Sunnyside Post

Sunnyside NY news

90-year-old robbed outside Stop and Shop on 48th Street



stop and shopJuly 22, By Michael Florio

The police are seeking the public’s assistance in finding a suspect who they say robbed a 90-year-old man’s wallet, before making him drive to two ATM machines and take out money.

The incident occurred on Friday in front of a Stop and Shop located at 34-51 48<sup>th</sup> Street. The victim was walking to his car at 10:45 am when the suspect grabbed him by his neck and demanded his wallet.

The suspect then demanded the victim’s PIN number and that he drive to two locations where the victim was forced to remove money from an ATM machine, according to the NYPD.

The victim was not injured.

Police are asking the public for any information leading them to the suspect, who is described as a man in his 30s with braids.

<em>Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at <a href=”tel:1-800-577-8477″>1-800-577-8477</a>.</em>

Sunnyside library to reopen Thursday, a month ahead of schedule

Sunnyside library

Sunnyside library

Jimmy Van Bramer

Jimmy Van Bramer

July 21, By Christian Murray

The installation of a new roof at Sunnyside library has been completed—about a month faster than officials had originally anticipated.

The library, located at 43-06 Greenpoint Ave., will reopen Thursday after being closed since June 24 to allow for the construction of the new roof. At the time, Queens library officials anticipated that it would take until mid August to complete.

The closure, while necessary, came at a difficult time for many children.

Thomas P. Noonan Playground, which is located across the street, was closed and is expected to remain so until next summer when its $2.2 million renovation is complete.

However, the speed in which it took to put up the new roof proved to be a win-win for Sunnyside, according to Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “We now have a roof that will last a generation and a library that will be open for most of summer,” he said.

Van Bramer said that with Thomas P Noonan Playground being closed, he made it clear that he wanted the new roof to go up as quickly as possible.

Van Bramer, however, said that the closure did put greater pressure on the Woodside branch, since it has had to handle the overflow of Sunnyside members.

Van Bramer said he is pushing to have the Woodside branch’s hours increased from five day to six day service—along with other Queens branches.

The installation of the new roof comes five years after the Sunnyside library underwent a $2.3 million renovation, which included interior and exterior improvements.

Van Bramer, who allocated $600,000 for the installation of the roof in 2013, said that the roof was not done as part of the $2.3 million renovation. He said that there were growing concerns in recent times that it was going to leak.

Cell phone store to open on Queens Blvd at former E-Bike location

E-Bike store on Queens Blvd. Sunnyside

July 21, By Christian Murray

A cell phone store will be opening in the space that was previously occupied by E-Bike at 41-25 Queens Boulevard.
Building Department records filed July 17 indicate that the new tenant is spending $10,000 on interior work in order to open the cell phone store.
The location was once a T-Mobile dealership in 2011 before closing after being in business for about a year.
E-Bike took over the spot in March 2012 before closing in May.

Police search for man wanted for questioning following Woodside murder

Wanted for questioning

Wanted for questioning

July 17, Staff Report

The police are searching for a Hispanic man for questioning following the murder of a 56-year-old man that took place in Woodside in June.

The police are seeking the public’s assistance in ascertaining the whereabouts of the man, described as around 30 years old and about 5’6″ to 5’7″ in height.

Roberto Martires, 56, was killed after being struck in the face in front of 69-04 Roosevelt Avenue at 12:10 am on June 21. He died on June 24 at Elmhurst Hospital from the injuries he sustained from the assault.

The man wanted for questioning was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans and dark colored baseball cap.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS or to text their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Resident pays tribute to Sunnyside with video

By Dan Toth

By Dan Toth

July 17, By Michael Florio

Sunnyside resident Dan Toth put together the following video that pays tribute to the neighborhood, which he describes as “safe, diverse, close to the city, and always sunny,” although he admits that it gets cloudy from time-to-time.
Toth’s aim with the video is to show what he describes as the “quaint beauty and quiet, local feel of Sunnyside.”
Toth walked around Sunnyside to get all of the shots for the video.

Further information on Toth can be found by clicking on the following link.


Sunnyside Shines’ summer series to feature jazz and arts & crafts

Sunnyside Ballet Studio

Sunnyside Ballet Studio

July 15, By Michael Florio

The fifth annual street festival hosted by Sunnyside Shines kicks off later this month.

The festival, called Sunnyside Summer Strolls, will take place on 46th Street between Greenpoint Ave and Queens Blvd, and will feature the Children’s Arts & Crafts fair on July 26th and the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz concert on August 2nd.

Sunnyside Shines has teamed up with Re-Create QNS, a new coalition seeking art space in Western Queens, and several local businesses to host the children’s art fair. There will be 14 tables set up with activities consisting of face painting, water marbling, ballet, Irish step, modern dance, and performances by local musicians.

“Some of the tables will be staffed by local businesses,” said Rachel Thieme, executive director of Sunnyside Shines. For example, 4Squared Flavors, a frozen yogurt store located on Greenpoint Avenue, will have a table where children can design their own yogurt spoons.

In addition to the arts & crafts, a pop-up library (supported by the Sunnyside branch library) will take place at the new Bliss Plaza, located under the elevated 7 train at 46th Street. This will be the first programmed event at the soon-to-open Bliss Plaza.

The jazz festival is a memorial to Bix Beiderbecke, a 1920s jazz musician who lived on 46th Street. There will be four bands and lindy hop (a 1920s dance style) lessons. The street will be transformed into a dance floor, and Sunnyside Shines will hold a 1920s costume contest.

All events are free of charge.

Last year, Thieme estimated that more than 500 families attended the craft fair and more than 1,000 people were at the jazz concert, a big increase over previous years.

“We are really hoping to build off of that momentum,” she said.

Event Dates:

1) Saturday, July 26: Children’s Arts and Crafts Fair, 1pm-6pm

2) Saturday, August 2: Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Concert, 2pm-7pm

  • The Sunnyside Wolverines, featuring Linda Ipanema
  • The Sunnyside Social Club
  • The Pendulum Swings
  • The Sunnyside Drum Corps
  • The Big Apple Lindy Hoppers

(for more information, click here)

Summer Streets

Summer Strolls and the Sunnyside Wolverines

Resident who lives next to Lou Lodati Park says its too loud at night, wants city to put up gates

Lou Lodati Park after renovation in 2013

Lou Lodati Park after renovation in 2013

noiseJuly 13, By Christian Murray

One resident who lives next to Lou Lodati Park says he can’t sleep at night due to the excessive noise caused by park goers well past 11pm.

Demosthenes Chrysan, a resident of 42nd Street, says he hears dogs barking from the dog run, kids skateboarding, people playing basketball and teenagers drinking.

So last Friday, Chrysantook to the streets and put up about 20 posters around neighboring streets telling residents who have similar issues to call the 108 Police Precinct, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer’s office and 311 to complain.

The park is supposed to be closed at night but he said the Parks Department is doing nothing to stop anyone from gaining entry. He said there are no gates and yet there are three entrances into the park—one via Skillman Avenue and two smaller entrances on 43rd Street—which people are using day and night.

“They spent more than a million dollars on the renovation of the park [last year] and they forgot to put up gates which they could close at night,” he said. “It would have cost them nothing.”

Chrysan said that he has called Van Bramer’s office and they have been able to do little. He said that when he calls about noise the 108 precinct never shows. Meanwhile, 311 just keeps a record of his calls and that’s about it.

He said that he doesn’t want to deny children and adults from participating in various activities but he said that he is entitled to his sleep.

“The parks department needs to enforce the rule that the park is supposed to be closed at night,” he said.

The Brogue gets a facelift, renamed “The Globe”

The Globe Tavern

The Globe Tavern (new name goes up next week)

July 11, By Christian Murray

The Brogue, a well-known Irish pub located at 49-10 Skillman Avenue, has undergone a makeover as the owners plan to position the establishment as more of a mainstream bar.

The bar, starting today, will be called The Globe Tavern as the owners—who bought the pub earlier this year—aim to freshen up the feel of the establishment.

The bar, which was acquired by Rena Hershberger and Joe Gillespie in February, has been closed this week so workers could refinish the floors, put in new lighting, paint the entire establishment and bring in new furniture—including a pool table.

The pub reopens today, July 11, at 5 pm. The new name will not adorn the premises until next week.

“We decided to change the name and spruce it all up a bit…since the Brogue was a little dated and we are not so much of an Irish bar anymore,” Hershberger said, a long-time Brogue employee before taking over the establishment with Gillespie.

Hershberger and Gillespie, a Sunnyside resident and former PJ Horgan’s bar owner, had been discussing a new name for some time. However, Hershberger said she liked “The Globe,” since she is a fan of Shakespeare (The Globe Theatre was where Shakespeare’s company operated) and it is also pays homage to the multicultural neighborhoods of Sunnyside and Woodside.

The establishment will continue to have a dart board, jukebox and, of course, pool table.

Sunnyside/Woodside to get park upgrades, cleanup crews and a revamped Spanish Theater

Thalia Theatre Sunnyside

July 10, By Christian Murray

Two Woodside parks and Thalia Spanish Theatre are about to receive plenty of city funds–following the 2015 budget that was passed by the city council late last month.

Windmuller Park is going to receive a $500,000 upgrade that will cover the cost of constructing a new skateboard area, as well as fixing up the bandshell that has been damaged by skateboarders performing their stunts there.

Councilman Van Bramer, who allocated the funding, said it has yet to be determined where in the park the skateboard area will be—but views the $500,000 expenditure as a “twofer” since it will benefit skateboarders as well as help preserve the condition of the bandshell.

The Councilman has also allocated $2 million for the complete renovation of Big Bush Park, which is located behind the Big Six Towers in Woodside. He was unable to elaborate on the details of the upgrade, since the Parks Department has yet to put a design together.

These expenditures follow past allocations he has made toward parks in the neighborhood. Lou Lodati Park underwent a $1.4 million overhaul that was completed last June, while Thomas P. Noonan Playground is currently undergoing a $2.2 million upgrade.

As part of the budget, the city council has allocated an additional $5 million to hire 80 additional Park Enforcement Patrol officers across New York City, whose role will be to ensure that the public abides by park rules.

At the bandshell

Adrian Bordoni, at the Windmuller Park Bandshell

Van Bramer said that he would make sure this district got its fair share of PEP officers—and said that he would want PEP officers at Windmuller and Doughboy Park among other Sunnyside/Woodside park spaces.

Local residents have often complained that Windmuller Park is a hotspot for rowdy teenagers, and have often called on the 108 Police Precinct to have a much greater presence there.

Meanwhile, Sunnyside Gardens Park, for the first time in years, did not receive any city funds, with the departure of former Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Over the course of the past eight years, Quinn allocated in excess of $130,000 of taxpayer funds to the private park.

This budget season, Van Bramer was able to secure $4.5 million in funding for the renovation and expansion of Thalia Spanish Theatre, which is located at 41-17 Greenpoint Avenue.

Van Bramer said the funding has a number of benefits.

“It is tight quarters in the theater and it has never been refurbished,” Van Bramer said. Furthermore, “the theater is an important anchor for Greenpoint Avenue,” referring to the benefits the upgrade will bring to the commercial area.

Van Bramer said Thalia is the only [bilingual] Hispanic theater in Queens and it is important that it gets a makeover. The funds will be used to help the theater double its capacity from 75 to 150, and is likely to result in the construction of an additional story.

The whole front will be redone that will include a new lobby and new facade.

Meanwhile, the graffiti cleanup program (including the anti-graffiti hotline) that covers the main streets and avenues in Sunnyside (and a portion of Woodside) will continue—stemming from grants to Sunnyside Shines and the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce.

Furthermore, many Woodside streets will continue to be kept clean through the funding of The Doe Fund, a non-profit group that hires former felons and homeless people to clean the streets, in an effort to help them rebuild their lives.

The Doe Fund will continue to hire workers to maintain the streets along Roosevelt Avenue (from 51st Street to 61st Street), 61st Street (from Roosevelt to 39th Avenue) and Woodside Avenue (from 58th Street to 60th Street), including plazas and the surrounding areas. This will be the third year that Van Bramer has brought the program to Woodside.

Meanwhile, the St. Pats for All parade–that draws thousands of people to Skillman Avenue in March– will receive city funding yet again.

Other budget items of note in Sunnyside/Woodside:

  • More than $200,000 has been allocated toward security upgrades (primarily for the installation of internal/external cameras) at the Sunnyside and Woodside branch libraries
  • Woodside on the Move will be receiving $40,000 for its concert series in Windmuller Park, its tenant/housing project and adult literacy programming.
  • St Pats for All to receive $8,500 in funding ($3,500 from Van Bramer and $5,000 through Councilman Daniel Dromm)
  • United 40s Civic Association (a Sunnyside/Woodside residents advocacy group) to receive $5,000
  • Sunnyside Community Services to receive, among other items, $40,000 for youth services
  • Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce to receive $60,000 for the Sunnyside/Woodside graffiti cleanup program as well as for special events and for its website/publicity
  • Sunnyside Shines: $5,000 for the purchase of new trash receptacles on Queens Blvd/Greenpoint Avenue and $27,500 to support graffiti removal work in the 26th Council District
  • Thalia Spanish Theater programming: $8,500
  • Northern Woodside Coalition, a civic organization that runs youth programs and various events, $3,500
  • Variety Boys & Girls Club of Sunnyside/Woodside $5,000

Thai restaurant to open on Queens Blvd

Nodus and Sunnyside NY and Sunnyside QueensJuly 9, By Christian Murray

A Thai restaurant is scheduled to open at 45-04 Queens Blvd in the same location where Nodus operated.

The restaurant, to be called Blue Orchard, will open in about three weeks, according to the owner.

Nodus, which was also a Thai restaurant, operated at the location for about two years before closing in October 2013.


New Post Coffee Shop– after being in business for 50 years– closes for good

New Post

July 8, By Christian Murray

A long-serving Sunnyside eatery has gone out of business.

New Post Coffee Shop, which has been located on the corner of 40th Street and Queens Blvd for more than 50 years, closed yesterday. Several workers were outside the store carting away food items and pots & pans.

The space is most likely going to be taken over by a fast-food franchise, according to a well-placed source. “It’s a franchise everyone will be happy with,” the source said.

New Post Coffee Shop has had many problems with the health department in recent times. In the past two years, the eatery has been closed twice after racking up a lengthy list of violations.

The coffee shop gained a great deal of attention about 10 years ago, when a man was shot and killed inside the eatery in front of several customers (see article). The victim had been in a dispute with a man about a block away from the shop and ran inside to seek refuge.

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