08/28/14 4:00pm


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.

Closing Bell: Street Cleaning Initiative Expands Within Long Island City [Q'Stoner]

Photo via Twitter

08/28/14 3:00pm


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.

08/28/14 1:00pm


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.

More photos and information on jump page.


08/28/14 12:00pm


Historic on the outside, modern on the inside. That’s the story at 34-25 28th Street, a single-family home for sale in Astoria. While there looks to be an old staircase and wood floors in the living room, the rest of this home appears to be thoroughly renovated. The kitchen, with black oak cabinetry, is as sleek as sleek can be. And the three bedrooms look fairly standard when it comes to modern renovations. The asking price for 1,800 square feet of space here? $899,000.

34-25 28th Street [Realty Executives Today] GMAP

08/28/14 11:00am


Not too long ago, I answered my wife’s query of “Where are you going today?” with the simple answer of “Newtown, the center of Newtown.” She’s used to puzzling archaisms at this stage of the game, so she asked “Elmhurst?” and I said, “Yes, Elmhurst.”

Off I went and before long one arrived at the navel, as it were, of ancient Queens.

From “Historic Churches of America” by Nellie Urner Wallington, courtesy Google Books:

Of the Dutch Reformed families in early New York many removed from time to time beyond the limits of New Amsterdam securing for themselves broader sections of land for tillage and among them a number of such families settled in Long Island where they formed the hamlet of Newtown. Unable to support a minister and to maintain a church building of their own they joined hands with others of the same faith at Flushing and for a number of years worshipped there until December 2 1731 when a meeting of the resident members in Newtown was called to form plans for the establishment of a church organisation of their own and to devise means for the erection of a house of worship upon land contributed by Peter Berrien.

More after the jump… (more…)

08/28/14 10:00am


Macedonia Plaza, the city-sponsored affordable housing development at 36-08 Union Street in Flushing, will be occupied soon. We hear from a few tipsters that the move-in date is mid to late September. The HPD started accepting applications for the 142 rental units exactly one year ago. Apartments range from studios to three-bedrooms with rents from $500 to $1,196 a month, and the income range was from $19,063 up to $59,820 for a family of six.

This development was part of former Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan, a project created to encourage the development of subsidized housing. It includes 6,287 square feet of retail and 2,767 square feet of community space — no word if those spaces will soon be occupied, too.

Macedonia Plaza Now Accepting Affordable Housing Applications [Q'Stoner] GMAP

08/28/14 9:00am


The Roosevelt, the 31-unit rental located at 40-07 73rd Street off Roosevelt Avenue, is totally spoken for. Brokers from Citi Habitats inform us that the building is 100 percent leased; listings launched in October of 2013. Back then, the convertible two bedrooms started at $2,400 a month, with two bedrooms at $2,400 and three bedrooms at $3,600. All units came with their own outdoor space.

The Roosevelt made headlines when a penthouse unit rented for $4,100 a month, making it the most expensive apartment to ever rent in the neighborhoods of Woodside, Elmhurst or Jackson Heights. Citi Habitats didn’t negotiate on rents, although they offered apartments no fee with another offer for two months free on a 13 month lease. Before its life as a rental development, the Roosevelt was a failed condo project known as the Bravo. Guess rentals were the trick!

All 40-07 73rd Street coverage [Q'Stoner] GMAP

08/28/14 8:30am

photo (2)

In Queens Primary, 2-Term Senator Faces Rival Seeking a Comeback [NY Times]
New Law Prohibits Hazardous Materials Dumping in Jamaica Bay [NY1]
Hunters Point Street Gets Speed Bumps After Years of Pressure [NY Daily News]
Parks Department Postpones Decade-Long Whitestone Project [Queens Courier]
Council Members Van Bramer, Levin Come Out on Top in TA Report Card [Streetsblog]
Demolition Finishes at 24-12 42nd Road [Court Square Blog]

08/27/14 4:00pm


Q’Stoner writer and the man behind Forgotten New York Kevin Walsh just announced a guided walking tour of Little Neck and Douglaston. It’s happening on Saturday, September 13th, beginning at noon at the Little Neck Long Island Railroad station and lasting for about three hours. (It ends in the same place.) Some details on the tour: “Here are some of Queens’ most outstanding vistas and some of its most beautiful and historic architecture in the neighborhood Forgotten NY’s Kevin Walsh calls home. Also included are gorgeous tree-lined streets, bayside vistas, hidden alleys and historic churches and cemeteries in this surprisingly historic region.” Tickets cost $15 for Greater Astoria Historical Society members and $20 for the public. Interested in attending? Just email info@astorialic.org.

08/27/14 3:00pm


Right before the Astoria Cove developer’s date with the City Council, Councilman Costa Constantinides penned a letter to the council expressing reservations about the 1,723-unit mega development. He echoed criticism made by the Community Board, Borough President Katz and housing advocates regarding affordable housing. While developers Alma Realty already agreed to designate 20 percent of the units affordable through the city’s Inclusionary Housing Program, Constantinides still has concerns. Crain’s explains: “As he sees it, a legal door has been left open to bump up the number of affordable units, but designate them all for households making several times the neighborhood’s median income.” Under the city program, Alma could build those 345 units promised for low-income households. But, they could also build close to 700 units for moderate-income households.

An attorney representing the development assures that “the commitment is that the affordable housing will be for the low-income band.” Constantinides has requested that promise in writing, so the developers wouldn’t be able to change it later down the line. The City Planning Commission and City Council are expected to weigh in on the project in the coming weeks.

Big Queens Development Draws Fresh Fire [Crain's]
All Astoria Cove coverage [Q'Stoner]

Rendering by STUDIO V Architecture