07/25/13 11:00am

bsQ_ssyrds_000

The ironic thing is that you can’t catch a train here. Yet.

The Sunnyside Yard opened in 1910, and was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad. The rail complex was the largest coach yard on Earth back then, occupying some 192 acres which carried nearly 26 miles of track that could accommodate a thousand train cars. In modern times, the busiest rail junction in the United States is found here, called the Harold Interlocking.

A fantastic overview of the history of rail in Long Island City — with maps — can be found at the website trainsarefun.com.

The Sunnyside Yard tends to insulate Long Island City from the rest of western Queens, forcing its residential and business traffic to pass through and around narrow or crowded choke points like Queens Plaza. Its borders are defined by Jackson Avenue and Northern Boulevard to the north, while the southern border is found along Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside. In the east, it’s 48th Street and the west border is 21st Street.

There’s a reason I use a lot of adjectives when describing the place — ones like “gargantuan,” “cyclopean,” or — a noun — “titan.” (more…)

04/16/13 2:00pm

subway_surfers screenshot

Maybe it was Subway Surfers, the popular video game, that enticed a man to give train surfing a try.

Or maybe this guy was just a regular old LIRR fare jumper who thought it better to get on top of the train than stowaway in the bathroom.

Whatever the reason, commuter Boruch Nemtzov, 28, was awaiting his train at the Forest Hills LIRR station when he spotted a guy lying face down on top of a passing train, NYDN reports. “Maybe he was trying to beat a $20 fare,” Nemtzov quipped to the paper. Since the most recent fare increase in March, a peak hours round-trip ride from Manhattan to Forest Hills costs $16.

train15n-1a-web
Photo courtesy of NY Daily News

Gothamist reported on the incident too:

MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said the man—whose photo was snapped as he passed through the Forest Hills station—is still at large, though officials are “working to find the individual” since train surfing is “obviously illegal.”

How often does this occur, anyway? “I’ve been working here since ’07, and this is the first time I’ve recalled this happening on the LIRR or Metro North,” Donovan said.

04/04/13 12:00pm

Which way the Queensway will go is still uncertain. We’re of course hoping that whatever gets done (if anything) to this three mile stretch between Forest Hills and Atlantic Avenue is great. Right?

Woodhaven Junction (LIRR station)

Image Source: Wikipedia

We do understand that making the decision of which way to go will be rough. People have different visions of what the future of the area should look like and what interests should be served.  Also, on a more here and now level, some of the rail line passes through commercial areas, some through Forest Park, while a majority passes by private backyards, e.g. privacy advocates and public access advocates have at it! (more…)

03/22/13 2:00pm

historic-elevated-photo-1950s-queens

The LIRR line in question, when it was active

After hearing about the feasibility study RFPs issued by the Trust for Public Land, we’ve learned of a concerted push for the alternate plan for the abandoned rail line – turning it back into a working train line. Two Congressmen representing southern Queens - Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn) and Greg Meeks (D-Jamaica) plan to “endorse the proposal and push to allocate federal transportation subsidies to study a plan for bringing rail service back.”  (more…)

03/21/13 11:00am

potential-community-garden-space-rego-park-queens

Image source: DNAinfo

DNAinfo reports that a community group, the Forest-Rego Compost Collective, a local non-profit, wants to turn the area behind the Home Depot on Woodhaven Boulevard (GMAP) into a community garden. Right now the space is unused and full of trash and gnarly poison ivy.  (more…)

03/01/13 1:00pm

Here is a roundup of properties we’ve featured on QueensNYC this week – three co-ops and a condo in Flushing, LIC, Elmhurst, and Bayside.

36-34-172nd-st-kitchen-flushing-queens

36-34 172nd St, Flushing, NY 11358 (GMAP) - This 1 bed/1 bath co-op in the Auburndale section of Flushing is priced at $115,000. It is located on the upper level and has a low maintenance fee. The kitchen has a new stove and there is a dishwasher. It’s about a half mile from the Auburndale LIRR station (Port Washington line), and convenient to the Clearview Expressway. It’s also a little under a mile to beautiful Bowne Park. It’s a very leafy area.

(more…)

01/20/13 2:00pm

east-side-access-construction-queens

East Side Access construction

The Regional Plan Association reports that the East Side Access (ESA) project means good news for homeowners nearby – the Association concludes via a study that the 587,000 households in both Queens (191,000 in eastern Queens) and Long Island (314,000 in Nassau County and 82,500 in western Suffolk County) will see their home values increase by an average of $7,300 because of the construction of the ESA. The cumulative increase is $4.7 billion.

(more…)