The momo is a Himalayan dumpling that is usually stuffed with chicken, beef or yak. It is also the focus of an intense food walk this week. Other exceptional options include Martha Redbone and her mix of poetry and Native American music, two comedy extravaganzas, various foreign films, and discussions on Queens and the Federal Reserve. Here’s the rundown, broken down into music, arts, education, food and comedy events.
Well, the listing photos stink for this one-bedroom apartment at 17-30 Bleecker Street, in Ridgewood, but it still looks like an interesting property. It’s nicely sized at 1,000 square feet with some charming interior details. The listing says that this is a railroad apartment with a second entrance to make it a convertible two bedroom. That layout isn’t going to be for everyone, but it will probably attract student types. We ultimately think the monthly rent, at $1,800 a month, is high. Do you agree?
I used to work in Long Island City, as production manager to a now defunct bedding and home furnishings company. We had our sewing and shipping facilities in a factory building near the Silvercup Studios. Whenever I had the opportunity, I would walk around the neighborhood on my lunch hour and see what I could see. Long Island City was hardly the new outpost of cool at the time, although if you were paying attention, you could see that it was coming. This was around 1998-99.
PS 1 had recently opened, (pre-MOMA) and work was being done on the platforms of the 7 train. They were also spiffing up the old Court House. If you stood where you could see the towers of Manhattan across the river, it was pretty clear that Long Island City’s days as a forgotten backwater were numbered. The harbinger of change, Citibank, had been there for several years at that point, although the plaza around it was still pretty deserted. Still, it would only be a matter of time. This part of Queens was just too tantalizingly close to Manhattan.
One day, on one of my wandering walks, I came upon this block. I lived in Bedford Stuyvesant at that time, surrounded by brownstones. I lived in a brownstone. Was this Queens? Land of 20th century housing? (Ok, I didn’t know much back then.) Where did this block come from? How did it survive? The houses were in pretty great shape, as a group, and were made of brick and, what was that? Marble? Who built marble houses? What was the story here? This block was an architectural miracle. (more…)
For the first time ever, the Economic Development Corporation is offering free air rights for a “permanently affordable housing program that maximizes both the number of housing units and the level of affordability” — and it’s happening in Long Island City. The Observer reports that the EDC released a Request for Proposals that offers up the air rights from three city-owned parcels beneath the Queensboro Bridge. (The parcels are un-developable due to the bridge ramps.) The air rights could then be used for adjacent parcels within the same block and zoning district. Developers can request the development rights for all three parcels, or just for some.
The RFP states that a developer will be selected based on “the quality and feasibility of the proposal, response team qualifications, the proposal’s economic impact on New York City, proposed affordable housing program, and purchase price.” Developers must submit proposals by December 22nd.
The four-bedroom, two-bathroom duplex at Hampton Court that hit the market in August priced for $949,000 is now in contract. At the time, there was a lot of talk about the unit bringing in close to a million bucks. Commenters pointed out that the apartment is a walkup, with a hefty maintenance of $1,600 a month. Then as if on cue, the price dropped to $895,000.
A rep from the brokerage firm in charge of the sale, MPC Properties, LLC, tells us that “At the decreased price of $895,000, the property garnered tremendous activity but due to fiduciary obligations with the seller, I am not at liberty to discuss the price until the process is completed and closed.” Any guesses on the price this entered contract for? We’re guessing it’s still less than this four bedroom in The Towers that sold for $915,000 this fall.
A preservation group is trying to raise enough money to buy the Brinckerhoff Cemetery property in Fresh Meadows. Although the city designated the cemetery a landmark back in 2012, the current owner isn’t maintaining it and the cemetery is now overgrown. The owner is asking $150,000 for the property, which is the amount the Friends of the Brinckerhoff Colonial Cemetery hope to raise. According to Queens Courier, preservationist believe there are over 70 tombstones there — for now, none of them are visible. And because it’s private property, no one knows about the conditions of the tombstones or any other historical artifacts.
Mitchell Grubler, chair of the Queens Preservation Council, told this to the Courier: “I believe that the property would be in better hands with the Friends of the Brinckerhoff Cemetery than the current owner. It’s a property that’s had a lot of invasive growth, vegetation. Over the course of time, that needs to be managed.” What’s left unclear, though, is how the group plans to raise all the money!
Some of the glassy facade is now on display at the under-construction Elmhurst Library, located at 86-01 Broadway. The finished product — you can see a rendering after the jump — will be four stories and 30,000 square feet, roughly double the size of the old library. The new space will have separate library areas for adults, children and teens, a 32-computer Cyber Center, an Adult Learning Center, an interior reading atrium, and front and rear community gardens.
When the building broke ground in 2011, the aim was to open it in 2013. Last year, the ETA was pushed back to 2014. The latest estimation is to wrap construction by spring 2015. The facade was supposed to be finished by this month, but that’s obviously not on track either. While construction continues, the city is operating a temporary library at 85-08 51st Avenue, off Broadway.
After the jump, check out a few more photos of the facade.
Just last week, the owners of Bia67, on South 6th Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, signed a deal for an expansion to Long Island City. Bia67 is taking over the commercial space at 23-10 Jackson Avenue, the old Quiznos located between Pearson and Davis Streets. (The Quiznos closed earlier this year.) The owners of Bia67 plan to build out a Vietnamese restaurant and bar this winter. The Brooklyn menu includes dim sum, noodles, banh mi sandwiches, pho and more.
Oren Friedman, of DY Realty Services, brokered the deal and has this to say about the restaurant’s arrival: “It will add some depth to the cuisine of the neighborhood and should make a nice lunch and after work spot for drinks.” Seems like a better addition to the neighborhood than Quiznos, that’s for sure. GMAP
Remember: Whatever happens under the mistletoe, stays under the mistletoe. As part of the 27th Annual Holiday Historic House Tour, seven local landmarks will offer seasonal refreshments, organize time-honored activities, and provide glimpses of Christmas celebrations from as far back as the 17th century on Sunday, December 7th. Visitors will be able to check out any (or all) of the venues — Kingsland Homestead; Voelker Orth Museum; Lewis H. Latimer House Museum; Friends Meeting House; Flushing Town Hall; Bowne House; and Louis Armstrong House Museum — and a van will continuously run between sites from 1 pm to 5 pm.
After the jump, more information on each participating venue and its tour plans… (more…)