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Hundreds turn out in quest for Hunters Point affordable housing, as residents learn about rental prices and income limits

Affordable-housing-004-560x323Sept. 30, By Christian Murray

More than 400-people attended an affordable housing meeting in Sunnyside last night to see whether they would be eligible for a piece of the Hunters Point South dream.

The goal for most was to find out how whether they qualified for one of the 925 affordable units on offer—which comes with building amenities such as a fitness center, outdoor terrace, internet café and meeting rooms.

The complex, which contains two buildings, will be comprised of studios, 1 brms, 2 brms and 3 bedroom units.

The application period is expected to begin October 15 and there will be 186 apartments available to those applicants who fall under the “low income” bracket. To qualify as low income, an applicant seeking a studio cannot make more than $30,000—while a family seeking a 3 bedroom unit must earn less than $50,000 per year.

For those who qualify for the “low income” bracket, the rents would range in price from $494 per month for a studio to as high as $959 for a three bedroom.

However, many attendees wanted to find out about the 738 “moderate income” apartments on offer. The maximum income permitted to be eligible for a studio was a little over $130,000, while the maximum household income for a 3 bedroom unit is about $225,000.

affordablerents

The rents for “moderate income” earners will range from $1,561-$1997 for a studio, $1,965-2,509 for a one bedroom, $2,366-$3,300 for a 2 bedroom and $2,729-$4,346 for a three bedroom.

“This is the best apartment deal in New York City,” said Frank Monterisis, the senior vice president of Related Companies. He said the waterfront complex comes with all the modern fixtures and amenities.

However, some residents said after the meeting that they thought the “moderate income” apartments were too expensive and complained that they made too much money to qualify for the “low income” units.

One man said during the meeting that he was paying less rent now than what the affordable [moderate income] units will be.

However, while some people grumbled, the rents are still significantly less than what is available on the open market. In a recent report released by Modern Spaces, the average studio apartment in a luxury Long Island City building is currently renting for more than $2,500, while one bedrooms are going for about $3,200.

The Hunters Point South apartments, unlike the other luxury Hunters Point buildings, will be “permanently” affordable. Therefore, the rent renewals are determined by a New York City formula– based on the Rent Guidelines Board.

Furthermore, once a lease is signed, tenants are not subject to any income restrictions from that point on.

However, the key is getting an apartment in the first place—and tens of thousands of people are expected to apply.

Attendees were told that they will have 60 days to get their application in after the application period begins. Monterisi said that there will be a vigorous marketing campaign once the 60-day period opens. Residents can also register at HuntersPointSouthLiving.com to be notified of the date.

Community Board 2 residents—who currently live in Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City—will be given priority over outside applicants on 50% of the units.

The application can be submitted online at New York Housing Connect (nyc.gov/housingconnect). Applicants will be required to create a personal profile that provides details as to their income, assets and the number of people who are likely to live in a given unit.

There is no actual limit on assets when applying for a “moderate” apartment. The main focus is on the applicant’s earnings and whether those assets will affect that figure.

Successful applicants will be notified during the first quarter of 2015, with the goal for it to be fully leased by spring 2015.

Two more affordable housing meetings have been scheduled, with on Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Big Six Towers in Woodside, and the other on Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Academy for Careers in Film & TV.

affordablehousingmoderate income

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Hundreds turn out in quest for Hunters Point affordable housing, as residents learn about rental prices and income limits

Affordable-housing-004-560x323Sept. 30, By Christian Murray

More than 400-people attended an affordable housing meeting in Sunnyside last night to see whether they would be eligible for a piece of the Hunters Point South dream.

The goal for most was to find out how whether they qualified for one of the 925 affordable units on offer—which comes with building amenities such as a fitness center, outdoor terrace, internet café and meeting rooms.

The complex, which contains two buildings, will be comprised of studios, 1 brms, 2 brms and 3 bedroom units.

The application period is expected to begin October 15 and there will be 186 apartments available to those applicants who fall under the “low income” bracket. To qualify as low income, an applicant seeking a studio cannot make more than $30,000—while a family seeking a 3 bedroom unit must earn less than $50,000 per year.

For those who qualify for the “low income” bracket, the rents would range in price from $494 per month for a studio to as high as $959 for a three bedroom.

However, many attendees wanted to find out about the 738 “moderate income” apartments on offer. The maximum income permitted to be eligible for a studio was a little over $130,000, while the maximum household income for a 3 bedroom unit is about $225,000.

affordablerents

The rents for “moderate income” earners will range from $1,561-$1997 for a studio, $1,965-2,509 for a one bedroom, $2,366-$3,300 for a 2 bedroom and $2,729-$4,346 for a three bedroom.

“This is the best apartment deal in New York City,” said Frank Monterisis, the senior vice president of Related Companies. He said the waterfront complex comes with all the modern fixtures and amenities.

However, some residents said after the meeting that they thought the “moderate income” apartments were too expensive and complained that they made too much money to qualify for the “low income” units.

One man said during the meeting that he was paying less rent now than what the affordable [moderate income] units will be.

However, while some people grumbled, the rents are still significantly less than what is available on the open market. In a recent report released by Modern Spaces, the average studio apartment in a luxury Long Island City building is currently renting for more than $2,500, while one bedrooms are going for about $3,200.

The Hunters Point South apartments, unlike the other luxury Hunters Point buildings, will be “permanently” affordable. Therefore, the rent renewals are determined by a New York City formula– based on the Rent Guidelines Board.

Furthermore, once a lease is signed, tenants are not subject to any income restrictions from that point on.

However, the key is getting an apartment in the first place—and tens of thousands of people are expected to apply.

Attendees were told that they will have 60 days to get their application in after the application period begins. Monterisi said that there will be a vigorous marketing campaign once the 60-day period opens. Residents can also register at HuntersPointSouthLiving.com to be notified of the date.

Community Board 2 residents—who currently live in Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City—will be given priority over outside applicants on 50% of the units.

The application can be submitted online at New York Housing Connect (nyc.gov/housingconnect). Applicants will be required to create a personal profile that provides details as to their income, assets and the number of people who are likely to live in a given unit.

There is no actual limit on assets when applying for a “moderate” apartment. The main focus is on the applicant’s earnings and whether those assets will affect that figure.

Successful applicants will be notified during the first quarter of 2015, with the goal for it to be fully leased by spring 2015.

Two more affordable housing meetings have been scheduled, with on Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Big Six Towers in Woodside, and the other on Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Academy for Careers in Film & TV.

affordablehousingmoderate income

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Co-owner of The Baroness bar opens performance center in Dutch Kills
Space for private lessons

Space for private lessons

Melanie Lema

Melanie Lemieux

Sept. 29, By Michael Florio

A new performance center offering music and dance classes opened in Long Island City last week.

New York Stage of Mind, a performance-based music education center featuring singing, dancing and acting classes, opened last Tuesday in Dutch Kills at 37-34 29th Street.

Melanie Lemieux, a Montreal native who has lived in Dutch Kills for the past four years, is the owner-operator of the 2,000 square foot center. She also co-owns The Baroness, a bar located at 41-26 Crescent Street, with her husband, Kyle Radzyminski.

Lemieux said that Dutch Kills—as well as the greater Long Island City area—lacked a performance center like hers.

“LIC is constantly expanding and there is a need for a place that offers an intense musical theater program,” Lemieux said.

Lemieux said that she will be offering private lessons for voice, piano and guitar. There will also be dance programs in jazz, hip-hop, modern dance and tap.

The center will offer a weekly musical theater program, which consists of singing lessons and dance. The program will be offered to children, teenagers and adults. The program runs for a semester and at the end each semester the group will perform a musical.

The performance center will also have children’s classes, including the Broadway Youth Intro class, which will teach children ages four through six musical development and dance technique.

“There are a lot of new parents with young kids in the neighborhood and this is something new to offer them,” Lemieux said.

A Mommy and Me class will also be available.

This Wednesday, between 2 pm and 9 pm there will be an open house, where people can take a look at the facility and review the programs.

Lemieux said she has her master’s degree in singing and has performed for Cirque du Soleil, USO Liberty Bells and several other productions. She said that the other instructors have graduated from prestigious musical institutions. Many are still active on Broadway and Off-Broadway.

For more information, please click here.

Dance area

Dance area

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Upscale cafe/bar opens at Gantry Park Landing complex

LIC1-465x310

Sept. 28, By Christian Murray

Beans, Grapes and Leaves—an upscale coffee, tea and wine bar—opened Wednesday on the ground floor of the newly developed Gantry Park Landing complex at 2-14 50th Avenue.

The café offers premium coffee and tea–as well as four craft beers on tap and an extensive wine menu with more than 30 reds and 15 whites on offer. It also serves pastries and array of sandwiches.

“Think of a premium version of Starbucks with wine and beer,” said Simon Khan, the owner of the establishment, yesterday. “That is the concept and if it does well we will open other stores.”

Khan, a Sunnyside resident, is not new to the café business. He is a co-owner of Guy & Gallard, a company that has seven coffee /specialty food stores in Manhattan.

Khan said that he has been pleased with the reception Beans, Grapes and Leaves has received since opening. “This is our first weekend and people seem to like it.”

The café is the first of three commercial establishments to go into the Gantry Park Landing Complex.

Urban Market, a 7,500-square gourmet food store that will offer fresh meat and seafood, is expected to open by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, an urgent medical care center– North Shore-LIJ– is likely to open early 2015. It will be about 4,300 square feet in size.

The residential apartments in the building have all been leased. The 199 units went on the market in July, with rents starting at $1,875 for a studio, $2,450 for a one-bedroom and $3,250 for a two-bedroom.

Beans, Grapes and Leaves

Beans, Grapes and Leaves

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Italian group to hold procession along Vernon Blvd. Sunday, as piece of LIC history lives on

Italianevent

Sept. 25, By Christian Murray

A piece of old-world Italian tradition will be on display on Vernon Boulevard this Sunday.

Members of Societa Sant’ Amato Di Nusco, which is located at 47-39 Vernon Boulevard, will be holding their annual procession through the streets of Hunters Point. The members will carry a life-sized statue of their patron saint, Saint Amato, as they pay homage to him.

Saint Amato is believed to have lived in the town of Nusco, about 40 miles outside of Naples, during the 11th century. He was canonized following his death in September 1093.

The Societa was established in 1903 by immigrants from Nusco, and since then they have paid tribute to their patron saint on the last Sunday of September.

“This was a big tradition we brought with us from Nucso,” said Frank Stagliano, the club’s secretary. “He [Saint Amato] is like our home town boy.”

The club, which operated out of Long Island City church basements and meeting halls in its early years, bought its Vernon Boulevard building in 1959, Stagliano said. He said that the club today has about 150 to 200 members, with about one-quarter of them still living in Long Island City.

Stagliano said that all the members are all from Nusco or have ancestors from there.

The group was founded to help fellow immigrants make their way in America, at a time when there were no social services to help those in need.

Sunday’s procession is the biggest event on the club’s calendar. The event starts at the club at 10 am, with the procession beginning at 11:30 am. It is followed by a church service at St Mary’s at 1 pm.

The procession will incorporate sections of 11th Street, Vernon Boulevard, 47th Road, 47th Avenue, 48th Avenue and Center Boulevard.

Italianparade

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Demolition of 5 Pointz enters a new phase
Source: David Or

Source: David Orecchia (from Citibank building)

Sept. 24, By Christian Murray,

The demolition of 5 Pointz appears to be entering into a new phase as workers get ready to take down the main structure.

The low-rise warehouse complex at the rear of the building has gone and work has begun on demolishing the main area where artists would gather for events.

A small section within the central meeting area has already been destroyed and workers have brought in heavy machinery to start taking down the main structure.

5 Pointz Sept 24A

5 pOINT sEPT 24B

 

 

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Alobar and John Brown Smokehouse win coveted ‘Bib Gourmand’ award

Alobar

Sept. 24, By Christian Murray

The Michelin Guide has just released its 2015 “Bib Gourmand” picks and Alobar and John Brown Smokehouse (10-43 44th Drive) were among the picks for the best value for money.

These two restaurants were the only Long Island City restaurants to receive the highly-coveted prize. Restaurants are evaluated for excellence on a budget (defined as two courses and wine or dessert for $40 a head).

The Bib Gourmand restaurant winners are widely considered the best and most affordable restaurants in New York.

For the full list, please click here.

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Van Bramer’s hit-and-run bill is passed by the city council
Van Bramer, Maribel Egipciaco , Melissa Mark Viverito (Source: Bill Alatriste)

Van Bramer, Martha Puruncajas , Melissa Mark Viverito (Source: Bill Alatriste)

Sept. 24, By Christian Murray

The city council passed legislation yesterday that would fine drivers who flee the scene of an accident up to $10,000.

The Council voted 49-0 in favor of the legislation that was introduced by Jimmy Van Bramer following three hit-and-run deaths that have occurred in Western Queens in the past year.

“I am proud to have sponsored Intro 371, the ‘Justice for Hit and Run Victims Act,’” Van Bramer said in a statement. “I was moved to introduce this bill in response to the death of three people who were killed in my district by drivers who fled the scene.”

Last September, Luis Bravo, 19, was killed crossing Broadway in Woodside. Meanwhile, Karen Pheras, 20, was struck and killed around the same time crossing Queens Plaza North. Then in March, Martha Puruncajas, 64, was killed crossing Northern Boulevard in Long Island City.

“They all lost their lives because of the unconscionable actions of reckless drivers who showed no concern for the lives of these three people,” Van Bramer said. “We will never know if one or all of them could have been saved had the drivers done the right thing: stopped their car and called 911.”

All three drivers have yet to be caught.

“It’s something you never get over,” said Bravo’s mother, Maribel Egipciaco, at a recent council hearing.”The pain is unbearable, the pain stays,” she said, adding that she hopes stiffer penalties would prevent future tragedies.

Under the bill, those who leave the scene of an incident without taking action would be subject to pay a civil penalty of up to $500 if property damage stems from the incident; $1,000 to $2,000 if a person is injured; and $2,000 to $10,000 if there is serious injury or death.

Currently there are no “civil” penalties in New York City if someone flees.

Criminal penalties are determined by the state lawmakers.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the bill into law. The law would take effect ninety days after he signs it.

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Modern Spaces opens second office in Astoria as development boom continues
Astoria location

Astoria location

Sept. 23, By Christian Murray

The real estate market is heating up in Astoria–and LIC-based Modern Spaces is looking to get in on more of the action.

Modern Spaces, which has its flagship office at 47-42 Vernon Boulevard, will be opening its second office in Astoria next month at 34-16 30th Avenue.

The new location will be much more substantial than its first Astoria office, which is in the Ditmars section of the neighborhood  at 29-20 23rd Avenue.

The 30th Avenue office will be 2,000 square feet, with room to house 25 agents. It will also include an outdoor garden space that can be used for events.

Modern Spaces, which was founded in Long Island City in 2008, will have six offices when its second Astoria office opens. It has offices in Williamsburg and Chelsea.

Eric Benaim, founder of Modern Spaces, said: “We are very happy to expand our Astoria reach with this new office, and are proud to be part of this community. The timing is opportune for us, as we have three new projects in Astoria that will be hitting the market early next year.”

Modern Spaces also announced that Greg Kyroglou, an Astoria resident who currently manages the firm’s Ditmars office, will head up the new office.

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Van Bramer’s hit-and-run bill is passed by the city council
Van Bramer, Maribel Egipciaco , Melissa Mark Viverito (Source: Bill Alatriste)

Van Bramer, Martha Puruncajas , Melissa Mark Viverito (Source: Bill Alatriste)

Sept. 24, By Christian Murray The city council passed legislation yesterday that would fine drivers who flee the scene of an accident up to $10,000. The Council voted 49-0 in favor of the legislation that was introduced by Jimmy Van Bramer following three hit-and-run deaths that have occurred in Western Queens in the past year. “I am proud to have sponsored Intro 371, the ‘Justice for Hit and Run Victims Act,’” Van Bramer said in a statement. “I was moved to introduce this bill in response to the death of three people who were killed in my district by drivers who fled the scene.” Last September, Luis Bravo, 19, was killed crossing Broadway in Woodside. Meanwhile, Karen Pheras, 20, was struck and killed around the same time crossing Queens Plaza North. Then in March, Martha Puruncajas, 64, was killed crossing Northern Boulevard in Long Island City. “They all lost their lives because of the unconscionable actions of reckless drivers who showed no concern for the lives of these three people,” Van Bramer said. “We will never know if one or all of them could have been saved had the drivers done the right thing: stopped their car and called 911.” All three drivers have yet to be caught. “It’s something you never get over,” said Bravo’s mother, Maribel Egipciaco, at a recent council hearing.”The pain is unbearable, the pain stays,” she said, adding that she hopes stiffer penalties would prevent future tragedies. Under the bill, those who leave the scene of an incident without taking action would be subject to pay a civil penalty of up to $500 if property damage stems from the incident; $1,000 to $2,000 if a person is injured; and $2,000 to $10,000 if there is serious injury or death. Currently there are no “civil” penalties in New York City if someone flees. Criminal penalties are determined by the state lawmakers. Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the bill into law. The law would take effect ninety days after he signs it.
Modern Spaces opens second office in Astoria as development boom continues
Astoria location

Astoria location

Sept. 23, By Christian Murray The real estate market is heating up in Astoria--and LIC-based Modern Spaces is looking to get in on more of the action. Modern Spaces, which has its flagship office at 47-42 Vernon Boulevard, will be opening its second office in Astoria next month at 34-16 30th Avenue. The new location will be much more substantial than its first Astoria office, which is in the Ditmars section of the neighborhood  at 29-20 23rd Avenue. The 30th Avenue office will be 2,000 square feet, with room to house 25 agents. It will also include an outdoor garden space that can be used for events. Modern Spaces, which was founded in Long Island City in 2008, will have six offices when its second Astoria office opens. It has offices in Williamsburg and Chelsea. Eric Benaim, founder of Modern Spaces, said: “We are very happy to expand our Astoria reach with this new office, and are proud to be part of this community. The timing is opportune for us, as we have three new projects in Astoria that will be hitting the market early next year.” Modern Spaces also announced that Greg Kyroglou, an Astoria resident who currently manages the firm’s Ditmars office, will head up the new office.
First movie at LIC park a big hit
Source: Rob Basch

Source: Rob Basch

Sept. 22, By Christian Murray More than 200 people attended the first movie screening at Hunters Point South Park on Saturday night. The film, Julie & Julia, was displayed on a 26 x 24 foot screen, on what was a clear night offering unblemished views of Manhattan. The Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, which organized the event, selected the movie since a good portion of it was shot in Long Island City. The film contrasts the life of Chef Julia Child with the experiences of Long Island City resident Julie Powell, who wrote a popular blog about cooking all of Child’s recipes from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” within a year.
Julie Powell and Rob Basch

Julie Powell and Rob Basch

Powell, who has seen the film 13 times, had many supporters at the event, particularly her friends from the Murray Park dog run. They were there to “support me and make fun of me,” she said. Powell spoke before the movie and discussed showcasing Long Island City to the late Nora Ephron, who directed the movie. She also talked about Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon recipe, which she said captured the soul of Child's French cook book. “The weather was perfect and a lot of people came with blankets, pillows and picnics,” said Robert Basch, who organized the event with the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy. He said LIC Landing had a pop corn machine going and was selling its regular food. Basch said he was not sure when the next movie will be screened.“We don’t want our sponsors to pay $2,000 if the weather’s terrible.” The film was sponsored by real estate firm Nest Seekers International. For future events, click on Hunters Point Parks Conservancy Facebook page.
No. 7 train to be closed from Times Square to 74th Street this weekend
7subway1Sept. 19, By Michael Florio Getting around New York City is going to be a lot tougher for many Long Island City residents this weekend. Number 7 train service between Times Square-42nd Street and 74th Street/Roosevelt Ave will be suspended from 2 am Saturday through 4:30 am Monday, according to the MTA. In lieu of the closures, the MTA will be providing two free shuttle services this weekend. One will run from Vernon Blvd/Jackson Ave to Queensboro Plaza, stopping at Hunters Point Ave, 45th Road/Court House Square, and Queens Plaza. The other will run between Queensboro Plaza and 74th Street/Broadway, stopping at 33rd Street, 40th Street, 46th Street, 52nd Street, 61st Street/Woodside, and 69th Street. The service disruptions are due to ongoing construction taking place along the 7 line and are expected to continue until 2017.  
Saga over back yard use continues, as Community Board 2 works on guidelines
Backyard at L'

Backyard at L’inizio

Sept. 18, By Christian Murray Despite the weather cooling down, the advocates for rear yard dining along Vernon Boulevard are continuing to put the heat on Community Board 2. Renee Katsaitis, who is spearheading the movement, called on the board earlier this month to produce guidelines so bars/restaurants on Vernon Blvd know where they stand when they apply for rear yard space. In its quest for guidelines, Patrick O’Brien, the head of Community Board 2’s public safety committee, invited Ken Lazar, a representative from the Department of Buildings, to last Wednesday’s meeting to discuss what restaurant owners must do in order to use their backyard space. Lazar said that in most cases a restaurant/bar must obtain a certificate of occupancy that expressly states “rear yard use.” The process to get a certificate of occupancy for rear yard use is considered expensive and time consuming. “This involves hiring an architect or an engineer to do a zoning analysis,” Lazar said. The applicant must provide proof that the establishment meets fire safety standards, has proper egress and complies with zoning, he said. Restaurant owners, however, who operate out of a building that was constructed before 1938 do not need a certificate of occupancy if the backyard space was used by a bar/restaurant back then. “These are the rules,” Lazar said. “I’ve read a lot of the press and blogs bashing your community board,” he said. “To be blunt your community board has nothing to do with it.” He said the restaurant owners just have to comply with the rules or advocate changing them. The outspoken owners of Alobar and L’inizio, who both seek backyard use, said in separate interviews that they do not have a certificate of occupancy expressly stating rear yard use. However, they said that the costs are onerous and it is too risky to spend all that money to get one if the board is going to say no. “The board is using this certificate of occupancy issue as a distraction—a red herring,” said Jeff Blath, the owner of Alobar. Blath said that the certificate of occupancy should not be all that relevant to the community board’s decision. After all, there is no reason, he said, why the board can’t approve a restaurant’s application for rear yard use and make it subject to obtaining a certificate of occupancy. Argilio Rodriguez, an attorney who represents restaurants seeking liquor licenses, said that the State Liquor Authority requires bars/restaurants to have a certificate of occupancy before they can open their rear yards in any case. Therefore, he said, this is not an issue that the community board needs to dig into too deeply. There is no reason, he added, why the community board can’t approve an application and make it “subject to getting DOB’s approval” like it often does with hours of operation. He said it is unreasonable to expect businesses to spend thousands of dollars without any assurances. “It’s a catch 22,” said Tom Blaze, the owner of L’inizio. “If we spend thousands of dollars to seek a certificate of occupancy—and they say no we are out a lot of money.”
Jeff Blath in his rear patio area

Jeff Blath in his rear patio area

5-story building going up on Vernon Blvd
Vernon Blvd construction Sept. 16, Staff Report Construction has started on a 5-story, 15-unit residential building on Vernon Boulevard, according to Department of Building records. In the past week, a construction fence has gone up around the periphery of the 49-18 Vernon Blvd property, which is currently a vacant lot door next to Butcher Gourmet Deli. The owner of Butcher Gourmet Deli has a large ownership interest in the new development. However, he did not want to elaborate. The Dept. of Building filing states that it will be a mixed use property, indicating that it will include ground-floor retail space.
Outdoor flea market to open in Court Square this Saturday
Location of Court Square Flea

Location of Court Square Flea

Sept. 16, By Michael Florio A new flea market is opening in Court Square—for two Saturdays this month. The Court Square Flea, an outdoor market, is set to debut this Saturday in the parking lot of the Teamsters Local 808 building at 22-43 Jackson Avenue, across the street from MoMA PS1. More than 30 vendors are expected to show up selling items such as clothing, art, jewelry, antiques, house ware and gourmet food, according to founder Diane Modric. Modric said some of this region's better-known vendors--such as Mel’s Melting Pot, Lezzetli Ice Cream, New Yawk Baking Crew and Rachel Carbonell Art-- will be participating. She said there is still space for additional vendors. The flea market will be open just two Saturdays this season—Sept. 20 and Sept. 27, from 12 pm until 6 pm. However, Modric said she aims to make the Court Square Flea a monthly event. Modric founded the Astoria Market, which has operated out of the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden on Sundays since 2010. Modric, who used to sell her own handmade jewelry, started the Astoria Market after being frustrated that there were no local venues where she could sell her products. Since starting that market, she has been looking to open one in Long Island City. However, she said that it has been difficult finding a site of sufficient size. “Once I saw this lot I thought it would be a great location,” she said. “I reached out to the Teamsters and they were very welcoming.” For more information, visit http://www.courtsquareflea.com
Bareburger to open on Vernon Blvd
Long Island City, Crankys closes Sept 15, By Christian Murray Bareburger--best known for its exotic patties and organic ingredients---is opening a restaurant in Long Island City, in the location that was once Cranky’s. The restaurant is expected to open at 49-19 Vernon Boulevard in late December and is part of a major expansion the burger chain is currently undergoing, said Euripides Pelekanos, the chief executive and co-founder. Bareburger, which opened its first restaurant on 31st Avenue in Astoria five years ago, has 20 restaurants open today—with eight more planned in the next five months. The Vernon Boulevard location will be comprised of 42 seats, with plans to open a sidewalk café. While many Bareburger restaurants are franchise operations, the Long Island City operation will be owned and run by the company, Pelekanos said. “Long Island City and Astoria is like home territory to me and I have always felt embarrassed not having one here,” Pelekanos said. “I’ve been looking for locations in Long Island City for 3 years and then I got a lead on this space and I couldn’t been happier.” Pelekanos, who grew up in Astoria, opened his first restaurant just blocks away from where he lived. The restaurant will be the fifth location in Queens—with 2 restaurants in Astoria, one in Forest Hills and another in Bayside, where Pelekanos currently resides. Pelekanos attributes the success of the company to the people who work for it. “We have been blessed to have good people…people who really care about Bareburger and are proud of it." The new menu is now available in its Hoboken and Philadelphia operations and is being rolled out location by location. It features elk, goat, bison, turkey and wild boar burgers—in addition to the all natural, organic beef product. (click for menu) There is also a duck-bacon sandwich.
LIC Flea opens its beer garden for the first time Saturday
LIC Flea

LIC Flea

Sept. 12, By Christian Murray After several months of planning, the operators of the LIC Flea & Food market will be opening their beer garden for the first time this weekend. Attendees will be able to buy wine and beer at the market for the rest of the season—which is expected to continue through the end of the year. The market will be selling artisanal beer brewed by the local breweries—which include SingleCut Beersmiths, Queens Brewery, Finback Brewery and Rockaway Brewing Company. The owners of many of the breweries will be in attendance to discuss their product. To mark the grand opening of the garden, the LICFlea will be serving $2 beer between 4:30pm and 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. The beer garden is likely to be large. The owners of the LIC Flea told the community board in April that they planned on opening a garden that would be comprised of 92 seats-- taking up to 1/4 of the 24,000 square foot parking lot that is used for the market. The operators could not be reached to confirm whether they were still the plans. The LIC Flea & Food is best known for hosting dozens of vendors each weekend who offer food, jewelry, fashion, art and crafts, antiques, collectibles and more. It is located on an empty lot at the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, just one block behind the Pepsi-Cola sign.
The first film to be screened at Hunters Point South Park to take place Sept. 20, featuring Julie & Julia
Julie_and_juliaSept. 11, By Christian Murray The first movie to be screened at Hunters Point South Park will take place later this month, with the presentation of Julie & Julia, a movie that was shot in Long Island City. The movie will be shown outdoors on the oval (by LIC Landing and the ferry) on Saturday, September 20, at 7:30 pm, with the backdrop being the Manhattan skyline. Julie & Julia is a movie that contrasts the life of chef Julia Child with the experiences of Long Island City resident Julie Powell, who attempted to cook all 524 recipes in Child's cookbook in a year, which she described on her blog. The blog was turned into a book that inspired the movie starring Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Stanley Tucci. The movie, which was released in 2009, was nominated for an Academy Award. The Hunters Point Park Conservancy selected the movie because much of it was filmed in Long Island City and it was inspired by local resident Julie Powell who will attend the movie and be available to answer questions. "I've lived in LIC for 12 years,” Powell said in a statement. “Its streets, arts, parks and especially people are my inspiration. Having Julie & Julia screened at Hunters Point is so exciting for me, and such an honor.” This film and future films at the park are being sponsored by the real estate firm NestSeekers International. Another movie is tentatively scheduled for October. The organizers ask attendees to bring blankets or towels to sit down-- since chairs are not allowed on the oval.
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