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.”
The Purves Street Block Association meeting is coming up this Wednesday, July 23rd, and there are two very interesting proposal on the agenda. First off, the Sculpture Center will present on its new building reopening, and related events planned. The Center started an expansion project in the spring of 2013; it includes 6,500 square feet of interior exhibition space, a 2,000-square-foot entrance lobby and a 1,500-square-foot enclosed courtyard. Last we heard, the ETA for the space was this fall.
The second item on the agenda is a presentation from Rockrose Development for new park space at Dutch Kills Street and Jackson Avenue. The area is mostly commercial with a few empty lots but unfortunately, there aren’t any more details to divulge at this time. If you’re interested in attending the meeting, it will take place at Sculpture Center, 44-19 Purves Street, from 7 to 8pm. RSVP to Cheryl@sculpture-center.org or call 718-361-1750.
Brooklyn has hipsters. Queens has Hip-to-Hip. This theater company, which specializes in family-friendly productions, performs Shakespeare classics for free in various public spaces throughout the borough each summer. This year, Hip-to-Hip will put on the Bard of Avon’sTwo Gentlemen of Verona, an early slapstick comedy about love, friendship, betrayal, forgiveness…and a dog, and Cymbeline, a late romance/fairy tale about a king, his only daughter, an evil stepmother, and a forbidden love. The professional actors will perform in repertory, and 30 minutes before each performance, they will host “Kids & The Classics,” an interactive workshop for children of all ages.
This cute, freestanding Colonial is from Maspeth, at 52-28 66th Street. It’s a three bedroom with 1,408 square feet. The interior looks to be in very nice shape, with wood floors galore and a newish kitchen reno. There are also some suburban perks like a yard, driveway and detached garage. For all this, the home is asking $645,000. Thoughts?
On Friday, the 11th of July, I found myself at the very edge of Queens in a very special place. At the end of Vernon Boulevard in LIC, where the old Vernon Avenue Bridge and the Newtown Creek Towing Company were found, is a facility which is engaged in the hands-on work of the Superfund process. The Anchor QEA company operates out of here, carrying out the collection of samples and scientific tests which will determine the exact nature of what’s wrong with Newtown Creek. These samples and tests are overseen and directed by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, and is an effort conducted by the so-called ”Potentially Responsible Parties” (PRPs).
These “Potentially Responsible Parties” have organized themselves together as the Newtown Creek Group, and they invited a small group of community members and representatives to their LIC facility to describe what they actually do at the Vernon street end and discuss the future of Newtown Creek.
We know the Forest Hills Gardens market is hot, but signs of demand are popping up all over the neighborhood of Forest Hills. The single-family home at 71-47 Kessel Street, between 71st and 72nd avenues, hit the market for $1,175,000 and got picked up one week later for $1,235,000. It’s a 2,590-square-foot, three-bedroom home on a 3,330-square-foot lot. The home was built in 1925. Here are some details from the old listing, from Terrace Sotheby’s Realty:
Spacious, light filled open floor plan with large Living Room with gas fireplace and open, high end eat-in Kitchen with top of the line appliances and custom cabinetry. New Powder Room. 2nd Floor: Three picture perfect Bedrooms and a large, beautifully renovated hall Bathroom. 3rd Floor: Two large rooms with heat that can be used for guest rooms or office space.
That’s the question tackled in this New York Daily News article, which reports that “the borough counts 21 shelters — the fewest in the city aside from only Staten Island, which only has two.” (The Bronx, on the other hand, houses 73.) That low number hasn’t stopped petitions, rallies, and outcries regarding new shelters in Glendale, East Elmhurst and the Rockaways. Residents oppose the shelters opening in mostly residential areas, and deem places like the proposed Glendale shelter unsuitable to house the homeless. What the article doesn’t mention, however, are complaints about the sometimes shady tactics the DOE employed to open the shelters, as well as the failure to notify the community ahead of time.
According to city officials, the short notice is due to the mounting pressure to house the growing number of homeless — according to the News, last week the number of people in facilities reached a record high of 54,417. A Department of Homeless Services rep is asking Queens residents to embrace the shelters, and states, “It is regrettable that in the midst of an increase in the number of homeless families entering shelters, our partners in government choose to distort the facts and plan protests in front of men, women and children with nowhere else to turn.”
The above video has made the internet rounds, but we like it enough to post again. Filmmaker and Sunnyside resident Dan Toth created this ode to Sunnyside using a triptych layout: a multi-panel work consisting of three different sections. He shot it all using an iPhone in the portrait orientation. There’s a great explanation of Toth’s motivation behind the video at his website:
I made this video to show the quaint beauty and quiet, local feel of Sunnyside. Walking around to get all of the shots was a great way to learn about the area.
I chose this layout because I think displaying three different scenes together simulates what it’s like to walk around an urban neighborhood: there’s often a lot going on–too much to take in all at once–and you tend to notice things that you weren’t previously aware of as you pass through again and again.
We couldn’t think of a better way to capture one of our favorite neighborhoods of Queens.