Tag Archives: Flushing Meadows Park

NYC musician to perform, celebrate roots at Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of the Rectifist

BENJAMIN FANG

For Rectifist vocalist Marcus Lui, performing at the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival is extra special.

Lui, a New York City resident but a Hong Kong native, is thrilled to be celebrating the Hong Kong tradition. His local band Rectifist, formed in June 2012, will take the stage Aug. 10 at 12:45 p.m.

“For me, I feel great because I was born in Hong Kong. I came from there,” Lui said. “Now, there is a chance for me to perform at a festival about Hong Kong.”

Lui, who used to work for the Cantonese radio station AM 1480, said he has been to the Dragon Boat Festival almost every year. This will be the first time he’s playing the music.

Usually a hard rock and metal band, Rectifist will be paying tribute to the disbanded Hong Kong rock band Beyond by playing cover songs in its upcoming performance.

“Beyond is one of the very important bands from Hong Kong,” Lui said. He said their songs talked about the world, race and other societal issues.

Rectifist currently has five band members: Steve Cheng and Sylivan Tam on the guitars, Chun Yeung Au with the bass, Jeff on the drums and Lui, also known as Spark, as the vocalist. All were involved in a prior band named X-Scale before forming Rectifist. The band is influenced by the underground rock and grunge music scene.

Rectifist, which Lui said usually plays in local city venues with two to three hundred people-audiences, will play in front of a much larger crowd in this year’s Dragon Boat Festival in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

 

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Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival returns for 24th annual celebration


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Images courtesy of HKDBF

Chinese celebrations are coming to Queens for the 24th Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York.

The event will begin on Aug. 9 in Flushing Meadows Corona Park with a Chinese ensemble of musicians playing ancient and modern music  at 10:30 a.m. The event is named after the main attraction that involves over 180 teams, 2,250 participants, on boats with a dragon head on them racing each other across the Meadow Lake. The event is divided into the 250 and 500 meter race. The teams compete for cash prizes and other trophies. The festival is completely free and will take place on Saturday and Sunday.

The tradition of dragon boat racing is an annual Chinese rite commemorating the poet and reformer Qu Yuan who drowned himself in the third century B.C. as a form of protest. To prevent fish and water dragons from eating his body, the locals beat their drums and splashed their paddles.

The rest of the weekend will be filled with performances like the shaolin warriors. Masters and students of Shaolin Kung Fu Center headquartered in Flushing will demonstrate their ancient skills.

Across the country, similar dragon boat races will be held to celebrate the fifth moon of the lunar calendar, according to the event’s organizers.

For more information, visit www.hkdbf-ny.org.


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Weight loss groups back Bloomberg soda ban


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo by Spencer T. Tucker

At Flushing Meadows Park Tuesday Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Weight Watchers President Dave Burwick announced the group’s support for his soda ban, which will make it illegal to sell sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces at city restaurants, mobile food carts, delis, movie theaters, stadiums and arenas.

“There has been a lot of discussion about obesity, but little action, which is why we at Weight Watchers support what this administration is doing to help New Yorkers live healthier,” said  Burwick.

Bloomberg also said that other weight loss experts are officially behind his ban, including the creators of the Best Life Diet, South Beach Diet, Dukan Diet and Picture Perfect Weight Loss as well as the CEO of Jenny Craig.

At the announcement Bloomberg and Burwick were  joined by Queens resident Rachelle Conley, a Weight Watchers member who lost 91 pounds, and cites cutting sugary drinks as a reason why she was able to drop so much weight.

“Before losing weight, I would drink 48 ounces of fruit flavored juice drink each day and coffee with 25 – yes, 25 – packets of sugar every morning,” said Conley. “Now, I’ve completely cut out sugary beverages, drink mostly water, eat healthy portions and exercise near Flushing Meadows Park. For the first time in my life I’m at a healthy weight range – and I plan on staying here.”

The ban, which will be voted on by the Board of Health on September 13, is one of several city initiatives to help fight the raising obesity rates of New Yorkers.

According to the mayor’s office, almost 60 percent of New York City adults and 40 percent of children are overweight or obese and one in eight adults has diabetes. Queens has an obesity rate of 57.2 percent.

But not everyone supports the soda ban. A New Yorkers for Beverage Choices petition against it has signatures from 183,463 individuals and 2,002 organizations as of the end of August. Also, businesses, such as movie theaters, are afraid it will hurt their bottom line.

What do you think of the soda ban? Take out poll: http://on.fb.me/OXmBaI.