The 82nd Street Partnership is overseeing a commercial renovation at 37-49 82nd Street, between Roosevelt and 37th avenues in Jackson Heights. According to them, the work will encompass a restoration of the facade, windows, sign, awning and lights. After a meeting yesterday with the Landmarks Preservation Commission the design is going back to the drawing board. According to Seth Taylor at the 82nd Street Partnership, “We have to make some revisions to our design to fully restore the facade.” Stay tuned for a rendering!
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!
Even the Polar Vortex needs to have fun every now and then. This weekend, the warmth and fun of the Caribbean come to Queens in various forms. On March 7th, Flushing Town Hall hosts a tribute to singer and actor Harry Belafonte with Jeff Zúñiga and his band recreating the King of Calypso‘s signature steel-drum tunes, “Day O” call, and such hits as ”Matilda” and “Jamaica Farewell.” On March 8th, Queens Museum kicks off a day of fun at 1 pm with Caribbean storytelling with Michael Manswell, a dancer, singer, choreographer, teaching artist and artistic director who is currently affiliated with the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning and other entities. At 2 pm, teaching artists host a mask-making activity that will lead to participants wearing their masks and dancing to the steel drums around the museum in Carnival style. Then at 3 pm, steel drum expert Patrick Davis and his group give a live concert.
Details: A Tribute to Harry Belafonte, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, March 7th, 8 pm, $15/$10 for students.
Two gardening events, two carnival events and a beach clean-up demonstrate that winter is fleeting. The borough also hosts a disability film festival, dragons, symphonies, dance, art and a group that claims to be the world’s best Beatles tribute band. Here’s the rundown, broken down into arts, dance, music, food, volunteer and educational events. If you have an event you’d like to see featured here, email email@example.com.
Here’s a cozy two-story townhouse located at 50-37 61st Street in Woodside. There is a lot of potential here, with a total of 2,100 square feet, wood flooring throughout, a nicely renovated kitchen and a cute backyard to boot. Overall it doesn’t look like much needs renovation or improvement. This home is asking a total of $599,000.
It’s hard to believe, but in 1872 there were 171 piano manufacturers in New York City alone. The piano had gone from conversational furniture piece for the rich, to a necessary component of the refined middle class home. New York’s piano manufacturers were turning out all kinds of instruments; from cheap “thump boxes” to fine musical instruments suitable for the finest concert hall. The latter half of the 19th century saw pianos and other musical instruments become one of New York’s top manufactured products. Astoria is famous for the Steinway Piano Company, but that neighborhood was home to other piano makers as well. Although not a household name today, except to musicians, the best of the other companies was Sohmer & Company, Piano Makers. Like Steinway, they too made the move from Manhattan to a large factory on the shore of the East River, in Astoria, Queens.
Sohmer & Co. was founded by German piano maker Hugo Sohmer, who lived from 1845 to 1931. He immigrated to New York in the 1860s, and apprenticed with several other piano makers before setting up his own company in 1873. While the Steinway Company was establishing itself as a maker of fine grand and baby grand pianos, Sohmer decided to specialize in upright pianos, or “verticals,” which took up much less room and were more popular in the average home. Like Steinway, he made excellent quality instruments. Sohmer pianos were one of the finest pianos made in the United States.
Pianos were not only a source of entertainment for a population that lived before radio or motion pictures, they were a symbol of refinement and taste; and by extension, and so were its players. It’s rather ironic that while 95% of the composers in the 19th century were men, women and girls were the pianists in the home. The ability to play the piano was seen as a mark of culture. It was expected that most upwardly mobile girls could sit down and play a few simple tunes. If they couldn’t play the classical repertoire, then hymns and sentimental popular songs were certainly acceptable. Every gathering and soiree included some poor soul being made to play a few tunes, often accompanying the inevitable sing-along. (more…)
Last week, the Internet reacted to the facade on display at 45-12 11th Street, in Long Island City. Now the Daily News reports the architect and home owner Tom Paino’s side: “Paino compared the naysayers to yokels who attacked three-dimensional paintings during the Renaissance.” Paino designed the home as an energy-efficient passive house, with rain-soaking plants on its roof and innovation ventilation and insulation units. Even those tiles on the facade are made from recycled material. If the home is certified as a passive house it’ll be the first one in Queens, and the third in New York City.
At the end of the day, Paino doesn’t care what internet commenters think of his design. As he says, “All I can tell you is that the façade is dramatic enough so that people walking by stop to look at it.”
Looking for something to drool over this morning? Then head over to Kinfolk Magazine’s design profile of this classic seven apartment in a Jackson Heights prewar co-op. Here are a few details on the couple’s renovation and design process:
After moving in, their goal was to restore and simplify the previous owners’ modern additions to “bring the bones back to the feeling of the 1920s.” They restored the cupboards, redid the wiring, resurfaced the walls, refinished the floors, added some wainscoting, repaired the bathroom tiles, and that was only the start. Once they’d rebuilt the skeleton, they set about decorating with a mishmash of antiques from different eras.
The result is pretty gorgeous, with historic elements throughout and a bit of a modern, lived-in touch. We also love that kitchen. Oh, to have a classic seven in Jackson Heights…
This Sunday, longtime Italian restaurant Joe Abbracciamento shuttered in Middle Village. A very interesting comment popped up on this Q’Stoner post about the closure suggesting a development to come:
As a long term Middle Village resident, I have overheard many rumors as to who has purchased the entire block where Abbracciamentos’ has been for so long. Criterion group has recently submitted drawings to the building department for a 7 story residential building. Most likely condominiums. Luckily, Criterion has developed quality looking buildings in the past and they are an experienced developer.
Lo and behold, here are those Department of Buildings documents filed by the Criterion Group for a new seven-story, 120-unit development. There will be a total of 81,719 square feet of residential space, 3,910 square feet of parking and no commercial space. As far as we can tell, the development will encompass three different parcels (outlined above) with frontage on Woodhaven Boulevard, 62nd Drive and 63rd Avenue.
Building plans are “in process” with the DOB and no demolition or new building permits have been issued just yet. We’ve reached out to the Criterion Group to see if we can pull up any more information about the construction timeline. And if you know anything more, do hit up the tipline!