09/11/14 2:00pm


Now under construction in the Rockaways: Rockaway Roasters, a coffee cafe at 92-06 Rockaway Beach Boulevard. The Facebook page promises gourmet coffee (hot and cold), espresso, lattes, cappuccinos, an organic juice bar and more. It’ll be open seven days a week. There’s no official opening date yet, but it’s scheduled for the fall or winter of this year. GMAP

Photo via Facebook

09/11/14 1:25pm


Oil on Newtown Creek is an old story, but when there are fresh rainbow colors like you see in the shot of Dutch Kills above, there’s nothing historic about it. That’s newly released material, and it’s been a big problem all summer.

First, for those of you unfamiliar with the place, Dutch Kills is Long Island City’s own tributary of Newtown Creek. Its junction with the main body of the Creek is found roughly .8 of a mile from the East River, and it terminates at 47th Avenue – just a block or so away from the Citigroup building on Jackson Avenue at Thomson.

Throughout the summer of 2014, reports of fresh oil sheens have been reported along Newtown Creek. My colleague in the Newtown Creek Alliance, Greenpoint’s Will Elkins, has documented this event, and interacted with NYS Department of Environmental Conservation investigators to determine the point source from which this material is emanating.

Yesterday, the DEC found that point source on Dutch Kills, and probably found the polluter who has been illegally dumping literally thousands of gallons of oil directly into the water all summer.

More after the jump… (more…)

09/11/14 12:00pm


Here’s a project for all the aspiring home renovators out there. This two-family house, at 66-37 60th Place in Ridgewood, is asking $799,000. It’s got a great, historic facade but the interior looks like it’ll need a partial gut. There are some beautiful hardwood floors and a stairway, among other things, that look worth saving. There’s also a three-car garage and a paved backyard that’s begging for a renovation. Given the amount of work required here, we think the ask is high. Do you agree?

66-37 60th Place [Douglas Elliman] GMAP

09/11/14 11:00am


Alan Berg was a Denver talk radio host with extremely liberal views and a brash, confrontational style. His life ended abruptly in 1984, when he was fatally shot in his driveway by two members of a white supremacy group. His story inspired a book, movies and a Pulitzer-nominated play by Eric Bogosian, entitled “Talk Radio.” The theatrical stage show is set in the studio of Cleveland’s WTLK Radio over the course of a two-hour broadcast led by Barry Champlain. The shock jock verbally jousts with his unseen callers, ranging from a white supremacist to a woman who is obsessed with her garbage disposal. Meanwhile, the provoking protagonist is being scrutinized by his coffee- and cocaine-fueled producers, who dream of taking the program to a national audience. Champlain also has some funny interactions with his on-again-off-again girlfriend/producer and a former deejay.

With a talent-rich cast, Talk Radio begins a 16-show run at The Chain Theatre, a two-story black box events venue in Long island City, on September 12th. The show goes on thanks to a partnership with the Variations Theatre Group, an independent company of collaborating artists who aim to produce intellectually engaging, muscular drama.

Details: Talk Radio, The Chain Theatre, 21-28 45th Road, Long Island City, September 12th through September 27th, dates and times vary, but most shows start at 8 pm and a few weekend performances begin at 2 pm, $18 general admission.

Photo: Variations Theatre Group

09/11/14 10:00am


For about a year now, Maspeth residents, civic leaders, and elected officials have campaigned the Landmarks Preservation Commission to landmark the firehouse at 59-29 68th Street. Residents hoped to protect the brick and limestone building not just because of its age and architecture — the building recently celebrated its centennial — but also because of its significance during September 11th. Well, it looks like that fight has come to an end. In an email this week, a resident spearheading the landmarking campaign said he received a letter from LPC in August, rejecting the submission for consideration to designate. This isn’t the first rejection letter from LPC, who claims the building isn’t unique enough architecturally, and that 9/11 cannot contribute to its historic nature because of a 30-year minimum rule regarding historic relevance. Here’s a piece of the letter:

We so much appreciate all the support that has been expressed [especially the letters you have written to Landmarks] by everyone we have been in contact with over the past year since we first submitted the application to request evaluation of the fire house. But with this latest letter from the LPC, we feel quite defeated in our quest. From our standpoint, unless our elected officials and community leaders can take action that would influence the LPC’s position, there isn’t anything else that we can think of to do.

We are as disappointed as you must be with the LPC’s failure to recognize the value of protecting our cherished Fire House. I can only say that if I’m still around in 2031, and the building is, too, I’ll try again. They won’t be able to argue the silly 30-year rule then.

This is particularly sad news as Maspeth doesn’t have any landmarked buildings otherwise.

All Masepth Firehouse coverage [Q'Stoner]

09/11/14 9:00am


The brokerage firm Modern Spaces — which leased out Icon 52 in Woodside in six weeks — recently announced it is expanding to include commercial real estate. And as the Daily News reports, the firm plans to bring business to Queens. Modern Spaces CEO Eric Benaim (pictured right with new commercial head Evan Daniel) says that commercial real estate in desirable areas of Queens goes for about $200 to $250 per buildable square foot — that’s compared to $400 to $500 in Brooklyn. Modern Spaces is banking on the commercial market following the growing residential market, especially when it comes to tech companies. Evan Daniel suspects the CornellNYCTech school planned for Roosevelt Island will push more tech development in the borough. “There is definitely going to be a very strong demand from the tech industry in the next couple of years,” he told the News.

Real Estate Firm Hopes to Bring More Offices, Companies to Queens [NY Daily News]

Photo via Modern Spaces

09/11/14 8:30am


Healing Exhibit and Special Sept. 11 Memorial Event in Long Island City [NY Daily News]
Most Incumbents Emerge Victorious in Legislative Primaries [NY1]
Boro Groups, Pols to Honor the Fallen of 9/11 [Times Ledger]
Rockaway Boardwalk Tanning Tables to be Replaced With Planters After Outcry [DNAinfo]
Living in Long Island City, the Manhattan Suburb with a Three Minute Commute [Brick Underground]
Asbestos Abatement Begins at 42-16 West Street [Court Square Blog]


This week in Flushing Meadows – Corona Park, the New York Cosmos soccer team hosted a free Back to School clinic led by coaches and players. Queens Courier writes that more than 50 kids showed up, between the ages of six and 14, to kick around a ball. Some of the kiddie players were also part of the nonprofit Hour Children, which works with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and their children. After the clinic, all the kids received a free voucher for any one of the Cosmos’ final four home matches of the fall season.

Cosmos Players Teach Kids Soccer in Flushing Meadows Corona Park [Queens Courier]

Photo by the New York Cosmos

09/10/14 3:00pm


While perusing Department of Building documents, we spotted this new building permit recently issued for 34-46 Vernon Boulevard. That’s the massive, two-towered development planned for the Long Island City waterfront and rendered above. Here’s what the permit says:


So it seems like old building applications must be updated before work starts. Previous plans with the DOB called for an 18-story building with 232 units; other reports said the developers planned two 20-story residential towers, which the rendering, probably outdated, supports. The DOB issued permits for excavation work last summer but since then, the site has been quiet. The developer is Alma Realty, who is better known for plans to build Astoria Cove nearby. If you know any more details on this project, which seems to be shrouded in mystery, hit up the tipline.

All 34-46 Vernon Boulevard coverage [Q'Stoner] GMAP

09/10/14 2:00pm


Lookin’ good! The owners of the Ridgewood cafe Norma’s are making serious progress on their beer-focused bar and restaurant at 818 Woodward Avenue, near Cornelia Street. Dubbed Julia’s, it should hopefully open in late September. There will be a good selection of New York-made beers as well as a menu with charcuterie and cheese plates. (The meat will come from Morscher’s, a neighborhood institution.) Check out one more interior shot after the jump, and keep up-to-date with Julia’s progress on Facebook. GMAP