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

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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

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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

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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

09/08/14 11:00am

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Skillman Avenue in Long Island City, between Pearson Place and 49th Avenue is a fairly desolate spot. The Sunnyside Yards “Yard A” dominates the northern side of the street. On the other side of the vast rail road complex is Jackson Avenue and the Court Square Subway station, the Arris Lofts, and the brand new Pearson Court Square building with its roof top windmills.

A block south, you’ll find the sewage choked waters of Newtown Creek’s Dutch Kills tributary, which provided a maritime link to the Degnon Terminal industrial park (which has been discussed in this post). Skillman Avenue forms one of the borders of the Degnon Terminal, and at the corner of Pearson Place and Skillman Avenue – the tracks of the LIRR’s Montauk Cutoff offered locomotive access to the Degnon Terminal railway tracks. This spur is in place to this very day, and there are rails sticking up out of the modern day asphalt which run up elevations to elevated tracks that connected Sunnyside Yard with the LIRR tracks which run along Newtown Creek, through Maspeth and then towards Fresh Pond. If curious about such things – go here.

That’s a short history of the site, and you won’t believe what’s going on here now.

More after the jump… (more…)

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The Hunters Point South affordable development in Long Island City is about to move on to a big next step: the housing application process. LIC Post reports that next month, the city plans to release applications for the 925 affordable units expected to be ready by early next year. The income restrictions will be tailored to middle-income New Yorkers, meaning that many won’t find these units to be affordable at all. Once the application process kicks off, residents will have 60 days to send in an application. Community Board 2 residents (Sunnyside, Woodside and LIC) will be given priority over other applicants on 50 percent of the units.

CB2 will host informational meetings tackling questions on how to apply for housing, eligibility requirements and how the lottery actually works. The first meeting is Monday, September 29th, 7 pm at the Sunnyside Community Services Center, 43-31 39th Street. Another will take place on October 1st at the Woodside Library, although the time is still TBD, and in Long Island City on October 6th, with the time and location also TBD.

Applications for Hunters Point South to Go Out Next Month [LIC Post]
All Hunters Point South coverage [Q'Stoner]

Rendering by ODA Architecture

09/05/14 11:00am

ponds.oakland

Oakland Lake, at 46th Avenue and Cloverdale Boulevard, is the largest of a number of small “kettle ponds” left over from the passage of a glacier that stopped its southern progress in the middle of Long Island 15,000 years ago. According to the NYC Parks Department, it was once thought to be fully 600 feet deep, but the lake bottom was found to be just 20 feet in 1969. Similar to what was done with Kissena Lake, Oakland Lake was surrounded with a concrete lining and “citified” in the 1930s. After lean years in which the lake’s condition deteriorated, a revitalization effort was spearheaded by local resident Gertrude Waldeyer, whose Oakland Lake and Ravine Conservation Committee raised $1,000,000 to restore the lake to its natural state. It is now home to catfish, sunfish and carp. Oakland Lake has taken its place, along with other Alley Pond lakes such as Potamogeton Pond, Turtle Pond, Decodon Pond, Lily Pad Pond and Muskrat Pond as small glimpses of real wetland in the big city.

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Great news! The Secret Theatre, which started an Indiegogo fundraising campaign in August, just surpassed its fundraising goal. The theatre started having money problems after the founder found out that the building was not DOB compliant, and the theatre was hit with Department of Buildings fines. The Secret Theatre aimed to raise $10,0000 to go toward closing its funding gap and making crucial building upgrades.

Queens Courier notes that that happened just yesterday, when funding hit $10,860. Founder Richard Mazda doesn’t just plan to pay off the building fines, there are plans for renovations like adding a restroom inside the Little Theatre. He also hopes to establish the theatre as a nonprofit organization.

LIC’s Secret Theatre to Stay Open After Surpassing Fundraising Goal [Queens Courier]
Closing Bell: The Secret Theatre Needs Help [Q'Stoner]

Photo via Facebook