Several Vernon Blvd residents sign petition AGAINST rear yard spaces

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly

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.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  10. The other side of Sarcastic

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

    Gentrification, been around since 1620!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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.")

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  19. LIC Res

    Move.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  28. Look Who's complaining

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

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  29. Sonny L.

    Dear Look Who's Complaining,

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

    Regards,

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  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.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Latest News

LIC: Man wanted for public lewdness on subway

suspect1

Jan. 30, Staff report

The police are looking for a man who allegedly “manipulated himself” on the R train near Queensboro Plaza after coming in contact with a 47-year-old woman.

The police allege that the woman was on the train on Friday, Jan. 23 at 5:40 pm, when“the suspect put his hands in his pants and started to manipulate himself while sitting on the train.”

The suspect then got off the train at the next stop. There were no reported injuries.

The suspect has been described as a Hispanic male, 5’5″ tall, weighing 125 pounds. The police have released a photo.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly

Queens Plaza/Court Square developers may be REQUIRED to build affordable units should rezoning occur

QueensPlaza1

Jan. 29, By Christian Murray

The Department of City Planning is likely to make it mandatory for developers to build affordable housing in the Court Square and Queens Plaza areas should it rezone the district.

The department is currently studying the area to determine whether it should upzone the district as a means to promote affordable housing as well as commercial activity—such as light manufacturing.

The agency is currently reviewing about 100 streets that include Queens Plaza (from Queensbridge Houses to Northern Boulevard) and parts of Court Square. It is also reviewing neighboring sections of Jackson Ave. and Northern Boulevard.

The concept of implementing a mandate requiring developers to include affordable units would be unique– since no other New York City neighborhood has done so, said John Young, the director of the Queens Office of City Planning. The idea is a departure from standard policy where developers are provided with “incentives” to build affordable units–such as allowing them to build slightly bigger buildings.

Therefore, while the Queens Plaza/Court Square proposal is likely make way for larger buildings, the change would also guarantee more affordable units.

“It would be a requirement that a portion [of the building] would have to be affordable,” said John Young, the director of the Queens office of City Planning, who is reviewing the concept.

Young said that the department will be having meetings with stakeholders this winter to discuss the concept–as well as other issues. Such stakeholders include members of community board 2, civic associations, cultural groups and the Long Island City Partnership, he said.

Young said that by late spring the department is likely to come up with the results of its analysis and would then present a preliminary proposal to stakeholders in summer.

He said by fall a proposal would must likely go out for public discussion.

Young said the study comes on the heels of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York proposal, which aims to create or preserve some 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next 10 years.

Furthermore, the study was prompted by a letter sent out by Community Board 2 last year that claimed that sections of Long Island City had turned into the Gold Coast and that there was greater need for affordable housing.

When the area was rezoned in 2001 the planning department had hoped to create a significant business district as well as housing. However, the business area has not grown to a level that it had hoped—while pricey buildings have gone up at a fast clip.

Therefore, the department is looking for ways to promote retail, office and light manufacturing.

Any rezoning would have to go through a lengthy process—including several public meetings—and various government bodies. It would ultimately need to be approved by the city council.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said that he is open to a rezoning. However, he said, that he would want to make sure that the infrastructure—such as schools—could handle a larger population.

These areas in color are part of the area being studied

These areas in color are part of the area being studied (New York City Planning)

 

 

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly
Elected officials to hold press conference at Hunters Point Library site, formally announce its construction
Initial rendering

Initial rendering

Jan. 28, By Christian Murray

A press conference will be held Thursday to announce the construction of the Hunters Point Library.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, library officials, local families and business owners will meet at Center Boulevard and 48th Avenue at 9:30 am to announce that the project has been funded and that construction will soon begin.

The 21,500-square-foot library will be located at Center Boulevard and 48th Avenue, next to Gantry Plaza State Park. The project will feature a reading garden, rooftop terrace, reading rooms for all ages, a gallery, performance space, a children’s area and sweeping views of the New York City’s skyline from the East River.

See previous story.

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly
Nolan announces that she wants Assembly Speaker job
Cathy Nolan

Cathy Nolan

Jan. 28, By Christian Murray

Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan announced today that she wants to be the next speaker of the New York State Assembly.

Nolan’s announcement came shortly after Sheldon Silver, the longtime leader of the assembly, agreed to give up the position he has held for 21 years as a result of federal corruption charges.

“I am formally announcing my candidacy for Speaker of the New York State Assembly,” Nolan wrote in a statement. “In my 30 year Assembly career I have conducted myself with honesty and integrity.”

Nolan would be the first woman to get the top job and it would result in Sunnyside and Long Island City being represented by two high-ranking officials: Nolan as speaker and Jimmy Van Bramer as New York City majority leader.

Nolan is one of a handful of names in the running for the speaker race, which include Majority Leader Joseph Morelle from Rochester, Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie, and Manhattan Assemblyman Keith Wright.

“Lost in the names that have been mentioned as potential candidates for Speaker is that of a woman,” Nolan wrote. “A woman has never served as Speaker of the Assembly.”

The letter indicated that Nolan would have little tolerance for legislators who sexually harassed their staffers.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said that he had talked to Nolan this morning. “She is a very serious contender and I can tell you she is very determined,” he said. She is not just floating her name out there, she is moving on this very decisively.”

Nolan has served on several committees during her tenure.

“I have extensive experience working with constituencies from all over our state, and have indeed ushered many proposals through both the budget process and the legislative process. Whether the issue is education, labor, mass transit or women’s issues, I have been at the forefront of the process,” Nolan wrote.

Nolan also wrote that she has never had a second job while working in the assembly.

“The people of New York State has been my only job – whether it be my own constituents, school children or working men and women in our state.”

Nolan is likely to get the support from Joseph Crowley, the head of Queens Democratic Party that would bring her the full 18-member assembly bloc of Queens.

“It is time for this institution to return to the high standards that the people of our state rightfully demand and expect. I stand ready to work with my colleagues to do just that for the people of the State of New York. They deserve nothing less,” Nolan wrote.

The new speaker is expected to be picked on Feb. 10.

statementfromassemblywomannolan-1 by sunnysidepost

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly
Brooklyn restaurant’s attempt to drum up LIC business gets mixed reaction
Ria Bella

Ria Bella

Jan. 28, By Christian Murray

A Brooklyn pizzeria is looking to take a bite out of Long Island City.

Residents of Hunters Point were mailed some promotional material earlier this month from a Greenpoint pizzeria that is looking to gobble up Long Island City market share.

The promotion—put out by Ria Bella (1049 Manhattan Avenue) –offers 20% off any delivery from western Queens residents.

The reception to the mailer so far has been mixed. Some residents welcome other eateries coming to Long Island City to compete. Others view it as poaching.

“I think [Ria Bella] is trying to reach out to the growing population in Long Island City,” said Jeremy Rosenberg, a 22-year-old resident and student with the CUNY School of Law.

“I like that businesses from other neighborhoods – and boroughs – are reaching out to me…but I hope that this does not crowd out new, local businesses from potentially opening up in LIC.”

However, one Long Island City business owner said that many Vernon Boulevard restaurants are finding it tough and outside competition just makes their situation worse.

Meanwhile, two residents were quick to point out that several Brooklyn eateries had crossed the Pulaski Bridge to reach Long Island City residents. Furthermore, this goes both way.

Tom Blaze, who opened the pizzeria Linizio on Vernon Boulevard in July, said that he was not concerned about Ria Bella’s campaign.

“As a resident of LIC for the past 50 years, I think it’s great that there are more varieties of restaurants to choose from,” Blaze said.

Other residents encouraged competition.

“When I first moved to LIC, I definitely didn’t look far past Vernon Blvd for dining options, so I appreciate a business in another borough reaching out,” said Jon Lechliter, a resident on Center Boulevard, who was happy to welcome the alternative.

Frank Sorrentino, the owner, said that Long Island City residents are starting to respond to his mailers.

“We have had a lot of orders from LIC since [our mailers went out]. After all, the average delivery time to Hunters Point is 25-30 minutes.”

Note: Ria Bella advertises with this site

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly
Tony Mazzarella, owner of Waterfront Crab House, passes away
Tony Mazzarelli

Tony Mazzarella

Jan. 27, By Michael Florio

Tony Mazzarella, the owner of the Waterfront Crab House, passed away on Sunday. He was 77.

Mazzarella, who lived in Rockland County, owned the Crab House, located at 2-03 Borden Avenue, for nearly 40 years.

Mazzarella, who was a prize fighter in his youth, built the Crab House into an iconic restaurant that was as well known for its seafood as it was for its sports and boxing memorabilia. He was known for his grit—having brought the restaurant back to life after it was savaged by Superstorm Sandy and a prior fire.

Mazzarella had been suffering from several long-term medical issues at the time of his death.

“He was a very kind-hearted man and is going to be greatly missed,” said Diane Ballek, the president of the 108 Police Precinct Council, who knew him for more than 20 years.

Mazzarella was known just as much for his charitable work as he was for his restaurant.

Every Christmas he would write out a check to the precinct council that would be used to buy presents for the needy, Ballek said. He donated $1,000 each year for 15 years. He would also donate food for various events.

“He didn’t boast about his community work; he did it because he loved the community,” Ballek said.

Ballek is confident that Mazzarella’s children will keep the restaurant going.

“The Waterfront Crab House will live on forever,” Ballek said. “I’m sure his family is going to keep it running the way he did.”

Joe Conley, the former chair of Community Board 2, said 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.

“He was the co founder of the Patty Fund for Childhood Cancer where he helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for children being treated for childhood cancer,” Conley wrote in a Facebook post.

Many Long Island City residents were saddened by his loss.

“He was a wonderful person who did so much for the community. He is an irreplaceable loss,” said Brent O’Leary, President of the Hunter Point Civic Association, who had known Mazzarella for eight years.

“A little bit of LIC history is gone today and we offer our condolences to his family,” O’Leary said.

O’Leary said that Mazzarella would always offer the upstairs level at the Crab House for different organizations to use.

“He was a wonderful and caring person, and there should be more people like him,” said Teri Adams, a long-time resident who knew him since he opened the Crab House.

Mazzarella, a former boxer, was a member of the New York State Boxing Commission. He started the Golden Mittens boxing events to introduce sports to young kids as a way to encourage kids to stay away from drugs.

He is survived by his wife Robin and three children—Kris, Danny and Francesca–as well as two grandchildren.

The wake will be held at Pizzi Funeral Home, located at 120 Paris Ave, Northvale, New Jersey, this Thursday. Viewing will be held from 2 to 4 pm and 6 to 9 pm.

The funeral will be on Friday, 11 am, at Our Lady of Sacred Heart Church, located at 120 Kings Highway, Tappan, NY.

Crab House

Crab House

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly
LIC digs out after ‘historic’ storm

licsnow2

Jan. 27, Staff Report

The storm may not have lived up to the hype but Long Island City was still left with plenty of snow.

Here is some of the aftermath.

LICSnow

licsnow1

licsnow3

LICsnow5

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly
Fundraiser to create poetry prize in honor of cyclist killed on Vernon Blvd
Hoyt Jacobs

Hoyt Jacobs

Jan. 26, By Michael Florio

The friends and family of a writer who was killed while riding his bicycle in Long Island City earlier this month have started a fundraiser in his honor.

Hoyt Jacobs, a 36-year-old writer, poet and teacher, was killed after being struck by a sanitation truck at the intersection of Vernon Blvd and 41st Avenue on January 18th.

His friends and family are raising money so they can create the Hoyt Jacobs Poetry Prize, which would be awarded annually to a student who shows excellence in poetry at Queens College, Jacobs’ alma mater.

Jacobs received his Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in poetry from Queens College. During his time at Queens College, he served as an adjunct professor for the English department.

The organizers of the fundraiser originally aimed to raise $3,000. However, in just five days there had been 113 donations, raising a total of $6,900.

The fundraiser can be found online at: http://www.gofundme.com/hoytprize.

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly
Cathy Nolan is being discussed as the next Assembly Speaker

Registry

Jan. 26, Staff Report

The Queens Democratic machine is starting to flex its muscles and is calling for Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan to be next speaker should Sheldon Speaker be toppled, according to the New York Observer.

Top officials with the Queens Democratic Party are calling Assembly members in Queens, Manhattan and Nassau County to support Nolan, who has represented Ridgewood, Sunnyside and Long Island City since 1984.

“Queens is calling around, taking the temperature. They’re pushing Nolan,” an Albany Democratic source to the Observer. “They are floating her in case Shelly is no longer speaker so there’s a quick transfer of power and the body can move on.”

Sources say the Queens machine’s three top deputies–Michael Reich, Frank Bolz and Gerard Sweeney–are calling legislators to figure out what kind of support exists for a potential Nolan candidacy, the Observer reports.

Nolan is reportedly close to Silver and the teachers union, the Observer reports. Nolan has also forged an alliance with Mayor Bill de Blasio, who may look to exert his influence over the city’s Assembly delegation if Silver leaves his post.

Support from Joseph Crowley, the head of the Queens Democratic Party, could mean the full 18-member bloc of Queens lawmakers in the Assembly’s 150 member body would vote for her.

Nolan is regarded as one of the shrewder lawmakers in the body, the Observer reports, and would be the first woman ever elected speaker in New York, no small significance to female Assembly members.

Nolan could not be reached for this article.

Meanwhile, Silver, who is trying to hang onto the speaker role as he fights federal corruption charges, is expected to announce today that the assembly will be jointly run by five Assembly Democrats—one of whom is Nolan.

The other four are Majority Leader Joseph Morelle (D-Rochester), Herman “Denny” Farrell (D-Manhattan), Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn) and Carl Heastie (D-Bronx).

Silver’s move will be deemed temporary, so he can focus on fighting the charges of kickbacks and corruption. However, there is still uncertainty as to whether Silver will be forced out.

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly

More Headlines

LIC digs out after ‘historic’ storm
licsnow2 Jan. 27, Staff Report The storm may not have lived up to the hype but Long Island City was still left with plenty of snow. Here is some of the aftermath. LICSnow licsnow1 licsnow3 LICsnow5
Fundraiser to create poetry prize in honor of cyclist killed on Vernon Blvd
Hoyt Jacobs

Hoyt Jacobs

Jan. 26, By Michael Florio The friends and family of a writer who was killed while riding his bicycle in Long Island City earlier this month have started a fundraiser in his honor. Hoyt Jacobs, a 36-year-old writer, poet and teacher, was killed after being struck by a sanitation truck at the intersection of Vernon Blvd and 41st Avenue on January 18th. His friends and family are raising money so they can create the Hoyt Jacobs Poetry Prize, which would be awarded annually to a student who shows excellence in poetry at Queens College, Jacobs’ alma mater. Jacobs received his Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in poetry from Queens College. During his time at Queens College, he served as an adjunct professor for the English department. The organizers of the fundraiser originally aimed to raise $3,000. However, in just five days there had been 113 donations, raising a total of $6,900. The fundraiser can be found online at: http://www.gofundme.com/hoytprize.
Cathy Nolan is being discussed as the next Assembly Speaker
Registry Jan. 26, Staff Report The Queens Democratic machine is starting to flex its muscles and is calling for Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan to be next speaker should Sheldon Speaker be toppled, according to the New York Observer. Top officials with the Queens Democratic Party are calling Assembly members in Queens, Manhattan and Nassau County to support Nolan, who has represented Ridgewood, Sunnyside and Long Island City since 1984. “Queens is calling around, taking the temperature. They’re pushing Nolan,” an Albany Democratic source to the Observer. “They are floating her in case Shelly is no longer speaker so there’s a quick transfer of power and the body can move on.” Sources say the Queens machine’s three top deputies–Michael Reich, Frank Bolz and Gerard Sweeney–are calling legislators to figure out what kind of support exists for a potential Nolan candidacy, the Observer reports. Nolan is reportedly close to Silver and the teachers union, the Observer reports. Nolan has also forged an alliance with Mayor Bill de Blasio, who may look to exert his influence over the city’s Assembly delegation if Silver leaves his post. Support from Joseph Crowley, the head of the Queens Democratic Party, could mean the full 18-member bloc of Queens lawmakers in the Assembly’s 150 member body would vote for her. Nolan is regarded as one of the shrewder lawmakers in the body, the Observer reports, and would be the first woman ever elected speaker in New York, no small significance to female Assembly members. Nolan could not be reached for this article. Meanwhile, Silver, who is trying to hang onto the speaker role as he fights federal corruption charges, is expected to announce today that the assembly will be jointly run by five Assembly Democrats—one of whom is Nolan. The other four are Majority Leader Joseph Morelle (D-Rochester), Herman "Denny" Farrell (D-Manhattan), Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn) and Carl Heastie (D-Bronx). Silver’s move will be deemed temporary, so he can focus on fighting the charges of kickbacks and corruption. However, there is still uncertainty as to whether Silver will be forced out.
Brick building on 5th Street to be rehabbed, completion date set for summer 2016
47-33 5th Street

47-33 5th Street

25 January, By Christian Murray A four-story building on 5th Street that sold for a whopping $12 million earlier this month is going to be rehabbed. The property, located at 47-33 5th Street, is one of the last remaining brick buildings in Hunters Point and that is why the buyer paid a premium for it, real estate experts said. “The beauty of that building is that it is one of the last of the Mohicans,” said Rick Rosa, a broker with Douglas Elliman who is overseeing the development. The property is located next to 5sl and kitty corner to Duane Reade. The owner, Eunhasa Corp., plans to gut the building and then make room for about 15 apartments. The property will also have ground floor retail. Rosa said that the building will be completed in about 18 months and the owner is still determining whether to go condo or rental. He said that rental prices for studios and 1 brm apartments have reached a point where buying—based on mortgage costs--is only a little higher than renting. However, with two bedroom apartments typically selling for over $1 million, renting is a much more affordable option, Rosa said. Meanwhile, the corner property on Vernon Blvd and 50th Avenue (49-18 Vernon Blvd) is expected to be completed by spring 2016. The plans call for 15 rental apartments with room for two or three retail spaces, Rosa said. One of the retail spaces will be occupied by the Butcher Gourmet Deli. The owner of the deli , which is located next door at 49-16 Vernon Blvd, is a co-owner of the site.
49-18 Vernon Blvd

49-18 Vernon Blvd (completion date: spring 2016)

Big chunk of Court Square hits the market for $41.5m
Court Square Assemblage Jan. 23, By Michael Florio A giant size parcel in the heart of Court Square has gone on the market with an asking price of $41.5 million. The parcel represents an amalgam of seven properties located across the street from the Citigroup Tower. The parcel is being marketed as “The Court Square Assemblage,” since six adjoining landlords are collectively selling their townhouse buildings. The property is being marketed in tandem by the Corcoran Group and Modern Spaces. The “Court Square Assemblage” is 11,145 square feet, according to a Modern Spaces. With zoning, a developer has 167,000 square feet of build able area. The parcel is zoned for office, retail and mixed use development, according to Modern Spaces. The portfolio of properties has only been on the market for three days. The buildings are located at 23-10 45th Ave.; 45-03 23rd Street; 45-05 23rd Street; 47-03 23rd Street; 23-14 45th Ave.; and 23-16 45th Avenue. The sites are near CUNY Law School and are in an area where more than 10,000 new and in-development luxury housing units are located. For more information, please click here. .
Two cops receive award for saving LaGuardia professor’s life
Officer Sarro and Officer Caldarera

Officer William Caldarera and Officer Corey Sarro

Jan. 23, By Christian Murray Two officers from the 108th received an award this week after being deemed heroes for saving the life of a LaGuardia professor last month. Police Officers Corey Sarro and William Calderera were on routine patrol on Tuesday, Dec. 23, when they discovered a professor on the pavement outside the college. The elderly professor had suffered from a heart attack and was not breathing when the officers arrived. He was lying motionless and he did not have a heartbeat. The two officers went into action. Officer Sarro began performing chest compressions while Officer Calderea retrieved a defibrillator. After two attempts to resuscitate the professor, they were able to revive him. EMS then transported the professor to Elmhurst General Hospital in stable condition. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Mayor Bill de Blasio awarded the officers with a Proclamation on behalf of the city council for saving the professor’s life.
LIC: A strange caricature of a religious Muslim draws plenty of hate
anti-muslim Jan. 21, By Christian Murray A strange caricature of a religious Muslim accompanied by the words Je Ne suis Pas Charlie—has been placed on Jackson Avenue near the Court Square Diner. The slogan Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie (I am Not Charlie) is a term adopted by some people following the massacre of 12 people at the French publication Charlie Hebdo. These people viewed Charlie Hedbo as a distasteful publication in the way it portrayed Muslims and other groups. The sign, however, has several anti Muslim messages scribbled on it...such as "Islam stones women to death..." and "Muslims kill homo-sexuals." The messages may have been written by a passerby who took exception to the poster. . muslim  
Van Bramer issues annual report–with focus on pedestrian safety, Citi Bike and arts/culture
1_7_CharterMeeting Jan. 21, By Christian Murray When he’s asked the tough questions, he typically doesn’t duck for cover. What are your thoughts on 5Pointz? Private property, he responds. Does it make sense to build over the Sunnyside Yards? Absolutely not. Do you believe in term limits for community board members? Of course. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who darts from event-to-event, isn’t known for hedging his bets. Instead he is direct, fast on his feet, and very self assured. It is this self confidence that leads him to release an annual self assessment—or report card—every January. It is a rare concept, since few-- if any-- other council members do it. “I like people to know what I’m doing,” Van Bramer often says, who believes that his constituents have the right to know. “I don’t ever want anyone asking 'What does he do?''” The 15-page report states in large font: “16,554 and counting” referring to the number of constituent cases Van Bramer and his staff have handled during the five years he has been in office. Furthermore, it says that in 2014 he served on six committees—including as chair of Cultural Affairs and Libraries--and had a “95.3% attendance record.” Van Bramer said that he has laid the groundwork for a number of Long Island City projects that will come to fruition this year. Construction of the Hunters Point Library, which has been bogged down in red tape, is expected to begin this spring. Citi Bike, which has been plagued with problems, will finally be coming to Long Island City, and a segregated bicycle lane on the Pulaski Bridge will be built. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood, which he funded to the tune of $750,000, is expected to open in Court Square this year—its first branch in Queens. “Many of these unveilings could all happen at once…which would make for an exciting time,” Van Bramer said. However, he couldn’t predict with certainty the timing of these events. “We don’t have a firm date as to when Citi Bike will be here…but I expect to have the bikes here in the warm weather,” Van Bramer said. He said that there will be 10 docking stations in Long Island City and Queensbridge with more than 1,000 bikes. The construction of the segregated bike lane on the Pulaski Bridge is expected to begin in the first half of 2015, he said, with completion toward the end of the year. There have been delays, he said, but he has been assured of this timetable by Dept. of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. Van Bramer said that 16% of constituent calls involve transportation issues--from public transportation to signage on streets. He said that in 2014 he helped combat problems such as the dangerous traffic conditions on Center Blvd and 5th Street. He said that he applied pressure on the DOT that led to stop signs going up on Center Blvd at 48th and 49th Avenues--as well as made sure that 5th Street  was converted to a one-way street with speed bumps. “People are concerned about the safety of their kids and families,” Van Bramer said. “There are two parks, two schools and thousands of people who live nearby.” Van Bramer is a staunch supporter of Vision Zero and was an early advocate for the arterial slow zones on Northern and Queens Blvds. Furthermore, he sponsored the “Justice for Hit and Run Victims Act,” a law that recently went into effect that imposes a lofty civil penalty on drivers who flee the scene of an accident.
2014 Expansion of Doe Fund

2014 Expansion of Doe Fund

Van Bramer said that he continues to push ahead with quality of life issues. He said that a dedicated crew of workers are cleaning sections of Long Island City through the Doe Fund. The Doe Fund program started in Hunters Point in 2013 and was expanded to incorporate a wider area in 2014. It was brought to Dutch Kills last year. Van Bramer said that it's proven to be a success and he plans to continue funding it. Van Bramer, who was named Majority Leader at the beginning of last year, said that the position allows him to be a better advocate for the district. For instance, he said, he was in a better position to be able to reach out to the administration in December to let it be known that the Pepsi sign should not lose its place on the “Landmarks Preservation calendar.” Van Bramer is politically ambitious and does not hide it. He said that he will definitely run for city council one last time in 2017. He would not comment if he had Council speakership goals in mind—or whether a city-wide office would come after that. “The council speakership was determined over a period of a few weeks [Dec. 2013] so it is way too far away to start thinking about that,” Van Bramer said. “And then another four years after that…anything could happen by then.” For a full copy of Van Bramer's report, Please click here .
Construction of Hunters Point Library expected to begin this spring
Hunters Point Library location

Hunters Point Library location

Jan. 20, By Christian Murray A ground breaking on the Hunters Point Library could happen as early as this spring. The city has the funding it needs to start construction, according to Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “The funding problem has been solved so we can begin construction,” Van Bramer said, although he added that he will have to add funding midway through the 2-year project. “Hopefully there will be shovels in the ground …and I would hope we could begin construction in the first half of this year.” Construction of the library, which will be built at Center Blvd/48th Ave (next to Gantry Plaza State Park) was expected to begin in 2013. However, there have been several delays due to the inability of the city to find a contractor willing to build it for the $28.6 million that had been allocated. The bids came in ranging from $33 million to $42 million and the city had to do some value engineering in order to find a construction company that could build it within budget. Officials said that they had to get rid of some of the more elaborate features to reduce the cost by about $5 million. They included replacing the aluminum exterior facade with cement and glass; forgoing custom interior fixtures; and going without the geothermal well system. However, the library will feature a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city skyline, a garden, a gallery, a conference room, a computer center and youth and teen spaces.  The 21,500 square-foot facility will be largely a glass and cement structure. Van Bramer said that while there was some value engineering, the changes would be merely cosmetic. “I think the project that will ultimately be built will be architecturally significant and a spectacular addition to the Hunters Point Community.” Meanwhile, Mark Christie, who is the president of the Friends of Hunters Point Library, said: “I see this as the crown jewel of the Queens Library system." “It’s a beacon for the community—an inspiration for people, which will be a great community center especially as Hunters Point grows,” Christie said.
Initial rendering

Initial rendering

Large piece of 5th Street property sells, next to 5sl
47-33 5th Street

47-33 5th Street (GMAPs)

Jan. 20, By Christian Murray A large piece of Hunters Point real estate sold earlier this month—next to 5Sl and cater-corner with Duane Reade. The property, 47-33 5th Street, sold for $12 million and the transaction was filed with the city Friday. The purchaser was Eunhasu Corp., an Elmhurst based real estate firm. The four-story industrial building is zoned for residential development. In 2009, the previous owner, 47-33 5th Street Corp, filed plans with the Building Department to construct a six-story structure with 14 units. The property had been bought by that firm in 2003 for $2.25 million, according to city records. The chief executive of Eunhasu is Kyu Heung Park.
Bicyclist dead after being hit by truck at intersection of 41 Ave. and Vernon Blvd.
Vernon and 41st Avenue (GMAPs)

Vernon and 41st Avenue (GMAPs)

Jan. 18, By Christian Murray A bicyclist was struck and killed by a truck at the intersection of Vernon Boulevard and 41st Avenue Saturday, according to police. The 36-year-old victim was hit by a private sanitation truck at 5:13 pm as the driver turned east onto 41st Avenue from Vernon Blvd. Police and EMS arrived on the scene and found the victim lying on 41st Avenue unconscious and unresponsive. He was pronounced dead. The victim was identified as Hoyt Jacobs of Bushwick. The driver of the truck remained on the scene. There have been no arrests although the police are still investigating the incident.

Restaurants

  • Random Posts