03/27/15 4:00pm

sunnyside-plaza

Both the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District and ReCreate Queens just launched a crowdfunding campaign to bring cultural programming to Sunnyside’s Bliss Plaza this summer. The plaza, which opened up last year, is located right under the 7 at Queens Boulevard and 46th Street. The goal of the campaign is to raise just over $5,000 by mid-April to kick off the performance series “Third Thursdays in Bliss Plaza.” The performance, planned to run between June and October, will provide residents with free concerts from different musicians and performers.

The performance series got its initial funding from Queens Council on the Arts, but additional funding is needed to carry the program through the summer. According to the Sunnyside BID, the first $1,000 of donations will be matched by the Neighborhood Plaza Partnership. As Rachel Thieme, executive director of Sunnyside Shines, says, “Bringing arts programming to Bliss Plaza helps create a more dynamic place and generates foot traffic and activity in the neighborhood, which benefits businesses, residents and visitors alike.”

If you’d like to donate, do so here.

Photo by Michael Rapp

03/27/15 3:00pm

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We love tracking the sales of Forest Hills Gardens homes, and typically we see properties spend a few months on the market before selling just under ask. This attached, fieldstone townhouse at 34 Continental Avenue is definitely the exception. The property lasted one week on the market and sold over its ask of $1,685,000 for $1,750,000, according to Terrace Sotheby’s. The home, built in 1910, has 2,714 square feet and four bedrooms. According to the listing, there’s a “large windowed entry solarium and lots of light, French doors opening to spacious living room with hardwood floors, wood burning fireplace and built in bar. Custom designed kitchen with eat-in area and door to private rear patio.”

The interior is very lovely indeed. You can see photos after the jump. (more…)

03/27/15 1:00pm

RazberryPhotography

Bacon…beer…baseball…be there! After taking rookie-of-the-year honors in 2014, the second annual Bacon and Beer Classic returns to Citi Field on April 25. Part of a traveling show hosted at Major League stadiums across the country (when the home team is away, of course), this Flushing feast will feature bacon-infused products from about 50 local restaurants and suds from local breweries, along with interactive games, cooking demos, and music. More details and a photo demonstrating the beauty of beer are on the jump page.

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03/27/15 11:00am

Named for an 18th century family who owned property in eastern Queens and not the credited inventor of the telephone, Bell Boulevard has developed over 150 years from a dirt trace to harboring some of eastern Queens’ more entertaining samples of eclectic architecture.

From the NYC Landmarks Designation Report:

“Until the last decades of the nineteenth century, Bayside was primarily farmland. The property on which the house stands was acquired by Abraham Bell in 1824. A shipping and commission merchant operating in lower Manhattan, his firm, Abraham Bell and Company was involved in the cotton trade and in transporting immigrants from Ireland during the potato famine of the 1840s.

“His son, Abraham Bell 2nd, became head of the firm around 1835 and the company changed its name to Abraham Bell and Son in 1844. The Bells had homes in several locations: Bayside, Yonkers (where Bell Brothers operated a money-lending business) and in Narragansett Pier, Rhode Island.

“The Bell property covered approximately 246 acres and  extended from near the site of the current Bayside station of the Long Island Railroad at 41st  Avenue to Crocheron Avenue (35th  Avenue) and from Little Neck Bay to 204th Street. An unpaved lane, known as Bell Avenue (now Bell Boulevard) bisected the farm.The east section, closer to Little Neck Bay, was called the lower farm, and the west section, the upper farm. Near the center of the property, along Bell Avenue, the Bells built a house in 1842. It is likely that it was occupied by Thomas C. Bell and Eliza (Jackson) Bell, who married in 1840. The house was demolished in 1971.”

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03/27/15 10:00am

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A group of Astoria residents are hoping to transform some unused land right next to the Elmjack Little League Field — which is located near the Riker’s Island Bridge — into a community growing space. According to the land use organization 596 Acres, the Elmjack Little League has had a license to use this city-owned space since the 1960s. The group of residents plan to send a letter proposing the community space to the League’s board.

If you know anyone that participates in the League, or if you’d like to help in securing this space for the Astoria community, reach out to Val at valentinmos@aol.com or 347-327-8894.

Photo via Google Maps

03/27/15 9:00am

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Community Board 7 has approved changes for the RKO Keith’s Theater redevelopment plan, according to Queens Chronicle. The plan includes, according to the Chronicle, “269 condominiums rather than rentals, a 15-foot height increase of the building to better accommodate mechanical equipment inside and 323 parking spots created with vertical carousels and stackers, as well as a redesign of the facade.” (The original design is rendered above.) The new facade includes glass with an angled skylight above the entrance, so people will be able to look in at the landmarked ticket lobby and grand foyer.

Plans for the project will move to the Board of Standards and Appeals this summer, then construction is expected to last 30 to 36 months. Once on the market, condo prices will start at $400K and go all the way up to $2 million. The finished development will also include retail space and a senior center.

To see the entirely wrecked state of the theater now, go here.

New Plan for Keith’s Approved by CB 7 [Queens Chronicle]
All RKO Keith’s coverage [Q'Stoner]

03/27/15 8:30am

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Three Queens Library Branches in Running for $20k Cash Prize [NY1]
Willets Point Auto Shop Owners Settle Suit with City, Moving to Bronx [Queens Courier]
Western Queens Preps for Participatory Voting [Queens Chronicle]
Board Member Demands CB9 Chairman Resign Immediately [The Forum]
Mets Drastically Cut Security at Citi Field Despite Concerns, Records Show [DNAinfp]
WiFi to Come to Hunters Point Park Before Summer [LIC Post]
Permits Filed: 34-11 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway [New York YIMBY]
Construction at 23-10 Jackson Avenue Moving Along [The Court Square Blog]
A Look Inside the Woodhaven Volunteer Ambulance Corps Building [Queens Crap]

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This Saturday, Forgotten New York author and Q’Stoner writer Kevin Walsh is hosting a walking tour of the great Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Similar tours in previous years attracted over 100 participants. This three-hour tour will look at the relics left over from the 1964-65 World’s Fair, including a few from the 1939-1940 Fair. It begins on the boardwalk just south of Mets-Willets Point 7 train station. (Be sure to check out the many subway advisories before you travel.)

The ticket cost is $20, or $15 for Greater Astoria Historical Society members. Find all the details over at Forgotten New York.

03/26/15 2:00pm

rockaway-taco

The very popular hipster destination Rockaway Taco is closing, reports Rockaway Times. Andrew Field, the man behind the taco joint, plans to open his own outpost, dubbed Tacoway Beach, on May 1st. The new location is at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club, where there will be an outdoor area to sit. The taco menu seems like it’ll be more or less the same, with alcoholic beverages added.

As for Rockaway Taco, Andrew Field’s former partner, David Selig, plans to build a “mobile shack” to take cross country. And according to the Times, “He also says Rockaway Taco will be back for the summer of 2016 (though where and in what form remains to be seen).”

Rockaway Taco Closing — Tacoway Beach Coming [Rockaway Times]

Photo by The Food Ledger