The Queens Gazette announced another Pedestrian Safety Town Hall scheduled for next Wednesday, March 19th, from 7 to 9 pm at Astoria’s Bohemian Hall, 29-19 24th Avenue. Councilmember Costa Constantinides, State Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Aravella Simotas and reps from the Department of Transportation, Community Board 1, Transportation Alternatives, the 114th Precinct and Make Queens Safer will all be in attendance. Here are the issues that came up at the first safety summit. If you’d like to attend you can RSVP by e-mailing Crowley.Events@mail.house.gov or calling (718) 274-4500 or (718) 779-1400.
Tonight, Community Board Five will hold a public hearing in regards to a proposal to rezone the property between Woodward, Starr, Onderdonk and Flushing from industrial to residential/commercial use. This is the site for the proposed luxury rental at 176 Woodward Avenue designed by the architect Ariel Aufgang. It’ll have 88 units, 120 parking spots and ground floor retail. The developers hope to begin construction this year. Wyckoff Heights reports that “the Driscoll Group has been retained to lobby city council members in support of the rezoning effort.”
If you’re interested in attending, the hearing will be held tonight, 7:30 pm, at the Christ the King Regional High School cafeteria in Middle Village, 68-02 Metropolitan Avenue.
It’s the food-and-networking event of the year … and Queens Brownstoner will be there as a sponsor and taste master! The Queens Economic Development Corporation recently announced thatQueens Taste 2014 will take place at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel, 135-20 39th Avenue in Flushing, from 6 pm to 9 pm on April 29th. The reasons to attend are as diverse as the borough. Foodies can expect everything from sweet to savory to salty; Mexican to Malaysian to mainstream; and crunchy to creamy to crispy. For example, La Fusta in Elmhurst is planning to bring Argentine cuisine, while Flushing’s Mamak will serve Malaysian treats and Jamaica’s O Lavrador (below) will delight with Portuguese paella. Plus, clients of the Entrepreneur Space, a food-and-business incubator that QEDC operates in Long Island City, will be giving out samples of their artisan specialties, including gourmet cheesecake balls, soul snacks and designer meatballs. Then there are the drinks. LIC’s SquareWine headlines a spirits group that includes Queens Brewery and Punzoné Vodka. Finally, the networking. QEDC hopes that at least 1,000 people will attend, and most of them either live in Queens or do business in the borough.
Queens Taste 2014 costs $100 per ticket or two for $175. Click here to buy tickets. For more information, call 718.263.0546 or send an email to email@example.com.
The five-month theater renovation is finished, and Flushing Town Hall is going to celebrate just like it did before the restoration: with great music and top-notch acting. The fun starts on Friday night with the Trumpeters in Queens Part II concert. Ron Horton’s Sextet and Josh Deutsch’s Pannonia Band, both part of the NYC jazz scene for years, will perform an homage to such inspiring trumpet players as Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie and Clark Terry, who all lived in Queens. On Saturday, the British educational theater troupe Tall Stories will perform The Snail and the Whale. Based on the award-winning book by Julia Donaldson, this family-friendly play tells the story of a tiny snail that longs to see the world, so she hitches a ride on a huge humpback whale’s tail. Together they go on an amazing journey, experiencing sharks and penguins, icebergs and volcanoes mixed in with music and sound effects created live on stage by an electric viola player with an effects pedal.
Details: Trumpeters of Queens Part II, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, March 14th, 8 pm, $15/$10 for members and students.
Bonus details: The Snail and the Whale by Tall Stories, UK, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, March 15th, 2:15 pm with a workshop at 1 pm, $12/$10 for members/$8 for children/$6 for member children.
It’s an intellectual upcoming week in Queens with changes to learn about genocide, Kitty Genovese, Nazis and Quakers. There are also opportunities to relax with Bleu Mobley, chamber music, comedy, experimental dance, hip hop, the unique Phagwah Parade, tango and the trumpet. Here’s the rundown, broken down into dance, music, arts and education events. If you have an event you’d like to see featured here, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This three-bedroom, two-bathroom co-op just hit the market in Jackson Heights, at the Greystones building. It’s asking $549,000 for a grand total of 1,200 square feet. We like the combination of high ceilings, moldings, parquet floors and exposed brick. There are also three exposures facing east, west and south. All that sounds great, but as commenters are pointing out this is a fifth floor walk-up.
We’ve been talking a lot over here at Q’Stoner about apartments in prewar Jackson Heights co-op buildings. How do you like this one? There’s an open house this Sunday the 16th from 1 to 3 pm if you’d like to see it in person.
We all have certain expectations as to what our civic and business institutions to look like. These expectations are more psychological than physical. We want our banks to be sturdy and look like they could withstand a bomb, and still protect our money. We like our hospitals to look modern and cutting edge, like the medicine practiced inside. And we want our courthouses to look like the Law: strong, rather severe and serious. The Queens General Courthouse meets our expectations on that front quite well.
It was designed at a time when just about everything was severe and serious, as the nation was in the midst of the Great Depression. The architecture of the day matched the mood of the nation: rather stark, clean lined, with a minimum of ornament. There was little frivolity in the air and certainly no money for excess decoration. In spite of the constraints of the style and the day, what resulted was quite a fine building. And contrary to what one might think, the architects managed to include some ornament as well, lifting the design from merely frugal to quietly elegant.
Queens County was a land of farms and small towns when it was annexed to Greater New York City in 1898. As the various communities within the new borough grew, Jamaica took its place as a commercial and civic hub. It was in the physical center of the county, and was convenient to public transportation, including the Long Island Railroad. Jamaica Avenue itself was a continuation of Fulton Street, which ran from the tip of Long Island, across the length of Brooklyn, to the shores of the East River and on to Manhattan. In the 18th and 19th century, goods could travel from Montauk to Manhattan, and never leave that one road.
As Queens grew, so too did the need for more courthouses. In addition to criminal courts, there were magistrate courts, civil courts, Surrogate and Appellate courts, Supreme Court, family court, even traffic and small claims court, and more. Every community wanted a court building, for reasons of convenience, prestige, and jobs. By 1929, the shortage of courtrooms was so great that the city decided it had to build a new courthouse in Queens, pronto. Court cases were actually being held in rented rooms, and one court was sharing space with the Sanitation Dept. Queens needed one central building large enough to hold several different kinds of courts, with enough courtrooms, judges’ chambers, clerk’s offices and all of the other necessary rooms for the dispensation and preservation of justice. (more…)
Over the past weekend, the MTA suspended the 7 train for the first of 12 weekends through July 21st. Queens Courier spoke to members of the LIC community on how the shutdown affects them. Residents had a hard time traveling to and from Manhattan during the weekend, with a 10 to 15 minute trip taking close to three hours. And local businesses like Alobar and The Creek and The Cave noticed a distinct decline in customers. A group of business owners plan to promote the neighborhood and dedicate street team efforts to bring people into LIC during the weekend shutdowns. The MTA is also trying to work on a marketing campaign to help the community, but it’s unclear how that will play out. According to the Courier: “Business owners say the MTA has told them that they are not being given advertising space, but instead can add images and words to the disclosure notices located on subway cars.”
Unfortunately, there are even more shutdowns to expect after this round is over: the MTA stated there are nine tentative weekend service suspensions scheduled for August through November.
An Astoria resident has proposed a park for the overgrown, vacant “mountain” on the northeast border of Astoria — referred to as Ingraham’s Mountain. According to this Untapped Cities article, “The mountain was created from excavated material from construction of the third tube of the Lincoln Tunnel in 1936 and is 86 feet high. It’s similar in height to an 8-story building, higher than most of the buildings in the area.” Untapped Cities reported that the Port Authority (the city leases this land to Port Authority) plans to level at least 20 to 30 feet off the mountain to create a ‘staging area’ for runway extension work that will be performed at LaGuardia airport. In a DEP report back in 2012, there’s also a suggestion to use the land for an enlarged sewage treatment plant. No single project has been confirmed for the mountain just yet.
Astoria resident Joseph Anastasio would much rather see a park here. His proposal, published on LTV Squad, is this:
We could retain as many of the existing trees as possible, while building paths through them to mimic the experience of walking through a deep forest. Depending how crazy you might want to get, facilities and a fire tower could be constructed to rise above the tree line, offering a panoramic view of Manhattan, the Bronx, and yes, even the notorious Rikers island. The whole thing could built for 2-5 million, depending what facilities are added…
The Port Authority can find someplace else for their staging area, if they even need it (maybe barges moored at or near the worksite?). I’m unconvinced they need to bulldoze this property, destroying trees and trucking out large qualities of rock and soil (to where?) just to create a blighted staging area and stream of dump truck traffic through local residential streets.
He’s asking all interested Queens residents to contact the mayor’s office, their local elected official, or just him directly — if there’s enough people interested in the park proposal he plans to organize a group. What amenity do you think would work best for this bizarre site?