There are many signs this week of summer’s imminent arrival in LIC. The PS78Q Spring Fair on Center Boulevard is this Saturday, as is the 3rd Annual LIC Hoops Men’s Basketball Tourney. The latter is hosted by Gantry Plaza State Park on their 48th Avenue courts and will be followed on Sunday with a kids basketball tournament for boys and girls in grades 1 – 12. The line-up for ‘Live at The Gantries’ was released and the Metropolitan Opera announced their summer recital at Socrates Sculpture Park will be on June 17.
All of these things are free to attend, which is a good thing because I haven’t a clue which horse to bet on at the 2019 Belmont Stakes, which is also occurring this Saturday. What connection does this horse race have to LIC? August Belmont of course! You see there’s this little spec of land midway between the Gantry piers and the UN. Though tiny it is well ingrained in the minds of anyone in Long Island City with a direct western view, or anyone who spends any time on the waterfront, and it was originally called Belmont Island, after the same financier for whom the horse race and track were named.
Why Belmont Island? Because it is an artificial island created from the soil bored out from the nearby Steinway tunnels where the 7 train enters and leaves Manhattan. They were built at the turn of the last century and when Steinway passed away mid-project Belmont stepped in to finish them. Belmont was also the head of the national Jockey Club and an all-around big macher, which is why his name is plastered all around town. Yet like Jimmy Gatz, aka Jay Gatsby, August also underwent a little name change when he arrived in NYC. Thus while you’ll never mistake those hackers playing in the men’s basketball tourney on Saturday for Curry or Kawhi, you now will understand if an old descendant happens to refer to the race on Saturday or the island in the East River as the Schonberg Stakes or Schonberg Island.
//THERE’S another free concert series in LIC this summer called ‘Live at The Landing’ which is held at the Oval every other Thursday from 6 – 8pm beginning June 13. Also more free yoga, which will take place every Saturday @ 10am on the Oval beginning tomorrow, June 8.
//WE hear that a real estate brokerage will be occupying the sliver of space at 47-34 Vernon Boulevard, briefly the home of S3 Sports Bar and prior to that Gizi Wine & Cheese.
August Belmont Bio – aka Schonberg
Belmont Island – nka U Thant …and Schonberg
2019 Belmont Stakes Odds, Top Contenders, Lineup – 10 horses, no triple-crown potential, an extra 1/4 mile, it’s anyone’s race
Live at The Gantries – 2019 lineup
Concerts & Yoga On The Oval This Summer – full lineup & details, compliments of Hunters Point Parks Conservancy
Metropolitan Summer Concert Recital Series – stops at Socrates Sculpture Park June 17
The Dark Side of Sunnyside Yard – Sunnyside feels the same way about the development as LIC does
Scaffolding Up for Clock Tower – while a new 63-story tower is wrapped around it, already 5-stories high
Permits Filed for 27-55 Jackson Ave – 9 stories of resi bliss and a storefront
46 Ice Cream Trucks Seized in LIC Depot – operation ‘meltdown’