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Closing Bell

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Thanks to We Heart Astoria for spotting the cinema schedule for this summer at Socrates Sculpture Park! The series kicks off on Wednesday, July 2nd with the film Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer. It then continues seven more Wednesdays until August 27th with films from Senegal, New Zealand, Italy, Argentina, Africa, Japan and France — the film series is aimed to celebrate the cultural diversity of Queens. Films begin at sundown, the pre-screening performances begin at 7 pm. Each event is free and visitors are invited to picnic on the grass.

Photo by Riely Clough

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A reader sent in photos of this weekend’s LIC Springs! Block Party on Vernon Boulveard, a five-hour event that drew several thousand people. Real estate firm Modern Spaces brought in the BrickBuilders Collective and the New York City Lego Users Group, which held Lego building lessons and giveaways throughout the afternoon. The two groups also used Legos to recreate two iconic Queens structures during the block party — the Queensborough Bridge (pictured above) and the Pepsi sign along the LIC waterfront (pictured after the jump). Did any other readers get a chance to attend?

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Tomorrow the city will celebrate It’s My Park Day, an annual volunteer event that includes nearly 150 cleaning, painting, weeding and planting projects, as well as free fitness activities, arts and cultural events, and games. The event kicks off in Cunningham Park this Saturday at 10 am and lasts until noon. There will also be projects at Roy Wilkens Park and Recreation Center, Rufus King Park, Flushing-Meadows Corona Park, Baisley Pond Park and Juniper Valley Park. You can see all the It’s My Park events throughout the entire city right here.

Photo via NYC Parks

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Over the weekend Build in Green! NYC, NYRP and MillionTreesNYC are giving away 300 trees in both Queens and Brooklyn. Tree adopters must live in one of the five boroughs and have permission to plant the tree on their property. There’s a limit of one tree per address. The Queens giveaway is happening this Saturday, May 17th from 11am to 1pm at the Build it Green Reuse Center, 3-17 26th Avenue in Astoria. To register, go here. Tree selections include an Eastern Red Cedar, Eastern Redbud, Flowering Dogwood and Hackberry, all pictured above.

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Earlier today Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Queens Parks Department Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski, students from IS 125 and PS 199, local veterans and residents came together to break ground on the renovation of L/CPL Thomas P. Noonan Playground in Sunnyside. The playground, located along Greenpoint Avenue off 43rd Street, is about to get a $2,000,000 facelift. Improvements include new play equipment, more swings, a new spray shower, landscaping, bike racks, benches, paving and new fencing. The park’s drainage and lighting will be improved, and the main entrance will be partially reconstructed. The Parks Department will also install new granite slabs to the base of the park flagpole as a monument to the Brooklyn-born war hero, Lance Corporal Thomas P. Noonan.

$2 Million Renovation Coming for the Lance Corporal Thomas P. Noonan Jr. Playground [Q’Stoner]

Photo via Twitter

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If you missed last weekend’s Jane’s Walk tour through the Queensbridge Houses, check out the great video recap above. Urban Upbound’s Bishop Mitchell Taylor led the free tour through the community, which is the largest public housing development in North America. Some Queensbridge residents had expressed concern about the tour breaching their privacy — but from the looks of the video, everything went well. Taylor, who has lived in and around the development for the past forty-three years, discussed the diversity of the complex, community revitalization efforts, and building “the new Queensbridge from the inside out.”

Closing Bell: A Tour of Queensbridge Happening This Saturday [Q’Stoner]

Video via YouTube

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This Saturday, as part of the Jane’s Walk weekend, Urban Upbound’s Bishop Mitchell Taylor will lead a free tour through Queensbridge, North America’s largest public housing development. Taylor, who has lived in and around Queensbridge Houses for the past forty-three years, will discuss the history of the development, the community revitalization efforts, and the effects of the nearby development boom. The tour starts at noon at the 21st Street/Queensbridge F train station and lasts for two hours. Here are all the details.

This morning the New York Daily News reported that the tour, expected to bring in as many as 100 visitors, has left some Queensbridge residents wary. According to the News, “Some residents feared the tour would breach their privacy by bringing unfamiliar faces to their halls and backyards.” But a Jane’s Walk spokesperson insisted that the tour will not interfere with residents’ daily lives, “and could even lead to discussions between them and tourists.”

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This month, Viva La Primavera is coming to the Manuel de Dios Unanue Triangle at 83rd Street and Roosevelt Avenue. Viva La Primavera is a month of community entertainment, classes and services designed for families and people of all ages. It’s hosted by the Jackson Heights-Corona Business Improvement District, the 82nd Street Partnership, Council Member Julissa Ferreras and Affinity Health Plan. The 11 events this month include music, dance, book readings, fitness and education workshops. Viva La Primavera actually kicks off this afternoon in the plaza, from 4 to 6 pm, with a “kids in motion workshop” as well as a dance show. For a list of all the upcoming events, go here.

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We’ve been celebrating the 50th and 75th anniversaries of the World’s Fairs all month, but today’s actually the opening day of the 1939 World’s Fair 75 years ago. The Parks Department posted some history and photos of the event: “Highlights like the ‘Town of Tomorrow’ with futuristic model homes, Billy Rose’s Aquacade on Meadow Lake, the Life-Savers Parachute Tower, General Motors’ ‘Futurama’ depicting the world of 1960, and new inventions such as color film, nylon stockings, television, and air conditioning.” Before the 1939 Fair came to town, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park was just a swamp and ash dump. After the jump, check out a picture of the barren area in 1936, during the park’s construction.

1939 World’s Fair in Photos [NYC Parks]

Photos via NYC Parks

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This Sunday, May 4th Queens Council Members and community groups are participating in the annual Jane’s Walk event, which is a weekend of free, locally led walking tours inspired by Jane Jacobs. Council Member Julissa Ferreras, Council Member Daniel Dromm and DOT Community Coordinator Andrew Ronan will help lead walks through three Queens plazas to highlight local history and civic engagement in the DOT plaza program. They will be joined by plaza partners like SUKHI NY, Friends of Diversity Plaza, Jackson Heights Green Alliance, Queens Economic Development Corporation and Queens Museum.

Here’s the schedule for the day. At 11 am, everyone will meet at the south entrance of the 90th Street/Elmhurst Avenue 7 Train station for an introduction to the Neighborhood Plaza Partnership. A tour of Corona Plaza (103rd Street and Roosevelt Avenue) will happen at 11:30 am, and Council Member Julissa Ferreras will speak. 1 pm is the tour of the 78th Street Plaza (34th Avenue and 78th Street), with Andrew Ronan of the DOT. Finally, Council Member Daniel Dromm will lead the 2 pm tour of Diversity Plaza (73rd Street and Broadway). The Diversity Plaza tour will be followed by refreshments. Check out detailed event info here.