A STREETCAR NAMED DE BLASIO

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The march up Jackson after the 7-train was canceled

 

Mayor de Blasio has proposed a new streetcar line that will run near the East River and link Brooklyn to Queens.  More specifically, it would start in Sunset Park and end in northern Astoria.  Tentative plans in Long Island City have it crossing the Pulaski Bridge and running along 11th Street up to the Queensboro Bridge, and then shifting to 21st Street for the rest of the trek north.  It is expected to cost $2.5 billion.

Great idea, I love it.  It would be a fantastic addition for LIC.  Just one thing – about that price tag? Continue reading

THE TOWNHOUSE ECONOMICS OF LIC

Groundhogs?  Does anybody remember Jonas?

Groundhogs? Does anybody remember Jonas?

January is over, the days are getting longer and sometimes it’s now light out when I leave work.  Who cares about some groundhog’s prediction, here in LIC we have our own harbinger of Spring: the fruit guy has re-appeared on 49th Avenue.  Which given that it’s early February, is probably not a good sign for global warming. Nevertheless home-purchasing season is around the corner, so here’s an offering that comes with a real estate lesson.

In last week’s profile of The Editor in Brick Underground, I ran some numbers as to why the purchase of a townhouse in LIC, was a relative bargain versus Manhattan.  Today, I will share an example of this.  10-49 49th Avenue is a centrally-located, newly-renovated, 6,000 square foot brownstone built in 1890.  The asking price is $4.875 million, but it’s been on the market there since July, so I wouldn’t be surprised if a bid for $4.5 mil would make you the owner.

At that price, Continue reading

THE DEFINITIVE LONG ISLAND CITY

While all around me frolicked, I was in the hot seat

While all around me frolicked, I was in the hot seat

Twas not the snow that kept me buried and quiet this week, it was an interview request.  No green room for me, these days it’s all done electronically.  So I put on my Beats – Beethoven’s 9th1 – put all else aside, and set to work composing an opus of my own.  Sometime in the future, I hope the profile and the wisdom imparted in it will be viewed in the same manner that many investors revere and quote from Reminiscence’s of a Stock Operator.  More likely it’s insights will immediately be put on the discount rack next to The Art of the Deal.

Nevertheless, my attorneys at Cellino & Barnes negotiated a tough deal with the publisher: limited editing and a dozen Dunkin Donuts.  So I was able to prattle on and on and…  With that I give you the definitive Long Island City: Continue reading

  1. come on movie fans, what’s the reference? []

SNOWMESS?

Photographed by Nick Knight circa 2003

Photographed by Nick Knight circa 2003

Will it, won’t it, snow that is.  That’s the big story here in LIC at this moment.  Will we, won’t we, get a new school?  That’s a big story here in LIC for the long term, but two educators from other parts are looking to possibly change that, or at least accelerate it. Continue reading

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes IN LIC

Time may change me But I can't trace time

Time may change me, But I can’t trace time

Even Vernon Boulevard can’t fight the state of impermanence.  A recent walk by the storefront of Delta Force Army & Navy revealed it’s formerly stuffed-to-the-gills/can’t-walk-in/probable-fire-hazard completely cleared out.  This is not the first time this store seemingly vacated, having gone through a similar cleansing three years ago, only to magically reappear unmolested1.  Yet in assessing the situation, I and others can’t help but wonder how one forgoes (or pays) a minimum of $120,000 a year, at a conservative $10k a month, for so long?  We’re talking a million dollars given the street-level inactivity of the retailer over the last 8 years!

At the other end of the spectrum, Continue reading

  1. If you want to see something really magical, check out Google’s Street View of Delta Force Army & Navy.  Clicking through shows the store fully open/stocked, but move the cursor a little one way or the other and you’ll see the windows ‘soap-washed’ as they were three years ago.  This happens a lot in Street View.  Gosh, for esoteric LIC stuff like this I really should charge for a premium membership to LICtalk []

THE OLD NEIGHBORHOOD

01 Pepsi Demolition

It won’t be too long before people refer to Manhattan as the “old neighborhood,” and visit it nostalgically like Italians to Bensonhurst and Jews to the Lower East Side1.  Like both those ethnic enclaves, the people, shops, and character of yore are being supplanted.  This has been going on all across our city, and cities everywhere, for the last century.  Unfortunately when it comes to Manhattan, there’s no real desire to go back for nostalgia tours.

Oh well, for a limited few who were here for it and for those just curious about LIC’s past, Continue reading

  1. yeah, yeah, I know the LES is Manhattan []

LICTALK IS WEB 3.0, WHY GO ANYWHERE ELSE IN 2016?

 

Feel the power of LICtalk

Feel the power of LICtalk

Time is money.  No one recognizes that fact more than the editorial staff of LICtalk.  That’s why we curate all the news about Long Island City, strip out the wasteful noise, and encapsulate it so you can decide if it’s of interest to you. The other guys are mostly drivel, and if there’s a substantive lead, don’t worry we’ll link to it.  Plus, because we Continue reading

SLOW START TO 2016 IN LIC

As innocuous as the news is bland

As innocuous as the news is bland

I’m not going to waste your time with drivel – there’s not a lot of news to start the year.  I’ll leave it up to you as to whether you want to click ‘More’ or get back to that Harlequin romance boxed-set you bought yourself for the Holidays. Continue reading

LONG ISLAND CITY 2016 RESTAURANT ROUND-UP

There's always La Choza Del Gordo

There’s always La Choza Del Gordo

One word for the upcoming year: Roadkill.  Hugue Dufour whispered it to me recently, and in typical M. Wells fashion he plans to up the ante by adding a ‘carpaccio’ appetizer and a tartar special.

Hey c’mon, this chic cuisine is environmentally friendly – waste not want not.  It’s even pulling in some long time vegetarians of the PETA strain, who have never been fully enraptured with the versatility of tofu.

This is not the first cutting edge culinary trend to emanate from the backwoods, where ‘noodling’1 is a way of life for many in selected ‘red’ states.  And I remember putting syrup on everything throughout high school after reading ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ (that’s what you get ma for making me read literature in lieu of comic books).

Fear not vegans, by this time next year I’m predicting the next food craze to also have a literary, but non-carnivore bent: an updated version of Wonka Gum – with an entire three-course dinner available in one stick.  If so, dates will never be the same, and sommeliers will become extinct. Just hope they get the dessert portion tweaked.

In the meantime, this year’s LIC restaurant round-up is a little more prosaic, as cafes and pubs seem to be the dominant theme.  Booze and coffee yes, burgers and pizza less. Continue reading

  1. oh I bet noodling wasn’t what you thought it would be before clicking thru.  Maybe you were thinking something resembling the noun of the word, or your perverse mind went in another direction []

LAST NEWS OF THE YEAR …HERE

As the year ends, Fall clings to LIC

As the year ends, autumn clings to LIC

The year-end brings another record sale of an apartment in LIC, which at this point has become more of an everyday occurrence than a shocker.  That pretty sums up the news for the year in LIC.  In light of the void Continue reading

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