Tag Archives: Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

BP Katz secures $32 million for Queens parks


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz announced Tuesday that she allocated $32 million of her Fiscal Year 2016 discretionary capital funds for construction, renovations and upgrades across 37 public parks in Queens.

Queens has a total of 7,273 acres of parkland within its border, covering more land mass than any other borough at over 10 percent. According to Katz, the capital investment intends to help enhance parks to be better enjoyed year-round by millions of children, seniors and families.

“Parks are the jewels of our neighborhoods,” Katz said. “Part of what defines Queens’ trademark quality of life – especially for the 2.3 million residents throughout our diverse communities – is the ample access to beautiful public parks and open space.”

The funds will be used for a wide variety of upgrades for parks across the borough, such as constructing dog runs and picnic areas, renovating pre-existing structures and planting greenery.

The preservation of the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park received the most funding with a total of $3 million. Two additional projects were also funded in the same park, including a $2 million renovation of the asphalt field at the World’s Fair Playground and a $480,000 replacement of the aviary mesh and marsh bridge at the Queens Zoo.

Several other projects on the list will also receive more than 1 million dollars in funding, including $2 million to upgrade to existing benches and equipment in Jamaica’s Norelli Hargreaves Park, $1.5 million to upgrade the running track and athletic court at Baisley Pond Park in Jamaica, $1.5 million to renovate the baseball fields at Glen Oaks Playground and $1.3 million to construct a meditation garden and upgrade Rachel Carson Playground in Kissena Corridor Park of Flushing.

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Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival marks 25th anniversary this weekend


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

BY KIRSTEN E. PAULSON

All are invited to enjoy two exciting days of racing and entertainment during the 25th annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York (HKDBF-NY) this weekend, Aug. 8 and 9, at Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

HKDBF-NY is the largest event of its kind in the U.S., and for 24 years it has drawn an audience of more than 50,000 people from across North America. This free, multicultural festival is a celebration of the age-old tradition of dragon boat racing, a sport that makes use of colorful, custom-made teak boats specially made by craftsmen in Hong Kong. The boats, which have dragon heads and tails that adorn their front and back ends, are piloted by teams of 20 people: 18 paddlers, a drummer and a navigator.

More than 200 teams and 2,500 participants from the U.S. and Canada will be competing for cash and prizes in this year’s U.S. Dragon Boat Open Championship. Races that will be part of the championship will include a media invitational, a women’s invitational, a charity race, a corporate invitational and a sponsor’s challenge. Other special/invitational cup races will include the 25th Anniversary Invitational, the HSBC 150th Anniversary Invitational, and the Municipal Invitational, which will feature teams fielded by Mayor Bill de Blasio, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Congresswoman Grace Meng, Assemblyman Ron Kim and various New York City agencies such as the NYPD, the FDNY, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Parks Department. The New York City Heritage Championship Races will follow the opening day parade at noon on Saturday, Aug. 8.

Racing will begin at 9 a.m. and festival events will continue all day till approximately 5 p.m. Besides the races, attendees can enjoy presentations of traditional Chinese arts, martial arts demonstrations, the traditional dragon dance, music, and other demonstrations of folk arts and crafts. Visitors can also enjoy a meal at the international food court.

“The board and I are very proud and excited to have been a part of the growth of the festival from 10 boats on the Hudson 25 years ago when the festival began, to commemorate the opening of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York (HKETO-NY), to this year’s festival with over 200 teams participating in celebration of the 25th anniversary,” said Henry Wan, chairman of the HKDBF-NY board. “HKDBF-NY has become one of the largest international dragon boat festivals in the world and a much-anticipated event on NYC’s summer calendar.”

The tradition of dragon boat racing dates back to the third century B.C. and commemorates the poet and reformer Qu Yuan, who drowned himself to protest his emperor’s policies. Locals raced in their boats to try and rescue the poet, but were too late. In order to prevent fish and water dragons from eating his body, they beat their drums and splashed their paddles. This marked the beginning of the annual Chinese rite.

For full event info, click here.

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Meet the Queens Zoo’s newest edition: a Roosevelt elk calf


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos by Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

The baby news keeps on coming for the Queens Zoo.

The Flushing Meadows Corona Park facility welcomed on June 25 a Roosevelt elk calf. It has joined the rest of the herd at the zoo’s woodland, bringing the herd to six, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced Tuesday.

Last June, a male Roosevelt elk calf was also born at the zoo.

Although only about 25 pounds at birth, adult bulls can grow up to 1,100 pounds and females can grow up to 700 pounds. According to WCS, they are the largest elk subspecies. Roosevelt elks are also one of the largest North American mammals and are noted for their distinct coats, dark brown head and pale brown torso.

Julie Larsen Maher_9256_Roosevelt Elk and Calf_QZ_07 27 15

Tuesday’s birth announcement follows another new, but tinier edition to the Queens Zoo in May — a southern pudu, the world’s smallest deer species.

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Festival celebrating birds of prey flies into Flushing Meadows


| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the Parks Department

Flushing Meadows Corona Park will be the host of the 18th annual Raptor Fest, a festival that allows people to get up close and personal with New York City’s birds of prey.

The festival will be held on Oct. 3 and will introduce Queens residents to the birds native to the city including red-tailed hawks, peregrine falcons, kestrels and bald eagles, according to Richard Simon, deputy director of the Urban Park Rangers.

Previously held in Central Park and Prospect Park, Simon said Flushing Meadows Corona Park administrators reached out to the Parks Department to request the move to Queens. The festival is named raptor for the word meaning birds of prey, or birds that hunt and feed on other animals.

Children and adults can expect to see three flight demonstrations by a professional falconer and educational tables that will teach visitors about the birds around them.

Raptor Fest will take place from noon to 3 p.m. on Oct. 3 near the Unisphere, where resident red-tailed hawks have made a home for themselves.

Simon said the goal of the festival is to raise awareness about the importance of birds of prey in New York City. He is also encouraging visitors to bring their cameras for the photo opportunities the festival will allow.

“They really are apex predators. They eat a lot of rodents and squirrels and some of them even eat large insects so they help control some of the pests that are in the city,” Simon said. “They’re really a great big bird so kids will have an easy time recognizing them and all of a sudden noticing that there’s a difference between pigeons and starlings and there are other birds we have in New York City.”


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Police investigate alligator sighting in Flushing Meadows Corona Park


| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/NYPD 110th Precinct

Officers from the 110th Precinct are on the hunt for an alligator after a possible sighting in Flushing Meadows Corona Park on Saturday morning.

Reportedly, a jogger spotted the reptile — affectionately dubbed “Jaws” by the 110th Precinct —and called 911.

According to Deputy Inspector Christopher Manson, who reported the sighting on Twitter, the alligator is described as 3 1/2 feet long and “kinda thick.”

Manson also took to the precinct’s Twitter account to ask for advice about what kind of food officers should use to lure the animal out. “We need your advice. What kind of food should we use to lure the beast out!? After all he is a NYC gator. Pizza?” he asked in a post.

Officers arrived at the scene and canvassed the area but have not been able to track the reptile down.

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Queens Theatre screens classic Lincoln Center performances outdoors at Flushing Meadows


| rmackay@queensny.org

Photo courtesy of Queens Theatre

He began as an urban legend in early 19th-century London. In 1846, he starred in a story that was published in installments over 18 weeks. Then, he got a mention from Charles Dickens and appeared in a French novel before crossing over to theater, opera and film.

Sweeney Todd, a fictional barber who murders clients before a baker cooks their flesh into meat pies, has inspired countless drama productions over the past 200 years. Some of the best were operas featuring music by Stephen Sondheim that the New York Philharmonic put together in 2014 with Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel as the stars.

On Aug. 4, a film of one of these performances will screen outdoors at 8 p.m. on Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s Festival Lawn, thanks to a new month-long partnership between Queens Theatre and Lincoln Center Education. Video versions of other great Lincoln Center works will then screen on the remaining Tuesdays in August. (In case of rain, the show will go on inside Queens Theatre.)

On Aug. 11, footage from a concert by the Villalobos Brothers will be shown. This group, which hails from Mexico, mixes indigenous rhythms with jazz harmonies and classic music. These World Music pioneers impressed Lincoln Center brass so much that they returned for an encore presentation in 2014.

Video of a gala performance featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma with the New York Philharmonic and conductor Alan Gilbert will screen on Aug. 18. Then, the fun will end on Aug. 25 with the 2012 Richard Tucker Opera Gala. In this film, singers such as Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Olga Borodina and Marcello Giordani belt out some of the most iconic operas in their repertoire, including “La Traviata” and “The Barber of Seville.”

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New boats for Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival unveiled in Flushing


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Alina Suriel

New boats for the 25th annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival scheduled for next month at Flushing Meadows Corona Park were unveiled Thursday morning with an awakening ceremony of ritual blessing before the big races.

According to organizers, the Dragon Boat Festival is the largest multicultural event of its kind in New York, drawing over 15,000 people last year.

At Thursday’s event, a demonstration by Shaolin martial artists began the kickoff of the pre-race festivities, and then officials, event organizers and sponsors were guided by a Buddhist monk in blessing the boat with incense and dotting the eyes of the carved dragons with red paint.

Organizer Henry Wan highlighted the variety of offerings to be enjoyed at the festival, including a land performance, stage performance, martial arts, multicultural song and dance, as well as souvenir giveaways from local and corporate sponsors.

“It’s an event for the whole family, and it’s free, so come and visit us,” Wan said.

The two-day racing festival has grown considerably since its 1991 debut, which commemorated the New York arrival of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, from 10 boats in the first year to over 200 in 2015. Racers are competing to win cash and prizes, and to encourage past participants to be a part of the event this year. A “senior” discount will also be available for those over the age of 40.

The Chinese tradition of dragon boat racing is an annual rite to honor Qu Yuan, a outspoken poet who drowned himself in third century B.C. to protest against the policies of the emperor in his home state. According to the legend of Qu Yuan, the local fishermen raced out to the river to save the poet, but were unsuccessful. During their frantic dash they beat drums and splashed their paddles to prevent fish and water dragons from eating his body, a move which is echoed by drums still used in today’s races.

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said that the event was a chance to welcome an international crowd and show off the cultural offerings of Queens. She was involved in the event’s first year while working in the office of former Borough President Claire Shulman.

“It is exactly what Queens is about: having an international event where folks are coming from all over the world,” Katz said. “But really, the greatest participants are those that live right here, that have chosen to make Queens their home.”

Suzanne Brienza, an area manager of HSBC Bank who will be rowing as part of its team, the Red Dragons, said that her company has been practicing every week since April in anticipation of the competition. The bank has been an active part of the race as one of its original sponsors, and Brienza felt confident of their ability to win.

“It all depends on being in sync, and then the speed,” Brienza said.

This year’s festival will take place on the weekend of Aug. 8 and 9 at Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Races will begin at 9 a.m. and the festivities will last on both days until 5 p.m.

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Queens Botanical Garden hosts Brew Fest on Saturday


| rmackay@queensny.org

Photo courtesy of Queens Botanical Garden

In ancient Babylon, a bride’s father was supposed to give his new son-in-law mead (aka honey beer) for an entire month after his daughter’s marriage. This roughly 4,000-year-old custom is believed to have spawned two common modern-day practices: the honeymoon (from “honey month”) and beer festivals.

This Saturday, the Queens Botanical Garden will keep the suds tradition flowing with its second annual Taste the World: Botanical Brew Fest. More than 20 beverage makers from around the United States — including Austin Eastciders, Greenport Harbor, Merchant du Vin, Sierra Nevada, and Sixpoint — will serve more than 50 selections. Plus, food trucks such as Pete’s Pizza and Wow Empanadas will be on hand.

Last year’s inaugural event commemorated the 50th anniversary of Lowenbrau Gardens, a Bavarian beer tent at the 1964-65 World’s Fair, which took place at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The celebration returns this year due to popular demand.

As more than 1,000 attendees are expected, the Brew Fest will have two sessions: noon to 3 p.m. and 4  to 7 p.m. The cover band Reprimand will serenade the crowd at the later session. Tickets are $50 at the door, but $30 in advance. Click here for early bird discounts on tickets.

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Josh Groban to perform at US Open opening night ceremony


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of USTA

The U.S. Open’s opening night ceremony in Queens will once again feature a chart-topping singer, and the National Tennis Center’s namesake will also make a special appearance.

Multiplatinum-selling artist Josh Groban is scheduled to perform at the Monday, Aug. 31, event that kicks off the annual tennis tournament at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced Thursday. Groban, who just released his seventh studio album, “Stages,” this April, broke into the music scene in the early 2000s and has sold millions of records worldwide.

Joining him at the ceremony will be tennis legend Billie Jean King, who will be on the court to welcome fans to the opening night along with USTA Chairman of the Board and President Katrina Adams.

King won her first U.S. Open singles championship in 1967, going on to clinch three more titles. The USTA Tennis Center was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in 2006.

This year’s U.S. Open will take place from Aug. 31 through Sept. 13 at the tennis center. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

The opening ceremony will be shown live on ESPN 2 as part of the network’s coverage of the tournament.

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Plans for Willets Point mega mall blocked by appellate court


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of NYCEDC

An appellate court blocked developers of proposed mega mall Willets West last week from using designated parkland without legislative approval, creating a major bump in the road to the project’s construction.

The Supreme Court had previously ruled on Aug. 21, 2014, in favor of the developers, Queens Development Group, who were co-defendants with the city in the suit. That decision was made on the grounds that the development was legal under a 1961 law written to allow for the construction of Shea Stadium on parkland, and effectively dismissed a suit aiming to block the development brought by state Senator Tony Avella and park advocates.

The four appellate judges overturned the Supreme Court on July 2 and unanimously agreed that the project cannot be legally built on the site because it is part of Flushing Meadows Corona Park and Queens Development Group did not undergo a process called alienation, which allows a municipality to transfer parkland to a nonpublic entity. In this process the municipality must receive prior authorization from the state in the form of legislation enacted by the New York State Legislature and approved by the governor.

Justice Angela Mazzarelli wrote that the law allowing for the construction of Shea Stadium on parkland did not exempt any future projects from having to undergo the proper approval process.

“No reasonable reading of Administrative Code section 18-118 allows for the conclusion that the legislature in 1961 contemplated, much less gave permission for, a shopping mall, unrelated to the anticipated stadium, to be constructed in the park,” said Mazzarelli.

Avella and the leader of civic group Willets Point United, Gerald Antonacci, were glad to have claimed a victory after such a long fight.

“Since 2007, we have battled the city at all times over its plans for Willets Point, which expanded in 2012 against the community’s wishes to include the gigantic proposed ‘Willets West’ mall on public parkland,” said Antonacci. “Today the Appellate Division agrees with what we’ve said all along: The city and developers failed to follow lawful procedure and now as a result their whole project cannot proceed.”

“The fact of the matter is, this land was intended to be parkland, not the development of a shopping mall,” said Avella. “In a city where public land is in short supply, simply handing parkland over is a betrayal of trust.”

Willets West was proposed as the first phase of a major two-part rehabilitation plan for Willets Point which would have seen a retail mall and movie theater constructed on 30.7 acres of parking lot adjacent to Citi Field. These first steps toward redevelopment were to begin in 2015, and would have also included major infrastructure updates, including the remediation of 23 acres of Willets Point, the installation of sewage systems, roads and ramps to access local highways, parking spaces, and the development of a 200-room hotel.

The second phase of the Willets Point development was expected to commence in 2026, and involved the construction of mixed-income housing, a public school and additional acres of open space.

In an emailed statement, Queens Development Group said they would appeal the decision.

“This decision, which overturns a well-reasoned decision of the New York Supreme Court, blocks a plan that has been embraced by a wide variety of stakeholders from the City Council to civic groups to labor organizations and others,” said a spokesperson for Queens Development Group. “We believe the Appellate Division Court misinterpreted the statute, improperly narrowing the broad authority it conveyed which would result in an unacceptable status quo, instead of enabling a widely supported investment that will reverse 100 years of pollution and create thousands of much-needed good paying jobs.”

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Gilbert Gottfried to headline charity event at Queens Theatre


| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Writer's Guild of America East

Comedian, actor and voice artist Gilbert Gottfried will be lending his talents to help the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps raise money as part of their “Laughter is the Best Medicine…Take 2″ charity event.

Hosted by comedian Joe Mylonas, the comedy show will take place at Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadows Corona Park on Saturday, August 22. Comedians Robyn Schall and Just Plain Keith will open for Gottfried and the night will also feature a live auction hosted by comic auctioneer Marc Zakarin.

Some of Gottfried’s most notable roles include the parrot Iago in Aladdin, the Aflac duck and a reoccurring guest role on Hollywood Squares. He began doing standup in New York City at 15 and in 1980 had a brief stint as a cast member on the sixth season of “Saturday Night Live.”

The comedy show is slated to start at 7 p.m. and tickets are selling for $40 to $50. The auction starts at 6:30 p.m. with a showing at 6 p.m.

A free shuttle bus to the event will also be provided from the 7 train at the Mets/Willets Point station.

For more information or to purchase tickets call 718-793-2055 or visit www.fhvac.org.

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US Open job fair to be held July 7 for Queens residents


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

For those whose summer plans aren’t already set, how about working at the U.S. Open for two weeks?

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) will be hosting its fifth annual U.S. Open job fair on July 7 and 8, and the organization is showing love to Queens residents by giving them the first crack at available positions.

The job fair will begin at the Sheraton LaGuardia East in Flushing on July 7 from 2 to 7 p.m., and will be reserved for Queens residents that day. The fair will be open to the entire public on July 8 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“For the two weeks of the U.S. Open, Flushing Meadows is the center of the sports world, and we’re delighted to once again to provide our Queens neighbors and tri-state residents with the chance to be part of the excitement and fun,” said Danny Zausner, COO of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Last year, more than 1,200 job-seekers from the five boroughs and the tri-state area came out looking for positions, which include guest services, facility operations, cooks, concession stand attendants, drivers, maintenance crew, security, cashiers and customer service representatives.

For those unable to attend the job fair, there will still be an opportunity to apply for positions. Applications at the U.S. Open will be accepted through August and details about the jobs can be found on the USTA’s website.

The 2015 U.S. Open will run from August 31 until September 13.

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Exhibition on World’s Fair architecture at Queens College


| rmackay@queensny.org

Photo courtesy of Godwin-Ternbach Museum

When attendees reminisce about the 1964-65 World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, they often think about the Ford Mustang, the Belgian waffle and the Unisphere, which made their United States debuts then.

Similarly, when people discuss the 1939-40 World’s Fair, which took place in the same Queens green space, they chat about the air conditioner, color photographs and nylon pencil sharpeners, which were first unveiled there.

But one of the most enduring legacies of these events — the architecture — was ridiculed at the time and then ignored by critics.

In fact, the first fair’s Art Deco designs, the monumental pavilions of fascist Italy and communist Russia, and the modernist structures of Alvar Aalto and Oscar Niemeyer had tremendous, lasting impact on the architectural field, as did the second fair’s corporate modernism and the postmodernism of Philip C. Johnson and Edward Durell Stone.

On June 29, Queens College’s Godwin-Ternbach Museum launches Persuasive Images, an exhibition consisting of more than 100 photographs depicting rarely seen images of structures built for the fairs that were selected from an array of local, national and international archives.

With these photos, the show also strives to provide new insight into the significance and power of world expositions.

“An important part of Queens history that has been lost will be recovered in the exhibition,” said Godwin-Ternbach Director Amy Winter.

The show runs until July 27 with an opening reception on July 9.

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Queens Museum lit orange for gun violence awareness following vigil


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

The “World’s Borough” came together Monday night to honor the nine lives lost in last week’s South Carolina church shooting, and show the rest of the nation that a diverse community can unite as one.

Elected officials, local community and religious leaders, and families of victims of gun violence gathered in front of the Queens Museum during a candlelight vigil remembering the victims of gun violence throughout the borough, and paying tribute to the nine people shot and killed at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17.

“We are the borough of Queens, we are 130 languages spoken in our school system, we hail from over 120 countries and you know what? We take the greatest pride in that diversity. We are proud and we stand together to say that gun violence, especially racist terrorist gun violence, will not be tolerated and we will stand together to send that message,” Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said.

Monday night also marked the first of nine nights that the front exterior of the Queens Museum will be illuminated in orange, the official color of Gun Violence Awareness Month. Through June 30, an average of about 168,000 motorists per day will be able to see the museum as they drive by on the Grand Central Parkway.

DSC_2031

“I hope the orange glow of the museum’s façade this evening will remember each of the passing motorists of our collective responsibilities,” said Laura Raicovich, executive director of the Queens Museum.

Those present during the interfaith vigil included local religious leaders who each voiced the importance of coming together to fight for the end of gun violence. Pastor Richard Hogan of the Divine Deliverance Ministry in Jamaica and father of Laseam Hogan, who was killed in 2010 at the age of 27, also led the group in a prayer.

“We come here to launch a movement. We’ve been moving but we need a movement, a movement against gun violence. This is not a movement of just some folk but it has to be a movement of all folk,” said Rev. Dr. Alfonso Wyatt of the Greater Allen A.M.E Cathedral of New York in Jamaica. “We are all impacted. Bullets do not respect age, [do] not respect denomination, faith, tradition, socio-economic background. We have to come together.”


At the end of the night, family members of victims of gun violence read out names of their lost friends, husbands, sons, daughters and other loved ones.

“We commit to continue to be the trailblazers in the borough of Queens and make sure that as the Queens division of the crisis management system, we will show the world how people from different races, people from different ideologies, people from different nationalities, people from different beliefs, and walks and everything that you can think of can come together and change the culture of violence and stop the epidemic of violence from spreading and killing our children and destroying our families,” said Erica Ford, CEO and founder of LIFE Camp Inc., a group founded in 2002 with the mission of teaching violence prevention in schools.

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Queens Courier reporter challenges Queens 10K


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy NYRR

A challenge of speed this was not.

I quickly realized the New York Road Runners (NYRR) Queens 10K would have talented, serious marathoners when about 9,000 runners gathered at Flushing Meadows Corona Park on Sunday despite a night of rain and threatening gray skies above.

Thankfully the forecasted showers held off, but my finish time of 48:52 shouldn’t be considered fast when the male first-place finisher Ayele Megersa Feisa clocked in at 30:14 minutes and female winner Etaferahu Temesgen finished at 33:16.

I ran in part to see if the NYRR met its self-regulated goal to produce a race that promotes and represents the borough. And kudos to NYRR for keeping the 6.2-mile race in Flushing Meadows for more than two decades as it highlights many of Queens’ jewels on the course.

“The park has so many beautiful iconic structures,” said Peter Ciaccia, NYRR’s president, events and TCS New York City Marathon race director. “To go through the whole course and see the museum, see the Unisphere, run past Citi Field, it’s pretty cool.”


Running around this landmark-filled green space is like a trip to a museum, and this year competitors raced through a transforming park.

We passed the expanding Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and enormous cranes roofing Arthur Ashe Stadium. We saw the New York State Pavilion, which is being rehabilitated, and curved around Meadow Lake, which is being restored.

Then there’s Citi Field, where the New York Mets have been rebuilding for some time, and towards the end, we wrapped around the revitalized Queens Museum, and passed by the Unisphere — the “World’s Borough’s” symbol — before coming to the finish line.

It is undoubtedly a fun race that showcases much of what the borough has to offer, but the truth is the Queens 10K can still do more to accentuate Queens.

Those familiar with Queens know its famous structures well, but for foreigners of the borough, if some signage existed along the course maybe it would help runners develop further interest in them.

And while the Queens 10K serves as the borough’s representative in the Five-Borough Series, I found it weird that Queens — the largest borough by land mass — has the shortest race. I was told for logistical reasons it wouldn’t be a good idea to expand the race in Flushing Meadows. But because it is smaller it is viewed as an easier event for some running clubs.

I had one problem with the actually course road itself: there were crater-size pot holes around the Meadow Lake section that we had to hop and dodge. The Parks Department should take care of that before next year’s event.

Post-race, there was a fun festival with games for children, a raffle and food vendors. It’s a brilliant idea, but while there was an array of food trucks that frequent Manhattan, I was disappointed that Queens’ reputation as being a hot spot for diverse food wasn’t highlighted by the inclusion of more local food businesses.

The 7 train’s reputation for being shoddy was witnessed by many runners though. The Flushing-bound line had delays that prevented some runners from getting to the starting line on time. This isn’t helpful to promote the race or the borough. While the NYRR is not at fault, it did acknowledge the problem and is trying to appease affected runners.

Recognizing that the race could use a tune-up, next year the NYRR will turn to local runners to find ways to add even more Queens spirit to the event.

“There are a couple of running clubs out here in Queens that are interested [in showcasing the borough more],” Ciaccia said, “so I want to work with them over the course of this year and see what tweaks they are interested in.”

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