A @nycmarathon@nyrr memory & how a flippant comment inspired: In 2009 as women leaders ran through my neighborhood an @NBCSports TV announcer said, “the runners are now in the less-than-picturesque part of Queens.” I was appalled. How dare he? I LIVE HERE!
Of course no one was there greeting runners so it looked like an uninhabited sh*thole. The announcer kinda had a point. I mean on my block the only lame playground is across the street from a strip club. Mornings were littered w/syringes, Four Loco cans & bloody, ripped t-shirts*.
I vowed to return the next year to that very spot the announcer dissed & REPRESENT! In 2010, I made a sign for me, (bright orange “Welcome to Queens”) and my Chihuahua (¡Andele! ¡Andele!).
We stood at the foot of the Pulaski Bridge & made a ruckus. No way an announcer would have the gall to say something nasty now! A happy lady & her dog were standing in that sh*thole proudly holding her homemade sign!
FF to 2015 a friend texted me a picture of a portait hanging in the @MuseumofCityNY & asked, “Is this you?” Why, yes it is! Don Emmert snapped it for @GettyImages@AFP & the Museum included the photo in its exhibit celebrating the NYC Marathon https://mcny.org/exhibition/new-york-city-marathon
This glorious portrait & memory serves as a reminder that even sh*tholes are comprised of real *people*. We the people can choose to gripe about a rude comment & demand to speak to the manager, or we can invest our time & energy into making that announcer wrong. Very wrong.
That jerk announcer injected me w/some #Queens pride! Since then, I’m so invested in this “less-than-picturesque” part of the @NYCMarathon that I tattooed the iconic World’s Fair Unisphere onto my body & built a performance/community space @QEDAstoria from scratch. F that dude.
Tomorrow as the @nycmarathon runners exit the Pulaski Bridge, I’ll be there again welcoming them to my fair borough w/the same sign (different dog) before I head to @QEDAstoria, a brick & mortar symbol of my devotion to #Queens. Be the change…yada, yada, yada.
But seriously, F that dude.
*The playground has been closed for renovations for almost two years now with zero work done on it over long stretches of times. The strip club continues to thrive and is actually quite nice.
I had to work on my birthday weekend but it’s okay because it included a science-themed kids party with a live demonstration of lava, dry ice, goo and more plus a cake decorated with the periodic table of elements. Then there was a one-year-old’s birthday party that had the dad dressed as a shark. Both parties were a lot of fun and the families were all so appreciative. As I tell private party guests, it’s a real privilege to be included in these milestone family events. QED (and me) become part of the fabric of their story. What an honor. I got a lovely note from the dad which I’ve shared below. Notes like that breath new life into me!
I enjoyed some frozen yogurt with my sweet friend Lauren, got a gorgeous bouquet of tropical plants including a bunch of miniature bananas! Christian got me some funky new Keds and I got a Cause Box filled with wonderful summer treats (the straw tote pictured below is one) made by women and all for worthy causes. All in all, it was a lovely birthday and while working parties are a lot of work, they are so worth it! Glad to have them and hope for more!
I just wanted to send a quick note to you and Christian and tell you how thankful we were for all of your hospitality and help celebrating [baby’s name] 1st BDay. Kids parties are always a little bonkers, and ours was no exception. We had a comedy of outside errors yesterday which derailed our morning but you and Christian were the only solid ones. I’m so happy we were able to cater and have your space taken care of for us. Everything quickly came together albeit a little late. Thank you again for being so clear with us and accommodating. We hope to see you guys again soon.
Here’s the HGTV website link: https://www.hgtv.com/…/house-…/episodes/stand-up-in-new-york
My fellow word lover and should-have-been-a-librarian, Liz Simons and I hosted the first ever Adult Spelling Bee at QED with great success! I had a bumble bee pin in my hair for the occasion and enjoyed some delicious custom-made donuts from Sugar & Water shaped as the letters Q.E.D. with little bees on them!!!
It was a super fun night with 24 contestants and great prizes from local Queens businesses. The competition was tough but supportive with people high-fiving, cheering, oohing and aahing. I hope the next one is just as great even though it’s a school night. Save the date: Thur, Feb 21 at 7PM. Limited to 25 contestants!
I shocked myself at my use-it-in-a-sentence improvisational skills. I definitely want to use the online dictionary for this in the future but it was fun coming up with random sentences including this part that my niece Kaelyn will appreciate for the #Hamilton reference.
Noguchi Museum, Loose Leaf Tea, The Bonnie, Lavender Label, Lagree NY, the aforementioned Sugar & Water. And starting next month, the Museum of the Moving Image has donated passes for prizes. How great is that?! Again, save the date: Thur, Feb 21 at 7PM. Limited to 25 contestants as we anticipate this selling out every time!
Love my QED t-shirts & wish you had one? Want to support a woman-owned business? Want to
#shopsmall? Of course you do! Now’s your chance to get one & have it by Christmas! Order by 11/30 or else. Plus, tomorrow is day of the big Shop Small / Small Business Saturday holiday bazaar. We’ll have 25 of the
neighborhood’s foremost creative makers selling their wares at QEDAstoria tomorrow from 12-5pm. Expect to come across one-of-a-kind ceramics, hand-made jewelry, imaginatively designed greeting cards, eye-catching art and super delicious treats.
When you #ShopSmall with a vendor at QED, you’ll receive a free souvenir tote while supplies last. And, if you make a $10+ purchase from QED, you’ll receive an Admit Two pass good for a future show!
QED will be featuring lots of great drink specials for this event such as $6 draught beer, house wine & mimosas! Plus we’ll have plenty of mulled wine, hot apple cider, fresh popped popcorn and yummy snacks from This Chick Bakes.
Here’s where to pre-order a tee shirt: https://www.customink.com/fundraising/qedastorianyc
Q.E.D. is the only independent, woman-owned and operated venue for the arts in Astoria, Queens in NYC. It’s a labor of love, really. As a small community space, we’re very proud to pay artists, producers, teachers and creatives for their work and provide a free space for performers of all types at our open mics.
At Q.E.D. you’ll find stand-up comedy shows with performers ranging from the beginner to the very famous. We also have arts and crafts workshops, writing classes, board game meet ups, storytelling, movie screenings, watch parties and everything in between. Our affordable classes and shows are as diverse as Queens itself. With 100 or more events each month, there’s something for everyone.
Show your love of Q.E.D. and the arts by wearing an official Q.E.D. t-shirt, hat or hoodie! Your support will ensure Q.E.D. can continue to bring Astoria, Queens incredible programming. Plus these shirts are super fashionable and show the world you have great taste in entertainment!
Today I met with three dudes named Z, Fritz and Cyclone. I’m ready to start a boy band or a World of Warcraft team. Also met with Katya an NYC architect now living in Brussels who just happens to be in Astoria for three weeks and agreed to draft up a quick plan for the bar. Serendipitous!
Thanks to Cyclone Jjs for swinging by from Canarsie to donate an XLR cord and microphone covers. Fritz is building the stage and singing to Jamaican dance music as I type this. I’ll paint the third coat on bathroom walls & ceiling once Fritz leaves. Ceiling tiles arrived as planned, and I booked Jenn Dodd for a character building class & graduation show. Details to come.
The stage is almost finished at QED: A Place to Show & Tell! I’m sneaking in early in the morning to “bury” a few things under the stage before it’s sealed up. If the whole thing goes belly up, some dude is gonna find a little gift during demolition.
Stage finished and primed, another coat on about 3/4 of the bathroom, 2/3 of ceiling tiles in place. Huge thanks to John O’Donnell, Joe Garden, Liam McEneaney & Christian Finnegan for the helping hands and good company. Very satisfying day. Now to fall asleep on the couch sitting upright like the tired, old lady that I feel like.
Progress on QED: A Place to Show & Tell this week.
— I got the kitchen cabinets, granite from the backyard, an interior door and a cabinet island all removed. The huge exhaust fan is being removed, too.
— Stripped the windows of the old signage & cleaned of the sticky residue then covered the windows with craft paper.
— Requested estimates for replacing the big sign above the windows.
— Decided to replace the ugly, stained drop ceiling with these, most likely. Waiting for samples of white, sand & latte to make sure on the color.http://www.proceilingtiles.com/Stratford-Ceiling-Tile-Sand.html
— Got a 3-month liability insurance plan bought & paid for so people can come in and paint, work, help with no worries.
— Established a Con Edison account.
— Rounded up some tree stumps from the cabin to turn into little side tables.
— A million other things like pricing equipment & furniture, emailing possible vendors for food & beer, vacillating on design ideas.
Am woefully behind on emails because of the above & Christian’s Off-Broadway musical. Donations and ideas and help are ALL welcome & appreciated, but I might be late or remiss in getting back to you. ***Regular email is always the best way to reach me so I can more efficiently keep track.***
I’m most in need of help finding cool ideas for classes, teachers, performers, and the physical stuff like tables, chairs, glasses, anything you see at a bar or cafe I probably need. For example, I bought a paper towel dispenser for the bathroom for $5 at a reuse center, snagged bunch of mason jars & old wooden crates, a coffee maker for $5, two old picture frames that I turned into bulletin boards & a window pane that will become something TBD.