Category Archives: Politics

WHY IS BROOKLYN RUNNING QUEENS?

Making it happen in LIC

Making it happen in Long Island City

YESTERDAY at the LIC Summit one of the speakers marveled at how everyone on the panel lived in Brooklyn and was talking about LIC.  In fact given that this panel and several others included NYC policy makers the reality is that they were not only commenting about Queens but also deciding its fate when it comes to big decisions.  Which I guess is how these things shake out when hiring decisions are made, but shouldn’t there then be extra special attention paid to the community voice and an awareness that these areas are not blank slates?

The obvious answer is ‘yes’ but the bureaucratic one is ‘huh?’  Our last post talked about the ‘Water’s Edge’ development, and that proposal should be an interesting litmus test.  I learned yesterday that a) an answer should be forthcoming soon and b) there never was the intention of having a bake-off.  We’ll see.

More disconcerting was the advocacy of ‘densification’ by all the Brooklyn Intelligentsia as the solution to the city’s problems, and how Queens was Ground Zero to test their urban planning theories.  I believe it helps a few people and diminishes the quality of life for all – the only question is ‘To what extent?’  Either way, we will experience de facto densification in the addition of roughly 10,000 new units to LIC by 2020 and thousands of other units along the 7-train line outside of LIC.  Why not wait to see how that plays out?

Another sign of cluelessness occurred Continue reading

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WHAT’S UP WITH THE WATER’S EDGE DEVELOPMENT SITE?

Que pasa?

Que pasa?

In February of 2016 the City decided to develop the land in and around the former Water’s Edge Restaurant on 44th Drive by the East River.  Given the prospective zoning variance the city was offering, a pair of 60-story towers were possible on this choice piece of property1, so the proposed project is massive.  RFP’s from developers were due that May and were required to include a new school, some affordable housing, and a few other stipulations most notably a set aside for light manufacturing.

After submission the proposals would be reviewed by the NYCEDC (Economic Development Corp) and I was under the belief that shortly after the New Year they would pick 2-3 of those they deem viable for a bake-off, during which time there would be some community review and recommendations and then a winner would be chosen.  Now I’m hearing grumblings that the city is going to bypass the middle step and just render a final decision.

Which is really a shame because in addition Continue reading

  1. actually two properties across the street from each other []
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HUNTERS POINT LIBRARY TO BE NAMED AFTER TRUMP

Long Island City's Taj Mahal

Will Long Island City’s Taj Mahal be an oxymoron?

The nearly completed Hunters Point Library along the waterfront in Long Island City will be re-christened in honor of Queens most famous native son.  The Queens Library has announced that the new building will be given the name ‘Trump Library’ when it is finished later this year, and that barring any unforeseen circumstances the president will be in attendance for the grand opening and naming ceremony in September.

When asked about the honor last night at a press conference, Trump responded that he was very gratified Continue reading

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FEUDIN’ N FIGHTIN’ LIC-STYLE

no fighting here

No fighting here

I’ve seen you ’round for a long long time
I remembered you when you drank my wine

I’ve seen you walking down in Chinatown
I called you but you could not look around

The color of your skin don’t matter to me
As long as we can live in harmony

I’d kind of like to be the President
So I can show you how your money’s spent

Why can’t we be friends?
Why can’t we be friends?
Why can’t we be friends?
Why can’t we be friends?

Have you ever walked by a building in Long Island City and thought “I wonder who owns it?” or “How does it remain ‘as is’ in light of all the changes going on in the neighborhood/city?”  Real estate investing is idiosyncratic.  Unlike a stock or a bond, which can easily be compared, quantified, and traded, every single home, building, and piece of land is unique.  So are the circumstances behind their ownership.

Proof of that comes in a story today about Continue reading

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SUNNYSIDE YARDS AND FLYING CARS

Let's put another one next to it?

Let’s put another one next to it?

YESTERDAY the ‘official’ study regarding the plan to deck over Sunnyside Yards and build housing on top was released by the city.  Actually, three separate plans were released, each containing a different mix of residential/office/other space that would yield between 14,000 and 24,000 new apartments.

As expected, the study, commissioned by the Mayor, confirmed that the plan is both feasible and at a cost of $16 – $19 billion …uhh reasonable? The release was accompanied by the usual canned ‘huzzah’s such as this one by deputy-mayor Alicia Glen: “Sunnyside Yard represents one of our greatest opportunities to invest in the affordable housing, good jobs, open space and public transit western Queens needs,”

Here at LICtalk we see through such non-sequitur’s and are completely opposed to pursuing the Sunnyside Yards proposal any further.  Given all the non-decked over growth that will occur in Long Island City over the next 5-6 years, which will roughly double the existing housing stock, why is there any hurry to look to the next phase whilst having zero knowledge of how the current excessively-expansionary one will play out?

The obvious answer to this is Continue reading

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REVOLUTION

 

 

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world

But when you talk about destruction construction
Don’t you know that you can count me out Continue reading

DEAR SANTA VAN BRAMER: JUST ONE REQUEST FOR XMAS

One last chance

One last chance

The subways are a little less packed this week and my head’s a little bit foggier than usual, two signs that Christmas is near.  While there are so many things we’d like to see in the neighborhood, most of them are out of our control and simply a function of capitalism weaving its way.  Furthermore, we’re pretty darn lucky given the bounty that we already do have.

Nevertheless, there is one serious void in Long Island City that makes this neighborhood subpar: Continue reading

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MIDDLE SCHOOL BASKETBALL IN LIC & ELECTION 2016

Keep on running, it's almost over

Keep on running, it’s almost over

“Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.”

Jerry Garcia on why he doesn’t (didn’t) vote

THE NYC Marathon has come and gone and now it’s dark out when we leave work.  That means it’s time for middle school basketball!  What, you didn’t know there was a conveniently-located hoops program available for boys and girls in grades 6-8 in LIC in the winter?  That’s because heretofore there wasn’t, but starting next week (November 15) there will be.

It’s sponsored by the Long Island City Youth Sports League (LICYSL.org) and will be held at the Hunters Point Community Middle School Gym ((aka Academy for Careers in Television & Film, 1-50 51st Avenue)) on Center Boulevard on Tuesday nights from 7 – 8:30pm through April 4.

The cost is only $135 per child, but do not delay because there are a limited number of slots.  For more info please go to LICYSL.org or email licyouthsports@gmail.com

//POLITICS is like sports, Continue reading

DE BLASIO LANDS ON THE OVAL

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Live from LIC, it’s Hizzonner!

 

FRIDAY afternoon around 6:30pm a helicopter plopped down on the oval.  No emergency this, it was actually our Mayor choosing the fastest route between point A (in this case Park Slope via Prospect Park), and B (LIC).  The pic above, which I believe to be the only one of his arrival, was sent to us shortly after it occurred with a note basically asking ‘WTF?’  By the time I viewed it in my inbox yesterday1 the mystery guest was still unknown, but in the ensuing hours a media frenzy erupted over de Blasio’s use of this mode of transport, so I figured I’d chime in too, especially given my local slant and exclusive photo.

While I’m not overly agitated about the need for speed by the Mayor, and Continue reading

  1. The Editor faithfully observes the triple sabbath: Fri/Sat/Sun …just in case []
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2016 LICTALK PRESIDENTIAL ENDORSEMENT

The leader of the free world

The leader of the free world

I’m going to size up the people of Long Island City early and speculate that Hillary will get two votes for every one that Donald receives. Oh who am I kidding, I’m not a very good handicapper, so maybe it’ll be Donald who will receive two-thirds of the local vote.

Nevertheless, this year for the first time in many a quadrennium, we have an incredible candidate vying to be President of the United States.  One who’s had experience running a major business, one who’s had experience running a major government, and most importantly one who embodies the true beliefs of our country in 2016.

Many of these beliefs have been kicking around and fomenting since the turn of the 21st century, yet most of them have never been given any real consideration when it comes time to pull the lever in the voting booth – as most people fall back on what they are comfortable with.  This inevitably leads to the status quo, which in a rapidly changing world, makes most of us slowly worse off.

In looking for an ideal candidate, I’d want someone with business experience and not solely a political animal.  On the other hand, we have to keep in mind a decision that may have a significantly bigger and longer-lasting impact on the course of this nation than who our next president is: the appointment of our next Supreme Court justice.

In my four years writing for LICtalk, I feel I’ve gotten a pretty good sense of the type of people who live in Long Island City, or at least a pretty good sense of who my readership is (Hi mom!).  To be blunt, there’s a fairly high degree of homogeneity1, largely due to the rezoning and the recently built large towers2 that by price point and aesthetics attract people from very similar economic backgrounds, which translates to similar levels of education and to a certain extent occupation, and ironically age.3.

Though this may be a bit of conjecture, I’m guessing that most people in Long Island City Continue reading

  1. a term that shouldn’t be taken in any way as an insult as the same can be said about Bushwick, Midwood, Flushing, etc. []
  2. oh sure, many can start pointing to older parts of LIC in a search for diversity, but by and large it’s true []
  3. If you’re still a doubter, or critic of the homogeneity viewpoint, think of it in reverse and who gets eliminated: those making less than $100K and over a million – between those two numbers, and yes, it is a large swath, we’re looking at 90% of residents, and probably 75% of total residents fall in a range about 1/3 that size []
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