Chopsticks + Marrow, written by Joe DiStefano, covers food both inside and outside of Queens. He joins us here on QueensNYC each Thursday.
Sweet and cold, El Bohio’s shaved ice is a harbinger of even warmer days
Forget that groundhog. The real indicator of the arrival of warm weather is the ice cream man. Or in Corona, the shaved ice man, specifically the dude who sets up in the window in front of El Bohio Grocery. The other day after eating enough Thai food for an army I took a long walk up Roosevelt Avenue and was delighted to see that El Bohio’s shaved ice—or frio frio as Dominicans like to call it—was in full effect. (more…)
Spartans push their mind and body to their limits. They master their emotions. They run through woods and get dirty, facing almost impossible challenges. Plus, they compete in Spartan Race at Citi Field on April 13. The global leader in Obstacle Racing since 2005, this friendly competition was designed by seven ultra athletes and a Royal Marine. It features such fun activities as Spartan Beast and Death Race. With free admission for spectators (click here for mandatory RSVP info), a sound system will pump warrior-like music while the big video boards show live shots of the competitors.
The borough’s past and present will sound so beautiful. On April 9, Jamaica’s Center for Mediation Services will host Queens-based musicians who will play songs celebrating composers who once lived in the world’s most diverse county. The program will feature ”Wind Quintet” by Beata Moon (Forest Hills), “Quintet No. 2 for Winds” by James Cohn (Douglaston), “The Stuff of Comets” by Dylan Glatthorn (Astoria) and “Sincerita” by Christopher Caliendo (Jackson Heights). But the beat goes on. The concert will include music by past residents, including jazz by Louis Armstrong (Corona), the classical music of Soong Fu-Yuan (Briarwood), rags by Scott Joplin (buried in East Elmhurst), “Pavanne” by Morton Gould (Richmond Hill) and music from the Harry Potter films by John Williams (Flushing).
It’s Jazz Appreciation Month, and the living is easy! Schools, music societies, radio stations and enthusiasts around the country will celebrate this U.S.-born musical genre throughout April. In Corona, the Louis Armstrong House Museum will commemorate with tours featuring an ultra rare recording of Satchmo performing one of his all-time masterpieces, West End Blues, at Freedomland in 1961. This recording, which was recently donated to the Armstrong House by the son of Freedomland sound engineer Peter Denis, ties into the exhibit Louis Armstrong at Freedomland that runs all month. In addition, three rare, remastered CDs from the late Gösta Hägglöf‘s Ambassador Records label of Sweden — Because of You, 1950-1953; Heavenly Music, 1949-1957; and Moments to Remember, 1952-1956 — will be on sale in the gift shop. The month will end with International Jazz Day on April 30, and Armstrong House archivist Ricky Riccardi will lead a listening session and lecture starting at 2 pm.
Jazz Appreciation Month
April 2 to April 30
Louis Armstrong House Museum
34-56 107th Street, Corona
Tues.-Fri., 10am-5pm; Sat.-Sun., noon-5pm| $10
The Queens Tourism Council‘s slogan is “It’s in Queens!” But lately it seems like “Everything is in Queens!” Consider Cirque du Soleil, the world-renown, extremely respected traveling troupe known for breath-taking circus acts, eye-popping costumes, creative storylines and top-notch live music. Until May 12, TOTEM by Cirque du Soleil will run almost every night in a big tent by Citi Field. Inspired by creation myths, TOTEM traces the journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. Through visual and acrobatic language, more than 50 performers from roughly 20 countries evolve on a stage evoking a giant turtle, the symbol of origin for many ancient civilizations. Somewhere between science and legend, this extravaganza explores the ties that bind humans to other species. Queens has Major League Baseball, Grand Slam Tennis, the most diverse population in the world…and now it has Cirque du Soleil.
Totem by Cirque du Soleil
126-01 Roosevelt Avenue, Flushing
Through Sunday, May 12
Times and Days Vary | $45 and up
UPDATE: THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO AN EMERGENCY SURGERY. IT WILL BE RE-SCHEDULED AND THE NEW DATE WILL BE PROMOTED.
Queens will sound so beautiful. On March 23, the Flushing Branch Library will host borough-based world musicians who will play songs by past Queens residents. The program will feature woodwind quintets by Beata Moon (a resident of Forest Hills) and James Cohn (Douglaston), The Stuff of Comets by Dylan Glatthorn (Astoria), tangos by Christopher Caliendo (Jackson Heights) and the premiere of a new work based on Tibetan influence by Xinyan Li (Flushing). But the beat goes on. The concert will feature music by past residents including jazz by Louis Armstrong (Corona), rags by Scott Joplin (who is buried in St. Michael Cemetery in East Elmhurst), Pavanne by Pulitzer Prize-winner Morton Gould (Richmond Hill), music from the Harry Potter films by Academy Award-winner John Williams (Flushing) and William Grant Still’s theme song for the 1939 Worlds Fair.
February is Black History Month in the United States, and two Corona venues are participating in the NYC 5 Boro Passport to Culture Tour. Visitors to the Louis Armstrong House Museum and the Langston Hughes Community Library & Cultural Center can simply check in at each site and pick up a gift from Applebee’s. (Mention promo code NYCbhm for 10% off a meal purchase.) While supplies last, each Armstrong House guest will receive a rare 1931 photograph of Satchmo in New Orleans. An excerpt from the jazz legend’s own, never-before-published manuscript is printed on the reverse. Langston Hughes Library visitors can check out New York City’s largest circulating Black Heritage reading collection with roughly 40,000 volumes of material about Black Culture. In the other boroughs, the participating sites are the African Burial Ground National Monument, MoCADA, Harlem’s National Jazz Museum, Sandy Ground Historical Society Museum, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Weeksville Heritage Center and the Woodlawn Conservancy.
NYC Black History Month 5 Boro Tour
Langston Hughes Community Library & Cultural Center
100-01 Northern Boulevard, 2 Floor, Corona
Louis Armstrong House Museum
34-05 107th Street, Corona, NY 11368
February 1 through February 28
Hours vary by venue | Free
After helping Disneyland open in 1955, Cornelius Vanderbilt Wood Jr. set his sights on designing an amusement park in New York City. On June 19, 1960, Freedomland U.S.A. opened in the Bronx in front of roughly 63,000 guests. Though it closed after just five seasons due to crushing debt, ”The Worlds Largest Entertainment Center” hosted some of the era’s biggest talent, including Chubby Checker, Tony Bennett and Queens resident Louis Armstrong.