Queens Official Responds to the Voice Over Plan to Officially Change Long Island City's Name to 'LIC'

long island city.jpg
Google Images
Original Post: We get it, but the term 'Long Island' shouldn't carry this much of a stigma. Because it doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

Over the weekend, the Post reported that the powers that be in Queen's newest "New Williamsburg" are a bit ticked off by the fact that Long Island City . . . is called Long Island City. With more and more business on its way to the up-and-coming tech-centric neighborhood, business owners and officials have complained that the name hints to visitors who are unable to search on Google that Long Island City is nowhere near Manhattan.

Side note: Long Island City is one of the closest neighborhoods to the island fortress.

And, because of this, the municipality is losing money -- one hotel owner said 5 percent (give or take) of the hospitality business there is lost to misidentification. So, the proposal: change Long Island City officially to "LIC" -- it's three letters, it's hip, it's catchy and, hey, who doesn't love a good real estate nickname change? ProCro, TriBeCa, DUMBO -- why not LIC?

Well, you can't really change the name of a neighborhood through City Hall. Those aforementioned nicknames are started by hasty brokers and then filtered into the public sphere via Robert De Niro or the way-too-trendy. That means that Long Island City is here to stay; you can call it "LIC" to your clients on the phone. Or just tell them to buy a map before they come.

[UPDATE, February 21st, 4pm]

Rob MacKay, an official at the Queens Economic Development Corporation, responds to the Voice's original post after the jump.

More »

Long Island City's Tech Takeover

The Hozziner has his eyes set on the tech industry, repeating over and over that he wants New York City to become the new Palo Alto, the new Mountain View and the new Copertino - all hubs of some of the past decade's greatest innovations. Progress is rapidly being made to make that dream a reality: SoHo and Dumbo have become the new destinations for start-ups, NYU-Poly is proposing tech incubators left and right in Downtown Brooklyn and Bloomberg just signed off on Cornell's new applied sciences graduate school on Roosevelt Island.

But recent news point to yet another major development site in the works for a techie revolution: Long Island City, the last neighborhood in Queens before the East River and home to P.S. 1 MoMa, the 5 Pointz graffiti mecca and a whole slew of old warehouses just waiting to be refurbished into computer dens. Many have said that the village will head the way of Williamsburg and Astoria, two neighborhoods known for their recent cultural and demographic upheavals as hordes of Millennials hunt out spots for their online businesses.

Today, the Daily News reported on a brand new tech incubator that has been proposed for the industrial area in Queens - one that owners hope will spur job creation in times of rough unemployment numbers and bring a modern manufacturing wave to the growing spot.

Welcome, Long Island City, to the tech takeover.

More »

Local Pols Say Federal Government is Getting in the Way of NYC's First Outdoor Film Studio *UPDATED*

chuck schumer press conference.JPG
Sam Levin
City Councilman Jimmy Van Brammer with Sen. Chuck Schumer, representatives from Kaufman Studios, and other local elected officials.
New York City is oh so very close to being a better city for film and television than Hollywood -- if the federal government would just get out of the damn way!

At least that was the message today on the corner of 36th Street in Astoria, Queens, where Sen. Chuck Schumer, flanked by relevant neighborhood politicians, called on the National Park Service to stop making it difficult for a local film company to build New York City's first-ever outdoor studio.

This project -- which would convert 36th Street between 34th and 35th avenues into a movie studio lot -- apparently could make all the difference in attracting filmmakers and production companies to New York City, instead of Los Angeles, or Toronto, or New Orleans. That means, you guessed it, lots of jobs and economic development, all on one block in Queens.

More »

Grant Tied to Major Blackout in 2006 Gives Boost to Biking in Queens

via Facebook
Thanks to a devastating blackout six years ago, biking in Queens in 2012 might become a little bit easier.

In 2006, a major electrical power outage hit Western Queens in a damaging nine-day blackout that impacted 174,000 people in the borough.

Six years later, those neighborhoods in Queens are getting rewarded for their troubles. Through an initiative called the "Greening Western Queens Fund," -- an $8 million effort to invest in energy-efficiency and environmental projects in the affected areas -- a fairly diverse group of local organizations are now pushing forward with projects aimed at greening Queens (the borough deserves some love, guys!). The funds are part of a community settlement with Con Edison and are being administered by North Star Fund, a local granting agency.

This month, the organization gave out its second round of grants through this fund, totaling $2 million, to 16 groups.

More »

Long Island City Clubhouse Is Getting Serious About Comedy

Let's face it -- Long Island City is just way cooler than your typical go-to trendy neighborhoods in New York City. It's got that great combo of not-yet-too-gentrified, still-a-safe-place-to-chill, not-as-hipster-as-Williamsburg, and very-friggin'-close-to-Manhattan-AND-Brooklyn.

At the heart of this growing Queens neighborhood -- where strip clubs are NOT welcome! -- is a comedy joint on the rise. The Creek and the Cave, a multi-level restaurant and bar with nonstop comedy, is a gem that nicely epitomizes the little-neighborhood-that-could. The clubhouse features affordable Mexican food and drinks, the comedy shows are free, and it's a homegrown effort run by a Long Island City resident. And just like the fast-paced development of its surrounding neighborhood, the Creek and the Cave is also growing rapidly -- now, with the help of the ever-popular Kickstarter.

Today, Runnin' Scared caught up with the comedy-loving, former underwear-saleswoman owner of Creek and the Cave to hear about the clubhouse's latest expansion goals with the Kickstarter project.

More »

Long Island City Strip Club Denied Liquor License; Lawyer Says Owners May Challenge in Court, or Not

Not in my backyard, strip club! Not in my booming-on-its-way-to-becoming-the-coolest-neighborhood-in-the-city backyard! Long Island City, that is. Elected officials and allegedly everyone in the blossoming Queens neighborhood on the other side of the East River (business, civic, AND religious communities!), are celebrating the latest obstacle for a strip club hoping to set up shop in the area.

Yesterday, the State Liquor Authority denied the club's application for a liquor license -- the second time for the business, known as Gypsy Rose (though it was apparently a different incarnation of the company the first time it tried).

More »

Strip Club Threatens to 'Stain' Long Island City; Lawyer Says It Deserves a Chance

Everything was going right for the once-industrial, now-booming Long Island City -- until a strip club company tried to move its way into the little-neighborhood-that-could. This blossoming section of the city across the East River (the gateway to Queens!) has everything going for it: It's extremely close to Midtown, land and rent is cheaper, it's family friendly and not quite overrun by hipsters, and business and development is on the up.

Enter Gypsy Rose -- a highly-contested strip club that could be days away from getting its liquor license approved by the state.

More »

Owner Says Queens Graffiti Mecca 5Pointz Will Stay For Now, But Not Forever

Screen shot 2011-04-08 at 3.42.02 PM.png
When owner Jerry Wolkoff originally announced plans to bulldoze Long Island City graffiti mecca, 5Pointz, street artists and hip-hop fans alike were crushed. Over the years, 5Pointz has become a landmark in the world of NYC art as a warehouse dedicated to the cultivation and curation of aerosol technique. Earlier this week, however, rumors circulated that Long Island City would not be losing 5Pointz just yet.

More »

Tara Webb, 27, Shot Dead at Her Birthday Party by Her Sister

Tara Webb: No more birthdays
​Young Queens mom Tara Webb was shot dead early Saturday morning at her 27th birthday party in the Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City. Cops say her younger sister Melanie Webb, 24, did it and that she also shot Tara's boyfriend, Terrell Carmichael, who survived. Melanie Webb has been charged with murder. The sisters lived together, along with Tara Webb's four-year-old son, Eric.

"I just lost a good friend, my best friend. She was my right hand," Simone Lewis, 28, told the Post's Jennifer Bain. "We were like sisters. I'm going to miss her."

Gym-Free Queens School Sounds Awesome, But Is Not

A high school in Queens just sort of forgot to offer gym classes. Which -- woohoo! But actually, gym credits are required in order to graduate in the New York City public school system. So about 100 seniors at the Robert F. Wagner Secondary School in Long Island City might not be able to graduate unless they can make up all that missed gym before the end of the school year. How did nobody notice this before? More »