June 12, 2018 By Tara Law
The public is invited to pick up their own “Passport to Flushing” and take a self-guided tour of the neighborhood’s cultural sites, businesses and restaurants from June 15 to 17.
The special “passport” booklet will guide participants to 22 of Flushing’s most interesting destinations— and provide them with special discounts and prizes along the way. Destinations include the Queens Botanical Garden; historical buildings, such as the Queens Historical Society at 143-35 37th Ave.; and cuisine from across Asia.
The Passport to Flushing program is part of the Flushing World’s Fair, an expo that starts Friday that is intended to promote Flushing as a tourist destination. The expo, which is part of the “Flushing Fantastic” district marketing program, is being organized by the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce and Asian Americans for Equality. For more information about the expo, visit the link.
To begin the tour, participants will pick up their own passport at any of the Passport to Flushing destinations, such as the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel at 135-20 39th Ave. The passport offers a map of all the destinations, as well as profiles of each of the different venues.
The passport includes a wide variety of restaurants, including cuisine from across Asia. Highlights include tastes of Japanese, Indian, Chinese, Malay, and Pakistani food.
Standouts include the restaurant Joe’s Steam Rice Roll at 136-21 Roosevelt Ave. The eatery, which is owned by Joe Rong, specializes in Cantonese cheong fun egg and rice rolls. Rong grinds his own rice with water on a stone mill imported from China, giving the rolls an authentic flavor. Passport of Flushing participants will receive a free egg on any rice roll.
Another restaurant participating is Dumpling Galaxy at 133-53 37th Ave. The restaurant, which offers a surprisingly refined setting despite being located in Golden Shopping Mall, offers 100 types of pan-fried, boiled and baked dumplings. Participants receive a 10 percent discount.
For something sweet, options include 520 Desserts, a Chinese-style shop that serves shaved ice, sweet soups and ice cream. Specialties include a honeydew bowl filled with melon balls and topped with honeydew melon popsicle. Participants can receive 10 percent off of a “qq waffle”— a bubbly Hong Kong-style egg waffle.
The Passport of Flushing tour also offers buy-one-get-one free admission to one of Flushing’s best outdoor venues— the Queens Botanical Garden. The garden can be accessed by pedestrians at 43-50 Main Street; parking is available at 42-80 Crommelin St.
For additional culture, participants can take in a performance at Flushing Town Hall, a Gothic-Revival style building constructed in 1862, at 137-35 Northern Boulevard. Participants can receive 20 percent off one of two shows taking place at the hall this weekend.
The first show takes place this Friday at 7 p.m. and features music played by Texas and Peruvian groups.
The Corina Bartra Afro Peruvian Band will play alongside Brian Clayton and The Green River Band, a six-member country music band, during “Global Mashup #5: Texas Meets Peru.”
The bands will each perform a set, and then join together for a “jam-session.” Tickets are $16, or $10 for students and members before the discount.
The other show, which takes place on June 17 at 3 p.m., is a family-friendly theater performance of the “The Emperor’s Nightingale.” The play, which is based on Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale, will feature actors transformed into pandas, tigers and a magic bird. Admission is $10 before the discount, or free to students and members.
For more information visit Flushing Fantastic’s website.