07/30/15 1:00pm

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There’s strength in numbers, but there’s fun in words. A lot of fun.

This weekend, authors, booksellers, essayists, poets, and other verse enthusiasts will head to LIC Bar for the Queens NYC Lit Fest, a two-day celebration of the borough and its booming writing scene. Organized by Michael Geffner from The Inspired Word, this first annual extravaganza will feature scheduled readings by residents from around the borough, including Maria Lisella, the newly appointed Queens poet laureate, and Audrey Dimola, hostess of the reading-and-live-writing series Nature of the Muse. Plus, both days will begin with open mic time at 11 am. (First come, first served. Five-minute slots.) More information and another photo on jump page.

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07/29/15 1:00pm

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Five-time Grammy winner James Taylor comes to Queens to give a concert this week. He might want to arrive early and leave late so he can enjoy a huge foodie event, a ghost tour, outdoor movies, festivals and concerts, and even a chance to watch top-notch cricket. Here’s the rundown.

July 30, Doo Wop Concert, 7:30 pm. Golden Oldies from the 1950s and 1960s. Free. Astoria Park Great Lawn, Shore Boulevard between Hell Gate Bridge and Astoria Pool.

July 30, Haunting Histories and Legends of Astoria, 7:30 pm. This two-hour stroll visits some lesser-known historical sites and reveals tales of the neighborhood’s grim and ghostly past. Astoria is filled with tragic Hollywood film stars, voodoo, potters’ fields, grisly murders, poltergeists, hidden treasure, and deadly waters. $20/$25 at the door, location upon registration.

July 30, I Will Not Be Silent: A Comfort Woman’s Road to Activism, 6:30 pm. Yong Soo Lee, who was forced into prostitution by the Japanese during World War II, speaks. Special presentations by Holocaust survivors. Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center, Queensborough Community College, 222-05 56th Avenue, Bayside. (more…)

07/23/15 1:00pm

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It’s a chance to make history or at least take part in it.

The Greater Astoria Historical Society is going to host two unique parties this summer. From 1 pm to 4 pm on July 25 and again on August 8, all are invited to the Long Island City headquarters to scan old photos.

Do you have any pictures of the old neighborhood or beloved family members? This is the way they can achieve immortality. Agency members will scan the photos, return them to attendees, and then include the images in their archives.

It’s free, but the impact might be priceless.

Details: Summer Scan Party, Greater Astoria Historical Society, 35-20 Broadway, Long Island City, July 25, 1 pm, free.

Photo by Greater Astoria Historical Society

07/22/15 11:00am

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Outside. Outside. Outside. There are very few indoor events in Queens this week. Whether theater, film, music, magic, a brew fest or an American Indian pow wow, it’s happening under the sky and stars. The exceptions include tango dance lessons, a story-telling contest, and a scanning party. The details follow.

July 23, The Merry Wives of Windsor, 7:30 pm. The Hip to Hip Theatre Company presents a Shakespeare classic with seduction, temptation, mayhem, and hilarity. Children’s program at 7 pm. Free. Crocheron Park, 35th Avenue and Cross Island Parkway, across from Golden Pond, Bayside.

July 23, Johnny Cash Tribute, 7:30 pm. Michael Patrick’s Ring of Fire Band takes the audience on a journey through the struggles, challenges, and adventures that Johnny Cash sang about. Free. Astoria Park Great Lawn, Shore Boulevard between Hell Gate Bridge and the public pool, Astoria.

July 23, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, sunset. Outdoor screening of an all time Hollywood classic. Free. Hunters Point South Park, Center Boulevard and 51st Avenue, Long Island City.

July 23, The Moveable Feast, 7 pm. Outdoor film screening of a Chinese movie with English subtitles. Free. Queens Museum, NYC Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

July 23, Tango Dance Classes, 7:30 pm. Learn how to dance like an Argentine. $25. Thalía Spanish Theatre, 41-17 Greenpoint Avenue, Sunnyside.

July 24, 37th Annual Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Pow Wow, through July 26. New York City’s oldest and largest pow wow features three days of intertribal Native American dance competitions. More than 40 nations are represented, and a large selection of unique Native American art, crafts, jewelry, and food are available. $10/$15 for weekend pass and $5/$7 for children. Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park.

July 24, Queens Symphony Orchestra Salon Concerts, 5 pm. A popular series returns with an evening of summer strings and post-performance talks about the pieces played and the lives of the composers. Free. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing.

July 24, Rural Route Film Festival, through July 26. This 11th annual series screens 19 films about rural life from 16 countries (and all seven continents), with filmmakers in person and live musical performances. $12/$9 seniors and students. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Kaufman Arts District.

July 25, Botanical Brew Fest, noon to 3 pm or 4 pm to 7 pm. Enjoy a selection of craft beers from local and international breweries, plus food and live music. Tickets required, ages 21+ only, early bird tickets for $35 through July 24, $50 at the gate. Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main Street, Flushing.

July 25, 78th Street Play Street, dusk. The Queens World Film Festival collaborates with the Jackson Heights Green Alliance to present indie films under the stars. This week is all about documentaries. Free. Travers Park (aka 78th Street Plaza), 78th Street and 34th Avenue, Jackson Heights.

July 25, Summer Scan Party, 1 pm. Bring old photos of the neighborhood or family gems to scan. Free. Greater Astoria Historical Society, 35-20 Broadway, Long Island City.

July 25, The Wings of Eagles, 2 pm; Mogambo, 4:30 pm. Shown as part of The Essential John Ford, a tribute to the consummate American filmmaker, Wings of Eagles is a about a Navy flier who fought back from paralysis to become a World War II Navy commander and screenwriter. Mogambo is a remake of Clark Gable’s 1932 Red Dust. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Kaufman Arts District.

July 26, Music from France, 1 pm (dance lesson) and 2 pm (concert). French chanteuse Violette and her accomplished musical ensemble, La Vie En Rose, enchant with French chanson, Golden Age swing, timeless American standards, and jazz/pop compositions. Free. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing.

July 26, Modern Ruin, 2:30 pm. Screening of a documentary about Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion from the glory days of the 1964 World’s Fair through its demise over the following 50 years. The film details its use as a 1960s concert venue and 1970s roller rink, plus the years of neglect and the recent advocacy efforts to save and repurpose the structure. $10 with limited seating. Queens Historical Society, Weeping Beach Park, 143-35 37th Avenue, Flushing.

July 26, Upstream, 2:30 pm; Fort Apache, 4 pm. Shown as part of The Essential John Ford, a tribute to the consummate American filmmaker, Upstream, presented with live musical accompaniment by Donald Sosin (keyboard) and Joanna Seaton (vocals), is about an egotistical actor and a vaudeville couple who partner in a knife-throwing act. Fort Apachedepicts the travails of Thursday, a rigid West Point officer who tries to take command of a desert outpost town and tragically mishandles several clashes with the Native American population. Shirley Temple plays Thursday’s daughter. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Kaufman Arts District.

July 26, Katz Concert Series, 5 pm. The Beatles tribute band Yesterday and Today performs. Free. Tudor Park, 133rd Avenue between 81st and 82nd streets, Ozone Park.

July 27, The Moth StorySLAM, 7 pm. This open-mic storytelling competition is for anyone with a five-minute yarn on the night’s theme, “Business: Selling Out or Buying in.” Participants throw their names into The Moth “hat.” A half hour later, names are drawn to determine the order slammers take the stage. Judges, selected from the audience, pick a winner from 10 featured stories. $10. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing.

July 27, Singin’ in the Rain, 11 am. Outdoor movie screening of a 1952 Hollywood classic. Free. Al Oerter Recreation Center, 131-40 Fowler Avenue, Corona.

July 27, The Princess Bride, 8:30 pm. Outdoor screening of a comedy that became a cult classic. Free. Astoria Park Great Lawn, Shore Boulevard between Hell Gate Bridge and the public pool, Astoria.

July 28, 1980s Tribute Night, 7 pm. The White Wedding Band plays popular hits from the 1980s. Free. Juniper Valley Park, 80th Street and Juniper Boulevard North, Middle Village.

July 28, 17th Annual Great Lawn Summer Concert, 7 pm. The Queens Symphony Orchestra plays Broadway classics. Free. St. John’s University Great Lawn, 80-00 Utopia Parkway, Jamaica.

July 29, The 38th Asian American International Film Festival, through July 31, always at 5 pm. This first-ever festival presents the best and most recent Asian American and Asian independent cinema from more than 30 countries. Also enjoy panels and workshops, industry mixers, staged readings, exclusive interviews, live performances, receptions, and more. Free. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing.

July 29, Kings of the Wind & Electric Queens, dusk. Outdoor screening of a documentary as Bollywood film, reporting on Sonepur Fair, a festival held at the confluence of the Ganges and Gandak rivers on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Kartika. Free. Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City.

July 29, Wayne “Superius” Garland, 11 am. Children love this magical presentation starring the original hip hop magician, ventriloquist, and comedian. Free. Beach 97th Street and Shore Front Parkway, Rockaway.

July 29, Italian Nights 2015, 7:30 pm. The romantic music of Bruno Macari under the stars. Free. Athens Square Park, 30th Street and 30th Avenue, Astoria.

Photo by Queens Museum

07/20/15 1:00pm

HtH

What is Antonio to do? He’s a well-respected community leader, but through a complex effort to help a friend in love he owes a pound of his own flesh to a man who despises him.

And what about that pathetic Sir John Falstaff? He devised a get-rich-quick scheme that backfired big time. Now he’s being humiliated bigger time.

These two scenarios come to eight Queens parks in July and August (the Bronx, Jersey City, and Southampton, too). The Hip to Hip Theatre Company is back for its ninth year, providing free, family-friendly performances of Shakespeare plays. This summer, Woodside-based co-founders Jason and Joy Marr have chosen The Merchant of Venice, a dark drama about a 16th century merchant, Antonio, who defaults on a loan from a moneylender, and The Merry Wives of Windsor, a comedy about a flat broke, alcoholic aristocrat, Sir John Falstaff, who tries to bed the wives of two rich men. However, the women are not amused and respond with a series of practical jokes.

The fun begins on Wednesday with Merchant at the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. On Thursday, Merry Wives plays at Crocheron Park in Bayside. Then, the professional actors do 17 more productions in such neighborhoods as Forest Park, Fresh Meadows, Long Island City, and Sunnyside.

Click here for the complete schedule.

Photo by Hip to Hip Theatre Company

07/15/15 1:00pm

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It’s another huge week for outdoor music with classical, funk, gospel, hip hop, jazz, a tribute to the Beatles, and two Italian nights. Other options include a new night market, sculpture, story-telling, an e-waste recycling event, an art conference, pie-crumbling, and poetry.

July 16, Queens Night Market, 6 pm to 11 pm. A social event and night market with food, crafts, live performances, and a deejay. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd.

July 16, SummerStage: Lyricist Lounge, 7 pm. Large Professor, a hip hop producer from Flushing, and Marley Marl, a hip hop producer from Queensbridge, perform. Free. Queensbridge Park, vicinity of 41st Road, 40th Avenue, Vernon Boulevard, and the East River, LIC.

July 16, Alí Bello & The Sweet Wire Band, 6:30 pm. Through the Third Thursdays in Bliss Plaza program, Alí Bello & The Sweet Wire Band present Latin jazz fusion invigorated by Afro-Caribbean musical styles. Free. Bliss Plaza, Queens Boulevard and 46th Street under the elevated 7 train station, Sunnyside. (more…)

07/15/15 1:00pm

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No spoonful of sugar is needed to make this medicine go down.

In the 2012 comedy Grabbers, the only way to survive attack by bloodsucking aliens is to get drunk — and stay that way. The setting is a remote island off the Irish coast where fishing is the only way of life. Ciarán O’Shea is a charming but heavy drinking police office who can’t stand his new partner, Lisa Nolan, a hard-working, straight-laced workaholic from the mainland who volunteered for this assignment in order to impress her superiors.

Fighting crime consists of dealing with an occasional drunk and killing time until an entire fishing boat crew disappears. Then dead, ravaged whales start washing up on shore and a lobsterman catches a bizarre-looking sea creature, which turns out to be a “grabber,” an extraterrestrial that survives on blood and water. After a local drunk survives a grabber attack, the two police officers realize that these predators are repulsed by blood with high alcohol content. Hilarity ensues.

The New York Irish Center will screen Grabbers and The Emigrant Chaplain, a 20-minute documentary by Radharc Films on Father Colm Campbell, a Belfast native who worked as a chaplain with the Diocese of Brooklyn and later led the Irish Apostolate USA. In 2003, Father Campbell founded the New York Irish Center and spearheaded the effort to buy the Long Island City property where the agency is currently based. He died last month.

Details: Grabbers and The Emigrant Chaplain, New York Irish Center, 10-40 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, July 18, 7:30 pm, $11 suggested donation/$8 for students, seniors, unemployed.

Photo by New York Irish Center

07/15/15 12:00pm

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This one-bedroom is part of a 12-story building in LIC. The apartment is newly renovated and has some interesting details. The kitchen is is nicely finished with a peninsula that has a built-in sink and dishwasher and extra counter space on top. There’s also an entire wall made of cabinets for storage.

All of the rooms are a good size, and the apartment has a large balcony and a washer and dryer in the unit. Now here’s the interesting details: a wall in the living room and a few others in the entrance of the apartment are painted bright lime green.

The building is very close to the Long Island City LIRR station as well as the 7 and G trains and the Q103 bus. Hunters Point South Park and the East River Ferry are a ten-minute walk down the avenue. There are restaurants, schools, and other parks in the area. The monthly rent is $3,800. Click through for more photos.

5-49 Borden Avenue, #9 [Exit Kingdom Realty] GMAP (more…)

07/10/15 1:00pm

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You won’t believe your ears or your pocketbooks. Queens is about to experience a streak of fantastic, free, outdoor concerts over the next five days. Listeners will be able to bring their folding chairs, blankets, and dancing shoes to Flushing, Long Island City, Queensbridge, and Sunnyside and enjoy everything from hip hop to polka to R&B. George Clinton, Parliament Funkadelic, and the Chi-Lites are the biggest acts, but some performers, such as minimalist musician Florent Ghys (above), are masters of lesser-known genres.

Here is the schedule:

  • The Glukh Polka Band plays polkas, waltzes, and polonaises at Flushing Town Hall on July 12 at 2 pm.
  • Florent Ghys mixes minimalist music with classical forms, musique concrète, and even clapping and hair dryers as part of the Bang on a Can series at Noguchi Museum on July 12 at 3 pm.
  • The Chi-Lites, a group from the 1970s Chicago scene that was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in 2000, kicks off the borough’s SummerStage series at Queensbridge Park on July 14 at 7 pm.
  • Gerard Carelli & His Orchestra do a wide variety of swing music in Juniper Valley Park on July 14 at 7 pm.
  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, bring their unique funk to Queensbridge Park as part of SummerStage on July 15 at 7 pm.
  • Yesterday and Today, a Beatles tribute band, jams near the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park on July 15 at 7 pm.
  • Large Professor, a hip hop star from Flushing, and Marley Marl, a hip hop star from Queensbridge, take the stage at Queensbridge Park as part of SummerStage on July 16 at 7 pm.
  • Alí Bello & The Sweet Wire Band perform Latin jazz fusion in Sunnyside’s Bliss Plaza on July 16 at 6:30 pm.
  • Soul Inscribed plays a mix of hip hop, dub, funk, and soul, while Jennifer Cendaña Armas tells diaspora stories as part of SummerStage in Queensbridge Park on July 17 at 7 pm.

Photo by Florent Ghys

07/09/15 1:00pm

SQueens

Filipino stingray sandwiches, Hong Kong mango pomelo soup, and Venezuelan patacón are some of the ethnic food options that are available in Queens, the world’s most diverse borough. However, adventurous eaters will now be able to try all of these treats — as well as Colombian arepas, Korean redneck tacos, and Taiwanese popcorn chicken — in the same spot.

On Saturday, Smorgasburg Queens will hold a grand opening at its 7,500-square-foot lot, which is attached to a 10,000-square-foot indoor space, at 43-29 Crescent Street in Long Island City. About two dozen vendors will sell their appetizers, entrées, beverages, desserts, and specialty products from 11 am to 6 pm on a weekly basis.

Though a sister market to the original Smorgasburg in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg, this bazaar will have a distinctively Queens flavor. Joe DiStefano, who gives local food tours and blogs about restaurants, is the curator, and he’s recruited a diverse group of purveyors from such neighborhoods as Astoria, Elmhurst, Flushing, Jackson Heights, Long Island City, and Woodside.

It won’t all be ethnic, though. Tina Stipanovic from Rèst-âü-Ránt (RaR) plans to serve Bloody Mary doughnuts and s’mores with stout, a mix of chocolate insides with a salty crumb finish and stout reduction. Queens Kickshaw will go with a new version of its famous grilled cheese sandwiches. And the Michelin-rated Forest Hills eatery Danny Brown Wine Bar & Kitchen will spin off as Brine by Danny Brown and peddle lobster roll, duck confit, and a brioche hot dog roll.

Photo by Smorgasburg