Cyclist Killed in Eastern Queens

Yesterday Flushing resident Michael Schenkman was killed by a car as he was cycling to Joe Michaels Mile park.

According to police, the driver of a Chevrolet Impala ran him over around 6:30 a.m on Northern Boulevard near 223rd Street. The 25 year old driver is a volunteer EMT who’s name has not been released by the police and faced no immediate charges.

Michael Schenkman was 78 years old when he was killed. He raised five children, and had eight grandchildren and eight great-grandkids with his wife of 35 years. He was a former driver for Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, on her security detail from from 2001 to 2008. Earlier in his life he taught automotive and industrial arts at the Valley Stream school district and owned an automotive shop. In his later years he was often the only one in his age group for marathons and triathalons.

Northern Boulevard has long been one of the most dangerous sections of Queens. By prioritising car speed over pedestrian and cyclist safety, it become a barrier between the community and local businesses and parks. On the section where Michael Schenkman was killed, joggers and cyclists need to compete with speeding drivers in 40 mile per hour multi-lane street that acts like a small highway. If they use the thin sidewalk to get to the park, they face overgrown vegitation that limits sight distance for the multiple on and off ramps on both sides of the street (some of which have no signs asking cars to yield or even look out for pedestrians).

Joe Michael’s mile is an important resource for our community, allowing neighbors to walk, run or ride their bikes alongside the waterfront. Unfortunately dangerous infrastructure cuts of the park from the communities of Oakland Gardens, Bayside Hills and Douglaston. When fit and veteran road users like Michael Schenkman are not safe, none of us are.

Overall this incident is a sad illustration of why the work the Eastern Queens Greenway is doing is so important. Please join us in asking your local elected officials to fix this section of Northern.

Crocheron Park hosts Shakespeare in the Park: As You Like It

You won’t want to miss Shakespeare in the Park’s free performance of As You Like It this Thursday, August 25, 2016 at Crocheron Park.  The Hip to Hip Theatre Company’s (in its 10th anniversary season) will delight with Shakespeare’s most action-packed plays, complete with vibrant music, a wrestling match, and a vengeful ghost.

At 6:30 p.m. is a Kids & The Classics hour includes theatre games and introducing kids to the style and language of William Shakespeare’s plays.

The performance starts at 7:30 p.m so make sure to get there early for a good spot.

Queens Museum Passport Thursdays: Taiwan

The next Passport Thursday at the Queens Museum sounds amazing. Bring a picnic blanket to the Unisphere at Flushing Meadows Corona Park (or inside if it rains) for an inedible evening.

It starts out with a free artmaking workshops for families before the show. The main events are from 7 to 10 pm and you’re not going to want to miss them. You can grab some snacks from the cafe until 8pm.

 

Film: Go Grandriders! (Tian-Hao Hua, 2013, 80 min, Mandarin with English ST)

A group of senior citizens, many of whom learn how to ride a motorcycle for the first time, embark on what may be the most daring adventures of their lives: a 13-day tour around the island of Taiwan entirely on motorcycles. Among these 17 “Grandriders,” two have had cancer, four need hearing aids, five suffer from high blood pressure, eight have coronary heart disease, and every one of them has joint problems. However, at the youthful age of 80+, they dare to challenge themselves and discover the land they have lived all their lives from a new perspective.

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Performance:

Yuhan Su Band: A native of Taiwan, New York based-vibraphonist Su came to the United States in 2008 to study at Berklee College of Music. Since then, she has performed with her jazz quartet throughout the East Coast and joined the acclaimed saxophonist Greg Osby’s label, Inner Circle Music. The band will perform a set of music featuring the traditional music from different ethnic groups in Taiwan, including Taiwu ancient ballads, Hakka traditional song, and Taiwanese folk song, with Hakka singer-songwriter Yu-Wei Hsieh as special guest. Yuhan will bring a new series of compositions inspired by Chinese mythological KuaFu, a giant who decided to chase and catch the Sun.

 

Artmaking Workshop Guest Artist

Huang Zi-huang 黃子鐶: Born in Pingtung, Taiwan in 1961, she lives and creates art in Jhutian Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan. Huang’s Ziyou studio attempts to preserve and promote Hakka culture and craft. She created portraits and seal-engravings in the early years when in high school. She started printmaking under the tutelage of Chen Kuo-chan in 1990, and gained a better understanding of woodcut prints from printmakers Chen Chi Mao and Fang Xiang in 1991. Her first printmaking solo exhibition “I Am between Black and White” was held in Pingtung County Cultural Center in 2002. She stayed in Fangliao Art Village in 2002 as a resident artist. Through exchanges with various artists during her stay in the village, she envisioned how to bring printmaking into the field of contemporary art, surpassing its origins in craft. This involved both devising installations and arranging interactivity involving printmaking. In 2005, she held a printmaking solo exhibition “Books, Bookplates, I” that took as its theme treating prints as “art objects” and enlarged the intersection of printmaking and contemporary art. In 2014 she was invited to participate in Passport to Taiwan at Union Square in Manhattan NY. Her works has been collected by: Chimei Museum, Taiwan, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Angel Art Gallery, and Cultural Affairs Department of Pingtung County.

Queens Museum Passport Thursdays: India

There is a lot of amazing things to do in Queens through the summer (hopefully you’ve found some through our earlier posts).  But your summer won’t be compete until you’ve gone to The Queens Museum’s staple, Passport Thursdays.

Leave your baggage at home and bring a picnic blanket out to Flushing Meadows Corona Park for an evening in the shadow of the majestic Unisphere. There will be free artmaking workshops for families before the films start, the cafe will remain open until 8pm.  Even a little rain won’t spoil the fun, we’ll just move the whole event indoors.

So this Thursday (the 11th) head over to the Queens Museum for this week’s event from 7:00pm–10:00pm.

Film: Dhanak/Rainbow (Nagesh Kukunoor, 2016, 106 min, Hindi with English ST)

The colorful coming of age story of orphaned siblings Pari and her blind little brother Chotu who embark on a journey across Rajasthan to meet Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan whom Pari hopes will restore Chotu’s eyesight. Watch the trailer here.

Performance:

Ajna Dance Company was founded by Minila Shah to share authentic, artistic Indian dance with a global audience with a mission to inspire, entertain and educate. Its distinctive choreography blends film, folk, and classical styles in pieces that are rooted in classic Indian techniques blended with modern music and movement.

The Ajna Ensemble has had the honor of performing at the UN, on ABC’s Good Morning America, MoMA Film, The Rubin Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Children’s Museum and Celebrate Brooklyn. The Ajna Dance School conducts ongoing classes for kids and adults in Manhattan and Brooklyn and presents workshops, residencies and assemblies at schools and colleges throughout the tri-state area. Follow them on social media at @ajnadance.

For more information, reach out to the Queens Museum:

(718) 592-9700
info@queensmuseum.org

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Kissena Corridor Park Conservancy Formal Endorsement Letter

We just wanted to thank our friends at the Kissena Corridor Park Conservancy, Inc. for their glowing endorsement letter.  Their organization is working hard to create a natural park for people, birds and wildlife. The said in part:

We wanted to let you know that we have chosen to publicly endorse Eastern Queens Greenway in their goal of creating a family safe route between the ribbon of green spaces that connects Flushing Meadows Park and Alley Pond Park.  There are many trails within this route, however a few gaps make crossing between them unsafe.  Around Kissena Corridor Park, instead of a greenway through the park (as is found in Kissena, Cunningham and Alley Pond), children and families are expected to ride on busy thoroughfares like Booth Memorial Blvd. and Main St.

At the same time, as you also know, for over 40 years a plan for Kissena Corridor Park to be part of a system of trails connecting all the parks in Eastern Queens developed by Andropogon Associates has sat on a shelf at the Olmsted Center unimplemented due to lack of funding.  This plan also known as the “Philadelphia Plan”, envisioned a “central spine” through our parks with a safe off-street trail for families and children to travel on foot or by bike away from car traffic.

Today we have the chance to fund and implement this vision.

We really appreciate the Kissena Corridor Park Conservancy’s kind words and look forward to seeing their park grow.  The meditation garden they are planning will be a wonderful oasis for the community.  It’s a very rare opportunity to build a entirely new park in New York City, especially of this size.  We’re proud to work side-by-side with them, helping provide community access to their evolving space.

If you would like to be part of their momentousness project, consider becoming a member of their organization and lending a hand to make a major improvement to our neighborhood.

P.O. Box 520627, Flushing, NY 11352

KCPconservancy@yahoo.com