Category Archives: Politics

“KNOCK DOWN THE PROJECTS AND BRING IN THE CRANES”

Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head

Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head

But at night it’s a different world
Go out and find a girl
Come-on come-on and dance all night
Despite the heat it’ll be alright

3 1/2 years ago LICtalk proposed razing Queensbridge.  Not because it was a blight on Long Island City – its presence has minimal impact, but instead as a pragmatic solution to the endemic problems of, well …the projects.  It took awhile, but now others are making similar arguments, most notably in Continue reading

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SUNNYSIDE YARDS DEVELOPMENT UPDATE

All leased up and no place to go, nice looking building though

All leased up and no place to go, nice looking building though

AN article in The New York Times this week rehashing the proposed development of Sunnyside Yards pulled the editorial staff here out of their late-summer stupor.  I could spill lots of ink rebutting the rationale put forth by the proponents of this pipe dream, but I’m on the beach and the waves are so soothing.  Plus I’ve already done so in the past, so I’ll boil it down to the two main arguments: Continue reading

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CITYLIGHTS TAX SAGA, TWO LESSONS FOR ALL LIC CONDO OWNERS

Meals on Wheels making its daily delivery to Citylights

Meals on Wheels making its daily delivery to Citylights

Just as the tax abatement for the Citylights Building was about to start rolling off, NYC boosted the buildings assessed value by 87%.  For good measure they tacked on another 5% this year.  The near doubling in possible tax payments has the co-op’s residents looking at a 50% increase in already steep monthly maintenance over the next five years, which if implemented on this tower of over 500 units will force out many residents who can no longer afford to live there.

You can read the story below for more details.  Instead I’d prefer to focus on two takeaways that all apartment owners in Continue reading

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BIG DIG PLOWS FORWARD AND ‘WE ARE FAMILY’ IN LIC

Gone fishin'

Gone fishin’

Living life is fun and we’ve just begun
To get our share of the world’s delights
(High!) high hopes we have for the future
And our goal’s in sight

THE next step in the quest to deck over and develop Sunnyside Yards has been announced.  An architecture firm has been hired by the city to form a master plan for the massive development.  In addition the city created a local steering committee which according to Curbed “will spend the next 18 months organizing public meetings and workshops to elicit feedback from Queens residents on how best to proceed with the megaproject’s development, and address the needs of local residents.”

My thoughts on this project are well-known: Continue reading

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STEPHANIE CLIFFORD TO RUN FOR JVB’s CITY COUNCIL SEAT

New leadership on the horizon?

New leadership on the horizon?

Don’t know why
There’s no sun up in the sky
Stormy weather
Since my man and I ain’t together
Keeps rainin’ all the time

Just when you thought her hour and 15 minutes of fame were over, Stephanie Clifford storms back into the limelight by announcing she will be seeking the City Council seat in District 26 currently held by Jimmy Van Bramer when he’s forced to leave in 2020 due to term limits.

While she currently has no affiliation with Long Island City whatsoever, like every resident she recognizes the opportunity and high visibility of being directly across from the heart of Manhattan.  “Since TF Avalon is currently offering 3 months free rent on every lease, it’s so much more affordable on this side of the river.  Plus I hear you can pay-in-kind.”  In addition, Continue reading

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BEING PLAYED LIKE A FIDDLE WITH LIC IN THE MIDDLE

“Here’s to alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.”

“Here’s to alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.”

“the mayor’s commitment to hitting numerical goals {in affordable housing} has created a potential difficulty for city negotiators in their dealings with developers, who are aware of the targets. For some housing experts, the situation was akin to an apple vendor advertising to customers: Must sell out by the end of the day; make me an offer”

You want to know why a big developer like TF Cornerstone gets a seemingly great deal on city-owned land such as Water’s Edge?  Or why the Anable Basin Rezoning includes an audacious 5,000 units, and 70-story tower?  The quote above from The New York Times this week is your answer in a nutshell.  It’s also the reason that Continue reading

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PROTEST -> MASTER PLAN -> BRIDGE

 

xxx

xxx

I’m just trying to find the bridge
Has anybody seen the bridge?
Please
Have you seen the bridge?
I ain’t seen the bridge!
Where’s that confounded bridge?

THERE’S going to be a protest this Saturday.  In general, the impetus behind it is to make sure the LIC community has a say in the development of three adjacent waterfront plots: Anable Basin, Waters Edge, and Lake Vernon.  Of equal importance is the request to recognize and rezone these three lots as a whole, not in isolation. The belief is that in doing so it will not only optimize the space for the neighborhood but also for the city, inasmuch as it will allow more comprehensive planning and be able to incorporate much larger economies of scale and/or amortization of concessions. The most obvious example, and one near and dear to The Editor’s heart, is a rec center.1

The logic of creating a Master Plan for the three lots is self-evident, yet the powers-that-be have been completely dormant in recognizing the tremendous opportunity right in front of them.  That’s what the protest is for!

Now, while the Rec Center is the most obvious oversight, and almost de rigeur when talking about concessions for variances or granting a rezoning, there’s another need that also lends itself to amortization, and frankly might be more timely than even, ahem …affordable housing.  That would be Continue reading

  1. and that rec center can also be optimally located where the most people could potentially have the closest walk to get there: on 5th Street & 46th Rd. []
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A MOVEMENT HAS BEGUN IN HUNTERS POINT

Thank you Brent, please place Rec Center right here.

Thank you Brent, please place Rec Center right here now

A movement has begun for a Rec Center in Hunters Point.  Spearheaded by Brent O’Leary, President of the Hunters Point Civic Association, and Eric Malinowski, a local father of two, the tandem, with backing from several other neighborhood organizations, has created an online petition calling for a recreation center to be included in any large development granted a rezoning or variance (Aka #1 Anable Basin; #2 Water’s Edge).  The petition cites many Continue reading

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THE DIRTY LITTLE SECRET OF HUNTERS POINT

Despite the delays and cost overruns at the Hunters Point Library, I personally like it. I know that not everyone in the neighborhood shares my sentiment, some thinking it an overpriced folly and others questioning the need for any new libraries in the 21st century.  But grand projects that may come across as impractical or wasteful at onset, can sometimes transcend their original purpose, as well as transform a neighborhood if the conceptualization of it is on target.  Though we won’t really know for another year about the final outcome, I’m optimistic that the decision to build it will be proven correct.

Yet underlying the creation of the Hunters Point Library, is a dirty little secret: Continue reading

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MUSINGS ON GENTRIFICATION IN LIC AND DEVELOPING WATER’S EDGE

So much promise, but needs to be reasonable

So much promise, but needs to be reasonable

 

In the perfect world of The Editor there would be fewer humans taxing the earth’s resources and fewer still straining those of Queens and NYC.  Regrettably someone else from this borough was recently elected monarch so I won’t be able to impose my will until 2020 and thus will be required to accept compromises, just like everyone else.  That will entail watching large swaths of Long Island City towered up to the sky, much of which has already transpired.

Despite my anti-growth leanings, Continue reading

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