Archive for September, 2008

Medieval Scandinavian music

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

The Scandinavian East Coast Museum and BaroQue Across the River present Pro Musica Antiqua Oslo performing songs from medieval Scandinavia at 6:30 pm Saturday, October 4, at Christ Church, 7301 Ridge Blvd, Bay Ridge; $15. Call (718) 748-5950 for more information. Don’t miss it! I wish I didn’t have to.

Film: Somali refugees in America

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Rain in a Dry Land is a documentary about the first 18 months in the American lives of two Somali Bantu families escaping a refugee camp for resettlement in the United States. See it at 6:30 pm Thursday, Oct. 2, at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. Co-sponsored by POV Films.


Saturday, September 20th, 2008

The title of Amexicano, now showing at the Quad Cinema, refers to Bruno, a down-and-out Italian-American from Queens who becomes so brotherly with a Mexican construction worker, Ignacio, that Ignacio considers him an honorary Mexican.

Ignacio can put up a perfectly straight fence; the film is not an example of one. The plot is a bit uneven, with some unnecessary melodrama—it feels like someone from outside kept suggesting things to shoehorn into it. But the characters are believable and the acting is solid; Carmine Famiglietti does a particularly good job as Bruno. I like movies shot in Queens because I feel like I could open the door and walk into them, and this one is equivalent to spending the day in Corona and meeting some real people whom you’ll remember for awhile. Its heart is in the right place, and I recommend it.

Also this weekend

Friday, September 19th, 2008

The Korean Harvest Festival, or Chusok, will be from 10 am to 6 pm Saturday, Sept. 20, at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens. On Sunday, there’s a free concert from 2:30 to 6. That’s all I know.

Also Saturday, Horacio Laguna performs Music of the Americas (Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Paraguay, Uruguay, Ecuador, Spain, and Italy [OK, not just the Americas]) at 2:30 pm at the Bayside Library, 214-20 Northern Blvd, Queens. Free.

Germans march, sing

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

It’s a great time of year for parades, and Saturday, Sept. 20, German-Americans celebrate with the Steuben Day Parade. It starts at noon on Fifth Avenue at 63rd St, marching up to 86th St. The part with the tall boots is a little scary, but it gets warmhearted after that. The German-American Friendship Party follows the parade at 1:30 pm at Summerstage in Central Park (enter at 72nd St).

Apparently the Steuben representatives rang the closing bell at the NYSE this afternoon; that hardly seems like something to get excited about right now. NYSE CEO Duncan Niederauer will be a Grand Marshal of the parade.

September is German-American Friendship Month. Other events include:

German Day at Shea Stadium before Wednesday’s Mets game against the Cubs. (Have they had German Day at Shea before?) $15.

—A lecture on German Life and Song in Yorkville with historian Kathy Jolowicz and Werner Goebel, former singing waiter at the Bavarian Inn, at 7 pm Thursday at Liederkranz, 6 East 87th Street; $5.

—Cabaret singer Micaela Leon of Stuttgart performs a program called Trance Atlantic at 10 pm Friday, Sept. 26, at the Metropolitan Room, 34 W. 22nd St. $20 plus $15 drink minimum; RSVP at (212) 206-0440

Walking tour of the Lower East Side at 1 pm Saturday, Sept. 27. Meet at NYU Deutsches Haus, 42 Washington Mews. $30; RSVP at (212) 998-8660.

Mexican Independence Day

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Mexican parade, 2003

Sept. 16, 1810, was the day Father Miguel Hidalgo gave the Grito de Dolores, ringing the church bells and delivering an electrifying speech that launched the struggle for independence. You don’t notice a lot of celebration on this day in New York, but it’s a big deal in the Bajío of central Mexico.

The Mexican Day Parade starts at 11 am Sunday, Sept. 21, on Madison Avenue at 41st St, proceeding down to 27th.

Meanwhile, opening Friday at the Quad Cinema is Matthew Bonifacio’s Amexicano, a story about the surprising bond between a Mexican immigrant and an Italian-American from Queens. It’s set to show for one week only, so run right out there this weekend and support independent film. Review to come.

Also Sunday, although not Mexican, José Alberto will appear in the Pathmark Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration from noon to 5 pm at Pier 17, South Street Seaport. There will be a salsa competition in memory of David Melendez and dozens of folkloric performers celebrating the Latino heritage. And, reportedly, some mariachi.

Taste of Jackson Heights

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Now this is a neighborhood with some tastes to offer. The Jackson Heights Film & Food Festival starts with the food part from noon to 4 pm Saturday, Sept. 13, in the courtyard of the Garden School, 33-16 79th Street, near Northern Boulevard. Admission is free; dishes are $1 to $3.

The film festival, which is in its third year, runs Sept. 18–20, featuring work from Burundi, France, and Queens, as well as the U.S. premiere of Sylvie Michel’s A Day in the Country (Germany, 2007) and the world premiere of Juan Mejia’s Uprooted (US/Colombia, 2008). There’s also a kids’ film festival at 10:30 am Sunday, Sept. 21.

There’s a lot going on next weekend, but this is definitely worth making some time for. Friday’s program is a collection of short films, a great opportunity to see a variety of work.

Welcome, Italian American Museum!

Monday, September 8th, 2008

Vincent Mallozzi reports in the New York Times that the Italian American Museum opens Tuesday in the former Banca Stabile on Mulberry Street, which served Italian immigrants from 1882 to 1932. The museum opened on 44th Street in 2001, but this is obviously a much better location!

Thursday, Sept. 11, is the first day of the San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy, with an outdoor Mass for 9/11 victims.

The cannoli-eating competition is Friday at 1 pm, and the party will go on another week before wrapping up on Sunday, Sept. 21.