• February 1, 2015
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Fresh Pond Crematory lives on

The cremation movement in America was largely driven by Protestant clergy, who wanted to reform funeral practices, and the medical profession, which was concerned with disease and wanted to protect the population.In 1876 the first crematory was built in Washington, Pa. Another followed a few years later in Lancaster, Pa.

Channel your inner toy-enthusiast in LIC
Posted: January 29, 2015

Grumpy cat, a squid, Samwise the Hobbit and a smiling hot dog walk into an exhibit. And, they bring 4,000 of their friends.

The World Amigurumi Exhibition, on display until the end of February at Resobox Gallery in Long Island City, spotlights “amugurumi,” an artistic concept that began in Japan, wherein knitted or crocheted stuffed creatures — many of which are, yes, adorable — are given anthropomorphic traits such as eyes, faces or clothing.

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Arts Listings — click here for all
Updated: January 30, 2015 - 11:55 am

EXHIBITS

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook and “In Practice: Under Foundations,” thru March 30, SculptureCenter, 44-19 Purves St., Long Island City. Info: (718) 361-1750.

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This Sunday, stress over the game — not the grub
Posted: January 29, 2015

Consider these recipes for a delicious Super Bowl feast.

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Flushing Family Series kicks off with flair
Posted: January 29, 2015

Before a hushed audience, Greg Kennedy tossed a bean bag, a cast-iron hatchet and a 16-pound bowling ball into the air, launching the precarious items through his legs as if they were harmless pieces of tissue paper.

The act, which rendered an auditorium of parents and young children silent, was sandwiched between an opening display of traditional juggling acts — which used rings, juggling clubs, dumpling-like bean bags and 2,000-year-old Chinese yo-yos — and more futuristic, fantastical routines that employed trapeze artists, dancing and juggling unexpected items like wooden poles, glowing neon balls and long reeds.

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Thursday 01/29/2015
Queens Library concerts strike the right chord
Posted: January 29, 2015

It’s easy to profess that you’re “not your grandmother’s harpist” (a quick Google search will produce multiple claimers), but Brandee Younger proves it by coolly blending R&B, hip-hop, classical and jazz.

The Brooklyn harpist has contributed her angelic plucking to John Legend and Common records, performed with multiple symphonies up and down the coast and collaborated with jazz legends such as Ravi Coltrane, Charlie Haden and Bill Lee over her 18-year career.

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Thursday 01/22/2015
Arts Listings
Posted: January 22, 2015

exhibits

“Art in the Garden—Paul Lin: Botanical Therapeutic Art,” Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main St., Flushing. Info: (718) 886-3800, queensbotanical.org.

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LaGuardia’s ‘ice cream cone’ tower
Posted: January 22, 2015

Gov. Cuomo announced plans on Tuesday to finally build a rail link to LaGuardia Airport, which is also slated for a $3.6 billion overhaul that will include a new terminal.

But upgrades to the airport Vice President Joe Biden last year likened to the Third World are nothing new. Practically since its opening in 1939, LaGuardia has been overtaxed and periodically renovated to handle growing traffic as best it can.

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Painter brings the woods back to Woodside
Updated: January 29, 2015 - 11:26 am

It’s winter. The trees are stark and ghost-like — and that’s just the art.

At first, the idea of large paintings depicting black-and-white woodlands in a season when most New Yorkers fantasize about the tropics isn’t so appealing.

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Jewyo Rhii: Always the newcomer, never the native
Posted: January 22, 2015

Relocating is a chaotic and overwhelming experience for most people, but for those who move regularly, it becomes a calculated and familiar process, often mixed with a tinge of sadness.

Since the 1990s, artist Jewyo Rhii constantly displaced herself from her native South Korea to study and work across Europe, in London and Amsterdam, and the United States.

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Queens youngsters try their hand at sand play
Posted: January 22, 2015

Young future scientists spent last Sunday engaging in free sand play at the New York Hall of Science.

The program is part of NYSCI’s Little Makers program, which launched in July 2012 and urges participants to utilize the critical scientific skills of observation, investigation and creation. Little Makers is designed for children ages 4 to 8 and an age of at least 18 months is recommended.

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‘The Boy next Door’ is an awful guy, and an awful film
Updated: January 23, 2015 - 12:17 pm

January has historically been the month when film studios dump their less than desirable product into movie theaters. Ticket sales slow down in the winter after the holiday season is over and it’s past the deadline date for the zillions of awards that the entertainment industry likes to bestow upon itself, so there isn’t a better time for Hollywood to clear out the dreck. When you then add a film starring Jennifer Lopez, whose alleged talent has long escaped me, in the January equation, the results are almost guaranteed to be astonishingly awful. “The Boy Next Door” certainly doesn’t buck the odds.

Claire Peterson (Lopez) is a suburban LA high school literature teacher. J-Lo is not going to let playing an educator stop her character from wearing the latest clothes, having model-like hair and makeup, and living in a modern Southern California mansion. All is not peaches and cream for her, however, as she is separated from her husband, Garrett (John Corbett), who is an information technology executive. Claire caught Garrett cheating on her during a San Francisco business trip. Claire’s dorky teenage son, Kevin (Ian Porter), desperately needs a fatherly or big brotherly figure.

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Thursday 01/15/2015
Arts Listings
Posted: January 15, 2015

exhibits

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook and “In Practice: Under Foundations,” opening Sat., Jan. 24, 5–7 p.m., SculptureCenter, 44-19 Purves St., Long Island City. Info: (718) 361-1750.

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Woodside’s first trains: so quaint
Posted: January 15, 2015

Back when railroading was a booming business, lines came and went, as new companies emerged, succeeded, failed or were gobbled up by the big boys.

One such firm was the Flushing and Woodside Rail Road, whose station in the latter community is seen here. This is, according to the book “Old Queens, N.Y. in Early Photographs,” the oldest known photo of Woodside. Taken sometime during the winter of 1871-72, it shows what eventually became the corner of 58th Street and 38th Avenue.

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Capturing Jamaica Bay through your lens
Updated: January 22, 2015 - 11:18 am

Two fishermen cast their lines near the Sandy Hook Lighthouse as the sun sets. A turtle is pulled from the water and is treated by a volunteer veterinarian.

And in both cases, a photographer was there to capture the moment at Gateway National Park.

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In LIC, two artists make a group effort
Posted: January 15, 2015

A tangle of limbs, gripped with emotion. A pile of fish, plopped within a clear glass bowl.

Upon entering the space of Artistrun Gallery, it takes a moment to make the connection between the work of the two artists featured in a new exhibit titled, “complex FORMS.”

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‘Avast ye mateys!’ Play series caters to little ones
Posted: January 15, 2015

It’s a salty, surly, high seas adventure — in a playhouse in Queens.

“Pirate Pete’s Parrot,” running on alternating Saturday afternoons at The Secret Children’s Theatre — the little sister of The Secret Theatre in the Long Island City Art Center — packs a punch with audience interaction, striking costumes, silly noises, fun music, a noble quest and sky-high levels of energy. From the play’s opening, pirates encourage the children to scream, boo, hiss and clap.

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Thursday 01/08/2015
Falafel arrives at good ol’ Pizza Drive
Posted: January 08, 2015

As America’s taste for pizza exploded in the 1950s, Puerto Rican immigrant Ismael “Diego” Santiago (1929-2008) seized an opportunity of a lifetime.

With a loan from the widow of the owner of the Waverly apartment building in Rego Park, he took over a closed butcher shop across the street, on the corner of 63rd Drive and Wetherole Street, in 1958. He turned it into a pizzeria named Pizza Bowl, and it was an immediate success. A year later, Diego changed its name to Pizza Drive.

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Arts Listings
Posted: January 08, 2015

exhibits

“Isamu Noguchi, Patent Holder,” featuring inventions and designs created by the sculptor in the years leading up to the 1939 World’s Fair, Dr. M. T. Geoffrey Yeh Art Gallery, St. John’s University, 8000 Utopia Pkwy., Fresh Meadows, Jan. 15-Mar. 19. Info: stjohns.edu/about/events/isamu-noguchi-patent-holder-designing-world-tomorrow.

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When poetry truly is life-changing
Updated: January 15, 2015 - 11:24 am

She gave up medicine in favor of the poetic word, and Middle Village resident Valerie G. Keane seemingly could not be happier with the decision, though she still refers to the about-face she made around the age of 30 as “the death of an identity.”

As her increasingly widespread followers would likely say, it’s a case of the medical world’s loss becoming the literary world’s gain ... thanks to Keane’s varied contributions to the local literary scene, as poet, open mic presenter and editor and facilitator of her own recently formed group for devotees of great works of poetry.

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Reviewers, readers boost rep’s first book
Posted: January 08, 2015

Just in case you thought Edward Snowden hadn’t done enough to drive the debate over freedom and security, or that the Senate Democrats’ report on CIA activities alleged enough abuses under the Bush administration’s prosecution of the war on terrorism, there’s a new work out that keeps such issues at the fore.

Like Snowden’s revelations of government surveillance and the report’s allegations of torture, this one comes from within the government. Unlike those, however, it takes a comedic look at the issues — though it still skewers the likes of former Vice President Dick Cheney, his advisor Scooter Libby and Republican establishment political operative Karl Rove.

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Winter recipes sure to warm your insides
Posted: January 08, 2015

Winter is here. The holidays are over and the Super Bowl pig-outs are three weeks away. How to cope?

Eating healthier meals is one way to reduce the waistline and with cold weather at the door, what could be better than heartier fare? Here are a few recipes that will keep you going this month and add a a little comfort to the dog days of winter.

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Wednesday 12/31/2014
Arts Listings
Posted: December 31, 2014

exhibits

“Plymptoons,” short films and drawings by Bill Plympton, Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Ave., Long Island City, video screening amphitheater, thru Jan. 4. An hour-long selection of Plympton’s best short films, from 1987 to 2010, plus trailer for his new film, “Cheatin’,” Info: movingimage.us.

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The transit strike of Jan. 1, 1966
Posted: December 31, 2014

This week marks the 49th anniversary of the transit strike that started Jan. 1, 1966, a nightmare New Yorkers will never forget as they hitched rides or used skates, bicycles and their own two legs to get to work in Manhattan.

Michael J. Quill, head of the 32,600-member TWU Transit Workers Union Local 100, had enjoyed a behind-the-scenes relationship with Democratic Mayor Robert Wagner for many years, making quiet deals. Wagner was close with the public-sector unions that had helped him win elections. John Lindsay, a Republican who campaigned on changing the system and came into office on Jan. 1, 1966, locked heads with Quill, who was bent on showing him who called the shots.

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