5 Pointz is coming down, as city approves special permit

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77 Responses to 5 Pointz is coming down, as city approves special permit

  1. 40th Street

    Very disappointed to hear this. Goodbye gritty and colorful character of Queens, hello slick high rises... UGH.

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  2. me

    WELCOME MORE HIPSTERS!!!!!!!!!!! QUEENS IS OFFICIALLY DEAD!

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  3. =/

    This is a damn shame

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  4. pissed of Queens resident

    Lived here my entire life and have reveled at the beauty of 5pointz since I was a kid. And all of the sudden the renovate this neighborhood and all these fucking young hipster people start moving in and they think its okay to just tear down one of the things that makes Queens, Queens in order to make room for more unnecessary residents?!?! This is so fucking sad.

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  5. RANSOM

    bullshit. at least they are giving art spaces. this place better be covered in graffiti 100% of the time

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  6. Nick

    at least they are doing something artist oriented but still a shame. money rules the world. WE DONT NEED MORE PEOPLE IN THE CITY

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  7. Frozen94

    This indeed sucks. Affordable housing?!?!? To who? The already rich? Yeh ok.

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  8. Mike Novak

    The Bloombergering of NYC. How freakin' sad.

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  9. Really?

    Are you people nuts? This is not a publicly owned space. Its privately owned in AMERICA. This is a free society. The owners were nice enough to allow all the graffiti, all these years out of the goodness of their heart. On their privately owned property. WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE TO OBJECT IN A WAY THAT COSTS THE OWNERS MONEY TO DO WHAT THEY WANT WITH THEIR OWN PROPERTY. What a bunch of losers. I hope you all never own anything. Or if you do I hope others interfere with your rights!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  10. Anonymous

    Really???? It's time to wake up! Like we need more towers! This is the beginning of the end.

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  11. does it really matter what my name is?

    No we are not nuts. It's a ICON of Queens. So it's privately owned. Big woop de doo. Out of the goodness of their heart? Yea ok, don't make me laugh. Have you seen the place and the poor shape it's in.

    Who the hell we are? Who the hell are you to talk to others like this? It's NOT costing them money. If they cared about that property they would have done something years ago. Sounds like they received a offer they couldn't refuse.

    Hope we never own anything? Do me a favor, rethink what you said. Become more of a human being and keep your mouth shut. We the people have the RIGHT to voice our opinions when it comes to OUR community.

    This is only the beginning, I'm sure they'll try to knock down many more places for more apartments that honestly aren't needed. Oh and are considered 'affordable' as well.

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  12. Joe

    The owner of the property has the right to do what He or She wants they paid for it. At least they left space available for artist which they don't have to do. Can't hate the owner for allowing people to paint on the building for so long. Also as much as people hate on the owner or owners its damn hard to own a building or a business especially in NY. It comes with great sacrifice that most people are not willing to do. So easy to criticize but you have to see the owners perspective. Just my opinion.

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  13. Yep

    I had an artist studio in this space for the last 2 years. Although it was amazing on the outside the inside was a mess. Im suprised the building didnt fall in on itself.

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  14. Mark

    holy shit you guys act like graffitid buildings are a good thing. Graffiti is illegal, and highly graffitid areas are a worldwide symbol for poor, hoodlum type neighborhoods.

    The people who want new buildings are hipsters? More like the graffiti lovers are the hipsters.
    Oh no I'm a fucking "street art appreciating" hipster so let's save this shitty graffitid builidng so that way we don't have to build taller, cleaner, efficient, housing!

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  15. really, really?

    Can you read? Or do you just think everyone is always reffering to whatever pisses you off?

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  16. Graffiti artist

    Hello Really, you are formal completely right. But since graffiti is a movement that sees lack of maintenance as an artistic opportunity, on this particular place something beautiful has grown. In stead of a crappy warehouse with no extra value for New York, this place has become a attraction for (street) artists, commuters, tourists and especially hipsters. It is a place of expression, inspiration and a temple for hiphop in New York. I personally blame the council of New York rather than the owner of the lot because the council should take responsibility for the loss of a unique attraction in Queens. i can imagine there will be not much in common with the atmosphere of the new studios and the current situation. In 2011 a dream came true for me to paint on the roof of this beatiful place, this will now remain as a memory of the past. Rest in Peace 5 pointz, peace to meres and marie and the crew. Once again the value of culture is underestimated for the power of money.

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  17. REALLY???

    Are you serious? Just because you have the right to do something doesn't mean it's gonna be positive for the community...that's exactly what tearing down 5pointz represents to the worldwide Hip-Hoppers. NYC is the birthplace of this Hip-Hop ish.

    Bush had the right to declare war, so does Obama. Following your logic, who are you to object to anything that doesn't directly relate to you? Obviously you have zero sense of any kind of Hip-Hop related education, leaving your comment as empty as if you were talking from your rear.

    Furthermore, a lot of these brothers and sisters protesting are actually from the borough, who the hell do you think they are to not be allowed to object? THIS IS AMERICA, FREEDOM IS NOT ONE WAY. I will protest w/e I want to as a citizen of this country, and hopefully you will take measures to ensure your growth of maturity and expansion of mind.

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  18. Fatima

    Someone needs to fin the headquarters of these developers and cover it in graffiti!

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  19. Caroline Caldwell

    What a shame. This is the destruction of a landmark. This is a real loss for both the art community as well as New York City. Well, it was an absolute privilege to experience 5Pointz in the flesh and get to know the amazing people who curate it.

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  20. To The Dumb F*** Above Me...

    Wish the worst upon yourself, you piece of shit.

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  21. yes!

    @Really? - Cities are built with private money and yes there are rights for developers to develop their own land but they city is a cultural mix some building deserve to be deemed important and/ or historic for the greater good of the city. That how there is approval for tearing down building in New York. The problem is New York has become too friendly to the tear down of the city. There are plenty of vacant lots they could use to build in that area. Plenty of shit they could tear down and nobody would blink an eye.

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  22. re: Really?

    blah blah blah blah

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  23. Anonymous

    To the person above me, raise your voice AFTER you've been, interacted, and experience 5Points, it's curator (Meres One), and your loving private owner. Scream private to the public and see who hears you. I for one am heart broken but would love to live where greatness stood. Not to gloat in what once was but to ensure its beautiful revelry is continued long after its gone. #tagthis

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  24. Dusty

    That's a damn shame, i've been over to NY from London many times to visit 5Pointz.
    Graffiti is synonymous with New York, 5Pointz is synonymous with Graffiti thus another reason to visit New York will be gone.
    Regardless of the fact that New Yorkers like it or not, it is the epicentre of a movement that is now worldwide, touching probably every country in the world.
    Every time i come over there's people from all over the world displaying their art.
    The locals might now have their 'affordable' housing but you'll lose probably a thousand or so visitors to New York.
    Having travelled extensively the name 5Pointz is known all over the world as an icon in New York, also when i'm there the subway trains that screech past have faces against the glass peering at the new art works that go up on a daily basis!
    Sometimes buildings aren't just bricks and mortar, they have an essence, an energy, that won't be there anymore.
    5Pointz RiP

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  25. Tai

    "Really", I hope you win the Darwin Awards.

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  26. Really???

    Your nuts, privatisation is ruining this world. capitalism controls democracy.
    People with your attitude are the problem. Interfere with your rights?? Its the community thats having there rights disregarded for cash.

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  27. LGone

    That's a fucking shame..those motherfuckers do whatever it takes to Permanently Take graffiti off the society.
    You can't Never do that fucking Assholes who says that we live in democracy and force us to do what they say.
    LONG LIVE GRAFFITI :)

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  28. Nunya Bidness

    Thank god; what an eyesore.

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  29. Sickened by This Betrayal

    Bloomberg and his cronies can't make anything but money. That warehouse was worth NOTHING all these years--the owner put nothing into it and evidently lost nothing or he would have sold it--until artists made the neighborhood a place if inestimable value.

    He is making a profit off the work poor artists put into the place all these years. He is nothing but a leech, using money to suck the life blood out of everyone around him.

    Remember what they said, it is harder for a rich man to get into heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. He is so engorged on the value other people created he can not see straight.

    He created nothing. He just consumes. And since I am Catholic I call that more than a shame, I call it a sin. The kicker is, you have to pray for your enemies. That is a tough one. Otherwise you are as bad as they are.

    And the pro-business mayor is destroying 200 small business in Willets Point for the same friends of his. The Vampire Squid is consuming Queens and our politicians pose for pictures with them.

    "They say you want a revolution. . . ."

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  30. Time's Up

    Sad to see 5 Pointz go. But at least I can get a good laugh out of people seriously discussing "hipsters," as if that were an actual group of people rather than shorthand for whomever people don't like.

    Hipsters are responsible for tearing down 5 Pointz!
    Hipsters are crybabies for resisting the tear-down of 5 Pointz!
    Hipsters are poor white kids from the midwest!
    Hipsters are rich trust-funded white kids from the east coast!
    Hispters are poor artists who support graffiti!
    Hipsters are culture-less bores who hate graffiti!
    Hipsters are destroying NYC culture!
    Hipsters are the only ones trying to preserve NYC culture!

    Hence my repeated insistence that every comment including that word be banned, as it is such a useless catchall term with no fucking meaning whatsoever. Come on Christian! Hitler references do less to de-rail discussions than this hipster bullshit.

    And by the way Mark, although yours wasn't the only dumb comment, you do get a star for its exceptional stupidity. Graffiti per se is neither legal nor illegal. The graffiti that happened to be on 5 Pointz was sanctioned, and thus, legal. Happens to be beautiful too, but of course that's just my opinion, which happens to be shared by millions of others apparently.

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  31. Kenny

    Capitalism at its best

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  32. Square BallZ

    @Time's Up:

    You're 100% right, we shouldn't use the word 'hipsters'. 'Pieces of shit' will do just fine. Go smoke a dick in Williamsburg you pompous, arrogant, out-of-state A-hole.

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  33. EA

    This is a icon of queens! A place where people all over the world would come to show their art. A place of movie making.
    The owner is a greedy sun of a ____. He already owns about a quater of LIC! As far as I know there were millioners as far as Japan willing to buy this place and fix it up!
    You kid yourself if you think anything there will be affordable.

    With that said. When is the human chain starting?

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  34. Ro

    I think the people that oppose the tear down of 5Pointz went at it all wrong. It is inevitable that the owner has the right to tear down this property and build to the "as of right" zoning the site currently has. This is his undeniable right and any court will side with the owner. However, the owner was seeking additional FAR. Instead of insisting that the building stay intact they should have lobbied for the current shell to stay up and the new building be built above and around it. They should have also insisted that they hire a real architect as oppose the awful design they currently have, all in return for increasing the FAR. The funny thing is that if the owner is able to pull off a great design that integrates this "landmark" with his new building it will only add value to his property.

    It is sad to see this place go, but it would be sadder to see a citizen's rights trampled on by the masses.

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  35. So what

    I'm glad to see this "thing" come down. It's been an eyesore. I've lived roughly 2 miles away from that towering chunk of crap for 21 years and I'm happy they are tearing it down. None of you will stop this from happening, offering opinions and bickering like middle school kids like it will make a difference won't do anything. You're just all a bunch of screen-and-keyboard thugs. Get over it.

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  36. jason

    Good Riddance!

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  37. Anonymous

    I've lived in this neighborhood for a few years, and I think one of the main reasons why 5pointz was such a marvel was the very fact that 1 stop of manhattan you had a wild graffiti jungle.

    The main point of graffiti is its wild anti-establishment nature and the volatility of art that comes on like wild grass, is mowed away, and then reappears somewhere else.

    The supporters of keeping this warehouse "established" as a place for permanent graffiti is ironic then.

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  38. jan-michael

    Can hipsters be the children of poor immigrants?

    I'd like a membership to the hipster club

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  39. Anonymous

    If the supporters of 5pointz want to make permanent and institutionalize graffiti, then they are the epitome of "hipster" i.e., ironic.

    Furthermore name calling others as "hipsters" when you are the hipster yourself, is itself also ironic, and very well played, the irony inside the irony.

    If graffiti should live in its truest form, then whether it is an abandoned building or a sparkling new high rise, "grafitti"-on you brave artistic soldier against the establishment! But please do not become the new establishment.

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  40. Bill

    Make the space a park with giant stones to decorate.

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  41. jan-michael

    I hate all the hipsters moving to lic, I liked Queens before it was cool

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  42. Time's Up

    Hey Square Ballz, I don't think you understood my point. Perhaps you should read it another dozen times or so and perhaps it'll come clear.

    And I didn't know that having a relatively decent command of written English makes one pompous and arrogant.

    Oh, and I grew up and lived in Woodside, Sunnyside, and LIC my entire life. Which, if any, of those neighborhoods are out of state? I see you're on a roll.

    Any more nonsense, false suppositon, and weird misplaced anger to add to this fun comment thread?

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  43. Hilarious

    Well, as long as the rich people have somewhere to live! We all know how hard it is for rich people to find apartments here in NYC....

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  44. Anonymous

    So strange, that when development and condos are written about, people rant on about 'hipsters'. These 'hipsters' can't afford places in these new developments. These are for bankers, lawyers, and other well paid business people, who are much older than 'hipsters'.

    I would invite the people on here ranting about hipsters, to change their rant to, there are less and less places for artist, dancers, writers, musicians, painters to live, which is the cultural backbone of what makes all of New York a vibrant place to live. It is becoming a business hub, which is infinitely more boring, and lacking a soul.

    So whatever you have against 'hipsters' (who are usually artists, of the variety mentioned above) try to remember why New York is such an amazing place, and be careful what you wish for...

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  45. Pingback: Goodbye 5 Pointz - City-Data Forum

  46. invisible lean

    @really...are you a friggin idiot...yea you are...you probably support billions of dollars of government subsidies to the oil industry so they can make even more billions of dollars while paying no taxes polluting our planet..fools like kill this planet...now go be a good republican and go kill some more innocent little children attending elementary school with your legal guns..friggin idiot

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  47. WILLIAM TBB HIGHTOWER

    THEY CAN TEAR DOWN HISTORY BUT THERE CAN NEVER STOP THE MOVEMENT,,

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  48. AX ONE

    Let me tell you...I am one of the more notable street/train bombers since the 80's. people should be happy that the OWNERS of the property allowed graffiti to be done there for a day let alone many years. It's THEIR property and was bought with the main idea, like all RE investment property, with a PROFIT to be made. So they have found a way to realize the profit in their wise investment that was VERY risky at the time they made it. So all of you who who ARE NOT entrepreneurs or know about capitalism, don't open your mouth.You don't even begin to know the entire picture and don't have the capacity to. So go get me a hamburger and a side of fries.Mental ungrateful midgets that you are.

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  49. EulogyToAGreatCity

    Another step in the gentrification of New York City, and once again I'm not sure I like it. I don't protest that having a new apartment building is a good thing and affordable living spaces are hard to come by in the city. However, I lament the fact that my NYC is disappearing. What makes New York City the greatest city in my opinion, is the historical and cultural roots sunk deep into all aspects of life, from people to architecture. Don't we read cities by the buildings they have? I will miss old New York and watch as every borough is buried under the development of high rises. I watched as landmarks, such as the Battery Tunnel, Lincoln Tunnel, and Queensboro Bridge were rebranded by the names of people who were "great". How will this be different?

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  50. Graffiti Writer

    Graff should be illegal. Shame to see it go, but Graff should be illegal.
    I hit the BMTs in B'klyn. in the very early 80s when I was a kid.

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  51. Queens Resident

    What about the Older Generations whose mark remains on the currently sight and the sight alone. It can not be replicated amd how long will the walls on thisnew. Building be allowed for, the first year? These are words, sentences, phrases used to buy us and having us give them the stamp of approval but it will never be the same. Damn yuppies ruin everything, our culture, our dance our music. Can't pretend to be in it, you have to live it. Its graff but its also art and no one should deny that because at one time you believe that it was just that and that one time counts.

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  52. THE NYC Vidit

    This is a historic landmark, a piece of culture that directly influenced modern pop.

    >> It is not the birthplace of Hip Hop to those that said it above (that honor goes to my beloved BOOGIE DOWN BRONX) - but there was a direct relationship between Hip Hop's origins in the Bronx, and of course 5 Pointz. And for the record to Queens, don't forget your history.

    KRS-ONE announced THE BRIDGE IS OVER back in the 80s. So the young buck Queens kids talking about birthplace of Hip Hop need to revisit modern music and cultural history.

    Queens/Bronx rivalries aside, it is tragic to lose this monument. Curating artwork in the building is the antithesis of everything 5 Pointz stood for. Sorry, but it isn't a consolation prize or act of mercy by the developers.

    5 Pointz were a land of art - it wasn't the value dropping scribblings of "toys", but true legends and pioneers (and many current fantastic artists keeping graffiti alive and not commercializing it like Marc Ecko)

    That said, keep getting up...

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  53. Marco Ricco

    This place call to much attention in the last years so is normal some rich people see the opportunity.
    But instead of make of this place a cultural center as always expensive condos come to the mind of the investors...i can really show your how bad investment is this in profits....by the way i never be in Ny.
    I just study this city from 1986 when graffiti change my life and i decide to lear n the most i can to leave my roots on a Slum in Montevideo Uruguay....till i have the opportunity of work with people at high levels from Ny and assist to talks from Artists like Christo.
    Believe me Mr Condo Builder..you are loosing money.

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  54. S

    "The developers have also agreed to offer the 5 Pointz graffiti group the opportunity to curate the nearly 10,000 square feet of art panels & walls in the building."

    Oh, so the art will be private, for (mostly) wealthy people to enjoy...as opposed to art that everybody can see for free from the train. Fuck this shit and fuck city council.

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  55. Frank

    Ax One is NOT a train bomber. Anyone who appreciates graf or graffiti is not in favor of the destruction of their culture for a profit.

    Graf lovers should not be grateful or anything a private owner did. But I understand the desire to sell and make money off of your "investment."It'

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  56. LOg

    I started do dance and live the HH culture about 5 years ago,im from europe and i was planing to come next years to see it,the money will destroy this world and the culture as the story aswell....

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  57. The NYC Vidit

    @Frank: "Understand" feels weird saying, gives some odd form of legitimacy; comprehend (maybe) the financial factors at play and it makes my skin crawl.

    I also don't know how to express the disappointment, but thought we'd hear more noise from those part of the culture - a greater sense that this shouldn't happen.

    Maybe I'm too sentimental of back when a metropolis was covered in graffiti, colorful subway lines w/ local personality, and riding in between cars in the summer across the boroughs.

    May hap I'm an idiot; but this old kid from the Boogie Down, that remembers when the Bridge Ended and a man Ladies Love took down a Kool elder, is terribly upset. So much damn history there. FFS

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  58. The NYC Vidit

    You know, I feel like being an arse.

    How about we start picking some landmarks,

    * Old Quaker Meeting House
    * Mount fraking Rushmore
    * The San Jose Church
    * Fairbanks House
    * Newport Tower
    * James Blake House
    * Fort Niagara

    TEAR THEM ALL DOWN! Throw up some fancy modern real estate and we'll dedicate a remote hall to the landmark. "MOAR" Profit. We get revenue from a hiked up irrational rent from being on a landmark (New Silicon Valley baby, or wait a neo-Tokyo Williamsburg) AND revenue from silly tourists that still think they are experiencing the textile feel of the place.

    Win for all!

    Frak this noise.

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  59. Juicebox

    As the Hip Hop culture grew since 1970s, the 4 elements of hip hop are bboying, djing, mcing, and graffiti.

    Alot people say that they know what Hip Hop is and only think of Lil Wayne and Drake kind of shit.
    F*ck that shit. If you don't the 4 elements and act like you know what you are talking about...just shut it.
    There wouldnt be rappers if there were no bboys or the 4 elements of hiphop.
    NYC is tearing down a place where a culture became a worldwide influence. Who said graffiti is illegal? Why does it represent poverty?

    To Mark, I swear that there are graffiti artists that richer than you.
    Graffiti, or Hip Hop itself is an icon for self expression. This culture started in the ghetto and developed worldwide.
    Can you explain to me why this is hoodlum? Why this represents poverty?
    You calling me a hipster? Fine like i gave a fuck....But what i really care is that as time passes by, people are trying to get hold of this culture rather than sharing it to the ones who really need it. This culture is God's last chance to unite all race, differences, etc. in the name of love and respect. I don't care if this comment is gonna be taken down or be reported. Im telling what the NYC Council is doing. They are sure killing Hip Hop, a culture that inspired everyone worldwide. NYC Council is fucking up seriously.

    My last message to Mark......We Dont Give A Fuck if this is an icon of poverty, I dont give more fuck if this is like a hipster or ish. People like you......truly dont appreciate what real art is. Artists know what real art is. This place has been representing NYC big worldwide. This place symbolizes our struggle, love, and respect for a culture that can unite all race and religion with respect and love.

    Mark.....people like you destroy Hip Hop so I hope this shuts your fuckin big mouth.

    I'm done here. Peace and love and respect to the pioneers and legends for the Real Hip Hop culture.

    5POINTZ will persevere.

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  60. George Krassas

    May the host of Biggie Smallz forever haunt the new tenants.

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  61. Flowrex

    I understand that this land has been bought and it is the owners prerogative to do what they will with their property and this is a business desicion where they need to see a return.

    It is still really unfortunate though that they either understand the significance of the site world wide, have under estimated it's importance or actually as I suspect the graff just doesn't have the same value to them.

    The site is in my mind a world heritage site of modern times and represents the most powerful culture in today's society for all of the people and races it has connected worldwide through art (something spoken about more by alien ness the famous New York Bboy) I totally agree with his viewpoint on how it has changed the world, it connects more people than government and national multicultural initiatives on the basis that we connect through art from our own choice and we choose to partake in this cross culture/cross race, age, sex, creed platform through our own initiative and love for what we do, peace, love,unity and having fun.

    Hip hop is one of New York's and America's gift to the world and this site in particular is a Mecca and a beacon for world travellers who attend pilgrimages to New York (I do it annually) to birthplace of a culture which has connected us all and given many of us a voice and outlet for art.

    Whilst occupying Wall Street meant a lot to people occupy 5 pointz would not be a bad thing to attempt, continuos graff, breaking, dj's and mc's. Isn't there a way to have squatters rights in the USA.

    Anyway sorry for going on so much it's just a shame to see in this day and age that our art whilst used by commercial brands and governments as a vehicle for their messages to the hip hop generations the same brands and government do not have our back on this, it shows that their apparent interest is actually more of a superficial interest time limited to the amount of control or money they can derive from it. Everyone using our art for their own means commercially should be getting involved and having our back in this one. I wonder whether anyone will interject?

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  62. Attila_the_Pun

    Just what we need, another ugly high rise blocking out the sky.

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  63. Guest

    DEVELOPER PLEASE HIRE A WORLD CLASS ARCHITECT OR AT LEAST A CREATIVE ONE!!!!

    The design you have now is embarrassing and subpar.

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  64. Goose

    I would hope that PS-1 Being right down the street would be taking some of those panels off of the building with the Artwork.
    These could easily be transported to different locations and nearby city parks. God knows there are plenty of art spaces and old warehouse buildings in LIC that are out of use There are also plenty of art locations these could be housed fore everyone to see. . Like Socrates Sculpture Park, Reiny Park , Gantry Plaza

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  65. SirPreiss

    I'm from Germany and visited NY in September 2013. Witnessing 5Pointz was awesome to me and one of the greatest moments ever.

    Here in Germany graffiti is apprechiated as art. In New York - the cradle of graffiti art - I soon got the feeling this appreciation is gone everywhere. But at 5Pointz the spirit was still alive.

    For those who understand German here's an article I wrote about it:
    http://sirpreiss.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/special-5-pointz-in-queens-ny

    I hope 5Pointz will live on in any other form. The former idea of a graffiti museum should still be an option.

    Regards,
    SirPreiss

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  66. Karen Ng

    Agreeing with the comments above. Buiilding another soul less skyrise means NYC loses a landmark that makes new york city the place it is! Regardless of what you "let" them curate or good intentions to provide "affordable" housing or artist studios (c'mon who are they kidding!) These realtors and politicians are only seeing short term dollar signs and ignoring a piece of history that people from all over the world come to see! (Im from New Zealand and came to NYC because it is the birthplace of Hip Hop). 5 Pointz carries an important cultural LEGACY of Hip Hop, one which has united artists, dancers and musicians from all nations and cultures!

    Long Term LIC can make more money from preserving the history and culture of what makes this an important historical place, highlighting and restoring art and culture rather than "modernising" everything so that one city is indistinguishable from the next. There will no longer be a reason for me to bring/recommend ANYONE to go to LIC!

    I hope the "new" building gets graf all over it.... its so ugly anyway, you can tell they just wanna make a quick dollar out of the expense of an iconic monument.

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  67. Nydia

    There are ENOUGH condos and expensive places to live in NY. LEAVE 5PTZ ALONE!!!!!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  68. Attila_the_Pun

    The politicians have been bought off.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  69. Dumer

    I can certainly understand the sadness and outrage felt by the hip hop community at the loss of a cultural icon, but some points:

    1. There's no active intention to shut down/break/what-have-you the hip hop culture here. If there were, a more effective way to do so would be for outlets such as iTunes and record labels to simply drop hip hop music and for Hollywood to stop producing movies like Step Up and such.

    2. As many have pointed out, this simply is a money-making move. No more, no less.

    3. Hoping that the property owner leave it alone in the interest of cultural preservation is a pipe dream if he bought it for millions. A better solution would have seen the richer members of the hip hop community buy the property for themselves and maintained it as-is for the preservation of the culture's history. Hip hop has made many individuals very wealthy, so I'm not sure why they didn't step in to save 5 Pointz. They probably still can, with the right offer to the owner (seriously, Jay-Z can buy it on his own).

    4. That the community has forced the owner's hand to provide more affordable units and a bigger artists' space can already be seen as victories, considering that even a celebrity-tweeted petition to save 5 Pointz failed to garner the 50,000 signatures it was seeking.

    5. At the very least, people should ask that a whole wall section be preserved and moved elsewhere for preservation purposes. Even if the original building is long gone, part of it still lives on and preserved. Or if that's not possible, take pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. So future generations would still have a remembrance of 5 Pointz.

    Personally, I'm sad to see it go. I haven't the money yet to visit 5 Pointz, but I was planning to go.

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  70. Dumer

    "Sickened by This Betrayal": Your comment doesn't make any sense. The property owner would've allowed the artists to keep doing what they do and kept 5 Pointz alive if those artists of yours actually brought in financial value to the owner. No right-minded businessman would tear down something that brings them solid profit margins.

    I won't argue that those artists brought in cultural value (they did, and they're great artists), but I have to question the financial value they put in.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  71. Really?

    I am truly amazed at the ignorance of some people here. Those that oppose allowing someone who owns a property to exercise their right to do with their own building is insane. The building is of zero historical value or it would have been land marked like so many other buildings in the city. It is a regular warehouse that the owners allowed people to spray paint. This was very cool of them to allow that. So now they deserve to be harassed when they want to exercise their right to do what they want with their own property?

    That really moronic!!!!

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  72. Really?

    Those that oppose allowing someone who owns a property to exercise their right to do what they please, with their own building is insane

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  73. Mari Lyn

    Please sign my petition to stop the demolition of 5 pointz!!!

    http://chn.ge/19Ku8q2

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  74. Banvir Chaudhary

    Most of you morons will love to live in those condos or have a studio.
    This is a knee jerk reaction of people who do not take responsibility for the city to function. It is the working stiffs who make it possible for artistic type to live. Any thoughts?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  75. Pingback: I'm becoming increasingly critical of gentrification - Urban, city, town planning, land use, zoning, transportation and transit, environmental issues, urban design, community development, subdivisions, revitalization - Page 19 - City-Data Forum

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Latest News

Obama’s step-grandmother visits PS/IS 78
From left are, principal Louis Pavone; kindergarten teacher Melanie Gutierrez; Debra Akello, MSOF executive director; Mama Sarah; and Rosela Rasanga, far right, wife of governor of Kogelo, Kenya. (AP Photo/Mama Sarah Obama Foundation, Gerry Gianutsos) Photo: AP

From left are, principal Louis Pavone; kindergarten teacher Melanie Gutierrez; Debra Akello, MSOF executive director; Mama Sarah; and Rosela Rasanga, far right, wife of governor of Kogelo, Kenya. (AP Photo/Mama Sarah Obama Foundation, Gerry Gianutsos)
Photo: AP

Nov. 20, Associated Press with Christian Murray

Barack Obama’s 94-year-old step grandmother Sara Obama paid a special visit to the children of PS/IS 78Q Tuesday.

Sara Obama, who was married to the president’s late grandfather and lives in Kenya, is in the United States to help develop a better healthcare and education system for her western Kenyan Village where the president’s father was raised and is buried.

The event at PS/IS 78 was kept hush-hush to ensure that it didn’t turn into a media event.

“This was the only school in New York that she went to [while here],” PS/IS 78 Principal Louis Pavone said. “I think she is going to one in Washington.”

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New commanding officer appointed to 108 Police Precinct
Capt. John Travaglia

Capt. John Travaglia

Nov. 20, By Christian Murray

A new commanding officer has been appointed to the 108 Police Precinct, which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City.

Captain John Travaglia, who has spent a significant portion of his career in Queens, will be taking over the command following the departure of Capt. Brian Hennessy.

This will be Travaglia’s first time as a commanding officer. He was most recently the executive officer at the 114th Precinct that covers Astoria. Prior to that, he was an executive officer of the 104th Precinct that covers Maspeth, Middle Village and Ridgewood.

Travaglia takes the top job at a time when there has been an uptick in burglaries and other property-related crime in the precinct.  However, Astoria too has seen a jump in burglaries and other property-related crime.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said that he has scheduled a meeting with Travaglia and has heard good things about him. “We look forward to meeting him as we all work to keep the neighborhood safe.”

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City Harvest to package 225,000 pounds of food to deliver to shelters

cityharvestNov. 19, By Michael Florio

There is no shortage of residents looking for a hearty meal these days and one organization is looking to provide the hungry with some relief this winter.

City Harvest, a food rescue organization, will host its second annual 24-Hour Repackathon tomorrow in Long Island City, with the mission of delivering food to the hungry during the holiday season.

The event will take place at 55-02 2nd Street where hundreds of volunteers will aim to package more than 225,000 pounds of donated food—which will then be distributed to families and shelters across the city.

The volunteers will be given 24-hours to pack the food and will work in 3-hour shifts.

The event started last year as a way for City Harvest to package the donated food and increase awareness of poverty. Last year, 215,000 pounds of food was packaged in 24 hours.

The food will be delivered to more than 500 soup kitchens and food pantries, and will be enough to feed more than 2,100 families.

Samantha Park, the communications manager at City Harvest, said that the majority of the end recipients are from working families.

“There is usually at least one person in the family working full time,” she said. “With the expensive cost of living and other expenses, it is really difficult.”

Park said that one-in-five New Yorkers now live in poverty.

Park said that City Harvest tries to focus on gathering fresh produce, such as fruits and vegetables. The organization also receives a large supply of canned/sealed food, such as peanut butter and tuna fish, which has a long shelf life.

“This food is very nutritious,” she said.

Park said that the group has enough volunteers for tomorrow’s event.

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President of Dutch Kills Civic Association suddenly leaves, differences over bicycles
Rendering of proposed corrral

Rendering of proposed corrral

Nov. 19, By Michael Florio

The president of the Dutch Kills Civic Association has abruptly left the organization.

Dominic Stiller, who became president of the civic association in January 2013, alerted the organization of his resignation last Monday with a letter to the board.

Stiller’s resignation was based on differing views toward bicycles.

The organization recently held a vote where its members agreed to oppose the placement of bicycle corrals in the Dutch Kills neighborhood if they led to the removal of parking spaces.

Earlier this year, Stiller called for a bicycle corral to be placed in front of his restaurant–Dutch Kills Centraal–located at 38-40 29th Street. His proposal, which he presented to full Community Board 1 in October, would have created room for up to eight bicycles–as well as two planters– but would have removed one parking space.

Community Board 1 voted against the proposal, stating that Stiller didn’t have enough community support.

Stiller said it was not Community Board 1’s denial of his bicycle corral that led him to resign. Instead, it was the vote held by the Dutch Kills Civic Association to kill the concept.

Stiller said the association is more concerned about keeping all the street spaces exclusively for car owners. In his letter he called this view “short sighted and unsustainable,” claiming that it is not working for the greater good.

“There is a recent awareness in the city and country about the importance of providing livable streets… and encouraging alternative forms of green commuting and transport,” Stiller wrote in his departure letter.

“I wish the Dutch Kills Civic had an interest and awareness and open mind to lead or at least support this cultural change locally; it doesn’t,” he wrote.

The new president Thea Romano said the Dutch Kills Civic Association is not opposed to bicycles and noted that the organization has supported bicycle lanes in the past. However, she said, the members are interested in preserving parking spaces.

“We have been fighting for parking for many years,” Romano said. “Whenever there is new construction project, we always request that there is a parking plan put in place.”

“There is a very limited amount of parking space in this community,” Romano said. Therefore, “when he came forward [in April] and said he wanted to take a space away, the board let him know that we weren’t with him.”

Stiller’s term as president was up on December 31st, but he had initially planned on maintaining a position on the board. Now, he said, he will find other ways to improve Dutch Kills.

“Thank you for working with me as president of the DKCA, I hope my resignation from the presidency and the board provides certain awareness to my commitment to alternative progressive methods of urban quality of life improvements. As Dutch Kills moves into the 21st century, these changes will be inevitable,” Stiller concluded the letter.

Romano claims that the association’s vote was not against Stiller’s bicycle corral but to preserve parking. However, she believes Stiller took the matter too personally.

“A lot of the stuff that he has been putting out there is just not true. He is putting such an awful light on the Dutch Kills Civic Association,” she said. “He took it very personally, that’s what it comes down too. One hundred percent.”

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Two businesses about to leave Vernon Blvd., casualties of impending rent hikes

vernon boulevard 002

Nov. 18, By Christian Murray

The business body count is continuing to mount on Vernon Blvd—as two commercial tenants are getting ready to leave.

The Institute for Face & Body Solutions and LIC Chiropractic will be moving out of 47-12 Vernon Blvd in upcoming months. The building is about to be sold and they have been told that they should be prepared to leave.

The owner, who runs the beauty shop, said that she is a middle of negotiating a new space nearby. Meanwhile, Dr. Angelo Ippolito, the owner of LIC Chiropractic, has already found space on 47th Avenue, just around the corner.

The owner of the beauty shop said that the combined rent (of both the beauty shop and LIC Chiropractic) will most likely double to $9,000 per month.

The loss of the two businesses adds to the carnage on Vernon Blvd in the past 18 months—with the closure of Cranky’s Cafe/1682 French Louisiana, Communitea, Papo Fried Chicken, Mario’s Deli and the impending closure of the Chinese restaurant New City Kitchen Express.

“The rents are very high and it is very difficult for your typical business to make money,” said Rick Rosa, the managing director for Douglas Elliman’s Long Island City office. “Unless a business is filling a niche it can be very tough.”

Meanwhile, at 47-12 Vernon, two of the four apartments upstairs have already been vacated.

vernon boulevard 003

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LIC Landing to put up an enclosure, to be open all winter

02

Nov. 17, By Christian Murray

Fancy a winter coffee with waterfront views.

LIC Landing by Coffeed, which is located by the water at Hunters Point South Park, plans to enclose its space this winter providing its patrons with protection from the elements.

“We want to make the park more of a destination—a draw for both tourists and residents throughout the year,” said Frank ‘Turtle’ Raffaele, the chief executive of Coffeed. “After all, this is the Central Park of Queens.”

Raffaele is currently receiving quotes for the enclosure—which would be constructed of glass or Plexiglass. He hasn’t decided whether it will be a 400 sqft. enclosure placed directly in front of the pick-up window (catering to about 40 people) or whether it will be 1,200 sqft. and cover the entire canopy area (catering to as many as 200 people).

LIC Landing will be serving its full menu—which includes coffee, tea, wine, beer, pastries, burgers and salads—over the winter months and there will be waiter service for those who request it.

Raffaele aims to have the enclosure up by Christmas, once the New York City Parks Department has signed off on it. In future years, he would put it up in October and then take it down in mid March.

“We want to be open 365 days where we can serve customers as well as the ferry traffic,” Raffaele said. “This is a big win for Long Island City,” he said.

The Long Island City community has been a large driver behind Raffaele’s decision to stay open.

He said that the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, a group that plans events and oversees neighborhood parks, as well as the Hunters Point Civic Association wanted him to do it, as well as several of his customers.

“Even if I break even or lose a bit of money that’s OK,” Raffaele said. “We are serving our customers.”

Furthermore, he said, many of his employees will be able to work all year round.

LICLanding1

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Urban Market opens with promise of competitive prices
2-14 50th Avenue

2-14 50th Avenue

Nov. 14, By Christian Murray

Hunters Point’s second supermarket—Urban Market– opened on 50 Avenue today with the promise of providing residents the lowest prices in the neighborhood.

Sam Mujalli, the owner of the 8,000 square foot store, said that his supermarket will provide Foodcellar (which has been the only supermarket in the area since it opened in 2008) with some stiff competition.

Mujalli claims that his prices will be between 15% and 18% cheaper than Foodcellar’s. He said that he can provide these low prices since he has 11 supermarkets scattered throughout New York City and can buy in bulk. Furthermore, he said, his family has deep roots– and connections– in the industry.

Sam Mujalli

Sam Mujalli

“My family has been in the supermarket business for 45 years,” Mujalli said. “We didn’t just open a store overnight. My grandfather started it and then it went to my father and then me,” he said.

Mujalli said that his grandfather opened a tiny store in Detroit before moving to New York and setting up a small store in Brooklyn. The family’s first big store was a Met Food in a tough section of the Bronx, he said.

“Every two weeks people would come in to the store and take our money,” Mujalli said, as he rolled up his fingers into the shape of a gun. The family no longer owns that store.

Mujalli said that 50 percent of the produce he will offer at Urban Market will be organic, with the remainder standard items. “You have to give people a choice,” he said.

The store has a large produce department as well as an extensive cheese selection and a gourmet deli.

Several elected officials came to the store to offer their support at the opening this morning—such as Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, State Sen. Mike Gianaris and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.

Gianaris said the store was needed since there has been a lack of supermarkets in the area for some time. He predicted the supermarket would do well.

Meanwhile Mujalli said that he was excited to open in Hunters Point and appreciated the buzz surrounding the opening of the supermarket.

“Lots of people have been on Facebook and Instagram in the past two months wondering when we were opening.”

urbanmarket2

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Darren Aronofsky and Patti Smith to appear at Museum of the Moving Image

SmithNov. 12, By Michael Florio

Singer Patti Smith will join director Darren Aronofsky at the Museum of Moving Image next week to screen his film Noah.

Smith and Aronofsky will talk about the film and their collaboration following the movie on Monday, November 17, at the museum.

Smith will perform her song “Mercy Is,” which is featured in the film.

Noah, which premiered last spring, is a based on the Old Testament story and stars Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins and Emma Watson.

“Noah is a remarkable cinematic accomplishment, a dazzling epic as well as a thoughtful and very timely interpretation of the biblical story,” said David Schwartz, the Museum’s Chief Curator in a statement.

“We are thrilled Darren Aronofsky and Patti Smith will be here to discuss the movie, and it will be very special to hear her live performance.”

Tickets for the event cost $25 and are currently on sale.

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Station LIC on track to open November 17

StationLICphoto1

Nov. 11, By Christian Murray

The railroad-themed bar/restaurant that is coming to Hunters Point is on track to open next week.

Station LIC, located at 10-37 Jackson Avenue, will be opening on Monday, Nov. 17, according to its owners.

Gregory Okshteyn, a co-owner who had originally planned to open the bar/restaurant in spring, said he had to push back the date several times since he had to overcome several obstacles — such as obtaining a certificate of occupancy to getting the gas turned on.

But the main delay, he said, has been his desire for perfection. “We want to show it off in its grandeur,” Okshteyn said. “We are patient and we want to do it right.”

A few extra months is not much of a delay in the scheme of things. Okshteyn signed the lease 2 ½ years ago and has spent plenty of time on design and construction since.

Okshteyn, who designs bar/restaurants for a living, set his sights on converting the triangular shaped building into a station house from the get-go. The establishment sits directly above the Vernon/Jackson subway station.

Okshteyn, who has lived on Center Blvd for the past three years, was able to nab the location by happenstance. He was walking past the site with Rabbi Zev Wineberg, who is in charge of the JCC-Chabad LIC, and suggested to him that it would make for a great place for a bar/restaurant. Rabbi Wineberg just happened to be investigating the location in his quest to find space for a synagogue. He handed Okshteyn a copy of the lease.

The building had been empty for the 20 years—although it had been used for the movie ‘Cocktail’ starring Tom Cruise.

The location is best known among long-time residents as the home of Blessinger’s, a local watering hole that was there for 50 years (1930s through the 1980s). Okshteyn, who wanted to know about the history of the location, was able to find a Blessinger via Facebook who was able to provide him with some background information.

Construction began on the bar/restaurant in January.

Okshteyn said that during the demolition phase the first thing he got rid of was the sheet-rock. In doing so, he uncovered the wooden beams, exposed brick walls and iron columns that are now features of the establishment.

The bar/restaurant has two levels. The upstairs has capacity for 55 people—including the bar area—and the downstairs has room for 16. In the downstairs hallway, Okshteyn has photos of famous train wrecks that took place in Europe and North America in the past century.

The building’s exterior currently features a red light denoting the point of entry to the station. However, Okshteyn has plans to permit artists to paint murals on the outside walls—perhaps on a quarterly basis. He wants to create a place where artists, filmmakers and photographers all feel welcome.

The bar/restaurant is likely to offer American bistro-style food such as broccoli Parmesan fritters, fried green olives stuffed with gorgonzola, jalapeno peppers wrapped in bacon along with sandwiches and salads.

Larger plates will consist of spice rub roast chicken, fried eggplant Parmesan with smoked mozzarella and its own house burger called the Station Burger that will feature grass-fed beef, maple glazed bacon and pepper jack cheese.

However, Okshteyn is looking to offer what will be known as the Ponzi burger. He said the concept is that you get your burger for free under the condition that you buy the next persons.

The idea is that you will meet the person who bought you your burger and you will also meet the person who you bought the burger for.

“I want people to get to know their neighbors,” Okshteyn said. “I even put the tables close together for this reason.”

The venue will be open at 5pm during the week and noon on weekends. The establishment is permitted to open until 2 am.

stationLICphoto4use

stationlicphoto5

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More Headlines

Urban Market opens with promise of competitive prices
2-14 50th Avenue

2-14 50th Avenue

Nov. 14, By Christian Murray Hunters Point’s second supermarket—Urban Market-- opened on 50 Avenue today with the promise of providing residents the lowest prices in the neighborhood. Sam Mujalli, the owner of the 8,000 square foot store, said that his supermarket will provide Foodcellar (which has been the only supermarket in the area since it opened in 2008) with some stiff competition. Mujalli claims that his prices will be between 15% and 18% cheaper than Foodcellar’s. He said that he can provide these low prices since he has 11 supermarkets scattered throughout New York City and can buy in bulk. Furthermore, he said, his family has deep roots-- and connections-- in the industry.
Sam Mujalli

Sam Mujalli

“My family has been in the supermarket business for 45 years,” Mujalli said. “We didn’t just open a store overnight. My grandfather started it and then it went to my father and then me,” he said. Mujalli said that his grandfather opened a tiny store in Detroit before moving to New York and setting up a small store in Brooklyn. The family’s first big store was a Met Food in a tough section of the Bronx, he said. “Every two weeks people would come in to the store and take our money,” Mujalli said, as he rolled up his fingers into the shape of a gun. The family no longer owns that store. Mujalli said that 50 percent of the produce he will offer at Urban Market will be organic, with the remainder standard items. “You have to give people a choice,” he said. The store has a large produce department as well as an extensive cheese selection and a gourmet deli. Several elected officials came to the store to offer their support at the opening this morning—such as Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, State Sen. Mike Gianaris and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. Gianaris said the store was needed since there has been a lack of supermarkets in the area for some time. He predicted the supermarket would do well. Meanwhile Mujalli said that he was excited to open in Hunters Point and appreciated the buzz surrounding the opening of the supermarket. “Lots of people have been on Facebook and Instagram in the past two months wondering when we were opening.” urbanmarket2
Darren Aronofsky and Patti Smith to appear at Museum of the Moving Image
SmithNov. 12, By Michael Florio Singer Patti Smith will join director Darren Aronofsky at the Museum of Moving Image next week to screen his film Noah. Smith and Aronofsky will talk about the film and their collaboration following the movie on Monday, November 17, at the museum. Smith will perform her song “Mercy Is,” which is featured in the film. Noah, which premiered last spring, is a based on the Old Testament story and stars Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins and Emma Watson. “Noah is a remarkable cinematic accomplishment, a dazzling epic as well as a thoughtful and very timely interpretation of the biblical story,” said David Schwartz, the Museum’s Chief Curator in a statement. “We are thrilled Darren Aronofsky and Patti Smith will be here to discuss the movie, and it will be very special to hear her live performance.” Tickets for the event cost $25 and are currently on sale.
Station LIC on track to open November 17
StationLICphoto1 Nov. 11, By Christian Murray The railroad-themed bar/restaurant that is coming to Hunters Point is on track to open next week. Station LIC, located at 10-37 Jackson Avenue, will be opening on Monday, Nov. 17, according to its owners. Gregory Okshteyn, a co-owner who had originally planned to open the bar/restaurant in spring, said he had to push back the date several times since he had to overcome several obstacles -- such as obtaining a certificate of occupancy to getting the gas turned on. But the main delay, he said, has been his desire for perfection. “We want to show it off in its grandeur,” Okshteyn said. “We are patient and we want to do it right.” A few extra months is not much of a delay in the scheme of things. Okshteyn signed the lease 2 ½ years ago and has spent plenty of time on design and construction since. Okshteyn, who designs bar/restaurants for a living, set his sights on converting the triangular shaped building into a station house from the get-go. The establishment sits directly above the Vernon/Jackson subway station. Okshteyn, who has lived on Center Blvd for the past three years, was able to nab the location by happenstance. He was walking past the site with Rabbi Zev Wineberg, who is in charge of the JCC-Chabad LIC, and suggested to him that it would make for a great place for a bar/restaurant. Rabbi Wineberg just happened to be investigating the location in his quest to find space for a synagogue. He handed Okshteyn a copy of the lease. The building had been empty for the 20 years—although it had been used for the movie ‘Cocktail’ starring Tom Cruise. The location is best known among long-time residents as the home of Blessinger’s, a local watering hole that was there for 50 years (1930s through the 1980s). Okshteyn, who wanted to know about the history of the location, was able to find a Blessinger via Facebook who was able to provide him with some background information. Construction began on the bar/restaurant in January. Okshteyn said that during the demolition phase the first thing he got rid of was the sheet-rock. In doing so, he uncovered the wooden beams, exposed brick walls and iron columns that are now features of the establishment. The bar/restaurant has two levels. The upstairs has capacity for 55 people—including the bar area—and the downstairs has room for 16. In the downstairs hallway, Okshteyn has photos of famous train wrecks that took place in Europe and North America in the past century. The building’s exterior currently features a red light denoting the point of entry to the station. However, Okshteyn has plans to permit artists to paint murals on the outside walls—perhaps on a quarterly basis. He wants to create a place where artists, filmmakers and photographers all feel welcome. The bar/restaurant is likely to offer American bistro-style food such as broccoli Parmesan fritters, fried green olives stuffed with gorgonzola, jalapeno peppers wrapped in bacon along with sandwiches and salads. Larger plates will consist of spice rub roast chicken, fried eggplant Parmesan with smoked mozzarella and its own house burger called the Station Burger that will feature grass-fed beef, maple glazed bacon and pepper jack cheese. However, Okshteyn is looking to offer what will be known as the Ponzi burger. He said the concept is that you get your burger for free under the condition that you buy the next persons. The idea is that you will meet the person who bought you your burger and you will also meet the person who you bought the burger for. “I want people to get to know their neighbors,” Okshteyn said. “I even put the tables close together for this reason.” The venue will be open at 5pm during the week and noon on weekends. The establishment is permitted to open until 2 am. stationLICphoto4use stationlicphoto5
DOT to add protective barriers to Vernon Blvd bike lanes
Jersey barriers

Jersey barriers

The Department of Transportation plans to put up jersey barriers on Vernon Boulevard—from 46th Avenue to 30th Road in Astoria—as a means to protect bicyclists from motorists. The jersey barriers represent another step by the DOT to provide a smooth bicycle connection between the parks in Long Island City and Astoria. The bike lanes on Vernon Blvd – from 46th Ave. to 30th Road-- were redesigned last year, when the DOT created a two-way protected bike lane running along the west side of the street. A buffer of 5 feet– between cars and cyclists--was included. However, Shawn Macias, project manager for the DOT, said that the agency has received feedback since its 2013 redesign that some cyclists want more protection that the existing buffer provides. He said that some motorists use the bike lanes to turn their vehicles around or will even park there illegally. Therefore, Macias said the DOT plans to put up jersey barriers where the 5-foot buffers are currently located. The DOT will not be placing the barriers across the entire strip—just in certain locations Community Board 2 at its monthly meeting Thursday approved the plan. Macias said that since the DOT redesigned the bike lanes in 2013 bicycle and pedestrian traffic has gone up significantly.

2014 10 Vernon Blvd Cb1 Cb2

Capt Brian Hennessy, head of the 108 police precinct, transferred
Captain-Brian-Hennessy1Nov. 6, By Christian Murray The commanding officer of the 108 Police Precinct—which covers Sunnyside, Woodside & Long Island City—has been transferred to head up a larger more crime-ridden Queens precinct. Captain Brian Hennessy, who has spent just 18 months as the commanding officer of the 108, started today as the commanding officer of the 115th Precinct, which covers Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst and the north section of Corona. That precinct is larger and has more problems--such as gang activity, prostitution and drugs. The move represents a promotion, since gaining experience in a tougher precinct is often viewed as the way captains climb up the NYPD ladder. While the 108 has had some high-profile crimes recently—such as the robbery of an 81-year old at a Chase ATM and a wave of burglaries in Sunnyside—the precinct is still viewed as a low-crime area. The crime rate—based on the number of reports—is flat so far this year, compared to the same period in 2013. The number of murders and reported rapes are down—although the number of burglaries are up about 7 percent. Hennessy said he enjoyed his time at the 108 Precinct. “I love this community and its leaders,” Hennessy said. “There are so many people who care and want to get involved,” he said. “It was an honor to be there.” The NYPD has yet to appoint a new commanding officer. In the interim, Capt. Richard Hellman, the executive officer of the 108th Precinct, is in command. However, Hennessy’s short stint did disappoint many—since most commanding officers stay at a precinct for two-to-three years. “I am very upset that he is leaving us so soon,” said Diane Ballek, the president of the 108 Community Council. “He is the best captain we have had in a long time,” Ballek said. “If you needed to reach him he was always there,” she said. “He would talk to people [with quality-of-life issues] for an hour some times.” His predecessor Capt. Donald Powers was viewed by many as less responsive and not so much of a people-person, several people said. “I am disappointed [that Capt. Hennessy has been transferred] since I believe he was doing a good job,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “I appreciated working with him and thought he was responsive and a straight shooter who cared about our neighborhood.” Van Bramer said he would be asking NYPD officials whether Hennessy’s short stint represents a new policy or whether what happened was an anomaly. Van Bramer also said he wants a new commanding officer to be named soon. “We cannot have a prolonged absence of leadership,” he said.

Crime Numbers 2014

Wolkoff claims that the 5 Pointz name is his, plans to use name for new towers
JacksonAvenueNov. 5, By Christian Murray Jerry Wolkoff, who is the final stages of demolishing Long Island City’s famous graffiti Mecca, said he plans to call his residential development 5 Pointz. Wolkoff, whose company G&M Realty filed an application to trademark the name in March, has received a wave of criticism from artists who claim they made the name famous. A spokeswoman for the artists told DNAinfo yesterday that Wolkoff’s trademark attempt was an effort to bank on their name. "It's ironic that the same corporation which single-handedly destroyed all the artwork known as 5Pointz is trying to capitalize on its name," she told DNAinfo. "The disrespect continues, I suppose,"  said Jonathan Cohen, who was the curator at 5Pointz and goes by the tag name Meres One. Wolkoff said the property is known as 5 Pointz. “People would go to 5 Pointz to see the street art,” Wolkoff said. “They would go visit my building—not anyone else’s building—to see the art.”
Jerry Wolkoff (source: Newsday)

Jerry Wolkoff (source: Newsday)

Furthermore, Wolkoff said, he worked with Meres in coming up with the 5 Pointz name in the first place. He said that Meres did not come up with the name alone--despite reports saying otherwise. “We collaborated on it,” Wolkoff said. “Do you think I would just let any name go up on my building?” Wolkoff said that Meres used to walk around 5 Pointz thinking it was his building—particularly after he announced his plan to develop the property. “I gave him permission to use it for all these years…and he would work with artists,” Wolkoff said. But the property was always mine to develop, he said, and deep down Meres and his crew knew that. Wolkoff is about to start construction at the beginning of 2015 on two high-rise apartment towers containing 1,000 rental units. Wolkoff said that he is always going to be criticized by a handful of artists. However, he hopes that will change once he has completed the two towers and the artists are invited back to display their street art. But he said that he has come to the realization that developers are not typically seen in a positive light. “I am the man with the black horse because I am the developer and they will always be riding the white horse,” he said.  
Dedicated bike lane spanning Pulaski Bridge to be completed by spring
Rendering of dedicated bike lane from Brooklyn

Rendering of dedicated bike lane from Brooklyn

Nov. 4, By Christian Murray The construction of the two-way protected bike lane spanning the Pulaski Bridge is expected to be completed by spring, according to the Department of Transportation. At a City Council Transportation Committee meeting yesterday, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer asked DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg when the delayed bike lane would be completed. Van Bramer was told that it should be ready by spring 2015 since the project’s contractor was recently approved by the DOT and a construction timeline will soon be released. The dedicated bike lanes, which were expected to be completed in 2014, will bring an end to the tense relationships between cyclists and pedestrians who currently share a lane. The change will result in a two-way protected bike lane that will span the bridge for cyclists. Meanwhile, an existing 8 ½ foot wide lane—that is currently used by both cyclists and pedestrians—will be for the exclusive use of pedestrians. The decision to add the lane comes after years of friction between cyclists and pedestrians. In 2009, when the community sought a solution to the problem of bike/pedestrian congestion, the DOT added markings and signage to help organize traffic and increase safety on the bridge. “Since then, the pedestrian volumes have increased almost 50% and the bicycle volumes have more than doubled, which is huge growth particular in the bicycle mode,” said Nick Carey, Project Manager at NYCDOT Bicycle Program, earlier this year. However, the creation of the dedicated bike lane will bring some changes to Brooklyn-bound motorists. The three lanes on the bridge going from Queens into Brooklyn will be cut to two, to make room for the dedicated bicycle lane.
New design

New design

LIC Holiday Market kicked off Saturday, open through Dec 21
Holiday marketNov. 3, By Michael Florio The LIC Flea & Food kicked off its ‘Holiday Market’ this past weekend and will be open every Saturday and Sunday until December 21st. The holiday market takes place inside a warehouse adjacent to where the LIC Flea & Food market takes place during summer--at 5th Street and 46th Ave. The indoor holiday market, which has come back for its second season, is open for an extended period this year. Last year, it opened on December 7 and went through until December 22. Many of the usual LIC Flea vendors will be at the holiday market. There will be clothing, jewelry, antique and art vendors—as well as those selling food and drink. The market will provide children with the opportunity to get their picture taken with Santa. There will also be live holiday music. The LIC Flea Beer Garden, which opened for the first time in mid-September, will be open serving locally-brewed beer as well as wine. Hours: 11am-6pm Saturdays, Sundays  
New sushi restaurant to open on Vernon
sushirestaurant Oct. 31, Staff Report A new sushi restaurant is opening on Vernon Blvd. The restaurant will be located at 46-44 Vernon Blvd between Alobar and  Petey's Burger. The establishment is expected to open by the new year and currently does not have a name, according to Matt Quigley, whose company Plaxall owns the property.
5 Pointz building just weeks away from becoming rubble
bigbuilding Oct. 30, By Christian Murray Demolition of the five-story building that was once at the heart of the 5 Pointz graffiti Mecca began earlier this week and is expected to be gone in about three weeks, according to building owner Jerry Wolkoff. Wolkoff said that the final stage will begin in about two weeks when he starts demolishing the Jackson Avenue section--which once housed businesses such as local bar The Shannon Pot. “All the buildings should be down by the middle of December,” Wolkoff said. “Then it will be a matter of cleaning up the site and getting ready to start building early next year.” The demolition represents the end of a pitched battle between Wolkoff and the graffiti artists, who were given permission in the mid 1990s to transform a beaten up warehouse into an aerosol canvas. The relationship soured in 2012, however, when Wolkoff announced that he wanted to develop the site. Wolkoff, who said he has had security guards and cameras at the location since demolition began, said the process has taken place without incident. “Most people who have come to the site have come to take pictures—not cause any trouble. Most have been very respectful.” Wolkoff plans to build 1,000 apartment units contained in two towers—with one tower being 47 stories and the other 41 stories. He said most people have supported his decision to develop the property. “About 99% of the people said ‘you gave them the place to work and it is your building,’” Wolkoff said. The artists fought to save the 80-year-old building and filed a lawsuit claiming that their artwork was protected by the Visual Artists Rights Act. The lawsuit is still pending. Wolkoff said that he likes the artists and street art. He said that there will be room for about 20 art studios when he has completed his development and he will place their artwork inside and outside the buildings. JacksonAvenue

Video by Hans von Rittern (go to 4:10 minutes in)

Halloween ‘Trick or Treat March’ to be biggest yet
2014 parade route

2014 parade route

Oct. 29, By Michael Florio The Long Island City Halloween parade is likely to bigger than ever before. This year’s ‘Halloween Trick-or-Treat March’ is expected to draw as many as 900 people to Vernon Blvd Friday, with more than 40 businesses participating. The event, in its seventh year, begins at 4:15pm at Gantry Plaza State Park and goes up 48th Avenue. From there it snakes around 5th Street to 50th Avenue. It will then go up 50th Avenue before making a left turn on Vernon Blvd. Last year, 650 people marched in the parade, with about 400 of them being kids, said Gianna Cerbone-Teoli, the owner of Manducatis Rustica and one of the event organizers. In the first year there were less than 50 children. The number of businesses that are participating has doubled this year. “All the businesses in Long Island City are invited to participate,” Cerbone-Teoli said. Businesses will be offering snacks, candy, photos with super heroes, movies and story readings. Many of the restaurants are also offering dinner and drink specials, according to Cerbone-Teoli. Cerbone-Teoli also added that residents from Jackson Heights and Sunnyside came to participate in the march last year. “It’s great when members of other communities come out,” she said.
Some of the businesses that are participating

Some of the businesses that are participating

Restaurants

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