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The anticipation was tremendous. Exactly 50 years ago today, the 1964 World’s Fair kicked off with an inauguration featuring a speech by President Lyndon B. Johnson. To commemorate this historic event today, NYC Parks opened the New York State Pavilion for three hours this afternoon. More than 5,000 spectators waited in line to see this remnant and take photos of the interior portion, where the Tent of Tomorrow once stood.

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People started gathering around the NYS Pavilion as soon as the sun came up. The line stretched around the beloved structure.

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By 11 am, patient and excited people were standing on the Grand Central Parkway’s overpass.

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By 11:30 am, the queue went past the Queens Zoo and into its parking lot.

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Those who waited got to see the inside of a structure once hosted Grateful Dead and Rolling Stones concerts.

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Diana Ross and Michael Jackson danced around this mezzanine while filming The Wiz.

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Borough President Melinda Katz wants to restore the NYS Pavilion, even though it would cost an estimated $75 million. What’s your opinion?

04/22/14 2:00pm

twist-and-smashd-sports

Twist and Smash’d Sports — an offshoot of the Twist and Smash’d burger joint located in Forest Hills — has an official opening date. The new sports bar will open on May 1st at 34-02 Steinway Street in Astoria. Here are a few details on the expansion from a press release: “Twist and Smash’d Sports will elevate the concept of the “sports bar” by incorporating their unique fast casual dining experience with innovative technology, green space practices and fun for people of all ages. Sports enthusiasts will be able to take part in their nightly events, Bocce Ball tournaments, and casual socializing.”

It’ll be open from 11 am to 4 am serving lunch, dinner, 50 beers on tap and a variety of wine and liquor. It’s worth noting that this outpost is going to be huge, with 5,000 square feet total, two Bocce Ball courts and 54 flat screen TVs. Great news for Astoria sports lovers, eh? UPDATE: Check out a few sneak preview pics after the jump.

Twist and Smash’d Burger Joint will Expand to Astoria This Spring [Q'Stoner] GMAP

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04/22/14 12:30pm

HIBINO LIC tofu_700

Welcome to the Q’Stoner food feature, Signature Dish! Once a week we check in with Queens restaurants and ask the owners about the all-time favorite dishes they serve. If you know of a dish you’d like to see featured here, please email emily@brownstoner.com.

The Spot: Hibino LIC, 10-70 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City.

The Deal: This year the successful Cobble Hill restaurant Hibino opened its second location in Long Island City. The Japanese restaurant specializes in a rotating menu of daily specials as well as sushi.

After seven years in Brooklyn, Hibano searched for a new location, eventually settling on the 26-seat spot near the Vernon stop on the 7. Because the Queens location is still so new, the liquor license is still in the works, but the owners expect sake to be served by no later than the end of May.

The Dish: With a rotating menu of rotating daily specials, Obanzi, choosing a representative dish at Hibino LIC can be difficult. There is one consistent menu item though: the homemade tofu, served in a custom yogurt jar printed in Japan.

“Our fresh made tofu, served either cold or warm, is a really simple dish that demonstrates the delicate texture and subtle fresh soy flavors of the tofu,” says Hinata, the restaurant’s manager, who has worked at both locations.

This isn’t store-bought tofu — it’s enough to make a believer out of the most enthusiastic carnivore.

04/22/14 9:45am

photo copyright by Travis Dubreuil

There’s lots of demand at the new LIC condo The Millstone, located at 41-18 27th Street off Queens Plaza North. Aptsandlofts.com reports that when the building launched earlier this month, 150 people confirmed appointments for the grand opening and over 300 people came to check it out. The 14-unit building now has six accepted offers.

The one-bedroom and two-bedroom duplex apartments are priced between $480,000 and $799,000. Finishes include double-paned windows, Brazilian teak floors and washer/dryer units.

Condo Listings Are Live at The Millstone in Long Island City [Q'Stoner] GMAP

transmitter-brewing

Transmitter Brewing is now open on weekends, selling bottles out of 53-02 11th Street in Long Island City. The business hours are from noon to 4pm. The Village Voice ran a profile on the brand new brewery, run by homebrew buddies Anthony Accardi and Rob Kolb. The two are making beer with multiple strains of Brettanomyces, which, according to the Voice, is “the yeast that gives many sour beers, saisons, and other ales their funkiness.” Transmitter plans to begin kegging soon, as well as start up a community-supported beer (CSB) plan. Keep up with the progress on the Transmitter Facebook page.

Transmitter Brewing debuted its beers last Friday in honor of Queens Beer Week (happening now!). They served up four different brews at Crescent and Vine, in Astoria: a Farmhouse Ale, Mahogany Saison, Saison Noir and Belgian Quad.

Photo via Facebook

04/21/14 10:00am

ROCKAWAY-BOARDWALK-design

This week, the Parks Department will begin rebuilding the Rockaway boardwalk from Beach 86th to Beach 97th Streets — as everybody knows, Hurricane Sandy badly ripped up the boardwalk back in 2012. And over the summer, Parks hopes to take on another damaged stretch from Beach 97th Street to Beach 106th Street. According to the Daily News, “Crews will fence off the area and start demolishing some of the concrete piles as early as Monday, and the first section could be completed by Memorial Day 2015.” Work begins with pile driving, which will last two months, followed by the placement of the concrete boardwalk. Some concrete will show a wavy pattern; there’s another design with blue stones placed throughout. During construction all access points to the beach will remain open.

The city delayed this $20,000,000 project time and time again. Although the initial hope was to finish the entire reconstruction by 2016, it likely won’t happen until 2017.

Construction of new Rockaway Boardwalk Slated to Start This Week [NY Daily News]
All Rockaway Boardwalk coverage [Q'Stoner]

Rendering by the Parks Department

04/17/14 2:00pm

saigon-cafe-astoria

Saigon Cafe is now serving up Vietnamese food at 25-90 41st Street, off 28th Avenue. We Heart Astoria shares the news, saying that there are iPads at the restaurant to surf the web. As for the food, the menu includes sandwiches, soup, pho, meat and rice plates, Vietnamese coffee, bubble tea, and salty plum soda. So far, the Yelp reviews for the food are quite good.

Vietnamese Food Alert! Saigon Cafe Opens in Astoria [We Heart Astoria] GMAP

04/17/14 11:00am

4610-center-boulevard

TF Cornerstone is now leasing its sixth and final building on the Long Island City waterfront, 4610 Center Boulevard. The 26-story glassy tower, designed by the architecture firm Arquitectonica, holds a total of 584 studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. The interiors, according to a press release, “feature stainless steel appliances, glossy white cabinets, great custom closets, wood strip floors, and floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline.” Amenities include a lobby with a WiFi lounge, a private garden, 24-hour concierge, a fitness center and a resident club with a landscaped terrace. As for pricing, studios start at $2,160 a month, one bedrooms at $2,800, two bedrooms at $3,890 and three bedrooms at $5,330. (We heard there’s already a waiting list to move in.)

The leasing effort comes right after TF Cornerstone filled up 4545 Center Boulevard, its largest waterfront tower with 820 rental units.

4610 Center Boulevard coverage [Q'Stoner] GMAP

04/16/14 4:00pm

queens-beer-week-april

It’s almost here. Queens Beer Week begins this Friday, April 19th and lasts for nine days until Sunday, April 27th. The week offers more than 40 awesome beer events at venues and bars around the borough. Check out the full schedule at the website. This Friday, expect brews from Transmitter Brewing at Crescent and Vine in Astoria, as well as whiskey and beer pairings at Alobar. There will also be a “Taste of Queens” kickoff party at Singlecut Beersmiths from 7 to 11 pm. So, can the week be over yet?

04/16/14 11:30am

arepa-lady-jackson-heights

Thanks to the Jackson Heights Journal Twitter for pointing out the above picture inside the Arepa Lady’s new 300-square-foot restaurant under construction in Jackson Heights. The location in question is 77-02AA Roosevelt Avenue, between 77th and 78th Streets.

According to the Arepa Lady herself — also known as Maria Cano — the hope is to open the spot by the end of this month! She will serve an expanded menu of her food truck offerings, with new meat and vegetable toppings for the arepas. The food truck will be out on the corner of Roosevelt Avenue and 79th Street this Friday.

Arepa Lady Will Open Brick and Mortar Restaurant in Jackson Heights [Q'Stoner]