— Days Without Shea —


by Kingman on August 28 at 1:09PM
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for WilletsPoint_061010.jpg
Part of the allure of constructing Citi Field was the assumed revitalization of the surrounding neighborhood, Willets Point.

This summer, after years of back door dealings and voracious opposition, development plans are moving forward. And not surprisingly, there are some surprises baked into the proposals.

Perhaps the biggest surprise relates to housing. Part of the deal was that a mixed-use neighborhI'm nood would be developed on the site of the Iron Triangle businesses. Mixed use means affordable housing, schools and the other stuff that sustains a community for people to live. Housing is still part of the plan. But it is the last part, coming by 2028. I'll be approaching 60 by then, so this may work out great for my retirement plans. But I'm pretty sure this isn't what most people had in mind.

The Times Ledger of Queens did a good job breaking down the five stage proposal that the city accepted in June from Manhattan real estate firm Related Cos. and the Wilpon's own Sterling Equities. It basically comes down to this:

STAGE 1 - Detox. The 23 acres of Willets Point needs to be razed and all the soil replaced. Expect completion date = 2015

STAGE 2 - First round of retail construction.  Low-scale retail and restaurant locations along 126th Street across from Citi Field, along with a 200-room hotel. This will certainly benefit the Mets bottom line.
Expected completion date = 2016

STAGE 3 - WILLETS WEST. This is another new wrinkle that is generating lots of opposition. Developers want to essentially build a mall between Citi Field and the Grand Central Parkway, which will host about 200 stores. A few problems here.
- The site is currently a parking lot. Where will fans park?
- More important, developers want to build this mall ON TOP OF THE SITE OF SHEA STADIUM!!! Of course, they claim they will take pains to commemorate the Mets' old home but c'mon. Show some respect.
- Even more important. This proposal is probably illegal. According to the Times Ledger:

"Because it is on park land, the development becomes a legal issue.

A law stipulates that anything built on the property is legal as long as it benefits the Mets, meaning no other development firm could have proposed to build on the land aside from Sterling. The partnership contends the law allows the movie theaters, restaurants and other entertainment venues they would like to build.

But opponents say the development is not only an egregious misuse of parkland but also illegal. The law would only permit something like a souvenir shop, for example."

Of course, the developers say Willets Point West and the other two stages have to happen before they can contemplate building housing and letting regular folk live near the mall.


STAGE 4 - New exit ramps off the Van Wyck.
Expected completion date = 2021

So as Loge13 understands it, the area around Citi Field will get 400 new stores and a hotel AND there will be less parking and no additional access ramps into the area from major highways.

STAGE 5 - construction of market-rate and affordable housing
Expected completion date - Between 2024 and 2028.

There are still many more hurdles to leap before these plans are ratified. We'll keep following the progress. It is also not clear what will come first - housing to Willets Point or a pennant to Citi Field.




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Filed under: Baseball | Mets
by Kingman on August 27 at 10:04AM
We all knew this was going to be a rough year. Fortunately, the Mets surprised with a remarkably strong first half of the season, ending up 46-40 at the All-Star break. David Wright was posting career stats. Dickey made the All-Star squad. Johan exorcised our no-no demons. So if nothing else, at least The Mets wouldn't embarrass themselves in 2012.

Not so fast.

It seems the Mets may be on pace to have the worst second half collapse in baseball history, according to the WSJ. As they see it:

"No team that was more than five games above .500 before the break (the Mets were 46-40) had a second-half record worse than the Mets' 13-29--a .310 winning percentage. If the Mets keep it up, they'll sink even further than the 1983 Angels, who went 42-36 (.538) in the first half, then 28-56 (.333) in the second."

So now The Mets have a goal - play better than .333 baseball so we don't end up like the 1983 Angels.

Here's a helpful chart to put it all in perspective:

http://www.loge13.com/img/WSJchart_082712.png




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A few days ago, we commemorated The Beatles' second stint at Shea Stadium.

But August was a great month in general for Shea's rock & roll history. Simon & Garfunkel, The Concert for Peace are just a few of the momentous gigs hosted at Loge13's former home.

Another legendary August gig is worth mentioning - The Police rocked Shea in August, 1983. As we previously wrote, Joan Jett and REM opened for Sting and co that day. Besides playing the big blue and orange stage, The Police shared a similarity with other Shea bands.Simon disdained his Garfunkel. John argued with his Paul. The Clashed clashed and The Who barely got along. But The Police seemed to really hate each other at times.

And here's some proof. In this British news clip, The Police are being interviewed backstage at Shea when Sting and drummer Stewart Copeland begin to wrestle. Turns out, Sting broke his rib on camera and would play hurt at Shea, making him an honorary Met. If you don't have the patience for the whole clip, jump to 3:33 for the carnage:




[September 13, 2012 10:35 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Rustyslob said

"Turns out, Sting broke his rib on camera and would play hurt at Shea, making him an honorary Met." Thatsafunny!


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RIP to Neil Armstrong, who passed on today at the age of 82.

Hard for most New Yorkers to think of 1969 and not link together all the wondrous weirdness that occurred that summer. A man on the moon. A million kids on Yasgur's farm for three days of fun and music..."and nothing but fun and music" according to old Max himself, ignoring the drugs, nudity and overflowing Porta-sans.

As Neil Armstrong planted his foot on the moon July 20th, 1969, The Mets were also strolling higher in the atmosphere than they ever dared to before. That day they were in Montreal,at old Jarry Parc. Gary Gentry would lose the first game of a doubleheader 3-2, then the Mets would win the second game 4-3 in the 10th. As baseball headed into the All-Star break, the Mets were 53-39, trailing the first place Cubs by five games. Who dared to think then that the expansion team from Queens could win it all in 1969? After witnessing Armstrong's lunar stroll, lots of people were starting to think that anything was possible.



Thank you, Neil Armstrong.


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http://www.loge13.com/img/JohnLennon_Shea1966.jpg
Devotees of Loge13.com know that Shea Stadium was the true Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The Beatles christened the joint - and really invented stadium rock - August 15, 1965. But some folks forget that The Beatles took the Long & Winding Road back to Shea in 1966, exactly 44 years ago Yesterday.

Unlike the previous year's gig, the August 23, 1966 show was not a sellout. According to the Beatles Bible, over 11,000 tickets remained unsold. Was this a sign of The Beatles' waning popularity (remember this was after John's "Bigger than Jesus" comments) or were fans just apprehensive about being caught in the same teeny-bopper angst that occurred in 1965?

Even if a sellout eluded the Liverpudlians, the gig was still a success. According to Beatles Bible:

"The Beatles made more money from their appearance than they had in 1965, receiving $189,000 - 65 per cent of the gross takings of $292,000."

Fans did not come together to enjoy a long set. here is the complete play list:

Rock And Roll Music
She's A Woman
If I Needed Someone
Day Tripper
Baby's In Black
I Feel Fine
Yesterday
I Wanna Be Your Man
Nowhere Man
Paperback Writer
Long Tall Sally

By this point, the band had endured a lifetime of Hard Day's Nights. The photo above of John in a Shea locker room clearly shows an artist removed from his days of cheery mop top abandonment. In fact, the 1966 Shea gig was one of the last shows The Beatles ever played in the U.S. Less than a week later, the band would perform in San Francisco, before heading to Japan. After that, the Fab Four would never tour again.

P.S. - BTW While The Beatles rocked Shea the night of August 23, 1966, The Mets rocked Wrigley Field during the day, beating Leo Durocher's Cubs 4-1. Cleon Jones hit a 2-run homer in the 7th to open up the lead for Wes Westrum's club, earning a complete game victory for Dennis Ribant.



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