Archive for March, 2009

Carnegie Hall Freebie at 144

Carnegie Hall is staging a “Neighborhood Concert” right here in FoHi–

P.S. 144Q
Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 7 PM


The Wiyos

The Wiyos’ exuberant, fun-for-all ages shows have young hands clapping and parents dancing in their seats along. Their infectious sound draws upon such varied instruments as the kazoo, harmonica, washboard (complete with added horns and bells and whistles of all types), old-timey string band guitars, and standup bass.
Frontman Michael Farkas has travelled the world performing vaudeville, slapstick old-timey music to delighted audiences. The Wiyos continue that tradition with a stage show that involves the entire band in a whirlwind, old-school, foot-stomping, romp through music that gives old rhythms a new twist.
The Wiyos derive inspiration from the great dance bands and house party music of the 1920s and ‘30s—the early swing syncopations; the grit and intensity of rural blues; the bouncing rhythms of piedmont fingerpickers; the vocal antics, mannerisms, and physical comedy of vaudeville-era performers. No matter what your age, there is truly something for you to enjoy.

March 26, 2009 at 9:17 am 1 comment

Earth Hour–3/28 at 8:30 p.m.

Sorry folks, but I believe in this one enough to post on it for the 2nd year in a row.




This year, Earth Hour has been transformed into the world’s first global election, between Earth and global warming.

For the first time in history, people of all ages, nationalities, race and background have the opportunity to use their light switch as their vote – Switching off your lights is a vote for Earth, or leaving them on is a vote for global warming. WWF are urging the world to VOTE EARTH and reach the target of 1 billion votes, which will be presented to world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009.

This meeting will determine official government policies to take action against global warming, which will replace the Kyoto Protocol. It is the chance for the people of the world to make their voice heard.

Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. In 2008 the message had grown into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome’s Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square all stood in darkness.

In 2009, Earth Hour is being taken to the next level, with the goal of 1 billion people switching off their lights as part of a global vote. Unlike any election in history, it is not about what country you’re from, but instead, what planet you’re from. VOTE EARTH is a global call to action for every individual, every business, and every community. A call to stand up and take control over the future of our planet. Over 74 countries and territories have pledged their support to VOTE EARTH during Earth Hour 2009, and this number is growing everyday.

We all have a vote, and every single vote counts. Together we can take control of the future of our planet, for future generations.

VOTE EARTH by simply switching off your lights for one hour, and join the world for Earth Hour.

Saturday, March 28, 8:30-9:30pm.

March 24, 2009 at 9:08 pm Leave a comment

Bukharian Split

Lengthy and better-than-usual piece in the Jewish Week on what the Borukhova trial has meant to the Bukharian community as a whole. It contains good insight into the enormity of the cultural transition this community has made in a short 20 years, for better and worse, and so much of it right here in Forest Hills.

If you think about it, change is hard on everyone–kids need time-space to transition, and so do most adults. Now consider this on a scale of 50,000 people with endless permutations of personal, social (esp. gender), and economic dynamics.

For Bukharians, a Split in the Family

March 24, 2009 at 8:48 am Leave a comment


A new place for Mediterranean food that has recently created some
buzz on Chowhound gave me good reason to walk over to Metropolitan for a look-see. Wafa is just lovely. It replaced the short-lived why-is-this-here? bagel place, and definitely for the better. Much as I love and get cravings for the Mediterrean plate appetizer at Dee’s, I appreciate a small, clean falafel joint where I can hang out by myself with a good book or newspaper. Our takeaway:

  • hummus: delicious, one of the best in the neighborhood ($5 for a small container)
  • tabouleh: fresh, filled with parsley and tomatoes, very healthful ($5 for a small container)
  • baklava: excellent and memorable ($4/piece; we got a container of small bites, which I think ran $8 and two pounds directly applied to my butt)
  • The owner/chef gave us bites of mousabaha and some other tomato-based dish–both wonderful, and so generous of her.

Wafa: 96-08 72nd Ave. at the corner of Metropolitan Ave

March 23, 2009 at 12:45 pm Leave a comment

Saturday Night Live

Long Island City Ballet is an amazing organization in its artistry and commitment to Queens and the art scene of the borough. I’ve been eyeing them for several months now, impressed with the dancers, the school for kids, and the vision of the director Eric Ragan. I haven’t heard the Astoria Symphany play before but I have to admit that I’m intrigued. And the excitement around the Martha Graham Ensemble performing Apalachian Spring goes without saying.

My idea of a great evening: Manducatis Rustica on Vernon for dinner (this is the daughter’s restaurant) followed by a night of haute culture.


March 18, 2009 at 9:56 pm Leave a comment

Landmark Battle I

What are the odds of two groups simulataneously pushing to save old-time theaters in Queens? I wish them luck, more luck than what we saw with the Trylon.

Friends of the RKO Keith’s Flushing

Contact: Ed Tracey
Phone 925 497 4537

Press Release

Group Forms to Help Neglected RKO Keith’s in Flushing, NY

Flushing, NY, March 14, 2009: Flushing’s Landmark RKO Keith’s Theatre is once again in the spotlight, an amazing 23 years after its closure. This is the result of a bursting of the real estate bubble and the formation of a grassroots organization “Friends of the RKO Keith’s Flushing,” which managed to gather an also amazing 1,000+ membership in the first week of its conception. Formed one short month ago, on the initiative of former Flushing resident and RKO neighbor Ed Tracey. The group has tapped into a wellspring of interest, extending beyond Flushing’s boundaries, to include former residents and many others, who have attended graduations, dance classes, concerts or saw classic films at the theatre, in addition to current residents who see the potential of this venue. All this suggesting that the former show palace represents something much more than just another inert landmark.

The building, located at 135-27 Northern Boulevard, Flushing Queens, is now for sale again after the failure by the current owner to develop the site as a 19 story luxury condominium. Faced with the reality of a lasting and depressed real estate market, the survival of any developer is questionable and the sale of this property at a profit is extremely unlikely. Flushing may be left holding a foreclosed property, with little to show for those 23 years of vacancy.

Ironically, among Flushing’s landmarks: The Bowne House, Quaker Meeting House (being restored), Kingsland Homestead, Latimer House and Town Hall, only the RKO site and shell structure has the location and size as is to become a revenue generating event center. The “Friends of the RKO Keith’s Flushing” seek to preserve the entire building and give it a purpose in keeping with its storied past. The RKO Keith’s is the only surviving show palace built with the inside designed to look as if one were outside in a courtyard, with an almost planetarium like ceiling, making Thomas Lamb’s design not only a landmark, but an architecturally unique structure.

Friends of The RKO Keith’s Flushing Facebook Page: message.php?t=1015766046835&f=1&e=-12#/group.php?gid=60984938277

Slideshow of the RKO Keith’s:

March 16, 2009 at 4:42 pm Leave a comment

Landmark Battle II

For Immediate Release


Preservationist Michael Perlman
Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre, Chair
4 Boro Preservation Alliance Corp, Queens VP
Rego-Forest Preservation Council, Chair
Queens Preservation Council, Bd. of Dir.
Central Queens Historical Association, Bd of Dir
(917) 446-7775,

Historic Ridgewood Theatre To See The Light of Public Hearing: May Be Queens’ Newest Individual Landmark!

RIDGEWOOD, NY (March 15, 2009) – Queens’ historic Ridgewood Theatre (55-27 Myrtle Ave) closed its doors one year ago without warning, but patrons & preservationists are now elated that the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold a Public Hearing, which will determine its eligibility as a NYC Individual Landmark. The hearing is set for Tues, March 24, 2009 from 11:25 AM – 12:00 PM at the Municipal Building, 1 Centre St, 9th Floor North, NY, NY 10007, and public testimony will be taken:

The hearing is the result of a year-long effort coordinated by Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre, founded by Preservationist Michael Perlman. For any hearing-related questions, please contact Public Information Officer Emily Rich at (212) 669-7817.

Opening its doors on December 23, 1916 and closing in March 2008, the Ridgewood Theatre was deemed the longest continuously operating first-run neighborhood theater citywide, and potentially throughout the U.S. It staged Vaudeville, silent films, saw the advent of photoplays, the first “100% All-Talking” feature, Lights of New York (1928), & Technicolor. Its original seating capacity was 2,500, but currently contains 5 screens and seats 1,950.

Modeled after Times Square’s long-demolished Mark Strand Theatre (the World’s 1st movie palace), the $250,000 gem was designed by America’s foremost theater architect, Thomas Lamb, & built by the Levy Brothers. The 3-story Indiana limestone & terra cotta façade is highly ornate, incorporating unique geometric patterns, medallions, a frieze, pilasters, and proudly boasts Ridgewood Theatre across the top. Interior murals originally depicted the history of Ridgewood.

Perlman explains: “Theaters are the ‘ultimate public institutions’ which bridge the generations, as they foster community growth and pride, harbor countless memories, and often exhibit the work of our country’s most skillful architects. Commissioned architects hoped to leave a long-lasting impression of grandeur, confidence, serenity, and comfort; a bold step away from the pressures of society.”

Perlman further explains “With the onset of DVDs, and vastly improved home entertainment centers, movie theaters with a minimal number of screens are a highly endangered species citywide. When sacrificed in the name of progress, their loss is most heartfelt. Local theaters with an unfortunate fate include the Oasis, Parthenon, Irving, & RKO Madison Theatre (retail), but the Ridgewood Theatre can be economically viable if preserved and adaptively reused for theater-related purposes. It would contribute to an up & coming neighborhood and a diverse borough.”

Historic & recent Ridgewood Theatre photos, courtesy of Chair Michael Perlman, Friends of Ridgewood Theatre:

Online Petition:
Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre MySpace Group:

March 16, 2009 at 4:41 pm Leave a comment

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