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.

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  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.

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  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

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  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?

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  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

LIC Restaurants band together to get presents for needy kids
Alobar

Alobar (2013)

Dec. 19, By Christian Murray

Several Long Island City restaurants are trying to bring the community together by collecting presents for needy children this Christmas.

The restaurants, which are part of the group LIC Eats, aim to distribute presents to 64 children living in a temporary Long Island City shelter. The children range in age from 6 months to 18 years.

Six establishments are participating and they are looking for community support to help get those presents. The restaurants are: The Creek and The Cave, Alobar, Woodbines, Manducatis Rustica, Sage General Store and Alewife.

Each restaurant has hung up about 10 paper ornaments, with each ornament containing details of each particular child, such as his/her age, gender, shoe size, clothing size, hobbies, favorite color and favorite TV show.

The restaurants are hoping that their customers will take an ornament and buy a gift for a given child.

Some of the restaurants will be offering rewards to those customers who pledge to drop off unwrapped presents by Sunday, Dec. 21. For instance, Jeff Blath the owner of Alobar, said he is offering a free entree.

The presents will be wrapped at The Creek and The Cave and will be delivered to the children on Christmas Eve.

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Long Island City is NO ‘low-rent’ neighborhood, prices remain firm

4610-Center-Blvd-5-465x3131

Dec. 18, By Michael Florio

Long Island City renters just can’t get a break.

The neighborhood is home to the highest average rental prices in Queens–whether it’s for studios, one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartments, according to the latest MNS Real Estate report.

Ed Cho, a real estate broker with Space Marketing Shop, said the average prices are so high because Long Island City has so many luxury apartments.

Cho said many of the luxury buildings come with high-rent amenities such as a fitness center, club room, a terrace, a swimming pool or even a yoga room.

“You will not find these features in any other neighborhood in Queens,” he said.

Long Island City rental prices have continued to rise despite the onset of winter. Typically, prices dip as the winter months approach since demand wanes.

“There is greater demand in summer since there are new students and new hires moving into the neighborhood,” he said.

In fall/winter, the market typically softens. For instance, in Astoria the average rent has dipped in the past couple of months.

However, in LIC the market keeps chugging along.

One-bedroom apartments don’t seem to be getting any cheaper. One-bedrooms went for $2,960 in November compared to $2,894 in October, an increase of 2.3 percent. Six months ago, in June, that number was $2,875

The rental figures for two bedroom apartments were largely unchanged between October and November, with the latest number coming in at $3,816. In June, however, the average rent was lower, at $3,747.

The report noted that the average rental price for a studio in Long Island City was $2,406 in November, up from $2,266 in October. The November number, however, was lower than $2,599 in June.

Cho said that rental prices in LIC were largely flat over the summer—which might account for the recent uptick of one and two bedroom apartments.

Cho said that several new buildings opened in the spring and summer months, which increased supply and stabilized prices.

“Every time one building would fill up, a new development would open,” he said.

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12 weekends of No. 7 train service cuts through May, Nine to impact LIC

weekendoutages

Dec. 17, By Christian Murray

Get ready for the latest round of No. 7 train weekend service cuts.

The MTA released its schedule for the first five months of 2015 and the No. 7 train will be out of service between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza for nine weekends.

In addition, there will be weekend service cuts between Willets Point and Flushing-Main Street on three other weekends.

The first weekend of the Times Square/Queensboro Plaza cuts is scheduled to take place January 17-19, which will be the first of four weekends in a row that it will be down.

The MTA says that the cuts are in order for it to install a new Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) signal system; replace elevated tracks; and for the reconstruction and fortification of the Steinway Tubes (which connects Queens to Manhattan).

The MTA, which is a state-run agency, claims that majority of this work has been scheduled over weekends when ridership is lower than normal.

However, Long Island City businesses and cultural groups did not get to weigh in on when those cuts would be and received little notice about the dates.

“The MTA still isn’t engaging the community or responding to the community in a meaningful way,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who has been in talks with the agency. “I am very disappointed.”

Van Bramer said that it was unacceptable that the MTA would close service for several weekends in a row in January and February—during the coldest month of the year.

He said that residents might be a little more forgiving about the closures if they had seen improved No. 7 train service as promised. However, “the truth is that over the past few months No. 7 train regular service has been poor and there have been lots of delays.”

He said that on December 11 the delays were so bad that the overcrowded subway platforms put commuters at risk.

 

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The Beast Next Door–a Court Square cafe/bar–opens Friday

Beastnextdoor

Dec. 17, By Michael Florio

The beast is finally here.

The Beast Next Door, a neighborhood café and bar located in Court Square, is set to open its doors this Friday.

John Veenema, the owner, had hoped to open in August but it took him much longer to transform what was an old garage space into the café/bar.

The conversion of the 42-51 27th Street location was more complicated than he anticipated. He had to replace rusty beams, change the plumbing system, put in new wiring and install a new heating system.

He said the space had to be completely overhauled.

Veenema, who has a background in visual arts, also went to great length when he designed the interior of the café/bar.

Inside hangs an old chandelier and placed alongside the walls are old church pews–which are to be used as benches. Meanwhile, the tables are made out of salvaged pallets and timber from an old wooden prison door.

The café/bar also features a raised area toward the back of the establishment that serves as a seating area at times and as an area for live music.

Along the back wall there is a woodcut Turkish-design mural that Veenema made himself.

“The bar will be elegant and have a romantic feel,” Veenema said. “I want people to feel comfortable here, to have a conversation, and for people to get to know one another.”

The Court Square café/bar has room for about 75 people, and while there won’t be sidewalk seating there will be French-style doors that will open up to the street.

“It will feel like you are outside on nice days,” Veenema said.

Veenema is expecting about 50 people to attend the grand opening party at 7pm this Friday. He has hired a band for the occasion that plays ‘80s style rock music.

Veenema hosted a soft opening last Saturday that was attended by friends, family and neighbors.

“We had a great turnout,” he said. “People really enjoyed the environment and liked the lighting and furniture. They felt it was a comfortable and nice place to hang out.”

The menu will consist of combination plates, which will include Italian cured meats and French cheeses–served with bread, slices of fruit and nuts. There will also be sandwiches, salads and pastries.

“We want to serve high quality food items,” Veenema said. “There will be no fried food served here.”

To drink, Veenema said he will be offering four beers on tap, which will consist of Rockaway Brewing Company’s Original ESB, Allagash White, Sixpoint Brewery’s The Crisp, and Bell’s Two Hearted Ale.

There will also be wine and liquor.

This is Veenema’s first bar. However, he has industry experience having worked at Block Star, a Manhattan bar that has since closed.

Veenema, who is originally from Canada, has lived in Court Square for the past five years—after living in Manhattan for more than a decade.

Veenema has long wanted to open a café/bar in Long Island City and initially checked out the Hunters Point area.

However, he said Court Square was a better option.

He said that the Court Square section of Long Island City is undergoing a great deal of development, yet still offers limited options for residents.

He said that it was difficult finding a location in the area since most property owners are looking to sell their property or develop it.

“We want to be a place in Court Square where residents can come and have a conversation,” he said. “It will be a place to hang out and relax.”

beastinside

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Van Bramer introduces legislation that would provide residents with greater say when public artwork is selected
Rendering from three weeks ago

Rendering of the ‘Sunbather’ from three weeks ago (Cost: $515,000)

Dec. 15, By Christian Murray

Legislation is being introduced to ensure that the community has more of a say before bright pink sculptures–or any other pieces of art–are erected via the city’s Percent for Art program.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who chairs the Cultural Affairs Committee, is sponsoring legislation that will provide the public with a greater voice when it comes to the selection of artwork.

“We are going to take a good comprehensive look at the Percent for Art Law to strengthen and bolster the community engagement process,” Van Bramer said.

The catalyst for Van Bramer’s legislation stemmed from the Percent for Art’s selection of an 8 ½ foot tall pink sculpture that is likely to be placed at 43rd/Jackson Avenue. The public had virtually no input into the decision, which was left to a panel consisting of representatives from a variety of city agencies and three local arts experts.

The artwork the panel selected—called the ‘Sunbather’—has been universally panned ever since a rendering of it was posted online.

Van Bramer said that the selection process needs to be changed and that the public must be able to weigh in on it early in the process.

“I want to make sure that there are public meetings–including town hall meetings–as part of the process,” he said. At the moment, he added, “there are a select few on a private panel who make these decisions… and then they consult the community board when it is almost a done deal.”

Van Bramer, a strong advocate for the program and the arts community, said “the panel should come to the public early in the process and discuss what the plans are.” Then the panel should incorporate that feedback and proceed further.

The Percent for Art program became law in 1982 and requires a portion of funds that are raised for city construction projects to be set aside for public art. Van Bramer said the law needs to be revised to ensure that all city residents will be heard whenever a piece of artwork is going through the selection process.

Councilman Van Bramer

Councilman Van Bramer

Van Bramer said that he spoke to Dept. of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl yesterday about the legislation and asked him to come to Long Island City for a town hall meeting to discuss the ‘Sunbather’ as well as the Percent for Art program in general.

Finkelpearl is scheduled to speak in Long Island City in January—and Van Bramer said that it is not a done-deal that the ‘Sunbather’ will go up until the public is heard.

Furthermore, Van Bramer said that the administration cares about transparency and that the renderings should be online and available at request going forward.

Ten days ago, when this publication asked for the rendering, a spokesman for the program said: “They [the renderings] are not made publicly available until the proposal has been reviewed and is approved.”

State Sen. Mike Gianaris described the Percent for Arts selection process as “very bureaucratic” when he was interviewed Saturday.

“This decision was too much top down without consultation with local civic groups or the community board,” he said. “Yet we are the people who live here and have to see it every day when they drop this thing in.”

Several people have taken to comment boards and social media to voice their dislike of the sculpture—with one critic referring to it as the ‘Pink Panther’ and another saying that Stevie Wonder must have selected it.

Meanwhile, Hunt Rodriguez, who placed his own sculpture on Jackson Avenue last week in protest, said today that the whole project upsets him.

His biggest beef is that it comes at a cost of $515,000. “We are spending all that money on this nonsense, while the city falls apart.”

Hunt Rodregizus sculpture

Hunt Rodriguez’ sculpture

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Several LIC residents collect food and toys for the needy, as holiday spirit kicks in
Brent O'Leary, president of the Hunters Point Civic Association

Brent O’Leary, president of the Hunters Point Civic Association at St. Raphael’s Food Pantry

Dec. 13, By Christian Murray

Two Long Island City civic leaders stepped into action recently when they heard that a greater number of New Yorkers are likely to go hungry this Holiday Season.

Brent O’Leary, president of the Hunters Point Civic Association, and John Dallaire, who represents the LIC/Astoria Lions Club, put together a food drive and gathered more than 3,300 lbs of food—equating to about 60 boxes.

The two organizations teamed up with local grocery stores (such as Food Cellar, Urban Market in LIC and Associated in Sunnyside), which put out collection boxes. Furthermore, donation boxes were placed in several high-rise apartment buildings throughout the city.

On Thursday, O’Leary– aided by a group of volunteers–sorted through the boxes, hired a van and delivered them to Bread of Life Food Pantry in Queensbridge, The Hour Children Food Pantry in Long Island City and the St Rafael’s Food Pantry in Sunnyside.

“The generosity of the area is amazing,” O’Leary said, adding that their initial goal was 2,000 lbs. “I’m proud to be a part of a loving neighborhood that supports each other.”

Meanwhile, on Saturday, members of the 108 Police Precinct Community Council were handing out toys to children from a Queens Blvd. temporary homeless shelter.

Diane Ballek, president of the community council, said that the group had gathered more than 250 toys—with many paid for via donations from local businesses.

Furthermore, Ballek said, Gianna Cerbone-Teoli, the owner of Manducatis Rustica in Long Island City, collected dozens of toys for the event—as she was able to get plenty of people in Hunters Point to contribute.

Saturday's Precinct food drive

Saturday’s Precinct toy drive

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Protest art has gone up, as opposition to the big pink sculpture builds
Protest art

Protest art placed near Court Square Diner (source hyperallergic)

Dec. 12, By Christian Murray

The bright pink $515,000 sculpture scheduled to be placed on Jackson Avenue and 43rd Avenue has not only drawn fierce verbal criticism– but now protest art.

An anonymous piece of protest art appeared on Jackson Avenue on Wednesday, according to the art website hyperallergic. The art piece is in opposition to the 8 ½ foot tall pink ‘Sunbather.”

The protest art alleges that the Sunbather is a waste of public money and that the funds would be better spent elsewhere. A message attached to the artwork reads:

“This is not against the artist. It is against the misuse of our tax dollars…This money could be spent on something constructive like education.”

However, as previously reported, Sara Reisman, the director of Percent for Art, told Community Board 2 last week that a sculpture is going up and that the artist selected won’t change.

As to changing the size and color: “We aren’t in a position that we can say to an artist that you must do this?” she said.

Reisman then later claimed that the board’s feedback would be taken into consideration.

For hyperallergic story: Please click here

Source: hyperallergic

Source: hyperallergic

 

Rendering from three weeks ago

Rendering of the Sunbather from three weeks ago

 

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Pizzeria to open on Vernon, in former Papo Fried Chicken space

zach-465x332

Dec. 12, By Christian Murray

A new pizzeria is opening on Vernon Blvd next spring moving, taking over the space that was previously occupied by Papo Fried Chicken Zacks Pizzeria.

The pizzeria, to be called sLICe, will be located at 48-11 Vernon Boulevard and will be partly owned by Anthony Perez, co-owner of Blend and Blend on the Water.

Perez said the pizzeria will sell New York Style-pizza—as well as items such as pasta, meatballs and little calzones.

Papo Fried Chicken closed in April. It was closed down by the Health Department and then never reopened.

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Lonely Planet names Queens as best place to visit in US next year
Long Island City waterfront

Long Island City waterfront

Dec. 10, Staff report

The borough of Queens was selected as the best tourism destination in the United States for 2015 by Lonely Planet, a leading news outlet that covers the travel industry.

Queens drew praise for its eating and drinking scene (including the four microbreweries that opened over the last 18 months), amazing diversity, high-quality hotels, exciting events, and unique, enchanting neighborhoods, such as art-filled Long Island City and surfboard-friendly Rockaway.

“Nowhere is the image of New York as the global melting pot truer than Queens. Browse New York’s biggest Chinatown in Flushing, shop for brilliantly colored saris in Jackson Heights, and inhale the heady aromas of coffee and hookahs in Astoria,” reads Lonely Planet’s editorial in its Best in the US list for 2015.

“The incomparable array of world cuisines makes Queens a destination for food lovers from all parts of New York City. For your art fix, ogle the new upgrades to the Queens Museum and the Museum of the Moving Image, look for the new Emerging Artists Festival (conceptionevents.com) in Long Island City, and stroll Astoria’s new 24-block arts district (kaufmanartsdistrict.org). If you prefer sand and surf to paint and canvas, head to Rockaway.”

Warm-Up_photo1“Don’t miss the prime eating and drinking scene that has popped up around the boardwalk — this is no cruddy carnival food: think succulent fish tacos, wood-fired pizzas, and wine bars.”

Western South Dakota came in second on Lonely Planet’s list. The other members of the top 10 were, in order, New Orleans (LA), the Colorado River, North Conway (NH), Indianapolis (IN), Greenville (SC), Oakland (CA), Duluth (MN), and the Mount Shasta Region (CA).

“I have always argued that we have the best hotels, restaurants, cultural organizations, parks, sporting events, and residents in the world and that our prices are very competitive for tourists,” said Seth Bornstein, executive director of the Queens Economic Development Corporation, after the announcement.

“It’s simply wonderful that Lonely Planet agrees, and our hospitality industry is waiting with open arms for all visitors. Come, you’ll like it.”

The annual top 10 destinations list is determined by Lonely Planet’s authors and editorial team to help travelers add to their wish lists for the coming year. Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has the biggest market share for guidebook sales in the world, having published more than 130 million guidebooks in its history. The media company also operates an award-winning website and a suite of mobile and digital travel products.

For the write up on Queens, please click here.


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More Headlines

Protest art has gone up, as opposition to the big pink sculpture builds
Protest art

Protest art placed near Court Square Diner (source hyperallergic)

Dec. 12, By Christian Murray The bright pink $515,000 sculpture scheduled to be placed on Jackson Avenue and 43rd Avenue has not only drawn fierce verbal criticism-- but now protest art. An anonymous piece of protest art appeared on Jackson Avenue on Wednesday, according to the art website hyperallergic. The art piece is in opposition to the 8 ½ foot tall pink ‘Sunbather.” The protest art alleges that the Sunbather is a waste of public money and that the funds would be better spent elsewhere. A message attached to the artwork reads: "This is not against the artist. It is against the misuse of our tax dollars...This money could be spent on something constructive like education." However, as previously reported, Sara Reisman, the director of Percent for Art, told Community Board 2 last week that a sculpture is going up and that the artist selected won’t change. As to changing the size and color: “We aren’t in a position that we can say to an artist that you must do this?” she said. Reisman then later claimed that the board's feedback would be taken into consideration. For hyperallergic story: Please click here
Source: hyperallergic

Source: hyperallergic

 
Rendering from three weeks ago

Rendering of the Sunbather from three weeks ago

 
Pizzeria to open on Vernon, in former Papo Fried Chicken space
zach-465x332 Dec. 12, By Christian Murray A new pizzeria is opening on Vernon Blvd next spring moving, taking over the space that was previously occupied by Papo Fried Chicken Zacks Pizzeria. The pizzeria, to be called sLICe, will be located at 48-11 Vernon Boulevard and will be partly owned by Anthony Perez, co-owner of Blend and Blend on the Water. Perez said the pizzeria will sell New York Style-pizza—as well as items such as pasta, meatballs and little calzones. Papo Fried Chicken closed in April. It was closed down by the Health Department and then never reopened.
Lonely Planet names Queens as best place to visit in US next year
Long Island City waterfront

Long Island City waterfront

Dec. 10, Staff report The borough of Queens was selected as the best tourism destination in the United States for 2015 by Lonely Planet, a leading news outlet that covers the travel industry. Queens drew praise for its eating and drinking scene (including the four microbreweries that opened over the last 18 months), amazing diversity, high-quality hotels, exciting events, and unique, enchanting neighborhoods, such as art-filled Long Island City and surfboard-friendly Rockaway. “Nowhere is the image of New York as the global melting pot truer than Queens. Browse New York’s biggest Chinatown in Flushing, shop for brilliantly colored saris in Jackson Heights, and inhale the heady aromas of coffee and hookahs in Astoria,” reads Lonely Planet’s editorial in its Best in the US list for 2015. “The incomparable array of world cuisines makes Queens a destination for food lovers from all parts of New York City. For your art fix, ogle the new upgrades to the Queens Museum and the Museum of the Moving Image, look for the new Emerging Artists Festival (conceptionevents.com) in Long Island City, and stroll Astoria’s new 24-block arts district (kaufmanartsdistrict.org). If you prefer sand and surf to paint and canvas, head to Rockaway.” Warm-Up_photo1“Don’t miss the prime eating and drinking scene that has popped up around the boardwalk — this is no cruddy carnival food: think succulent fish tacos, wood-fired pizzas, and wine bars.” Western South Dakota came in second on Lonely Planet’s list. The other members of the top 10 were, in order, New Orleans (LA), the Colorado River, North Conway (NH), Indianapolis (IN), Greenville (SC), Oakland (CA), Duluth (MN), and the Mount Shasta Region (CA). “I have always argued that we have the best hotels, restaurants, cultural organizations, parks, sporting events, and residents in the world and that our prices are very competitive for tourists,” said Seth Bornstein, executive director of the Queens Economic Development Corporation, after the announcement. “It’s simply wonderful that Lonely Planet agrees, and our hospitality industry is waiting with open arms for all visitors. Come, you’ll like it.” The annual top 10 destinations list is determined by Lonely Planet’s authors and editorial team to help travelers add to their wish lists for the coming year. Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has the biggest market share for guidebook sales in the world, having published more than 130 million guidebooks in its history. The media company also operates an award-winning website and a suite of mobile and digital travel products. For the write up on Queens, please click here.
Court Square resident launches online grocery delivery service
pickuplaterflier Dec. 9, By Michael Florio A new online grocery delivery service has just begun serving Long Island City residents. PickUpLater, an online company that was created by a Court Square resident, started taking grocery orders at the end of last month. The company, founded by Kodjo Hounnake, has partnered with Foodcellar, the well known Long Island City grocery store located at 4-85 47th Road. Foodcellar is the only supermarket the company does business with yet; however, it plans to develop relationships with other stores in the borough. The PickUpLater site allows residents to pick a grocery store (currently just Foodcellar) and then select the items they want. The items listed are comprehensive—from fish to fruits and vegetables.
Kodjo Hounnake

Kodjo Hounnake

The PickUpLater service will then do the shopping on behalf of customers and drop them off at their door. The company provides shoppers with three different options: they can pick up their order at the store for 99 cents; have it delivered within two hours for $5.99; or get it dropped off after two hours for $3.99. The company makes its money by charging about 10 percent extra on the price of each item than what Foodcellar would charge at the store. Hounnake said the company is devoted to customer service. The personal shopper, he said, will remain in contact with the customer during the entire process. For instance, if a customer wants an item that is not available, the personal shopper will ask the customer if he/she wants something else. Once the order is complete, the shopper will let their customers know that he/she is on the way to their apartment. Foodcellar is opening a second location at 43-18 Crescent Street next year, and that store is interested in partnering up with PickUpLater, according to Hounnake. Hounnake said he is in discussions with other grocery stores in the wider LIC neighborhood, but would not disclose which ones. “We want to offer our services with Foodcellar for the next few months and do it right,” he said. “Then we will start considering other stores.” Hounnake said he did not market the site when it went live since he wanted to take care of any kinks. “We wanted time to find and fix any bugs on the website,” he said. “We prefer one or two people to run into a problem on the site, rather than hundreds running into problems at the same time.” Hounnake said that the service is bug free and that the company is now marketing it. He said fliers will be handed out in the evenings to those exiting the subway. Foodcellar has also promoted it through its social media accounts, on its website and through signs in its store. “We are expecting orders to increase the back end of next week,” he said. Hounnake, who has lived in LIC since 2009 and claims to be the first resident of the Vere building, was inspired to create the site after ordering food on GrubHub last October. “It just hit me, why don’t we have a similar service like this for our groceries,” he said. However, he is not without competition. Instacart, a similar grocery delivery service, expanded into Western Queens in August. Hounnake said PickUpLater will differentiate itself from Instacart and other competitors by focusing on local, mid-market stores. “Instacart focuses on larger, chain grocery stores, such as Costco and Fairway,” he said. “At this point we are not reaching out to those stores. We want local stores.” To visit the site, click here .
Local opposition mounts against building on Sunnyside Yards, petition forms
PRR-Sunnyside-Yard_viewW-1955_ArtHuneke Dec. 9, By Christian Murray Call it a preemptive strike. A group of residents have put forward a petition voicing their opposition to the development of the Sunnyside Yards. A 12-person committee—which includes the President of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce—started the petition last week. The petition, which is both online and on paper, expresses their concern that plans are in motion to deck the yards. The petition, which is addressed to elected officials, has already generated about 100 signatures. Their petition comes in the wake of former Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff’s New York Times op-ed calling for the construction of a 3.1 million square foot convention city to be built over the yards, accompanied by nearly 14,000 resident units—of which 7,000 of them would be ‘affordable.” Furthermore, in October, the chairman of Amtrak, Anthony Coscia, said that the company was considering developing sections of the Yards. The company said that it might turn to investors as early as spring and that it had been in talks with the mayor’s office over its use. But the petitioners say not so fast. “Sunnyside and Long Island City's infrastructure cannot stand what we have now,” the petition reads. “The subways are overcrowded and our school district is one of the most overcrowded in New York City. There are already 5,000-10,000 units coming to LIC/Sunnyside as it is – and residents don 't know how the area will be able to absorb these incoming residents. Therefore, the idea of building over the yards - bringing more residents and commercial tenants – will be an extreme burden on all of us.” Furthermore, the petition reads: Our “biggest concern of all is that we residents seem be shut out of the process and an inner circle is making all these decisions.” Patricia Dorfman, one of the committee members and the author of the petition, said: "We are residents and taxpayers. This radical change in land use where we live should not happen behind closed doors and affordable housing should not be used as a Trojan Horse." Link: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/124/232/303/please-do-not-build-over-the-sunnyside-yards/?cid=FB_TAF
Community Board’s say on ‘Pink Sculpture’ appears limited at best
Updated rendering

Rendering

Dec. 8, By Christian Murray The controversial pink sculpture proposed to go up on the median on Jackson Avenue appears to be a done deal—despite the director of the city agency in charge of the project saying otherwise. Sara Reisman, the director of Percent for Art, assured Community Board 2 members Thursday that their feedback would be taken into consideration in terms of the 8 ½ foot magenta-pink sculpture. Despite her assurances, Reisman said that a sculpture will be placed at the 43rd/Jackson Ave location no matter what-- and that the artist selected won’t change. During the evening, when board members made suggestions as to the color and scale, she said: “We aren’t in a position that we can say to an artist that you must do this?” Joe Conley, the outgoing chairman of Community 2, asked Reisman if the sculpture in the rendering was going up on the site. Reisman said in one word “yeah.” “So it’s a fait accompli,” Conley said, referring to sculpture—called the Sunbather-- that will cost taxpayers $515,000. Reisman said that it was not the case. She said that the sculpture still has to be reviewed by the Design Commission and the community board’s feedback will be included. “So give us feedback and we will work with it.” However, the community board’s voice appears to be limited. The board only plays an advisory role in the selection process since it isn’t a voting-member of the panel that selects the artwork. Furthermore, with this project, a board staffer did not notify members of the board until late in the process that a sculpture was even going up at that location. The panel, which voted on the project, was comprised of a representative from City Planning, Department of Transportation, Economic Development Corp and three local arts experts. The initial rendering of the 8 ½ foot tall bright pink sculpture—made out of bronze--has undergone a slight change since it was unveiled at the community board’s Nov. 19 Land Use Committee meeting, which was published on this site. Reisman said that the rendering would continue to change. However, Pat O’Brien, the incoming Chairman, said it is very difficult to provide feedback on a rendering that will continue to evolve. He said that the community board needs some parameters as to how much it will change. The artist Ohad Meromi, who was in attendance, said he selected the bright pink color because he believed it would take the concrete edge off the area and would make up for the shadows from the tall buildings. However, he said that the shade of pink and the scale might still might be modified. Meromi, who is based in Brooklyn, was one of 40 artists considered for the project, Reisman said. She said that half the artists considered by the panel were from Long Island City. The panel liked his concept of the body in repose—as well as its scale. “The sculpture will start off bright pink but will look better with age,” Meromi said.
Rendering from three weeks ago

Rendering from three weeks ago

NYPost: Luxury building fences off low-rent tenants
Q41-21-10-41st-avenue-queensDec 8, Staff Report The landlord who owns one Long Island City building has fenced off the terraces occupied by low-rent tenants, according to a New York Post story. The building known as Q41, located at 23-10 41st Avenue, has 117 units, with all but eight units deemed affordable and priced for middle-income earners. Eight of the tenants with affordable units no longer have access to their large terrace space, according the Post. The large terraces for these tenants have been fenced off. Market rate units with similar terraces have no wire barricade. To read the complete story, please click here to the NY Post.
New CB2 chairman elected after vigorous debate, as Conley steps aside
Joe Conley and Pat O'Brien (seated)

Joe Conley and Pat O'Brien (seated)

Dec. 5, By Christian Murray The Chairman of Community Board 2 Joe Conley received a standing ovation at last night’s community board meeting after officially announcing that he was stepping down. Conley said that after serving two decades as chairman that it was time to move on. “It’s been a great honor to be the voice of the board,” he said. “I have had a good run…and made life-long friends with the people in this room,” he added, as he began to choke up. Conley had notified board members two days prior to the meeting that he was resigning. The timing of the announcement came as a great surprise to many and was the cause of much debate, since last night was the date for the board’s annual elections. Several members said that they were caught off guard by Conley’s sudden announcement and wanted to delay the elections a month in order for all the board members to evaluate whether they wanted to run. Lisa Deller, the secretary of the board, however, presented a slate of candidates to take the executive board positions. All but one was on the executive board last year. The slate was Patrick O’Brien, chair; Stephen Cooper, first vice chairman; Denise Keehan-Smith, secretary; Lisa Deller, second vice chair; and Diane Ballek, treasurer. Conley said that board members were notified in October that they could put their names on the ballet to run--but no one had expressed interest. Furthermore, he said, people were free to nominate themselves for those spots last night. “We have looked for nominations and this is a very open process,” Conley said. However, some members said that the departure of Conley completely changed the course of the election. Others were perplexed why Conley only gave the board two days notice prior to the election. Sheila Lewandowski said that board members should be given time to decide whether they want to put them themselves on the slate. She, like many, advocated for postponing the vote. “We have had 2 days and many [board members] are not here to consider this. I think it would be responsible to be thoughtful and wait…this is big.” O’Brien said he was willing to put off the election a month if it made the board more comfortable. “I don’t want to walk into a situation …where there is a division among people,” he said. There were, however, several strong advocates who wanted the vote to take place last night. “If you want to run put you name forward now,” said one board member. The board put it to a vote to determine whether the election should be held last night. The majority won by an unofficial count of 19 for and 15 against. The election was then held and a slim majority voted in the slate. O'Brien was announced the new chair. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said this morning that he looks forward to working with O’Brien. “He is a good person with strong experience. I worked with him when I was on the board.” However, he said, he didn’t see the harm in waiting another month for people to think about the vote. “I m not sure it would have changed the result but the process is important,” he said. “How you come to decision-- especially if people are divided –is as important as the decision itself.” “Normally you would have a unanimous vote for these positions,” Van Bramer said. However, I think the “people who voted no were voting against the process.”
Joe Conley, Community Board 2 Chair, is stepping down
Joe Conley (third from left)

Joe Conley (third from left)

Dec. 4, By Christian Murray Joe Conley, the long-serving Community Board 2 chair, is stepping down. Multiple sources said that Conley, who has been chair for over 25 years, will be making the announcement tonight when Community Board 2 has its full monthly meeting. Conley’s departure from the community board will result in the biggest shake up the board has seen in nearly 30 years. For the past decade, the same leadership structure has been in place: Conley as chairman; Steve Cooper, first vice chairman; Patrick O'Brien, second vice chairman; Lisa Deller, secretary, and Diane Ballek, treasurer Tonight the board will be holding an election for all these positions and at the very least there will be a new chairperson. At this point, the field is wide open, according to sources. Board members were only alerted to Conley’s departure yesterday. “It will be an interesting transition,” said Lisa Deller, who is the head of the land use committee. “Joe has contributed a lot. He has given his heart and soul to the board, and whether people are for or against what he has done…it should not be forgotten that he has gone above and beyond.” Joe-Conley-250x2501Conley could not be reached for comment. Conley, who has always been the recipient of great praise from his fellow board colleagues, was instrumental in turning the prostitute-ridden Long Island City into the thriving neighborhood it is today. He was also was the chair during the Sunnyside-Woodside rezoning. The chairperson has significant control of the board. He/she decides which members sit on what committees and also who chairs them. The chair is also the one who runs the monthly meetings and is the public face of the board. While the community board is deemed advisory, it does have significant influence-- particularly when it comes on land use, liquor license and transportation issues. The new chair will take the helm at a time when there are many ongoing issues. There is the ongoing debate about backyard seating in Long Island City, the debate over affordable housing throughout the district, continued development and the possible construction over the Sunnyside Yards .
Residents want to build a boat ramp and add bike lanes with $1 million in city funds
Meeting

Van Bramer at participatory budget meeting

Dec. 3, By Christian Murray Long Island City residents—along with those in Sunnyside and Woodside—have put together an extensive list as to how to spend $1 million in city funds on the district. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who typically receives about $3.5 million each year to spend on projects throughout the district, has put $1 million in the hands of residents to decide how the funds should be spent. Nine meetings were held throughout Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City this fall, and hundreds of attendees put forward an array of ideas. This is the first time the public has weighed in on how these funds should be spent in the 26th Council district--in a process called participatory budgeting. “Participatory budgeting is democracy in action,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer in a statement, adding that it has been an exciting process “to participate, discuss and debate which projects are needed.” The ideas put forward include:
  • A small boat ramp for kayaks, canoes, etc. on the Long Island City waterfront
  • Beautification projects and streetscape improvements—including the planting of new street trees throughout the district
  • Installation of traffic calming measures throughout the district
  • A pedestrian footbridge over Queens Boulevard and Thomson Avenue
  • Expansion of bike lanes throughout the district
  • Renovation of the tennis courts at IS 204 in Dutch Kills
  • Solar powered charging stations throughout district
  • A Mobile Veterinarian
  • A second dog run in Sunnyside
  • Handicap-accessible ramps in Queensbridge Houses.
These ideas will be whittled down by about 140 budget delegates in concert with Van Bramer and various city agencies. These delegates were not elected or appointed; they just put their names forward at the meetings or called Van Bramer’s office. Their task is to take the best ideas and transform them into formal proposals by March—based on their cost and popularity. All proposals must cost at least $35,000 and be less than $5000,000. In March, a series of draft proposals will be presented to the community. The delegates will incorporate this feedback before presenting their final proposal. The community will then get to vote on the final proposals in April. Residents will then be able to vote on the project(s) of their choice.
Pepsi Cola sign a fixture–landmarked or not
Dec. 2, By Michael Florio The Pepsi-Cola sign may be removed from consideration for city landmark status but it has plenty of support from the private sector. The site is used heavily for marketing purposes by TF Cornerstone, real estate brokers say, as a means to entice people to rent its waterfront space. Furthermore, TF Cornerstone has always viewed it as a neighborhood showpiece (see video). “It isn’t landmarked but we treat as such,” TF Cornerstone’s Sofia Esteveza said in an interview with New York YIMBY earlier this year. The firm also touts how it has incorporated Long Island City’s manufacturing past-- through the sign-- with its modern development. Nevertheless, the Pepsi sign is one of about 100 sites that could be removed from consideration for city landmark status. The site could be scratched off the list and be left unprotected. The sign has been considered for landmarking — a process called calendaring — for years. When a site/sign is considered for landmarking, the Landmark Commission is notified of any impending demolition and has 40 days to make a decision on a site’s landmark status. TF Cornerstone, however, has no plans to get rid of it. In fact, it is bound to display the sign. When the developer bought the Long Island City property from Pepsi in the late 1990s it was required to display the sign on the waterfront as part of the deal. The Pepsi sign used to be on top of the Pepsi factory. However, when the factory was destroyed it was relocated to 47-20 Center Blvd before finding a home at 46-10. .

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