Tag Archives: Long Island City

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Top five most expensive luxury listings in LIC

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Modern Spaces


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

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

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

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

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.


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.


Former LIC auto shop sells for $4.27M

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of PropertyShark/Scott Bintner


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.


Top five brunch spots in Astoria and LIC

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via The Queens Kickshaw Facebook page


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
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.

12-14 31st Ave., Long Island City
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
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
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.

34-55 32nd St., Astoria
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.