Amreeka tells the story of a Palestinian mother who wins a Green Card in a lottery and relocates the family from the West Bank to a Chicago suburb. This funny-but-poignant independent movie debuted at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival before National Geographic Entertainment bought its rights. On April 18, Amreeka will kick off Cinema of Immigration at the Queens Museum of Art. This 10-week series explores the immigrant experience in the U.S. through films that reflect ethnic and cultural diversity. Mark Ethan, an Actors Studio member who has been presenting films at QMA since 1998, will introduce each screening and lead discussions afterward. After opening night, the following films will screen: American, American, April 25; In America, May 2; Anna, May 9; A Better Life, May 16; I Remember Mama, May 23; and The Wedding Banquet, May 30.
Today is the day – it’s finally Spring! The Vernal Equinox is today, meaning the day and night are equal. This also means the days are going to start being longer than the night. Very exciting stuff – even if it still feels like Winter today.
The Queens Museum of Art is changing its name
As part of their renovation and expansion, the Queens Museum of Art is changing their name to simply, Queens Museum. They plan to change their logo, too, and we look forward to seeing the new design. You’ll still find engaging and thought-provoking art there. Tom Finkelpearl, the museum’s executive director, said “While this is a time of tremendous change for the Queens Museum, what will remain constant is our dedication to openness and engagement.” And never fear, the Panorama of the City of New York is not going anywhere! Thank goodness.
We’ve learned more about the gastropub Snowdonia, which will open in Astoria in May. Their plan to serve beer-inspired and beer-infused food is still on the books, and they’ll also have about 10 taps. Look for beer cocktails, too (here’s hoping for a fab michelada). Their chef will be Will Lubold, formerly of ’inoteca on the Lower East Side. We can’t wait!
Is the MLS looking to Florida now?
From what we can tell, NYC officials need to pin down and settle on details of the proposed MLS stadium in Queens. MLS commissioner Don Garber said, “It needs to get done so that we can move on with our expansion plans. I’m not going to put any timing on that but we’ve got to finalize our expansion plan. There’s a lot of activity in Orlando and we’ve got to figure out where that fits in with our expansion timing.” There is also a lot of interest in soccer in Florida and the MLS isn’t represented south of DC, so the idea of many hungry soccer fans is appealing. That said, Garber believes NYC will come through and get the show on the road, build that stadium, and wait for the hordes of fans to descend upon Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
Armchair traveler – Jackson Heights
Check out this short video of the sights and sounds of Jackson Heights. Loved seeing the Ecuadorian street vendors and Mexican wrestling masks!
The NY Times City Blog spells it out in black and white – the Queens Museum of Art will change its name to simply Queens Museum, as part of their current expansion. They will change their logo, too, which is currently this:
The Queens Museum of Art has recently issued and open call for their Queens International 2013, an annual exhibition (since 2001), ”a biennial of artists living and/or working in Queens which brings together the vibrant borough though contemporary cultural production in all media.” The submission deadline is May 12, 2013; the exhibition runs October 2013 – February/March 2014.
Image source: Grimshaw and the Queens Museum of Art
We enjoyed seeing the Grimshaw Architects artist’s renderings of the Queens Museum of Art expansion, over on the Arch Daily site. The Museum expects the expansion, which started in April 2011, to be done by October 2013, and cost $68 million. It will double the Museum’s original size, too. (more…)
Know-it-alls can be very annoying, but in this event, they are essential. Participants test their mastery of NYC geography against the experts during the sixth annual Panorama Challenge at the Queens Museum of Art on February 28. The world’s only geographical trivia-based game involving the world’s largest architectural model, The Panorama of the City of New York, the challenge involves audio clues and laser-pointers highlighting assorted NYC landmarks, bridges, neighborhoods, parks, etc. Teams — divided into New York Novices and Panorama Pros — try to identify all 30 locations as per rules set by the quizmaster, Jonathan Turer from Levys’ Unique New York. The winning teams in both divisions are added to QMA’s Champions Trophy. Though the competition is fierce, this is actually a charity event, and all proceeds go to Williamsburg’s City Reliquary Museum, a nonprofit community museum and civic organization.
Now that we are in the final stretch of 2012, the “best of” lists are starting to come out. Time Out New York has put together their list for the top attractions in Queens, and here are the winners (with our own descriptions):
CitiField – This is a great stadium to see a ballgame, and we prefer it to Yankee Stadium, also a new ballpark. The views from all over the stadium are great and it feels like it was created on a very human scale. Their food is also excellent – Shake Shack and Blue Smoke come to mind immediately. Congrats again to R.A. Dickey of the NY Mets, for his Cy Young Award this past year.
We mentioned yesterday about the unfortunate flooding of works in the Noguchi Museum’s residual collection, and it got us thinking… where do you like to see art? Do you prefer large scale art like you’d see at Socrates Sculpture Park (or the amazing Panorama of the City New York at the Queens Museum of Art – have you seen it?). Are you more interested in classic or contemporary art? Or perhaps public street art? We’d love to know. Leave us a comment here or via twitter at @queensnycity.
It’s true – FEMA is now occupying ten floors in the Forest Hills Tower building. They’ve created a temporary office where they will coordinate Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. This is the former home of JetBlue, before they moved to LIC. Back in April, Leslie Brown, president of the Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce said, “Hopefully, [we’ll] get another big client to fill those spaces.” The FEMA folks will probably be there for a year.
Diwali at the Queens Museum of Art
Last Sunday at the Queens Museum of Art they celebrated Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, during their Second Sundays series (Diwali proper was yesterday). Here’s a great photo taken from that event:
Image source: QMA
Terrizzi is gone, Leli’s Bakery is here
We learned from intrepid food adventurer Sue Yacka that a new bakery has opened up in the old Terrizzi Pastry Shop space (so yes, they really have), called Leli’s Bakery. Their offerings – breads, pastries, and sweets – sound very promising, and the presence of good coffee (Irving Farms) is also another good sign. We welcome them to Astoria and we look forward to trying their noms.
Broad Channel in another life, though not long ago
If you’re wondering why people live in Broad Channel – one of the communities that was wrecked by Hurricane Sandy – and why they might risk living in a place where the water could turn on them, this long essay from Narratively may help with understanding. From the article:
From the window, or below on his back porch, [Battalion Cheif Dan] Mundy Jr. also has a sweeping sightline of the Manhattan cityscape, along with sections of Brooklyn that his fire battalion oversees. Sometimes, on his days off, he’ll sit and relax and occasionally something will catch his eye beyond Jamaica Bay—like the telltale flashing of emergency lights rushing toward a car accident or a fire scene. Those days Mundy Jr. will call his crew to make sure they’re alright, inevitably surprising them by the fact that he’s even privy to the situation. But on calmer days he’ll just head out in his boat and drift between the marsh islands and among the tall grass stalks he’s known since childhood.
Also, did you know that in the 60s there was a proposal to extend the JFK runways into Broad Channel? The Port Authority proposed it in 1968.
Seasonal beers have a home in Queens
Local writer Danielle McClue has shared with us a great roundup of spots around Queens that feature seasonal beers particularly appropriate to this chilly Fall season – stouts, pumpkin ales, and Oktoberfest beer. It’s impressive how many different spots around the borough offer tasty brews for this time of year, from Alewife in LIC where they’ll serve your drink at their beautiful bar, to Triboro Beverage, where the shelves are chock full of an interesting array of craft beer.
This weekend in Queens is filled to the brim with activities for adults and kids. You can learn stop motion filmmaking and claymation, go to an art opening reception, frolick in a pumpkin patch, and visit the grandeur of aeronautical history. Check out our events calendar for even more things to do around the borough.
Stop Motion at QMA for Families Affected by Autism - In this four week workshop at the Queens Museum of Art, which starts today at 4pm, participants will be taught the techniques for stop motion animation and claymation. They will collaborate with their peers in making an animated film using claymation characters and created backdrops. This educational program is open to families, and all children are invited to participate. (more…)