State Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas tweeted a photo of herself seated at a table with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz at George’s, the restaurant that replaced or reconceptualized the Astor Room at Kaufman Astoria Studios, and wrote above it, “The Power Table.” This tweet, posted Friday afternoon, is the first to be linked to the address under the name George’s. Also, the photo shows what George’s looks like.
There are two threads of headlines this week for the LIC and Astoria area:
- The city is officially moving forward with a Sunnyside Yards development master plan.
- The city officially left important BQX stuff out of its budget.
That means, the city is on top of developing a mega housing development over the Sunnyside Yards (a lot of people in Astoria and LIC don’t know what that is, but it’s the huge swath of train land east of Northern Boulevard that you see from either the N/W or 7 trains when approaching or leaving Queensborough Plaza). But when it comes to running a streetcar through LIC and Astoria to connect with Brooklyn, it’s just not there yet.
Also, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer was at the Met Gala, which was Catholic themed. “It’s almost time for this kid from
#Queens to head to the @metmuseum for the #MetGala!” he tweeted earlier on. JVB has gone before at least in 2013 and 2014. He was also hanging out with Jesse Eisenberg the other day.
As the Times explains, last year only about 550 people went to the gala, which is invitation only, each invitation overseen by Anna Wintour and tickets cost $30,000. Are all the council members invited? Who sponsored or invited the councilman of the 26th District? I hit him up with questions on Instagram so let’s see if he responds.
A fiesta in the Ravenswood area wasn’t just a Cinco de Mayo celebration. The party on 11th Street by Saint Rita’s Church was a fundraiser to help rebuild a church that was destroyed by the September 2017 earthquake in Mexico. Several of the attendees, Corner was told, are from Chila de la Sal, a town in Puebla, Mexico.
The Five Boro Bike Tour came through Queens and shut down 21st Street, Vernon Boulevard and other streets in Long Island City and Astoria. I didn’t catch it but saw these cops standing in a huge group on 34th Ave and Vernon.
The city is officially moving forward on developing a neighborhood over the Sunnyside Yards by launching a master planning process this summer. The Economic Development Corporation announced today that Alicia Glen, deputy mayor of economic development and Anthony Coscia, chairman of Amtrak, which owns most of the space, signed a letter of intent to collaborate on the plan. The EDC’s announcement confirms Crain’s New York Business’ March 29 report that urbanist Vishaan Chakrabarti will be heading the master plan team. But more people are involved! Cali Williams, an EDC vice president for the last decade, now has the title: director of Sunnyside Yard. And a steering committee headed by Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the Long Island City Partnership and Sharon Greenberger, head of the YMCA for Greater New York (what?) will be consulting on the plan. But wait… what about elected officials who don’t want this to happen?
City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, whose district spans both the LIC and Sunnyside sides of the yards, has been vocal against this project. How the EDC and mayor’s office will be able to push this ahead without the support from the 26th city council rep, I’m really not sure. The yards would have to be rezoned to allow residential development and super tall buildings, something the council member would have to approve. Sunnyside Post reported shortly after the EDC’s announcement today that JVB and State Rep. Catherine Nolan, who also opposes the plan, complained the city went around them on this. Well of course.
Today’s the last day to fill out Community Board 1’s Ravenswood survey. My understanding of this is: the CB launched the survey to create a point of reference when confronted with development in the area. The CB seems to define Ravenswood as Broadway down to 39th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard all the way past 31st Street. You can fill out the link here or go straight to the PDF with links here.
Opens the survey:
Update: But who knows when this really ends, though?
Says the park website: “In succinct, elegant forms, often accompanied with wry humor, Overton addresses concepts of labor, economics, and the land in today’s society.”
There will be a tour of the exhibit on opening day at 4pm.