Tag Archives: Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

Parks Dept. invites community to ‘share vision’ for New York State Pavilion’s future


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of People for the New York State Pavilion Facebook page

CRISTABELLE TUMOLA AND MAGGIE HAYES 

The city’s Parks Department will be holding meetings this coming week to get feedback from the community on potential plans for the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

Built for the 1964-65 World’s Fair, the iconic, yet crumbling figure is in need of both internal and external repairs.

In November, the Parks Department released plans to restore the Pavilion, with cost estimates, as well as an option to tear it down for approximately $14 million.

One of the restoration plans could cost as high as $73 million.

Architectural firm Perkins + Will created an “adaptive reuse” concept, which would modify the site and add event spaces and landscaped paths.

Another option would stabilize the Observation Towers and the Tent of Tomorrow for $43 million, prohibiting public access.

A plan from the Parks Department to stabilize the towers would replace perimeter walls, elevator shafts and equipment, and bring all electrical up to code.

Matthew Silva, a member of People for the Pavilion, an advocacy group for the site, countered that plan and said that “certainly stabilizing it is something that is nice, but then it’s not something that can be utilized.”

A tentative plan to restore the Pavilion to again include access to the Tent and Towers, will climb to about $52 million.

People for the Pavilion feels the “best action would be to make it an institution, a cultural center that can be used for future generations,” said Silva.

The Parks Department will be giving a presentation on the recent structural studies that were completed on the Tent of Tomorrow and Towers during three meetings.

They will be held on Sunday, Jan. 26 at 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and on Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 10 a.m.to 12 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Queens Theatre, 14 United Nations Ave.,  Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

The Parks Department is inviting people to  “come and share [their] vision for the future of the Pavilion.”

Following the meetings, a questionnaire will be posted on the Parks Department website to get feedback from people who were not able to attend, a Parks spokesperson said. The Parks Department will then meet with elected officials to discuss funding options.

People for the Pavilion, which would like to form a coalition of individuals and organizations interested in the preservation of the Pavilion, will be holding its own presentation on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 2:00 p.m. at the Queens Theatre about the “structures’ past and present, before meeting others interested in its future.” The presentation is free and open to the public. RSVP‘s are requested but not required.

 

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What to do in Queens when it’s cold outside


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo credit (From top left, clockwise): Photo courtesy of MoMA PS1/Elk Studios, 2012; Photo courtesy of the World Ice Arena; Photo by Dominick Totino; Photo courtesy of the New York Hall of Science

When the temperatures dip, our desire to stay at home can rise. But even during wintry weather there are plenty of indoor places to explore around the borough.

MAKE YOUR WAY TO A MUSEUM

Queens is full of museums for art lovers as well as science, history and jazz enthusiasts.

King Manor Museum
King Park, on Jamaica Avenue
between 150th and 153rd streets, Jamaica
718-206-0545
www.kingmanor.org
Hours: Guided tours of King Manor Museum are offered February – December (closed during January); Thursdays & Fridays, 12 – 2 pm, every 1/2 hour (last tour 1:30); Saturdays & Sundays, 1 – 5 pm, every 1/2 hour (last tour 4:30).
Suggested Admission: Adults $5; Seniors and Students $3; Children 16 and under Free; King Manor Members Free; Free tours are offered on “Hands-on History” weekends each month.
(File photo) 

Louis Armstrong House Museum
34-56 107th Street, Corona
718-478-8274
www.louisarmstronghouse.org
Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Admission: Adults: $10; Seniors (65 and older), students, and children: $7; Group rate: $6; Children under 4: Free; Members: Free.
(Photo courtesy of the Louis Armstrong House Museum)

MoMA PS1
22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City
718-784-2084
www.momaps1.org
Hours: 12–6 p.m., Thursday through Monday, closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Admission: Adults $10; Students + Seniors $5; Children under 16 Free; Suggested donation admission applies Monday all day, and Saturday and Sunday Noon—1:00 p.m.
(Photo courtesy of MoMA PS1/Elk Studios, 2012) 

Museum of the Moving Image
36-01 35 Avenue, Astoria
718-777-6888
www.movingimage.us
Hours: Wednesdays–Thursdays: 10:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; Fridays: 10:30 a.m.–8:00 p.m. (free admission: 4:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.); Saturdays and Sundays: 11:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
Admission: $12 adults (18+); $9 senior citizens (65+); $9 students with valid ID; $6 children (3-12); Free for Museum members and children under 3.
(Photo Courtesy of the Museum of the Moving Image) 

New York Hall of Science
47-01 111th Street, Flushing Meadows=Corona Park
718-699-0005
www.nysci.org
Hours: September 1 – March 31: Monday Closed (Except Open Monday February 17, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.); Tuesday – Friday 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
General Admission: Adults (ages 18 & older): $11; Children (ages 2 – 17): $8 Children under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult; Students (with college ID): $8; Senior Citizens (age 62 & older): $8; Members: Free.
(Photo courtesy of the New York Hall of Science) 

Queens Museum
New York City Building, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
718-592-9700
www.queensmuseum.org
Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 12-6 p.m.
Suggested Admission: $8 for adults and children over 12; $4 for students and seniors; Children under 12 attend for free.
(THE COURIER/File photo) 

The Noguchi Museum
9-01 33rd Road, Long Island City
718-204-7088
www.noguchi.org
Hours: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday: 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; Monday & Tuesday: Closed.
Admission: General admission: $10; Senior Citizens: $5 ; Students with a valid ID: $5; NYC public high school students with a valid ID: Free; Children under 12: Free; Members: Free; On the first Friday of every month year-round, Museum admission is pay-what-you-wish.
(Photo courtesy of the Noguchi Museum) 

CHECK OUT A CONCERT OR SHOW 

From a classical concert to a dramatic play, the local arts are alive at the borough’s concert halls and theatres. Here are some places to catch a local performance.

Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing
718-463-7700
www.flushingtownhall.org
(File photo)

Kupferberg Center for the Arts
65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing
Box Office: 718-793-8080
www.kupferbergcenter.org

Queensborough Performing Arts Center
Box Office: Library, 1st Floor
222-05 56th Avenue, Bayside
718-631-6311
M-F, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
www.qcc.cuny.edu/qpac
(Photo courtesy of Queensborough Performing Arts Center)

 

Queens Theatre
14 United Nations Avenue South, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Box Office: 718-760-0064
www.queenstheatre.org
(Photo by Dominick Totino)

The Secret Theatre
44-02 23rd Street, Long Island City
718-392-0722
www.secrettheatre.com
(File photo) 

 

 

HIT AN ICE SKATING RINK 

Though you will still need a scarf and gloves, the temperatures will be warmer and there definitely will not be any snow at the borough’s indoor skating rinks.

City Ice Pavilion
47-32 32nd Place, Long Island City
718-706-6667
www.cityicepavilion.com
Visit www.calendar.cityicepavilion.com for the public ice skating schedule.
Pricing: $5 Monday through Friday; $8 Saturday & Sunday; $8 Holidays including all school vacation weeks; $5 Skate rental per person. (Must wear socks); $2 Helmets rental per person; Coin operated lockers available for $.75.

World Ice Arena at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Avery Avenue and 131st Street, Flushing
718-760-9001
www.worldice.com
Hours: Monday through Friday the rink is open from 9 a.m. until 5:15 p.m. On weekends it is open: 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. Friday nights; noon until 4:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. until 9:50 p.m. Saturdays and noon until 4:45 on Sundays.
Admission: $5 for all ages on weekdays and $8 on weekends and holidays. To rent skates be sure to bring socks and an additional $5.
(Photo courtesy of the World Ice Arena)

 

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Fans young and old come to gingerbread village giveaway at NYSCI


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

It was a bittersweet feeling for Chef Jon Lovitch as he removed the first candy covered house out of “GingerBread Lane.”

Lovitch, a Bronx resident, is the creator behind the 1.5 ton, 300-square-foot village known as “GingerBread Lane,” named the largest gingerbread village in the world by the 2014 Guinness World Records.

The village, consisting of 160 houses made completely of edible gingerbread, royal icing and candy, was on display at the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park from November up until this past weekend.

Instead of throwing out the estimated 2, 350 pounds of icing, 400 pounds of candy, and 500 pounds of gingerbread dough, Lovitch decided the best thing to do would be to give away pieces of the village to fans of all ages.

“People are really attached to GingerBread Lane,” said Lovitch. “They can take a piece of it with them. It just seems like the best way to do this.”

Fans came to the Hall of Science on Sunday to wait in line for the chance to take home a piece of history. Along with the houses, the gingerbread village was made up of 65 candy trees, four gingerbread cable cars, five gingerbread train cars, an underground candy subway station, a skating rink, a carousel, trains and more.

CHECK OUT OUR PHOTO GALLERY FOR MORE FROM THE GIVEAWAY 

Before starting the giveaway, Lovitch made sure to let everyone know that although the houses are made out of edible materials, he does not recommend anyone consume the pieces because the different candy is months old, has been through a lot of touching and some have even fallen to the ground.

Cole, 7, was the first lucky fan to get his pick of the village and chose a gingerbread house with a roof covered in star shaped candy.

“This gingerbread village is so spectacular and my kids have fallen in love with it,” said Cole’s mother, Kam Wong, from Woodside, who also brought 7-year-old daughter Isabella to the event. “I love the holiday times and just to have a reminder of it during the year is fantastic.”

Isabella was not shy about choosing the horse-filled carousel.

Making sure each fan could enjoy having the gingerbread houses and other edible pieces for a long time, Lovitch also gave each participant instructions on proper preservation.

“If you do take that time to preserve it, it’ll last a long time,” said Lovitch.

Although last year’s “GingerBread Lane” has already been taken apart, Lovitch plans on starting to work on this year’s new village by the end of the month and hopes to go even bigger.

The 2014-2015 GingerBread Lane will be on display at the NY Hall of Science in the fall.

 

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‘Snow day’ at Juniper Valley Park Saturday


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

File Photo

Updated 4:00 p.m.

Just because Mother Nature has dropped a few inches of snow, doesn’t mean you can’t put on your snow boots, get the sled and, go out and have some fun.

Keeping in mind to stay safe and bundle up, the Department of Parks and Recreation has declared an official snow day for Saturday, January 4 at five parks across the city. The snow day will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In Queens, the Parks Department will hold a snow day at Juniper Valley Park, at 78th Street and Juniper Valley North in Middle Village. During the snow day, free organized activities include supervised safe sledding, snowman building contests, best snow angel contests, friendly snowball fights, music, and complimentary hot chocolate.

For more information, please call 311 or visit the Parks Department website for updates.

Even though Juniper Park will be the only park in the borough to include free activities in the case of a snow day, here are other local parks you can visit for some fun in the snow and suggestions for sledding spots, courtesy of the city’s Parks Department. But remember to stay warm and be safe!

Astoria Park, Astoria, 19th Street between Shore Boulevard off Ditmars Boulevard

Bowne Park, Flushing, Small hillside on the 155th Street side of the park

Cunningham Park, Oakland Gardens

Crocheron Park, Bayside, 35th Avenue opposite Golden Pond

Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

Forest Park, Mary Whelan Playground at 79th Street and Park Lane South

Hermon A. Macneil Park, College Point

lower Highland Park, Jamaica Avenue & Elton Street

Kissena Park, Flushing, Eastside of Lake: enter Metcalf and 164th Street

 

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NY Hall of Science gingerbread village sets record for world’s largest


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy Andrew Kelly/ NY Hall of Science

A gingerbread village right in Queens has been named the largest in the world, just in time for the holidays.

“GingerBread Lane,” a 1.5-ton, 300-square-foot village, currently on display at the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park  has been named the largest gingerbread village in the world by the 2014 Guinness World Records .

The village, consisting of 160 houses made completely of edible gingerbread, royal icing and candy, was created by Jon Lovitch and has been on display since November.

GingerBread Lane includes an estimated 2, 350 pounds of icing, 400 pounds of candy and 500 pounds of gingerbread dough. It is made up of 160 gingerbread houses, 65 trees, four gingerbread cable cars, five gingerbread train cars, an underground candy subway station, a skating rink, candy trees, sugar signage and more.

Layout and composition of the village change yearly. Yet, GingerBread Lane always includes Eggnog Bay, Gum Drop Row, Peppermint Central Park, Candy Cane Place and Toffee Boulevard.

This year’s new additions include Ribbon Candy Ridge and “behind-the-scenes” windows, giving a peek into the makings of GingerBread Lane with ovens, models, and ingredients, made entirely from royal icing. Five two-foot-high nutcrackers, also made of royal icing, stand over the back of the exhibit.

Lovitch will lead a gingerbread house workshop on Saturday, December 28, and will give away all the GingerBread Lane houses on Sunday, January 12 as a grand exhibit finale. Fans will be able to take home up to two gingerbread houses.

The GingerBread Lane creator will also be shipping houses to children unable to attend the exhibit or giveaway due to health or other situations.

Visitors can come see the edible village until January 12 from  Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 am to 5 p.m., and weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $11 for adults 18 years and older; and $8 for children two to 17 years old, students and seniors.

For more information visit the GingerBread Lane website, or check it out on Facebook .

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Periods of rain. High around 45. Winds NNE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 90%. Rainfall around a quarter of an inch.
Monday night: Partly cloudy. Low 33. Winds W at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: World Ice Arena at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

Bring your friends, bring a scarf and gloves and remember to lace up tight! Ice skating season has begun at World Ice Arena at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park! Admission is $5 for all ages on weekdays and $8 on weekends and holidays. To rent skates be sure to bring socks and an additional $5. Monday through Friday the rink is open from 9 a.m. until 5:15 p.m. On weekends it is open: 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. Friday nights; noon. until 4:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. until 9:50 p.m. Saturdays and noon  until 4:45 on Sundays. Information is subject to change, to inquire about any changes call 718-760-9001. World Ice Arena is located at Avery Avenue and 131st Street Flushing. Submit an event of your own

‘Day of Action’ planned by teachers, union

Teachers across New York will wear blue and rally for more funding and less testing as part of a national “Day of Action” organized across numerous states. Read more: AP

Safety upgrades coming to Metro-North derailment site: MTA

The MTA announced Sunday that safety improvements would be made at curves and bridges on Metro-North Railroad’s routes, including at the site of last week’s fatal derailment in the Bronx. Read more: NBC New York

Ray Kelly ‘content’ to quit as top dog

Outgoing Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Sunday he’s looking forward to moving on. Read more: New York Post 

Astor estate donates $9M for education programs

A fund created with assets from philanthropist Brooke Astor’s estate has awarded $9.2 million in grants to New York-based organizations for education and literacy programs. Read more: AP

Nelson Mandela remembered near and far on national day of prayer

While South Africans of all races flocked to houses of worship Sunday for a national day of prayer and reflection to honor Nelson Mandela on Sunday, the former South African president and civil rights icon was also being remembered in the United States. Read more: CBS New York

 

Dragon boats give back


| editorial@queenscourier.com

HKDBF - NY

As this year’s participants of The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York (HKDBF-NY) will receive thousands of dollars for the charities of their choice, the city begins to prepare for next year’s boat race.

On behalf of the HKDBF-NY 2013 Charity Boat Race, which took place on August 11,  participants’ $7,500 will be awarded to the charities of their choice. This year’s race included teams from HSBC Bank USA, DCH Auto Group and Shanghai Commercial Bank LTD. Each company contributed $2,500.

DCH Auto Group, this year’s Charity Boat Race winner, receives $3,500, half of the funds raised, and will donate the money to the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. Runner-up HSBC Bank receives $2,000 for the Chinatown YMCA, and second runner-up Shanghai Commercial Bank gets $2,000 for the Museum of Chinese in America.

The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York is an annual sporting event and largest multi-cultural celebration in New York which takes place over two days in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. It is also the biggest festival of its kind in the country.

This year’s race attracted 188 teams to participate, the largest number of teams in the past 23 years, with 2,500 participants competing.

The tentative dates for the 2014 Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival will be an opening day parade on Saturday, August 9 and the U.S. Dragon Boat Open Championship Race on Sunday, August 10.

 

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Ribbon cut on Queens Museum expansion project


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Melissa Chan

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and ranks of officials cut the ribbon Wednesday on the $68 million Queens Museum expansion project.

“There always seems to be something new and magical happening in this incredible space,” the head of the city said. “It really is an experience like no other. This is one of the great cultural institutions that provides art-inspiring experiences that you can find nowhere else.”

The Queens Museum, formerly known as the Queens Museum of Art, shortened its name but doubled its size to 105,000 square feet, officials said.

It will feature new galleries, classrooms, a new wing with nine artist studios and a sky-lit atrium when it reopens to the public on November 9.

“We have expressed openness in this space. We’re open to new ideas. We’re open to the future of arts. We’re open to contemporary. We’re also open to the community, open to the sky,” said Tom Finkelpearl, the museum’s executive director.

Queens Museum will also have its own 5,000-square-foot public library in 2015, library officials said. It will house about 14,000 books.

“The expanded Queens Museum will become an exciting destination for not only our out-of-town visitors but for our residents alike,” said Borough President Helen Marshall. “We are going to have something here that will be unique in the city of New York. I can’t see it do anything but be a wonderful place to come for everyone.”

The transformed city-owned building is located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in the former space of the World’s Fair ice skating rink.

Its massive facelift, designed by Grimshaw, was largely funded by Marshall, Bloomberg, the state and City Council.

MORE PHOTOS FROM THE RIBBON CUTTING

The museum will host a month-long celebratory event lineup starting November 9.

“With today’s ribbon cutting, the Queens Museum, with such an important part and place in our city’s history, is ready to embark on an exciting, new future,” Bloomberg said.

 

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Free senior fitness classes at Queens parks


| editorial@queenscourier.com

This fall, the CityParks Seniors Fitness program will offer free yoga instruction and tennis lessons at four Queens parks.

The activities, which are open to New Yorkers 60 and older, begin the week of September 23 and will take place twice a week at each park through November 1.

All equipment and instruction is free. Sessions are one hour long, except tennis lessons in Astoria Park and Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, which are two hours.

Here is where and when the classes will take place:

Astoria Park
Tennis – Mondays/Wednesdays at 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Tennis Courts at 21st Street and Hoyt Avenue S

Cunningham Park
Tennis – Tuesdays/Thursdays at 9 a.m – Tennis Courts at Union Turnpike and 193rd Street
Yoga – Tuesdays/Thursdays at 10 a.m – Tennis Courts at Union Turnpike and 193rd Street

Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Tennis – Mondays/Wednesdays at 9 a.m – 11 a.m – Tennis Courts at Meridian Road

Roy Wilkins Park
Tennis – Tuesdays/Thursdays at 10 a.m – Tennis Courts at Baisley Boulevard and 177th Street
Yoga– Tuesdays/Thursdays at 9 a.m – Tennis Courts at Baisley Boulevard  and 177th Street.

NOTE: Schedule subject to change. For the most up-to-date schedule visit: www.cityparksfoundation.org/sports/seniors-fitness.

Spike in crime sparks push for park safety


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

The city may continue to report decreasing crime rates, but its park safety is up for question.

Crime in city parks this spring was 44 percent higher compared to the same period last year, according to NYPD data.

From April 1 to June 30, 128 crimes were reported in the 31 city parks for which the police department reports stats.

During the same time in 2012 there were 89.

It’s the largest jump since 2006, when a law was passed requiring the NYPD to provide the City Council with park crime statistics, said Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee.

“[These stats] are obviously cause for alarm,” he said.

Flushing Meadows-Corona Park reported the most crimes of Queens parks, with 27 complaints, 12 more than the same time last year. These included 22 grand larcenies, two robberies, two felony assaults and one grand larceny/assault.

It was the second most crime-ridden park in the city, following Central Park, which had 37 complaints.

Six crimes were reported in Alley Pond Park and two in Forest Park during the same period.

In the wake of the crime jump and a rape in Forest Park last week, the second time a female jogger was tasered and then sexually assaulted there this year, there have been calls for Forest and Flushing Meadows to have their own precincts.

Central Park is the only city green space to have a dedicated NYPD precinct. Flushing Meadows, the fourth largest park in the city, at 898 acres, is slightly bigger than Central. Forest Park, the third largest green space in the borough after Alley Pond, is 544 acres.

“These are public spaces and people should feel safe,” said Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates.

The jump in crime, he said, is no doubt a result of the lack of dedicated officers assigned to the parks.

The NYPD did not comment as of press time, but Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has reportedly stated that park crime has been consistently low and only accounts for a small percentage of overall city crime.

Vallone wants to require the department to extend the crime reporting beyond 31 parks to every city park over one acre.

He said the NYPD says it’s only providing data for so few parks because they don’t have to submit the information if they don’t have the technology to do so.

“It’s now been seven years since the law was passed and it’s ridiculous to think that they haven’t been able to come up with this technology.”

 

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Millions approved for Queens Museum of Art expansion


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy of Grimshaw and the Queens Museum of Art

Millions of dollars are coming to the Queens Museum of Art.

The city’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on Tuesday, August 27 approved more than $18 million in capital funds that Borough President Helen Marshall has allocated to help pay for the expansion of the museum.

The OMB also okayed around $19.8 million for the expansions from the mayor’s office and an additional $6.7 million from the City Council. When added to the approximately $13 million in private funds that have been raised, there is now around $57.5 million authorized for the project, according to the borough president’s office. If needed, Marshall has allocated another $5.7 million in funds that could be approved.

“The Queens Museum of Art has been a crown jewel among our borough’s cultural offerings and this expansion project will allow it to become an even more stunning and engaging facility,” Marshall said. “The doubling of the museum’s size, coupled with the other improvements that are part of the project, will make the museum an even more attractive place for both local residents and out-of-town visitors to explore.”

Once the museum’s expansion into the southern half of the New York City Building in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is completed, the institution will have 100,000 square feet of floor space. The project will also add a new 220-foot long illuminated glass façade and entry plaza on the Grand Central Parkway side of the building, a new entrance and expanded outdoor space on the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park side of the building and a new skylit atrium.

 

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23rd annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival draws thousands


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre and Johann Hamilton

The 23rd annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York (HKDBF-NY) roused a rip-roaring good time in Queens.

The two-day event at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park on August 10 and 11 was fun for everyone in the family, including pets. Thousands of people enjoyed free giveaways, an arts and crafts booth, various types of food and live performances.

“I heard about it before and we saw it in the paper, so I thought we’d come check it out,” said David Noven, who came from Harlem with his son. “The boat races were really nice, the music was good and there was good food. I had lots of dumplings.”

While being a family-friendly event with ample entertainment, the dragon boat races had fierce competition as the teams sped through Meadow Lake, unleashing the results of more than two months of training.

SEE MORE PHOTOS FROM THE FESTIVAL

With 188 teams and more than 2,500 competitors, this year’s festival was the largest ever — an accomplishment that reflects the multicultural support for the Asian tradition.

“Obviously we have a growing Asian-American population and I think [promoting] this multicultural event is very important,” said Henry Wan, chair of the HKDBF-NY.

Teams competed for prizes and bragging rights, but the festival also provided downtime from the everyday stress of life.

“It’s been a true blast to be out here to celebrate and enjoy the festivities with so many different people, so many different cultures, so many different companies,” said Dwight Williams, captain of Standard Chartered Bank’s team. “It’s been nothing but pure enjoyment.”

To see the results of the races, please visit www.hkdbf-ny.org.

Photo courtesy of Rick Ho

Photo courtesy of Rick Ho

Photo courtesy of Rick Ho

 

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Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival returns to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Lotus Chau

In celebration of the “Year of the Snake,” the organizing committee of the 23rd Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York (HKDBF-NY) announced that this year’s competition is to be held on Saturday, August 10 and Sunday, August 11 in Meadow Lake, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park — rain or shine. Admission is free.

It will feature cash and prizes for competitors in this year’s US Dragon Boat Open Championship.

HKDBF-NY is an international, multicultural celebration and sporting event, the largest multicultural festival in New York and the largest festival of its kind in the U.S.  HKDBF NY keeps up the age-old tradition of Dragon Boat Racing in colorful, custom made teak boats, which are virtual works of art gliding on water. Custom made by a small coterie of craftsmen in Hong Kong, weighing one ton each, colorfully painted with a dragon head at the front and dragon tail at the rear, the boats are piloted by up to 20 crewmen, including 18 paddlers, a drummer and steers person.

For 22 successful years HKDBF-NY has attracted a diverse, multi-cultural audience of more than 50,000 attendees throughout North America.

With more than 180 well-trained teams, involving more than 2,500 participants competing from across the U.S. and Canada, this year’s festival is expected to be notable in its scale and fierce competition.

With cash and prizes at stake for the US Dragon Boat Open Championships, the festival takes place over two days on the site of the 1964 World’s Fair, featuring events for the entire family. The opening day parade at noon on Saturday, Aug. 10and will be followed by the New York City Championship Races. The U.S. Dragon Boat Open Championship will be held on Sunday, August 11 with the teams vigorously competing for their share of the cash and prizes.

Racing starts at 9 a.m. and events last throughout the day until approximately 5 p.m. each day, rain or shine.

Other festival events consist of the media invitational, corporate youth, charity race, women’s invitational, and sponsors challenge, a photo contest as well as presentations on the stage of traditional Chinese arts, martial arts demonstrations, the traditional Dragon Dance, musical and other diverse performances and demonstrations of folk arts and crafts. An ethnic food court and booths staffed by sponsors of the event, many of whom will be giving away promotional items, and many community-based organizations participating help make for a unique, action packed, multi-cultural, New York weekend.

The tradition of Dragon Boat Racing is an annual Chinese rite commemorating the idealistic poet and reformer Qu Yuan who drowned himself in the third century B.C. to protest against his emperor’s policies. The locals raced in their boats in an attempt to rescue the poet. To prevent fish and water dragons from eating his body, the locals beat their drums and splashed their paddles. This was the beginning of Dragon Boat Racing.

Admission to the HKDBF-NY is free, events take place rain or shine.

 

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival 2013 Entertainment On The Verizon Fios Stage

SATURDAY, August 10

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM  Chinese Music Ensemble of New York

Founded in 1961 this Ensemble is the oldest and only full Chinese orchestra in the United States and the Americas.  Its present membership of nearly fifth musicians plays practically every type of Chinese music on Chinese instruments, both ancient and modern.  In this performance a smaller ensemble plays a selection of their repertoire complete with drums and cymbals.

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Opening Ceremonies

Lions and Dragon Dancing Teams with Percussionists welcome all and, together with invited dignitaries, officially kick-off the 23nd annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York

1:00 PM – 1:30 PM  BAAM

Formed in the summer of 2011 with the stated goal of gathering some of New York’s top young musicians and songwriters into one group, BAAM is an energetic indie rock band with a strong Blues and jazz influence. The seven band members have performed with some of the world’s top musicians.

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM   I Giullari di Piazza

Tarantella songs and dances from the rich culture of South Italy.

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM   Shaolin Masters

Warrior monks from the Shaolin Temple perform martial arts.  In the history of the Shaolin Temple, founded in 495 AD, generation after generation of monk generals and soldiers protected the temples from wars and riots of society.

 

SUNDAY, August 11

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM American Tap Dancing

Professionals and students entertain with the unique American art form of tap dancing, also known as hoofers.

11:30 AM – 12:30 AM   The Bailen Brothers

Twin brothers, vocalists and instrumentalists, David (on drums) and Daniel (on bass), lead the band with their pop, R&B, and Rock music.  Their albums focus on achieving great songs with sing-able melodies that are both stimulating compositionally and lyrically.

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM   Mariachi Agulia y Plata. 

This popular Mariachi band’s lively and energetic performance will have all dancing

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM   Mawuena Kodjovi Trio

The music of the  African Brothers Collective is a colorful, vibrant and inviting journey into traditional and modern West Africa. Powerful rhythms, soothing melodies and dances from the mother land will move you body and soul.

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM  Shaolin Masters

Warrior monks from the Shaolin Temple perform martial arts.  In the history of the Shaolin Temple, founded in 495 AD, generation after generation of monk generals and soldiers protected the temples from wars and riots of society.

The Balloon Man (Twister) and face painter returns to the delight of all.  Find them in the Arts & Crafts Tent.

ARTS & CRAFTS TENT

15+ artists will be demonstrating traditional Chinese crafts including calligraphy, rice doll making, bead stringing, kite making, jeweled ornaments, ribbon flowers, paper cutting and much more.  Children will be able to try their hand at making their own crafts.

NON-PROFIT TENT

Visit the non-profit tent for information on programs and services.

AARP

Alley Pond Environment

Boy Scouts of America

China Institute

Flushing Town Hall,

Girl Scouts of America

Queens Library

MOCA

Asian Society

 

 

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