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Floral Park

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Image source: hermmermferm on Flickr

Queens has a lot going on in terms of sustainable construction, alternative energy, wildlife conservation, and other environmental initiatives. In fact, many of the finest tourist attractions – and special spots for locals – in the borough have a green streak. Here are our picks for the most environmentally sustainable attractions in Queens.

1. In the upper reaches of Astoria, the Steinway & Sons piano factory (which gives awesome tours) has been using solar energy since 2009. In fact, the factory is home to the world’s largest parabolic solar installation – a setup that involves solar troughs that focus the sun’s energy to heat fluid, which in turn helps provide the cool, dehumidified air that is necessary for the manufacture of pianos. Other sustainable features of the factory include replanting trees to replenish its wood supply; and efficient closed-loop systems to collect dust and scraps for use in other parts of the manufacturing process. And above all, what makes Steinway instruments so sustainable is that they are built to last at least 80 to 100 years.

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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.

Image source: Nottinghack on Flickr

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. 

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One of the quirkiest things about Queens is that you can be officially in NYC while getting lost in a three-acre corn maze. The annual Amazing Maize Maze opened this past weekend at the Queens County Farm Museum (GMAP), and we jumped at the chance to partake in this urban/rural adventure.

Every year, the farm creates a different maze design with help from the American Maze Company. The 2012 theme is “Once Upon A Time,” so the clues and interactive features have to do with fairy tales. A “stalk talk” at the entrance explains how to solve the puzzles along the way. But whether you’re paying attention to the Magical Storybook Kingdom aspects of the labyrinth or not, you’ll get lost pretty quickly.

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The weekend comes with outdoor fairs and activities – there’s music in LIC, a farmer’s market in Flushing, and fairs and festivals in Floral Park and Ridgewood.

Image source: The Chocolate Factory Theater

Hot Box (Premiere) – This show from Brian Rogers, the musical director of LIC’s Chocolate Factory Theater, premieres tonight. Rogers and production manager Madeline Best combine images, lights, and live performance to deliver an intense piece for the senses. At the center of their set is the question regarding how deeply video can connect with live performance; Rogers and Best’s attempt at an answer has a good chance of being chaotic yet exhilarating.

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70-10 266th St, Floral Park – $600,000 – This 3-bedroom home isn’t available for move-in until January, but the Open House is Saturday. If you’re up for a renovation, or can tolerate the wood paneling and brick decor, this home might be worth a look. Manhattan’s a long commute from here, but the front and backyards are family-friendly. According to a 2007 NY Times neighborhood profile, residents love that Floral Park isn’t crowded, schools are good, and taxes low. Read more about this home in the full listing. Open House on Saturday, July 21, from 1:00-3:00 PM.

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So many windows in this Colonial home

This charming 1922 Colonial is nestled in the heart of Floral Park, Queens. It’s a nice summer buy with bright, spacious rooms that let in lots of light and invite views of the big backyard and garden. Only a five minute stroll from the Hempstead LIRR station, the town library and playground are also short walks away. At $750,000 with four bedrooms and three bathrooms, the home can accommodate one or two families. Might this house be worth looking at as an investment property?

The address is 79 Violet Ave, Floral Park, 11001 (GMAP).  See complete details in our listing. Props to real estate agent Brigid Marmorowski for the lovely photography.