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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.

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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.

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Louis Armstrong, Chazz Palminteri, and renowned Korean folk artist Jae Choon Kim headline another busy week in Queens. Other options include Mexican dance, sheep-shearing, Yiddish music, Bollywood films, walking tours, sex education, and nature photography. Here’s the rundown.

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At first glance, calligraphy is a visual art. But upon further investigation, its characters and images also express philosophy, culture, and inspiration. Chao-Lin Ting (above) has been engaging in this practice for roughly nine decades. The Chiangsu Province native is world renowned for his seal and semi-cursive scripts. This Sunday, the 102-year-old will co-present an afternoon dedicated to calligraphy at Flushing Town Hall. At 1 pm, Ting and James Shau will teach the basics of the Chinese genre, while Seoul native Yoo Sung Lee, a professional with over 30 years of practice who wrote a chapter in the World Encyclopedia of Calligraphy will inform on the Korean styles at 3 pm. Plus, the town hall’s walls are currently covered with Ting and Lee’s work as part of the Dynamic Writing: A Century of Calligraphy exhibit, which runs until March 22nd. (Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 5 pm.)

More details, another photo, and bonus details on jump page.

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Two writers with intimate knowledge of Queens will participate in separate, upcoming enrichment events at the Greater Astoria Historical Society. On Saturday, Adrienne Onofri, who just published the guidebook Walking Queens, will lead a roundtable discussion on two of the borough’s hottest neighborhoods, Astoria and Long Island City. This licensed NYC tour guide, who also writes about theater for the Broadway World blog, will then sell and sign copies of her new book, which describes 30 routes to discover Queens on foot.

On Monday, Q’Stoner writer Kevin Walsh, a historian who also runs the Forgotten NY blog, will take attendees on an indoor tour of classic New York City storefront signs — with the help of slides. They come in all shapes and sizes and contain words in countless colors and fonts. Plus, some storefront signs have wacky and/or fascinating stories.

Saturday details: Discussion on Hot Neighborhoods and Book Signing, Greater Astoria Historical Society, Quinn Building, 35-20 Broadway, Fourth Floor, Astoria/Long Island City, January 31st, 1 pm, free.

Monday details: Kevin Walsh on Storefronts, GAHS, February 2nd, 7 pm, $5.
Photo: Kevin Walsh

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It’s time for some enrichment, and the Greater Astoria Historical Society is ready to offer three distinct options for self-improvement on three consecutive days. This Saturday, licensed guide Tony Rohling will lead a walking tour of Sunnyside Gardens (below), a planned community which is celebrating its 90th anniversary. Participants will examine the architecture and landscaping in this historic district and check out Phipps Garden Apartments, a model residential complex for working-class families that a philanthropic organization belonging to the Henry Phipps family built in 1931. It features stylish brick work and curved steel fire escapes.

On Sunday, the Greater Astoria Historical Society will launch its first Chautauqua in Astoria workshop. Chautauqua is a lakeside village in upstate New York where summer visitors enjoy fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship, and recreational activities. Plus, the term “Chautauqua” can mean an informational lecture, and modern Chautauquas (above) focus on re-creating famous figures related to a specific theme. Sally Ann Drucker, an experienced Chautauquan, will lead a series of workshops on legendary New Yorkers from the 19th Century. Participants choose and research a legendary figure, write a 20-minute script, and learn how to present their material to live audiences. After four workshops, Chautauqua in Astoria culminates in live performances. 

Then on September 8th, the Greater Astoria Historical Society will team up with the New York Nineteenth Century Society to present a lecture on the 1876 Centennial Exhibition, which was held in Philadelphia. Attendees will learn about the celebration of America’s 100th birthday, the inventions that debuted then, and the lasting impact the event had on the United States. (For example, the Statue of Liberty’s torch-bearing hand was on display at the exhibition before the completed monument was installed in New York Harbor.) 

Details after the jump.

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On March 13, 1964, Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death near the Kew Gardens apartment building where she lived. At first, the murder didn’t receive much media attention, but 13 days later, The New York Times ran an article with the headline: “Thirty-Seven Who Saw Murder Didn’t Call the Police.” (A later reproduction put the number at 38.) The witnesses’ alleged indifference became a symbol of the callousness of the era and led to psychological investigation of the social phenomenon now known as “Genovese syndrome” or “bystander effect.” This Saturday, the Greater Astoria Historical Society will mark the 50th anniversary of this 28-year-0ld bar manager’s killing with a roundtable discussion about the truths, myths, lies and exaggerations of this case.

Details: History Roundtable: Kitty GenoveseGreater Astoria Historical Society, Quinn Building, 35-20 Broadway, 4th Floor, Long Island City, $5.

Photo: KittyGenoveseBook/FB

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They have G-Men, X-files and SWAT teams, but the FBI is so much more that a group of initials. This Saturday, the Greater Astoria Historical Society will present a program on the Federal Bureau of Investigation that will explore this intelligence agency whose storied past includes decades pursing mobsters, testy relationships with presidents and a broadened mission after the 9/11 attacks. Attendees will watch rare footage of the FBI in action, explore the agency’s history from the early days of J. Edgar Hoover to the unique challenges of the high-tech era, and listen to agents share their personal experiences. Then, those present will be invited to participate in a roundtable discussion on the latest controversies surrounding the FBI’s domestic surveillance.

Details: History Roundtable: The FBI, Greater Astoria Historical Society, Quinn Building, 35-20 Broadway, 4th Floor, Astoria, December 21st, 1 pm, donations accepted.

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Image Source: NYC Treeman

After World War I broke out in 1914, many German-Americans started embracing assimilation with an unprecedented eagerness. But throughout the 1800s, German immigrants were second only to Irish newcomers in volume, and their offspring proudly asserted their ethnic pride, making a major, obvious mark on popular culture. On January 26, the Greater Astoria Historical Society and the New York Nineteenth Century Society look at German influence on the era’s comedy, theater and music with Trav S.D., author of No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous (Faber & Faber) and a leading figure in the New Vaudeville movement.

Quo Vas Is?
Greater Astoria Historical Society
Quinn Building, 35-20 Broadway, 4th Floor, Long Island City
Saturday, January 26
1pm – 2:30pm | Free