The Sunnyside Library, located at 43-06 Greenpoint Avenue, will open this Thursday with a brand new roof. Sunnyside Post writes that the library closed on June 24th for the repairs — there were concerns that the roof would begin leaking. Construction was expected to last until August, but work finished a month ahead of schedule. Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, who provided $600,000 for the roof, said “We now have a roof that will last a generation and a library that will be open for most of summer.” The library received a larger interior and exterior renovation five years ago. The Thomas P. Noonan Playground, right across the street, is currently under construction and will not open until next summer.
The borough’s official tourism slogan is “It’s in Queens,” but over the summer, it could also be “It’s Outside in Queens,” as countless parks, cultural venues, and boulevards host countless plein air movies, concerts, plays, food festivals, and parades. Among the most popular is Live at the Gantries, a series of free performances in Gantry Plaza State Park featuring a diverse collection of musicians doing everything from Prog Rock to Reggae to Arab sounds with bellydancing. Tonight, Dahka Band, which infuses traditional music from Algeria, Nigeria, and Turkey and sings in Arabic, Berber, Yoruba, and English, will take the stage, which boasts the East River and the Midtown Manhattan skyline as its backdrop.
Information on the remaining performers and a photo of the venue are on the jump page.
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 email@example.com.
The Spot: Alobar, 46-42 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City.
The Deal: When your restaurant’s philosophy revolves around farm-fresh produce and seasonal dishes, it’s imperative that the menu reflects the changing seasons. So although patrons may miss a favorite hearty dish – such as late winter’s Signature Dish of the Loaded Baked Potato Gnocchi – summer is just an opportunity to find a new favorite.
How much would you pay for a single-family home in Jackson Heights? This three-story property at 34-51 83rd Street, right in the heart of the neighborhood, is asking $1,200,000. The interior isn’t in bad shape but it certainly isn’t impressive enough for that asking price. What this property really has going for it is its lot: it’s 3,200 square feet with a garage and four (four!) parking spaces. You certainly don’t see that everyday in New York. So, what do you make of this one?
In Queens, there are worlds within worlds. Over the last three years I have been at loose ends, occasionally working freelance jobs when I can get them, still hoping for a fulltime job with benefits, a Holy Grail of sorts for someone in their 50s who has never been in management. I spend some of the time at the Greater Astoria Historical Society, which is located on the 4th floor of the Quinn Funeral Home at 35-20 Broadway, scanning photographs and researching material for a new book; the Society and I collaborated on the Forgotten Queens Arcadia Publishing entry, released in December 2013.
Desiring relief from boredom and some needed exercise, I took a different route to the subway after leaving GAHS one day and turned right on Broadway onto 37th Street. I knew about 37th Street from its role in world industrial history (see below for that) but I wasn’t completely prepared for the sheer variety of architecture that greeted me in the single block between Broadway and 34th Avenue. Much of Astoria features blocks of apartment buildings, handsomely constructed, but seemingly turned out by photocopier (another hint). Some blocks, though, betray their age, with buildings of a century or better pressed up against the newest architectural stylings that will look dated and of their time in what’s likely a mere twenty years.
The Millstone, a new condo building in LIC, is nearing the sold-out mark. Ten of the 14 units sold, pushing the building over the 50 percent point. The development launched in April, with over 300 prospective buyers showing up to the grand opening. Later in April, the building already had six accepted offers.
The one-bedroom and two-bedroom duplex apartments are priced between $480,000 and $799,000. The finishes include double-paned windows, Brazilian teak floors and washer/dryer units.
After pressure from local residents, pols and Community Board One, Alma Realty decided to up the number of affordable units at its massive Astoria Cove development. (In June, CB1 denied the 1,698-unit development proposal on the grounds that the developers weren’t offering enough.) Now DNAinfo reports that the number of units, previously 295, is up to 345. That’s a total of 20 percent of the entire project — still less than the 35 percent requested by Community Board One. Other housing advocates requested as much as 50 percent affordable. The developers are applying to include the proposed 345 units in the city’s Inclusionary Housing Program.
The developers are now in the midst of a public review for a zoning change, and Borough President Katz, who was also concerned about the affordability of the project, should issue her recommendation by July 30th.
G train riders, prepare yourselves. This Friday at 10:30 pm, the train will shut down for five whole weeks between Greenpoint and Long Island City. It will not stop between the Nassau Avenue station in Greenpoint and the Long Island City-Court Square station until Tuesday, September 2nd at 5 am. As DNAinfo points out, the closure is for Hurricane Sandy repairs — during the storm, three million gallons of salt water flooded the train tunnel. Besides Sandy repairs, the MTA will install permanent tunnel lighting and new signals.
The MTA will run a free shuttle service — details here — in replace of the subway line. The Greenpoint East River Ferry stop is also expected to reopen after shuttering in February.
Turns out the Woodhaven building at 78-19 Jamaica Avenue, which partially collapsed last year, will not be demolished. Queens Courier reports that the owners came to a settlement with the city to repair the roof by October 15th. The Department of Buildings declared the building hazardous and prepared to demo it after the owners failed to show up in court several times. Then the owners sued the DOB and Department of Housing Preservation and Development for “arbitrary and capricious” conduct, and finally reached this settlement.
The structure is now covered in scaffolding and generally considered a dangerous eyesore by the community. The next-door tenants, the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps and a senior center, were forced to relocate. As the owner’s lawyer told the Courier, “The engineer is working diligently to comply with the Department of Buildings. Once the building is finished, it will be very beautiful and the community will love it.”