Manhattan

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The 7 train won’t run regularly for multiple weekends this fall, reports Queens Courier. This weekend you’re safe, but on the weekends of October 12th to 13th, October 19th to 20th, October 26th to 27th, November 9th to 10th and November 23rd to 24th, there will be no service between Times Square-42nd Street and Queensboro Plaza from 12:01 am on Saturday to 5 am on Monday. A free shuttle will run between the Vernon-Jackson and Queensboro Plaza stops, and the MTA plans to increase Astoria service. The shutdowns are due to service maintenance in the Steinway Tunnel, which will wrap in 2016. Unfortunately, more weekend shutdowns for the 7 train are coming in early 2014.

No. 7 Train Service to be Suspended in LIC for Five Weekends This Fall [Queens Courier]

Photo by vanshnookenraggen

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Brooklyn rental prices continue to climb, as the median rental price shot up 4.6 percent to $2,850 in August, compared to the same period last year, according to a report from Douglas Elliman. Manhattan prices rose as well, but at a much slower rate, leading to a price difference of just $300 in August — the second smallest price gap on record. Rentals in Manhattan increased 1.8 percent to $3,150 in August vs. the same period last year, while Brooklyn rents reached a five-year high. The number of new rentals surged in Brooklyn as well, with 554 new rentals in August alone, 166.3 percent higher than August of 2012. We’ve inlcuded Elliman’s graph of Brooklyn rental prices after the jump.

As Brooklyn Rents Soar, Price Gap With Manhattan Has Narrowed to a Near-Record Low [Daily News]
Summer of Queens: Renters Flee Manhattan and Brooklyn for Gentler Borough [TRD]

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Yesterday the MTA announced a new bus service in Queens that’ll offer a quicker route to LaGuardia Airport. Beginning this Sunday, September 8th, a new Q70 Limited route will connect at the Woodside-61st Street Long Island Rail Road/7 stop and at the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue 7/E/F/M/R stop, then travel nonstop to and from LaGuardia Airport. Once at the airport, the Q70 Limited will stop at Terminals B, C and D. This route is expected to reduce travel time from Jackson Heights by more than 40 percent, with travel times between Midtown Manhattan and LaGuardia Airport connecting at Woodside or Jackson Heights coming in as brief as 35 minutes.

These changes mean that the Q33, the bus that previously traveled to LaGuardia, will now terminate outside the airport on 95th Street at Ditmars Boulevard. This will shorten the Q33 trip for local residents who take it regularly through Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst. The amended Q33 will keep its current hours of service and continue to operate every day, 24 hours a day. As for the Q70 airport bus, it will also operate 24 hours seven days a week. During most of the day, the bus will leave at 12-minute intervals, with 15-minute and 20-minute headways during early morning and late evening periods and 30 minute headways during overnight periods.

Photo by Doug Kerr

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King Souvlaki of Astoria, an immensely popular street food vendor (and a finalist in the upcoming Vendy Awards), is going brick and mortar. Word in the Twitterverse is that the vendor will open Greek restaurants in Astoria, Long Island City, and Manhattan. No details yet on the exact locations. The street cart is located on 31st Street and 31st Avenue. What a huge and exciting expansion! Something tells us they’ll do well with more permanent digs…

Photo via Yelp

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We are pleased to announce the addition of Manhattan sale and rental listings to the Brownstoner Marketplace. Manhattan adds more than 13,500 listings to the 22,000 Brooklyn, Queens, and Upstate listings already in the Marketplace.

Brownstoner Manhattan currently has roughly 4,200 sale and 9,300 rental listings. Most of the leading brokerages are already represented, including Elliman, Corcoran, Halstead, Brown Harris Stevens, Sotheby’s, Town, Keller Williams, Nest Seekers, Core, Bond, Stribling and many more. 

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Tonight around 11:30 pm, the R train will stop running between Brooklyn and Manhattan for as long as 14 months. The MTA is shutting down the Montague Tube, the underwater tunnel that connects the R train from Brooklyn to Manhattan, to repair Sandy-related damage. (The cost of repairs is a massive $309 million.) WNYC posted a helpful “survival guide” yesterday and the MTA broke down the closures as well. On weekdays, the R train will run from Whitehall Street-South Ferry in Manhattan to Forest Avenue-71st Avenue in Queens, and from Court Street in Brooklyn to Bay Ridge-95th Street. The MTA implemented a ferry service from Sunset Park into Lower Manhattan and is increasing service on the X27 bus by around 25 percent. The R train will run between the boroughs on weekends, although Court Street and Jay Street will get skipped. Yikes. What are R train riders out there planning to do?

Your R Train Tunnel Outage Survival Guide [WNYC]
Photo by anniebelis

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Nice news for Sunset Park residents who make the commute into Manhattan every day: Starting Monday, August 5, the existing Rockaway Ferry Service will make a stop at 58th Street, next to the Brooklyn Army Terminal. The city is providing the expanded transit options for Brooklyn commuters who are affected by disruptions to the R train service. The ferries will depart from Beach 108th Street in the Rockaways, stop in Sunset Park, then continue to Pier 11 in lower Manhattan and 34th Street in midtown. The trip from Sunset Park to lower Manhattan should take 15 minutes. Ferries will run about once every hour and a ride will cost $2. The Economic Development Corporation plans to evaluate ridership in a few weeks and then decide whether or not to continue the service. If the temporary service is a success, local pols and residents plan to make a larger pitch for permanent service at 58th Street.

Expansion of Ferry Service to Sunset Park During Outage of R Train [NYCgov.tumblr]
Photo via Google Maps

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On Saturday, we hopped the free ferry to Governors Island and checked out Figment, an all-volunteer, non-commercial art event that took place over the weekend. For those who haven’t been to the island yet, it’s one of the nicest green spaces in New York City, with great views of Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey. It’s also full of historic buildings, including a fort and early 19th-century houses. Legally part of Manhattan, the island sits just across the Buttermilk Channel from Brooklyn, and the ferry ride takes only a few minutes.

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Good news for those trying to get from Manhattan to the notoriously out-of-the-way neighborhood of Red Hook: The City announced that, starting Memorial Day weekend, a ferry will run from Pier 11 in Manhattan to Van Brunt Street and Ikea. Called the Red Hook Ferry, it will run weekends from 10 am to 9 pm through the summer. It will also be free, with free transfers available to the northbound East River Ferry. Each landing will be served every 25 minutes, an improvement from previous service which ran every 40 minutes. The Van Brunt stop is currently an unused ferry landing owned by the O’Connell Organization. Bloomberg said the main goal of the summer transportation is to bring foot traffic to the small businesses of Red Hook, many of which are still reeling from Hurricane Sandy.
Photo via the O’Connell Organization

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Earlier today the Department of Transportation and Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced some major improvements for the access ramps to and from the Brooklyn Bridge and the FDR Drive. The first ramp, which connects the exit from the bridge’s Manhattan-bound lanes with the FDR Drive, has been expanded from one to two lanes to ease traffic backups. And the second ramp, connecting the southbound FDR Drive with the approach to bridge’s Brooklyn-bound lanes, has been expanded from one to two lanes in an attempt to ease congestion and keep cars from aggressively cutting in. The DOT also announced that they are nearly finished with work on a third ramp on the Brooklyn side of the bridge, which connects the Brooklyn-bound lanes to Cadman Plaza West and Old Fulton Street. This ramp will also be expanded into two travel lanes to expand vehicle capacity and increase safety for the surrounding streets. This is all part of the major Brooklyn Bridge rehab project, which includes repainting the bridge. The whole shebang, which started up in 2010, will cost a total of $508 million and hopefully finish next year. Click through to see more images of the ramp improvements happening.