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We all know NYC is known for its walkability: the grid makes the city easy to navigate, it’s become much safer in the past few decades, and there’s 24-hour public transportation. But while NYC is most walkable city in the US, Sunnyside and Hunters Point in Long Island City top the charts (ranked 95 of 100) in Queens on Walk Score, a site that ranks cities and neighborhoods based on on-foot access to amenities. For example, can you grocery shop without a car, walk to a nearby park, or is it safe for your kids to walk to school?

Next are Jackson Heights (93), Kew Gardens (91), Elmhurst (91), and Ridgewood (90). All of these neighborhoods rank higher than NYC’s average of 85. It’s easy to stay on your feet in these neighborhoods: Sunnyside’s greenmarket is an easy walk from most of the surrounding streets, 15 CSAs abound in the borough, and you can find many yoga and fitness classes near Astoria and Hunters Point. Even though prices are rising for condos in LIC, the Hunters Point neighborhood is poised to be middle-income, family-friendly community.

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Where to go for your next beach escape? There are lots of guides to finding the right Queens beach for a weekend getaway — Queens Mamas lists great beaches for kids, Huff Post lists a number of restaurants and activities on the peninsula, and Gothamist’s 2011 guide is rich with photos of good eats, architecture, and local dives. We’ll tell you how to get there, what to bring, and where to eat once you’ve made enough sandcastles to work up an appetite.

Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk – This beach is the easiest to access via subway. That means it’s where everyone else is headed too, which has its benefits — especially in the form of yummy goodness at Rockaway Taco and Veggie Island, and from the Shore Fruit bike kabob ladies. The masses generally pack in between Beach 85th and Beach 110th Streets, so if you want more peace and less party, we recommend either the swimming beach at Beach 60th Street or the end of the boardwalk past Beach 115th Street. The city-owned Rockaway Beach is super long, so take advantage of that fact to find your own spot to enjoy for the day. (GMAP)

What to bring – All you really need is your towel and your suit; you can pick up lunch, snacks, surfboards, and more in the neighborhood

Who to take – Everyone you know, including your foodie friends and your boogie-boarding kids

How to get there – 

  • A train to Beach 57 St or beyond
  • A train to Broad Channel; transfer to S (shuttle) train to Beach 90 St or beyond
  • Q52/Q53 bus from Woodside, Elmhurst, or Forest Hills
  • Rockabus shuttle from Williamsburg

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Update:

The Citi Bike sharing program will be delayed until August. StreetsBlog confirmed the delay today, citing tweets from the bike manufacturer and the Citi Bike events calendar, which shows bike demos into August.

 

Original post on July 13, 2012:

The Citi Bike sharing program will launch on July 31 with 11 stations available in LIC. When the program expands into Phase 2, we may see more stations in other Queens neighborhoods, including Sunnyside. The program will have 600 bike stations throughout the city and will be managed by the NYC Department of Transportation. With a $95 annual membership trips, under 45 minutes are free:

An Annual Membership is purchased online using a credit card, and an account is created with Citi Bike. Every Annual Member will be provided with a unique key that is used to unlock bicycles from the Citi Bike system. A trip begins when a bike is unlocked and ends when the bike is securely returned to any Citi Bike station.

NY Mag also has some good coverage of how the program will work.

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Do you fancy lamb shishkabobs or jerk chicken but don’t have a go-to Greek or Jamaican restaurant near your home? A reason to consider living in Jackson Heights is that it gives you access to some of the best ethnic grub in the city. But food is not all this area offers. The Flushing subway stop is the biggest in Queens (6 subways and 5 bus lines) and there’s a year-round greenmarket at Travers Park.

 

34-51 82 St, Jackson Heights – $335,000 – Loft living in Jackson Heights? This newly renovated apartment is sunny and the rooms flow into one another. It’s got a tight kitchen but the overall layout looks good.

 

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Many of you have probably seen the sign war between two people fighting over Tony, a bus driver on the Q69 route in Astoria, but now CBS news is investigating. Tony is a married man, and an upset passenger thinks he led her on and she is not willing to forgive him. Another person has come to his defense.

“I won’t forget your famous line, ‘Married men are lonely, too,” the initial jilted woman wrote on signs that showed up along the route. Why Leave Astoria? featured a photo of a sign responding to the first woman’s signs by insulting her. Our question is, who has time and glue enough to do this kind of thing? It’s been going on for TWO YEARS according to CBS.

Colleagues at the La Guardia Depot — who are carefully guarding Tony’s identity — said he continues to work the route. They said he had admitted to swapping phone numbers with the woman, but said he did not have an affair.

Moral of the story: 1) Don’t give crazy people your phone number, 2) Despite appearances, Q69 is not a mobile dating service and 3) If you want revenge, get some paste.

UPDATE: This just in from Why Leave Astoria? Tony now has a fake Twitter account, and Pix11 went looking for him.

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/TONY_Q69/status/199505410326138880″]

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Apartment dwellers residing across the street from elevated subway tracks near the Court Square subway station in Long Island City say that peeping toms have made their lives unbearable, according to DNAinfo. People waiting for the 7 train are able to look directly into homes adjacent to the tracks, thanks to mesh windscreens. Now, in addition to hearing noise from the trains everyday, residents say they have to keep their curtains closed all the time for fear of peering eyes. And here we thought peeping toms would only be looking up skirts through that clear escalator enclosure at the station. Oh MTA, what will you think of next?

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You know things are serious when US Airways Capt. Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger weighs in and when mayoral spokesman, Marc La Vorgna uses the phrase “bird strike epidemic.”

Birds at LaGuardia Airport could save neighbors from the stinky smell of trash if community groups and civic leaders have their way. According to the Daily News, opponents of the North Shore Marine Transfer Station in College Point, say the trash will attract birds — which could prove hazardous for planes flying in and out of nearby LaGuardia.

US Airways Capt. Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger, who made an emergency landing on the Hudson River in 2009 after a bird strike, has also come out against the trash transfer station.

The Mayor’s Office dismissed the concerns, noting a waste station operated safely at the same site from 1954 until 2001.

“Was there a bird strike epidemic then? No,” mayoral spokesman Marc La Vorgna said in a statement. “And the new station will be even safer: a fully enclosed, state-of-the-art facility.”

The issue came to fore again when a Delta Air Lines flight to Los Angeles made an emergency landing on April 19 at Kennedy Airport after birds were sucked into the plane’s engine. Five days later, a JetBlue flight returned to the Westchester County Airport after two geese hit the aircraft’s windshield.

Planes carrying Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden were both struck by birds on April 19. No one was hurt.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons, by Alan D. Wilson

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Image Source: NY Waterway

We thought maybe it was time to try out NY Waterway’s East River Ferry.

The double-decker catamaran seats 140 people, and on most days, there is plenty of room on board AND in the $5 all-day 160 car parking lot. What’s that you say? Parking in Long Island City?

The Hunter’s Point terminal is located south of 54th Avenue on 2nd Street, with boats departing every 20 minutes during peak time to Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Dumbo, Wall Street and 34th Street.

The ferry costs $4 each way for adults. You can bring your bike for $1. You can ride the ferry back to Queens too.

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We asked regular straphangers at the Smith-9th Street subway stop what they thought of the recent news that the station’s going to be shuttered in the near-ish future for nine months to a year. Shockingly, no one was thrilled.

“Well, it’d make me late for school. I live in Red Hook and don’t have the money to be taking cabs, so it’s going to be a real problem.” -Dominaisha (right)

“This station needs to be repaired, but it’s typical of the MTA to hit us with surprise news like this. I don’t trust them to get anything done, but they keep raising the fares.” -Rachel

“The community, which has a lot of old people in it, really needs this train. I use it every day, and I don’t know what I’m going to do when they close the station.” -Julio (right)

“That’s more walking.” -Catherine(right)

“This area is cut off enough from the rest of Brooklyn. The city better have a good plan for keeping us connected when this goes down–but I’m not holding my breath.” -Bill