CRABHOUSE RESTAURANT IN LONG ISLAND CITY READY TO RE-OPEN

Gotta get some crabs!

Keep on crabbing!

According to a commenter on LICtalk, the Crabhouse on Borden Avenue will hold a soft opening this Saturday.  Through back channels, we didn’t get a denial of the rumor, which is enough for our less-than-esteemed publication to run with.  From the look of the picture above, snapped today, it appears they’ve dropped the ‘Waterfront’ from the title and will call it the Crabhouse Restaurant.  While they’re also maintaining the ‘Established’ date as 1976, the interior has undergone a complete renovation, and my guess is the menu has as well under its new management by Skinny of Skinny’s Cantina.  Thus the only question that remains is, can you get soft-shell crabs at the soft opening?

//Bagels & Ice Cream – while we’re on the subject of local eateries, Continue reading

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THE NUDGER FROM QUEENSBRIDGE

The Kids Are Alright

The Kids Are Alright

 

‘We’re on one side of the river and the millionaires are on the other, but we have the better view.’ Elizabeth McQueen, Queensbridge

Stories about Queensbridge are infrequent here on LICtalk, and positive stories about it are practically nil.  This weekend though, The New York Times wrote a very inspirational profile on Elizabeth McQueen, a former resident of the houses who spent many years nudging politicians and parks employees to refurbish and re-buttress the long-closed esplanade in Queensbridge Park.  Though she passed away in February at the age of 83, she was able to witness her accomplishment with the re-opening of the esplanade in 2014.  In light of all that she did to make it happen, this week it was officially declared “Elizabeth McQueen Way” by the city.

Now I can’t say that you’ll have anything named after you, but Continue reading

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HUNTERS POINT LIBRARY TOPS OUT AND GETS LOVE FROM NYT

All the world's indeed a stage, as they look into our gilded cage

All the world’s indeed a stage, as they look into our gilded cage

Isn’t she lovely
Isn’t she wonderful
Isn’t she precious
Less than one minute old

Well Stevie, it’s going to take another year, but the Hunters Point Library has topped out and it looks nothing short of fantastic!  No less an authority than The New York Times states that “…no one will overlook it” in a just-published in-depth article about the library.

The article delves into the long-ago origin of the building, familiar to many older residents of LIC, and shares the latest with a walk-through the author took earlier this week.  Read it and be up-to-date on what Dennis Walcott accurately describes as “the pride of the borough of Queens.”  Now that it’s almost arrived, there is no doubt that it’s existence will be truly monumental for Long Island City.

//Eckstein Development is offering two months of free rent Continue reading

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LIC GO

Old Bloomingdale's, new Bloomingdale's.  Old project, new project?

Old Bloomingdale’s, new Bloomingdale’s. Old housing project, new housing project?

Thanks to an intervention by family and friends, I am no longer addicted to Pokemon Go, and back at my desk to faithfully report to you.  On day two of my sobriety, I am happy to announce that it appears we haven’t missed much news-wise.

Oh wait, it seems there was a coup in Turkey, a horrific attack in Nice, and a new vice president in-waiting.  Wow, my former dependency induced a complete blackout of the real world!  Anyway, the best we could muster locally Continue reading

BLOOMINGDALE’S TO TAKE 550K SQ FT IN NEW LIC OFFICE TOWER

Our skyline is becoming like theirs

Our skyline is becoming like theirs

Back in early March, we noted that Tishman Speyer announced they were planning a big office tower in Queens Plaza of about a million square feet, and that WeWorks was penciled in to take 250,000 of it.  Monday they confirmed that they were going ahead with the project as they had found a financial partner, a Qatari fund, and had lease commitments of 800K sq. ft.  Finally, yesterday Crain’s revealed that the extra 550K sq. ft. will be taken by Bloomingdale’s.  Phew, what a process!

Anyway, in addition to adding another silhouette to the LIC skyline (27 stories), the interesting part of this development is Continue reading

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TROUBLES OFF THE WATERFRONT & MUCHO 3-BR’s COMING TO LIC

Mm-mm, no troubles here at newly located LIC business Neuman's Kitchen

Mm-mm, no troubles here at newly located LIC business Neuman’s Kitchen

There’s one thing we’ve got in this country and that’s ways of fightin’ back. Gettin’ the facts to the public. Testifyin’ for what you know is right against what you know is wrong. Now what’s ratting to them is telling the truth for you. Now can’t you see that? Can’t you see that?

Two local stories about construction labor in the past ten days caught my eye.  The first reported that four non-union steamfitters walked off the humongous 1,800-unit Tishman Speyer residential project on Jackson due to low pay.

In this case, that happens to be between $16-$33 an hour for an occupation whose definition is:

“one that installs or repairs equipment (as steam pipes) for heating, ventilating, or refrigerating systems”

In other words, not quite the same level of skills and knowledge as a brain surgeon, but far from grunt work.  According to the union representative, this type of occupation in this city should receive $110 an hour.  Thus there seems to be a pretty wide chasm, one that makes both developers and unions suspect.

Which leads to story number two, first reported by Bill Parry at the TimesLedger on July 1, about a labor conflict going on at the infamous 5Pointz site.  The developer, Jerry Wolkoff, is admittedly using some non-union labor, despite an apparent gentleman’s agreement with …well, we’re not really sure with whom, in order to receive a variance to build his towers higher than existing zoning codes allow.  Nevertheless:

“Look, I’ve got nothing against the unions, believe me, but it has to make sense. I have to be able to build at an affordable cost,” Wolkoff said. “I wouldn’t sign a PLA {Project Labor Agreement} that would let them tell me who to hire and who to fire. In this game you’ve got a few chiefs and a lot of Indians when it comes to the unions. Say you’ve got a job for 40 workers and they’ll bring eight supervisors just to watch them. It gets silly and remember, I’ve got to build all those extra affordable units.”

Don’t weep for Jerry, those extra affordable units were a term agreed to in the contract which granted him the variance.  As for the labor picture, the ball seems to have been dropped somewhere.  Either way, just like with the steamfitter story, nobody comes out smelling too good.  Furthermore, given how far this project has already progressed, they shoulda had class, there shoulda been a school here. Continue reading

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JULY 4 DONE, COME AND GONE, MY OH MY

'Transformation' courtesy of Dan the Man

‘Transformation’ courtesy of Dan the Man

There’s nothing more underwhelming than cellphone pictures of fireworks.  Except cellphone video of fireworks.  Instead, it’s the out of body experience of being in LIC during the lockdown period in the morning and early afternoon of the Fourth, followed by the massive invasion of outsiders – and the actual people themselves coming to attend the Macy’s fireworks shows, who transform our everyday locales into packed staging grounds.

Excluding a half-hour of moderate rainfall prior to the fireworks, this year’s show Continue reading

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JULY 4TH WEEKEND HAS ARRIVED IN LIC

Let the wild rumpus start!

Let the wild rumpus start!

As everyone in Long Island City knows, July 4th weekend officially begins with the delivery of Porta Potties to Gantry Park – because how can you have fireworks without Porta Potties?   They have arrived, so everyone but The Editor is now free to leave work.

Not that it’s really kept many from already departing, as LIC began getting quiet yesterday.  A trend that will continue throughout the weekend until it becomes downright eerie and Scooby-Doo-ville by Monday morning as all the cars are removed from the streets.

Then a crescendo begins to build in the afternoon, reaching its climax at 9pm July 4th evening.  If you want an idea of exactly what to expect on that day, here is last years coverage and pics.

//New Ice Cream Shop on Vernon is called ‘Something Sweet’ and will open Continue reading

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THE END OF AN ERA?

Photo courtesy of Nick McManus

It’s All Over Now Baby Blue  Photo courtesy of Nick McManus

You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last
But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast

The group portrait above was taken at the closing of the Jeffrey Leder Gallery last week.  The event was also Continue reading

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MEGHAN TRAINOR TO PERFORM LIVE IN HUNTERS POINT PARK TONIGHT

Live from the Oval, it's...

Live from the Oval, it’s…

Brexit quickly took a backseat and I put Soros on hold early this morning upon receiving a text from a reader containing the photo above.  They were informing me that there was a stage being set up for the July 4th preshow for this year’s Macy’s Fireworks.  According to the LIC Post Meghan Trainor “is expected to arrive at the park at around 5pm with taping planned to take place in the early evening.”

Now before you get too excited Continue reading

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