A giant Petco outpost is now open in the large outdoor shopping center in Jackson Heights, located along 31st Avenue and 77th Street. (Thanks to Jackson Heights Life for the photo.) One year ago, Petco signed a long-term lease for 13,500 square feet in a stand-alone building within the shopping center. The store opening was delayed a little; it was initially scheduled for late 2014.
Muss Development, who handled Petco’s lease, also planned a number of upgrades for the shopping center, which holds a total of 24 retail stores and nine offices. Renovations were slated for the property’s lobby entrances, signage, facade and landscaping.
It’s time for a change. Since last December, various community advisors have been meeting periodically to discuss improvements to Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Part of The World’s Park: Reconnecting a Regional Park with Its Neighbors project done in partnership with the NYC Parks Department, the Queens Museum, and Design Trust for Public Space, the focus is on the planning, design, and stewardship of the 1,225-acre public space. This Sunday, the public gets to provide input at the World’s Park Community Forum at Queens Museum. All are invited, plus there will be simultaneous Spanish and Mandarin translation and activities for non-speakers. More information on jump page.
If you’re in the market for a very affordable three-bedroom co-op in Queens, this unit at 57-10 Junction Boulevard is worth checking out. There are three bedrooms — the listing says it could be converted to four bedrooms, although the photos don’t suggest how — a living room, dining room, and one-and-a-half bathrooms. The asking price is $349,000, way less than you’ll pay for a three bedroom in Jackson Heights or anywhere else these days. But the apartment is definitely going to need some work. There’s nothing particularly fancy or unique about the space, but it certainly is not a wreck. It’s also just a few blocks from the Woodhaven Boulevard M/R train.
Back in 2013, I wrote a Q’Stoner post about Hallets Cove that offered “Two aboriginal realtors named Shawestcont and Erramorhar (as witnessed by their cohorts Warchan and Kethcanaparan) sold much of what we know as Astoria (but which they called Sintsinck) to William Hallett (who was similarly accompanied by a company of witnesses and countrymen) on August 1, 1664.”
The East River frontage — back then it was called the Sound River — which Hallet purchased had a huge waterbody intersecting with the shoreline from upland properties in what we would now call Ravenswood, and it was called Sunswick Creek.
According to the Greater Astoria Historical Society the name of the waterway can be explained as “A drained marsh near the foot of Broadway. Scholars believe it may come from an Indian word ‘Sunkisq’ meaning perhaps ‘Woman Chief’ or ‘Sachem’s Wife.’” For close to 250 years, Sunswick Creek was practically synonymous with this area of Queens, but what happened to it?
Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets are planning a big march down Queens Boulevard (aka the Boulevard of Death) to call for much-needed safety upgrades for bikers, pedestrians and motorist along the thoroughfare. It’s all happening next week on Saturday, March 7th — the route begins at McDonald Park and will end at the steps of Borough Hall. Organizers are encouraging participants to “bring signs calling for DOT to set a timeline to gather public input, redesign the Boulevard sooner rather than later, and give us a safe street our families can be safer, walking, riding and driving on.”
The march and rally is part of a much larger effort to transform Queens Boulevard, which has become notorious for its high number of traffic fatalities. DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg recently said that the agency plans to kick off the process of redesigning the boulevard as a more livable corridor for residents and businesses, but there’s no concrete timeline yet.
The 600-spot parking garage behind Borough Hall that the Department of Transportation shut down last fall isn’t opening anytime soon. The DOT shuttered the garage, which serves both Borough Hall and Queens Criminal Court, due to safety concerns, and the shutter caused an all-out “parking nightmare.” Unfortunately, Queens Courier reports that its demolition and replacement will last into 2017, with demolition expected for later this year.
Daily commuters to the area aren’t happy with that timeline. The Courier says that “residents and local politicians are pushing the city to make a more immediate move as the months continue to drag on with no relief for commuters in sight.” For the meantime, the DOT suspended alternate side parking to help relieve some of the parking headaches. And on some streets, the agency replaced parallel parking with angled parking.
The New York Hall of Science has just been shortlisted for the 2015 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, which is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. NYSCI is one of only 30 finalists from around the country to be selected for the honor, and the winner will be announced this spring. In regards to its community outreach efforts, NYSCI launched a program in 2011 called NYSCI Neighbors. It aimed to address summer learning loss among elementary schools students in Corona. Since its inception, the program is now a year-round, multifaceted initiative that includes more than 700 local families, 16 local school partners, and 16,000 annual program participants.
“Engagement and learning is at the heart of everything that we do at NYSCI,” Margaret Honey, NYSCI’s president and CEO, stated in a press release. “All of our programs emphasize exploration, imaginative learning, personal relevance and deep engagement. We’ve seen again and again that when youth become involved in activities that encompass these characteristics, they become passionate STEM learners. We’re honored that IMLS has recognized our commitment to transforming STEM learning in our local community and has shortlisted us for this prestigious award.”
Court Square Blog spotted construction fence renderings for Tishman Speyer’s massive $875 million Gotham Center development and man, it really gives you a scope of the project size. As you can see above, the project includes three towers: 28-34 Jackson Avenue, holding 658 units and 6,000 square feet of retail space, 28-10 Jackson Avenue, with 683 units and 3,000 square feet of retail space, and 30-02 Queens Boulevard, with 448 apartments and 6,500 square feet of retail. (1,789 apartments and 1.2 million square feet of new development in total!)
Tishman Speyer filed permits in November, and construction will last through the summer of 2018. At 42 stories with 658 units, 28-34 Jackson Avenue will be the first to rise.
At first glance, calligraphy is a visual art. But upon further investigation, its characters and images also express philosophy, culture, and inspiration. Chao-Lin Ting (above) has been engaging in this practice for roughly nine decades. The Chiangsu Province native is world renowned for his seal and semi-cursive scripts. This Sunday, the 102-year-old will co-present an afternoon dedicated to calligraphy at Flushing Town Hall. At 1 pm, Ting and James Shau will teach the basics of the Chinese genre, while Seoul native Yoo Sung Lee, a professional with over 30 years of practice who wrote a chapter in the World Encyclopedia of Calligraphy will inform on the Korean styles at 3 pm. Plus, the town hall’s walls are currently covered with Ting and Lee’s work as part of the Dynamic Writing: A Century of Calligraphy exhibit, which runs until March 22nd. (Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 5 pm.)
More details, another photo, and bonus details on jump page.