Green-Wood Cemetery is teaming up with online social network Groupmuse to host a classical concert inside the cemetery’s beautiful Gothic chapel later this month. “Groupmuse connects young classical musicians to local audiences through concert ‘house parties’ in unexpected locations,” according to the writeup.

There will be cocktails and mingling with the musicians before and after the event, and you can bring your own or purchase drinks there. The concert will happen Friday, January 23 at 7 pm. Tickets are $10 or $5 for BHS/Green-Wood members, and you can buy them through Groupmuse.


The winter edition of citywide music festival Make Music New York is bringing participatory performances to Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Heights, Cadman Plaza, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and McCarren Park this Sunday. Appalachian fiddlers and dancers will lead a parade from Grand Army Plaza to the Shake Shack on Flatbush Avenue, and in Williamsburg, a parade of kalimba (thumb piano) players will wend its way from Cooper Park to McCarren Park.

And singers and instrumentalists of all levels can meet in Cadman Plaza to play in a “slow-motion” performance of the prelude to Bach’s G-Major Cello Suite No. 1. Down on Williamsburg’s Southside, community groups El Puente and Bombayo are hosting an Afro-Caribbean dance and performance experience at El Puente’s headquarters on South 4th Street. Check out the full schedule over at Make Music New York.

Image via Make Music New York


Starting this Friday, Medgar Evers College will kick off its 16th annual Jazzy Jazz Festival, which will bring weekly jazz concerts to southern Crown Heights. Performers in this year’s lineup include MEC Jazz Ensemble & The Strobert Trio, Dr. Mambo & The Experience Ensemble featuring Neil Clarke and Alex Blake, Stanley Banks & Friends featuring Monte Croft, Jeff King Band, and a Caribbean cultural celebration for the school’s poet-in-residence for the jazz series, Nikki Williams. Performances will take place every Friday this summer from 6 to 9 pm along Crown Street next to the college’s new science center, at 1638 Bedford Avenue (pictured).

Photo by Tchassis via Wikimedia Commons


Williamsburg nonprofit Original Music Workshop is creating a haven where unknown musicians can perform and record in a former sawdust factory at Wythe Avenue and North 6th Street. Designed by Bureau V LLC, the century-old building at 80 North 6th Street will eventually house a large chamber hall, “a crystalline form comprised of perforated steel panels and recessed structural channels,” said the architecture firm, which will have the acoustic isolation of a recording studio.

The double-height room also has a balcony for extra seating and can fit as many as 350 people standing on both levels. A 70-person orchestra can record in the performance space, which includes two isolated mixing rooms and a video editing room. There will also be a double-height lobby with a bar and an independently operated 74-seat restaurant.

“Our goal is that most of the concerts you see here, you haven’t heard of them before. We want to find an audience for these people,” said creative director and composer Paola Prestini.

Through philanthropic donations and performances, the group has raised $16,000,000 so far, and hopes to bring in another $2,000,000 before the space opens in September 2015. OMW founder Kevin Dolan, a former tax attorney and composer, paid $2,325,000 for the factory in 2009. Then he found investors to fund the build-out — as well as the organization — who would then donate their shares of the LLC to the nonprofit after several years of successful work.

We toured the under-construction space with a group that included Councilmember Stephen Levin, who promised capital funding for the project. “I think it’s incredibly important to create these new homes for culture now,” he explained, “because in 10 years, these kinds of places will be gone from this neighborhood — at North 6th and Wythe.”

Check out a few more photos of the interior after the jump.

Music Venue/Artist Space Planned for Former ‘Burg Factory [Brownstoner]


Image source: Dead Amble on Facebook – live music at Strand Smokehouse in Astoria

Another great element besides the food and service at an establishment, is the music. Sometimes the music playing in the background can really elevate an experience (or cause it to come tumbling down if the music is bad). So where do you like to go where they have great music? And do you prefer it live or recorded? Leave us a comment here or via twitter at @queensnycity.


Image source: Wikimedia Commons – one of the sled dogs listening to music coming from a gramophone during Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova Expedition (1910-1913)

As we think about this question ourselves, we are enjoying the music in the background (Anette Askvik’s “Liberty” more specifically). Music just helps make the day better. So what are you listening to these days? We’d love to know your favorites. And how are you listening to the music? Streaming (we are fans of LIC’s own Songza), iTunes, or something else? Let us know in the comments or via twitter at @queensnycity.


Image source: SingleCut Beersmiths

Brew York clued us into some great new beer that will be flowing soon at SingleCut Beersmiths. Here’s the skinny:

Astoria’s Singlecut Beersmiths has rolled out more of their kegs into bars around the city. They launched last month with their debut brews 19-33 Lagrrr! and Dean PNW Mahogany Ale, but they’ve got some other beers up their sleeves, too. The seasonal Jan Olympic White Lagrrr! is a spiced lager and John Michael Dark Lyric Lagrrr! is a dark and hoppy lager, both out now. And coming this month, their line of IPAs will start to appear, including the Billy 18-Watt IPA, a sessionable hoppy ale, and Billy Full-Stack IPA, an intense Imperial IPA with 120 IBUs and 8.6% ABV.


Hurricane Sandy displaced Rockaway bartenders get a break, thanks to Michael Sinensky

Rockaway-born Michael Sinensky made it big – he runs 10 bars in the city, including the popular SideBAR, which is the site of a terrific project he’s implemented post-Hurricane Sandy. On Fridays he is able to give a shift to a Rockaway bartender that has been displaced by Hurricane Sandy. The bar they normally work at is likely under construction or just plain destroyed. The staff at SideBAR is happy to help out this way, too, so no worries about professional jealousy or resentment. Sinensky plans to carry this on for another few months.

Former Wall Street worker now drives a cab on the streets of NYC

The NY Post published a nice human interest story about 49 year old Forest Hills resident Jack Alvo, who used to earn a quarter of a million dollars in finance, but lost his job in 2009 (he also escaped the WTC on 9/11) in the financial mess that hit the country. He enjoys his time as a cabbie but hopes to get back to work in finance at some point. He even keeps copies of his resume in the back of the cab in case he picks up a fare that could possibly help him out. Earlier this year, he was featured on CBS News because of his unique story and efforts to change his situation.

Beautiful snowy scenes from Woodhaven

The folks over at Project Woodhaven took a bunch of snaps of the most recent dusting of snow in the area. It’s so pretty! Lots of shots of Forest Park are in the collection. Definitely check out the winter wonderland.

The Silent Taco

We’ve recently become aware of The Silent Taco, billed as, “a house concert series specializing in solo performances, held in a tiny one bedroom apartment in Astoria, Queens.” Husband and wife team Tom Blancarte and Louise D.E. Jensen run it. Check out this video for a recent performance from about a month ago:


The next event is on Saturday, January 19  – tubist Dan Peck celebrates the release of his debut solo record at The Silent Taco. Saxophonist Joachim Badenhurst, from Belgium, will also perform. There will be cactus tacos, too.

Hunters Point South building at 1-50 50th Ave makes progress

The building that will be at 1-50 50th Ave has its zoning documents in place – the DOB approved then mid-December. This residential building will be at the north tip of the Hunters Point South development and will have 37 stories at 627,960 square feet (a sliver of that at 13,766 square feet will be commercial), 619 apartments and 223 enclosed parking spaces. It will be at the corner of 50th Ave and 2nd Street. Check out some of the drawings!