Fashion, Film & Music In Queens

May 06, 2023 at 12:15 am by mikewood

film & fashion in queenst

Click the heading above to view pop culture events this month in Queens. Click the following links to go directly into one of these Queens Neighborhoods: Astoria, Flushing, Jackson Heights, Jamaica, Long Island City and Sunnyside.

Free Concerts in Queens - Astoria LIC Sunnyside Flushing Jackson Heights Woodside Jamaica Corona Long Island City - Free Things To Do In Queens

queens free summer concerts outdoor concerts free summer outdoor concerts live music qns nyc

Queens Free Things To Do - Free Concerts In Queens NYC 2024

Free Summer Concerts In Queens - Free Summer Concerts In The Park In Astoria, LIC, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights, Corona, Flushing, Jamaica

free summer concerts in queens nyc free things to do in queens nyc free summer outdoor concerts queensJuly 6, 2024 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Concerts & Music Scene / Queens Things To Do / Queens Buzz NYC.

Summer has begun. A number of community groups in collaboration with the NYC Parks Department and frequently with some measure of various levels of government funding, have put together a summer full of films and free summer concerts in the parks. The free concerts listed below are designed for young and old alike and they're FREE.



Free Summer Movies in Queens - Free Summer Movies Astoria LIC Sunnyside Woodside Jackson Heights Corona Flushing Jamaica free things to do Queens

Queens Free Things To Do: Free Summer Movies In Queens 2023

Free Things To Do In Queens - Free Films & Summer Movies In Astoria, LIC, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights, Corona, Flushing, Jamaica

things to do queens free summer movies astoria park free summer films astoria queensJune 29, 2023 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Foreign Films & Movies / Queens Things To Do / Queens Buzz NYC.

This weekend summer begins in earnest. A number of community groups in collaboration with the NYC Parks Department and frequently some measure of government funding, have put together a summer full of films and free summer movies in the parks. The foreign films and free movies listed below are designed for young and old alike and they're MOSTLY FREE.

Editor's Note - Note that ASTERISKED EVENTS have NOT been updated to 2023. Pay attention to the movies dates / years. We will continue updating / adding movies between now and the end of the summer. So check back periodically for updates which you can note by the date changing above.


Music / Concerts in the Park Queens. Click here to view our report on free concerts in the parks - summer concerts in Queens, Astoria, LIC, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights, Flushing & Jamaica.

Theater / Shakespeare in the Park Queens. Click here to view our report on free theater in the park - summer theater in Queens, Astoria, LIC, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights, Flushing & Jamaica.

Current Queens Things To Do. Click here to view a listing of current Queens things to do or click here to view our member submitted Queens events calendar.


Jamaica Just My Style Fashion Show Returns

jamaica fashion shows queens nycMay 22, 2017 / Jamaica Neighborhood / Queens Fashion / Queens Buzz NYC.

The Jamaica Just My Style Fashion Show is returning to Queens for its sixth year. Attendance to the show is a free evening of food, fashion and fun, but you must rsvp for tickets at Eventbrite.

Here's the link for free tickets to - Jamaica Just My Style Fashion Show.

Click on the image at right for a video shot at the Jamaica Just My Style Fashion Show on June 18th, 2016.

We had copyright issues with the video, because we needed clearance for some of the music embedded into the recording of the show.

The show included a number of attractive models - of both male and female genders - who sported the clothing sold by Jamaica Avenue retailers, as well as some of the clothing which was designed by some of Queens own fashion designers.

Although Queens is not yet known as a fashion capital, it is the home to a number of up-and-coming fashion designers and models. Cazal eyewear is just one example of a born in Queens fashion brand.

Click here to view the video we shot last year which was released from a copyright hold - Jamaica Just My Style Fashion Show in Jamaica Queens.


Street Music in Jackson Heights

Viewers with Older Browsers may Need to Click Refresh to View Video

Inti & the Moon Jazz Band at 72nd & Roosevelt Subway Stn

April 2, 2017 / Jackson Heights Neighborhood / Jazz Musicians in Queens / Queens Buzz.

One of the great things New Yorkers experience almost daily, are the millions of cultural exchanges that take place every day in our city of world. Sometimes it's a discussion with a cab driver about where he grew up. Or about the ethnic food being served at a savory new or old restaurant. Or about an unusual design, color or cut of clothing that captures one's attention and curiosity in a store or on the street. Or a discussion about the origins of an unfamiliar accent at a bus stop or on the subway. Or an artwork depicting a foreign scene or point of view at an small art gallery exhibit opening.

... and then there's the wonderful music ... that one periodically encounters ... on the streets of NYC. It could be Asian classical, Middle Eastern or Hindi Rock, or Latin Fusion ... to name a few.

With the warming weather, the opportunities to hear the sounds from distant locales around the planet, multiplies. The NYC Parks Department, and organizations affiliated with many of the local parks, as well as the MTA, host cultural performances which make Queens and NYC the great tourist destination that it has become today.

The video above captures some of the Latin Fusion sounds of a small jazz band called Inti & the Moon that I came upon last Saturday. They occasionally play at the Jackson Heights subway station on the lower level where you transfer between the #7 line and the E, F or R. And they have a Facebook page by the same name, so if you're interested in them doing a gig, you can reach the band leader and lead guitarist, Geo at 646.427.0894.

Sunnyside Shorts Film Festival Friday

Films Shorts from Queens & Around the World Describe a bit of the World Around Us

October 3, 2016 / Sunnyside Queens / Film Festivals in Queens / Queens Buzz.

On Friday and Saturday the Sunnyside Shorts Film Festival returns after going on hiatus in 2011. The films will be shown in the historic Sunnyside Reformed Church on 48th Street and Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside. We covered the festival in the past and you can find prior stories about it by clicking these links to the Sunnyside Shorts Film Festival in prior years.

History of Sunnyside Shorts Film Festivals in Queens

sunnyside shorts film festivalThe first Sunnyside Shorts Film Festival was organized in 2001 by a visiting Japanese student at Hunter College. The Founder, Shinichi Murota, after running the first festival then returned Japan.

Theresa Ward & Sherry Gamlin were volunteers for the first festival and after the festival lied dormant for a few years, they decided to revive it in 2007. For five straight years the festival continued along with the help of another Sunnysider Susan Walsh - before going back on hiatus in 2011 when Sherry left Sunnyside to care for her mother. In the photo at right [from left to right] stand Sherry Gamlin along with Ashley and Bryan Brinkman in front of the Sunnyside Reformed Church where the Sunnyside Shorts Film Festival begins Friday.

Sherry’s mother died in 2014 and a year later Sherry returned to Sunnyside which has been her home since 1975, and her Queens roots go back even further. Last Spring Sherry attended a concert at Sunnyside Reformed Church and she inadvertently found herself scouting out the church as a venue for the return of the festival. She spoke to Pastor Neil Margetson about the possibility of using the church as the film festival venue. Margetson liked the idea … and hence the Sunnyside Shorts Film Festival was born again.

Organizing Sunnyside Shorts Film Festival Queens 2016

Sherry told me that they had received 1255 film submissions from around the world, literally all six continents [none from Antarctica which is melting fast], citing films from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Latin America, Iran, India, Japan, China, Australia, Europe and North America / NYC / Queens. The photo at right is from the film Bionic Girl from France showing Friday night.sunnyside shorts film festival

She received most of the submissions in May of 2016 and there were six people who reviewed the films including Bryan and Ashley Brinkman who had helped with the last Sunnyside Shorts Film Festival in 2011. Bryan Brinkman is a cartoonist animator for Jimmy Fallon and his wife Ashley Brinkman is a package designer for advertising company that does food products. Ashley did the poster [see photo below] and website, while Bryan helped review the films.

The four other reviewers were Kevin Keating, who Sherry described as a notorious film buff, Sandra Statner is an avid TV and old movies screener, Dr. Caryn Goldberg is a psychologist who regrets not going into stand-up comedy, and Matt Simnowitz was described as someone who knows everything there is to 'no' about filmmaking.

Screening the Films for Sunnyside Shorts

sunnyside shorts film festivalIn reviewing the films, those that contained inappropriate content were quickly discarded, as were some that were just so bad. Sherry said the films allowed into the show were screened to be sure there wasn’t anything demonic or distasteful. Sherry told me that she had inquired as to whether the Church guidelines would permit the showing of films with some cursing, and Pastor Margetson quipped, “I’m sure God has heard it all.”


And while 1255 films sounds like a lot – which it is – they are short films, so 1 to 20 minutes in length means you can review 60 to 6 in the time it takes to watch one two-hour long film. What about themes I asked? “No themes” she said, “the festival is about nothing and it’s about everything.” There’s drama, comedy, animation and documentaries. They are showing 13 films on Friday and 12 films on Saturday evenings beginning at 7 pm and showing 13 films for the kids on Saturday from 1 to 3 pm.


Why are you doing this, I asked. “Because I love all aspects of putting a film festival together” she replied.


Click here for a preview of many of the films that will be shown at the Sunnyside Shorts Film Festival this Friday and Saturday.

MacKenzie Perpich-Hope is Crowned Miss Queens

Elegance & Grace Adorn the Stage at the Miss America Miss Queens / Miss Brooklyn Contests in Brooklyn

miss queens beauty pageant 2016 miss americaSeptember 20, 2016 / Greenpoint Neighborhood in Brooklyn / Fashion Queens / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Buzz.

Yes, it's true, MacKenzie Perpich-Hope was crowned Miss Queens and Britney Hollingsworth was crowned Miss Brooklyn in a twin-boroughs gala pageant of borough beauties. The two winners of the 3rd Annual Miss America Miss Queens / Miss Brooklyn were crowned Saturday night around 8 pm amid great enthusiasm.

As you can see in the photo shown at right there were a number of very lovely, charming young ladies all vying for the top spot - any of which I'm sure would have made the borough proud - but since there was only one crown per borough ... there were only two titleists.

We'll have more about the Miss Queens / Miss Brooklyn pageant at a later date including some breath-taking photos.

Panorama Music Fest on Randalls Island

Three Day Musical Festival Strikes a Grammy Chord

sza performing at the panorama music festival randalls island nycJuly 25, 2016 / Randall's Island near Queens / Music in Queens / Queens Buzz.

I attended the Panorama Music Festival on Randall's Island this past weekend. The music festival featured dozens of top and second tier bands and musicians with the event starting Friday and ending Sunday night. Some of the music festival headliners included award winning groups like Kendrick, Alabama Shakes and the return of LCD after a ten year hiatus. Panorama also featured a number of other highly regarded, well known groups - many of which are likely to continue gaining recognition.

In the photo at right, vocalist Sza, is performing in the Pavilion at the Panorama Music Festival on Randalls Island on Sunday.

The weather over weekend was a very seasonal hot, with temperatures hitting nearly 100 on Saturday [high 98], before descending into the low 90's on Sunday. But the island breeze coming across the East River on Randall's Island and not-too-high humidity, made strolling around the event campus not only doable, but enjoyable. There was also a public water station where you could refill your water bottle [free] and there was ample shade within the tree filled park.

panorama music fest sceneThe crowd dressed for Panorama to beat the heat, more than anything else. This translated into a near beach-like scene for people-watching, with many youthful men and women enjoying the glow of their Adonis-like years. In 1992 there was a gender equality lawsuit, which contested women's right to go topless without being arrested - a right men enjoyed in this country since its founding. More than a decade later, in 2015, panhandlers in Times Square began asserting that right by painting their bare breasts with American flags and other designs, while soliciting tips from resident and tourist passers-by, for the pleasure of viewing them. These 'performance artists' were nicknamed the 'Desnudas'.

NYS and NYC Government officials found a way to reign in this practice - as it was creating quite a stir - by confining the solicitations to specified areas within the Times Square Plaza. Fast forward to 2016 and things continue to evolve, with women now wearing swimsuit / lingerie-like tops as fashion statements, some of which were on display at the Panorama Music Festival.

In the photo at right, a woman sports a fashionable swimsuit / lingerie-like top, at the Panorama Music Festival on Randall's Island.

We'll have more next summer, including video and a discussion of some of the art on exhibit at the Panorama Music Festival on Randall's Island in NYC.


Jamaica Just My Style Fashion Show

jamaica fashion shows queens nycJune 28, 2016 / Jamaica Neighborhood / Queens Fashion / Queens Buzz.

The following was a video shot at the Jamaica Just My Style Fashion Show on June 18th.

We had to pull the video because of copyright issues related to recording the music used in the show.

The show included a number of attractive models - of both genders who sported the clothing sold by Jamaica Avenue retailers, as well as designed by some of Queens own fashion designers.

Although Queens is not yet known as a fashion capital, it is the home to a number of up-and-coming fashion designers and models. Cazal eyewear is just one example of a raised in Queens fashion brand.

It was a great, great show.


Going For Baroque?

New Ensemble Plays to Sold Out Crowds in Jackson Heights

queens consort jackson heights classical musicApril 9, 2016 / Jackson Heights Neighborhood / Fashion Film & Music in Queens / Queens Buzz. Last December, around the holidays, I attended a performance of classical music at St Mark's Church in Jackson Heights. It turned out to be a very special evening, as the acoustics of the beautiful, near century-old church, lent themselves well to the centuries old classical music.

The concert was given by the Queens Consort, which is a new baroque ensemble based in Queens. The Queens Consort inaugural concert was given in October of 2015. The Yuletide Celebration Concert, which I attended was subsequently given in December. The new classical chamber music group will conclude their first season with two concerts later this month - one of which will be given in Manhattan and the other in Queens.

The Queens concert will take place on Saturday, April 30 at 7 pm at St. Mark´s Church in Jackson Heights. The parish has shown a keen interest in classical music as there's a spiritual element that accompanies it. The concert will be comprised of English Baroque music to celebrate spring, and entitled Flora Gave me Fairest Flowers. On the program are works by John Wilbye, Thomas Morley, Matthew Locke, John Dowland, Henry Purcell and Thomas Arne.

queens consort jackson heights classical musicThe Queens Consort will be joined by guest artist soprano, Amanda Sidebottom, who will accompany the Queens Consort group which is comprised of Co-Founder Claire Smith Bermingham playing Baroque Violin, Co-Founder Margrét Hjaltested playing Baroque Viola, and Daniel McCarthy playing Baroque Violin, Anneke Schaul-Yoder playing Baroque Cello and Aya Hamada playing the Harpsichord. The professional musical group plays on period instruments and its mission is to bring Baroque chamber music programs to the community of Queens.

The upcoming concert is an hour in length with no intermission, followed by a festive reception. Tickets available at the door $15/10. For more information on the program, please visit www.queensconsort.com.

In the future we'll include some video of the Yuletide concert held at St. Marks Church in Jackson Heights.



SummerStage Queensbridge Park w/ G. Clinton

summerstage queens summerstage nycJuly 21, 2015 / Long Island City Neighborhood / Queens Fashion Film & Music / Queens Buzz.

I just received a few photos I had requested to post from some of the folks I met at SummerStage. I had attended the event Saturday evening, as I wasn't able to make it on Wednesday when George Clinton made an appearance as part of SummerStage at Queensbridge Park last Wednesday.

George Clinton is generally a big attraction whereever he plays in NYC, and it was no different here in Queens as you can see by the photo at right shot by Eliana Rowe.

Clinton & his band performed to the audience's delight on a hot summer night.

SummerStage in Queensbridge Park

Refreshing, Rhythmic & Moving The Audience

summerstage queens summerstage nycJuly 20, 2015 / Long Island City Neighborhood / Queens Fashion Film & Music / Queens Buzz.

On Saturday evening, after a bit of rain during the day, I made my way through the hot and humid streets of Queens, down to the East River waterfront in Queensbridge Park.

At 7 pm there was to be a performance by a Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet, a professional dance company; and at 8 pm a dance performance by the Rashida Bumbray Dance Diaspora Collective.

I arrived in between the two sets, and enjoyed the setting of the sun, along with the other hundred plus members of the audience. As the sun set and the air began to cool, three of the Rashida Bumbray dancers took to the stage, dancing to a slow, bluesy Jimi Hendrix tune [see photo at right]. The crowd loved it. The tune was Red House which was recorded in December 1966 and was one of the earliest summerstage queens summerstage nyc'Experience' pieces created by Hendrix before he died three short years later in 1970.

What followed was a series of performances by the Rashida Bumbray Dance Diaspora Collective. The Rashida Collective hails from Oberlin College in Ohio, lead by Adenika Sharpley. They choreograph dance movements to the music of the African diaspora from around the globe. Cultural references are embedded into the dance pieces, and set to the musical rhythms created by African descendants.

"The bluesy notes from Jimi's guitar, slowly began vibrating through the electro-magnetic fields of our corporeal bodies.

As the acoustical resonance started journeying through the neurological pathways lying dormant within our humanoid forms.

And the musical rhythms began seeping in, initiating movement,

... relaxing ... engaging ... swaying ... dance ...

giving us the feeling of being one unified, individuated, planetary people."

Aahh yeh, today's pop culture is the grown seedling of the counter-cultural revolution of the 1960's and 1970's. The performances at Woodstock some 45 years ago, which frightened the Nixonian establishment, are now the classical blues and rock music of today. And so much has changed ... with some for the better and some not.

It looks like we're heading into the hot part of the summer, in the city, when life must slow down ... so

... relax and pamper yourself ... and let the rhythms ... of the seasons ... of life ... in.

SummerStage organizes cultural events like this to help bring us together. We'll post more next year when they return to Queens. In the meantime there are a number of other, locally-organized cultural events that are also of good interest. Click into the Things To Do section along the top tool bar, or click into the music, film and theater sections on this site to find out more about free and paid cultural performances in Queens.


The Jamaica Collections

Showcase the Fashion & Style of Downtown Jamaica

jamaica collectionsJune 8, 2015 / Jamaica NY / Queens Fashion & Style / Queens Buzz. I headed to central Queens last weekend to attend the fourth annual Jamaica Collections fashion show. It was a near perfect evening, as the day had been sunny and warm with little humidity. As I arrived I saw people conversing on the steps and lawn of the Jamaica Performing Art Center, all dressed rather fashionably. As I stepped inside the foyer there was a comfortable crowd mingling, enjoying the wine and food being served by SWB Catering, and Lotta Empanadas.

Jamaica Center, the Business Improvement District [BID] organization, is the founding organizer of the Jamaica Collections Fashion Show. They have used the event to showcase local and area fashion designers and food venues, with an eye to promoting the Jamaica downtown, located in the heart of Queens, as an emerging fashion district. Not long after I had sampled the food and hors d'oevres and mingling a bit, the show began.

The Jamaica Performing Arts Center has been home to the Jamaica Collections Fashion Show since its inception. Each time the show is configured a bit differently, which not only showcases the fashions adorning the models, but the venue space as well. Tonight the models would come out onto the stage and make their way down through the spaciously configured aisles on the main floor before disappearing behind the curtain.

Hip-hop, Queens-born, entertainer Ed Lover was the host of the show this evening.

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Miss Universe Paulina Vega Visits Queens

Joins NYS Senator Peralta In Women's History Month Celebration

miss universe paulina vega photo queens nycMarch 13, 2015 / Woodside Neighborhood / Fashion in Queens / Queens Buzz.

I attended a Women's History Month Celebration hosted by NYS Senator Peralta to honor several Queens neighborhood women for their contributions to the community. The Senator had arranged to have Miss Universe 2014 come to help emcee the event, which as it turns out, was hosted in front of a full house at La Boom, a night club on the second floor of 56-16 Northern Blvd.

It was a cold near Spring evening as I arrived. After passing through security, I made my way to the stage of the dance hall where the photo op was to take place. After a short wait, Miss Universe Paulina Vega came out on stage accompanied by NYS Senator Jose Peralta.

There were a few questions asked, but it was mostly the flashing photographic event which preceded the awards ceremony. One of the folks who would partake in the photographic event was Jessenia Vargas, who was the first Miss Queens, preceding the launch of the first Miss America Miss Queens pageant, which was held last fall.

Senator Peralta would honor five Queens women for their contributions to the community. The honorees from left to right in the photo at right included: Sarinya Srisakul, New York’s only womens history month celebration nys senator jose peralta photoAsian-American female firefighter; Priscilla Carrow, a recognized community activist; Carmencita Gutierrez, Director of the Office of Immigrant Affairs for the Queens District Attorney’s office; NYS Senator Jose Peralta, Miss Universe Paulina Vega, Nora Espitia and Rosana Becerra, HIV/AIDS health prevention promoters.

Carmencita gave us some statistics about immigrants in Queens as seen through the eyes of the Queens District Attorney's office. She noted that 27% of the borough's residents speak Spanish and that 47% of the borough's residents were born in another country.

Sarinya Srisakul also provided us with a few statistics as they pertain to NYC fire fighters noting that 85% are Caucasian males, 6% are Latinos and 4% are African American. She went on to note that there are less than 100 Asians in the NYC fire department, and only 44 women. The NYC Fire Department, she informed us, employs over 10,000 people.

Miss Universe has adopted HIV / AIDs as one of the causes for which she will help create awareness as Hispanics are three times more likely and African Americans eight times more likely to contract AIDs than Caucasians in this country. Miss Universe Paulina Vega will be residing in Manhattan this year as she travels the world during her reign. She is the second Colombian to win the Miss Universe title. Miss Vega turned 22 in January 2015.

Click this link to view a photo album of the event, or click on one of the photos above to view a slide show of the Women's History Month Celebration hosted by Miss Universe Paulina Vega and NYS Senator Peralta at the La Boom night club on Northern Blvd in Woodside.

Museum of the Moving Image Hosts Indie Cade

indie cade east nycIndie Cade East Celebrates Third Year At MoMI

February 17, 2015 / Astoria Neighborhood / Film In Queens / Queens Buzz.

Indie Cade East came to the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria last weekend. I believe it was the third or fourth year that the event was held at the Museum of the Moving Image in NYC. Indie Cade is an interactive expo about all things pertaining to video and gaming, and it attracts a decidedly youthful crowd.

In the photo at right a young man tries on a pair of video goggles to 'get in the game'.

We'll have more about Indie Cade at a later date.

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First Miss America Beauty Pageant Competition In Queens

Miss America Hosts Their First Miss Queens Pageant

miss america miss queens beauty pageant queens nycOctober 12, 2014 / Long Island City Neighborhood / Fashion In Queens / Queens Buzz.

It was only a month ago that I called the Miss America organization to inquire whether Jessenia Vargas had won the Miss Queens title in one of the Miss America sponsored pageants. The answer was no, she had won it in a competition that was not connected to the Miss America Organization [see story below]. But within weeks the Miss America Organization made the announcement that they were going to host their first Miss America Miss Queens pageant in the borough on October 12th, 2014 at the Resobox gallery in Long Island City. I received an invitation and decided to attend.

I arrived a bit late after the competition was already underway. There were six contestants vying for the Miss Queens title. The Miss Queens pageant was open to women who live, work or attend school in the borough of Queens or Long Island.

miss america miss queens beauty pageant queens nycA wide number of prior Miss America pageant winners were in attendance at the show, including Miss Queen's Teen, Miss Empire State, Miss New York Jr. Teen and Miss New York 2014, Jillian Tapper. And it was a full house in the Resobox gallery in Long Island City, Queens [see photo above].

I missed the swimsuit and talent segments of the contest, but I photographed the contestants as they competed in the evening gown competition before the judges made their final decision. The winner would receive a $500 Miss America scholarship and be eligible to compete in the Miss America Miss New York pageant. And if successful there, the Miss Queens contestant would be eligible to compete again in the Miss America pageant.

The Miss America Miss Queens runner up in the competition, Catherine Manett, won the Miss America Miss Queens title after an issue arose regarding the eligibility requirements of the woman first awarded the title. Catherine Manett of Patchogue on Long Island will compete for the Miss New York title in June of 2015. Catherine is shown in the photo at right holding a bouquet of flowers.

Currently the Miss America Organization has a Miss Manhattan, Miss Staten Island, Miss Brooklyn and effective this year [2014] a Miss Queens competition. I believe the Miss Bronx competition is run in a competition that is separate from the Miss America brand of competitions. The Miss America Miss New York competition will be held on June 6th on Staten Island and the Miss America competition will be held in Atlantic City. The Miss America pageant began in the 1920's in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The Miss America Miss Queens competition is also expected to continue in October of 2015. If you're interested in competing you can learn more about it on their website at missny.org.

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Viva La Comida

Jackson Heights Celebrates Queens Food & Culture

viva la comidaSeptember 22, 2014 / Jackson Heights Neighborhood / Jackson Heights Restaurants / Queens Buzz. Saturday afternoon I headed over to Dunningham Triangle at 82nd Street & Baxter in Jackson Heights. The third annual Viva La Comida Festival had begun earlier in the day and I decided to check it out.

They had blocked off 82nd Street between Roosevelt Avenue and Baxter and had converted the short one block adjacent to Dunningham Triangle into a performance area - complete with elevated stage.

Along 82nd Street there was a musical / dance performance going on with a distinctly Latin flavor, reflecting the indigenous roots of many of Jackson Heights and neighboring Corona residents. My first stop was the D'Angelo food truck for a spicy Italian handmade sausage with sauteed peppers and onions on a fresh semolina bread. It tasted even better than it sounds. We'll have more about D'Angelo's later in the story, including a couple more photos of the sandwich I devoured.

viva la comidaI headed over to the main stage to see what was going on. By late afternoon the Jay Rodriguez Trio had taken the stage and began playing some really good Latin flavored jazz tunes. They played their instruments like jazz magicians, deftly transitioning the melodious rhythm from one musician to another in a string of rhythmic solos that had the audience jamming to the beat.

I started photographing them doing their thing and came up with a separate photo slide show which will show them gettin' down. I visited the Jay Rodriguez website and the music on the site, is a bit more artsy and esoteric than what they played for us at Viva La Comida.

Special thanks goes to outgoing 82nd Street Partnership Executive Director Seth Taylor, as well as iwantmorefood curator Jeff Orlick. We'll have more about both of them and their past and future endeavors in the full report later this day / week.

Buena Salud.

Fashion Week In Queens

Miss Queens, Giorgio’s Hair Salon & Carina Boutique Showcase Queens Style

miss queens 2014 photoSeptember 15, 2014 / Whitestone Neighborhood / Queens Fashion / Queens Buzz. In early September, as New York Fashion Week was walking down the runway, I spent a fun evening at Giorgio’s hair salon in Whitestone. The Whitestone neighborhood is easily accessible by car via the Whitestone and Cross Island expressways and by public transit via buses.

Jessenia Vargas, Miss Queens, headlined the Whitestone Queens fashion show. Jessenia is a Queens native who is scheduled be featured on a Women’s Entertainment [WE] TV show called America’s It Girl. The show is a 12 episode series that features enterprising young women competing to become the first America’s It Girl.

Click to view a photo slide show of the Whitestone Fashion Show and to learn more about Miss Queens Jessenia Vargas, WE TV’s show America’s It Girl, and the fashion show at Giorgio’s hair salon featuring Carina Boutique dresses & Trattoria Neo's Italian food in Whitestone Queens.

Wynton Marsalis @ Queensbridge Park

wynton marsalis queensbridge park summerstage queensJuly 20, 2014 / Long Island City Neighborhood / Live Music in Queens / Queens Buzz. It was a perfect summer day with the highs in the 80's, fairly dry and sunny as I made my way to attend the SummerStage Family Day in Queensbridge Park.

When I arrived a crowd of many hundreds had already found comfortable seating, lawn space and standing room in the park. Michael Mossman and Copland Jazz of Queens College were on stage playing jazz tunes to an appreciative and relaxed crowd.

I listened to them play as I took photos of them and the crowd. Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra were due to perform at 5 pm. The crowd was totally mixed, with young and old alike, and a mixture of people with a diversity of genetic backgrounds, representing the borough and the world.

There was a short break between the two gigs and I watched the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra warm up in the VIP section just off the stage. They started with a tune and dedication to Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong, both local NYC musicians of a bygone era.

We'll post more, including a photo slide show a bit later. The photo above shows one of the jazz musicians at SummerStage in Queensbridge Park.

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Summer Stage In Queens This Week

things to do queensQueensBridge Park In LIC Hosts Concerts Now Thru Weekend*

July 14, 2014 / Long Island City Neighborhood / Music In Queens / Things To Do Queens / Queens Buzz. There are so many things to do in Queens this summer that it's challenging to keep up with them. But this week, almost all week, Summer Stage comes to Queens at QueensBridge Park in Long Island City.

Last weekend there was a free Summer Stage concerts in Manhattan given by Cibo Matto. They performed to a near capacity crowd in Central Park likely because of the location, their popularity and fairly good weather [see photo at right].

This week, beginning Tuesday, July 15 Ismael Miranda, Rebel Tumbao & Joe Clausell will be on stage at QueensBridge Park beginning at 7 pm. On Wednesday, J Holiday & Jon B perform beginning at 7 pm.

On Thursday, Mobb Deep & Lyricist Lounge will begin performance at 7 pm. Friday Harambee Dance Company will be there beginning at 7 pm. And on Sunday beginning at 4 pm it's Queens Family Day with Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College. All are free and the public is welcome to attend.

*Except Saturday.

Jamaica Collection Silences Critics

Event Showcases Top Fashion Designers & Models

jamaica collection fashion show 2014June 7, 2014 / Jamaica NY / Fashion In Queens / Queens Buzz. Queens is a paradise of cultural surprises. And the neighborhood of Jamaica Queens is no exception.

Hundreds of years ago Jamaica was one of the transportation hubs for receiving agrarian products from Long Island in exchange for other goods from around the nation and around the world. While Jamaica continues to be transportation hub, with connections to Penn Station, JFK and an entire web of NYC Metro buses and subways, it is also emerging as one of the great cultural hubs of Queens.

So on Saturday night, I made my way down to Jamaica town. And what I found, looking around, was a paradise of beautiful women, rugged and handsome men, with evocative knits and sculpted shapes reflecting a diversity of style spanning the modern metro universe - from the hip hop of the street to the garb of the classical women and men of Manhattan's Midtown. Step aside Fashion Week, there's a new show in town.

We'll post more later today or this week including photo slide show. The photo above was taken at the Jamaica Collection Fashion Show on June 7th 2014.

Caught In The Act - The 13 Most Wanted

Queens Museum Opens Incredible Art Exhibit Grounded In History

13 most wanted queens museumApril 28, 2014 / Flushing Neighborhood / Art In Queens / Queens Buzz.

I visited the Queens Museum [they dropped 'of Art' from the name] this past weekend to view their new exhibit - The 13 Most Wanted Men.

The exhibit is a tie into the 50th anniversary of the opening of the 1964 World's Fair and the preservation of the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Andy Warhol was one of several celebrity artists of the day, invited to create an artwork to post on the wall of the Theaterama [now Queens Theatre In The Park] which was one of the structures of the New York State Pavilion. It was a real honor as the work would be seen by tens and likely hundreds of thousands who would pass by it during the 1964 World's Fair.

Warhol decided to post the mug shots of the 13 Most Wanted Men in America. One can never know exactly what he was thinking, but it was an artwork designed to get people's attention, shock them and get them to think, perhaps a bit differently, about some of the things going on at the time.

The powers-that-be decided having 13 large mug shots of thirteen criminals in the midst of a fun family fair wasn't a good idea. So they whitewashed it off the building [sound familiar? - see our story about the Whitewash art exhibit in LIC]. This is the quick and dirty report of what happened, which the Queens Museum in a collaboration with the Warhol Museum of Pittsburgh, did an incredible job of presenting in an exhibit which is both art and history.

In the photo above is Curator, Larissa Harris, and Director of External Affairs, David Strauss. David is also one of the troika managing the Queens Museum while they search for a replacement for former Executive Director, Tom Finkelpearl. Tom was recently appointed New York City Cultural Affairs Commissioner.

We'll post our full report at a later date.

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IndieCade Comes To The East Coast

Video Games & Gamers Descend Upon MOMI

indiecade at momi feb 2013February 19, 2013 / Astoria Neighborhood / Film & Video Games in Queens / Queens Buzz. I attended the first annual IndieCade show at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria last Saturday evening. The show was an interesting blend of techno geek and techno cool, and most of the attendees were in their 20's and 30's. What struck me is that while the audience skewed a bit toward males, was far more balanced than I had expected. It seems the video gaming world isn't the predominantly male domain it once was.

I participated in a couple of the events, and spoke to some of the exhibitors and gamers about the show. Later this week we'll post a report, complete with photos, about the IndieCade show at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria.


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