04/16/14 2:00pm


The future remains unclear for the Madelaine Chocolate Company, a Rockaways business that sustained $50,000,000 in damage after Hurricane Sandy. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company seeks $10,000,000 in federal Sandy recovery funds from the city to replace and repair machinery. City officials do not think they can grant the full amount, as there’s only about $42,000,000 in federal dollars for the Sandy loan and grant program. As the WSJ says, “The chocolate company has tested the limits of the city’s Sandy recovery programs, which were designed to help much smaller businesses, and its plight has raised hard questions about how New York should distribute the rebuilding dollars.”

Madelaine’s declined emergency fund money from the city — a $25,000 emergency loan, $10,000 grant and an emergency sales-tax deferment — due to a long application process. The business has, however, secured a $12,900,000 low-interest loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration as well as $3,000,000 from a flood insurance settlement. They also applied for a $1,000,000 loan from the city, despite seeking the full $10,000,000. Back in February, Madelaine’s put its 200,000-square-foot factory up for sale. The company is considering relocating outside New York, despite hopes to remain in the Rockaways. Madelaine’s has been in the neighborhood since 1967.

Madelaine Chocolate Co. Seeks Cash to Stay in Rockaways [WSJ]
Madelaine Chocolate Company Factory is up for Sale in the Rockaways [Q'Stoner]

Photo via Facebook

04/16/14 1:00pm

Joseph McElligott

Queens people never get tired of diversity. This Saturday, the New York Irish Center will host A Celebratory Feast of Irish and World Culture, a night that will include everything from poetry to string music to acting by a former boxer. The performers are part of Artists Without Walls, a troupe dedicated to uniting creative types from all genres to inspire each other…and then inspire their audiences. Co-founder Niamh Hyland (below), a singer/songwriter from the Emerald Isle, headlines the show with classical violinist Annette Homann, Nigerian spoken word artist Koro Koroye (above), TV and film actor Jack O’Connell, singer/songwriter Michael Brunnock and champion boxer-turned-actor John Duddy.

Details: Artists Without Walls: A Celebratory Feast of Irish and World Culture, New York Irish Center, 10-40 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, April 26th, 7:30 pm, cocktail hour before performances, $22/$11 for seniors, students and the unemployed.


Top photo: Joseph McElligott; bottom photo: Artists Without Walls

04/16/14 12:30pm

Creativity is the theme this week, as the world’s most diverse county hosts scientific experiments and sculpture, kite-making, egg-coloring and Earth Day-related crafts events. The chance to explore the NYS Pavilion, live music and the opening of an exhibit on Nazi, anti-Jewish street signs are also on tap. Here’s the rundown — broken down into arts, music, educational, kids and World’s Fair events.


04/16/14 12:00pm

50-43 39th Pllace-LOTD

This home in Sunnyside, at 50-43 39th Place, is pretty darn cute. It’s a brick two family with five bedrooms, two garages, a yard and a finished basement. The interior is still showing off some nice interior details, and in general looks very well maintained. Our only complaint? That tiny kitchen! But we do love the modest front porch. The asking price comes in at $859,888. What say you?

50-43 39th Place [Coldwell Banker Phillips] GMAP

04/16/14 11:30am


Thanks to the Jackson Heights Journal Twitter for pointing out the above picture inside the Arepa Lady’s new 300-square-foot restaurant under construction in Jackson Heights. The location in question is 77-02AA Roosevelt Avenue, between 77th and 78th Streets.

According to the Arepa Lady herself — also known as Maria Cano — the hope is to open the spot by the end of this month! She will serve an expanded menu of her food truck offerings, with new meat and vegetable toppings for the arepas. The food truck will be out on the corner of Roosevelt Avenue and 79th Street this Friday.

Arepa Lady Will Open Brick and Mortar Restaurant in Jackson Heights [Q'Stoner]

04/16/14 11:00am

QB in construction, 1907, muni archives via nycroads.com 1

“Slow down, you’re moving too fast. Got to make the morning last…” I was in high school when Queens’ own Simon and Garfunkel sang those lines. I lived upstate, and didn’t even know where the 59th Street Bridge was, except that it was in New York City. I loved Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, and being a rather solitary and over-thinking teenager, I vicariously loved the New York City they sang about, a place filled with poets speaking truth about deep things, and musical adventures. When I moved to New York City after college, I remember seeing the 59th St. Bridge and remembering the song. Well, NYC was not filled with poets and Simon and Garfunkel parted ways, but the bridge remains. And it’s a pretty great bridge, too.

By the beginning of the 20th century, it was very apparent that more than one bridge was necessary between Manhattan and Long Island. Greater New York City was a reality now, and the boroughs were now part of a greater whole, not just independent cities and towns. The Brooklyn Bridge, at that point still less than 20 years old, was packed with traffic, pedestrians, trolleys and a train. Plans were in the works, and construction had begun on the Williamsburg Bridge, but a span over the East River between Manhattan and Queens needed to happen, as well.

Astoria and Long Island City were very busy industrial areas, with important rail and road lines bringing in goods from factories and warehouses in those neighborhoods, as well as other parts of Queens and Long Island, and even Brooklyn. Float bridges which carried train cars across the river on barges with tracks were in use, as were ferries, barges and tugs, but a bridge which like the Brooklyn Bridge, could carry trains as well as vehicles, would be a boon to both boroughs. Plans for a bridge began in 1901. (more…)

04/16/14 10:00am


One LIC rental development hits the market (see our article below) while another fills up. Gantry Park Landing, the 199-unit rental located at 50-01 Second Street, is now totally spoken for. The building started leasing back in May; it was 60 percent full by September. Prices for the studios, one-, two- and three-bedrooms ranged from $2,050 to $4,810 a month. And according to a press release, the 13,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space was leased by a gourmet food store, an urgent medical care facility, and a store selling coffee, teas and wine. You can see our tour of the apartments and amenity spaces right here.

All Gantry Park Landing coverage [Q'Stoner] GMAP

04/16/14 9:00am

No 3 at Packard Sq Living Room

No. 3 at Packard Square, a 12-story tower in the Packard Square development area, is now leasing 88 luxury rental units for immediate occupancy. As the name suggests, this is the third development to come after Packard Square and Packard Square North; the fourth building (Packard Square West) is now under construction. No. 3 is located at 41-21 24th Street, just off Queens Plaza North.

Citi Habitats is leasing the units. They’ve priced studio, alcove studio, one and two bedroom apartments at $1,775, $2,125, $2,525 and $3,300 a month, with no fee. Building amenities include a rooftop lounge and deck, a fitness center, 24/7 doorman and concierge, a laundry room, and storage and on-site parking for a fee. Here’s a bit on the interiors, from the brokers:

Residences at No. 3 at Packard Square feature premium finishes and spacious, well-designed floor plans. Dramatic 9’ high ceilings and white oak plank flooring can be found in all units. Kitchens come complete with stainless steel appliances, sleek custom cabinetry and Caesarstone countertops. The homes’ private glass balconies or patios (on first-floor units), make great places to unwind.

Check out photos of the bedroom and kitchen spaces, as well as the resident’s lounge, after the jump. GMAP


04/15/14 4:00pm


Socrates Sculpture Park is preparing for its spring exhibition, which will open on May 11th. Last week they broke ground on the largest installation in the park’s 28-year history — according to Socrates, it’s “a 250-foot-long, thirteen-foot-high kinetic pathway composed of 200 stainless steel, mirrored poles connecting energetic slopes of silver Mylar ribbon overhead.” The work, titled Scarecrow, is by the LIC-based, Lithuanian-born artist Zilvinas Kempinas. This is the artist’s first outdoor installation in the United States. You can read more details about the sculpture here, and also see photos of the installation process happening now at the park at the Socrates Facebook page. Also beginning in May, the park will provide a free weekend shuttle service to and from nearby cultural attractions.