by

Pets gone wild! Activities this week include a doggie ice cream party, a dragon festival, an exhibit on how cats are taking over the internet, and a screening of the movie ET. There are also various outdoor activities, such as the annual Jamaica JAMS concert and street festival with more than 500 vendors. Here’s the rundown.

August 6, Passport Thursdays Outdoor International Dance, Music & Film Series, 7 pm. A screening of Mateo, a Colombian film about youngster who collects extortion money on behalf of his uncle to help out his poor mother. This action leads to some difficult choices. Free. Queens Museum, NYC Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

August 6, Central Astoria Waterfront Concert Series, 7:30 pm. A live performance by Dance Machine, New York City’s only authentic 11-piece disco band. Bring a blanket or chair, but also bring bell bottoms, polyester shirts, and platform shoes. Free. Astoria Park Great Lawn, Shore Boulevard between the Hell Gate Bridge and Astoria Pool.

August 6, The Merchant of Venice, 7:30 pm. The Hip to Hip Theatre presents Shakespeare’s story about a Venetian gentleman who has to default on a loan from moneylender. Free. Children’s program at 7 pm. Crocheron Park, 35th Avenue and Cross Island Parkway, across from Golden Pond, Bayside.

August 6, Outdoor Concert, 7 pm. Orville Davis & the Wild Bunch perform country music — honky tonk with attitude — as part of a series sponsored by the Northern Woodside Coalition. Free. Sgt. Collins Triangle, Broadway and 58th Street, Woodside, 718-205-1030.

August 7, How Cats Took Over the Internet, through Jan. 31, 2016. This exhibition, which includes screenings and live events, looks at the phenomenon of cats online and how they have transfixed a generation of web users. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Kaufman Arts District.

August 7, JAMS Under the Stars, 5 pm to 10 pm. A mega concert with Toni Ann Semple, a powerful singer who blends the nuances of her African and Native American heritages into soul, funk, and jazz; DJ Jordan Knoxx, a mixologist from Hollis; and Dallas Forte, a Christian crooner from Guyana. Free. Rufus King Park, vicinity of 153rd Street and 89th Avenue, Jamaica, www.go2ccj.org.

August 7, Free First Friday, 10 am to 8 pm. Free admission, public tours in English and Japanese, and Center of Attention, an extended conversation about a single work of art. (Noguchi’s Cloud Mountain is the topic on Aug. 7 at 7 pm.) Noguchi Museum, 9-01 33rd Road, Long Island City.

August 7: ET, about 8:30 pm. Outdoor screening of a classic movie with Midtown Manhattan in the background. Free. Hunters Point South Park, Center Boulevard and 51st Avenue, Long Island City.

August 8, Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, through Aug. 9. More than 170 teams and 2,000 participants compete and celebrate the Year of the Rabbit. Expect racing, cultural performances, and great food. Free. Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s Meadow Lake near the boathouse.

August 8, Jamaica Arts & Music Summer Festival, 11 am to 7 pm. Expect 200,000 revelers enjoying live performances, fashion, art, and more than 500 vendors. Free. Jamaica Avenue from Parsons Boulevard to 170th Street, Jamaica.

Aug. 8, Chinese Theatre Works: Holding Up Half the Sky, 2 pm. This opera and puppet spectacle tells the story of four legendary women warriors, spanning 2,000 years of Chinese history. The piece was written and directed by Flushing Town Hall Space Grant recipients Kuang-Yu Fong and Stephen Kaplin. $8/$50 VIP package. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing.

August 8, Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Concert, 2 pm to 7 pm. An all-day event honoring a jazz legend who lived in the neighborhood. Free performances by Sunnyside Drum Corps, Street Beat Brass Band, Lindy Hoppers, Sunnyside Wolverines, Sunnyside Social Club, Sunnyside Arch at 46th Street.

August 8, 78th Street Play Street, dusk. The Queens World Film Festival collaborates with the Jackson Heights Green Alliance to present indie films under the stars. Free. Travers Park, 78th Street and 34th Avenue, Jackson Heights.

Aug. 8, Hindu Awareness and Swami Vivekanada Day, 3:30 pm. Entertainment program includes chanting, colorful dances, and meditation. The Hindu Temple Society of North America, 45-57 Bowne Street, Flushing.

August 8, Storytime & Craft, 2 pm. A relaxing afternoon with nature-inspired stories followed by a botanically-themed craft activity. Free with admission. Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main Street, Flushing.

by
1

The city unveiled a multi-faceted economic development “action plan” to prevent foreclosures, improve streetscapes, create affordable housing, and increase job-training opportunities in Jamaica on Wednesday.

The actions include creating a Jamaica-specific marketing and branding program, expanding free WiFi access via the LinkNYC program, and capital improvements to Rufus King Park and Brinkerhoff Mall Park in St. Albans. 

by
4

Jamaica is one of Queens’ three oldest neighborhoods, along with Newtown and Flushing, and it’s no surprise that those three neighborhoods have the lion’s share of colonial-era buildings and locations. In 1655, Dutch settlers purchased acreage from the Canarsee Indians in the general neighborhood of the now-vanished Beaver Pond and set up a small community they named Rustdorp (“peaceful village”). By 1664 the Dutch had surrendered their holdings in New Netherland to the British, who renamed Rustdorp as Jamaica, an English transliteration of “Jameco,” the Indian tribe that lived near what is now called Jamaica Bay. Jamaica originally included all lands south of the present Grand Central Parkway (which explains why Jamaica is so far away from Jamaica Bay).

by

The weekend comes with plenty of music and seasonal festivities. There’s a brand new musical and outdoor festival in Flushing, an orchestra show in Jamaica, and an autumn fair in Bayside.

Image source: Queens Theatre

Ella: A Swingin New Musical about the First Lady of Song – This musical about the life of the legendary Ella Fitzgerald debuts today at the Queens Theatre in Flushing. Starring Tina Fabrique, a Tony-nominated veteran of Broadway, the play is set in 1966 and focuses on an older Ella looking back at her life and singing all her famous hits. The Queens Theatre will also hold a reception on Friday 9/28 from 6-10pm with dinner, cocktails, and a meet-and-greet with the cast. Tickets cost between $25 and $49; the reception is $85.

Image source: Porres.org

Old Hock and Bach – Take part in this very “classical” event at the King Manor as the Queens College Baroque Ensemble performs the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Accompanying the music will be a variety of German white wines, the modern version of “Old Hock” listed in Rufus King’s 1822 wine cellar inventory. Cocktails are at 6pm, followed by the concert at 6:30pm. Tickets are $25; RSVP here.

Image source: gailf548 on Flickr

National Estuaries Day Festival – This free annual festival at the Alley Pond Environmental Center celebrates the environmental importance of Little Neck Bay, the local estuary. There will be scenic hikes, live music and activities for children, as well as educational booths and exhibits from neighborhood organizations. Head over for games, hands-on demonstrations, as well as boat and canoe rides.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Autumn Moon Festival – The Queens Botanical Garden is holding this celebration of the traditional Chinese and Vietnamese holiday reflecting on the summer harvest. Bring a picnic blanket and settle in for moon cakes, arts and crafts, and cultural performances.

If by any chance we missed your favorite regular or upcoming event, please let us know!