08/25/14 4:00pm

Check out this awesome video by StreetsBlog chronicling the Bike Friendly Business District celebration that took place over the weekend in Sunnyside. This is Queens’ very first bike friendly BID. Over 50 cyclists showed up to visit and sample food from six of 70 bike-friendly restaurants in the area. Now, let’s get some CitiBikes in the nabe!

Sunnyside, Queens Becomes a Bike-Friendly Business District! [Streetfilms]
Closing Bell: Queens’ First Bike Friendly Business District is in Sunnyside [Q'Stoner]

08/22/14 2:00pm

tazzina-forest-hills
Yesterday, Forest Hills got a new fancy Italian joint. Tazzina opened at 102-15 Metropolitan Avenue, off 71st Avenue. DNAinfo previously reported that the chef, who has appeared on the TV show “Chopped,” moved the restaurant from its original location in Glendale to accommodate more patrons. This Forest Hills space seats around 50, with 15 more spots at the bar. An outdoor patio area will open next year.

There are two menus for both the bar and the restaurant. The focus is old-school Italian with a twist, and dishes include gnocchi, mussels, pastas, risottos, steaks and fish. (The bar menu will feature more small plates, including bruschetta and meatball parm sliders.) Check out awesome photos of the space and the opening night party right over here. GMAP

Photo by Elena D’Este Photography via Facebook

08/22/14 11:00am

stock3

While it seems at times that Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens are dominated by unimaginative street names… numbers, letters… in actuality vast swaths in all four boroughs are still dominated by streets named for real people.

I had always been under the impression that Stockholm Street in Bushwick and Ridgewood was so named in honor of a putative Scandinavian community that may have resided there. I was wrong, though; Leonard Benardo and Jennifer Weiss’ handy Brooklyn By Name states that Stockholm Street was named for the Stockholm brothers, Andrew and Abraham, who provided land on which the Second Dutch Reformed Church, built in 1850 and still standing at Bushwick Avenue and Himrod Street, was built.

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08/22/14 10:40am

5pointz-demolished

We’ve got word that demolition started today at the 5Pointz graffiti warehouse. This would make sense, as demolition was expected to begin any day now. No pictures yet, but we’ll update this post as anything comes in. And if you’re in the area, feel free to send news and photos to emily@brownstoner.com. UPDATE: Here’s a report from Animal New York: “This morning, a backhoe began tearing into the building that has served as a legal playground for aerosol artists for nearly two decades.” UPDATE #2: This is from Twitter: “todays work involves excavator on outer structure #5Pointz + protecting perimeter, according to construction worker.” Here’s a video of the work. And check out more photos after the jump.

All 5Pointz coverage [Q'Stoner]

Photo by Jackie Strawbridge via Twitter for Queens Tribune

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queens-museum-memorabilia

Calling all World’s Fair enthusiasts: the New York Times ran a nice profile on the Queens Museum’s latest exhibit, Behind the Curtain: Collecting the New York Fairs, and spills details on the museum’s World’s Fair memorabilia. The exhibit showcases just about any type of memorabilia related to both World’s Fairs, including souvenirs, Sony’s first portable television, touchtone phones, tickets and a preserved candy bar. There’s even a display case dedicated to the Society of American Magicians, who served as spokesmen to explain new products to the passing crowds.

As the New York Times says, “The closing of both fairs created a diaspora. Objects dispersed, in centrifugal motion, scattering the length and breadth of the land. By strange, circuitous routes, they have been coming back home.” And the exhibit curator, Louise Weinberg, agrees: “That’s the beauty of this museum. The magnetic aura of both the fairs brings these things back. People are just coming out of the woodwork.” You can catch the exhibit until October of 2015.

When Flushing Was Awash With Wonders [NY Times]

08/21/14 2:00pm

29-12-23rd-avenue

The other week, we snapped a photo of a commercial space under construction at 29-12 23rd Avenue, between 29th and 31st Streets in Astoria. It’s a work-in-progress by the owners of Sweet Afton, a popular Astoria bar. We Heart Astoria shares details that this bar outpost will be called The Bonnie. The space has been under construction for about three months and the owners hope to open later this year. We Heart Astoria gives the impression that the interior will be very much transformed — can’t wait to see the final product.

The Bonnie on 23rd Avenue Will Open Later This Year [We Heart Astoria] GMAP

08/21/14 9:00am

546 51st Avenue

This massive, beautiful multifamily townhouse at 5-46 51st Avenue just hit the market for a cool $8,000,000. (Nope, that’s no exaggeration — check out the listing right here.) It’s currently configured as an owner’s duplex with four bedrooms, and two floor-through units on the first and the top floor. It’ll be delivered to the buyer vacant. The duplex unit, with its sleek modern kitchen and historically detailed living room, is quite beautiful. It looks like the rental units aren’t as fancy, but nice nonetheless. There’s also a backyard garden.

LIC Talk notes that the current owner was born and raised in the townhouse. The blog says that the owner and his wife “feel that LIC has become more like Manhattan and lost the flavor of the good old days and charms that they know.” But if this pad sells for $8,000,000, they’ll be able to move to Manhattan anyway!

$8 Million Townhouse up for Sale in Hunters Point [LIC Talk] GMAP

08/20/14 4:00pm

sunnyside-bike-friendly-business-district

This Saturday, Transportation Alternatives and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer will be in Sunnyside to launch the first “Bike Friendly Business District” in Queens. What’s a bike friendly business district? Here’s what Transportation Alternatives has to say: “Sunnyside is home to numerous entrepreneurs who know that a network of bike lanes, bike parking and public bike share creates vibrant streets that boost local business. By offering special discounts to T.A.’s 12,000 members, Bike Friendly Business Districts become destinations for New Yorkers who believe in safer, more livable streets.”

There are a collection of more than 70 bike friendly businesses in Sunnyside advocating for bicycle and street safety. On Saturday, T.A. and Council Member Van Bramer will spotlight the local businesses with a leisurely bike tour around the neighborhood. It kicks off at 2 pm at the Bliss Street Plaza and lasts until 4 pm. Find more details here.

Photo via Sunnyside Shines

The Secret Theatre, an arts organization in Long Island City, just kicked off a fundraising campaign. The theatre is known for hosting two annual short play festivals, a variety of in-house shows and weekly children’s theater. The organization, however, has run into problems with its building and needs $10,000 to take care of it. Here are more details from the Indiegogo fundraising campaign:

After a tough year when we discovered that the building we were in was not compliant we were hit with Dept of Buildings fines, architect fees and we had to move the Little Theatre to a different location with all the attendant moving and construction costs. Our budgets are tiny and with no real reserve to speak of we are dealing with a cash hole that threatens our existence. The Secret has become a major contributor to the cultural life of Western Queens and LIC and has been responsible for creating a theatre scene in LIC where none previously existed. With your help we can continue to win plaudits from The New York Times [multiple critics pick awards] also many shows and artists have won or been nominated for the New York Innovative Theatre Awards, we can continue to support awesome artists and to push the envelope of what can be achieved in a borough that needs us.

The $10,000 will go toward the theatre closing its funding gap and making crucial building upgrades. There are rewards for donating, like becoming a sponsor of one of the annual festivals. To check out the full campaign, go here.

08/19/14 2:00pm

woodward-avenue-bike-lane

Bikers connecting between Brooklyn and Ridgewood take note: your commute got a little easier. The Department of Transportation installed bike lanes along Woodward Avenue, noted by this tweet from Ridgewood Beat. This is part of a five-mile plan to install bike lanes from Flushing Avenue in Brooklyn through Woodward Avenue in Queens. (It’s an extension of an already existing bike lane network along Flushing.) Most of the five-mile route consists of shared bike lanes, which you see pictured above. Other sections of the route will have curbside bike lanes with more protection between the cars and the bikers.

Bike Lanes Proposed Along Flushing Avenue Into Ridgewood [Q'Stoner]

Photo via Twitter