08/20/14 10:00am

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Yesterday, the City Council approved a rezoning proposal in Ridgewood, meaning the neighborhood is getting a brand new, 88-unit rental build on Woodward Avenue. DNAinfo writes that those units won’t all be priced at market level. Local Councilman Antonio Reynoso worked with the developer, Slate Property Group, to accommodate affordable apartments and artist space. The development, as approved by the City Council, will be 50 percent affordable, with 20 percent of the units permanently affordable. (It looks like the market rate units will cost around $1,000 for studios and $1,800 for two bedrooms.) The building will also hold 3,000 square feet of affordable rental space for artists and community groups. The developers will pick the artist groups, who can rent the space for $10 a year.

There’s another 7,000 square feet of commercial space, and there will be 120 parking spaces. The building itself will include laundry, an exercise room and a rooftop dog run.

Ridgewood Development Pledges $10 a Year Space for Artists [DNAinfo]
All 176 Woodward Avenue coverage [Q'Stoner] GMAP

08/19/14 2:00pm

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Bikers connecting between Brooklyn and Ridgewood take note: your commute got a little easier. The Department of Transportation installed bike lanes along Woodward Avenue, noted by this tweet from Ridgewood Beat. This is part of a five-mile plan to install bike lanes from Flushing Avenue in Brooklyn through Woodward Avenue in Queens. (It’s an extension of an already existing bike lane network along Flushing.) Most of the five-mile route consists of shared bike lanes, which you see pictured above. Other sections of the route will have curbside bike lanes with more protection between the cars and the bikers.

Bike Lanes Proposed Along Flushing Avenue Into Ridgewood [Q'Stoner]

Photo via Twitter

08/18/14 9:00am

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The developers of 176 Woodward Avenue, the rental development rendered above, have a few more meetings before the city approves their rezoning. The Times Ledger reports that the proposal should go to the City Council’s Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises today; the final hurdles are the Land Use Committee and finally the full City Council. Community Board 5, Borough President Katz and the City Planning Commission already granted approval of rezoning the three-block stretch, which will allow for an 88-unit residential development in an industrial area, as well as another development on Woodward Avenue and Starr Street. There are still major concerns of the affordability of the development at 176 Woodward, where studios will ask around $1,000 and two bedrooms will be up to $1,800 a month. The developers did make a promise to the City Planning Commission to include some affordable housing, but specifics are unclear.

For the developer’s date with the City Council, they will refer to Councilman Antonio Reynoso, who represents the area. The Times Ledger notes that he may be a tough critic: “He has fought authorizing residential projects in the manufacturing zone during several stages of the city’s review, arguing newcomers may price out residents and businesses that offer higher-paying jobs than typical retail establishments,” the article states.

Council Slated to Take up Rezoning Ridgewood Strip for Two Residences [Times Ledger]
All 176 Woodward Avenue coverage [Q'Stoner]

08/15/14 1:00pm

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History repeats itself in Queens this weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, the King Manor Museum — the former home of Rufus King, a signer of the United States Constitution, a senator from New York, and an ambassador to Great Britain – will host Craftsmen Days. With help from artisans dressed in time costumes, visitors will learn about 19th century crafts like broom-making, tin-smithing, and wood-turning, while also enjoying music featuring instruments such as a hammered dulcimer, fiddle, and banjo. On Sunday, the Vander-Ende Onderdonk House, the oldest Dutch Colonial stone house in New York City, will open Picnic Days. Visitors will be able to enjoy the beautiful architecture, gardens and picnic area, and take tours.

More information and three additional photos are on the jump page.

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08/14/14 1:00pm

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It’s kind of a battle of the bands, but if traffic is light and one group starts late, music lovers can catch them all. On August 16th, three fantastic concerts will take place in Queens. At 2 pm, Gordon Au & The Grand Street Stompers (above) will perform at the Louis Armstrong House Museum as part of the historic site’s Hot Jazz/Cool Garden Summer Concert Series. Though based in New York City, this jazz band revives the New Orleans-style music of the 1920s and onward. At 3 pm, Choban Elektrik will give a free concert at the Ridgewood Branch Library. This electric dance band draws from the folk music of Albania, Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria, and the Romany people. Beyond singing in various languages and a powerful rhythm sections, attendees can expect traditional line dancing. Then at 6:15 pm, the party continues with The Ebony Hillbillies at the Queens Botanical Garden. New York City’s only African American string band plays all-American jazz, blues, bluegrass, rockabilly, rock and roll and country.

More information is on jump page.

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08/13/14 4:00pm

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Today, the New York Times Style section profiled Ridgewood as part of its “Intersection” video series. The video highlights four different residents, all of which are young and well dressed. A student calls the neighborhood “an old school place.” And resident Todd Broockerd, who co-owns a cafe in Brooklyn, says “Ridgewood is one of these really wonderful neighborhoods in New York that is really welcoming and inviting to some of the newer people, so there’s this really wonderful mix of Polish, Ecuadorian, and then young hipsters and professionals.”

Intersection: Ridgewood Revival [NY Times]
Photo via Wikipedia

08/13/14 10:00am

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The Bushwick and Ridgewood focused blog Wyckoff Heights just launched this really cool interactive map. It’s called the NRD Map, which stands for neighborhood research and development. The map aggregates property data from multiple city agencies to track development in both Bushwick and Ridgewood. You can search Department of Building applications for new buildings, demos and renovations, see the locations of recent liquor license applications, and view DOB and 311 complaints for illegal construction or unlawful occupancy.

Pictured above, those are the pending liquor licenses over the past 30 days for all the eating and drinking establishments in the neighborhood.

08/12/14 12:30pm

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The Spot: Bunker, 46-63 Metropolitan Avenue, Ridgewood.

The Deal: Sometimes, as they say, the best-laid plans just go awry. The original plan for the rather industrial location on Metropolitan was for a fish distribution company called Fish & Ship. Then Hurricane Sandy flooded the space. Then a business partner, and the fish connection, had to back out. So what to do with this address that TK Adam refers to as “the curse and the blessing”?

Fortunately Jimmy Tu, the executive chef, and Jacky Tu, the sous chef, had been sitting on an idea: “Quality Vietnamese food,” says Adam. “The exotic yet accessible flavors of Vietnam, the street food that they loved, but elevated with quality ingredients. Bunker was born out of belief and out of survival instinct.”

But where new ideas and delicious food goes, attention soon follows. Bunker first drew the attention of locals, and then the food blogs and then The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, The Food Network and others.

“Through hard work, perseverance, sacrifice, and just plain luck, Bunker has been a destination spot for the better part of a year now,” Adam says. “We have a loyal, ever-expanding customer base willing to trek from all over to a middle-of-nowhere restaurant with nothing to entertain them within miles as they tough out torturous wait times. And for that, we are so grateful and so thankful.”

Read about the Signature Dish after the jump… (more…)

08/07/14 2:00pm

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The Ridgewood Social Facebook account posted photos of a brand new cafe open in Ridgewood. It’s called The Spot and it’s located on Madison Street and Fresh Pond Road. The Spot serves coffee and tea, including cold brew coffee. There are also pastries, bagels (offered with lox!), fresh juices and smoothies. So far residents are giving it a thumbs up.

The interior also looks very charming, with plenty of seating, tin ceilings and wood floors. Something tells us this joint is going to do well in the nabe… GMAP

08/06/14 2:00pm

Onderdonk-house-new-roofThe city’s oldest Dutch Colonial residence, the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House, is getting a brand new roof. Queens Courier reports that work is starting up after a one-year delay. The current roof, which is now more than 30 years old, was leaking into the building, which serves as a museum and events venue. Way back in 2009, the Greater Ridgewood Historical Society (which is headquartered there as well) raised money for a roof replacement. Councilwoman Diana Reyna also allocated $500,000 for the work in 2012. The total budget for the project is $670,000.

Work should last until late September; in the meantime the museum remains open to the public on Saturdays and will still host events. And if you’re curious, you can read a comprehensive history on the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House right here.

Historic Ridgewood Onderdonk House Finally Getting Roof Replacement [Queens Courier]

Photo by Liam La Guerre for the Courier