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.
Despite a hard fight from Rockaway residents to save their ferry service, the city will stop running it at the end of this month. According to the Daily News, President of the EDC Kyle Kimball told residents at a town hall meeting that it just didn’t make sense for the city to shell out $5,000,000 a year to keep the ferry running. (The service was put in place after Sandy badly damaged other public transportation options from the Rockaways.) Riders paid $3.50 per ticket while the city paid around $30 for each rider. “I realize that I cannot convince you this is the right decision,” said Kimball, “There’s just a difference of opinion on how the city should spend its resources.”
Residents have protested the closure for months now, arguing that the ferry is a fast, convenient and affordable transit route for an area already lacking convenient public transportation. Earlier this month The Wave reported that Mayor de Blasio met with local elected pols on ways to possibly extend the service, with hopes that this was the “Hail Mary” the ferry needed.
Very popular East Elmhurst bakery Cannelle Patisserie is now serving in Long Island City. Chopsticks + Marrow writes that the LIC outpost opened late last week at 5-11 47th Avenue, between 5th Street and Vernon Boulevard — the bakery owners actually live right across the street. They tell Chopsticks + Marrow that the items for sale will be a little more seasonal than the selection in East Elmhurst. (Hello, pumpkin pie!) Of course, you can still expect croissants, the praline cream-filled Paris-Brest, cakes, tarts, quiches, sandwiches and an excellent coffee selection.
The bakery announced its plans of expansion back in February.
This just in: the Department of Transportation announced a CitiBike expansion to Long Island City, Queensbridge and Astoria by the end of 2015. (Other neighborhoods include Bed Stuy, Greenpoint, Crown Heights and Park Slope.) The announcement isn’t a total surprise, but the timeline is new. It’s also too bad that Sunnyside was left out, as the neighborhood was expected to be included in the initial Queens rollout. No word yet on the number of stations or where they will be located, but feel free to start suggesting locations. Stay tuned for more details… UPDATE: The New York Times reports that the program will expand to 12,000 bikes at more than 700 stations. Prices for an annual membership will rise almost 60 percent from $95 to $149.
Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the roof deck at the Pearson LIC, some 16 stories above Court Square here in Long Island City. The views from this spot are unparalleled, as it’s location next to the Sunnyside Yards allows for a seamless view of the horizon in any direction. I’ve gotten high in Long Island City before, by the way, last time it was with Melinda Katz.
As is my habit when presented with such vistas, I decided to shoot “stitched panorama” components. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it’s a “photoshop thing” which allows one to combine multiple images into singular wide angle ones. The odd shape of the frames in these shots is caused by me twisting about while trying to maintain the horizon level. Clicking on any of the shots in today’s post will take you out to my Flickr page, where progressively larger iterations of them can be accessed, all the way up to the originals, which might be as large as two to three feet across.
Center frame in this one is the mouth of Newtown Creek and the Freedom tower.
The Court Square Blog posted the above photo on its Twitter account this weekend — the demolition of the actual 5Pointz warehouse has begun. Demolition of the rear section wrapped earlier this month; scaffolding appeared along Jackson Avenue last week. The Wolkoffs, the owners of the site, planned to finish demolition of the entire complex by the end of this month, then quickly start construction of the two 47- and 41-story apartment towers. RIP.
If you ride the Long Island Rail Road Port Washington line as I have every day for the past couple of decades, no doubt you have noticed the four-story brick factory on the south side of the tracks the train roars past on 94th Street, about midway between the Woodside and Shea Stadium (now Mets Willets Point) stations. Well, I did, anyway, because I had noted the long-unused train siding, one of the last remaining vestiges of a time when the LIRR was used to move freight. I’m happy to report that the old factory has, instead of being razed for more “Fedders specials,” has been reinvented for the 21st Century as a building housing three high schools.
Development over Sunnyside Yards may not just be something people vaguely talk about every few years. Capital New York reports that Amtrak is considering development, and may seek out investors by next spring for building opportunities. Amtrak executives have also discussed the possibility with Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo, with a spokesman for the mayor saying the site could potentially accommodate de Blasio’s affordable housing initiative.
Of course, there are still a lot of “what ifs.” Amtrak is evaluating many of its properties and isn’t looking to develop right away, instead seeking out partners to work on development strategies. And it’s still unclear how, exactly, development would look over the sprawling 167 acres of rail yards — any building strategy will be extremely complex and also require collaboration with the MTA. But as Capital says, “Still, the chairman’s comments were by far the most aggressive made on the topic by an executive at the company and were read as a significant moment for those thinking about the potential the Sunnyside Yards hold.”
Introducing Q.E.D., a new Astoria venue that plans to host arts and crafts, stand-up comedy, tastings, poetry slams, game nights, walking tours, storytelling, gardening, and much, much more. The owner, Queens resident Kambri Crews, has dubbed it an “after-school space for grown ups” — a sort of all-inclusive art and performance space that will appeal to many. The classes and workshops will be priced affordably and will not require long commitments, and the space will be open to all different types of performers. (It’s also available to rent out for private events.) Q.E.D. is located a few blocks from the Astoria/Ditmars subway stop, at 27-16 23rd Avenue between 27th and 28th Streets.
Events at Q.E.D. will start up in early November. Upcoming classes include stand-up comedy for beginners, PR and Marketing 101, Intro to American Sign Language and Intro to Humor Writing. Upcoming shows include open mic nights, adult story time, book releases, podcast recordings and musical performances. Seems to us like an awesome addition to the neighborhood. GMAP
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.”