It has finally come to this. The need for traffic safety measures has spurred a press event that will be held tomorrow, May 30, at 3pm on Center Boulevard and 48th Avenue. Who will be there? Continue reading
Three articles over the last few days, summarize what the LICtalk juggernaut has been saying for the last two years. The first, in The New York Times ((a little name dropping)) talks about the compression in the discount that Queens typically receives in residential real estate pricing. The second, also in The New York Times1, acts proactively2 in pitching a street car along the East River waterfront that runs from Red Hook to Astoria. The third, talks about what current apartment buyers and renters are looking for in LIC. It’s a little weaker than the first two articles, and doesn’t have the same journalistic pedigree, but does contain this nugget, which justifies it’s inclusion: Continue reading
We bring you a guest editorial, on a request that we made and briefly commented on late last year:
Almost 4 years ago this spring I got a letter from the DOT saying they assessed a need for a crosswalk at Center Boulevard and 47th Road and work would be starting soon. Shame on my filing system, but now I cannot find the letter and they have changed their tune to say there is not a need, whereas in my mind it has escalated from definite to desperate. I guess I trusted the DOT and trusted that the crosswalk work would actually be done, and threw out the letter. Silly me. The DOT letter to me was in response to a 311 call and online post I did back then.
A car doing highway speeds, whizzed by my 3 year old daughter and I crossing Center Boulevard at the point I mention above. Back then the boulevard only extended as far north as The View. Cars only had 1 block to ramp up speed. Now there are many more buildings on this street, and it extends down to the basin. So there is not only a much higher volume of cars, but also a longer strip for them to accelerate. Continue reading
Not much to say about that headline, except it is a sad but not completely unexpected outcome. Kind of makes the 7-train protests trivial.
Nevertheless, we said we’d show you the apologetic letter received by the powers-that-be from the MTA. It contains the whole list of fixes to be done over the year. You can read it below and judge for yourself the merits and rationale for the weekend closings. Continue reading
In an 8-page memo, the MTA announced its 7-Train weekend closures to the powers that be. While these closures are a regular annual event in LIC, mostly occurring in the winter, the 2014 edition will be spread more evenly throughout the year. Ironically, the lengthy memo is both very descriptive about all the specific work that needs to be done, and profusely apologetic. The MTA is expected to officially announce the closures later in the week. If not, we’ll be sure to print the full memo. Continue reading
Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
Two weeks ago I walked over to Mario’s Deli on Vernon to pick up a something-parmigiana hero and a coke, only to find that the deli was no more. I don’t know if it’s closed for good, or just under renovation, but I’m inclined to believe the former as the telephone number no longer works. Old Italian deli’s notwithstanding, a better indicator of all the changes in LIC is the loss this year of Title I funding for PS78/312.
On Wednesday night, the local PTA held a meeting at the new K – 8 school, which started 15 minutes later than planned due to the number of parents needing to get signed in. According to a source, the biggest issue was the loss of Title I funding and the implications it would have on the after school program. It seems that this funding is given out on an “all-or-none” basis, according to the percentage of parents whose incomes are below a certain number. With the massive gentrification of LIC recently, this is the year we pushed through that threshold. The loss of funding means that the school will no longer provide after school coverage between the hours of 3pm and 6pm. In other words, the post-class daycare needed for parents who normally couldn’t afford it, of whom there were supposedly few in attendance. Those that did attend, and their light turnout may very well have not been indicative of their actual numbers, were obviously vocal about this loss. It basically means that they will have to make some very difficult decisions as to whether they keep their children at PS 78/312, or make an abrupt change and uproot them in order to receive this coverage elsewhere. Thus taking them away from their friends, and the continuity and familiarity of a school. Either way, it highlights the very sad downside of rapid gentrification.
In other news, an LIC townhouse just sold for $3 million, smashing the previous record price for a single-family home in the area. It’s the changing of the guard.
Finally, I’d be remiss in not passing on that the LIC Partnership, Long Island City’s version of The Chamber of Commerce, has announced a new President, Elizabeth Lusskin. This group has done a good job melding the disparate businesses of LIC together into a collective voice, and integrating it with the rest of the community. You can read Liz’s bio here.
LIC Rowhouse Sells for Eye-Popping $3 Million – let me tell you, it’s not a bad buy at that price either.
7-Train Service to Be Suspended for Five Weekends This Fall – in case you didn’t get my tweet two weeks ago!
New Bar In Dutch Kills Aims To Be Gathering Place For Changing Area – a typical conversation at this “local” watering hole might go like this “Hola Hans, I’m Guadalupe and this is my friend Xinmao”
Have you heard about the latest big Wall Street expose? It’s an autobiography about a hedge fund trader and his decade of lost weekends, climaxing in a lucid moment of morality. Kind of a 21st century “Bright Lights, Big City/Wall Street” mash-up, with a dash of “American Psycho” -ex the gore, thrown in. My guess is that most of you will skip the book and wait for the movie. In the meantime though, you may want to keep an eye out for the author, who according to The New York Times, is now slumming it in a tiny apartment in Long Island City …probably with a great view of the bright lights and big city, nearby parks for his daughter, and the best bar in the five boroughs, the LIC Bar, in case he has a relapse!
In addition to said bar, there is lots more going on in town this weekend: a Bike Parade, followed by a Used Bike Sale the day after, Yoga on The Pier in Gantry Park, and a 5Pointz Hip Hop Fest!
Plus 5Pointz expansion voted down, G-train closures coming, and a second Food Cellar to open in Court Square. There is so much LIC news you’ll need a 3-day weekend to read it all. So do like Turney did, and blow off work on Monday. Check it out below.
A Trader’s Crash Landing – rehab is for quitters
6th Annual LIC Bike Parade – Saturday June 8th. Or you could do hookers and blow.
LIC Community Bike Sale – Recycle-A-Bicycle, 46-01 5th Street, Sunday June 9, 2013, 2 PM. Or you could blow it on hookers.
Yoga On The Pier – pier/park same thing, Gantry Park. Sunday June 9, 10am. LICtalk Tip: get there a little bit early, it gets crowded on nice days …or you could sleep off the hookers and blow.
5Pointz Hip Hop Fest – Saturday, June 8, 2pm-8pm. Umm, this might be fairly welcoming of your hookers and blow.
Queen’s Graffiti Haven 5Pointz Celebrates Hip-Hop’s 40th Anniversary All Summer Long – as Turney probably knows, the partying continues all summer long, not just one session.
CB2 Votes Against 5Pointz Expansion Plan – looks like they’re trying to squeeze a few more concessions in return for a few more floors
5Pointz Owner To Move Forward With Redevelopment, Despite CB2 Vote – lotsa jawboning, but nothing a few 8-balls and pros can’t smooth over
Mensches Munch In LIC – recap #1 of Taste of LIC. This is how most people “party” these days.(LICtalk Tip: type headline into Google to get around firewalls)
A Taste of Fine LIC Cuisine – recap #2, w/ pics
Flea and Food Is Set to Take Flight in LIC – the WSJ wraps a big LIC story around the opening of the LIC Flea next week: ‘Long Island City “is a teenager with growing pains and a push for quality-of-life experiences for people where they live,” said Sheila Lewandowski, founder of the Chocolate Factory, a performing-arts space, and a member of the local community board. “I think it’s changing. But we’re not there yet.”‘ In the meantime, those that choose can avail themselves of hookers and blow.(see LICtalk tip above)
Summer In LIC – The Daily News’ annual LIC infomercial …22 pages this year, who says print media is dead?
MTA Details Shutdown of R and G Trains – the G train stops in LIC will be affected: “The affected weekends are July 6, July 13, July 20, Aug. 3, Aug. 10, Aug. 17, Aug. 24, Sept. 7, Sept. 28, Oct. 5, Dec. 7 and Dec. 14. There will also be a five-week shutdown in summer 2014, the authority said. A shuttle bus service will run between Brooklyn and Queens”
A Tale of Two Queens Techies – a father and son creating apps right here in LIC
Food Cellar to Open Second LIC Location – yum-yum
Surviving The Rental Crunch: How to Find A Place to Live When Pickings Are Slim – recommends LIC near Queens Plaza as a solution
Perk Packed Rentals and Convenience Bring New Residents to LIC – this is kind of a template story that every press outlet now feels required to publish, today we give you the NY Post’s version. Find attractive couple that’s recently moved to LIC, and wrap a story around them as to how the neighborhood is mushrooming w/ amenity filled towers filled w/ similar people. Anyway, welcome to the ‘hood Patrick and Eve. Don’t forget to read LICtalk every day.
Now that the holidays are over, reality hits us here in LIC. The final TF Cornerstone building site lies fallow, the Center Boulevard wind corridor is in full thrust, and of course the 7 train doesn’t run on weekends. Yet if you leave the den and look closely, some “flowers” are still blossoming. I am talking about residential real estate projects in various stages of building, the results of which won’t be fully recognized until walking around weather returns in the spring. Might it be global warming? Maybe, but my guess is it’s just capitalism in action. All around town new projects are sprouting, and now comes word of two more gigantic developments on the drawing boards. The first one is up in Court Square and has just been revealed. You can read the details in the accompanying story, but the one fact I will disclose is that it could be three buildings totaling 2400 units! The second one has been long discussed and planned, and now you can see the actual pictures of what it will look like. I am talking about building #1 in Hunters Point South(HPS), which has received zoning approval to have 619 units of well located, awesome-viewed, and subsidized joy!
Eagle Electric Building Getting Makeover In Court Square – these not as well-located buildings will not be subsidized, the lucky inhabitants get to pay full price!
Hunters Point South Building on 50th Avenue Moves Forward with Approved Zoning – only the penultimate locations should be considered for middle income housing, right? Hmm, will the 200+ parking spaces be subsidized too? Probably doesn’t matter, w/ the discount they’ll receive on rent, they can get a new Benz as well as pay full price for parking.(Do the math)
7 Train Petition - sign the petition put together by Christine Quinn, JVB, and Peter Koo
Exploring Money and Hardship – c’mon man, we can’t be all business, a good review of this exhibition which continues thru March 13th
So much for my parting words about nothing happening in LIC in my absence. To start with, the Empire State Building showed off its new lighting system New Years Eve by beaming a kaleidoscopic strobe light over its crown. Then, you would think it were Spring with all the new restaurants blossoming locally, as it was only three weeks ago when I wrote “Restaurant Bonanza” about the places coming soon. First off, Chickpea, the hummus/falafel chain, has just opened an outlet by Queensboro Plaza. How’s that for something much needed in the neighborhood? Next up, LIC is getting cupcakes, as Brooklyn Cupcake is opening soon, sharing space in the Uncle Louis G’s ice cream hole-in-the-wall on 48th Avenue. Given the demographics in Hunters Point, that ought to be like selling heroin to junkies. Finally, three updates on restaurants about to open, re-open, and close.
1) OpenDoor, which I wrote in the fall would be opening in October, then wrote in December will open by years end, is now looking to open by the end of January.
2) The Waterfront Crabhouse, which sustained massive damage due to Sandy, is expected to open again in February.
3) Lounge 47 on Vernon Boulevard is rumored to be closing by month’s end
Ay Caramba! In reading those three items, all I can think is ‘I’m glad I didn’t go into the restaurant business!’ But I am ecstatic about all the new things happening here, and will give you my New Years prediction: 2013 will be the Year of Long Island City!
Chickpea Website – call 718-440-9646 and order up a shawarma today!
Sandy Changes Hunters Point Library Plans – oh jeez, does this change mean a delay?
7-Train Service Suspension For Next 13 Weekends - yeah we told you about this weeks ago and all the “railing” in the world is not going halt it. Only one politician in NYC can alter this and his name starts w/ Mike. Thus, it’s a fact of life if you live in Hunters Point, always has been.
East River Ferry In LIC Here To Stay – does anyone from LIC actually use the ferry regularly?
Oh I know this topic and photo are not very holidayesque, and this isn’t the time to focus on such materialistic issues, but what other local NYC website has ever provided you a link to a 7-page study put out by the NY Fed entitled “To Buy or Not to Buy? The Changing Relationship between Manhattan Rents and Home Prices?” Who??? Because when you are about to make possibly the biggest decision in your life, it really doesn’t matter what time of year it is, just that you know exactly where to get the best, most relevant, and if need be most in-depth information. This is your source for what matters! Oh, that and the fact that the LIC news cycle is pretty much on reruns until year end, especially since we already told you last week the second most important piece of information right now concerning the people of LIC: the 7-train winter weekend disruptions. So with no further ado, here it is in all its glory: The NY Fed.
NY Fed Examines Manhattan Housing Market – summary and link to full pdf, a perfect beach read for the holiday break
Some Buildings Find Buyers Need A Budge – talks about local incentives dangled to get buyers to pay full price for condos
It’s Restaurants Empty and It’s Trains Stalled, Hoboken Encounters Storm’s Increasing Toll – I said it once, I’ll say it a thousand times: we got lucky
What We Wanted All Along: LIC’s “S Prime” – an article about a new steakhouse in LIC, though I find the adjacent stories a little more interesting
Queens Tech Meetup 5 and Holiday Party – tomorrow night