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???





  1. […] Moviemaking Industry [DNAinfo] Vallone Gets MTA to Hush Noisy Ditmars Station [Astoria Post] LIC Xmas List to Santa Van Bramer [LIC […]

  2. Anonymous says:

    less dog crap on the streets would be good.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I totally agree that Center Blvd is a big issue that has not been addressed and hopefully is addressed before it is too late. Cars love to speed down this open street and since there is no stop or “stop for pedestrian” signs, drivers swerve around pedestrians. This is troubling because this is probably one of the most crossed streets by children, older people, and dogs. All city needs to do is put up a few of these free standing signs.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I thought that 5th was going to be changed into a one way street does anyone else remember this being stated? And yes we really really really need cross walks and stop signs. Help us JVB!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Having some streets 1-way and some streets 2-way is confusing and may lead to more people getting hurt.

    Read up on the Internet how to calm traffic to make it safer for foot traffic instead of advocating blindly.

    • LICmom says:

      Focusing on Center Boulevard, there’s no question that it will always be 2-way, but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t have crosswalks and speed bumps.

      Instead of blindly reading up on the internet, why don’t you just provide us with an example or two?

  6. Space Hog says:

    More 3-bedrooms please!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I was reponding to 5th street being 1 way. I should have indented the reply.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I live on the corner of 5th and 50th and have seen more than 10 accidents in the 2 years I’ve lived there. Something needs to be done to 5th, maybe adding 4 way stop signs? I think most accidents happen when someone tries to cross over 5th. I’ve also seen large trucks get stuck trying to turn the corner. So much construction happening there right now.

  9. Old Man says:

    I think the older-kid playground is a great idea. I’m getting sick of just watching my kid do the same thing over and over again.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Totally agree that stop signs or something else is needed on 5th street. But I have to say, there is really something wrong with the drivers in LIC. They drive much worse and with less regard for pedestrians than in other parts of the city. I think it’s mainly the people who come to the area on weekends or park here during the week and still don’t realize that many people live here now.

  11. The Wizard of LIC says:

    5th Street and Center Boulevard are two completely different animals and need to be dealt with separately. 5th Street is full of blind curbs, causing more of a problem for car on car accidents. Center Boulevard is wide open and treated like anything from an asphalt “No-wake” zone(i.e. go really slow) to a jet runway. Most treat it like the former and thus lull pedestrians into thinking there are invisible, or at least informal, crosswalks. Thus setting them up for the occasional latter Michael Schumacher.

  12. CL says:

    Hey Old Man, I agree too. The final extension of Hunters Point South Park should, no must, contain an older kids playground!

  13. Anonymous says:

    the final extension isn’t even in talks yet as far as i hear, so who knows when/if it will ever happen.

    I hope they leave the hills and trees there though, I really used to like taking walks in there.

  14. mc43rd says:

    If you want to talk about a traffic nightmare, the worst spot is the intersection of Queens Blvd and Jackson/Northern Blvd, leading to the bridge. There needs to be Block the Box signs and cameras set up there, as cars and trucks will block the intersection, usually leading to southbound traffic swerving into ongoing northbound traffic. (That is, of course, if the northbound traffic isn’t blocked also.)

  15. […] bring you a guest editorial, on a request that we made and briefly commented on late last […]

  16. […] We have highlighted this need previously1.  What made our appeal distinct, was 1) the recognition that pick-up soccer is different from that organized in leagues, and 2) the knowledge that Hunters Point South Park was still in the planning stages and exactly how it was to be developed is still tbd.  Thus we made the request for quadras: small, individualized soccer fields optimal for pick-up games. […]

  17. […] //Thanks to Amazon 2-Hour Delivery, it’s never too late to submit your Xmas List.  As it turns out, 3 out of the 4 items I requested for the community two years ago, have yet to be gifted.  Substitute a “Community Center” for the fourth item, and through the magic of linkage here’s my gently-used 2015 Xmas List for LIC. […]

  18. […] they divvy up the fields and add lights […]

  19. […] the S&P 500 is nearly flat this year1, I’m going to keep my Christmas wish list modest, unlike in years past.  In fact there’s only one item: renovate the pair of tattered basketball courts in Murray […]

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