Tag Archives: Gantry Plaza State Park

Developer TF Cornerstone to be honored for role in transforming LIC  


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of TF Cornerstone

TF Cornerstone has been one of the main faces in the real estate development boom currently occurring in Long Island City.

Recently, the real estate firm completed its 10-year, $1.4 billion Center Boulevard project, which includes six residential towers on the LIC waterfront with unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline that provide a high-quality living space for a community of more than 6,000 people.

TF Cornerstone was also selected to develop two residential towers for the second phase of the city’s Hunter’s Point South affordable housing project, further bringing more residential opportunity to the neighborhood. The buildings will have 1,193 apartments, 796 of which will be affordable. The towers will also feature a gym, rooftop gardens and decks, and an on-site senior recreational center.

Because of these investments in the neighborhood, the Long Island City Partnership, an organization that focuses on fostering economic growth in the community, will honor the founding brothers of TF Cornerstone, K. Thomas and Frederick Elghanayan, at its 27th annual luncheon on Nov 13.

“We’ve come to love this community as we’ve watched it grow and, for that reason, receiving this award is truly special,” the Elghanayan brothers said. “We’d like to thank the Long Island City Partnership for this honor, and we’re looking forward to many more years of partnerships with groups and individuals in LIC as we begin our next chapter of development in Hunter’s Point South.”

Aside from constructing towers, TF Cornerstone has played a major role in building the community aspects of LIC through supporting local events and institutions, such as the LIC Flea, LIC Arts Open and P.S. 78 and developing Gantry Plaza State Park.

“They’ve been part of that revolutionary vision of what LIC can be as a residential neighborhood,” said Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the LIC Partnership. “People who were attracted to the dollar value now want to stay here for the community value, and that is a testament to the Elghanayans and TF Cornerstone.”

Hundreds of attendees are expected to attend the luncheon, which will be held at Astoria World Manor.

Kenneth Adams, president and CEO of Empire State Development, will give the keynote speech and Community Board 2 Chairman Joseph Conley will receive the William D. Modell Community Service Award.

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Queens ‘Zombie Ride’ to encourage safe biking


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Kidical Mass NYC

Wheels big and small will be going round and round this weekend through western Queens.

Advocacy organization Kidical Mass NYC will be hosting its third family bike ride and the first in Queens on Saturday, Oct. 25, through parts of Long Island City and Astoria.

The event, called “Zombie Ride,” will be a five-mile bike ride starting at the waterfront at Gantry Plaza State Park at the intersection of Center Boulevard and 47th Avenue.

The ride is open to intermediate-level bike riders or children ages 7 and up with good street-riding skills. Children in baby seats and on cargo bikes are also welcome to be a part of the event. 

“[We want to] make an opportunity to get kids to go around a city you walk, ride buses and drive in. It’s another way to get around,” said Hilda Cohen, one of the co-founders of Kidical Mass NYC.  “A lot of parents want to do this but are intimidated about it. It’s really a great way to see your city.”

The ride, which is named in the spirit of Halloween, will then continue through the Long Island City neighborhood and make its first stop at the rooftop garden Brooklyn Grange. After taking a rest stop at coffee shop COFFEED, the group will pass the Museum of the Moving Image and head back toward the waterfront to finish the ride at Socrates Sculpture Park, which will be hosting its Fall Festival. 

The young participants will also receive “spooky” treats such as zombie tattoos. 

“The name [of the event] has nothing to do with anything dangerous,” Cohen said. 

Kidical Mass NYC, which is the New York-based branch of the original Kidical Mass founded in Oregon, pays tribute to the national cycling event called Critical Mass.

Since starting in August, rides have taken place once a month in Brooklyn and Manhattan, bringing together about 40 participants, including adults and children. Now organizers have expanded the reach into Queens, hoping to attract residents from the other boroughs.

“Queens is the next big borough,” said Cristina Furlong of the organization Makes Queens Safer, who is helping Kidical Mass NYC organize the Queens event. “Queens is starting to get noticed.”

Members of the 108th and 114th precincts will also be in attendance on Saturday to provide extra security for the riders. 

“By being visible, I hope we influence some people that might be considering [cycling with their children] and show them that it’s safe,” Furlong said.

According to Cohen, although the event aims to show families that biking through their neighborhoods is a safe alternative to driving, the main goal of the day is to have fun. 

“We’re trying to make everything fun and exciting, which is exactly what biking is and it shouldn’t be something dangerous,” Cohen said. “This is just a means to enjoy our city with our kids.”

The “Zombie Ride” will begin at 10 a.m., with riders beginning to gather at 9:30 a.m. Cohen encourages those interested in participating to RSVP via the group’s Facebook page in order for every participant to receive their Halloween treats. Helmets are required for children 13 years old and under by law, and are recommended for everyone else, according to organizers. 

For more information visit www.facebook.com/kidicalmassnyc.

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New Yorkers brave rain for LIC Instagram meetup


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo via @jnsilva/Instagram

Even through the downpour, Instagrammers flocked to Long Island City for an early morning celebration this weekend.

Just two days before Instagram’s four-year anniversary, members of the photo-sharing app met up in different cities around the world on Saturday to snap mobile photos and share stories for the 10th Worldwide Instameet using the hashtag #WWIM10.

According to organizers, about 70 Instagrammers from the tri-state area put on their rain boots, got out their umbrellas and met up bright and early Saturday at the Pepsi Sign in Gantry Plaza State Park.

Photographers David Krugman and Jose Silva captured the moment on their separate Instagram profiles. Both accounts also feature short videos of the day.

“Torrential rain couldn’t hold us down,” wrote Silva in one photo showing the group of Instagrammers standing in the rain at Hunter’s Point South Park, right next to Gantry Plaza.

For more photos check out Krugman and Silva on Instagram.

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Instagrammers to celebrate 4th anniversary at LIC meetup


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via Instagram

Instagrammers from all over the world will be capturing a special moment this weekend as they come together for the 10th Worldwide Instameet — and you can be a part of it.

Days before Instagram’s four-year-anniversary on Oct. 6, members of the photo sharing app will meet up in different cities around the world to snap mobile photos of surrounding communities and share stories via the app using the hashtag #WWIM10.

This year, Instagrammers from New York City will be meeting up in Long Island City on Saturday with mobile photographer David Krugman for sunrise at 6:30 a.m. The meeting point, rain or shine, is the Pepsi Sign in Gantry Plaza State Park.

Anyone interested in attending can email Krugman at davekrugman@gmail.com or direct message him with any questions on Instagram at @dave.krugman or @jnsilva.

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Identify this place in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

where

Do you know where in Queens this photo was taken? Guess by commenting below! The answer will be revealed next week.

Last week’s answer to “Identify this Place”: Pier 1 at Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island CIty

DSC_0441-624x473

Library services coming to Gantry Plaza State Park this summer


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ File Photo

Book lovers will be able to enjoy reading at Gantry Plaza State Park this summer.

Queens Library and the Friends of Hunters Point Library have announced a special series of library services coming to the waterfront Long Island City park all summer long.

On May 31, a kick-off of the series will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 pm. and will feature the Volunteer Library Brigade hosting reading hour, book giveaways and more. All activities are free.

“The Hunters Point community deserves a world class library and we are very much looking forward to seeing that vision become a reality,” said Mark Christie, president of the Friends of Hunters Point Library. “While we wait on the bricks and mortar we are so pleased to have the Mobile Library service and excited to bring this sun and volunteer fueled pop-up library service.”

A mobile library will be parked every Saturday, rain or shine, at Vernon Boulevard and 48th Avenue from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and offer books and materials for all ages for loan as well as digital downloads onsite and special library offerings.

The Friends of Hunters Point Library will be supporting a “pop-up” library on Saturdays, weather permitting, offering reading and activities starting at 11 a.m. with children’s story hour.

In partnership with Urban Libraries Unite and Food Cellar, a mini-library will be placed at the Food Cellar in Long Island City. It will be modeled on “take a book, leave a book.” Wi-Fi will be available at the site and there will be a free downloadable digital library.

There will be no service on July 5.

 

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Returning July Fourth fireworks could mean big biz for LIC waterfront


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Macy’s

It could be an explosive Independence Day for businesses around the Long Island City waterfront.

After moving to the Hudson River in 2009, Macy’s and Bill de Blasio announced Monday that the department store’s annual 4th of July Fireworks show is returning to the East River this summer.

The location change is expected to benefit restaurants, bars and other establishments along the river that previously saw increased traffic during the festivities.

“It was actually an emptiness that the East River had. It was basically a tradition we had lost for five years,” said Tony Raouf, owner of Riverview Restaurant & Lounge.

Located close to Gantry Plaza State Park, a popular fireworks viewing spot in years past, Riverview is planning on having a celebration with a band this year.

Waterfront Crab House, another Long Island City eatery near the East River, on Borden Avenue, used to close the street down during the holiday and hold a fundraiser for children’s cancer before the fireworks moved.

Parking changes and construction no longer make the closure possible, according to Barbara Heden, the restaurant’s manager.

“[This July Fourth] probably won’t be like it used to be, but will bring us business,” she said.

Heden expects business will quadruple compared to last year. She also said the newly-created Hunter’s Point South Park, which is located on Center Boulevard between 50th and 54th avenues and did not exist when the fireworks were formerly on the East River, will help bring in more crowds.

Z NYC Hotel, opened in 2011 at 43rd Avenue and 11th Street, is already developing special July Fourth events and programming for the holiday that it will be announcing soon, according to Lisa Gneo, director of sales and marketing.

“This will be a great opportunity for many businesses in Long Island City and another way to generate tremendous revenue for our hotel and the community,” she said.

The country’s largest pyrotechnic July Fourth display, the fireworks will be launched from the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time and from barges positioned on the lower East River.

Amy Kule, executive producer of Macy’s events, said at the announcement that the move to the East River is not permanent.

“I’m sure when there’s something else to celebrate — or a reason to move — we will look to do so,” she said.

But the mayor said he would do everything possible “to make [the East River location] as typical as possible — as frequent as possible.”

 

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Spring is springing: 6 things to do this Sunday in Long Island City


| michael@warrenlewis.com

LIC things to do

Warren Lewis Sotheby’s International Realty is pleased to offer the following tips for explorers considering living in Long Island City.

Come to our Rental Open House at The Fusion
42-51 Hunter St.
2:45 to 3:45 pm

Loft-like living with deluxe finishing touches is yours at the Fusion. This 1,240-square-foot 2BR/2Bath is within eye-shot and minutes of mid-town Manhattan –N,Q,R,E,M,F,G and 7 trains get you everywhere!

And then you can…

Have brunch at LIC Market
21-52 44th Dr.
(Just west of 23rd Street)
Brunch: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Hit the LIC Flea

5-25 46th Ave.
(Outdoor lot by the waterfront at the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue)
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
(Photo by  Dominick Totino Photography) 

Visit MoMA PS1

 22-25 Jackson Ave.
(At the intersection of 46th Ave.)
King Britt presents MOONDANCE, A Night in the AfroFuture
12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Walk along the East River at Gantry Plaza State Park

4-09 47th Rd.
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Take in the Whitewash 5Pointz exhibit at the Jeffrey Leder Gallery


21-37 45th Rd.
12 to 6 p.m.

Want to know more about living in LIC?  Ask a local.  Email Michael@warrenlewis.com

The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 14,000 sales associates located in approximately 650 offices in 45 countries and territories worldwide. 

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and rain showers. High of 81. Winds from the SSW at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 70% with rainfall amounts near 0.3 in. possible. Tuesday night: Overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 63. Winds from the WNW at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Gerardo Contino y Los Habaneros

Come see a free live performance by Gerardo Contino y Los Habaneros at Gantry Plaza State Park at 7 p.m. Gerardo Contino was the lead singer for NG La Banda, one of the most recognized salsa and jazz orchestras in Cuba. Since arriving in the US in 2009, he has led his own group. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Spitzer, Stringer get personal at comptroller candidates’ debate

New York City comptroller candidates Eliot Spitzer and Scott Stringer traded heated barbs Monday night in their second debate. Read more: CBS New York

Paul Vallone gets big nod for council seat from former rival Kevin Kim

Politics is again making strange bedfellows. Former Democratic primary rivals Kevin Kim and Paul Vallone, who faced off in the bitter 2009 City Council race, may soon hit the campaign trail together as Kim formally endorsed Vallone for the open northeast Queens seat, the News has learned. Read more: New York Daily News

New institute in Jamaica Bay will study flooding

Queens will on the cutting edge of global warming research thanks to a new think tank unveiled by federal and city officials Monday. Read more: New York Daily News

New York City firefighter accused of strangling, harassing wife

A New York City firefighter is under arrest, facing charges in an apparent domestic dispute with his wife. Read more: ABC New York

CVS requires ID for nail polish remover

One of the active ingredients in nail polish remover is acetone. Read more: Fox New York

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers in the afternoon. High of 86. Winds from the SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.Tuesday Night: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers. Low of 73. Winds from the South at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60% with rainfall amounts near 0.5 in. possible.

EVENT of the DAY: Live at the Gantries with Christel Rice

Traditional Irish flute player and Philadelphia native Christel Rice has created a sensational and unique style with her music. She studied with the late Michael Rafferty of Ballinakill, Ireland where she learned the regional style of flute playing. Come see her preform for free tonight at Gantry Plaza State Park. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Glendale property owner in talks to lease vacant Cooper Ave. land to local nonprofit for a homeless shelter

A Glendale property owner is mulling a plan to turn a former factory into a shelter for the homeless, though community leaders have vowed to fight it. Read more: New York Daily News 

Vallone urges emergency lanes on Queens Boulevard

Forget bike lanes and pedestrian plazas: It’s time to accommodate emergency responders navigating Queens’ deadliest road, a lawmaker says. Read more: New York Post

Congressional Candidate Meng comments on her father’s bribe charges

As Democratic congressional candidate Grace Meng picked up the endorsement of former Mayor Ed Koch at City Hall on Monday, she spoke publicly for the first time about her father’s arrest on wire fraud charges. Read more: NY1

Judge who accused cop of assault says Queens DA is whitewashing probe

The Queens judge who accused a cop of striking him in the throat with a military-style chop says the District Attorney’s probe appears to be a sham. Read more: New York Daily News 

DOE finds almost 70 percent of city students live in poor households

At Hillcrest High School in Jamaica, Queens, 65 percent of the students live in households that earn under $30,000. That is double the figure of just three years ago. While Hillcrest saw one of the biggest jumps, student poverty has increased citywide. Read more: NY1

Bratton makes rounds

Former New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton is signaling his interest in succeeding Commissioner Raymond Kelly, holding private meetings with potential mayoral candidates during which he’s discussing public-safety strategies and his desire to return to service. Read more: Wall Street Journal 

Veteran officer, gunman die in Texas shootout

A routine serving of an eviction notice to a man living near the Texas A&M University campus turned deadly for Brazos County Constable Brian Bachmann when the resident opened fire on him, leading to the death of the law enforcement officer and another man before the gunman was killed. Read more: AP

Free Shakespeare in Queens


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Hip to Hip Theater Company

In July and August, the Hip to Hip Theatre Company is giving free performances of the Shakespeare plays “Hamlet” and “Comedy of Errors” in various locations in Queens.

 

Wednesday, July 25, 7:30 p.m.
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Hamlet

Thursday, July 26, 7:30 p.m.
Voelker Orth Museum
Hamlet

Friday, July 27, 7:30 p.m.
Lost Batallion Recreation Center
Comedy of Errors

Saturday, July 28, 7 p.m.
Far Rockaway Gateway Riis Park
Comedy of Errors

Sunday, July 29, 7 p.m.
Far Rockaway Beach 17th Street
Hamlet

Wednesday, August 1, 7:30 p.m.
St. Albans Park
Comedy of Errors

Thursday, August 2, 7 p.m.
Fort Totten Park
Comedy of Errors

Friday, August 3, 7:30 p.m.
Sunnyside Gardens Park
Hamlet

Saturday, August 4, 7:30 p.m.
Gantry Plaza State Park
Comedy of Errors

Sunday, August 5, 5 p.m.
Socrates Sculpture Park
Hamlet

Wednesday, August 8, 7:30 p.m.
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Comedy of Errors

Thursday, August 9, 7 p.m.
Fort Totten Park
Hamlet

Friday, August 10, 7:30 p.m.
Sunnyside Gardens Park
Comedy of Errors

Saturday, August 11, 7:30 p.m.
Gantry Plaza State Park
Hamlet

Sunday, August 12, 5 p.m.
Socrates Sculpture Park
Comedy of Errors

Thursday, August 16, 7:30 p.m.
Voelker Orth Museum
Comedy of Errors

 

 

 

What to do in Queens this weekend


| sarahyu@queenscourier.com

The Unisphere was lit-up red for American Heart Month

THURSDAY, JULY 5 – SATURDAY, AUGUST 4

The Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats are coming back to Queens Theatre, located at 14 United Nations Avenue South, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Flushing. There is a new cast, new acts and new thrills! Performances will include a combination of acrobatics, traditional dance, costumes, ancient/contemporary music and theatrical techniques. Wednesday through Saturday, the show times are at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. On Sundays, the show time is 3 p.m. Tickets for all seats are $32 while the Family 4-Pack is $100 with the coupon code FAM4.

FRIDAY, JULY 6-AUGUST 24

6:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m., the Queens Museum of Art kicks off its Target Passport Fridays July 6, which runs for eight weeks this summer. On Fridays the museum has free outdoor events featuring live music, dance performances and film screenings, centering on a different country each week.

FRIDAY, JULY 6

10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., the Senior Theater Acting Repertory (STAR), are holding tryouts because they are looking for upcoming performances. It will be at the Queens Village Library, located at 94-11 217th Street in Jamaica. Please call 718-776-0529 for more information.

4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., the Court Square Wine & Spirits, located at 24-20 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City, will be having their weekly free wine and spirit tastings.

5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m., the Noguchi Museum, located at 9-01 33rd Road in Long Island City, has a First Fridays feature which includes a pay what you wish admission with an extended evening hours. Beer and wine will be offered at the cash bar and a special programming will include “Center of Attention,” and others.

9 p.m. – 11:30 p.m., the Mariachi Flor de Toloache, the all-female mariachi band, will be performing at the Queens Kickshaw, located at 40-17 Broadway in Astoria. For more information, visit their website at www.mariachinyc.com.

7 p.m. – 3 a.m., Rocky McBride’s, located at 27-01 23rd Avenue in Astoria, will be hosting a Neon 80’s & 90’s party. Come out wearing your favorite NEON and enjoy the night with drink specials and more!

SATURDAY, JULY 7 – SATURDAY, JULY 28

9 a.m. – 12 p.m., Super Soccer Stars is holding summer classes at Forest Hills High School, located at 67-01 110th Street in Forest Hills. Saturday morning classes all summer long for children that are 2 years old and older. For additional information and to enroll, call 212-877-7171 or visit their website at www.supersoccerstars.com.

SATURDAY, JULY 7 – SEPTEMBER 8

Every Saturday this summer, MoMA PS1, located at 22-25 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City, is having an outdoor series that will have live music, sound, performance and DJs. It is held at their courtyard. From 2 p.m. – 9 p.m., the admission fee is $15 and this includes access to all exhibitions and Warm Up.

SATURDAY, JULY 7

8 a.m. – 4 p.m., GrowNYC will be holding their weekly Greenmarket at Socrates Sculpture Park, located at 32-01 Vernon Blvd in Long Island City. The market will serve the Long Island City and Astoria communities with farm-fresh fruits and vegetables along with family-friendly activities every week.

10 a.m., Gantry Plaza State Park is in need of volunteers to help take care of the plants and habitats of the park. Come and volunteer for a couple hours to help keep the park beautiful for the community. No previous experience is necessary.

1 p.m. – 2:15 p.m., Resobox, located at 41-26 27th Street in Long Island City, is holding their weekly Japanese ink-painting class.

1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Hallets Cove is having their weekly free kayaking or canoeing session at the Long Island City Community Boathouse, located at 31-05 Vernon Blvd in Long Island City. No reservation or experience is needed. People of all ages are welcome but those that are under 18, must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. You must be able to swim and must wear clothing and footwear that you won’t mind getting wet. Last sign-in is at 4:30 p.m.

SUNDAY, JULY 8

8 a.m., the 5th annual Tour de Queens 19-mile family-friendly bike ride starts and ends at Flushing Meadow Corona Park, in the plaza between the Queens Museum of Art and the Unisphere, and will take riders through neighborhoods of Flushing, East Flushing, Murray Hill, Auburndale, Bayside, Bay Terrace, Beechurst and Whitestone. It will take place rain or shine.

11 a.m. – noon, certified instructors from the Taoist Tai Chi Society of the USA, will be offering Tai Chi classes at Socrates Sculpture Park, located at 32-01 Vernon Blvd in Long Island City. Classes are free and designed for all experience levels. Participants should wear comfortable clothing.

1 p.m. – 2 p.m., Resobox, located at 41-26 27th Street in Long Island City, will be holding a Japanese Anime Character Drawing session for kids who are 5-11 years of age.

At 3 p.m., the Noguchi Museum, located at 9-01 33rd Road in Long Island City, is holding a performance by ETHEL, a post-classical string quartet for their Music is the Garden series.