Waters recede, cars are replaceable, children and dogs eventually can be walked, but some things are lost forever. Andrew’s Grove Playground on 49th Avenue, universally known to all in LIC as Shady Park, has lost several of its big beautiful trees. In addition to the grandeur of the trees, the park was the only one in Long Island City that provided a respite from the hot and sunny summer days. Thus, it will not be until long after the elevators and electricity are restored, the people return, the stores are restocked, the clean up is over, and the heat returns next summer, that we will realize what we have lost.
Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
An if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know…
On the first word of the evacuation I immediately used it as an excuse to hightail it down to South Beach. As for everyone else, you have a decision to make, pretty much embodied in the above words. Will this be a dud like last year? I certainly have no clue, but one thing I do know is that the politicos are not going to take any chances. No one wants to be directly responsible for another New Orleans 2005. Unfortunately this leads to people becoming inured, as it turns into a possible “Boy Who Cried Wolf” episode, exemplified by the fact that most people I surveyed in Zone A were hunkering down. So while I sit here on Collins Avenue asking myself “Hey, is that Lenny Kravitz at the table next to me?” You are probably asking yourself another question, compliments of the man with the empty chair:
Are you feeling lucky, punk?
I’m feeling ornery, which is unusual because this feeling tends to come more often at the beginning of a work week than at the end. Maybe I’m just jonesing for a little Oktoberfest, or maybe it’s the actual LIC news this week. Take for example the announcement about the new library dedication occurring next Friday, October 5 at 10:30am. The rationale for holding the dedication is to “symbolically plant the seed of the library.” What the heck does that mean? We all know it is just a meaningless photo-op for politicians, but of course it could backfire if this thing doesn’t get built. Alas, I’ll have to miss the extravaganza as I am flying to Munich next weekend for a little rehabilitation. More importantly, the article mentions that the library is now scheduled to be completed in 2014, not 2013 as previous reports had indicated. No surprise there really, as anyone passing by the empty lot this whole summer would not have seen any work being done. Some other details about the library is it will include an amphitheater, a reading garden with panoramic views, a children’s area, a teen area, a cybercenter, a conference room, and an adult reading collection(consisting solely of the 50 Shades trilogy). How about a massage room and a car wash too? All kidding aside, Steven Holl is a big name architect and between his involvement and the location on the water, this will be a world class building, if it ever gets completed. Think Bilbao!
Guess what parents, there are a whole lot of small group classes all around LIC for your young’uns in all different disciplines: music, exercise, sports, language. Unfortunately they are all fragmented and not always well publicized. Several weeks ago I mentioned Super Soccer Stars and at some point I will try to cobble together a comprehensive list and publish it. In the meantime, here is another recommendation from UnderPressure Mom:
Hello everyone – I wanted to let you know that the Yoga Room will be doing a 3-5 year old class on Wednesdays – starting this week. The teacher Jodi is terrific and my kids love her/ the class. There is a two class intro for new students for $30. $15/ class. For those of you that work (like me)… I think they will be able to do it on their own – or your sitter can go
New Hunters Point Library Is On The Way – will you still be here for it?
Horse Meat On Menu Raises Eyebrows – get ready for PETA protests in LIC
Aerosol Cans Run Dry, 5Pointz Out of Time – wistful departure
Latin American Artists Meet LIC – new exhibit at art gallery on 44th Ave.
Illegal Sewer Line At Hallets Cove? – the downside of all the growth going on
Greenpoint: New Developments and What To Do – TONY’s spin on the ‘hood just below us
R.A. Dickey Wins 20th Game for the Mets – Center Boulevard resident shows the country that 37-year olds can still have game!
Hit “Publish”, go downstairs and get a cab, and I am off for my annual August jaunt to St. Tropez! Oh man, where are all the taxis? It’s a good thing I live in Queens and have 45 minutes before my flight to Nice takes off from JFK. Anyway, I am going to use this column to practice my Franglais and get a a little head start on my tip for mixing in with the locals. It usually begins on the plane as I flirt with the stewardesses attending to me in First Class. Unfortunately they all speak fluent English, so my attempts at French end up being of minimal value. Then, after I land, I test it again by joking with the Immigration and Customs officials. Though I think that last August it might possibly have been the reason I was given a full “examen du corps” in a separate chambre. By the time I get into the taxi to the hotel, I am too exhausted to even bother with anything but English. Unfortunately most French cabbies don’t speak a word of it, inevitably resulting in major snafus such as ending up at L’Hotel Ouest instead of L’Hotel Est across town, sacre bleu!
Yet my attempts at going native inevitably perk up again by sunset as I down my first glass of champagne. By midnight I am in full throng, and sprinkling in a few words of Spanish in my lightheadedness. By the time I’ve hit double digit cocktails, it is not uncommon for me to affect a British accent to augment the aforementioned. Finally, come dawn, I am usually incoherent and dancing naked by myself in Le discotheque. At which point it really doesn’t matter, because all the women are speaking Russian, and they are giving nothing away.
Hey reader, might you be in St. Tropez at this time? Maybe we can hookup? You can find me late night every night at Les Caves du Roy. Just ask le garcon pour “L’Editeur.” Trust me, he knows exactly who I am.
Mais je digresse, and there is alot of LIC information to report on in the last week. I am happy to say that most of it is good, and some of it is great. First off, is the news of another beer garden, this one coming to the waterfront, as previously hinted at about a month ago. Now we get confirmation and a lot of detail and photos, including the fact that it is expected next summer. I should just stop there and leave for my vacation humming from that news, but there is also an excellent article from the Philly Enquirer about taking the family on a culinary trip through Queens. It commences in LIC and there are a lot of very good ethnic recommendations. Plus the author is a huge fan of the boro, so dig in! Lastly, as I mentioned, I will be away for a little while so there will not be any updates. In the meantime, I highly recommend you take the time to read through the previous post, especially if you have, or are expecting to have children and live in LIC.
Finally, I am happy to report on a new restaurant coming to Long Island City. It is called OpenDoor and it will be located on 50th Avenue between Vernon and Jackson(next to Ihawan). I spoke with one of the owners, Nick Guitart, who will also be the chef, and he told me they will be serving “affordable, small, American plates” and that they expect to be open by October. C’est magnifique, see you in a week! …or deux.
Floating Beer Garden Dropping Anchor In LIC – I expect that by next summer people will be coming to LIC in August instead of St. Tropez
The World Comes To Queens – what’s the next best thing to a beer garden? A cheesesteak! So these Philly people know what they’re talking about when it comes to food
The 30-Minute Interview: Justin Elghanayan – how timely! They expect to start renting the 700 apartments in the Spring, and will be following it up with 1100 more, for a total of 1800! “Hello Justin, have you heard about the school situation in the neighborhood where your biggest project is finishing?”
New York Graffiti Haven Braces For Gentrification – per the owner “C’est La Vie”
Jersey City Development Is On The March To Greater Heights – concludes with “Eat your heart out,Long Island City” Umm no dear Post author, I think the comparison you meant to make was with Ft. Lee
Giant JetBlue Sign Lands On Queens Plaza Rooftop – too bad they don’t fly to France
There is not a lot of LIC news today, and what did make the cut is not very meaningful. Most importantly, none of it is sordid. Therefore I will use this sparse and chaste day to entertain and enlighten you, and possibly make you a little jealous, with a tale of LIC’s past. Courtesy of the LICtalk wayback machine, we take you to the very beginning of the 21st century, when the Long Island City waterfront was just a one hit …err building wonder and a man named Clinton was in the White House. When I say “jealous”, remember when reading the prices in the first article, dated February 27th of 2000, that the dot-com bubble was almost at it’s pinnacle as the Nasdaq Index would hit its all time high three weeks later. In tandem with that cresting, NYC real estate prices had skyrocketed over the previous five years, and also were in a speculative frenzy as everyone’s net-worth, on paper anyway, had exploded, and thus people were feeling very flush. Furthermore, every banker and trader on Wall Street had just pocketed seven figure bonuses, solely for being alive(oh the good times)! One location absolutely no one was looking to place that lucre, was in gritty and unfashionable Long Island City. Thus I have the set the stage, fasten your seat belts cause here we go, to the land of $210M two bedrooms —->>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
If You’re Thinking of Living in Long Island City, Queens circa 2000 – hmm, I’m not so sure the “next bohemia” thing worked out as planned, but the rest of the article was quite prescient
Year Of The Takeout – today featuring a dish from Vernon Boulevards ‘New City Kitchen Express’
Answers To Questions About New York – LIC signs
Hotels Pop Up In Brooklyn, Can Queens Be Far Behind? – tres Queens?