Q’Stoner readers, we are taking off early for the Labor Day weekend. We’ll be back to our regular scheduled programming on the morning of Tuesday, September 2nd. Enjoy the holiday! And don’t forget to follow Brownstoner Queens on Facebook and Twitter.
On September 17th, 1787, the U.S. Constitution was signed by a majority of delegates at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. One framer, Rufus King, had traveled to the Pennsylvania event from his family farm in Jamaica, Queens. The statesman’s career was only beginning at the time, and he went on to serve four terms as a U.S. Senator and seven years as an ambassador to Great Britain while also building a reputation as an ardent opponent of slavery. On September 17th of this year, the King Manor Museum, which is located on the grounds where Rufus once lived, will host a naturalization ceremony to welcome roughly 75 new citizens to their new country. These immigrants will take their oath in the shadow of a Founding Father’s home and swear to support the U.S. Constitution on the 227th anniversary of its signing. During a ceremony conducted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the new Americans will listen to the National Anthem, watch a color guard present Old Glory, and then proceed into King Manor to sign their names to a replica of the U.S. Constitution and take photos next to a life-size statue of Rufus King.
Details: Citizenship Day 2014, King Manor Museum, King Park, 150-03 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica, free, BY INVITATION ONLY, contact Kathy Forrestal at Education@kingmanor.org.
In 1931, workers excavated the north side of Northern Boulevard just west of Little Neck Parkway. The boulevard, formerly known as Broadway and also as the Flushing and North Hempstead Turnpike, was being widened to its present condition as the Automobile Age was in full flower. However, a cemetery containing remains of Matinecoc Indian families, longstanding in this region of Queens, was in the way.
The Matinecoc Indians, a branch of the Algonquin group, had occupied the lands of eastern Queens for centuries before Europeans arrived. While the Matinecoc tribes gradually sold off their holdings to the Dutch and British in other parts of Long Island, giving the lands a peaceful transfer, Thomas Hicks (of the Hicks family that settled Hicksville) forcibly evicted the Matinecocks in Little Neck. Decades after Hicks, and well after American independence, some Matinecoc remained. Members of the Waters family, prominent among the tribe, still live in homes along Little Neck Parkway north of Northern Boulevard.
Brokerage firm aptsandlofts.com released a teaser site for LIC’s under-construction mega development, QLIC. The website doesn’t offer much, just a submission form to express your interest in the building. The tower won’t be ready for occupancy until early 2015, so they’re really jumping the gun.
QLIC will rise 21 stories and hold 421 rental units. The teaser site shows someone enjoying a dip in the pool — indeed, the development will have 5,000 square feet of amenities, including a rooftop outdoor pool, a landscaped deck, a fitness center, private gardens, indoor parking and bike room. Construction has been moving along for about a year now; check out renderings of the finished product here.
The brokerage firm MNS released Queens rental reports for the months of June and July — the firm even debuted a video series that highlights current rental trends in the borough.
Rent prices in Queens increased by approximately 1.76 percent from $2,077 in June 2014 to $2,113 in July 2014. But listing inventory decreased a whopping 48 percent this past July compared to June. According to MNS, “When considering the activity for this month it is important to note that all neighborhoods (except for Long Island City and Astoria) had less than 50 units on the market at the time of this analysis, a relatively low sample size.” Rego Park, in particular, saw an influx of moderately priced vacant units despite lower levels in other neighborhoods. MNS also expects moderate up and down fluctuations taking place in the near future, with a long-term projection of prices increasing steadily.
The priciest rents of the summer were in LIC (no surprise there) — average rents ranged from $2,410 to $3,908 per month. From June to July, Astoria saw the highest rise in overall average rents throughout Queens — 7.41 percent. And although listing inventory was very low in Ridgewood this summer, the monthly average overall rent increased 2.31 percent. You’ll still find some of the cheapest rentals in Ridgewood (with two-beds asking an average of $2,183), as well as Flushing (where studios averaged at $1,250). Jackson Heights saw a 21.21 percent monthly increase in average rent for studios, causing the overall average rent to rise by approximately $50.
After the jump, check out graphics for the most expensive and least expensive neighborhoods in the borough, as well as a breakdown of studio and two-bedroom apartment rental prices… (more…)
Earlier this afternoon, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer held a press release with George McDonald, Founder and President of the Doe Fund, Dominic Stiller, President of the Dutch Kills Civic Association, reps from Community Board 1 and local residents to announce expanded street cleaning initiatives in Dutch Kills. Council Member Van Bramer works with the Doe Fund, who employs formerly incarcerated individuals, to help with street cleaning in neighborhoods like Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside. He announced the expansion to Dutch Kills earlier this summer, but work didn’t kick off until today.
Employees of the Doe Fund will now be cleaning 5th Street between 46th and 51st avenues three times a week. Van Bramer allocated $33,000 for the work.
New York YIMBY has been scouring around Flushing and picked up a few photos of new, unveiled developments. First off, there’s 132-15 41st Avenue, pictured left. It’s known as the Shangri-La Tower, and it’s six stories with 23 condo units. There’s also 7,245 square feet to be used as a medical office. The building designer is Architects Studio and as YIMBY points out, the design is indistinguishable from just about everything going up in Williamsburg.
To the right, you’ve got 41-42 College Point Boulevard. It’s also a condo development, with one bedrooms priced in the high $400,000s, and two-bedroom/two-bathroom units priced from the mid-$500,000s to mid-$600,000s. The bottom two floors will house retail and medical office space. As for the facade design, we’ll pass.
Kripalu Yoga integrates postures, breathing techniques, relaxation, and meditation in an interplay of mind, body, and energy. An outdoor, waterfront space filled with nature and art is the perfect place to practice this system of Hatha Yoga.
Tai Chi integrates slow body movement, fist-clenching, and internal concentration to improve balance, strength, and general psychological health. This Chinese martial art traces its origins to Taoist and Buddhist monasteries, and it, too, is best when practiced outdoors.
Free classes on both disciplines are being offered on weekends until October as part of Socrates Sculpture Park‘s healthy living initiative, which includes boating and a Saturday greenmarket.
Monique Schubert – a trained visual artist, certified Kripalu Yoga teacher, and eclectic educator — teaches the Kripalu Yoga with the uber-experienced Yojaida Estrella on Saturdays. Meanwhile, certified instructors from the Taoist Tai Chi Society of the USA lead the Tai Chi classes on Sundays.