Participatory Budgeting Starts Today

The Participatory Budgeting is coming to District 23 today and it needs your support. If you are represented by Council Member Barry S. Grodenchik (here’s a map of his district) you get to decide how city funds gets distributed in our community.

We spoke to Joby Jacob, the originator of the only parks program on the ballot for this year and one of the founders of the Eastern Queens Greenway.

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Queens Night Market Explained by Founder John Wang

The Queens International Night Market is a family-friendly event at the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The open-air night market features independent vendors selling merchandise, art, and food at affordable prices in addition to cultural performances and entertainment. Being a night market, it’s only opened on Saturdays from 6PM to Midnight, from April 22nd to August 19th and then September 30th to October 28th (tickets are required for preview nights April 22nd and April 29th). We had the pleasure to interview John Wang, the founder of the Queens International Night Market, to find out more about this magical experience.

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The Queens Night Market is known for its affordability. We asked John why there was a decision to limit the prices at this market.

I wanted to approximate the experience I get as a traveler, poking around foreign markets that cater mostly to the locals, which often seem so affordable to a tourist. I can’t remember the last time I went somewhere in NYC and thought, “Holy cow, this is so affordable. I can’t wait to try everything and not blow my weekly budget.” And it occurred to me that there is no equalizer like affordability. If I wanted to create something that really prioritized diversity, it had to be uniquely accessible to the broadest possible demographic. That was the origin of the price cap. 

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New Location For Our Next Meeting

The next time we come together to talk about street safety with our friends will be at the Old Quaker Meeting House in Flushing.  Our meeting will be on Monday, March 20th at 7:30 PM.

137-16 Northern Boulevard,
Flushing, New York 11354

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The new meeting location is at the intersection of Main Street and Northern Boulevard, two of the heaviest used streets in Eastern Queens.  It’s walking distance from the subway (7 train), LIRR (Port Washington) and bus routes to all areas of Eastern Queens and beyond.

The building our group will come together in was erected in 1694 for Quakers meetings (with additional structures added later). A few decades earlier John Bowne was hosting these Quaker Meetings in his home, an action for which he was later banished to Holland (even though he was English and did not speak Dutch). In response to this religious oppression, supporters drafted the Flushing Remonstrance which Bowne brought to the Dutch West India Company. The Flushing Remonstrance is considered a precursor to the United States Constitution’s provision on freedom of religion in the Bill of Rights. From this petition the Dutch West India Company ordered Peter Stuyvesant to end religious persecution in the colony in 1663.

With reaffirmed freedom of religion, the Quakers constructed this building for meetings of worship. Although there have been gaps in service (in 1776 it was seized during the Revolutionary War by British soldiers) the building is still used for Quaker Meetings and is now considered the oldest place of worship still standing in New York City.

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We truly appreciate the generosity of those willing to let us use this historic, centrally located space for our meetings.