First ever literary journal in Queens launches, plus a party
The Newtown Literary Journal, a new publication – the first of its kind in Queens – is making its debut later this week. 26 Queens-based writers have contributed to the inaugural issue, which is available in both print ($10) and electronic ($8) editions. They’re having a party to celebrate it this Friday at Waltz-Astoria at 8pm. So come on out and show them your support! This is a big deal for Queens.
The Thirsty Koala is poised to open – just a little longer, now
Australian-inspired food is the name of the game (lamingtons! Tim Tams! flat whites! lamb lollies! fish tacos!) at Astoria’s The Thirsty Koala, which is just about ready to open up. Hurricane Sandy held back the progress a little, mainly because the city offices they needed to interact with were not fully available at the time of the storm. Anyway, we’re pretty excited to try the food. We got the chance to check out their interior digs, which look amazing. It’s so different in there compared to Spiced, the Indian Chinese restaurant that used to occupy that space. It’s warm and inviting, and we give it a thumbs up.
Triumph of Civic Virtue isn’t going quietly to Brooklyn
Remember we told you about the controversial statue Triumph of Civic Virtue, and how it’s being moved from Kew Gardens to the Green-Wood Cemetery? Well, it – of its supporters – is not going quietly. It’s got itself a Facebook page, a website, and lots of chatter, most recently about a protest held by concerned citizens who want it to stay put. The current strife is being couched as City Councilman Peter Vallone (Astoria) vs. Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. It will be interesting to see what happens.
Sandy aid from the Federal government – $60.4 billion
Yes, that’s billion – Hurricane Sandy tore it up big time and as wel know, it left a ton of damage. On Friday, 12/7/12, President Obama asked Congress fro $60.4 billion in aid to help New York, New Jersey, and other states affected negatively by Sandy. According to WNYC, “it’s on track to be the second or third most costly natural disaster in U.S. history, behind Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and close to Hurricane Andrew in 1992.” WNYC has also put together the breakdown as to where these funds would go. The Community Development Block Grant would get the biggest chunk, at $15 billion; Amtrak would get the smallest, at $32 million. Also in there is Federal Transit Administration for MTA, Port Authority of NY/NJ, NJTransit, and NYC DoT at $6.2 billion (perhaps some of this will go towards fixing the A line at Broad Channel).
New building going up on 31st Street by the Beer Garden in Astoria
We took a look at the Department of Buildings record for this new building at 23-88 31st Street and discovered that where a two story house stood, a seven story mixed-use building will be built. It will be 7 stores and will have 28 residential units in it. The folks that will be living here will be in a very convenient location – close to the subway, PS 85, and great restaurants. We look forward to seeing what it ends up looking like, too.