Most don’t survive their third year, but the 5th Annual Queens World Film Festival is about to begin its six-day run on March 17, and it keeps growing and growing. A total of 116 flicks — of all imaginable lengths, themes, and languages — will screen at various venues in Astoria, Jackson Heights, the Kaufman Arts District, and Long Island City this year. But beforehand the organizers are going to hold a special night to introduce some of the filmmakers, festival directors, and special guests as well as show 10 trailers of selected movies. More information and another photo on jump page.
The owner of a group of retail buildings in the Jackson Heights Historic District has filed an application with the Landmarks Preservation Commission to build on top of the existing structure according to DNAinfo. The buildings at 84-11 through 84-23 37th Avenue are owned by Charlie Patel according to the website. He applied to the commission for permission to add a rooftop extension as well as to replace to windows and doors on the 1946 commercial building.
Since the building is in an historic district the landmarks commission must approve any changes visible from the street. Owners of the businesses in his building have not been notified of any impending construction and no date has yet been set for a hearing on the proposal.
This Jackson Heights condo has a lot going for it: three large bedrooms (the master bedroom has two exposures), a solid renovation and a large terrace, albeit one covered in Astroturf and bordered by a chain-link fence. The kitchen and bathrooms appear to have been redone recently. The building also has parking, a full-time doorman and an outdoor pool.
However, those amenities come with a price. Taxes are $650 a month and common charges are $1,240. What do you think of it for $550,000?
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 Center; Cali Salsa; EC 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.
Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way…through Jackson Heights. Instead of Prancer, Vixen, and Comet, a group of warmly dressed carolers will wind through local streets on Saturday night as part of the sixth annual Winter Holiday Sing-A-Long. Participants — representing a wide array of ages, races, and voices — will chant, hum, and croon Christmas tunes and other religious or seasonal favorites in every language that group members know, including American Sign Language, thanks to students and faculty from the Lexington School for the Deaf on 30th Avenue. Sheet music will be provided, and some will bring musical instruments. More details on jump page.
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).
On your marks! Get set! Go…to the closest Tibetan or Nepalese chef! Momo Crawl 2014 is set for Saturday, November 22nd, and this year’s goal is to eat through the pain. During this third annual event, participants will gather near the Jackson Heights Food Court marquee to receive copies of Momo Mandala Map 2014 from the organizer, Jeff Orlick. Then they will stroll at their leisure to roughly 20 participating restaurants and street vendors within a half-mile radius to buy these Himalayan dumplings (see above) for $1 each. Some vendors will add to the fun with special promotions. For example, at Gangjong Kitchen, crawlers will be able to win free dinners by successfully whistling after eating a momo with the special house sauce. Little Tibet will add its spice by offering momo-making lessons, drink specials, and even henna tattoos. At the end of the event, crawlers will meet at the Jackson Heights Food Court to vote on who deserves the coveted Momo Trophy (below).
Details: Momo Crawl 2014, Jackson Heights Food Court, 73-07 37th Road, Jackson Heights, November 22nd, 2 pm to 5 pm, pay Orlick three bills of any denomination to join the fun.
Queens is always teeming with fun, enriching, and inspiring activities, and this weekend is no exception. In fact, this Saturday’s lineup is so diverse and enthralling that it has inspired the Queens Tourism Council to offer prizes. It’s simple, anybody who takes a selfie at the four events described in this post and shares them on the QTC Facebook page receives an It’s In Queens tee-shirt (or another prize if supplies run out).
The first item is a public art project by Roshani Thakore and Fumi Nakamura entitled “Move with Us.” These artists (above) invite Queens immigrant residents to demonstrate physical stances in public spaces for an animated video illustrating collective cultural gestures. The goal is to collect 167 poses to represent 167 cultures, and each participant will receive a custom-designed luggage tag as a memento. Details: 12:30 pm to 3 pm, Queens Library Sunnyside Branch, 43-06 Greenpoint Avenue.
Some will sit on folding chairs. Others will lie on blankets. Still more will stand or maybe even sit on the curb. But all will certainly enjoy FLIC NIC in the Street in Jackson Heights this Saturday — and again next Saturday. The Queens World Film Festival and the Jackson Heights Green Alliance will offer two evenings of action, family, feature, international, local and short movies at the 78th Street Play Street, which is permanently closed to vehicular traffic.
Descriptions of the scheduled flicks are on the jump page.
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.