In Queens, you can find history in the most unexpected places. Take this gas station in College Point that Scouting New York visited last month. The typical retro service station has a sign in the window that says, “EST. 1868.” Hmm, that’s before the invention of the automobile.
It turns out that the Farrington family business was once a blacksmith shop that made horseshoes, so they’ve always been involved in the transportation industry. Sometime between 1917 and 1920, they adapted with technology and started servicing cars instead.
If you’re riding the subway on a Sunday during holiday season, you might be in for a treat. From Queens Plaza in LIC to 2nd Ave in Manhattan, the MTA is replacing the M train with a vintage train, featuring cars dating back to the 1930s and 1940s. We took a ride this past weekend and it was a lot of fun.
As we wrote recently, new temporary ferry service has been set up between the Rockaways and Manhattan. And you never know – maybe one day it will become permanent. There is also a ferry service on the East River, called – appropriately – the East River Ferry, and of course there is the Staten Island Ferry. Traveling by ferry is such a different experience than using the subway or bus – have you ever ridden the ferry? Let us know in the comments or via twitter at @queensnycity!
Gothamist reports that temporary ferries are going to be available in the Rockaways as residents continue to handle the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Ferries will start running on Monday, November 12, and are the result of a partnership between the Mayor’s office, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Seastreak, the ferry company. Mayor Bloomberg announced the news on Friday:
“Ferries will depart from Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive (GMAP), where the Economic Development Corporation has been working to install a temporary landing, and stop at Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan with free transfers between Pier 11 and East 34th Street in Midtown. The service will start at 5:45 AM in the Rockaways with ferries departing for Manhattan regularly until 9:20 AM, with regular service resuming during the evening rush. One-way fares will be $2.”
We noticed that the buses are running, and heard on the radio that traffic is backed up on the BQE (yes, we are heading back to normalcy with that one). How are you getting around? Are you trying to get to work today? Or just around town? Leave us a comment here or via twitter at @queensnycity.
We know an awful lot of people that depend on the subway, but are there other ways you get around town? Bike? Walk? Car? Other ways? And if you could get around in any way possible, what would it be (flying jetpacks, maybe?) Let us know in the comments or via twitter at @queensnycity.
We all know NYC is known for its walkability: the grid makes the city easy to navigate, it’s become much safer in the past few decades, and there’s 24-hour public transportation. But while NYC is most walkable city in the US, Sunnyside and Hunters Point in Long Island City top the charts (ranked 95 of 100) in Queens on Walk Score, a site that ranks cities and neighborhoods based on on-foot access to amenities. For example, can you grocery shop without a car, walk to a nearby park, or is it safe for your kids to walk to school?
Next are Jackson Heights (93), Kew Gardens (91), Elmhurst (91), and Ridgewood (90). All of these neighborhoods rank higher than NYC’s average of 85. It’s easy to stay on your feet in these neighborhoods: Sunnyside’s greenmarket is an easy walk from most of the surrounding streets, 15 CSAs abound in the borough, and you can find many yoga and fitness classes near Astoria and Hunters Point. Even though prices are rising for condos in LIC, the Hunters Point neighborhood is poised to be middle-income, family-friendly community.
Where to go for your next beach escape? There are lots of guides to finding the right Queens beach for a weekend getaway — Queens Mamas lists great beaches for kids, Huff Post lists a number of restaurants and activities on the peninsula, and Gothamist’s 2011 guide is rich with photos of good eats, architecture, and local dives. We’ll tell you how to get there, what to bring, and where to eat once you’ve made enough sandcastles to work up an appetite.
Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk – This beach is the easiest to access via subway. That means it’s where everyone else is headed too, which has its benefits — especially in the form of yummy goodness at Rockaway Taco and Veggie Island, and from the Shore Fruit bike kabob ladies. The masses generally pack in between Beach 85th and Beach 110th Streets, so if you want more peace and less party, we recommend either the swimming beach at Beach 60th Street or the end of the boardwalk past Beach 115th Street. The city-owned Rockaway Beach is super long, so take advantage of that fact to find your own spot to enjoy for the day. (GMAP)
What to bring – All you really need is your towel and your suit; you can pick up lunch, snacks, surfboards, and more in the neighborhood
Who to take – Everyone you know, including your foodie friends and your boogie-boarding kids
How to get there –
A train to Beach 57 St or beyond
A train to Broad Channel; transfer to S (shuttle) train to Beach 90 St or beyond
Q52/Q53 bus from Woodside, Elmhurst, or Forest Hills
The Citi Bike sharing program will be delayed until August. StreetsBlog confirmed the delay today, citing tweets from the bike manufacturer and the Citi Bike events calendar, which shows bike demos into August.
Original post on July 13, 2012:
The Citi Bike sharing program will launch on July 31 with 11 stations available in LIC. When the program expands into Phase 2, we may see more stations in other Queens neighborhoods, including Sunnyside. The program will have 600 bike stations throughout the city and will be managed by the NYC Department of Transportation. With a $95 annual membership trips, under 45 minutes are free:
An Annual Membership is purchased online using a credit card, and an account is created with Citi Bike. Every Annual Member will be provided with a unique key that is used to unlock bicycles from the Citi Bike system. A trip begins when a bike is unlocked and ends when the bike is securely returned to any Citi Bike station.
NY Mag also has some good coverage of how the program will work.