Life In Motion
Tomorrow marks the first ever comedy festival in Long Island City. Head to The Laughing Devil Comedy Club through May 20th to see 100 comics in action! Here’s NY1‘s story:
Now that’s a fun way to spend your weekend!
Aaaah to live in Long Island City! Quaint independent shops and restaurants, beautiful views, proximity to Manhattan… and the apartments aren’t too shabby either! On Tuesday, the developer of The Industry, Stuart Match Suna, showed off our diggs to NY1, and their cameras captured the wonderful views from our roof, spacious condominiums, and surrounding neighborhood. Take a look:
The Chocolate Factory, one of our wonderful neighborhood theatre spaces, is home to a new performance. As written up in The New Yorker:
“Fruitlands” takes its title from the failed commune established by the American transcendentalist Bronson Alcott, and much of its tone from his daughter Louisa May, who suffered there for his ideals. Four women in long, dark dresses run heedlessly in a small space. They clump together and rub against one another as if to shed something unwanted. They gaze outward and their smiles curdle. Some of the symbolism is heavy-handed, but the rhythm worked up by overlapping solos is thrilling and rare. (The Chocolate Factory, 5-49 49th Ave., Long Island City. 212-352-3101. April 18-21 at 8.)
Find more dance performances in NYC: http://www.newyorker.com/arts/events/dance/2012/04/23/120423goda_GOAT_dance#ixzz1sFFfjYA4
The Chocolate Factory: http://www.chocolatefactorytheater.org/home.html
In this delightful weather, we can’t help but dream of relaxing outside with a cup of coffee, perusing local shops with friends, or strolling into the nearest pub. Happy spring, LIC! Metro newspaper recently chronicled how to spend an ideal Spring day in Long Island City, complete with brunch, booze, art and laughs. Sounds right on the money!
Rebecca Finkel’s Metro piece, “Take a daytrip to Long Island City”:
This spring, spend a day in Long Island City, a neighborhood as rich in history as it is in great brunch spots.
A historic hub
Before the LIRR connected to Penn Station, LIC was the end of the line. Commuters awaiting ferries to Manhattan met at Tony Miller’s Hotel on Borden Avenue (now the fabulously kitschy Waterfront Crabhouse). Teddy Roosevelt drank there, as did architect Stanford White and actress Lillian Russell. By 1910, with expanded LIRR service and the opening of the Queensboro Bridge, LIC fell into decline. Ferries stopped running, and Prohibition turned Miller’s Hotel into a phonograph factory. LIC remained a quiet, industrial neighborhood until the late ’70s, when artists flocked to the area’s lofts. In the ’90s, new waterfront high-rises attracted young professionals and their families. Today, LIC it has reclaimed its status as a hub of vibrant people, culture and art.
10:30 a.m.: Eat
You can’t find a bad brunch on Vernon Boulevard, with El Ay Si, Cranky’s, Dorian Cafe, and Tournesol. We like 4-month-old Alobar (www.alobarnyc.com) for its superb bloody mary and its duck confit Sloppy Joe with smoked ricotta (pictured).
After brunch, head to Gantry Plaza State Park, a 10-acre waterfront walk with spectacular views of Manhattan. In addition to contemporary art Mecca MoMA PS1, LIC is home to three sculpture parks: The Noguchi Museum, Sculpture Center and the Socrates Sculpture Park.
Across the street from PS1 is 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center, a 5-story warehouse covered in legal graffiti. Visit between May 12 and 20 for the LIC Arts Open (www.licartsopen.org), when hundreds of artists open their studios to the public.
3 p.m.: Drink
LIC has the kind of relaxed neighborhood bars that will make you think seriously about moving, or at least staying for another beer. In fair weather, grab an outdoor seat at Dominie’s Hoek (www.dominieshoek.com) or LIC Bar (www.licbar.com). Sweet Leaf (www.sweetleaflic.com) has a good selection of coffee and tea, which you can enjoy while playing DJ in their record room. Sage General Store (www.sagegeneralstore.com) has great baked goods; try the bacon brownie.
4 p.m.: Laugh
Wind down with open-mic stand-up at The Creek and Cave (www.creeklic.com), one of the area’s two comedy clubs. Free shows start at 4 p.m. on both Saturdays and Sundays.
It’s been way too long since we posted on the blog – apologies! Here is another great LIC story, coming from New York Daily News. Read about Long Island City’s The Oracle Club, a new ecclectic private club and haven for the literary, artistic, and creative.
“There is a certain breed of New Yorker for whom the word “club” does not summon up the Meatpacking District, but the upper East Side; there are some in this town who crave not Cielo’s bottle service and booming music, but a cocktail in the wood-paneled comfort of the Knickerbocker.
Private clubs have long been a staple in New York society. These clubs are extremely expensive, with membership dues that reach into the thousands. As such, they are unavailable to most of us, who have to do with a cozy corner of Starbucks for our social needs.
That’s why the Oracle Club in Long Island City is such a welcome addition to New York’s cultural landscape. It strives to be a meeting (and working) place for writers, artists and intellectuals.
Nor is it, technically, a social club, but a hybrid of an intellectual salon and the kind of writers’ spaces that have become popular in recent years. One book-lined room is reserved for writers and another for painters. A third serves as a gathering place where readings and classes (ballet, cosmology, art) are held; in this airy ‘salon,’ a member can also simply read a book or chat with another Oracle member over a beer (yes, there is a bar).
The Oracle is the brainchild of novelist Julian Tepper and painter Jenna Gribbon, who run the club out of the ground floor of a building owned by a friend. Tepper and Gribbon live above the club with their 1-year-old son.
They started working on the Oracle in late November; today, with its welcoming library, Gribbon’s surrealistic paintings and eclectic furniture (including some very frightening couches with horns), it looks like it has been around for a century.
‘t will be one of the most beautiful places in New York City,’says Tepper with a Manhattanite’s unmistakable bravado. Indeed, he is a native of the East Side who, in addition to creating the Oracle, has just sold his first novel, ‘Balls,’ about a man battling testicular cancer.
But while the Oracle does indeed look and feel like a cousin of the National Arts Club, it aims to be more than just a social club. While one can join only the large central salon, Tepper and Gribbon hope to draw like-minded writers and artists. The attraction is a library straight out of the Ivy League, reserved for writers, and a vast artists’ studio on the lower level for members who paint.
Gribbon, who hails from Tennessee, says they are looking for other dedicated artists with ‘ink on your fingers and paint on your pants.’
This wouldn’t be a New York social club without some exclusivity. Tepper and Gribbon interview all members, who — if they are accepted — gain access for $175 per month for artists, $125 for writers and $50 for salon-only members.
The club already has 25 members, who might be sequestered away in a library nook working on a novel or painting the next masterpiece downstairs — or simply enjoying a drink in the salon.
You know, just like they do on the East Side.”
- Alexander Nazaryan, New York Daily News
Looking for more to read. Check out The New York Times blurb on The Oracle Club: http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/20/just-opened-the-oracle-club/
The club’s website: theoracleclub.com
The Oracle Club, 10-41 47th Avenue, Long Island City, NY; 917-519-2594
Artist Eduardo Anievas-Cortines hosts one of his lovely Open Studo Series tomorrow from 1-7pm. On display are his original, colorful paintings, sure to brighten your winter day. The host also serves homemade tapas and sangria (yes, please).
A fantastic community gathering! Take a look at Anievas-Cortines’s website for pictures of past events! http://www.eduardoanievas.com/eduaran.htm
47-33 5th St, LIC
LIC’s beloved eatery, which was forced to close its packed doors last fall, is back. And the whole neighborhood (and our neighboring boroughs) is talking about the French-Canadian restuarant’s epic return! Read yesterday’s New York Daily News story…
Dufour revealed to Canadian Broadcasting Company they are planning on serving bento box-style meals and will work mostly sous-vide (sealed-bag cooking), since the space is mostly without gas.
He has also hinted at plans to open a space on a catamaran inside a warehouse space in Long Island City.
The beloved restaurant was forced to shutter at its former 49th Ave. location after Dufour and Obraitis had a rent dispute with their landlord in August.
M. Wells, the French Canadian-inspired eatery, known for its Caesar salad with anchovy dressing and pickled pork tongue, changed the restaurant scene in LIC when it first opened in 2010.
It was included in Bon Appetit magazine’s Best Restaurants in the World list in 2011.
Just becuase the holidays are over doesn’t mean there’s a lack of weekend activities for LIC residents and visitors. Besides staying bundled up and enjoying a frothy treat (Sweatleaf Cafe, anyone?), we have a few suggestions for how to spend your weekend east of the river… Have suggestions for us? Post on our Facebook page or tell us on Twitter!
Laugh away your winter blues at The Laughing Devil Comedy Club, now in it’s second month since opening and already a huge hit with the community. Six comics will take tonight’s stage, beginning at 8PM. Come for dinner, drinks, or just for laughs, but be sure to come; you never know where the next big comic is gonna get their start!
Busy tonight? The Laughing Devil entertains 7 nights a week. And for all the locals out there: tickets are only $5 for LIC residents!
The Laughing Devil Comedy Club . 4738 Vernon Blvd LIC
Get a big dose of art this weekend at Jeffrey Leder Gallery’s “International Painting NYC,” an all day exhibit featuring the work of dozens of artists from around the world. As described by the Brooklyn newspaper Greenpoint Star:
“The 45 pieces on display showcase artists from 10 different countries, from Japan to Morocco, and various South American lands. It will spread across two floors and features a wide spectrum of work from paintings to sculpture, non objective, nonrepresentative, abstract and highly representative — all of various sizes and shapes.
The exhibition is a dream that artist Jeff Leder had for a while. Although he has been presenting Long Island City-based artists since the gallery’s opening in 2010, Leder decided he wanted to bring the world to the thriving artistic enclave of Queens.”
Jeffrey Leder Gallery . 21-37 45 Rd
In true Long Island City fashion: art, art, and more art! On Sunday, SculptureCenter reopens with two new exhibits, both running until March 19th. The opening reception begins at 5pm. A break-down of the exhibits, as described by LIC Partnership (which, by the way, has a calendar of community events online and copious info on neighborhood happenings: http://licpartnership.org/)
In Practice: You never look at me from the place from which I see you: “organized around investigations into vision and location within our present moment, characterized by dispersed attention and spatial deterritorialization.”
Scene, Hold, Ballast: ”a two person exhibition with David Maljkovic and Lucy Skaer, artists whose work shares an engagement with sculpture, film, and distinct approaches to exhibition design. Scene, Hold, Ballast conceived as a dialog, will feature new works by Maljkovic and Skaer commissioned through SculptureCenter’s Artist in Residence program.”
In honor of the late Martin Luther King Jr., Museum of the Moving Image will host a special screening of the moving 1964 film Nothing But a Man, directed by Michael Roemer. The screening is free with museum admission. From Moving Image:
“With its understated performances, loose and realistic writing, and camerawork that borrows from cinéma vérité, Nothing But a Man is a unique and devastatingly powerful depiction of black life in 1960s Alabama. The story centers on the struggles of a poor, young railroad worker named Duff and his schoolteacher wife, as they try to raise a family amid the structural poverty and day-to-day racism of the Jim Crowe era. While he is always polite and congenial, Duff refuses to be racially intimidated or defer to the authority of whites, and he and his family suffer for it. Despite being a festival hit upon its completion in 1964, the film was unable to attain distribution, and was all but forgotten until it was finally given a release and added to the National Registry in 1993. It is now considered a forward-looking classic of the Civil Rights era, and a milestone of American independent cinema.”
Museum of the Moving Image . 36-01 35 Ave, Astoria
Happy to post that NY1 profiled our building in the story, “What Can You Buy in NYC for about 1.1M?”
Watch the video to see the 2 bedroom penthouse unit – beautiful oak floors, luxury amenities, a large terrace, and more! We may be a bit biased, but hard to compete with the price and proximity to Manhattan!
A little late on the New Year’s Eve planning? Have no fear, LIC has plenty of ways to celebrate. Whether you’d rather have a quiet glass of champagne with your New Year’s kiss, or jump around to techno beats, Long Island City has something for you! Take a look:
If you’re looking for something cheap and unpretentious for tomorrow night, come to LIC Bar. Advance tickets are only $15, doors open at 8pm to the indie-folk/pop sounds of local band Astoria Boulevard. Grab a brew at this casual LIC favorite. 45-58 Vernon Blvd. (718)786-5400
Want something a little more swanky? With views of the river and the gorgeous Manhattan skyline, Water’s Edge restaurant won’t disapoint in the romance department. Its New Year’s Eve menu offers 3 different options depending on your party style: dine at the restaurant’s first seating (5:30 – 8pm) for $110 per person, enjoy the second seating (9-12:30) with live band from for $140, or head upstairs for buffet catering and DJ entertainment for $125. All options include a top shelf open bar. The East River at 44th Dr. (718) 482-0033
Toast the new year at the trendy bar inside LIC’s Ravel Hotel. For advance tickets of only $30, you’ll enjoy an open bar and live music from 10pm on. Just like the hotel rates, that’s quite a bargain! 808 Queens Plaza South. (718)289-6118
One of LIC’s newest restaurants is quickly becoming a neighborhood favorite, with its elegant feel and farm-t0-plate “new European” fare. Stewed mushrooms, roasted rabbit fettuccine, and sweet potato gnocchie – oh my! For $65 (prix fixe menu), you can spend your holiday inside what Gothamist has described as “a little European jewelbox.” Rather treat yourself to some french toast and home fries? Bear is open New Year’s Day for its weekly Sunday brunch, as well as its “Late Hangover Brunch” from 4-9pm. So go ahead, have that one-glass-of-champagne-too-many – Bear will treat you well the next morning! 21-14 31st Ave. (719) 396-4939
Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden
NYC’s oldest beer garden (2012 marks its 102nd year) is just a neighborhood away! Head to Astoria tomorrow night for a 5 hour open bar starting at 8 o’clock, and a lavish buffet from 8-10pm (we’re talking appetizers, entrees, desserts, coffee – the works). Did we mention 14 of their finest draft beers to choose from? Advance tickets are $90/ person and $160 per couple; $100/ $180 at the door. 29-19 24th Ave, Astoria. (718)-274-4925
Happy New Year, Long Island City! No open houses this holiday weekend, but call our sales office (718-784-0880) to set up an appointment to view the apartments – see you in January!
The holidays are quickly approaching, which means plenty of ways to get festive with your tots. This weekend, bring them to one of LIC’s spirited celebrations…
Breadbox Cafe’s Kids Holiday Party- Saturday @ 4pm. 47-11 11th St
From the LIC Partnership: “Breadbox is hosting a 2 hour fundraising event supporting NY Foundling Org. This ‘Kids Only’ party will have opportunities for pictures with Santa, a cupcake decorating class, holiday cookies and more!”
Breakfast with Santa at Water’s Edge Restaurant – Sunday, 11-1:30 and 1:30-4. 4-01 44th Dr
The Muppet Christmas Carol at Museum of the Moving Image – Sunday @ 1pm. 36-01 35 Ave
Cookie Decorating at Malu - Sunday @ 3pm. 12-09 Jackson Ave
Long Island City’s newest comedy club, The Laughing Devil, has a fantastic line up this week. There are 8 & 10 o’clock shows on Fridays and Saturdays, with 6pm & 8pm shows on Sundays, and 8pm shows on weekdays. The club also has public comedy classes, plenty of event space for fundraisers or large groups, and a series called “Uncle Jerry’s Crackhouse & Open-Mic Workshop” on Sundays where “the first 20 people who sign up each get 3 minutes to perform and 2 minutes of group and professional feedback. And drinks are half price!” Looking for a bargain? Thursdays are college nights; just present your student ID for $3 admission. On Sundays, members of the military get in free.
So if you’re looking for some laughs to warm those winter shivers, come to The Laughing Devil, now open in LIC! 4738 Vernon Ave . 347-91-DEVIL
With the holidays quickly approaching, there’s plenty of things to do this weekend in Long Island City. From holiday movies to shopping opportunities, here are some fantastic ways to spend your days…
Zaba Kids Holiday Pop-Up Shop
Our sales team, Modern Spaces, is sponsoring this terrific idea, a pop-up shop in their office on Vernon Blvd. Stop by with or without your kids to get special discounts on children’s clothing, toys and accessories. Can’t make it this weekend? Don’t fret; the Zaba Kids team will be at Modern Spaces again on Dec. 17th and 18th. Sat & Sun, 11am – 4pm. 47-42 Vernon Blvd.
Come see the Tony-award nominated musical based on Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel, which follows the March sisters–Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy–as they grow up in Civil War America. Tickets are $18. Showtimes for the 2-week limited engagement:
December 8th -10th & 14th -16th at 7:30 pm
December 11th at 2:30 pm
December 17th at 2:30 pm & 7:30 pm
“Full Disclosure” at The Secret Theatre
From The Secret Theatre’s website: “Going To Tahiti Productions presents the NY premiere of FULL DISCLOSURE!
“Under full disclosure, a broker is required to give the buyer all known facts about the subject property.” Realtor, Sunny Smith, takes this law very much to heart. Join her for an open house as she discloses not just the details of the appliances but also the details of her life. Set up in the style of an actual open house, (complete with refreshments) FULL DISCLOSURE, a one woman show, will be performed by GTTP Company Member, Kiwi Callahan. Join us for snacks and a tour of both Sunny’s listing and her heart.”
“Full Disclosure” runs through Dec. 18th. Performances are Tuesdays-Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm & 7pm and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets are $20
Christmas Eve on Sesame Street
Bring your kids to Museum of the Moving Image on Saturday at 1pm for this 1978 holiday special episode, following by a compilation of various clips from the series. Free with museum admission. 36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria.
Malu Holiday Gift Show
Malu, one of LIC’s most quaint and delicious ice cream and dessert shops, is having a special gift show on Saturday from 2-6pm. Besides Malu’s signature chocolates, you’ll find jewelry, candles, soaps, and more.
Brickhouse Ceramic Art Center Holiday Sale
Stop by the shop for one-of-a-kind pieces to give your loved one for the holidays – jewelry, vases, mugs, and more! All weekend long, from 10am-5pm. 10-34 44th Dr.
Ten10 Studios, a fantastic art gallery in the neighborhood, is hosting a holiday party for the whole family on Sunday, complete with story time, hot coco, and festive photos at the Polaroid Portrait Studio. 1-4:30pm. Free for all!
Yesterday The Queens Courier profiled local artist Jesse Winter, whose photographs of Long Island City are showcased at The Industry. Primarily a portrait photographer, Winter works at Ten10 Studios (below). Read the Courier article, “Winter in Long Island City: Local Artist with Space for Experience.”
“The artistic community of LIC is an ever-evolving collection of painters, photographers, sculptors and preternatural inhabitants of every other imaginable art form. They are in LIC for the camaraderie, the easy access to Manhattan and, of course, for the gallery space.
Ten10 Studios opened its doors to the LIC community on June 3, 2010 and welcomed upon its walls the first of many local creative expressions. Since then the historic carriage house has not only been transformed into a photography studio for local photographer Jesse Winter, but also has become an extension of his vision in art. The space allows him to open his doors as a beacon of art, music, and performances for not just local but all who have been inspired by one form or another. Winter’s vision has caused a positive ripple effect in our local artist community by allowing them to have a venue to express their artistic vision.
Jesse Winter first arrived in LIC in 2003. He walked down Vernon Boulevard and straight into Cassino Restaurant – little did he know his destiny would be altered by meeting the Anzalone family, who happened to know of an apartment for rent. That meeting later changed his destiny when his new place in the LIC community led directly to him meeting future wife Missy, who works for Doctors Without Borders.
It all came together for Winter, all of his chance meetings convinced him to firmly plant his tripod in LIC. His inspiration of life and love comes from his surroundings of family and friends and being inspired by his local surroundings, he decided to create a space for his open media. Not just to create a photo opportunity or to capture a moment in time, but to bring some variety to his form of pictorial cultivation. In doing so, he has created an open studio for local community artists to be able to show on a level that otherwise would not be possible on Vernon Boulevard, which is mainly known for shops and restaurants – a fresh breath of culture without having to walk up to Jackson Avenue.
Winter, as a portrait photographer, has been focusing on children and families. His artistic vision for these subjects brings out their purity and captures the moments that quickly fade as time advances.
‘Children are the sketched version of whatever they will become except more beautiful, pure, and true,’ he said. ‘Ten10 Studios is the perfect space to control light and catch moments with children. Making portraits of children that transcend their age is my goal.’
Moments with loved ones can pass in a blur, as Winter learned in a tragic way.
In the midst of showing his work at other local places like his American Payphone at LIC Market and NYC Composite Landscape at the Industry, his beloved brother Adam passed away after a 32 year struggle with congestive heart failure. Adam’s struggle and dedication to living life to the fullest will be an inspiration to Winter and the LIC community for the rest of his life.
And his inspiration seems to be on a constant flow. Since opening his studio, Winter has exhibited his own projects like Homegrown LIC – portraits of LIC community members, iTrain, and Edible Arts – highlighting LIC chiefs and their creations. Besides his personal work, there has been over 25 local artists displayed – all of which have either given first chances or reignited seasoned careers. It was no small feat to open the Studio as it took friends helping with renovations and local merchants donating food for openings – it has truly been a community affair.
Winter is always looking for new ways to create and share with the community. The only rule is the carriage house doors always close at 10:10 p.m. To round out the season, he is transforming his studio into a Winter Wonderland and opening his doors again for an event on December 11, allowing families to take their portraits. In addition to that holiday present, on December 17 Amanda and Sam, local artists, are performing ‘The Three Cords and Truth,’ a cabaret show and art exhibit of gay icons. Accepting all of the different types of artists LIC has to offer into his studio amplifies the importance of places like Ten10. People tell stories through their journeys and it is wise to catch those stories and tell them while the chance is at hand.
‘The value is in the experience, whether five people show up or 50,’ he said. ‘If it is not good for creativity, conversation, and community it is not good. The best experiences happen because you’re open to letting them happen.’
For new experiences, contact Ten10Studios at www.ten10studios.com or call Jesse Winter at 646-271-5353. Ten10 Studios is located at 10-10 47th Road in LIC.”
TGIF, LIC! Looking for an activity to start off your weekend? Head to The Secret Theatre, a fantastic artistic hub in the community (and conveniently located just around the corner from our condominium building). Siren’s Tale Production’s In Montauk, a film shot in Queens & Long Island, has a sneak peek screening tonight at 7pm followed by a Q&A and reception. Tickets are only $5.
The theatre describes Kim Cummings’s new film: “Photographer Julie Wagner is taking photos in Montauk in the off-season for her first solo show. Pregnant, alone and under pressure to create new work for the impending show, she becomes involved with Christian, a composer working on his own project. Complicating matters is Julie’s husband Josh. Her affair leads Julie to a shocking life decision.”
The Secret Theatre . 44-02 23rd Street
Quick tidbit of exciting LIC news for your Thursday evening: even as temperatures drop in New York, Long Island City Farmers Market stays open! Located at 37-18 Northern Blvd, the market is open every Wednesday from 12-5pm. You’ll surely find less produce than in warmer months, but can look forward to more jams, sauces and gourmet desserts, plus crafts and jewelry. Sounds perfect for unique, thoughtful, and budget-conscious holiday gifts!
Yesterday The New York Times published an article by C.J. Hughes about our neighborhood, Court Square, and all the changes happening in Long Island City. Read on:
“ON a recent afternoon the view across Court Square, in eastern Long Island City, Queens, took in an auto body shop and parking lots, and aging factories beyond. The Citicorp Building and other office towers cast shadows across streets. Places to shop were nonexistent.
That view is about to change. The Rockrose Development Corporation has started construction on a 42-story rental tower with 709 apartments that is expected to be among the largest residential developments in the area — and one of the tallest buildings in the borough — when completed in 2013.
The apartments in the tower, which will be called Linc LIC, at 43-10 Crescent Street, will range from 450-square-foot studios to 1,400-square-foot three-bedrooms. They will have parquet floors and ‘Rockrose standard’ flecked granite counters, and in many cases, washers and dryers, said Justin Elghanayan, a principal of Rockrose, which is led by his father, Henry.
The rents will be about 25 percent below those for comparable apartments in Manhattan, brokers say. They average $1,750 a month, for studios, and $4,150 a month for three-bedrooms, or about $38 per square foot.
Those rents are in line with those at the smattering of new rentals in the area. At Packard Square and Packard Square North, for instance, a pair of projects developed by Ciampa Management, studios are $1,700 to $2,000 a month, said Danielle T. Culver, the Citi Habitats agent who leases them. And they have leased quickly; the 90 units at Packard Square North, which opened in June, were filled by November, she said.
‘A lot of people from Manhattan used to be afraid to cross the bridge,’ Ms. Culver said, referring to the Queensboro Bridge, which runs a few blocks north of Court Square, ‘but now this is becoming its own little area.’
To ensure that renters keep crossing, Rockrose is stocking its $275 million building with amenities. Among them will be two sizable outdoor spaces: an 8,000-square-foot courtyard, with lawns, on the third floor; and another with grills, bars and tables, on the 31st.
As an added enticement, that auto body shop, which sits on Rockrose land, will be leased to a restaurant, to enliven sidewalks that now are hushed at night.
‘I think it’s about to pop,’ Justin Elghanayan said of the Court Square area, as he gave a tour of the work site. Indeed, a bustling after-work social scene will be critical to attracting the younger renters whom Rockrose covets, said Mr. Elghanayan, who for similar reasons staged a sort of multiweekend pool party on a lot near his new building last summer. Called the Palms, the party featured three Dumpsters filled with water to splash around in, alongside beach chairs, and beer. ‘That’s the kind of energy neighborhoods need,’ he said.
The revels won’t last forever, though. The second and third buildings in Rockrose’s complex, which is to have a total of 1,700 units, for $750 million, will rise on the Palms lot, though no groundbreaking date has been set.
Details are even vaguer about the fourth building, which is to go up next to the shop-turned-restaurant; it could contain condominiums, or even offices, Mr. Elghanayan said.
Although residents may be a new sight, Court Square has been steadily adding office workers since the Citicorp Building went up in 1989.
Court Square Place, which opened in 2006, is now home to the United Nations’ large credit union. And next fall, the City University of New York School of Law will move from Flushing, its home since 1983, to Two Court Square, a high-rise built in 2007.
The Court Square project is the first for Rockrose since its unusual restructuring.
For decades, Rockrose was controlled by three brothers, Henry, Tom and Fred Elghanayan. But in 2009, they split the firm into two separate companies, divvying up its buildings in the process.
One company, called TF Cornerstone, is run by Tom and Fred. Among its holdings are two apartment buildings in a different part of Long Island City, called the Queens West development. On Center Boulevard along the East River, it was created from once-polluted industrial lots. TF Cornerstone is currently building on four other sites on Center Boulevard, one of which, No. 45-45, is to have 806 units, rivaling Rockrose’s new tower.
The other spin-off company, which retained the Rockrose name, went to Henry Elghanayan; it controls 47-05 Center Boulevard, among many other buildings.
Part of the reason for the family split, cited at the time, was that Henry sought a clear path of succession for Justin, 33. And in some ways that move seems to have paid off: the Crescent Street apartment is Justin’s first development project. ‘I’m really, really enjoying it,’ he said.”
From the roof of the Z Hotel in Long Island City, Mayor Bloomberg announced earlier this week that the tourism industry is healthy and thriving. With the Manhattan skyline behind him, he spoke of the particular increase in LIC, which has become a common destination for international visitors looking for cheaper rooms still within close proximity to Manhattan. Read this article by Nancy Trejos for USA Today’s Travel Section, which mentions our own Silvercup Studios, the owners of which are the developers of our condominium building.
“Start spreading the news: New York will reach a record 90,000 hotel rooms by the end of the year, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced.
That’s a 24% increase since 2006. More than 7,000 rooms are in the works, about 40% of them outside of Manhattan, according to NYC & Co., New York City’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organization.
The number of hotel rooms in the construction pipeline is actually decreasing across the nation. According to the October 2011 STR/McGraw Hill Construction Dodge Pipeline Report, there are 310,387 rooms slated to be built nationwide, a 9-percent decrease compared to October 2010.
‘New room supply growth will remain muted for the overall industry in the coming years,’ Vail Brown, vice president of global sales and marketing at the research firm STR, said in a statement. ‘An exception is the New York City market; they are in the middle of a new hotel construction explosion.’
Nashville reported the largest increase in rooms. Both Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., also reported healthy increases. For the first time in years, Las Vegas was not in the top five for new construction. Chicago had the largest decrease.
Long Island City, Queens, has helped New York surge past other cities in hotel construction. The outer borough community has seen a surge in hotel development, thanks to quick subway service to Manhattan and attractions such as the Museum of the Moving Image. Long Island City and nearby Astoria also house many TV and film studios including Silvercup Studios and Kaufman Astoria Studios.
There are now 17 hotels in Long Island City with 1,500 rooms. Five more properties with 650 rooms are under construction, NYC & Co. reported. Some brands that have branched out to Queens include the Four Points by Sheraton, Fairfield Inn, Country Inn & Suites, and Holiday Inn. Next month, the Wyndham Garden Long Island City will open.
Some independent hotels have also made the leap across the river including the Ravel and the Verve Hotel. The 100-room Z NYC, where Bloomberg made his remarks, opened in July with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline.
Another 40 or so new projects will open citywide in the next 30 months, about 13 of them outside of Manhattan, bringing 1,865 rooms to the outer boroughs, according to NYC & Co.
Despite the lull in the economy, the New York City tourism industry appears to be healthy, with 48.8 million visitors last year and a record number of visitors expected this year. Hotel occupancy is close to 85%, according to NYC & Co.
The U.S. hotel industry is expected to end 2011 with a 4-percent occupancy increase to 59.9 percent, STR reported. But for 2012, STR is forecasting a 0.2% increase in occupancy to 60%, much smaller than originally predicted. The firm attributes that to continued global economic insecurity.”
Looking for a small, personalized gift for a loved one? With the holidays approaching, we’ve found the perfect stocking stuffer, and gift for friends, coworkers, or family: a custom candy bar from Chocomize. Go to the website (www.chocomize.com) to pick from dark, milk and white chocolate, and then pile on those toppings. The company’s list includes candy (not sure that we’d want Gushers or Sour Patch Kids in our chocolate, but there are Junior Mints, Kit Kats, Reeses Pieces, and many more to choose from), nuts, fruit, spices, pretzels, graham crackers… the list goes on. And guess what? The chocolate bars are coming to Queens! Chocomize is moving its headquarters from New Jersey to Long Island City. Another delicious addition to the neighborhood!
New York Daily News published a story today about the company’s innovative and young founders, 25-year-old Columbia graduates Eric Heinbockel and Fabian Kaempfer. Read the article here: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/custom-chocolate-company-chocomize-moves-long-island-city-expand-article-1.978463
The weather is having trouble sticking to one season (snow? 68 degrees?), but if today is any indication, winter is coming. And what better way to ring in the holiday season than ice skating? Everything about lacing up the skates, putting on your coziest hat, and sliding on the ice seems to conjure up memories of childhood winters. And with Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s a perfect way to put yourself in the turkey-and-tinsel mindset.
So this weekend, we suggest taking the kids, friends, or a date to City Ice Pavilion, Long Island City’s very own ice rink.
In addition to public skating, the rink also hosts skating school, youth ice hockey classes, birthday parties, and more – check out the website for more details: http://www.cityicepavilion.com
Prices: $5 Mon – Fri; $8 Sat & Sun. City Ice Pavilion is located at 47-32 32nd Place in LIC. SKATE ON!
A new restaurant opens in Long Island City today, a European joint called “Bear” near Socrates Sculpture Park, and beware, the food sounds addictive. New York Magazine profiled the restaurant yesterday; read on for a preview of the newest LIC hotspot.
“The naming-restaurants-after-animals trend continues with Bear, opening November 11 a few blocks from Long Island City’s Socrates Sculpture Park. The dining room is studded with Swarovski crystal chandeliers set into the walls, with Venetian-tiled floors, and a full-service granite-topped mosaic bar. On the ‘New European’ menu, consider the house appetizer, ’3-Shot Vodka,’ a seasonally rotating trio of small bites served with a mini-carafe of vodka intended to jump-start the meal and whet the palate. ‘Bear Wings’ are actually large duck wings served with an apple salad and blue cheese dipping sauce. Another house dish features Long Island duck slow-roasted with a whole granny smith apple, served with sunflower-oil-seared potatoes. Cocktails, wines, and several obscure craft beers (including two from the Great Lakes brewery in Cleveland) make up the drinks selection.
Executive chef Natasha Pogrebinsky comes most recently from the Castello Plan in Brooklyn, but has studied in a few of New York’s top kitchens, including at Park Avenue Seasons and as an apprentice to Salumeria Rosi‘s Cesare Casella. While initially just serving dinner and an abbreviated late-night menu (2 a.m. weekdays; 4 a.m. weekends), Bear will eventually serve lunch and brunch as well”
Go to the magazine’s website to see Bear’s full menu: http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2011/11/bear.html?mid=twitter_GrubStreet
Last Sunday, the LIC community congregated on Jackson Avenue to cheer on marathon runners. Modern Spaces, The Industry’s sales team, took to their storefront on Jackson, offering coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, plus delicious pastries and muffins – it was a perfect fall morning, and a great way to celebrate the runners and the city of New York! Modern Spaces supplied signs for people to write positive cheers and shout-outs to friends and family. Take a look:
Unless you were living under a Central Park rock yesterday, you experienced the marathon madness. Here at The Industry, people stopped by our open house while waiting to see a friend or loved one run through the Queens streets. Long Island City was packed! And The New York Times took notice. This morning’s article by C.J. Hughes, “Along the Route, Neighborhood Snapshots of New York’s Progression,” chronicles the change in LIC over the last few decades. Here are excerpts:
“As dusk fell, a woman, head to toe in black, bounded down the sidewalk, with a leash in one hand and a baby tucked against her chest. By the curb, two men in suits loudly debated the stock market. And at a Mexican bistro, patrons sipped Chardonnay from stemless glasses under graffiti framed as art.
Ordinary stuff, maybe, for many New York neighborhoods. But this lively mix of bar-goers and Wall Streeters and harried parents was percolating on Vernon Boulevard, in Long Island City, Queens, a highway-bordered neighborhood that until recently seemed to function largely as a giant parking lot.
In 1976, when the New York City Marathon first trudged through Long Island City en route from Staten Island to Manhattan, the area had an even more pungent industrial flavor. A common sight at night then wasn’t stockbrokers but trucks, lots of them, rumbling from low-slung warehouses down dark streets with cargoes of bread, beer and soda.”
“The transformation of Long Island City, from a vast asphalt expanse into a neighborhood rich with luxury two-bedroom condos, is just one startling stop on the city’s remade and repopulated landscape. Charred blocks are now flush with trees. Discos have given way to pharmacies. Immigrant groups have faded, to be replaced by arrivals of new colors. The gulf between rich and poor has blown open.
Sure, one could pick any thoroughfare in the city, or devise your own 26-mile spin through New York, and note change. But the marathon’s route, year in and year out, draws runners from across the globe and declares, in its punishing and entertaining way, ‘This is New York.’”
“Long Island City’s changed character and altered look are a testament to that rezoning and the rebuilding that has come as a consequence. Yes, there are still myriad taxi depots, used-car lots and garages. Not to mention that huge billboards, for department stores, orange juice and cellphones, catch the eyes of commuters on the Long Island Expressway below.
But people who ran the route in the ’70s no doubt do double takes these days. Developers have recently lined Jackson Avenue with angular condos. A complex known as Hunters View was built over an auto-parts store. One Vernon Jackson rose over a razed glue factory. And One Hunters Point, on Borden Avenue, stands in the footprint of a parking lot where children a couple of generations back played touch football.
Adding so much sizzle to a sleepy city corner has charmed some business owners like Sung Park, 52, a deli owner on Vernon since 1988.
In 2009, he decided the neighborhood had changed enough that he could move beyond selling soda and sandwiches. He opened a museum on 50th Avenue, formally known as Underpenny Antiques, where his collection of 19th-century cast-iron pot holders, some 200 of them, are on display. Oh, and you can buy an oil painting there, too.
‘Years ago, you couldn’t tell cabdrivers ‘Long Island City,’ so we would tell them to go to the Midtown Tunnel tollgate,’ he said. ‘But now they know where to go.’”