Archive for August, 2010

Teach Your Little Ones to Dance at the Green Space

Posted on August 26, 2010. Filed under: Art, KIds, LIC, Music & Dance, Theater |

The Green Space wants to teach your little ones the creative movements of dance! Here is what they say about the project:

Sprouts & Seedlings!
Creative Movement for Children

10-week Saturday Session
September 25 – December 11, 2010

Free Trial Class: September 18th

Sprouts (ages4-6)
10:00 am – 10:45 am
Seedlings (ages 7-9)
11:00 am – 11:45 am

$10 Registration Fee
$140 Early Registration (by September 3rd post marked)
$150 Full Session (after September 4th)

The Creative Movement for Children classes at Green Space allow for a safe and nurturing community where children will enjoy discovering the exciting world of movement and dance! Each 45-minute class is built around the development of cognitive and social, as well as physical skills. As they investigate how they move, boys and girls will develop confidence and learn to work together. We will explore balance, coordination, and comprehension, as well as listening skills and class etiquette. Creativity will be fostered through the use of imagery, music, stories, and colorful props. The dance studio will become a playground where we explore, learn, and create.

The Green Space– 718-956-3037 37-24 24th St. #301 Long Island City, NY 11101

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Free Brunch and Yoga by the Waterfront in LIC!

Posted on August 20, 2010. Filed under: Astoria, Free, Health/Spa, LIC, Outdoor Recreation |

This weekend you can enjoy a free Sunday morning yoga class on the LIC waterfront. Stretch and relax in the sun from 9:15am-10:15am Sunday August 22 and afterward enjoy  healthy brunch at The View. Here is what the press release says about the event:

TF Cornerstone Partners with Long Island City’s The Yoga Room for Free Waterfront Yoga Classes with Front Row View of the Manhattan Skyline

TF Cornerstone is partnering with the popular yoga studio for their “Yoga in the Park” series. On Sunday, August 22nd yogis and aspiring-yogis alike will enjoy an energizing and strengthening free class from 9:15am to 10:15am at Pier 1 of Gantry State Park Plaza located at 474 48th Avenue, Long Island City. Followed the class, a fresh and nutritious brunch will be provided by TF Cornerstone in the private courtyard of their neighboring luxury building The View located on 4630 Center Boulevard . Free yoga mats will be supplied by TF Cornerstone to the first 100 in attendance.

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Free Red Mango Frozen Yogurt!

Posted on August 20, 2010. Filed under: Astoria, Free, IceCream/Ice/Gelato/Fro-Yo, Korean |

In celebration of the new Astoria location Red Mango will be giving away a free small yogurt with one topping to everyone who visits the shop in Astoria Saturday, August 21 from 11am-5pm. Get in line for a delicious cold treat!

Red Mango– Astoria 30-58 Steinway St. 347 738 4197

(image credit http://fastfood.ocregister.com/review-pinkberry-vs-red-mango-pomegranate/)

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Little Pepper’s Hot Pot Makes Summer Sizzle!

Posted on August 11, 2010. Filed under: Chinese, Flushing/Corona, Off the beaten path |

Not too long ago a friend introduced me to the “hot pot“. Shortly after the introduction I discovered that the traditional Chinese stew prepared with a hot pot is an extraordinary thing. I simply had to try one myself. Salivating heavily, my dining partner and I hopped onto the 7 train en route to Flushing Queens. Our destination: Little Pepper (aka Xiao La Jiao Sichuan Restaurant) Climbing down a dark and dingy stairwell to the restaurant made us briefly hesitate, wondering if we had the right place. Then, we looked up at the smiling happy pepper painted on the sign. The jolly image reassured us that our location was correct.

We moseyed in and sat down, taking a look at our options. The hot pot was not listed on the menu.  Our waitress approached us, although barely speaking a word of English, she understood exactly what we wanted. She returned to our table with a list of ingredients to cook in our stew- one side written in Chinese and the other in English. We checked off a long list of raw food items: beef, bean sprouts, shrimp, lotus root, spinach, and the list went on. After placing our order, she emerged from the kitchen holding a large concoction over flames. It was the first step, the hot pot broth. One side of the hot pot was spicy and the other milky. Next came the raw savory morsels we added into the boiling broth. We marveled at the mysterious brew. Picking up our selected items, we dropped each of the foods one-by-one into the mixtures. I chose to stick to the milky broth, while my dining partner, with no shortage of steam rising from his beet-red forehead, ate from the spicy side.

A beautiful amalgam of tastes and colors were presented as we ferociously bit into every forkful. The foods’ appearances changed drastically as we tossed it into the hot pot. Bright red peppers floated atop the hot side, tempting us with every gleam, turning our mouths into infernos. The gray shrimp went into the pot and surfaced as soft pink and white swirls. The brilliant green of the crispy spinach became a dark wilting forest, woven with shades of red. The tender slices of red beef turned into savory brown curls. And the once full-to-the-brim pot became empty within a matter of minutes. Although it didn’t take us long to devour this meal, eating it was an experience of its own, a “work-out” if you will. The ingredients fuse together to create a kaleidoscope of tastes. In other words, it was really good.

Little Pepper– 133-43 Roosevelt Avenue Flushing, NY 11354 (718) 939-7788

One- We order our raw food items from the bilingual menu list

Two- The hot pot appears over flames- left side is hot, right side is not

Three- Raw food items we checked off the list (top) to add into our pot

Four- Voila! My own personal stew is created!

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This Weekend Eat and Drink in LIC Market- Now Open!

Posted on August 6, 2010. Filed under: American/Nouveau, Astoria, Brunch, Burgers, LIC |

Looking for a new place to go for your weekend lunch or evening drinks? Head out to the new LIC Market, where the menu focuses on locally acquired fare and wine. Here is a sample menu of their offerings from July 30.  LIC Market will begin serving Saturday brunch in mid-August.

LIC Market– 21-52 44th Drive, LIC, NY

Breakfast (7am – 11am)

Greek Yogurt $4.00 
granola and honey

Market Pastries $1.75 
danish, croissant

black forest ham and gruyere croissant $3.50

Tortilla $4.00 
toasted baguette, baby greens, aioli

“Butter and Jam” $3.25 
toasted 7 grain or pecan cranberry bread

Omelet of the Day $6.00 
toasted baguette

Lunch (11am – 4pm)

Salad Market Cobb $11.00 
romaine, chicken, boiled egg, avocado, grape tomatoes, bacon, maytag blue cheese dressing

Roasted Chicken $10.00 
baby greens, grape tomatoes, french beans, roasted corn, roasted shallot vinaigrette

Soft Cooked Egg $9.00 
frisee, bacon, croutons, maytag blue cheese, pommery mustard vinaigrette

Sandwich Roasted Chicken $8.00 
souman bread, caramelized onions, provolone, arugula, roasted shallot dressing

Shredded Brisket $9.00 
brioche bun, red cabbage slaw

Slow Cooked Pork $8.00 
souman bread, gruyere, house cured pickles, pommery mustard dressing

Plates Roasted Chicken $11.00 
sweet peas and baby carrots

Slow Cooked Pork $10.00 
basmati and black beans

Omelet of the day $7.00 
toasted baguette, baby greens

Market Burger $9.00 
brioche bun, cheddar, sliced tomato, greens, aioli w/ potato salad

Sides Potato Salad $4.50 
Rice and Beans $4.50 
Wilted Greens $4.50

Drinks Boylan Sodas/Honest Teas/Bottled Water $1.75 
Market Iced Tea/Lemonade $2.50 
SerendipiTeas $1.50/$2.00 
Brewed Coffee $1.50/$2.00 
Cafe au Lait $1.75/$2.25 
Espresso $2.00/$2.50 
Macchiato $2.25/$2.75 
Café Late or Cappuccino $3.50/$4.00 
Iced Coffee $2.75 
Fresh Squeezed OJ $3.25

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Dragon Boat Festival in Queens!

Posted on August 5, 2010. Filed under: Art, Chinese, Flushing/Corona, Free, Music & Dance, Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Recreation, Theater |

It’s the annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in the heart of Flushing Meadows Park this weekend Saturday August 7th and Sunday August 8th. Watch the as the magnificent dragon boats zip through Meadow Lake while the competing teams race to the finish. You don’t want to miss this once a year extravaganza! Before you rush the kids back to school this year, take them to the event of a lifetime (well at least the event of the weekend) The celebration begins early Saturday and continues throughout Sunday afternoon with The Chinese Music Ensemble of New York, traditional Indian dance, Shaolin Kung Fu demonstrations, kite flying,  jazz performances, the American Bolero Dance Company and much more!

Click here for a full schedule of events.

Dragon Boat Festival Aug 7 & 8 Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadow Park

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One Sharp Cookie: A Few Words With Astoria’s “Saw Lady”

Posted on August 2, 2010. Filed under: Astoria, Music & Dance, Off the beaten path |

As a child I thought that the saw had only one purpose, to cut through mom’s famous holiday fruitcake. Little did I know that the tool is also used as a musical instrument. Natalia Paruz presents New York City’s Musical Saw Festival Saturday August 7, 2010 (supported by the Queens Council on the Arts). How does one play the saw, you ask? I have no idea, so I asked Natalia. Here is what she said:

Where are you from?

I was born in Israel, but I have been in NYC  for almost 20 years.

How long have you lived in Astoria?

About 18 years.

Exactly how do you play the saw?  Describe the sound.

The most popular way for playing a saw is in a sitting position. You place the handle between your knees, hold the tip of the blade with your hand and bend it towards the floor. With your other hand you strike the non-serrated edge of the blade with a bow (such as a cello or violin bow). The sound that comes out is best described as similar to a soprano opera singer’s voice. It’s angelic and haunting.

How long have you been playing the saw and what captivated your interest in it?

I’ve been playing the saw for 17 years. I was attracted to both the sound it makes, which is so unique and different from any other sound I’ve heard before, and to the visual of a saw being played. Not only is it a striking visual to see what we think of as a carpentry tool being played as a musical instrument, but it also has a very beautiful visual effect: the saw is one of the only musical instruments where when played, the entire instrument moves.

Tell me the process of putting together the ensemble and festival?

I first organized a gathering of saw players 8 years ago. At the time there were only 5 of us saw players around. Last year our numbers grew to 55 and we even got into the Guinness Book of Records for being the ‘Largest Musical saw ensemble’ … we’ve had saw players come all the way to Queens from India, China, Japan, Canada and Europe just in order to participate in the festival!

Why Queens?

Many people tell me that I should move the Musical Saw Festival to Manhattan, but I don’t want to do that. Queens is my home, therefore I care to give back to my own community. It is so nice to see the community’s involvement and excitement over the festival. I like the fact that the festival helps draw attention to Queens and that it brings people from other boroughs as well as all over the world to Queens. It helps our local economy because all these people usually go to local restaurants after the festival, and the saw players from out of NYC stay at local hotels. The festival draws attention to Queens – it seems that many people outside of NYC don’t know about Queens. Through talking about the festival I explain to them that Queens is part of NYC and that it is worth while to visit. Also, I think it’s important for Queens locals to have cultural events right in their own “back yards”. Last week, while I was hanging a flyer advertising the festival, a lady approached to ask me about the festival. She told me that her son plays guitar and that he would be so happy to attend the festival, because it’s not far from their house and he doesn’t get to go to concerts usually because they are too far away. This is a perfect example why it is important to have the festival in Queens.

Anything to add?

One can download the festival’s flyer from www.MusicalSawFestival.org and also watch videos from previous years festivals there.

The 8th annual NYC Musical Saw Festival is on Sat. Aug 7th, 2pm at the Hellenic Cultural Center, 27-09 Crescent Street (corner of Newtown Avenue), Astoria.

Admission: $10

Natalia "Saw Lady" Paruz in the musical saw ensemble photo credit- Harris Graber



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