Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"Landmarking lollapalooza"

The defensive shield that protects historic buildings from the whims of real estate developers grew significantly Tuesday, after the city designated seven new landmarks, including a former pencil factory in Greenpoint, Lord & Taylor on Fifth Avenue, and the former apartment tower home of Grace Kelly and Benny Goodman on East 66th Street.

In a city famous for a teardown mentality fostered by soaring real estate values, the idea of preservation may itself seem endangered. But it is the very speed of development that may have sparked the current wave of landmarking activity.

Landmarking booms as developers loom

In fiscal year 2005, only 46 buildings were landmarked. In fiscal year 2007, 1,158 buildings received protection, the highest number since 1990. The commission has also been aggressively landmarking in other boroughs, such as Queens and Staten Island.

"There is a lot of very aggressive activity going on here in support of historic designation," said commission chairman Robert B. Tierney Tuesday. "We have the support of the mayor, and that makes it easier."

Apparently Mr. Tierney got cut off. He surely must have said that if you are in a tweeded redlined area then you have a snowball's chance in hell of getting a landmark in your 'hood. And he forgot the part about focusing landmarking efforts in areas that either are already wealthy or where the city is leading gentrification efforts.

LIC art is for the birds

This floating condo with a bird's-eye view of the Manhattan skyline is ready for occupancy - by swallows, wrens and their feathered pals.


The avian apartments are inside a 24-foot high aluminum tree standing on an aluminum-skinned “island" that floats on two pontoons.

The public sculpture is anchored 15 feet out in the East River near 44th Drive in Long Island City, where it will remain through Saturday. Artist Chico MacMurtrie said he will apply to the state Department of Environmental Conservation for a permit to move it to a nearby inlet.

Demolishing an architectural gem

Residents who grew up admiring a neoclassical Long Island City bank that went up with Queens Plaza around 1910 are partly blaming themselves for its unceremonious demise.

Neighbors mourn former Long Island City Savings Bank

Many locals said they feel guilty they never contacted the city Landmarks Preservation Commission before crews recently began tearing down the former Long Island City Savings Bank to make way for what is rumored to be a hotel.

"It should have always been a landmark, but we never really did anything about it," admitted Jerry Walsh, president of the Dutch Kills Civic Association, which covers Queens Plaza.

The bank, at 29-11 Queens Plaza North, once featured a stunning boardroom, two murals by famed artist Vincent Aderante and designs of 1930s-era coins in relief, locals recalled.

"It was there in the heyday of the whole industrial revitalization and lived through its demise, too," said George Stamatiades, the community board's second vice chairman. "I can't get by this one."

They deserve a break today

It is their busiest day of the year, after all. That must be one clean john since it limits its patrons to one particular occupation. Photo taken in Astoria.

Spooky Queens

Here are some articles from July 27-28, 1884 that report on the haunting of cemeteries in Queens (the description of the neighborhood is interesting too).

Following an elusive voice

A haunted woman

And according to this article, the haunting continues to this day!

Over in Machpelah Cemetery, Harry Houdini may still return on the anniversary of his death, but if he does this Halloween, no one will know about it. According to, the cemetery is closed today.

Know any other Queens ghost stories?

Here's to more treats than tricks

Here are some Safe Halloween tips from the NYC Fire Department.

Mixed use project for Downtown Jamaica

Corrie said:

"Found this article on Keep up the good work!
Here is the link and the text:

JV Plans $260M Queens Mixed Use
By Ian Ritter

JAMAICA, NY-A consortium of developers is planning a 929,000-sf mixed-use center in the downtown area of this Queens neighborhood. Called Techno Mart Queens, the $260-million project will have 172,000 sf of retail on the first three floors, while the remaining 10 stories will house a wholesale-electronics merchandise mart.

The development is going up on the site of a former meatpacking plant on Sutphin Boulevard. It will also be next to the AirTrain shuttle at the Jamaica train station, which transports travelers to John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Techno Mart Queens is part of an "airport village" that they are envisioning, says Carlisle Towery, president of the Greater Jamaica Development Corp. The center is expected by local officials to employ about 3,000 people.

The developers, through a venture called JFK Associates, are Kingsbridge-Jamaica Co., HRH AC Development Group, and Prime Construction Co. Kingsbridge-Jamaica is led by Paul Travis and James Levin, developers who built the River Plaza shopping center in the Bronx. HRH AC is a partnership between area-based HRH Construction and Acreciti Development Group. Prime Construction is based in Korea.

Prime is modeling the center after a similar development in Seoul, called East Techno Mart, which it constructed in 1998. The company is working on a second development in that city and has plans for a fourth, in China."

Here's more from the Daily News

Future crap prediction

A new blogger called The Angry New Yorker says his "FutureCrap" feature was partly inspired by Queens Crap, so I thought I would highlight his post about an unfortunate situation at Broadway and 46th Street today.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Charges against SJU gunman dropped

Student Found Incompetent For Gun Trial
Special to the Sun
October 30, 2007

The St. John's University freshman who brought a rifle to campus last month was ordered to enter a psychiatric facility yesterday, the Queens District Attorney's Office said.

Omesh Hiraman, 22, was found incompetent to stand trial by Judge Joseph Zayas following a psychiatric report released at Queens Criminal Court. It was determined that Mr. Hiraman would not be capable of understanding the case against him, the district attorney's office said. The court turned Mr. Hiraman over to the New York State Commissioner of Mental Health for a 90-day mental evaluation, the office said.

Since Mr. Hiraman was found mentally incapable to stand trial, the charges against him have been dropped, the office said.

A hole in Brooklyn & a scandal at City Hall

Go, Jim Dwyer, go!

For the best part of two years, Dr. Budd Heyman and others politely hectored people in city government about the hole in the ground down the block from his house in Brooklyn. It was, he argued, a construction project that did not meet the law, an apartment building being wedged into a neighborhood of single-family homes.

A Hole in Brooklyn, and Scandal at City Hall

A physician at Bellevue, Dr. Heyman is smart and had his facts straight. That did not help much. Every level of Michael R. Bloomberg’s administration blew him off. But he was right. They were wrong.

This is not the saga of a hole in the ground, but of holes in how this city makes sure that buildings are safely constructed — and in how public officials treat citizens who seek honest answers.

The original post on this subject may be found here.

Photo from NY Times

The Sunnyside saga: It's finally over!

The City Council voted unanimously to make Sunnyside Gardens in Queens, one of the first planned communities in the country, a landmarked historic district.

Sunnyside Gardens landmarked

The council's vote, which affirms the landmark commission's designation in June, makes the 77-acre development the largest historic district in Queens.

Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery

City Wide Campaign Fall-2007

One of the key messages of fire safety education is that smoke alarms are designed to provide early warning of a fire, allowing sufficient time to reach safety.

In order to get this critical message to the public that a working smoke alarm will increase your chances of surviving a fire by fifty percent , the Fire Safety Education Unit of the Fire Department New York conducts a “Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery” education outreach each Spring and Fall, taking advantage of the well-publicized Daylight Saving Time.

This Fall, teams of Fire Safety Educators will be strategically assigned throughout the five boroughs, the week prior to the end of Daylight Saving Time, Saturday November 4, 2007, distributing fresh replacement 9 volt batteries for smoke alarms.

The batteries, which have been donated from the FDNY Foundation and Energizer will be distributed in high-risk fire neighborhoods, based on past and most recent fire injuries and fatalities incidents.

Below please find the dates, times and locations the FDNY will be distributing fresh batteries, including safety literature on smoke and carbon monoxide alarm maintenance.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Hours: 4pm - 6pm

Borough of Queens

Jamaica Centre Parsons/Archer Train Station
CB # 12

Ridgewood Mémorial Triangle- Myrtle Avenue and Cypress Avenue
CB # 5

Corner of Ditmas Blvd and 31st Street
CB # 1

DOB progress report

Buildings Commissioner Patricia J. Lancaster, FAIA, provided a progress report on implementation of the Special Enforcement Plan to raise the bar for construction standards citywide. Announced by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in July, Phase I of the Enforcement Plan outlines measures to form new multidisciplinary enforcement units, focuses resources on identifying and holding repeat offenders accountable and increases oversight over the professional certification program. The progress report was delivered today, 115 days after funding for the Enforcement Plan was announced.


You're in God's hands with Allstate

On October 30, 2007, the New York City Council’s Committee on Consumer Affairs will hold an oversight hearing on homeowner policy terminations in coastal areas of New York City. It will also consider a resolution which will call upon the New York State Legislature to pass legislation that would lower the percentage of homeowners’ insurance policies that an insurance provider may cancel or refuse to renew without the approval of the New York State Department of Insurance.

Recent rainstorms and a tornado in New York City this summer exposed the City’s vulnerabilities and highlighted the importance of New Yorkers’ ability to protect and insure property during extreme weather conditions.

Insurance firms such as Allstate and Liberty Mutual Group announced it would discontinue coverage on New York City homeowners who were considered susceptible to storm damage. Critics have charged that such cancellations were made depending on whether homeowners held additional policies with the insurance company.

Scheduled to testify at tomorrow’s hearing are State Senator Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx), representatives of Liberty Mutual Group and local advocate groups.

Allstate did not respond to numerous invitations from the Council to testify.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007, 10 AM

250 Broadway, Manhattan, 14th Floor Hearing Room

Asbestos mess at Bell Park Gardens?

"Great job on your website. I thought you would appreciate this tidbit of information. Bell Park Gardens is an 800-family co-op located in Queens. An ongoing battle between the Board of Directors and the shareholders of this co-op has made the local papers, as mentioned below.

This looks like another case of Queens craptasticness.

Some information on this subject can be found here: Local 78.

More information can be found in the in the Queens Tribune... Vol.37, No.11, March 15-21, 2007. The Tribune article details the fight between shareholders and the Board of Directors involving the asbestos mess. After the Board of Directors refused a petition by the shareholders to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the asbestos, they hired a father and son contractor team (according to local 78) to do the work. I hope this is not another Parkway Village disaster!!!


Keep up the great work." - anonymous

Monday, October 29, 2007

Bending the camera rules

Amateur photo- graphers and indep- endent film makers looking to chronicle bird life, take snapshots in Times Square or capture the distinctive thrum of New York’s streets will not need to obtain permits or insurance under new rules being proposed by the Bloomberg administration.

Mayor to Ease Permit Rules for Capturing City’s Image

The rules, to be released on Tuesday for public comment, would generally allow people using hand-held equipment, including tripods, to shoot for any length of time on sidewalks and in parks as long as they leave sufficient room for pedestrians.

The new rules, which officials said reflect longstanding practice by the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting, are meant to distinguish between photographers and filmmakers who generally do not create congestion or unsafe conditions and those from major television, film and print productions that generally do. But instead of basing permit requirements on the number of people and the length of time involved in the shoot, the new proposal focuses on the level of sidewalk obstruction.

AM-NY: PlanYC is "almost messianic"

PlaNYC 2030, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to radically reshape the city, is a far-reaching document that could alter the way people live. But it does even more. There is an almost messianic quality to the plan and in its contention that as goes the city, so goes the nation, if not the world.

PlanYC not what it seems

But lost in the talk of hybrid taxis, millions of trees, and yes, paying a fee to get into Manhattan, are the less headline-grabbing details that could still transform important aspects of city life.

One of wackier parts of the mayor's plan involves building a deck above the BQE where it dips down the middle of Hicks Street and building housing on top. Robert Moses built the highway in the 1950s, splitting Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill. There are major engineering, zoning, and transportation obstacles, not to the mention the difficulty of convincing people to live atop an expressway. A spokesman for the city's housing department said the plan was still conceptual, but the possibilities are intriguing.

Makes you wonder if Bloomie ever really gave up the pot smoking he said he enjoyed so much...

Where’s John Liu?

Dear Editor (Queens Chronicle):

Its interesting to me that no mention of John Liu was made regarding the Bland Playground mess. Why? Because he’s a Democrat? Because your paper supports him? Because he wants to be the next mayor? The mess that has become downtown Flushing itself and the blame for it should start with Liu. That story might start to clean things up. Otherwise, it’s politics as usual and our Flushing streets and playgrounds will only get worse.

David Meyer

PlaNYC park plan decoded

Click on the graphic from PlaNYC to see the Parks Department's B.S. decoded in red.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Requiem for a city

Real estate is king in the new New York. Too many immigrants can't afford to come in. Too many longtime residents are driven out. We are losing our sky to a hideous skyline and our streets to a generic wash of prefab apartments, banks and storefronts.

City neighborhoods losing character to condos, chain stores

As Manhattan is squeezed, so suffer the outer boroughs. The Italians and Poles of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Brooklyn, are dislocated by hipsters whose creative lives are emphatically commercial. Every possible place is built on, or up. The Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn promises the same on a massive scale.

We've lost our shopkeepers, barbers, cobblers, diners, record stores, our butchers and bakers. We've lost the vibrant mix that made the city unique, the spontaneity that gave New York its edge.

Then there's Vanishing New York:

Those who contend that an unprecedented influx of money, combined with rapid development, is causing the city to lose its soul need look no further for evidence than Mr. Moss’s blog. It reads like an obituary to a disappearing city, with Astor Place as the “epicenter of evil.”

Witness to What Was, Skeptic of What’s New

Pictured: A mural in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, where residents are fighting to save their neighborhood.

Partial Building Collapse in Chelsea

6-Story Structure Apparently Empty

Part of a six-story building in Manhattan collapsed Saturday evening, fire officials said. However, it appears the six-story residential structure was vacant.

There was no immediate word on whether anyone was injured. The cave-in happened around 8 p.m. at 22 West 24th St. in the Chelsea section of Manhattan.

The building's facade was reportedly still standing; the rest of the structure crumbled.

Firefighters were on the scene and streets around the site have been blocked off.

Video available here:
Partial Building Collapse in Flatiron District

NY Times has a more lengthy explanation, including tidbits about its scandalous past: Building in Flatiron Collapses, Causing a Mess but No Injuries

Oh, and by the way, this building was landmarked. So how about to make up for the loss, we designate one in Queens?

Stupid NYC

The Stupid NYC Blog Owner...

I am just a guy armed with a camera wanting to expose the stupidity that today exists in this city--a city that has become a crappy assed mis-managed bureaucracy. That is the reason why this Blog exisits, to expose the hypocrisy and stupidity which makes up StupidNYC.

Auburndale Rezoning

Dear Editor (Queens Chronicle):

The Auburndale Improvement Association, the oldest civic association in Queens County, has been actively lobbying the New York City Planning Commission for contextual rezoning of the Auburndale community for the past several years. Although we have received assurances from representatives of the commission that Auburndale would be rezoned, there has been no progress in even beginning the process.

As the zoning and housing chair of this organization, I have witnessed firsthand the effect that this inaction has had in Auburndale. Since some surrounding communities have been contextually rezoned, certain developers have zeroed in to the Auburndale community to take advantage of its vulnerability, by constructing out of character buildings and multi-family structures that overpower the existing housing stock. Large areas of this community are currently zoned with designations that permit too dense development. This affects the quality of life in these areas and puts severe strain on the infrastructure. If these areas were zoned with the appropriate zoning classification, the overdevelopment problems would be mitigated.

In 2005, we were promised that the rezoning work would begin at the beginning of 2006. That did not happen. Then we were told that we would have to wait for the Douglaston-Little Neck rezoning initiative to be passed. It passed. Nothing happened in Auburndale. Next, we were told that the Jamaica Rezoning plan was taking up the time of most of the Queens office of City Planning. That plan has now passed. Auburndale still waits. Other areas of Northeast Queens like North Flushing, Oakland Gardens, Hollis Hills and sections of Bellerose also are waiting to be rezoned.

At our regularly scheduled association meetings, the question of rezoning frequently comes up. People want to know when their turn will come. Many are ready to volunteer to help survey the community in order to assist City Planning with the task of rezoning. Copies of these letters were sent to all local elected officials. And still no progress toward rezoning.

The time for action in Auburndale and the other non-rezoned communities is now, before they become completely unrecognizable due to inappropriate development.

Henry Euler

Another view on overdevelopment

Hi there Crapper,

I am a Guyanese of Indian descent with a degree in Construction Management. I like your blog and I totally agree with the over development which is taking place, especially in the Richmond Hill/Ozone Park area where I live. I guess familiarity breeds contempt, I have the utmost contempt for the current crop of Guyanese (agricultural, low class, most coming illegally here and giving the Guyanese community a bad name as a whole.) When we came in the 70s we had to adapt and blend in, now the current crop does not have to blend and they carry on with the same nonesense they did back in Guyana and Trinidad. Check out my blog and website at the links below, it was focused on the building of a Stadium in Guyana for Cricket World Cup. The Government of Guyana is totally corrupt - taking loans from international orgs without the Guyanese people seeing anything in return as far as infrastructure development. That is why Guyanese are running away from the country by any means possible and finding themselves in Richmond Hill - causing overcrowding and over development.....some by unscrupulous means.

Providence Stadium

Guyana Stadium

Here is another article I wrote under my Pen Name "Roy Bhusia" about Liberty Ave:
Need for free media in Richmond Hill

Providence Stadium

I checked out the blog, and saw this as a description: "Existing deficiencies in the urban centers of Guyana are deteriorated infrastructure, bad housing, and inadequate to nonexistent community services (poor sanitation and water supply, traffic congestion, unsatisfactory drainage, and unhealthy environment)."

Maybe he should also write a blog dedicated to Queens! This guy gets it.

A WTF? in QW

I'm dedicating this Sunday to reader submissions.

This one from "The Cab King":

Click on the picture, and be prepared for for a classic spit-take...WTF?

PowerHouse Goes Mobile —

Cavalcade of crap, part 4

One more time:

And now, the cavalcade of Flushing crap comes to an end.

As suggested by a commenter, here are photos of what Flushing looked like in 1929 for comparison.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Bell Boulevard crane collapse

A massive construction crane keeled over and collapsed into a building site in Bayside around noontime last Thursday across from the Tequila Sunrise restaurant, causing temporary traffic delays but no injuries.

The orange behemoth appeared to have fallen over into a ditch directly in front of the skeleton of a building still under development on 34-38 Bell Blvd., near the intersection of Bell Boulevard and 34th Avenue.

Crane collapses in Bayside

The building under construction is currently two stories and is planned for five stories. DOB engineers have determined it is not in danger of collapse, according to the department's e-mail.

[DOB said] "preliminary reports indicate the equipment was too heavy for the area where it was being used."

A stop-work order has been issued and will not be rescinded until the owner's architect submits a structural stability report to the DOB, the department said. The owner has also been issued a violation for failing to safeguard public property.

How about this one? Co-worker saves excavator operator in Harlem River plunge

Photo from Queens Courier

Deer Killed On Parkway

One of the deer that had been spotted along the Cross Island Parkway sadly became roadkill earlier this month:

"Traffic was snarled on the Cross Island Parkway on Monday, October 15, when an adult deer ran across the highway and was struck by a car in the northbound lanes, in the vicinity of Bell Boulevard. No human injuries were reported, but the animal was killed.

Although rare, deer are to be found in Queens, according to officials of the Department of Parks and Recreation. Two have been spotted together in recent months.

They are known to travel along the routes of parkways and parks throughout the borough, and can cause serious damage and injury in an accident. Deer usually travel during twilight hours, so commuters should be aware." - Queens Courier

Bloomberg backing Vallone for BP

Mayor Michael Bloomberg will honor Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) in a fund-raiser at his Manhattan townhouse as the councilman prepares for a likely campaign for the 2009 Queens borough president race.

Mayor to host Vallone fund-raiser

Hizzoner will host the event for Vallone and an estimated 50 other friends and elected officials on Nov. 5 at his Upper East Side home, Vallone said. The councilman, who has hinted that he will run for Queens borough president in two years but has not yet made an official announcement, said the cost to attend the event would likely be $2,000 per person and that he hopes to raise as much as $100,000.

Vallone said he would probably run on three issues - public safety, the environment and schools.

Excellent. He completely ignores overdevelopment as one of the root causes of these issues. The machine has chosen a good candidate.

Bye-bye to Bayside trees

A 39th Avenue property that served as the backdrop - and exclam- ation point - for Councilman Tony Avella's (D-Bayside) assailment of a city proposal requiring property owners to plant more trees has seen its own tree canopy come crashing down.

City must maintain its tree cover: Avella

The councilman...said the measure was inadequate because of what he described as the city's failure to maintain existing tree cover, and he had pointed to the 212-15 39th Ave. property behind his Bayside office as an example.

Boarded up by high fences, the property contains an old single-family house and, at the time of the press conference, was also home to the 100-year-old trees. They were cut down by workers at the site in the last week.

Cavalcade of crap, part 3

Still in Flush-town!

Friday, October 26, 2007

BQE on stage

When I saw this on the NY Observer's website, I thought it was a joke..

From Brooklyn Academy of Music's website:

A prolific singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer with a penchant for storytelling, Sufjan Stevens reveals the epic in the everyday in songs infusing the vernacular of Midwestern folk with a distinctly orchestral grandeur. Stevens pairs orchestrated selections of both new and old material with the 25th Next Wave Festival commission/world premiere of The BQE—a symphonic and cinematic exploration of one of New York's least celebrated monuments: the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

Robert Moses' controversial 11.7-mile roadway tears through neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens with the brute force of modern urban planning, and in Stevens' hands becomes an evocation of the intersection of intimate experience and the American Dream. Merging a virtual road trip shot on film with a live band and orchestral ensemble, The BQE discovers abstract patterns and stories in the snaking traffic, potholed pavement, billboards, badly marked exits, and beautiful city views, revealing what happens when Manifest Destiny converges with urban blight.

Coming soon: Donald Manes - the Musical!

JFK kitty roundup

To the alarm of cat rescue groups, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has started rounding up feral cats that live in a colony deep in the secured cargo areas of Kennedy International Airport. The several dozen cats have been tended for years by sympathetic airport employees.

Stray Cat Roundup at J.F.K. Worries Rescue Groups

The cats sleep in makeshift cubicles made of plastic packing containers nestled in cargo carts that once carried transcontinental luggage but have been long retired from Kennedy’s runways. They gather under and around a rusted old fuel tanker truck.

Photo from NY Times

DOB getting tough?

The Buildings Department says it is finally cracking down on the unscrupulous engineers, architects and contractors who have ignored the law and damaged neighborhoods during New York's building boom.

Buildings Dept. vows crackdown on unscrupulous builders

With a $6 million funding boost and 48 new employees, the department has used lawyers, investigators and inspectors to scrutinize operators and build cases against the worst offenders - hoping to put 50 of them out of business.

"What we're trying to do is identify the worst actors, and now we're focusing scrutiny on them," Buildings Commissioner Patricia Lancaster told the Daily News. "We're changing from a reactive model to a proactive one, because this has to stop."

She said the department also is cracking down on architects and engineers who build illegal eyesores by abusing their right to certify their own plans.

When the Buildings Department audited 155 of those plans, it found problems with 80% of them.

Fare reduction would raise more $$$

Rather than raising the fare, the MTA could solve all its financial woes by lowering it.


If the bus and subway fare was cut from $2 to $1.50, and the weekly and monthly discounts were eliminated, the MTA would actually see a $323 million, or 16 percent, boost in revenue - more money than it needs, say advocates of the plan. And as a result, nearly three-quarters of all riders would pay less than they do now.

Mayor Bloomberg not convinced MTA fare hike needed

Bloomberg Thursday said he's not convinced the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's proposed increases are warranted.

He said the top priority should be how to expand the mass transit network of subways, buses and commuter train lines that will be needed because of a projected population boom.

Cavalcade of Crap, part 2

More scenic views from Flushing.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Growing concern

The Bloomberg administration wants 1 million trees planted over the next 10 years as part of its long-term mission to improve the environment. But many New Yorkers want to know what the city is doing to save existing trees.

Growing concern

They’re worried possible Parks Dept. plans to raze 20-acres of dense forest at the 50-acre Ridgewood Reservoir to put down artificial turf ballfields is antithetical to the eco-friendly agenda.

Just say no to the city's plan to convert the Garden of Eden of Queens into concrete and astroturf. Save Ridgewood Reservoir today!

Reprieve for Astroland

The world-renowned Astroland amusement park has a new lease on life.

The venerable Coney Island institution, which appeared doomed after its Labor Day closing, will instead reopen for one more season next year under a deal announced Wednesday with the developer behind the neighborhood's planned $2 billion makeover.

Coney Island's Astroland gets new lease on life

Coney Island's Astroland will stay open one more season

Turf moratorium

by patrick arden / metro new york

The new breed of artificial turf uses rubber pellets from recycled tires, which contain contaminants that have been linked to cancer, birth defects and other health problems. Suffolk County Assemblyman Steve Englebright introduced legislation this week to declare a six-month moratorium on the installation of fake turf pending a public health study. “Before we take risks with our children’s health and drinking water quality, we need to make sure that the uncertainties that may be associated with the many artificial turf playing fields that are being installed are fully investigated,” he said.

Cavalcade of crap, part 1

Here is some Flushing crap gathered from real estate listings:

First in a 4-part series.