Lunar New Year is the single most important holiday of the year in many East Asian cultures. This year it falls officially on February 10, but the holiday really translates to a week or two of celebrations for many Queens residents of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan and Mongolian heritage.
The New Year is a time of getting together with family, paying respects to ancestors, enjoying great food, conjuring good luck, and celebrating the beginning of spring. Traditionally, the Lunar New Year is also like a communal birthday, with everyone turning a year older at the same time.
Here we’ve laid out some of the cultural traditions and special foods of each version of the holiday – and, of course, where you can celebrate in Queens.
Image source: Queens Tourism – New York City Councilman announces his support of the One Percent for Culture Campaign
On Tuesday at MOMA PS1, western Queens Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer announced his support for the One Percent For Culture Campaign, a campaign with the mission to demonstrate the value of culture to NYC by aiming to have the city to dedicate 1% of the budget to supporting the nonprofit cultural community. The Campaign spans the five boroughs and recognizes 1,200+ cultural organizations and individual artists throughout NYC who are dedicated to this message. The coalition has 245 members and is non-partisan, too.
Van Bramer’s support, “lends political clout to the rapidly growing coalition of cultural, business, civic leaders and artists throughout all five boroughs who recognize the vital role of the city’s 1,200-plus non-profit cultural organizations.” (more…)
Image Source: Queens Economic Development Corporation
Corona Cares for the Rockaways is a cultural festival/hurricane relief event at the newly refurbished Corona Plaza (GMAP). Enjoy an afternoon of diverse dance performances, concerts, children’s activities, and art. Plus, there will be a checkpoint where people can donate materials to a van that will make nonstop round trips to The Rockaways and back.
On Election Day, vote with your feet by heading to Long Island City for THROW, a performance-development series at The Chocolate Factory Theater. Curated and moderated by Sarah Maxfield, this installment will feature works-in-progress by Hadar Ahuvia, Tyler Ashley and Christina Masciotti.
Each artist will present 10-20 minutes of material without tech support and then ask the audience three targeted questions about what they just experienced. The answers will help the artists tweak their work.
This weekend in Queens brings a variety of activities for all ages! See a film screening, go to a Zumba party, a photowalk, and learn how to make paper and ! Check out our events calendar for even more things to do around the borough.
Image source: Rodrigo Achá on Wikimedia Commons – Palacios de govierno Bolivia in La Paz, Bolivia
Screening of Insurgentes – Celebrate the culture of Bolivia during the Hispanic Heritage Month 2012 at the Queens Museum of Art (GMAP) this Thursday at 6pm. Insurgentes is an activist film that follows two centuries of popular uprisings in Bolivia. A Q&A about the film will follow immediately after the screening. Admission to the QMA + screening is free! (more…)
OHNY: Hindu Temple Society of North America – openhousenewyork lets us inside the Hindu Temple Sri Maha Vallabha Ganapati Devasthanam (GMAP). One of the nation’s oldest and and largest temples founded by Hindu immigrants, this temple boasts of elaborately carved shrines/icons and is built with black granite stone imported from India and conforms to the ancient Hindu temple construction code. Come for a visit, today and tomorrow!
Flushing and Jackson Heights are home to some of the tastiest dumplings in the city. Here’s where to find the best.
Guo tie, Sliced Noodles – Flushing – The name of this outfit is Sliced Noodles, but it’s got some of the most gorgeous, and delicious, dumplings around. The guo tie ($4.75)—pork and chive pot stickers—are incredibly fresh. What makes them really special though is a cooking method that results in a mandala of deliciousness. The octet of juicy, delicate-skinned pot stickers are arranged in a radial pattern connected by a brown web of dough making for some incredibly fun eating. Don’t be surprised if your Chinese table mate asks, “What is that, a pancake?” Sliced Noodles, No. 12, New World Mall Food Court, 40-21 Main St., Flushing (GMAP)
Crab soup dumplings, Diverse Dim Sum – Flushing – The shrimp dumplings and other snacks at the strangely named Diverse Dim Sum in the Flushing Mall are all quite good by food court—and even dim sum parlor—standards. The real standout here though is crab meat xiao long bao (six for $7.50). The thin translucent skins of these Shanghai soup dumplings are packed with savory crustacean-flavored broth and crab meat. Take care when handling these delicate flavor bundles. It is possible both to scald one’s self and spill the delicate broth. The best course of action is to pluck one from the steamer, place it in a soup spoon , and nip a tiny hole in the side. Add some black vinegar and a bit of ginger and then slurp away. Diverse Dim Sum, Flushing Mall Food Court, 133-31 39th Ave., Flushing, 718-395-8188 (GMAP)
On Saturday, the Queens Museum of Art will make history at its opening reception for an ambitious exhibit, Caribbean: Crossroads of the World. The museum teamed up with both El Museo del Barrio and the Studio Museum in Harlem to bring visitors an impressive collection of over 400 rare works from the Haitian Revolution to the present.
According the press release, the show examines the “compelling and dramatic exploration of the Caribbean and its Diaspora…The project will advance understanding of the Caribbean as a crossroads for the modern world within the Western hemisphere.” The exhibit covers “themes ranging from the social impact of the plantation system to the stereotype of the islands as havens for outlaws and degenerates,” says the New Yorker. “Think: pirates, drug runners, and zombies.”
The show will be on view at all three museums, and at the Queens Museum through January 2013. If you pay for a visit at one museum, your ticket is good for admission to the other two sites as well.
The Chocolate Factory in Long Island City doesn’t make chocolate, but that’s its only shortcoming. The performance space has been written up in the New York Times to Artforum for its groundbreaking experimental work in dance, music and theater.
On May 15th, State Senator Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) honored Chocolate Factory co-founder and executive director Sheila Lewandowski as a “Woman of Distinction” for her work. In addition to leading the Chocolate Factory since 2004, she previously served as the first managing director of Queens Council on the Arts and co-founded A Taste of LIC – link to site, the neighborhood’s very own, and better run, GoogaMooga (get ready, it’s coming in June).
For years we drove past Ravel Hotel, always wondering what was happening on the roof. One day, we decided to investigate.
Apparently, it’s all the awesomeness we imagined. Located at 8-08 Queens Plaza South, this place is perfect for fancy time, but the prices are reasonable. On a Saturday afternoon, there was plenty of room on the hotel’s roof for a party.