A reader passed along a sweet story of kids transforming a basement laundry room in Jackson Heights. It’s called the Community Art Gallery and it’s located in Hampton Court. Arlene Wipfler and Sarah Muir put out a call to young artists in the coop (which is made up of 11 buildings of 15 apartments each) and the opening was held last week. Over 20 young artists, ranging in age from 8 months to 10 years, participated and saw their work professionally hung in the laundry room of one of the buildings. Work ranged from textile work that used fabric remnants and weaving, to 3D art, to an 8-month-old’s finger paints.
The city’s Industrial Development Agency voted 12-1 with one abstention to approve $42,600,000 of property-tax abatements and mortgage-recording-tax exemptions for Willets Point, reports Crain’s. The City Council approved development plans this fall; the city’s $1 sale of 23 acres to Queens Development Group became official last month. All these tax breaks, unsurpsingly, sparked controversy given the $1 sale to developers. State Senator Tony Avella, who has long opposed the development plans, stated that “This whole thing has been a disaster from beginning to end. How do you justify [giving] tens of millions of taxpayer money when you’re selling the property to the developers for a dollar?” As Crain’s points out, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio plans to cut $2 to $3 billion in city-approved tax breaks per year.
DNAinfo reports that Trade Fair unexpectadly closed up shop at 75-07 37th Avenue, between 75th and 76th Streets in Jackson Heights. We knew that Key Food bought this particular grocery store but it was unclear when the businesses would change over. Employees showed up for work yesterday with no warning that it would be closed, by the end of the day the “Trade Fair” sign was gone. Here’s a report from Jackson Heights Life on Tuesday: “Today, the store was closed. A bunch of employees were standing in front of the building, saying the store was, in fact sold and they were told that ‘they were not needed anymore.’ That doesn’t sound good.”
A tree grows in Brooklyn, but Green Space sprouts in Queens. With its ever-changing roster of choreographers and post-performance, wine-and-cheese discussions, the Long Island City dance studio’s periodical Fertile Ground showcases have become prized spots for emerging and established artists. Some of these performers also participate in Take Root, a monthly curated series providing dancers with opportunities to show a full (or half) evening of work paired with another performer. This Friday and Saturday, Green Space’s Take Root will feature a diverse, dynamic evening with the Isis Movement Company. This Manhattan-based troupe of classically trained modern dancers will premiere Universalis, a piece inspired by the complexities and varied elements of the solar system. The next day, a Fertile Ground session will include EstadoFlotante/Collaborative, Hazel Lever, Pareena Lim and Susie Thiel.
Details: Take Root: Isis Movement Company, Green Space, 37-24 24th Street, Long Island City, December 13th and December 14th, 8 pm, $15; and Fertile Ground, Green Space, December 15th, 7 pm, $10. (more…)
’Tis the season to be jolly…and enjoy countless holiday concerts by local orchestras. There are also opportunities to take in art, watch African and classic films, check out experimental dance and laugh for a good cause. After the jump, we break down all your Queens events into dedicated sections for food, arts, music, education, and the holidays. Would you like to include your event in our weekly “It’s In Queens!” post? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s a two-family up for sale in Ridgewood, at 60-27 68th Road. The listing photos are just terrible but they do reveal some promising details. The home, however, will need serious renovations. It is asking $759,900, think that’s a fair price?
When we think movies and movie stars today, we generally think Hollywood. But in the earliest days of motion pictures, the stars and the movie theaters were here in New York City. After all, New York was home to some of the greatest entertainers and culture in the world. We had Broadway and the great dramas, comedies and musicals, the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, and all of the smaller houses and concert halls, countless vaudeville and variety acts, and performers from every form of entertainment one could possible imagine – the great, the average, and the really awful. This, not some city in California, was the entertainment capital of the world.
One of the biggest names in the new 20th century film industry began in a furrier’s shop in the fur district of New York City. A Hungarian-born Jewish immigrant named Adolph Zuker, working as a sucessful furrier, invested in a penny arcade theater on 14th Street. Zuker had been absolutely smitten with motion pictures since he had seen his first penny show in 1901, perhaps ten years after the motion picture had been invented. It was now two years later, and he had the capital to invest in his dream. His penny arcade showed short little movies, which we call nickelodeons, which just showed moving images; there were no real plots, no stars yet. But people loved it.
Before long, his “Automatic Vaudeville Company” had branches in Philadelphia, Boston and Newark. He got financial backing from another furrier named Marcus Loew, another lover of this new form of entertainment. Marcus Loew became the president of Loew’s Inc, which would one day become the parent company of Metro-Goldwyn Mayer. Zuker became president of Loew’s Enterprises, and they invested in fur shops, bakeries and grocery stores in neighborhoods and cities with large immigrant populations, and they turned those buildings into movie exhibition halls, where their short movies with no sound and no language could be understood by anyone. They cleaned up. (more…)
It’s no secret that there’s a growing momentum in Queens for safer street initiatives, and a march for a safer Queens Boulevard is coming this weekend. Transportation Alternatives is hosting the “Winter Wander” Rally and Walk along the so-called “Boulevard of Death” on Saturday, December 14th, from 1 pm to 3:30 pm. The event begins in Elmhurst at the New Life Fellowship Church, 8210 Queens Boulevard, with a community discussion about Transportation Alternative’s Zero on Queens Boulevard Campaign. The campaign advocates for pedestrian safety improvements along the corridor, including bike infrastructure and dedicated lanes for Select Bus Service. The
Winter Wander continues with a group walk along the Boulevard toward Forest Hills, as local street safety advocates discuss the history of the roadway and the dangers faced by all those who use it. RSVP for the event right here.
Meanwhile, Senator Gianaris released a statement yesterday in regards to a fatal car crash that happened at the base of the Queensboro Bridge. He is asking that the Department of Transportation improve safety in the area after the DOT did not follow through on his requests for a redesign of the exit ramp. The DOT only added additional signage and minimal barriers to the area. One of those barrier was meant to protect the storefront hit in this crash at 25-06 Queens Plaza South, but it was destroyed in a crash in 2011 and remained vacant ever since. Here is Senator Gianaris’ quote on the matter: “How many more people have to die before the DOT understands that the Queensboro Bridge exit ramp must be redesigned? The city has known that this area is in dire need of traffic safety improvements for years, and the DOT has simply not done enough. I renew my call for a complete redesign of the bridge off-ramp, and implore the city to take swift action before another tragedy occurs.”
The 12-story, 100-room hotel at 39-16 College Point Boulevard — we checked it out last week — has a name and a website! It’ll be called the Parc Hotel and it’s expected to open in February of 2014. (You can keep track of the construction progress on the Parc Hotel Facebook page.) A teaser says this about the coming development: “Ultra-modern design and striking features throughout the public space and guest rooms, combined with strong attention to detail and customer service brings a level of affluence to the downtown Flushing area.” The hotel will have floor to ceiling windows, valet parking, complimentary breakfast and a rooftop bar. Check out lots of renderings after the jump…