The color! The rhythm! The songs! This homage deserves an homage! For five weeks, Thalia Spanish Theatre will present Heartbeat of Latino America (Al Ritmo del Corazon Latino). This brand new tribute celebrates the music and dance of 15 Spanish-speaking countries — Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Spain. Armando Moreno’s Mestizo Dance Company, which is known for festive skirts, sensuous gyrations and intense passion, will perform along with Harold Guitierrez and His Band.
On your marks… Get set… Eat! The tenth annual Queens Restaurant Week 2013 will run from September 30th to October 3rd and October 7th to October 10th with more than 60 eateries participating. A three-course, prix fixe dinner for $28 and lunch for $14 are the general parameters for the promotion, although some establishments will also offer wine or some other items, and many restaurants will continue their specials beyond October 10th. As to be expected in the world’s most diverse county, the cuisine options are boundless. Participating restaurants include Ben’s Best (Kosher, Rego Park), Christos (Astoria, steakhouse with Greek influence), Dazies (Sunnyside, Italian), Haveli (Forest Hills, Indian), Roka (Richmond Hill, Turkish), Tequila Sunrise (Bayside, Mexican) and Uncle Peter’s (Jackson Heights, pan-European).
Founded in 1979, Andrea Del Conte Danza Espa is arguably the most popular flamenco troupe in the U.S. The usually 10-member ensemble is known for its deep repertoire of acts combining all aspects – song, music, dance, handclaps, passion, sensuality, romance – of this traditional Spanish genre. On September 13th, Danza España will kick off a three-week run of Flamenc@! at the Thalía Spanish Theater in Sunnyside. The show is a tribute to women, featuring spectacular swirls of mantones (shawls), abánicos (fans) and batas de cola (ruffled dresses).
Details: Flamenc@!, Thalia Spanish Theatre, 41-17 Greenpoint Avenue, Sunnyside, September 13th – 29th, Friday and Saturday at 8 pm and Sunday at 4 pm, $35/$32 students and senior citizens/$30 on Friday/group rates available.
Few of the teeming masses who frequent the 7 train would be truly interested in the fact that they are traveling on a National Millennium Trail, specifically “The International Express” as designated by President Clinton. They might feign interest at the news that Queens Boulevard is quite modern, having been conceived of and built during the early 20th century in concert with the “dual contracts” phase of New York City subway construction which unintentionally created this immigrant superhighway. The modern thoroughfare carries automotive traffic and, in Sunnyside, is bisected by a concrete clad steel truss viaduct which in turn carries locomotive service (IRT Flushing Line).
That’s not what this post is about, though — it’s something else entirely. (more…)
The ironic thing is that you can’t catch a train here. Yet.
The Sunnyside Yard opened in 1910, and was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad. The rail complex was the largest coach yard on Earth back then, occupying some 192 acres which carried nearly 26 miles of track that could accommodate a thousand train cars. In modern times, the busiest rail junction in the United States is found here, called the Harold Interlocking.
A fantastic overview of the history of rail in Long Island City — with maps — can be found at the website trainsarefun.com.
The Sunnyside Yard tends to insulate Long Island City from the rest of western Queens, forcing its residential and business traffic to pass through and around narrow or crowded choke points like Queens Plaza. Its borders are defined by Jackson Avenue and Northern Boulevard to the north, while the southern border is found along Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside. In the east, it’s 48th Street and the west border is 21st Street.
There’s a reason I use a lot of adjectives when describing the place — ones like “gargantuan,” “cyclopean,” or — a noun — “titan.” (more…)
It’s an iconic structure, well known to those who use both the automotive path of Northern Boulevard or the locomotive path of the Long Island Railroad to commute to and from Manhattan. It’s a point of transition in the neighborhoods as well, the exit from Astoria and entrance to Sunnyside, where the designation of Steinway Street gives way to 39th Street.
The SMP building is across the street from the Hook and Ladder 66 building discussed in a Brownstoner Queens posting Long Island City’s Hook and Ladder 66 back in June, and looms over Northern Boulevard’s “Carridor” (a term which will be explored in the near future). In the shot below, after the jump, you are looking eastward, with Woodside and Jackson Heights on the horizon. The southern extant of Astoria is to the left and the triangular orange structure just off center is the end of Steinway Street at Northern Boulevard.
So, now you know where you are, but what you can’t see from the street is one of Queen’s hidden treasures, up on the roof. (more…)
New York City is going to rock around the clock…literally. And Queens is going to pop, blues, jazz, reggae, indie, folk, Latin, experimental, country, gospel and even cabaret. This Saturday, Make Music New York celebrates the first day of summer with a unique festival of free concerts in public spaces throughout the five boroughs, including in cemeteries, gardens, parks, plazas, sidewalks and stoops. Cruise to Corona and check out a children’s bucket orchestra, jaunt off to Jamaica for R&B sensation La’Rayne, or rave into the night at the MMNY After Dark party in Sunnyside. Now in its seventh year, this action will take place simultaneously with similar day-long festivities in more than 500 cities around the world. Details: Make Music New York, June 21,10 am – 10 pm, free; click on the following Queens neighborhoods for their schedules: Astoria, Corona/Ridgewood, Elmhurst, Flushing, Jackson Heights, Jamaica, LIC, Rockaway and Sunnyside. (more…)
It’s the mother of all block parties. This Saturday, Attenborough Naftel, an artist duo from Sunnyside, will get things started by creating an oversized stoop for an all-day game of creative stoopball. Then Free Style Arts will provide paintbrushes attached to fishing poles so attendees can create Jackson Pollack-ish drip paintings. This LIC group will also operate Remote Control Canvas, where those present draw with markers or crayons attached to remote-controlled cars that they zoom around on a large street canvas (below). Valerie Green Dance Entropy will get in on the fun with the performance piece Splash! (above), complete with brightly colored water buckets, of course. Other options at this Queens Council on the Arts event will be a Henna tattoo artist, hands-on activities facilitated by Materials from the Arts and food vendors. The extravaganza will end on a high note with a live performance by Beechers Fault, an indie band that strives to create music filled with raw emotion. Details: QAX Block Party, 37th Street between 34th and 35th avenues, Astoria/LIC, June 22, 1 pm – 6 pm with ribbon-cutting for QCA’s new venue.
Forget politics, all art is local. And in Queens, it’s also incredibly diverse. On Sunday, thirty-four Western Queens virtuosos will set up tables at the Queens of Angels Parish Hall and exhibit their works as part of a sixth-annual fair organized by SunnysideArtists.org. Expect Simon Donikian (work below) to display his cityscapes, while Ann Cofta will have a table full of eclectic trinkets made from beads, buttons and felt. Mihai Stancescu will bring frescoes and board paintings with egg tempera and gilding. And to add to the fun, Lowery Liquors will give a glass of wine to anybody who makes a purchase. Details: Queens of Angels Art Fair VI, June 9, 1 pm – 5 pm, 44th Street and Skillman Avenue, Sunnyside, Free.