There will be movies from around the world — and around the corner. On March 4th, the fourth annual Queens World Film Festival will kick off a six-day moving image rampage of everything from feature films to shorts. Attendees can check out a dazzling selection of foreign flicks from such exotic ports of call as Belgium, Iran, India, Spain, Kosovo, Switzerland and Vietnam and enjoy the work of 18 borough-based auteurs. Like-minded films will be blocked together and will roll at Astoria’s Museum of the Moving Image, The Secret Theatre and Nesva Hotel in Long Island City and PS 69 in Jackson Heights. The fun starts with an opening night party featuring the world premiere of the director’s cut of the of 2014 Academy Award-nominated documentary The Act of Killing. Directed by English-born Joshua Oppenheimer, the movie portrays his country’s national guilt potentially exhumed by a love of movies.
In the early afternoon of February 7th, 1964, the Beatles arrived at JFK Airport via a Pan Am flight from London. A few minutes later, John, Paul, Ringo and George held their first U.S. press conference. Beatlemania ensued. This Friday, The Port Authority of NY & NJ, in conjunction with Beatles Fest and Radio Station Q104.3 FM, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of this world-changing moment with a ceremony featuring the unveiling a marker inside the airport and the cover band Liverpool playing Fab Four favorites. The fun continues on February 9th, when director and screenwriter Celeste Balducci hosts music, dancing and the world premiere of The Lovely Lilly, and independent short film set in Jackson Heights during February 8th-9th, 1964.
Details: Beatles Anniversary, TWA Flight Center at JFK’s Central Terminal Area, adjacent to JetBlue’s Terminal 5, February 7th, 11:30 am, RSVP to the Port Authority’s Media Relations Office at 212-435-7777 is required.
Bonus detail: Beatles Party, Elmhurst Hospital Center Auditorium, 79-01 Broadway, Elmhurst, February 9, 6 pm, free.
Welcome to the Q’Stoner food feature, Signature Dish! Once a week we check in with Queens restaurants and ask the owners about the all-time favorite dishes they serve. If you know of a dish you’d like to see featured here, please email email@example.com.
The Deal: The Indian waiter-service restaurant opened at the end of 2013. The owner, Jagdish Shetty, is from South India and serves regional specialties of both north and south India. The exclusively vegetarian menu can attract even meat-eaters with its spiced, spicy, and flavorful recipes. Each dish is made to order, and the kitchen will customize the dish to the customer’s preferred level of spiciness.
The Dish: The menu at Samudra features a large section dedicated to dosas, a South Indian crepe made from rice and lentils. Since opening, the top-selling dosa has been the Masala Dosa, filled with a spiced potato. The dish (pictured above) is served with coconut chutney, sambar, and tomato chili.
“If someone is unfamiliar with dosa, this would definitely be a great starter choice! It is mild, so even those with the most sensitive of tastes will enjoy it,” says Mandy Sprecher, the restaurant manager.
Diners who are more familiar with Indian foods (or who have a hardier spice tolerance) can try Shetty’s favorite, Rava Masala Dosa, which is also filled with the potato masala but the crepe is made with semolina and rice flour.
It definitely will not be a silent night. On December 21st, carolers of all talent levels will wind their way through Jackson Heights as part of the fifth annual, snow-or-shine Winter Holiday Sing-A-Long. The event strives to be as all-inclusive and multi-cultural as possible, and participants will sing seasonal and holiday favorites from various faiths and in various tongues, including American Sign Language, thanks to students and faculty from the Lexington School for the Deaf. Service animals are welcome, and Santa hats and other seasonal costumes are encouraged. Some revelers will bring acoustic instruments, sheet music, candles, flashlights and recording devices. The stroll begins in front of Cassidy’s Ale House at 31st Avenue and 75th Street, and the group will determine the route and the right time to head back to the neighborhood watering hole for a warm-up party at individual expense.
Details: Jackson Heights Winter Holiday Sing-A-Long, meet on the corner of 31st Avenue and 75th Street in front of Cassidy’s Ale House, December 21st, 7 pm to 10 pm, free with cash party afterward.
It’s scary how many Halloween-related festivals will take place in Queens over the next 10 days. On tap are everything from costume contests (for humans and dogs, of course), haunted houses, enchanted walks and Dia de los Muertos celebrations. Here is a list of some of the free or low-cost fun.
¡Qué Viva México! The Calpulli Dance Company was founded in 2003 with the mission of teaching and producing live music and theater promoting the rich diversity of Mexican culture. Success came almost immediately, and the Jackson Heights-based group has taken its fast-paced, emotive performances — not to mention the infectious music, mesmerizing movement and colorful costumes — to audiences around the world. This weekend, Calpulli returns to Queens Theatre for a ninth season to debut several brand new, original pieces over two shows.
On your marks… Get set… Eat! The tenth annual Queens Restaurant Week 2013 will run from September 30th to October 3rd and October 7th to October 10th with more than 60 eateries participating. A three-course, prix fixe dinner for $28 and lunch for $14 are the general parameters for the promotion, although some establishments will also offer wine or some other items, and many restaurants will continue their specials beyond October 10th. As to be expected in the world’s most diverse county, the cuisine options are boundless. Participating restaurants include Ben’s Best (Kosher, Rego Park), Christos (Astoria, steakhouse with Greek influence), Dazies (Sunnyside, Italian), Haveli (Forest Hills, Indian), Roka (Richmond Hill, Turkish), Tequila Sunrise (Bayside, Mexican) and Uncle Peter’s (Jackson Heights, pan-European).
Jeff Orlick isn’t living his dream, he’s eating it… and he wants to share. This Friday, the Jackson Heights-based culinary tour guide and the 82nd Street Partnership will host the outdoor food extravaganza Viva la Comida! A celebration of the borough’s culinary diversity, restaurants, bakeries and mobile vendors — including Tortas Neza (Mexican), Arepa Lady (Colombian), Chimi Express (inventors of the Dominican pizzatón), Morocho (Peruvian) and the debuting Tibetan momo truck Amdo — will sell their products along 82nd Street. However, food is only part of the fun. Gerardo Contino y Los Habaneros and other local bands will perform with a break at 8 pm for an open dance competition with prizes. Plus, Hibridos Collective will organize an interactive art fair, and Design For You will host a pop-up market featuring treats from such local favorites as Bittersweet NYC and Tropisec.
Details: Viva la Comida! by the 82nd Street Partnership, 82nd Street between Roosevelt and Baxter avenues, Jackson Heights, September 20th, 4 pm to 10 pm, free to attend. (more…)
This is your turn to shine! On Friday, Leni Schwendinger, who creates illuminated environments all over the world, and the 82nd Street Partnership, will lead a light-and-shadow tour through Jackson Heights. The following day Schwendinger and the partnership will facilitate a community-visioning workshop to discuss ways to make the neighborhood better and brighter. Schwendinger is known for works that energize landscapes and the built environment with the goal of connecting people to each other and their surroundings. Recent projects include Chroma Streams; Tide and Traffic, an integrated installation exploring the relationship between the traffic flow and the tide at Kingston Bridge in Glasgow, Scotland; and the Coney Island Parachute Jump, whose illumination reflects calendar events and tidal patterns.
Details: Light Talk/Light Walk, Meet at Jackson Heights Cinema, 40-31 82nd St., July 26, 8 pm; Light Planning Workshop, 82nd Street Partnership, 37-44 82nd St., 2nd Fl., Jackson Heights, July 27, 1 pm.RSVP here or contact sofia@82ndStreet.org.
Designed by William Delano and built in 1939, LaGuardia Airport’s Marine Air Terminal is one of two passenger terminals remaining from the first generation of USA air travel, dating back to the airport’s first days. (The other belongs to American Airlines.) LGA opened in October 1939 and the Marine Air Terminal was dedicated the following March, serving Pan American’s magnificent Yankee Clipper aircraft, seaplanes known as “flying boats.” Today it serves commuter airlines including the Delta Water Shuttle (a ferry service), air taxis, and a private weather station. (more…)