01/22/15 1:00pm

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Physics and geometry have never been so much fun! Greg Kennedy will perform Spherus, a nonverbal show with two accompanying aerial acrobats that incorporates trapeze, silks, and spinning hoops this Saturday at Flushing Town Hall. Trained as an engineer and a two-time international juggling champion, Kennedy spent five years with Cirque du Soleil. Now, he’s putting it all together with a juggling performance inter-spliced with video that illustrates and explains the principles of motion, light, energy, and gravity. For extra credit, he’ll give a workshop on creating beauty in motion after the show.

Details: Juggling Extravaganza, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, January 24th, 2:15 show, 3:30 pm workshop, $13/$8 for children.

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Photo: Flushing Town Hall

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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01/14/15 3:00pm

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Experience Korea and Japan for free without the jet lag this weekend. On Friday, Flushing Town Hall hosts the Korean world music group NorianMaro, which has 12 members who specialize in an innovative style of traditional performing arts with dance, music, singing, percussion, theater and multi-media. Expect colorful costumes, haunting chants, pulsing movements, dynamic drums, enchanting vocals, and imaginary narratives as the troupe takes the audience to Leodo, a fantasy island treasured by the people in Jeju, a beautiful province in Korea. More details and another photo on jump page.

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01/12/15 1:00pm

Dance Theatre of Harlem

The Kupferberg Center for the Arts begins its 2015 season and honors the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with an inspiring performance and a moving program this Sunday. The Dance Theatre of Harlem kicks things off with diverse pieces featuring movement to compositions ranging from classical works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Igor Stravinsky to modern soul ditties by James Brown and Aretha Franklin. With titles such as New Bach, In the Mirror of Her Mind, and Return, these numbers relay messages of self-reliance, artistic relevance, and individual responsibility. Another photo and details on the event’s other activities are on the jump page.

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01/06/15 1:00pm

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It’s time to tree-cycle and e-cycle. To promote eco-friendly practices — and help New Yorkers avoid a new state law imposing $100 fines on residents who leave electronics on the curb for pickup — the Queens Botanical Garden will  host the 12th annual E-Waste Recycling Event on Sunday. Done in partnership with the Lower East Side Ecology Center and sponsored by TekServe, this six-hour event allows participants to drop off unwanted or non-functional computers, printers, cell phones, video games, tablets, and other gadgets in the parking entrance. (Click here for a full list of acceptable items.) Garden employees will make sure that they are disposed of in the proper ecological way. On the same day and in the same spirit, the garden will host arts-and-crafts activities using recycled and repurposed items.

Meanwhile in response to recent holidays, the NYC Parks Department will host MulchFest 2015 all weekend at various spots throughout the five boroughs, including 13 Queens green spaces. Residents can bring trees to these spots to be recycled into mulch that will nourish plantings across the city. In some places, NYC Parks employees will chip the wood and give bags of mulch back to the tree donors. Details for all three events are on the jump page.

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12/17/14 1:00pm
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The legend lives on, but it won’t be pigeonholed. Trumpeter Theo Croker is both a bold newcomer on the jazz-soul scene and the grandson of arch-traditionalist trumpet legend Doc Cheatham, whose seven-decade, award-filled career ended on his death in 1997. Still in his twenties, Croker is deeply immersed in jazz , but he also writes and produces R&B, hip-hop, rap, and film scores, along with contemporary classical music. In addition to his grandfather, this 2006 Presser Music Foundation Award recipient lists Louis Armstrong, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, and Outkast among his influences. On Friday, Croker and his DVRK Funk outfit take their act to Flushing Town Hall. Expect some swinging jazz with trumpet, saxophone, drums, bass, piano…and general impunity. More details on jump page. (more…)
12/10/14 4:00pm

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Come and visit. You’ll like it. Lonely Planet named Queens the best tourism destination for 2015 this morning. The travel media company commended the borough “for topicality and buzz-worthiness,” while praising the food, diversity, hotels, events, and unique neighborhoods.

“Nowhere is the image of New York as the global melting pot truer than Queens,” reads Lonely Planet’s editorial in its Best in the US list for 2015. “Browse New York’s biggest Chinatown in Flushing, shop for brilliantly colored saris in Jackson Heights, and inhale the heady aromas of coffee and hookahs in Astoria.”

The editorial continues: “The incomparable array of world cuisines makes Queens a destination for food lovers from all parts of New York City. For your art fix, ogle the new upgrades to the Queens Museum and the Museum of the Moving Image, look for the new Emerging Artists Festival in Long Island City, and stroll Astoria’s new 24-block Kaufman Arts District. If you prefer sand and surf to paint and canvas, head to Rockaway.”

Western South Dakota came in second on the list. The other members of the top 10 were, in order, New Orleans (LA), the Colorado River, North Conway (NH), Indianapolis (IN), Greenville (SC), Oakland (CA), Duluth (MN), and the Mount Shasta Region (CA).

12/09/14 1:00pm

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Go ahead, deck the halls. But for real holiday inspiration, head over to any one of four fantastic concerts scheduled for this upcoming, jam-packed weekend. The fun begins on Friday with a special show at Queens Museum featuring the Corona Youth Orchestra, the Corona Children’s Orchestra, and the No Frontiers Children’s Orchestra playing Beethoven and other classics. There’s a double dose on Saturday, as the Forest Hills Choir performs a collection of choral pieces, such as “Magnificat” and “O Magnum Mysterium,” which honor the Virgin Mary. At night, the Queens College Choral Society, whose membership includes high school students and adults who have been with the group for more than 40 years, does Handel’s Messiah and other favorites with a full orchestra. Finish the fix — and get another dose of Handel’s Messiah – on Sunday when Our Lady of Martyrs Church’s Sacred Music Society joins forces with the Oratorio Society of Queens to offer an annual concert that always involves tremendous audience participation.

Four sets of details after the jump. (more…)

12/05/14 1:00pm

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This one really does keep on giving. Street artist Leon Reid IV‘s installation The Gift (above and below) is a geometric play on the traditional gift box. With its varying perspectives, it encourages viewers to think about the act of giving this holiday season. The piece will be illuminated in Flushing next Wednesday during a special ceremony featuring performances by Miss New York Teen and Miss Chinese Cosmos. Organized by the Queens Crossing shopping center and the Crossing Art gallery, the event kicks off the season in Flushing, while the outdoor, public-art project will remain through December 30th, encouraging the gifts of time, compassion, and love. 

Details: All Wrapped Up: Holiday Delights, Queens Crossing Outdoor Plaza, vicinity of 136-17 39th Avenue, Flushing, lighting ceremony on December 10th at 5:30 pm.

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Photos: Queens Crossing

12/03/14 1:00pm

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For some, it’s the official start of winter. For others, it’s the shortest day of the year in terms of daylight hours. Yet for still others, it’s the inspiration for spirit-filled rituals, dances, literature, mythology, and chanting. But for the Queens Botanical Garden, it’s the occasion for a concert by the talented, dynamic, all-male a cappella ensemble The Rough Dozen. The annual Winter Solstice Celebration on Sunday will also include a holiday marketplace, botanical craft workshops, a tree-lighting ceremony, seasonal refreshments, tours, and some face time with Santa Claus. Plus, the QBG Store will offer $5 discounts on any purchase of $25 or more for the entire day.

Details: Winter Solstice Celebration & Tree Lighting, Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, December 7th, 1 pm to 5 pm, free (admission is free from November 1st through March 31st).

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Top photo: Queens Botanical Garden; bottom photo: The Rough Dozen