Category Archives: Sports

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

MASSIVE NEW REC CENTER COMING TO HUNTERS POINT

Future home of new Hunters Point Rec Center

Future home of new Hunters Point Rec Center, and current home of the Hard Hat Cafe

This is all a dream we dreamed one afternoon long ago. 

A new recreation center is coming to Hunters Point, and will be lodged at the base of Hunters Point South (HPS) Phase 2. The 44,000-square-foot space will offer tons of amenities: two pools, including a lap pool and a rec pool with a large slide and water features, a large gymnasium for basketball, volleyball, and indoor sports clinics, a wellness center with cardiovascular and strength training equipment, large group Continue reading

NFL VETERAN LOVES LIVING IN LONG ISLAND CITY

Tony in his hometown

Tony in his new hometown

Come the end of summer, all eyes in America start to focus on the upcoming NFL season, or at least that is what the major networks are hoping.  Long Island City is no exception, as the multi-region makeup of the neighborhood is exhibited by all the different jerseys sported here on Sundays in the Fall.  Anyone who has lived in a tower for a few years, has heard the roar of another apartment in the middle of the afternoon (or evening), indicating a touchdown, interception, or big stop has occurred.  So we thought it was a good time to check in with former NFL running back and fellow LIC resident, Tony Richardson, to get his perspective on the game and the upcoming season.

Tony spent a whopping 16 years in the league.  As a fullback, he punched holes for the likes of Adrian Peterson, LaDainian Tomlinson, Larry Johnson, Priest Holmes, and Marcus Allen.  In addition, he played for Auburn during their undefeated season in 1993.  Nowadays, the four-time Pro-Bowler calls Long Island City home.  When I first met Tony earlier this year Continue reading

U.S. SOCCER CRAZE HITS THE OVAL IN HUNTERS POINT SOUTH

Futbol by the light of the moon

Pelada, not futbol, by the light of the moon in Hunters Point South

In case you missed it, there is a soccer craze going on in the U.S.  Since the opening rounds of the World Cup last month, the sport has finally caught on with the American public.  While it has been gaining momentum with participants for about 30 years, the explosive viewership of the latest Cup has led to a huge interest in actually playing the game.  Nowhere is this more indicative than Continue reading

3×3 HOOPS TOURNEY COMING TO COURTS ON 48TH AVENUE

Donuts, check.  Gatorade, check. I'm ready for '40 minutes of hell' on the court.

Donuts, check.  Gatorade, check.  I’m ready for ’40 minutes of hell’ on the courts of LIC

Lace up your high-tops and practice your hook shot, a 3×3 basketball tournament is coming to the courts on 48th Avenue and it is open to all.  It is being organized by the LIC YMCA and will take place on July 19 & 20.

Here are the details: Continue reading

LIC XMAS WISH LIST TO SANTA VAN BRAMER

Dream Big

Dream Big

Mayor Quimby: Order! Please rise for the Pledge of Allegiance.
Homer: Get to the money!
Mayor Quimby: In a moment. First, let’s review the minutes from our last meeting.
Apu: Get to the money!
Rev. Lovejoy: Get to the money!
Grampa Simpson: Get to the moneeey!
Mayor Quimby: Very well. We will now hear suggestions for the disbursement of the $2million.
Lisa Simpson: Don’t you mean $3million?
Mayor Quimby: Of course. How silly of me.

Tis the season for receivin’ …or requesting anyway.  Thus I will publish my Long Island City wishlist for 2014, and address it to the most visible local politician I know, Jimmy Van Bramer.  Whether it be a senior citizens singalong, a lost dog rally, or a food-cart opening, JVB’s ubiquitousness rivals only Mayor Quimby’s.  Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, there have been numerous important occasions where we could have used a little more presence from our national leaders, think Katrina and healthcare website breakdowns.  So instead of Quimby, maybe we should be looking at James Brown, the hardest working man in showbiz, for a parallel.  Or maybe I should be realistic and acknowledge that a single politician can’t fulfill all my requests.  Here they are anyway:

1. Lights on QueensWest Field – LICtalk Math: your average person works from 9-5, gets home to their apartment at 5:30, and can be at the field by 5:45pm.  The average sunset, over the course of the year, occurs at 6:30pm(click here for data), meaning the average usage by adults is ~45 minutes a day, M-F.  By installing lights and keeping them on until 9pm, one could increase quadruple this usage!  Yeah, I know, cut JVB some slack, QW Field is under a morass of different jurisdictions, but someone needs to get the ball rolling.

2. Crosswalks and Speed Bumps on Center Boulevard – I don’t know whose jurisdiction this falls under, but it seems tailor made for JVB.  My only comment is the advice I would give his Chief of Staff: get out ahead on this topic, before a tragedy occurs.  Traffic on Center Boulevard is completely unregulated, and the heavy transient use(taxi/livery cars/weekenders) combined with the otherwise carefree pedestrians is a recipe for disaster.

3. Quadras- organized soccer in Brazil is known as futebol. But the pickup variety, the kind played in the cities and the countryside, is called pelada.  Big fields, like QueensWest and the new “Oval,” are certainly welcomed, but going forward practicality should play a role.  As nice as organized games are, it’s pickup games where kids really learn soccer, and where adults can get the best workout and not be constrained to a strict schedule, nor the need to cobble 16-22 players together.  Let’s take a page from another concrete-filled city, Sao Paolo, and create quadras.  If pols are always looking for input from the community, here’s a forward looking idea that would greatly enhance utilization.  Feel free to steal it.

4. Playgrounds for 6-12 year olds - this is a rehash from a year ago, but even more important today.  Re-read the story and if you’re a parent with a child over 3 years old, feel free to spearhead a new advocacy campaign, because it’ll be a few years before the second leg of Hunters Point South Park is completed, but input is needed now!  Once again, if pols are looking for input from the community, here’s a forward looking idea.  Run with it.

That’s all for now, what’s on your LIC wishlist?

 

Pickup Soccer In Brazil Has an Allure All Its Own“Romário, one of the greatest Brazilian scorers ever, played in the streets, too. So did Ronaldo. So did Rivaldo. ‘We just play whenever,’ Diego said.”

Are Playgrounds Too Safe?“…if the child is 9 or 10 years old, he is likely fully bored by the swings, slides and climbing gear.”

Paragon Paint Building on Vernon Snapped Up for $16 Millionbye bye big ugly green monster

Protest Continues at 5Pointzalright folks, time to get on w/ your lives

Volunteers At Shady Park Replant Their Beloved Treesgreat news, now how about a park for those 5+?

Queens Hipster Neighborhoods Lucrative for Landlords – “two trendy Queens ZIP codes, beat out just one in Brooklyn on a list of 25 cash cows across the country where investors can get the highest yields on rentals.”  What did I tell you just last week???

 

 

 

J-E-T-S IN L-I-C

JETS-JETS-JETS!

JETS-JETS-JETS!

Thanks to this news site, our town learned last year that many members of the New York Mets call Long Island City home during the season.  Today, we here at LICtalk are proud to announce that we have another sports celebrity in our midst as well.  Anthony Lynn, the running-backs coach for the New York Jets, has been living on Center Boulevard since he joined up with the team last year.  In addition to being a coach for over a decade, Anthony spent seven years in the NFL as a player back in the 1990′s, which included being on the two Bronco Super Bowl-winning teams of 1997 and 1998.  The night before the Jets leave for a huge game in Cincinnati, Anthony took time out from his hectic schedule for an interview with LICtalk.

Editor:  So Anthony, why Long Island City?

Anthony:  We looked at places in Manhattan, but the apartments were too small, and a Texas boy needs his space.  So our broker told us to look out here.  Well the apartments didn’t turn out to be that much bigger, but I was hooked on the million dollar view, and I loved the neighborhood.

E:  How do you feel about making the dreaded two-river crossing out to Florham Park(NJ) every day?

A:  During the season it’s not too bad, because I leave here at 5:30am every morning and get back between 10pm and midnight.  So I usually bypass the rush-hours.  In the off-season I have saner days, and as much as I hate the traffic, now that I’m here in LIC I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

E:  What’s a typical day like?

A:  It’s a mix of practice, player development, and most of all situational game playing.  In fact, we only spend about four hours a day with the players.

E:  How do you personally stay in shape?

A:  I run on the treadmill at the practice facility.  I would love to jog and play basketball, but my legs can’t take it.

E:  A lot of attention has been paid recently to helmet-to helmet hits and how they’ve affected ex-players mentally.  How about the effects on the rest of the body, you as a former running-back would have received the brunt of those type of hits.

A:  Oh yeah, I’ve broken my knees several times, and my ankle too.  My body has been beat up and I know it.  In the next decade or two I’ll definitely be getting a knee replacement.

E:  The trade-off is that you’ve experienced, and won, two Super Bowls.  While my well-preserved body has a lifetime .500 average in touch football.  What was it like to go to the Superbowl?

A:  I can’t remember a thing from the first one.  It was the culmination of my life’s dream, and I was on cloud nine.  The second time, the Broncos were expected to win, and it had more of a regular season game type feel, which is still pretty intense.

E:  What does your wife do?

A:  Stacey is a newscaster on News12 Long Island.  She goes by the name Stacey Bell professionally.

E:  Where do you like to hang out in Long Island City?

A:  Shi is like Cheers to me, I know all the regulars.  We also like to eat at Cranky’s and Manducati’s Rustica.

E: Finally, do you read LICtalk weekly, daily, or hourly?

A: Why I read LICtalk twice a week, as soon as it hits my email.  Plus it’s on my twitter feed.

E:  Two times a week, two Super Bowls.  Coincidence, I think not.  Thank you Anthony.

New York Jets vs. Cincinnati Bengals: Sunday, October 27, 4:05 PM (ET) on CBS

LIC Flea’s Final Weekend This Seasonone mo’ time

Judge Urges Artists to Talk to Owners on 5Pointz Planbasically tells them their lawsuit doesn’t carry water

The Strange Science of Creating a Perfect BarNYT rates Dutch Kills the best cocktail bar in NYC

Get Butchered: Butchering Class at Alobar This Sunday - butcher whole hog, consume it, wash down w/ beer.  This Sunday 4pm at Alobar

Map Says Men Like LIC, Women Like Brooklyn Heightswhere do they come up w/ this stuff?

KICK IT LIC

Field of LIC Dreams

Field of LIC Dreams

If you passed by the field at Gantry State Park last week, you may have thought you were witnessing tryouts for the Manchester United junior team.  Laid out on a 50 x 30 yard section were all sorts of cones, flags, and doodads, and kids of varying ages being put through soccer drills by a lean, good-looking, personable instructor with a strong island(not Long Island) lilt.  His name is Trevor Daniel, and for one week only he held a free soccer camp in Gantry.  His sponsors, Tony and Diane Jules, facilitated the funding of the camp, and Trevor donated his time, in the hopes that it would be the seed for continued classes, camps, and programs for the kids of LIC.  I happened by the camp mid-week and spent about an hour observing Trevor work and train the kids.  His enthusiasm for the game itself is only exceeded by that of teaching it to others.  He’s knowledgeable about what works and is excellent at engaging the kids and keeping them focused.  A herculean task, as any parent knows.  While there are other youth sports programs available in LIC, this one is definitely a cut above.  If you have a child between the ages of 3-8 years old, I highly recommend you get on the mailing list of Kick it LIC, both for your child’s sake, and so we can keep this treasure here.  Who knows, today Gantry State Park, tomorrow maybe Old Trafford or Wembley?

[email protected]

For all those parents who had a positive experience at the camp, please feel free to provide your testimonials in the comments section.  It would help to spur others to get involved and bring Trevor to LIC.

Parents at PS78 Pushing for Outdoor Recess Spaceall work and no play makes Jane bored and restless

City Opens Affordable Art Space in LIC - 22nd Century Picassos here

Laughing Devil Comedy Club Decides Not to Closein the words of Nelson Muntz “Ha ha”

LIC-based Row New York Helps Local Teens Build Future

New LIC Pub Skips TV’s for Rustic Feela rehash about Woodbines on Vernon

UPGRADE COMING TO HUNTERS POINT BASKETBALL COURTS

I see a reverse dunk coming.

I see a reverse dunk coming.

Local resident, father, and hoops player Nathan Kamp, is in dialogue with the State Parks Department to bring a much needed upgrade to Hunters Point Park on 48th Avenue.  His request list includes straightforward items such as resurfacing and relining the three courts(and also the handball courts), painted center court LIC logos, and new backboards and rims.  The latter items are necessary to add nets to the rims, as the current ones do not have “ringlets” which enable the  attachment of nets.  Bigger wish list items include a redesign of the current park to include more seating around the courts to make it family and spectator friendly.  Adding a bathroom structure, park office, and drinking fountain, as well as netting to keep balls out of residential areas.  Finally, in the while-we’re-at-it category, he throws in a revamp of the toddlers play area on 5th Street, which has been closed for over a year and has become a real eyesore in the neighborhood.  Nathan’s goal is for the park to become a cornerstone of the community and a place for kids to not just play basketball, but also to learn via park leagues and skills camps.

It is the spearheading of projects such as these, that are going to make LIC the best community in the nation.  Not to mention the nexus of future Hall of Famers in Springfield.  Basketball is the penultimate pick-up sport in America, and having these courts right in the heart of the community is a real boon for all the young here, boys and girls.  But it requires recognition, action, and follow through to make it happen.  Kudos to Nathan for doing so.

Reminder: One week from today, on Tuesday June 4th, is Taste of LIC.  Also, this Saturday, June 1, from 11am – 3pm is the annual PS78Q PTA Spring Fair with games, rides, food, and drinks.  Tickets are sold at the fair.  Both these events are mandatory stops on the LIC social circuit:  PS78 PTA Soiree -> LICAO -> PS78 Spring Fair -> Taste of LIC -> MoMA PS1 Warm-Up Series -> LIC Basketball Tourney? -> Halloween Parade -> …yeah you get the picture.  We’re now rivaling Manhattan’s scene for socialites, athletes, celebs, and eurotrash. So keep your tuxes spiffy.

8th Annual Taste of LICTuesday June 4th.  Click on link to buy tickets.

Taste of LIC Bringing Bites to Queens Waterfronta two-hour feeding frenzy by the water, plus a raffle, auctions, rapper Champagne Jerry, political speeches, you know the drill

Stuck in The City, There’s Lots To Doeven the NYT gives a shout out to Taste of LIC.  Is this a sign?

Five Story Building Rising Across From PS1just like Taste of LIC, every nook n cranny of LIC is being stuffed, in this case w/ residential real estate

LIC’s Z Hotel to Offer Rooftop Yoga Classesplus a Saturday rooftop party series as well.  Wonder if you can get a combo ticket?  Then you can hit on tourists in the morning and at night.

The Boozy LIC Special at SweetleafLIC makes Paper Magazine, the beginning of our ascent …or descent?

THE FABULOUS JAMES BOBO

The door to olympic gold...

The door to olympic gold…

I’m going to Wichita
Far from this opera forevermore
I’m gonna work this job
Make the sweat drip out of every pore

Well we told you we’d have more to say on sports, and today’s profile is a little more down to earth and achievable than say, major league baseball.  James BoBo is the Director of LIC Kids, and a familiar face to many parents and children around Long Island City.  His gymnastics classes are almost all booked solid, and for good reason.  Anyone who has seen him in action, knows about his enthusiasm and terrific command of the classroom.  Not an easy chore when you’re trying to corral a dozen four-year olds to stay in a line.  James knows all the tricks for kids, and can break it down really well.  He has been at LIC Kids for three years, and was recently put in charge of revamping the program and staff.

James grew up in a family of nine in Wichita.  All his siblings were very athletic, and his first love was football.  Because he was always viewed as a leader, he was made a quarterback in high school, despite his then wiry frame.  In an attempt to put some muscle on him, after tenth grade the football coach convinced James to give gymnastics a try.  Despite being a complete novice and thus very awkward, he found a mentor in his new coach, and persevered to a level that garnered him a college gymnastics scholarship in Kansas.  After college, he continued with gymnastics on a professional circuit that took him all over the world.  While competing at a tournament in Japan, the sponsor of the event offered him a desk job in NYC, which is how he ended up in the Big Apple.  Finally, after founding a gym and gym consulting business in Brooklyn, and then teaching how to coach at Hunter College, James ended up in LIC.

“There’s a little bit of gymnastics in each kid” says James, and his emphasis is to be all inclusive and use gymnastics as a boost for kids with low muscle tone and a lack of coordination to build confidence.  “We can give them the basics so no one feels left out of athletics,” he continues “thus making kids better than they were, all while having fun.”  He’s added new after school classes in dance and karate, and hired high energy professionals.  His goal is for every kid in this community to know that this is their indoor backyard and for their parents to know that this is a place you can trust.  Plus you get a gymnastics teacher par excellence to boot.

LIC Kids Website

PS 78Q PTA Spring Dinner and AuctionTuesday April 30th from 7-10pm at SHI.  Dinner, Drinks, Auction …basically bacchanalia par excellence.

PS 78 Adds Extra Kindergarten Class for Waitlisted Kidsbut not before putting 25 sets of parents through a week of angst.  Sadistic no?

Waitlisted Queens Parents May Ship Children to Brooklyn Catholic Schoolumm, in light of the story above, has anyone bothered to tell St. Stans to cancel the bus?

How To Spend a Weekend In LIC - nice slideshow, but they forgot Show Palace

Court Square Dinerphoto essay about the diner and area around it

LIC Development Site to Hit Auction Block - residential site on Purves Street

LIC Fire Threatens Star Studded Art Galawhat?  you invited Matthew Barney and Chuck Close but not me???

QueensNYC Has A Fan In Neighborhood Blogoh that’s better, a little salve for my bruised ego.  What’s a blog?

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