Oct. 23, By Christian Murray
An Italian restaurant will be opening in Sunnyside—at the very location where the New Post Coffee Shop was located for 50 years.
One of the two new owners is a Sunnyside resident who lives on the same block as the 40th Street/Queens Blvd restaurant. He is from Milan and has recently sold an Italian restaurant that he owned in Spain in order to focus on this restaurant. His business partner is from Puglia who manages an Italian restaurant in Manhattan.
The owners signed the lease Tuesday and plan to spend in excess of $200,000 on gutting the premises—from floor to ceiling—and rebuilding it. The establishment will have a new kitchen, floors, walls and bathroom. It will also come with a coffee station, pastry counter as well as a bar.
Construction is expected to take 3 months. The owners, who have yet to come up with a name for the establishment, are hoping to open the restaurant by February.
The owners also plan to provide outdoor seating on the 40th Street side of the property. The goal is to have it ready by summer 2015.
The Sunnyside owner, Valerio, who elected not to provide his last name since he is working at an Italian restaurant at present, said he wants to change people’s mentality of the location.”People know this place as dirty and I want to change that,” he said.
New Post had been closed by the Health Department several times in recent years.
The Italian restaurant will primarily be a café in the morning, offering coffee and pastries. It will sell items such as paninis, pastas and salads for lunch.
The dinner menu will be comprised of traditional meat, fish and pasta dishes, Valerio said. However, he said he is working on the finer details.
Valerio has lived in Sunnyside with his wife for the past 10 years—although he has spent most of his summers at his former restaurant in Spain. The 34-year-old has been in the US for 12 years.
Valerio said he wants to focus on Sunnyside. He has a 7-year-daughter who attends PS 150 and a 3-year-old daughter who will be going there soon.
“I love Sunnyside, the people make this such a great neighborhood,” he said.
He said the restaurant will be good for neighborhood. “It will improve how the corner looks and will offer great food.”
Oct. 22, Staff Report
The police are looking for a man who allegedly grabbed a woman’s chest at Marshalls on Saturday.
The police said suspect approached a 55-year-old woman at the 48-18 Northern Boulevard store at about 6:40pm on October 18 and touched her with both hands—and then fled.
The victim was not hurt as a result of this incident.
The suspect has been described as a black male in his 20s, approximately 5’8″ and 160lbs. He was last seen wearing red pants, black t-shirt, black book bag and tan boots.
Anyone with information in regards to this assault is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.
Oct. 22, By Christian Murray
The artwork/excise equipment beneath the 40th Street station was removed today to make room for the 40th Street/ Lowery Plaza that will be unveiled this Friday.
Workers began disassembling the stainless steel workout equipment and rubber mats at about 11 am this morning, which the workers said was on route to be displayed in North Carolina.
The equipment/artwork, which went up last October, aimed to “bring art and function [to the subway area],” said Darren Goins, the artist, at the time.
Today, as Goins was disassembling his work, he said that his Sunnyside exhibition was well received. He said that it had been replicated in other parts of the city and that it had been written about in an art magazine.
However, many residents were perplexed by the artwork and wanted it removed shortly after it went up.
The 40th Street Lowery Plaza is scheduled to open Friday with a ribbon cutting taking place there at 1pm. It would have opened in summer—but the artist had a contract with the Department of Transportation to have his work displayed there until October.
Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District (BID) will be power washing the concrete beneath the 40th Street Station and setting up planters as well as tables & chairs. The plaza will be very similar to the Bliss Plaza that opened at 46th Street on July 29.
The two plazas stem from an application the BID filed with the DOT last summer for the two sites to be included as part of the NYC Plaza Program.
The DOT approved the BID’s proposal and agreed to help design the plazas and provide the funding.
Oct. 22, By Christian Murray
The police are searching for two men who allegedly got into a gun fight outside a Long Island City nightclub Sunday and shot four bystanders.
The incident occurred at about 10:45 pm on Oct. 19 in front of Allure Night Club, located at 33-02 Queens Blvd.
The two individuals shot four people—one man in the chest, while the three others in the leg. The victims were driven to area hospitals by their own means.
The police are asking the public’s assistance in finding the whereabouts of the two shooters.
One of the suspects is described as a black male with short hair who was wearing a gray sweatshirt and bright colored sneakers the night of the shooting.
There was no description for the second suspect.
Anyone with information in asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.
Oct. 20, By Christian Murray
There have been six burglaries in Sunnyside in the past week, with thieves taking items such as iPhones, iPads, laptops and credit cards, police said.
The burglaries started on Tuesday, Oct. 14, when four apartments on 40th Street (btw. 43rd Ave. and 47th Avenues) were targeted.
The perpetrator started at 8 am when he entered 45-48 40th Street and broke into two apartments, before fleeing with several electronic items, police said. Then at 11:45 am, a burglar gained access to an apartment at 43-38 40th Street and stole items such as an iPhone and credit card.
Later that day, a burglar attempted to break into an apartment at 43-34 40th at around 3:30 pm. The victim heard a noise in living room, causing the suspect to flee.
But the thieves were not done. On Wednesday, Oct. 15, a burglar broke into 43-32 40th Street around 4:15pm and fled with several items, police said.
Shortly after the incidents, the police sent in somewhere between 15 and 20 officers to keep tabs on the area and the burglaries ceased. However, while the problem in stopped in the 40s, two burglaries took place in the 50s later in the week.
On Friday, Oct. 17, the police reported burglaries at 41-25 50th Street and 39-72 52 Street.
In addition to the burglaries, two cars in Sunnyside Gardens were tampered with during the week. One had its tires and rims stolen—before being placed on blocks. The other had its window smashed.
Anyone with information on any of these incidents is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS. Furthermore, in the case of the burglaries, if anyone sees anyone suspicious on a fire escape or in a court yard they are asked to call the police.
Oct. 19, By Christian Murray
Sunnyside’s second annual restaurant week kicks off Monday and 33 restaurants have signed up to participate.
The event, organized by Sunnyside Shines, aims to showcase Sunnyside as a destination for high-quality cuisine. Its goal is tempt residents to try new places and draw foodies from other parts of New York City.
Furthermore, there will also be artwork on display at five participating restaurant—with three of those pieces coming from Sunnyside artists.
On Monday, there will be a reception held at 7pm at Salt and Fat (41-16 Queens Boulevard) to mark restaurant week. The reception will include a guided tour of the five art installations as well as a movie screening at Dazies.
The art is being curated by No Longer Empty, a Manhattan-based contemporary art organization. The work will be on display at Bucharest Restaurant, Los Verdes, PJ Horgan’s, Salt & Fat and Venturo.
However, for many, the main attraction won’t be the art—it will be the food.
Each restaurant will serve a three course dinner menu for $25—from lunchtime Monday through Friday Oct. 24.
The participating restaurants span the globe. There will be Japanese, Turkish, Irish, Italian, Romanian, Mexican, Peruvian, French, Colombian, Filipino, Paraguayan, Tibetan, Thai, and Seasonal American food on offer.
Restaurants from Skillman Avenue through 47th Avenue have signed up this year. Last November, when Sunnyside Restaurant Week was launched, 17 restaurants took part.
“Last year’s event was a big success for neighborhood restaurants,” said Rachel Thieme, executive director, of Sunnyside Shines. “I am proud that we have doubled the number.”
Participating restaurants will also include newcomers to the Sunnyside scene—such as Tibetan Dumpling Café and Blu Orchid. Venturo and Salt & Fat, which were recently recognized as Michelin “Bib Gourmands,” will be participating again this year.
Sunnyside Shines has listed the 33 restaurants on its website. Most have put together a special menu just for Sunnyside Restaurant Week.
Oct. 17, By Christian Murray
Representatives from the Department of Transportation attended a Community Board 2 meeting last week and introduced a preliminary plan to introduce “Park Smart”– a program that aims to free up parking spaces–in Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City.
The program attempts to reduce the time it takes for motorists to find parking in business districts– by changing meter rates, extending park hours and modifying commercial parking zones.
The program was first introduced in Queens in 2013, with the implementation of a pilot program in Jackson Heights.
The program typically focuses on changing the meter rates to encourage short-term parking through “progressive” rates.
For instance on certain streets in Jackson Heights, it now costs 50 cents to park for 30 minutes, $1:50 for an hour, $2:50 for 90 minutes and $4 for 2 hours.
However, in some cases, the parking period has been extended on certain streets. For instance, one hour limits have been increased to two.
Park Smart typically aims to change the commercial parking and delivery zones. “Early Morning Delivery Zones” are often established to provide loading space before the meters turn on at 10 a.m., and “Paid Commercial Parking Zones” reserve daytime metered spaces for commercial uses.
The Department of Transportation will not introduce the system unless business owners opt into the program. The DOT representatives told the Community Board 2 that it will reach out to Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District, the Long Island City Partnership and Woodside on the Move to get their feedback. Those groups are likely to conduct a survey of local businesses to get their feedback.
Park Smart is not a program that typically goes into effect overnight as the DOT typically evaluates each street to determine whether the parking times and rates need to be modified.
Furthermore it is typically implemented as a pilot program before becoming permanent.
The programs were made permanent in Park Slope and Greenwich Village, after they were deemed effective, according to the DOT.
However, the pilot program on Madison Avenue and East 86th Street was brought to a halt after it was viewed as being ineffective, according to published reports.
For more information on Park Smart click here
Oct. 16, By Christian Murray
New York’s annual “Worst Landlord Watch List” was released last week and it included a poorly-run building in Sunnyside and one in Woodside.
The list, released by Public Advocate Letitia James, reported that the third worst building in Queens—in terms of violations—is located at 43-15 46th Street.
The building, which is a 6-story 88-unit complex, has 271 outstanding violations, according to the report. While the building is a coop, it has several renters—although the exact number is not known.
The original landlord, who took the building coop about 25 years ago, rents several units, according to published reports.
The violations, which have been filed with HPD, deal with water leaks, missing smoke detectors, loose bathroom tiles, mold and defective faucets.
The managing agent of the building is Aras Properties, which is located in Cedarhurst. The head officer is Kevin Kane, who could not be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, the landlord who runs a Woodside building has the fifth worst record in Queens, with 223 violations.
The building, located at 39-30 59th Street, is a 6-story 78 unit complex.
The violations include complaint about roaches, defective plastered surfaces, broken stoves, mold and missing smoke detectors.
The owner of the building is Harry Silverstein. Silverstein could not be reached for comment.
Click here for the Worst Landlord List
Click here to look up the violations in any building
Oct. 15, By Christian Murray
The application period for the apartments at the Hunters Point South Development in Long Island City went live today.
The application forms can be filled out on line at New York Housing Connect, which requires applicants to provide details such as their income and apartment sought.
Those interested have until December 15 to submit an application.
There are 925 apartments up for grabs, with 186 apartments available to those applicants who fall into the “low income” bracket. To qualify as low income, an applicant seeking a studio cannot make more than $30,000—while a family seeking a 3 bedroom unit must earn less than $50,000 per year.
For those who qualify for the “low income” bracket, the rents would range in price from $494 per month for a studio to as high as $959 for a three bedroom.
However, the limits are significantly higher for the 738 “moderate income” apartments on offer. The maximum income permitted to be eligible for a studio is a little over $130,000, while the maximum household income for a 3 bedroom unit is about $225,000.
The rents for “moderate income” earners will range from $1,561-$1997 for a studio, $1,965-2,509 for a one bedroom, $2,366-$3,300 for a 2 bedroom and $2,729-$4,346 for a three bedroom.
Preference will be given to applicants who live within the Community Board 2 district, which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City.