In 1831, the United States government forcibly relocated the Choctaw tribe from Mississippi to the Oklahoma territories. Many Choctaws died during the trip, known as “The Trail of Tears,” while many survivors faced tremendous hardships adapting to the cold weather. However, the Choctaw had a tradition of helping others and a mere 16 years later — during the height of the Irish Potato Famine in 1847 — they pooled resources and donated $170 to relief efforts on the Emerald Isle.
This weekend, Queens Museum and Queens Theatre will honor this act of generosity with An Irish Choctaw Thanksgiving, featuring live music, dance performances and screenings of inspiring films. Funds raised will go to Hour Children, a Long Island City-based nonprofit that works with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and their children, and No Kid Hungry Share Our Strength, a nonprofit that connects children in need to nutritious food.
If you’re anything like the average American, by the time that Friday rolls around, you are going to have to work off a few holiday pounds. Never fear, Brownstoner Queens come to the rescue with a recipe for edgy adventure in Western Queens.
Your first stop is Queens Plaza. That’s where you’ll find the combined pedestrian and bicycle lanes for the Queensboro Bridge, at the intersection of Crescent Street and Queens Plaza North. Personally, I’m a walker, but you this path works for bikes too. You’re going to want to cross the bridge, heading for Manhattan. One thing to keep in mind is how early the sun sets this time of year – which is around 4:30 in the afternoon this week.
The Queens hills are alive with the sound of music…high quality and diverse music. This weekend there’s something for just about every ear as bands are ready to play jazz, symphony, folk, classical, Irish, and bee bop. There’s even an autism-friendly trombone concert. Details on seven performances are after the jump.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.