08/21/14 4:00pm

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Today, construction workers raised the final beam of the Mount Sinai Queens Hospital expansion in Astoria, wrapping up the steel construction portion of the six-story building. NY1 filed a video report showing the beam signed by hospital staff and community leaders.

The $125,000,000 expansion will add 13,000 square feet to the hospital, a larger emergency department, new operating suites and other medical services. Check out a rendering for the new space after the jump. Construction on the addition is expected to wrap in 2016.

All Mount Sinai Queens coverage [Q'Stoner]

Screenshot via NY1


08/21/14 3:00pm

theater-rockawaysThe abandoned theater building on Beach 116th Street, in the Rockaways, is due for a makeover. Rockaway Times reports that it’ll be transformed into a comprehensive urgent care facility, retail shops and parking. Recent engineer reports show the building is structurally sound — it’s been empty for two decades — although a later addition to the theater will have to be reconfigured or replaced. Architectural drawings are expected in the next few months, and the project is estimated to cost between $6,000,000 to $8,000,0000. There isn’t much more information beyond that, and details of the building ownership are unclear. It’d be great to see this project come to light, although we predict some hurdles for this one along the way…

Urgent Care on Stage: Theater Might Get Treatment [Rockaway Times]

08/21/14 2:00pm


The other week, we snapped a photo of a commercial space under construction at 29-12 23rd Avenue, between 29th and 31st Streets in Astoria. It’s a work-in-progress by the owners of Sweet Afton, a popular Astoria bar. We Heart Astoria shares details that this bar outpost will be called The Bonnie. The space has been under construction for about three months and the owners hope to open later this year. We Heart Astoria gives the impression that the interior will be very much transformed — can’t wait to see the final product.

The Bonnie on 23rd Avenue Will Open Later This Year [We Heart Astoria] GMAP

08/21/14 1:00pm


After its frame was built in 1890 and its hand-carved horses and menagerie animals were added in 1903, the Forest Park Carousel has had a tremendous ride. It operated at Lakeview Park in Massachusetts from 1903 until 1971, sustaining severe damage in a 1966 fire. In 1973, the merry-go-round moved to Forest Park, where it dazzled riders with its intricate designs and sweet-sounding A. Ruth & Sohn band organ until closing in 2009. It re-opened in 2012 with a new operator, New York Carousel Entertainment, and was designated a New York City landmark a year later. Now this whirligig, which features 36 jumping horses, 13 standing horses, two chariots and three menagerie animals, is fighting a debilitating and deadly disease. This Friday, the Forest Park Carousel will host a fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association’s  New York City Chapter. For $10, visitors get unlimited carousel rides, Cido the Clown and face-painting or they can enjoy individual rides for $3. NY Carousel will donate 100 percent of proceeds from the rides to the nonprofit health organization. The event is the brainchild of Alzheimer’s Association volunteer Carol Lacks, who lives nearby and has fond childhood memories of riding the carousel.

Details and another photo after the jump. (more…)


This semi-detached, single-family home at 34-36 88th Street, in Jackson Heights, is asking $995,000. It hit the market this spring for $1,095,000 and looks like it entered contract after the price decreased. It was relisted earlier this month. The interior’s got good bones, with some detailing left like fireplaces and hardwood floors. There are other areas of the house giving off a 1970s suburban vibe — the mirrored wall in the living room, the outdated kitchen, the wood paneling. Looks like upgrading will be required. Do you think it’ll get ask?

34-36 88th Street [Century 21] GMAP

08/21/14 11:00am


A century ago, Queens was growing by leaps and bounds and exploding with brand new infrastructure, a spate of investment and building which was spurred on and started by the immense success of the 1909 Queensboro Bridge. The subways began to snake out from the great bridge in the 1920s, and expansions of the system continued right through the Depression era of the 1930s.

The IND Crosstown Line, which they called the GG back then (its was renamed the “G” in 1985), came to LIC’s 21st street/Van Alst, Court Square, and Queens Plaza stations on the 19th of August in 1933. Unfortunately, due to damage inflicted upon the tracks by Hurricane Sandy related flooding, there is no opportunity to visit these stations and tip a glass on their 81st birthday – currently – as MTA employees are working on repairing and upgrading the tracks, switches, signals and God knows what else there is down there. The Shuttle Bus just ain’t the same, I’m afraid, but it is appreciated.

Check out this Wikipedia page on the IND Crosstown, or the truly excellent nycsubway.org for more.


This is the Kosciuszko Bridge, which carries the Brooklyn Queens Expressway over my beloved Newtown Creek, and on Saturday she’ll be 75.


08/21/14 10:00am


Willets Point United announced that the judge who heard the case against the Willets Point development taking away public parkland has dismissed the lawsuit. Senator Tony Avella (long opposed to the development), City Club of New York, Queens Civic Congress and others went to court earlier this month, claiming that the mall, approved by the City Council near the end of Bloomberg’s last term, couldn’t be constructed without the approval of the State Legislature because it’s being built on 40+ acres of parkland. According to Willets Point United, the judge concluded “that the 1961 authorization to construct Shea Stadium also allows construction of the mega-mall on parkland.”

Here is the official statement from the attorney of the plaintiffs:

Plaintiffs believe that the decision misunderstands the common law doctrine that prohibits any nonpark use of parkland without the specific and explicit approval of the State Legislature. The State Legislature, when it passed the 1961 law permitting the construction of Shea Stadium, did not intend to allow construction of a shopping mall. That law did not allow the construction of anything except a stadium and related facilities on the site. Plaintiffs will appeal, and believe that this decision will be reversed on appeal.

Willets West Case Dismissed; Attorney Issues Official Statement [Willets Point United]
All Willets Point coverage [Q'Stoner]

08/21/14 9:00am

546 51st Avenue

This massive, beautiful multifamily townhouse at 5-46 51st Avenue just hit the market for a cool $8,000,000. (Nope, that’s no exaggeration — check out the listing right here.) It’s currently configured as an owner’s duplex with four bedrooms, and two floor-through units on the first and the top floor. It’ll be delivered to the buyer vacant. The duplex unit, with its sleek modern kitchen and historically detailed living room, is quite beautiful. It looks like the rental units aren’t as fancy, but nice nonetheless. There’s also a backyard garden.

LIC Talk notes that the current owner was born and raised in the townhouse. The blog says that the owner and his wife “feel that LIC has become more like Manhattan and lost the flavor of the good old days and charms that they know.” But if this pad sells for $8,000,000, they’ll be able to move to Manhattan anyway!

$8 Million Townhouse up for Sale in Hunters Point [LIC Talk] GMAP

08/21/14 8:30am


Former Brooklyn Borough President Coming to Rego Park [NY Daily News]
Ahead of U.S. Open, Queens Qualifies as the Place to Be [NY1]
Protestors Demand Better Housing for Pan American Homeless Shelter Residents [Queens Courier]
Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation to Preserve Jamaica Bay [Queens Courier]
Video: Drake Vs. Lil Wayne At Forest Hills Tennis Stadium [Gothamist]
Il Mulino Alumni Open High-End Italian Restaurant in LIC [LIC Post]
An Update on Tacuba Cantina Mexicana [We Heart Astoria]
44-35 and 44-51 Purves Street Hits Growth Spurt [Court Square Blog]

08/20/14 4:00pm


This Saturday, Transportation Alternatives and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer will be in Sunnyside to launch the first “Bike Friendly Business District” in Queens. What’s a bike friendly business district? Here’s what Transportation Alternatives has to say: “Sunnyside is home to numerous entrepreneurs who know that a network of bike lanes, bike parking and public bike share creates vibrant streets that boost local business. By offering special discounts to T.A.’s 12,000 members, Bike Friendly Business Districts become destinations for New Yorkers who believe in safer, more livable streets.”

There are a collection of more than 70 bike friendly businesses in Sunnyside advocating for bicycle and street safety. On Saturday, T.A. and Council Member Van Bramer will spotlight the local businesses with a leisurely bike tour around the neighborhood. It kicks off at 2 pm at the Bliss Street Plaza and lasts until 4 pm. Find more details here.

Photo via Sunnyside Shines