Old-school pizzeria L’inizio opens on Vernon Blvd

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28 Responses to Old-school pizzeria L’inizio opens on Vernon Blvd

  1. Sonny L.

    Congratulations on a great soft open. Huge crowd, great success. Now if only the CB2 would catch up with the times.

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  2. Ray

    So so so disappointed the beautiful backyard is not open for use. Such a shame. I live in LIC overlooking The Creek and the Cave backyard and it's perfectly fine (and I'm a pretty uptight individual)! Its management strictly enforces the hours of usage for the backyard and it's not a big deal AT ALL -- I do not understand this community board whatsoever. It just continues to make me really sad.

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  3. r185

    1) Congratulations and welcome.
    2)CB 2 are a bunch of weak kneed a-holes.

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  4. Carla

    Picked up our pie to go and we're not disappointed. Wishing you a great success.

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  5. mike

    i will check it out for a slice

    old school nyc pizzeria?

    wonder if anyone in there knows what a one & one is?

    hopefully it's good i will not have to go to Greenpoint for my pizza fix

    maybe that crappy place down the block with the terrible pizza

    will step up his game or go away

    that guy totally missed the boat could have renovated that place a little

    and made some better pizza and food

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  6. Anonymous

    $$ broker $$ pizza.

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  7. Thank the Pizza Gods

    Mike, what's a one & one? I've been eating NYC pizza for many years and never heard of it.

    If L'inzio can turn out a solid, no-nonsense/yuppie BS old-fashioned slice like we used to get, it will be my new temple.

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  8. mel

    Do they serve beer and wine?

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  9. Funkybutt

    Stopped by yesterday and tried 3 different slices. Very disappointed. Pizza looks great but it was very very bland. Nothing special. I will go back though.
    And about the CB 2 - there's is actually one person there that opposes to everything. A very very pathetic sad fun-blocker person. We, the long time residents, know who he is...

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  10. Will give them time

    Tried to give L'inzios a shot. Walked in 2 times since they have been open to try them out. It is abundantly clear that no one employed there has ever run a restaurant. 5 people standing behind the counter without any direction/assigned jobs, and a line of customers that has no order, no beginning or end.

    I noticed several people getting frustrated with the lack of understanding as to where the end of the line was, and after waiting 10 mins or so on what they thought was the end of the line, they were told they were wrong and to get on the other end of that line - clearly the majority of those folks walked out.

    All that is needed is to give each of those employees a set job - one mans the register, another to get the order from the customer, another to pull the pizza from the oven, another to serve, and then only one is left to stand behind the counter walking in circles and appearing useless.

    Will try again, but order is necessary to run a successful business.

    Also - the seasoned restauranteur never makes the same mistake twice (if you sell out of dough on one night, you make more for the night after so it doesn't happen again).

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  11. r185

    Funkybutt, You mean William Garrett, right? He's got this pathological drive to silence LIC all because he bought a building on a commercial street to live in, and then discovered that there were businesses next door!

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  12. Lic fan

    Stopped by Sunday afternoon to a sign on the door: "Closed Today", not off to a great start. Hope they get their act together soon. Ended up at Juniors, nothing special but good old style NY pizza.

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  13. Sunny D

    So because they're closed, they're not off to a good start? A lot of restaurants close 1 day a week.

    Manetta's is closed on Mondays, so is El Ay Si.

    I thought the pizza was great. Everyone has different taste. Perhaps they're working out some kinks with organization, but I've experienced that with EVERY single new restaurant in LIC.

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  14. That70sManinLIC

    Quite frankly, these people haven't a clue as to what good old NY pizza is. First off, I get a kick out of these modern-day hipsters, children of 8-s yuppies, who think they can commodify the past to serve it to idiots who fork over lots of money, then drive up the price of things, thus forcing ordinary people like myself out of nieghborhoods in NYC (called gentrification, IT MUST STOP! We need to Stick it to the Man!) It would be a miracle if a place opened up around here that offered real good old pizza at an affordable price, 70s style, that is, if anyone still remembers what a big slice tasked like in the good old 70s (I remember for sure!). In the meantime, this place will NEVER get my business, aside from the 2 measley garlic knots I got for 2.17 ugh! And this 70s Man will never patronize any gentrified outlet serving worthless robots that are another slave to the Man. Dig it?!

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  15. 70s Prices

    No offense, but the dream for pizza (good or bad) at 70s prices is just that, a dream.

    And it has NOTHING to do with the people that are running the restaurant, or when or where they grew up and if their parents were or were not yuppies.

    It has to do with the greedy landlords who think they deserve more profit than anyone else and drive up rent prices to the point where either the cost of goods must increase, or the business owner is forced to move.

    I have seen a lot of restaurants open here, and in manhattan, and elsewhere. All openings have minor hiccups, but when it is apparent to someone who has never worked the restaurant industry, that the restaurant owners are in the same boat... thats not a minor hiccup, that's a severe lack of pre-planning, research and set up.

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  16. Larry

    Great Pizza, good atmosphere, awesome people behind and on the other side of the counter.
    Let's all be happy for a great place to eat and hang out in the community!
    Cheers!!

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  17. doc

    CB 2 continues it 's extortion of local businesses. Do what we want or we'll block the license you legally are entitled to. Vote these a-holes out.

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  18. Gwen

    Went for a nice slice of cheese pizza - literally told
    To go to back of the room or go
    Elsewhere. So odd and very off putting.

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  19. pleased

    Had lunch there with my boyfriend on Thursday. Best pizza in the neighborhood. I didn't experience any rudeness at all. It has a family vibe and I can tell the staff is mostly friends or family of the owner because that's who he trusts. It's understandable. I would do the same thing if it were my first restaurant. In time he will learn that he needs to put an experienced manager behind the counter.

    I think Gwen is a liar. There's no way anyone who works there would ever say that to a customer. It sounds like she's hating on him because he wants to open his yard. Pathetic!

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  20. del

    Visited L'inzinio last night trying to get a slice for myself and my wife. No one would serve me. When I asked the two 'ladies' at the till for my request, they told me to get back in the non-existent line. You do realize that I carry cash and the desire to support local business right? Also, two regular slices of cheese or 'nanna' slices should take little to no time at all. I came in, saw what I wanted and asked for it. The reply? Just tell the cook. What cook? There was no one there. You had your chance to engage me with a hello and sure. What I got was 'I'd rather not' and "my nails are better than yours'.
    I have no problem sharing with potential customers that the 'customer service' is dreadful at best. It took me literally a second to decide that I will never spend a cent in L'inzinio, and I recommend a person try something else. Literally, anything else.

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  21. r185

    How about we all give them time to hit their stride? This happens in most restaurants. Employees, internal systems, staff training, food, management, etc. all go through varying lengths of breaking in time. What would anyone feel if your first day or weeks on a new job were open to public review and comment?

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  22. Will give them time

    There are "we are new and need some time" mistakes, and then there are "we are new and have clearly never done this before, ever" mistakes.

    If I were on a new job making the second kind of mistakes, I'd be dismissed fairly quickly.

    Here's hoping they find an actual restauranteur to help them move from the second kind of mistakes, and fast.

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  23. Leave the guy alone

    For Christ sake, they make pizza, they aren't performing brain surgery. My God, why are you giving this business such a hard time? It's no wonder the retail environment in LIC is so hazardous -- they have to serve you people! I wouldn't want you sitting in my backyard, so maybe it's a blessing in disguise that CB2 won't allow him to use his garden.

    Sometimes things don't go exactly the way you anticipate -- did you ever imagine that? I'm sure the place just needs to figure out the right pacing for the business. You're going to crucify the guy because he hasn't worked out the perfect timing to serve you a friggin' slice of pizza? Are you kidding me???

    I would pass on one piece of advice to the owner. I would urge him to consider the fact that an evidently large number of their customers are know it all, pain in the A$$es. Suck it up, buddy -- you're stuck with them.

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  24. yoursource

    Pizza was good. I wouldn't go nuts raving about it but I would definitely go back. They really need to get their act together in terms of service and knowledge of how to run a restaurant. Tons of people behind the counter and every single one was disorganized. Normally I'd blame this on the soft opening and everyone just starting out but these people didn't seem like they had any restaurant experience at all. A bit worrisome. The staff wasn't very polite either.

    And I say knowledge because when I asked for a cinque terre pie and pronounced cinque correctly, twice, the girl had no idea what I was talking about. Then she replied: "Oh, you mean cinque" and butchered it in a tone that was correcting me. Come on.

    The no backyard open is typical CB2 and is absolutely absurd.

    Oh and "old-school NYC pizzeria" is one of the funniest things I've read in a while. This is as fancy pants/yuppy as it gets. Not old school or NY style in any way shape or form but still good pizza.

    YourSource

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  25. mike

    fyi

    a 1 &1 is a regular slice and a Sicilian slice

    any self respecting ny'er knows this

    walked in this place and saw the writing on the wall

    totally not for me

    I will continue to go to Italy pizza in greenpoint on Manhattan ave

    great pie for $15

    once again a lic business is totally run by amateurs

    when did this hood turn into murray hill east?

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  26. Mel

    Pizza was good and the rice ball as well, yummy!
    I will definately go back and love the atmosphere as well
    But old school it ain't. Polito's in Astoria is old school!

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  27. Kim

    I want to love this place, and the pizza is good, but what is going on with the service? I have to agree with some of the other posters, that it seems no one knows what they should be doing behind the counter. I came in and no one was waiting in line. I stood in front of the pizzas and not one of the four people behind the glass helped me. I said hi to one of them, and he ignored me. I then walked over to the woman at the register, and saw the post-it that said that you could only order whole pies there, and walked back. I finally flagged someone down and ordered my slices. When I went to pay, the woman behind the register didn't even look up, say thank you, nothing. Not even the most minimal courtesy. It wasn't even busy! It's early and I'll give it a couple more chances, but seriously guys, it's a casual pizzeria, they should have it a bit more together.

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Latest News

Waterfront parks group signs up new members, outlines 2015 plans
(Left to Right) Abe King, Rob Basch - President Hunters Point Park Conservancy, Mark Christie-Vice President Hunters Point Park Conservancy and Frank Raffaele-CEO Coffeed (LIC Landing)

(Left to Right) Abe King, Rob Basch – President Hunters Point Park Conservancy, Mark Christie-Vice President Hunters Point Park Conservancy and Frank Raffaele-CEO Coffeed (LIC Landing)

Feb. 25, By Christian Murray

More than 75 people turned out last night at SHI restaurant for the 2015 launch party of the waterfront parks group.

The Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, which organizes events and helps maintain the waterfront parks, also held the event to recruit new members.  The event was a success with more than 20 new people signing up.

Rob Basch, the president of the Conservancy, told attendees that the organization has an ambitious schedule of events planned this year.

These events, he said, include an outdoor movie series debuting with the movie Frozen, a weekly Eats and Arts Festival that would take place on the waterfront on Fridays (in summer), a music series, yoga and other family-based events featuring several local businesses.

The Conservancy, Basch said, is also working with the Mayor’s office to install WIFI in the park and is working on a proposal for a seasonal ice skating rink in the park next winter.

The Conservancy was also presented with a $15,000 check from LIC Landing—the cafe/restaurant located in Hunters Point South Park.

LIC Landing donates a percentage of its revenue to the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy. This money is used for events and park maintenance.

The Conservancy also honored its long-time past President and one of its founders, Bill Bylewski, who passed away last week.

Bylewski, Basch said, was an early champion of the parks in Hunters Point and worked tirelessly to make the parks and the community a better place.

 

 

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NYTimes: Citigroup looks to sell Court Square development site, high-rise residential building likely

Citicorp_Building_by_David_ShankboneFeb. 24, By Michael Florio

Citigroup is selling a site north of One Court Square that is most likely to become a luxury apartment complex, according to The Real Deal.

The site is nearly once acre and is bound by 44th Road, 23rd Street and 44th Drive in Court Square, the New York Times reports. The bank may get up to $150 million for the development site.

The zoning allows for residential, office, retail and hotel use—and a 40 story building could be built there.

The city aims to spur housing in the neighborhood and is likely to rezone Long Island City to promote affordable housing.

A Citigroup spokesman told the Times: “Given the direction of our real estate footprint and the city’s need for housing, we believe that this site has great potential that can be unlocked.”

The sale marks a shift in the neighborhood from commercial to residential development.

Citigroup had originally planned to build an office building on the property..

Citigroup also plans to sell its remaining stake in Two Court Square, according to the Times. As for the iconic 50-story tower, Citigroup told its employees on Monday that its lease at One Court Square comes to an end in 2020, and that it will continue to operate to occupy the building at least until then.

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Poll: Residents may face hefty toll to use Queensboro Bridge, along with others

QueensboroFeb. 23, By Michael Florio

A proposed plan that would charge commuters a toll for using the Queensboro bridge—and three other New York City bridges–was put forward last week by an advocacy group that includes the former NYC traffic commissioner.

MoveNY, a group comprised of traffic experts, research planners and eco-friendly non-profit firms, claims the tolls would lower traffic congestion and raise funds for the MTA.

Under the proposal, workers who commute to Manhattan via the Queensboro Bridge each day would have to pay about $60 a week.

The tolls would also be placed on the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges.

The toll on these four bridges would cost $5.54 each way if paid by E-ZPass and $8 each way for other drivers.

There wouldn’t be a toll booth. Instead there would be a sensor that would charge E-ZPass drivers as they go over the bridge. For those without E-ZPass, a camera would take a photo of people’s license plates and they would receive a bill in the mail, according to Bart Robbett, Communications Advisor with MoveNY.

The tolls on other MTA bridges—such as the Triborough and Whitestone– would be lowered $2.50 each way.

However, there are benefits for having a toll on the Queensboro Bridge for western Queens residents, Robbett said.

For one, there would be fewer vehicles exiting the Grand Central Parkway and driving through residential neighborhoods to get to the bridge.

“There would be fewer people going out of their way to get on the free bridge,” Robbett said. “These people are causing problems for [Western Queens] neighborhoods, by adding to the traffic.”

“There would be less traffic at places such as Queens Plaza,” he said, where people start jockeying for position to get over the bridge.

“They will have to pay, but they will see benefits,” he said.

Samuel Schwartz, a former New York City Traffic Commissioner, developed the proposal after his research found that the streets near the free bridges were congested. The bridges with tolls, he found, had far less congestion.

In addition to easing traffic congestion, MoveNY claims the new plan would generate $1.5 billion in revenue per year, which would go toward maintaining, expanding and modernizing the transit system and improving city bridges and roads.

“I know we can do better — better with traffic flow, reducing traffic crashes and fatalities, and being fairer to drivers [who use other MTA bridges], especially in the outer parts of the city,” Schwartz said.

State legislators would have to pass the proposal, since the state oversees the MTA.

 

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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.

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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.

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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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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

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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

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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

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More Headlines

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.
Man arrested for public lewdness, after ‘manipulating himself’ on R train
Busto

Wilmer Busto

Feb. 10, Staff Report A man who allegedly “manipulated himself” on the R train near Queensboro Plaza has been arrested. Wilmer Busto, a 33-year-old Hispanic man who resides at 31-47 51 Street, has been charged with public lewdness. The police allege that Busto put his hands in his pants and started to manipulate himself after coming into contact with a 47-year-old woman while sitting on the train. The incident took place on Friday, Jan. 23 at 5:40 pm, according to police.. The photos were taken by the victim. .
Bareburger opened its Vernon Blvd location last Wednesday, grand opening last night
bareburger Feb. 10, By Christian Murray Bareburger opened its Vernon Blvd location last Wednesday and it has generated plenty of interest. Mark Turner, a co-owner of the 48-19 Vernon Boulevard restaurant, said that the burger chain began with a soft opening last week and the “restaurant has been rocking” from the get-go. The restaurant had its official grand opening last night (Monday), although it was in full wing over the weekend. Bareburger, which opened its first restaurant on 31st Avenue in Astoria five years ago, has gained traction by marketing its all-natural, organic produce. The menu states: “All Bareburger meats are free-range, pasture-raised, humanely raised, [and] antibiotic-, gluten-, and hormone-free.” Turner said that the Vernon Blvd location is still not complete. It has yet to receive its beer and wine license, although it is expected by the end of the week. Furthermore, the restaurant will not be offering its separate brunch menu for a few weeks. It also won’t be doing deliveries for a least a month. The restaurant is now open Monday-Thursdays from 11:30 am – 10:30 pm; Fridays and Saturdays 11:00 am to 11:30 pm; and Sundays 11:00 am to 10:30 pm. The Long Island City restaurant is not a franchise operation but is owned by the company, along with some equity owners/operators such as Turner. The Vernon Blvd restaurant’s décor is built with recycled products—with light fixtures made from old silverware and chicken wire, Turner said. The walls and ceilings are covered by reclaimed wood—so too the chairs, table tops, stools, bar and counter tops. The floors have been constructed out of reclaimed mixed oak. The Vernon Boulevard location seats 42 restaurant goers; there are plans to open a sidewalk café with 30 seats.  
LIC Partnership receives $100k to incentivize companies to come/stay in district
Elizabeth Lusskin

Elizabeth Lusskin

Feb. 10, Michael Florio The Long Island City Partnership’s program that provides financial assistance and an array of different services to industrial and manufacturing firms will be receiving $100,000 in funds. The funds, which were allocated by Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, are going to be used to support this neighborhood’s Industrial Business Zone, which is a program overseen by the Long Island City Partnership that helps promote and service local businesses. The primary purpose of the IBZ is to protect manufacturing and industrial firms from soaring costs and to ensure that they stay in Long Island City. The Long Island City Partnership through the IBZ program helps companies located in the zone (see map) obtain financing, tax credits and abatements to grow their businesses. Last year, Van Bramer allocated $75,000 to the program but this year upped it to $100,000. “The Long Island City Partnership has a strong record of helping small businesses stay and grow,” Van Bramer said. “By nurturing Long Island City’s industrial business zone, we are strengthening our local economy.” Elizabeth Lusskin, the president of the Long Island City Partnership, said that the IBZ program is more important than ever before as businesses continue to face rising costs. “We help these companies stay and grow in Long Island City…by connecting them with everything from incentives, financing, energy efficiency, and workforce training, to helping them with permits, potholes and parking,” Lusskin said. Lusskin said that there are about 2,100 companies in Long Island City that fall into the category of industrial and manufacturing. Those companies employ over 39,500 people, she added. The $100,000 that has been allocated to the IBZ program is separate from the funds the LIC Partnership received for a research study last month. That study will investigate the neighborhood’s transformation from an industrial hub to an area filled with apartments and hotels. It will also put forward a long-term plan. Meanwhile, the IBZ is not part of the Queens Plaza Court Square study by the Dept. of City Planning that could lead to a rezoning. .

Long Island City Partnership IBZ Map by sunnysidepost

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