Homestead for the holidays in Kew Gardens

Homestead Gourmet Shop is the name of a 65-year old Polish deli and grocery in Kew Gardens that sells a variety of things from sausages, to Black Forest hams, to potato salads, and Eastern European groceries. It’s a great place to pick up some treats for Thanksgiving and beyond. Consider their authentic strudels – apple, cherry or cheese – or their Dutch apple cake, or something savory like their perogies or pastrami briskets. It’s all there, waiting for you.

Pies are coming from TX for Sandy victims

Bud Royer of Royer’s Roundtop Cafe, in Austin, TX is here in NYC, and has brought hundreds of pies with him to feed Hurricane Sandy victims. He originally wanted to send full Thanksgiving dinners, but after some thought decided that pies would be a better choice. The plan is to drive “650 homemade pies to New Jersey and New York and distribute them to relief agencies and soup kitchens.” Hundreds of gift cards are also with the pies. Bud and friends left on Sunday and are now in the area. Thank you, Bud!

The fate of the Rockaway boardwalk food vendors

We looked into the status of the Rockaway boardwalk food vendors, and as you may have guessed, most did not fare well. It’s heartbreaking to read the commentary by some of the business owners (“Caracas Rockaway… totally destroyed as well as the whole peninsula…”) and the photos, like the one below of DiCosmos:

Image source: DiCosmos

Rippers seemed to have made it through with just some damage to the building – the lengthy beach in front of it seems to have kept the storm surge from interfering too much. We hope they will rebuild, but the boardwalk destruction adds yet another challenge to the pot. We shall see.

Stuff the Turkey for the Rockaways from NYU

This is a great video of the efforts by NYU students to help the Hurricane Sandy survivors during this Thanksgiving.


The Art of the Rise of the Guardians at MOMI

Rise of the Guardians, a fantastic animated special (in 3D) opens today! We saw a preview of it and it really is something wonderful – great for kids of all ages. Over at the Museum of the Moving Image they’ve installed an exhibit called The Art of the Rise of the Guardians, containing art and artifacts from the filmmaking process. There are a couple of videos playing, too. Over in Bartos Screening Room they are running Creating an Epic (dir. Patrick Hanenberger, 70 mins), a sort of “making of” kind of film, which is really interesting and explaining a lot about the concepts behind the movie. This is definitely worth seeing.


We wrote last week about a married couple, along with their dog, that moved from Midtown to a two bedroom condo in LIC. This week its the NYTimes turn, writing about four men, friends since meeting at NYU in 1991, all creative types, all approaching 40, some with girlfriends, living together in Astoria for the past four years in an apartment they’ve dubbed “Fortress Astoria.” They are not a family in the traditional sense, but they do rely on each other in a familial kind of way, even having a joint checking account. And they did move to Astoria together after having lived as a group in various apartments since college. One thing different about this apartment from their previous ones is that its their first outside of Manhattan. If you are curious, they are on 31st street above a barbershop in a building that does look somewhat fortress-like. (GMAP)


McBrooklyn put up the fine montage you see above of photos and renderings showing the present and future of 370 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn, which NYU will transform into a tech-oriented campus, as covered yesterday. The Eagle fleshes out details on the deal: The school will be known as the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress, or CUSP. And what’s more? According to the Eagle: “This would be a partnership between NYU and several other universities worldwide — City University of New York, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Toronto, University of Warwick and Indian Institute of Technology Bombay – as well as IBM and Cisco. The school would accommodate approximately 530 graduate and doctoral students, as well as 50 full-time faculty and about 30 post-doctoral researchers, Bloomberg said. While the renovated building is not expected to be ready for use until 2017, classes are scheduled to begin next year at Metrotech. IBM and Cisco will each provide $1 million a year, and four other founding corporate partners — Con Edison, National Grid, Seimens and Xerox — will each assist with $500,000 a year in cash and in-kind services. NYU will be responsible for the $60 million that it will take to relocate NYC Transit and police department equipment within the building. A portion of the building will be demolished, and a six-story annex for lab space will be constructed.” Meanwhile, the Post has some more details about the project, noting the city will put $15 million toward the project: “The venture is slated to produce 2,200 immediate construction jobs and 900 permanent jobs at the school. But the city projects it will create a total of 7,700 jobs over the next 30 years, including school positions and those created by a projected 200 spin-off companies expected from the program. In total, it will generate more than $5.5 billion in economic activity and $597 million in tax revenue, Bloomberg said.” Job creation stats and growth forecasts like this are often slightly grandiose. But you know what? Hell yes! Finally, the underused eyesore at 370 Jay will be put to good use and completely change the landscape of Downtown Brooklyn.
New Engineering, Science Campus Coming to 370 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn [McBrooklyn]
‘Game Changer:’ After Years of Talk, High-Tech Rehab OK’d for 370 Jay St. [Eagle]
CUSP of Greatness: Deal for NYU Engineering School [NY Post]
HOLY COW! NYU Deal for 370 Jay is Happening! [Brownstoner]
Rendering montage via McBrooklyn


City Room reports:

“New York University has struck a deal with city officials that clears the way for it to create an applied-science research institute in Downtown Brooklyn. In an agreement to be announced Monday afternoon by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a consortium of universities led by N.Y.U. will set up the Center for Urban Science & Progress at 370 Jay Street, a building now leased from the city by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. N.Y.U. has agreed to pay $50 million toward the cost of moving the transit authority’s equipment and employees out of the building, which the school plans to gut and renovate. In exchange, the city has agreed to provide $15 million in benefits, including breaks on taxes and energy costs, to the school. N.Y.U. proposed creating the school in Brooklyn in the competition the city held for establishing a new school of applied sciences. Cornell University’s proposal for a campus on Roosevelt Island was chosen as the winner of that prize, which included $100 million in subsidies from the city.”

More to follow, of course, but the article reports that the building renovation will take a few years and that NYU will start having classes elsewhere in Downtown Brooklyn in the fall.
N.Y.U. to Create Research Institute in Brooklyn [City Room]


Plans to re-purpose the former MTA headquarters at 370 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn—which the city owns but the MTA has a long-term lease on and wants a lot of money ($50-60 million, reportedly) to accept a buyout of the lease from the city—were in the news a lot over the winter, but there hasn’t been much word about the negotiations in some time. Despite the fact that NYU was a bridesmaid when it came to the city’s big tech campus plans for Roosevelt Island, the university still seems intent on revamping the structure and using it as a tech-oriented grad school. Yesterday State Senator Daniel Squadron sent out a press release on the matter, perhaps to bring it back into the limelight: “For years, the nearly-abandoned former MTA headquarters at 370 Jay Street has limited Downtown Brooklyn’s extraordinary potential,” said Senator Squadron in the release. “The MTA-EDC announcement of RFPs for seven other underutilized MTA properties throughout the City is a reminder that now is the time to finally make full use of 370 Jay. I’ll continue to push to make NYU-Poly’s Center for Urban Science & Progress a reality – which would put 370 Jay to use, allow Downtown Brooklyn to continue to grow and thrive, and move New York forward on its path of innovation.” Of course the plan does sound like a no-brainer and as though it would have enormous potential to continue Downtown Brooklyn’s revitalization, but the money’s the rub.
Negotiations Continue for NYU Takeover of 370 Jay [Brownstoner] GMAP
Politicians Rally for NYU’s Overhaul of 370 Jay Street [Brownstoner]
NYU’s Plans for 370 Jay Street May Still Happen [Brownstoner]
Details About NYU’s Designs on 370 Jay [Brownstoner]


Crain’s reports that NYU’s proposal to turn Downtown Brooklyn’s 370 Jay Street into a tech-oriented grad school has a decent chance of happening. According to the article, the city, which owns the building, and the MTA, which has a long-term lease on the property, are in favor of the university’s plans. The deal hinges upon upon the MTA getting a buyout offer that makes financial sense in terms of uprooting “vital communications equipment” from the building, and the price tag is said to be in the $50-$60 million ballpark. Although the extent to which the city would be able to help NYU financially in terms of the acquisition is unclear, a spokesman for the school says NYU is “optimistic about a good outcome.”
NYU Nears Deal on Tech Campus [Crain’s]


Yesterday a bunch of politicians held a rally in support of NYU’s proposal to build out a grad school at 370 Jay Street, the former MTA building in Downtown Brooklyn that’s been in sorry shape for years. The group, which included Borough President Marty Markowitz, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assemblywoman Joan Millman and Councilwoman Letitia James, said the city should allocate funds to the university as a runner-up winner in the competition Cornell was named the winner of earlier this week. Markowitz said that while Cornell’s plans to build a science center on Roosevelt Island are “wonderful,” according to the Daily News, “370 Jay Street is practically empty, doing nothing now but housing some switches.” Squadron noted that compared to Cornell’s plans, the NYU rehab of 370 Jay could be accomplished “for pennies on the dollar.” NYU is looking for $20-$25 million in city funding for the proposed grad center. Councilwoman James said Brooklyn should be about more than “basketball and burgers,” according to the Eagle, and that it should also be about “books and brains.” The mayor has said that funding for a proposal other than Cornell’s could be decided on within the next few weeks.
Rally Boosts Science Center At 370 Jay St [Eagle]
Brooklyn Pols Still Pushing for NYU Downtown Brooklyn Plan [NY Daily News]
NYU’s Plans for 370 Jay Street May Still Happen [Brownstoner]


Yesterday the city announced that it had selected Cornell’s proposal for a new campus on Roosevelt Island, but that may not mean that NYU’s proposal to build out a grad school at 370 Jay Street is dead, according to the Eagle. The city says it’s still considering proposals from institutions other than Cornell, and NYU’s president released a statement saying the school is “enthusiastically continuing our talks with the city on establishing a new applied sciences institute in Brooklyn.” NYU wants to renovate the former MTA building at 370 Jay and turn it into a grad school called the Center for Urban Science and Progress, as rendered above.
Don’t Count NYU Out for Tech Center [Eagle]