03/03/15 4:00pm


Congrats to our very own Q’Stoner writer Kevin Walsh, who also runs the website Forgotten New York. Last night the Guides Association of New York City held its first ever GANYC Apple Awards Ceremony and Forgotten New York won in the category of “Outstanding NYC Website.” Forgotten New York chronicles the little-known histories of different New York neighborhoods; Kevin also wrote a book specifically concerning Queens.

The win was no small feat, as Kevin was up against Gothamist, Jeremiah’s Vanishing NY and Scouting New York. To see what all the fuss is about, check out FNY right here.

Photo via the Greater Astoria Historical Society


Yesterday, the New York Landmarks Conservancy posted a video and more details about the lighting test held at the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The tests are part of a $5,806,000 restoration slated to upgrade the structure’s electrical system, rebuild the staircases inside the Pavilion’s three towers, and repair the concrete platforms supporting the observation decks at the top of each of the towers.

Here is the Conservancy talking about the lighting process, which was first posted on its Facebook page. You can see the awesome video of the light tests over on Facebook as well.

On Friday, February 27, Conservancy staffers Alex Herrera and Scott Leurquin, met with Barry Grodenchik of the Queens Borough President’s office, Brian Belluomini of Shimstone Lighting Design, and Matt Torres of Lumenpulse to test various exterior lighting techniques on the majestic New York State Pavilion observation towers.

The consultants experimented with various size LED floodlights placed around the site including from the roof of the adjacent Queens Theatre. The tests showed that the LED lights can do a great job of illuminating the concrete surfaces of the towers. We hope that the eventual illumination of the structures will draw attention to them and help raise interest for a restoration and reuse. The New York State Pavilion consists of three structures: the Queens Theatre, which has been restored; the huge tent structure and the triple observation towers that await restoration. The buildings were commissioned by Gov. Nelson Rockefeller and designed by Phillip Johnson for the 1964-1965 World’s Fair.

Let There Be Light at the New York State Pavilion [Q'Stoner]

03/03/15 2:00pm


The Rockaway Waterfront Alliance has released an ambitious park proposal under the elevated A tracks called Project Underway. Project Underway would span the length of the Rockaway Peninsula, ultimately transforming the space under the subway tracks into bike paths, footpaths, green space and public areas. The underpass is mostly underutilized and although much of the road is blocked off to traffic, motorist continue use the road making illegal turns on and off the road. According to the Alliance, there have been 278 vehicle crashes with 560 people involved along this stretch since 2011.

RWA is now working with the owners behind the Arverne By the Sea development (between Beach 62nd Street to Beach 67th Street) to build out this stretch as a temporary pilot project. The proposal here includes reducing storm water run off through green infrastructure landscaping, trash receptacles and different cultural programming. Project Underway includes two more phases to ultimately develop a plan with stakeholders and landowners to connect the entire stretch of underway from Mott Avenue to Beach 116th Street. The end goal, according to RWA, is to “connect both the east and west ends of the Peninsula and provide a safer and more equitable route that people of all ages can use to get to school, work or home.”

To see an outline of the proposal, check out the PDF.


You don’t have to be a geek to participate in the Panorama Challenge this Friday…but it sure helps! The world’s only geographical trivia-based game that involves the world’s largest architectural model is now in its eighth year at the Queens Museum. The contest will consist of audio clues and laser-pointers highlighting assorted NYC landmarks, bridges, neighborhoods, parks, etc. Each location will be pinpointed by a laser-wielding tour guide from Levys’ Unique New York. Teams of 10 contestants (more or less) will then try to identify each site. More information on following page.



This property at 24-33 82nd Street is listed in Jackson Heights, but it’s more like “LaGuardia’s Next Door Neighbor” out in East Elmhurst. Location aside, this two-family ranch home is cute from the outside. We are not at all crazy about those marble floors, but the first floor looks like it’s in decent shape. There’s a basement apartment with another kitchen that is worse for wear. All together you get three bedrooms and two bathrooms over both units, as well as an attached one-car garage. We think the ask of $599,000 is really pushing it, how about you?

24-33 82nd Street [Realty Executives Today] GMAP

03/03/15 11:00am


A lengthy gash of green known as the Kissena Corridor can be seen on Queens maps, running from Flushing Meadows-Corona Park at its western end all the way east to Cunningham Park at Francis Lewis Boulevard on the east. The Queens Botanical Garden between College Point Boulevard and Main Street forms its western end, while a narrow patch is slotted between Colden Street and 56th Avenue/56th Road, seen in the above photo on a recent February afternoon.

The gash “widens” into Kissena Park proper, which is divided into a “parklike” northern section and a more “natural” southern section, between Kissena Boulevard, Rose Avenue, Oak Avenue, Booth Memorial Avenue and 164th Street. East of that, the Kissena Corridor’s narrowest sector runs from Fresh Meadow lane to the Long Island Expressway, after several blocks’ interruption by the Kissena Golf Course between 164th and Fresh Meadow Lane.




Crain’s published an article highlighting the residents of the Astoria Houses — located right next door to both the Astoria Cove and Hallets Point mega developments — and their hope that these two projects will provide jobs. As the President of the Astoria Houses Residents Association (who approved both developments) told Crain’s, “The main issue [for us] is basically employment opportunities.”

In the public approval process for Hallets Point, there were no agreements made about jobs. Astoria Cove developers, however, set a goal to fill half the jobs with people in the local community district. Their goal is to hire local residents for 30 percent of the construction jobs, but a lengthy apprenticeship through the union is required before hiring. As Crain’s puts it: “That means that any resident hoping to join up and work on Astoria Cove will have to try to enter the unions through the usual channels, and thus will face competition from around the city for one of the coveted spots, which could be on one of many construction sites.”

There’s also doubt if Alma Realty is actually going to go through with developing Astoria Cove, or if they’d try to sell the development for a nice profit. In that case, their written agreements concerning hiring would not carry over to the buyer. Alma, however, is still planning to break ground this year.

Towers Are Coming to Astoria, Queens, But Will Jobs? [Crain's]
All Astoria Cove coverage [Q'Stoner]
All Hallets Point coverage [Q'Stoner]

03/03/15 9:00am


Something curious is going on at 62-76 – 62-88 Woodhaven Boulevard (the former Joe Abbracciamento site), where the Criterion Group kicked out six small businesses to build a seven-story, 120-unit residential development. A sale just hit public records that indicates that the site sold for $10.85 million to “62-98 Realty LLC,” a Flushing-based company. Criterion Group paid $9 million for the block-long site last year and it looks like they’ve gone and flipped it.

Over at the Department of Buildings, Criterion’s application to build the 117-unit building was disapproved. The DOB did approve an application from Criterion for demolition, although the agency did not issue permits yet to actually do it. (The building is still standing, with no permits issued to do any work on it whatsoever.) It’s unclear what kind of development the buyers of the site plan to move forward with.

All Criterion Group coverage [Q'Stoner] GMAP

03/03/15 8:30am


Assemblyman Goldfeder Hopes Bill Will Make Flood Insurance Affordable [NY1]
Public Transit Advocates Expand Coalition for Express Bus Service in Queens [Queens Courier]
Longtime Advocate for Hunters Point Parks Dies [DNAinfo]
De Blasio Defends Sunnyside Yards Redevelopment at St. Pat’s for All Parade [DNAinfo]
Russian Cafe Chain Inks Lease at Jamestown’s Falchi Building [TRD]
Astoria Characters: The Costume Designer [Why Leave Astoria?!]

03/02/15 4:00pm


We Heart Astoria is kicking off its annual “Best of” awards for 2015, and they are now seeking reader nominations. So head right this way to submit your nominations for favorite restaurant, brunch, bar, Greek, bakery, gym, burger, pizzeria, boutique and more. There are 20 categories in total. We Heart Astoria will keep the list open until Monday, March 9th.

The finalists will be announced on Friday, March 13th, and then there will be a celebration for the winner at the blog’s Best of Astoria 2015 Anniversary Bash.

Nominate the Best of Astoria 2015 [We Heart Astoria]