Ask for directions to “Long Island City” or “LIC” from the average joe, and they’ll describe how to get to the neighborhood adjoining the 12 acre Gantry Plaza State Park. They’d actually be telling you how to get to Hunters Point.
The municipality called Long Island City was absorbed into the five boroughs of the “City of Greater New York” on November 6th, 1894. LIC was a boom town, the concentrating point of all the rail on Long Island (its legal borders included Sunnyside, Middleton, Bowery Bay, Ravenswood, and Astoria). The agricultural product of eastern Long Island were all aimed at one of LIC’s former colonial centers, called Hunters Point, last stop on the Long Island Railroad before reaching Manhattan by boat or barge.
The first Europeans here, Dutchmen, called it Dominie’s Hoek. Named for its owner, who was a Reverend in the Dutch Reform church, the property was passed around until 1740 until it ended up with the Bennet family of Greenpoint. Anna Hunter was a member of that family, her name was assigned to the property when she inherited it, and it has been Hunters Point ever since. The original name “Dominie’s Hoek” is honored by a local bar, found at 48-17 Vernon Blvd.
From the nearby LIE, or onboard the 7 train, you might have noticed an 108,000 square foot, 6-story former factory and manufacturing facility which serves modernity as a document storage warehouse and pedestal for advertising. The triangular structure, found on 21st street and 49th avenue in LIC (classified by DOB as block 71, lot 1), was the very center of Queens from 1916-20 when it was called the “Queens Subway Building” and served as the Queens Borough Hall.
Borough President Maurice E. Connolly located the offices of Queens County & Borough here, alongside the LIRR tracks, and the building was erected over the newly built Subway tunnel and station. Influential developers like Degnon Terminal and Realty also opened offices here, but the Borough Hall moved east in 1920. Paragon Oil, whose branding persists, moved in and was here until the 1950′s. The building has been a documents warehouse ever since.
Landscape architecture firm Starr Whitehouse has posted renderings of the outdoor space at Hunter’s Point South. The firm was hired by the Related Companies, who are building out the first phase of the project. Phase one includes a 37-story building 619 housing units and a 32-story building with 306 units. Construction began earlier this year, and the project is expected to be completed in 2015.
A nearby waterfront park will include 11 acres of waterfront open space and will open in July. That project was designed by architects Weiss/Manfredi and landscape architect Thomas Baisley. Meanwhile, the city has issued a request for proposals for another 5 million square feet of housing in “Parcel C.” Additional renderings below… (more…)
There once was a place called “Queens.” In the early 2000s, this borough became home to a growing — and growing — community of choreographers and dancers. By April 2007, it was a hotspot, and Green Space Blooms, a festival celebrating local dance and music talent, was born in LIC. Just like the borough, the festival grew and grew, and this year, the seventh annual Green Space Blooms features 40 diverse choreographers. On April 20 and 21, the festivities will include such talent as LatticeWorks Dance Collective, Ballet International Africans and ArtBark International. Plus, Green Space‘s founder, Valerie Green, and its resident company, Dance Entropy, will participate. Each evening will end with a post-performance party with sounds curated by Open Music Education.
We recently received an update on the progress of the Hunters Point CSA and they have gotten a lot accomplished. It’s looking really good for them – read on!
With the help of the organization Just Food, we’ve been matched up with Golden Earthworm Farm, a certified organic farm in Jamesport, Long Island. We are planning a face-to-face meeting with our farmer early next week to be certain we are a good match. Nothing is set in stone right now, but, things are looking good, with lots of pieces of the puzzle coming together. Once we iron out all the details with our farm we can begin selling shares. Look out for info about CSA share signup around the end of March!
Our wonderful neighbors at Alewife have offered their space as a distribution site (no need to wait for the start of the CSA season to head over there and grab a beer…) and we’ve even heard from the folks at BIG!Compost, who sought us out with an offer to help with food scrap collection.
Image source: Queens New Music Festival – a member of the Periapsis Music and Dance ensemble
Brought to you by the folks behind Random Access Music, the second annual Queens New Music Festival is coming to LIC’s The Secret Theatre’s Main Stage from May 16-19, 2013. The theater is located at 44-02 23rd Street in LIC (GMAP). In the words of the organizers, “The mission of the festival is to promote new music in Queens by focusing on the wealth of composers, musicians, and ensembles living and working in Queens, as well as highlighting artists from other parts of New York City and the country.” (more…)
It’s been a long time coming, but Open Door restaurant in LIC is finally open. This is the project of Nick Guitart, owner and executive chef of the restaurant. It’s located at 10-09 50th Avenue (GMAP), and they’ll be serving what sounds like pretty tasty food, according to LIC Spot:
We were presented with four savory dishes: a very tender leg of lamb, with apricot slaw on top of a walnut and date bread; roasted Italian greens; pear and pork oriental-style dumplings and an especially tasty yuca gnocchi with cilantro pesto. The server advised us to let the lamb stand to allow the juices to soak into the bread, which we did to good effect, making it more like a stuffing than a piece of bread. All the dishes were tasty and nicely cooked. The two desserts we had, cheese cake and chocolate cup cake, were both delicious.
The LIC Post reports on a proposed farmers market for the Hunters Point section of LIC. It would be run by Down to Earth Farmers Markets, a company that runs 20 markets in Westchester County, Rockland County, and NYC. It will be located on 48th Avenue between Vernon Blvd and 5th Street, which is right about where the former greenmarket took place, which was run by GrowNYC.
Here is a roundup of properties we’ve featured on QueensNYC this week – two condos and two co-ops in LIC, Beechhurst, and Bayside.
5-43 48th Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101 (GMAP) - This 2 bed/2 bath condo in Long Island City is priced at $899,000. It has hardwood floors and lots of big windows. The kitchen has stainless steel appliances and lots of counter space. It’s located a block and a half from the Vernon-Jackson 7 stop and is also not far from the E/M stop as well. It’s next to Hunters Point Park and short walk from beautiful Gantry Park, too.