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Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

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View of Citifield from the Passerelle Boardwalk over Corona Yard

With the recent completion of the United States Open tennis tournament at Arthur Ashe Stadium and the now-expected ascension of the New York Mets into the National League baseball playoffs for the first time since 2006, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park finds itself at the center of New York City’s professional sports life as summer 2015 draws to a close. Let’s take a look at some of these venues as well as the park itself.

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What is Antonio to do? He’s a well-respected community leader, but through a complex effort to help a friend in love he owes a pound of his own flesh to a man who despises him.

And what about that pathetic Sir John Falstaff? He devised a get-rich-quick scheme that backfired big time. Now he’s being humiliated bigger time.

These two scenarios come to eight Queens parks in July and August (the Bronx, Jersey City, and Southampton, too). The Hip to Hip Theatre Company is back for its ninth year, providing free, family-friendly performances of Shakespeare plays. This summer, Woodside-based co-founders Jason and Joy Marr have chosen The Merchant of Venice, a dark drama about a 16th century merchant, Antonio, who defaults on a loan from a moneylender, and The Merry Wives of Windsor, a comedy about a flat broke, alcoholic aristocrat, Sir John Falstaff, who tries to bed the wives of two rich men. However, the women are not amused and respond with a series of practical jokes.

The fun begins on Wednesday with Merchant at the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. On Thursday, Merry Wives plays at Crocheron Park in Bayside. Then, the professional actors do 17 more productions in such neighborhoods as Forest Park, Fresh Meadows, Long Island City, and Sunnyside.

Click here for the complete schedule.

Photo by Hip to Hip Theatre Company

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You won’t believe your ears or your pocketbooks. Queens is about to experience a streak of fantastic, free, outdoor concerts over the next five days. Listeners will be able to bring their folding chairs, blankets, and dancing shoes to Flushing, Long Island City, Queensbridge, and Sunnyside and enjoy everything from hip hop to polka to R&B. George Clinton, Parliament Funkadelic, and the Chi-Lites are the biggest acts, but some performers, such as minimalist musician Florent Ghys (above), are masters of lesser-known genres.

Here is the schedule:

  • The Glukh Polka Band plays polkas, waltzes, and polonaises at Flushing Town Hall on July 12 at 2 pm.
  • Florent Ghys mixes minimalist music with classical forms, musique concrète, and even clapping and hair dryers as part of the Bang on a Can series at Noguchi Museum on July 12 at 3 pm.
  • The Chi-Lites, a group from the 1970s Chicago scene that was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in 2000, kicks off the borough’s SummerStage series at Queensbridge Park on July 14 at 7 pm.
  • Gerard Carelli & His Orchestra do a wide variety of swing music in Juniper Valley Park on July 14 at 7 pm.
  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, bring their unique funk to Queensbridge Park as part of SummerStage on July 15 at 7 pm.
  • Yesterday and Today, a Beatles tribute band, jams near the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park on July 15 at 7 pm.
  • Large Professor, a hip hop star from Flushing, and Marley Marl, a hip hop star from Queensbridge, take the stage at Queensbridge Park as part of SummerStage on July 16 at 7 pm.
  • Alí Bello & The Sweet Wire Band perform Latin jazz fusion in Sunnyside’s Bliss Plaza on July 16 at 6:30 pm.
  • Soul Inscribed plays a mix of hip hop, dub, funk, and soul, while Jennifer Cendaña Armas tells diaspora stories as part of SummerStage in Queensbridge Park on July 17 at 7 pm.

Photo by Florent Ghys

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Don’t be fooled by the name. First of all, it’s really more of a county fair. Second, papas and babies will have a great time, too.

The Mamas Expo, which will take place at the New York Hall of Science this weekend, is basically a two-day parenting celebration. It brings together artists, brand ambassadors, caretakers, educators, parents, performers, retailers, and of course, youngsters.

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You — and everybody else on Planet Earth — are cordially invited to the Global Family Reunion at the New York Hall of Science on Saturday.

The brainchild of “immersion scientist” A.J. Jacobs — author of such books as Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection, The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment, and The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible — this almost 10-hour event will include everything from on-the-spot genealogy lessons to lectures by Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe to sack races.

Plus, Sister Sledge will lead a rendition of the group’s 1970s hit “We are Family.”

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There was nothing like the two World’s Fairs celebrated in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in 1939-40 and 1964-65. And there will never be anything like the World’s Fair 50th anniversary festival planned for the same place on June 7 of this year.

Starting at 1 pm, the roughly five-hour commemoration will include classic cars, tours of historic sites, memorabilia exhibits, puppet shows, live music, and food trucks, including one that will sell Belgian waffles, which were introduced to the U.S. during the 1964-65 fair.

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It was one of the most memorable venues of the 1964 World’s Fair. Designed by legendary architect Philip Johnson, the New York State Pavilion featured the elliptical Tent of Tomorrow, whose 16 100-foot-high reinforced concrete piers suspended a 50,000-square-foot roof of multi-colored panels. The main floor featured a ground map of New York State with 567 terrazzo mosaic panels.

Meanwhile, the Theaterama, located adjacent to the pavilion, displayed art by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, and the three nearby observation towers boasted elevators leading to high-altitude platforms.

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Many Indians consider 1947 to be the separation year. It’s when the largely Hindu southeast Asian country gained independence from England and when Muslims began to move northwest and east to build nations in what is now Pakistan and Bangladesh.

That year also marked the emergence of Indian modern art, led by the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group and its contemporaries who made requisite visits to Europe and experimented with such genres as post-Impressionism, Cubism and Expressionism.

With war looming on the horizon, and the world still struggling to emerge from the Great Depression, the 1939-1940 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadow-Corona Park was designed to show the great promise of Tomorrow. As we saw last time, this new world would be filled with new technology and new innovations. New York City would get some needed economic help, and a neglected ash dump would become the site of a new park in Flushing. It was a win-win.

Architecture has always been one of the most important components of a World’s Fair. Even the smallest rural country fair is built around some kind of central building, even if that building is a large tent. A gigantic fair such as this, that would be in operation for at least a year, had to have impressive buildings that would show off talent, innovation and industry.

The fair itself had a theme – the World of Tomorrow. That title lent itself to futuristic structures such as the famous Tryon, Perisphere and Helicline, which rose up in the center of the fair and were its central attraction. They were designed by Wallace Harrison and his partner Max Abramowitz.

These partners would one day design the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center, and Harrison was chief architect of the United Nations complex, and the Empire State Plaza in Albany, among other large Modernist projects.