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Developer’s Dreams Deferred in Long Island City

Silvercup West
Long Island City won't be transitioning from Next Big Thing to Big Thing quite as quickly as some were planning. In August 2006, Alan and Stuart Suna, the brothers who run Silvercup Studios near the Queensboro Bridge, unveiled city-approved plans for Silvercup West: a new soundstage and offices and 1,000 apartments (150 priced for people of moderate means), plus retail, a gym, and an esplanade on the waterfront, all designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Richard Rogers and set to begin construction in 2008. But it's taken a year, Silvercup CEO Alan Suna says, to get permission to enter the site and test the soil around a power plant the team will have to clear. And now that the builders have gotten into the dirt, they've discovered that the bedrock was not where they expected it to be. Is there something toxic in there? Nobody will say. So when will we get this handsome new neighborhood? “We really can't give a target date at this point,” says Silvercup spokesperson Cara Marino Gentile. Adds Rogers spokesperson Paul Stelmaszczyk, “We are not currently working on any adjustments to the design.” That’s the sound of a project stalling out. LIC loft-dwellers have a little more time, it seems, to relish that pioneer spirit. —Alec Appelbaum

Flatbush to Rise?

Bedford-Stuyvesant: Guess which dark lord lives in this sleekly hideous black fortress? It's your dad, Luke Skywalker! [Newyorkshitty] East Village: Big-time developer Ben Shaoul thinks the East Village will always be "gritty and inexpensive and arty," even though he's renting $7,500 marble-bedecked apartments here. [NYO] Flatbush: Look for some major redevelopment on shabby Flatbush Avenue, where the Pintchik family, long the owners of the local hardware store, own about $100 million in property and are readying to class it up to the level of Park Slope or Cobble Hill. [NYS]

It’s Raining Cristal! Oh, Wait

Bay Ridge: The congregation of a pretty 108-year-old stone church here wants it torn down to make room for condos and a smaller house of faith, but preservationists and bloggers are trying to stop them. [RightInBayRidge] East Village: There's a super-deluxe penthouse atop the Bowery Hotel for rent for $30,000 a month. And whoever wrote this e-mail pitch apparently thinks it's okay for would-be renters to "piss Cristal off the balcony." [Curbed] Forest Hills: If you want nice local businesses like Laytner's to survive over skeevy stores, you have to shop local, instead of paying slightly less at the big chains. And here's the receipt to prove it. [Forest Hills 72]

Battery Pier: A Beautiful Disaster?

Battery Park: Are we weird because all the decrepit buildings the city wants to renovate — like this pier with a Victorian clock tower — we think are beautiful just as they are? Yeah, we're probably weird. [NYT via Curbed] Greenpoint: It was difficult to visit friends yesterday at this crazy-ass apartment because "the buzzards" weren't working. Well, it was a holiday, after all. [Newyorkshitty] Harlem: The Rev. Al Sharpton said yesterday that if MLK were to walk through Harlem today, he might not like what he saw. You mean his dream didn't include "the gentrification people"? [NYS]

Bed-Stuy Invades Bushwick

Bushwick: Have Bedford-Stuyvesant landlords pushed the media to join them in identifying Bed-Stuy locales as part of trendier Bushwick? This blogger says that this fire really took place in the Stuy, but that's not how the news reported it. [BushwickBK] Chelsea: The old-school drunks still gather at the old-school Peter McManus Cafe, but after 7 p.m., THE KIDS arrive. Beware! [Vanishing NY] Clinton: Folks from the 34th St. Partnership are trying to build a bike parking lot (isn't that crazy!) on 33rd Street between Eighth and Ninth. If you have the $200,000 they need to pay for it, let them know. [Gothamist]

The East Village Has Gone Euro. No, Really.

Coney Island: Here, 105 years ago today, Thomas Edison electrocuted a rogue elephant to prove the power of direct (versus alternating) current. He even filmed it. And where was PETA? [Gothamist] East Village: Local biz owners are banding together against chain stores. Meanwhile, the trendy hood's so overrun with Euros that stores have started accepting, uh, euros. [Vanishing New York] Long Island City: Bollywood comes to LIC, hip-hop style, in this cute video. Shakalaka, baby! [LICNYC]

The Bike Shelters Are Closing In

Bushwick: Recently, a bunch of so-called freegans built a mountain of thrown-out breadstuffs here to protest food waste. Yum. [WildGreenYonder] Long Island City: The long-anticipated bike racks with sleek shelters have arrived, absolutely essential for … uh … not burning your butt on a sun-soaked banana seat? [Curbed] Lower East Side: The Streit family wanted $25 mil for their Rivington Street matzo factory (which'll likely go condo), but it looks like they may get more. That's a fact we'll leave unleavened by humor. [Vanishing New York]

After Taco Bell, Rodents Take On Cobble Hill

Clinton Hill: What? You say you weren't at the Pratt annual antique steam-whistle concert on New Year's Eve at midnight? Like, where else could you have been? At least it was captured on this YouTube video. But, dude, it's not the same thing as being there. [Clinton Hill Blog] Cobble Hill: Is that a squirrel or a rat sunning himself in the window of that shamefully derelict Kane Street walk-up? Locals are bitterly divided over the answer. People, can we all agree that it's a rodent? [Lost New York City] Dumbo: Will the new owners of an old Water Street warehouse really build a theater and host a Korean film festival in there? We'll see, kimchee. [Brooklyn Eagle via DumboNYC]

Newfangled Toilets Make Us Wonder What They'll Look Like When They're Oldfangled

Toilet
Bushwick: All the 'swhik kids are chipping in to help Steve Trimboli, who runs local indie-rock mecca Goodbye Blue Monday, pay his mountain of post-cancer bills. That's nice. [VV]
Carroll Gardens: Who is trying to destroy the hood's "Democracy Wall," where locals post anti-development propaganda? Could it be … Councilmember Bill DeBlasio? [Gowanus Lounge]
Flatiron: The new Cemusa toilet's going up in Madison Square Park! Weird to think that something so sleek will soon be crawling with germs. (Or are these things self-cleaning?) [Curbed, Promediacorp]

Love and Herpes, in Greenpoint

Bowery: The first visitors to the New Museum this weekend were given candy, then yelled at for eating it. [Curbed] Dumbo: A black disabled woman is suing local megadeveloper Dave Walentas for shutting her out of a luxury rental, saying he excluded her based on quibbles like an outstanding cable bill of $1.61. [NYDN] Greenpoint: He wants her to know that his bedbug scare and her possible case of genital herpes are no reason they shouldn't have a torrid affair. Especially now that he's exterminated his bedroom. [Newyorkshitty]

Battery Park, Do We Need More of It?

Battery Park City: Should the hood, itself built on landfill, be extended out into the Hudson with more landfill? The local community board says, "No, no, no!" [CityRealty] Bedford-Stuyvesant: Herewith, twenty reasons to love the hood's hated-on, not-so-trendy north side. ("11. The selection of current bootleg DVDs at the laundromat." Can't argue with that.) [Bed-Stuy Banana] Downtown Brooklyn: One of those sleek, new bus shelters has been smashed to pieces … again! [McBrooklyn]

Coney Island: The New Blackpool, England?

Astoria: Everyone's all excited about this new apartment building, but doesn't it kind of look like a seventies computer or TV set? [OuterB] Brooklyn Heights: Now that Norman Mailer's dead, the hood's most famous resident could well be right-wing scribe Peggy Noonan. How depressing. [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Coney Island: If new visions for the amusement zone ever take hold, it may end up looking something like … Blackpool, England! Check out that twister coaster beside the tram. [Kinetic Carnival]

The City Is Tired of You Getting Your Bike Seat Wet

Bike Station

Behold the city's newest benefit for bicyclists: a sleek public bike-parking shelter that will start rolling out next month. The structures are from the same company that's installing those adorable new bus stops around town. As you can see, they look very similar, except they've removed the side and rear panels for easy access for up to eight bikes. (And their ad panels will show off the city bike map or reminders to pedal safely.) The Art Commission approved the design yesterday, and the contractor will build the first 5 of 37 at commuting hubs. Look for them at 17th and Broadway, DeKalb and Flatbush, Pelham Parkway and White Plains Road, Jackson Avenue at 50th Street in Long Island City, and the St. George Ferry Terminal. "You judge a good street by how you see people going out and using the space," Transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan told us. "We're working hard to make sure that the materials we put on the street are high quality and sustainable." And, from the looks of it, pretty. —Alec Appelbaum

Shake Shack Opens Year-round; Five Guys On in Midtown

Flatiron: Shake Shack is hammering out a year-round plan that may kick off after the New Year and will include heat lamps. (It better!) [Eat for Victory/VV] Long Island City: Art-O-Mat sells nice neighborhood souvenirs like LIChocolate bars. [LIC-NYC] Lower East Side: New bar and restaurant Cafe Katja has earned some positive buzz for its touches like house-made pickles and sauerkraut and well-priced Austrian and German wine and beer. [Blog Chelsea] Midtown West: Five Guys Burger’s and Fries at 43 West 55th Street started serving today, a day ahead of schedule. [Midtown Lunch] Nolita: Katie Lee Joel’s favorite New York restaurant is Ballato’s on East Houston near Mulberry Street. [Restaurant Girl] Times Square: Top-notch steakhouse Del Frisco’s still has steak tips and mashed potatoes on its lunch menu for under $10, though the burger’s over $13. [Midtown Lunch] Upper East Side: Sassy’s Sliders at 1530 Third Avenue near 86th Street is the front-runner in this roundup of the city’s best mini-sandwiches, which also includes Burke’s burgers at Bloomingdale's and the Little Owl’s meatball version. [Gridskipper] West Village: The new bar replacing Luke & Leroy on Seventh Avenue South is having a soft opening tonight. [Imbible/Citysearch] Voyage has finally given up the ghost, and its prime Perry Street restaurant real estate with it. [Eater]

Riding the V Line: Manducatis Is the Antidote to LIC Limbo

We're riding the B and V from Coney Island all the way to Forest Hills, jumping off frequently to rave about our favorite restaurants and food stores near the subway. Dreary, desolate, bereft of even the corner delis that make other postapocalyptic industrial zones livable, Long Island City doesn’t offer you much to look at as you walk from the four or five blocks from the Ely Avenue stop to Manducatis. But that’s the beauty of the V train: It drops you in barren areas that are home to supremely warm and welcoming restaurants.

How About Some Gargoyles for Your Halloween?

Bay Ridge: If you see lots of nooses tonight, don't bug out and call Rev. Al. It's Halloween, people — the night when nooses are exempt from Jim Crow overtones. [Bay Ridge Rover] Harlem: Did you know that the gargoyles on this old building tell a story about chicken soup? Check them out, 'cause they're plenty creepy-lookin' for the holiday. [The Weblicist] Hell's Kitchen: Does the forbidding of a sax player from practicing in his apartment signal the morphing of Manhattan Plaza from an artists' enclave to a yuppie one? [NYDN]

Babbo and Le Bernardin Alums Take On the West Village; Grayz Serving Lunch

Chelsea: Cookbook author Judith Jones hosts a reading, book signing, and wine tasting tonight at Bottlerocket. [Bottlerocket] Harlem: Looks like a new café and bakery called La Perle Noir is coming to the corner of Lenox and West 131st Street. [Uptown Flavor] Long Island City: Tonight's free tasting at Vine Wine showcases wines of Spain. [Joey in Astoria] Midtown West: Grayz is now serving lunch. [NYS] Tribeca: Eric Ripert's A Return to Cooking includes lovely seasonal recipes but also pictures paintings from artist Valentino Cortazar, whose originals debut at the Hal Katzen Gallery at 459 Washington Street tomorrow. [Snack] West Village: Dell'Anima from former Le Bernardin chef Gabriel Thompson and onetime Babbo sommelier Joe Campanale opens today at 38 Eighth Avenue. [NYT]

Mermaid Inn UWS to Open Late Fall; Garifunan Cuisine Has Arrived … in the Bronx

Chelsea: Candy Camp confectionary classes for kids start Saturday at Sapa. [Cakehead] Clinton Hill: A confused source says the former Bodegas space will become Clinton Hill Bistro, but that’s what Bodegas had painted on its windows when it was open. [Clinton Hill Blog] Harlem: Doug E. Fresh talks chicken and waffles and the late-night feel of his second restaurant: "Hot Pot, the Caribbean spot I’m opening in December … Harlem’s always been known for its late-night style." [Uptown Flavor] Long Island City: Big Easy landmark Jacques-Imo’s New York branch has lost its uptown lease and will take refuge in Queens. [Joey in Astoria via Eater] South Bronx: If you’ve been craving Garifunan food (the cuisine of “Coastal Caribbeans of African and Native American descent”), head to newly opened and possibly only-one-of-its-kind Garifuna Star at 640 Prospect Avenue for “curry-esque soup and a fufu-esque plantain dish.” [Eat for Victory/VV] Upper West Side: Danny Abrams plans to open his second Mermaid Inn by the end of the fall. [Eater]

Don't Worry, There Will Still Be Four Starbucks at Astor Place

Astor Place: If ever a Starbucks were to be missed, it might be this big one, where the world meets up. But it's not closing … they're just fixing the sign. And yet, the longtime newsstand here will be replaced with a shiny glass box. [Vanishing New York] Bedford-Stuyvesant: Cops are — wisely — advising parents not to let their kids play with a toy 9 mm that looks uncannily realistic. [Bed-Stuy Blog] Ditmas Park: A bit less than $800,000 will get you this picture-postcard of domestic bliss: cute white house, front yard, white picket fence … and roaring street-level subway just ten feet away! [Ditmas Park Blog] Harlem: Paging Tracy James, paging Tracy James. (That's Diana Ross's designer turned supermodel character in Mahogany, FYI.) Please report to the Apollo this Sunday for the 50th annual Ebony fashion fair… [Uptown Flavor] Long Island City: The city thinks this burgeoning condo-tower haven is "poor" and "underdeveloped" enough to make it worth wooing colleges to move here. [NYS via Queens Crap] Sheepshead Bay: Um, not to sound peevish, but would someone please dredge the entrance to the bay before it gets any narrower? Pretty soon a clam roll won't be able to sail through here. [Gerritsen Beach] Williamsburg: Advertising for the Edge condo takes a page from the Basic Instinct flash-that-muff playbook. And how bold to pair sex and Asian men. [Copyranter via Curbed]

Wise Hooters Girls Loose in Midtown West; Gael Greene Down With Park Avenue’s Gimmick

Boerum Hill: The owners of Gravy have surrendered the struggling space to their adjacent beer garden Trout and are now serving “fish shack fare.” [Brownstoner via Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Carroll Gardens: Nino’s Pizzeria on Henry Street has closed, possibly another victim of Lucali’s favoritism. [Bergen Carroll] Fort Greene: iCi is hosting a winemaker dinner on October 25 with guests Emmanuel Guillot-Broux from Macon and Laurent Tibes of Clos des Camuzeilles in Languedoc. [Grub Street] Long Island City: Central restaurant and bar is hosting Greek Aid on Friday to raise money for victims of the country’s recent fires. [Joey in Astoria] Midtown West: Hooters unveiled its 2008 calendar last night where the cover girl had these wise words: “I started off with a small picture, then split the back cover with another girl, finally made it to Ms. February and now I’m on the cover. I’ve made it. I’m at the very top of my profession.” [Gawker] Upper East Side: “There is definitely a slightly Home Depot feel to the AvroKO switch on Park Avenue: the screw-on wall panels, the tacky little leatherette placemats … the reversible chair backs’ upholstery reversed…” But Gael Greene loves it anyway. [Insatiable Critic]