Life In Motion
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
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!
Another Friday is here, and we’ve got a few suggestions for how to spend your pre-Thanksgiving weekend in Long Island City…
Tonight head to The Astor Room at 34-12 34th Street for live music, dinner, and end-of-work-week drinks. We blogged about the restaurant’s Friday nights a while back: Emerging artists from Song Circle play each Friday night from 9-11PM. Why not make a night of it? The Astor Room (34-12 36 Street, Astoria) is known for its delicious cocktails and grub, with an extensive wine collection, comfort food done right (chicken pot pie, French union soup, fish & chips – oh my!), and a cocktail list Hollywood-inspired, “forgotten classics.” A vodka gimlet please!
Today through Sunday, stop by Museum of the Moving Image for the series “Crime Scene: Europe,” a showcase of film noir thrillers. The museum says: “The series ranges from Czech and Austrian films of the 1940s and early 1950s rarely seen in the U.S. to contemporary productions from France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Romania.” Go to http://www.movingimage.us/ for showtimes and information on all the films and special events.
Also at Museum of the Moving Image: If you’re ready to ring in the holiday season, bring your kids to a 3-D screening of the animated flick “Arthur Christmas” on Saturday @ 11am, with a reception of cookies and drinks in the museum cafe at 10am. “Arthur Christmas” stars James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, and Jim Broadbent.
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.”
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
If you’re at The Industry or in LIC looking for a variety of organic produce, healthy snacks, allergy-friendly foods, or just hoping to put something good in your body, stop by Natural Frontier Market at 12-01 Jackson Avenue. Larger than your average corner store, the market has aisles of dairy products, fruits and veggies, breads and grains, plus healthy snacks for kids, not-your-average TV dinners, and the chips, desserts, and nutrition bars that you’d expect from health stores. There is also a smoothie & juice bar (yes, they have wheat grass shots), pre-made meals (think Mediteranian wraps, vegetarian chicken salad, and tofu soba noodles), vitamins, spices, and cosmetic products. The best thing about Long Island City’s Natural Frontier Market? The prices, which are noticeably lower than competitors in other parts (even Queens) of NYC. Health nuts, vegans, vegetarians, gluten-intolerants – UNITE! We’re right there with ya, loving Natural Frontier Market in LIC!
Check out the website: naturalfronteirmarket.net
It’s been an exciting week here at The Industry, and we’re looking forward to a relaxing, fun weekend. Long Island City won’t disappoint, with festivals and films galore, plus markets, art exhibits, and live music! If you have to choose, here a few things to put on your calendars this weekend in LIC…
Come to Resobox today for a Japenese Character Design Workshop, now every Friday from 5:30 – 6:45pm. Instructor Akane Ogura studied dressmaking and fashion design in Japan, and later illustration in the states. Specializing in mixed media, her work captures the spirit of Japanese character design and “kawaii,” the term for “cuteness.” Resobox’s website describes, “[Kawaii is] a very important part of Japanese pop culture. If you are familiar with ‘Hello Kitty,’ ‘Pikachu’ and ‘Rilakkuma,’ then you can easily understand kawaii characters. In this class, using these two concepts together, we will explore Japanese contemporary drawing style to create kawaii characters of our own vision and design.”
Resobox . 41-26 27th Street
The BabBaDa: Rice Dream Exhibit has its opening reception tonight from 6-7pm at Space Womb, a fantastic art gallery in the Hunters Point area of LIC. On display are paintings & sculptures from two accomplished Korean artists, Jongsun-Jay and Gongsan Kim, that explore Asian and Western motifs, the aftermath of the Korean War, and, as the website states, the “Korean reality from an American perspective.”
Space Womb . 22-48 Jackson Ave
The New York City Greek Film Festival, which runs from Oct. 16th through Nov. 6th at various venues across the city, began yesterday at Museum of the Moving Image; films will be screened at the venue through Sunday. Recognize any of the movies playing this weekend? Charisma, Tungsten, Nobody, Strella, Attenberg, My Sweet Canary, and Knifer will play at the museum.
Check out the full schedule: http://www.nycgreekfilmfestival.com/NYCGFF/MOMI___Schedule.html
Museum of the Moving Image . 36-01 35th Ave
Socrates Sculpture Park’s Halloween Harvest Festival is tomorrow from 11am to 3pm! Take a look at the park’s desciption of the exciting, “fun for the whole family” event:
“Come to the 11th annual Halloween Harvest Festival with your friends and family to make a costume with Socrates Sculpture Park artists; listen to live music; enjoy special artmaking workshops with Socrates artists; enter your dog in the 7th annual Canine Costume Contest; and try harvest foods from local restaurants.
Celebrate Electric Boogaloo style with Socrates Sculpture Park artists!
- Funky costume-making workshops
- Face painting by Agostino Arts!
- Annual Canine Costume Contest with LIC’s Pooches Sport & Spa
- Harvest foods for sale from LIC’s Breadbox Cafe
- Original hip-hop songs & spoken word by the youth of Urban Art Beat NYC
- Breakdancin’ by RadioHead Entertainment
- “Beat-n-Brass” concert by William B. Johnson’s Drumadics”
Socrates Sculpture Park . 3205 Vernon Blvd
Lastly, The Gantry Park Fall Festival is all day Saturday on as well. Plus Agora LIC Saturday Market, and GrowNYC Greenmarket - so much to do, so little time!
Of course, we’d love for you to stop by The Industry on your way to or from one of these fantastic neighborhood events. Our open houses are Saturdays & Sundays from 1-4pm, or 4-5pm by appointment. After our “premiere party” and visit from E! News this week, people are buzzing about our LIC condos - come see what all the fuss is about!
The New York Times wrote a fantastic piece about Long Island City last week, which documented the rapid changes to Vernon Boulvard over the past decade. Take a look at Christian L. Wright’s article:
“AT 3:30 p.m. on a Tuesday in late September, three men were sitting at the sidewalk tables in front of Tournesol on Vernon Boulevard. Pascal Escriout, the Frenchman who owns the bistro, was sharing a bottle of Bordeaux with a couple of friends — Robert Gonçalves, his partner in Domaine Wine Bar a few doors down, and one of the guys from Sweetleaf, the coffee house over on Jackson Avenue.
A young mother in aviator sunglasses and high ponytail came along, pushing a baby in a stroller, a toddler at her heels.
‘Hello!’ Mr. Escriout said.
‘That looks so nice,’ the young mother said wistfully, as she continued on her way.
Ten years ago, when Mr. Escriout arrived in Long Island City to open his restaurant, marked by a giant sunflower on a big sign on the side of the two-story building, there wasn’t much around apart from St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Dorian Cafe coffee shop and a few places to get your tires rotated.
‘It reminded me of a village in France,’ said Mr. Escriout, sweeping his arm toward the trees and benches of Vernon Mall, a small wedge of a park that separates Tournesol (50-12 Vernon Boulevard) from 1 Vernon Jackson, the gleaming new steel-and-glass condominium across the way. ‘After 6 o’clock, there was almost no one on the street.’”
“Vernon runs parallel to the East River, which is as close as two blocks away. Along the banks, condominium towers continue to go up, but the waterfront is also home to the 12-acre Gantry Plaza State Park, with its front-row perspective on the Manhattan skyline. Old gantries and the enormous Pepsi-Cola sign hold fast as symbols of the area’s industrial and manufacturing history. Meanwhile, Vernon Boulevard is low-rise and old-time, a nice bridge to the neighborhood’s pregentrification past. The map may seem strange to a Manhattanite: 44th Avenue runs parallel to 44th Road, 11th Street is one block from 21st Street, and the building numbers read like a mixed-up Dewey Decimal system.
Many of the buildings lining the boulevard are clapboard or brick, some date back to the early 1900s, and lots of them house railroad flats, those long, skinny hallmarks of New York City living. Rents here are about half what they are in Manhattan, according to Eric Benaim, a Queens native who is president of Modern Spaces, a boutique real estate agency focused on Long Island City. Availability tends to be scant on Vernon Boulevard, but a renovated 700 square-foot one-bedroom near the intersection with 48th Avenue was recently listed for $1,900 a month.
Sales are competitive, too. For instance, a two-bedroom two-bath corner unit with a 174-square-foot balcony at 1 Vernon Jackson is on the market for $899,000, western and southern views included.
At street level, there’s strong evidence of the strata of time. The trolley cars of the 1950s are long gone, but auto body shops are now mixed in with trendy bars; the dusty old Delta Force Army Navy store (owned by Brian Adams, the head technician for the Gruccis, a k a America’s First Family of Fireworks) is a few doors from the new Snob nail salon (No. 47-34); a private social club sits across from the offices of Modern Spaces (No. 47-42).
The pedestrian flow is constant and active but never seems heavy, unless you count the Sunday of the New York Marathon, when the stampede comes right down the boulevard. And it’s not just on marathon day that you see every race, color, creed, day job and hairdo … plus dog walkers. It’s dog heaven around here, with at least six canine-centric businesses within a few blocks, and a dog run at 48th Avenue and Vernon that’s being overhauled and expanded.
“Queens may not yet have the cachet of, say, Brooklyn, but there is something effortlessly cool about Long Island City. In an old public school two and a half blocks east of Vernon Boulevard, MoMA PS1 (22-25 Jackson Avenue at the intersection of 46th Avenue) has brought contemporary art, not to mention an international tourist brigade, to the area. It certainly played a part in the $4 million renovation of the Court Square stop on the IRT Flushing Line.
M. Wells, the iconoclastic restaurant that lost a battle with its landlord and closed last summer, cast a light on the gastronomic possibilities. From pioneers like Tournesol to newcomers like the haute beer hall Alewife (5-14 51st Avenue) and Alobar (46-42 Vernon Boulevard), where a charcuterie menu is replacing the old Irish bill of fare, there is an eating and drinking boom at the boulevard’s southern end. There’s an audience for it, too. How else could Hunter’s Point Wines and Spirits (47-07 Vernon Boulevard) offer such a good inventory, host regular tastings and provide wine storage for customers?
The prevailing attitude of the neighborhood is: ‘If I don’t have to go to Manhattan, I won’t.’
At the beginning of October, Sarah Obraitis (a native of the borough) and her husband, Hugue Dufour (the chef who came from the Michelin-starred Au Pied de Cochon in Montreal), of M. Wells were negotiating a lease on a warehouse space not far from Vernon Boulevard. In spite of accolades from the fancy-food press, Ms. Obraitis and Mr. Dufour have said they have no interest in other boroughs. Instead, they want to continue to serve ‘Queens people.’”
Take a look at this excerpt from writer Daniel Prendergast’s NY Daily News story, “Comedian Steve Hofsteller opening comedy club in Long Island City.” We can’t wait for Hofsteller’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club, soon to be at 4738 Vernon Blvd!
That’s why he’s opening The Laughing Devil Comedy Club – the latest, and smallest, addition to the city’s comedy scene – in the heart of the up-and-coming Queens neighborhood.
‘The general idea is to make it a very intimate show where every seat is a fantastic seat, where the back row is the front row,’ Hofstetter said.
The 760-square-foot space on Vernon Blvd. is set to open in December and seat about 50, making it the smallest club in the city, if not the world – a fact Hofstetter plans to contest with the Guinness Book of World Records.
It would also be the only full-time comedy club in the city outside of Manhattan.
Despite the club’s diminutive size, Hofstetter expects it to draw big talent to Queens.
In addition to being a comedian, Hoffstetter, 32, is the chief operating officer of Paragon, a company that has a stake in three other comedy clubs around the country and has worked with comedians such as Margaret Cho and Dave Attell.
‘We have some great connections,’ he said. ‘Since I’m a comedian myself, a lot of these guys are buddies that came up at the same time as me.’”
“What attracted you to The Industry LIC?”
We’ve asked our buyers that question, and will periodically provide their answers on the blog. It may be just a quick phrase or anecdote, but it’s window into why, like so many others, these New Yorkers are choosing to make Long Island City their home – and think The Industry suits their needs perfectly!
What attracted you the The Industry LIC?
“The ease of transportation and amount of subway trains in the Court Square area of LIC is a huge sell.”
There’s no embellishment here, Court Square provides an ease of transportation unlike Astoria and even other areas of Long Island City. Think about it: in one stop, the E train lands you in midtown, and then continues down Manhattan, landing in Brooklyn. There’s the 7 train, connecting to Eastern Queens, Vernon-Jackson Blvd in LIC, Grand Central & Times Square. The G takes you south into Brooklyn; the M train connects to both Brooklyn and Manhattan. Walk a few blocks, and you can hop on the N, R, Q or F trains. Exhausted by all the possibilities yet?
We’re definitely lucky to have such a fantastic and easily accessable location. Walk out our front door, down to the street corner, take the E one stop to Lexington Ave & 53rd Street, and as another buyer told us, “Door-to-door, the commute to my midtown office is only 7 minutes.” Hard to beat!
This coming weekend marks the second annual Astoria/LIC International Film Festival, a platform for emerging artists to showcase their unique perspectives and talents. From Friday though Sunday, films will be screened in venues across the neighborhoods. And with directors, writers, and filmmakers panels, plus an open mic event and comedy shows, there will be much to learn and enjoy at this unique festival rooted in the culture of our local communities.
For filmmakers interested in submitting pieces for the 2012 festival, here are the categories: features, narratives, documentaries, short films, super short films, music videos, scripts and short stories.
For more info and tickets, go to the festival website: www.astorialicff.com. Here’s how the website described last year’s festival:
“The Astoria/LIC Int’l. Film Festival will strive to promote an open and nurturing environment for artists, writers, actors, filmmakers and fans, and will focus on offering great networking opportunities for its participants. This first annual film festival gives start to a great new tradition of promoting new and emerging voices in film, spoken word and art similar to the Tribeca and NYC Downtown Film Festivals.
The Astoria/LIC area has been dubbed ‘The United Nations of New York City’; according to newspapers, with people from 120 different countries living and working in these diverse and eccentric New York neighborhoods. Astoria/LIC is a terrific host for this new tradition, on par with such established art locales as the Village, SoHo or Williamsburg.”
You don’t want to miss it!
Stay tuned for a post about another fantastic festival, The Hamptons International Film Festival, which The Industry is proud to be connected to; our developer, Stuart Suna, is chairman of the festival!