Middle Village

by

Summer is about to be in full swing… and it’s time for youngsters to work on their swings — and jumps, sprints and putts. On July 1st, the City Parks Foundation kicks off its free 2014 Summer Sports Program in 12 green spaces in Queens. CityParks Tennis provides free tennis lessons to children, ages six to 16, and concludes with tournaments at the Central Park Tennis Center and Flushing Meadows Tennis Center in mid-August. CityParks Golf provides free lessons and equipment to boys and girls, ages six to 16. CityParks Track & Field gives kids, ages five to 16, the chance to learn the basics of the sport, from hurdles and relay races, to long jump, shot put and javelin throw. Participants then have the opportunity to compete in an organized meet at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island. The Queens schedule follows.

CityParks Tennis presented by Chase

  • Astoria Park, Astoria South and 18th Street, Tuesday and Thursday, 9 am to noon;
  • Alley Pond Tennis Center, Union Turnpike, Grand Central Parkway and Winchester Boulevard, Tuesday and Thursday, 9 am to noon;
  • Baisley Park, 155th Street and 118th Avenue, Tuesday and Thursday, 1 pm to 4 pm;
  • Brookville Park, Brookville Boulevard and Southern Parkway, Monday and Wednesday, 1 pm to 4 pm;
  • Cunningham Park, Union Turnpike and 193rd Street, Monday and Wednesday, 9 am to noon, and Tuesday and Thursday, 9 am to noon (Intermediate);
  • Forest Park, Myrtle Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard, Monday and Wednesday, 1 pm to 4 pm;
  • Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Monday and Wednesday, 9 am to noon;
  • Flushing Memorial Field, 149th Street and 25th Avenue, Tuesday and Thursday, 1 pm to 4 pm;
  • Juniper Valley Park, 62nd Avenue and 80th Street, Monday and Wednesday, 9 am to noon, and Tuesday and Thursday, 9 am to noon (Intermediate); and
  • Kissena Park, Rose and Oak avenues, Tuesday and Thursday, 1 pm to 4 pm.

CityParks Golf presented by René Lacoste Foundation

  • Mario Fajardo Park Field 10, Kissena Boulevard and Booth Memorial Avenue, Monday and Wednesday, 9:30 am to 10:30 am (6-8 years), and 10:30 am to noon (9-16 years);
  • Alley Pond Park Field 1, Winchester Boulevard and Union Turnpike, Monday and Wednesday, 9:30 am to 10:30 am (6-8 years), and 10:30 am to noon (9-16 years);
  • Baisley Pond Park, Foch Boulevard and 155th Street, Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30 am to 10:30 am (6-8 years), and 10:30 am -to noon (9-16 years); and
  • Flushing Meadows Corona Park Field 11, 56th and Corona avenues, Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30 am to 10:30 am (6-8 years), and 10:30 am to noon.

CityParks Track & Field presented by EmblemHealth

  • Astoria Park, Astoria South and 18th Street, Monday and Wednesday, 9:30 am to 10:30 am (5-7 years), and 10:30 am to noon (8-16 years);
  • Juniper Valley Park, Juniper Boulevard and 71st Street, Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30 am to 10:30 am (5-7 years), and 10:30 am to noon (8-16 years);
  • Forest Park, Myrtle Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard, Monday and Wednesday, 9:30 am – 10:30 am (5-7 years), and 10:30 am to noon (8-16 years); and
  • Detective Keith L. Williams Park, 173rd Street and 105th Avenue, Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30 am – 10:30 am (5-7 years) and 10:30 am to noon (8-16 years).

by

Fresh Meadows
73-62 188th Street
Broker: Laffey Fine Homes
Price: $1,199,888
Saturday, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
GMAP

Middle Village
64-65 82nd Street
Broker: Coldwell Bankers
Price: $779,000
Sunday, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
GMAP

Kew Gardens
83-80 118th Street
Broker: Exit Kingdom
Price: $239,000
Sunday, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
GMAP

Jackson Heights
34-40 79th Street
Broker: Halstead
Price: $219,000
Sunday, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
GMAP

by

Queens is the biggest borough, and has some of New York City’s longest streets. And like everything else, those streets are the result of evolution. Let’s take a look today at two of the borough’s longest routes and review their origins, while taking a look at their humble beginnings, or endings, depending on your point of view.

Roosevelt Avenue

Seen here is Roosevelt Avenue’s eastern end, where it meets Northern Boulevard at 155th Street in Flushing. Here is a soon-to-be defunct McDonalds, an IHOP restaurant, a branch of the Queens Public Library, a shopping center, and flags aplenty. Roosevelt Avenue, named for President Theodore, is relatively new on the Queens map; it’s soon to celebrate its centennial. It is a product of the Flushing elevated train, since when the line was constructed between 1914 and 1928, it required a right of way. It was decided to cut a street through that followed the unofficial border of Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, and then through the heart of Corona, and build the el along that route. Roosevelt Avenue serves as a de facto eastern extension of Greenpoint Avenue beginning at Queens Boulevard.

Initially Roosevelt Avenue ran only as far as what is now Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, as the el was not extended east of Willets Point Boulevard until it was completed as a subway out to Main Street in 1928. That year began downtown Flushing’s transformation as a quiet seat of a sleepy Queens town into the crossroads of Queens it has become today. In 1928 a preexisting east-west street running through Flushing, Amity Street, was widened and then extended through to a junction with Northern Boulevard, giving rise to the Roosevelt Avenue known today.

From the point shown in the photograph, it’s possible to bike, walk or drive all the way west to the East River in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Metropolitan Avenue

This major east-west route from Williamsburg to the edge of Jamaica is seen from its eastern end at the junction of Jamaica Avenue and Kew Gardens Road, another ancient route in itself (it was called Newtown Road decades ago and ran to what became Kew Gardens in the east end of the former town of Newtown). Here you find the relatively new Kew Gardens subway stop serving the E train, open only since 1988.

Metropolitan Avenue was opened in 1815, give or take a couple of years, as the Williamsburgh and Jamaica Turnpike and was once a toll road with toll gates and a “pike” or a lengthy log that would be move  aside when the toll was paid. It was mainly a farm to market road used by eastern farmers bringing their produce to New York City via East River shipping. In future decades Williamsburg would lose the “h” and the W&J would lose the toll, and was renamed Metropolitan Avenue. Oddly, this busy route has never gained extra lanes and the considerable widening comparable roads like Northern Boulevard and Queens Boulevard have, and remains a four-lane road throughout its length.

The neighborhood of Middle Village was named because it’s approximately halfway between Williamsburg and Jamaica, the two towns the road was built to service.

by

The building at 62-96 Woodhaven Boulevard, the former home of Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant, is coming down — at least partly. Queens Chronicle reports that the developers filed demolition permits for a portion of the existing building to make way for a seven-story, 114-unit apartment building. No one is spilling any details on the coming demolition, and existing shop owners feel frustrated due to the lack of specifics on the future transfer of ownership and potential demo. The owners of A Dog’s Best Friend, located just down from Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant, plan to move the business a few blocks away because of all the uncertainty.

Demolition on the Menu for Abbracciamento’s [Queens Chronicle]
All Joe Abbracciamento coverage [Q’Stoner] GMAP

Photo via Google Maps

by
2

Calling all renovators! This Middle Village home at 64-80 82nd Street is going to need some work but it’s got nice bones. Just get rid of the carpet (bright green carpet – why oh why?) and those purple tiles in the bathroom. The kitchen we quite like. And it looks like there are hardwood floors in one of the bedrooms, meaning that there may be more to uncover underneath all that carpet, as well as some original fireplaces. The ask is $689,000. Do you think that sounds right, given the cosmetic work this home is going to need?

64-80 82nd Street [Tscherne Realty] GMAP

by

The other week, news broke that the Criterion Group planned to build a new seven-story, 120-unit residential development at the former Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant site on Woodhaven Boulevard. We never heard back from Criterion on details for the coming build, but a Criterion rep spoke briefly to the Forum Newsgroup. The rep stated, “I’m surprised by how much interest this has already generated. We haven’t even finished our design stage yet. We are still waiting for the property to be acquired.” (Word is that the property sold for over $10,000,000.) A DOB spokesperson followed up, saying that Criterion is only in the beginning phases of development, with no permits issued yet. So far there’s only a building application for 81,719 square feet of residential space and 3,910 square feet for parking.

Rego-Forest Preservation Council was hoping the developers would maintain or restore the building’s historic character, but it looks like demolition may be in the near future.

Abbracciamento Building May Become Residential Housing: Developer [The Forum]
A Residential Development Is Coming for the Former Abbracciamentos’ Block [Q’Stoner] GMAP

by
2

This Sunday, longtime Italian restaurant Joe Abbracciamento shuttered in Middle Village. A very interesting comment popped up on this Q’Stoner post about the closure suggesting a development to come:

As a long term Middle Village resident, I have overheard many rumors as to who has purchased the entire block where Abbracciamentos’ has been for so long. Criterion group has recently submitted drawings to the building department for a 7 story residential building. Most likely condominiums. Luckily, Criterion has developed quality looking buildings in the past and they are an experienced developer.

Lo and behold, here are those Department of Buildings documents filed by the Criterion Group for a new seven-story, 120-unit development. There will be a total of 81,719 square feet of residential space, 3,910 square feet of parking and no commercial space. As far as we can tell, the development will encompass three different parcels (outlined above) with frontage on Woodhaven Boulevard, 62nd Drive and 63rd Avenue.

Building plans are “in process” with the DOB and no demolition or new building permits have been issued just yet. We’ve reached out to the Criterion Group to see if we can pull up any more information about the construction timeline. And if you know anything more, do hit up the tipline!

Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant Will Close in Rego Park This Sunday [Q’Stoner] GMAP

by
2

Queens Courier shares some disheartening news about the state of transportation projects in Maspeth, Ridgewood and Middle Village. In short, everything set to be improved is delayed. Here’s a roundup from the Courier:

  • Reconstruction of the Metropolitan Avenue Bridge: This bridge is in danger of collapse, but its reconstruction was delayed back in 2009 and was just delayed again. The city still has to review and redesign the project, which is estimated to cost as much as $25,000,000. According to the Courier, “Developers are now considering building an abutment, eliminating one track under the bridge, to help the building process.”
  • The Grand Street Bridge project: The city plans to replace this 111-year-old bridge (pictured) at a price of $50,000,000. The project was delayed after Hurricane Sandy and is now being redesigned to meet new flood regulations.
  • Wyckoff Avenue Reconstruction Project: This project calls for new sewer lines and water mains on Wyckoff Avenue, a new concrete base on the roadway, new sidewalks and new curbing. It’s estimated to cost $20,000,000. The city planned to start the project in 2010, it’s been delayed until 2026.
  • Middle Village Streetscape Improvements: New sidewalks, sewer lines, water mains, signage and street lights for the area from 73rd Place to 80th Street, between Metropolitan Avenue to Cooper Avenue. The city keeps pushing back the $20,000,000 project to take care of higher priorities. Currently, the ETA is set for 2022.

Stalled Maspeth, Ridgewood, Middle Village Transportation Projects Suffer More Setbacks [Queens Courier]

Photo via NYC.gov

by

Yesterday the New York City Department of Sanitation announced that it will expand its curbside collection of organic materials to Queens. The city is just launching its organics collection program — which includes food waste, food-soiled paper, and leaf and yard waste — to help the city reduce trash disposal costs and create renewable energy or compost. This April and May, the service will be rolled out to include portions of Glendale, Middle Village, and Maspeth — check out a PDF map here. The Department already provides organics collection in areas of Manhattan, Staten Island, the Bronx and Brooklyn.

So how does it work? The city gives single-family homes or buildings with nine or fewer residential units a brown outdoor organics bin with wheels, a lid, and a latch to dispose of compost material. The brown bins will be placed curbside on recycling day for collection by the Department of Sanitation. (Residential buildings with 10 or more units are not automatically included in the pilot but can enroll in the program on a voluntary basis.) For all the information, go to the Department of Sanitation’s website.

by

The Department of Transportation is testing out different safety initiatives for Woodhaven Boulevard, a highly-trafficked thoroughfare that is the site of many accidents. Queens Courier reports that the DOT is three years into a five-year study. So far, the DOT added extended sidewalks and medians from Queens Boulevard to 62nd Road, made southbound traffic on the service road at the intersection of Union Turnpike and Woodhaven Boulevard a “must turn right” lane, and shrunk the two lanes of the service road into one. At a community meeting held this month, the DOT reported that since the improvements, crashes are actually up on Queens Boulevard to 62nd Road. Accidents at Union Turnpike and Woodhaven Boulevard decreased 29 percent.

The DOT will continue to implement safety changes — the service roads between Atlantic Avenue and Rockaway Boulevard will be changed into one lane of traffic and one parking lane. They also hope to create a northbound dedicated bus lane from the Belt Parkway to Liberty Avenue.

Woodhaven Boulevard Safety Still in Flux [Queens Courier]

Photo via Google Maps