Tag Archives: East River Ferry

New outdoor cafe begins to bring local menu to LIC waterfront


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of Wade Zimmerman


Passengers on the East River Ferry will be welcomed with a tasteful Queens experience once they dock into Long Island City’s Hunter’s Point South Park.

The owners of COFFEED, a café located at 37-18 Northern Blvd., have opened a brand-new 160-seat outdoor café called LIC Landing by COFFEED right on the Long Island City waterfront under the pavilion at the park.

The site features a walk-up window where customers can order, table service available for dinner and on weekends, and a dedicated 2,000-square-foot event space.

Although a grand opening is expected in the next two weeks, starting May 21 customers have been able to stop by the location and try items off the menu, which LIC Landing owners are slowly rolling out.

“We’re super excited to be here,” CEO and founder Frank “Turtle” Raffaele said. “This is a spectacular park and certainly puts Queens on a bigger map. It’s one of the best views of New York City and people come to Queens and want to have a great experience. We want [visitors] to have a very solid Queens experience.”

Once the full menu is available café patrons will be able to enjoy full menu items including sandwiches, salads, pastries, COFFEED’s specialty coffees and teas, craft beer and wine, while enjoying a view of the Manhattan skyline.

All the food sold at LIC Landing is made from local ingredients and continues COFFEED’s partnership with Long Island City’s rooftop farm Brooklyn Grange. The names of the menu items are all also inspired by the borough’s streets, subway lines and famous residents.

“Everything is very Queens-focused. The ingredients are from Queens, flavors from Queens, the vibe is Queens,” Raffaele said.

The event space is available to host occasions for community organizations and private events, such as weddings, birthday parties, fundraisers and much more.

Keeping with COFFEED’s continuous contribution to local charities and groups, 3 percent of LIC Landing’s revenue will be donated to the nonprofit Hunters Point Parks Conservancy.

“We want to add a little more to the park. We want it to be for Queens people and for everybody, and give them all an experience of Queens they’ve never had before,” Raffaele said.

LIC Landing will be open seven days a week from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. On weekdays table service is available from 5 to 10 p.m., and on weekends from 12 to 10 p.m.

 

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Waterfront tower that hugs LIC Pepsi sign begins leasing


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of The Marino Organization

The Long Island City waterfront is welcoming new residents.

The luxury apartment tower 4610 Center Boulevard, a 26-story building which curves around the iconic Pepsi-Cola sign by the East River, has begun leasing apartments. This project is real estate company TF Cornerstone Inc.’s sixth and final building on the waterfront.

“Following on the heels of 4545 Center Boulevard, which leased up in record time, 4610 Center Boulevard will accommodate the continued influx of new residents to the vibrant and bustling neighborhood,” said Sofia Estevez, executive vice president for TF Cornerstone. “The opening of this building is a significant milestone in the history of the New York City waterfront and is a true sign of the area’s immense residential transformation since its day as an industrial hub.”

Designed by architecture firm Arquitectonica, 4610 Center Boulevard is made up of 584 units including studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. The residences feature stainless steel appliances, custom closets, wood strip floors and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Residents will be able to enjoy amenities, designed by design firm Yabu Pushelberg, such as a spacious lobby with a Wi-Fi lounge, private garden, modern fitness center and a resident club which opens to a landscaped terrace.

The luxury waterfront tower is accessible by the 7, E, G and M trains, the East River Ferry and is just minutes away from Manhattan.

For more information on 4610 Center Boulevard call 718-606-9440 or email 4610leasing@tfc.com.

 

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Astoria and LIC among Queens stops recommended for East River Ferry expansion


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of the East River Ferry

Queens could be the big winner from an expansion of the East River Ferry service if the city can find a spare $80 million to expand existing infrastructure and a private ferry company willing to pony up $10 million a year to run it.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) released its preliminary 2013 Citywide Ferry Study earlier this week, in which it considered 58 potential new ferry stops, including some based on community recommendations, for the East River.

In the end, the NYCEDC recommended 11 possible spots. The areas in Queens include Astoria Cove, Long Island City North, and Beach 108th and 116th Street in the Rockaways, according to the report. Ferry service was also recommended looked into for LaGuardia Airport.

“In the span of only a few years, ferry service has become an integral part of the City’s transportation infrastructure, serving millions of passengers and providing momentum for continued development along the City’s waterfront,” said NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball.

According to the report, these new routes would require “considerable capital and operating subsidies” and an expanded new network featuring the East River Ferry and the additional routes would require “an annual subsidy for weekday service of close to $10 million.”

The potential new stops would also require additional capital investment to construct docking stations which feature shelters, ticketing machines, benches, bike racks, and two-slip or single-slip barges.

Following the recent study, the possible ferry service expansion proposal will now be reviewed by local elected officials, leaders, private ferry companies and the community at large in order to discuss the specific new routes and how to fund them.

Currently the only East River Ferry stop in Queens is by Hunter’s Point South Park in Long Island City between 54th Avenue and 2nd Street.

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LIC Flea & Food Holiday Market: One-stop shopping and family fun


| editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

The LIC Flea & Food Holiday Market kicked off the season with a successful weekend full of holiday fun, as people shopped for friends and family, while indulging in food from all over the world.

Thousands of visitors, from near and far, came to the Holiday Market inside the warehouse, located at the corner of 5th Street and 46th Avenue. It is connected to the original lot, where last summer’s outdoor LIC Flea was held.

“We were thrilled to welcome thousands of shoppers to take advantage of local vendors selling holiday gifts and food at the Long Island City Holiday Market,” said Joshua Schneps, LIC Flea & Food president. “We look forward to the next two weeks. We offer one place to find a special gift for anyone in your life and it is a fun destination for the family.”

Many of LIC Flea’s favorite vendors made a return, along with some fresh new faces, totaling more than 75 unique vendors per day.

Kazuko Nagao, owner of LIC Flea vendor Oconomi who participated in the outdoor LIC Flea, said she saw a lot of regular customers return to the market — and also a large number of new visitors.

“We started off the holiday market really well. It was fantastic,” said Nagao, who will be serving Oconomiyaki, Japanese vegetable pancakes, both Saturday and Sunday. “A lot of people really liked the setup of the flea market because it is very spacious. I got a lot of good feedback from the customers.”

Another LIC Flea returning vendor is Clean Plate, owned by Chimere Ward, who will be serving a savory crab bread pudding and a smoked Buddha mac and cheese both days.

“It went very well. It was a lot of excitement,” said Ward. “The kids and adults had a great time and the vendors had a great time too.”

Vint and York Eyewear, founded by Dmitriy Israel and Larisa Ginzburg, also made an LIC Flea comeback selling vintage inspired eyewear with a modern twist.

“It was great because we got to see our existing customers and we gained some new ones,” said Ginzburg. “We saw the atmosphere was very warm and inviting, it was great.”

A brand new face who joined the LIC Flea family this holiday season is Drink More Good, founded by Jason Schuler, who will be at the market both Saturday and Sunday. This vendor is selling three different flavored soda syrups, in order to create “better-for-you soda,” or flavored seltzer.

“It was a really great experience for us,” said Schuler. “Just a really festive environment. People just seemed genuinely interested in what the local vendors had to offer.”

Schuler said he plans on being a part of the LIC Flea outdoor market, opening again in April.

Along with the array of unique vendors, LIC Flea also presented Dandy Wellington and His Band, who performed live at the market on Sunday. Inspired by the Big Band Era of jazz, Dandy Wellington has taken the sounds of the 1930s and 40s and created a world of well-dressed music.

JIB Lanes also provided a real bowling alley where visitors could try their best hand at getting a strike. For soccer fans, the New York Cosmos had professional players signing autographs and offering soccer activities. Other players are also expected to come down to the Flea.

After all of the different activities, when you need refreshments, the LIC Flea now features a bar, built specially for the Holiday Market and made of wood from the warehouse. The bar serves beer, wine and holiday cocktails.

Filled with the holiday spirit, hundreds of children lined up to take their pictures with Santa Claus. Saint Nick will be back this upcoming weekend from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The site is walking distance from the No. 7, E and G trains, and the LIC East River Ferry stop. It can also be accessed directly from Gantry Park’s walkway, along Anable Basin. A parking garage is available on 5th Street.

LIC Flea & Food Holiday Market will be open December 14, 15, 21, and 22 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

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LIC Flea & Food Holiday Market: One of a kind gifts, food and fun


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYC Trees

The LIC Flea & Food Market is back for a fun-filled holiday season.

Starting Saturday, December 7, the LIC Flea & Food Holiday Market will feature a wide selection of Flea favorites and new vendors.

Vendors will be selling food, jewelry, clothing, furniture, arts and crafts, antiques, collectibles and more.

Shoppers can also buy fresh Christmas trees, wreaths and other handmade decorations from brothers Louis and Harold DeLucia of J&L Farms, who provided shoppers with fresh produce during the outdoor LIC Flea market. The brothers have now launched NYC Trees, selling Christmas trees in Astoria, Manhattan and elsewhere in Long Island City.

“It just seemed the next step to be there for the holiday market,” said Louis DeLucia. “We want to keep the relationships going and continue to provide the Long Island City residents fresh products, trees and produce.”

The DeLucias will be bringing shoppers top quality, full foliage fraser fir trees that have not been sprayed with chemicals and were picked from local farms to take home and decorate for Christmas. For a small additional fee, the trees could also be delivered to your apartment.

The brothers will be selling handmade wreaths of different sizes, made from the same trees, and decorated with pinecones and ribbons. Their LIC Flea stand will also feature kissing balls, made from tree trimmings, and winter bouquets made of white birch.

Christmas trees are also available on the NYC Trees website at www.nyctrees.com where shoppers can purchase the perfect tree and have them delivered, with installation included.

Aside from the countless vendors, LIC Flea will host live holiday music, including the Danny Wellington Band, free pictures with Santa and activities from ping-pong to soccer with the New York Cosmos soccer club, the new NASL Soccer Bowl Champions.

The New York Cosmos players will be signing autographs at the holiday market each day from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., with names of players still pending. Visitors will also be able to practice kicks using inflatable goal stands.

Before the newly-launched LIC Flea & Food Holiday Market’s opening day, the LIC Partnership will be hosting a VIP Holiday Party on Thursday, December 5 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the site of the market. The celebration, sponsored by Modern Spaces, will include networking, a sneak peek of a selection of the Flea’s unique vendors, and installation by local artists. To RSVP for the party email yhuang@licpartnership.org.

This holiday’s LIC Flea will run Saturdays and Sundays, starting December 7, in the warehouse connected to the original outdoor lot at the corner of 5th Street and 46th Avenue.

The site is walking distance from the No. 7, E and G trains, and the LIC East River Ferry stop. It can also be accessed directly from Gantry Park’s walkway, along Anable Basin. A parking garage is available on 5th Street.

LIC Flea has partnered with the East River Ferry, Queens Economic Development Corporation, TF Cornerstone, the champion New York Cosmos and LIC Partnership.

Interested vendors can still apply by visiting www.licflea.com or calling 718-866-8089.

 

LIC FLEA & FOOD HOLIDAY MARKET VENDORS:

Tea N Milk
djinaba konde
Stella Sparkle Jewelry
Frank Gabrielson
J&L Farms
Bibingka-esk
Handpie
Infanata
Oconomi
Laila Alexander
Elephants Factory
Vint & York
Imran Jewl
Baked Apple
Forever B, LLC
Sweet Drift
Clean Plate
Hormans Pickles
Vivian Jewelry
Al Finnie
Zachary Alexander
Spoil My Bitch
Bills Balls
Latif
C Designs
Jam Jar
Rebecca Dolber Collections
Jessy’s Pasteries
Woody’s Cabin
Fav’s Treatery
Broadway Silk
Topisec
Amaki
Wonderful World of Hoz
Butcher Bar
Pita Pan
Back Thennish
Khao Man Gai
Ceil Witherspoon
Antique Antiques
Goen
Strung Out
Olive Brooklyn
Wolfy Knits
Kafe con arte
Cat Jones NY
Jessica LoBuo
2 Fab Chicks
Ice & Vice
Nomad Truck
Calmer Sutra Tea
Carmen Anderson NY
Glam Mom NY
Lynn Ellis Naretti
Filthy Farm Girl
Mushpa y Mensa
Robert Espirel
Counter Clockwise Antiques
New Amsterdam Baking
Carib Delights
Nuts & Bolts Brooklyn
JJ Fondrisi

 

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Floating photo exhibit featured aboard East River Ferry


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of East River Ferry/United Photo Industries

East River commuters have some new scenery to look at when travelling.

A new photo installation series is now on display on three East River Ferry vessels.

Drawn to Water: A Floating Photographic Exhibition” will run for four months on the boats, with a new set of photos opening monthly.

“Through the lens of talented photographers, East River Ferry passengers will travel a world connected, dominated, and defined by water,” said Laura Roumanos, executive producer at United Photo Industries’ (UPI), which collaborated with East River Ferry on the exhibit. “From David Doubilet’s poetic photos of underwater creatures, to Joni Sternbach’s timeless tintype portraits of surfers across the world, and Stephen Mallon’s fascinating images of subway cars tossed into the Atlantic to form new coral reefs, these are just the start of a journey that will take us across the seven seas.”

The idea for the series was conceived when NY Waterway’s East River Ferry, which serves Long Island City,  Brooklyn and Manhattan, partnered with UPI during last summer’s Photoville project in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

“We are constantly thinking of ways to expand upon our core product in order to make the ferry a more enjoyable experience for our riders,” said Paul Samulski, creative and marketing director at Billybey Ferry Company, which operates the East River ferries. “We respect the work that UPI produces, so we are grateful to have this opportunity to team up with them again.”

The ferries exhibiting the artists’ works will operate weekdays from 6:40 a.m. to 8:45 p.m.

 

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Schumer pushes for expanded ferry service to Astoria


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NY Waterway

Senator Charles Schumer has asked the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to prioritize funding to bring the East River Ferry to Astoria, the Upper East Side and Brooklyn Bridge Park.

“The East River Ferry expansion project can become a ‘Nerd Boat’ that connects our rapidly-expanding tech hubs like Dumbo and the Brooklyn Navy Yard with the new Cornell-NYC’s applied science campus,” said Schumer. “It will also maximize ferry use throughout the city and better connect these waterfront neighborhoods to public transportation, benefitting the local economy.”

The East River Ferry expansion is one of five New York City projects that Schumer is singling out for a chunk of $1 billion in transit funds allocated to New York in this year’s Federal Transportation Bill. The FHA and DOT have final say on which projects will receive the funding.

If they pick the East River Ferry expansion, additional services will reach Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, Hallets Point in Astoria and the Upper East Side. The expansion also entails a new ferry to Roosevelt Island to accommodate students at Cornell’s applied science campus.

Schumer said private developers are planning to build nearly 4,000 housing units on Hallets Point’s waterfront in 2015. He added that expanding the ferry service would benefit the new residents.

The East River Ferry pilot program began in June 2011 and has since served over 1.7 million commuters. The ferry currently transports almost 150 passengers per trip connecting Manhattan with Long Island City, Brooklyn and Governors Island.

Recently, there had been a push to move the service from Hunters Point in Long island City to Gantry Plaza State Park.

Schumer is also pushing to get funding for projects including the Lower East Side/Brooklyn Greenway expansion, construction on the Cross Bronx Service Roads, HOV extensions on the Long Island Expressway and expansion of underground rail tunnels to Grand Central Terminal.

 

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Celebrate East River Ferry’s milestone


| letters@queenscourier.com


You can learn a lot from the past, when numerous ferries operated to and from lower Manhattan and other locations around NYC.

Let us celebrate as East River Ferry ridership reaches the one million mark. Our waterways are an underutilized natural asset that can offer significant transportation alternatives for thousands of New Yorkers. Most of our existing public transportation options as well as our roadways are already operating at or above capacity. New ferry services can be implemented far more quickly than construction of new subway, commuter rails or highways.

Additionally, finding funding for ferry boats, docks and parking with costs in the millions may be easier than finding the billions of dollars necessary for construction of new or extended subway, commuter rails or highways. Utilization of ferry boats equipped with modern fuel efficient engines can make a positive contribution to air quality.

In April 1967, the old Jersey Central Rail Road ended ferry service between Liberty Street and Pavonia, New Jersey. Later that year, the old Erie Lackawana Rail Road suspended ferry service between Barclay Street and Hoboken. Fast forward to today. Thousands of daily commuters use ferries from Hoboken, New Jersey to the World Financial Center. There are also 66,000 daily patrons of the Staten Island Ferry System which connects St. George, Staten Island with the Whitehall Street Ferry Terminal.

Over a year ago, thousands of ferry riders began utilizing the East River ferry connecting various waterfront neighborhoods including Long Island City, East 34th Street, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Wall Street and Governors Island. All are now enjoying the fresh air and breeze that only waterborne transportation can provide. Riding a ferry can be less stressful than being packed in a subway car like sardines in a can.

Larry Penner