10/30/14 1:00pm

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Sometimes Queens is so diverse it’s scary. Upcoming Halloween events include everything from senior events to youth events; cemetery fun to casino fun; and food-making to mask-making. And let’s not even begin to discuss all the great neighborhoods for trick-or-treating. To aid decision-making, the Queens Tourism Council suggests the following activities because they combine enjoyment with safety, enrichment, and even some sweet treats. They appear on the jump page.

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10/08/14 1:00pm

LICCommunityBoathouse

Would you like to see how the Bowne House Restoration is proceeding? Or how about checking out the Sri Maha Vallabha Ganapati Devasthanam, which is also known as the Hindu Temple Society of North America or the Bowne Street Temple? What about the TWA Flight Center, Smiling HogsHead Ranch, LIC Community BoathouseLouis Armstrong House Museum, Noguchi, and the newly renovated SculptureCenter?

The 12th annual Open House New York Weekend will take place this Saturday and Sunday, and there are 36 listed nook and crannies to explore in Queens (although tours are starting to sell out…so hurry!)

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10/07/14 11:00am

redbird5

I’m a subway fan. Not during those times when I’m in NYC during summer rush hours, when it’s 100 degrees down there and have to wait till several trains pass until I can find one to squeeze onto. I’m far from one of those guys who always have to ride in the first car and look out the front window (though I admit I’ll do that now and then) and I’ve never had the slightest inclination to actually sneak in to the yard, jimmy my way in the cab and actually take one for a spin. But, I’ve been on several of the Transit Museum’s periodic “Nostalgia Tours” where vintage cars from the museum actually take to the subway tracks again.

redbird4

The Kew Gardens courthouse area employs thousands of people, but for some, it’s the last place you want to be, whether you’re on jury duty or for those accused of a crime.

That’s why, when I was on a two-day jury duty stint at the courthouse near Queens Boro Hall back in May 2007, I was pleasantly surprised to see that an R33 #9075 had been placed here as a Queens Visitors’ Center (and had been there since early 2005).

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09/26/14 9:00am

queens-borough-hall-parking-garage-closedThis Wednesday, the Department of Transportation shut down a 600-spot parking garage behind Queens Borough Hall, which serves both Borough Hall and Queens Criminal Court. While the DOT hasn’t answered any specific questions about the fate of the garage, which was shuttered due to safety concerns, there’s word it’ll be demolished and replaced with a 300-spot surface parking lot. (The garage would cost $44 million to repair and only has about 15 years left.) The Daily News called the incident a “parking nightmare,” with the DOT offering no concrete plan to the hundreds of displaced drivers. Borough President Katz told the News, “What we need right now is for the city to give us alternatives where people can park.”

The Times Ledger also followed up on the story, reporting that pols are fighting the sudden closure of the garage. A letter sent to Mayor de Blasio on the matter hasn’t been addressed. As of now, there’s no backup plan for drivers in place, and there’s no timeline for demolition or construction work.

Photo by Andrew Schwartz via the Daily News

park-lane-condominiums-kew-gardensEastern Consolidated just announced the sale of a commercial condo on the ground-floor of the Park Lane Condominiums, located at 116-24 Metropolitan Avenue in Kew Gardens. The 6,584-square-foot, single-tenant unit is currently occupied and net leased to TD Bank — the buyer picked it up as an investment property. The space traded ownership for $10,200,000.

Here’s what Gabriel Saffioti, a Director at Eastern Consolidated, had to say about the sale: “This stable, well-positioned asset with little operational and management requirements achieved a benchmark price. It is ideally situated along Metropolitan Avenue, a highly-trafficked commercial corridor in the affluent Queens neighborhood of Kew Gardens.” Eastern represented both the buyer and the seller in the transaction in a 45-day closing from contract signing.

09/18/14 12:00pm

117-01-park-lane-south

We quite like the co-ops we find in Kew Gardens — there’s mostly good stock, and units tend to be affordable. This two bedroom, at the Hampton Court building, is no exception. It’s large, at 1,050 square feet, and priced at $269,800. Nothing particularly fancy about this unit, but it has good bones and looks well kept. The complex is also located right along Forest Park. A nice starter apartment, indeed. Like it?

117-01 Park Lane South [Landmarc Group] GMAP

09/15/14 12:00pm

84-62-beverly-road

The borough’s only Anglo-Japanese-style home, located at 84-62 Beverly Road in Kew Gardens, has just hit the market. This property has an interesting history, and in more recent years sadly fell into decay. According to this article in Queens Chronicle, “The building was constructed by Joseph Fleischmann, a florist who became a millionaire after developing a flower shop franchise with stores in Chicago and Washington DC, for his daughter to live in.” The exact construction date isn’t known, but it’s believed to be before 1928. The lower half of the home is white stucco; the roof features curves reminiscent of Japanese architecture — just gorgeous. This Forgotten New York article calls the building in its present state a “near ruin,” with hostile handmade “Stay Away” signs on the door. Our guess is that the interior is a mess.

The listing markets this property “as is.” And the asking price is going to raise many eyebrows at $1,387,777. It would be wonderful to see a new owner come and fix this property up, but we unfortunately don’t think it’s going to happen at that price.

84-62 Beverly Road [Realty Depot LLC] GMAP

09/02/14 12:00pm

82-70-beverly-road

We are madly in love with this Spanish Colonial home at 82-70 Beverly Road, in Kew Gardens. Just look at this thing! The unique facade boasts a tiled roof, oak doors and the original, restored glass windows. The interior is chock full of historic detail, which is remarkably well kept. Newer renovations brought in perks like heated floors, central AC, a home theater and a new kitchen. There’s even a dumbwaiter from the garage up to the kitchen, as well as “nanny quarters.”

The asking price: $2,388,000. If it sells at ask we’d imagine that’s some kind of record for Kew Gardens. Do you think this property is special enough to get the full price?

82-70 Beverly Road [Terrace Sotheby's] GMAP

08/18/14 12:00pm

83-09-talbot-street

Here we have a three-bedroom, two-bathroom condo unit at the Kew Gardens complex 83-09 Talbot Street. It’s a grand total of 1,421 square feet. It’s in a prewar building but this unit is pretty much modernized, with plenty of recessed lighting to go around. There’s a large, beautiful kitchen, although the actual bedrooms look cozy — there’s no floor plan to check the sizes. The building also boasts a nice interior courtyard. The asking price is $715,000.

83-09 Talbot Street [Keller Williams] GMAP

08/13/14 11:00am

81-45 Lefferts Blvd, Homestead, composite

Very often we move to cities, towns and neighborhoods that we know nothing about. If we are curious, we often walk around and come up on a building that makes us pause, for one reason or another. It may be sheer beauty or craftsmanship that stops us in our tracks, or the opposite – a building so ugly we can’t believe someone allowed it to be built. But more often than not, we see what is, and wonder who built it, who lived or worked in it, and sometimes we just have to wonder what in the world happened to it. What were they thinking?

Kew Gardens, like many of Queens’ residential enclaves, was the grand idea of a developer. (more…)