Tag Archives: 7 train

No. 7 rated best subway line: report


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

BENJAMIN FANG

Queens riders rejoice—the No. 7 train was rated the best New York City subway line.

This is the seventh time in 16 years the line has placed first in an annual review conducted by the transit advocacy group, Straphangers Campaign.

The “State of the Subways Report Card,” released every year since 1997, concluded that the No. 7 ranked highest because it comes most frequently. The Flushing to Times Square train also has fewer delays caused by mechanical breakdown, more seats available during rush hour and is clean, according to the report.

Other Queens subway lines also received high praise. The E train was only delayed once every 546,744 miles, the best of the 19 trains. It was also among five trains that made “accurate and understandable” announcements, the study concluded. R train riders, at 66 percent, have the highest chance of grabbing a seat during the most congested times of the day.

The Q train was deemed the dirtiest train, with 17 percent of its trains rated “moderately or heavily dirty,” the report said.

Overall, researchers found that city subways broke down more often in the last two years but were cleaner and announcements were more audible.

The 2 train was ranked the worst subway line.

To see more results from the report, visit www.straphangers.org.

 

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Suspect punches, steals phone from 15-year-old on Queens subway


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Cops are looking for a suspect who swiped an iPhone from a teen boy before punching him on a Queens subway train last month.

The robbery took place about 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 27 aboard a southbound No. 7 train at the Flushing-Main Street station, police said.

The suspect approached the 15-year-old, grabbed the cell phone from his hand, punched him in the face and fled, officials said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Queens woman determined to walk again after losing legs in train accident


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

The plan is to walk again and then ultimately soar through the city’s skies in a flying trapeze.

Teena Katz, who lost her legs after she was struck by a No. 7 train at Grand Central Station, is recovering quickly from the horrific accident last December.

“Minute by minute, day by day, it’s not easy by any means,” Katz said. “Some days are easier, and some days are harder. I just have to take each obstacle as they come and figure it out.”

The 31-year-old Auburndale financial analyst was on her way home from dinner in Manhattan the night after Christmas, when she felt light-headed on the subway station’s platform.

She dragged herself away from the edge of the platform “just in case,” but the next few moments were a blur.

“I leaned myself up by a staircase, and the next thing I know, I was waking up and I was laying on the tracks,” Katz said. “I didn’t realize that was where I was at first. I don’t have any recollection of being hit by the train or even falling.”

The “no-nonsense individual,” however, won’t be kept down. She has been chronicling her healing process on her blog, teenavsthe7train.com, which she peppers with jokes.

“There’s no happy ending to this story,” said her husband Ben, “but she never dwelled on the ‘how did I get here.’ She pushed those thoughts out of her mind. I think it’s what’s helped her recover as quickly as she has.”

Katz won’t be fitted for prosthetics for another two to four months, but she has high hopes of returning to a normal life.

That means figuring out how to get through once-easy daily activities like sitting on the couch and getting ready for bed.

“Very simple things like that, I have to plan for,” she said. “Everything takes twice as long now.”

It also means learning how to walk on new legs and, in the future, going back to the Trapeze School New York in Manhattan, where she used to fly at least twice a month.

“Hopefully one day, I’ll be able to do stuff like that again,” she said. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to. It’s going to be hard. I might just swing. We’ll see.”

The family, who owns the Maggie Moo’s on Bell Boulevard, is accepting donations to fund the costly recovery process.

Contributions can be hand-delivered to the ice cream shop at 39-33 Bell Blvd. or be sent to Teena Katz at P.O. Box 604312, Bayside, NY 11360.

 

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Op-ed: No. 7 Train closures can’t close Long Island City


| oped@queenscourier.com

STATE SENATOR MICHAEL GIANARIS

Each year the residents of western Queens, and Long Island City in particular, wonder anxiously how many weekends the MTA will shut down the No. 7 train. In past years, the MTA did not even provide advance warning, adding insult to injury. All the prior notice in the world, however, cannot ease the pain of the 22 weekend closures we face in 2014.

Western Queens is home to the fastest-growing, most exciting neighborhoods in the five boroughs, and Long Island City continues to set the pace. People from all over flock here to live and raise their families, visit our wonderful cultural attractions, sample our world-class restaurants and enjoy our beautiful green spaces. Long Island City, and all of western Queens, deserves increased mass transit options, not ones that are being slashed.

Unfortunately, the MTA is stuck in the past, believing its mission does not extend beyond getting people to and from Manhattan during the work week. It is past time for the MTA to realize that neighborhoods like LIC have become destinations in their own right, drawing people from all over the city, particularly on weekends.

As your State Senator, I repeatedly fight the MTA to soften the blow of its seemingly endless train closures. In the past, the MTA has all but ignored the voices of our community, so it was a small step in the right direction when this year, MTA representatives took time to meet with me, my fellow elected officials and community leaders to discuss ways to mitigate the impact of these incessant closures. The MTA has committed to producing a marketing campaign, advertising all LIC has to offer, and I am working with my colleagues to bring the MTA to a public meeting to give LIC residents the opportunity to explain how much closing the No. 7 train hurts their small businesses and quality of life.

Meetings alone, however, are nowhere near enough to help our neighborhood deal with this problem; not when small business owners worry that they will not survive 2014 because the No. 7 train is closed for 22 weekends this year. The MTA must provide direct shuttle bus service from LIC to Manhattan through the Queens Midtown Tunnel, an idea it  has repeatedly ignored. The MTA must also reduce the overall amount of closures. It must provide the increased and more efficient service Long Island City and all the growing neighborhoods of western Queens deserve, and I will continue to hold the MTA’s feet to the fire until it does right by our community.

As we continue to rally together and fight the MTA for better service, be sure to tell everyone you know that Long Island City is still home to some of the most beautiful parks, delicious restaurants and creative cultural institutions in all of New York. No matter the No. 7 train schedule, Long Island City is open for business.

Senator Michael Gianaris was elected to the State Senate in 2010 with more than 81 percent  of the vote after a decade of dedicated public service in the State Assembly. 

 

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Cops release photos of suspect sought in subway bias attack


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Police have released photos of the suspect who allegedly punched a Hispanic man, then made anti-Mexican statements towards him on a No. 7 train.

The 43-year-old victim was on a Queens-bound train about 4 p.m. Sunday when the suspect approached him and punched him twice in the face, then made the bias remarks, cops said. The suspect then fled at the Court Square station in Long Island City.

The victim sustained bruises to the nose and a lacerated lip, but refused medical aid at the scene, according to police.

Authorities describe the suspect as a black male, 6′ tall and 165 pounds.

In addition to the surveillance photos, which were obtained from after the assault, police have also released a sketch of the suspect.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Man sought in bias assault on No. 7 train


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A suspect allegedly assaulted a Hispanic man on a No. 7 train before making anti-Mexican statements towards him, cops said.

The 43-year-old victim was on a northbound train about 4 p.m. Sunday when the suspect approached him and punched him twice in the face, then made the bias remarks, police said. The suspect then fled the train at the Court Square station in Long Island City.

The victim sustained bruises to the nose and a lacerated lip, but refused medical aid at the scene, according to cops.

Police describe the suspect as a black male, 6′ tall and 165 pounds.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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City Comptroller Scott Stringer sits down with The Queens Courier


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

City Comptroller Scott Stringer sat down with The Queens Courier to discuss his first weeks in office and just where he plans to go from here.

“We hit the ground running,” he said. “It’s getting out and listening to what people say. If you want to do audits and identify people and agencies, you talk to people in the streets and get a very good idea.”

Stringer oversees the city’s $150 billion pension fund and also registers an average of 22,000 city contracts from every business concerning technology, to day care, to public housing.

For the start of his term, he has already audited public housing as well as the three separate public library systems.

He is a supporter of raising the minimum wage to $11 to accommodate the city’s price of living, and also an advocate for establishing a guaranteed revenue stream for universal pre-kindergarten. He believes in advancing public schools, namely in technology, to give students a fighting chance at a successful future.

Stringer has also made some changes internally intended to improve the efficacy of the comptroller’s office. He has proposed to ban placement agents, the “middle men” who have been involved in various past scandals, and brought in risk management professionals.

“I can’t audit an agency unless my own house is in order,” he said.

With The Courier,  Stringer covered borough-centric topics and expanded on how he plans to keep Queens, and the whole city, afloat financially.

“Nobody knows this city better than me,” he said.

 

What is your political background?

“Well, I haven’t told anyone this, but the first thing I wanted to be was a pro quarterback with the New York Jets. Then I realized early on by the age of 12, I was a little washed up,” Stringer said.

Stringer’s family had a foot in the political door when his mother ran for City Council. Growing up in Washington Heights, he thought “everyone was involved in government or politics.”

“I’m doing exactly what I always wanted to do,” he said. “The job of comptroller has never been more important [than] with this new government. I have the opportunity to work on issues I really care about.”

Stinger said the city’s economic issues are “really about civil rights and about moving everybody to where they have to be.”

“The challenge we face in the city [is] how do we bring everybody along economically,” he said.

The MTA has suspended No. 7-train service from Long Island City to Flushing for 22 weekends. What economic impact for local businesses do you foresee?

“When you have a large transportation project that in the long run will modernize the system, that’s something that’s goal-worthy,” Stringer said. “But when you don’t plan the reconstruction with the community, when you don’t partner with the businesses, you end up sacrificing people.”

“You’re sacrificing people in the name of progress, you can’t do it that way,” he said.

As comptroller, Stringer said he can “follow the money,” and make sure it is “being spent wisely.”

Additionally, he wants to “elevate this office so New Yorkers know when they want to bring an issue to my attention, they know what this office can do and what we’re going to do.”

The city Build it Back program for Sandy victims has tested the patience of many residents still trying to rebuild. How do you plan on monitoring those funds, as well as the $15 billion the city is set to receive in federal recovery funding?

During Stringer’s campaign, he proposed creating a Sandy Audit Bureau, designed specifically to watch every dollar designated for storm recovery. He has followed through and said he and the bureau will look at contractors and will be “laser focused” in making sure the money goes where it should.

“Where we find corruption or misuse of money, I want to make it very clear to everyone we will make referrals to law enforcement agencies based on our findings,” Stringer said. “The worst that can happen is you get hit by two hurricanes, because somebody took money or didn’t do the work they said they were going to.”

The comptroller is also working with Councilmember Donovan Richards and others involved with the Sandy Tracker, an online database monitoring recovery money coming in and out of the city.

He also said the administration should extend the deadline for Build it Back so more people can gain access to the recovery assistance program.

 

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Suspect wanted for groping teen on No. 7 train


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A 16-year-old riding a Queens subway train Thursday was inappropriately touched by a man who then fled after groping her.

The incident occurred about 8 a.m. on a Manhattan-bound No. 7 train at the 74 Street-Broadway/Roosevelt Avenue station in Jackson Heights.

The suspect touched the teen over her clothing in her groin and buttocks area then escaped on foot, police said. The victim did not sustain any physical injuries.

Police describe the suspect as a Hispanic male, 30 to 35 years old and 5 feet 9 inches tall. He was last seen wearing a tan baseball cap, a black hooded sweatshirt with a red turtleneck underneath and sunglasses.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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No. 7 train service suspensions scheduled for 22 weekends in 2014


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

Updated 5:15 p.m.

CRISTABELLE TUMOLA AND ANGY ALTAMIRANO

Another year, another round of No. 7 train suspensions.

The subway line will not run in parts of western Queens and Manhattan for over a dozen weekends this year, starting in the end of February, according to a notice from the MTA, again upsetting residents, business owners and local politicians who are fed up with the constant disruptions.

From February through July, there will be 13 weekend suspensions. Those dates are finalized, the transit agency said. There are nine tentative weekend shutdowns scheduled for August through November.

The latest round of work, including continued installation of Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC), replacement of critical track panels and reconstruction inside the Steinway Tube under the East River, is expected to modernize, improve a fortify the Flushing No. 7 line, according to the MTA. The work will also include tunnel duct reconstruction and replacement and improvements on components damaged during Superstorm Sandy.

“We understand that these service disruptions are inconvenient to the customers who depend on the No. 7 train and we appreciate their patience,” said MTA NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco. “We have made every effort to schedule these project simultaneously to get as much work done as we can during these periods.”

All the service suspensions will be in effect from 11:45 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, unless otherwise indicated.

There will be no service between Times Square-42nd Street and Queensboro Plaza on the following weekends: February 28 -March 3; March 7-10, 14-17, 21-24, 28-31; April 11-14; and May 2-5, 16-19.

On the following dates, in addition to no service between Times Square-42nd Street and Queensboro Plaza there will be reduced service between 74th Street-Broadway and Queensboro Plaza: May 30-June 2; June 6-8, with service resuming Sunday, June 8 morning for the Puerto Rican Day Parade; June 20-23, 27-30; and July 18-21.

The MTA has also released a tentative service disruption schedule, which is expected to be confirmed with a future update later this year.

The No. 7 Flushing-bound service will run express from Queensboro Plaza to 74th Street-Broadway, with a stop at 61st Street- Woodside on the following weekends: August 22-25; September 19-22; October 3-6, 10-13; and October 17-20, 24-27.

From November 7- 10 there will be no service between Times Square-42nd Street and Queensboro Plaza, reduced service between 74th Street-Broadway and Queensboro Plaza, and the Flushing-bound service will run express from Queensboro Plaza to 74th Street-Broadway, with a stop at 61st Street- Woodside.

From November 14-17, 21-24 there will be no service between Times Square-42nd Street and Queensboro Plaza, and the Flushing-bound service will run express from Queensboro Plaza to 74th Street-Broadway, with a stop at 61st Street-Woodside.

In addition to these changes, No. 7 train service will be suspended between Mets-Willets Point and Flushing-Main Street between 11:45 p.m. Friday, February 15 and 5 a.m. Tuesday, February 18, and between 11:45 p.m. Friday, February 22 and 5 a.m. Monday, February 24.

“We have times this vital work to minimize impacts to customers, pedestrians and vehicular traffic, and to avoid dates with high projected ridership,” said Bianco. “This is far more work than can be completed during our overnight FASTRACK program, which was designed to accommodate typical subway maintenance. Work of this scope on the No. 7 line cannot be done overnight and requires more than 48 hours of continuous access to the tube and tracks.”

During the service suspensions, riders will be kept informed through notice and printed brochures, explaining the work and service changes, posted in the subway system, according to the MTA. NYC Transit will also offer a free shuttle bus along all close No. 7 stations.

Service on the N and Q train will be increased and riders could use either train at Queensboro Plaza or the E train at Court Square, according to the MTA. Riders can also transfer to the E, F or R for service to Manhattan at the 74 Street-Broadway station.

The suspensions are nothing new for those who have suffered through them for years.

But the familiarity doesn’t mean locals are not frustrated with the suspensions that have been taking place in the area on a regular basis for well over a decade.

Business owners are tired of potential financial losses and residents are sick of longer commutes.

Last fall, No. 7 train service did not operate between the Times Square-42nd Street and Queensboro Plaza stations for five weekends.

“Unfortunately we’ve grown accustomed to the MTA screwing Long Island City,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris.

“Businesses are suffering,” he added. “It’s not just the people in LIC, it’s people who are more and more coming to Long Island City.”

Gianaris said his office has suggested numerous “reasonable” alternatives to deal with the problem, for example a shuttle bus through the Queens Midtown Tunnel, but the MTA has refused to consider them and won’t give any answers as to why it won’t.

He will be rallying Friday with local elected officials, business owners and residents to call for a change.

“We’re going to continue to try to make the point to the MTA and the new administration, and hope that the new administration would do something about [the shutdowns],” said Gianaris.

“The multi-year, $550 million capital improvement project to replace the antiquated 50- to 90-year-old signaling system on the No. 7 line with state-of-the-art CBTC technology will continue into 2017,” the MTA said in a press release.

 

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Woman struck by Queens-bound No. 7 train at Grand Central


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Dschwen

A woman fell into the path of a No. 7 train at Grand Central Station Thursday night after she passed out, police said.

The 32-year-old was waiting for the subway about 9:30 p.m. when she was hit by a Queens-bound train, according to the NYPD.

She was taken to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition, police said.

No. 7 train service had to be suspended between Grand Central and Hunters Point Avenue because of the accident.

 

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Suspect wanted for groping on No. 7 train


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy NYPD

A man allegedly rubbed up against a 21-year-old woman and grabbed her buttocks on the No. 7 train, police said.

The incident occurred on Dec. 10 at 3:38 p.m. when the train was at the 74th Street and Roosevelt Avenue station, according to the NYPD.

After he groped the woman, the suspect then fled at the Main Street station in Flushing, cops said.

Police describe the suspect as a white male, 5 feet 10 inches tall and 200 pounds.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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MTA in talks to improve Jackson Heights subway station


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ File photos

The future is starting to look brighter as the 82nd Street Partnership begins talks with the MTA on better conditions and lighting at a Jackson Heights subway station.

The Partnership met with representatives from MTA/New York City Transit on September 12 to discuss enhancements to the 82nd Street subway station, as well as along the underpass of the elevated No. 7 train on Roosevelt Avenue. The group discussed the condition and structure of the station and underpass.

“I think it went well,” said Cheryl Tse, project consultant for the 82nd Street Partnership. “It’s the beginning of a conversation of the improvements we can bring to the 82nd Street station and the No. 7 train line.”

In August, as Tse was on her commute home waiting on the No. 7 train platform at the 82nd Street and Roosevelt Avenue subway station, she found a total of four signs with an “e” missing on the word “Roosevelt.” Although the signs were fixed the next day, Tse told The Courier there are many other issues the MTA has to address to make it a better experience for commuters and pedestrians.

During the meeting, Tse, along with other members of the 82nd Street Partnership, expressed the community’s concerns with the station and the surrounding area. They also presented lighting designer Leni Schwendinger’s proposal of improving outdoor lighting and enhancing public spaces along Roosevelt Avenue and 82nd Street.

According to Tse, there will be a capital improvement project beginning in 2016 which will repaint support beams along the No. 7 line. The group was also directed to the MTA’s Arts for Transit program in order to explore potential opportunities of bringing art from local artists to the subway station.

“It was more to get everyone in the same room, to bring their attention to the issues at 82nd Street and along the No. 7 train,” said Tse. “We’re grateful the New York City Transit was able to meet with us to navigate channels and bring the change that we want. We’re hopeful.”

After also pinpointing noise pollution from the No. 7 line, Tse said the group was told new and quieter trains would soon be used. There was no exact date given.

Although the capital improvement project is not set to begin until 2016, the 82nd Street Partnership will organize workshops and community visioning events so residents and business owners can give their suggestions and designs. Schwendinger is also expected to present her final improved lighting proposal by mid-October.

If you have any ideas and feedback, contact the 82nd Street Partnership via Twitter @82ndStQueens or visit www.82ndstreet.org.

 

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Man wanted for masturbating on Queens subway


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Cops are looking an alleged subway pervert who exposed himself and masturbated aboard a Queens-bound No. 7 train Thursday morning.

The incident happened around 9:45 a.m. as the train approached the Queens Borough Plaza station, said police.

Authorities describe the suspect as black, six feet tall and 180 pounds. He was last seen wearing a white shirt, blue jeans, black boots and sunglasses.

They have also released a cell phone photo taken by a straphanger who witnessed the lewd act.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Misspelled signs highlight bigger issues at Jackson Heights subway station: neighborhood group


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Cheryl Tse

A spelling error was an easy fix, but according to the 82nd Street Partnership, there are bigger issues the MTA needs to look into at a Jackson Heights subway station.

On August 5, as Cheryl Tse, project consultant for the 82nd Street Partnership, was on her commute home waiting on the No. 7 train platform at the 82nd Street and Roosevelt Avenue subway station, she looked up to find an “e’” missing on the word “Roosevelt.”

“I just noticed it because it was such a beautiful day, I walked out and was enjoying the sun and I turned around and saw the sign,” said Tse, who then noticed the signs across the platform were also misspelled. “I couldn’t believe it.”

A total of four signs at the 82nd Street subway station misspelled the word “Roosevelt” as “Roosvelt” and were up for approximately one year, said the MTA.

“It showed lack of attention to detail,” said Tse.

After posting a photo on Twitter of her finding, word of the misspelling spread and made it to the MTA’s attention. By the afternoon the next day, the signs were fixed.

Yet Tse said that although this problem was an easy and quick fix there are many other issues the

MTA has to address to improve the subway station and underpass in order to make it a better experience for commuters and pedestrians.

The 82nd Street Partnership will meet with the MTA on September 12 to discuss enhancements to the 82nd Street subway station, as well as along the underpass of the elevated No. 7 train. The group will bring up the condition of the general station and structure of the station and underpass.

If you have any ideas and feedback you would like to share with the MTA, contact the 82nd Street Partnership via Twitter @82StQueens.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Clear in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 97. Winds from the North at 5 to 10 mph. Tuesday night: Clear. Low of 79. Winds less than 5 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: SummerStage -  Meli’sa Morgan/Fonda Rae/Alicia Myers/Marley Marl

SummerStage, New York’s largest free performing arts festival, runs in Queens thru August 11. On Tuesday, July 16, check out a concert with Meli’sa Morgan/Fonda Rae/Alicia Myers/Marley Marl, part of the “This is __Hip-Hop” Series, at Queensbridge Park at 7 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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