08/20/14 4:00pm

sunnyside-bike-friendly-business-district

This Saturday, Transportation Alternatives and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer will be in Sunnyside to launch the first “Bike Friendly Business District” in Queens. What’s a bike friendly business district? Here’s what Transportation Alternatives has to say: “Sunnyside is home to numerous entrepreneurs who know that a network of bike lanes, bike parking and public bike share creates vibrant streets that boost local business. By offering special discounts to T.A.’s 12,000 members, Bike Friendly Business Districts become destinations for New Yorkers who believe in safer, more livable streets.”

There are a collection of more than 70 bike friendly businesses in Sunnyside advocating for bicycle and street safety. On Saturday, T.A. and Council Member Van Bramer will spotlight the local businesses with a leisurely bike tour around the neighborhood. It kicks off at 2 pm at the Bliss Street Plaza and lasts until 4 pm. Find more details here.

Photo via Sunnyside Shines

08/20/14 2:00pm

77-01-37th-Avenue-photo

Earlier this summer, we reported that Frank’s Pharmacy would relocate in Jackson Heights after a massive fire hit the Bruson Building on 37th Avenue. (Over 50 small businesses located within the building were lost in total.) Frank’s new location is 77-01 37th Avenue, on the corner of 77th Street. Now the New York Daily News reports the location will open on September 20th.

The News writes that Frank Buonagurio, who’s owned the pharmacy for 23 years, contemplated early retirement after the fire. A broker contacted him about the new space at 77th Street and 37th Avenue, which previously operated as a pharmacy, and he decided to move in. He’ll occupy 2,300 square feet on the ground floor with 2,300 square feet of basement storage space.

Beloved Queens Pharmacy Destroyed in Fire will Reopen Down the Block [Daily News]
Frank’s Pharmacy Makes a Move in Jackson Heights Due to Fire [Q'Stoner] GMAP

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Past attendees include former President Bill Clinton, current First Lady Michelle Obama, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Alec Baldwin, and Rafael Nadal. For some it’s the unofficial start to the U.S. Open and a tribute to an athletic and civil rights legend, but for others, it’s an entertainment-heavy day full of pop culture sensations, exhibitions by professional tennis players, and a smorgasbord of activities and fun.

This Saturday, Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day will take place at the USTA Billie Jean National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Youngsters of all skill levels will participate in tennis and fitness activities, often with shorter courts, smaller rackets and less bouncy balls, while others will do drills to increase agility, balance, coordination, speed, and strength. There will also be a juggling workshop, hair beading and braiding, balloon artists, roving entertainers, and appearances by Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob, Dora, and Diego. Serena Williams and Andy Murray will be on hand this year, and the concert features chart-toppers such as The Bomb Digz, Kalin and Myles, Hollywood Ending and Karina Rae.

Details and photos after the jump. (more…)

08/20/14 12:30pm

It’s time for the block party to end all block parties, the community fun day to end all community fun days, the fundraiser concert to end all fundraiser concerts, and the film series to end all film series. Other activities include beach movies, a US Open preview, and history lessons on the Revolutionary War. Here’s the rundown, broken down into dance, music, outdoors, educational and arts events.

(more…)

08/20/14 12:00pm

67-60-110-street

Why is this Forest Hills home, at 67-60 110 Street, asking $2,500,000? Seriously, we can’t figure it out. It’s a large lot, at 5,000 square feet, but we can’t imagine there’s much development potential since this is a low-density residential area. The lot is entirely paved, so there’s no appeal of a backyard. And the interior, which boasts four bedrooms and three bathrooms, isn’t doing it for us either. Forest Hills readers, any clue of why the asking price is so high? You could buy a Tudor mansion in Forest Hills Gardens for that kind of money. What do you think this house could get?

67-60 110 Street [Exit Realty First Choice] GMAP

08/20/14 11:00am

Calvary Cemetery, JimHenderson, Wiki

I hope you will enjoy a repost of one of my first Queenswalks. Next week will be brand new.

A trip from Brooklyn to Queens across that semi-movable parking lot known as the Brooklyn Queens Expressway will always take you over a vast expanse of the land of the dead. Although you can’t help but cynically think that those below are there from waiting in traffic jams up above, the fact of the matter is that you are sitting above the largest cemetery in the United States, with over three million burials. It’s also one of the oldest cemeteries, and buried its first permanent resident in 1848. She was named Esther Ennis, and she died, the records say, “of a broken heart.” This is Calvary Cemetery, run by the Trustees of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of New York. (more…)

08/20/14 10:00am

176-Woodward-Ave1

Yesterday, the City Council approved a rezoning proposal in Ridgewood, meaning the neighborhood is getting a brand new, 88-unit rental build on Woodward Avenue. DNAinfo writes that those units won’t all be priced at market level. Local Councilman Antonio Reynoso worked with the developer, Slate Property Group, to accommodate affordable apartments and artist space. The development, as approved by the City Council, will be 50 percent affordable, with 20 percent of the units permanently affordable. (It looks like the market rate units will cost around $1,000 for studios and $1,800 for two bedrooms.) The building will also hold 3,000 square feet of affordable rental space for artists and community groups. The developers will pick the artist groups, who can rent the space for $10 a year.

There’s another 7,000 square feet of commercial space, and there will be 120 parking spaces. The building itself will include laundry, an exercise room and a rooftop dog run.

Ridgewood Development Pledges $10 a Year Space for Artists [DNAinfo]
All 176 Woodward Avenue coverage [Q'Stoner] GMAP

08/20/14 9:00am

44-30A-Purves-Street

We already know that Purves Street is one of the most active blocks of development in the entire city. Here’s more proof: New York YIMBY found Department of Building permits for a 33-story residential tower proposed at 44-26 Purves Street. The parcel is owned by Brause Realty, who picked it up for $17,200,000 at a foreclosure auction last year. They chose the architect FXFowle to design the building, which will have 270 units, commercial space and a total of 207,053 square feet. No word on a construction timeline just yet.

That means a whole lot of construction for a very short block of Long Island City. The SculptureCenter at 44-19 Purves Street (right across the street) is in its final phases of renovation. Court Square Blog recently spotted activity at the now-empty lot 44-18 Purves. Demolition was approved for the warehouse at 44-46 Purves. And 44-35 and 44-51 Purves Street is now under construction, and will eventually be a 22-story, 121-unit residential tower.

Permits Filed: 33-Story Tower Coming to 44-26 Purves Street [New York YIMBY]
Checking in on Purves Street, Possibly the Most Active Block of Development in the City! [Q'Stoner] GMAP

The Secret Theatre, an arts organization in Long Island City, just kicked off a fundraising campaign. The theatre is known for hosting two annual short play festivals, a variety of in-house shows and weekly children’s theater. The organization, however, has run into problems with its building and needs $10,000 to take care of it. Here are more details from the Indiegogo fundraising campaign:

After a tough year when we discovered that the building we were in was not compliant we were hit with Dept of Buildings fines, architect fees and we had to move the Little Theatre to a different location with all the attendant moving and construction costs. Our budgets are tiny and with no real reserve to speak of we are dealing with a cash hole that threatens our existence. The Secret has become a major contributor to the cultural life of Western Queens and LIC and has been responsible for creating a theatre scene in LIC where none previously existed. With your help we can continue to win plaudits from The New York Times [multiple critics pick awards] also many shows and artists have won or been nominated for the New York Innovative Theatre Awards, we can continue to support awesome artists and to push the envelope of what can be achieved in a borough that needs us.

The $10,000 will go toward the theatre closing its funding gap and making crucial building upgrades. There are rewards for donating, like becoming a sponsor of one of the annual festivals. To check out the full campaign, go here.