CB Votes Split On USTA Expansion Plan
March 14, 2013 / Flushing Corona / Issues Facing Queens / Queens Buzz. The USTA has asked the city of New York to give it .68 of an acre of Flushing Meadows Corona Park so that it can proceed with an expansion plan. The expansion plan is estimated to increase the sports complex capacity for the U.S. Open by about a third, while increasing the USTA footprint in the park by .68 of an acre. The USTA informed the audience attending the Community Board 3 meeting that this will result in more jobs in Queens. They also talked about the positive estimated annual $784 million economic impact that the USTA has had on NYC - according to a study done by a private consulting firm named AKRF, Inc.
The detractors informed the audience that this is the first step in a much larger effort toward a massive privatization of Flushing Meadows Corona Park by several large, well-funded corporate interests. The opponents talked about three other proposals which were not a part of the USTA plan. These other proposals to develop private interests on public parkland include the development of a shopping mall by a private investment group in tandem with the owners of CitiField; 2) a condominium / hotel complex done by another group of private investors; and 3) a 13 acre soccer stadium by Major League Soccer, which is also a privately held corporation.
Community Board Tally & Boro Prez Candidates Positions
In the end Community Board 3 voted against the expansion plan, citing among other things, promises not kept when the USTA asked to expand its footpint in 1993. All six Community Boards have now voted on the USTA Expansion proposal, with three voting for it and three voting against it. We'll post a far more complete report on this Community Board Meeting at a later date.
While I was attending the Community Board 3 Meeting in Corona, all six Queens Borough Presidential candidates were attending a forum about the issues facing Queens at the Greater Astoria Historical Society in Astoria. The issue of turning over public parkland to private interests came up during the forum. To date only City Councilmember Tony Avella has come out against giving up public parkland to private interests. NY Senator Jose Peralta is the only other candidate to take a stance on the issue, but only on one of the proposed developments, namely the erection of the MLS Soccer Stadium on 13 acres of FMC Parkland [which he conditionally supports if MLS fulfills all of their promises]. All four other candidates have taken a wait-and-see stance on the issue.
Click here to read our past reports related to the proposed development plans for Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The first report provides an early history of Flushing Meadows Corona Park I and the second report provided an intermediate history of Flushing Meadows Corona Park II which included a number of relevant historic lessons related to sports complex developments in FMCP as well as NYC.
The NYC World's Fair: 1964 - 1965 in Flushing Queens
NYC Stadiums: Battle of the Titans - PART II - Battle for the Heart of a Park & ... and the Soul of a Borough
January 21, 2013 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Issues / Queens Buzz. Click here for Part I of our report series on Developments in Flushing Meadows Corona Park where we journeyed back to the Corona Ash Dump, immortalized in the Great Gatsby, and later transformed into a World’s Fair utopia by Robert Moses, Fiorello LaGuardia and the 1939 World’s Fair committee.
The 1939 World’s Fair attracted over 40 million people, but lost over $100 million, as it opened the year Nazi Germany began invading its European neighbors, and while Japan was busy invading China. Nonetheless, in spite of a financial failure for the 1939 World’s Fair bondholders, the fair had enabled NYC and Robert Moses to complete phase one of his vision to transform the Corona Ash Dump into NYC’s premier city park, and build a whole new network of highways around it.
Ebbets Field in Brooklyn & The Brooklyn Dodgers
We resume our story, after WWII, as a young lawyer in Brooklyn began working for the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Dodgers played at Ebbets Field just east of Prospect Park in what was once part of the Flatbush neighborhood [now Crown Heights] of Brooklyn. The year is 1943 as a 40 year-old lawyer, Walter O’Malley, leaves the Brooklyn Trust Company where he had oversight responsibilities for troubled companies, including the Brooklyn Dodgers.
You can click here later today to read Part II of our report on proposed developments in Flushing Meadows Corona Park entitled NYC Stadiums & Battle of the Titans. Or click this link in the meantime to view Part I of our report series about the beginnings of Flushing Meadows Corona Park and the 1939 World's Fair.
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Hispanic Expo Highlights Local Latins
March 25, 2013 / Flushing Neighborhood / Queens Business / Queens Buzz. I attended the Hispanic Marketing Expo last Sunday at CitiField in Flushing. The two day event, sponsored by La Nueva Radio Internacional, included a wide variety of local businesses serving the Latin American community in Queens. Some of the exhibitors imported goods from their countries of origin to sell locally, some manufactured goods locally that are similar to goods that can be found in their countries of origin, and many others were owned by Latinos that provided local goods and services catering to the entire community.
There was a steady flow of hundreds of people through the exhibit space on Sunday afternoon. The exhibit personnel were busy interacting with the attendees, conversing in both English and Spanish, sometimes in the same conversation. The mood was festive and social. Later this month we'll post a report about the Hispanic Expo at CitiField, including a photo slide show of the event.
Click here to read other Flushing News briefs.
Chinese New Year Parade Flushing NYC
Queens Chinese New Year Parade & Flushing Asian Community
February 14, 2013 / Flushing / Queens History / Queens Buzz. This report provides a brief overview of the Chinese New Year Parade in Flushing & Queens. The year is 4710 and it is the year of the Snake.
The Chinese New Year Parade times, route and viewing locations are included in this report for your convenience, along with photos from prior years as well as links to reports from prior years. You'll also find related information such as info about Flushing shopping and Queens restaurants.
Click here for our report about the 2013 Chinese New Year Parade in Flushing Queens.
Chinese New Year 2012 in Flushing
Flushing Town Hall - Building Cultural Bridges
January 25, 2012 / Flushing / Ethnic & Religious Culture / Queens Buzz. I attended the opening ceremony at the Flushing Town Hall celebrating the Chinese new year. Flushing Town Hall is a neighborhood and Queens borough cultural center, which has easily become one of the leading places in Queens and NYC, where one can familiarize themselves with authentic Asian cultures.
Flushing Town Hall presents many exhibits and programs, which nurture an environment of cross cultural understanding. They are also an important location for innovative theater performances, jazz, and world music, of which you can read more about by using the search function on this site.
One of the reasons for Flushing Town Hall's emergence as an Asian cultural center is that Flushing is the home to the largest Chinese community in New York, equaling – if not surpassing - Chinatown in Manhattan. And New York City is home to the largest Chinese community outside of China.
This year is 2012 AD in the western world, but to the Chinese this is the lunar year 4709 and the year of the lucky dragon. Steve Chen of Crystal Window & Door Systems in Flushing [current exhibit sponsors], speaks about the Antique Chinese Windows and Doors collection currently on exhibit at Flushing Town Hall.
Click here to read more about the upcoming Chinese New Year Parade 2012 in Flushing Queens and Chinese Culture.
NYC World's Fair - 1939 - 1940 in Flushing Queens
Part I - Out of the Ashes Rises the Phoenix
Battle for the Heart of a Park …
... and the Soul of a Borough
January 12, 2013 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Issues / Queens Buzz. Over the past six months we’ve been watching with interest as events have been unfolding regarding the building of a 25,000 seat soccer stadium right in the heart of Flushing Meadows Corona Park. There are also a number of other proposals working their way through the political process / local government, which calls for the cessation of public lands to build private enterprises on various sections of Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
Currently four separate proposals are in process for planned developments in Flushing Meadow Corona Park. They include: 1) a chain store shopping mall / complex in the southwest corner of the Citifield parking lot [pink], 2) a housing / condominium / hotel complex on the lands the city acquired in its use of eminent domain to develop Willets Point [blue], 3) the expansion of the USTA facilities in the northwest section of the USTA franchise in the park [orange] and 4) the erection of a thirteen plus acre stadium / sports complex in the middle of Flushing Meadows Corona Park [yellowish green].
The graphic above was provided by one of the community groups opposed to the Flushing Meadow Corona Park developments. It's worth noting that most of the colored areas already have pavement or structures covering the land. The exception is that of the proposed Stadium & Concert venue [yellowish green], which would be a completely new development, replacing water vessels which were created for the Worlds Fair. See the map in the header of this series [top of page] where the dark red square represents the approximate acreage and location of the proposed stadium / concert venue.
Queens Buzz has put together a series of reports, which we will run in the coming days about the proposed developments in Flushing Meadow Corona Park. This report starts with a bit of the history of the park, which began around the turn of the last century when Flushing Meadows Corona Park was just an ashpile. The focus of this report is the 1939 NYC World's Fair which was held in Flushing Meadow Park as it was then called.
Flushing Town Hall
Flushing Town Hall Celebrates 150 Years Of Flushing History
September 10, 2012 / Flushing / Queens History / Queens Buzz. I attended the opening celebration of Flushing Town Hall’s 150th Anniversary Celebration. The proceedings included the first exhibit of all of the contents of a time capsule added to the building cornerstone in 1862, a slide presentation of the building history by an archivist, as well as remarks by many of the folks who helped bring about the restoration of the historic site beginning in 1990.
I also had the opportunity to meet some of the speakers and talk to them about their roles in preserving an historic building, while fostering one of NYC’s 33 official cultural centers.
Click here to read more about the opening celebration of Flushing Town Hall and its 150th anniversary, including a reconstructed timeline and exclusive photos.
Flushing & Corona Maps - Overview
Click to view four maps of Flushing & Corona: 1) Map of Shopping Districts In Flushing & Corona with links to shop home pages on this site, 2) Map of Flushing & Corona Restaurants that have been reviewed on this site, and 3) Map of cultural attractions in Flushing & Corona most for which there are reports about them to be found on this site.
Click here to view Flushing & Corona Maps - Maps of Shops, Restaurants and Cultural Attractions in Flushing & Corona Queens. It's also a map of things to do in Flushing Queens.
Queens Taste 2012
Sampling the Fare of Queens Restaurants & Food Entrepreneurs
May 1, 2012 / Flushing / Queens Restaurants / Food in Queens / Queens Buzz. I arrived at Queens Taste 2012 at Caesars on the fifth floor at Citifield about an hour after the event had begun. The feeding frenzy that generally occurs at the very beginning had passed, and most people had found tables and were pleasantly enjoying the fare and light dinner conversation, along with intermittent people-watching.
Borghese Red & White Wines of LI
I started into the food and beverage area surveying the vendors offerings this year and made my first landing at the Borghese Vineyards wine table. I met Ann Marie Borghese, who along with her husband, bought a farm in the 1970’s in Cutchogue, NY, which is located about in the middle of the northern fork of eastern Long Island.
Click here to view our report of Queens Taste 2012 [formerly Taste of the World].
Festival of Herbal Tonic Soup
Asian Cooking In Flushing Queens
February 11, 2012 / Food & Wine / Flushing / Queens Buzz. I attended an herbal tonic soup class arranged by Dr. Hsing-Lih Chou at Flushing Town Hall. Dr. Chou presents one Asian cooking class each year at the same location, featuring some aspect of traditional Asian home cooking. This year he introduced us to two Asian cooking aficionados: Madame Hwei-Yun Hsieh and Mr. Kelby Leow.
Ms. Hsieh was to treat us to a lesson on how to cook her famous Chinese Sesame Oil Ginger Chicken Soup, while Mr. Leow would introduce us to his famous Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup. Dr. Chou explained that he had selected these two soups in order to ‘balance’ each other, as one had a robust flavor and the other had a more subtle flavoring.
Click here to read more about how to cook Chinese and Korean herbal chicken soups - Asian cooking in Flushing Queens.
Shopping Along Main Street In Flushing
These are photos taken on Main Street in Flushing on October 22nd. This is just about being there.
Shopping in Flushing runs the gamut - from inexpensive Asian goods to American made goods in a number of chain store malls that are located within walking distance from the Flushing Main Street subway line.
Flushing is a business hub for the Asian community in Queens and surrounding areas. And it is growing in stature as a commercial destination.
Flushing & Corona Shops & Shopping
Flushing & Corona / Queens Buzz. This section contains shopping related stories, maps and other information about shopping in the neighborhoods of Flushing and Corona in Queens.
Click here to view information about shops and shopping in Flushing and Corona NY.
Real Estate In Flushing
Real Estate Development In Flushing Continues
April 14, 2011 / Flushing Neighborhood / Real Estate Development In Flushing / Queens Buzz. This winter I attended the state of the borough address given by Queens Borough president Helen Marshall and another given by NYC deputy mayor of economic development, Robert K. Steel. This report captures some of their comments about Flushing Commons condominium and retail complex which is a large-scale real estate development projects in Queens. The graphic shown to your right is a depiction of the Flushing Commons when it is completed.
Following their speeches, we did some investigation and research to find out more about this and other Flushing real estate development projects. The Flushing Commons retail and condominium project begins in 2011 and is expected to be completed by 2013. Advocates of the project hail the addition of new facilities, while detractors question whether the city has made sufficient provision for infrastructure in an area that is one of the most traversed outside of Manhattan.
Click here to read more about real estate development in Flushing Queens.
Real Estate In Flushing - Willets Point
April 14, 2011 / Flushing Neighborhood / Flushing Real Estate / Queens Buzz. This winter I attended the State of the Borough Address given by Queens Borough president Helen Marshall and a month later I attended a speech given by NYC deputy mayor of economic development, Robert K. Steel. This report captures their brief comments about Willets Point condominium and retail development project, as well as a considerable amount of research I did following those two presentations.
In the following report we provide you with a history of the effort to transform the Willets Point area and an outline of the proposed plans and including a detailing of some of the issues associated with the proposed development. A graphical depiction of the Willets Point development is shown above.
Click here to read more about Willets Point real estate development project - controversy in Flushing Queens.
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