10/30/14 10:00am


When you have the sort of interests that I do, a lot of time is spent looking through the little plexiglass windows of construction fences. Back in 2008, when the economy crashed and derailed a lot of the development plans, many of these temporary barriers became somewhat permanent fixtures. That’s no longer the case, obviously, as a surge of new construction is under way all over LIC. Unfortunately, one of the historic buildings we’ve already lost to this process is the former Neptune Meter Company factory building on Jackson Avenue nearby Court Square.

It’s not John Thomson’s Neptune Water meter company that we’ll miss though, instead it’s the street artist hub which was known as 5Pointz.

More after the jump… (more…)

10/30/14 9:00am


In honor of the upcoming New York City Marathon, Streeteasy put together this fun infographic on the fastest- and slowest-selling neighborhoods along the marathon route. Long Island City won, with condo, co-op, townhouse and single-family properties spending a median of 19 days on the market. (That’s it??) The median sales price in LIC is $607,500. The other neighborhoods making up the top five are all in Brooklyn, landing a median of 35 days on the market or less: Boerum Hill, Gowanus, Clinton Hill and Williamsburg. One slow-selling neighborhood in Queens noted by Streeteasy is Hunters Point, where properties spend a median of 75 days on the market.

Here’s a note from Streeteasy regarding the methodology: “StreetEasy tracked median sale prices for properties within two blocks of each side of the New York City Marathon route that were sold in 2014 (through Oct. 21) and median days on market for properties that entered into contract in 2014 (through Oct. 21).” They refer to LIC as the “dark-horse winner.”

10/30/14 8:30am


Roosevelt Avenue BID Gets New Director [NY Daily News]
Some Businesses in Rockaways Still Struggling to Recover Two Years After Sandy [NY1]
Get a Rare Look Inside 350-Year-Old Queens Home and Backyard Cemetery [DNAinfo]
Breezy Point Rebuilds with Little Help From FEMA [Times Ledger]
Runaway Hit Mu Ramen Looks Very Close to Opening Its Permanent Location in LIC [Eater]
Two Years Later, Tracking the Wreckage of Hurricane Sandy [Curbed]
Demolition Continues for Rockrose at Eagle Loft [Court Square Blog]

10/29/14 4:00pm


The Kissena Corridor Park Conservancy is trying to raise money to transform a weeds-choked section of Kissena Corridor Park, in Flushing, into a meditation garden. Queens Courier reports that the conservancy raised $160,000 with allocated funds from local pols. Although the Parks Department approved the plans, they will not contribute to any funding. The Conservancy believes the garden, which would include cedar of Lebanon trees, lighting, a water feature, flowers and bushes, will need at least $1,000,000 for construction. The plans for the meditation space are finalized so once the money is together, work can begin.

There aren’t any details on how the Conservancy plans to raise the rest of the money, but they’ll likely take it up with local council members. If it works out, the location will be right across from the New York Hospital Queens.

Conservancy Group Pushes Local Pols to Fund Meditation Garden in Kissena Corridor Park [Queens Courier]

Rendering via the Kissena Corridor Park Conservancy

10/29/14 3:00pm

This week, L+M Development Partners and the Department of Housing Preservation cut the ribbon at Arverne View, a renovated Mitchell-Lama affordable housing complex in the Rockaways. The event marked the conclusion of a pretty amazing story — L+M closed on the severely run-down complex right before Sandy hit, and the hurricane pretty much wiped out all 11 buildings. What followed was a $60,000,000 interior and exterior renovation to storm proof the complex and upgrade the apartments. The 1,093-unit complex is now 100 percent occupied; before Sandy there were 350 vacancies.

The film above, which is produced, directed and edited by Jason Hutt, chronicles that whole story. The film looks at the history of the Rockaways and the inception of Mitchell-Lama development, the eventual decline of the complex (then called Ocean Village), and L+M’s strategy for taking on the massive amount of work to be done after Hurricane Sandy. It was filmed over 20 months with over 17 hours of footage and eight hours of interviews. Well worth a watch.

Transformed: A Tale of the Rockaways [Arverne View]
All Arverne View coverage [Q'Stoner]

10/29/14 2:00pm


Coming soon to the border of Ridgewood and Bushwick, at 205 Cypress Avenue: a cafe, bar and vintage store called The Keep. Bushwick Daily writes that it’ll officially open at 8 pm on Halloween. Here’s what the owners have planned: “Café and vintage shop by day offering rustic roman small plates for brunch and dinner; with wi-fi, reading nooks and crannies, backgammon, music, funky mannequins and more.” There will also be a bar open in the evenings serving beer, wine and cocktails, as well as entertainment as varied as DJs, magic shows, tarot/psychic readings, vaudeville, burlesque and dinner parties. Sounds like a pretty unique addition to the nabe, obviously catering toward the hipster set. The Keep’s hours will be from 8 am to 4 am.

House of Curiosities Style Café/Bar, The Keep Is Opening at Bushwick/Ridgewood Border [Bushwick Daily] GMAP

Photo via The Keep


Queens Theatre + MuSE + Dance Entropy = Great Borough Synergy. This weekend, a Long Island City-based troupe will give three performances at a Flushing Meadows Corona Park venue with help from Astoria-based musicians in another example that creativity overflows in Queens. Simply titled “Valerie Green/Dance Entropy” in homage to its choreographer, this diverse program features the world premiere of Titanic.Si, (below) a performance piece based on the story of the Titanic with guest artists from Slovenia. The show’s other two pieces are Hinge, which celebrates the time-honored tradition of live music and dance with Multicultural Sonic Evolution; and Inexplicable Space, which combines movements and encounters amid steaming crystal balls and flying orbs inspired by fortune cookies (above).


Details: Valerie Green/Dance Entropy, Queens Theatre, 14 United Nations Avenue South, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, November 1st at 2 pm and 8 pm, November 2nd at 3 pm, $25-$42.

Photos: Dance Entropy

10/29/14 12:30pm

In terms of trick-or-treating, Forest Hills Gardens and Sunnyside Gardens are probably the best neighborhoods in the entire city due to their non-hilly streets lined with residential houses. But that’s only a small slice of the upcoming local fun, which includes Irish horror tales, Korean horror movies, and a cemetery tour as well as various concerts, dance performances, a musical, and pumpkin smashing. Here’s the rundown, broken down into arts, Halloween, dance, music and education events.



This Forest Hills Gardens home, at 69-22 Fleet Street, is on the rental market. It strikes us as a great deal: five bedrooms, two bathrooms and 2,311 square feet asking $3,950 a month. (There’s also a full living room, dining room, sun room, washer/dryer unit, one-car garage and backyard.) The interior isn’t knocking us over, but it’s plenty nice for a rental. Overall seems like a great space for a family or group of roommates looking for a rented house arrangement.

69-22 Fleet Street [Terrace Sotheby's] GMAP

10/29/14 11:00am

Quezal Art Glass, lampshades, knightarts.com 1

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the decorative arts are defined as “any of those arts that are concerned with the design and decoration of objects that are chiefly prized for their utility, rather than for their purely aesthetic qualities. Ceramics, glassware, basketry, jewelry, metalware, furniture, textiles, clothing, and other such goods are the objects most commonly associated with the decorative arts. While Western man certainly prized the objects of beauty that were produced over the centuries, the decorative arts, and those that created them, were generally not seen to be as “high” as fine art and artists. A goldsmith may be a fine craftsman, creating incredible work, but he was not an “artist” in the same standing as a painter or sculptor.

But towards the end of the 19th century, that began to change. The Aesthetic Movement, which prized beauty in all its forms, helped elevate the decorative arts to the status of “real” art. That was due, in no small part, to the amazing amount of artistic genius that was at work in the decorative arts at the time. One of these great geniuses was Louis Comfort Tiffany. (more…)