Playland Motel, a new boutique resort at 97-20 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, will open in the Rockaways by July 4, according to Societe Perrier. Robin Scott and Jamie Wiseman of Williamsburg dance spot Output and Diagio Galazio and Eduardo Suarez of El Almacen and Rosarito’s Fish Shack are the owners of the project, which will have 12 rental rooms, two restaurants, and three bars, including a 7,000-square-foot one that will be partly outdoors. The space is supposed to “merge urban hipster demands with universal beach culture,” according to Societe Perrier. The Post adds that the two restaurants will be a 50-seat Playland Diner and a pizza joint. Rockabus could also potentially add a new bus route to the site. Think Playland Motel will be an improvement to the area?
The Long Island City Parent’s Group has come up with an interesting proposal for LIC landmark 5 Pointz, the graffiti-covered warehouse its owners plan to demolish, although it’s still unclear what’s going up in its place. The group is proposing that artists bring their graffiti to “the bare grey walls” around P.S. 1, and, well, stop fighting to save the 5 Pointz building altogether. Here’s a good chunk of what they said in their most recent email newsletter:
Was it really necessary that angry activists stop an environmentally conscious developer from building more space for people with jobs, incomes, degrees, and families? Can’t the graffiti move diagonally across the street right onto the walls of another art-friendly building owner, our own MOMA’s P.S. 1? The bare grey walls surrounding P.S. 1 like a proto-Reaganesque Cold War bunker would provide tens of thousands of square feet unadorned by windows and stairs. The hundreds of running feet of concrete walls along Jackson Avenue and 46th Avenue are highly visible to all folks who track to Queens to experience modern art, munch in the M.Wells-managed school cafeteria, and dance (or mostly hang out) at the sultry warm-up parties. Could there be a better synergy than between MOMA’s high concept art and mind-numbing street art of the aerosol kind?
Advice to aerosol activists: advocate as aggressively for the right to splash, splatter, and spray onto the MOMA-walls as you agitated against the development plans. This “concrete” solution would provide a new, better, lasting home for your graffiti: more space, more visibility, more foot traffic and maybe the museum could even carve out some office space for Jonathan Cohen’s graffiti group?
No sane developer will let artists into a building after what happened to the Wolkoff family. They were generous (and a bit clever) by parceling up brittle floors with drafty windows into artist studios and renting the spaces at rates that few real businesses would be willing to pay. But no good deed goes unpunished and the graffiti activists who had used the building facade for free are now paying back their benefactors by blocking the plans and appropriating the building.
I personally know half a dozen owners of commercial loft spaces in Long Island City who will rent to everybody but artists. After what happened to David Wolkoff there will be more.
Garden City, a Long Island suburb east of Jamaica, is facing a lawsuit alleging that it improperly rejected a 2004 rezoning that would have created affordable housing in a former government building site, the Associated Press reported. Two groups, New York Communities for Change and MHANY Management Inc., claim the village blocked minority residents by discouraging the development of 311 new residential units on 25 acres formerly occupied by Nassau County offices. Lawyers for the groups argued Monday that the village ignored an outside consultant and special committee that recommended the development. The plaintiffs are seeking an order to force the city to develop a new housing plan. A lawyer for the city said that residents were concerned about increased traffic and school enrollment stemming from the proposed development. The land remains unused. GMAP
The city is in talks to bring Citi Bike to Long Island City and Greenpoint to offset disruptions in G train service this year, sources tell the Daily News. The MTA could potentially pay for some or all of the costs. The current program is entirely funded by Citigroup and American Express, and budget constraints were cited as a reason that bikes weren’t in more neighborhoods.
The Jackson Heights Arts Festival takes place on Saturday, June 22, and will feature free art workshops, music and outdoor exhibits. Volunteers will also clean and paint Diversity Plaza at 37th Road between 73rd and 74th streets. The event has a rain day of Sunday, June 23, and is organized by Hibridos Collective, the Jackson Heights Beautification Group and Sukhi. More details at JHBG.
Residents of the Sunnyside Gardens historic district are circulating a letter opposing the development of a lot at 39th Avenue and 50th Street, according to the blog Queens Crap. The proposed development would move a 1931 aluminum house to the site, but the local group calls it a “smokescreen” to introduce new residential development. Because the area is a historic district, the Landmarks Preservation Commission will have to approve all changes. The plan will be presented at a Community Board Two hearing on Wednesday at 7 pm. The meeting will take place at 43-22 50th Street off Roosevelt Avenue, 2nd floor. This will be followed by a Landmarks hearing, which could happen as soon as July 9. GMAP
It was a good sign when we arrived at 11:55 a.m. yesterday in front of Mustang Thakali Kitchen at 74-14 37th Avenue and there was already a Nepalese family of five waiting for the security gate to be lifted. We’d been looking for an excuse to drag the Brownstoner family to this neck of the woods for a walk around the Jackson Heights Historic District. Father’s Day proved to be the perfect foil, and Mustang Thakali Kitchen proved to be the perfect culinary destination. One of the only Nepalese restaurants in the five boroughs, the unassuming restaurant has not gone unnoticed in its dozen or so years in existence. Our predecessor site mentioned it last year when Bon Appetit took at unexpected ethnic eats in the neighborhood. Back in 2009 Robert Sietsema gave it a strong review when he was still at the Village Voice; one of his first moves in his new gig at Eater was to highlight Thakali Kitchen in a round-up of Himalayan food. “Really, if this meal doesn’t make you stand up and dance,” he writes, “nothing will.” Our high expectations were easily met, with unusual dishes like the sukuti sadeko (something like a beef jerky ceviche) and Thali vegetarian platter complementing more familiar items like egg fried rice, chicken dumplings and chickpea samosas. Even our 8 year old and 10 year old ate every dish and pronounced it well worth the trip. Lots of photos on the jump. GMAP
Every year around June 23, the Portuguese-speaking world honors São João (or St. John the Baptist). Young and old mix religious observance with fun, food, fireworks and even playful fights with garlic flowers as part of a tradition that dates back to the 16th century. Next weekend, Queens gets in on the fun, when O Lavrador Restaurant hosts a three-day extravaganza highlighting the wonders of Portuguese culture. Expect live folk dance groups from Portugal and Spain, a Portuguese DJ, two live Portuguese bands and a fashion show. Along with the entertainment, the iconic Jamaica eatery will sell typical BBQ cuisine and even raffle off a Portuguese racing bicycle. Details: Festa de São João, June 21-23, O Lavrador, 138-40 101st Ave., Jamaica, free admission but food will be on sale. (more…)