10/30/14 1:00pm

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Sometimes Queens is so diverse it’s scary. Upcoming Halloween events include everything from senior events to youth events; cemetery fun to casino fun; and food-making to mask-making. And let’s not even begin to discuss all the great neighborhoods for trick-or-treating. To aid decision-making, the Queens Tourism Council suggests the following activities because they combine enjoyment with safety, enrichment, and even some sweet treats. They appear on the jump page.

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10/30/14 10:00am

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When you have the sort of interests that I do, a lot of time is spent looking through the little plexiglass windows of construction fences. Back in 2008, when the economy crashed and derailed a lot of the development plans, many of these temporary barriers became somewhat permanent fixtures. That’s no longer the case, obviously, as a surge of new construction is under way all over LIC. Unfortunately, one of the historic buildings we’ve already lost to this process is the former Neptune Meter Company factory building on Jackson Avenue nearby Court Square.

It’s not John Thomson’s Neptune Water meter company that we’ll miss though, instead it’s the street artist hub which was known as 5Pointz.

More after the jump… (more…)

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Queens Theatre + MuSE + Dance Entropy = Great Borough Synergy. This weekend, a Long Island City-based troupe will give three performances at a Flushing Meadows Corona Park venue with help from Astoria-based musicians in another example that creativity overflows in Queens. Simply titled “Valerie Green/Dance Entropy” in homage to its choreographer, this diverse program features the world premiere of Titanic.Si, (below) a performance piece based on the story of the Titanic with guest artists from Slovenia. The show’s other two pieces are Hinge, which celebrates the time-honored tradition of live music and dance with Multicultural Sonic Evolution; and Inexplicable Space, which combines movements and encounters amid steaming crystal balls and flying orbs inspired by fortune cookies (above).

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Details: Valerie Green/Dance Entropy, Queens Theatre, 14 United Nations Avenue South, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, November 1st at 2 pm and 8 pm, November 2nd at 3 pm, $25-$42.

Photos: Dance Entropy

10/27/14 11:00am

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Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the roof deck at the Pearson LIC, some 16 stories above Court Square here in Long Island City. The views from this spot are unparalleled, as it’s location next to the Sunnyside Yards allows for a seamless view of the horizon in any direction. I’ve gotten high in Long Island City before, by the way, last time it was with Melinda Katz.

As is my habit when presented with such vistas, I decided to shoot “stitched panorama” components. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it’s a “photoshop thing” which allows one to combine multiple images into singular wide angle ones. The odd shape of the frames in these shots is caused by me twisting about while trying to maintain the horizon level. Clicking on any of the shots in today’s post will take you out to my Flickr page, where progressively larger iterations of them can be accessed, all the way up to the originals, which might be as large as two to three feet across.

Center frame in this one is the mouth of Newtown Creek and the Freedom tower.

More after the jump… (more…)

10/10/14 1:00pm

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About two months ago, The Secret Theatre had to  launch an Indiegogo campaign to defray unforeseen NYC Department of Buildings fines and pay for required building upgrades. Well, the Long Island City-based arts organization exceeded its $10,000 fundraising goal, and it’s currently presenting more of its characteristically unique programming, including a camp, a short play competition, and a dance festival. More info on the jump page.

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10/09/14 11:00am

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Nondescript. That’s how you’d describe the structure found at the northern side of 47th Avenue, between 27th and 28th Streets, in Long Island City. You’d probably mention the fading paint of an advertisement for some sort of beer found on the facade, to distinguish it.

The modern day street address for this 1934 structure is found on the 28th Street side (46-24 28th Street), but mail sent to the offices of “E. J. Burke, Ltd., of New York, Dublin, London and Liverpool” was delivered to a long vanished secondary structure at 47-24 27th Street which was constructed around 1923. The company that resided here, a family business of sorts, built out the entire block from Skillman to 47th Avenue, and from 27th to 28th, after relocating from their digs on West 46th over in Manhattan.

At either address, you could count on the stout flowing. This was the official Guinness brewery in America, after all.

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10/06/14 11:00am

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An “intervention,” as the term is used in modernity, is when the family and friends of an addict or alcoholic gather to let the offending party know how their bad behavior is affecting the larger group. The idea is that the addict will be shamed into seeking some sort of professional treatment for their various issues. Clearly, things cannot continue as they are and the addict must mend their ways and conform to societal norms. There’s even a TV show called “Intervention” which presents the dramatic and emotional confrontations which ensue during these gatherings.

As everybody knows, those of us who live in Queens are dross consumerists. All of our time is spent at big box stores, fast food establishments, or just mindlessly sitting in traffic while going nowhere important. Work, breed, and die, that’s us. Brooklyn, on the other hand, has artisinal pickles, salty chocolate, and bacon ice cream. Queens needs to be more like Brooklyn, say the Brooklyn people. Well… that’s what everyone in Brooklyn and Manhattan thinks should happen around here.

Hence, the Queens Art Intervention was created, to expand our limited minds and offer a dab of color and smattering of high culture to our otherwise drab existence.

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09/29/14 1:00pm

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SculptureCenter continues to break the mold. Founded as The Clay Club in Brooklyn in 1928, the nonprofit changed its name and moved to a carriage house on West 8th Street in Manhattan in 1944. Four years later, it relocated to another carriage house on East 69th Street. In 2001, the arts institution purchased a former Long Island City trolley repair shop, which was then renovated by Maya Lin, the landscape artist who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C.

Recently, ScuptureCenter underwent another renovation and it now boasts a new 2,000 square foot, one-story entrance lobby with bookshop, coatroom, seating area, and restrooms; 6,500 square feet of flexible interior exhibition space; an elevator and stairway to the lower level galleries; and a 1,500-square-foot, enclosed courtyard for outdoor exhibitions and events.

Now it’s time to celebrate with a special, day-long event and a four-month exhibition. More information and photos are after the jump page.

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09/22/14 11:30am

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By 1915, there approximately 40,000 automotive trucks plying the streets of New York City.

What’s surprising is that 25 percent of them were electric.

This unassuming self storage warehouse in Queens is the last mortal remains of the General Electric Vehicle Company – found at 30-28 Starr Avenue, Long Island City – who were the manufacturers of a substantial number of those electrical trucks.

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09/18/14 11:00am

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The Doherty monument in First Calvary is one beautiful bit of carving, in my opinion.

Art school faculty, turtlenecked and smoking french cigarettes, would probably describe the thing as “Sophia, goddess of wisdom – in the form of a christian angel, sitting within a Roman structure, crowned by a cross – representing an agglutination of civilized democratic-christian progress advancing since the time of the Greeks and the Roman Republic which ultimately and inevitably (and logically) manifested as The United States. The angel casts her eye skyward, vigilant, with sword in hand. A pacific and expectant expression suggests the nearness of the second coming and resurrection of the dead.”

Such imperious and hyperbolic thinking was very much in vogue in the years between 1900 and the first World War.

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