When you have the sort of interests that I do, a lot of time is spent looking through the little plexiglass windows of construction fences. Back in 2008, when the economy crashed and derailed a lot of the development plans, many of these temporary barriers became somewhat permanent fixtures. That’s no longer the case, obviously, as a surge of new construction is under way all over LIC. Unfortunately, one of the historic buildings we’ve already lost to this process is the former Neptune Meter Company factory building on Jackson Avenue nearby Court Square.

It’s not John Thomson’s Neptune Water meter company that we’ll miss though, instead it’s the street artist hub which was known as 5Pointz.

More after the jump…


Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the roof deck at the Pearson LIC, some 16 stories above Court Square here in Long Island City. The views from this spot are unparalleled, as it’s location next to the Sunnyside Yards allows for a seamless view of the horizon in any direction. I’ve gotten high in Long Island City before, by the way, last time it was with Melinda Katz.

As is my habit when presented with such vistas, I decided to shoot “stitched panorama” components. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it’s a “photoshop thing” which allows one to combine multiple images into singular wide angle ones. The odd shape of the frames in these shots is caused by me twisting about while trying to maintain the horizon level. Clicking on any of the shots in today’s post will take you out to my Flickr page, where progressively larger iterations of them can be accessed, all the way up to the originals, which might be as large as two to three feet across.

Center frame in this one is the mouth of Newtown Creek and the Freedom tower.

More after the jump…


The 5Pointz story has been all over the web for the last few weeks, including here at Brownstoner Queens, and it is just sad that the structure has already been stripped of the graffiti artwork which once made it remarkable.

I guess it’s the way of things, here in New York City, and the 1892 vintage factory will be excised in the near future. Observationally, it was the single largest “draw” in LIC for foreign tourists (and even jaded New Yorkers) and it will be missed. A composition of saturated color that brightened the urban landscape, which incurred reflection in viewers, is always appreciated.

Once upon a time though, specifically before the Second World War, there was no color and the entire world was black and white. Rising out of this monotone landscape was the Neptune Meter Company of Long Island City.


A fun piece of public art made its debut in Court Square at the end of last month. Dubbed “Parting,” the wood and steel sculpture by NYC artists Jerome Haferd and Brandt Knapp is a joint venture between Socrates Sculpture Park and Rockrose Development which is developing several residential buildings in the area, including the massive Linc LIC across the street. It’s also right next door to the future M. Wells restaurant, a photo of which is on the jump. You can read more about the project on LIC Post.


Image source: Wikipedia – the LIC Courthouse is why the area is called Court Square

DNAinfo reports about some changes coming to the Court Square section of LIC. Rockrose, one of the developers active in the area, wants to add a beer hall and a music venue, increasing the nightlife quotient in this neighborhood. High end restaurants are also seen as a desirable element in the plan.


Image Source: Michael Tapp

Next stop…80 years ago. At five times today and again next Sunday, December 23 and 30, vintage subway cars from 1930s and 1940s will pull into Queens Plaza and Court Sq.-23rd St. in Long Island City and rattle riders of the F and M lines to Manhattan. As QNYC wrote on December 5, part of the fun will be watching unknowing passengers’ faces as they see these relics — some made when Herbert Hoover was president. In addition to the classic doors, lights, seats, straps and poles, the cars will be adorned with advertisements for Rockaways Playland, Crisco and other favorites of the day.

Catch A Vintage Subway
Sundays, December 23 and December 30
Queens Plaza and Court Sq.-23rd St. Stations, Long Island City
10:44 am, 12:14 pm, 1:43 pm, 3:14 pm and 4:44 pm | $2.25 (MetroCard accepted)


Image source: MP Taverna

The NY Times recently published an article on new Fall restaurant openings around the city, with a long list of places in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Queens has a small – and impressive – footprint on the list, and the entry that really caught our eye is for MP Taverna, a grand Greek restaurant that will settle in the old Mezzo-Mezzo space at 31-29 Ditmars Boulevard, Astoria (GMAP). It should open in October, according to the Times.