Several Vernon Blvd residents sign petition AGAINST rear yard spaces

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33 Responses to Several Vernon Blvd residents sign petition AGAINST rear yard spaces

  1. Sonny L.

    Anna Finn is being ridiculous. I live on Vernon, it is a truck route. There is a happy compromise for all residents. She seems to think the only people affected live above a backyard, which is unfair to the rest of us. It is Springtime and Summer is approaching. All anyone is asking for is FAIRNESS.

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  2. BW

    I live on 50th and tho there may be street noise the back of my apt enjoys peace and quiet which would disappear if the restaurant behind me is allowed to open their yard. I think that, in this issue, the voices of those DIRECTLY affected should be the voices heard. The many should not be allowed to trample on the rights of the few.

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  3. Anonymous

    Our city has zoning for a reason. The commercial zoning is to allow services and entertainment for the community. Being able to enjoy the outdoor eating when possible is something that enhances the options of all residents. As I said before it should not be "all or nothing" for either side. Compromise on a set of ristrictions that restaurant owners need to abid to to have the privilege of using the backyard of their establishments. I think that is were most reasonable people in the neighborhood stand. I think there is very few people that want bars pumping music at late hours of the night, weather you live on Vernon or away from it.

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  4. EnoughAlready

    "I think that, in this issue, the voices of those DIRECTLY affected should be the voices heard"

    If that's the case, there would be no patio seating in any patio in any borough of NYC. You don't have a right to say what happens to yard space that isn't yours. The owner of the business has a right to use the yard that they pay for especially if the landlord of the building doesn't object.

    Noise has to reach a certain level before a violation is issued. No violation was ever issued to Lounge 47 when it was open despite 96 noise complaints. I guess it couldn't have been that loud.... And no, the sound of dishes, forks falling on the ground, and people talking doesn't create a strong enough argument for forcing a restaurant to forgo a third of its space.

    Nobody forced you to rent/buy an apartment on a two-way commercial strip zoned for businesses. You should be able to tolerate moderate noise.

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  5. SC

    I didn't want a 50 story building blocking my view of the city, but alas, that's what happened.

    The majority want the backyard spaces open. To have a handful of people block it is ridiculous. Nobody's looking for all night ravers till 4am. But reasonable outdoor use should be allowed.

    Ultimately it will happen... as there are a lot more people in the neighborhood for it than against it. As this new population becomes more and more involved in the community, the ability to block it will decrease. Might as well face facts and work out a nice compromise now while you still can.

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  6. Anonymous

    Of course the abutters of any proposed backyard use of a restaurant have considerable more say in this matter than someone who simply signs a petition to eat outdoors and retreat back to their quiet nest on the riverfront.

    There is nothing in the city's zoning that says a restaurant is allowed to use their backyard as of right for customers. Period. If the restaurant can't ensure residents aren't going to be annoyed by nighttime noise, then their proposal should be rejected.

    Yes, Sonny, Vernon is a busy street, but there isn't traffic barreling through people's back gardens. That's exactly why the back gardens are so important. Those spaces have long been the refuge of urban dwellers. It's the only reprieve people have from the constant din of city living. Why should they give it up for you or anyone else? You want to compensate them for this loss? I didn't think so.

    Just because many of the new residents have shitloads of money and want to impose their wants on other people doesn't mean they should be entitled to. I know that must really irk so many of you, and maybe it flies in the face of your life experience so far. But on this issue -- Tough Titties. I'm hoping the CB maintains the strict licensing requirements regardless of the threats and hysteria coming from the other side.

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  7. Taxpayer

    If you decide to live on a commercial street with restaurants and lounges, that is what you chose. If you don't want to be next to a restaurant with a backyard, you should move to a non-commercial street. You certainly don't have any moral position to tell the rest of the community to kiss off because the tiny few of you don't want to see a restaurant use it's backyard. The neighborhood has changed and if CB2 doesn't reflect that, it will change to. Time for those opposing this to change their attitudes and try to be good neighbors to the rest of the neighborhood

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  8. Sonny L.

    Bravo, Taxpayer! Well said. It is true, we all should have a voice, including those of us across the street form said establishments.

    Thanks!

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  9. EnoughAlready

    Community Board members are appointed by the Borough President, so while NYS Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan didn't technically appoint 3 of her former aides to the board, what influence did she have in their nominations and/or appointment? Or is it just a coincidence that 3 of her aides are making decisions that affect Long Island City businesses?

    Diane Ballek: According to her LinkedIn page, she currently holds the title of Director at the NYS Assembly and has served as an assistant to Catherine Nolan. She is also a member of CB2 Queens on the following committees: Public Safety, Executive Budget & City Services. What's more interesting is that the city services committee oversees liquor license applications from restaurants and bars within the community. Keep in mind that Community Boards only serve an advisory purpose to the NYS Liquor Authority. The NYSLA does NOT and should not reject an application based solely on the opinions of the Community Board. CB2 members Donald McCallian & Santiago Vargas also served as aides to Catherine Nolan.

    Catherine Nolan has long held a biased position regarding bars on Vernon Boulevard that want to use their outdoor space. A new pizzeria set to open called "L'inizio" is no different. According to her representative, Nolan is concerned that “the approval of this application would break the precedent and could lead to many other establishments along Vernon Boulevard to reapply and change their status”. What’s worse, the Community Board’s Chairmen and quite a few of the board members share her unreasonable position.

    Even more interesting- I was told by a source that she has been friends with the Garrett family for over 20 years. (It's public knowledge that William Garrett pulls the strings behind the yard space debacle) Garrett currently serves as a Community Board member on the Land Use Committee! Wouldn't you love to know the story behind his appointment to the board?? I sure would.

    Catherine Nolan refuses to allow Vernon Boulevard restaurants to ever use their backyard spaces, no matter how many compromises the restaurants are willing to make to appease the surrounding neighbors. And there have been many compromises, such as: shutting the outdoor space at 10 or 11 pm on weekdays, not allowing smoking in the yard, and not playing music in the yard.

    Does a biased woman who puts favors for her friends ahead of our rapidly changing community deserve a seat in the NYS Assembly? Should a Community Board chairman who try to sway the votes of the board members by announcing his personal opinions?

    Everything stinks of cronyism! and I bet there's more where it came from. yuck!

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  10. The other side of Sarcastic

    If you don't like cronyism, leave the City, State and Country.

    Gentrification, been around since 1620!

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  11. Anonymous

    I am fully in favor of a clearly disgruntled group of 10-20 people with less flexibility than the MTA deciding everything for Long Island City's future. They are clearly more enlightened than the rest of us, and their condescending tone about rich newbies and those who haven't lived here long enough in their opinion is exactly the type of discourse needed to move forward. NYC is not a thriving metropolis of millions and LIC should not be a thriving community of tens of thousands - instead, decisions should be restricted to a select few. After we get rid of this silly nonsense of building thriving businesses, lets move on next to banning cars and buses, then altering flight paths to LaGuardia, and finally instituting No Talk Thursday's across the neighborhood so 10-20 people who choose to live in New York City can get the peace and quiet only they deserve.

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  12. Anonymous

    Those concerned. The residents, old and new, of LIC. Not just the neighbours.
    Outdoor dining (Tournesol, BElla Via, etc.) is ok, just not next to ME?!
    Welcome to LIC 2014. Garrett for City Council. Yuck.

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  13. Tom

    This is absolutely the reason small business is failing in nyc. Jackasses that have no idea how a bar or restaurant run but need to bitch about how they pay the bills for 3-4 months out of the year. You locals make me sick. Move the f... Out if you don't want to listen to noise.
    Stop your belly aching and put your money in a real home outside the city with a huge backyard where you have nothing to listen to accept nature. Even than you'll bitch.

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  14. Really

    I like how we're being told where else we can eat. As if I want to drop 100 dollars at Riverview, Skinny's Cantina and Shi every night. Or eat the soggy, yet burnt pizza at Bella Via (Co - conspirator of back yard closure). Or maybe I'd love one the the roaches at Tournesol to jump up in my dinner plate like they have in the past. LIC Bar smells like mold and their drinks suck. Dominies, an awesome hangout, great brunch, but their food also kind of sucks. So does Creek and the Cave whose outdoor garden smells like bug spray 24/7. Woodbines, Alobar, El AY Si and Blend on Vernon are the ones to beat in terms of food quality and have the prettiest yards. They're just better. Period.

    Dominies and Creek support the Vernon restaurants' right to fair competition, because they know it would look pathetic not to support them. However, I think the other sucky places don't want the competition. Who knows maybe they're in the pockets of local politicians just like the Garretts.

    Please don't tell us where we should be eating. We want to enjoy summer in the gardens of the best restaurants in town without having to deal with small town BS a stones throw away from NYC.

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  15. LIC Community Perspective

    Hey all you newly civic-minded neighbors ; )

    Have you seen the blog post on how lower speed limits in Long Island City will save lives?

    Funny, I didn't see any comments on that post. Not one. Nor did I see our industrious signature seeker put up a new petition that states a position on tougher penalties on those driving with suspended licenses.

    Oh wait, I forgot... we have come together to spend our (meager) collective political energy on telling our local government that we want to get trashed in yards.

    (There's a name for these kinds of "problems.")

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  16. Down with narcissists

    LIC Community Perspective, you are confused if you think the people driving the backyard eating push care about those kinds of things. If it doesn't directly affect them, they don't give a crap.

    We're talking about a bunch of narcissists who are willing to wreck their neighbors' quality of life, simply because there isn't a continuous line of restaurants ready to cater to their whims 24 hours a day within spitting distance of their million-dollar aeries. They will never be satisfied, never, no matter what happens in LIC. We can have 18,000,00 Michelin restaurants here and they'll find a way to moan about it. Just read "Really"'s comments and the kind of entitlement that surrounds these people. With supporters of restaurants like him, who needs adversaries?

    As for Sonny, is it necessary to point out that loud Vernon Blvd. traffic does not mean we should create disruptive noise in backyards too? A roadway is for traffic, and a backyard is for relaxation and enjoyment of residents. Duh.

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  17. Taxpayer

    What a silly comment. Maybe no one objects or finds anything controversial about the speed limits, whereas a few selfish people who chose to live on a commercial street and deny thousands of others a service that other neighborhoods provide is appropriate for comment. Sonny is absolutely correct- don't live on a commercial street if you don't want to see commercial activity

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  18. Cool Your Jets

    LIC Community:

    It was actually lowering speed limits (to 25 mph) on Queens Blvd aka "the blvd of death" and Northern blvd, not all over LIC. And as a lifelong LIC resident, I'm shocked that it took this long to do it.

    People most often comment on the matters that move them. Speed limits and pedestrian safety, while VERY important, just don't inspire passionate discussions. Our social lives are vital to our mental health and local hangouts are essential to maintain and build new friendships in a growing community.

    The issue of dining outdoors may seem trivial to some, but if LIC is going to be a "destination", as Jimmy Van Bramer calls it, it has to keep up with other trendy neighborhoods. That means, LIC needs cool spots that keep people coming back and investing in the area so that our property values don't drop.

    More importantly, I'm very concerned about the influence of one resident, William Garrett, who is coincidentally a CB2 member. Who would nominate him to the Community Board when his actions against new restaurants have proven he is incapable of being an objective member of the board? This "backyard space debacle" is now part of a larger, (and more important), conversation: Are CB2, Cathy Nolan, and other local politicians really acting in the majority's favor as well as the direction this neighborhood is heading? Are they part of an organized clique that is doing favors for certain restaurants and residents? If 'cronyism' is what's going on, shouldn't it be investigated? What other decisions are being made by a select few that could impact the majority of residents?

    This also has led to the discussion of term limits for community boards and thank heavens for that!

    Down with narcissist:

    Dude, you're the one with the entitlement issues if you think living here first entitles you to have the only say in the development of the community. You enjoy YOUR backyard. The restaurant's yard does NOT belong to you. They should be able to keep it open until 10 or 11pm (as the city permits) on weeknights without this level of drama. A reasonable amount of noise is to be expected and anyone who lives in a gentrified neighborhood in every other borough understands this reality. You don't own all of Vernon blvd. Get over it!

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  19. LIC Res

    Move.

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  20. SC

    So I've readily posted issues on the new project zero traffic issue map about the need for more stop signs and lower speed limits. And I want the backyards open. And I'd be more than happy if a few more places opened on my block down by the water as well, and would hav no issue if they had outdoor space.

    Soooooo... what? It's about making the neighborhood better for everyone, not simply for a few.

    Again... there are more of us who want this than don't. And as the new residents take more of a role I'm the community board, the backyards will be opened. So read the writing on the wall now and make yourself a nice compromise while you still can.

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  21. Charles

    @SC.
    Ok. Now that you've "readily posted" I guess there is no more to be said on these matters. Mission accomplished.

    Except, perhaps, but, however: No.

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  22. Anonymous

    I love the implicit threat in SC's inclusive, neighborly comment. I think General Custer was even more tactful to the Indians before he tried to slaughter all of them.

    How disturbing the quality of life of many people who live in the neighborhood is somehow "better for everyone" is a claim I'm having a hard time getting my head around.

    If restaurants and bars made more trustworthy commitments to be good neighbors with their outdoor spaces, I would be totally behind them. But they haven't or they won't, so I think it's more likely that they simply don't give a crap about anyone and are only in it to make a buck.

    So tell me, SC, why should I think their attitude will result in a better neighborhood for everyone? BS.

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  23. Alobar Owner

    To Anyone who says that we don't need the business:
    At 11 AM today a table of 4 walked in.
    Guy #1 says to his friends: this place has great brunch!
    Guy #2 Says (to me): Is your back yard open?
    Me: No, I'm sorry. But I can seat you right next to the open doors.
    Guy #2: Oh, I really wanted to sit outside. Lets just go to Skinny's.
    Guy#1: The food here is better... but OK.

    This happens multiple times a day every Saturday & Sunday that we have nice weather. We are only in May, imagine how much this happens in June, July, August, and September.

    Please don't assume that just because you walk by my restaurant and its sometimes busy that we don't greatly need this revenue.

    And please don't assume that we want to be "heard in your living room all hours of the night." We have asked for closing the outdoor seating at 8PM and were denied.

    And lastly to the PERSON DIRECTLY ABOVE MY COMMENT please stop saying we will be irresponsible with this. Pat O'Brien said, in front of the SLA Board, that we were excellent, responsible, operators of our liquor license. We have an excellent track record of nearly 3 years.

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  24. Mel

    Wow, the harping continues! Why all the fuss!
    Vernon blvd and the rest of Lic restuarant
    Owners are responsible. get over it, move to
    The country already! Geez

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  25. Native

    Not once has the complaining, anti yard dining minority brought up the thanks that is due to all the "narcissists" and "new residents with s*itloads of money."

    These folks have invigorated a community once known for deadbeats, warehouses and hookers and have doubled if not tripled you property values over the past 5-10 years.

    If backyard dining is THAT much of drain on your quality of life and you miss the old days so much, sell and buy a sprawling place on a quiet island all your own; you may even have some dough left over to import a couple hookers. Ah the good ol days.

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  26. Look Who's complaining

    Pardon me, but you move away...Mel, Native! What makes you think older people that live in LIC don't have money? They don't have big ass mortgages, like you "rich" people, they just have MONEY with property looking at you fools paying the way to man.

    You didn't come in and fix a neighborhood or make it better. It is now a smelly restaurant garbage filled, stained sidewalks, dog crapping... and not picking up after, garbage strewed, over crowded place to live!

    Hookers make better neighbors than loud, entitled, gentrified aholes.

    Half of you don't have to nickles to rub together.

    Yep the good old days!!!!!!!!!!! LMAO

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  27. Native

    My name is not Mel
    I am not they
    I too have money and own property
    You have bad grammer

    TO. TOO. TWO.

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  28. Look Who's complaining

    WOW what a response, the statement was made to both, two, you and Native! still LMAO

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  29. Sonny L.

    Dear Look Who's Complaining,

    I fail to see your point. Also, I believe it is "two" nickels.

    Regards,

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  30. Candice

    Where is Van Bramer during all of this fixing his hair? Our tax paying dollars pay his salary to be there for us when we need him. The business owners should call the news on this situation and get him out there helping you guys. How people think he's so good forbusiness is mind boggling.

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  31. Sonny L.

    I whole-heartedly agree with the point SC is making.

    Opening the back yards should be a non-issue. There is a reasonableness that can be accomplished in this and there should be concessions made on both sides of the argument. No one is seeking a 2 AM closing in the outdoor spaces. Just reasonable hours for all to enjoy. Remember, this is also a seasonal proposal which can be achieved in an objective and reasonable manner.

    I think concessions can be made because I have to believe in our neighborhood and in our neighbors.

    There is too much anger and emotion. Take those off the table and I am sure that everyone can come together as a community. After all, this is Long Island City, a fantastic community and proponent of the arts, small business growth, and confers a general conviviality other neighborhoods lack. We CAN do this TOGETHER. I think it's time everyone put down their daggers and resolve this in a communal fashion.

    Currently we are laggards where LIC is a known leader. Let's act accordingly.

    Besides, how great would it be for families to enjoy a nice meal at Woodbine's, Blend, Alobar, and other places on a nice afternoon? That is not a lot to ask, it is reasonable.

    How much more progress through unity. What about art installs in back yards?

    Someone argued that the petition has "outsiders" on the petition for re-opening the spaces. Those outsiders have money, patronize the arts and come to LIC for this such as the Taste of LIC, the theatre, and accomplished local artists. Work together and grow. Alternately, infighting can only take away from the endeavors of everyone.

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  32. Sonny L.

    Be Nice is correct.

    Also, LIC Community Perspective: You should start that petition. Most of us would distribute and help have it signed. It will be happening with the street signs and the speed bumps, in due time. That is a good issue but this article is not about that. If you care, then together we will stand and get it done. The other question is, have you contacted 311 or the powers outside of the CB? They are not the ones who make the decisions, they simply petition on the behalf of the community. You, too can do your part. I guarantee folks will rally behind you, as we have also voiced in favor or getting the traffic slowed on these dangerous areas.

    Best of luck and let us know how we can help.

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Feb 23 By Christian Murray

Community Board 2 has started the process to name a street after Tony Mazzarella, the long-time owner of the Waterfront Crabhouse who passed away late last month.

Former Community Board chair Joe Conley suggested co-naming 2nd Street and Borden Ave. after Mazzarella who was actively involved in community service in Long Island City and elsewhere.

The street would be co-named Anthony Mazzarella Way and would be adjacent to the Crabhouse that closed last week.

Conley said that the family reached out to CB2 for the street co-naming so it could honor his life and legacy.

Mazzarella was an active supporter of cancer-fighting causes. He served as a member of the board of directors for the Queens division of the American Cancer Society, where he raised tens of thousands of dollars for the organization.

Furthermore, he would donate at least $1,000 each year to the 108 Precinct community group that would buy Christmas gifts for underprivileged children each year.

The community board is expected to approve the street co-naming at its March meeting.

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Residents can express their view on public art, as new art piece will record feedback
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Feb. 22, By Christian Murray

Long Island City residents are going to able to express their opinion on public art—when a temporary art piece goes up outside PS 1 on Jackson Avenue.

The new installation will be a 19th Century rotary phone that will go up for just two weeks starting March 29.

Residents will be able to pick up the phone and be able to express their views on public art in New York as well as Long Island City. The phone will prompt them to answer a series of questions dealing with public art.

The piece will be called ‘The Utterance Machine” and will be 8 feet tall and bolted into the ground. The artist is Rebecca Hackemann.

The responses will be recorded and all opinions kept anonymous.

“The goal is to engage the community and find out their opinion on public art,” said Jennifer Lantzas, a representative of the Parks Department, a recent community board committee meeting.

The responses will then be on posted online. However, the website and web address is still being created. Not all responses will go online.

“The ones that are thoughtful and thought-provoking will go up on the website,” Lantzas said.

The art piece is part of the city’s temporary public art program that permits artists to place their work in a park for up to a year. However, most go up for 3 to 6 months, Lantzas said

Ironically, while the utterance machine asks people for their opinion of public art—the community had little say on whether the art piece should have been placed there in the first place. This is true of many temporary art pieces—although those larger in scope typically require the approval of the community board.

The parks department is working on placing temporary art pieces in many parks throughout the city. It is currently working on a booklet where it lists parks throughout the city and determines where public art would have a positive impact.

“Technically any park can be considered,” Lantzas said.

The artwork that is selected is chosen by the parks dept based on its artistic merit. The parks department will then work with a designated park manager to determine whether it would be logistically possible. From there, the borough commissioner signs off on it.

Lisa Deller, chairwoman of the Land Use Committee, asked Lantzas what would happen if the public didn’t like the artwork.

Lantzas said that none of these pieces are permanent, noting that the Utterance piece will only be up for two weeks.

The parks department’s temporary art program is separate from Percent for Arts. That program is run by the Department of Cultural Affairs and is likely to place a pink “ Sunbather” on Jackson Avenue, by the grass median near 43rd Avenue, on a permanent basis.

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Man turns himself in following fatal beating on Vernon Blvd

IMG_1910

Feb. 22. By Christian Murray

The suspect involved in the fatal beating of a 32-year-old man on Vernon Blvd Friday has turned himself into police.

Kaheem Addison, a 29-year-old from Huntington Station in Long Island, surrendered to detectives at the 108 police Precinct station house on Saturday.

Addision, who faces manslaughter charges, beat Jose Antonio Cocuyo-Malaga near the corner of 50th Avenue and Vernon Blvd at 2:30 am Friday. The victim’s head hit the pavement.

The incident occurred near a bodega when the victim got into car that he believed was a livery cab. The driver who was angered by this jumped out of the car and thumped Cocuyo-Malaga, knocking him to the ground.

There were witnesses who saw the event and ran to the 108 precinct station house–about a block away–to alert police, according to the NYPD.

Cocuyo-Malage lay unconscious on the side walk near Vernon Wine & Liquors suffering from head trauma. He was transported to Bellevue Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Addision was the sole suspect– despite initial reports that there were two.

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More Headlines

Street to be co-named after Tony Mazzarella
Crab House

Crab House

Feb 23 By Christian Murray Community Board 2 has started the process to name a street after Tony Mazzarella, the long-time owner of the Waterfront Crabhouse who passed away late last month. Former Community Board chair Joe Conley suggested co-naming 2nd Street and Borden Ave. after Mazzarella who was actively involved in community service in Long Island City and elsewhere. The street would be co-named Anthony Mazzarella Way and would be adjacent to the Crabhouse that closed last week. Conley said that the family reached out to CB2 for the street co-naming so it could honor his life and legacy. Mazzarella was an active supporter of cancer-fighting causes. He served as a member of the board of directors for the Queens division of the American Cancer Society, where he raised tens of thousands of dollars for the organization. Furthermore, he would donate at least $1,000 each year to the 108 Precinct community group that would buy Christmas gifts for underprivileged children each year. The community board is expected to approve the street co-naming at its March meeting.
Residents can express their view on public art, as new art piece will record feedback
rendering

rendering

Feb. 22, By Christian Murray Long Island City residents are going to able to express their opinion on public art—when a temporary art piece goes up outside PS 1 on Jackson Avenue. The new installation will be a 19th Century rotary phone that will go up for just two weeks starting March 29. Residents will be able to pick up the phone and be able to express their views on public art in New York as well as Long Island City. The phone will prompt them to answer a series of questions dealing with public art. The piece will be called ‘The Utterance Machine” and will be 8 feet tall and bolted into the ground. The artist is Rebecca Hackemann. The responses will be recorded and all opinions kept anonymous. “The goal is to engage the community and find out their opinion on public art,” said Jennifer Lantzas, a representative of the Parks Department, a recent community board committee meeting. The responses will then be on posted online. However, the website and web address is still being created. Not all responses will go online. “The ones that are thoughtful and thought-provoking will go up on the website,” Lantzas said. The art piece is part of the city’s temporary public art program that permits artists to place their work in a park for up to a year. However, most go up for 3 to 6 months, Lantzas said Ironically, while the utterance machine asks people for their opinion of public art—the community had little say on whether the art piece should have been placed there in the first place. This is true of many temporary art pieces—although those larger in scope typically require the approval of the community board. The parks department is working on placing temporary art pieces in many parks throughout the city. It is currently working on a booklet where it lists parks throughout the city and determines where public art would have a positive impact. “Technically any park can be considered,” Lantzas said. The artwork that is selected is chosen by the parks dept based on its artistic merit. The parks department will then work with a designated park manager to determine whether it would be logistically possible. From there, the borough commissioner signs off on it. Lisa Deller, chairwoman of the Land Use Committee, asked Lantzas what would happen if the public didn’t like the artwork. Lantzas said that none of these pieces are permanent, noting that the Utterance piece will only be up for two weeks. The parks department’s temporary art program is separate from Percent for Arts. That program is run by the Department of Cultural Affairs and is likely to place a pink “ Sunbather” on Jackson Avenue, by the grass median near 43rd Avenue, on a permanent basis. .
Man turns himself in following fatal beating on Vernon Blvd
IMG_1910 Feb. 22. By Christian Murray The suspect involved in the fatal beating of a 32-year-old man on Vernon Blvd Friday has turned himself into police. Kaheem Addison, a 29-year-old from Huntington Station in Long Island, surrendered to detectives at the 108 police Precinct station house on Saturday. Addision, who faces manslaughter charges, beat Jose Antonio Cocuyo-Malaga near the corner of 50th Avenue and Vernon Blvd at 2:30 am Friday. The victim's head hit the pavement. The incident occurred near a bodega when the victim got into car that he believed was a livery cab. The driver who was angered by this jumped out of the car and thumped Cocuyo-Malaga, knocking him to the ground. There were witnesses who saw the event and ran to the 108 precinct station house–about a block away–to alert police, according to the NYPD. Cocuyo-Malage lay unconscious on the side walk near Vernon Wine & Liquors suffering from head trauma. He was transported to Bellevue Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. Addision was the sole suspect-- despite initial reports that there were two. .
Man beaten to death on Vernon Blvd
IMG_1910 Feb. 20, Staff Report A 32-year-old man was beaten to death on the corner of 50th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard this morning, according to police. The incident occurred near a bodega at about 2:30am when the victim got into an argument with two men who were in a livery cab, the police said. The victim was drinking with his friends at the time. There were witnesses who saw the event and ran to the 108 precinct station house--about a block away--to alert police, according to the NYPD. The man, whose name has not been released, lay unconscious on the side walk near Vernon Wine & Liquors suffering from head trauma. He was transported to Bellevue Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. The investigation is ongoing and there have been no arrests. UPDATE: Police named the 32-year-old victim as Jose Antonio Cocuyo-Malaga. He lived at 49-16 Vernon Blvd.   IMG_1915 .
Massive ‘Mad Men’ exhibit to be on display at Museum of Moving Image
Madmen1 Feb. 19, By Michael Florio To mark the final season of Mad Men, the Museum of Moving image is bringing a piece of 1950s Madison Ave. to Queens. The Museum of Moving Image (36-01 35th Ave) will be launching a Mad Men exhibit on March 14 that will include large-scale sets, costumes, props and video clips of the show. ”Mad Men is much more than a popular television series,” said Barbara Miller, the Museum’s Curator of the Collection and Exhibitions. “It has become a cultural touchstone inspiring a renewed interest in a critical time in the country’s history.”
Draper's kitchen

Draper's kitchen

The exhibit will feature large scale sets of main character Don Draper’s office and kitchen. It will have over 25 iconic costumes, including Don Draper’s suit, Joan Holloway’s red dress from a holiday party and Megan Draper’s “Zou Bisou Bisou” dress. Key props from the series will be on display, including Don Draper’s box with objects that reveal his true identity. Matthew Weiner, the show’s creator, writer and executive producer, will be at the museum on March 20, to discuss the creation and production of the show. The exhibit will also give fans the opportunity to go behind the scenes, featuring key elements of the writers’ room where Weiner and his team crafted story ideas and scripts for the series. There will be index cards and white boards with story notes from the first episodes of season seven. Along with Weiner’s story notes, there will be a section of work that influenced his writing, such as a selection from his personal book collection. There will also be screenings of Weiner’s earlier work, called Required Viewing: Mad Men’s Movie Influences, which feature ten-films curated by Weiner. The Required Viewing films will be screened from March 14 to April 26. The entire exhibit runs from March 14 through June 14. Tickets: $25 public
LIC Parks group seeks new members, as it looks to screen movies & erect ice skating rink
(Rob Basch)

First movie organized by HPPC (Sept. 22)

Feb. 18, By Christian Murray The Long Island City group that oversees the waterfront parks has several plans this year--from hosting outdoor movies, organizing a music series, to even erecting an ice skating rink inside Hunters Point South Park next winter. The Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, which was formed about a year ago, is looking for new members to help develop and build upon these ideas. The group is holding a membership drive at SHI next week and is looking for new people to join. New ideas that have recently been put forward include bringing the acrobats from the Circus Warehouse, located at 53-21 Vernon Blvd, to perform at Hunters Point South Park.
Julie Powell and Rob Basch

Julie Powell and Rob Basch

“We want to get the word out that people can join,” said Rob Basch, the president of the group. He said that he wants as many people as possible to get involved in the running of the two waterfront parks. Basch said the group has plans to screen six movies at Hunters Point South Park this year starting at the end of April. The films, to be sponsored by Nest Seekers, will be shown once a month and will be movies with broad appeal. The first movie will be ‘Frozen’, with the remaining five films still to be selected. Last September, the group screened its first film Julie & Julia. The group will be holding a music series this summer although the details are still being worked out. Meanwhile, the group is making headway in its attempt to bring an ice skating rink to the park. It is working with a well-known company that constructs outdoor rinks and is looking to put together blueprints of the oval. Basch said that the rink would most likely go up for about four months—from mid November through mid-March. The rink would need to be up for a number of months to defray costs. There would be an admission fee and sponsors would be brought on to cover the cost. However, for now, the focus is on bringing on new members. In order to do so, SHI is offering a free appetizer for all new members and a free drink for both new and existing members. "We want more members and for more people to get involved," Basch said. Details of the membership drive event: Date: February 24th Time: 7 pm Location: SHI, 47-20 Center Blvd. Aim: To get residents to attend and join
Waterfront Crab House closes– after nearly 40 years in business
waterfront2
Tony Mazzarelli

Tony Mazzarelli

Feb. 17, By Christian Murray The Waterfront Crab House, one of the last vestiges of Long Island City, closed for good Sunday. The closure comes just three weeks after the owner of the long-time establishment Tony Mazzarella passed away. He had owned the Crab House, located at 2-03 Borden Avenue, for decades. The Waterfront Crab House first opened its doors at in 1977 and Mazzarella quickly filled it with boxing and historic memorabilia dating back to the early 1900s. On Monday, the sporting memorabilia still hung from the walls. A sign was placed on the front door of the Crab House Sunday that read: “It is with deep regret and heavy hearts that we inform you that due to the passing of Tony Mazzarella we must close the Waterfront Crabhouse.” One of Mazzarella’s children was at the restaurant Monday but did not want to discuss what his plans are for the restaurant or the real estate. Many people have held weddings, parties and social events at the Crab House over the years. The site has a lot of history; there was a bar at 2-03 Borden Avenue back in the 1880s. waterfront1
LIC microbreweries to host a beer crawl
Rockaway-465x348 Feb. 13, By Michael Florio Three Long Island City microbreweries are teaming up for a beer crawl. Rockaway Brewing Company (46-01 5th Street), Big Alice Brewing (8-08 43rd Road) and Transmitter Brewing (53-02 11th Street) are coming together to offer a brewery crawl during beer week, which runs from Feb. 20 to March 1. Participants will receive a free brewery passport. A passport can be picked up at any of three breweries and will be stamped at each venue. After receiving a stamp from all three breweries, participants will then be entered into a raffle that will be drawn on March 1. Justine Yeung, a distributor and marketer for Rockaway Brewing, said the prizes will all be beer related, including an assortment of T-shirts, growlers and growler fillers. This is the first year that the breweries have organized a brewery crawl for beer week. Yeung said they were unable to do it last year since Transmitter had only just opened and Big Alice was in the midst of expanding. The three microbreweries decided to put on the event since they all have a common goal: to get the word out on their respective breweries and to help turn Long Island City into a beer destination. “There are so many people that are moving into LIC,” Yeung said. “This helps us connect with the local community.” The breweries are focusing on expanding their clientele and believe that the event will draw people who don’t typically frequent microbreweries, Yeung said. Yeung said if the event proves to be a success that they will put together others. “One idea is a reoccurring LIC brew weekend, like four weekends a year,” Yeung said. They would raffle off prizes at the events. Participants in the brewery crawl will have to pay for their drinks, although the breweries will be offering free samples. Rockaway, which specializes in malts, will offer customers a free sample of each beer. However, a pint will cost $5 and a flight of beers, which consists of a number of four-ounce tasters, for $7. Both Transmitter, which specializes in farmhouse ales, and Big Alice, which offers creative beers such as vanilla prune, will also offer tastings, Yeung said. tranmitterbrewing
De Blasio’s Sunnyside Yards plan might result in 70,000 units being built on top of tracks
sunnysideyard1 Feb. 12, By Christian Murray Seventy thousand units might need to be constructed over Sunnyside Yards if the Mayor’s plan to build 11,250 affordable units over the tracks is to be realized. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer told members of the Hunters Point Civic Association on Tuesday that 70,000 to 80,000 units might need to be built in order to attract developers to construct the affordable units. “To get to the 11,200-odd…the number of units could be as high as 70,000 to 80,000 on Sunnyside Yards,” Van Bramer said, since developers typically require market rate apartments to offset the cost of constructing affordable units. This would result in “a massive, massive development on the scale we have never seen before in western Queens that will affect Long Island City, Astoria, Sunnyside and Woodside,” he said. However, he said no plan should move forward that doesn’t address the needs of the existing residents. “We can’t fit people on the 7 train today, we don’t have enough school seats for our children today, we don’t have enough green space in western Queens today [excluding Astoria Park and the waterfront in Hunters Point],” he said. “Adding 100,000 more people to our community is staggering,” he said.”The No. 7 train will not be able to house them all,” he added. “That is crazy.” In addition to the proposed Sunnyside Yards development, the city is also proposing a rezoning of the Queens Plaza, Jackson Avenue and Northern Blvd corridor. The potential up zoning would result in a significant increase in population-- as the zoning change would most likely make way for bigger buildings since the city will be mandating affordable units. Van Bramer, who represents 160,000 constituents, told the group: “I won’t go along with any plan that hurts our community. You know me I was born and raised here. I have your back and nothing is going to happen without involving everyone in this room.” Brent O’Leary, the president of the Hunters Point Civic Association who is also legal compliance counsel at Bloomberg LP, said after the meeting that he was not surprised by Van Bramer’s 70,000-unit projection for Sunnyside Yards. “The city will get a developer to build them and manage them [the affordable units]—and in return the developer will want to build as many market rate units as possible.” He said his group is opposed building on the Yards, calling for more green space. “We don’t have the infrastructure we need as it is.”
Winners of Hunters Point South lottery are starting to be notified
Hunters Point South building Feb. 11, By Christian Murray Some of the winners of the Hunters Point South affordable housing lottery have been notified and have been called in for an interview, according to the New York Housing Preservation & Development. HPD said that the tenant selection process is well on its way and that interview letters will be distributed in rounds until all the units are filled. More than 92,000 people applied for the 924 affordable affordable apartments on offer. The units are in two buildings--one at 1-50 50th Ave.; and the other at 1-55 Borden Ave. The building located at 1-50 50th Avenue will be a 37-story complex comprised of 619 permanently affordable units, 13,750 square feet of retail space, and a parking garage with approximately 220 spaces. The 1-55 Borden Ave. building will be 32-stories high comprised of 306 permanently affordable units and approximately 3,000 square feet of retail space. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer told members of the Hunters Point Civic Association last night that some of the Hunters Point South lottery winners had been notified. He said that he had received a call from a lottery winner earlier this week who said that she had been called in for an interview. The notification period is expected to last for a number of months.
NYPD sergeant arrested by local precinct for having underage sex with Bronx girl
handcuffs-250x2502Feb. 2, By Michael Florio An off duty NYPD sergeant was arrested last night within the confines of the 108 precinct for having sex with a minor. Sgt. Vladimir Krull, a 10-year NYPD veteran, faces a slew of charges including rape, criminal sex, endangering the welfare of a child, sex abuse, forcible touching and sexual misconduct, police said. Krull had sex with a 13-year-old Bronx girl six times between September 2013 and September 2014 at various locations, including her home, according to DNAinfo. Krull, 37, had been assigned the Midtown North Precinct. Krull had been lauded in December for played a key part in helping catch a bank robber in the act on Madison Avenue. Further details were not immediately available.

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