Welcome to the Long Island City newsletter!
This week, we're bringing you the latest news from the area, including the closure of Shuya, a popular ramen restaurant, the proposed construction of a new high school, the opening of the first legal cannabis shops, the completion of the Roosevelt Island Bridge bike lane, and more. We'll also be highlighting some of the amazing people and places that make Long Island City so special, from Tony Vaccaro, a 99-year-old photographer, to Andrew Bellucci's Pizzeria, a local favorite.
Stay tuned for more updates from Long Island City!
Shuya, a popular ramen restaurant in Long Island City, closed its doors on January 15th, 2021 after three years of business. Owner Shuya Miyawaki decided not to renew the lease and thanked customers for their support. Miyawaki is now working on a new project and plans to open a new restaurant in the future.
The NYCSCA is accepting comments on the proposed construction of a new high school in College Point until Jan. 18. The proposed site is located at 13-20 124th St., also known as 123-15 14th Ave. in Long Island City. Comments can be sent via email to [email protected] or mailed to 30-30 Thomson Ave in Long Island City.
New York has a new geology, with edge cities and high-rises jostling each other in downtown Brooklyn, Long Island City, Hudson Yards, and Jersey City, while Billionaires' Row on 57th Street features supertalls such as 432 Park Avenue, MoMA Tower, and Central Park Tower. These structures are symbols of our new globalized capital, and while some are more successful than others, they all serve to change Manhattan's scale and direction.
I recently toured NYC landmarks in a limo fit for a Kevin, from Long Island City to Home Alone 2's iconic spots!
Talking Heads enjoyed a crucial tenure at the cutting edge of rock innovation in the late 1970s and early ’80s. With Brian Eno on production duties, the band released three flawless albums, including More Songs About Buildings and Food, recorded in Long Island City, just across the East River next to the 59th Street Bridge.
Grammy award-winning Hip Hop lyricist, poet, art curator and entrepreneur Cormega released his anticipated new album THE REALNESS II via VIPER Records on October 6th, 2022. The 13-track offering boasts the infectious single “Glorious” featuring longtime friend NAS, produced by The Alchemist. To celebrate the release, Cormega hosted an all-star event at Sweet Chick in Long Island City.
Northwind Group provided a $62-million first mortgage loan secured by 86 for-sale residential units in Long Island City, NYC. The loan was sourced directly by Northwind Group and closed in a short time frame.
As New Yorkers begin to leave coastal areas due to rising sea levels and storm flooding, the consequences could lead to displacement in low-income neighborhoods in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn, including Long Island City. This population shift underscores the need for a long-term plan to handle the inevitable migration across the five boroughs.
In 2016, the city eliminated parking minimums for fully affordable housing developments in transit-rich areas, such as Long Island City, which has seen a dramatic increase in the number of affordable housing units built since then.
This week saw a flurry of lease signings in New York City, despite a slowdown in financing deals and sales. Sportswear brand Adidas renewed its 31K SF lease at 610 Broadway in SoHo, while Asian specialty grocer H Mart signed a 15-year lease for 64K SF at 48-18 Northern Blvd. in Long Island City. The Durst Organization also signed five tenants to a total of 55K SF in its 825 Third Ave. office building.
Love truffles? Super—you're in good company with the rest of New York. Fruition Chocolate Works in Ulster County and Jimmy Kunz's truffles in Long Island City are some of the best in the country. Shop their gourmet goods online and ship them anywhere.
Tony Vaccaro, a 99-year-old photographer from Long Island City, is being celebrated with a new exhibit, "Tony Vaccaro: The Centennial Exhibition," which runs Dec. 13-18. Vaccaro has documented everyone from Jackson Pollock to John F. Kennedy, Jr., and his work spans from harrowing war photos to whimsical fashion shoots. He has survived the Battle of Normandy and two bouts of COVID, and still takes pictures of his 8-year-old twin grandchildren.
Andrew Bellucci's Pizzeria, located in Long Island City, has been serving up delicious pies for over a year now. The shop, which opened in the fall of 2021 after a long legal battle between Bellucci and his former business partner, has become a local favorite. Customers love the signature "vodka-roni" pizza, as well as the new menu of pasta dishes and sandwiches. Bellucci's Pizzeria is open seven days a week and is a must-try for any pizza lover in Long Island City.
CUNY students dealing with housing insecurity and homelessness are getting help from the Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter's pilot program, which provides year-round housing in Long Island City for up to 36 students.
Robert K. Elliott, of Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., passed away Nov. 3, 2022. He was a Pottsville native and Harvard math major, and had a long career with KPMG, becoming partner in 1972. He was president of the AICPA and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Accounting Association. After retirement, he was vice-chair of the board of trustees at SculptureCenter in Long Island City. He is survived by his wife, two sons and their wives, and his grandson.
Adonis Willis, 15, has gone missing from his home in Long Island City's NYCHA Queensbridge Houses. Last seen Dec. 11, 2020. Help find him.
Opentrons, a robotics startup, has announced the closure of its Long Island City lab operations, PRL, effective February 28, 2021. This strategic pivot will allow the company to focus on its cell engineering and robotics businesses. All 185 staff members at the Long Island City plant will be laid off.
Dec. 11, Curators’ Choice Film Series, Jan. 21. More than two dozen movies screen during this annual promotion which shares MoMI curators’ favorite 2022 films. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave., Long Island City's Kaufman Arts District.
New York's first legal cannabis shops are now open in Long Island City, Queens, after the state legalized recreational cannabis in 2021. Community boards in the area have been given the opportunity to provide input on the locations of the dispensaries, and have been working with the Office of Cannabis Management to ensure their communities are heard.
In Long Island City, the Rifugio Digitale (Digital Shelter) is a 40 x 3 m former anti-aircraft tunnel designed in 1943 that has become a center for contemporary culture. The RCF Arena, designed by Iotti + Pavarani Architetti, is a non-operational area of the Reggio Emilia airport that hosts international concerts and local initiatives. AMAA designs an artistic association in Vicenza, while Mario Cucinella redesigns the rooms of the Luigi Rovati Foundation. Cariana Mezzalira Pentimalli works in the Biblioteca Civica in Bressanone, stitching together and expanding a pre-existing system in the historic center. Nina Bassoli takes us on an experimental tour of cultural spaces away from the city.
Dynamic Star is bringing a new 27-story office tower to Long Island City, NY. Opus Point will feature amenities such as an 8,000-square-foot health club, a half-court basketball court, a 17,000-square-foot outdoor terrace, and a 2,400-square-foot community meeting space. It will also be equipped with HVAC systems to prevent the spread of COVID-19, touchless fixtures, and operable windows. Opus Point is set to open in December 2022.
Rosa Maria A. DiLorenzo, born July 13, 1964 in Long Island City, NY, passed away on December 1, 2022 at her residence in Monroe, NY. Memorial Visitation will be held on December 16, 2022.
On Dec. 16, Regan Hatfield & the Abstraction will perform original compositions and Hatfield will paint original works in a groundbreaking performance-art process at Common Chord's Redstone Room in Davenport. The night of art and music is recommended for fans of Nine Inch Nails and David Bowie. Hatfield, owner of the Star Dog Gallery in Davenport, has had his works displayed in solo and group shows in Long Island City, NY, and throughout the country.
On a chilly Fall weekday morning a few weeks ago, the dedication of the $7.1 million dollar Ravenswood Playground in Long Island City took place. This event reminded me of an article I wrote back in the 80’s entitled “Playgrounds for Peace.” Playgrounds are where peace on Earth begins, and the newly renovated Ravenswood Playground opened for use during the summer of 2022. Unfortunately, the playground was soon littered with debris and scorched by fireworks. To ensure a peaceful future, we must continue to prioritize playgrounds and nurture our beloved children in the values and beliefs that establish the necessity of peaceful co-existence.
Fashion designer La’Daska Mechell celebrated the opening of her apparel manufacturing company in Jamaica, NY, in Dec. 2022. Previously located in Long Island City, the company helps small businesses launch apparel lines.
The MTA's surface fleet of nearly 6,000 buses is set to get a jolt of life with 60 more electric buses hitting the streets of Long Island City next year. The study suggests the on-street chargers that power these buses need more flood protections. Without flood-protected chargers, the MTA could lose $945,000 per day from the B32 route and $10,400,000 per day from the M42 route. Solutions include portable diesel generators, solar paneling, barriers around chargers, and swapping batteries out at stations during emergencies.
On Dec 11, 2022, Louie (KR.ONE) Gasparro returned to the legendary 5Pointz graffiti mecca in Long Island City, NY, reigniting his love for graffiti.
Dr. Samuel Bride, a board-certified physician and director of UMD Urgent Care in Long Island City, NY, is offering a $1,000 scholarship fund to a star student passionate about becoming a medical practitioner. Interested students should head to Dr. Bride's official scholarship page for more information.
James J. Braddock's improbable comeback story is remembered as a tribute to the working class spirit of America. In 1935, Braddock faced Max Baer in the Madison Square Garden Bowl in Long Island City, Queens, and won the heavyweight title. His victory was celebrated as a symbolic victory in the fight against fascism. Braddock's legacy lives on, inspiring generations to come.
Dazies Restaurant, a long-time Italian restaurant in Sunnyside, Queens, is closing after more than 50 years. Established in 1970 by the late Lily Gavin, the restaurant has been located at 39-41 Queens Blvd. in Long Island City since it opened and has been managed by Gavin’s children since her death in 2016. Dazies was known for its old-world charm and classic Italian menu, and was a popular venue for Queens Democrats. The city co-named the corner of 40th Street/Queens Blvd in honor of Gavin in 2017.
City officials celebrated the completion of the Roosevelt Island Bridge bike lane on Friday, which now features a smooth, weather-resistant surface. The bridge connects Roosevelt Island to Long Island City, and the new bike lane is expected to encourage more cyclists to explore the area.
JetBlue and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) have been in negotiations since March 2021 for a new contract. After a breakthrough in the industry's ongoing pilot contract talks in late 2020, JetBlue pilots are seeking an immediate 18% pay raise and a cumulative raise of 34% after three years, plus multiple work/life balance improvements. Negotiations have been taking place in Long Island City, and both parties have agreed to an additional bargaining session on December 7. JetBlue has committed to pay raises for pilots, and ALPA has approved a $5 million grant from its major contingency fund to JetBlue ALPA.
Construction of the $6 billion Champlain Hudson Power Express transmission line has been completed, delivering clean energy from Canada to a converter station in Astoria, Queens. The 339-mile line will reduce the demand for fossil fuel power plants in Long Island City, providing 1,250 megawatts of hydropower to over one million homes and reducing carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons statewide.
New Yorkers were eager to get out and explore in 2022, and a million new restaurants opened up to meet the demand. From the Thai spot in Williamsburg serving royal recipes to the high-end French-Japanese restaurant in Tribeca, there was something for everyone. In Long Island City, Laser Wolf brought Israeli grill to the city with charcoal-grilled skewers and bottomless mezze, and the view of the Manhattan skyline from the open-air terrace was spectacular.
On December 11, 2022, City agency and elected officials joined the Gotham Organization to celebrate the completion of Gotham Point, a new housing development in Long Island City. The two-towered development offers more than 1,100 new residences, with 75 percent priced below market rates, and includes 98 homes set aside for low-income seniors. Riseboro will provide special programming for the senior community. Gotham Point is located on the water and provides ready access to Hunter’s Point South Park, restaurants, shops, and transportation.
New Yorkers got their first taste of the Independent Redistricting Commission’s second try at drawing new Assembly maps last Thursday, with the release of a draft proposing major changes throughout the World’s Borough, including in Woodhaven, Glendale, Bay Terrace, Hollis and Long Island City. The draft will be subject to public comment this winter, with a Queens hearing scheduled for Feb. 16 at the Helen Marshall Cultural Center at Borough Hall.
26-32 Jackson Avenue, a 49-story residential skyscraper in Long Island City, Queens, is underway. Designed by SLCE Architects and developed by NY Lions Group, the 526-foot-tall structure will yield 384,043 square feet with 363 residential units and 19,923 square feet of commercial space. Excavation has progressed several feet below street level, and the superstructure is expected to begin to emerge by mid-2023. The site is situated between the Queens Plaza and Court Square stations, providing access to the E, M, R, G, and 7 trains. Completion is anticipated for summer 2025.
Amazon delivery drivers in Long Island City are unsung heroes of the holidays. They work hard to make sure presents get delivered safely and promptly. To show appreciation, Amazon is offering a limited time offer to give drivers an extra $5 when you say "Alexa, thank my driver."
In response to the influx of migrants and skyrocketing rents, New York City Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency in 2020. To address the perfect storm of insufficient temporary and permanent housing, the city opened emergency shelters, built tent intake centers, and negotiated with cruise line companies to house those in need. To permanently solve the homelessness crisis, the city must shift from a right to shelter to a right to housing, with more affordable housing production and rental assistance. Long Island City is one of the five neighborhoods that has seen the most housing growth since 2010.
A group of teens were caught on cellphone video savagely beating a 14-year-old in Long Island City, Queens on Wednesday. The NYPD described the attack as five 'unknown males' punching the teen in the head and body. No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.
Mayor-elect Eric Adams recently spoke at a news conference in Long Island City, Queens, calling for increased funding to help the homeless, particularly those with mental health issues. Adams proposed moving the mentally ill homeless to city hospitals, even against their will, in order to provide them with the care they need. This plan has been attempted before, but has not been successful due to a lack of resources. Adams urged citizens to come together and ask politicians to vote for the funds needed to house the homeless.