07/30/14 3:00pm

affordable-housing-jamaica

NY1 filed a report on the lot at 107th Avenue and 164th Street in Jamaica — it’s now used as a basketball court by neighborhood kids. It’s severely rundown and residents reached out to the city in hopes to fix it up, but hadn’t made headway. NY1 found out that the Department of Housing Preservation and Development actually owns the parcel, with plans to turn it into an affordable housing development.

There are no details on the design or a construction timeline; HPD says the project has been delayed. (The lot is about 4,000 square feet, according to PropertyShark.) Meanwhile, the agency cannot fix up the basketball court, telling NY1 that it is not within their budget.

Abandoned Jamaica Park Slated for Affordable Housing [NY1] GMAP

Photo via Google Maps

backyard-pool-long-island-city

This Saturday marks the opening of Socrates Sculpture Park’s new LIC exhibit at 43-29 Crescent Street. The formerly asphalt parking lot, now transformed into a green space, houses a “pool” by the artist Tamara Johnson. Johnson is the second artist to present their work at “The Lot,” as it’s called — a sculpture piece debuted here last summer. Here are details on Backyard Pool from Socrates:

As her title suggests, Johnson’s installation formally resembles small family pools that are ubiquitous in many suburban backyards across the country, and especially in the artist’s hometown of Waco, Texas. By inserting faithful details, from ceramic tiles to a full-sized diving board, into this landscape, Backyard Pool offers a moment of intimacy and serenity to the bustling urbanity of Long Island City.

The opening reception for the art installation will be held from 3 to 5 pm. Then The Lot is free and open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 6 pm. M. Wells, located right next door, will also use The Lot for a music festival starting in August.

Photo via Socrates Sculpture Park

>1

What happens after a 3 am call leaves two NYPD officers questioning an oath they had vowed to keep? What does an ex narc do after finding a notebook with information on huge quantities of stolen heroin? Should a recent Ivy League college graduate’s resume include an impressive past job which would reveal that he’s gay?

The answers to these questions — and many more — will be unveiled during the second annual Chain NYC Film Festival at The Chain Theatre in Long Island City. Set to run from August 4th until August 17th, the extravaganza will screen more than 100 flicks selected from hundreds of submissions from all over the world. Viewers can watch everything from short documentaries to full-length narratives to a web series.

Details after the jump. (more…)

07/30/14 12:30pm

It’s all about numbers. Thanks to the six-day Latino Cultural Festival, various musical genres, theater, and dances are dazzling audiences at the Queens Theatre this week. Plus, a two-week film festival screens over 100 movies in Long Island City, and various free Shakespeare plays show around the borough. There’s also an 18th annual street fair in Jamaica and a 14th annual commemoration of a jazz legend in Sunnyside. Here’s the rundown, broken down into music, arts, education and outdoor events.

(more…)

07/30/14 12:00pm

35-16-82nd-street

We’re digging this one-bedroom co-op from the Plymouth Court building in Jackson Heights. The design is modern and simpler than the co-ops we usually swoon over, but it works nonetheless. The unit feels open and bright; it comes in at 800 square feet. There’s a dedicated dining room that could be converted into a second bedroom. It’s asking $269,000, which still seems a tad high to us. What do you think?

35-16 82nd Street [Beaudoin Realty] GMAP

07/30/14 11:00am

Poppenhusen Branch, QPL, SB, PS

In 1854, Conrad Poppenhusen moved his Enterprise Rubber Works plant to College Point from Manhattan. At the time, this small peninsula on Flushing Bay was three small separate neighborhoods, one of which was already called College Point. It was named after the short-lived St. Paul’s College which was located here for twelve years, between 1836 and 1848.

Mr. Poppenhusen was another of New York’s many successful German immigrants. He came to the United States in 1843, and began his career in the whalebone business, processing the flexible straining bones from the baleen whale. The whalebone was strong but flexible, and was used for many applications, including women’s corsets, something worn by millions of women in the Western World. But the baleen whale had been hunted almost to extinction by the mid-1800s, and a new source of whalebone-like material was needed. Poppenhusen turned to Charles Goodyear’s vulcanized “hard” rubber process. (more…)

07/30/14 10:00am

forest-hills-condo

We hadn’t heard much news on The Aston, the luxury condo development under construction in Forest Hills, but yesterday DNAinfo provided an update. The 17-story building, still under construction at 108-11 Queens Boulevard, should be ready for sales in September. Then construction is expected to wrap in October; the developer hopes to start moving people in this year. While the developer originally planned 100 one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, ranging from 800 to 1,200 square feet, there will now be three bedrooms available, too. Due to lots of demand from prospective buyers, the 97-unit building will hold around six three-bedroom condos. There’s no word on pricing yet.

The development will also have its own gym and rooftop garden. A CVS pharmacy will open on the ground floor in August.

Forest Hills Luxury Condo Building Adds 3-Bedroom Units [DNAinfo]
Serious Progress at Forest Hills’ “Art Deco” Condo Tower [Q'Stoner] GMAP

Photo by Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska for DNAinfo

07/30/14 9:00am

bliss-plaza-sunnyside

Yesterday afternoon, reps from Sunnyside Shines, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and the DOT Queens Borough Commissioner Dalila Hall cut the ribbon on a brand new public plaza for Sunnyside. The 5,500-square-foot space in question is known as Bliss Plaza, located at 46th Street under the elevated 7. Construction started up to transform the previously unused area in June. Another plaza, known as Lowery Plaza, is located off of 40th Street and is still under construction. It should be ready to use by this fall.

The pedestrian space now boasts new, leveled concrete, tables and chairs, granite blocks and planters. Sunnyside Shines will also host events here. Check out a photo of the sweet new space in action after the jump.

Bliss Plaza Construction Kicked off in Sunnyside Yesterday [Q'Stoner]

(more…)

07/30/14 8:30am

photo (5)

Astoria Cove Puts Freshman Council Member in Spotlight [Commercial Observer]
Mixed-Use Residential Structure to Replace 80-year-old Bayside Building [Queens Courier]
Woodhaven Civic Fights Graffiti [Times Ledger]
Production Company Inks 12-Year Lease at LIC Spot [TRD]
Here’s How Queens Artists Can Get Up to $5K for Their Projects [DNAinfo]
Foundation Coming in at 27-45 Jackson Avenue, Future Home of Aloft Hotel [Court Square Blog]

07/29/14 4:00pm

jimmy-van-bramer-clean-streets

Earlier today, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer announced the expansion of a street cleaning initiative which has popped up in a number of Queens neighborhoods. More areas of Long Island City will now be included in the initiative, particularly the neighborhood of Dutch Kills. The city works with The Doe Fund, who helps formerly homeless and incarcerated individuals find jobs, to clean streets. And since taking office, Council Member Van Bramer allocated over $230,000 for this partnership to take on the streets of Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside.

Earlier this month LIC Post reported that Council Member Van Bramer allocated $34,000 of last year’s budget to hire two workers from the Doe Fund to help clean the streets of LIC. For 2015, he secured another $70,000 to expand the work to Dutch Kills. He promised that crews will pay special attention to 36th Avenue.

Photo via Twitter