04/14/14 3:00pm


Just last week news broke that a 76-unit condo is planned for the corner lot on Broadway and 14th Street in Astoria; now we’ve got a few more details. Modern Spaces will handle sales, and CEO Eric Benaim promises a full-service building with indoor and outdoor amenities — “Unlike anything else Astoria has seen before,” he says. Modern Spaces already worked with the developers, Lions Group, on two previous residential projects, the Vista and the Bindery. For this new Broadway build, the developers are still in the design process. Construction should start soon and the hope is to bring units to market sometime next year.

All 14-01 Broadway coverage [Q'Stoner] GMAP

04/14/14 2:00pm


Queens may be New York’s hotspot for up-and-coming breweries, but that doesn’t mean there’s not room for a distillery, too. DNAinfo shares some cool news that Astoria Distilling Company is now in the works. The founder and Astoria resident, Chris Murillo, hopes to debut this summer with an old-fashioned style gin called “Queens Courage.” Here are a few details about the liquor, from the Astoria Distilling Company’s Facebook page:

Queens Courage is a New York “Old Tom” style gin that is lighter than Dutch Genever, more full-bodied than London Dry, and with a subtle sweetness derived from naturally sweet botanicals, malts and honey. Queens Courage is the result of over a year and a half of research and development, and is formulated to be the ideal base spirit for classic cocktails developed in the 1800’s, when Old Tom gin was the most popular style of gin. Queens Courage’s flavor profile is also ideal for the creation of new cocktails, and the use of premium ingredients and the care with which Queens Courage is distilled makes it smooth enough to enjoy neat or on the rocks.

Murillo will use a New York state distillery outside the city, although he hopes to eventually move the production to western Queens. He also hopes to include other types of spirits under the Astoria Distilling Company name. Once Queens Courage is ready, he will market it to local bars and restaurants. So far the company received permits to produce and sell liquor and is still waiting on final approvals from the State Liquor Authority and federal Division of Alcohol Tobacco and Trade.

The Spirit of Queens Inspires Astoria Distilling Company [DNAinfo]

04/14/14 1:00pm


The posters bore messages such as “Don’t buy in Jewish stores,” “The inhabitants of this village want nothing to do with Jews” and “Jews not welcome.” Starting in 1933, the Nazi regime started segregating and curtailing the Jewish community throughout Germany and its occupied lands. To aide this oppressive effort, the government posted countless signs that degraded, harassed, offended and threatened the Jews. On April 23, the Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center at Bayside’s Queensborough Community College will launch a 2.5-month exhibition featuring photos of these signs. Curator Rabbi Isodoro Aizenberg, Kupferberg’s scholar-in-residence, adds another dimension by including testimonies of people who were directly affected by the laws and signs.

Details: Unwelcomed Words: Nazi Anti-Jewish Street Signs, Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center, Queensborough Community College, 222-05 56th Avenue, Bayside, opening on April 23rd, 7 pm, center is open weekdays from 10 am to 4 pm, free.


04/14/14 12:00pm

53-54 63rd Street-LOTD

Here’s an interesting property for sale in Maspeth, at 53-54 63rd Street right off Mount Zion Cemetery. This Tudor-style two family is currently being used as a one-family home, with a total of four bedrooms and two bathrooms. The interior isn’t particularly wowing us and looks like it’s going to need some upgrading. With a price tag of $659,900 do you think this home makes sense as an investment, especially if you decide to rent out the other half?

53-54 63rd Street [O Kane Realty] GMAP

04/14/14 11:00am


After the civil war, Long Island City incorporated and became a haven for heavy industry and mechanized production in the Hunters Point, Dutch Kills, and Ravenswood neighborhoods. Astoria developed along the lines of a bedroom community, with the exception of the Steinway factory on the north side and the band of factories and mills which popped up along Jackson Avenue and the rail tracks.

The huge European populations that poured into New York during the 19th century, who served as labor in the new factories, often arrived in tsunami waves of a single ethnicity – resulting in the classic perception of “the XXX’s are taking over!,” followed by the next generation of the “XXX’s” declaring “the YYY’s are taking over!” Today, everyone goes on about Hipsters.

A teacher of mine, at college, was a genius named Will Eisner – and he did a graphic novel on this phenomena called “Dropsie Avenue” about his old block in the Bronx. Dropsie Avenue is available at Amazon, and other places.

In 1875, Astoria was a German town. Deutche was spoken on the streets, taught in schools, and the population of the area read newspapers shipped in from Vienna and Berlin. They were very much in tune with a radical new political theorem called trade-unionism, which promised to unite the workers of the world against the decaying masters of the middle ages – the aristocracy – and a new menace to the working man which was called the Industrialist. They also believed that mankind could be bettered and brought into communion with God – by exercise, good diet, and education – and abstention from the sins of the industrial world like liquor.

One must comment on what must have been going through the minds of these people — the whole world was at war, the greatest empire ever known was crumbling, and an antichrist (himself a Turner) had crowned himself the emperor of France.


And here the immigrants were, in post civil war New York City, safe as houses. So, these Germans built a Turn Verein in Long Island City, on the corner of Broadway and 14th avenue (44th Street) near Schuetzen Park, to better their community and mankind on the whole through the example of Physical Culture.


04/14/14 10:00am


On Friday Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer announced that Sunnyside will receive two new public plazas as a part of the Department of Transportation’s NYC Plaza Program. The Sunnyside Shines BID submitted applications to install plazas at both 40th Street and Queens Boulevard (pictured) and 46th Street and Queens Boulevard. The DOT approved the applications this month and selected the Sunnyside Shines BID as the nonprofit partner to maintain them.

Both future plazas are located under the 7 train in areas currently closed to vehicular traffic. They’ll get outfitted with planters, benches and moveable tables and chairs open to the public. Sunnyside Shines will be in charge of programing events and activities in either space. But before the plazas are installed, the BID and DOT are looking for design and programming suggestions from the public. The first community outreach meeting to discuss these matters is happening on Wednesday, April 30th at 6:30 pm. It’s at Sunnyside Community Services, 43-13 39th Street.

Photo via Google Maps

04/14/14 9:00am


There’s a new rental development in town, at 17-21 Woodbine Street in Ridgewood. The developers, Stuyvesant Group, purchased the six-family building back in May. At the time it was in major disrepair, with significant mildew damage, and the developers completely gutted the interior and built out four three-bedroom units and two four-bedrooms units. All apartments have their own HVAC, hot water, video intercoms, modern kitchens and bathrooms. The ground floor units, which each have private backyard space, are priced at $2,995 a month. Rents for the apartments on the floors above are priced between $2,400 and $2,795. Miron Properties is handling the leasing — check out listings here.

Building amenities include a roof deck, bike storage, separate storage units, a laundry room and a gym in the cellar. The shared hallways are also covered in art done by the local artist Raul Ayala. After the jump, you can see lots of interior photos of the apartments, amenity spaces and the artwork. GMAP


04/14/14 8:30am


New York Boomers on Hipster Turf [NY Times]
When Cars Ruled the World’s Fair [NY Times]
A Perfect Place to Hunt the Living Dead in Queens [NY Times]
Watchmaker Moves East as Industrial Space Shrinks in LIC [NY Daily News]
Volunteers Bring Clean Sweep to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park [NY1]
People for the Pavilion Team up With Mets to Celebrate World’s Fair Anniversaries [The Forum]
Bike Rack Coming to Elmhurst’s Terraza 7 [DNAinfo]
LIC Flea Gets Approval to Sell Wine & Beer from Community Board [LIC Post]
Renderings Released for 27-18 44th Drive [Court Square Blog]
Easter Events in Queens NY [Queens Mamas]

04/11/14 4:00pm


It took more than three years of extremely hard work to renovate the venue and get the proper city permits, but Pa-Nash Restaurant & Lounge officially opened on April 11 with a joyous atmosphere and free samples of spicy Moroccan meatballs, babaghanoush and the house specialty beverage. Located in Rosedale, between Idelwild Park and the Valley Stream border, this new eatery offers a “Euro Soul” menu that fuses Mediterranean and North African cuisine with Caribbean and Soul Food influences. The menu features everything from herb-crusted lump crab cakes with chive garlic aioli and toasted coconut to almond-crusted salmon and pistachio crumbed lamb chops with rosemary syrup and couscous.

In addition to a sit-down area in an upscale-but-relaxed atmosphere, Pa-Nash also has a 25-foot long bar with two flat-screen televisions, an exhibition space for local artists (below) and a downstairs lounge for live entertainment, including belly-dancing and comedy. Located at 144-14 243rd Street, Pa-Nash is very much a labor of love for the owners, Jamaica natives Annette and Noel Runcie, who have operated a Golden Krust branch in Queens Village for more than a decade.


Photos: It’s In Queens

04/11/14 3:00pm


At six stories tall, this new development at 31-43 Vernon Boulevard isn’t exactly a tower but the developers plan to call it such. New York YIMBY spotted renderings for Vernon Tower, which will hold 79 residential units, 66,300 total square feet and ground-floor retail. The facade design, which YIMBY rightly calls “average,” is by PACS Architecture.

This development is located right off of Socrates Sculpture Park in Astoria and will have views of Manhattan from the waterfront. The developers already submitted building plans to the DOB and construction is expected to begin this spring.

Revealed: Vernon Tower, 31-43 Vernon Boulevard [New York YIMBY] GMAP