, there will be a few related activities on the actual day and additional ones over the weekend. Here’s a short list with information on the big Arbor Festival last.

  • Green Garden/Green Planet: Celebrate with urban gardening, sustainable art-making, hands-on workshops, and a spring garden tour with natural plant-and-backyard care tips. At 1 pm and 3 pm, participate in a workshop on starting flowers, herbs, and vegetables from seed and make a recycled bird feeder. Learn about recycling, composting, and local earth-friendly resources. Voelker Orth Museum, 149-19 38th Avenue, Flushing, April 22, 1 pm to 4 pm, $4/$3 for students and children/free for infants and toddlers.
  • Earth Day Craft and Mini Garden Tour: Celebrate by taking a stroll and making a botanically themed craft. Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, April 22, 3:30 pm, free.
  • Spring Fling for Earth Day: Celebrate by touring this historic house and its gardens, and enjoy crafts, games, music and entertainment. Onderdonk House, 1820 Flushing Avenue, Ridgewood, April 25, noon to 4 pm, $5.
  • Composting in the City: Celebrate with the NYC Compost Project, which teaches how to reduce waste and create “black gold” for gardens by composting leaves, kitchen scraps, garden trimmings, and weeds. Queens Botanical Garden, April 25, 1 pm to 3:30 pm, registration required via compost@queensbotanical.org, $5.
  • Let’s Talk About Pollution: Celebrate by learning how to help clean up Flushing Bay and Flushing Creek. There will be time to share stories and brainstorm solutions. Flushing YMCA, 138-46 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, April 25, 3 pm.
  • Arbor Festival: Activities for all ages, including a petting zoo, live music, food and craft vendors, compost demonstration and a beer tent. Queens Botanical Gardens, free with admission, but there are extra fees for some activities.

Photo: Onderdonk House

04/21/15 9:45am

jackie.robinson

In Major League Baseball, April 15th is Jackie Robinson Day, honoring the player who broke the barrier against African-American players participating in MLB. His first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers was on April 15, 1947.

In many ways Jackie Robinson was the most compelling player in major league baseball history. He was selected by Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey to break the MLB color barrier in 1947 (no African-American had been employed by a major league team since at least 1901, the beginning of the “modern era” of major league ball) after a sterling athletic record at UCLA, where he had lettered in track, football, baseball and basketball. Rickey needed a can’t-miss prospect, as well as a person who would be able to endure the inevitable racial nonsense that would arise in a sport where many players were from the deep South.

Robinson was a five-tool player who hit for average, and power (averaging 16 home runs per year),  possessed above average speed, and excellently threw and fielded his position (second base for his early years). Advancing age and diabetes slowed him down in 1956 and 1957; the Dodgers traded him to the Giants, who like the Dodgers were moving to California, but Robinson chose to retire. Jackie Robinson passed away in 1972, shortly after addressing a World Series crowd in Cincinnati. He is interred in Cypress Hills Cemetery, through which passes the parkway later named for him. In 1997 his uniform number, 42, was retired by every major league team, except for players already wearing it; the last one, legendary Yankee reliever Mariano Rivera, retired in 2013.

No borough-wide memorial had been named for him until 1997, when upon the 50th anniversary of his ascension to the Dodgers, New York State designated the entire route of the Interboro Parkway in his name. The above photo shows the Jackie Robinson Parkway at Jamaica Avenue.

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04/20/15 1:00pm

Flamenco1

Cha, cha, cha. Cha, cha, cha. Ah, flamenco! The music. The dancing. The hand clapping, finger snapping, and guitar jamming. There’s a reason why this Spanish/Gyspy art form has become popular all over the world: It’s awesome.

In fact, it’s so awesome that UNESCO declared it to be a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2010. And it’s so popular that there are now more flamenco academies in Japan than Spain.

From this Friday through May 10, Thalia Spanish Theatre will present an exciting show of traditional and contemporary flamenco that celebrates the various cultures that the genre brings together. (more…)

04/20/15 9:45am

bsQ_042015_kosbr_006

After the long cold winter so recently ended, there’s been a number of things which I’ve been making it a point to check up on, one of these is the focus of today’s post – the Kosciuszko Bridge project. The Kosciuszko Bridge spans my beloved Newtown Creek, carrying the Brooklyn Queens Expressway.

With its approach ramps, the 1939 era bridge is 2.1 miles long and considered one of the most dangerous structures in NYS. Governor Cuomo added the truss bridge to the “Fast Track” program and ordered the NYS DOT to replace it. Construction is well underway at this point, not that you’d really notice it from the roadway.

You need to visit DUKBO, Down Under the Kosciuszko Bridge Onramp, to see what’s going on.

More after the jump. (more…)