Tag Archives: MoMA PS1

Citi Bike rolling into LIC this August


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

The blue bikes will finally be making their way into the “World’s Borough.”

Motivate, the company that operates Citi Bike, and the Department of Transportation announced Friday that the Citi Bike expansion, which was announced last October, will begin in early August with new stations being installed in various neighborhoods, including Long Island City.

The first wave of stations is part of a larger expansion plan that 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.

“With over 19 million trips, it is clear that New Yorkers love Citi Bike and we are excited to see the network double in size, expanding to Queens, more of Brooklyn, and upper Manhattan,” DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said.

There will be 91 new stations installed during this first phase of the expansion throughout Long Island City, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Williamsburg and Greenpoint.

Long Island City will get a total of 12 stations, including one by the Vernon Blvd-Jackson Av subway station, another in front of MoMa PS1, one next to the LIC Flea & Food and another right by Queensboro Plaza.

Map via citibikenyc.com

Map via citibikenyc.com

“The long-awaited arrival of Citi Bike in Long Island City is great news. Bike share will allow the 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.

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.

Astoria is another Queens neighborhood slated for docking stations; however, those bikes will arrive at a later time.

“For years I have fought to bring Citi Bike to Queens and I’m proud to say that the blue bikes will be here soon,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “Cycling in western Queens has become extremely popular and the addition of 12 new Citi Bike docking stations add a much-needed alternative mode of transportation to an area of the borough that is growing and vibrant, and in need of more transportation options.”

Along with the expansion, Motivate has also 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.

Motivate is also working to provide discounted Citi Bike memberships to residents of affordable housing developments, and free access for group rides to community-based organizations.

For more information on the Citi Bike expansion, visit www.citibikenyc.com/expansion.

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Hilton Garden Inn opens in LIC’s booming hotel market


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Images courtesy Hilton Garden Inn

The Long Island City Hilton Garden Inn opened on Friday, becoming the newest addition to the growing hotel scene in the burgeoning neighborhood.

The new Hilton branch has 183 guest rooms, which each come with a mini fridge, microwave oven and Keurig coffee maker. There are four meeting rooms in the hotel and a presidential suite with views of the Manhattan skyline.

“We’re excited to provide guests the option to stay in Long Island City, a rapidly growing community only minutes away from Manhattan,” said Adrian Kurre, global head of Hilton Garden Inn. “Our brand’s strategic expansion into this market is a major contribution to Hilton Garden Inn’s diversity in providing urban and suburban locations for guests.”

Attracted by low land values and close proximity to Manhattan, more than 20 hotels have popped up in Long Island City since 2008, according to the LIC Partnership, an organization dedicated to fostering business in the neighborhood.

Currently, another 26 hotels are on the way to the neighborhood. There are now about 3,000 hotel rooms in LIC, according to Rob MacKay, director of public relations at the Queens Economic Development Corporation.

Complimentary Wi-Fi, a fitness center, and a 24-hour business center are featured amenities for guests in the new LIC Hilton.

For food, The Garden Grille and Bar offers freshly cooked meals, drinks and room service. Also, a convenience outlet called The Pavilion Pantry is open around the clock and has snacks, beverages and microwaveable items.

Besides the proximity to Manhattan, Long Island City itself has begun to create a buzz with unique art institutions, such as MoMA PS1 and the Sculpture Center, and restaurants.

The LIC Hilton Garden Inn is owned by CVR Hotel LLC, and managed by Crescent Hotels and Resorts LLC.

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An overview: Multi-family buildings in Astoria and Long Island City


| sweiner@gmipny.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

BY SWAIN WEINER 

For a long time, Queens has had the reputation of being the go-to borough if you want to buy tires or surround yourself with the elderly.

That being said, this generalization is quickly becoming antiquated as neighborhoods in Queens are experiencing revitalization through the renovation of 1950s and pre-war era apartment buildings as well as the addition of new, modern buildings that have attracted the attention of young families.

Combine these new living spaces with sites like MoMA PS1, four restaurants that were just granted a Michelin star rating, and reasonable rates, and the stage is set for Queens to become a primary option for families looking to make an investment in themselves.

Though this trend is throughout the borough, the areas most impacted and evident of this change are Astoria and Long Island City. The New York Times reports that over 10,000 apartments are being planned over the next three years, ranging from “amenity-laden rentals to family-sized condos.” These condos are especially attractive to younger, up-and-coming families.

Last summer, I listed a 32-unit building in Long Island City. The asking price was just over $6 million, average rents for each unit were around $1,300 a month and 28 of the 32 units were one-bedrooms. This location was not more than a 90-second stroll from Queensboro Plaza.

Consider that the same station has stops for the N, Q and 7 trains, as well as the E, M and R a block away. That’s six trains with accessibility to almost every area in the city. For people looking for a chance to have the space and extra cash to expand their families, the location alone is reason enough to invest in properties like those 32 units. From its rooftop, a very large portion of visible real estate is in some kind of development, just further evidence of the opportunity provided in this part of town. It’s buildings like these that already have provoked the attention of potential investors and residents who have pushed along the progress of Astoria and LIC.

Families see a place where they can have their cake and eat it, too. The amenities offered in a luxury rental are not exclusive to the condos, as the Times reports these buildings will often have gyms, play areas for children, cafes and green roofs. All of these offerings, plus the space required to house a family, plus accessibility to other areas of New York City have bred a common mindset among this demographic.

The New York Times quotes one recent resident as saying that the amount of new people “asking directions and taking photographs” of what was once a very untouched area in the city feels very “cosmopolitan,” a word that would never have been used in reference to Queens until recently.

The question remains: where will the occupants come from? As Bloomberg reported, Cornell University has just been granted 12 acres on Roosevelt Island to build a graduate and applied sciences campus.

The people who populate that campus will populate Long Island City and Astoria. Not only is Roosevelt Island next door to these neighborhoods, but Queens is by far the most affordable of all the areas surrounding it. People feel that the low price they are paying is not reflective of some lack of character the neighborhood has; instead, they feel like they’re getting in at the ground floor of an exciting new investment.

The families that move in, like those that will attend the future Cornell Campus, will bring others similar, and what was once simply a reasonable place to live will remain reasonable with the added benefit of camaraderie and popularity. The new, “cosmopolitan” view of this area is now the generalized view.

What Williamsburg was to hipsters is what Astoria will become for young families, and the discrepancy between low prices and quality of the areas and residents absolutely screams investment opportunities. The allure of Astoria and LIC will only become greater, increasing the already high demand for renovated multi-family housing.

Astoria might still have some of the highest rent prices in the borough, though families moving in feel they are still getting a bargain. A New York Times piece on the area references a couple who recently moved to Astoria who pay $3,720 a month for a two-bed, two-bath with use of a “two-story gym, squash and basketball courts, a coffee lounge, three roof decks with barbecues and wet bars, and a children’s playroom.”

The family states that anywhere in Manhattan the same environment would cost more than $5,000 a month. This is the case with much of Astoria. Prices are comparatively higher than the rest of Queens, though lower than anywhere else in the city. But what the cost does not show is the value for these families’ purchases — the list just goes on and on for recreation and opportunities that these condos will provide to their families.

Last year, a developer in Astoria had a goal of selling 23 of 58 available condos in six months; every condo of the 58 was spoken for within four months. Another development group has followed suit and started 33-unit and 77-unit condos that will likely be taken in a similar amount of time. Though these are just two groups, they are not the only ones. These are the types of living spaces that will start popping up all over the neighborhood — condos tailored for families, complete with skyline views of Manhattan.

The growth of Astoria and LIC will be characterized by the addition of more than just the 10,000 apartments the New York Times mentioned. These additions will be tailored to suit the needs of families, spreading the popularity of multi-family housing by creating an environment where people raising children can have the best cost-benefit ratio offered anywhere in the city.

The 32-unit I listed last summer is far from the last time I dealt with a multi-family building in Astoria and LIC. In fact, I suspect that in the near future many more buildings cut from the same cloth will come out of the woodwork, primed for investment. Queens is in high demand, Queens is up-and-coming, and Queens is affordable. This new possibility of having enough room and means for families will continue to be a driving force in how these neighborhoods flourish.

Swain Weiner is president, partner and founder of Greiner Maltz Investment Properties, which specializes in all types of commercial investment sales throughout the five boroughs and Long Island. Before Greiner Maltz Investment Properties, Weiner sold more than $215,000,000 in aggregate sales with more than 1,300 residential units.

Swain Official Headshot

Swain Weiner

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Artists gather at MoMA PS1 for Cultural Town Hall


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Jimmy Van Bramer's office

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer hosted a Cultural Town Hall meeting at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City on Wednesday, featuring Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) Tom Finkelpearl, regarding plans to increase the number of affordable housing for artists.

Van Bramer and Finkelpearl also discussed recently proposed legislation to develop a cultural plan in New York City and enhancing the city’s Percent for Art program to grow community engagement.

Being an artist and living in New York is no easy task. Many of the artists in attendance for the town hall meeting said they are finding it tougher and tougher to be able to afford the rising cost of rent to stay and work in New York City. The fear is that this is leading to artists packing up and moving out of New York, and if the trend is not stopped, the city will be left without any artists.

“This administration has recently unveiled an affordable housing plan that includes 1,500 units for artists, dedicated units for artists,” Van Bramer said. “We’re making sure that artists can continue to live and create and make some money here in New York City.”

“The mayor announced that in 10 years we’re going to build 1,500 units…of affordable housing for artists, and 500 units of affordable studio spaces, which is also very important,” Finkelpearl said.

A really good example of affordable housing for artists is P.S. 109 in East Harlem, which is an old school building that has been converted into 89 units of affordable live/work spaces for artists, Finkelpearl explained. “It’s the first, new, affordable workspace for artists in a generation in New York City,” he said.

Aside from making New York a better place for artists to live and work, Van Bramer said that New York City has no comprehensive cultural plan, but that may soon change.

“We are, I believe, very close, we could be just a month or two away from passing the first ever comprehensive cultural plan in the city of New York,” Van Bramer said.

The piece of legislation requires the city to look at their current cultural priorities, determine how communities are being served and how they propose to better those services. The plan will study the condition of artists and plan how to remain an artist-friendly city. The city will go to communities and find out what they want and need in a cultural plan and incorporate what they hear into the plan.

“I think we’re really ready to embrace this,” said Finkelpearl, a former director of the Queens Museum of Art.

Creating a public art plan for New York will bring more art to the communities, but the Percent for Art program will procure the funding for public art works. The Percent for Art program is a law that was established in 1982 and requires one percent of the budget for eligible city-funded construction projects be allocated to public artwork. Since its inception, the Percent for Art program, managed by the DCA, has commissioned hundreds of site-specific projects throughout New York City.

“I think the more public art that we have in the city of New York, the better,” Van Bramer said.

One way to increase community involvement is to get them involved in the Percent for Art program process.

“Do you see an opportunity for more community engagement?” Van Bramer asked Finkelpearl.

“In general the procedures and regulations that the law has spawned, I think, are quite effective, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get better,” Finkelpearl responded.

“I’m thrilled to have this conversation,” on pubic art and about its perception, Van Bramer said.

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Water purifier design selected for MoMA PS1’s 2015 Warm Up music series


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Images courtesy of Andrés Jaque/Office for Political Innovation

This summer, MoMA PS1 will glow with awareness during its annual music series.

The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 in Long Island City have selected architect Andrés Jaque and his firm, the Office for Political Innovation, as the winner of the 16th annual Young Architects Program (YAP).

In Jaque’s project, called COSMO, he addresses the United Nation’s statistic estimating that by 2025 two thirds of the global population will live in countries that have a shortage of water.

The winning design expected to open at MoMA PS1’s courtyard in late June, was chosen from five finalists to serve as the temporary urban landscape for the 2015 Warm Up summer music series. The project is mobile, moving with the partygoers, and is made out of customized irrigation mechanisms.

Every year the winners develop creative designs for a temporary outdoor installation at the museum located at 22-25 Jackson Ave. that would provide shade, seating and water to those who attend the series. The architects also have to address environmental issues, such as sustainability and recycling.

“Last year, ‘Hy-Fi,’ a nearly zero carbon footprint construction by The Living, raised awareness of ecological and climate change. This year COSMO continues to do so, addressing the issue of increasingly scarce water supplies worldwide in a successful and innovative way,” said Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA PS1 director and MoMA chief curator at large.

COSMO has been engineered to filter and purify 3,000 gallons of water, “eliminating suspended particles and nitrates, balancing the PH, and increasing the level of dissolved oxygen,” according to MoMA PS1. It takes a total of four days for the 3,000 gallons to be purified..

As part of Jacque’s biochemical design, the stretched-out plastic mesh at the core of COSMO will automatically glow whenever water is purified.

“Relying on off-the-shelf components from agro-industrial origin, exuberant mobile architecture celebrates water-purification processes and turns their intricate visualization into an unusual backdrop for the Warm Up sessions,” said Pedro Gadanho, curator in MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design.

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Former Queens resident selected to create official artwork for Grammys


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Laurence Gartel (c) The Recording Academy 2014 / Photos courtesy of Laurence Gartel

The top names in the music industry won’t be the only ones shining during the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. One former Queens resident has been given the honor to create the official artwork for “music’s biggest night.”

Laurence Gartel, who has been called the “father of digital art” and spent 19 years of his early life living at the North Shore Towers in Floral Park, has created a version of the iconic Grammy figurine that will be used on the ceremony’s program book, tickets, poster and other promotional materials.

The life-sized statuette is wrapped in “psychedelic” imagery known to be Gartel’s style using vinyl, glitter and prismatic materials.

“It’s pretty darn amazing,” Gartel said about how it felt to be chosen as the official artist for the award ceremony. “I’m always looking to top myself and this certainly tops it. It feels great.”

Gartel’s first interaction with digital art came in 1975 when he met Nam June Paik, considered to be the founder of video art, at Media Study/Buffalo in upstate New York.

Although his artistic career began when he was nine at the Pels School of Art, working side to side with Paik was what started Gartel’s electronic career.

“That was sort of the birth of it all,” he said. “Electronic images could take over a painting on the wall.”

Gartel began working on computers the size of rooms, before the invention of personal computers, and started a technique prior to any software being created for painting and photo manipulation.

“You just go up to a machine and just start manipulating things and get images you couldn’t get otherwise,” Gartel said. “When you’re creating things that no one has seen before, that’s amazing.”

Since then his colorful images and pioneering designs have been used in advertising campaigns such as one for Absolut Vodka in 1991, which ran for 10 years. He has also worked alongside musicians such as Sid Vicious and the Ramones, and created artwork for artists such as Justin Timberlake.

One of his collaborative pieces includes partnering with Glen Greenberg of Elmont Glass Atelier for “art on glass” works that premiered at Art Hamptons.

His other individual pieces have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1, and in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

In the past few years, Gartel has also taken his artwork and created “art cars,” donning his colorful designs on vehicles such as a Mercedes and Rolls Royce. He was also featured in the 113th Annual New York International Auto Show in April.

With having finished the artwork for the Grammys, which is set to air Feb. 8, Gartel said he continues to move ahead with new ventures and creating unique pieces.

“I’m looking forward to the future,” Gartel said.

For more information, visit www.gartelart.com.

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Q&A: Modern Spaces CEO explains real estate in LIC


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Donna Dotan Photography Inc.

Eric Benaim founded real estate firm Modern Spaces in Long Island City in 2008, and within a handful of years led the explosion of residential interest in the neighborhood. Over the years, he expanded the company from LIC to Astoria, Manhattan and Brooklyn, and recently, Modern Spaces announced the launching of its commercial and investment property division, tapping into another side of the market.

In a question-and-answer session with The Courier, Benaim explained the current status of real estate in Long Island City and the transformation of the neighborhood.

Courier: How did you get inspired to start working in Long Island City?

Benaim: I guess I was always a Queens boy, and I started focusing in LIC back in 2005. I was a broker focusing mostly in Manhattan and at the time there were pretty much no brokers in the neighborhood over here, so I figured I would try to make this my niche. Just walking around you see the views of Manhattan, you see there’s a lot of potential over here and I stuck with it, and obviously it paid off. The neighborhood has changed dramatically since 2005.

Courier: Did you really think it [the transformation of LIC] would happen so quickly?

Benaim: No. Literally, from my window I see cranes everywhere, and it’s just crazy to see my skyline changing every day.

Courier: What is the real estate market in LIC like now?

Benaim: There is a lot of development. There was not that many condos being developed over the last couple of years, but condos are about to come back strong. We are seeing a lot of condo projects that are going to be coming online probably by first and second quarter of next year. And in regards to rental projects, a lot developers are doing stuff now whereas before it was predominately TF Cornerstone and Rockrose. now you are seeing a lot of big developers coming into the neighborhood that were never here before.

Courier: Why do you think there is a switch from rentals to condos?

Benaim: Because land prices have gone up a lot and when land prices go up so much it just doesn’t make sense to do a rental because the return on your investment does not really pay out. So it just makes more sense financially to do a condo rather than a rental. Rental projects that are coming along, these are projects sites that were acquired probably a year or more ago when land prices were a little more affordable than they are now.

Courier: Is LIC already a successful live, work and play community?

Benaim: I think [live, work, and play] has been established here. I remember when I first started showing clients around the neighborhood, there really wasn’t anything here. Not even a supermarket. Now we have three supermarkets already, and a fourth is opening up at the LINC, the Rockrose project in Court Square. There are a whole lot of restaurants— you know, restaurants open up here every week and now we are seeing more and more boutiques and stores opening up. Pretty much everything you need is here now. And regarding play, so we do have the bars and the night life now and LIC is a huge cultural destination. We have the LIC Arts Open, the Taste of LIC, MoMA PS1, the Chocolate Factory Theater and the LIC Flea. So there’s really a lot to do as well.

Courier: What has spurred you to go into the commercial side?

Benaim: We’ve done a little commercial these past few years, mostly like retail leasing. But a lot of our clients, whether it’s landlords who we’re doing their rentals for in walk-ups or if it’s a developer who we’re marketing their building or working with them, they never really came to us in the past, because they knew us as being residential brokers. So it was kind of like business that we lost out on. And it just seemed like the right time. Queens as a whole is in the spotlight right now and there’s not really a commercial company that can offer commercial services but still insight in the residential market.

Courier: What is the next neighborhood that has potential?

Benaim: We do see a lot of potential in Astoria, and other areas like Woodside, Sunnyside, Flushing and areas like Rego Park, where we just opened up a building called The Rego Modern. We rented 10 in the first open house [at The Rego Modern] and for high prices also, which they weren’t used to seeing. So that just shows that there is a lot of interest in Queens. Being a Queens boy myself it’s just nice to see that Queens is getting the spotlight that Brooklyn had stolen from us.

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11-story condominium building planned for LIC


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of Fogarty Finger Architects

New condos are coming to the Hunter’s Point section of Long Island City.

Local companies Charney Construction & Development and Ascent Development are working on an 11-story mixed-use residential and commercial building, which will have 56 apartments, according to New York YIMBY.

The building will be located on 11-51 47th Avenue, blocks from 5Pointzwhich is being torn down for massive apartment towers— and near MoMA PS1.

Designed by Fogarty Finger Architects, the proposed 125-foot structure will be comprised of 52,728 square feet of residential space and an additional 1,280 square feet of commercial space, according to filings with the Department of Buildings.

The building will also have 23 enclosed parking spots, and will also come complete with various amenities, including a kids room, a gym and a lounge. There is also a terrace that allows views of Manhattan.

An architect on the project said the condos, which will have lots of two and three-bedroom apartments, indicate a change in Long Island City of families moving into the neighborhood .

“Because you can’t buy anything in Manhattan, people are looking at these neighborhoods and realizing how great they are,” Chris Fogarty of Fogarty Finger said. “These are people looking to stay a while.”

 

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Free weekend art bus comes to LIC


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy Socrates Sculpture Park

The wheels on a brand-new free shuttle bus service are taking visitors ‘round and ‘round Long Island City’s art scene on the weekends.

Socrates Sculpture Park, The Noguchi Museum, SculptureCenter and MoMA PS1 have partnered up to bring local residents and tourists the LIC Art Bus, which will debut on Saturday. This free weekend bus service will be dedicated to promoting the neighborhood’s arts and culture scene taking visitors between the four institutions.

“Long Island City is already home to a rich cultural corridor, and the LIC Art Bus – free to all – will make it easier for visitors to experience the art offerings the neighborhood is known for,” said John Hatfield, executive director of Socrates Sculpture Park.

The bus will run on Saturday and Sunday, on a first-come, first-served basis, for 19 consecutive weekends until Sept. 14. The first shuttle departs from Socrates Sculpture Park at noon and takes riders door-to-door to The Noguchi Museum, SculptureCenter and MoMA PS1, and then makes its return to Socrates.

Departure times are scheduled for noon, 12:45, 1:30, 2:30, 3:15, 4 and 5 p.m.

“The arts are booming here in western Queens,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “With the addition of the LIC Art Bus, countless New Yorkers will have an easier time getting to some of our borough’s premiere cultural organizations and institutions – all for free.”

The LIC Art Bus’s full schedule will be available at each stop and updated at socratessculpturepark.org/bus.

 

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Woman to give free manicures at Socrates Sculpture Park


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Mikel Durlam

Breanne Trammell is taking her revamped 1968 compact trailer back out on the road to help polish the lives of local western Queens moms in need of a well-deserved pampering.

Last year, Trammell, a Wassaic, N.Y. resident, professional manicurist and core member of the nonprofit The Wassaic Project, embarked on a cross-country road trip she called Nails Across America.

During the trip she visited 20 different states as part of her experimental art project known as “Nails in the Key of Life,” where she uses manicures as the way to exchange ideas, start conversations and collect people’s stories. During her road trip, she would give women, men and children free manicures inside a 1968 Shasta compact trailer she transformed into a mobile nail salon.


                                   Photo by Mikel Durlam

Each person who sported one of Trammell’s manicures would receive a signed and numbered letter-pressed certificate to celebrate his or her involvement in the project.

“The idea is to reach out to as many kinds of people, from all walks of life, and use it as a way to honor them and their experiences, and share their experiences and stories,” Trammell said. “Manicures are usually expensive. It’s been my intention from the very beginning, this is totally accessible for anyone.”

Now, months after returning from her trip, Trammell will take the trailer back out and make a trip to Long Island City’s Socrates Sculpture Park for its spring/summer season opening on Mother’s Day on May 11.

During the event, which will feature the opening of three brand new exhibitions, Trammell will be giving free manicures by the park’s new 50-foot-long, 18-foot-high “Queen Mother of Reality” sculpture by Polish artist Pawel Althamer.

Although the manicures will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, most of the appointments will be filled by mothers from the nearby NYCHA housing development Astoria Houses.


                        Photo by Chuka Chukuma

“We are making sure the people that deserve it are getting it,” said Elissa Goldstone, exhibition program manager at Socrates Sculpture Park. “We are giving women a moment to be praised and to be focused on.”

While the mothers get pampered by Trammell, their children will also be able to take part in workshops conducted by the grass-roots nonprofit Minor Miracles Foundation.

Goldstone said Trammell’s trailer and free manicures pair nicely with the sculpture that was dedicated to Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely, who has served as Community Mayor of Harlem since being sworn in by former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in 1995.

Visitors will be allowed to enter the sculpture and get a view of the Manhattan skyline, and, later, get a tour of Trammell’s trailer.

“Breanne’s trailer has similar reclaimed, handmade, but also sacred and secured interior in this larger setting,” Goldstone said. “It’s that privateness that brings out these intimate moments.”

During that weekend, Socrates Sculpture Park will also debut the LIC Art Bus which will offer free weekend door-to-door service from noon to 6 p.m. between Socrates, SculptureCenter, The Noguchi Museum and MoMA PS1.

 

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Weekend bus trial to expand service along Vernon Boulevard


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

The western Queens waterfront will soon get a taste of extended bus service.

The Q103 bus line, which connects Astoria and Long Island City via Vernon Boulevard, will begin offering service to riders on weekends starting in June, according to the MTA.

The weekend schedule will serve as a trial program for the transit agency to receive comments from the community at an MTA public hearing to be scheduled at a later date. After the public hearing, a decision will be made to keep the service or not, the MTA said. It was not determined how long the trial program would run.

“At long last, weekend service on the Q103 bus line is in sight,” said State Sen. Michael Gianaris, who has been calling for the extra service on the bus line since 2011. “The need for more public transportation in our area will only continue to grow, especially on weekends, as more people flock to our waterfront to visit our restaurants, parks and cultural institutions.”

The weekend service will run from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and, in addition, the Q103 will also extend its weekday service hours until 9 p.m., instead of 7:30 p.m. The travel path and bus stops will not be affected, according to the MTA.

“The expansion of service will not only benefit the increasing amount of riders but it will also give our growing cultural institutions that ability to generate more traffic to their venues,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.

Local leaders and business owners see the need to expand the Q103’s service as crucial to the growing neighborhoods, with the increase of new residential towers coming into the areas bringing more people.

According to officials, the Q103 ridership has been increasing in the past years, rising from 558 riders per day in 2011 to about 790 in 2014.

“The Q103 service is a vital link for the cultural organizations of western Queens,” said Jenny Dixon, director of The Noguchi Museum. “It enables visitors to go from The Noguchi Museum and Socrates Sculpture Park in the north to SculptureCenter, MoMA PS1, Dorsky Gallery and the Chocolate Factory to the south.”

 

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


| michael@warrenlewis.com

LIC things to do

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

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

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

And then you can…

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

Hit the LIC Flea

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

Visit MoMA PS1

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

Walk along the East River at Gantry Plaza State Park

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

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


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

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

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

 

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Queens Museum President Tom Finkelpearl named cultural affairs commissioner


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@BilldeBlasio

Follow me @liamlaguerre 

 

Mayor Bill de Blasio formally announced Queens Museum head Tom Finkelpearl as the next commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) Monday.

Finkelpearl, who has been the president of the Queens Museum for 12 years, recently oversaw its $68 million transformation and revitalization. He also simplified its name from the Queens Museum of Art.

“New York City is one of the most eclectic and culturally rich cities in the world, and that’s something that should be shared by all New Yorkers and tourists alike,” Finkelpearl said. “Our work is part of what distinguishes New York City as a cultural epicenter, and I look forward to working to fortify the already diverse offerings of the city’s arts and cultural life.”

Finkelpearl has more than 30 years of experience in museum management and arts education. Before heading the Queens Museum, Finkelpearl was deputy director of the contemporary art center PS1 and assisted with its merger with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in 2000, as it became MoMA PS1. Finkelpearl graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University and received his Master of Fine Arts from Hunter College.

Finkelpearl will be tasked with expanding access to culture and the arts in the city in his new position.

“With Tom at the helm of DCLA, I’m confident that New York City will not only continue to thrive as a global cultural hub, but also make the arts more accessible to New Yorkers in every neighborhood,” de Blasio said.

 

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MoMA PS1 selects architect winner for 2014 Warm Up summer music series


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy of The Living

Summer might still be far away, but things are starting to heat up as a winner has been chosen to create the scenery for this year’s Warm Up series at MoMA PS1.

The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 in Long Island City selected David Benjamin from design firm The Living as the winner of the 15th annual Young Architects Program (YAP).

The winning project, called “Hy-Fi,” expected to open at MoMA PS1 in late June, was chosen from five finalists and will serve as a “temporary urban landscape” for the 2014 Warm Up summer music series, located in MoMA PS1’s outdoor courtyard.

“After dedicating the whole building and satellite programs of MoMA PS1 to ecological awareness and climate change last year with ‘EXPO 1: New York,’ we continue in 2014 with ‘Hy-Fi,’ a nearly zero carbon footprint construction by The Living,” said Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA PS1 director and MoMA chief curator at large.

Every year the winners develop creative designs for a temporary, outdoor installation at MoMA PS1 that would provide shade, seating and water to those who attend Warm Up. The architects also have to address environmental issues, such as sustainability and recycling.

The Living will create “Hy-Fi” using a new technique of bio-design that will assemble a structure made out of 100 percent organic material.

The structure is a circular tower made of organic and reflective bricks, produced from the combination of corn stalks and living root structures, invented by Ecovative, a company The Living is working with in the project.

“Hy-Fi” will also highlight local materials, and offer a direct relationship to New York State agriculture and innovation culture, city artists, nonprofits and community gardens in Queens.

“At MoMA PS1, The Living’s project will be showcased as a sensuous, primeval background for the Warm-Up sessions; the ideas and research behind it, however, will live on to fulfill ever new uses and purposes,” said Pedro Gadanho, curator in MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design.

 

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What to do in Queens when it’s cold outside


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo credit (From top left, clockwise): Photo courtesy of MoMA PS1/Elk Studios, 2012; Photo courtesy of the World Ice Arena; Photo by Dominick Totino; Photo courtesy of the New York Hall of Science

When the temperatures dip, our desire to stay at home can rise. But even during wintry weather there are plenty of indoor places to explore around the borough.

MAKE YOUR WAY TO A MUSEUM

Queens is full of museums for art lovers as well as science, history and jazz enthusiasts.

King Manor Museum
King Park, on Jamaica Avenue
between 150th and 153rd streets, Jamaica
718-206-0545
www.kingmanor.org
Hours: Guided tours of King Manor Museum are offered February – December (closed during January); Thursdays & Fridays, 12 – 2 pm, every 1/2 hour (last tour 1:30); Saturdays & Sundays, 1 – 5 pm, every 1/2 hour (last tour 4:30).
Suggested Admission: Adults $5; Seniors and Students $3; Children 16 and under Free; King Manor Members Free; Free tours are offered on “Hands-on History” weekends each month.
(File photo) 

Louis Armstrong House Museum
34-56 107th Street, Corona
718-478-8274
www.louisarmstronghouse.org
Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Admission: Adults: $10; Seniors (65 and older), students, and children: $7; Group rate: $6; Children under 4: Free; Members: Free.
(Photo courtesy of the Louis Armstrong House Museum)

MoMA PS1
22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City
718-784-2084
www.momaps1.org
Hours: 12–6 p.m., Thursday through Monday, closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Admission: Adults $10; Students + Seniors $5; Children under 16 Free; Suggested donation admission applies Monday all day, and Saturday and Sunday Noon—1:00 p.m.
(Photo courtesy of MoMA PS1/Elk Studios, 2012) 

Museum of the Moving Image
36-01 35 Avenue, Astoria
718-777-6888
www.movingimage.us
Hours: Wednesdays–Thursdays: 10:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; Fridays: 10:30 a.m.–8:00 p.m. (free admission: 4:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.); Saturdays and Sundays: 11:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
Admission: $12 adults (18+); $9 senior citizens (65+); $9 students with valid ID; $6 children (3-12); Free for Museum members and children under 3.
(Photo Courtesy of the Museum of the Moving Image) 

New York Hall of Science
47-01 111th Street, Flushing Meadows=Corona Park
718-699-0005
www.nysci.org
Hours: September 1 – March 31: Monday Closed (Except Open Monday February 17, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.); Tuesday – Friday 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
General Admission: Adults (ages 18 & older): $11; Children (ages 2 – 17): $8 Children under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult; Students (with college ID): $8; Senior Citizens (age 62 & older): $8; Members: Free.
(Photo courtesy of the New York Hall of Science) 

Queens Museum
New York City Building, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
718-592-9700
www.queensmuseum.org
Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 12-6 p.m.
Suggested Admission: $8 for adults and children over 12; $4 for students and seniors; Children under 12 attend for free.
(THE COURIER/File photo) 

The Noguchi Museum
9-01 33rd Road, Long Island City
718-204-7088
www.noguchi.org
Hours: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday: 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; Monday & Tuesday: Closed.
Admission: General admission: $10; Senior Citizens: $5 ; Students with a valid ID: $5; NYC public high school students with a valid ID: Free; Children under 12: Free; Members: Free; On the first Friday of every month year-round, Museum admission is pay-what-you-wish.
(Photo courtesy of the Noguchi Museum) 

CHECK OUT A CONCERT OR SHOW 

From a classical concert to a dramatic play, the local arts are alive at the borough’s concert halls and theatres. Here are some places to catch a local performance.

Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing
718-463-7700
www.flushingtownhall.org
(File photo)

Kupferberg Center for the Arts
65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing
Box Office: 718-793-8080
www.kupferbergcenter.org

Queensborough Performing Arts Center
Box Office: Library, 1st Floor
222-05 56th Avenue, Bayside
718-631-6311
M-F, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
www.qcc.cuny.edu/qpac
(Photo courtesy of Queensborough Performing Arts Center)

 

Queens Theatre
14 United Nations Avenue South, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Box Office: 718-760-0064
www.queenstheatre.org
(Photo by Dominick Totino)

The Secret Theatre
44-02 23rd Street, Long Island City
718-392-0722
www.secrettheatre.com
(File photo) 

 

 

HIT AN ICE SKATING RINK 

Though you will still need a scarf and gloves, the temperatures will be warmer and there definitely will not be any snow at the borough’s indoor skating rinks.

City Ice Pavilion
47-32 32nd Place, Long Island City
718-706-6667
www.cityicepavilion.com
Visit www.calendar.cityicepavilion.com for the public ice skating schedule.
Pricing: $5 Monday through Friday; $8 Saturday & Sunday; $8 Holidays including all school vacation weeks; $5 Skate rental per person. (Must wear socks); $2 Helmets rental per person; Coin operated lockers available for $.75.

World Ice Arena at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Avery Avenue and 131st Street, Flushing
718-760-9001
www.worldice.com
Hours: Monday through Friday the rink is open from 9 a.m. until 5:15 p.m. On weekends it is open: 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. Friday nights; noon until 4:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. until 9:50 p.m. Saturdays and noon until 4:45 on Sundays.
Admission: $5 for all ages on weekdays and $8 on weekends and holidays. To rent skates be sure to bring socks and an additional $5.
(Photo courtesy of the World Ice Arena)

 

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