08/26/14 11:00am

Maspeth isn’t a location many associate with DeWitt Clinton (1769-1828), a founding father who served as NY State Assemblyman, NYS Senator, NYS Governor, US Senator and NYC Mayor during an illustrious career capped by his indefatigable support for the Erie Canal. Several streets around town were named for him, including Maspeth’s own Clinton Avenue, and when Green-Wood Cemetery opened in Brooklyn in 1838 his remains were later exhumed from the original burial plot in Albany, NY and moved to Brooklyn — as a tourist attraction for the nascent burial park.

clinton1

NYS Governor DeWitt Clinton lived in Maspeth for several decades in this house that had stood near Newtown Creek. Judge Joseph Sackett built a two-story wood frame mansion with porches around both levels in the area behind Clinton Hall (pictured after the jump) in 1750. During the Revolutionary War the house was occupied by American physician and general, Joseph Warren, and British Gen. William Howe planned an invasion of NYC via Newtown Creek from the mansion after its capture. (more…)

82nd-street-partnership-seth-taylor

Right before the controversial Jackson Heights/82nd Street BID expansion is put up for a vote, the executive director of the neighborhood organization has taken a new job in Manhattan. Seth Taylor (pictured left, with Director of Business Services Sofia Davila) has worked for the 82nd Street Partnership over the past two years and will start at the NoHo NY Business Improvement District on September 15th. He told DNAinfo, who broke the news, “There’s never an ideal time to move on, but we felt like this was a good time now that we’ve written our district plan [for the expansion].” Taylor caught a lot of heat during the public review process of the expansion, with many small business owners worried that the BID would price them out. At a public meeting in July, some BID opponents asked him to step down, said DNAinfo.

Taylor helped improve sanitation, increase fundraising and renovate storefronts in the neighborhood. He’s also behind the BID’s popular event Viva La Comida. The 82nd Street Partnership is now actively looking for his replacement.

82nd Street BID Director Stepping Down to Take Position in NoHo [DNAinfo]

rockaways-pipeline

Al Jazeera New York published an in depth, interesting piece about a natural gas pipeline called the Rockaway Delivery Lateral Project, now under construction in the Rockaways. The project met protest when it was proposed in 2012, but was ultimately signed into law by Congress just weeks after the Rockaways was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Now it’s under construction and will run three miles between Jacob Riis Park and Fort Tilden and under a golf course to connect to a pipeline run by National Grid. However, the article raises serious concerns about the company installing the pipeline, Williams Companies.

According to the article, the company is “the subject of a U.S. Chemical Safety Board probe because of a recent string of incidents.” That includes a petrochemical facility explosion in Louisiana, a pipeline explosion in West Virigina, a pipeline fire in Wyoming and others. (According to data collected by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, “Williams pipelines have been involved in at least 50 gas transmission incidents since 2006.”) While there is resistance to the company in the neighborhood, most residents don’t even know the project is going on. Activists tell Al Jazeera that “The review process was stacked against pipeline opponents from the start,” and then, of course, Sandy hit and most residents didn’t even have electricity to watch the news. If the timing was different, it’s very likely that opposition would have been much stronger, but as it is the pipeline will begin operating in November. Once it’s in, however, the danger doesn’t go away: “The pipeline goes in, and everyone will go back with their lives. That’s where the concern comes in, because everyone will forget,” says pipeline safety expert Mark McDonald.

In the Rockaways, Pipeline Debate Takes a Contentious Turn [Al Jazeera America] via Curbed

Photo via NYC Parks

08/26/14 8:30am

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Two Queens Companies in Contest to Protect NYC from Future Storms [NY Daily News]
PHOTOS: US Open 2014 Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day [Queens Courier]
Savanna Picks up Controlling Interest in One Court Square [The Real Deal]
Ozone Park Merchants Spar With Plaza Supporters [Streetsblog]
What to Eat at This Year’s U.S. Open [Grub Street]
Update on Greek Market Coming to 22-78 35th Street [We Heart Astoria]
Demolition Wraps up at 25-19 43rd Avenue [Court Square Blog]

08/25/14 4:00pm

Check out this awesome video by StreetsBlog chronicling the Bike Friendly Business District celebration that took place over the weekend in Sunnyside. This is Queens’ very first bike friendly BID. Over 50 cyclists showed up to visit and sample food from six of 70 bike-friendly restaurants in the area. Now, let’s get some CitiBikes in the nabe!

Sunnyside, Queens Becomes a Bike-Friendly Business District! [Streetfilms]
Closing Bell: Queens’ First Bike Friendly Business District is in Sunnyside [Q'Stoner]

08/25/14 3:00pm

22-22-jackson-avenue

Here’s a look at the 22-22 Jackson Avenue construction site, right next door to the 5Pointz demolition. The foundation is in and it looks like the building will be rising soon. It’s going to be a 10-story, mixed-use building with 182 residential units, bike storage, a library, pool, gym and rooftop space. (You can check out a rendering for the boxy finished product after the jump.) The design is by ODA Architecture and the developer is Jeff Gershon, who purchased the site for $16,500,000. Construction started this spring, no word on how long it’ll last.

All 22-22 Jackson Avenue coverage [Q'Stoner] GMAP

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08/25/14 2:00pm

brass-owl-boutique-astoria

A new boutique offering shoes, jewelry and accessories is opening soon in Astoria. The space, at 36–19 Ditmars Boulevard, is under renovation now and will be ready for its grand opening on Saturday, September 13th. Here are some details from the press release: “The shop will offer a hip and eclectic curation of name brands, local NYC designers, and trendy gifts, some of which are not available anywhere in the five boroughs.”

The owner, Nicole Panettieri, has worked in retail and style for the past 13 years and has lived in Astoria for the past two. She thought the area needed a unique, hip boutique — “an artistic alternative to the mall” as she says. She plans to run the store from Tuesday to Thursday 11 am to 8 pm, Friday and Saturday 11 am to 9 pm, and Sunday noon to 6 pm. You can keep progress of the boutique at the Brass Owl Facebook page.

Photo via Facebook

08/25/14 1:00pm

yoga-room-yoga-class

Catch the sound wave! Two years ago, the inaugural LIC Concert Series consisted of one gig featuring two bands and several dozen attendees. In 2013, four bands performed for a total of roughly 600 fans. This year, the third annual event boasts five weeks of fun with 14 local entertainers who will bring everything from live music to yoga to children’s activities to Long Island City. The kick-off was last week, but the show will go on for the next four consecutive Sundays. See the full lineup after the jump.

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08/25/14 12:00pm

46-37-douglaston-parkway

This Colonial home is on the market in Douglaston, located at 46-37 Douglaston Parkway. It’s a beautiful property, with well kept historical details and a big grassy backyard. It’s hard to tell without a floor plan, but the ground floor looks quite open. And the only major renovation we think the place needs is in the kitchen. The asking price comes in at $948,888, think that sounds about right?

46-37 Douglaston Parkway [Station Realty of Douglaston] GMAP