Friday, July 31, 2009

Overseas Absentee Voter Registration and Town Hall Meeting at the Philippine Center (New York)

The Philippine Consulate
Overseas absentee voter registration (and "party") at Kalayaan Hall
NBC Studio, Rockefeller Center
Having reacquired my Filipino citizenship last year, I thought I should exercise my right to vote during the Philippine national election in May 2010. I took the opportunity to register after work hours at the Philippine Center earlier this evening. The overseas absentee voter registration-town hall meeting was held from 6:30 to 9:00 PM at the center's Kalayaan Hall, although it looked more like a typical Filipino party because food was served. The flag outside the Philippine Consulate is flown at half staff in honor of former Philippine President Corazon Aquino who helped restore democracy in 1986, following a peaceful people power revolution. Tita Cory as she is fondly called, passed away today after a long battle with colon cancer. What better way to honor her memory than participating in the democracy that she fought hard to regain.
The Philippine Consulate is located in midtown Manhattan at 556 Fifth Avenue, between 45th and 46th Streets.

Where to register (from the Philippine Consulate website):

At the Philippine Consulate General, 556 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY

10036, Monday-Friday, 9AM-5PM (except holidays)

During the Sunday Consular Service

30 August 2009 at the Philippine Consulate General New York

10am to 3pm – open for all services

At the Consular Outreach Services, 10am-3pm:

18 Jul 2009, Saturday - NaFFAA Region I and PAMANA –West Roxbury, MA; Finn

Hall, Holy Name Church, 1689 Centre St, West Roxbury, MA

25 Jul 2009, Saturday - Philippine American Association of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh, PA;

Schenley Park, Vietnam Veterans Pavilion, Oakland/ Squirrel Hill 15213

8 Aug 2009, Saturday – Fil-Am Friendship Society of New Hampshire – Manchester,

NH; Comfort Inn, 298 Queen City Ave., Manchester, NH 03102

15 Aug 2009, Saturday - Philippine Association of Connecticut Inc. (PACI) –

Newington, CT; VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Post 9836, 85 Kitts Lane Newington,

CT 06111

From the Asian American Federation of New York Census Information Center:

In 2000, the New York metropolitan area had the fourth-largest Filipino American population in a U.S. metropolitan region.3 Approximately 65 percent of Filipino Americans in New York State lived in New York City. Filipinos also were the fourth-largest Asian American ethnic group in New York City, constituting 7 percent of the city’s Asian population.4 From 1990 to 2000, the Filipino population in New York City increased by 44 percent, from 43,229 to 62,058. That growth was far greater than the city’s overall 9 percent population rise but lower than the 71 percent expansion of the city’s total Asian population. In raw numbers, the addition of 18,829 Filipino New Yorkers represented the sixth-largest population increase among Asian groups in the city in the last decade.5 Within New York City, in 2000, the majority (54 percent, or 33,225) of Filipinos lived in Queens, followed by Manhattan (16 percent, or 10,223); Brooklyn (13 percent, or 7,918); the Bronx (9 percent, or 5,446); and Staten Island (8 percent, or 5,246).

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Broadway in Bryant Park

Cast of "Chicago" before the performance
Cast of "Chicago"
Cast of "Chicago"
Cast of "Chicago"
Cast of "Chicago"
Cast of "Chicago"
John Tartaglia (Pinocchio in "Shrek the Musical") high fiving his young fans
after performance
"Naked Boys Singing"
"Naked Boys Singing"
"Naked Boys Singing"
Naked Boys Singing

"Naked Boys Singing"

Cast of "Shrek the Musical"

This summer, Bryant Park and New York’s 106.7 LiteFM have been offering free lunchtime mini-concerts on Thursday afternoons featuring performances from current and upcoming Broadway shows. Today, I caught part of the show during my lunch break and captured images of some performers onstage and off.

The concerts run from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30pm on The Lawn at Bryant Park.

Complete Broadway in Bryant Park schedule:

July 9
“Phantom of the Opera, “STOMP,” “Avenue Q” and “In The Heights”

July 16
“Little Mermaid,” “9 to 5,” “Pure Country” and “Toxic Avenger”

July 23
“Mary Poppins,” “Rock of Ages,” “Vanities” and “Next to Normal”

July 30
“Chicago,” “Naked Boys Singing!” “Jersey Boys” and “Shrek”

Aug. 6
“Wicked,” “Burn The Floor,” “Lion King” and “Marvelous Wonderettes”

Aug. 13
“Billy Elliot,” “South Pacific,” “Mamma Mia!” and “Altar Boyz”

Bryant Park is located in midtown Manhattan at 215 East 42nd Street behind the New York Public Library's main branch. The Bryant Park Lawn is a gathering place for thousands of nature-starved office workers for lunch on any fine weekday. It is planted with a rye/fescue/bluegrass mix. The lawn is 300 feet long and 215 feet wide.

Video posted by akmcreation (Cast of "Rock of Ages" performing last July 22, 2009)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Graffiti Art Mecca In Long Island City: 5 POINTZ

Not far from the MOMA/P.S.1 is a large scale collage of graffiti art covering a converted warehoouse full of artist studios. It is called 5 POINTZ, named after the 5 boroughs of NYC: Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. The art of famous and novice graffiti artists covers the building's facade, all done with the permission and encouragement of the building's owner. The building has gained prestige and fame. Magazines such as “Glamour” have featured articles about it, and big fashion corporations such as H&M use the walls for backdrop in their photo-shoots. I made some of the images from the elevated 7 subway train.


Visiting Times: Informally open mornings and afternoons during the week and on weekends. Occasional events on the weekend.

Address: 5 Pointz, Jackson Avenue at Crane Street and Davis Street, the whole block, Long Island City, NY 11101

Directions by Car:

  • Queensboro Bridge to Queens Blvd, right on Jackson Ave, left on Purves.
  • Midtown Tunnel/LIE-East exit at Van Alst and follow 21st St, turn right on Jackson, and right on Crane.
  • LIE-West exit Van Dam, right on Van Dam, left on Thompson, left on Jackson, and left on Crane.
Subways: E, V subways to 23 St/Ely Ave., 7 to 45 Rd/Court House Sq., G to Court House Square.

Buses: Q67 to Jackson and 46th Ave. B61 to 46th Ave.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

MOMA/PS1 Young Architects Program: AFTERPARTY BY MOS

On my first visit to the Museum of Modern Art/P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in Queens recently, what I found most striking was the "urban shelter" called AFTERPARTY designed by the architectural firm MOS. This urban landscape is this year's winner of the MoMA/P.S.1 Young Architects Program. Afterparty is installed in the museum/art center's outdoor courtyard, and serves as an immersive environment for the 2009 Warm Up summer music series. The MOMA/P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center is located at 22-25 Jackson Ave at the intersection of 46th Ave in Long Island City.
From the MOMA/PS1 website:
Envisioned as an "urban shelter," Afterparty will serve as a cooling escape at the heart of P.S.1's Warm Up music series. Before visitors enter the courtyard, a series of tall hut-like "chimneys" with dark thatched skin will be visible from the street. The interior of the conical shelter will provide shade, similar to a Bedouin tent in which the dark textile creates its own microclimate shielding from the summer heat. Cool air from the thermal mass of the courtyard's shaded concrete walls and concrete water troughs located in the center of the structure will be drawn up through a series of cooling chimneys by induction. This will create a breeze and a "cool down" atmosphere for the active Warm Up crowd.

Monday, July 27, 2009

7th Annual Myanmar (Burmese) Water Festival

Yesterday, Burmese Americans and their friends celebrated the 7th Annual Myanmar (Burmese) Water Festival at the Sara D. Roosevelt Park on Chrysties Street (between Broome & Delancey Streets) near Chinatown. The Myanmar Chinese Association of New York sponsored this event which also featured cultural performances and martial arts exhibition. Traditionally, the Burmese Water Festival welcomes the arrival of the Burmese New Year. One of the water festival’s key celebrations is the act of water play where children and adults joyously pour our douse water on each other to cleanse away the previous year’s sins and tribulations and to give blessing and thanks for the coming year. There were lots of kids running around with water guns at the festival. What a great celebration and a practical way for kids to cool off on a warm Sunday afternoon.