DOT and MTA to host SBS meeting tonight

Flushing BusIn response to growing demand for surface transit between downtown Flushing and downtown Jamaica, the Department of Transportation and Metropolitan Transit Authority will host a public workshop tonight at 6 p.m. in York College’s Academic Core Building, Room 2D01, at 94-20 Guy R. Brewer Blvd. in Jamaica.

The workshop will focus on educating the public about Select Bus Service and allow community members to give their input into ways transportation between the two downtowns could be improved.

For those who cannot make the trip to Jamaica to participate in the town hall this evening, the agencies will host a second workshop at PS 244, 137-20 Franklin Ave., on Tues., October 7 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.



Flushing Town Hall seeks donors to match pledged $35,000 gift

Last week, we received this letter from Flushing Town Hall Executive and Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek calling for donations to match a pledged $35,000 from an anonymous donor. Here is her letter:

Dear Editor:

Flushing Town Hall has been presented with a significant challenge this season, one that I hope your readers will help us meet. It’s not every day that an institutional supporter presents such an offer to us.

An anonymous donor – a supporter of the arts – recently approached us through one of our board members. The donor’s offer: if our nonprofit can raise $35,000 in new donations by February 2015, the donor will contribute another $35,000.

The donor’s hope is that this challenge will motivate others to open their wallets and hearts, thereby enabling our gem to be brighter than ever, enriching the culture of this diverse community.

This is a challenge we’re excited to take on. I invite – no, encourage – your readers to help us by visiting to contribute. Every dollar will help preserve the work of the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, which has been part of the fabric of the borough for 35 years (thus the “35” in the challenge).

Each year, FCCA presents an array of high quality arts and educational programs at Flushing Town Hall with a focus on global arts for a global community. The contributions we receive this season are vital to preserve not only our operations and programs but our role in preserving our historic landmark building, dating to 1862.

We’re confident that people – from Queens and beyond – who have enjoyed Flushing Town Hall over the years will step up to the plate and pitch in.


Ellen Kodadek

Executive and Artistic Director

Flushing Town Hall

[Queens Examiner]

Gone with the Wind celebrates 75th anniversary

In celebration of the 75th anniversary of classic, 10-time Oscar-winning film Gone with the Wind, College Point Multiplex Theaters will by screening the film on Mon., September 28 and Wed., October 1.

The screenings will be part of a nationwide celebration in more than 650 movie theaters, hosted by Turner Classic Movies, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Fathom Events.

For the 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. showings on both days, the film will be screened in its original 1:37 aspect ratio, and will be preceded by a special introduction by TCM host and film historian Robert Osborne.

Microsoft uses sentient data servers to draft neighborhood-specific cartoons

This week’s cartoon for Flushing focuses on hazardous material issues.

When most people think artificial intelligence, Skynet and other diabolical doomsday imaginings come to mind. But at their New York City lab, Microsoft Research is using sentient data servers for a much more PG purpose: drawing cartoons.

Kati London is the senior researcher at Microsoft’s Future User Social Experience (FUSE) Lab in New York City, where 42 unique sentient data servers are whirring away, analyzing 311 call data and crafting neighborhood-specific single-pane cartoons on a weekly basis using algorithms as part of the HereHere NYC project.

“We introduced a very early prototype of this and it didn’t have the cartoons in late March. Then, we released this version of the project in early August,” London said. “We take the freshest data that tells us what kind of the complaints are of that week for any particular neighborhood.”

Iris Gottleib is the artist behind the panes, which this week focus on illegal parking, noisy neighbors and litter, among other topics.

Flushing 311 data for the week of September 15 through 22.
Flushing 311 data for the week of September 15 through 22.

At the heart of the project is the desire to translate public data into engaging, bite-sized pieces, and the servers behind the project have been fed three years of data to fuel their musings. London referred to the servers as characters, programmed to have the same emoted reaction to complaints that residents themselves might experience in the “super neighborhoods” designated by her team.

“A sentient data server allows you to create a computerized character that has a personality,” London said.

London hopes HereHere NYC will continue gaining subscribers – currently there are roughly 700 – so the FUSE lab can run a study on its effectiveness in communicating neighborhood issues. [QL]

Walk through a scale model of the solar system today

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 1.47.15 PMAs part of the Bringing the World into the World program, the Queens Museum is hosting a 1.5-hour kid and family friendly walking tour and planet hunt around Chris Burden‘s Scale Model of the Solar System today from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

The tour will be led by educator and curator PJ Gubatina Policarpio and begins inside the Queens Museum where the 13-inch sun is located. The outer edge of the solar system lies about a mile away at Leo’s Latticini in Corona.

The event is free, but space is limited.

Grammy-winning pianist performs tonight at Flushing Town Hall

The folks at Flushing Town Hall continue their jazz tradition this evening with a night of Latin jazz featuring Grammy-winning pianist, composer and educator Arturo O’Farrill tonight at 8 p.m.

He will perform with his quartet, featuring Zack O’Farrill on drums, Adam O’Farrill on trumpet and Walter Stinson on bass.

If you’re looking to see the show for free, FTH has reintroduced #TweetSeats, offering free admission to anyone who is willing to tweet at least five times before, during and after the concert with their honest opinion of what’s happening onstage. To participate, follow @FlushingTownHall on Twitter if you don’t already, then tweet “I want Arturo O’Farrill Quartet #tweetseats @FlushingTwnHall” and wait for a direct Twitter message with details on how to claim your free tickets.

Otherwise, general admission tickets are $25, or $20 for members and $10 for students. For $90 (or $72 for members) a table for two can be reserved complete with wine and snacks.

IMI hosting Immigrant Artist Legal Clinic

UnLocalIn partnership with the Queens Museum‘s Open A.I.R. Artist Services program, Immigrant Movement International (IMI) will host a legal clinic for immigrant artists on Sat., September 13 from 2 to 4 p.m.

The event will be facilitated by Unlocal: Community Immigration Legal Services.

Topics of discussion will include how to apply for an O-1, or artists visa, and how to apply for permanent status once an O-1 visa is secured.

All who wish to attend must RSVP.


Jazz Up in the Sky at Flushing House

This Friday from 7 to 11 p.m., Flushing House is combining two of New York’s favorite pastimes – jazz music and hanging out on rooftops – with its Jazz Up In The Sky event at

Cost of entry is $100, or $150 for couples, and proceeds of the night will benefit the 300 senior residents of the Flushing House through the Flushing House endowment fund.

For the price, guests can expect a gourmet dinner, wine and beer, world-class musical performances and an open-air dance floor with uninterrupted skyline views.

Musicians of the night include Hernan Romero, Michael Feinberg and Isamu McGregor.

QEDC offering $10,000 grants to new startups

Thanks to a generous donation by the Citi Foundation, the Queens Economic Development Group is offering $10,000 grants to new businesses in the borough.

The QEDC will be hosting an information session for its new StartUP! program, which is funding the grants, at the Flushing branch of the Queens Library from 3 to 6 p.m. on Mon., September 15.

At the session, attendees will learn the ins and outs of the Startup Business Plan Competition, which will decide who the grant winners will be.

Click here to RSVP

Queens Museum exhibit Sacred Waters opens today

Queems Museum Sacred WatersAs part of the Queens Museum‘s Community Partnership Exhibition Program series, the Sadhana Coalition of Progressive Hindus presents Sacred Waters: A Collection of Hindu Offerings from Jamaica Bay, a new exhibition that opens today.

The opening reception will be held from 3 to 6 p.m., and features items discovered through Sadhana’s Project Prithvi, a green initiative that aims to honor the Hindu tradition of Ganja puja, which worships the waters, while at the same time promoting contemporary environmental justice. As part of its real-world environmental efforts, Sadhana hosts monthly cleanups of Jamaica Bay.

The exhibit will be on display through September 28.