Tag Archives: Long Island City

Cops searching for suspect in chemical attack on woman in LIC

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Sketch courtesy of NYPD

Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man responsible for the chemical assault on a woman in Long Island City last week.

The unknown male attacked a 59-year-old woman on Aug. 19 at 5:20 p.m. as she was on Skillman Avenue near 34th Street, cops said.

According to authorities, the woman was trying to enter her car when the suspect called to her from behind and asked to speak with her. When she turned around the man threw an unknown substance, which was inside a coffee cup and reportedly acid-like in nature, in her face. The suspect then fled the scene.

Responding EMS transported the victim to Cornell Medical Center, where she was treated for third-degree burns on her face and later released.

The suspect is described as a black man, about 30 years old and 5 feet 8 inches tall, and with black hair. He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt, black shorts and white sneakers.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.


LIC development proposed featuring pedestrian bridge to Roosevelt Island: report

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Plans have been revealed that would connect the Queens waterfront to the future home of the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island — all through a pedestrian and bicyclist bridge, according to a published report.

According to POLITICO New York, a group of investors have proposed a multimillion-square-foot development near the Long Island City waterfront that would be made up of a mixed-use project including a pedestrian bridge connecting the Queens neighborhood to Roosevelt Island.

The plans are from Bruce Teitelbaum, former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s former chief of staff, and involve a “mostly residential tower comprising at least 1 million square feet” located on an empty lot north of 44th Drive, along the south side of the Queensboro Bridge, according to the online publication.

The proposed site for the development at 44-02 Vernon Blvd. currently is owned by Vernon Realty Holding LLC and is zoned for residential use, according to the report. One lot of the site takes up 128,332 square feet, while an adjoining lot is made up of 84,338 square feet.

The plans were presented to Alicia Glen, deputy mayor for housing and economic development, who showed excitement for the project but said it was “a little out of scale,” according to POLITICO.

Construction on the $2 million Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island, which will span 12 acres and house 2,000 graduate students and hundreds of faculty and staff, began in June. The first phase of the campus is expected to open in the summer of 2017.


Woman bites, scratches F train rider after being asked to move bag: NYPD

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A dispute over a seat on a Queens F train during the morning rush hour last week resulted in a violent outburst from one straphanger, police said.

A 45-year-old woman was on board the Manhattan-bound subway at about 9:45 a.m. on Aug. 14 when she asked the suspect to move her bag that was placed on a seat so she could sit, authorities said.

The female suspect did not answer and when the victim tried to sit down, the suspect “became enraged,” according to police. She then pushed the victim, scratching her on the chest, pulling her hair and biting her on her forearm, causing a laceration and bleeding.

When the train stopped at the 21st Street-Queensbridge subway station in Long Island City, the suspect fled, police said. The victim was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital in stable condition.

Anyone with information regarding the suspect’s whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.


Satisfying your sweet tooth at the LIC Flea

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Image via Instagram/licflea

Long Island City will be extra sweet this weekend.

The LIC Flea & Food, located at Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, will host a Sweets Festival this Saturday and Sunday where visitors will have the chance to vote for their favorite sweets vendors.

Sweet treats from vendors at the market include macaron gelato sandwiches from Woops!, refreshing ices from Rita’s Ices, incredible brownies from Cassey’s Cookies & Cobblers, fried ice cream covered in frosted flakes from Sam’s Fried Ice Cream and much more.

During the festival, Mike J. Chau, of @FoodBabyNY, will select the winners for the best of the best. Winners will receive a trophy and bragging rights.

After satisfying their sweet tooth, visitors can cool off 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.

This weekend the market will welcome back by popular demand The Inebriators with their fun and unique mix of jazz, funk and reggae. On Sunday, DJ Johnny Seriuss will be spinning tunes.

LIC Flea would also like to thank Green Street Solar Power for sponsoring The Secret Theatre’s Aug. 16 performance of “Pirate Pete’s Parrot” for the market’s Kids Festival.

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.


LIC block to party on Saturday

| rmackay@queensny.org

Photo courtesy of It's in Queens

The first legal block party took place in Manhattan during World War I. Police closed a Lower East Side street for commercial traffic, and attendees gathered to sing songs honoring local residents who were fighting in Europe.

The genre has changed a lot over the past century, and currently western Queens is getting ready for a huge blowout on Saturday, Aug. 22, that won’t be as patriotic as the first-ever block party, but might make history. Presented by SculptureCenter and the Purves Street Block Association, the LIC Block Party will include everything from tremendous food to inspiring art to engaging street games.

Let’s start with the food. Bartleby & Sage, Danny Brown, Doughnut Plant and Manducatis Rustica are among the Long Island City establishments that will participate. Plus, Rockaway Brewing Company will pour the suds. From noon to 5 p.m., there will be booths where adults and children can engage in such activities as body art and cloth dyeing. Plus, an artists’ market will offer comic books, photographs, prints and more.

Festivities will fill Purves Street, but the main draw will take place at SculptureCenter’s lower level, where Eli Keszler — an artist whose pieces involve architecture, composition, drumming, installation, notation and recorded sound — will present his new work, Swarms. It’s complex, but basically, Keszler has created a sound art installation involving piano wire, visual elements, severed pipes and other components. In this environment, he will intermittently play the drums while recorded music also fills the space. The idea is to force music to interact with an acoustic environment while also forcing musicians to interact with various environments.



Woman suffers severe burns after caustic chemical attack in Long Island City

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Police are looking for a man who they say attacked and severely burned a woman with a corrosive substance on a Long Island City street Wednesday afternoon.

According to authorities, the attack occurred at 5:27 p.m. at the corner of 33rd Street and 43rd Avenue.

The victim was attempting to enter a parked car when the suspect — described as a black male in his 30s — approached from behind and asked to speak with her.

When the woman turned around, police said, the suspect threw the caustic substance, which had been contained in a coffee cup, in the woman’s face. He then fled the scene. It was not immediately known what the chemical was, though published reports indicated it was acid-like in nature.

Police said the woman got into her car and attempted to drive away, but stopped just 200 feet from the location after being overcome by the substance.

Officers from the 108th Precinct and EMS units responded to the scene. Paramedics brought the woman to Cornell Medical Center, where she is listed in stable condition.

An investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information regarding the attack is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.


Identify this place in Queens

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


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”:  Borden Avenue between 5th Street and Vernon Boulevard in LIC


Mister Softee sues LIC ice cream truck company for use of trademark tune: reports

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons/Bill Walsh

There’s nothing sweet about this.

According to published reports, Mister Softee Inc., known for gathering ice cream lovers of all ages during the summer with its trademark jingle, is suing a Long Island City ice cream truck company for using the same song to get business.

Dimitrios Konstantakakos is now facing the lawsuit after his truck was featured in a Gothamist profile in July called “A Day in the Life of a NYC Ice Cream Operator,” according to the Daily News.

Konstantakakos is a driver for the company New York Ice Cream and reportedly was also a former Mister Softee vendor.

The lawsuit says that Mister Softee owns a federal trademark on the jingle and that the use of it by Konstantakakos is considered trademark infringement, according to reports.

“Mister Softee is in favor of fair competition, but when competitors use Mister Softee’s federally registered trademarks they engage in unfair competition, which is illegal,” the company’s lawyer Jeffrey Sucker told the Daily News.


Pesticide spraying across many Queens neighborhoods set for Monday night

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Trucks will spray pesticide across nearly every corner in Queens this Monday night as part of the Health Department’s ongoing efforts to kill mosquitoes that may carry the West Nile virus.

Weather permitting, the spraying will begin at about 8:30 p.m. Monday and continue until 6 a.m. the next morning. In the event of inclement weather, the spraying will take place on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning at the same hours.

The spraying will occur in four clusters of Queens as follows:

  • Areas of Long Island City and Sunnyside generally bounded by 47th Avenue on the north; Dutch Kills on the west; Newtown Creek on south; and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and 43rd Street on the east.
  • Parts of Astoria and Woodside generally bounded by 20th Avenue and 30th Street on the north; 28th Avenue, 43rd Street and Newtown Road on the west; Broadway and Northern Boulevard on the south; and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, 30th Avenue, 78th Street, Astoria Boulevard and 75th Street on the east.
The northwest Queens spray zones. (Maps courtesy NYC Health Department)

The northwest Queens spray zones. (Maps courtesy NYC Health Department)

  • Areas of Fresh Meadows, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Holliswood and Oakland Gardens generally bounded by 73rd Avenue on the north; 188th Street on the west; Jamaica Avenue, 199th Street, Hillside Avenue, 212th Street and the Grand Central Parkway on the south; and Springfield Boulevard on the east.
  • Parts of Briarwood, Forest Hills, Glendale, Jamaica Hills, Kew Gardens, Middle Village, Richmond Hill and Woodhaven generally bounded by the Grand Central and Jackie Robinson parkways, Groton Street, Yellowstone and Woodhaven boulevards and Eliot Avenue on the north; Lutheran Avenue, 71st Street, Metropolitan Avenue, All Faiths Cemetery, 76th Street, Cypress Hills Cemetery and Cypress Hills Street on the west; Jamaica and 89th avenues on the south; and 169th Street on the east.
The central Queens spray zones (Maps courtesy NYC Health Department)

The central Queens spray zones (Maps courtesy NYC Health Department)

Though the pesticide used during these sprayings, Anvil 10+10, poses no significant health risks to humans, the Health Department advises residents in these areas — especially those with respiratory ailments — to stay indoors while spraying occurs. Windows should be kept closed; air conditioners may be used, but the vents should be closed to prevent possible indoor exposure to the pesticides.

Any toys, clothes and outdoor equipment should be moved inside prior to spraying; anything left outside while spraying occurs should be thoroughly washed before reuse. Produce grown in backyards should be washed before being consumed or cooked.

Persons exposed to the pesticide should thoroughly wash their skin with soap and water.

For more information, visit the Health Department’s website or call 311.


Massive community-made mural unveiled in LIC

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos via Department of Transportation's Flickr

The commute to and from work, school and other daily activities for pedestrians and drivers in Long Island City just got more colorful — all with help from the community.

Queens artist Mark Salinas, who is the founder of the mural organization 7Train Murals, joined the Long Island City Partnership and the Department of Transportation on Wednesday to unveil the mural titled “Pedestrian Patterns” on the Thomson Avenue Bridge.

“The mural’s design is inspired by sneaker sole patterns and illustrates our daily commute from bright busy days to peaceful quiet evenings,” Salinas said. “The image begins bold and colorful and then transitions, with the rise and descent of the bridge’s architecture, into a quiet and camouflaged design.”

“Pedestrian Patterns” — which was part of the DOT’s Community Commission open call for art installations — was community-made with support from volunteers and local organizations such The Citizens Committee for New York City, LaGuardia Community College, International High School, Citi, the Falchi Building, Vanbarton Group, Re:Sources, and Janovic Paint and Decorating Centers.

“Thomson Avenue Bridge is a vital connector in Queens for thousands of daily commuter,” said Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the LIC Partnership. “With the addition of this beautiful new mural, we look forward to seeing it become a key point of interest in LIC.”

Going from 44th Drive to Skillman Avenue, the 6,000-square-foot piece is one of the largest community-made murals in the borough.

The mural, which was one of four new projects selected by the DOT, is made up of 25 colors plus one tinted background color on 33 panels.

“The beautification of vacant and vandalized public spaces improves the appearance of our neighborhood for local residents and visitors alike,” state Senator Michael Gianaris said. “The ‘Pedestrian Patterns Mural’ is an admirable addition to our community’s growing cultural fabric. I am pleased to see our community come together to make this area more lively.”


Celebrating kids at the LIC Flea

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Image via Facebook

Children will reign at the LIC Flea & Food this weekend as the market hosts a festival filled with fun activities for the whole family.

The popular Long Island City market, located at Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, is set to hold the LIC Flea Kids Festival this Saturday and Sunday celebrating youngsters from near and far.

The festival is expected to feature delicious food vendors, such as Sam’s Fried Ice Cream and Cookies Anonymous, and flea vendors for kids, or those who are kids at heart, like Mizudama, and ME and KC Comics.

The fun weekend continues with a bounce house, games, music, tattoos and face painting.

This weekend will also feature fun for adults as SingleCut Beersmiths takes over the LIC Flea Beer Garden offering a selection of their best brews. SingleCut experts will be on hand to discuss their beer making process, answer questions and offer tastings.

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.


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

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com


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.


Queens real estate sales drop, but turn bigger profits in recent months: report

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

File photo

Reflecting a market gripped by high demand and low supply, real estate sales in Queens decreased slightly but yielded higher prices during the second quarter of 2015, according to a report from broker Cushman & Wakefield.

Approximately 230 properties across the “World’s Borough” changed hands between April and June of this year, a 7 percent drop from the number sold during the first quarter of 2015. Even so, the aggregate sales consideration this quarter — the volume of money exchanged in real estate transactions — reached $835 million, an 8 percent increase from the first quarter.

Cushman & Wakefield described the first six months of 2015 as the second-highest dollar volume the Queens real estate market has seen within the first half of any year, with $1.6 billion in real estate sales generated.

“[At $313 million], development sites accounted for 20 percent of all dollar volume,” the report indicated, “followed by retail properties, with $259 million accounting for 16 percent of the total dollar volume.”

The average price for all types of real estate sold in Queens was $3.4 million, an 18 percent jump from the first half of 2014.

Queens’ strong real estate numbers were evident of a continued upward trend in New York City’s real estate market. According to the report, $37.8 billion in sales activity took place through June, and the city is “on pace to exceed the previous cycle’s high established in 2007.”

“The first half of 2015 will go down as one of the best six-month periods in the city’s history,” said Adrian Mercado, Cushman & Wakefield managing director of research. “All submarkets and property types are firing on all cylinders with market activity outpacing our year-end forecasts.”

Cushman & Wakefield catalogued 141 sales in Queens in which properties were sold for $1 million or more during the second quarter of 2015, accounting for 61.3 percent of real estate transactions during the period.

Among the most lucrative deals were the $71 million sale of an office building at 33-00 Northern Blvd. in Long Island City; a $4.35 million sale of a 23-unit lot of apartment buildings at 1705-1725 Putnam Ave. in Ridgewood; a $72.25 million sale of a 144-unit apartment building at 11-15 Broadway/30-50 21st St. in Astoria; and a $8.8 million sale of a 43,800-square-foot industrial building at 72-42 60th Lane in Glendale.


Car-sharing company car2go to make its move into western Queens

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Images courtesy of car2go North America

Updated Tuesday, Aug. 11 12:05 p.m. 

Joining Citi Bike, which launched last week in Long Island City, a new company will soon call Queens home, giving residents another quick, easy way to get around.

Car2go, a car-sharing company that launched in Brooklyn last October, has announced that it will expand into Queens — primarily Long Island City and other western Queens neighborhoods – starting Aug. 29.

“Since the twilight of the trolley system many decades ago, there really hasn’t been a reliable option for New Yorkers to travel between Brooklyn and Queens without going all the way through Manhattan,” said car2go Brooklyn General Manager Tom McNeil. “Queens is a bustling hub of cultures, small businesses, international cuisine and affordable housing opportunities that have long been a challenge to access. We believe that with the rapid adoption of car2go in Brooklyn, we can help make it even easier for members to live and explore beyond the reach of the subway.”

The company, which was started in Germany, rents out a fleet of white and blue Smart cars that car2go cardholders can use by either using the company’s app or website, calling the customer call center or spotting one of the cars on the street. Once unlocking the car with a car2go card, users can use them for one-way or round trips at $0.41 a minute plus a $1 driver protection fee.


Once finished using the car, users can park at any unmetered space or residential neighborhood street within the car2go home area. Parking, fuel insurance and maintenance are included at no additional cost.

With the Aug. 29 expansion Long Island City, Astoria, Woodside and Sunnyside, car2go’s home area in the greater New York City area will grow from 8 square miles to 44 square miles. The expansion is expected to bring an additional 25,000 members and will add 100 Smart cars to the 450 in Brooklyn, totaling 550 cars in New York City.

“We’re excited to see car2go bring a sustainable and sensible transit option to Queens, extending the reach of public transit and helping our residents get the most out of our borough,” Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said.

For more information or to register to become a member, visit www.car2go.com or follow @car2goNewYork on Twitter.


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

| oped@queenscourier.com

Photo via Wikimedia Commons


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.