10/23/14 4:00pm


This month, Sunnyside Gardens turned 90 years old and this weekend the Sunnyside Gardens Preservation Alliance is celebrating. On Saturday, October 25th the Alliance plans to unveil three historic district signs displaying maps of the full neighborhood and then throw a birthday reception. City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer will kick off the event, beginning at 1 pm on Skillman Avenue and 46th Street. The first map will be unveiled there, then Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan will unveil a sign on 47th Street and Assemblywoman Margaret Markey will unveil a sign in front of Sunnyside Park. Borough President Melinda Katz and Landmarks Preservation Foundation Chair Christina Davis will also be in attendance. The stroll through Colonial Court should wrap around 2 pm with a birthday reception. All the details, plus some history on the innovative housing complex, live here.

Photo via the Sunnyside Gardens Preservation Alliance

10/23/14 3:00pm


Earlier this week, a number of City Council members shot down the Astoria Cove proposal at a hearing due to the lack of affordable housing, the developer’s track record with other developments, and its history of underpaying black and Hispanic construction workers. (Pictured above, Council Members Elizabeth Crowley and Costa Constantinides testifying.) Council Member Constantinides — who represents Astoria Cove’s district — has been a vocal detractor of the affordable housing proposal, and it looks like the rest of the City Council will follow Constantinides’ lead. According to the Daily News, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said the City Council will oppose the development unless Alma Realty adds more that 20 percent affordable housing, as initially proposed. “To the extent we can be supportive to the Councilmember in his continuing expressions of concern, and ensuring that it’s heard, that’s what we’re doing,” she stated.

No details on what new plan will emerge from the ashes. The City Council is expected to work on a deal with the developers and pass a final vote by early November.

Council will Demand More Affordable Housing at Astoria Cove [NY Daily News]
All Astoria Cove coverage [Q'Stoner]

Photo via Build Up NYC Twitter

10/23/14 2:00pm


Introducing Q.E.D., a new Astoria venue that plans to host arts and crafts, stand-up comedy, tastings, poetry slams, game nights, walking tours, storytelling, gardening, and much, much more. The owner, Queens resident Kambri Crews, has dubbed it an “after-school space for grown ups” — a sort of all-inclusive art and performance space that will appeal to many. The classes and workshops will be priced affordably and will not require long commitments, and the space will be open to all different types of performers. (It’s also available to rent out for private events.) Q.E.D. is located a few blocks from the Astoria/Ditmars subway stop, at 27-16 23rd Avenue between 27th and 28th Streets.

Events at Q.E.D. will start up in early November. Upcoming classes include stand-up comedy for beginners, PR and Marketing 101, Intro to American Sign Language and Intro to Humor Writing. Upcoming shows include open mic nights, adult story time, book releases, podcast recordings and musical performances. Seems to us like an awesome addition to the neighborhood. GMAP

Photo via the Q.E.D. Astoria Facebook

10/23/14 1:00pm


Hitler was the self-declared führer of Germany, Babe Ruth was playing his last professional games, and Bonnie & Clyde were on the run in 1934, when Rudy’s Bakery and Café opened on Seneca Avenue in Ridgewood. The neighborhood was largely German back then, and the eatery was known for its bienenstich and strudel. The owners, patrons, and menu have changed a bit over the years, but Rudy’s remains a traditional bakery and community anchor. This Saturday, the establishment will celebrate its 80th birthday with some sweet deals as baked goods — Black Forest cake, doughnuts, linzertorte and the time-tested strudel – will cost 80 cents a piece.

The anniversary coincides with the Seneca Avenue Stroll, hosted by the Myrtle Avenue BID and the NYC Department of Transportation. The block between Myrtle and Catalpa avenues will be closed to traffic on Saturday so the following entities can provide samples of their treats to passers-by: Ridgewood Eats, 903 Seneca; Rudy’s Bakery, 905 Seneca; Nepalese Indian Restaurant, 907 Seneca; and Zum Stammtisch, 69-46 Myrtle. Other local providers, such as BelGioioso Cheese, Finback Brewery, Wilk Apiary, and Viola Pretzels, will participate too.


Details: Seneca Avenue Stroll, Seneca Avenue between Myrtle and Catalpa avenues, Ridgewood, October 25th, noon to 5 pm.

Top photo: Nepalese Indian Restaurant; middle photo: Rudy’s Bakery

10/23/14 12:00pm


Up for sale in Rego Park, at 65-15 Boelsen Crescent: this freestanding Colonial asking $1,388,000. The property is part of The Crescents enclave, known for its semi-circular streets and Tudor homes. Houses here tend to go for higher prices, so the $1M+ ask isn’t entirely shocking. Problem is, the interior of this house just isn’t very impressive. It also looks like a modestly-sized home, with one of the bedrooms barely able to fit a bed. There is however, a lovely front and back garden as well as a detached garage. How much do you think it’s worth for this slice of the suburbs?

65-15 Boelsen Crescent [Century Homes Realty Group] GMAP

10/23/14 11:00am


As mentioned in earlier postings, I spend a lot of time walking back and forth from Astoria to Newtown Creek. Often, given the number and quality of “classic cars” encountered on these ambles, I wonder if all the environmental pollution has somehow ripped open a hole in the space time continuum – a wormhole which allows the automobiles of yesteryear to jump forward for a short tenancy in the tyranny of the now in the same place which they were parked some sixty or seventy years ago. 43rd Street, or Shell Road as it was once known, was the border between Blissville and Berlin. Today it’s part of the so called “West Maspeth” neighborhood, and if my theory is correct – this car might have been parked here in the late 1940s.

Of course, I’m an idiot, but you have to occupy your mind with something while walking around in DUKBO. At 43rd’s intersection with 55th Avenue, that’s where I noticed this very “cool car” – a 1947 Dodge two door sedan, which I believe is a D24.


More after the jump… (more…)

10/23/14 10:00am


Lowery Plaza, a proposed public plaza underneath the 40th Street subway station in Sunnyside, will open up tomorrow. Sunnyside Post spotted workers in the space removing an artist commission previously on display there. Next up is a power washing job, then finally setting up planters, tables and chairs. The Lowery Plaza will look much like Bliss Plaza (pictured above), which opened this summer at 46th Street. The Lowery Plaza was also scheduled to open this summer, but according to Sunnyside Post the DOT had a contract to keep the artist commission up until October.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place here tomorrow at 1 pm. Once open, Sunnyside Shines will be in charge of programming and upkeep of the plaza, just like the organization has been doing at Bliss Plaza.

Artwork Under 40th Street Station is Removed — to Make Room for 40th Street/Lowery Plaza [Sunnyside Post]

Photo of Bliss Plaza via Sunnyside Shines Instagram


Getty Petroleum, one of the companies held responsible for polluting the Newtown Creek waterway, agreed yesterday to fork over $16,000,000 for its cleanup. Getty, who filed for bankruptcy in 2011, is one among many who dumped around 30,000,000 gallons of toxic waste in the creek over the years. The EPA declared Newtown Creek a Superfund site in 2010, which, as the New York Daily News says, “compels companies responsible for polluting the site to pay to clean it up.” The $16M sum is the result of an agreement between Getty and the federal government as part of the company’s bankruptcy process.

According to Gothamist, Getty admitted to hazardous dumping way back in 2005. (The problem of illegal dumping in the creek is far from over, and continues to this day.) Here’s a statement on this recent settlement by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara: “Today’s settlement ensures that Getty takes responsibility for its contribution to that sad legacy, and pays a fair share of clean-up costs at the site. This Office is committed to holding those who contaminate our nation’s lands and waterways accountable for their actions, and bankruptcy is not a free pass for polluters.”

Getty Petroleum Agrees to Pay $16M to Clean Newtown Creek [NY Daily News]
Newtown Creek Gets $16 Million From A Company That Helped Ruin It [Gothamist]
All Newtown Creek coverage [Q'Stoner]

Photo by Mitch Waxman

10/23/14 8:30am


Breezy Point Residents Await Re-Opening of Favorite Restaurant [NY1]
City’s Closure of Flushing Overpass Causes Businesses to Suffer [Queens Courier]
Mayor Grants Ferry Meeting to Rockaway’s Elected [The Wave]
Jackson Heights Subway Platforms ‘Excessively’ Crowded, Advocates Say [DNAinfo]
EAGLE NEST LANE, Flushing [Forgotten New York]
44-80 11th Street is Nearly Topped Out [Court Square Blog]
Frankie’s Pizza Has Closed [We Heart Astoria]