Tag Archives: The Secret Theatre

Queens World Film Festival celebrates opening night


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Action! The 4th Annual Queens World Film Festival has begun.

The festival, which brings international and local filmmakers to the borough to screen their works, celebrated its opening night on Tuesday at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria.

Opening night featured three films from the United States and one from Kosovo, ranging from animation to short narratives.

FOR MORE OPENING NIGHT PHOTOS CLICK HERE

Borough President Melinda Katz, one of the night’s speakers, said that the festival was not only a great project for all the filmmakers and volunteers involved, but also for helping brand the borough of Queens.

“We are the most diverse place on the entire planet. We are extremely excited by this,” Katz said. “We are telling the international audience that we are here, we are strong. Diversity is the greatest asset that we can give the entire world here in the borough of Queens and this film festival proves it every day that we are having it.”

Organizers Katha and Don Cato, who were introduced by Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, welcomed the audience and shared what they’ve done in the 365 days since last year’s festival. They then went on to describe what the next five days would bring for the borough.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for us and one we are very happy to share it with everyone,” Katha said.

Don encouraged the audience members to go see all the films over the next few days.

“What I want you to experience is the unique opportunity that all of these films have and let them just wash over you,” he said. “Let them inform you, experience them, open yourselves up to them and enjoy them for what they are.”

Before the first block of films was shown, the festival honored Carl Goodman, executive director of the Museum of the Moving Image, as one of the 2014 Spirit of Queens Honorees for his leadership.

“Something wonderful is happening here,” Goodman said. “New York City is becoming decentralized. Manhattan is a borough, Queens is a borough. They’re all boroughs and there’s no inner or outer. I like to think about it as Manhattan being the shining surface of the city and Queens being the substance.”

Independent filmmaker Hal Hartley was also recognized as a Spirit of Queens Honoree. Before accepting his award, the crowd got a taste of his eight minute short narrative from 1994 called “Opera No. 1.”

The night ended with a party at Studio Square just a couple blocks away from the museum.

Throughout the six-day festival, which goes until March 10, a total of 127 films including short and feature narratives, LGBT pieces, documentaries and animation will be divided into subject blocks and will be shown at venues such as The Secret Theatre and The Nesva Hotel in Long Island City, and P.S. 69 in Jackson Heights. During the festival there will be 16 films screened from Queens filmmakers.

The festival will also screen the world premiere of the director’s cut of the Oscar-nominated documentary “The Act of Killing” on Thursday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m. at P.S. 69.

Films will also be given awards on the final night of the festival.

For a full schedule of the festival visit here. Tickets for the festival are $10 for regular admission and $6 for students and seniors. To purchase tickets visit here.

 

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Curtain set to rise on 4th Annual Queens World Film Festival


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of the Queens World Film Festival

The 4th Annual Queens World Film Festival is ready to hit the stage strong and put Queens on the map.

The Queens World Film Festival, which brings together local and international filmmakers, will take place from March 4 through March 10 and feature 127 films, with 16 works from Queens. The films include short and feature narratives, documentaries, LGBT pieces and animation.

“We’re going to remind the world that Queens is the birthplace of the [film] industry in America,” said festival director Katha Cato, who arranged the event along with her husband, Don.

In the year since the last festival, Katha was diagnosed with three types of cancer and has had to undergo various surgeries and chemotherapy.

However, she continued to work on the festival, which brought in over 300 submissions this year.

“We’re very excited; we’re in very good shape,” said Katha. “It’s the love of my life, next to Donald. It’s a very fulfilling and challenging job. It’s sustained me as I imagined standing at the podium many times when things weren’t quite pleasant.”

The six-day festival begins at 8 p.m. at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, with a block of four films. The evening will also honor the museum’s Executive Director, Carl Goodman, and maverick filmmaker Hal Hartley as “Spirit of Queens” honorees.

Opening night, which is already sold out, features films from one filmmaker from Kosovo, a directorial debut from a Southern Illinois University student and two New York filmmakers.

“The borough is going to look beautiful on opening night,” said Katha.


Katha and Don Cato

The celebration of independent films will continue as the works are divided into different blocks based on subject and shown at venues such as The Secret Theatre and The Nesva Hotel in Long Island City, and P.S. 69 in Jackson Heights.

The “big excitement” for this year’s festival is the world premiere of the 159-minute director’s cut of the Oscar-nominated documentary “The Act of Killing.” The film will be shown at P.S. 69 at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 6.

Awards will be given to films on the final night of the festival.

“To be able to reach out to so many people is a really pretty amazing opportunity- we are certainly not doing it for the money,” said Don, who, together with a screening committee, choose the festival’s award winners. “We just keep it going because we started this thing and we’re trying to build something.”

Tickets for the festival are $10 for regular admission and $6 for students and seniors and can be purchased online here.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Snow, heavy at times, will become mixed with sleet or freezing rain this afternoon. Temps nearly steady in the mid 30s. Winds NE at 25 to 35 mph. 5 to 8 inches of snow and ice expected. Thursday night: A wintry mix this evening will transition to mainly snow overnight. Low 32. Winds N at 20 to 30 mph. Snow and ice accumulating 3 to 5 inches.

EVENT OF THE DAY: The Unlikely Ascent of Sybil Stevens

The Secret Theatre is pleased to announce a three week limited engagement of Kari Bentley-Quinn’s production of “The Unlikely Ascent of Sybil Stevens,” directed by New Voices Co-Director Christopher Diercksen. Main character Sybil Stevens is a Chicago-based flight attendant who finds her life completely changed when she is the sole survivor of a devastating plane crash, and has to deal with the unexpected aftereffects of both the crash and her newfound fame. The Secret Theater is located at 44-02 23rd Street in LIC. Shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday start at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets are $18. Through Feb. 23. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Cuomo says de Blasio pre-K tax plan is unfair to rest of state

Mayor de Blasio’s tax-the-rich plan to finance pre-kindergarten classes will be rejected in Albany because it’s unnecessary and would actually increase education inequality in the state, Gov. Cuomo declared Wed­nesday. Read more: New York Post

Million dollar luxury watch theft bust

High-end jewelry and watch stores were the target of a four-man crime spree that authorities say hit luxury stores in New York, New Jersey and Virginia for more than a million dollars of watches. Read more: Fox New York

Comptroller to de Blasio: Don’t get involved in arrests

City Comptroller Scott Stringer on Wednesday criticized Mayor de Blasio for personally intervening when a politically connected preacher pal was busted by cops — saying “the mayor shouldn’t be involved in any way when someone gets arrested.” Read more: New York Post 

Study: Mammograms do not improve survival rates in middle-aged women

The value of mammograms is being questioned by a comprehensive new study. Read more: CBS New York

Comedian Sid Caesar dead at age 91

Sid Caesar, a giant of the Golden Age of Television, has died. Read more: AP/CBS New York

 

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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LIC community voices outrage against upcoming No. 7 train suspensions


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

Long Island City residents and business owners are telling the MTA enough is enough.

The No. 7 train will soon be going through another round of suspensions causing it to not run in parts of western Queens and Manhattan for more than a dozen weekends this year, starting in the end of February, according to a notice from the MTA.

This news again upset residents, business owners and local politicians who gathered in front of the Vernon Boulevard-Jackson Avenue subway station on Friday to tell the MTA they are fed up with the constant disruptions and the lack of notice.

“Real people’s lives are affected in real ways here, this is not a game,” said Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. “This is about human beings, they’re trying to survive and the MTA is trying to kill us. We’ve got to stop this now.”

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

Business owners are tired of potential financial losses, residents are sick of longer commutes and local politicians just want the MTA to finally listen to their ideas and communicate with the neighborhood.

“It outrageous and all we are asking for is the opportunity to be heard, to present some common sense ideas that we have presented to them year after year after year,” said Senator Michael Gianaris, who has suggested the MTA offer a shuttle bus from Vernon Boulevard through the Queens Midtown Tunnel into the city. “The MTA needs to listen to us once and for all.”

Rebecca Trent, LIC resident and owner of The Creek and The Cave on Jackson Avenue, said the area has grown by 500 percent and the suspension will only make business owners’ jobs harder.

“I don’t know how I’m going to survive this, I do not know and neither do many of my neighbors,” Trent said holding back tears. “What they are trying to do to this neighborhood is disgusting, we deserve better, enough is enough.”

Along with the shuttle service through the Midtown tunnel, Trent also said that in order to compensate the Long Island City community for the “irresponsible shutdowns,” the MTA should give local businesses, who will suffer, free ad space at the E and G subway stations and on the trains.

Richard Mazda, artistic director for The Secret Theatre, said he has had to put up with the disruptions to his business every single year and has faced problems during the annual LIC Arts Open festival, with artists and friends not being able to attend.

“You must have known that you were going to do this work, you have stage managed the release of this information so that we couldn’t fight you, but we will,” Mazda said to the MTA. “This is like the worst movie you have ever seen.”

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

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

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Plentiful sunshine. High 27. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph. Thursday night: Mostly clear. Low 22. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Oliver! The Musical 

Oliver! The Musical at The Secret Theatre in Long Island City is a refreshed version of this theater classic, presented in a contemporary Steampunk style with echoes of the darker Charles Dickens original and all the twists. Thursday-Sunday through December 22. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Queens student from Baruch College dies in fraternity pledge ritual

A college freshman from Queens died Monday after he was injured in a fraternity hazing ritual. Read more: The Queens Courier

Bill proposed to make pot legal in New York State

There’s a proposal to make New York the third state to legalize marijuana. Read more: ABC New York

NYC to require flu shots for young children in day care, preschool

New York City will soon require young children who go to preschool or day care to get flu shots. Read more: NBC New York

MTA to test motion sensors, lasers in effort to curb track deaths

The MTA plans to test several different forms of technology that would alert train conductors to a person on the tracks in an effort to curb a rise in track-related deaths, according to a published report. Read more: NBC New York

Poll: strong opposition to in-flight calls

As federal regulators consider removing a decades-old prohibition on making phone calls on planes, a majority of Americans who fly oppose such a change, a new Associated Press-GfK poll finds. Read more: AP

Play ‘keepingabreast’ to run in LIC during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month


| editorial@queenscourier.com


BRADLEY HAWKS

You can’t miss her.  Cameran Hebb is one of those charismatic, effortless beauties who kind of immediately captures your eye in any crowd.  And not just because she is wearing a T-shirt with the words “boobie trapped” printed in neon pink.

When you enter The Queens Kickshaw, where she is a barista and bartender, her warm smile is apt to melt your heart.  And her charisma can instantly become passion, conviction and authority.

When Hebb first auditioned for “keepingabreast,” a new play written by Jackie Rosenfeld, she instantly knew this piece of theater was something special.

After playing the lead character, Mina, during the play’s premiere at the Cherry Lane Theater as part of the 2012 Fringe Festival, she also knew that the final curtain should not fall on the show during the festival.

“The audience kept saying things like, ‘this is the way theater should be done,’” she explains, “and it just confirmed what I already knew.”

She immediately envisioned a next life for the play—which opens with a young woman being advised by her doctor to have a mastectomy after failed chemotherapy.  The story is told through a series of vulnerable, sometimes sexy, sometimes hilarious, but always poignant vignettes chronicling the woman’s journey to decide what course of treatment is best.

Hebb reprises her role as the cancer-stricken lead character, with multiple other roles played in rotation by Lyndsey Anderson and Andy Ingalls—who portray family members, strangers, friends, even a drag queen.  The new production is directed by Sharone Halevy.

Upon receiving a startup grant from the Queens Council on the Arts, as well as a sponsorship by Long Island City’s The Secret Theatre, Hebb found herself just a Kickstarter campaign away from breathing new life into the piece—this time with an outreach component (you can still contribute on the kickstarter page). A fundraiser held by The Queens Kickshaw also helped with funding.

The new staging, this time produced by Hebb herself, will run during national Breast Cancer Awareness Month, from October 18 through the 26.  It will be held in the “Little Secret,” a 50-seat black box theater that lends itself perfectly to the intimacy of the piece.

As an outreach, a select number of seats will be reserved for those in the community suffering or impacted by cancer who otherwise might not be able to afford tickets.  Seats for the public sell for just $15.

“I mainly just wanted to open a dialogue,” says Hebb. “In a world where we so easily disconnect, this play pushes past that in way that is so human, alive and authentic.”

To learn more, go to http://keepingabreast.wix.com/keepingabreast ; $15

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Mostly cloudy in the morning, then overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain. High of 86. Winds from the South at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60%. Thursday night: Overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and rain showers. Low of 68. Winds from the SW at 10 to 15 mph shifting to the NNW after midnight. Chance of rain 60% with rainfall amounts near 0.4 in. possible.

EVENT OF THE DAY: A View From The Bridge

A View From The Bridge, Arthur Miller’s fiercely compelling drama about love, belonging and betrayal, based on a true Brooklyn “love” story, will be at The Secret Theatre in Long Island City from September 12-21. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Mayoral primary politics resumes after 1-day silence

After abstaining from campaigning on Sept. 11, the candidates emerging from New York City’s primary elections are expected to break their silence. Read more: AP

Seamstress sues Brooks Brothers for $30M, claims sexual harassment at Queens factory

There’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing sexually harassing a seamstress at the venerable Brooks Brothers factory in Queens, a lawsuit charges. Read more: New York Daily News

Push made to designate 9/11 a national holiday

For more than a decade, people have come to the World Trade Center site on Sept. 11 to reflect and remember. But this year, one voice among many called for something greater. Read more: CBS New York

Sunnyside Gardens residents seek to foil metal Aluminaire House from coming to their historic district

The owners of a futuristic aluminum-and-steel home are struggling to drum up support to bring the noted building to a brick historic district. Read more: New York Daily News

New York plans to opt out of new insurance rules

New York’s top financial regulator said the state plans to opt out of new U.S. insurance rules as the framework does not compel life insurers to hold adequate capital reserves for paying out customer claims. Read more: Reuters

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST 

Thursday: Overcast with a chance of rain, then a chance of a thunderstorm and rain showers in the afternoon. Fog early. High of 77. Breezy. Winds from the SSW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 70% with rainfall amounts near 0.3 in. possible. Thursday night: Overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and rain showers. Fog overnight. Low of 61. Winds from the South at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 80% with rainfall amounts near 0.7 in. possible.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Romeo and Juliet

Country reels and iambic pentameter come together in a new twist on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at The Secret Theatre in Long Island City. This production places the famed feuding families in rural America in the 1930s and focuses on the ability (or inability) to express love. It also highlights the youth of our tragic lovers and their cohorts, as the younger Capulets and Montagues run around like rival, hormonal Little Rascals gangs. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Three charged with kidnapping, holding Queens man for month in $3M ransom attempt

Three men have been arrested for kidnapping a man off a Jackson Heights street and holding him in a warehouse for a month in a $3 million ransom attempt, the district attorney’s office said Wednesday. Read more: The Queens Courier 

Tightened security at some NYC sites after soldier’s brutal murder in London

The NYPD has increased security at the British Consulate and other sites in New York, following an attack in London that left a soldier hacked to death Read more: AP/CBS New York

Appeals court upholds firing of Queens teacher who tried to bribe student in exchange for favorable testimony

A state appeals court has upheld the 2011 firing of a hot-headed Queens teacher who tried to bribe a student into saying nice things about her. Read more: New York Daily News 

Union claims FDNY Is underreporting response times to close more fire houses

The firefighters union is accusing FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano of deliberately underreporting the time it takes for fire trucks to arrive at an emergency. Read more: CBS New York

Suspects in New York-Canada train plot due in court

Two men accused of plotting to blow up and derail a passenger train as it headed into Canada from New York are due in court Thursday. Read more: ABC New York

Obama to address drones, Gitmo in security speech 

President Barack Obama on Thursday is expected to address some of the thornier aspects of national security policy, including drone strikes, the prison at Guantanamo Bay and the dire threats Americans continue to face – even from fellow citizens. Read more: AP

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Mostly cloudy in the morning, then clear. High of 73. Winds from the WNW at 10 to 15 mph. Thursday night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then clear. Low of 55. Winds from the West at 5 to 15 mph shifting to the North after midnight.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Queens New Music Festival 

The New York-based composers’ group, Random Access Music, presents the second annual Queens New Music Festival from May 16-19, at The Secret Theatre Main Stage in Long Island City. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Sources: Weiner to launch mayoral campaign next week 

It was a month ago that Anthony Weiner re-emerged, granting interviews to NY1 and other media outlets, testing the waters for a mayoral run. Now, he’s prepared to dive in. Read more: NY1

Rockaway co-op: City damaged our property 

The city’s rush to re-open Rockaway beaches by Memorial Day is undermining an oceanfront co-op’s efforts to repair its own damages from Superstorm Sandy, according to its board members. Read more: New York Daily News

Queens woman gets 1 To 3 years for jumping bail after stealing man’s life savings

A Queens woman who jumped bail after being convicted of swindling more than $800,000 was sentenced Wednesday to one to three years in prison. Read more: NY1

Obama calls IRS flap ‘inexcusable,’ announces resignation of acting IRS chief

President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he was “angry” at IRS officials who inappropriately targeted conservative groups for scrutiny, announcing that his administration had sought and accepted Steven Miller’s resignation as interim commissioner of the IRS. Read more: NBC News

White House releases Benghazi emails, seeks to defuse controversy

The White House on Wednesday sought to defuse controversy over its handling of last year’s killing of four Americans in Benghazi, releasing emails that show how Obama administration officials presented a scrubbed-down version of the attacks to the public. Read more: Reuters

No winner pushes Powerball jackpot to $475 million

If your Powerball ticket didn’t win Wednesday, don’t worry. No one else’s did either, pushing the jackpot to a near record. Read more: ABC New York

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Overcast with a chance of snow and rain, then snow and rain in the afternoon. High of 43. Windy. Winds from the NE at 20 to 25 mph with gusts to 40 mph. Chance of snow 80%. Wednesday night: Overcast with snow and rain, then snow after midnight. Low of 32F with a windchill as low as 19. Windy. Winds from the NNE at 25 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph. Chance of snow 80% with accumulations up to 2 in. possible.

EVENT OF THE DAY: I Love You, Apple, I Love You, Orange – World Premiere Screening in LIC

The dramatic independent feature, I Love You, Apple, I Love You, Orange, written and directed by NYU graduate Horam Kim, will have its world premiere at the Queens World Film Festival at The Secret Theatre in Long Island City at 7:45 p.m. Screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Fetish website creator takes stand at ‘cannibal cop’ trial

A Russian man who operates a fetish website where prosecutors say a New York police officer met others interested in killing and cooking women told a jury on Tuesday that users enjoy talking about gruesome topics including sexual asphyxiation, sex with dead bodies and cannibalism. Read more: ABC New York/AP

Queens Rep. Grace Meng pleads for lenient sentencing in her father’s bribery case

Queens Rep. Grace Meng is asking a federal judge to go easy on her father when he’s sentenced for a bribery scheme. Read more: New York Daily News

No raps in FBI shoot

The off-duty FBI agent who opened fire from his bedroom window on three punks breaking into his car in Queens last July will not be charged with a crime, The Post has learned. Read more: New York Post

Elected officials receptive to USTA expansion in Flushing Meadows if concessions are made

Park advocates are up in arms after discovering a letter from elected officials intimating they may be receptive to a controversial expansion in Queens’ flagship park — under the right conditions. Read more: New York Daily News

TSA to allow pocketknives, some sports equipment

Small pocketknives and an array of sporting equipment — banned from aircraft cabins in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — will once again be allowed in U.S. planes, the head of the Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday. Read more: CNN

Venezuelans mourn Chavez, prepare for election

Shattered supporters of Hugo Chavez mourned his death in a flood of emotion that allies of the socialist leader hope will help ensure the survival of his self-styled revolution when voters elect a successor. Read more: Reuters

3rd Annual Queens World Film Festival ready for its close-up


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Queens World Film Festival

The 3rd Annual Queens World Film Festival is just around the corner, with organizers and filmmakers from near and far ready to take the stage.

“Brooklyn has an identity, Manhattan has an identity, everyone has an identity, except for Queens,” said festival director Katha Cato who arranges the event along with her husband, Don. “Everybody needs to understand this is a great place to see films and to make films.”

The festival, which brings together international and local filmmakers, will take place from March 5 – March 10 and feature 104 films, with 19 works from Queens. The films include shorts and feature lengths, documentaries, animation, fantasies, LGBT, “regular ol’ boy meets girl,” and many more.

The six day festival begins at 8 p.m. at the Museum of Moving Image in Astoria with a block of seven films and will also honor City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer for his years of service to the borough.

The opening night films include five international, one from Brooklyn and one animation movie called “Planet Utero” from Queens filmmaker Faiyaz Jafri. Along with Jafri, other Queens films include William Cusick’s feature narrative “Welcome to Nowhere” and Flushing native Adrian Manzano’s “BQE.”

The celebration of independent films will continue at venues such as the Jackson Cinema in Elmhurst, The Secret Theatre in Long Island City and the Renaissance Charter School in Jackson Heights.

“It’s all about bringing people together,”said Cato.

The films are divided into different blocks based on subject and will each have a host organizing the night. Guests will also have the opportunity to interact with filmmakers in Q&A sessions afterward.

“You want people to talk, to be engaged in the film. Whether they enjoy them or not,” said

Cato. “We are trying to build community here.”

Also, 50 guests will be able to reserve a package for a “Dinner and a Movie” night on Wednesday, March 6. Hosted at Armondo’s Italian Restaurant in Elmhurst, the $50 price tag includes a cocktail, appetizer, entrée and dessert. Once the film lovers have enjoyed their dinner, they will be able to take a walk down to The Jackson Cinema and enjoy a film block called “Grace Under Fire.”

On the final night of the festival, films will be awarded Crystal Globes and all winning films will be rescreened at The Secret Theatre.

“We really hope that all of New York picks up their ears and listen to what’s happening in Queens,”said Cato.

Tickets for the festival are $10 for regular admission and $6 for students and seniors and can be purchased online at www.queensworldfilmfestival.com. To reserve a package for “Dinner and a Movie,” call Armondo’s at 718-429-8552.

 

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Queens’ Morning


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Partly cloudy in the morning, then clear. High of 43. Winds from the NNW at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the West in the afternoon. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 37. Winds from the SW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Much Ado About Nothing

On opening night of Much Ado About Nothing at The Secret Theatre in LIC, patrons receive chocolates, a rose and two glasses of pink bubbly in a two-for-$30 deal. Show runs from February 14 to March 2. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Bloomberg to propose more electric  car parking, Styrofoam ban

On the eve of his State of the City address, Mayor Michael Bloomberg had a new ban in store, as well as a parking proposal that might drive some New Yorkers crazy. Read more: CBS New York

NYS audit finds MTA is sitting on $90M

A New York State audit finds that the MTA overlooked over $90 million sitting in various bank accounts. Read more: Fox New York

Queens officials request meeting with FAA to discuss noise created by new flight patterns

Queens elected officials are urging the FAA to redesign flight patterns to curb aircraft noise around its two airports. Read more: New York Daily News

Rebuilt Rockaway beaches need more than a big dose of sand, locals say

There’s a whole lot of sand coming to storm-ravaged Rockaway Beach this year, but locals are worried it’s not enough to stave off another attack from Mother Nature. Read more: New York Daily News

DOE to allow students to transfer out of public schools getting phased out

Department Of Education officials announced Wednesday that they will allow families to transfer their children out of 61 public schools deemed by city officials to be failing. Read more: NY1

American Airlines, US Airways announce $11 billion merger

American Airlines and US Airways say they’re merging in a deal they value at $11 billion, creating the world’s biggest airline. Read more: ABC New York

 

Valentine’s Day events in Queens


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo www.dreamsandmemories.net

If you want to do more than just dinner on Valentine’s Day here are some romantic events happening in Queens on February 14.

Valentine’s Dinner Cruise, 7 p.m. Take the Skyline Princess for a four-hour, all-inclusive, romantic tour of NYC harbor with a three-course buffet dinner, premium open bar, free parking at the marina, and DJ entertainment. $88. World’s Fair Marina Pier 1, Flushing, www.skylinecruises.com.

afroTango (special Valentine’s Day performance), 8 p.m. A world premiere with music arranged and directed by Latin Grammy winner Raul Jaurena, followed by a wine and tapas reception with the stars of the show. $35. Thalia Spanish Theatre, 41-17 Greenpoint Ave., Sunnyside, www.thaliatheatre.org.

Much Ado About Nothing, 8 p.m. On opening night of a show that runs until March 2, patrons receive chocolates, a rose and two glasses of pink bubbly in a two-for-$30 deal. Tickets normally $18. The Secret Theatre, 44-02 23rd St., Long Island City, www.secrettheatre.com.

Romantic Evening of Dinner and Cabaret Performances with DeeAnne Goreman, 8 p.m.,  A rising talent on the jazz scene, Goreman is influenced by industry favorites including Ernestine Anderson, Ella Fitzgerald, Shirley Horn and Jimmy Scott. Focusing on her own interpretations of jazz standards, Goreman has profitted from the city’s wealth of musical treasures. In the recording studio, in addition to working with composers and DJs on various projects, Goreman’s own first demo of standards, which she arranged, co-edited, mixed and mastered, and her second recording of select favorites – given a special jazz/Latin/MidEast touch by her rhythm section – drew attention and praise, as well as airplay on Israeli radio. Onstage, her live performances have varied from blending her own poetry with jazz song, cabaret productions she co-wrote and in which she appeared, to regular jazz gigs at both private events and public venues. Tickets for this one of a kind event are $40 per person and reservations are required. To make reservations, email rarbarlic@gmail.com or call 718-729-9009. Rest-Au-Rant, 30-01 35th Avenue,  Long Island City, www.rarbarlic.com.

Valentine’s Weekend Spectacular, 8pm. On the ultimate date night, a fantastic lineup of headliners — Mark Riccadonna, Leighann Lord, Andy Hendrickson, Scott Sharp, Miguel Dalmau and Dina Hashem — debating the he-said/she-said hilarities of life. $30, includes two soft drinks, glasses of wine or two draft beers. Laughing Devil Comedy Club, 47-38 Vernon Blvd., Long Island City, www.laughingdevil.com.

-Events courtesy of the Queens Tourism Council / The Queens Courier 

 

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What to do this weekend in Queens


| MKirk@queenscourier.com


SATURDAY, JANUARY 12

At 10:30 a.m., Alley Pond Environmental Center, located at 22806 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, will be holding an event titled “Young Chefs,” which invites kids to prepare homemade grilled cheese sandwiches and fresh banana split milkshakes. All materials will be included. Space is limited to eight participants and registration is required. Recommended for ages 7-12. Admission is $24 for non-members and $18 for members. For more information, call 718-229-4000, email contact@alleypond.com or visit alleypond.com.

At 2 p.m., Flushing Library, located at 41-17 Main Street, Flushing, presents the first part of the three-part Twilight Concert series, where Members of the Con Brio Ensemble will perform works by Brahms, Poulenc, Handel and others. The Ensemble is made up of critically acclaimed musicians, including violinist Alexander Meshibovsky, pianist Diana Mittler, oboist Alan Hollander and vocalist Barbara Ann Martin. Admission is $12 and $10 for students and senior citizens. TDF vouchers will be accepted. For more information, call 718-661-1200.

At 6 p.m., Dance Fusion, at 40-04 Junction Boulevard in Jackson Heights invites you to party your way into fi tness and the New Year with Zumba! Join us for an exciting and fun class taught by a licensed and experienced instructor. Even those who have never experienced this exciting new way to work out will love it! Classes are $10 per session.

With shows beginning at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., The Chocolate Factory, located at 5-49 49th Avenue, Long Island City, presents “There There,” an unpredictable and moving play about being the  wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time doing all the wrong things. For tickets and for more information, visit chocolatefactorytheater.org or call 212-352-3101.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 13

At 10 a.m., Queens Botanical Garden, located at 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, will be holding an electronic waste recycling event. Bring your unwanted or broken electronics such as old phones, chargers, handheld toys, TVs, cameras, holiday lights and more and they will be disposed free of charge. All participants will also have a chance to enter a free raffle to win a new 21-inch iMac and will also receive a “Green Karma” coupon worth anywhere from $5 to $500, redeemable at the Tekserve store. For more information, contact Darcy Hector at 718-886-3800 or dhector@queensbotanical.org.

At 2 p.m., Bayside Historical Society, located at 208 Totten Avenue, Fort Totten, Bayside, will be holding its Annual Art Show 2013. The event will also include a performance by Lindsay Megiddo. Those interested in submitting original works are encouraged to view an information packet and complete a registration form, both of which can be accessed at baysidehistorical.org on the Events page. For more information, call 718-352-1548 or visit baysidehistorical.org.

At 2:15 p.m., Flushing Town Hall presents New York City’s preeminent ambassadors of Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba and Plena music and dance. Lead by National Heritage winner Juan Gutirrez, this unique troupe of Puerto Rican master traditional artists and seasoned New York musicians are leaders in the resurgence of the Island’s traditional music in NY. Tickets are $12/$10 members/$8 children/$6 member children. Flushing Town Hall is located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard. To learn more, call 718- 463-7700.

At 4:30 p.m., Church-In-the-Gardens, located at 50 Ascan Avenue, Forest Hills, presents the second part of the three-part Twilight Concert series, where Members of the Con Brio Ensemble will perform works by Brahms, Poulenc, Handel and others. The Ensemble is made up of critically acclaimed musicians, including violinist Alexander Meshibovsky, pianist Diana Mittler, oboist Alan Hollander and vocalist Barbara Ann Martin. Admission is $12 and $10 for students and senior citizens. TDF vouchers will be accepted. For more information, call 718-268-6704.

ONGOING THRU SATURDAY, JANUARY 26

The Secret Theatre, located at 4402 23rd Street, Long Island City, presents “Urinetown, the Musical,” a Tony-Award-winning production set in a dystopian city where a water shortage has forced private toilets to be outlawed. Out of the residents who are furious over the fact that they have to share public facilities, a hero rises to lead them through a comedic, music-infused revolution. Evening shows Thursday through Saturday are at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m., with a special matinee performance on January 26 at 3 p.m. For more information, contact Alyssa Van Gorder at 718-392-0722 or pr@secrettheatre.com.

ONGOING THRU WEDNESDAY, MAY 1

The Louis Armstrong House Museum, located at 34-56 107th Street, Corona, presents its Louis Armstrong at Freedomland exhibit. The exhibit, curated by Louis Armstrong House Museum Archivist Ricky Riccardi, paints an intimate portrait of Armstrong on stage and off during the turbulent years of 1961 to 1964, spreading joy to fans young and old with his integrated band of all stars. Major funding for the exhibit is made possible by the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday through Sunday and closed on Mondays. Admission is $10 for adults; $7 for seniors 65 and older, students and children and free for members and children under four. A $6 group rate is available for groups of at least eight, in which case it is asked that an appointment be made. For more information, call 718-478-8274 or visit louisarmstronghouse.org.

MORE WEEKEND EVENTS