Scenes Of Queens: Emergency At The Umbrella Hotel

This scene happened in Kew Gardens. 

This is the Umbrella Hotel, where the first homicide of departing mayor and lying lowlife Bill de Blasio last year in office took place, after a fight broke out from a hotel room where another raucous party was being held and spilled outside  in front of the building’s entrance and three men got shot during a rumble between two groups of men, one of them fatally.

The 19-year-old killer was actually already in custody for another homicide in Queens when he shot a man to death at a karaoke bar in Flushing over a fight about a gold chain the victim was wearing.

The Umbrella Hotel is actually a mixed use building featuring once touted luxury residences on the higher floors. But the hotel itself had persistent trouble filling vacancies, so the management decided to let a homeless service provider fill the rooms with homeless people, which the city would pay around $2,000 to $3,000 a month to shelter them.

When the pandemic hit, the Umbrella became a convenient site for the city to use to fill their empty rooms with even more homeless people so they can socially distance and shelter in place from the public. But for some reason and against the CDC’s  pandemic guidelines, the hotel management still allowed parties and events to fill up the rest the rooms so they can cover losses accrued from slow business induced by COVID-19, but that all ceased because of the cold blooded murder and the Umbrella got closed for good.

 

Which is why this was such an odd sight nearly one year later. Which I eye-witnessed after viewing a Christmas tree lighting at Queens Borough Hall directly across the street from this dour block. Looks like more sordid shit is going down at the Brella.

Curiosity beckons to ask why was a NYPD patrol van standing guard, idling on the common area of egress for the remaining residents of this “luxury” building? Was there a fugitive they trapped in there? Couldn’t be because the freight entrance was opened. Closer inspection found that this  exhibition of authority probably didn’t warrant this much excess.

Or did it?…

  Apparently, there’s going on at the Umbrella that’s really alarming the folks at the Department of Buildings. It might be gut renovation or conversions to make it 100% residential. Or 100% affordable. Or going by the extreme security measures the NYPD decided to use here, maybe the Umbrella owners are prepping this for prisoners from Rikers, making this a place for them to be contained with high security quarters while their trials are being processed a block away at Criminal Courthouse two blocks east once City Council fast tracks the premature complete shutdown of the prison island with a tower jail that will be erected in another 6 years.

If that isn’t much of a downer to read about on the day of the birth of Jesus, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards toy drive was even more dystopian, thanks to the irrational panic induced by him and Mayor de Blasio and Governor Kathy Hochul about the mild Omicron strain, he forced the children and their parents to receive their gifts in darkness instead of inside Borough Hall, as they appeared to check every boy and girls vax status with their celly flashlights.

The vaccine mandate has made it easier to separate the nice from the naughty

Our leaders and officials may be blockheads, but at least they picked a nice tree.

Merry Christmas from Impunity City.

Your city.          

City Finally Orders Closing Of Sleazy Kew Gardens Hotel After A Man Got Murdered There On New Years Day

Not anymore

A New Bad Days Special Bulletin:

Kew Gardens, Queens, New York

2021 was barely over an hour old when two groups of men got into a brawl while a party was going on at one of the rooms inside a hotel. The fight spilled out onto the street by the front entrance. As the rumble continued, shots were fired and one man got hit in the leg and died from his wounds and two other men also got struck and hospitalized. Four men involved in the brawl and killing fled the scene of the crime.

What makes this incident distinctive besides being the first homicide of the year following a year that had the most murders New York City has had in 11 years and the amount of shootings and victims than in the last two years combined is where this took place; the Umbrella Hotel, where only 4 months earlier a shooting following a brawl happen inside the lobby, blowing out the revolving and regular door windows of the entrance.

Despite persistent community complaints and condemnations by City Council members and the current President of Queens Donovan Richards and their universal demands to shut down, the Umbrella continued to run it’s business for months. Although not entirely as a place for high end lodging but for speakeasy DJ and bottle parties, brazenly flaunting pandemic guidelines. Spillover from these unusual and illicit events lead to consistent environmental noise disruptions aggravating residents of the usually quiet neighborhoods, with drunk patrons milling about the area, booming systems from idling cars and also blowing up fireworks on some occasions.

Reaction from the NYPD and Mayor de Blasio when pressed about the wanton illicit activity and crime at the Umbrella went with unfilled promises of enforcement and habitual indifference and this activity naturally continued. And as the history of this sleazebag hotel as showed, it continued naturally before, because ever since this hotel got built, it’s been a pox on the area despite what the developers and management originally proposed when it got zoned for building in the neighborhood, that it would be filled with upper class lodgers and residents once it got built. The expectations made for it would be for town of Kew Gardens to have a veneer of cool to the area, kind of like high end towns like Williamsburg and Long Island City with similar lux hotels.

Except what they got wasn’t cool, but “Kewl” and it only resulted in diminishing returns…

That’s another interesting twist, because before it was the Umbrella Hotel, it was a national chain hotel the Comfort Inn and apparently it had trouble getting the clientele it desired and decided to house the homeless in all those vacant rooms to make up for whatever revenue was lost, which was apparently a helluva surprise for people who were already renting there. Oh, that’s another thing, this wasn’t just a hotel but a mixed use building with “luxury” apartments.

Apparently, some of the new and depressingly impoverished clientele for the “Kewl” were wreaking havoc on the streets in the vicinity of it and nearby locales, which included the Union Turnpike transit hub, with reports of aggressive panhandling on the sidewalks, mentally ill men yelling at random people, and drug and fecal detritus found in the stairwells of the station.

In the 3 years since that scoop, it’s not known when the owners or proprietors (whoever they are) changed the name to Umbrella from the lame Kewl or if it’s even still owned by the Comfort. It’s not even known if anyone is renting the luxury apartments there anymore (probably keeping quiet). But it definitely was still operating as a homeless shelter even while still renting out room to travelers vacationing in Queens while devolving further into a den of iniquity.

But because of the pandemic, the Umbrella continued taking in the homeless because of city and state guidelines to prevent contagion but evidently willingly booked rooms for illegal ragers for months despite state bans of indoor gatherings of more than 10 people.

After the deadly shooting and immediate demands of its closing by officials and the community and with de Blasio feeling the pressure after years of insouciance about the hotel’s well known notoriety he finally closed the hotel down for business and probably abolished their contract to house the homeless too. And a man had to lose his life for it to be done. Which is actually the modus operandi policy of NYC government, which is to let crime and urban decay continue as long as people don’t notice or don’t die.

What really makes the Umbrella Hotel saga deranged is that with all the ruckus of wanton behavior and crime going on there is that the Queens Criminal Courthouse and the District Attorney’s office is a 5 minute walk away from there.

 And also a defense attorney’s office for your convenience.

Apparently, these venues and salient facts had an influence on sudden proactive enforcement against the Umbrella Hotel’s sordid existence with the arrest of a 68-year-old bell clerk. Despite Queens D.A. Melinda Katz’s grandstanding collar, no one in management or even the owner have not been held accountable for their bigger part in the allowance and profiting from the illegal goings on at their establishment or the chaos that ensued.

And the four men suspected of the murder are still running free on the streets.

Great job Mr. Mayor and Councilor Katz.