This past weekend the New York Times published two, yes two! features on Queens. The first, “The King Can No Longer Afford Queens,” is about Queens the brand and the rising prices in the borough. The Times looks at Queens’ transition for being the “image of white, urban American working-class life” — brought on by shows like All in the Family and King of Queens — into a “taller and skinnier and cosmetically rearranged” borough. Units at luxury developments like Five 27 (pictured above) and The View are asking several million bucks, attracting buyers and investors from around the world and affluent suburbs. The first quarter report of 2014 showed dramatically rising sales prices, a chic children’s boutique opened in LIC, etc. As far as Queens trend pieces go, this one feels very simplistic, only concerned with the luxury market in Long Island City. We love Queens because it’s a huge, diverse borough — you sure wouldn’t know it from the article.
Secondly, the Times published “In Queens, Chickens Clash With the Rules,” an article about a family keeping chickens in Forest Hills Gardens. Strict neighborhood regulations ban backyard chickens, with the Forest Hills Gardens Corporation citing the nuisances section of its century-old homeowners’ covenant. The chicken/home owner Sylvia Saye thinks the covenant restrictions are antiquated and plans to keep the coop, telling the Times that there have been no resident complaints about “odor, noise or unsightliness.” Here’s what Mitchell Cohen, president of the Forest Hills Gardens Corporation, had to say: “[The covenant] is what has kept the Forest Hills Gardens the oasis it is today. I’m sorry Mrs. Saye is upset by our letter, but to keep the Forest Hills Gardens the community it is, everyone must look beyond themselves and follow the rules we all agreed to follow.”
It’s the New York City marathon for word lovers. Queens Writes Weekend 2014 will facilitate more than 12 literary events at a minimum of six venues throughout the world’s most diverse borough over the last weekend in April. The fun will start on Friday, April 25th, with an open reading at The Astoria Bookshop featuring contributors to the third issue of Newtown Literary, a semi-annual journal. On Saturday and Sunday, the events will differ, but authors of all kinds — young, old, novice, expert — will simply sit down together and write for a few hours. Participants will then share the products of their efforts at an open mic event at Terraza 7 in Elmhurst on Sunday night.
Details: Queens Writes Weekend 2014, begins with Kick-Off Reading at The Astoria Bookshop, 31-29 31st Street, Astoria, April 25th, 7 pm, click here for times and venues on April 26th and April 27th, ends at Wrap-Up Open Mic at Terraza 7, 40-19 Gleane Street, Elmhurst, April 27th, 6 pm, suggested donations at all times to defray the costs of publishing Newtown Literary‘s fourth edition and other good works. So far, events are set for Astoria, Bayside, Corona, Forest Hills, Jackson Heights and Kew Gardens, but more sites are expected to be confirmed before the weekend begins.Schedule and venues will be posted and updated regularly on this page.
This studio rental comes from the Lane Towers co-op, located at 107-40 Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills. For a studio it looks quite lovely and spacious — those big windows don’t hurt. There’s enough space for dedicated bedroom, living room and office areas. We think with some room dividers this could feel like a one bedroom. The co-op comes with a doorman and a public terrace, and is located across the street from the Forest Hills subway stop. Given all that, do you think this studio apartment is worth the monthly rent of $1,600?
Today Queens transit advocates will present their first traffic safety presentation on Queens Boulevard, well known as the Boulevard of Death. The New York Daily News reports that Community Board Six will hear the safety suggestions, which include widening the center median to make a protected bike lane, as well as changing the timing on lights at crosswalks. Advocates want to particularly focus on safety for the stretch of Queens Boulevard running through Forest Hills and Rego Park. While the Department of Transportation already made some improvements — like adding parking lanes and fences to slow traffic — safety advocates call these measures “band-aid fixes.”
The presentation to CB6 today will be followed by two Vision Zero Workshops hosted by the DOT on May 21st and May 29th. At those meetings the DOT will accept safety suggestions from the public regarding Queens Boulevard, or any other street for that matter.
It’s not every day a 1,500-square-foot three-bedroom, two-bathroom co-op pops up on the market but man, this one is going to need some work. This particular unit comes from the Forest Hills co-op the Bradlee, at 69-09 108th Street. The carpet, the paint, the mirrors — there’s a lot going on in just about every room of this apartment. The kitchen looks outdated and there aren’t any photos of the bathrooms. Going from the listing photos alone, we’d say the ask of $619,000 may be pushing it. What are your thoughts?
Reef opened on Wednesday, April 2nd. I ate there last night and the food was incredible. The transformation of the space is unbelievable. Everyone was super nice and it is a great new spot!
We had a trio of dips — including a smokey eggplant and a spicy cheese dip, the soup which is a light chowder, and the best calamari, so tender not rubbery at all. The scallops, grilled shrimp, and whole fish entrees were great too. Lots of options for sides. Good wines. Menu also had pasta, steaks, and a variety of salads, and some vegetarian options. So seems like something for everyone, but a focus on seafood with a Mediterranean influence.
DNAinfo profiled the restaurant a few days ago and reported that the menu includes grilled octopus, baked clams, fried calamari, raw fish dishes and grilled whole fish. The spot, located at 108-02 72nd Avenue, is now open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. If any other Forest Hills residents got to check the place out this week, leave your reviews in the comments!
This Forest Hills co-op unit comes from Gerald Towers at 70-25 Yellowstone Boulevard. There are two bedrooms, two bathrooms and it’s asking $595,000. We aren’t crazy about the hardwood flooring and something about the current layout seems a little awkward. But it looks like a buyer would have plenty of space to work with if they wanted to renovate. With summer on the horizon, it’s worth mentioning that the building has its very own pool.
The vacant Parkway Hospital, located at 70-35 113th Street in Forest Hills, has an uncertain future ahead of it. DNAinfo reports that the site headed to auction this January; the company 70-35 113th Street Holdings LLC nabbed the property with a $22,000,000 bid. (When we checked last summer, the hospital site had an outstanding lien of $14,860,000.) While 113th Street Holdings LLC paid the 10 percent required for a downpayment, it hasn’t come up with the rest of the cash. And according to DNAinfo, the court appointed referee is considering reopening the auction if the bidder is not able to complete the full payment.
So it’s thoroughly unclear what will happen to this site, which has sat vacant since 2008. Right now, it’s a graffitied eyesore that causes a number of complaints from nearby residents.