City may place ferry landing near Gantry Plaza State Park

By Bill Parry

The city Economic Development Corp. is studying two locations for a new ferry landing in Long Island City; just north of Anable Basin off 44th Drive and the small plaza near the northeast corner of Gantry Plaza State Park. The EDC will send representatives to the Sept. 15 meeting of the Hunters Point Civic Association, where they will explain their proposal and take feedback on the concerns and opinions of the neighborhood.

Rob Basch, the president of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, reached out to the EDC last week when he heard about the site selection. The new ferry line is scheduled to open in 2017 connecting Long Island City with Roosevelt Island and Astoria.

“There are plenty of concerns along with the potential benefits,” Basch said. “We need to look at the effect of noise, garbage and foot traffic however we need a better alternative to the No. 7 subway line.”

He called the north end of Center Boulevard “high density” due to the number of high-rise luxury towers and suggested the north side of Anable Basin would be a better location.

“If they do put it here at Gantry, perhaps they can allocate more money for park cleanup and maybe put in more benches for the people that will be waiting for the ferries,” Basch said.

He also announced a new live music series, called LIC Landing Live, will start Sept. 4 in Hunters Point South Park. Mariachi Flor de Tolache will perform at the waterfront event space at LIC Landing by Coffeed from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The series will feature local performers on four straight Fridays in September. Basch hopes the concerts will increase exposure for the new park and opportunities for the musicians who live in western Queens.

“I have had the good fortune to be entertained by the bands we have booked and I know our community will enjoy their music as well,” he said. “I am particularly pleased about the diversity of the music as we have everything from Mariachi to country with a little blues and rock thrown in too.”

On Sept. 11 the Regina Bonelli Blues Band will perform 2/3 Goat, while a country-rock band will play on Sept.18.

“They’re a popular Astoria-based band led by the husband-and-wife team of Annalyse McCoy and Ryan Dunn.” Basch said.

The series finishes Sept. 25 with Matthew Kiss, who performs a hybrid rock/blues and soul and partly supports his musical ambitions by teaching surfing in the Rockaways.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.