News Briefs sometimes done by / or with the help of the audience community
Only in Queens
Muslims & Jews Organize Iftar Ramadan Dinner
Only in Queens. On Thursday June 9th, the Turkish Cultural Center and the Central Queens Y will break bread together at an Iftar Ramadan dinner beginning at sundown [7.30 pm] at the Central Queens Y at 67-09 108th Street in Forest Hills.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim year and the holiest month of the Islamic year. During this time Muslims pay special attention to praying, fasting and reflecting upon their lives. The Islamic Holy Month has similarities to the Christian Lenten season, as well as the Judaic Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur.
Islamic cultural traditions are based upon the lunar calendar, so the Ramadan Holy Month moves slightly around the solar calendar, from year to year. This year Ramadan began on June 5th and will end on July 5th. Attendees of all faiths are welcomed, as are families. The intent is to embrace a harmonious understanding of our shared planetary cultural identities, which the framers of the U.S. Constitution had envisioned centuries ago when they founded this nation.
The Iftar Dinner will be a dairy Middle Eastern meal catered by Meal Mart from Kew Gardens Hills. Meal Mart is Glatt Kosher and is under the supervision of the Vaad Harabonim of Queens. The meal costs $15 per adult and children under 12 are $5 each. Reservations may be made by registering online at www.cqy.org/tickets or you can call 718.268.5011 - ext 151, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
World's Fairs 1939 & 1964 Redux
Those Crazy Middletons Return To Queens
March 25, 2014 / Astoria Neighborhood / Flushing Neighborhood / Queens History / Queens Buzz. I attended the first film of a Greater Astoria Historical Society month long program featuring films, lectures and a walking tour of the fairgrounds of the 1939 and 1964 World's Fairs in NYC. Both fairs were hosted in Flushing Meadows Corona Park just south of CitiField Stadium.
There was a great deal of promotion surrounding the 1939 World's Fair as NYC rolled out the red carpet for travelers from around the nation and around the world. Robert Moses, the NYC Parks Commissioner, had chosen the site as he planned to use development funds to continue his efforts to convert the old ashpile into the beautiful park it is today [although it could use a bigger maintenance budget].
The Middletons returned to Queens via celluloid, as shown in the film still above right. In this photo the Middletons are at the 1939 World's Fair in the Westinghouse area, which they never left since Westinghouse had produced the film.
The theme was the World of Tomorrow, and the 1939 World's Fair showcased science and consumerism in a utopian vision of the future. But WWII was around the corner, and helped contribute to the fair financial woes.
The Greater Astoria Historical Society continues its journey into the past with a second film to be shown Saturday at 1.30 pm at their Astoria location. The film on Saturday will be about the 1964 World's Fair. Lectures and walking tour to follow later in March and April.
Click here to read a report we filed last year about the 1939 World's Fair in NYC.
Moon Parade & The Asian Harvest
September 17, 2013 / Flushing Neighborhood / Queens Culture / Queens Buzz. I attended the Moon Parade and celebration in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens. The parade at 5 pm on Saturday at 40th Road and Main Street and was provided a police escort [Main Street is quite busy, even on Saturdays] down to the Queens Botanical Gardens where it ended at the Kissena Park Corridor.
The parade included the moving dragon and other traditional Chinese parade costumes, as well as banner bearers, a marching band and a number of Ninja and Halloween-costumed characters. I met with a couple of the parade participants to find out more about the significance of the Moon Parade.
Essentially it's a Fall Harvest Celebration - Asian style. The moon parade and celebration includes feasting on chicken and pigs and eating traditional Moon Cakes. I found some of these in one of the stores nearby, where the tins, made in Hong Kong, have elaborate artistic renditions of a woman eating a cake with the moon shining brightly outside. The moon cakes are made of lotus paste. Happy Lunar / Moon Harvest.
Hispanic Expo Highlights Local Latins
March 25, 2013 / Flushing Neighborhood / Queens Business / Queens Buzz. I attended the Hispanic Marketing Expo last Sunday at CitiField in Flushing. The two day event, sponsored by La Nueva Radio Internacional, included a wide variety of local businesses serving the Latin American community in Queens. Some of the exhibitors imported goods from their countries of origin to sell locally, some manufactured goods locally that are similar to goods that can be found in their countries of origin, and many others were owned by Latinos that provided local goods and services catering to the entire community.
There was a steady flow of hundreds of people through the exhibit space on Sunday afternoon. The exhibit personnel were busy interacting with the attendees, conversing in both English and Spanish, sometimes in the same conversation. The mood was festive and social. Later this month we'll post a report about the Hispanic Expo at CitiField, including a photo slide show of the event.
Record Turn Out For Chinese New Year
Flushing Parade Attracts 10,000+ On Beautiful Day
February 19, 2013 / Flushing Neighborhood / Korean & Chinese Culture in Queens / Queens Buzz. I attended the Chinese New Year Parade in Flushing on Saturday. My unoffical guesstimate is that this was another record year for the audience watching this parade. The weather helped as it was a beautiful sunny day and temperatures were in the 40's.
This year, the year of the Snake, we saw a number of new costumes and floats which you can view in the slide show we'll post later in the week. We also spoke with a few Chinese American people about the Chinese New Year of the Snake and their comments will be included in the report.
Click here later this week to read our report and view the slide show of the Chinese New Year in Flushing Queens.
Flushing News - Paralleling Narratives
Ana De Orbegoso At Crossing Art Gallery In Flushing
February 9, 2013 / Flushing / Queens Buzz. Today is the final day of the Paralleling Narratives exhibit at the Crossing Art Gallery in Flushing. The exhibit is the work of Ana De Orbegoso who grew up in Peru and now lives in Manhattan. Her work is a combination of photos and hand / computer graphics which she used to tell a story about balance in the universe.
Ana's work incorporates Eastern philosophy of various origins, such as the Yin and Yang of the universe [positive and negative charges or good and evil], as well as allusions to a higher order in the universe. The exhibit ends this weekend and she will be giving a lecture at 2 pm Saturday [today].
Click here to read other Flushing & Corona News Briefs.
Click any of these links to scroll down to view the Flushing News briefs from prior years.
Latin Holiday in Corona
Corona CAN Brings Latin Flavor To Christmas Holiday
December 3, 2012 / Jackson Heights & Corona / Latin Culture in Queens / Queens Buzz. Corona installed a pedestrian mall at 103rd Street and Roosevelt Avenue earlier this year. This holiday season they put the pedestrian mall to good use during the fifth annual Corona Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony.
There were about 20 vendor tents that included gift items, clothing and food, all lined up along the southern end of the plaza - while along the northern end of the plaza there was a huge Christmas tree, a large inflated Santa, the Holy Family in the Manger and a large stage.
I stayed for a while to watch a number of enjoyable Latin song and dance performances. Many of them were performed by talented dancers and musicians from the neighborhood. It was like taking a Latin holiday, but without the hassle and airfare.
Later this week you'll be able to click here for a slide show and report about the Christmas Tree Lighting in Corona Queens.
The School Year Begins As Autumn Nears
Back to School in Queens County
September 4, 2012 / Flushing / Queens Buzz. There's a 60% chance of rain today and Wednesday, dropping to 10% by Thursday. Temperature highs will be around 80.
The school year begins this week as we all fall back into a bit more structured routines, as the school year begins.
This follows on the heels of a good weather Labor Day Weekend, which follows the Republican National Convention in Florida and precedes the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina this week.
There's an Autumn Moon Festival at the Queens Botanical Garden in Flushing on Sunday, September 30th from 4 - 6 pm. The festival is sponsored by the New York Chinese Cultural Center. The lunar photo to your left was taken a couple of weeks ago in Flushing.
Click here to read other Flushing News Briefs.
Queens - The Home of Jazz
Louis Armstrong House Hosts Block & Garden Parties
August 20, 2012 / Corona Neighborhood / Live Music in Queens / Queens Buzz. The Louis Armstrong House hosted a block party last week, including one of the current jazz greats, Arturo O'Farrill. Arturo's work has been nominated for several Grammy Awards and he won the Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album in 2009 with the work entitled Song For Chico.
The album is dedicated to Arturo's father, Chico, who worked with many of the NYC jazz legends including Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Goodman, as well as Latin jazz great Machito. Both Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Goodman lived in Queens, and are said to have jammed with Louis at the Armstrong House in Corona. Arturo is shown above playing at the Louis Armstrong House Block Party in the Corona neighborhood of Queens.
I also had the opportunity to speak with Robin Bell-Stevens, whose father played with Duke Ellington who was a friend of Louis'. Robin runs the Jazzmobile which was the sponsor of the event. We'll post more on the Louis Armstrong Block Party at a later date.
Fiery Dragon Heats Up Boat Festival
August 6, 2012 / Queens Buzz. As if it weren't hot enough this weekend, as highs hit the 90's and the humidity made some look as if they'd been out in the rain.
But no, at the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in the Flushing section of Queens, it got even hotter. The legendary fiery dragon, symbol of good fortune, is real. And it came rampaging through the festival, blowing flames from its mouth, out into the hot air. This may sound a bit like fiction to you ...
So I ran, fleeing the dragon at Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, looking for some Asian food and a good place to watch the 22nd annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat races.
Flushing Restaurants Featured At Expo
Flushing BID Hosts Asian Food Expo
July 24, 2012 / Flushing / Queens Restaurants / Queens Buzz. I attended the Asian Food Expo in Flushing on Friday at lunch time. There were about a dozen and a half restaurants from the Flushing area participating in the event, which hosted hundreds of people to a sumptuous sampling of Asian delights available in Flushing neighborhood restaurants.
The Flushing BID [Business Improvement District] was the organizer of the event. Dian Yu, Executive Director of the Flushing BID, told us that the intent of the program was to show the world what great food is available in Flushing restaurants. He went on to talk about how Flushing has become one of the largest Asian communities outside of Asia, and hence offers visitors a chance to sample authentic Asian cuisine in a local neighborhood.
Friend Or Foe? Hector Canoge ...
Commemorates World Migrants' Day In Queens
December 18, 2011 / Flushing News Briefs / Queens Buzz. I went to watch Hector Canoge's art performance on Sunday at the Unisphere where he commemorated the occasion of World Migrants' Day in Queens.
About half of the 2.2 million people living in Queens are immigrants. Hence, one might think that this day might mean something to them, but alas this appeared not to be the case.
While admittedly the weather was a chilly 29 degrees, I had attended a Flushing Historic Walk that had greater attendance.
Nonetheless, the art performance by Hector was rather interesting to watch. As was the intensity he brought to the occasion. Hector Canoge's art performance was entitled Clandestino.
Hong Kong Dragon Boat Race Festival
August 14, 2011 / Flushing Neighborhood / Queens Buzz. The 21st Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival was held in Queens on Meadow Lake which is located in the southern end of Flushing Corona Meadows Park. The races were held on both Saturday and Sunday from 10 am - 4 pm. There were over 2,000 participants in the races which included serious racers and racers just out to have a fun time.
On Sunday morning torrential rains interrupted the festival and a number of the cultural activities were cancelled, but the racing continued Sunday afternoon after the skies had cleared ... somewhat. Click here to read other Flushing News Briefs.
Dragon Boats Grace Meadow Lake
August 8, 2010 / Flushing / Queens Buzz. Perfect weather contributed to a high turn out to the Dragon Boat Races held on Meadow Lake. The lake is located just south of Queens Theatre In The Park in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. There was a main stage which hosted bands, tents galore selling food & beverages and other things.
But the main spectacle were the ancient Chinese dragon boat races. Each boat had a team of oarsmen [and women] and a drum beater sitting at the front of the boat to help them keep time and a tillerman at the back of the boat to steer it.
Unfortunately the press boat capsized, but thankfully the water was warm on a hot day and I wasn't in it.
Queens History Is America's History
December 2009 / Flushing News Briefs / Queens Buzz. My compliments to the six cultural and historic sites that participated in the annual Historic Holiday House Tour. On a rainy, but unseasonably warm Sunday, I traipsed through the streets of Flushing with historian Jason Antos visiting some of the most interesting historic sites in Queens. Each of these sites entertained visitors in different ways, from traditional apple cider, to old fashioned holiday songs with piano accompaniment, to a five piece jazz band [see photo].
The historic sites were fascinating and included two houses associated with religious freedom in America; one house associated with a talented nineteenth century African American inventor who was involved with patents for the light bulb and the telephone and whose parents were instrumental in galvanizing support for the freedom of slaves; a beautiful well preserved Victorian era home; one of Queens important cultural centers; and the home of the Queens Historical Society - sponsor of the event.
Click the following links to read about the Bowne House, Friends Meeting House, Lewis Latimer House, Kingsland Homestead and the Voelker Orth House and Gardens. Or click this link to view a previous story summarizing some of Queens history.
LIBDC Hosts Annual Trade Show
Terrace In The Park Event
November 18, 2009 / Flushing Meadows Corona Park / Queens Buzz. The Long Island City Business Development Corporation hosted its annual trade show and luncheon. There were somewhere between 50 and 100 exhibitors, including the local Chambers of Commerce, energy suppliers like Con Ed and some of the new energy suppliers, communications companies, local media, banks, healthcare companies and commercial real estate companies / developers. The event was held at the Terrace In The Park.
U.S. Open Begins Today
At Arthur Ashe Stadium In Flushing
August 31, 2009 / Flushing News Briefs / Queens Buzz. Today starts the Men's and Women's First Round in the U.S. Open Tennis Championship at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The tennis tournaments will continue every day for the next two weeks, culminating in the finals on the weekend of September 12th and 13th. The tournaments begin at 11 in the morning and again at 7 in the evening throughout the two weeks, except on the last Sunday when the finals begin at 12 noon. To find out more, including buying tickets click this link to the US Open website.
Click here to view a map of the location of the US Open Tennis Tournaments at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens Map.
Queens Green Drinks Wednesday At QMA
May 20, 2009 / Flushing News Briefs / Queens Buzz. Wednesday night Queens Green Drinks held its May Social at the Queens Museum Of Art in the Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The event started at 6 pm and was free with donation [$10]. Chicken, beef, pesto and other empanadas were served along with wine and soft drinks. The event was held on the second floor where bay windows look out onto the Unisphere.
The Queens Museum Of Art is the home to the miniature replica of metropolitan New York, which created for the 1964 World's Fair. The museum currently has two other exhibits showing including Tarjama / Translation. See the May Queens Events calendar for details on the exhibits as well as for a map showing the location of the Queens Museum. Click here to go to the Queens Green Drinks photo album for photos taken last night at the event.
Chinese New Year Celebrates The Ox
January 31, 2009 / Flushing News Briefs / Queens Buzz. We had the opportunity to photograph the pageantry of the Flushing Chinese / Korean New Years Parade in Flushing. This year marks the year of the Ox, about which we will tell you more later in this story. The Chinese American and Korean American groups collaborated in putting together this rich, colorful and ancient parade. We snapped up many photos and have put together a photo gallery for you to peruse. Click here to read the rest of the story about the Chinese New Year in Flushing and to view the photo gallery of the parade.
The Chinese in Queens celebrated the new year with a huge parade on Saturday in Flushing. This is the year of the Ox, the second year in the 12 year cycle of the calendar. The parade was a beautiful pageant of many cultural icons, including many peopled dragons, American-style floats, numerous bands playing music and of course ... the ox.
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