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Queens Chronicle

See Jamaica as you’ve never seen it before

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Posted: Thursday, October 8, 2009 12:00 am

A free two-hour walking tour of Jamaica will give visitors an exceptional experience of New York City’s living history starting at noon on Saturday.

Stops include the breathtaking and meticulously restored former Loew’s Valencia Theater and a visit to Prospect Cemetery, a hidden and serene 350-year old cemetery right in the heart of Jamaica. The tour will conclude with refreshments and a jazz recital at the newly restored Chapel of the Sister’s.

The walk will be led by renowned guide Jack Eichenbaum, a Queens native with memories of the borough that stretch back seven decades. Eichenbaum will tell the story of Jamaica Center’s evolution from farmlands and pioneers, to commercial corridor, to its current incarnation as a transportation, governmental and retail hub. Visitors will gain new insight into Queens’ rich past while experiencing the vibrant energy of the Jamaica of today. Eichenbaum teaches a course called Geography of New York City at Hunter College and leads tours throughout the city, especially in Queens.

Attendees will begin the walk by meeting on the front porch of the King Manor Museum in Rufus King Park, located on Jamaica Avenue between 150th and 153rd streets.

Space is limited, and the event will be held rain or shine. To RSVP, call (718) JAMAICA (526-2422) or email info@jamaicacenter.org. For more information, visit jamaicacenter.org

The Jamaica Center walking tours are sponsored by the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District.

All invited to Black Spectrum Theatre for conference on single motherhood

The Black Spectrum Theatre Company is holding a special forum and conference on a crucial issue all day on Saturday.

It’s the theater’s first annual Loving Our Single Mothers event, and will feature guest speakers and workshops and panels that will address the issues surrounding raising children in urban communities.

Among those appearing will be Sheron Smith, author and mother of rapper Mos Def; David Miller, author of the book “Raising Him Alone”; Cassandra Mack, the author of “The Single Mom’s Little Bit of Wisdom”; and Cathy Middleton, author of “Girl, Get That Child Support.”

Gospel artist Valerie Boyd will perform, and there will be giveaways, vendors, food and more.

The conference will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the theater, which is located in Jamaica’s Roy Wilkins Park near the entrance at 177th Street and Baisley Boulevard. The cost is $10. For more information, call (718) 723-1800.

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