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The Stories of Our Space: Construction Update - 09/23/2019

 
Kevin, Matilda & Masud

Kevin, Matilda & Masud

 

Willie and his guys are piecing together pieces of not one, but two, different gym floors.

I like that.

And the story behind it, and the stories that will be built upon it.

This will be a space for working artists, for the creative process, for people walking down 47th avenue to see people making things in the street level window galleries. 

“You want that feeling of building something from nothing. Putting stuff together in a quirky creative way. Isn’t that what artists do?” Enrica poked the slats with her shoe. The guys started drilling. 

 
Our team is growing

Our team is growing

 

I couldn’t agree more. There is something deeply satisfying about giving new energy to a floor that lived a full life in a different form. How a choreographer will be placing dancers on the same wood that basketballs once bounced on. How high school seniors will gather cross legged with their sketchbooks open to practice life drawing skills where countless teams of young gym students practised their full court press drills.

Speaking about stories, here’s another one:

Kevin, pictured with his colleague, Matilda, is a High School to Art School alum who went to art college, graduated and runs his own graphic design company, For Good Measure.

He won the bid to do the branding and marketing work for Queens Council on the Arts, a project generously funded by the Altman Foundation. 

How cool is that? 

What a pleasure it is to see his future forming, his career coming together and for us to be on the receiving end of his maturing talent. 

 
Piecing together the floor

Piecing together the floor

 

Just like the gym floors, his work will become part of the evolving, unexpected, curious, crazy quilt story of our new space. 


Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer is the Executive Director of the Queens Council on the Arts.

You can find her here:

hoongyee.com

Instagram @hoongyeelee

Twitter @hylkrakauer


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QCA Construction Update: And We’re Off! - 09/11/2019

 
Me, Gianna and Masud in our new space

Me, Gianna and Masud in our new space

 

A father, a James Bond lookalike and a restaurateur walk into an empty space.

I can see that eye roll forming as you read this. Oh, great, another bar joke.

What am I getting myself into?

Let me get to the point. 

It is Monday, September 2, 2019, and we are standing in a cavernous place on the ground floor of The Maximilian/Rose NYC, a property of O'Connor Capital Partners.  It is a 12-story full-service luxury rental building in Long Island City that boasts a French bakery on the corner where you can pick up a quelque chose and munch on that as you walk to the waterfront, and the future home of the Queens Council on the Arts.

“Hey, can we get someone from management down here? How about Angela? Did anyone speak to Izzy?” asks Mark, our architect and young father of 2, and spokesperson for our team on the ground. We have our architects, engineer, and contractor here coordinating schedules with the building management people. Finally.

It has taken us just about a year of many meetings, many designs, many disappointments and many weeks of waiting for approvals to get to this point where we can say to Willie, our Irish contractor who bears a startling resemblance to Daniel Craig, the English actor who plays James Bond in Firefall, “We’re good to go!”

Like one U.S. president who was not known for leadership expertise but was reknown for having a brilliant Cabinet, I am very clear about what I don’t know anything about. In this case, construction.

Which is why I have the best team. 

 
The team

The team

 

This is our kick off meeting. We will be on site every week for a construction pow wow from now until January 1, 2020, our scheduled completion date.

Permits will be pulled, the wood flooring we salvaged from a school gym will be set up and work on the door is going to start, all this week. All of us will get lots of meeting recaps and updates.

Gianna, our board president and owner/chef of Manducatis Rustica, a country style Italian restaurant just around the corner on Vernon Boulevard, has already scoped out a place to mount a Go Pro camera to run continually throughout the construction.

 
The space

The space

 

As we were leaving, I turned to Willie and asked, “Does this space look smaller to you than the last time we were here?”

Masud, our development manager, said, “Actually, I think it looks bigger.”

“That is why we are in charge,” said Daniel Craig in that great brogue and with a grin, looking up from the plans.

My perception, of space and construction, is about to be shaken and stirred.

*** 

HoongYee Lee Krakauer is the Executive Director of the Queens Council on the Arts.

You can find her here:

hoongyee.com

Instagram @hoongyeelee

Twitter @hylkrakauer


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