Ubiquitous articles of street furniture such as fireboxes and manhole covers endlessly fascinate me. Fire hydrants and mail boxes are so common that most don’t even notice them, whereas I have been known to literally send a congratulatory email to City Planning when a comely new design of street bench appears in Queens.
Something I’ve always been curious about, and I mean since I was a kid, is what might be going on inside those “N.Y.C. Drinking Water Sampling Stations” which you generally don’t notice that are found on certain streets in nearly every neighborhood. The one pictured above is located on 39th street, just south of Skillman Avenue at the border of Sunnyside.
Water for the system is impounded in three upstate reservoir systems which include 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes with a total storage capacity of approximately 580 billion gallons. The three water collection systems were designed and built with various interconnections to increase flexibility by permitting exchange of water from one to another. This feature mitigates localized droughts and takes advantage of excess water in any of the three watersheds.
A tree grows in Brooklyn, but Green Space sprouts in Queens. With its ever-changing roster of choreographers and post-performance, wine-and-cheese discussions, the Long Island City dance studio’s periodical Fertile Ground showcases have become prized spots for emerging and established artists. Some of these performers also participate in Take Root, a monthly curated series providing dancers with opportunities to show a full (or half) evening of work paired with another performer. This Friday and Saturday, Green Space’s Take Root will feature a diverse, dynamic evening with the Isis Movement Company. This Manhattan-based troupe of classically trained modern dancers will premiere Universalis, a piece inspired by the complexities and varied elements of the solar system. The next day, a Fertile Ground session will include EstadoFlotante/Collaborative, Hazel Lever, Pareena Lim and Susie Thiel.
Details: Take Root: Isis Movement Company, Green Space, 37-24 24th Street, Long Island City, December 13th and December 14th, 8 pm, $15; and Fertile Ground, Green Space, December 15th, 7 pm, $10. (more…)
It’s no secret that there’s a growing momentum in Queens for safer street initiatives, and a march for a safer Queens Boulevard is coming this weekend. Transportation Alternatives is hosting the “Winter Wander” Rally and Walk along the so-called “Boulevard of Death” on Saturday, December 14th, from 1 pm to 3:30 pm. The event begins in Elmhurst at the New Life Fellowship Church, 8210 Queens Boulevard, with a community discussion about Transportation Alternative’s Zero on Queens Boulevard Campaign. The campaign advocates for pedestrian safety improvements along the corridor, including bike infrastructure and dedicated lanes for Select Bus Service. The
Winter Wander continues with a group walk along the Boulevard toward Forest Hills, as local street safety advocates discuss the history of the roadway and the dangers faced by all those who use it. RSVP for the event right here.
Meanwhile, Senator Gianaris released a statement yesterday in regards to a fatal car crash that happened at the base of the Queensboro Bridge. He is asking that the Department of Transportation improve safety in the area after the DOT did not follow through on his requests for a redesign of the exit ramp. The DOT only added additional signage and minimal barriers to the area. One of those barrier was meant to protect the storefront hit in this crash at 25-06 Queens Plaza South, but it was destroyed in a crash in 2011 and remained vacant ever since. Here is Senator Gianaris’ quote on the matter: “How many more people have to die before the DOT understands that the Queensboro Bridge exit ramp must be redesigned? The city has known that this area is in dire need of traffic safety improvements for years, and the DOT has simply not done enough. I renew my call for a complete redesign of the bridge off-ramp, and implore the city to take swift action before another tragedy occurs.”
The Queens Paideia School, an independent K-12 school based in Long Island City, recently announced its Merit Scholarship program, worth a total of $150,000. Students 13 and up are eligible to apply for scholarships for the 2014-15/16 school year; selected applicants will be interviewed and evaluated on their abilities and personal qualities. Three $30,000 scholarships will cover the 2014-16 school years, and four $15,000 scholarships will cover the 2014-15 school year. Interested candidates can attend an open house on the morning of December 18th. To attend the upcoming open house, email firstname.lastname@example.org. And you can find the scholarship application form here.
Construction on the Storage Deluxe at 30-19 Northern Boulevard is moving, but it’s moving slowly. Here’s what the site looked like over the summer. One day, this will rise seven stories with 110,000 square feet of space. Long Island City already has three Storage Deluxe sites, with this one and this one on the way. See one more photo of this construction site after the jump.
Today the developers of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, slated for the corner of Crescent Street and 42nd Road, will break ground at the construction site. The 11-story hotel will have 224 rooms, banquet facilities, a conference center, a rooftop bar and a “grand ballroom” for as many as 300 guests. The ground floor will also hold a restaurant, bar and lounge area, a banquet hall and an outdoor eatery. Royal Hotels and Resorts is behind the development.
Over the summer, a construction fence was up around the site but only demolition work had taken place. The hotel is expected to open in the first quarter of 2016.
The shot above is quite modern, captured a few days after Hurricane Sandy on November 4th of 2012, which is the reason why there is no traffic visible. It depicts the “Queens Midtown Highway” section of the Long Island Expressway. The highway was opened in 1939, along with the Midtown Tunnel, and it changed Long Island City forever. The point of view is found on Greenpoint Avenue, by the way.
The Department of Buildings just issued permits to construct an eight-story building at 41-45 21st Street, between Queens Plaza North and 41st Avenue. According the building applications, it’ll be a storage facility with 162,572 square feet. Information regarding the building owner leads us to believe it’ll be a Storage Deluxe. Those storage sites are known for bright orange, blue and gray facades. GMAP
The New York Times published a nice piece on Rufino Garcia, a delivery truck driver based at the 5Pointz warehouse. Garcia hated graffiti, constantly painting over any that popped up on his truck, until 5Pointz curator Jonathan Cohen (aka Meres One) painted his signature lightbulbs on the truck. Says the Times, “The truck has not been touched since, Mr. Garcia said; graffiti taggers tell him they are kept at bay by the reverence they feel for Meres One.” After the infamous whitewashing, the vehicle is now held up as a 5Pointz remnant — people stop to take pictures and ask to paint the blank roll-down gate in the back of the truck. Garcia took, as the Times states, “the unexpected role of an accidental apostle of the art form he once reviled.”
Crain’s reports big news for the shores of Long Island City: The city tapped TF Cornerstone and the nonprofit Selfhelp Community Services to develop the second phase of Hunter’s Point South. According to the HPD, this is the last and largest development pushed by the outgoing Bloomberg administration. TF Cornerstone will build two towers, 36 and 41 stories, with 1,193 apartments. 400 of them will be market rate, the rest will be affordable for moderate-income families. 100 units will be reserved for low-income seniors. The buildings will feature rooftop gardens, decks, and a children’s playroom. There will be roughly 20,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space with room for a prekindergarten, medical facility, restaurants and a rock climbing gym (doesn’t LIC already have one of those?). The architects of the second phase is the Office for Design and Architecture.
There are already two buildings under construction, with 925 affordable units, for the Hunter’s Point project. The waterfront park and the school are already open. The development spans a total of seven parcels — the second phase will take up three of them — and the de Blasio administration will be in charge of developing what’s left.
UPDATE: Tons of renderings from ODA right after the jump!