We recently read A Newbie’s Guide to Bushwick Subway Stops from Bushwick Daily and we liked it so much, we decided to do our own version for Astoria. Here, we present a brief subway stop by subway stop breakdown of where to live and why. We start with the N/Q in Astoria (Astoria is also served by the M/R – more on that at another time).
In general, rents throughout Astoria run about around $1,600 for a one bedroom and $2,000 for a two bedroom, but of course there are exceptions to that on either end of the pricing spectrum. New construction tends to be more expensive than older construction, and rather than big developments, Astoria has a lot of infill construction, which affects rents as well.
A Festivistmas Kwanzaannukah holiday tradition, the MTA runs vintage Subway cars on the M line on Sundays in the month of December. The rolling stock is maintained by the MTA’s Transit Museum, and I make it a point of attending the event every year. This Q’stoner post from last year goes into some detail on what to expect onboard these relics of NYC’s golden age, but I wasn’t too happy with the quality of the photos from 2013, and have been practicing my subway shooting skills in the intervening interval.
Yesterday, I put myself to the test, and rode the Shoppers Special with my camera. Lots of shots from what I saw onboard follow, after the jump. (more…)
MTA’s capital plan allocated $140,000,000 for repairs along seven different 7 train stations in Queens, DNAinfo reports. The stations in question are Mets-Willets Point, 111th Street, 103rd Street-Corona Plaza, 82nd Street, 69th Street, 61st Street-Woodside and 52nd Street. Repairs on the Woodside stations (69th Street, 61st Street-Woodside and 52nd Street) should begin in 2017 and will receive more than $21,000,000. For all the other stations, work should begin in 2015.
The MTA plans to upgrade things like stairs, canopies, mezzanines and platforms — at the moment, it’s too early for specific plans. Great news, but we’re not looking forward to the service changes and shutdowns that always come with subway improvements.
Skillman Avenue in Long Island City, between Pearson Place and 49th Avenue is a fairly desolate spot. The Sunnyside Yards “Yard A” dominates the northern side of the street. On the other side of the vast rail road complex is Jackson Avenue and the Court Square Subway station, the Arris Lofts, and the brand new Pearson Court Square building with its roof top windmills.
A block south, you’ll find the sewage choked waters of Newtown Creek’s Dutch Kills tributary, which provided a maritime link to the Degnon Terminal industrial park (which has been discussed in this post). Skillman Avenue forms one of the borders of the Degnon Terminal, and at the corner of Pearson Place and Skillman Avenue – the tracks of the LIRR’s Montauk Cutoff offered locomotive access to the Degnon Terminal railway tracks. This spur is in place to this very day, and there are rails sticking up out of the modern day asphalt which run up elevations to elevated tracks that connected Sunnyside Yard with the LIRR tracks which run along Newtown Creek, through Maspeth and then towards Fresh Pond. If curious about such things – go here.
That’s a short history of the site, and you won’t believe what’s going on here now.
The MTA announced that during its 12-weekend shutdown of the 7 train, it will not shut down 7 Line service to Queens the weekend of May 17th and 18th. The MTA listened to concerns from Long Island City residents and business owners, who are struggling with the shutdown, and decided to keep the train running for one important weekend in LIC.
Here’s what’s happening: on Saturday, May 17th, the LIC Partnership is holding LIC Springs!, a free, community block festival on Vernon Boulevard in partnership with the city’s Weekend Walks program. And the LIC Arts Open – a nine-day festival – will stretch through that weekend. There’s also the LIC Flea & Food, the new Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios, and the World’s Fair Anniversary Festival in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Overall, a ton of events happening with public transportation to access them. After the weekend, the shutdown will last until July 21st.
This Thursday, politicians, Riders Alliance and Transportation Alternatives will host a town hall meeting for the G train shutdown this summer. As reported earlier, the G train will not run between Long Island City and Greenpoint in order to repair damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. Shutdown dates span between July 6th to September 1st with shuttle service running instead. The Town Hall will serve as a brainstorming session for making the five-week period “as painless as possible.” It’ll be held in Greenpoint, at 176 Java Street.
Man, can LIC subway riders catch a break? On top of the 7 train weekend suspensions, the MTA will shut down G Train service between Long Island City and Nassau Avenue for five straight weeks this summer. The shutdown dates span between July 6th to September 1st. LIC Post reports, “The MTA said that it needs to shut down service in order to repair damage caused by Superstorm Sandy. The tunnel that connects Long Island City with Greenpoint was flooded with 3 million gallons of salt water at the height of the storm, according to the MTA.” The MTA plans to provide shuttle service during the five-week period.
Over the past weekend, the MTA suspended the 7 train for the first of 12 weekends through July 21st. Queens Courier spoke to members of the LIC community on how the shutdown affects them. Residents had a hard time traveling to and from Manhattan during the weekend, with a 10 to 15 minute trip taking close to three hours. And local businesses like Alobar and The Creek and The Cave noticed a distinct decline in customers. A group of business owners plan to promote the neighborhood and dedicate street team efforts to bring people into LIC during the weekend shutdowns. The MTA is also trying to work on a marketing campaign to help the community, but it’s unclear how that will play out. According to the Courier: “Business owners say the MTA has told them that they are not being given advertising space, but instead can add images and words to the disclosure notices located on subway cars.”
Unfortunately, there are even more shutdowns to expect after this round is over: the MTA stated there are nine tentative weekend service suspensions scheduled for August through November.
Now that Queens is getting real-time bus arrival — a GPS system that allows bus riders to use their computer, cell phone or smartphone to get information about bus times — there’s an app to go with the good news! Bus New York City for iPhone is an app that pin-points the next bus on the map and gives riders an estimated time of arrival. The app also shows line status, potential disruptions, official MTA route maps, full offline bus schedules and favorite stops. The app won the MTA AT&T App Quest Awards in December 2013. It costs $2.99 through the Apple Store.
Next month — on March 9th, to be exact! — the MTA will install Bus Time in Queens and Brooklyn. According to the MTA website, “MTA Bus Time uses Global Positioning System (GPS) hardware and wireless communications technology to track the real-time location of buses. This innovation lets you use your computer, cell phone, smartphone or other tech device to get information about when the next bus will arrive at your stop, even if you are still at home, the office, shopping, or dining.” Transportation Nation writes that this very useful service launched on Staten Island in January 2012, then came to the Bronx later that year, then finally to Manhattan in October 2013. Now all 5,500 city buses have the GPS hardwire necessary to transmit their positions. The countdown ’til March 9th begins — can’t wait!