Archive for the ‘neighborhoods’ Category

Changing Bellerose

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

There’s an in-depth story in today’s Times City section about the shifting demographics of Bellerose, Queens. James Angelos’ story centers on the beloved Frozen Cup ice cream stand, soon to be demolished to make way for a Days Inn; the South Asian newcomers, optimistic about their prospects in America, who now make up almost a third of the population; and the longtime residents, who are variously stunned, dismayed, or resentful of the way their neighborhood is changing around them. There’s also a slide show.

Three immigrant perspectives

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Today’s Times City section has three stories of Moving Sidewalk interest:

Caroline Dworin writes about the men at a Serbian-American social club in Glendale, Queens, and their displeasure with impeached Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich;

Sophia Hollander writes about a project to define the boundaries of Manhattan’s Chinatown, whose Chinese population is decreasing and which faces the threat of high-rise development due to a recent rezoning that protects large swaths of nearby neighborhoods;

and Joseph Huff-Hannon interviews Marcos Silva de Paula, a Brazilian immigrant who was making a decent living as a shoeshine man until the economic collapse, and whose family now plans to return to Brazil.

Happy Year of the Ox

Monday, January 26th, 2009

The Lunar New Year starts today, but festivities continue through the week. The Queens Library in Flushing will host a free day of events on Saturday, Jan. 31.

From 10:30 am to 12:30 pm: Learn how to prepare Japche, a delicious noodle dish from Korea, or miniature spring rolls from China; learn how to make Chinese red envelope lanterns (first-come, first-served basis, supplies limited!). (I’m not sure whether these events will be conducted in Korean, Chinese, English, or a mixture.)

At 1 pm,there will be traditional Korean drum and dance with Vongku Pak; at 2:30 pm, a ribbon dance and song from China; and at 3:30 pm, the Chinese Lion Dance.

The library is located at 41-17 Main St, Flushing. The event is funded by The National Endowment for the Humanities.

Gearing up for Chinese New Year

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

The Museum of Chinese in America will give a walking tour, with shopping and tasting, from 1  to 2:30 pm Saturday, Jan. 17, to show Chinatown’s preparations for the Year of the Ox, which begins January 26. Tickets are $15 ($12 for seniors and students), and the tour meets on the second floor of the museum at 70 Mulberry St. If you can’t make it, they’ll also have walking tours on Jan. 24 and 31.

Farther south, on Sunday, Jan. 18, the Staten Island Zoo gears up for the holiday with “unique crafts and special feeding and presentations showcasing the zoo’s Chinese horoscope animals.” That’s a cool idea, and it’s a nice little zoo with a great batch of rattlesnakes. Activities run from 1:30 to 3:30 pm, and admission is $7 for adults, $4 for children. The zoo is at 614 Broadway on Staten Island. You can get there on the S53 bus from Bay Ridge or by taking the S48 bus at the ferry terminal; see their website for directions.

Dance your way through winter

Monday, January 12th, 2009

It’s freezing, and it will be a lot colder on Thursday—which makes it the perfect time for Norwegian folk dancing. Folk Feet on Fifth‘s Norwegian Nights and Levantine Layali begins on Thursday, Jan. 15, with a folk dance class with Paul Busse, the Norwegian Folkdancers Society, and live accordion. Free. The class will be from 7 to 8:30 pm at Salaam Arabic Lutheran Church, 345 Ovington Ave, Brooklyn (R train to Bay Ridge Ave).

The program continues on Jan. 22, with a Lebanese and Palestinian Debke dance class with Ramzi Ed-libi, Jad Lebbos, Sheren Attal and live Arabic percussion, and concludes on Saturday, Jan. 24, with a Norwegian and Levantine Dance Party/Hafla.

Folk Feet on Fifth is part of the Brooklyn Arts Council’s Folk Arts project, and Norwegian Nights and Levantine Layali is presented in partnership with Young Dancers in Repertory.

To register, or for more information, call (347) 702-7155.

I love Queens

Sunday, January 4th, 2009


Why should I be shy about admitting it?

The Times has a terrific slideshow of color photos titled Queens in Color by Queens native Joel Sternfeld, which focuses on the immigrant influences in Queens. For a very different view, check out Queens in Black and White by Frank Gohlke.

(The photo above is my own, and not at all representative of the quality of their work.)

Start the new year on Main Street (Flushing)

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

Flushing, Queens

Jack Eichenbaum will lead a Municipal Art Society tour of Flushing’s Chinatown on New Year’s Day. According to their website, “In less than a generation, this immigrant destination and commercial center has come to rival its Manhattan antecedent. Taiwanese rather than Cantonese at its core, Flushing’s Chinatown plays host to a variety of overseas Chinese groups. Rezoning and greater land availability support unusual real estate developments that include office buildings, hotels, residential condos, specialty shops, cultural institutions and malls. Lunch is available in more than 100 Asian restaurants nearby.”

I took the churches of Flushing tour with Jack Eichenbaum last year, and it was very interesting.

(There’s a late gift idea, too. Municipal Art Society gift certificates are good for walking tours and programs. For more information, call Tamara Coombs, director of programs & tours, at 212-935-3960, ext. 294, or email tcoombs [at]

Meet at 1 pm Thursday, Jan. 1, at St George’s Church, 39th Ave and Main Street. You can take the 7 train to Main Street and walk one block north. $15, $12 MAS members.

Vigil in Bushwick today

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

In response to the last Sunday’s attack on two brothers from Ecuador, Bushwick community members and others are gathering for a march and vigil this afternoon (Sunday, Dec. 14).

The assault is being treated as a hate crime because the men shouted anti-gay and anti-Hispanic insults. Jose Sucuzhanay died on Friday night.

Participants will begin gathering at 2 pm at the corner of Myrtle Avenue and Grove Street (Myrtle/Wyckoff on the L train), then walk to the site of the attack (Bushwick Avenue and Kossuth Place) for a vigil at 4 pm.

The event is being organized by Make the Road.