Archive for July, 2008

Feasting in Flushing

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Julia Moskin in the New York Times has compiled an overwhelming tour of Flushing’s Chinese cuisine. Since 1990, Flushing has seen a huge increase in residents with roots all over mainland China, and consequently, there is an astounding variety of food available.

The story includes 20 clip-and-save food suggestions for those whose Chinese-language skills are perhaps nonexistent, and there’s also an interactive map with photos, video, and an audio pronunciation guide. This is an awesome package and will definitely be a nominee if I ever give out Moving Sidewalk journalism awards. Brava, Julia! And good work on the graphic, Zahra Sethna and Jon Huang.

Scandinavian East Coast Museum

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Sunday’s Times City section has an interview by Jennifer Bleyer with Victoria Hofmo, who grew up in Bay Ridge in a family of Norwegian and Danish descent. She’s been collecting material for the Scandinavian East Coast Museum, which she founded, and now she’s trying to find a home for it in Brooklyn—or perhaps off the coast of Brooklyn. A century ago, there were so many Norwegians in Bay Ridge and lower Sunset Park that, Hofmo says, they called Eighth Avenue Lapskaus Boulevard, after a traditional beef stew.

Although the museum’s home is virtual at the moment, the site includes a forum for Scandinavian genealogical research, a block-by-block map of old Eighth Avenue as well as vintage pictures, a page of history, and a gift shop.

This is just the kind of thing to make an immigration nerd like me jump up and down. I wish Ms. Hofmo all the best and I’ll be sure to report any further developments about the museum.

Dominican girls on film

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Aaron Matthew’s hourlong documentary My American Girls: A Dominican Story will screen at 6:30 pm Tuesday, July 29, at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. According to the museum website, “The film follows a year in the life of the Ortiz family, first generation immigrants from the Dominican Republic. From hard-working parents who imagine retiring to their rural homeland to fast-tracking American-born daughters caught between their parent’s values and their own, this film spurs discussion about the contradictions surrounding contemporary immigrant life.”

The director will be present for a discussion following the screening, which is co-sponsored by PBS’s P.O.V. series. The event will be at the museum shop, 108 Orchard St (at Delancey), and it’s free.

Ellis Island hospital update

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

As part of its Lost Jersey series on WBGO Journal, WBGO radio investigates what’s going on with Ellis Island’s project to stabilize and restore its old hospital complex. (According to the National Park Service, “Ellis Island is federal property partly within the territorial jurisdiction of the both the States of New York and New Jersey.”) Andrew Meyer will be on the air with this story from 7:30 to 8 pm Friday, July 25. If you miss it, you can hear it later from their website here.

¡Hola Mexico! peliculas

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

A raunchy comic romance (Llamando a un ángel) and a fiesta kick off the ¡Hola Mexico! film festival Wednesday night (July 23) at the Quad Cinema in Manhattan. These new films range from a documentary about an armless harmonica player and beloved father (Nacido sin) to a drama about extramarital passion among Mexican Mennonites (Stellet licht) to a comedy about trying to reform a rebellious teenage girl (Niñas mal). I haven’t seen any of them, and they have nothing to do with immigration, but I thought you should know.

The festival runs through Sunday, July 27, at the Quad, 34 W. 13th St.

Music, movies, food, river breeze

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Outdoor cinema highlights the 10th Annual Festival of International Film, Music, Dance and Food on Wednesday nights at Socrates Sculpture Park through the end of August (Aug 27 is the collective rain date). The park is at Vernon Boulevard and Broadway on the East River in Ravenswoods/Long Island City, Queens.

Performances start at 7 pm, with movies at sunset.

This Wednesday, July 23, they’ll be showing Chop Shop (2007), a film by Ramin Bahrani (Man Push Cart) about two orphaned kids trying to make ends meet in Willets Point. It’s a powerful slice of life, and if you’ve ever had someone try to sell you candy on the G train, it’ll seem only too real.

The movie will be preceded by the eclectic The Rob Crowe Situation, and Josephine’s Soul Food Cafe will serve up homestyle American cooking. As far as I know, Rob Crowe is not related to Rob Crowe Auto Sales of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, but that would be a nice tie-in with the movie.

The rest of the movie lineup looks like this:

July 30: The Host (South Korea, 2006)

August 6: The Red Balloon (France, 1956) and Persepolis (France, 2007)

August 13: Fellini’s 8 1/2 (Italy, 1963)

August 20: Duck Season (Mexico, 2006)

Run, don’t walk, to reserve tickets

Friday, July 18th, 2008

In conjunction with its Catholics in New York exhibition, the Museum of the City of New York is conducting a walking tour of the Catholic Lower East Side. Thursday afternoon’s tour is already sold out, but as of this writing you can still get tickets to the tour at 11 am Saturday, July 26. It’s $9, quite a reasonable price for a walking tour, and here’s how they describe it:

Join us for a walk through the Lower East Side and discover New York through the eyes of an early Catholic immigrant. Highlights include architecturally distinguished churches and chapels, including the “Sacré Coeur of the Lower East Side”—the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer—and the original St. Patrick’s Cathedral, designed by Joseph Mangin of City Hall fame. The tour will stop at a former Catholic orphanage and Al Smith’s school and church.

You can order tickets online through the link above, or call (212) 534-1672, ext. 3395.

Moving Sidewalk’s official poet turns 159

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Tonight (Weds July 16) at Battery Park: A free celebration of Emma Lazarus’s 159th birthday. From 5:30 to 7 pm there will be readings and musical interludes at Emma Lazarus Plaza; then from 7 to 9, an All Star Yiddish/Klezmer Concert gets rocking on the Great Lawn. I don’t know where Emma Lazarus Plaza is in the park, but I imagine if you head toward the Statue of Liberty, you’ll find it.

This is short notice, I know, but her actual birthday is July 22, so if you miss it, you can organize your own party.