12/18/14 11:00am

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Remember when I told you about the time that I found a missing piece of the Queensboro Bridge? The post ended with a promise that the Roosevelt Island Historic Society had made to bring the item back to their location and preserve it.

Last weekend, I decided to stroll over to Roosevelt Island and see how my little discovery was faring under their stewardship. I’m happy to announce that it’s been given a place of prominence, and is sitting alongside the former Queensboro Trolley Station entrance which serves as the group’s HQ.

More after the jump… (more…)

12/17/14 2:00pm

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After a petition circulated to keep the Sunnyside Famers Market open all year round, the greenmarket will now open every Saturday from 8am to 3pm for the entire year. Previously, the market only stayed open May through December, but more than 1,000 residents as well as the community board pushed to extend it. Sunnyside Post spoke with Jessenia Cagle, the coordinator of the market, who said “I think the neighborhood is ready for it. There are a lot of people in the area who like fresh, local food—and they don’t want to have to go too far to get it especially in winter.” There are, however, residents opposed to the extended dates due to the loss of parking around the market location, Skillman Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets.

Right now around 16 vendors sell veggies, meat, fish and bread. Most are expected to stay on through the winter, except for the wine and fish vendors.

Sunnyside Farmers Market to be Open All Year Round [Sunnyside Post]
Closing Bell: Petition Aims to Make the Sunnyside Greenmarket Year Round [Q'Stoner]

Photo by Sunnyside Post

12/17/14 9:00am

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Since launching in October, more than 60 percent of the co-op apartments at The Continental Park, located at 87-10 51st Avenue, are now in contract. The sales team tells us that units are entering contract at ask, with studios starting from $185,000, one bedrooms from $229,500, two bedrooms from $347,500 and three bedrooms from $509,500. All of the studio, one and three bedrooms are spoken for, with just two-bedroom units left.

The developers Myles Horn, ABC Properties and Fisher Associates purchased 79 units in the 153-unit co-op and redeveloped the apartments, redesigned the common spaces, and added amenities like a children’s playground, fitness center and lounge. (Take a tour of the building right here.) Yael Goldman, who is handling marketing and sales, reports that “We expected sales to move quickly, but the response has been greater than anyone could have imagined.” More than 1,000 people came to tour the units the first weekend the sales center opened.

All Continental Park coverage [Q'Stoner] GMAP

12/16/14 4:00pm

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New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells wrote an excellent guide for Korean food in Queens, which can be found beyond the last stop on the 7 train “in Murray Hill, Auburndale, Bayside and beyond, serving famous Korean dishes and obscure ones.” Here’s a taste of what’s there: “Beef barbecue and blood sausage; wheat noodles in deep steaming bowls and arrowroot noodles in broth chilled with ice crystals; tofu casseroles and live octopus; Korean-Chinese restaurants and Korean-French bakeries; beery pubs and studious espresso bars; chicken fried in a shattering crust of rice flour and chicken boiled whole with ginseng.” Wells believes that the so-called “Queens kimchi belt” is one of the least explored and celebrated ethnic food districts in the city.

He lists 12 of his favorite spots, many of which are located in Murray Hill and Auburndale. And he offers some dining tips, as well: “I followed the lead of the locals. Rather than taking the full measure of a menu, as a restaurant critic normally would, I zeroed in on one or two specialties. I compared them with other competing versions nearby. I would taste all the claimants on the same day when I could, although I had to break my fried-chicken safari into two trips.”

In Queens, Kimchi Is Just the Start [NY Times]

Google Map via the NY Times

12/16/14 2:00pm

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This has really been a busy year for Ridgewood, what with all the trend pieces and landmarking and new business openings. This week brings two more arrivals to the neighborhood, Topos Bookstore and Buttah Bakery.

Topos Bookstore is located at 788 Woodward Avenue, between Putnam Avenue and Madison Street. We hear there’s a good selection of books, including children’s books. Ridgewood Beat noted that there was an open house Sunday night, with an official grand opening coming soon. Then there’s Buttah Bakery, under construction at 377 Onderdonk Avenue between Stanhope and Stockholm Streets. The owners, two sisters from Williamsburg, gave Ridgewood Social some more details on the coming opening: “Buttah is an American bakery committed to using the freshest and highest quality ingredients. All of our items are freshly baked daily from scratch on premise. Our menu includes many sweet and savory American and Italian-American classic treats with a twist. We don’t have a Grand Opening date yet but we’re hoping for before the holidays.” Two very nice additions to the nabe!

Photo via Facebook

12/16/14 11:00am

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Of the many bridges that cross the noxious and noisome Newtown Creek, which includes the Pulaski (McGuiness Boulevard), J.J. Byrne (Greenpoint Avenue) Kosciuszko (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway), the Metropolitan Avenue Bridge, and the late lamented Penny Bridge, my favorite is the rattling Grand Street Bridge, which connects outlandishly remote sections of Brooklyn and Queens, two neighborhoods in East Williamsburg and western Maspeth you wouldn’t visit unless you worked there. Or unless you are me.

The reason for my preference is simple. While the other Newtown Creek bridges are relatively bland products of the mid-to-late 20th century and are quite boring in aspect the Grand Street Bridge is a 1900 swing bridge that looks like something you would put together with an erector set when you were a kid.

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This Friday the 19th, The Beast Next Door will open at 42-51 27th Street in Long Island City. The bar and cafe, located off Queens Plaza North, will offer coffee, sandwiches, salads, meats and cheeses, wine and draft beer (including local brews). The hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 11 am to 2 am and Monday from 11 am to 7 pm. We Heart LIC checked out the soft opening and reports back on the 1,000-square-foot space:

It’s really quite nice—an open space with lots of tables, chairs, and benches; a cooler case and bar on the left (with lights hanging down above it, attached to a horizontally suspended ladder); and the beautiful Turkish-inspired carved art on the back wall. The place felt really cozy and warm, and I think this will be a wonderful option for local folks especially.

The bar’s grand opening will take place from 11 am to 2 am and include live music. At the back of the bar there’s a raised platform intended for bands and other performers.

The Beast Next Door Opens This Friday [We Heart LIC] GMAP

Photo via The Beast Next Door

12/15/14 10:00am

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A Festivistmas Kwanzaannukah holiday tradition, the MTA runs vintage Subway cars on the M line on Sundays in the month of December. The rolling stock is maintained by the MTA’s Transit Museum, and I make it a point of attending the event every year. This Q’stoner post from last year goes into some detail on what to expect onboard these relics of NYC’s golden age, but I wasn’t too happy with the quality of the photos from 2013, and have been practicing my subway shooting skills in the intervening interval.

Yesterday, I put myself to the test, and rode the Shoppers Special with my camera. Lots of shots from what I saw onboard follow, after the jump. (more…)

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Wondering what it actually looks like inside of Hunters Point South, the high profile affordable housing development going up along the LIC waterfront? We recently took a tour of Hunters Point Commons, one of the two buildings in the development, which rises 37 stories and holds 619 apartments. Its next door neighbor, Hunters Point Crossing, is 32 stories with 306 units. Construction should wrap on both towers by the middle of next year, with occupancy slated for spring. (Work started up in 2013.) And although you can now apply for affordable housing here, work is still very much underway. In fact, today is the very last day to apply for the low- and middle-income apartment units, which you can do here. Qualified residents will be notified in February.

The development is the work of Related Companies, Phipps and Monadnock Constriction. The folks at Related tell us demand has been huge. There were reports of 25,000 applications in two weeks after the application process launched — the number was actually higher than that. And it isn’t hard to see why so many people want to live here. The views are incredible, there’s a long list of amenities, and the floor plans look impressive.

After the jump, see what all the fuss is about.

All Hunters Point South coverage [Q'Stoner] (more…)

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Long Island City residents erected a protest sculpture along Jackson Avenue, in response to the city’s plan to install its own pink sculpture at the cost of $450,000. The Department of Cultural Affairs revealed a rendering for a bright pink, eight-and-a-half-foot-tall sculpture last month as part of a Jackson Avenue streetscape improvement project. Residents protested the color and the cost, as well as the lack of public inclusion. And as DNAinfo has shown, the protest has taken the form of another sculpture. The colorful and angular piece includes a sign that says: “This is not against the artist. It is against the misuse of our tax dollars. It cost $350 dollars to make this sculpture which we are donating to Long Island City and there are many local artists that would do the same so this money could be spent on something constructive like education.” It’s unclear who the artist of the protest sculpture is.

The proposal for the pink sculpture is still in development and needs to be reviewed by the Public Design Commission. It wouldn’t be installed for another 18 months.

Sculpture Erected on Jackson Avenue to Protest Another Sculpture [DNAinfo]

Photo by Jeanmarie Evelly for DNAinfo