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

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A recent visit to the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows found the “modern ruin” in the midst of a makeover.

The Local Union 806 Structural Steel and Bridge Painters  are restoring the Pavilion in an attempt
to return it to its former glory. The repainting is slowly but surely making a difference.

The walls inside the “Tent of Tomorrow” have been restored to splendor. (more…)

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It was one of the most memorable venues of the 1964 World’s Fair. Designed by legendary architect Philip Johnson, the New York State Pavilion featured the elliptical Tent of Tomorrow, whose 16 100-foot-high reinforced concrete piers suspended a 50,000-square-foot roof of multi-colored panels. The main floor featured a ground map of New York State with 567 terrazzo mosaic panels.

Meanwhile, the Theaterama, located adjacent to the pavilion, displayed art by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, and the three nearby observation towers boasted elevators leading to high-altitude platforms.

(more…)

03/25/15 2:00pm

Check out this awesome video from Matthew Silva and AquaRela Pictures of the second lighting test held at the New York State Pavilion. The first test was held in late February.

The tests are part of a $5,806,000 restoration slated to upgrade the structure’s electrical system, rebuild the staircases inside the Pavilion’s three towers, and repair the concrete platforms supporting the observation decks at the top of each of the towers. The hope is that the illumination will draw attention to the historic World’s Fair structures and help raise interest for restoration and reuse.

All New York State Pavilion coverage [Q’Stoner]

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On Sunday, a group of five teens climbed 226 feet up some seriously scary staircases to the top of the New York State Pavilion. A Walk in the Park reports that after they broke in, they spray painted the structure as they made their way to the top. Officers spotted the teens and then discovered pink, teal and black graffiti tags as the officers themselves ascended to the top. And here’s the terrifying end to the story: “Officers had to use a make-shift ladder made of electrical cords in order to reach the highest peak of observation deck to reach the teens.” YIKES!

No one was hurt, and two young men were arrested and charged with trespassing and possession of a graffiti instrument.

Ski-High Graffiti Bust: Teens Caught On Top Of Flushing Meadows Corona Park Worlds Fair Towers [A Walk in the Park]
All New York State Pavilion coverage [Q’Stoner]

“Death Staircase” photo by Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates

03/04/15 1:00pm

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Though last night’s snow might confuse the issue, it’s time for Queens gardeners to start preparing their summer vegetables. This is the key to earlier harvests, greater variety, healthier crops, stronger soil, easier transplanting, and especially more satisfaction and enjoyment.

This Sunday, Queens Botanical Garden Director of Education Emeritus Fred Gerber will host a workshop dedicated to growing indoor vegetables during the warm weather months. There should be something of interest for everybody from the novice to the experienced gardener with the greenest of thumbs. Details on the jump page.

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Yesterday, the New York Landmarks Conservancy posted a video and more details about the lighting test held at the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The tests are part of a $5,806,000 restoration slated to upgrade the structure’s electrical system, rebuild the staircases inside the Pavilion’s three towers, and repair the concrete platforms supporting the observation decks at the top of each of the towers.

Here is the Conservancy talking about the lighting process, which was first posted on its Facebook page. You can see the awesome video of the light tests over on Facebook as well.

On Friday, February 27, Conservancy staffers Alex Herrera and Scott Leurquin, met with Barry Grodenchik of the Queens Borough President’s office, Brian Belluomini of Shimstone Lighting Design, and Matt Torres of Lumenpulse to test various exterior lighting techniques on the majestic New York State Pavilion observation towers.

The consultants experimented with various size LED floodlights placed around the site including from the roof of the adjacent Queens Theatre. The tests showed that the LED lights can do a great job of illuminating the concrete surfaces of the towers. We hope that the eventual illumination of the structures will draw attention to them and help raise interest for a restoration and reuse. The New York State Pavilion consists of three structures: the Queens Theatre, which has been restored; the huge tent structure and the triple observation towers that await restoration. The buildings were commissioned by Gov. Nelson Rockefeller and designed by Phillip Johnson for the 1964-1965 World’s Fair.

Let There Be Light at the New York State Pavilion [Q’Stoner]

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Last week brought a little light to the New York State Pavilion, a prominent landmark of the 1964-65 World’s Fair that is now sitting unused. The Queens Theatre, Parks Department and the New York Landmarks Conservancy came together to light up the iconic towers — the first-ever lighting test was held on Friday night. This is part of a $5,806,000 restoration slated to upgrade the structure’s electrical system, rebuild the staircases inside the Pavilion’s three towers, and repair the concrete platforms supporting the observation decks at the top of each of the towers. Borough President Katz especially pushed to bring lighting to the tower. She believes that once lit up, there will be more momentum to restore the crumbling pavilion. A full restoration of the structure, that still wouldn’t allow any public access, is estimated to cost around $40 million.

The photo above was taken by the New York Landmarks Convservancy and was first posted by People for the Pavilion. Check out two more photos after the jump!

All New York State Pavilion coverage [Q’Stoner]

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Today Untapped Cities published an excellent photo essay in which People for the Pavilion member Robert Fein captured the inside of the New York State Pavilion. Crumbling since the 1964 World’s Fair, there has been momentum to repair and rehabilitate the iconic towers. Fein’s photos offer a look inside of the observation towers, with closeups of the former VIP deck, the elevator doors, staircases and the amazing views of Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

New Photos Inside the Observation Towers of the NY Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park [Untapped Cities]
All New York State Pavilion coverage [Q’Stoner]

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This Saturday, November 1st, People for the Pavilion and Architecture for Humanity are setting up information tables around the borough to talk with Queens residents on the past and present of the New York State Pavilion. Reps will be asking passerby what they know about the historic structure and what they’d like it to become. Currently, People for the Pavilion is working to revitalize the towers for community use, with growing support from politicians. If you’d like to stop by and share your thoughts, tables will be out in Diversity Plaza, 37th Road between 73rd and 74th Streets, Corona Plaza, Roosevelt Avenue between National Street and 104th Street, and Queens Library: Flushing, 47-17 Main Street, from 11 am to 3 pm.

All New York State Pavilion coverage [Q’Stoner]

Photo via People for the Pavilion