Tag Archives: Ridgewood

Tech-based laundry, dry cleaning company to expand services into Queens


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Images courtesy of WashClub NYC

Having your laundry washed is about to get as easy as tapping on a smartphone for residents in Long Island City, Ridgewood and Maspeth.

WashClub NYC, a tech-based laundry and dry cleaning company offering on-demand pickup and delivery, has announced it plans to make its way to Queens within the first few months of 2015.

The Brooklyn-based company, which launched in 2010 and has since been operating in Manhattan and Brooklyn, also debuted a new app for Apple and Android users. Customers will be able to schedule, track and personalize the care of their laundry and dry cleaning through an “easy three-tap method.”

“We’re creating a path that is disrupting the way the laundry and dry cleaning industry operates,” said Rick Rome, president of WashClub NYC. “By releasing our app and entering select neighborhoods of Queens, we are going to reach more New York customers than ever before.”

The way WashClub NYC works is customers, either on the web or via the app, create an account and schedule a free pickup. They will then have to get the laundry ready to be picked up on the scheduled date and time.

Within 24 to 48 hours, customers will receive an email or text message notification about 30 minutes or less before the driver arrives. Delivery is free and people can choose what time works best for them. On the app, customers can also track via Google maps where the driver is and how close they are.

Services offered by WashClub NYC, which does all the cleaning in-house, include wash and fold, dry cleaning and tailoring. All first time users receive 20 percent off and a free laundry bag.

“Our overall company goal is to be able to service all of New York City eventually,” Rome said. “It’s the most convenient and easiest way to do your laundry.”

Rome added that the reason services will start being offered in Long Island City, Ridgewood and Maspeth is because of their proximity to the Brooklyn facility.

However, he said in the future he plans to open a facility in Queens to be able to serve the entire borough.

“Queens is a very important and exciting next step for us. We think Queens is going to be an absolute fantastic market place,” Rome said. “Queens is a stepping stone to the next area.”

For more information or to set up an account, visit www.WashClubNYC.com or call 888-920-1370.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Ridgewood community members will hold panel to talk about its future


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Landmark Preservation Commission

Ridgewood is changing, but the historic stability of the neighborhood makes it different from most communities in the city that are gentrifying, said Henry Cross, a Ridgewood resident and community activist.

It has been a long-debated topic with many articles and publications talking about the new look of the small neighborhood in southwest Queens, but residents don’t want to be grouped in with New York neighborhoods known for rising rents and new restaurants, bars and shops popping up around the area.

Cross, along with other community stakeholders, will hold a panel discussion on Feb. 4 to talk about some recent issues.

“I feel that this discussion will be a step in the right direction to specifically address community topics,” Cross said. “I absolutely see change and this discussion is going to focus on where the neighborhood was, where it is and where it is going.”

Cross has lived in the neighborhood for six years and said the reason Ridgewood is different from the neighborhoods across the border in Brooklyn, which it is usually compared to, is because of its history. He said there is a very stable environment in Ridgewood even with the recent change because the people who have recently moved in respect the preservation of its history.

He backed this up by talking about how another section of the neighborhood, Central Ridgewood, was recently designated as a  historic district by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, joining Ridgewood North, Ridgewood South and the  Stockholm Street historic districts.

“There is valued work that has been done by people in the neighborhood,” Cross said. When asked whether he thinks the recent change in the neighborhood will weaken its fabric, he replied, “Those without the means of change are without the means of preservation.”

The panel discussion will take place at Topos Bookstore Café, located on 788 Woodward Ave., from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Cross has chosen three people to address the preservation of the neighborhood, two people to discuss what can be discovered about the neighborhood and one person to talk about redefining the neighborhood.

“I want to discuss what needs to be preserved in the neighborhood, what people can discover and what people could say about how the neighborhood has been,” Cross said. “We have to figure out how we could continue to shape it for the next generations.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Ridgewood rents skyrocketing since end of recession


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Charts and photos courtesy of StreetEasy.com

“Quooklyn,” “Ridgewick,” “Ridgebetween,” whatever you want to call it, rents in Ridgewood have exploded in the city’s newest hot neighborhood since the end of the recession.

Rents in Ridgewood last year increased about 63 percent since 2009, according to data compiled by real estate website StreetEasy.com at the request of The Courier, as more luxury rental buildings moved down the L and M train lines from Bushwick and Williamsburg.

The data finds the median price of rents in Ridgewood last year increased to $2,182 from $1,340 in 2009, good for first place in rents charged in Queens. Even when comparing year-to-date numbers between last year and 2013, Ridgewood experienced median rent increases of more than $382, while Astoria saw only a $50 increase and Long Island City actually had a decline.

“While rents remained flat in Queens between 2013 and 2014, some neighborhoods experienced a surge in prices,” said Alan Lightfeldt, a StreetEasy data scientist. “Ridgewood — also known as ‘Ridgebetween’ because of its new found status as an ‘in-between’ neighborhood of Brooklyn and Queens — saw prices increase by just over 21 percent as demand for the neighborhood has surged in recent years.”

This “new-found status” has helped businesses and created a buzz about Ridgewood that excites some longtime locals, and makes former residents want to come back, but renters are paying for it.

 

09-14 Rents

Another interesting find from the data suggests rising prices will continue in the Rockaways, which had previously recorded a drop due to effects from Superstorm Sandy.

“As this neighborhood continues its recovery from the destruction of Superstorm Sandy, rents have increased rapidly but still remain lower than they were five years ago — a sign that the rental market in Rockaways still has room for further recovery in the months and years ahead,“ Lightfeldt said.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Port Authority releases Tier 1 study of cross harbor freight program


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

The Port Authority is looking for a better way to move freight through the New York metropolitan area including new proposals to boost rail traffic along a sleepy freight line through western Queens that could leave some homeowners shaking in their beds.

A new study, released at a Queens Borough Hall meeting on Jan. 12, outlined 10 different proposals for shipping rail freight across the harbor, from New Jersey to a rail line that stretches from the Brooklyn waterfront up to the Hellgate Bridge in Astoria. The line now carries an average of one freight train a day. If any of the proposals come to fruition, there would be many more — and larger — trains rolling down that track.

Among the hardest hit would be neighborhoods in the Glendale and Ridgewood area where the Fresh Pond train yard is located.

Proposals for a cross-harbor freight tunnel have been explored for almost a century. But the Port Authority, facing exploding growth of freight that is now moved through the city almost entirely by truck, needs another option to keep its bridges and tunnels from overflowing with truck traffic.

“We have to figure out a better way to move freight,” said Mark Hoffer, director of New Port Initiatives for the Port Authority. “We must analyze, study [the area] and come up with alternatives.”

Hoffer said that 90 percent of freight, nationally produced, comes in to the area by truck. By 2035, the Port Authority projected that over 300 million more tons of freight will have to come into the area. To meet that demand, the PA has come up with a range of options, from building a new tunnel to creating a water-borne shipping system that would carry rail cars across the harbor. Either proposal would boost freight rail through Brooklyn and Queens.

Currently, the closest rail crossing over the Hudson is in Selkirk, N.Y., about 150 miles north of the city. That means that the vast majority of freight shipped by rail from the west is unloaded in New Jersey and trucked across the river to New York City, Long Island, the northern suburbs and parts of New England.

“Using a rail option for this project would severely impact my district,” said Councilwomen Elizabeth Crowley, who covers the Glendale and Ridgewood area. She also said the noise pollution added by the influx of diesel-powered freight trains would hurt the quality of life of people in the area.

Hoffer did not deny the claim saying that it would affect some communities that are near the railway. But he was quick to say that the use of freight trains would be something that would benefit the area as a whole.

The Port Authority estimated that upgrading the rail system in the area, which could include building tunnels under water for freight to ship through, would cost anywhere from $7 to $11 billion and take about eight years to build. The waterborne options have been estimated to cost anywhere from $100 to $600 million and take two to four years to finish.

The next step for the Port Authority is to meet with local elected officials, community groups and other interested parties. They are also holding a public meeting to hear any concerns of residents in Queens on Jan. 29 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Queens Borough Hall.

Following that their initial study, the Port Authority will be publishing a Record of Decision, which will list a group of alternatives they will take into their next, more detailed, study.

“The population is growing and we are going to be consuming more. We have to do something, the question is finding the right something,” Hoffer said. “We don’t have a realistic option in doing nothing.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

Ridgewood magician competes on ‘Worst Cooks in America’


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Food Network

A Ridgewood magician is trying to make his disastrous cooking skills disappear — and he’s turned to the Food Network for help.

Michael “Six” Muldoon, 26, is a contestant on “Worst Cooks in America,” which kicked off its sixth season on Jan. 4. The show takes 14 abysmal home cooks and divides them into two teams — one led by returning Chef Anne Burrell and the second by first-time opponent Chef Tyler Florence.

The contestants go through a culinary boot camp, during which two of them are eliminated each week. Two finalists, one from each team, will face off in the finale, where they will prepare a three-course menu. The winner will receive $25,000 and bragging rights for their chef.

Just how bad are these cooks? Some admit to starting kitchen fires and even poisoning friends and family.

When the contestants are told to create their signature dish in the first episode so the chefs can choose their teams, one contestant substitutes gummy bears for goose fat, then tries to cut the candy with the wrong end of a knife. Another woman cooks a baked potato by microwaving it in a plastic bag.

But Muldoon is just as clueless.

“I try to make meals that look like one thing and taste like something else, and it just never seems to work,” the magician says as he tries to explain his spaghetti and meatball cake, which looks like a cake but tastes like spaghetti and meatballs.

Florence is not impressed.

“Surprise, it’s burnt,” he says. And Burrell ends up picking Muldoon for her team.

Muldoon’s magic skills are better left for the stage, not the kitchen.

At a young age, Muldoon coped with having a sixth finger and weight issues. His Maspeth house burned down when he was 11 and his parents separated around that time. Muldoon found magic at about age 13, which helped give him the confidence he needed. He later turned the hobby into a career.

In addition to performing, he started System 6 Magic, a company that produces playing cards and DVDs. He is also vice president of Magicians Without Borders, which travels to more than 30 countries “using magic to entertain, educate and empower.”

Muldoon, who was 25 when he appeared on “Worst Cooks,” was nominated to be a contestant by his brother for his magic-inspired food that constantly missed the mark. The two have a bet that if Muldoon learns to cook, then his brother will learn some magic tricks.

“I wasn’t cooking bad. I was cooking over the top more than anything else, ” Muldoon said.

He only heard of the show in passing before being nominated, and after watching past episodes he wasn’t sure he could take the humiliation. But he ultimately decided the challenge was worth it.

“This is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. You are learning and you’re memorizing and there are a lot steps,” he said.

Muldoon also wanted to appear on the competition so he could learn to cook for his girlfriend. With his new skills, he says it’s nice to give her a break from making meals.

Though Muldoon says the biggest lesson he’s learned from the show is simplicity, it doesn’t mean he has given up on his magic dishes.

“It’s in the back of my head,” he said. “Knowing what I know, I wonder if I can pull off a good one now.”

To see Muldoon compete in the next episode of “Worst Cooks in America,” watch Sunday, Jan. 18, at 9 p.m. on the Food Network.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Identify this place in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

WHERE

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

Last week’s answer to “Identify this Place”: Evergreen Park in Ridgewood
Evergreen Park

 

 

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

 

Suspect wanted in Middle Village, Ridgewood bank robberies


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a man who they say robbed three Queens banks, including two on the same block.

The first robbery occurred inside a Capital One Bank at 74-11 Metropolitan Ave., near 75th Street in Middle Village, just after 3 p.m. on Nov. 24, cops said. After entering the bank, the suspect passed a demand note and fled on foot with about $750.

On Dec. 9, at about 11:30 a.m., the same man robbed another Capital One Bank, at 70-01 Forest Ave., near 70th Avenue, in Ridgewood, police said. The suspect fled the bank on foot with $2,617.

The same man returned to Middle Village on Dec. 30 to rob a bank just down the street from the site of the Nov. 24 robbery. According to police, the man entered the Astoria Bank at 75-25 Metropolitan Ave. at about 11:30 a.m., passed a demand note and fled on foot with about $7,400.

Police described the suspect as black, 30 to 35 years old, 5 feet 10 inches tall and with a medium build. He was last seen wearing a green hooded sweatshirt and a black knit hat.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

Candlelight vigils held around Queens for slain officers


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

Communities around Queens came together, holding emotional candlelight vigils to show their respect for the two NYPD officers who were murdered last week and to express sympathy for their families.

From Ridgewood to Long island City and Jackson Heights, among other neighborhoods, residents and the men and women in blue held a moment of silence for Police Officer Rafael Ramos and Police Officer Wenjian Liu, who were both shot dead by a deranged man who traveled from Baltimore to Brooklyn with the intention of killing police officers.

“This is a difficult time for everyone in the city of New York,” said Borough President Melinda Katz, who attended the 104th Precinct’s vigil in Ridgewood. “Our prayers go out to Officer Ramos and Officer Liu.”

In Long Island City, officers at the 108th Precinct, located at 5-47 50th Ave., gathered Monday night with residents, local leaders and elected officials during a vigil for Liu and Ramos.

“We in this community are a model, a beacon of light in the darkness,” said Captain John Travaglia, commanding officer of the 108th Precinct.

People filled the street in front of the precinct holding candles and joined in prayer for the fallen officers.

“Our community responds with love, remembrance and gratitude for Officers Liu and Ramos and the NYPD,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said.

Photo via Twitter/@NYPD108Pct

Photo via Twitter/@NYPD108Pct

Over in Jackson Heights, instead of the holiday tree lighting ceremony at Diversity Plaza, located on 37th Road and 74th Street, a vigil was organized to honor the two police officers and also “condemn violence in any form.”

Another vigil was held in Whitestone last night as well, with local residents and officers from the 109th Precinct.

On Sunday, Dec. 21, there was a candlelight vigil in front of the 115th Precinct in Jackson Heights as well.

The family of Ramos, who lived in Brooklyn, has made arrangements for his viewing ceremony on Dec. 26 from 2 to 9 p.m. at Christ Tabernacle Church, located at 64-34 Myrtle Ave. in Glendale. The funeral will be on Dec. 27 at the same location at 10 a.m.

Arrangements for Liu were still pending yesterday.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Developing Queens: A wave of new retail coming


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre 

CBRE is a global real estate services company, which has offices in Queens and Long Island that service the borough. The firm focuses on commercial real estate. CBRE First Vice President Dean Rosenzweig and Associate Jeremy Scholder talked with Real Estate Editor Liam La Guerre about the changing landscape of the Queens retail market.

La Guerre: Queens has been having a big residential boom in certain markets over the past couple of years. Have you seen a pickup in retail with this boom?

Rosenzweig: The smaller businesses, the moms and pops, when we have a listing or when we are on the search for a client for a site—the smaller guys have definitely been seeking out those areas, like Long Island City. The nationals are starting to poke around. We are doing tours with our national clients in Long Island City, for example, but the nationals aren’t there yet. They’re coming and that will take retail in those areas to the next level.

La Guerre: So if you wanted to go shopping to big-box retailers you wouldn’t be able to in LIC yet, but very soon.

Rosenzweig: Or even smaller footprint national retailers, like you don’t see Starbucks there yet. Are they coming? Yeah. Are they looking around? Absolutely. Will they be there? Probably in a year or a year and a half from now. You don’t even see the national banks on Vernon [Boulevard] right? That’s all coming. The first stage was the developers taking advantage of the rezoning and building the huge amount of residential that’s already built and the huge amount of residential that are in the works. Those units are going to fill up, and people that they are going to bring are going to need services.

Scholder: They are still waiting for the area to hit critical mass. They are waiting for all these new buildings to come to fruition at the same time so they can really feel the impact.

Rosenzweig: You learn over time that retailers have a herd mentality. When one national retailer comes in and then a second one — it doesn’t even necessarily have to be all in the same category— but when a couple of nationals come in, that’s when the rest will take the plunge. And it hasn’t hit that point yet.

La Guerre: So you’re saying eventually the nationals will be popping up all over and together?

Rosenzweig: They are going to realize what the residential developers and the residents that have moved into their projects have — great proximity to Manhattan, incredible mass transit, and the people that are coming in have a lot of disposable income.

La Guerre: Is Queens a destination for trendy stores now, like Manhattan or Brooklyn?

Scholder: Obviously, there is a growing young demographic in some neighborhoods. That’s absolutely the case in Long Island City. Astoria has been another growing market. There is this tremendous basis of nightlife, restaurant scene, arts in Astoria, and some of these trendier places are starting to move in as well.

La Guerre: What are some areas that you expect retail to transform that haven’t been talked about as much? Where are your sleeper neighborhoods?

Rosenzweig: Archer Avenue in Jamaica. You’re going to see some opportunities get created for larger big-box retailers, so it’s not going to just be Sutphin [Boulevard] as it has been or Jamaica Avenue. I think Archer is going to evolve as well. Another area is Myrtle Avenue in Ridgewood. The infrastructure has always been there — mass transit, buses, surrounding residential — but I think you are going to see as leases come up and expire a lot of the current tenants may not be quite right for the area anymore. I think it’s going to come on pretty strong, pretty soon.

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Five humongous Queens homes listing under $1M


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Multiple Listing Service and PropertyShark

While new apartments in Queens are getting smaller so developers can maximize profits, the borough still has a treasure trove of spacious gems in older homes that offer prospective owners the best bang for their buck.

For many, size does matter, so here are five single-family homes with enough space for parents, the kids, grandma and maybe even a crazy uncle or two, and each are under $1 million.

59-35 Menahan St., Ridgewood

This property has seven bedrooms and three bathrooms and was originally built in 1920, according to its listing. It sits on a lot of 5,137 square feet, which has a two-car garage and a private driveway. There is a finished basement and a laundry room as well. The broker is Peter Caruso of Caruso & Boughton Realty, and the asking price is $945,000.

 

105-42 133rd St., Richmond Hill

If you thought that last price was low, this Richmond Hill seven-bedroom home is listed for $649,999. This three-story detached colonial home has three bathrooms and a recreational room in the basement, according to the listing. The residence uses about half of its 5,084-square-foot lot space. Raias Khan of Century 21 is the broker of record.

 

168-04 35th Ave., Flushing

Just in case seven bedrooms wasn’t enough, this three-story colonial-style single-family Flushing home offers eight bedrooms and three full bathrooms, according to the listing. Blocks away from the Auburndale LIRR station, the house is located on a corner property and has 3,087 square feet of space. The residence features a finished basement, which includes a laundry room. It also has a one-car garage. The asking price is $958,000. En Ja Chung of Promise Realty is the broker.

 

88-52 195th Pl., Hollis

Those looking for style with a bargain price may have found it with this large single-family home. The three-story Hollis residence features a formal dining room and living room with French pocket doors, according to its listing. It has seven bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms in 3,400 square feet of space. There is a two-car garage on the property as well. Emmanuel Babayev of Charles Rutenberg Realty is the broker.

 

11-43 Beach 9th St., Far Rockaway

Access to transportation, a huge house, spacious lot and a bargain price — this home may have it all. This three-story residence sits on a nearly 8,000-square-foot lot and has about 3,500 square feet of living space, according to its listing. The asking price is $879,000. It has seven bedrooms, two bathrooms and a private driveway. The broker is Ann Bienstock of Five Towns Miller Realty.

Rockaway property

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Onderdonk & Sons, the corner bar in Ridgewood with a few meanings


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Salvatore Licata

At first glance, a bar named Onderdonk & Sons is fitting for an establishment that opened up on Onderdonk Avenue in Ridgewood. But the bar’s name doesn’t just refer to its location.

Brian Taylor opened the bar, located at 566 Onderdonk Ave., the weekend after Thanksgiving. Before finding his corner, Taylor was working full time searching through Ridgewood for the perfect location. What he found was more than a location on an oddly named street. He stumbled onto a lost story that seemed even more fitting for a tavern’s name.

In his research, Taylor came across a Bishop Onderdonk who was an evangelical minister in the 19th century. Taylor found out that Onderdonk was the subject of a scandal involving relationships with several women and was suspended from his duties as a bishop. Taylor found the story fascinating and went ahead to name his new bar after Onderdonk — the man, not the street. He also admitted that the name does have a cool sound to it, which made him like it even more.

“I always liked history, and the word Onderdonk and its historical nature just made it an easy pick,” said Taylor.

The new spot is described by Taylor as just a regular neighborhood bar. Before he opened, Taylor was expecting to have a full spirits license to serve a wide variety of drinks and liquor. But that request was denied in favor of a license limited to beer and wine.

The bar also does not have a sign outside indicating the name of the establishment. Taylor said he wants to keep it that way to kind of stay off the radar, which he later jokingly admitted is a view that would lead a business to its own demise.

But that did not stop him from a hot start once he opened. Taylor said the crowds have been larger than expected for only recently opening his doors. He didn’t even throw a grand opening party. He offers a wide variety of beers and wine and will soon be adding burgers and a brunch menu.

DSC_0198

Taylor, being a man who likes history, has filled the bar with touches of the past. The floor throughout the bar is largely the original wood that he discovered after ripping up five layers of old flooring. He has a juke box playing mostly country music and the blues, a refrigerator behind the bar dates to the 1930s, there’s a vintage telephone booth in a corner, and an old mirror is set up above the bar.

He and his wife and business partner Louise Favier live in Manhattan, but they felt a calling about opening a bar in Ridgewood. He described Ridgewood as a “solid neighborhood” and wanted to provide its residents with a place to go 365 days a year.

He admires the tight-knit nature of the community. But he gets a laugh out of so many people who come into the bar and say they lived around the corner — if they all actually did, there would be a massive high rise there instead of historical attached houses.

“We’re just a bar,” said Taylor. “I’ve been thrilled with the start and hope we will continue to grow organically.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

New Ridgewood bar entices customers with Belgian beer selection


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Salvatore Licata

Ridgewood just got a little more Belgian.

The Monk bar, located at 68-67 Fresh Pond Rd., opened on Dec. 6, and owner Joe Figliolia is looking to expand the tastes of customers who may not be familiar with the uncommon names and styles of beers and ales they serve.

“Ever since I tried my first Belgian beer, I fell in love,” said Figliolia. “They aren’t the types you chug. It’s more like a fine wine you sip and enjoy.”

The bar had eight varieties on tap and over 25 types of bottled beers. Figliolia and co-owner Dan Berkery handpicked each beer themselves based on which brand they think tastes best for whichever style it is representing.

Moreover, The Monk has designated each of their eight taps to a different style of beer. Berkery said the names on the taps will change from time to time but that he wants his patrons to have a chance to always have their favorite style of beer on draft.

“Sometimes you walk into a regular bar and they have three of four of the same style of beer on tap,” said Berkery. “We wanted to make sure we had a mix here so everyone can enjoy their beer freshly tapped.”

Figliolia and Berkery chose to go with strictly Belgian types of beer because they feel it is the best type out there. They said the Trappist monks were known for making the best beer and that each is made with natural yeast, not cultivated, and Belgium-grown hops.

They’ve only been open for about two weeks now, but are already impressed with the knowledge of beers many of their customers have.

“A lot of people really know what they’re talking about over here,” said Figliolia. “I tell customers about beers and some of them teach me a thing or two.”

Figliolia lived in Ridgewood in the 1980s, and he and Berkery were childhood friends. He reminisced on the solid neighborhood Ridgewood was when he was growing up there and said it has only gotten better since. He talked about how the new, younger crowd coming in, mixed with the older generation, makes the neighborhood diverse and welcoming.

He wants his bar to have the same feel. There is no TV, just background music so that people who come in can have conversations and get to know one another.

the monk1

the monk2

“I want this bar to be a welcoming place for all who come in,” Figliolia said. “People can try new beers and have some fun while doing so.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Two Queens Chase banks robbed within six hours: cops


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

A pair of Chase Bank branches in neighboring Ridgewood and Middle Village were robbed on the same day, police said.

The first Chase branch, at 70-01 Forest Ave. in Ridgewood, was hit at about 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, cops said. After entering the bank, the suspect passed a note demanding money, and he took $2,617 in cash before fleeing.

Another Chase location, at 74-07 Eliot Ave. in Middle Village, was robbed just before 5 p.m. the same day, according to police. The suspect, armed with a gun, entered the bank and passed a note demanding cash from the teller. The teller then handed $8,825 in cash over to the suspect.

Authorities describe the suspect in the Ridgewood robbery as a black man, 25 to 30 years old, 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, with a medium complexion and medium build. He was wearing a black bubble coat and a gray hoodie.

The suspect in the Middle Village robbery is described as a black man, 25 to 30 years old, 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall, with a medium complexion and medium build. He was wearing a gray ski cap, dark sunglasses, a gray coat and a multicolored scarf.

Police are still investigating whether the two robberies are connected.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

The new Ridgewood: Q&A with Sal Crifasi


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Sal Crifasi

Salvatore Crifasi, who started Crifasi Real Estate 35 years ago, has been a licensed New York real estate broker since 1974. Crifasi specializes in commercial and residential real estate and has worked for decades in Ridgewood. He is a member of numerous local organizations, including being president of the Middle Village Property Owners Association, president of the Middle Village Chamber of Commerce and a board member of the Queens Council of the Arts and the Forest Park Trust.

Crifasi recently talked with Real Estate Editor Liam La Guerre about the buzz in Ridgewood.

La Guerre: There is a lot of excitement about Ridgewood from a lot of people right? Why is that?

Crifasi: It has accessibility to public transportation, and the structures themselves were built in the ’20s and ’30s so they offer solid construction and there are reasonable prices considering the rest of the city. Prices are going up, obviously, but it’s still more affordable than other parts of the city.

La Guerre: What’s causing people to come to the neighborhood?

Crifasi: Restaurants are opening up now and honestly what I think they are seeing is a good neighborhood, a solid neighborhood, and the infrastructure is there. And looking around there are not too many communities that are left that can give you affordability in such a great neighborhood. You’ve got Myrtle Avenue shopping, you’ve got Fresh Pond Road shopping, you’ve got the M train, and you’ve got the L train. There are a lot of advantages.

La Guerre: What is holding up the big development in Ridgewood, like Long Island City or Williamsburg?

Crifasi: Years ago, probably back in the early’ 80s, they were trying to make Ridgewood a historical district and technically if you look at the neighborhood we have more historical homes and buildings in Ridgewood than many parts of the city. There are not that many vacant properties remaining, so there is not a lot of land left in Ridgewood, and the zoning does not allow for a high-rise to be built. It wouldn’t make sense to knock down a two-story building to build a three-story building.

La Guerre: Do you think there could be an upzoning sometime in the future?

Crifasi: No, I think they downzoned it because they wanted to keep the character of the neighborhood. And we have a pretty dense housing stock already there. Everything is built, unless you convert factory-style buildings.

La Guerre: What do you think about the young people moving into the area?

Crifasi: Again, it goes back to affordability. They can buy a one-family with a yard for up to $750,000, where you can’t buy a one-family—you can’t even buy a two-bedroom condo or even a one-bedroom condo in Williamsburg for that price.

La Guerre: But because of this migration, people have been calling Ridgewood the “new Brooklyn.” Is it the new Brooklyn?

Crifasi: It’s good publicity. I think Ridgewood is Ridgewood. Ridgewood has always been Ridgewood to me. Originally there were a lot of immigrants. It was Italian, it was German, now there is a lot of Polish moving in, and it’s also being discovered by young professionals that have families now. They don’t want to live in Williamsburg and Greenpoint anymore or even Manhattan, and they don’t want to move to the suburbs. That’s why Ridgewood has become so demanding right now.

La Guerre: Where do you see Ridgewood in about five years or so?

Crifasi: I see Ridgewood as the new Brooklyn. (Laughs) You’re going to see more restaurants. A lot of people that used to live in Ridgewood are moving back.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

City designates Central Ridgewood Historic District


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Landmarks Preservation Commission

Ridgewood is getting one more historic district.

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission announced on Tuesday that it has designated a 990-building district as the Central Ridgewood Historic District. This district mostly consists of brick rowhouses that were constructed between 1906 and World War I by German immigrants and German-Americans. They showcase Renaissance Revival Style but also include elements from Romanesque Revival and neo-Greco.

About half the buildings in the district were constructed by Paul Stier, who built over 2,000 houses in the Ridgewood-Bushwick area.

Central Ridgewood

These buildings are interesting historically as they “served as a model for affordable housing at a time when New York City’s population was growing rapidly,” Meenakshi Srinivasan, chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, said in a statement. What’s also remarkable is that many of the buildings remain unchanged and their detailing such as original brownstone stoops, cut-glass and wood doors, iron fences and the pressed-metal cornices, are still intact.

Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley said she was “thrilled” by the decision of the Landmarks Preservation Commission as the district is “unique for its harmonious 19th-century brick homes — some with bow fronts, some with porches, others with steep stoops along tree lined streets.” She added, “Preserving historically significant neighborhoods is important for today’s New Yorkers, and for future generations, to understand their cultural heritage.”

Central Ridgewood

Ridgewood consisted of open farmland and amusement parks in the 19th century. That changed with the introduction of the electric trolley and the elevated train around the turn of the century. A growing New York City expanded eastward into Ridgewood and urbanized it.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission had previously designated two other historic districts in Ridgewood — the Ridgewood South and Ridgewood North Historic Districts.

RECOMMENDED STORIES