Image source: Rockwell Group/Archtagon - the new gate planned for Kaufman Astoria studios
The NYDN reported on proposed developments happening on the Kaufman Astoria property that will be blocked off once the gates are installed on either end of 36th Street between 34th and 35th Avenues. We knew about the backlot that will be built (“where car chases can soon be filmed without film crews occupying entire city blocks”), but what we were unaware of until now is the other plans – to build a luxury hotel with a restaurant on an empty parking lot on 36th Street. Condos or rental apartments might be built nearby, too.
The Queens Chronicle went out and talked to some local Queens folks regarding their feelings on the Muni Meters – the new street parking system implemented by the city that eliminates the needs for individual parking meters. Some of the Queens neighborhoods in which they’ve been installed are Astoria, St Albans, Rosedale, Hollis, Auburndale, and Sunnyside. In 2013 they’ll be installed in the neighborhoods of Ozone Park, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Jamaica, Woodside and Corona.
Image source: Queens Chronicle – “A rendering of the United States Tennis Association’s planned expansion at Flushing Meadows Corona Park includes a new Grandstand, bottom left, a renovated Louis Armstrong Stadium, top right, and additional courts.”
We’ve heard a lot about the Major League Soccer stadium that is most likely coming to Flushing Meadows Corona Park, but another major sports venue also has expansion plans – the US Tennis Association. The Queens Chronicle reports that the expansion requires .68 acres of parkland along the Tennis Center’s eastern edge. They are calling it an upgrade and a “Strategic Vision.”
Motorcycles and Muni Meter receipts aren’t friendly with one another, so let’s just have free parking
Apparently motorcyclists have a hard time with Muni Meter receipts. Muni Meters are those kiosks where you purchase parking and leave the receipt in your vehicle to prove you’ve paid for your spot. All over the city you see them cropping up and slowly parking meters are going the way of the dodo (we are curious how this will affect bike parking, too, since parking meter poles are a prime spot for people to lock their bikes to), and the only way to prove you’ve paid for street parking is to have that little receipt showing, usually displayed on the dash.
Of course, with motorcycles, there is no interior, so motorcyclists are perplexed as to what to do with the receipts. Attached to the motorcycle, they are at the whim of wind and weather, as well as people that simply like to steal the receipts off the bike. DOT says motorcyclists should affix a clear plastic sleeve to hold the tickets. But motorcyclist and City Councilman Peter Vallone has another solution – free parking for all motorcycles in NYC!
Now that it’s cooling down, dig into potatoes and bacon
Since the weather has really turned Fall-like, it’s time to look to heartier foods, and we have a good one for you – Koliba’s potato spaetzle (dumplings). Koliba is a fantastic Czech/Slovak restaurant on 23rd Ave in Astoria (GMAP), and serves up delicious hearty Eastern European fare. The spaetzle, about an inch in length, are served with either a tangy sheep’s milk cheese and bacon or sauerkraut and bacon; we usually opt for the sheep’s milk cheese. The bacon is thick cut and the whole thing is fatty, carby goodness. It goes great with a Staropramen, too.
Greenpoint Landing in Brooklyn will have a fancy footbridge connected it to Queens
Greenpointers wrote about a massive development called Greenpoint Landing, that is coming to the northern tip of Greenpoint. The plans include a footbridge to LIC (over Newtown Creek) to be designed by Santiago Calatrava. He designed the WTC transit hub in Manhattan. Looks like Greenpoint and LIC will be kissing cousins in the waterfront highrise department.
LIC Vernon Blvd dog run fans and users – there’s a Facebook group for you
The LIC dog run on 48th Avenue and Vernon Blvd is a popular spot for pups and their parents. To join in conversation and community with others that use this dog run, there’s a Facebook group for you - Long Island City Vernon Blvd Dog Run.
Most photogenic spots in Queens? Parks are a popular choice
Last week the NY Times reported that Astoria City Councilman – and motorcyclist – Peter Vallone supports the idea of free parking for motorcycles in NYC, and is pushing for legislation to make it so. The reason? Muni Meters seemingly muck it all up:
“Currently, the vehicles are subject to Muni-Meter rates, as any car would be. But motorcyclists say enforcement is inconsistent, and contend that there is no suitable place on their vehicles to display the receipts. Some riders said receipts were often stolen, blown away, or damaged by rain.”
If you’ve taken the N/Q to and/or from Ditmars Boulevard (the northern terminus of the BMT Broadway Line), you’ve probably noticed a very large and very tall (relatively speaking) building being built on the east side 31st street between 23rd Avenue and 23rd Road; it’s about mid-block and feels right up against the subway tracks when you’re going past it on the train. Its address is 23-25 31st Street (GMAP) and it’s going to be the largest building in the immediate area, rising high above both local homes and at least meeting the height of the monolithic Amtrak overpass. (more…)
This is a great article on the New York World’s Fair – both of them – which is full of interesting stuff. When you walk around Flushing Meadow’s Corona Park, you can still see relics of those celebrations, the most prominent being the Unisphere from the 1964-65 World’s Fair. The theme for the 1939-40 World’s Fair was “World of Tomorrow” and the 1964-65 World’s Fair was “Peace Through Understanding,” a poignant concept as the world at that time was under the threat of nuclear annihilation. The 1939 New York State Pavilion building is now known as the Queens Museum of Art.
Bedbugs found at LIC’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s headquarters
Well, these nasty suckers are back in the news, this time showing themselves at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s headquarters in LIC. City Room reports that, “a single bedbug led to fumigation of one floor of the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, on Friday. The episode occurred on the 19th floor of the 21-story glass-and steel Gotham Center at the corner of Queens Plaza South and 28th Street.”
Astoria Bier & Cheese is fabulous
In case you missed it, over the weekend we checked out the soft opening of Astoria Bier & Cheese. They place looks great, they have a lot of interesting beer available in bottles, as well as ten tap beers each day. We saw people eagerly perusing the shelves, enjoying a cheese plate with some beer, and hanging out with friends. There is a small bar, a seating area in front, and a cheese counter towards the back where you can sample cheeses that interest you. Staff is very helpful, too.
We bought a little bit of Ubriacone, a raw cow’s milk cheese from Italy. Apparently the name of the cheese means “great big drunk.” Probably has something to do with the injection of wine into the cheese. It tastes amazing and goes very well with the excellent NY State apples you’re starting to see in stores and markets around the city.
Greenbay Market explodes with Fall
This little market (they used to be known as Y&Y Green Organic) on Broadway in Astoria (GMAP) has put together quite a Fall display. It really draws you in – there are lots of apples in there, too.
PARK Smart may be coming to Jackson Heights
Finding a parking spot on the street can be rough in Jackson Heights, as is the case in a lot of densely populated parts of NYC. So, DOT would like to try something called PARK Smart. How does it work? It “aims to increase the number of available metered parking spaces by encouraging motorists to park no longer than necessary. The meter rate is higher when demand for parking is greatest and decreases when demand is lower.”
And here is what they would do:
The plan would increase the time limits on parking meters from one hour to two hours on 74th Street between 37th Avenue and Roosevelt Avenue, and on Roosevelt Avenue from 74th Street to 82nd Street. But whereas now a 60-minute stop will cost you $1, under a new, ‘progressive rate’ plan, some meters would be bumped up to $1.50. A two-hour stay would cost $4.00. In addition, meters on that stretch of 74th Street, as well as meters on 37th Road, would shut off at 10 p.m. instead of the current 7 p.m.”
The local Community Board will vote on it this month.
Now that summer is over, street parking resumes on the streets of some neighborhoods in the Rockaways. The NY Times reports about this restrictive parking situation during the summer and holidays in the neighborhoods of Belle Harbor and Neponsit (that’s where that $5.1 million house was sold), two rather upscale parts of Queens. In Belle Harbor, you can’t park there on summer weekends and holidays, and in Neponsit, the streets are off limits to parking all summer long. (more…)