Clarion Hotel La Guardia Airport
9400 Ditmars Blvd.
East Elmhurst, NY 11369
Phone: (718) 335-1200
Fax: (718) 458-1239
Arts & Museums
Located in the Corona neighborhood of Queens, this national and city landmark was the home of New Orleans jazz icon Louis Armstrong during the latter half of his life. Today, the house also operates as a museum, where much of the house and its furnishings remain just the way Armstrong and his wife, Lucille, left it. The museum is shown only through guided tours, which last 40 minutes and begin every hour. The tour takes visitors through the house, while also playing audio clips from Armstrong's life, such as him practicing his trumpet or eating a meal, among other things. After the 40-minute tour, visitors are welcome to explore the exhibit area and a Japanese garden.
Located on the former site of the 1939 and 1964 World's Fairs, Queens Museum contains exhibits from the two Fairs, as well as broader exhibits intended to reflect the cultural diversity of Queens. Perhaps the best known attractions are the Panorama of New York City, a replica of Manhattan with more than 800,000 miniature buildings; and the Unisphere, an enormous abstract sculpture of the earth from the 1964 World's Fair, located outside the museum. Souvenirs are available at the gift shop.
Tucked away in Queens is an old-fashioned testament to film and television. The actual studios of the one-time Paramount East Coast production house are closed, but the museum provides tours about film making where you can see makeup, costumes and well-known movie sets. There are several theaters for film screenings and a gift shop for souvenir hunters.
Headquartered in a historic 18th Century farmhouse known as the Kingsland Homestead, The Queens Historical Society presents exhibits and tours depicting the history of this particular farm. Perhaps more importantly, it also functions as the central repository of the 300-year history of the borough. The society publishes a quarterly newsletter and offers walking tours, lectures, slide shows and exhibitions. Its library and archive of primary and secondary source material is open by appointment.
Socrates Sculpture Park was founded in 1986 when artist Mark di Suvero, along with significant others, transformed this illegal dump-yard to an open studio and exhibition center as well as a neighborhood park. This is the only site that provides a large space for artists to create and display their talent and generate interaction amongst the artists and the public. As a recognition for the exceptional contribution made by this museum to the art world, it has been honored by many awards. The park holds may activities and education programs for children to encourage their raw talent and build confidence. The park also holds a weekly farmer's market, perfect for stocking up on those healthy greens.
Fisher Landau Center For Art is an art museum that is completely dedicated to Emily Fisher Landau's art collection. Emily is renowned for her generous donations to the various art organizations and has been a part of reputed art committees too. Her collection comprises and covers a broad spectrum of contemporary art works ranging from 1960s till present. The art pieces of Agnes Martin, Jasper Johns, Cy Twombly, John Baldessari and host of other creative artists who form the core of the art world are a part of her collection. The Fisher Landau Center For Art showcases her collection and also conducts in-depth study of the same. Formerly, entry to this center was by appointment only, but since 2003 it has regular visiting hours. So when in town, do visit this art museum and browse through some great contemporary art works. For more details, call ahead.
With a focus on increasing awareness about African art and culture, The Museum for African Art is a great place to visit to get acquainted with the rich culture. Regular exhibitions by prominent and upcoming artists, educational programs and a handicraft store of ethnic African goods; are some of the features of this culturally rich museum. Currently housed in temporary Manhattan offices, the museum awaits completion of its new home by 2009. Don't despair, as ongoing exhibitions are showing at various locations in the city and around the country. Call or check the website for more details.
This museum is a hidden gem. It was created by the Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988) in 1985, and it documents the history of his life and works. The design of the museum itself is considered to be one of Noguchi's major works. The grounds are home to 12 galleries and an adjoining garden. There are 250 pieces in all, including sculptures made of wood, bronze, clay and steel, as well as video documentaries.
MoMA QNS is the new museum in Queens affiliated to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Its blue stucco exterior has transformed the swing line staple factory in which it is housed. The Museum encompasses 160,000 square feet of space with library and reading space accounting for about 25,000 square feet of the space. Home to a host of temporary and permanent exhibits and displays, this is one place you should not miss if you're an art lover. Check website for more details on current and upcoming events.
A not-for-profit institution, the SculptureCenter promotes experimental art by artists from all over the country and beyond. Located in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, this venue hosts exhibitions that present sculptures that are stark, unique, and absolutely intriguing. Among the artists whose work has been displayed include Lara Schnitger, Elizabeth Neel, and Ann Sperry. As the venue is non-profit, the admission charge is more of a requested donation, completely voluntary, but a few dollars won't be hard to part with. See the website for more information.
The Elevator Historical Society is located on the second floor inside the black and yellow Taxi Building. The museum is a brainchild of Pat Carrajat, who has been in the elevator maintenance-repair industry for a very long time. His passion for elevators was converted into tangible form through The Elevator Historical Society. The museum houses old models of elevators, vintage push-buttons, and other elevator parts, and a photograph of Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet from their elevator scene in Titanic, autographed by the stars. Though the museum occupies just one room, it is almost like a time travel back into the modest era of technology.
P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center is a well-established, hip art center dedicated to the production, exhibition and interpretation of artistic innovations. It is housed in a charming old public school building in Queens (hence the name). However, it also makes extensive use of various other institutions throughout the area. Recently, the center merged with the Museum of Modern Art, although it continues to maintain its own identity. Admission is by donation.