Tag Archives: history

American Pickers coming to New York!

American Pickers on the History Channel is coming back to New York this May and they are looking for leads throughout the state, specifically interesting characters with interesting items and lots of them!

Whoever is interested can reach out to them on their phone number 1-855-OLD-RUST (653-7878) or their email, which is AmericanPickers@cineflix.com.

They also have Facebook: @GOTAPICK and you can share their Facebook post here!

Please note that Mike and Frank only pick private collections so NO stores, malls, flea markets, museums, auctions, businesses or anything open to the public.

About American Pickers

American Pickers is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique “picking” on History.

About the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce is a multicultural membership association of entrepreneurs and civic leaders representing the most diverse community in New York.  The Chamber fosters the economic growth, inclusive diversity, and shared prosperity of greater Flushing through advocacy, networking, and education. More information is available at flushingchamber.nyc.

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Discussion: History and Commerce in the Old and New Netherlands

In the past, this discussion on the “History and Commerce in the Old and New Netherlands” led by Jack Eichenbaum took place in January 2017. Now after a year and half, Jack has some new insights to share after ruminating on the subject and the “geo-synchronous” parallels it provides.

On September 30th, from 2:30PM thru 4:30PM in the Queens Historical Society, the talk will be held again. There will be a small admission charge to cover light refreshments, but anyone representing Dutch or Belgian commerical or diplomatic interests are invited freely so long as they inform Jack Eichenbuam in advance. Inform him by calling 718-961-8406 and feel free to communicate any opinions or information you can impart on the subject.

Jack Eichenbaum was appointed Queens Borough Historian eight years ago, and one of the priorities he has set out to do is establish local awareness of how Nederlanders influenced the growth, singularity and success of NYC compared to its English colonial counterparts.

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Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Queens Historical Society!

Date: Wednesday, August 8th, 2018
Location: Kingsland Homestead
143-35 37th Ave, Flushing, NY
Time: 5:30pm
Price: $30 per person; tickets will be available at Queens Historical Society.
Dr. Jack Eichenbaum, Queens Borough Historian and QHS Board member, will lead a walking tour from Queens Historical Society at Kingsland Homestead to the two prior locations of Kingsland in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Flushing. The tour will commence at Kingsland Homestead on Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at 5:30 PM and include historical sites en route as well as features of the expanding Korean community in the neighborhood. The tour will end less than two hours later at Kingsland Homestead with light refreshments. A fee of $30 is requested for participants, please pay via check.
*Only 30 people can be accommodated, first come first served.
Link the tour here or visit the Eventbrite page here.
Find Yourself Here!

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Kissena Velodrome

Kissena Velodrome: Keeping The Simple Elegance of Bike Racing Alive in Flushing

by Jillian Abbott

Bicycle racing at Kissena Velodrome, located in Kissena Park off Booth Memorial Avenue at Parsons Blvd., is more than a sport for many of its riders. It’s a passion, a way of life, a community. And, this sense of purpose and belonging is not limited to the athletes. This track is a family affair with parents driving their children to the racetrack then sticking around to help make the day’s activity go smoother. For adult racers, there are spouses, friends, and children there helping to check equipment, provide water, and cheer the racers on. For spectators, it’s a chance to relax in the bleaches and read between races.

“Bike racing is competitive, but friendly,” said Brean Shea, the Kissena Velodrome’s race director. We spoke at the track back in April when the racing season was already underway.  There was a time when bike racing was so popular that Madison Square Garden boasted a banked velodrome and so did The Bronx, Coney Island and Staten Island. Now the only velodrome in the region, this track in Kissena Park attracts riders from all over the tri-state region. Jesse Shotland, one of the tracks superstars, comes all the way from Pennsylvania. The Velodrome is open to all levels of riders from beginners to state-level championships. “There no racing in PA below Olympic level,” he explained.

With a storied history – the track was built by Robert Moses in 1962 and produced a string of Olympic champions – the 400 meters of track is a tangible thread that connects cycling’s past to its future. There are programs for children and adults alike. As planes fly overhead and buds form on the trees surrounding the track, the comradery between the bike racers is obvious.

Leona Chin became involved with the Velodrome when her daughter Peye Wong began racing at 11 years old. Wong is now 20 and doesn’t get to the track as often as she’d like to. “I made longtime friends here,” she said. “The people are friendly. There’s no judgement and racing is exhilarating.” Her mother points out that there is no shortage of female role models here, and Wong agrees. Looking out over the track she explains that her dream is to keep up her fitness with lifelong racing.

At around 11:30 a.m. on this sunny, but cool Saturday morning the parents from the Star Track Cycling juniors’ program began preparing to pack up and leave. Then the racers in their iridescent racing uniforms began arriving with their bikes slung over their shoulders like backpacks as they sort out officials to check-in to the six-day competition going on that day.

As the time of the first race approached, the air becomes electric with anticipation. Racers perform amazing feats, such a bobbing and weaving their way across the track carrying their bike as they navigate the cyclists already warming up. It’s Chanel Zeisel, 33, third season racing at Kissena. She learned to ride at a track clinic before the launch of Citi Bikes. “I joined a womens-only clinic. I wanted to ride to work.”  

Like so many of the other riders, Zisel warmed up on stationary rollers and, between overhead planes heading to LaGuardia, the whir of wheels can be heard all around. David Underhill, the official in charge of the actual racing meet, wanders around making sure that everything is in order and that the bikes will be ready to race. “I’ve been doing this for years,” he said, and it’s clear that he’s not only good at supervising the meets, but that he loves doing it. The track was renovated a little over ten years ago, but it maintains a reputation as a track that will keep riders alert. There’s no doubt that the competitors appreciate Underhill’s diligence.  

As the first race is about to start, the riders line up on their bikes against the fence. Everyone seems to know the drill. Then the signal, and the race begins. Even as a novice spectator, it’s impossible to take one’s eyes off the bikes as they glide around the track. This sport isn’t without danger, the bikes have no brakes or gears and the pace is fast with racers riding in bunches sometimes only inches separating each bike.

As the riders complete the first lap a sign displays the number of remaining laps until finally Underhill rings a bell, yells last lap and the tensions climax. It’s mesmerizing. Walking between racers, the words simple, elegant, and pure are heard over and over. It’s this sense that riders get as they race around the track that brings them back time and time again and is the basis of the community — the chance to share in this pure ritual. It easy to see why crowds of 200 spectators are not unknown.

Women racers are not only welcome but encouraged to join in, and as Zisel demonstrates, this is not one of those sports you need to start at five-years-old or never.

The Kissena Velodrome is free and open to the public. The 2018 Kissena Twilight Series runs on Wednesdays from April 25 to August 15; the Formula Femme WTGNC Skills Clinics runs from June 3 to July 1; and there are track racing clinics, an introductory class on June 30th, with an advanced class on July 1st. For more information, go to the kissenavelodrome.info.

Star Track Youth Cycling runs three 8-week sessions a year that are free for all kids. For more information, go to startrackcycling.org.

Find Yourself Here!

Visit Flushing, Queens. For more information on other exciting activities and upcoming events in our community, check out flushingfantastic.nyc.


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Flushing’s World Fair – Tour with Jack Eichenbaum

Flushing’s Chinese and Korean Commercial Communities
Friday, June 15, 6-8 PM ($20) with Jack Eichenbaum, Queens Borough Historian
Meet at the (Korean) Coop Restaurant,
 133-42 39th Ave, for happy hour (3-7 PM) which includes $1 oysters and chicken wings and $3 draft beer.  Tour departs outside the restaurant at 6 PM where a $20 fee is collected. The walk includes highlights of downtown Flushing’s burgeoning Chinese-American community (now NYC’s largest!) with new megamalls under construction, Korean-American commerce on Union St and Northern Blvd ending in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Flushing. Participants can return to downtown Flushing by foot or bus or catch an LIRR train direct to Pennsylvania Station. Korean and Chinese restaurant suggestions distributed. This tour is limited to 30 people. You must register in advance; (email jaconet@aol.com) to confirm, hold you on a waiting list or advise of a sellout.

Reserve your spot for the Flushing’s World Fair Expo here!

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Path Through History Weekend – Kingsland Homestead

Museum Tours – Path Through History
Date: Saturday, June 16th & Sunday, June 17th, 2018
Location: Kingsland Homestead
143-35 37th Ave, Flushing, NY
Time:11:00am – 1:00pm
Price: Free
The Queens Historical Society will be participating in the Path Through History, a weekend in June that highlights sites of rich heritage at historically and culturally significant sites throughout New York State. Visit us during normal museum hours on June 16-17 and learn more about the Queens Historical Society.

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