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It was so nice they did it twice. Flushing Meadows Corona Park hosted the 1939-1940 World’s Fair and the one that ran in 1964 and 1965. Both events — which took place over two, consecutive, six-month periods — had major impact on Queens and the rest of the world. Plus, both are currently celebrating major anniversaries (50th and 75th). This Sunday, a group of Urban Park Rangers will lead a tour through the park that will highlight the remnants and their roles in these historic fairs. More details after jump.

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Circus Amok is known for its one-ring spectacles that manage to be outrageous, hilarious, political, and even sexy. The performers display traditional skills, such as juggling, acrobatics and clowning, but they also like to dance, do improv and mix gender roles. On January 24th, this troupe will bring its act to the Queens Museum to add spice to the Spooktacular Winter Ball. Attendees are encouraged to dust off their Halloween costumes and bring some tricks up their sleeves, while Circus Amok will provide the sideshow thrills. The lineup includes a heart-stopping scavenger hunt with fearless feather balancing; hippodrome bingo with genuine fake hippos; a palindrome parade through the world-famous Panorama; a big top bar; a ring toss raffle; and even clown face painting.

Details: Boo! The Winter Spooktacular Ball, Queens Museum, NYC Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, January 24th, 2 pm to 5 pm. Price range: $75 contribution (this is a fundraiser) for up to six tickets, six raffle tickets, and family membership; $150 contribution for up to six tickets, 12 raffle tickets, family membership, one VIP parking spot for the event, and the opportunity for advance sign-up for Big Time Summer Art Thing for Kids Summer Camp (placement not guaranteed); and $20 for a ticket, which includes one complimentary raffle ticket.

Photos: David Shankbone

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In my last post I told you about an event attended on Saturday the tenth of January at the Queens Museum, which put a spotlight on the topographical relief map of the NYC water system. Despite hurdles offered by MTA and the weather, I somehow made it there from Astoria.

On Sunday the eleventh, a repeat of my journey to the institution, housed in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, was enacted. This time, the Queens Museum was merely the place where a walking tour of the so called Iron Triangle at Willets Point was meeting up, an excursion led by the official Queens Borough Historian – Dr. Jack Eichenbaum. I’ve been lucky enough to know him for a while now, and I’m pretty sure that we met during the Queensboro Bridge Centennial celebrations back in 2009. When I heard that he would be doing this tour, inquiries whether or not I could come along were made and he graciously invited me (and you Q’Stoners) along.

Here’s what we saw along the way – with lots of photos after the jump.

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Martin Luther King Weekend is coming up, and the Queens Museum will honor this transformative civil rights leader by holding its first-ever anti-bullying exhibition on Thursday and Friday. The event’s goal is to enlighten and educate those who face the social and emotional challenges related to this form of harassment via group readings, moderated discussions, and sponsors giving away resources. One highlight will be a book presentation by Southeast Queens resident Delicia B. Davis. Her Dear Diary series tells the story of Patricia Thomas, who lives with a violent mother and no father figure. The teenager documents her struggle in a diary which inspires and presents methods for overcoming bullying.

Details: Anti-Bullying Exhibition, Queens Museum, NYC Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, January 15th and January 16th, noon to 4 pm both days, free. (To participate in events with Delicia Davis and other special guests, send an email to preciseproductiongroup@gmail.com.)

Photo: Anti-Bullying Page

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Saturday last, I headed over to the newly renovated Queens Museum at the former World’s Fair Grounds in Flushing Meadow Corona Park. The trip was a true bit of joy, given that I don’t own a car and the 7 train was undergoing one of its periodic spasms of maintenance work, so I had to get there from Astoria via a train ride to Forest Hills whereupon I was meant to catch a bus. The bus was leaving when I got out of the station, so I hailed a cab. Neither the cab driver nor his GPS seemed to have ever heard of the Queens Museum or Flushing Meadow Corona Park, but somehow I got there in time for a NYC H2O event celebrating the massive Watershed Relief Map which has been given a place of pride and honor at the institution.

The map was prepared in the 1930s by the Work Projects Administration for the institutional ancestors of our modern Department of Environmental Protection – the Department of Water Supply, Gas, and Electricity and the Board of Water Supply. All city agencies were tasked with producing displays that depicted their functions for the World’s Fair of 1939, and the water people decided to go big.

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It was the greatest monument that nobody saw. The Cartographic Survey Force, a branch of the Works Progress Administration, constructed a 3D relief map of the New York City water system for the 1939 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Tapping mountain springs as far as 100 miles away, the water system was an engineering marvel at time, and the 32-feet-by-20-feet, wood-and-plaster replica was just as impressive. Plus, it had a $100,000 price tag — about $1.5 million today — during the Depression Era. Nevertheless, it went straight to storage. (Find out more on jump page.)

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Polit-Sheer-Form-Office consists of five Chinese artists who eat, drink, and play in a collective way of life associated with the Cultural Revolution — and its imposed communism — that they experienced as children. Each artist has a solo career, but each espouses a love of equality and a willingness to set aside the self for the betterment of the aggregate. More details and photos of this group’s work in Queens are on the jump page.

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Come and visit. You’ll like it. Lonely Planet named Queens the best tourism destination for 2015 this morning. The travel media company commended the borough “for topicality and buzz-worthiness,” while praising the food, diversity, hotels, events, and unique neighborhoods.

“Nowhere is the image of New York as the global melting pot truer than Queens,” reads Lonely Planet’s editorial in its Best in the US list for 2015. “Browse New York’s biggest Chinatown in Flushing, shop for brilliantly colored saris in Jackson Heights, and inhale the heady aromas of coffee and hookahs in Astoria.”

The editorial continues: “The incomparable array of world cuisines makes Queens a destination for food lovers from all parts of New York City. For your art fix, ogle the new upgrades to the Queens Museum and the Museum of the Moving Image, look for the new Emerging Artists Festival in Long Island City, and stroll Astoria’s new 24-block Kaufman Arts District. If you prefer sand and surf to paint and canvas, head to Rockaway.”

Western South Dakota came in second on the list. The other members of the top 10 were, in order, New Orleans (LA), the Colorado River, North Conway (NH), Indianapolis (IN), Greenville (SC), Oakland (CA), Duluth (MN), and the Mount Shasta Region (CA).

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Go ahead, deck the halls. But for real holiday inspiration, head over to any one of four fantastic concerts scheduled for this upcoming, jam-packed weekend. The fun begins on Friday with a special show at Queens Museum featuring the Corona Youth Orchestra, the Corona Children’s Orchestra, and the No Frontiers Children’s Orchestra playing Beethoven and other classics. There’s a double dose on Saturday, as the Forest Hills Choir performs a collection of choral pieces, such as “Magnificat” and “O Magnum Mysterium,” which honor the Virgin Mary. At night, the Queens College Choral Society, whose membership includes high school students and adults who have been with the group for more than 40 years, does Handel’s Messiah and other favorites with a full orchestra. Finish the fix — and get another dose of Handel’s Messiah — on Sunday when Our Lady of Martyrs Church’s Sacred Music Society joins forces with the Oratorio Society of Queens to offer an annual concert that always involves tremendous audience participation.

Four sets of details after the jump.

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In 1831, the United States government forcibly relocated the Choctaw tribe from Mississippi to the Oklahoma territories. Many Choctaws died during the trip, known as “The Trail of Tears,” while many survivors faced tremendous hardships adapting to the cold weather. However, the Choctaw had a tradition of helping others and a mere 16 years later — during the height of the Irish Potato Famine in 1847 — they pooled resources and donated $170 to relief efforts on the Emerald Isle.

This weekend, Queens Museum and Queens Theatre will honor this act of generosity with An Irish Choctaw Thanksgiving, featuring live music, dance performances and screenings of inspiring films. Funds raised will go to Hour Children, a Long Island City-based nonprofit that works with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and their children, and No Kid Hungry Share Our Strength, a nonprofit that connects children in need to nutritious food.

Details after jump.