The Times published a very nice profile of the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House, the oldest Dutch Colonial stone house in New York City located at 18-20 Flushing Avenue in Ridgewood. The home, not to everyone’s knowledge, admit visitors every Saturday from 1 to 4 pm for a suggested donation of $3. The house museum mostly displays artifacts from its past, and in the summertime is open for picnics and weddings. It sits on two acres with gardens and a coop housing six hens. As the Times says, “In contrast to the bordering graffiti, the gambrel-roofed farmhouse is so lost in time it looks as if it should shelter hobbits.”
As the area grows, especially nearby Bushwick, more young people discover the historic home and come to ring the bell. And nearby dining options are also products of the bourgeoning neighborhood: the paper of record suggests trying out Bun-Ker Vietnamese on Metroplolitan and Pearl’s Social and Billy Club near the Jefferson Street train stop.
The Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District just posted a very helpful roundup of newly opened businesses within the BID. Pictured above, The Little Coffee Shop now open at 59-15 71st Avenue (the old ChocoLatte space). The cozy coffee shop was under construction earlier this year. There’s also King’s Kitchen, a casual-looking Caribbean restaurant at 955 Seneca Avenue, Jade Palace Restaurant now open at 55-33 Myrtle Avenue, a Fidelis Care outpost at 1674 Putnam Avenue and “Forever My Girl” clothing shop at 59-06 Myrtle Avenue. The most interesting-looking new business is Crunchy Brunch, at 57-38 Myrtle Avenue, which describes itself as a “sushi and sandwich house.” The one Yelp review filed isn’t exactly glowing. Anyway, it is great to see all this commercial growth around Ridgewood!
Queens Crap nabbed DOB plans for 62-41 Forest Avenue, currently an empty parcel off Metropolitan Avenue in Ridgewood. There’s been some controversy in the planning stages of the development — the developer withdrew their plans from the BSA for a four-story, 30-unit building here, then ultimately received approval from the DOB for a 5-story, 44-unit building without showing the new plans to the BSA. The final development plans posted on the DOB website (and pictured above) are unique indeed. Queens Crap tries to clarify: “It’s a horseshoe-shaped building, but part of it is 4 stories and part of it is 5 stories, and the dividing line is diagonal, no less. I’m sorry if my description doesn’t do this pile of dung justice.” The design is by architect Gerry Caliendo so don’t expect too much from the facade, either.
This corner brick home is located at 21-07 Gates Avenue, in Ridgewood. It comes with plenty of space, with three bedrooms and three bathrooms, and a private two-car garage. We could do without all that tile in the kitchen, but overall the bones of this house look pretty darn good. The asking price? $729,000.
In a prior post, the Grand Street Bridge spanning Newtown Creek between Brooklyn and Queens (some 3.1 miles from the East River) was described in some detail – check it out. As it happens, I chanced across a historic shot of the 1903 swing bridge not too long ago which is not at all dissimilar to a relatively recent shot of mine, so I thought we’d revisit the thing.
The modern shot (above) is captured from the water, as recreating the 1910 era shot below (from the bulkheads of the south eastern or Brooklyn side) would require probable trespass and the attentions of the gendarme. Instead, I was in the company of Captain John Lipscomb from Riverkeeper, who regularly patrols the waterway while collecting water samples for scientific analysis. We were in a rowboat, by the way.
While it does seem true that the Grand Street Bridge has changed little in the intervening century, the primary difference between then and now is that it doesn’t function as a movable span anymore due to a lack of maritime customers. Imagine, an industrial canal starting at the East River that leads right to the borders of Maspeth, Ridgewood, and Bushwick that has no maritime customers. The stalwart engineers and mechanics of the DOT do open it for maintenance, periodically, and much to the chagrin of many a weekend driver.
Newtown Creek Alliance Historian Mitch Waxman lives in Astoria and blogs at Newtown Pentacle.
Queens Courier shares some disheartening news about the state of transportation projects in Maspeth, Ridgewood and Middle Village. In short, everything set to be improved is delayed. Here’s a roundup from the Courier:
Reconstruction of the Metropolitan Avenue Bridge: This bridge is in danger of collapse, but its reconstruction was delayed back in 2009 and was just delayed again. The city still has to review and redesign the project, which is estimated to cost as much as $25,000,000. According to the Courier, “Developers are now considering building an abutment, eliminating one track under the bridge, to help the building process.”
The Grand Street Bridge project: The city plans to replace this 111-year-old bridge (pictured) at a price of $50,000,000. The project was delayed after Hurricane Sandy and is now being redesigned to meet new flood regulations.
Wyckoff Avenue Reconstruction Project: This project calls for new sewer lines and water mains on Wyckoff Avenue, a new concrete base on the roadway, new sidewalks and new curbing. It’s estimated to cost $20,000,000. The city planned to start the project in 2010, it’s been delayed until 2026.
Middle Village Streetscape Improvements: New sidewalks, sewer lines, water mains, signage and street lights for the area from 73rd Place to 80th Street, between Metropolitan Avenue to Cooper Avenue. The city keeps pushing back the $20,000,000 project to take care of higher priorities. Currently, the ETA is set for 2022.
We’re a little late to this news, but last week the architect Ariel Aufgang announced two upscale projects for Ridgewood and Bushwick. Rendered above, the 88-unit rental development planned for 176 Woodward Avenue, on the corner of Starr Street. Crain’s reports that the developer is seeking permits from the city to convert the parcel from manufacturing to residential use. The development will rise four stories and could possibly include a rooftop dog walk, a gym, garage and ground-floor retail. The architect said the design is to supposed to look like an assemblage of smaller properties — how do you like the looks of it? Construction should begin this year.
Meanwhile, the two-story, 75,600 square foot warehouse at 10-19 Irving Avenue, on the corner of Covert Street, just sold for $8,100,000. According to the NY Real Estate Journal, the purchaser plans to renovate the space into a production studio. The renovation calls for plans to reopen the 288 foot wall of windows which has been blocked for over two decades by a previous owner.
Following approval from Community Board 5′s Transportation Committee, the full board approved a proposal for bike lanes in Ridgewood and Glendale with a 29-5 vote this week. Queens Courier reports that the DOT will implement the first phase – outlined in solid blue lines on the map above – this summer. According to the Courier, one set of lanes runs parallel on Woodward and Onderdonk avenues from Flushing Avenue to Cooper Avenue, with another set along Harman and Himrod streets from Evergreen Avenue to Metropolitan Avenue.
The DOT also promised to evaluate an even larger network of bike lanes in the area, particularly in Maspeth and Middle Village. Those lanes will not be implemented until 2015. CB5 had worked with the DOT on this extensive proposal for several years.
A comprehensive proposal to bring 9.5 miles of bike lanes to Ridgewood and Glendale is making serious headway. Queens Courier reports that Community Board 5’s Transportation Committee unanimously approved the plan this week. The vote also included an approval for DOT to study Phase 2 of the proposal, which includes additional lanes throughout Middle Village and Maspeth. No big surprise on the vote since CB5 worked closely with the Department of Transportation on this proposal for several years. According to Queens Courier, “Bike lanes in Phase 1 will run along three sets of parallel streets as well as a portion of Myrtle Avenue between 61st Street and 65th Place and Fresh Pond Road between Myrtle and Catalpa avenues.” If the full board approves the proposal, the DOT will construct the first phase of bike lanes this summer.
The DOT plans to implement the second phase, including routes along Metropolitan, Eliot and Grand avenues, in the spring of 2015.
The Little Coffee Shop is now under construction at 59-15 71st Avenue, right off Myrtle Avenue in Ridgewood. (It’s the old ChocoLatte space.) Judging from the Facebook page, the spot will serve coffees, teas and baked goods. It is scheduled to open “very soon” although there’s no exact opening date. Judging from the renovation photos, it looks like this will be a really nice, cozy space for the neighborhood. GMAP