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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06/13/14 1:00pm

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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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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

05/07/14 1:00pm

Dolly

By early 1964, Louis Armstrong had pretty much done it all. Thanks to his songs, movies, tours and TV appearances, he was beloved around the world. But on May 9, 1964, Pops outdid himself, replacing the Beatles at number one on the Billboard charts. “Hello Dolly,” his title song to a Broadway musical, ended the Fab Four’s 14-week run at the top with “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “She Loves You” and “Can’t Buy Me Love.” It was a miracle of sorts and to this day, Armstrong, who was 63 at the time, is still the oldest artist to attain a number one pop hit. Of course, the lads from Liverpool reclaimed the throne shortly thereafter, but “Hello, Dolly!” became the biggest hit of Satchmo’s lifetime. Plus, the tune had another successful round with the eponymous play’s film adaptation directed by Gene Kelly and starring Barbra Streisand and Walter Matthau. This Saturday, the Louis Armstrong House Museum and the Museum of the Moving Image will mark the 50th anniversary of the song’s triumph by co-presenting a Hello Dolly Party. Attendees will enjoy a special screening of the movie, a dessert reception and a presentation by Armstrong House archivist Ricky Riccardi, who will present rare footage of the great trumpeter’s performances. They will also receive complimentary passes to the Armstrong House at 34-56 107th Street in Corona.

Details: Hello Dolly Party, Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria, May 10th, 1 pm, $12, but free for members of either museum.

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05/02/14 1:00pm

SONY DSC

This is the real Mother of all Demos! This Sunday, the New York Hall of Science will host an annual event that is part marketplace, part county fair, part parenting exhibit and 100 percent unique. The Mamas Expo brings together local resources, businesses, educators, caretakers, performers, and of course, youngsters for a day of information, networking, and fun. This is the place to gain insight into schools, new products, services, and ways to improve the overall parenting experience. Imagine being able to learn about family financial planning, baby massage techniques and sleeping philosophies on the same day and under the same roof.

Details: Mamas Expo, New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Corona, May 4th, 10 am to 4 pm, $13-$45/free for children under 2.

SONY DSC

Photos: Mamas Expo

04/29/14 1:00pm

djkool

On August 11th, 1973, Kool DJ Herc and his sister Cindy organized a back-to-school party in the recreation room of a residential building at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx. The shindig is credited with launching the Hip Hop movement, although Queens played a huge role in the genre’s rise, thanks to Queensbridge native DJ Marley Marl, a veritable captain of the industry, and such mainstream talent as Run-DMC, LL Cool J and Salt-N-Pepa. On May 1st, Herc (above) and Marley Marl (after the jump) will spin records, talk shop, and bust rhymes at Queens Library’s central branch to kick off 31 Days of Non-Stop Hip Hop. During the entire month, the library will host free Hip Hop events at various branches throughout the borough. Here’s the schedule:

  • History of Hip Hop with Kool DJ Herc and DJ Marley Marl, Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica. Teens only. Free ticket is required. May 1st, 4 pm.
  • Who’s the Best MC: the Voice of Harlem and DJ Ted Smooth, Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue, Far Rockaway. May 2nd, 4 pm.
  • Family Day Jam: Zulu Nation, Langston Hughes Branch, 100-01 Northern Boulevard, Corona. May 3rd, 2 pm.
  • This week in Hip Hop (a web-only event), #HipHopElements. May 4th.
  • Who’s the Best MC: Actor and Personality Marc John Jeffries & DJ G-Money, Langston Hughes Branch, 100-01 Northern Boulevard, Corona. May 5th, 4 pm.
  • Queens Memory Hip Hop in Your ‘Hood. Share memories, memorabilia and photos. St. Albans Branch, 191-05 Linden Boulevard. May 6th, 5 pm.
  • Teen Fashion Entrepreneurs: Keith Perrin (founder of FUBU), Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue, Far Rockaway. May 6th, 4 pm.
  • Teen Fashion Entrepreneurs: Keith Perrin (founder of FUBU), Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue, Far Rockaway. May 7th, 4 pm.
  • Create your own music experience, Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica. May 8th, 4 pm.
  • Battle of the DJs: Media celeb Steph Lova & DJ G-Money, Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue, Far Rockaway. May 9th, 4 pm.
  • Hip Hop Book/Movie List – A Facebook event, #HipHopElements. May 10th.
  • Hip Hop College of Music & Arts: Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue, Far Rockaway. May 12th, 4 pm.
  • Hip Hop College of Music & Arts: Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue, Far Rockaway. May 13th, 4 pm.
  • Queens Memory Hip Hop in Your ‘Hood. Share memories, memorabilia and photos. St. Albans Branch, 191-05 Linden Boulevard. May 13th, 5 pm.
  • Hip Hop Book Review, Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica. May 14th, 4 pm.
  • Poetry Live: Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica. May 15th, 4 pm.
  • Break Dance Workshop: Langston Hughes Branch, 100-01 Northern Boulevard, Corona. May 16th, 4 pm.
  • Dance Competition: DUOLIVE (MC Fre and DJ Sid V), Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue, Far Rockaway. May 16th, 4 pm.
  • Family Day Jam: Zulu Nation, Arverne Branch, 312 Beach 54th Street. May 17th, 2 pm.
  • This week in Hip Hop (a web-only event), #HipHopElements. May 18th.
  • Break Dance Expo: Langston Hughes Branch, 100-01 Northern Boulevard, Corona. May 19th, 4 pm.
  • Create your own record label, Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue, Far Rockaway. May 20th, 4 pm.
  • Queens Memory Hip Hop in Your ‘Hood. Share memories, memorabilia and photos. St. Albans Branch, 191-05 Linden Boulevard. May 20th, 5 pm.
  • Create your own record label, Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue,  Far Rockaway. May 21st, 4 pm.
  • Create your own record label, Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue,  Far Rockaway. May 22nd, 4 pm.
  • Create your own record label, Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue, Far Rockaway. May 23rd, 4 pm.
  • Hip Hop Book/Movie List on Facebook, #HipHopElements. May 24th.
  • This week in Hip Hop (a web-only event), #HipHopElements. May 25th.
  • Hip Hop Elements Picture of The Day, #HipHopElements. May 26th.
  • Intro to Graffiti Art, Langston Hughes Branch, 100-01 Northern Boulevard, Corona. May 27th, 4 pm.
  • Graffiti Art Workshop: Langston Hughes Branch, 100-01 Northern Boulevard, Corona. May 28 4 pm.
  • Rock the Mic: DUOLIVE, Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue, Far Rockaway. May 28th, 4 pm.
  • Poetry & Art Showcase, Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica. May 29th, 4 pm.
  • Intro to the Entertainment Industry: “Uncle” Ralph McDaniels, Queens Library for Teens, 2002 Cornaga Avenue, Far Rockaway. May 30th, 4 pm.
  • A Visual History of Hip Hop: “Uncle” Ralph McDaniels, Langston Hughes Branch, 100-01 Northern Boulevard, Corona. May 31st, 2 pm.

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04/15/14 1:00pm

NLJ

It’s the New York City marathon for word lovers. Queens Writes Weekend 2014 will facilitate more than 12 literary events at a minimum of six venues throughout the world’s most diverse borough over the last weekend in April. The fun will start on Friday, April 25th, with an open reading at The Astoria Bookshop featuring contributors to the third issue of Newtown Literary, a semi-annual journal. On Saturday and Sunday, the events will differ, but authors of all kinds — young, old, novice, expert — will simply sit down together and write for a few hours. Participants will then share the products of their efforts at an open mic event at Terraza 7 in Elmhurst on Sunday night.

Details: Queens Writes Weekend 2014, begins with Kick-Off Reading at The Astoria Bookshop, 31-29 31st Street, Astoria, April 25th, 7 pm, click here for times and venues on April 26th and April 27th, ends at Wrap-Up Open Mic at Terraza 7, 40-19 Gleane Street, Elmhurst, April 27th, 6 pm, suggested donations at all times to defray the costs of publishing Newtown Literary‘s fourth edition and other good works. So far, events are set for Astoria, Bayside, Corona, Forest Hills, Jackson Heights and Kew Gardens, but more sites are expected to be confirmed before the weekend begins. Schedule and venues will be posted and updated regularly on this page.

Photo: Audrey Dimola

03/17/14 1:00pm

1000arms

It’s time to go crazy with love. Cirque du Soleil is going to perform this year’s smash Amaluna in a tent near Citi Field from March 20th to May 11th. Inspired by William Shakespeare’s The TempestAmaluna takes the audience to a mysterious island governed by goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon. In the wake of a storm caused by Queen Prospera, a group of young men lands on the island, triggering an epic, emotional story of love between Prospera’s princess daughter and a brave young suitor. The couple must face numerous demanding trials and overcome daunting setbacks before they can achieve mutual trust, faith and harmony. With tremendous acrobatics, dance moves and costumes, the story unfolds on a set featuring hand-crafted branches resembling bamboo, towering trees near the center stage’s edge, dense flora and a huge waterbowl. The musical score comes from an all-female band that features guitars supported by bass, drums, cello, vocals, keyboards and percussion.

Details: Amaluna, Citi Field Parking Lot, 123-01 Roosevelt Avenue, Corona, March 20th to May 11th, times vary, price vary tremendously with family-pack options, click here for times and prices.

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01/29/14 1:00pm

Satchmo

He had good reasons to sing “It’s a wonderful world.” In the 1950s, Louis Armstrong was the unofficial “Goodwill Ambassador” of the United States as his jazz music had fervent fans all over the planet. In 1957, the trumpeter toured South America, performing 67 concerts over six weeks in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Venezuela. Satchmo hung out musicians in Buenos Aires, spent time with President Juscelino Kubitschek and popular singer Cauby Peixoto in Brazil, graced the cover of periodicals in Chile and Uruguay, and performed a mock bullfight on stage in Caracas. The mementos he brought home — including records, tapes, magazines and photographs – are on display through April 30 as part of Señor Satchmo: Louis Armstrong in South America, an exhibit at his Corona house, which is now a museum (master bathroom below). During February, as part of Black History Month, each museum visitor will receive a complimentary, limited-edition photo of Armstrong in Buenos Aires in October 1957, wearing a catcher’s mask to protect his trumpet-playing lips and doing his best to avoid the mobs of adoring fans fighting for a chance to see and touch him.

Details: Señor Satchmo: Louis Armstrong in South America, Louis Armstrong House Museum, 34-56 107th Street, Corona, on display through April 30th, complimentary photo offer in February with admission ($10/$7 seniors, students and children/$6 group rate/free for children under four), museum hours are Tuesday to Friday, 10 am to 5 pm, and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 pm.

Bathroom

Photos by the LAHM

12/24/13 1:00pm

founder

Ah, the week after Christmas. The youngsters have no school and no outdoor place to blow off steam. They can stay at home and fight or they can bend, twist, light, sculpt and animate at workshops, demos, art installations and other activities at the New York Hall of Science. From December 27th to December 30, the Corona museum will offer daily theme projects, ice sculpting with Bill Bywater and a screening of Bag It, a movie in which Jeb Berrier embarks on a tour to unravel the plastic world. What starts as a film about plastic bags evolves into a wholesale investigation into plastic’s effects on oceans, environment and living creatures. Here’s a breakdown of the fun:

December 27th: Wire It (circuitry-based projects)

  • Hack an electronic toy with DiYAbility;
  • Turn recycled paper and cards into lanterns with LEDs, noon to 4 pm;
  • Recycle wire into Calder-like mobiles with Skraptacular, noon to 4 pm;
  • Reinvent the lightbulb, noon to 4 pm;
  • Create snowflakes using recycled materials, noon to 4 pm;
  • Ice sculpting by Bill Bywater, noon to 2 pm;
  • Ice sculpting demonstration with Bill Bywater, 2 pm;
  • One-on-one ice sculpting with Bill Bywater, 10-minute sessions at 3, 3:10, 3:20, 3:30 and 3:40 pm;
  • Origami with staff from Invent-abling, noon, 12:45, 1:30, 2:15 and 3 pm;
  • Screening of Bag It, 3:15 pm.

December 28th: Build It (3D design, building, architecture and printing)

  • Recycle Newspaper Building Challenge, noon to 4 pm;
  • Build the next city or skyscraper with Skraptacular using recycled materials, noon to 4 pm;
  • Make gingerbread houses under the guidance of GingerBread Lane creator Jon Lovitch, 2 to 4 pm;
  • Learn a variety of free and inexpensive building techniques with staff, noon to 4 pm;
  • Create unique snowflakes with recycled material, noon to 4 pm;
  • Ice sculpting by Bill Bywater, noon to 2 pm;
  • Ice sculpting demonstration by Bill Bywater, 2 pm;
  • One-on-one ice sculpting with Bill Bywater, 10-minute sessions at 3, 3:10, 3:20, 3:30 and 3:40 pm;
  • Screening of Bag It, 3:15 pm.

December 29th: Animate It (moving image and animation)

  • Watch a 15-minute selection of old cartoons and learn how film strips and old projectors work, noon to 4 pm;
  • Experience a new portrait technique with an animated photobooth, noon to 4 pm;
  • Learn how to repurpose animations into 3D sculptures with folks from Mappathon, noon to 4 pm;
  • Upcycle used DVD cases into animation travel kits and learn about Thaumatropes and other forms of animation with Unplug Kids, noon to 4 pm;
  • Create unique snowflakes using recycled materials, noon to 4 pm;
  • Ice sculpting by Bill Bywater, noon to 2 pm;
  • Ice sculpting demonstration by Bill Bywater, 2 pm;
  • One-on-one ice sculpting with Bill Bywater, 10-minute sessions at 3, 3:10, 3:20, 3:30 and 3:40 pm;
  • Screening of Bag It, 3:15 pm.

December 30th: Wear It (sewing, garments and accessories)

  • Make garments and accessories from recycled materials, noon to 4 pm;
  • Make a button or pendant from recycled materials, noon to 4 pm;
  • Beginner sewing sessions, noon and 12:45 pm;
  • Sew and use zippers to create cases for phones, tablets or laptops, 30-minute sessions, 1:30, 2:15 and 3 pm;
  • Learn about e-textiles and how to use fabric to build a switch with Invent-abling, noon to 4 pm;
  • E-textiles;
  • Use textile paint and stencils to remake garments or accessories, noon to 4 pm;
  • Hair and makeup by professional stylists, 1 to 3 pm;
  • Trashion Show Runway, 3:45 pm;
  • Create snowflakes using recycled materials, noon to 4 pm;
  • Ice sculpting by Bill Bywater, noon to 2 pm;
  • Ice sculpting demonstration by Bill Bywater, 2 pm;
  • One-on-one ice sculpting with Bill Bywater, 10-minute sessions at 3, 3:10, 3:20, 3:30 and 3:40 pm;
  • Screening of Bag It, 3:15 pm.

Details: ReMake the Holidays, New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Corona, December 27 and December 30, 9:30 am to 5 pm, December 28 and December 29, 10 am to 6 pm, free with admission ($8 to $11) except some activities cost extra. Plus, some activities are on a first-come, first serve basis.

Photo: Skraptacular