MarkHaydin

First, a definition: a “Bboy” is a breakdancer who performs for fun and/or money. (A “Bgirl” is a female who does the same.) Now, a second definition: a “Bboy battle” is a breakdancing competition with judges, a referee, sportscasters, ring models, and even a halftime show.

This Sunday, Queens Theatre will host the world’s first professional Bboy battle in breakdance history with the best in the business battling for bragging rights, a title, and $5,000 in cash prizes. The action-packed event will include floor routines, acrobatics, gymnastics, aerials, and even some martial arts with a live DJ spinning hip hop jams. Add to this a rap-dance show during the intermission and sportscasters engaging their online audience with play-by-play reports, replays, insight, and analysis. More details on the jump page.

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Circus Amok is known for its one-ring spectacles that manage to be outrageous, hilarious, political, and even sexy. The performers display traditional skills, such as juggling, acrobatics and clowning, but they also like to dance, do improv and mix gender roles. On January 24th, this troupe will bring its act to the Queens Museum to add spice to the Spooktacular Winter Ball. Attendees are encouraged to dust off their Halloween costumes and bring some tricks up their sleeves, while Circus Amok will provide the sideshow thrills. The lineup includes a heart-stopping scavenger hunt with fearless feather balancing; hippodrome bingo with genuine fake hippos; a palindrome parade through the world-famous Panorama; a big top bar; a ring toss raffle; and even clown face painting.

Details: Boo! The Winter Spooktacular Ball, Queens Museum, NYC Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, January 24th, 2 pm to 5 pm. Price range: $75 contribution (this is a fundraiser) for up to six tickets, six raffle tickets, and family membership; $150 contribution for up to six tickets, 12 raffle tickets, family membership, one VIP parking spot for the event, and the opportunity for advance sign-up for Big Time Summer Art Thing for Kids Summer Camp (placement not guaranteed); and $20 for a ticket, which includes one complimentary raffle ticket.

Photos: David Shankbone

01/15/15 11:00am

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In my last post I told you about an event attended on Saturday the tenth of January at the Queens Museum, which put a spotlight on the topographical relief map of the NYC water system. Despite hurdles offered by MTA and the weather, I somehow made it there from Astoria.

On Sunday the eleventh, a repeat of my journey to the institution, housed in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, was enacted. This time, the Queens Museum was merely the place where a walking tour of the so called Iron Triangle at Willets Point was meeting up, an excursion led by the official Queens Borough Historian – Dr. Jack Eichenbaum. I’ve been lucky enough to know him for a while now, and I’m pretty sure that we met during the Queensboro Bridge Centennial celebrations back in 2009. When I heard that he would be doing this tour, inquiries whether or not I could come along were made and he graciously invited me (and you Q’Stoners) along.

Here’s what we saw along the way – with lots of photos after the jump.

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Martin Luther King Weekend is coming up, and the Queens Museum will honor this transformative civil rights leader by holding its first-ever anti-bullying exhibition on Thursday and Friday. The event’s goal is to enlighten and educate those who face the social and emotional challenges related to this form of harassment via group readings, moderated discussions, and sponsors giving away resources. One highlight will be a book presentation by Southeast Queens resident Delicia B. Davis. Her Dear Diary series tells the story of Patricia Thomas, who lives with a violent mother and no father figure. The teenager documents her struggle in a diary which inspires and presents methods for overcoming bullying.

Details: Anti-Bullying Exhibition, Queens Museum, NYC Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, January 15th and January 16th, noon to 4 pm both days, free. (To participate in events with Delicia Davis and other special guests, send an email to preciseproductiongroup@gmail.com.)

Photo: Anti-Bullying Page

01/12/15 11:00am

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Saturday last, I headed over to the newly renovated Queens Museum at the former World’s Fair Grounds in Flushing Meadow Corona Park. The trip was a true bit of joy, given that I don’t own a car and the 7 train was undergoing one of its periodic spasms of maintenance work, so I had to get there from Astoria via a train ride to Forest Hills whereupon I was meant to catch a bus. The bus was leaving when I got out of the station, so I hailed a cab. Neither the cab driver nor his GPS seemed to have ever heard of the Queens Museum or Flushing Meadow Corona Park, but somehow I got there in time for a NYC H2O event celebrating the massive Watershed Relief Map which has been given a place of pride and honor at the institution.

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The map was prepared in the 1930s by the Work Projects Administration for the institutional ancestors of our modern Department of Environmental Protection – the Department of Water Supply, Gas, and Electricity and the Board of Water Supply. All city agencies were tasked with producing displays that depicted their functions for the World’s Fair of 1939, and the water people decided to go big.

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Watersheds

It was the greatest monument that nobody saw. The Cartographic Survey Force, a branch of the Works Progress Administration, constructed a 3D relief map of the New York City water system for the 1939 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Tapping mountain springs as far as 100 miles away, the water system was an engineering marvel at time, and the 32-feet-by-20-feet, wood-and-plaster replica was just as impressive. Plus, it had a $100,000 price tag – about $1.5 million today — during the Depression Era. Nevertheless, it went straight to storage. (Find out more on jump page.)

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Polit-Sheer-Form-Office consists of five Chinese artists who eat, drink, and play in a collective way of life associated with the Cultural Revolution — and its imposed communism — that they experienced as children. Each artist has a solo career, but each espouses a love of equality and a willingness to set aside the self for the betterment of the aggregate. More details and photos of this group’s work in Queens are on the jump page. (more…)

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It’s exciting. It’s loaded with top-notch talent. It’s free. And it’s climate-controlled. The USTA National Open Indoor Championship will take place at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center from December 26th through December 31st. While cold winds blow through the Arthur Ashe and Louis Armstrong stadiums outside, this competition will unfold at the venue’s indoor courts with daily action from 9 am until late at night. Some of the best players in the United States will vie for glory in five divisions: men’s singles and doubles; women’s singles and doubles; and mixed doubles. There’s nothing like sports drama, and spectators will be able to enjoy a new live streaming system and a cutting edge Daktronics LED scoreboard during some matches. 

Details: USTA National Men’s and Women’s Open Indoor Championships, USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, December 26th through December 31st, 9 am daily until matches finish, free. Plus, finals and awards brunch on December 31st at 10 am.

Photo: USTA

12/23/14 1:00pm

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It’s part Cascanueces, part Shchelkunchik, and mostly unique. This Saturday, four local performing arts schools will offer two presentations of a decidedly Queens version of The Nutcracker. Expect some ballet, of course, but be prepared for plenty of salsa, Arabian belly dance, Chinese jazz, hula hoops, and hip hop. The companies  – Mestizo Art CenterCali SalsaEC Squared Studio; and Uruzua Queens Center of Performing Arts – are all located in the heavy Hispanic neighborhoods of Jackson Heights, Corona, and Elmhurst, so there will be a Latin flair with a mix of solo and group acts.

Details: The Nutcracker (Queens Version), Queens Theatre, 14 United Nations Avenue South, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, December 27th, 4:30 pm and 7 pm, $20 suggested donation.

Photo: Uruzua Queens Center of Performing Arts

Queens Theatre Christmas Carol

If you attend this play, you’ll think about it whenever your hear the words “Bah humbug!” Today, the Titan Theatre Company launches a two-week run of its unique version of A Christmas Carol at Queens Theatre, where the group is currently in residence. Founded in 2009 in Western Queens, Titan’s mission is to perform classical theater with innovative, mind-expanding productions and fresh, powerful language. Titan will provide a cast of 12 adults and six children for this timeless Charles Dickens tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts from his past, present, and future.

Details: A Christmas Carol, Queens Theatre, 14 United Nations Avenue South, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, December 11th through December 21st, times vary (check here for the schedule), $30 each or four for $100).

Photo: Titan Theater Company