I’m told that the custom is to ditch your Christmas Tree sometime around the 7th of January (Epiphany?), and on cue the Astoria Tumbleweeds made their annual appearance at the curb (after the snow melted). When the wind starts to blow, these things start to roll along, like the tumbling tumbleweeds.
Fascination with the way that New York City handles any sort of seasonal problem – a sudden surge of highly flammable and mobile trees entering the waste stream, for instance – absolutely demands that I at least take a look at how the machinery of Christmas Past works here in the center of the megalopolis.
According to the NYC Department of Sanitation, my sudden interest in the subject is propitious, for Mulchfest is upon us once again, and it’s this weekend!
A shipwreck, a conspiracy, magic, monsters and love at first sight. The Hip to Hip Theatre Company kicks off its summer season with The Tempest, Shakespeare’s romantic thriller about a deposed duke. After 12 years on a deserted island, the duke uses magic to raise a storm at sea while seeking revenge on the foes who purloined his dukedom. Hip to Hip will present The Tempest and Love’s Labor Lost at 10 Queens venues — Crocheron Park in Bayside, Cunningham Park in Fresh Meadows, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park’s Unisphere, Gantry Plaza State Park in LIC, Lost Battalion Recreation Center in Rego Park, O’Donohue Park in Far Rockaway, Socrates Sculpture Park in Astoria, Sunnyside Gardens Park, St. Albans Park and Voelker Orth Museum in Flushing — over the next two months. Founded in 2007 by Queens-based actors Jason and Joy Marr, Hip to Hip strives to provide fantastic theater at accessible locations. Its name comes from a phrase in Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors. Details: Free Shakespeare in the Park, first show on July 24, O’Donohue Park, vicinity of Seagirt Boulevard at Beach 17th Street, Far Rockaway, 7 pm. (more…)
New York City is going to rock around the clock…literally. And Queens is going to pop, blues, jazz, reggae, indie, folk, Latin, experimental, country, gospel and even cabaret. This Saturday, Make Music New York celebrates the first day of summer with a unique festival of free concerts in public spaces throughout the five boroughs, including in cemeteries, gardens, parks, plazas, sidewalks and stoops. Cruise to Corona and check out a children’s bucket orchestra, jaunt off to Jamaica for R&B sensation La’Rayne, or rave into the night at the MMNY After Dark party in Sunnyside. Now in its seventh year, this action will take place simultaneously with similar day-long festivities in more than 500 cities around the world. Details: Make Music New York, June 21,10 am – 10 pm, free; click on the following Queens neighborhoods for their schedules: Astoria, Corona/Ridgewood, Elmhurst, Flushing, Jackson Heights, Jamaica, LIC, Rockaway and Sunnyside. (more…)
It’s New York State Museum Week, and the living is easy, especially in Queens. Starting today through June 16, five local cultural venues will offer discounts and promotional offers to visitors. Mention “Museum Week” and receive a complimentary collectible at the Louis Armstrong House Museum (while supplies last) along with a 10 percent discount in the gift store. Bring a friend for free with two-for-one admission at the Noguchi (above), King Manor and Moving Image museums. At the Queens Botanical Gardens, there will be half-off admission. Meanwhile, the Queens County Farm Museum will offer free tours. Statewide, participants include about 250 venues, stretching from Manhattan’s 5th Avenue, where El Museo del Barrio will have free admission on June 11, to the Hyde Collection in upstate Glens Falls, where visitors will receive a free poster.
Luyster Creek is a beautiful if somewhat neglected corner of Queens, a small off-shoot of the Bowery Bay, the body of water you need to cross to get to Rikers Island. The juxtaposition of the still body of water with the wooden remains of an old raft or dock with the hulking array of industrial plants (power generation and water treatment) to the southeast is striking even in a city where we are used to such things. There was some momentum a couple of years ago to turn the forgotten canal into a park. There was a group set up online called the Luyster Creek Waterfront Park and the Trust for Public Land and a group called Green Shores NYC got as far as creating the rendering below as part of its Waterfront Vision Plan in 2011. The trail goes cold there: our emails to the both groups went unreturned, hardly an encouraging sign. Do any readers have anything to report?
It was ten years ago that the original developers of 19-73 38th Street began the process of trying to build at large mixed-use project on the edge of the Steinway IBZ by going through the ULURP process to gain approval for housing on the site. As the Queens Gazette reported at the time, the owners envisioned a 10-sotry building with retail, community space and parking on the lower level and condos on the upper floors. By 2008, the developer had its application to build a 234,000-square-foot building approved by DOB. The developer was only part-way through the project however when it ran into financial difficulties and construction stalled. The first lis pendens was filed in 2009 and a foreclosure sale was scheduled for October of last year with an outstanding lien amount of $25,478,983. Property records show that the deed changed hands in February of this year for just $6,000,000, which, at about $25 per buildable foot, seems incredibly low. So low, in fact, that the truth has to be more complicated. Regardless of the financial details, it appears that a permit was issued for a partial job in March, and a guy running the garage across the street said he’s heard that the project was going to start up again. This good news for the neighborhood? Anyone know more of the gory details about how the original deal imploded? More photos of the site below. GMAP (more…)
PS 290, which began life in 2010 co-habitating with middle school IS 73, is getting close to having its own newly-constructed building on the site of a former Rite Aid at 55-20 Metropolitan Avenue in Ridgewood. When it opens in the Fall of 2014, the K-5 program will be known as the Geraldine A. Ferraro Campus. Check out renderings from architect Michael Graves on the jump. GMAP (more…)
If you’ve visited PS1 in Long Island City recently, you might have noticed work going on at the corner of 21st Street and 46th Avenue and wondered what was happening. Turns out it’s a five-story, eight-unit residential project that’s actually been in the works for six years, although DOB only issued a permit for the new building this spring. In all, there will be about 5,500 square feet of residential space and another 1,150 square feet of commercial space. GMAP
Long Island City’s new development market is getting physical. A potential buyer charged through a line of roughly a dozen people at the opening of Five27 at 5-27 51st Ave, the Daily News reported. “He ran in by the agent after he was told to wait and tried to start looking around himself,” Modern Spaces founder Eric Benaim, who is handling sales, told the Daily News. “He hardly spoke any English. He was aggressive and we had to escort him out. I guess he really wanted to get in.” Price at the 27-unit building range from $430,000 to $1.3 million. The building is over half sold.