George Clinton and Funkadelic highlight a series of free outdoor concerts this week. In addition to the live music, fun-seekers can choose a Colombia flower extravaganza (above), a noncompetitive bike race, a book festival, plenty of movies, and a night market. Here’s the rundown.
July 9, The Cab Calloway Orchestra, 7:30 pm. The Central Astoria LDC’s 2015 Waterfront Concert Series begins with a night of music from the Harlem Renaissance (1930s-1940s). Free. Astoria Park’s Great Lawn, Shore Boulevard between the Hell Gate Bridge and the pool.
July 9, Preview Screening of Boulevard with director Dito Montiel in person, 7 pm. The movie Boulevard premiered to warm praise at the Tribeca Film Festival, but its release was delayed after main actor Robin Williams’s death last summer. Now it premieres on July 10, but it screens at the Museum of the Moving Image the night before with Astoria-born director Montiel in attendance. $15. MMI, 36-01 35th Avenue, Kaufman Arts District.
July 9, Flushing Historical Diversity Tour, 6:30 pm. Official Queens historian Jack Eichenbaum walks and talks about the area’s past and present. $12/$6 for children. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard.
There’s unique. There’s really unique. There’s incredibly unique. And then there’s the new Dance in Queens program at Flushing Town Hall. Over six Thursdays, this six-part lecture-and-dance workshop series will get participants walking, talking, moving, and grooving to Chinese, Mexican, Korean, and Indian music and immigrant experiences.
The fun begins on July 9, when Jack Eichenbaum, the official Queens historian, leads a walking tour through Flushing with an emphasis on observing and discussing the neighborhood’s historic houses and modern day diversity. The rest of the schedule follows.
- July 16: Queens Chinese Immigration and Dance Workshop with Ling Tang, who will teach traditional ribbon dance.
- July 23: Mexican Immigration to New York and Dance Workshop with Alberto Lopez, co-founder of Calpulli Mexican Dance Company.
- July 30: Flushing’s Koreatown and Dance Workshop with Song Hee Lee, who will discuss her personal story from principal dancer at the Pusan Metropolitan Dance Company in Korea to launching her own troupe in NYC. She will also teach sogo chum (small hand-drum dance).
- August 6: Little India and Dance Workshop with Abha Roy, who will teach kathak, a classic dance form of northern India.
- August 13: Artists from the series will participate in a “Talk-Back and Tasting” with finger food.
Details: Dance in Queens, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, July 9, July 16, July 23, July 30, August 6, August 13, tour starts at 6:30 pm, workshops start at 7 pm, $12/$6 for children.
Photo: Flushing Town Hall
The big news this week is the Macy’s fireworks show, which will happen in the sky above Long Island City on July 4. There’s also plenty of outdoor fun with concerts, movie screenings, and even a beach campfire. Here’s the rundown.
July 2, Outdoor Movies, dusk. The Queens World Film Festival presents independent foreign films. Free. Diversity Plaza, vicinity of 74th Street/Jackson Heights subway stop.
July 2, Beach Campfire, 7 pm. National park rangers organize a campfire. Bring fixings for s’mores, blankets, and beach chairs. Free. Jacob Riis Park, Boardwalk and Beach 169th Street.
July 3, Young Mr. Lincoln, 7 pm. Shown as part of The Essential John Ford, a tribute to the consummate American filmmaker, Young Mr. Lincoln presents a series of minor, mainly fictionalized events examining the U.S. president. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Kaufman Arts District.
July 4, Hot Jazz/Cool Garden Series, 2 pm. The Ladybugs provide the music. The house provides the red beans, rice, sweet tea, tours, and birthday cake in honor of Satchmo’s birthday. The Ladybugs are a traditional jazz vocal group known for intricate harmonies and experimental arrangements with ukulele, guitar, trombone, bass, and drums. $18/$45 series subscription. Louis Armstrong House Museum, 34-56 107th Street, Corona.
July 4, Pilgrimage, 2 pm; Judge Priest, 4:30 pm. Shown as part of The Essential John Ford, a tribute to the consummate American filmmaker, Pilgrimage is about a mother who sends her son to war to prevent his marriage to a woman she doesn’t like. In Judge Priest, Will Rogers plays a noble judge who tries to vindicate the secret father of a girl and change southern prejudices. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Kaufman Arts District.
July 5, The Prisoner of Shark Island, 2 pm; The Grapes of Wrath, 4:30 pm; Judge Priest, 7 pm. Shown as part of The Essential John Ford, a tribute to the consummate American filmmaker, Prisoner of Shark Island is about Dr. Samuel Mudd, the man who unwittingly treated John Wilkes Booth after Lincoln’s assassination. With Henry Fonda, Grapes of Wrath is an adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel about Depression-era Okies on the road to California. In Judge Priest, Will Rogers plays a noble judge who tries to vindicate the secret father of a girl and change southern prejudices. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Kaufman Arts District.
July 6, Bug Week + Bug Day, through July 11. From 1 pm to 3 pm, take part in insect- related activities. Hold a Madagascar hissing cockroach, observe bees in a hive, make a bee mask. $12-$15. New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Corona.
July 6, Lego Camp with Bricks 4 Kidz, through July 31. Each week children (ages 5-12) get a new design challenge that builds spatial and critical thinking and engages them in creative and educational play. Themes include: Amusement Park Camp, Space Adventure Camp, Super Hero Academy Camp, and Robotics. $225 per week for half day or $450 per week for full day; or $800/month to $1,600/month. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing.
July 7, The Iron Giant, dusk. Outdoor movie screening. Free. O’Donohue Park Performance Space, Beach 17th Street and Seagirt Boulevard, Far Rockaway.
July 8, Live-In Maid, 7 pm. The 17th annual, eight-week Outdoor Cinema Festival includes open-air cinema, music, dance, and food. All films are presented in their original language with English subtitles and every film is projected onto a 40-foot wide screen. Live-In Maid is about a still-elegant divorcée, living in a fashionable Buenos Aires apartment. Her maid of 30 years massages her feet and freshens her drinks, but makes moves to abandon her. Free. Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City.
July 8, Bridges and Sunsets: Roosevelt Island Tour, 6:30 pm. Official Queens historian Jack Eichenbaum leads a walking tour of the Roosevelt Island bridge and a stroll down to the island’s southern tip, where a new park honors FDR. $20, email@example.com.
July 8, Italian Nights 2015, 7:30 pm. The Federation of Italian American Organizations of Queens presents outdoor live music and dancing every Wednesday through Aug. 26. Free. Athens Square Park, 30th Street and 30th Avenue, Astoria.
Photo by 20th Century Fox
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.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is celebrating its 40th anniversary in Queens — where else? — this week. Other fun activities include a strawberry festival, a hot dog-eating contest, a theater festival, a mama’s expo, and plenty of live outdoor music. Here’s the rundown.
June 12, The Rocky Horror Picture Show Experience, 7:30 pm. This is a screening and live reenactment by the New York City Shadow Cast of the 1970s cult movie, which is now celebrating its 40th anniversary. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite character. $15. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave., Kaufman Arts District.
June 12, Unchained Theatre Festival, until June 28. This third annual extravaganza features 16 pieces, ranging from 10-minute shorts to full-length plays, performed three times in the course of three weeks. Voting by audiences and judges determines the top pieces, which receive an additional performance during the finale on June 28. $15/$18 for final round/closing ceremony. The Chain Theatre, 21-28 45th Rd., LIC.
The Who will rock to town as a highlight of an incredibly musical week that includes a symphony, an international event, Ed Sheeran, jazz, and even a festival for people who play the saw. There are also opportunities to enjoy Latin dance, European films, walking tours, and fly fishing. Here’s the rundown.
Some enrichment options head outdoors with such events as a carnival, a gardening extravaganza, and a guided walk. But with “April Showers” in mind, the borough also hosts indoor fun, such as comedy, live music, film, theater, photography, and some 3-D magic. Here’s the rundown.
Jack Eichenbaum grew up in Bayside in the 1950s. He left for academic and vocational reasons in 1963, and when he returned from completing his doctorate in urban geography in 1976, he found a completely different borough. The mostly white, working class neighborhoods of his youth had transformed into multi-ethnic enclaves, creating the world’s most diverse county. Fascinated, he started giving walking tours of his beloved hometown in the 1980s, and in 2010, Eichenbaum was designated the official historian of Queens, as per the borough president’s office. The former city assessor has five upcoming tours, which are famous for the amount of local trivia he shares and the great restaurants he hits afterwards with participants. For more information, please see below.
- Willets Point, Sunday, May 25th, 4 pm: East of Citi Field is a sewerless, hardscrabble area of auto junkyards and related businesses that has twice beaten back recent attempts at redevelopment. But since it’s located between the world famous baseball stadium and booming Flushing, public and private interests are again trying to transform Willets Point. Eichenbaum will walk from central Flushing to the area, while discussing political, economic and ecological issues and explaining why “Willets Point” is a misnomer. $20.
- The World of the 7 Train, Saturday, May 31st, 10 am: Eichenbaum calls this full-day program his “signature tour,” although it’s actually a series of six walks (Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights, Corona and Flushing) and connecting rides. He focuses on the 7 train’s influence on surrounding neighborhoods. Lunch is in Flushing. Pre-register via firstname.lastname@example.org.
- On and Off Jamaica Avenue, Sunday, June 8th, 10 am: After decades of dedication, redesign, and redevelopment, Downtown Jamaica is undergoing a renaissance as the borough’s major transportation center. Eichenbaum promises historic buildings, commercial activity, culture, and a surprise ending. $20.
- Crossing Newtown Creek: Contrasting Industrial Brooklyn & Queens, Sunday, July 27th, 10 am: See remnants of the intense and largely unregulated industrial development that thrived along Newtown Creek during the late 19th century. See elegant Greenpoint highlights and East River shoreline redevelopment ending with shoreline views from Gantry Park and Hunter’s Point.
- More Space and New Arrangements in Western Queens, Sunday, August 3rd, 10 am: During the first third of the 20th century, Western Queens nurtured developments where traditional open space/building area relationships were altered to create new urban architecture. Sunnyside Gardens and the Jackson Heights Historic District anchor this tour, which includes Phipps Garden Apartments, various Matthews Flats, the Metropolitan Life houses, and early truck-oriented industrial buildings.
Photo: Alex Engel
Forget the thermometer, the Queens calendar of events has declared that “Spring has Sprung!” The borough will host countless outdoor activities over the next month, starting with a few running, walking and peeping opportunities this weekend. The fun starts on Friday with the 5 Miles Marking 5 Decades Fun Run, a two-loop road race that starts and ends at the north end of Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s Meadow Lake, at 4:30 pm. Organized by Queens Distance Runners, this event commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1964 World’s Fair.
On Saturday, early risers can enjoy a bird walk through Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge led by American Littoral Society naturalist Don Riepe. Meanwhile at 1 pm, attendees can combine a stroll with a nature lesson at Bayside’s Fort Totten, where Urban Park Rangers will discuss scientific concepts and weather phenomena, such as lightning, thunder, clouds, the water cycle, hurricanes and extreme storms.
On Sunday, the official Queens historian, Jack Eichenbaum, will guide a historic stroll through Flushing. He will take his troops to the 1964 Quaker Meeting House, the 1661 Bowne House and the (1774-1785) Kingsland Manor, where the Queens Historical Society is exhibiting Practicing Equality, Quakers in Queens. If that’s not enough, hardcore types can walk the winter-ravaged Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways and learn beach dynamics with American Littoral Society naturalist Mickey Maxwell Cohen. There will be plenty of flotsam and jetsam and the chance to learn about the area’s surprising wartime history.
Details (one): 5 Miles Marking 5 Decades Fun Run, Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s Meadow Lake, March 28th, 4:30 pm, $25/$15 for members of Queens Distance Runners and the Queens Tourism Council/$8 for junior high and high school students.
Details (two): Early Spring Bird Walk, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, March 29th, 10 am. Free, but RSVP to NEChapter@littoralsociety.org or 718-474-0896.
Details (three): Exploring Clouds, Fort Totten, Bayside, March 29th, 1 pm, free.
Details (four); Quaker Flushing, meet at northwest corner of Main Street and 37th Avenue, March 30th, noon, $15/$20 with part of the proceeds going to the Queens Historical Society. RSVP required to Jack Eichenbaum at email@example.com.
Details (five): Spring Tide Walks, meet at parking lot near Jacob Riis Park’s Entry Pavilion, March 30th, 10: 30 am, free but RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-474-0896.
No local stone will be left unturned next Friday, when Queens College hosts Quintessential Queens: Celebrating America’s Fourth Largest City, an all-day, eight-hour conference. As part of ongoing 75th anniversary celebrations, the Flushing university will bring together a hodgepodge of outstanding speakers, including academics, economists, preservationists and artists. City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer will give a lecture about culture, while QC biology professor John Waldman will talk about the borough’s natural landscape. Wellington Chen from the Chinatown Partnership will discuss demographics in Flushing, while Jonathan Bowles from the Center for an Urban Future will imagine the borough in the year 2030. Paolo Javier, the borough’s poet laureate, will offer verse, the official Queens historian Jack Eichenbaum will discuss the county’s place in U.S. history and QC professor Nicole Cooley will look at how Queens fares in the literary world. Plus, local nonprofits, such as the Alley Pond Environmental Center, the Museum of the Moving Image, Flushing Town Hall and the Louis Armstrong House Museum, will staff informational booths.
Details: Quintessential Queens: Celebrating American’s Fourth Largest City, Queens College, LeFrak Concert Hall, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, October 4th, 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, $20 for all day plus lunch.
Photo by the Queens Tourism Council