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Maker Faire Guide: Enjoy a Drone-Flying Competition and Neighborhood Eats

By Katie Honan | September 19, 2014 8:59am | Updated on September 19, 2014 4:38pm
 Here's our guide to what to eat, drink and do in and around the New York Hall of Science.
Make Faire Guide: Enjoy the Drone-Flying Competition and Neighborhood Eats
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CORONA — The World Maker Faire is stopping at the New York Hall of Science again this weekend, bringing more than 700 vendors and exhibitions for the "Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth." 

The event, which reportedly drew 70,000 people last year, brings together techies, crafters, hobbyists, engineers and artists of all ages who want to learn and show of what they've made.

Among the highlights are a drone-flying competition and the world's first 3D-printed car. There's also an abundance of local restaurants to try.

The NYSCI event on Sept. 20 and 21 is the fastest-growing Maker Faire in the world and this year honors the innovation from the 1939 and 1964 World's Fairs, also held in Queens. 

"One of the things that we try to encourage people to do is come and discover for yourself," said Bridgette Vanderlaan, who works for the Maker Faire.

Here's DNAinfo guide to getting there, enjoying the activities and eating in the neighborhood:

Getting there:

Maker Faire is accessible via public transportation, including the Long Island Rail Road, which will run to Mets-Willets Point all weekend.

Unfortunately the 7 train is suspended all weekend between Times Square and 74th Street-Roosevelt, so take the E/F/R subways to 74th Street to transfer to the 7. The NYSCI stop is 111th Street. 

Parking is available at nearby Citi Field for $10 and NYSCI will shuttle faire-goers throughout the day. Street parking is very limited.

Tickets range from $17.50 to $70 and can be purchased online.

Maker Faire Highlights:

A full program guide and schedule of events can be found online, but here are some of the top activities.

Game of Drones is exactly what it sounds like — a drone-flying competition that takes place all day on Saturday. There are special contests for smaller, palm-sized toys as well as the huge “heavy-lifters,” according to the organizers.

► The world's first 3D-printed car will be on display at the faire a week after it was unveiled at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago by Local Motors, which built it in 44 hours.

The car can hit 50 mph and looks like a dune buggy — and will be a popular item at the show, according to Vanderlaan.

Speaking of record-breakers, the world's largest 3D printer, which stands 17-feet tall, will also be inside NYSCI. A young maker will also display the prosthetic arm she designed on a printer.

"What's cool is not just the 3D printers but what people are doing with them," Vanderlaan said.

► Inventor Dean Kamen  who created the Segway — will speak at his first Maker Faire on Sept. 20 at 11:30 a.m. at NYSCI's auditorium. He's now focused on FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a non-profit that is "dedicated to motivating the next generation to understand, use and enjoy science and technology," according to organizers.

► Try out a 16-piece, 50,000-lb. life-sized mousetrap that’s interactive and placed on top of a 6,500-square-foot game board. The machine runs all weekend.

► The Rocket Stage runs all weekend and features various demonstrations each day, like how to twist air and fire, make ice in 30 seconds, find ballons that won't fly and repurpose household items into something more imaginative. 

What to Eat and Drink:

Name a cuisine and Corona probably has it, all within walking distance from the New York Hall of Science. Step outside the faire grounds and into the local neighborhood for tastes from around the world.

► Cucino a Modo Mio (51-01 108th St.) serves classic Italian dishes and specialty pizza. It even has a backyard “beer piazza” to kick back with a Peroni after the festival. Popular dishes include the Margherita pie, sausage and peppers hero and baked clams.

Park Side Restaurant (107-01 Corona Ave.) is a neighborhood institution, and you’ll be served classic Italian fare like stuffed mushrooms and a broiled veal chop by waiters in tuxes. 

► The Lemon Ice King of Corona (52-02 108th St.) has been in the neighborhood for more than 60 years and sells dozens of ices, from mango to cherry and fruit cocktail. 

► If you’re in search of some of the best Mexican food in the city, check out Tortilleria Nixtamal (104-05 47th Ave.) The menu features specialty platters and tacos that start at $2.75 each. If you're with a group, get DIY and make your own tacos by ordering fillings by the pound — carnitas costs $14.92, al pastor $16.76 and barbacoa is $18.60. Each is served with cilantro and onions.

► Looking for a late-night snack? Roosevelt Avenue is filled with food carts, many that only set up shop in the evening. 

The carts on 111th Street feature an array of Ecuadorian and Colombian specialties. Local food expert Jeff Orlick, who runs tours of the trucks on Roosevelt Avenue, recommends the Los Amigos Chimmy Churry truck between 108th and 111th streets, in front of Mr. Met construction. 

The Chimi Chibao truck (37-15 108th St.) is famous for its chimi, which is essentially a Dominican hamburger served on fried plantains in place of a bun. 

Explore the park:

Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is the borough's largest park and home to NYSCI, the Queens Museum, the Queens Theatre, the Queens Zoo, the National Tennis Center, the Queens Botanical Gardens, an amusement park, a golf course  and hundreds of acres of green space to chill out. 

Here's a guide to what to do in the park, including $3.50 beers and kayak rentals at the park's lake.