newtown-creek

Getty Petroleum, one of the companies held responsible for polluting the Newtown Creek waterway, agreed yesterday to fork over $16,000,000 for its cleanup. Getty, who filed for bankruptcy in 2011, is one among many who dumped around 30,000,000 gallons of toxic waste in the creek over the years. The EPA declared Newtown Creek a Superfund site in 2010, which, as the New York Daily News says, “compels companies responsible for polluting the site to pay to clean it up.” The $16M sum is the result of an agreement between Getty and the federal government as part of the company’s bankruptcy process.

According to Gothamist, Getty admitted to hazardous dumping way back in 2005. (The problem of illegal dumping in the creek is far from over, and continues to this day.) Here’s a statement on this recent settlement by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara: “Today’s settlement ensures that Getty takes responsibility for its contribution to that sad legacy, and pays a fair share of clean-up costs at the site. This Office is committed to holding those who contaminate our nation’s lands and waterways accountable for their actions, and bankruptcy is not a free pass for polluters.”

Getty Petroleum Agrees to Pay $16M to Clean Newtown Creek [NY Daily News]
Newtown Creek Gets $16 Million From A Company That Helped Ruin It [Gothamist]
All Newtown Creek coverage [Q'Stoner]

Photo by Mitch Waxman

10/21/14 9:00am

big-six-woodside

The NYC HPD announced that one of the Mitchell-Lama towers in Woodside opened up its waiting list for two- and three-bedroom co-op apartments. The exact address of the housing is not listed, but our guess is that it’s part of the Big Six complex — read more about the successful, desirable housing complex right here. Under Mitchell-Lama, the city regulates prices for moderate- and middle-income apartment units. Prices for two bedrooms at this particular development range from $36,467 to $40,519. Three bedrooms are priced between $48,721 and $52,781. (No, those numbers aren’t typos. Sigh.)

The city will only select 1000 applicants to be entered in the lottery for two-bedroom apartments, and 500 applicants for the three-bedroom apartments. There are income restrictions in place — view the full list of guidelines and details here [PDF]. Applications are due in the mail by October 31st, 2014.

Photo by Mitch Waxman

10/20/14 2:00pm

red-pipe-cafe-forest-hills

Forest Hills, you’re officially on the NYC hipster map! Edge of the City reports that the neighborhood’s got its first indie, organic coffee shop. It’s called Red Pipe Cafe and it’s located at 71-60 Austin Street, the former Stoa Jewelry store. The space is open from 7 am to 10 pm and serves coffee, tea, sandwiches, salads, soups and desserts — everything is organic. There’s a decent amount of seating, and Edge of the City says the baristas make a mean cappuccino. Seems like a no brainer that a spot like this will do well along Austin Street.

Forest Hills Gets an Indie Coffee Shop [Edge of the City] GMAP

Photo via Red Pipe Cafe

10/17/14 11:00am

voelker1

As recently as the 1950s and 1960s, Flushing was a town of old-timey Victorian homes protected by shade trees, with a lively downtown centered on Main Street between Northern Boulevard and the Long Island Rail Road Port Washington line. After Flushing began to stagnate, a slow trickle of immigrants from eastern Asia began to arrive and revitalized the region, but at the cost of its sleepy-town atmosphere as the old Victorians were torn down and apartment buildings and attached homes replaced them.

Today, Flushing’s colonial relics, some of which are almost 400 years old, are uneasily juxtaposed with garish advertising and overcrowded streets. Commerce and history are rarely easy partners. The result of Flushing’s revival of the past decades is that it has preserved a few of its oldest buildings from the 17th century, but most from the 18th century and even many from the early 20th have been wiped out.

Sprinkled throughout Flushing, though, are several elderly dwellings that have held firm as wave over wave of change has overswept Flushing. One of those is one of Queens’ newest museums, the Voelker-Orth Museum and Victorian Garden, which opened to the public in 2003.

voelker2
Sohmer piano in the Voelker-Orth House parlor

(more…)

10/16/14 1:30pm

Forest_Hills-71st_Avenue-wifi

Yesterday we told you that the MTA planned to outfit 29 different subway stations in the borough with free Wi-Fi — we just didn’t know which stations the MTA picked. Today, the city made the official announcement and revealed the full list, which you can view here. Some of the stations included are Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Avenue, Hunters Point Avenue, Queens Plaza, Steinway Street, 63 Drive/Rego Park, Jamaica Center, Court Square, 21st Street/Queensbridge, Kew Gardens/Union Turnpike, Forest Hills/71st Avenue, Elmhurst Avenue and Northern Boulevard. The service will be installed in October and November.

This is Phase Two of an effort to wire all 277 underground subway stations by 2017. Phase Three will include the Flushing Main Street Station, according to a press release by Governor Cuomo.

Wi-Fi Coming for 29 Queens Subway Stations [Q'Stoner]

Photo via Wikipedia

10/16/14 10:00am

central-ridgewood-historic-district

Tonight, the Ridgewood Property Owners and Civic Association along with the Landmarks Preservation Commission are holding a public meeting regarding the proposed Central Ridgewood Historic District. The Times Newsweekly ran a Facebook post announcing the meeting, and reports that the landmarking effort would protect around 900 homes in the area. As the Times Newsweekly said in an article on the proposed district, published way back in 2010, “The Central Ridgewood district, if enacted, would protect more than three times the total number of buildings in Ridgewood landmark districts.” (Currently, there are two districts in the neighborhood landmarked, as well as a block of Stockholm Street between Woodward and Onderdonk avenues.)

The proposed district, which spans 40 different blocks of the neighborhood, includes brick rowhouses built in the early 1900s and located in the grey area mapped above. The architecture firm Louis Berger and Company designed many of the rowhouses in question, and many of his Renaissance Revival details remain well preserved in the neighborhood.

The meeting tonight starts at 7 pm at the Cardella Center, which is located at the corner of Fresh Pond Road and Catalpa Avenue.

10/15/14 4:00pm

After the Fair, a new documentary celebrating the legacy of the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, is now available on DVD and digital download! The film takes the viewers back to the fair, to illustrate how momentous it was at the time — a total of 51,000,000 people came to see it over two seasons. It also takes a modern look at the relics and history left behind, as well as how the fair continues to influence technology and pop culture today. After the Fair also includes interviews with fair attendees, workers, and builders.

Above, watch the first six minutes of the documentary. To purchase the full documentary, visit the website.

New Documentary To Celebrate the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair [Q'Stoner]

10/15/14 2:00pm

kennedys-restaurant-breezy-point

Kennedy’s Restaurant, shuttered nearly two years due to Hurricane Sandy, is planning to reopen later this month in Breezy Point. (The original hope was to reopen this summer.) Rockawayist noticed that the building scaffolding just came down, “revealing a beautiful new clapboard façade that blends in effortlessly on the shore.” The owners also added a new glassy space to accommodate 50 more seats.

The historic restaurant, located right on the waterfront with views of Manhattan, opened in 1910 and was originally a casino.

Elbow Bend: Kennedy’s Set to Reopen [Rockawayist]
Checking in at Kennedy’s Restaurant, Still Rebuilding After Hurricane Sandy [Q'Stoner]