WINTER SOLSTICE PARADE, CLOTHING OPTIONAL

Pagan's delight, six months 'til summer

Pagan’s delight, six months ’til summer

Like a deer in winter, the pickings in the news forest are slim pre-Christmas.  So I’m forced to tweak a little to spur interest.  Yes, there is a Winter Solstice Parade in LIC this Sunday, December 21 at 3pm.  As for its being clothing optional, well… Continue reading

AVALON INFLICTS HUGE RENT HIKE ON TENANT, MORE TO COME ON CENTER BLVD?

They don't build them like they used to

They don’t build them like they used to

This weekend I was told by a long term tenant in Avalon South, that they recently received a 25% rent renewal hike.  While this was an atypically high boost, a few quick checks with others revealed increases in the range of 6-7% for Avalon tenants, in line with what other landlords, aka Rockstone, on Center Boulevard are doing.  Nevertheless, in tandem with building gripes I’ve been hearing about from numerous tenants, it reveals the clumsy, formulaic decision-making of a national landlord.  If Avalon Bay is holding back on capital expenditures at a time when rents nationwide are at their peak, I can only imagine what will happen to these buildings when a downturn occurs.

Since Avalon owns only two buildings in LIC, what might be of greater significance to all renters on the waterfront, is the resumption of not insignificant rate hikes for exactly the reason we predicted in our 2014 Real Estate of the Union back in May: Continue reading

QUEENS IS #1 IN 2015? NO SURPRISE THERE

 

One-stop Xmas shopping in Court Square

One-stop Xmas shopping in Court Square or the lobby of my pension in Bratislava?

Half a lifetime ago, I backpacked around Europe.  There were no smartphones, there was no Yelp or Expedia, nor were there no laptops or internet cafes.  There was simply a book, a single book, that every other young person touring the world carried in their luggage and consulted as if it were the bible in order to find the best $6 hotel room in any given city, and the cheapest beer. Back then, never in my wildest dreams Continue reading

LONG ISLAND CITY YOUTH SPORTS LEAGUE AND KIDS BASKETBALL COMING IN JANUARY

Winter will be here soon, what to do with the kids?

Winter will be here soon, where will the kids play?

As we all know, Long Island City is a great place to live.  Yet due to its nascency, there are several crucial resources that have yet to emerge.  One of these is a locally-based youth sports program for kids over five years old.  So I have decided to form one.  It will have a very modest start this winter with a Continue reading

CONLEY SUDDENLY RESIGNS AND MU RAMEN HAS LONG LINES

Pre-Joe Conley Dwelling in Hunters Point.  There was no ramen back then either.

Pre-Joe Conley Dwelling in Hunters Point. There was no ramen back then either.

A double headline, one surprising, one anything but.  The news of Joe Conley’s resignation from Community Board 2 after 23 years, was unexpected and sudden.  Under normal circumstances, a reign of that duration usually ends with months of boozy goodbye celebrations at night, replete with cigars and backslapping.  Followed by hungover days ferrying around to local public schools and senior citizen centers to pick up newly contrived award plaques.  There’s also usually a handpicked and groomed successor.  Unless there’s a big scandal, in which case Continue reading

PEPSI SIGN COULD LOSE LANDMARK DESIGNATION

Another teardown in LIC?

Another teardown in LIC?

LIC’s Pepsi sign and almost a hundred other sites may lose their no-tear-down status.  In a year end rush to take things off its plate, the Landmarks Preservation Committee is taking a page from municipal pension plans by simply removing these locations from its calendar, instead of actually rendering a decision.

You can read all about this legerdemain in the lengthy (but newsworthy) article from DNA Info below.  My guess is that Continue reading

MU RAMEN LIC TO OPEN MONDAY, THE TURKEY HAS ASCENDED

The soup ascends from the river

The soupy froth ascends from the river

A year and four days ago, LICtalk declared that Ramen Fever Had Come to LICIt was a prescient headline from a haughty but highly-respected rag, and today it has come full circle, Continue reading

THE BEST SCHOOL DISTRICT IN THE NATION

If school doesn't work out, you can always drive a cab in this town

If this school thing doesn’t work out, at least your kids can always get a job in the neighborhood

Two weeks ago, a list of the best public school districts in the U.S. was published.  Normally I don’t put much faith in these subjective top-10′s, but when I saw who was ranked #1, I knew they got it right.  No, it wasn’t LIC/PS78, …yet, but we’ll get to that.  Instead, it was Edgemont, a small school district in southern Westchester.  As it turns out, the Editor of this rag grew up in Edgemont.

While a lot of people may focus on academics as the reason for its top ranking, I can tell you as an insider and as anyone who grew up in Edgemont will confirm, this is just one piece of the winning formula.  Now I’d be the first to say that I had some outstanding teachers, whose influence is still imbedded in me today.  But there were also a handful of clunkers, just like in any great school district.

Setting academics aside (for the time being let’s just call it the fixed variable.  Though some may view it as immovable), there are two other equally important pieces of the puzzle: Continue reading

MURRAY PARK DISTRICT (MPD), THE HISTORY AND MORE

The current Lord of Murray Park

The current Lord of Murray Park(pink stripes), always has next

We’d be remiss as chroniclers of all things LIC, were we not to follow up on last weeks post about MPD by giving you the history of the park.  And just like I did in high school, I’m going to Continue reading

NEW SUPERMARKET SET TO OPEN TOMORROW IN HUNTERS POINT

The end of Autumn is near...

The end of Autumn is near…

Urban Market will open tomorrow.  Located in Gantry Park Landing on 50th Avenue by the water, the 8,000 square foot store will feature, well, …all those items that supermarkets in upscale neighborhoods do in 2014.  You can read the the story below for the details, of greater interest was Continue reading

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