07/16/14 10:00am

mets-willet-point-7

7 train riders, particularly those at Mets-Willets Point, worry about overcrowded trains if the Long Island Railroad strike goes into effect on Monday. The Wall Street Journal filed a report on the already-crowded morning commute, where riders are typically “packed like sardines” from Flushing-Main Street until the transfer at Queensboro Plaza. A LIRR strike would bring an influx of Long Island commuters to both the Main Street and Willets Point stations by bus, car and shuttle. As WSJ points out, “[Willets Point] is also a staging point for carpools and park-and-ride commuters thanks to the lot at Citi Field.” (more…)

MOMA-PS1-rooftop-bar

Unbeknownst to us, the M. Wells team opened up a small bar on the rooftop of MoMA PS1 for the summer. Tastoria checked out the space this weekend, which is also where M. Wells grows vegetables and herbs for its Dinette outpost downstairs. (Check out more photos of the garden right here.) There are now some tables and chairs to enjoy the incredible view, and a bar cart serving up beer and wine. Roof visitors can also check out a small-scale Richard Serra piece on display in an alcove on the roof.

The garden is open during normal museum hours, weather permitting, but is closed during Warm Up Saturdays.

MoMA PS1 Rooftop Features Drinks from M. Wells and a Hell of a View [Tastoria]

Photo via Facebook

local-project-long-island-city

The Local Project, an arts nonprofit based in Long Island City, recently funded a Kickstarter account to stay in its current location. The group hoped to raise $6,100; they raised a total of $7,657 with 109 backers. The Local Project hosts year-round exhibitions, arts mentoring, classes, coworking space, art residencies and bilingual programming. They recently moved out of the 5Pointz building to 11-27th 44th Road, where they then faced a 50 percent rent hike. The money funded through Kickstater ensures they can stay at their present location, as well as focus on a long-term strategic plan. DNAinfo reports that they hit their goal several days before the campaign ended this Saturday. (more…)

5pointz-demo

On Friday, a Q’Stoner tipster wrote in to report the progress of the 5Pointz demolition. Work began in March but has moved slowly ever since. Here’s what our tipster says:

As I was taking the 7 into the city this morning, I noticed large dumpsters in the 5pointz courtyard and in the adjacent parking lot. Parked cars in the lot were also moved away from the building. It seems the demo process is beginning.

There’s another photograph of the dumpsters being used for demolition after the jump. Demolition was expected to begin late last year or early 2014, and the reason for the holdup is unclear. Once the graffiti warehouse is down it’ll be replaced by two condo towers.

All 5Pointz coverage [Q'Stoner]

(more…)

07/11/14 4:00pm

summerstage-queens-2014Last night, SummerStage debuted in Queens with a MET practice recital at Socrates Sculpture Park. But that’s not all for the City Parks Foundation, who will bring more than 100 free performances to fourteen different NYC parks through August. Five more concerts are coming to Queensbridge Park, and the schedule is as follows:

Tuesday July 15th, 7:00 pm: Ismael Miranda / Rebel Tumbao at Queensbridge Park
Wednesday July 16th, 7:00 pm: J Holiday at Queensbridge Park
Thursday, July 17th, 7:00 pm: Mobb Deep at Queensbridge Park
Friday July 18th, 7:00 pm: Harambee Dance Company / Master Class: Harambee Dance Co at Queensbridge Park
Sunday July 20th, 4:00 pm: Queens Family Day at Queensbridge Park

After the jump, check out all the details for upcoming performances.

(more…)

07/10/14 2:00pm

3

Manhattan has the inspiring Empire State Building. Paris has the romantic Eiffel Tower. Queens has authentic, affordable and amazing restaurants. Lots of them. A culinary tour company that debuts this weekend, Local Finds: Queens Food Tours, hopes to bring taste-conscious tourists to as many borough establishments as possible. This two-person agency will organize weekly food sampling and cultural walking tours of Long Island City for now with hopes to expand to Flushing, Jamaica, Richmond Hill and the Rockaways as soon as possible. One of the company’s two founders, Queens native Sergey Kadinsky, will lead three-hour journeys every Sunday morning, starting at 11 am. Kadinsky, who also works for City Council Member Karen Koslowitz, will bring patrons to six local establishments, including a micro-brewery, a hip coffee shop and Manducatis Rustica (photo), where signature dishes will be awaiting. Plus, participants will receive a brochure with a neighborhood map, list of attractions, and recommendations for about 30 other great eateries in the area. 

“When it comes to good eats, Queens is the king of the boroughs,” stated Richard Mumith, the other founder and a former Council Member Koslowitz employee. “We are all about discovering, eating, and supporting…local.”

A list of other Queens food tour guides is on the jump page.

(more…)

5pointz-paint

Brooklyn Street Art posted an excellent photo essay featuring closeup shots of the 5Pointz building, where chipped paint reveals the layers of colorful graffiti work once there. (The top coat, of course, is now all white.) The images are accompanied by a tribute to the artwork now covered up:

So the murals on the surface are gone but in reality they are not – they are here in front of us, just covered by layers of paint. If you want to, you may see it as evidence of the tribute to collaborative public space that 5 Pointz embodied – the affirmation of a multi-membered community united in all it’s multi-colored splendor. Here is your visual forensic report: before you is a brief sampling of the thousands of hours of sweat, labor, inspiration – and thousands of gallons of paint, vividly represented, richly textured, and unquestioned proof of the success of 5 Pointz.

The warehouse building is now waiting for demolition (although some preliminary demo work started earlier this year) and will be replaced by condos.

A Layered History of 5Pointz Currently on View [BSA]
All 5Pointz coverage [Q'Stoner]

Photo by Jaime Rojo for Brooklyn Street Art

07/10/14 9:00am

queens-sales-second-quarter

It’s market report time! Douglas Elliman released sales and rental numbers for the second quarter of 2014. In Queens, the number of sales decreased overall, although co-op sales remain strong. The luxury sales market shows stable numbers, while prices for the rest of the market decreased from the same period last year. The median rental prices also declined, though a shift in renting smaller units pulled down the overall price.

Data shows that after six consecutive quarters of increases, the number of sales in the borough slipped below year ago levels. The median sales price fell 9 percent to $355,000 — all regions but South Queens saw a price decline. (South Queens prices have increased for 10 consecutive quarters.) The average sales price declined 6.1 percent from last year to $414,640, and the number of sales slipped 3.6 percent to 2,404. Compared to last year, the listing inventory fell 5.3 percent to 5,892 units; days on market decreased 3.5 percent to 110 days; and listing discount came in at 1.3 percent, down from 5.6 percent.

The number of co-op sales sharply increased from a year ago, from 703 to 898. The average sale price also rose from $216,098 to $233,211. This quarter showed price gains particularly at the high end of the market. As for sales of one- to three- family homes, the number of sales declined but the numbers show price strength at the upper end of the market. The number of sales decreased for condo units, too.

Looking at the luxury sales market, it remained stable and outperformed the overall market — the luxury median sales price increased 1.1 percent to $990,000. Furthermore, the new development condo market share was 2 percent, down from 3.7 percent.

When it comes to rental numbers, Douglas Elliman found that the median rental price year-over-year slipped after four consecutive monthly increases in the northwest neighborhoods. The average rental price fell 3.5 percent to $2,896, but the rental price per square foot increased 6.7 percent to $45.69. It’s because of an increasing availability of one-bedroom apartments that the overall prices are down.

Douglas Elliman also reports that the overall market outperformed the luxury rental market, again with price growth stronger for smaller units. Compared to last year, marketing time slipped for units and listing discounts remained nominal.

07/09/14 4:00pm

rockaway-taco

This weekend, Le Fooding Beach Club comes to Rockaway Beach. It’s three days of eating, in which five chefs serve picnic dishes to celebrate the return of the Beach 97 concessions after the destruction of Hurricane Sandy. Today Gothamist chatted with three of the chefs participating, Momofuku Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi, LA-based chef Ludo Lefebvre and the man behind Rockaway Taco, Andrew Fields. Fields shared his thoughts on the current food scene in the Rockaways and how the neighborhood has changed since rebuilding:

Rockaway Beach has been through a hefty share of ups and downs in its one hundred year existence. Last year was really chaotic in getting things put back together. It was really awesome to see everyone in the neighborhood stay focused on positive change and everyone was forced to upgrade infrastructure of homes and businesses. The movement this summer feels much more composed and plentiful. There is still plenty to do to in the ongoing rebuild, but the overall tone is to continue to make progress!

There are no more tickets for the Saturday and Sunday festivities, but you can still attend the noon and 2:15 pm seatings this Friday. Ten percent of each ticket goes toward a charity involved in restoring the Rockaways.

Christina Tosi & Other Chefs Pack Picnics For 3 Day Rockaway Beach Club [Gothamist]

Image by Miss Buttercup

07/09/14 2:00pm

judy-and-punch-astoria

Astoria’s getting a brand new bar: Judy & Punch, now under construction at 34-08 30th Avenue. Queens Courier reports that the establishment, run by three Manhattan bar owners, should open in August. The 25-foot-long bar will serve up 14 lines of draft beers, bottles and cans, cocktails and light snacks. The 13,000-square-foot space also includes a dining area and small backyard patio, and the owners plan to host lots of events here.

The bar’s name comes from the puppet show “Punch and Judy.” According to the Courier, “This will also lead to a small carnival theme for the bar’s look and menu.” Check out more in-construction photos over at Facebook.

New Astoria Craft-Focused Bar Set to Open in August [Queens Courier] GMAP