Long Island City

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Queens is quickly becoming a foodie haven with countless courses and unlimited drinks. The newest phenomenon mixes locally made artisan meals with handcrafted beer. On Friday, the Rockaway Brewing Company will host a pop-up showcase at its Long Island City pub. Organized in partnership with the Entrepreneur Space, a nearby food-and-business incubator, it’s really kind of simple. Rockaway Brewing supplies the suds, while E-Space clients provide the victuals. Sessions usually run from 5 pm to 10 pm on Fridays and 3 pm to 10 pm on Saturdays.
The organizers hope to continue the market until winter. Details will be forthcoming, but the immediate schedule follows:
  • July 17, Traze, homemade, grandma-style falafel pizza.
  • July 24, Crudité, veggie-forward meals with fruit, wholesome grains and lean non-animal proteins.
  • July 31, Eateasy, tailor-made, high quality, healthy meals.
  • August 1, Eateasy.
  • August 8, Crudité.
  • August 14, Bittergreen, locally sourced, fresh meals based on the hearty cuisines of New England and the Canadian Maritimes.
  • August 15, Bittergreen.
Photo by Crudité

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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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Filipino stingray sandwiches, Hong Kong mango pomelo soup, and Venezuelan patacón are some of the ethnic food options that are available in Queens, the world’s most diverse borough. However, adventurous eaters will now be able to try all of these treats — as well as Colombian arepas, Korean redneck tacos, and Taiwanese popcorn chicken — in the same spot.

On Saturday, Smorgasburg Queens will hold a grand opening at its 7,500-square-foot lot, which is attached to a 10,000-square-foot indoor space, at 43-29 Crescent Street in Long Island City. About two dozen vendors will sell their appetizers, entrées, beverages, desserts, and specialty products from 11 am to 6 pm on a weekly basis.

Though a sister market to the original Smorgasburg in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg, this bazaar will have a distinctively Queens flavor. Joe DiStefano, who gives local food tours and blogs about restaurants, is the curator, and he’s recruited a diverse group of purveyors from such neighborhoods as Astoria, Elmhurst, Flushing, Jackson Heights, Long Island City, and Woodside.

It won’t all be ethnic, though. Tina Stipanovic from Rèst-âü-Ránt (RaR) plans to serve Bloody Mary doughnuts and s’mores with stout, a mix of chocolate insides with a salty crumb finish and stout reduction. Queens Kickshaw will go with a new version of its famous grilled cheese sandwiches. And the Michelin-rated Forest Hills eatery Danny Brown Wine Bar & Kitchen will spin off as Brine by Danny Brown and peddle lobster roll, duck confit, and a brioche hot dog roll.

Photo by Smorgasburg

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On your mark. Get set. Go…but not too fast. On July 12, the eighth annual Tour de Queens will take participants on a roughly 20-mile loop that starts and ends in Astoria Park. Basically a rolling parade, the tour rides en masse at a family-friendly pace –about 10 mph — with NYPD escorts, volunteer safety marshals, and occasional stops at intersections to gather riders. This year’s route goes through Long Island City, Sunnyside, Rego Park, Forest Hills, and Corona with an optional rest stop with light snacks and water at Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village.

Proceeds go to Transportation Alternatives, a nonprofit that promotes bicycling, walking, and the use of public transit in New York City.

Details: Tour de Queens, meet in the Astoria Park parking lot off 19th Street and Hoyt Avenue North, Astoria, July 12, 8 am check in, $22.50.

Photo by Tour de Queens

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A young Bob Dylan, an aging Argentine socialite, a 1950s French pop icon, and exploited Bangladeshi workers are coming to Long Island City this summer.

On July 1, Socrates Sculpture Park will roll the tape for Outdoor Cinema 2015. To be celebrated on consecutive Wednesday nights, this 17th-annual festival features international films on a 40-foot-wide screen right after lovely sunsets. Plus, the origin of each movie sets the tone for the accompanying music, dance, and food. (For example, on a night that a Czech movie is showing, there will be Czech music, dance, and food.)

Here is the schedule.

  • July 1, Dont Look Back, England. This documentary depicts a 1965 tour through the United Kingdom by a 23-year-old Bob Dylan.
  • July 8, Live-in Maid, Argentina. This comedy tells the story of an aging divorcée in Buenos Aires whose wealth is gone and whose beauty is fading..
  • July 15, Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life, France. Though not a documentary, this movie is a biography of 1950s French pop star Serge Gainsbourg, a heartthrob who bedded Brigitte Bardot and other glamorous.
  • July 22, Iron Crows, Bangladesh. This painful documentary informs on workers who make $2 a day ripping apart out-of-operation ships in horrible conditions.
  • July 29, Kings of the Wind & Electric QueensIndia. This documentary revolves around a Hindu festival held along the Ganges River on a full moon day.
  • August 5, Cold Conflicts, Sweden. This collection of short films delves into intense relationships.
  • August 12, Wadjda, Saudi Arabia. This is the first film ever directed by a Saudi woman. It’s about a 10-year-old girl who challenges a man-dominant world by trying to get a bicycle so she can race a local boy.
  • August 19, AliceCzech Republic. This an off-the-wall version of Alice in Wonderland with animated animals and objects.

Details: Outdoor Cinema 2015, Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, July 1 through August 19 on Wednesdays at dusk, free.

Photo by Socrates Sculpture Center

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She got a standing ovation at the United Nations in April 2012 after speaking about technology and challenging the audience to build her a robot. Later that year, she was named Young Person of the Year in her native Ireland.

Joanne O’Riordan is one of seven people on this planet currently living with Tetra-amelia syndrome, a congenital disorder characterized by the absence of all four limbs. Most sufferers die in utero or shortly after birth, but O’Riordan is now 19.

This Friday, the New York Irish Center will screen No Limbs, No Limits, a documentary made by O’Riordan’s brother, Steven, on her life.

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On Monday, we posted about the Historic Jackson Heights Weekend, which features two days of walking tours around the neighborhood. This was accurate as far as it goes, but it deserves an amplification, as there are guided treks all around the borough this weekend.

On Saturday, official Queens historian Jack Eichenbaum gives his signature expedition, The World of the 7 Train. It’s actually a series of six walks along with subway rides. He discusses the history and impact of the 7 line, while stopping in Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights, Corona, and Flushing, where the event ends with lunch, probably at a Chinese restaurant.

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It’s going to be wheelie fun. The annual LIC Bike Parade will roll through Western Queens on June 6, starting at 3 pm. But the multi-faceted fun will begin inside Socrates Sculpture Park at around 11 am, when racers can repair their rides for free with RECYCLE-A-BIKE and get free helmets from the NYC Department of Transportation.

At the same time, artist-led workshops will help participants decorate their rides and there will be a bicycle swap. Meanwhile, from noon to 2 pm at nearby Rainey ParkBike NY will offer a riding class for beginners. The parade will take off from the main entrance to Socrates and go along Vernon Boulevard to Queensbridge Park for a waterfront celebration that lasts until 5 pm.

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The Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City was founded specifically to show large artworks in an outdoor setting, but even so, its next project is remarkably huge. On Sunday, Agnes Denes will unveil The Living Pyramid, a site-specific earthwork consisting of several tons of soil and planted grass that will span 30 feet at its four-sided base and rise 30 feet in the air by the East River.

The Budapest-born Denes has used pyramids to examine environmental priorities and social hierarchies for five decades.