It was so nice they did it twice. Flushing Meadows Corona Park hosted the 1939-1940 World’s Fair and the one that ran in 1964 and 1965. Both events – which took place over two, consecutive, six-month periods – had major impact on Queens and the rest of the world. Plus, both are currently celebrating major anniversaries (50th and 75th). This Sunday, a group of Urban Park Rangers will lead a tour through the park that will highlight the remnants and their roles in these historic fairs. More details after jump.
It’s time to tree-cycle and e-cycle. To promote eco-friendly practices — and help New Yorkers avoid a new state law imposing $100 fines on residents who leave electronics on the curb for pickup — the Queens Botanical Garden will host the 12th annual E-Waste Recycling Event on Sunday. Done in partnership with the Lower East Side Ecology Center and sponsored by TekServe, this six-hour event allows participants to drop off unwanted or non-functional computers, printers, cell phones, video games, tablets, and other gadgets in the parking entrance. (Click here for a full list of acceptable items.) Garden employees will make sure that they are disposed of in the proper ecological way. On the same day and in the same spirit, the garden will host arts-and-crafts activities using recycled and repurposed items.
Meanwhile in response to recent holidays, the NYC Parks Department will host MulchFest 2015 all weekend at various spots throughout the five boroughs, including 13 Queens green spaces. Residents can bring trees to these spots to be recycled into mulch that will nourish plantings across the city. In some places, NYC Parks employees will chip the wood and give bags of mulch back to the tree donors. Details for all three events are on the jump page.
For some, it’s the official start of winter. For others, it’s the shortest day of the year in terms of daylight hours. Yet for still others, it’s the inspiration for spirit-filled rituals, dances, literature, mythology, and chanting. But for the Queens Botanical Garden, it’s the occasion for a concert by the talented, dynamic, all-male a cappella ensemble The Rough Dozen. The annual Winter Solstice Celebration on Sunday will also include a holiday marketplace, botanical craft workshops, a tree-lighting ceremony, seasonal refreshments, tours, and some face time with Santa Claus. Plus, the QBG Store will offer $5 discounts on any purchase of $25 or more for the entire day.
On this day, back in 1894, our forebears made what was arguably one of the greatest mistakes in history.
November the 6th is the day that Long Island City and the rest of what is now known as Queens voted to give up their sovereign rights as independent municipal entities to join with Manhattan and the Bronx, Staten Island, and the City of Brooklyn to form the City of Greater New York. An enormous section of Queens just stayed out of the whole thing, and became Nassau County. The whole consolidation effort was run out of Tammany Hall over in Manhattan. It was Dick Croker and JJ Byrne’s personal project, and it all became official in 1898 when our modern five boroughs were established.
At the election held November 6, 1894, the question of consolidating with the City of New York was voted upon by the residents of Queens County. The majority of votes in favor came from the Long Island City section whose inhabitants, because of their proximity to New York, had been in favor of the project for many years. The western part of the county therefore became part of the City of New York, and is known as Queens Borough; while the eastern part of the county was erected into a separate county, known as Nassau, taking its name from the early name for Long Island.
It’s always a bumper crop in these parts. This Sunday, the Queens Botanical Garden hosts its fourth annual Harvest Fest & Pumpkin Patch, a day-long, family-friendly bash with great food, live entertainment, craft vendors, children’s activities, a bird-and-nature walk, the famous beer tent, and gourds galore.
Queens is always teeming with fun, enriching, and inspiring activities, and this weekend is no exception. In fact, this Saturday’s lineup is so diverse and enthralling that it has inspired the Queens Tourism Council to offer prizes. It’s simple, anybody who takes a selfie at the four events described in this post and shares them on the QTC Facebook page receives an It’s In Queens tee-shirt (or another prize if supplies run out).
The first item is a public art project by Roshani Thakore and Fumi Nakamura entitled “Move with Us.” These artists (above) invite Queens immigrant residents to demonstrate physical stances in public spaces for an animated video illustrating collective cultural gestures. The goal is to collect 167 poses to represent 167 cultures, and each participant will receive a custom-designed luggage tag as a memento. Details: 12:30 pm to 3 pm, Queens Library Sunnyside Branch, 43-06 Greenpoint Avenue.
$4,000,000 in improvements are coming for the Queens Botanical Garden, and it couldn’t come any sooner. The Queens Courier reports that the money is going toward a new irrigation system and redone walkways throughout the 39-acre site. The Queens Botanical Garden has not had the walkways repaved in 50 years, and they are cracked and sinking in many areas.
The project will happen in three different phases. The first phase is almost done, and includes the replacement of sidewalks around the water fountain. The second phase covers the repaving of the College Point Boulevard entrance, pictured to the left. And the third phase includes new pathways around the meadow and in the middle of the garden. There will also be a brand new sprinkler system — for now, workers carry hoses across the garden to water the plants. Susan Lacerte, the execute director of the QBC, tells the Courier that if the garden can secure more funding, she’d like to replace the temporary office trailers that are now used as staff office space.
It’s kind of a battle of the bands, but if traffic is light and one group starts late, music lovers can catch them all. On August 16th, three fantastic concerts will take place in Queens. At 2 pm, Gordon Au & The Grand Street Stompers (above) will perform at the Louis Armstrong House Museum as part of the historic site’s Hot Jazz/Cool Garden Summer Concert Series. Though based in New York City, this jazz band revives the New Orleans-style music of the 1920s and onward. At 3 pm, Choban Elektrik will give a free concert at the Ridgewood Branch Library. This electric dance band draws from the folk music of Albania, Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria, and the Romany people. Beyond singing in various languages and a powerful rhythm sections, attendees can expect traditional line dancing. Then at 6:15 pm, the party continues with The Ebony Hillbillies at the Queens Botanical Garden. New York City’s only African American string band plays all-American jazz, blues, bluegrass, rockabilly, rock and roll and country.
World War I was brewing, Babe Ruth was pitching for the Boston Red Sox, and the Panama Canal was welcoming its first steamboats when George Winfield Schwagerl joined Troop 17 of the Boy Scouts of America in 1914. The 39-year-old letter carrier was the first scoutmaster of the newly founded Elmhurst branch, and he wrote on the application that working with boys was therapeutic because he had lost a son. Fast-forward to 2014 and there are roughly 1,000 Troop 17 alumni scattered throughout the United States, including Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. This Saturday, the Queens Botanical Garden will host a special scouting expo as part of Troop 17′s 100th anniversary celebration. Plans include demonstrations related to backpacking, camping, canoeing, compass skills, fishing, orienteering, rafting, rock climbing, and wilderness survival. Plus, there will be an extensive indoor display of Troop 17’s scouting artifacts, slides, and videos. And of course, all uniformed scouts who participate will receive an event patch regardless of their troop affiliation.
It is the original world music. Klezmer is a genre of mostly celebratory dance tunes of the Ashkenazi Jews that spread from Eastern Europe to the rest of the planet in the 19th and 20th centuries. Its name comes from the Hebrew words “kli” (tool or utensil) and “zemer” (to make music). Currently, Alicia Svigals (above) is without a doubt the world’s most accomplished klezmer fiddler. In addition to founding and leading the Grammy-winning Klezmatics, she has played with — or composed for — violinist Itzhak Perlman, playwright Eve Ensler of the Vagina Monologues, the late Beat Generation poet Allen Ginsburg, and even Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin. This Sunday, she brings her talent and some friends (Brian Glassman on bass and Christina Crowder on accordian) to the Queens Botanical Garden, where she will make beautiful music in the Oak Allée alongside the bee, ornamental grass, perennial, rose, and woodland gardens.
More information and two more photos on jump page.