It’s time to tree-cycle and e-cycle. To promote eco-friendly practices — and help New Yorkers avoid a new state law imposing $100 fines on residents who leave electronics on the curb for pickup — the Queens Botanical Garden will host the 12th annual E-Waste Recycling Event on Sunday. Done in partnership with the Lower East Side Ecology Center and sponsored by TekServe, this six-hour event allows participants to drop off unwanted or non-functional computers, printers, cell phones, video games, tablets, and other gadgets in the parking entrance. (Click here for a full list of acceptable items.) Garden employees will make sure that they are disposed of in the proper ecological way. On the same day and in the same spirit, the garden will host arts-and-crafts activities using recycled and repurposed items.
Meanwhile in response to recent holidays, the NYC Parks Department will host MulchFest 2015 all weekend at various spots throughout the five boroughs, including 13 Queens green spaces. Residents can bring trees to these spots to be recycled into mulch that will nourish plantings across the city. In some places, NYC Parks employees will chip the wood and give bags of mulch back to the tree donors. Details for all three events are on the jump page.
Get on your bikes and ride… to the edible plants. This Sunday, the Rockspot Bike Tour, sponsored by the National Park Service, will depart from Firehouse 59 in Rockaway Beach at 10 am. Participants in this non-competitive event will pedal through the eastern section of the Rockaway Peninsula, exploring everything from natural vegetation to dunes to edible plants.
Get on your bikes again and ride… back in time. On Sunday, October 12th, a second Rockstop Bike Tour will lead participants from the Jacob Riis Batthouse through Gateway National Park to the western end of the peninsula. This time, the focus will be on sites of historical and environmental significance.
More information on these two tours is on the jump page.
Nobody wants to think about it, but Labor Day is around the corner, and that means one thing: It’s time to head to the peninsula to check out the large-scale, multi-site, mostly outdoor art installation Rockaway! before it ends. This free, summer-long display celebrates the reopening of Fort Tilden, a former U.S. Army base in the Gateway National Recreation Area that sustained severe damage during Hurricane Sandy. Visitors can peruse photographs taken by punk rocker Patti Smith, a gallery dedicated to Walt Whitman that includes books of his poetry, and nest sculptures by Adrián Villar Rojas (above). Installed in several locations, these nests invite local birds to inhabit them. Other components include The Forty Piece Motet by Janet Cardiff (first photo below), a spatialized adaptation of a sacred 16th-century motet that’s in the former military chapel, and a mutli-genre collaboration with the Honolulu Biennial at the newly restored Rockaway Beach Surf Club on Beach 87th Street. Rockaway! — a collaboration between the Rockaway Artists Alliance, the Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1, the National Park Service, the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, and Smith — also showcases Fort Tilden’s natural and historical beauty.
For more information on venues and times and four more photos, go to the jump page.
The Spot: Breezy’s, 97th St Concession Stand, Rockaway Beach.
The Deal: The concession stand at Rockaway Beach is back and one of the restaurants taking advantage of the summer crowds is the new BBQ joint Breezy’s. The evolving restaurant began as a food truck in Williamsburg.
“We experimented with our BBQ in a food truck in Williamsburg last year and had been looking for a place to set up shop,” says Amy Tichenor. “We didn’t want to do a restaurant or a take-out joint, the Rockaway concession felt like the perfect fit between food truck and restaurant.”
Now Tichenor and friends sling BBQ to hungry beach goers every day but Tuesdays at the busy cash-only spot, nestled between the other family-owned businesses at the concession stands.
“The 97th Street Concession has such a diverse group of family-run local restaurants, offering beach-goers a number of options, if they are looking for a quick bite to eat on the weekends or if they want to go out to dinner on the beach during the week, the concession is the perfect beach-side dining in The Rockaways,” Tichenor says.
Read about Breezy’s Signature Dish after the jump…
It’s a multi-faceted event for a multi-purposed cause. On Saturday, the eighth annual Rockstock and Barrels Festival will fill the Rockaway peninsula with about 11 hours of live music, gnarly surfing contests, rad skateboarding exhibitions and fun beach games. There will also be art, clothing and food vendors. Last year’s extravaganza attracted about 8,000 attendees, including surfers from as far away as California and musicians from all over the United States, to an area that was still recovering from Hurricane Sandy. This year’s event should be even better and proceeds will support the Rockaway Beach Surf Club, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit that supports everything the peninsula has to offer, including the work of artists, writers, musicians and all lovers of surf and beach.
Details: Rockstock and Barrels Festival, Boardwalk at Beach 90th Street, Rockaway Beach, June 28th, 10 am to nighttime. Free.
List of scheduled main stage performers: Matthew Kiss, 11 am; The Mourning War, noon; The Wordy Bums, 1 pm; Exit Verona, 2 pm; The King’s Heartbeat, 3 pm; Groundswell, 4 pm; Symptom 7, 5 pm; and Grim Pickens, 6 pm.
List of scheduled second stage performers: John Simonelli, 10:30 am; Ethoscope, 11:30 am; The Ready Hentchmen, 12:30 pm; The Disfunction, 1:30 pm; Rat-Trap Bumpkin, 2:30 pm; Kilzone, 3:30 pm; The Rev Jefferson, 4:30 pm; Shipwrecks, 5:30 pm; and Indaculture, 6:30 pm.
Plus, Kooly Chat will be the DJ all day long.
The sun, or as Mitch refers to it, the “burning thermonuclear eye of God,” was beating down mercilessly, or as merciless as 80 degrees can get. Unlike Rockaway peninsula residents, I’m not a beach devotee; like Nixon, I keep my shirt and shoes on when walking in the sand, though I skip the jacket and tie, unlike Tricky Dick. We had made our way across the Gil Hodges-Marine Parkway Bridge and along the Riis Park beachfront, and thence along Rockaway Beach Boulevard, as described in Part One, Part Two and Part Three. Before kicking it in the head for the day, we made our way steadily toward the transit hub at Rockaway Park.
Saint Francis De Sales Church, at Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 129th Street, has been in existence since the early 20th Century and has seen the effects from the destruction of the World Trade Center, viewed clearly from the Rockaways; the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 on November 12th, 2001; and Hurricane Sandy, October 29-30, 2012, which devastated the peninsula. The church has played a major role in the succor and encouragement of the victims of these tragedies as well as a focal point of community gatherings and relief operations.
Three of the band members are dead, and the original crew hasn’t been seen together since an event at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square on July 20, 1999. Nevertheless, the Ramones are the focal point of a recently launched Queens tourism campaign. The punk legends’ song “Rockaway Beach” is part of a radio ad campaign to attract visitors to the peninsula, where businesses have been rebuilding since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Working with the Queens Economic Development Corporation and Volunteers of Legal Service, altruists from the law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman, led by attorney Jennifer Carmen, secured the rights to the ditty, which was first released in 1977. Citi Community Development then sponsored the ads as part of a larger project to restore businesses along Beach 116th Street.
In a way, the Ramones have come full circle, as they grew up in Forest Hills and rode many waves at Rockaway Beach during their youth. Here are some lyrics from the song: Chewin’ at a rhythm on my bubble gum; The sun is out, I want some; It’s not hard, not far to reach; We can hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach. Click here to listen to one of the ads, which are currently playing on WFAN, WCBS and WINS.
Some of those seeking to boost tourism in the Rockaways gathered for a photo on Beach 116th Street on Thursday. They are (from left): Seth Bornstein, Queens Economic Development Corporation; Robert Kaskel, Thai Rock; Tom Murphy, Curran’s Superior Meats; Denise Diehm, The Gift is Love; Mark S. Mina, MSM Elite Productions; Michael Adel, Paninico Café; Krzysztof Sadlej, Beach 116th Street Partnership; Glenn DiResto, Rockaway Jet Ski; Ben Cox, Volunteers of Legal Service; Sharon Banks, Citi Rockaway Branch Manager; Edward Odom, Citi Community Development; and Michael Badalov, M & L Hair & Nail Salon.
Top photo: Ramones FB; Bottom photo: Queens Economic Development Corporation
Poland celebrated its first Dzień Dziecka (Children’s Day) on June 1st, 1952, as part of an international observance that the Women’s International Democratic Federation had established in 1949. As it takes place near the end of the academic year, the festivities are mostly school-based, and parents often buy gifts for their children. This year the fun heads to “The Peninsula,” as the Beach 116th Street Partnership will launch its first annual Poland’s International Children’s Day this Sunday. Honoring all the world’s youth, this extravaganza will have a distinctive Rockaway style with over 30 food/drink vendors and stalls, live music and entertainment, folk dances, a Junior Miss Polonia competition, face-painting, crafts, rides, carnival attractions, and a petting zoo, among other programming. Expect everything from pierogi to kielbasa to Mazowsze-style dancing.
Details: Poland’s International Children’s Day, Beach 116th Street between Rockaway Beach Boulevard and the Ocean Promenade Walkway, Rockaway Beach, June 1st, 10 am to 9 pm, free.
Some cinema inspires without special effects, beautiful people and Hollywood endings. The ReelAbilities NY Disabilities Film Festival, which is presented annually in 15 U.S cities, features award-winning movies about people with disabilities, post-screening discussions and exhibits. On March 7th, ReelAbilities will start a three-day run in Greater New York City. The Central Queens Y will show Stand Clear of the Closing Doors, which tells the story of an autistic Rockaway Beach teen who rides the subway alone; Gabrielle (below), which is about a singer in a group home for developmentally disabled adults and her inseparable boyfriend; and Do You Believe in Love? (above), a Hebrew-language flick about Tova, who is paralyzed by muscular dystrophy, but works finding love matches for people with disabilities. The Forest Hills venue will also display Pearls Project Photography Exhibit through March 11th. Meanwhile over in Astoria, the Museum of the Moving Image will show Gabrielle and Stand Clear of the Closing Doors as well as Cinemability, a documentary on cinema’s effect on the evolving conception of disability; Little World, a Catalan movie about a wheelchair user who travels from Spain to New Zeland; and Run & Jump, which depicts a family’s struggles after the father suffers a stroke.
Details: *New York Disability Film Festival, movies and an exhibit at Central Queens Y, 67–09 108th Street, Forest Hills, and movies at Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria, March 7th through March 9th, times vary, click here for schedule.
*Movies will also show in Brooklyn; Manhattan; Staten Island; the Bronx; Garden City, Great Neck and Huntington, Long Island; and Mamaroneck and Pleasantville, Westchester. Click here for full list of films.
Notice of this event popped up on Twitter: this Sunday, October 27th Rockaway residents are trying to set a Guinness World Record. Called “Hands Across the Sand,” the goal is to form a gigantic human chain along the beach and also set off water lanterns into the ocean. If you’re interested in volunteering or attending, you can email email@example.com with the subject line “October 27th.” You can also follow the event progress at the Facebook page.
Photo via Twitter