04/16/14 11:00am

QB in construction, 1907, muni archives via nycroads.com 1

“Slow down, you’re moving too fast. Got to make the morning last…” I was in high school when Queens’ own Simon and Garfunkel sang those lines. I lived upstate, and didn’t even know where the 59th Street Bridge was, except that it was in New York City. I loved Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, and being a rather solitary and over-thinking teenager, I vicariously loved the New York City they sang about, a place filled with poets speaking truth about deep things, and musical adventures. When I moved to New York City after college, I remember seeing the 59th St. Bridge and remembering the song. Well, NYC was not filled with poets and Simon and Garfunkel parted ways, but the bridge remains. And it’s a pretty great bridge, too.

By the beginning of the 20th century, it was very apparent that more than one bridge was necessary between Manhattan and Long Island. Greater New York City was a reality now, and the boroughs were now part of a greater whole, not just independent cities and towns. The Brooklyn Bridge, at that point still less than 20 years old, was packed with traffic, pedestrians, trolleys and a train. Plans were in the works, and construction had begun on the Williamsburg Bridge, but a span over the East River between Manhattan and Queens needed to happen, as well.

Astoria and Long Island City were very busy industrial areas, with important rail and road lines bringing in goods from factories and warehouses in those neighborhoods, as well as other parts of Queens and Long Island, and even Brooklyn. Float bridges which carried train cars across the river on barges with tracks were in use, as were ferries, barges and tugs, but a bridge which like the Brooklyn Bridge, could carry trains as well as vehicles, would be a boon to both boroughs. Plans for a bridge began in 1901. (more…)

04/16/14 10:00am


One LIC rental development hits the market (see our article below) while another fills up. Gantry Park Landing, the 199-unit rental located at 50-01 Second Street, is now totally spoken for. The building started leasing back in May; it was 60 percent full by September. Prices for the studios, one-, two- and three-bedrooms ranged from $2,050 to $4,810 a month. And according to a press release, the 13,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space was leased by a gourmet food store, an urgent medical care facility, and a store selling coffee, teas and wine. You can see our tour of the apartments and amenity spaces right here.

All Gantry Park Landing coverage [Q'Stoner] GMAP

04/16/14 9:00am

No 3 at Packard Sq Living Room

No. 3 at Packard Square, a 12-story tower in the Packard Square development area, is now leasing 88 luxury rental units for immediate occupancy. As the name suggests, this is the third development to come after Packard Square and Packard Square North; the fourth building (Packard Square West) is now under construction. No. 3 is located at 41-21 24th Street, just off Queens Plaza North.

Citi Habitats is leasing the units. They’ve priced studio, alcove studio, one and two bedroom apartments at $1,775, $2,125, $2,525 and $3,300 a month, with no fee. Building amenities include a rooftop lounge and deck, a fitness center, 24/7 doorman and concierge, a laundry room, and storage and on-site parking for a fee. Here’s a bit on the interiors, from the brokers:

Residences at No. 3 at Packard Square feature premium finishes and spacious, well-designed floor plans. Dramatic 9’ high ceilings and white oak plank flooring can be found in all units. Kitchens come complete with stainless steel appliances, sleek custom cabinetry and Caesarstone countertops. The homes’ private glass balconies or patios (on first-floor units), make great places to unwind.

Check out photos of the bedroom and kitchen spaces, as well as the resident’s lounge, after the jump. GMAP


04/15/14 4:00pm


Socrates Sculpture Park is preparing for its spring exhibition, which will open on May 11th. Last week they broke ground on the largest installation in the park’s 28-year history — according to Socrates, it’s “a 250-foot-long, thirteen-foot-high kinetic pathway composed of 200 stainless steel, mirrored poles connecting energetic slopes of silver Mylar ribbon overhead.” The work, titled Scarecrow, is by the LIC-based, Lithuanian-born artist Zilvinas Kempinas. This is the artist’s first outdoor installation in the United States. You can read more details about the sculpture here, and also see photos of the installation process happening now at the park at the Socrates Facebook page. Also beginning in May, the park will provide a free weekend shuttle service to and from nearby cultural attractions.

04/15/14 3:00pm

78-19 Jamaica Avenue-collapse

The city will demolish the building at 78-19 Jamaica Avenue, in Woodhaven, which partially collapsed one year ago. (The photo above, from Project Woodhaven, shows what the building looked like right after the accident.) The Daily News reports that the head officer of 78-19 Jamaica Avenue failed to repair the building or show up in court. When he missed another court date last week, the DOB decided to go ahead with demolition. It’ll be done by a contractor hired by the HPD, then the city will bill the building owner for the work.

In the year since the collapse, the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps. had to close down its headquarters located next door, and a nearby senior center relocated as well. The community rallied outside the building last month to bring attention to the increasing safety hazards.

City Will Tear Down Dangerous Woodhaven Eyesore [NY Daily News]
All 78-19 Jamaica Avenue coverage [Q'Stoner]

Photo by Project Woodhaven

04/15/14 2:00pm


Far Rockaway is getting two new sweet spots, just in time for summer. Rockawayist reports that an Uncle Louie G outpost is under construction at 92-10 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, between Beach 146th and Beach 147th Streets. It’ll start serving italian ices and ice cream on Saturday, April 26th. And Boardwalk Bagel, located at 108-01 108th Street, plans to expand in the storefront next door and open an ice cream parlor. That one is expected to open sometime this summer.

Two New Sweet Shops are Coming to Rockaway [Rockawayist]

Photo by Rockawayist

04/15/14 1:00pm


It’s the New York City marathon for word lovers. Queens Writes Weekend 2014 will facilitate more than 12 literary events at a minimum of six venues throughout the world’s most diverse borough over the last weekend in April. The fun will start on Friday, April 25th, with an open reading at The Astoria Bookshop featuring contributors to the third issue of Newtown Literary, a semi-annual journal. On Saturday and Sunday, the events will differ, but authors of all kinds — young, old, novice, expert — will simply sit down together and write for a few hours. Participants will then share the products of their efforts at an open mic event at Terraza 7 in Elmhurst on Sunday night.

Details: Queens Writes Weekend 2014, begins with Kick-Off Reading at The Astoria Bookshop, 31-29 31st Street, Astoria, April 25th, 7 pm, click here for times and venues on April 26th and April 27th, ends at Wrap-Up Open Mic at Terraza 7, 40-19 Gleane Street, Elmhurst, April 27th, 6 pm, suggested donations at all times to defray the costs of publishing Newtown Literary‘s fourth edition and other good works. So far, events are set for Astoria, Bayside, Corona, Forest Hills, Jackson Heights and Kew Gardens, but more sites are expected to be confirmed before the weekend begins. Schedule and venues will be posted and updated regularly on this page.

Photo: Audrey Dimola

04/15/14 12:30pm

Dutch Kills_700

Welcome to the Q’Stoner food feature, Signature Dish! Once a week we check in with Queens restaurants and ask the owners about the all-time favorite dishes they serve. If you know of a dish you’d like to see featured here, please email emily@brownstoner.com.

The Spot: Dutch Kills Centraal, 38-40 29th Street, Long Island City.

The Deal: Dutch Kills Centraal is still a relative newcomer to the poorly underserved area north of Queens Plaza, having just opened last year after two years of planning and construction.

The owner, Dominic Stiller, found the space abandoned two blocks from his home and, as a longtime community activist and Queens resident, wanted to create a place for the neighborhood to gather. So began the renovations: He added additional windows, repaired the walls, and installed reclaimed furniture, including a long communal table down the center of the room. Throughout it all, Stiller kept the original flooring and, of course, the bar that originally drew him in.


The Dish: Dutch Kills Centraal is a bar, and like any quality bar, the star on the menu is the burger. As Ken Holiday, in charge of marketing for the restaurant, says, “Every gastro-pub should have a burger on the menu. Our food is defiantly more upscale than a bar, but we want a place comfortable to everyone.” Centraal sources its meats and produce from local purveyors, and serves the burger on a butter-glazed brioche bun, topped with a homemade siracha sauce.

“To have a familiar item, in a cozy place, in an area called Dutch Kills makes it taste all the better,” says Holiday. “Elevated comfort, charm, a hospitality is what we aim for.”

04/15/14 12:00pm


This studio rental comes from the Lane Towers co-op, located at 107-40 Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills. For a studio it looks quite lovely and spacious — those big windows don’t hurt. There’s enough space for dedicated bedroom, living room and office areas. We think with some room dividers this could feel like a one bedroom. The co-op comes with a doorman and a public terrace, and is located across the street from the Forest Hills subway stop. Given all that, do you think this studio apartment is worth the monthly rent of $1,600?

107-40 Queens Boulevard [Winzone Realty] GMAP