Tag Archives: Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

Star of Queens: Jean. C. Silva, president, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Conservancy


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

COMMUNITY SERVICE: Jean. C. Silva is the president of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Conservancy, a civic association that is dedicated in preserving, restoring and maintaining the natural, historic and cultural integrity of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

BACKGROUND: Silva was born and raised in Brooklyn, and then moved to Queens. After spending most of her time and effort working in Manhattan, Silva decided she should put more time into her own community and got involved with the Conservancy. She has been the president of the organization since November, 2011.

“In 2004, I met Patricia Dolan [while] volunteering at the Queens Community House, and she was the person who got me involved in the Conservancy,” said Silva.

GOALS: In the coming year, Silva plans on preserving and maintaining the natural and cultural virtue of the park, in order to ensure the park’s educational, environmental and recreational benefits for all users.

“We would like to work with the Parks Department in continuing to preserve and maintain the Pat Dolan Trail with our hikes, field trips and bird watching.”

BEST MEMORY: Silva’s fondest memory is watching people’s reaction when entering Willow Lake, a hidden treasure smack in the middle of two major highways, the Van Wyck Expressway and the Grand Central Parkway.

“It’s like a different world, it’s so quiet, soothing, and peaceful, you feel like you’re not even in Queens,” she said.

Silva remembered seeing a variety of different birds migrating south, and even a muskrat while on the Pat Dolan Trail.

“We have a lot of different animals here, and some of them you would never think would be here in Queens. It’s like you’re really in the country.”

INSPIRATION: Silva’s biggest inspiration was working with the Parks Department to get Willow Lake open again. It took 18 years, but the organization was able to do it, and renamed the trail the Pat Dolan Trail in remembrance of the founder, Patricia Dolan, who had been killed in a tragic car accident in November 2011.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Silva says Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is underutilized and underfunded and she wants to change that. She also mentioned potential plans to restore the New York State Pavilion and her hopes to bring it back to its glory.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Periods of snow. Snow will be heavy at times especially this morning. Temps nearly steady in the low to mid 30s. Winds NNE at 10 to 15 mph. Snow accumulating 5 to 8 inches. Monday night: Scattered snow flurries and snow showers possible this evening. Becoming mostly clear later. Low 24. Winds N at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 30%.

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

Winter storm warning issued; 5 to 8 inches expected

More snow is on its way for New York City, just as Staten Island Chuck predicted six more weeks of winter. Read more: The Queens Courier 

32-year-old man arrested in Sunnyside hit-and-run of four pedestrians

A 32-year-old Jackson Heights man was arrested Sunday in connection to a hit-and-run in Sunnyside Saturday night that left five people in the hospital. Read more: The Queens Courier

Cuomo may have Senate votes to block de Blasio’s pre-K tax hike

Gov. Cuomo, aided by a coalition of Senate Republicans and upstate Democrats, will defeat Mayor de Blasio’s efforts to raise taxes to fund universal pre-K this year, a leading legislative Democrat has told The Post. Read more: New York Post 

Transit woes, mild temperatures mark Super Bowl XLVIII

The first outdoor, cold-weather Super Bowl in the nation’s most congested region confounded skeptics on the first count, as unseasonably warm temperatures served as a pleasant backdrop for Sunday’s NFL title game. Read more: NBC New York

Philip Seymour Hoffman found dead in Manhattan apartment

He was only 46, busy as ever and secure in his standing as one of the world’s greatest actors. Read more: AP

Public comes out to support restoring NY State Pavilion


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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

As the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair is set to mark its 50th anniversary, the Parks Department and an advocacy group are asking the community to share its vision for one of the event’s iconic structures.

The New York State Pavilion, located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, is in need of both external and internal repairs. In November, the Parks Department released plans to restore it, with cost estimates starting at $43 million. An option to tear it down would cost about $14 million.

The Parks Department gave three public presentations this past week on those plans.

“Nearly everyone who attended the visioning sessions favored preserving or restoring the Pavilion,” a Parks Department spokesperson said.

An online survey will be posted on the Department’s website until March 15 for those who weren’t able to come. The Parks Department will then meet with elected officials to discuss funding options.

People For the Pavilion, an advocacy group for the site, held its own event on Saturday, January 25 on the history of the structure and to get feedback on its future.

Close to 300 people attended, and were enthusiastic about saving the structure, People For the Pavilion member Matthew Silva said. The group would like to hold similar events in the future.

“We want to work hand in hand with the Parks Department in supporting their efforts,” said Silva.

One idea suggested at that meeting was to spruce up the Pavilion with paint, and possibly lighting, he said. “It would be a step in the right direction,” Silva said, adding smaller restorations would change its public perception and help it from deteriorating.

Silva has also created a film to help the effort. “MODERN RUIN: A World’s Fair Pavilion” chronicles the history of the structure from its debut at the World’s Fair to its years of neglect.

To complete post production, Silva needs $10,000 and has started a fundraiser through Kickstarter to reach that goal.

11-18-13 NYS Pavilion Borough Board Presentation

Courtesy of NYC Parks Department


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


By Queens Courier Staff | 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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Identify this place in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

where is this

Do you know where in Queens this photo was taken? Guess by commenting below! The answer will be revealed next Friday.

Last week’s answer to “Identify this Place”: Industry Pond, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

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


By Queens Courier Staff | 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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Identify this place in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Orestes Gonzalez

Do you know where in Queens this photo was taken?

Guess by commenting below!

The answer will be revealed next Friday.

 

Last week’s answer to “Identify this Place”: The Rocket Thrower in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

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


By Queens Courier Staff | 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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