Category Archives: Politics


It's time for LIC to no longer be solely framed by its proximity to Midtown

It’s time for LIC to no longer be framed solely by its proximity to midtown

So, Cornell Technion opened up this week.  While the opening entailed press releases, ribbon-cutting, politicians and media attention, it should come as no surprise as it was completed right on schedule.  Of course that fact may actually be the biggest surprise of all!

Amidst the news hoopla, and there was a lot of it from all angles (see links below), was the standard local one as to how this would affect the local community adjacent to the campus: Long Island City.  All interviewees laud the potential of the proximity to the new campus, and the hyperbole is justified.  Unfortunately what they don’t realize is the huge gulf between “as the crow flies” and reality.  While a new ferry is nice, it is far from a game-changer.  The fact is that the Continue reading

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What time is it?

What time is it?

It's time to wake up

It’s memorial time

East River mash-up

How’s that for a wall!

Look up from the river, is it a ferry-passenger ticker?  Is it a Powerball Jackpot ad?  At the very northern end of Gantry Park there is a large red digital display.  At first glance, the meaning of the numbers would leave one bewildered.  But with a little sleuthing we were able to solve the mystery.1  Spoiler alert Continue reading

  1. ok, ok, we were able to confirm what a reader tipped us off to []
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Bending over backward on Roosevelt Island, but not LIC

Bending over backward on the Roosevelt Island waterfront, but not in LIC

There will be no pedestrian bridge to Roosevelt Island, nor will there be a community center.  TF Cornerstone was selected by NYC officials to develop the Water’s Edge site and their plan largely adheres to the bells and whistles in the RFP put out almost a year and a half ago by the city.  In fact the only one who seems to be surprised that it will have a token industrial component is The New York Times reporter who broke the story.  He obviously must not have bothered reading his colleague’s lengthy story from over a year ago which touted this novelty plan in the development site.

In fact the biggest thing that will differentiate the pair of towers on this plot from their brethren further south along the waterfront in LIC Continue reading

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Oompa-Loompa's invade LIC

Oompa-Loompa’s invade LIC

SO, The New York Times released a hatchet job on Mayor de Blasio and his supposed tinkering on behalf of the Water’s Edge restaurant.  While I’m not overly interested in the he said/she said of it all, I did enjoy the follow-up article that delved into greater detail about the restaurant’s history, dating back to 1980. Equally intriguing from a historical culinary standpoint was the link to the NYT restaurant review by Bryan Miller in 1992, which like all the paper’s restaurant reviews back then were categorized under ‘Arts.’

As most readers already know, what does interest me in regards to the Water’s Edge, is the future of it.  Today’s NYT ode to the Water’s Edge reiterates in equally vague terms as I did last month that the “agency [EDC] will soon select the developer.”  Hopefully there will be no meddling from above and the one they select will be based on the objective criteria that best suits Long Island City.

//RESTAURANT news is aplenty, or maybe not as seen in the stories below.  Pulling one nugget, Continue reading

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New ferries will not be enough

New ferries will not be enough

WHILE the joy of the fireworks and the visions of J.Lo dancing in our heads linger, the underlying stories of the last two weeks focused on the more worrisome topic of Continue reading



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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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 []


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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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



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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