09/15/14 4:00pm

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Hungry? Would you like to enjoy a delicious meal and help others at the same time? Or are you ready to experience a wonderful taste of winter without getting cold? This Thursday, the Snowday food truck (above) will stop outside the Clock Tower at Dutch Kills Green and serve delicious, maple-themed lunches, including maple grilled cheese sandwiches, seasonal salads, beer-batted maple onion rings, and maple apple cupcakes. More information and photos after jump.

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09/15/14 2:00pm

tacuba-astoria

Tomorrow marks the grand opening of Tacuba Cantina Mexicana, Astoria’s newest Latin American restaurant at 35-01 36th Street. The folks at We Heart Astoria broke down the menu, which includes guacamole, peruano (a Peruvian style ceviche), empanadas, carnitas tacos and Mariscada en Molcajete (shrimp, octopus, clams, tilapia and cilantro rice). The menu will also feature a large collection of tequilas and mezcal, as well as cocktails with fresh fruit.

Tacuba is the work of Chef Julian Medina, who also worked at the NYC restaurants Toloache, Yerba Buena and Coppelia. Hours will be Monday through Thursday, 11:30 am to 11 pm, Friday and Saturday, 11:30 am to 2:00 am and Sunday, 11:30 am to 11 pm.

Some Things to Look Forward to at Tacuba [We Heart Astoria] GMAP

Photo via Facebook

09/15/14 12:00pm

84-62-beverly-road

The borough’s only Anglo-Japanese-style home, located at 84-62 Beverly Road in Kew Gardens, has just hit the market. This property has an interesting history, and in more recent years sadly fell into decay. According to this article in Queens Chronicle, “The building was constructed by Joseph Fleischmann, a florist who became a millionaire after developing a flower shop franchise with stores in Chicago and Washington DC, for his daughter to live in.” The exact construction date isn’t known, but it’s believed to be before 1928. The lower half of the home is white stucco; the roof features curves reminiscent of Japanese architecture — just gorgeous. This Forgotten New York article calls the building in its present state a “near ruin,” with hostile handmade “Stay Away” signs on the door. Our guess is that the interior is a mess.

The listing markets this property “as is.” And the asking price is going to raise many eyebrows at $1,387,777. It would be wonderful to see a new owner come and fix this property up, but we unfortunately don’t think it’s going to happen at that price.

84-62 Beverly Road [Realty Depot LLC] GMAP

09/15/14 11:00am

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Before the consolidation of the City of Greater New York, the center of the world in Queens was in Hunters Point. This was where the docks were, and where the LIRR ferries discharged passengers coming from Manhattan. These passengers would ostensibly board the east bound trains, but an entire industry of saloons, bars, and hotels had sprung up in the area around the LIRR yard to keep them in the neighborhood. Now… remember that we’re talking about the 1870-1900 period here. Your best point of reference, from a modern point of view, for what such such establishments offered is fictionalized in Cowboy movies and the Boardwalk Empire television series. There was gambling, women, and lots and lots of liquor. This was, if effect, a frontier town – one which was ruled over by a clique of politicians whose antics would have made Boss Tweed blush. Notorious even amongst his fellows, the last Mayor of Long Island City was Patrick Jerome Gleason. He was called Battle Ax Gleason by friend and foe alike.

Gleason was personally responsible for the construction of the exquisite P.S. 1 school house pictured in the next shot, a terra cotta masterpiece which nearly bankrupted LIC – amongst other imbroglios. Dogged by claims and accusations (and at least one conviction) of corruption – Gleason used to sit in a barber chair outside the Miller Hotel – known today as the LIC Crabhouse – and hold court with constituent and passerby alike. This was his favorite spot by all reports, directly across the street from the LIRR train and ferry terminal.

He instructed those he met to avoid addressing him as “Mayor,” instructing them to instead to “Just call me Paddy.”

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Long Island City, which existed as an independent municipality that stretched from the East River to Woodside and from Newtown Creek to Bowery Bay for just 28 years, was hardly a candidate for the good government award prior to Gleason. For some reason, he raised the ire of press and political player alike. Remember – this is during the golden age of Tammany Hall over in Manhattan. Bribes and graft were a matter of fact in this era, a part of doing business. Liquor and gambling were commonplace, along with prostitution, and this turpitude raised the ire of do gooders all over the state and nation.

Enter the assassin of joy.

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09/11/14 2:00pm

rockaway-roasters

Now under construction in the Rockaways: Rockaway Roasters, a coffee cafe at 92-06 Rockaway Beach Boulevard. The Facebook page promises gourmet coffee (hot and cold), espresso, lattes, cappuccinos, an organic juice bar and more. It’ll be open seven days a week. There’s no official opening date yet, but it’s scheduled for the fall or winter of this year. GMAP

Photo via Facebook

09/11/14 1:25pm

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Oil on Newtown Creek is an old story, but when there are fresh rainbow colors like you see in the shot of Dutch Kills above, there’s nothing historic about it. That’s newly released material, and it’s been a big problem all summer.

First, for those of you unfamiliar with the place, Dutch Kills is Long Island City’s own tributary of Newtown Creek. Its junction with the main body of the Creek is found roughly .8 of a mile from the East River, and it terminates at 47th Avenue – just a block or so away from the Citigroup building on Jackson Avenue at Thomson.

Throughout the summer of 2014, reports of fresh oil sheens have been reported along Newtown Creek. My colleague in the Newtown Creek Alliance, Greenpoint’s Will Elkins, has documented this event, and interacted with NYS Department of Environmental Conservation investigators to determine the point source from which this material is emanating.

Yesterday, the DEC found that point source on Dutch Kills, and probably found the polluter who has been illegally dumping literally thousands of gallons of oil directly into the water all summer.

More after the jump… (more…)

09/10/14 2:00pm

Julias-beer-wine-bar-ridgewood

Lookin’ good! The owners of the Ridgewood cafe Norma’s are making serious progress on their beer-focused bar and restaurant at 818 Woodward Avenue, near Cornelia Street. Dubbed Julia’s, it should hopefully open in late September. There will be a good selection of New York-made beers as well as a menu with charcuterie and cheese plates. (The meat will come from Morscher’s, a neighborhood institution.) Check out one more interior shot after the jump, and keep up-to-date with Julia’s progress on Facebook. GMAP

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09/09/14 12:30pm

hasenpfeffer_700

The Spot: Snowdonia, 34-55 32nd Street, Astoria.

The Deal: For any quality gastropub, the beer selection is a top priority. It follows then that Oktoberfest would be the biggest holiday. Or at least that’s the case at the Astoria gastropub Snowdonia, which has launched a new prix fixe menu for the holiday.

“Oktoberfest is our favorite holiday, in no small part because it primarily features beer, amazing Bavarian food, and more beer,” says Matthew Callahan, the community manager at the restaurant.

There are five main dishes, each served with two sides for $15. Choices for the main include Bratwurst with sauerkraut; Wiener Schnitzel (breaded veal cutlet); Sauerbraten (wine-marinated beef roast); Rouladen (flank steak stuffed with bacon, onions and pickles); and Hasenpfeffer, while the sides on offer are German potato salad, braised red cabbage, spaetzle, or green beans.

“Traditionally Oktoberfest starts in late September and runs through October,” says Callahan. “We’re starting a bit early and running it for six weeks because the menu is just that awesome.”

Read about the Oktoberfest-themed Signature Dish after the jump… (more…)

09/09/14 11:00am

waldheim.ash

Flushing’s architecture becomes rather drab once you depart from the historic areas along Northern Boulevard or just south of it. Most of the idiosyncrasies and varied elements have been stamped out long ago to make way for boring, doctrinaire high-rise apartment buildings and attached two-family houses. But when you walk along Ash (pictured above), Beech and Cherry Avenues between Bowne Street and Parsons Boulevard, the veil lifts and you are in what seems to be another world.

Waldheim is a Flushing enclave that has so far mostly escaped the clutches of developers who are otherwise turning the rest of the neighborhood into blond-bricked, visible water-meter heaven. Shingle Style, Moorish, Colonial and Classical Revival homes mix with houses that look like early Frank Lloyd Wright. Enormous, 150-year-old trees overhang the blocks, making them cool walks in summer, and the homes are set back a good distance from the sidewalks with many homes displaying well-kept gardens. Widely curved corners on Ash and Beech Avenues where they meet Phlox and Syringa Places allow strollers more of a vista than on normal Queens streets.

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09/08/14 2:00pm

vivire-bar-sunnyside

Last Thursday, Vivire Bar opened up shop at 41-21 Greenpoint Avenue in Sunnyside. As Sunnyside Post points out, it’s a stretch known for lots of empty storefronts — Vivire replaced the vacant Lowery Medical Care space. While the owner initially planned to open a sports bar here that focused on soccer, he changed his mind and decided to cater to young professionals in the neighborhood. Vivire offers a selection of wines, scotch, craft beers, seasonal cocktails and a happy hour special from noon to 7 pm.

Vivire, a Greenpoint Ave. Bar, Opened Last Week [Sunnyside Post]
A Sports Bar Is Slated for Sunnyside [Q'Stoner] GMAP