Tag Archives: LIC

Macy’s leases studio space at LIC Factory Building: report


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File Photo

Macy’s has chosen Long Island City to be the new home of its photo studio and set space, moving the site from Brooklyn, according to a published report.

The store recently signed a lease taking over 150,000 square feet of space at the 10-story, block-long industrial Factory Building, located at 30-30 47th Ave., according to Crain’s New York. The location will serve as a new site to photograph the department store’s merchandise.

Currently, Macy’s studio is located on different floors at its Fulton Street store in Brooklyn.

Long Island City’s Factory Building was formerly known as the Long Island City Business Center and was built in the mid-1920s and used as a warehouse for Macy’s. A few years earlier, the five-floor, block-long Falchi Building was built and was a storage and distribution facility for the former Gimbels department store, a rival of Macy’s.

The one million-square-foot building is owned by Atlas Capital, Square Mile and Invesco.

According to Crain’s, the Macy’s deal is one of the biggest leases to be signed in Long Island City. In June, luxury chain store Barneys New York took a 10,000-square-foot space at 5-25 46th Ave. in LIC — a three-story building owned by plastic packaging company Plaxall — to move part of its visual department to Queens.

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Op-ed: Light rail line would be a boon for Queens


| oped@queenscourier.com

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

BY CITY COUNCILWOMAN ELIZABETH CROWLEY

Queens is New York City’s fastest-growing borough. We are experiencing not only the largest increase in population, but also growth in workforce and economic development. As a city, it is crucial we support this growth with an expansion of smart, sustainable transportation.

Improved public transportation and interborough (Brooklyn-Queens) transit are greatly needed to ease the burdens this growth has brought. However, Queens is lacking this infrastructure, with not enough transit options and some of the most overcrowded streets. Commercial corridors such as Fresh Pond Road, Myrtle Avenue, Metropolitan Avenue and Grand Avenue are plagued with congestion, unreliable bus service and overcrowded subways. This congestion and overcrowding happens around the clock and is exasperated during rush hour.

Through these transit-poor communities runs the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) Lower Montauk branch. This rail line runs east to west and is still maintained by the LIRR, but is used by the New York Atlantic Railway for private freight transport. This public right-of-way is an invaluable resource that must be tapped and used for our local commuters’ benefit.

When it comes to public transportation, most New Yorkers would agree trains are the most efficient option. So, why not take advantage of this track, already open and available for use?
I believe we could start to take advantage of this rail by implementing an efficient and accessible light rail service from Glendale and through other neighborhoods to Long Island City, and since bringing this proposal to the Ridgewood Times last month, it has been met with great local support.

Light rail is exactly the smart, sustainable service that would accommodate Queens’ continuing growth. It is environmentally friendly and, in this particular location, could provide intraborough transit to Brooklyn and Manhattan while also facilitating the ever-growing industries in our local communities.

A light rail car is the size of approximately three city buses, but travels without the common delays buses meet on crowded city streets. The average New York City Transit bus needs to be replaced every 13 years, while light rail cars last about 50 years. Additionally, when considering the size of a bus versus a light rail car, they are ultimately similar in price, thereby proving them to be more cost-efficient in the long run. Adding to the long list of light rail advantages, it is quieter and more energy-efficient than buses.

Across the country, newly developed, vibrant communities have been forming around this type of affordable, sustainable transportation. This is happening in cities as far as Portland, Oregon, and Phoenix, Arizona, but also right across the East River in Hudson County, New Jersey. In New Jersey, the rail line has contributed to the revitalization of cities like Jersey City, Weehawken and Hoboken.

Along the Lower Montauk line right-of-way are neighborhoods so close to the heart of New York City, yet so underserved in public transportation. These communities, rich with history and overflowing with hometown pride, are unlike any other place in the world.

Train service could also significantly strengthen the local economy. So much of the area surrounding this once-vibrant right of way is filled with industrial buildings and storage facilities. But an environmentally sound light rail service could encourage different types of businesses to plant roots in our communities. It would also provide a quick connection to Long Island City, the East River Ferry and Roosevelt Island, which will soon be home to “The Bridge at Cornell Tech” graduate center.

This project could be tackled with minimal cost. While most transit capital transit projects cost hundreds of millions of dollars, this plan will be a fraction of that. The most expensive piece — the right-of-way — already exists, as does the rail itself.

In a borough and economy growing faster than city planners can prepare for, we must take advantage of every option we have to improve the economic opportunities and the overall quality of life. This project is ideal for our growing population.

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Astoria Flea at Kaufman Astoria Studios returns with Saturday night markets


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Pete Olsen

The Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios is back and with a new twist.

The popular market, which received immense positive feedback when it first launched last May, will open once again for a night market on Sept. 12, 19 and 26 from 6 to 11 p.m.

The Astoria Flea & Food Night Market, a partnership between LIC Flea & Food — Queens’ largest outdoor market — and Kaufman Astoria Studios, will operate on the studios’ outdoor lot, the first of its kind in the city.

Visitors will be able to enter the lot from 36th Street either from 34th Avenue or through the grand entrance on 35th Avenue featuring a 40-foot-high steel gate, designed by David Rockwell and the Rockwell Group.

“I’m thrilled to partner with Kaufman Astoria Studios and open their outdoor movie lot to the general public. It will be a fun and family-friendly destination to enjoy the remaining evenings of summer,” said Joshua Schneps, LIC Flea & Food president. “Our first-class flea vendors offer the opportunity to discover unique items to buy and our food vendors serve up delicious eats you can’t find anywhere else.”

Kaufman Astoria Studios is currently the home of hit series such as “Orange is the New Black,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Alpha House” and “Sesame Street.”

The Astoria Flea & Food Night Market at Kaufman Astoria Studios, which is in walking distance from the M, R, N and Q trains, will offer visitors the best from the LIC Flea & Food and will also feature new vendors selling exclusively at the night market.

Items for sale include everything from food, antiques, collectibles, arts and crafts, fashion and more.

Vendors who are interested in selling at the market can now visit www.LICFlea.com or email info@licflea.com to apply. For updates visit Facebook.com/LICFlea or follow @LICFlea on Twitter and Instagram.

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Teen bicyclist fatally struck by car at Queens Plaza


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Google Maps

A Long Island City teenager died this week after being struck by a car while riding his bicycle through Queens Plaza last month, police announced on Friday.

Kevin Lopez, 18, of 10th Street died Wednesday of injuries he sustained in the accident that occurred on the afternoon of July 28 along Queens Plaza North and 29th Street.

At about 2:14 p.m. that day, authorities said, Lopez was riding his bicycle northbound on 29th Street in a designated bike lane when he was struck by a 2010 Mercedes-Benz 550, driven by a 35-year-old man, traveling westbound on Queens Plaza North.

Police said the impact threw Lopez from his bike onto the hood of the car. Lopez struck the windshield of the Mercedes-Benz before finally landing on the pavement.

Officers from the 108th Precinct and EMS units rushed to the scene and found Lopez with severe head trauma. Paramedics brought him to Cornell Medical Center, where he died on Wednesday.

Neither the driver nor a 39-year-old male passenger inside the Mercedes-Benz were injured.

No charges have been filed, and an investigation is ongoing.

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Pig out at the LIC Flea this weekend


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Image via Instagram/@LICFlea

Visitors to the LIC Flea & Food this weekend will be able to take their taste buds on a ride.

Food vendors at the popular Long Island City market, located at Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, will be offering pork items on their menu both Saturday and Sunday such as pigz wingz from vendor When Pigz Fly and many more.

To wash down the delicious dishes, visitors can visit the LIC Flea Beer Garden, where local brewery Big Alice Brewing will be taking over for the continuation of the market’s Meet the Makers Series.

Pigz wingz from When Pigz Fly.

Guests will be able to taste a variety of Big Alice brews, learn about their beer making process and have questions answered by an expert beer maker.

For the rest of the weekend, guest are encouraged to shop, eat, drink and chill out to the sounds of a live band playing reggae and resident DJ Johnny Seriuss spinning tunes.

LIC Flea & Food runs every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through the end of October.

For updates on the LIC Flea & Food market, follow on Facebook.com/LICFlea, Instagram.com/LICFlea and @LICFlea on Twitter.

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Noguchi’s Bang on a Can series continues with JG Thirlweel


| rmackay@queensny.org

Photo by Damien Neva/Courtesy of JGThirlwell

It’s a bit confusing, but it sounds good.

JG Thirlweel performs under such alter egos as Baby Zizanie, Foetus, Manorexia, Steroid Maximus and Wiseblood. With more than 30 albums on his resume, he’s a composer, producer, performer and re-mixer whose promotional material informs that he likes “to bestow sonic majesty, chaos, violence, beauty and cunning linguistics on an unsuspecting earth.”

This musician was born in Australia, but moved to London in 1978, attracted by the post-punk explosion. However, he currently lives in Brooklyn, where he prefers dabbling in orchestrations, big band, cathartic noise-rock, abstract electronics and sound sculpture.

Currently, Thirlweel is preparing works for a string quartet, including a piece with electronic treatments, for a program at the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City on Sunday, Aug. 9 at 3 p.m.

For the fifth year in a row, Noguchi is partnering with Bang on a Can to present an innovative series on the second Sunday of each month. After Thirlweel, the next performance will be on Sept. 13. Cellist Ashley Bathgate will play the hypnotic, hour-long work “Stories for Ocean Shells” by Australian composer Kate Moore.

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First Queens Citi Bike station debuts in LIC


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

A longtime dream for Long Island City residents finally came true as Citi Bike made its grand entrance into the neighborhood and Queens for the first time.

Motivate, the company that operates Citi Bike, the Department of Transportation and local elected officials and leaders gathered Wednesday afternoon to cut the ribbon on the borough’s first-ever Citi Bike station located on Center Boulevard right on the waterfront.

This station, which is the first of 12 in Long Island City, is part of the Citi Bike expansion announced last October which is expected to double the size of the bike share network from 6,000 to 12,000 bikes throughout the city over the next two years.

“New Yorkers love Citi Bike. It has transformed the way we get around. It’s providing an alternative that doesn’t just move, but it moves and it changes at the pace of our city,” said Jay Walder, president and CEO of Motivate. “But now we will see the real potential of Citi Bike as it moves out to more communities and more New Yorkers can experience the freedom of bike share from Long Island City and Astoria, to Bed Stuy and Gowanus, Red Hook, Harlem and many other places.”

There will be 91 new stations installed by the end of the summer during the first phase of the expansion, which also includes stations in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Williamsburg and Greenpoint in Brooklyn.

Stations in Long Island City, which will be installed in the next couple of weeks, will be found in locations such as by the Vernon Blvd-Jackson Av subway station, in front of MoMa PS1, next to the LIC Flea & Food and by Queensboro Plaza. There will also be a station by the Queensbridge Houses.

“We never ever stopped believing that this could happen because it’s good for Queens and if it’s good for Queens its good for New York City,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “This is a tremendous victory [not only] for Long Island City but for all of Queens. It is one that we never ever gave up on. This is a dream come true. This moment is a dream come true.”

Long Island City was supposed to be part of the Citi Bike’s initial phase, which debuted in 2013, but was pushed back after equipment damage from Superstorm Sandy caused a delay.

Once all stations are installed by the end of the summer, the DOT and Motivate will begin the community outreach and planning process for the next phase of expansion, which includes stations in Astoria.

“The inclusion of Long Island City was a long time coming but I am glad it has finally arrived. Bike share will allow people to enjoy our neighborhood in a healthy, fun way and facilitate easier travel around western Queens, an area in dire need of better mass transit,” state Senator Michael Gianaris said. “I am thrilled to see western Queens given the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of Citi Bike and look forward to its further expansion into more of our neighborhoods.”

Along with the expansion, Motivate has replaced the software that powers Citi Bike, replaced software and hardware at all exiting stations and docking points, and added 1,000 new and upgraded bikes to its fleet. An additional 1,400 bikes will be added this summer to stock up the new stations.

The bikes, which were developed in partnership with Olympic bike designer Ben Serotta, have new features, including higher-quality parts and upgraded seats.

To celebrate the program’s expansion, Citi Bike is offering a $25 discount, up until Aug. 31, to new members. For more information visit www.citibikenyc.com/expansion.

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The Catskills Comes to Queens celebrates the best in farm-to-table fare


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Kelly Marie Mancuso

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Foodies from across the borough were given the chance to sample farm-fresh epicurean delights during The Catskills Comes to Queens, a tasting event celebrating the farm-to-table movement, held at Flushing Town Hall on Saturday.

The culinary event was created by New York Epicurean Events co-founders Chef David Noeth and Joe DiStefano, famed food writer behind Chopsticks and Marrow, the wildly popular guide to adventurous eating in Queens.

“As someone who’s been writing about food in Queens for years, it’s always been a dream of mine to do a food festival,” DiStefano explained. “In early 2015, I met Ellen Kodadek, the executive and artistic director of Flushing Town Hall, and she told me that they wanted to do more culinary programming. For months beforehand, I’d been having all sorts of wonderful meals made with Catskills-sourced ingredients—grass-feed beef, farm-fresh eggs, free-range chicken, locally foraged mushrooms—at my business partner David Noeth’s house.”

“At some point the idea hit us: Why don’t we go into business together and help showcase all these wonderful products, help the farmers and expose the people of Queens to some great food?” DiStefano added.

Chef Nate Felder's pork belly

Chef Nate Felder’s Berkshire pork belly with red pepper marmalade.

The Catskills Comes to Queens featured a delectable array of mountain-fresh fare from some of the borough’s best chefs. Chef David Noeth’s beef heart tartare was accompanied by cheese from Vulto Creamery in Noeth’s native Walton, New York.

Chef Nate Felder of The Astor Room in Astoria topped tender maple syrup-cured Berkshire pork belly with a red pepper marmalade and served them over a bed of sour cream grits. Lamb and goat tacos dressed in homemade queso fresco, crisp corn salsa and an earthy corn crema were on the menu at New World Home Cooking Co. courtesy of The Food Network’s 2010 Chopped champion Chef Ric Orlando.

IMG_5786

The Food Network’s 2010 “Chopped” champion and New World Home Cooking Co. Chef Ric Orlando.

Smokehouse favorites were popular throughout the festival. Chef Alfonso Zhicay of Casa del Chef Bistro in Woodside featured succulent short ribs braised in an intoxicating blend of fruit chutney and Madeira wine served atop a briny bed of homemade pickled carrots and cabbage.

Chef Danny Brown's

Chef Danny Brown’s torchon of La Belle Farms foie gras and guinea fowl.

Chef Danny Brown, of Danny Brown’s Wine Bar and Kitchen in Forest Hills, crafted an exquisite torchon of La Belle Farms foie gras and guinea fowl accompanied by hazelnut oil and fresh microgreens. Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 7 runner-up and Sotto 13‘s Chef Ed Cotton offered a twist on traditional American fare with his mini rabbit and mortadella hot dogs served between toasted brioche buns topped with mustard and spicy kirby relish.

Bravo's "Top Chef" Season 7 runner up and Sotto 13 Chef Ed Cotton prepares his rabbit and mortadella hot dogs

Bravo’s “Top Chef” season 7 runner-up and Sotto 13 Chef Ed Cotton prepares his rabbit and mortadella hot dogs.

Smokey fare ruled the outdoor courtyard of Flushing Town Hall as well, where Chef Tyson Ho’s whole barbecued hog from Arrogant Swine took center stage, its head displayed on the table, presiding over the festivities. Guests were delighted by bite-sized treats, such as the lamb sliders from Chef Harry Hawk of Schnack and the Eagle Hollow Farms barbecue chicken sliders from Chef Lou Elrose of the soon-to-be-opened Charred smokehouse and bar in Middle Village.

Smoked beef tongue sliders from Harry & Ida's Meat and Supply Co.

Smoked beef tongue sliders from Harry & Ida’s Meat and Supply Co.

Adventurous eaters enjoyed the warm, earthy smoked beef tongue sliders topped with birch bark-infused mayo and pickled heirloom tomatoes from Chef Will Horowitz of Harry and Ida’s Meat and Supply Co., while M. Wells Steakhouse Chef Hugue Dufour’s lamb tagine provided a flavorful feast for the senses.

Chef Hugue Dufour unveiling his gigantic lamb tagine

Chef Hugue Dufour unveiling his gigantic lamb tagine.

Silk Cakes bakery’s Pandan cupcakes topped with coconut buttercream and white chocolate truffle nearly vanished in an instant. Delicate pastries by Rudolf Merlin at Creme French bakery and Leske’s Bakery’s peanut butter and Cotton Hill goat cheese donuts provided a sweet finish.

“We like to think that we’re bringing the best products in New York State to the New York’s best chefs at New York City’s best venue,” DiStefano added. “And what better place to do it than Flushing, which was once itself farmland.”


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Woodside, LIC community asks car dealerships on Northern Blvd. to be ‘good neighbors’


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

Members of the Woodside and Long Island City communities are calling on local car dealerships — which can be found on both sides of Northern Boulevard — to be good neighbors and help keep the streets safe.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer gathered with residents and local leaders on Tuesday morning to voice their outrage and concern with car dealerships and auto body shops on Northern Boulevard parking their cars illegally on sidewalks, blocking the path for pedestrians.

“We call for increase in enforcement of the auto dealerships along Northern Boulevard but also increased neighborliness on the part of these auto dealerships,” Van Bramer said. “In addition to [Northern Boulevard] being an incredibly busy roadway, it is also the neighborhood for tens of thousands of people who are going to school, going to parks, going to church, going to work and they need the sidewalks free and clear of any obstructions.”

Van Bramer added that on Monday he met with the commanding officers of the 108th and 114th precincts, which share coverage of Northern Boulevard, to discuss increasing enforcement. Both precincts had previously given out tickets to cars parked on the sidewalks.

The councilman also led a tour down Northern Boulevard on Monday pointing out various dealerships between 55th and 61st streets, which had cars parked on the sidewalks. He added that the issue continues down the strip.

During the tour, a car left the Queensboro Toyota dealership on 62nd Street – located across the street from P.S. 152 – was seen heading the opposite way down a one-way street, and then entering a parking lot behind the dealership. According to residents, this is something that normally occurs.

Queensboro Toyota did not immediately respond to request for comment.

“We cannot, should not and will not accept pedestrians being forced onto Northern Boulevard to be able to get where they are going. That is so dangerous and potentially deadly and this problem has gone on for a while,” Van Bramer said.

Jackson Heights resident Clarence Eckerson Jr., a father of a newborn baby boy who said he often walks down the thoroughfare to go shopping with his wife, said he has seen this issue for a long time and the problem gets worse on the weekends.

Eckerson, who has taken photos of cars parked on the sidewalks, added that another problem is cars without license plates taking up metered spaces.

“We would like to see them step up and be good neighbors. I’d like my son to grow up on a Northern Boulevard that he can safely walk on and I don’t have to fear for his life,” Eckerson said. “[Car dealership owners] may not see parking their cars illegally on the sidewalk or blocking pedestrians as something that is anti-vision zero but it does contribute to the climate of making our streets dangerous and we’re here to let them know that.”

According to Van Bramer, this call is not an attack on the car dealerships that are running businesses and have every right to succeed; however, the community wants to be able to make changes before accidents happen — not after.

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Top five most expensive luxury listings in LIC


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Modern Spaces

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Over the past decade, Long Island City has evolved into one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in the city. The influx of new bars, lounges, specialty shops, flea markets and restaurants was met with the demand for more condominiums with unique amenities.

Eric Benaim, founder of real estate brokerage Modern Spaces, shared his top five most expensive listings for luxury living in LIC.

The Corner
47-28 11th St., #3C
$1,120,000

This newly built, seven-story luxury building features 22 modern, high-end apartments, each outfitted with the latest amenities, including professional-grade Bosch kitchen appliances, Grohe finishes and hardwood oak floors throughout.

Marvel at the Manhattan skyline while reclining on the rooftop deck, or take advantage of the on-site fitness center or residents lounge. Located minutes away from Long Island City’s hottest cafes, nightspots and cultural centers, such as MoMA PS1, The Corner offers both convenience and relaxation amid the vibrant streets and avenues.

A 5-minute ride on the 7 train will whisk residents to the heart of Midtown. Leisurely travelers can opt to take the East River Ferry and take in the stunning water views of the city.

The Powerhouse
2-17 51st Ave., #801
$2,795,000

With its spacious three bedrooms and two full baths, the aptly named Powerhouse is a major star on the Long Island City real estate landscape. Built on the site of the former Pennsylvania Railroad Power Station, the condominium features soaring ceilings, an open-concept kitchen, floor-to-ceiling windows, hardwood floors and more than 1,000 square feet of outdoor space on the private terrace. Italian marble floors line the master bath while the second bath comes equipped with a deep soaking tub.

The building also features a fitness center, aqua grotto with full-service spa, common rooftop terrace, children’s playroom and a 24-hour concierge.

The View
46-30 Center Blvd, #205
$2,795,000

This luxury unit offers unparalleled breathtaking views of the East River and Manhattan skyline from the comfort of a spacious, sun-drenched living room. The three-bedroom gem is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling double panel windows and features an open-concept living and kitchen area outfitted with the latest Viking appliances, Subzero refrigerator, a special wine cooler and hardwood flooring throughout.

All of the spacious, three full baths include deep soaking tubs set against a backdrop of the finest white marble.

The Foundry
2-40 51St Ave., #1E
$1,450,000

This modern Hunters Point duplex is bathed in sunlight courtesy of its vast windows and 17-foot vaulted ceilings. The modern open-concept chef’s kitchen features a Viking range, KitchenAid French door refrigerator, Bosch dishwasher and dramatic black Caesarstone counter tops. This two-bedroom unit includes a luxury en-suite full bath in the upstairs master bedroom with both a soaking tub and standing shower.

The second bedroom also comes with its own bath and, like the master suite, access to a private terrace.

5-46 51st Ave.
$6,495,000

Brownstone2

This rare, six-family brick brownstone blends old-world charm with contemporary elements to create a truly unique habitat in the heart of Hunters Point. Built in 1930, original design elements such as the bowed-front facade, woodwork and decorative plaster moldings mingle with updated, modern amenities. Each unit features its own electrical meter, as well as upgraded wiring throughout.

This three-story gem is convenient to local markets, subways, playgrounds and dog parks, and would make the perfect nest for young families.

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Former LIC auto shop sells for $4.27M


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of PropertyShark/Scott Bintner

BY KIRSTEN E. PAULSON

An 8,540-square-foot warehouse in Long Island City has sold for $4,270,000, according to an announcement by John Horowitz of Marcus & Millichap, a commercial real estate investment services firm.

The warehouse, which is located at 38-04 11th St. and sits on a lot with 42,700 square feet of buildable land, was formerly the site of an auto shop; however, the warehouse is currently vacant.

“The sale of 38-04 11th St. at $100 per buildable square foot marks a price record for a commercially zoned redevelopment opportunity in the industrial section of northern Long Island City. The property’s buyer plans to redevelop the existing warehouse into a hotel,” according to Jakub Nowak, one of the agents who marketed and secured the sale of the property.

The buyer has been identified as Alec Shtromandel, who is currently building a 34-room hotel at 489 Baltic Street in Brooklyn that he also purchased from Marcus and Millichap last year.

Apart from demolition permits, no plans have been filed or released for the site.

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Top five brunch spots in Astoria and LIC


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via The Queens Kickshaw Facebook page

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

With jaw-dropping city views and an impressive roster of fun weekend activities and outdoor events, Astoria and Long Island City have become premier summer destinations in the city.

Whether you’re enjoying a concert in Astoria Park, browsing the LIC Flea Market, exploring art at MoMA PS1 or sneaking a peek at some of the area’s amazing open houses, kick off your weekend by fueling up at one of the neighborhoods’ top brunch spots.

LIC Market
21-52 44th Dr., Long Island City
718-361-0013
Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

This cozy eatery is part American bistro, part rustic general store, with exposed white brick walls, chalkboard menu and wooden, farmhouse-style bar. The menu at LIC Market is frequently updated according to season and freshness, with much of their produce picked within a day of serving.

Photo courtesy of LIC Market

Photo courtesy of LIC Market

Brunch favorites include the slow roasted duck hash ($14), dirty rice frittata ($12) and buttermilk pancakes ($14) served with homemade berry jam, toasted pumpkin seed butter and maple syrup. For those seeking lighter fare, the ricotta and pignoli salad ($10) is a bounty of fresh arugula, golden raisins, toasted pine nuts, orange slices and roasted shallot vinaigrette. Sip on the traditional mimosa ($8) or a cup of freshly brewed, organic coffee sourced from direct trade micro-lots and roasted in Long Island ($2).

LIC Market is also a purveyor of homemade delights, such as strawberry and black pepper jam, and roasted cashew butter, for sale in little glass jars and cans on its quaint general store shelves.

Bear
12-14 31st Ave., Long Island City
917-396-4939
Saturday and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Bear

This LIC restaurant and bar was founded back in 2011 by Executive Chef and Owner Natasha Pogrebinsky, who blends culinary traditions from the family’s native Kiev, along with Ukrainian and traditional French cuisine, to create flavorful, innovative dishes.

The dill poached potatoes ($5) and beet salad ($5) reflect Pogrebinsky’s Eastern European roots. A $15 prix-fixe brunch menu offers chicken kiev and waffles, as well as hearty borscht with a side of garlic and egg buns. Summer brunch favorites include the chilled tomato gazpacho ($9), farmer’s market mixed greens ($9) and tomato and onion sunflower salad ($7). All of Bear’s produce is locally sourced from farms in New York and New Jersey, as well as handpicked by Chef Pogrebinsky on weekly trips to the Union Square Farmers Market.

Unlike traditional brunch libations, the bloody mary at Bear is a feast for the eyes and palette, complete with a slice of candied bacon, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, jumbo celery stalk, pickles, and hard-boiled egg and olive skewer ($9).

The Queens Kickshaw
40-17 Broadway, Astoria
718-777-0913
Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Photo via The Queens Kickshaw Facebook page

Photo via The Queens Kickshaw Facebook page

This specialty coffee shop and cider bar serves up delicious, flavorful brunch fare on weekends and special holidays. The Kickshaw’s ranchers’ eggs ($14) is a zesty mix of jalapeño cornbread, guacamole, pico de gallo and sunny side up eggs. Hungry Astorians in the mood to indulge would love the mac ‘n’ cheese ($12.50), a hearty blend of Gruyère, smoked mozzarella, French beans and caramelized onions.

The kitchen sink salad ($12.50) combines a colorful mix of mesclun greens, roasted red and golden beets, and sunchokes topped with blue cheese dressing. The decadent Mast Bros. Mocha ($5) or hot chocolate ($4.50) provides a sweet finish to this brunch outing. Espresso soda ($3.25) and cold-brewed iced coffee ($3.50) are refreshing options for warm summer mornings.

Sugar Freak
36-18 30th Ave., Astoria
718-726-5850
Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Midnight brunch: Friday and Saturday from noon to 3 a.m.

Photo via Sugar Freak Facebook page

Photo via Sugar Freak Facebook page

Astoria hot spot Sugar Freak specializes in festive, flavorful New Orleans fare served in a relaxed, homespun atmosphere.

Its brunch beignet sliders ($2 to $8) are a delightful mix of scrambled eggs with praline bacon and pimento cheese. The Sugar Freak breakfast ($14) is a generous platter of three eggs (any style) with homemade boudin sausage and grits in gravy with a biscuit. Waffle varieties range from sweet potato and cornbread to spicy Cajun-filled ($8) and are topped with your choice of specialty sauces, including bananas foster, chili honey, sweet and spicy condensed milk or raspberry (+ $3), oxtail grits ($15-18), chicken fried steak ($16) and the holy trinity ($16), a trifecta of fried oysters, shrimp and catfish, offer a unique spin on traditional brunch dishes. Pair them with the herb-infused green bloody mary ($10) or Creole lady marmalade, a potent gin martini with marmalade, orange liqueur and lemon.

Night owls who wish to indulge in brunch are in luck, as Sugar Freak offers a special midnight brunch to hungry late night crowds every Friday and Saturday from noon to 3 a.m.

Snowdonia
34-55 32nd St., Astoria
347-730-5783
Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m  to 4 p.m.
Monday from noon to midnight

Photo via Snowdonia Facebook page

Photo via Snowdonia Facebook page

This cozy gastro pub is known for serving up Welsh-inspired dishes two short blocks away from the famous Kaufman Astoria Studios and Museum of the Moving Image.

Snowdonia’s small brunch plates, or “platiau bach ac oer,” include the laverbread and bacon ($6), a welsh bread made from fresh “laver” or seaweed, lemon zest and oatmeal with bacon. The traditional Welsh rarebit ($9) is a rich, melted three cheese blend served on toasted baguette. Brunch entrees include shepherd’s pie ($16), leek bacon and egg pie ($12), brisket and eggs ($15), and the half English breakfast ($15) featuring two eggs any style with vegetarian baked beans, welsh banger and chorizo sausages. The sticky toffee bread pudding ($7) and bourbon brownie ($7) are sweet compliments to the savory fare.

In addition to an extensive menu of craft beer and cider, Snowdonia also features specialty cocktails like the Welsh 75 ($11), a blend of New Amsterdam gin, muddled raspberry, ginger cordial, mint and champagne float. Snowdonia’s brunch dishes are also available all day on Mondays, providing a great start to any week.

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$2 parking at the LIC Flea this weekend


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


Visitors to the LIC Flea & Food this weekend won’t have to worry about finding parking.

The popular Long Island City flea market, located at Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, will hold a special this Saturday and Sunday giving guests the chance to park for $2 at a local garage just two blocks away.

All you have to do is spend $20 at the LIC Flea in order to park at Little Man Parking, located at 4-76 47th Ave.  on the corner of 47th Avenue and Fifth Street.

With the temperatures staying in the 90s this weekend, visitors can cool off at the Flea either at the LIC Flea Beer Garden – the only venue exclusively serving beers brewed in Queens from local breweries including Rockaway Brewery, Queens Brewery, Finback and SingleCut – or with other vendors.

Photo via Instagram/@licflea

Photo via Instagram/@licflea

Some vendors to cool off with include Lizzmonade serving icy fruit concoctions, Sam’s Fried Ice Cream with unbelievable toppings, Rita’s Water Ice NYC, Panda Café with its bubble teas, and Woops! with its ice-cream-filled macarons.

Once refreshed, visitors can also check out vintage items from vendors such as Counter Clockwise Antiques and Antique Daughter; and clothing from Runaway Truck, Dutch Kills Klotheing and Schizophrenic NYC tees. They can also find jewelry from Vivian Jewelry, kids’ items from Roobrics, and gifts for your furry friends from Spoiled B*tch.

This weekend the LIC Flea will also feature live music from Gracie Terzian & Friends on Saturday, and DJ Johnny Seriuss will be spinning tunes on Sunday.

LIC Flea & Food runs every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through the end of October.

For updates on the LIC Flea & Food market, follow on Facebook.com/LICFlea, Instagram.com/LICFlea and @LICFlea on Twitter.

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Woodside resident to seek Assembly seat and ‘fight for the middle class’


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Brian Barnwell

Brian Barnwell is looking to be the voice of a district he has called home all his life and one he says needs a big change and new leadership.

The 29-year-old Woodside resident and lawyer has announced that he will run next year for the seat in the state Assembly representing District 30, which covers the neighborhoods of Maspeth, Woodside, Middle Village and parts of Astoria, Sunnyside and Long Island City.

The seat is currently held by Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, who was first elected in 1998.

“I just feel like it’s time for a change. I feel like we need some new energy where people are going to go out and engage the community and bring the community voices into the conversation,” Barnwell said. “Everyone is getting pushed out. The teachers are being thrown under the bus. The students are being thrown under the bus. The middle class is just being destroyed and we can’t take it for granted anymore. So I want to be the voice of the middle class, because I am in the middle class.”

Barnwell’s desire to run for office was fueled recently when he began working as the director of special events for Councilman Costa Constantinides, and experienced many residents coming into the district office complaining about various issues – including affordable housing.

This made him realize that there needed to be a change and he would be that change.

The platform of his campaign will strongly focus on helping individuals in the middle class and those vying to move into the middle class. With being a member of the middle class himself, along with his family, Barnwell said he has personal experience with the issues constituents face.

“The middle class is what made this country great. It’s what makes any country great. If you don’t have a middle class, you’re in trouble,” Barnwell said.

Barnwell’s platform – focusing on taxes, education and affordable housing – includes issues such as lowering personal income and corporate taxes; helping raise minimum wage; empowering teachers, parents and administrators in local schools and creating new curriculum based on districts; building more schools; and increasing the amount of affordable housing in the developing area.

For now, Barnwell will stay at Constantinides’ office until September, then he will hit the streets and reach out to the communities to see what issues the residents are facing.

“I want people to tell me what’s wrong with this district,” Barnwell said. “You’ve got to lead. You’ve got to be a leader. This why we elect these people to be leaders, not followers, and I want to be a leader. I don’t want to be a follower.”

Barnwell will hold his first fundraiser on Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. at The Brewery NYC, located at 49-18 30th Ave. in Woodside.

For more information visit Barnwell’s Facebook page or follow @Barnwell2016 on Twitter.

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$3M more invested into Hunters Point Community Library


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

Long Island City community has fought for over a decade to get a library, and now its dream has started to become a reality — all with a little help from its friends.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer joined Queens Library Interim President and CEO Bridget Quinn-Carey, other library representatives and local leaders on the LIC waterfront Tuesday afternoon to announce he had secured an additional $3 million toward the construction of the Hunters Point Community Library.

From the additional $3 million, $1 million comes from Van Bramer’s discretionary funds in this year’s budget and the other $2 million came over from City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

“No one ever gave up on this project because we knew how important it was,” said Van Bramer, who has been working on getting the library built for the past 15 years and whose office has allocated a total of $6 million in funds. “This was my number one priority when I ran for office. It was my number one priority in my first year as a City Council member when we allocated those previous $3 million with the help of our previous speaker, and once again we come back to this project which I have never given up on and it’s one of my most proud moments.”

The state-of-the-art library, expected to be completed by the fall of 2017, will be the first neighborhood branch built in Queens in more than 20 years and was designed by architect Steven Holl. Its main interior circulation route will be cut into the west façade, opening up views to the East River and Manhattan skyline.

During Tuesday’s announcement, the Queens Library also presented a model of the new $33 million branch, which broke ground in May and will be located at Center Boulevard and 48th Avenue.

“It is an exciting day to see this rising and to know that this community will have a library. A public library is the heart of a community, heart of a neighborhood and this is such a thriving, robust, wonderful community that has wanted a library for so long,” Quinn-Carey said.

The 21,500-square-foot facility will feature a reading garden, a rooftop terrace, reading rooms for all ages, a gallery, a performance space and a children’s area. Van Bramer also said inside the library there will be a tribute to LIC resident Fausta Ippolito, who passed away four years ago, but for years actively fought for the library to be brought to the community.

Along with the construction of the library, the project will also include the construction of the permanent 1,260-square-foot ranger station at Gantry Plaza State Park. The building will include a reception area, a park manager’s office and bathrooms for the public.

“This building, this library, which some folks thought it would never happen, is rising. It is actually happening and I’m so enormously happy,” Van Bramer said. “This library is going to be one of the most beautiful, one of the most architecturally significant libraries not only in Queens but in the city, if not the nation, and we’re going to be so proud to call that library the Hunters Point Community Library.”

Construction is underway at the future site of the Hunters Point Community Library.

Construction is underway at the future site of the Hunters Point Community Library.

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