09/30/14 4:00pm

queens-a-culinary-passport Andrea Lynn’s book “Queens: A Culinary Passport: Exploring Ethnic Cuisine in New York City’s Most Diverse Borough” was just released today — all interested Queens foodies can pick it up on Amazon. The book is a guide to more than 40 borough restaurants and food carts; it also includes chef profiles and favorite recipes. Here’s more from the summary: “Also included are highlights of not-to-be-missed hidden spots, like ethnic grocery stores stocked with Greek essentials, fish markets that boast of visitors like chef Lidia Bastianich, and delis that turn out freshly made mozzarella and sopressata.”

The book details subway directions and offers walking tours of each neighborhood for those who aren’t familiar with certain areas of Queens. The author, who also works as a freelance food writer and recipe developer, lives in Astoria.


The war against the proposed Glendale homeless shelter rages on. Today, the Daily News shares the report that a coalition of civic groups raised more than $25,000 and hired a lawyer to begin a legal battle against the city. The coalition has met every week since August and since then, donations from nearby residents, business owners and civic members “poured in,” according to the News. Opponents believe the former factory is not the appropriate site for a homeless shelter, and they claim the city’s environmental review of the site wasn’t thorough. As for the Department of Homeless Services, they have found themselves pressed to find housing for the growing number of homeless New Yorkers.

The coalition is holding a public meeting this Wednesday to discuss their strategy for taking on the city. It’s at Christ the King High School in Middle Village at 7:30 pm.

Opponents of Glendale Homeless Shelter Plan Raise $25,000 for Legal Battle [Daily News]

Photo by Jeff Stone

09/30/14 2:00pm

elmhurst-restaurant-rowThe restaurants at Elmhurst’s new “Restaurant Row,” a formerly vacant lot next door to the Queens Center Mall, plan to open in October. DNAinfo writes that an Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse and Joe’s Crab Shack are all hiring workers, then the Olive Garden is scheduled to open October 27th and the Longhorn Steakhouse will open October 11th. There’s no set date for Joe’s Crab Shack yet.

The Mattone Group started construction on the new development earlier this year. (Their original plans called for a movie theater here, but it fell through.) The “restaurant row” plans caused controversy with local pols, who believed the developers weren’t upfront about the development to the community. There was also concern about increased traffic in the area.

Eateries in Elmhurst’s New ‘Restaurant Row’ Begin Hiring [DNAinfo]
Restaurant Row Proposal for Vacant Elmhurst Lot Sparks Controversy [Q'Stoner]

Photo by Katie Honan for DNAinfo

09/30/14 1:00pm


The Museum of the Moving Image is showing its bookish side. Next week, the Kaufman Arts District venue will host two events featuring prolific authors. On Sunday, Robert E. Kapsis, a professor of sociology and film studies at Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, will speak before a screening of The Jerk, which stars Steve Martin (above). Kapsis, who has penned books on Alfred Hitchcock and Woody Allen, has just published Conversations with Steve Martin (University Press of Mississippi, 2014), a collection of interviews and profiles that focus on Martin as a writer, comedian, actor, artist, and original thinker. After the film, which is an expanded version of one of Martin’s comedy routines about a nitwit who grows up as “a poor black child” and decides to become white, Kapsis will sign copies of his book.

More information on this event and a discussion with a best-selling feminist author after the jump.


09/30/14 12:30pm


The Spot: Oliver’s Astoria, 37-19 Broadway, Astoria.

The Deal: Over the last year, the site of a former French restaurant on Broadway in Astoria has become the bustling craft beer gastropub. A main focus of Oliver’s Astoria has been making the restaurant a friendly neighborhood location, through its décor, events and provisioning.

On a warm Friday afternoon, the windows and doors are thrown open so the inside restaurant blends into the outdoor café, and plenty of patrons are idling over a late lunch and one of the rotating tap beers.

Oliver’s has a one-and-done keg policy that keeps the selection fresh and new. Although co-founder and general manager Rob Williamson says that it is more work than a typical bar, it’s helpful for bringing in special brewery guests and appealing to beer fans. The next guest brewery will be Dogfish Head on Thursday, October 9th.

“I’ve worked in beer bars forever,” he says. “The spectrum of beer is fantastic. Not all of them are winners but when they hit, they hit.”

To further the local vibe, Williamson says the restaurant works with local businesses to meet the menu needs. They purchase from the butcher and baker on the block.

“It’s always easier to shop in your backyard,” he says.

Oliver’s continues to expand its offerings and events, from Monday night trivia to brunch with $3 cocktails. The brunch menu has recently expanded to weekdays to accommodate Astoria’s large population of restaurant industry employees.

Read about Oliver’s Signature Dish after the jump… (more…)


This three bedroom/three bathroom condo at The Arris Lofts just hit the market with a very bold asking price: $3,200,000. It’s a fancy shmancy unit with huge windows and a sprawling 2,339 square feet. What’s more, there are three (three!) outdoor spaces — two private terraces totaling 2,600 square feet, and a balcony off the master bedroom. The windows and walls are completely sound proofed, making it, as the listing says, “a true sanctuary” in LIC. The big question remains: what do you think a unit like this could realistically sell for?

27-28 Thomson Avenue [Modern Spaces] GMAP

09/30/14 11:00am

Hillside Avenue runs nearly continuously in a fast and furious pace from Myrtle Avenue in Richmond Hill to Jericho Turnpike in central Nassau County. One of the rather more obscure landmarks found along one of the road’s rare curves was, in fact, moved to its present position to facilitate Hillside Avenue’s very fast-and-furious-ness.


When the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Monument, sculpted in 1896 by Frederick Wellington Ruckstuhl (among whose other works are the statue of Minerva in Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery) was unveiled, it was in a traffic island smack in the center of Hillside Avenue at the intersection of Merrick Boulevard. Postcards from the early 20th century show a rural-tree-lined boulevard with the triumphant “Victory” raising her wreath and torch. As the century wore on, though, urbanization came to central and eastern Queens, and Hillside Avenue’s carriage-road aspect became ever more motorized and traffic-choked, and by the 1950s, Victory was holding up ‘progress.’

In 1960, she was moved off to the side of the road, to a crescent-shaped park defined by Hillside Avenue, 173rd Street and Warwick Crescent named for World War I casualty Major John W. Mark. The park also features a red-colored minimalist shaft, a 1973 work by artist Roger Balomey “not” titled as Untitled #1. Thus, there are two sculptures in Major Mark Park, neither of which is of Major Mark.


09/30/14 10:00am


Yesterday, Council Member Daniel Dromm announced the implementation of the Jackson Heights Slow Zone. Bordered by 34th Avenue, Broadway, Roosevelt Avenue and 87th Street, the area will now have a 20 mph speed limit, 26 new speed bumps and 23 neighborhood slow zone gateways, which are high-visibility blue signs announcing the speed limit. According to the Queens Courier, “The area was selected based on the transportation agency’s evaluation on crash history, traffic fatalities, community support, and the closeness of schools and senior and day care centers.” (There are six schools, two daycare and pre-K centers and a senior center nearby.)

The Community Board approved the Department of Transportation’s slow zone proposal this summer. After the jump, see a picture of Council Member Dromm making the announcement with Queens Borough Commissioner Dalila Hall.

Slow Zone Arrives in Jackson Heights [Queens Courier]
Community Board Three Supports Streetscape Improvements in Jackson Heights [Q'Stoner]


09/30/14 9:00am


Long Island City, it’s time to welcome one more tower to the neighborhood. New York YIMBY spotted permits at 27-21 44th Drive, in Court Square, for a 26-story, 145,000-square-foot residential building. Silvercup Studios — also gearing up to bring the Silvercup West mega development back to life — is developing this site. Silvercup purchased the land, which includes three adjoining lots, for $21,085,841 — it was asking $23,500,000.

The architect of record is GF55 Partners, who have done lots of work in the neighborhood. No rendering yet, but here are more details from YIMBY: “The building will have a 6,780-square foot commercial component on the ground floor, and 105,562 square feet of net residential space will occupy the rest of the structure, divided among 115 apartments. That translates into an average unit size of just under 1,000 square feet.”

26-Story Building Coming to Court Square [New York YIMBY]
Court Square Development Site Up for Sale, Residential Build Possible [Q'Stoner] GMAP

Photo via Google Maps

09/30/14 8:30am


Mayor’s Office Hails Controversial Queens Development Astoria Cove [NY Daily News]
Volunteers Work to Ensure a Pristine Queens Shoreline [NY1]
Douglaston Plaza Opens Near LIRR Station [Queens Courier]
Borough Rental Prices on the Rise [The Forum]
Co-owner of The Baroness Bar Opens Performance Center in Dutch Kills [LIC Post]
At a Space in Queens, Avant-Music Plus Community [Hyperallergic]
A Plywood Fence Surrounds Most of Former 5Pointz Building [Court Square Blog]