My friend and I stopped into Dee Thai on a sunny afternoon in hopes of a cheap satisfying meal. This place has mixed reviews, but we decided to give it a go anyway. The empty chairs and dimly lit atmosphere among the contemporary decor, were cause for alarm. Though, despite of the sounds of crickets in the air… the experience was a pleasant one. The lunch specials offer several entree choices that include appetizers. Our mid-afternoon meal began with Thai dumplings served with honey-ginger sauce and kyo koong tod- a crispy wonton packed with shrimp and garlic served with sweet chili sauce. We slaked or thirst with a traditional Thai iced tea (not included in the lunch special price), hallelujah for sweetened condensed milk! The soft creamy layers of orange and white glided down our parched throats. A generous portion of time passed before we received our main courses, pad kee mow pork and pad kee mow shrimp. Although I normally don’t mind a wait for evening dining, this was lunchtime and the place was empty. When we were finally served our entrees our stomachs couldn’t have been happier. The satisfying helpings didn’t last long on our plates. The rich pork and shrimp mingled gracefully among the deliciously sauteed flat noodles. The vegetables were like colorful crunchy gems that floated throughout the dish. Green beans, baby broccoli and red peppers were sauteed just enough to maintain there raw hue and crisp. The flat noodles were tender and not over or under cooked. I haven’t tried Dee Thai for dinner yet, but judging by the lunch special, I would return. The ambiance was lacking, though I suspect it is livelier for evening diners. There is a full bar and delivery available.
Dee Thai 46-17 Queens Blvd Sunnyside NY 11104 718-786-8220
For the next week (July 21- July 29) La Guardia Performing Arts Center will host the first international theater festival, Which Direction Home?, in collaboration with The Internationalists. The creative experience takes its audience through a unique interpretation of Homer’s Odyssey. Watch as eight directors from six different countries use the epic poem as a platform for their own theatrical story.
La Guardia Performaing Arts Center– 31-10 Thomson Ave Long Island City, N.Y. 11101
I met Juan Hinojosa last September, but it was only a week ago I saw his artwork. In his studio he creates life size collages made from found objects, think: metro cards, food wrappers and clothing tags. His works were highlighted in a New York Times article not too long ago. I decided to catch up with him and ask a few questions about being an artist in Queens. Here is what he had to say…
How has living in Queens influenced your art?
Tons. Queens, like the rest of Manhattan is mixed with all kinds of people, both ethnically and economically. Witnessing these opposites blend, or at times not blend, is like watching a scientific social experiment. I reference this blend in my works on paper and installations when I place items (designer logos & candy wrappers) next to each other. There is there blend of high fashion and low consumer goods which I like to play with. It’s interesting that these worlds are blending and now (because of a city like New York) it’s becoming harder and harder to see who is influencing who.
You collect found materials and make collages, explain the influences and the processes you go through to create these pieces.
It’s a lot of work in itself. I collect things off the street, flip through tons of magazines, eat lots of candy bars, and I even have friends give me stuff. Once I have everything collected I organize everything by category, color, and other subdivisions. It can take forever to actually get to the fun part.
Although you have a day job that pays the bills- do you ever find that trying to make money from your work limits your creativity?
I would not say it limits my creativity. Sometime getting out into the real world can be a good thing. The only bad side about working a day job are the long hours or being too worn out to clock in studio time. At the same time when I have my day(s) off I go crazy in my studio and I appreciate it more.
Tell me about your most recent piece and what it says.
I’m working on a new drawing (mixed media on paper) that uses the image of Marvel superhero Shadowcat, what appears to be an image of a Dior snowboard, and a bunch of other things I have collected. It also has a large faux jem that I “got” from the display at Michael Kors. It’s one of my new favorite pieces.
Any gallery shows or events etc coming up?
I am a group show at the Loads of Fun Gallery in Baltimore Maryland called “WHAT’S YOUR WAR” curated by Sarah McCann and Oasa DuVerney. In the fall I am in a group show at CASEWORKS in Memphis curated by an amazing painter Paul Behnke. I am excited about both shows and being able to reach an entirely different audience.
Any advice for fellow artists?
As cheesy as it sound, “Don’t stop believing”.
It’s nice to know that every so often the community joins forces with their creative efforts. The fourth annual Sunnyside Shorts Film Festival is just around the corner, and they need your help. Enjoy spirits and food at 7pm Monday June 28th at Claret Wine Bar (46 Street and Skillman Ave.) There will be games, raffles and good times.
This summer, Play Me, I’m Yours is touring the New York City streets. The public art project is an artwork installation by British artist Luke Jerram and presented by Sing for Hope. From 9am-10pm 60 pianos will be dispersed around the city parks from June 21-July 5. Take a walk through your neighborhood and show off your talent in these Queens parks:
- Athens Square Park (map)
- Gantry Plaza State Park (map)
- Hoffman Park (map)
- Jackson Heights Post Office (map)
- Rufus King Park (map)
The weather is getting warmer and the tank-tops go by. Here are a few ways to get out and entertain yourself…
Thalia Spanish Theatre– Sunday June 20th join the festival of music and dance at Thalia Spanish Theatre in Sunnyside at Thomson Hill Park. It’s free from 1pm to 2pm.
Make Music New York– Monday June 21st Astoria Music and Arts has done it again. Bringing to you live performances throughout the season for all to enjoy. The show at Athens Park and Athens Triangle (30th Ave & 29th St) will feature about 14 local bands. Kick-off your after-work Monday blues with some free rock’n’roll!
Live at the Gantries– Tuesday June 22nd 7pm sit at the Long Island City waterfront to enjoy an evening of relaxing music and community fun. The Opera Collective will perform music with accessibility in mind, promoting high art and culture for free.
The flyer says it all- love, intrigue, blood and crucifixion. It is the last two weekends to see The Prostitutes Will Preceded You into the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s running in English (Fridays 8pm and Saturdays 3pm) and Spanish (Saturdays 8pm and Sundays 4pm)
Don’t miss it!
“Based on a true story, a 20th century “Mary Magdalene” hides in the attic of a shuttered bordello, sharing her life story with her “boyfriend”, a larger-than-life statue of Christ.
The church wants it back. Who does Jesus
really belong to?” – Thalia Theatre
Thalia Spanish Theatre– 41-17 Greenpoint Ave Sunnyside, NY 11104 (718) 729-3880
The sad little boy on the sidewalk looked up at me as he held his clipboard. He asked me if I wanted to help save the library by signing his petition. Indeed I do, and I did. The Queens Library is not just a place to check-out a book; it’s a place where your neighbors go to learn English. It’s a place school kids whose families can’t afford computers go to conduct research. It’s a place children and adults learn to read. It’s a place where immigrants can go to access employment opportunities. I used to spend countless afternoons at the library using the internet, writing my blog, searching for jobs, and reading. There is a proposed budget cut that would dramatically affect these necessities by shortening the hours of business and increasing lay-offs among library staff. You can help by signing a petition and making a donation on the Queens Library website.
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