MLB and MLS together in Citi Field? Probably not.
So the NY Mets have shown an interest in having Major League Soccer take up residence at Citi Field. Open space advocates love the idea. So does City Councilman Peter Vallone (yes, he’s in Astoria, but he has eyes on the Queens Borough President position), who says it is a win-win for both soccer fans and those who would like to keep Flushing Meadows Corona Park open and free of another big building. MLS is totally not interested, though. MLS sees a new soccer stadium as win-win-win – “win for soccer fans, a win for the Queens community and a win for economic development.” We find the whole thing fascinating.
Shuttered Astoria OTB to be a sports bar and a lounge
We wrote about the OTB on 31st Street in Astoria twice now – originally we thought it was going to be a lounge, then the Department of Buildings records indicated it would be sports bar, and now we learn that it will be both! We are also amazed at the number of TVs that will be in this space – 43, and some will be in the restrooms. DNAinfo reports the following:
The space, which is still being renovated, will feature a 30-foot bar up front, with 17 beers on tap and “as many bottles [of liquor] as we can fit,” [owner Harry] Panagiotopoulos said. The bar area will have 19 55-inch TVs along both walls, as well as high communal tables.
The back section of the first floor will be a dining room with a fireplace, separated from the front bar by a footbridge that spans an open space with views of the VIP lounge downstairs. The bridge will be flanked on both side by two real trees planted on the lower level.
Panagiotopoulos said a menu is still being finalized and that it will feature “high-end bar items with a Mediterranean twist,” an homage to his Greek roots.
The Sweet Spot’s lower level will be a lounge with a second fireplace, couches, a DJ booth and its own set of TVs. In all, Panagiotopoulos said he’ll be able to show 12 different sporting events at the same time once his system is set up. All of his gadgets will be controlled by an iPad.
Apparently it will be “something different than anything in New York City, period” – so says the owner. We look forward to spending some time there when it’s open.
LIC Bar benefits from serious British rockers
This is an amazing story – the legendary British rock band The Who gave LIC Bar new sound system equipment. The equipment may have already arrived, and if it hasn’t it should be here soon. LIC Bar lost all their equipment when their basement flooded during… yep, you guessed it – Hurricane Sandy. They bar was connected to The Who by a friend of a friend – he contacted The Who (they were playing in Brooklyn in November) and told them of the sad situation at LIC Bar, so the band decided to send the bar replacement equipment – including mics and amplifiers – according to Gustavo Rodriguez, the talent booker at the bar.” Nice. Congrats, LIC Bar!
QueensWay or revitalized rail line? One person voices support for rail.
The blog 2nd Avenue Sagas published a post expressing support for turning the abandoned LIRR line not into the QueensWay elevated park but back into an actual working rail line. It’s an opinion that hasn’t gotten as much play in the media as the support for the QueensWay has, especially since the QueensWay project has gotten funding from the Trust for Public Land to study its potential. So check out this opposing viewpoint – we hope it helps you in making your own opinion about what to do with this elevated rail line.
Queens cemeteries, census tracts, and a visitor
This week we read the story of demographer Moses Gates and his project to visit all 2,167 census tracts in NYC. A census tract is “a geographic creation of the United States Census Bureau, designed to break the country up into bite-sized chunks of about 4,000 people each.” He has finished the project, which took about 10 years. While in Queens, he discovered there were some census tracts that were made up – entirely or almost entirely – of cemeteries. Queens is the home of the “Cemetery Belt,” which stretches from Sunnyside to Glendale. And while at one point he says that all the headstones seem to blur together visually, he did enjoy his walks through these quiet places quite a bit. See the article to read more of his thoughts on the project.