01/30/15 4:00pm

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Over here at Q’Stoner, we are big fans of the organization 596 Acres, which helps New Yorkers access vacant, publicly-owned land and gives them the tools to start community gardens. While 596 Acres does work all over New York, they’ve done a lot in Queens: they are currently hosting this exhibit at the Queens Museum, they helped establish the Smiling Hogshead Ranch, and they have organized all throughout the Rockaways. (For more examples of their work in the borough, go here.)

Today Executive Director Paula Z. Segal announced that the non profit only has enough funds to last through March 30th. As she says, “After that, without further support, all of our work could quickly come to a halt.” They have kicked off a fundraiser in hopes of raising $25,000 by February 8th, which would secure their staff through summer. If you’re interested, donate online here or send a check made out to “The Fund for the City of New York” with “596 Acres” in the memo line to: 596 Acres, Inc., 540 President Street #2E, Brooklyn NY 11215.

01/30/15 2:00pm


The latest news from the 5Pointz construction site is that what once stood is absolutely done for. The tipster who sent us this photo reports that the last remaining building was demolished this week. The final structures slated for demolition were the townhouses along Jackson Avenue, which were about half demolished earlier this month. Demolition on the actual graffiti warehouse began back in August.

The Department of Buildings has not yet issued new building permits, so construction on the two 47- and 41-story towers won’t kick off right away. The developer’s goal, however, was to begin construction on the towers soon after demolition.

All 5Pointz coverage [Q'Stoner]


It was so nice they did it twice. Flushing Meadows Corona Park hosted the 1939-1940 World’s Fair and the one that ran in 1964 and 1965. Both events – which took place over two, consecutive, six-month periods – had major impact on Queens and the rest of the world. Plus, both are currently celebrating major anniversaries (50th and 75th). This Sunday, a group of Urban Park Rangers will lead a tour through the park that will highlight the remnants and their roles in these historic fairs. More details after jump.


01/30/15 12:00pm

24-43 33rd Street
Broker: Charles Rutenberg
Price: $1,169,000
Sunday, 12:00 – 2:00 pm

2Jamaica Estates
184-61 Tudor Road
Broker: Exit Realty First Choice
Price: $1,099,000
Sunday, 1:00 – 4:00 pm

3Forest Hills
109-14 Ascan Avenue
Broker: Halstead
Price: $325,000
Sunday, 2:30 – 4:30 pm

4Rego Park
65 -65 Wetherole Street
Broker: Argo Residential
Price: $329,000
Sunday, 1:30 – 3:00 pm

01/30/15 11:00am

I may not have expressly stated it previously, but even though I am able to function in summer, the heat and humidity wears me down to a nub by Labor Day every year; and I don’t feel fully dressed unless I can wear a jacket. Psychoanalyze that any way you wish, but I have always felt more contented and grounded in cool and cold weather. I would be completely ineffectual if forced to reside in equatorial regions or the Pacific.

My neighborhood, Little Neck, in winter can occasionally be as picturesque as any town in the Poconos or the Catskills, though all it lacks is a mountain for actual skiing. Though I don’t mind, because they still talk about that ski trip I took to Hunter, let’s say a few years ago. (I had trouble with the tow line, to give you some idea.)


Originally a Methodist church built in 1867 on gifted land from Bloodgood Cutter (see below), the modest brick and frame building still stands, surrounded by newer additions. It became the nondenominational Community Church of Little Neck in 1925. Then as now the church conducts a Sunday school and holds a strawberry festival in June.

Today, I wandered on the maze of roads south of Northern Boulevard and west of Little Neck Parkway. This land was once owned by Bloodgood Haviland Cutter (1817-1906). Known as the “Bard of Little Neck,”, he was a potato farmer, poet and friend of Mark Twain, who immortalized him as the “Poet Lariat” in Innocents Abroad. Twain poked fun at Cutter as a master of doggerel who annoyed fellow passengers on an excursion to the Holy Land in the travelogue. B.H. Cutter’s grave, marked by a large cross, can be found in the nearby Zion churchyard on Northern Boulevard.



Following the news that the city is considering upzoning the Court Square/Queens Plaza area for more development, LIC Post reports that any zoning change will likely accommodate more affordable housing. It’s very probable that the Department of City Planning will actually make it mandatory for developers to include affordable units in the area, which includes 100 blocks around Queens Plaza, Court Square, Jackson Avenue and Northern Boulevard. (Above, the color indicates areas being studied.) If the rezoning does come with this affordable housing requirement, it will be the first time this is implemented in New York. The city is also looking for ways a rezoning could promote retail, office and light manufacturing in the neighborhood.

The Post says that the city plans to hold a stakeholder meeting sometime this winter to discuss the upzoning, and will likely have some sort of proposal by summertime. Any proposal will have to go through a public review process and ultimately be approved by the City Council.

Queens Plaza/Court Square Developers May Be REQUIRED to Build Affordable Units Should Rezoning Occur [LIC Post]
City Gets Ready to Study Another Possible Rezoning for LIC [Q'Stoner]

01/30/15 9:00am


Yesterday, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer announced that construction would finally start on the Hunters Point Library — it’s the first new branch for Queens in over 20 years. Turns out that the shovels will hit the ground this spring, with construction expected to last until 2017. (The initial plan called for a groundbreaking in the fall of 2013, and an opening in 2015.) The library will be located at Center Boulevard and 48th Avenue, next to Gantry Plaza State Park.

The construction budget, which previously soared up to $42,000,000, is now set at $30,000,000 — Van Bramer provided $3,000,000 and pledged to allocate an additional $1,000,000 to complete construction. With the budget cut, some of the original design had to be changed. The building will not have a geothermal well and will have a traditional heating, ventilating and air conditioning system. As opposed to recycled concrete panels on the exterior, it will now be painted concrete. Overall, the size, look, layout and function of the building remains the same — that’s an up-to-date rendering of the design by architect Steve Holl above. Inside, the 21,500-square-foot branch will have a reading garden, rooftop terrace, reading rooms for all ages, a gallery, performance space and a children’s area.

All Hunters Point Library coverage [Q'Stoner]

01/30/15 8:30am

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Plan for Hotel in Far Rockaway has Local Officials Curious and Wary [NY Daily News]
Where to Watch the Big Game in Queens [Queens Courier]
10-unit Briarwood Building on Sale for $2.85 Million [Queens Courier]
Mayor Nominates Flushing Man to Landmarks Panel [Queens Chronicle]
LIRR Should Run 24/7 to Willets Point for Proposed AirTrain, Pol Says [DNAinfo]
Wendy’s on Steinway Street Closes, Had Been There 20 Years [Astoria Post]
Outside Facade Appears Complete at 42-15 Crescent Street [Court Square Blog]


Today Untapped Cities published an excellent photo essay in which People for the Pavilion member Robert Fein captured the inside of the New York State Pavilion. Crumbling since the 1964 World’s Fair, there has been momentum to repair and rehabilitate the iconic towers. Fein’s photos offer a look inside of the observation towers, with closeups of the former VIP deck, the elevator doors, staircases and the amazing views of Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

New Photos Inside the Observation Towers of the NY Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park [Untapped Cities]
All New York State Pavilion coverage [Q'Stoner]


Check it out: here are the latest house sales around the Forest Hills, Forest Hills Gardens area. We’ve got a freestanding English Tudor, a brick Colonial, and a semi-detached brick townhouse, with sales prices ranging from $820,000 up to $1,800,000. Read on for more details…

36 Rockrose Place: As the listing says, it’s a “unique English Tudor Tapestry Brick Home” in Forest Hills Gardens. It just hit public records for $1,900,000 — we couldn’t find the ask on this one, does anybody know what it was? Here are some more details from the listing: “Amenities include enclosed front porch, hardwood floors, renovated kitchen, custom cabinetry, 2 fireplaces, 2 full and 1/2 baths, finished basement, 2 car garage and private rear garden.” The home is quite beautiful, you can see interior photos here.

54 Bow Street: This Center Hall Brick Colonial in Forest Hills Gardens, listed by Terrace Sotheby’s, was asking $1,539,000. After five months on the market it sold for $1,475,000. The listing boasts, “Many original details, including oak doors, leaded glass windows and doors.” There’s also a two-car garage, private garden and finished basement.

67-42 Juno Street: Finally there’s this semi-detached, three-bedroom brick townhouse outside of the Gardens enclave. The home spent four months on the market at an ask of $859,000; it sold for $820,000. The interior has hardwood floors, leaded glass windows, an eat-in kitchen and finished basement.