Socrates Sculpture Park is preparing for its spring exhibition, which will open on May 11th. Last week they broke ground on the largest installation in the park’s 28-year history — according to Socrates, it’s “a 250-foot-long, thirteen-foot-high kinetic pathway composed of 200 stainless steel, mirrored poles connecting energetic slopes of silver Mylar ribbon overhead.” The work, titled Scarecrow, is by the LIC-based, Lithuanian-born artist Zilvinas Kempinas. This is the artist’s first outdoor installation in the United States. You can read more details about the sculpture here, and also see photos of the installation process happening now at the park at the Socrates Facebook page. Also beginning in May, the park will provide a free weekend shuttle service to and from nearby cultural attractions.
The city will demolish the building at 78-19 Jamaica Avenue, in Woodhaven, which partially collapsed one year ago. (The photo above, from Project Woodhaven, shows what the building looked like right after the accident.) The Daily News reports that the head officer of 78-19 Jamaica Avenue failed to repair the building or show up in court. When he missed another court date last week, the DOB decided to go ahead with demolition. It’ll be done by a contractor hired by the HPD, then the city will bill the building owner for the work.
In the year since the collapse, the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps. had to close down its headquarters located next door, and a nearby senior center relocated as well. The community rallied outside the building last month to bring attention to the increasing safety hazards.
Far Rockaway is getting two new sweet spots, just in time for summer. Rockawayist reports that an Uncle Louie G outpost is under construction at 92-10 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, between Beach 146th and Beach 147th Streets. It’ll start serving italian ices and ice cream on Saturday, April 26th. And Boardwalk Bagel, located at 108-01 108th Street, plans to expand in the storefront next door and open an ice cream parlor. That one is expected to open sometime this summer.
It’s the New York City marathon for word lovers. Queens Writes Weekend 2014 will facilitate more than 12 literary events at a minimum of six venues throughout the world’s most diverse borough over the last weekend in April. The fun will start on Friday, April 25th, with an open reading at The Astoria Bookshop featuring contributors to the third issue of Newtown Literary, a semi-annual journal. On Saturday and Sunday, the events will differ, but authors of all kinds — young, old, novice, expert — will simply sit down together and write for a few hours. Participants will then share the products of their efforts at an open mic event at Terraza 7 in Elmhurst on Sunday night.
Details: Queens Writes Weekend 2014, begins with Kick-Off Reading at The Astoria Bookshop, 31-29 31st Street, Astoria, April 25th, 7 pm, click here for times and venues on April 26th and April 27th, ends at Wrap-Up Open Mic at Terraza 7, 40-19 Gleane Street, Elmhurst, April 27th, 6 pm, suggested donations at all times to defray the costs of publishing Newtown Literary‘s fourth edition and other good works. So far, events are set for Astoria, Bayside, Corona, Forest Hills, Jackson Heights and Kew Gardens, but more sites are expected to be confirmed before the weekend begins.Schedule and venues will be posted and updated regularly on this 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 Deal: Dutch Kills Centraal is still a relative newcomer to the poorly underserved area north of Queens Plaza, having just opened last year after two years of planning and construction.
The owner, Dominic Stiller, found the space abandoned two blocks from his home and, as a longtime community activist and Queens resident, wanted to create a place for the neighborhood to gather. So began the renovations: He added additional windows, repaired the walls, and installed reclaimed furniture, including a long communal table down the center of the room. Throughout it all, Stiller kept the original flooring and, of course, the bar that originally drew him in.
The Dish: Dutch Kills Centraal is a bar, and like any quality bar, the star on the menu is the burger. As Ken Holiday, in charge of marketing for the restaurant, says, “Every gastro-pub should have a burger on the menu. Our food is defiantly more upscale than a bar, but we want a place comfortable to everyone.” Centraal sources its meats and produce from local purveyors, and serves the burger on a butter-glazed brioche bun, topped with a homemade siracha sauce.
“To have a familiar item, in a cozy place, in an area called Dutch Kills makes it taste all the better,” says Holiday. “Elevated comfort, charm, a hospitality is what we aim for.”
This studio rental comes from the Lane Towers co-op, located at 107-40 Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills. For a studio it looks quite lovely and spacious — those big windows don’t hurt. There’s enough space for dedicated bedroom, living room and office areas. We think with some room dividers this could feel like a one bedroom. The co-op comes with a doorman and a public terrace, and is located across the street from the Forest Hills subway stop. Given all that, do you think this studio apartment is worth the monthly rent of $1,600?
According to legend, Whitestone takes its name from a large offshore rock where tides from the East River and Long Island Sound met; in other accounts the name is in honor of the White Stone Chapel, erected by townsman Samuel Leggett in 1837. For a time, Whitestone was known as Clintonville, after NYC mayor and NY State Governor DeWitt Clinton, who lived in the area. Both Leggett and Clintonville are recalled in area street names.
DeWitt Clinton (1769-1828) was one of early New York’s pre-eminent politicians, serving in the NY State Assembly and as a state Senator (1798-1811), US Senator from New York (1802-1803); NYC mayor (1803-1815) NY State Governor (1817-1822) and ran unsuccessfully for US President as a Federalist against incumbent President James Madison in 1812. DeWitt Clinton lived in Queens County, primarily during his time as mayor, in a mansion near Newtown Creek in Maspeth that burned down in 1933, though he had a summer house in Whitestone. While he was NYS Governor, Whitestone became known as Clintonville in his honor. Though the neighborhood became “Whitestone” again during the 19th Century the name is remembered by the lengthy Clintonville Street and Clintonville Playground.
Clintonville Street, looking south from 10th Avenue, looks like a main street in any smaller town just before entering the central business district. The blue St. Nicholas dome, though, gives it away as a metropolitan artery.
Mark your calendars: the Jackson Heights Historic Weekend, going on since 1991, is scheduled for Saturday, June 7th. The event includes a slide lecture on the history of Jackson Heights, an exhibition of historic photos and memorabilia, and a self-guided tour of the private interior gardens of Jackson Heights co-op buildings. There should be two new gardens on this tour, for a total of about 15. On Sunday, June 8th there will be guided walking tours of the historic district. The slide lecture and the photo exhibition are free, while the garden tour and the historic district tour each cost $10. (Or it’s $15 for both tours.)
You can purchase tickets for the weekend event starting on May 27th at either Espresso 77 (35-57 77th Street) or the Beaudoin Realty Group offices (78-27 37th Avenue, Suite 5, second floor).
That’s a wrap for Woodside’s new “affordable luxury” rental development. The Daily News reports that the 66-unit building is full up after six weeks on the market. (The building was half full in early March.) Prices ranged from $1,500 to $2,600 a month for studio to two-bedroom apartments. This is the first new “luxury” development for Woodside, with amenities like a virtual doorman and a landscaped rooftop deck with a barbecue grill.
Crain’s also shares an article on the changing demographic of the neighborhood, stating that as more young people are priced out of Long Island City and Astoria they are looking to Woodside. The neighborhood, rather than having an industrial background like LIC, is known for “well-regarded schools, low crime and a good, affordable housing stock.” As the population grows, new businesses are opening in the area, too: a cafe opened on Roosevelt Avenue and 85 percent of the available commercial space at Woodside Terrace, the new condo at 63-14 Queens Boulevard, is full.