A big piece of Sunnyside history to be recognized on Saturday

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36 Responses to A big piece of Sunnyside history to be recognized on Saturday

  1. Ich_bin_ein_Sunnysider

    I hear the Celtic Park co-op board is very upset about this.

    Ian McGowan has started a trend.

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  2. O'shea

    Some of the darkest days in sunnyside history should not be remembered.

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  3. Ruben

    I apologize for all my racist comments. I’m just trying to troll people because I have no life. I will be a good boy from now on

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  4. 86Mets

    "The arena was originally built as a private tennis club by railway magnet..."

    I had no idea magnets were that clever.

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  5. marilyn

    BTW, another small piece of Sunnyside history was the soda fountain-ice cream place called "Edebohls" on the triangular block around 49th and Queens Blvd. where QB runs into Roosevelt Avenue. A teenager hangout in the 1950s and early 60s!

    MarilynS.

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  6. Old Lady Sunnyside

    I loved that place Edebohls.

    They had jars of candy in the window and soda fountains where you could see the soda inside and it was pumped up so it washed down the sides. I thought I was in sweet, sweet heaven! After a shopping trip to Greenpoint Avenue my mom would stop there for a cup of coffee. My brother and I got sodas. The guy behind the counter--wearing a white paper hat--would fill a cone-shaped paper cup with crushed ice he dug up from below the counter. He'd put the cup in a metal stand, then pull the lever on that magical fountain and fill it with soda. Last thing, he'd stick a paper straw in it. We'd sit on the stools and spin around while he was doing that then carry the sodas to the booth my mother picked. There we would drive her crazy banging our feet against the wooden bottom of the booth. It was a joy. Thank you Mr. Edebohl!

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  7. GEB

    It's a pity that a place with such a colorful history couldn't be saved.

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  8. Rick Duro

    I've heard many great stories over the years about that venue. With it's rich history, it would seem to be overdue.

    RD

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  9. nobody

    @Old Lady Sunnyside & @Marilyn:

    Your history comments are amazing. Keep up the great work. A side of Sunnyside so many of us never saw...

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  10. dee

    the glory days of the neighborhood. too bad they are long gone.

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  11. tommy comerford

    when the roller derby was there on sat-nite for .50 cents you could skate on oval track it was a lot harder then they made it look man it was fun. lotts of burn's on the elbow and knee's

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  12. Rick Duro

    I agree with 'nobody', I truly enjoy hearing from the truly olde skool Sunnysiders!! Great stories!

    RD

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  13. Old Lady Sunnyside

    Thank you, Nobody and Rick Duro. I usually get comments telling me to get with the current program, get hip, be cool, and go buy some expensive coffee! I live here because I was born here, and it was a place for fairly new Americans to enter society. I'm happy for anyone who is living out the American dream, making money and enjoying the good things in life, but leave some room for the rest of us, please. We created the place you think is so cool through generations of care-taking, when politicians didn't have any money to redo things, when stores sold things you needed, not stuff they hope you wanted and when newcomers looked to old timers for hints on how to live best here.

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  14. Rick Duro

    Walking my dog has intro'd me to a bunch of folks that are Sunnyside lifers. They usually hang out on the benches outside Lodati. I truly enjoy listening to their stories of the 'old neighborhood' and my dog loves the attention she gets from them:)

    Cheers and keep on posting!

    Rick

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  15. Pat

    @Old Lady Sunnyaide

    Bet we know each other. Grew up on 46th St and 50th Av. from 1938 to 1954 ...

    Edebohls was on the corner of 47th St and QB, know that as I and my two girlfriends (about 16 to 18)went there for grilled cheese and cokes every Saturday, After we cleaned our rooms and helped with other chores in the house.
    Didn't have to be told either, just knew it had to be done, before you left the house. ..

    Oh yeah and there was wrestling at the Sunnyside arena. I remember my Mom and her friend getting all gussied up (that was Dad's words) and going to see Gorgeous George wrestle. He used to spray perfume in the ring before his match .. And wore big ermine capes ...

    Who remember the original White Castle when it had car hops serving
    the orders. Great time to grow up and Sunnyside/Woodside was the place to be.

    Oh and the PAL dances in the 43rd St park. They were the best.

    Sure others have good memories of the times. Love to hear of them.

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  16. Old Lady Sunnyside

    The car hops would bring the order on a tray that hung on the driver's window, I think it was red. I distinctly remember seeing the hamburgers piled up in their little bags. Sometimes we went to White Tower. Where was that?

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  17. Ich bin ein Sunnysider

    Re: the comments regarding Sunnyside in the old days:

    Sounds like an episode of Happy Days (before Fonzie jumped the shark that is).

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  18. XWoodsider

    @Old Lady Sunnyside
    White tower was between 47th & 48th Streets with entrances on Queens Blvd and Greenpoint Ave. It was a great place to stop for some good food.
    Thanks for the memories keep them coming.

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  19. Ich bin ein Sunnysider

    Just a suggestion: Perhaps those old timers with snapshots of Sunnyside in previous decades can scan some of them and submit them to this site if the the site owner is willing. It would be a fascinating look at the past.

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  20. Oppressed Masses

    Thanks for the nice memories of the neighborhood. I loved going to watch the roller derby matches at Sunnyside Gardens, especially the girl teams which provided exciting entertainment.

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  21. Rick Duro

    Ich bin ein Sunnysider's idea of pics is excellent. Do any of you have pics you can scan for us to see of that era? We'd love to see them!

    RD

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  22. Luke Adams

    The Good Old Days
    Help us save our past!

    Anyone interested in donating old pictures of the neighborhood please contact us.
    The Sunnyside Chamber has an ongoing project of saving pictures of our past! Including and originating and building with love and volunteer labor the sunnysidechamber.org, on which this revised site is based, thanks just a few of the many contributors:

    Thank you to Alice Havlina and Warren Boyen, two wonderful local historians who have passed on but who helped us with information regarding some of these photographs. John and Mike Leahy and their family have provided us with not only great pictures and information from 1915 that would have been lost without their family history. The next time you go through your old pictures and documents, remember our office. Don't let anyone throw out the pictures you so carefully preserved over the years!

    We are looking for pictures of John F. Kennedy at the Sunnyside Garden Arena (we have one but look for more), Mayor Jimmy J. Walker opening the Sunnyside Gardens Park on May 18, 1926, Gleason Centennial Hotel, Miller Hotel. We have some of the Sunnyside Pool, Sunnyside Theatre, 43 St. Theatre but looking for more that we know are out there! Still looking for Knickerbocker Laundry Building, Jay Guild Tennis Court at 45th St, and anything else you may have of interest. Sometimes even ordinary photographs of daily life are the most interesting of all! We do have pictures of the Original White Castle building and thanks to John Edebohls we have pictures of Edebohls Ice Cream Parlor.

    We recommend Main Branch of our Queens Public Library to anyone seeking more about our history. Their old newspaper records were invaluable. We look forward to your comments, suggestions, and hope you take time to visitthe Sunnyside Chambers pictures from "The Good Old Days!"

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  23. Steven B

    Looking at the photograph of JFK at the corner of 46th street and Queens Blvd. brings back memories of the fire that removed the 2nd story of the corner building, never to be replaced. the cigar store still occupies that corner but Angie's Pizza was one of the few pizzerias in the neighborhood which also had rotisserie chickens. Pizza was 15 cents a slice in the early sixties. Moving further west in the photograph is the Queen of the Sea Restaurant where we only ate on special occaisions but even as I youngster I appreciated those few occaisions as special. The last time my family ate there was following JHS 125 graduation in the Bliss Theater. The South Pole which occupies the site adjacent to Wendy's, former Sunnyside Gardens, was the Robert Hall clothing store into the early 1970's. That's the corner where my friends and I stood as candidate Kennedy drove passed.

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  24. Ich bin ein Sunnysider

    JFK was the last real president we had.

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  25. Dorothy Morehead

    There were also some not-so-nice venues in Sunnyside: The Merry-Go-Round topless bar on Queens Boulevard between 45th and 46th Streets, and Gallagher's, also on Queens Boulevard in the lower 40s (not sure which block). For about a decade everything was covered with graffiti and roll-down gates covered every business on Queens Boulevard. There was little pedestrian traffic. Things have improved tremendously over the last twenty years and hopefully will continue to do so, thanks both to the old-timers and the newcomers.

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  26. Steven B

    Very true Dorothy, looking back is generally done with fondness. I recall Gildeas Bar next to the white castle where there was always a weekend fight that would spill out into the WC parking lot. I remember the under aged drinkers that would come into the Bickfords on 46th street and create major disruptions. The Escape was a bar/disco where the OTB presently is and it had the worst of activities going on. The undeveloped area behind "Torsney" park know as rabbits island was the ideal place for mischief, under age drinking and more. It was not difficult to get into trouble with the various groups of teens who hung out on just about every corner or the park benches at night. I also rememberl hearing my parents saying the similar things to the neighbors that I am saying about the neighborhood and how it has changed since the glories of their youth.

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  27. susan

    Gallagher's BEFORE it was topless was a regular bar on QB btwn 39th Place & 40th Street....there was also a bowling alley on QB where Arriba Arriba & Burger King are then it was it became a disco, the 1st if I can remember correctly was Hunka-Monka

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  28. Steven B

    Susan, the Stadium Bar became the Inwood East and later Hunka-Munka. Downstairs with a direct entrance from the street was Stadium Lanes which may have been 10 lanes of bowling owned by the bar owner as well. There was also a boys club a few doors over and The Broiler where Burger King is now.

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  29. Old Lady Sunnyside

    All that has been said is true. During the seventies and eighties, when the city was broke, the neighborhood was in bad shape--as were many in the city. Rabbit Island was for teenagers, parks had broken glass everywhere, public facilities were nearly always broken. But this was true everywhere. I remember playing frisbee on the sheep meadow in Central Park--there was hardly a blade of grass.

    My childhood memories are from the 60s. Every few blocks there were very local services, food, cleaning, shoe repair, barber shops, beauty parlors. For household needs beyond that we went either to Greenpoint Avenue or Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside. Special purchases required a trip either to Jackson Heights, Steinway Street or Alexanders and Macy's in Rego Park. Sunnyside was for local shoppers. Everyone had their own Woolworths, Thom McCanns, coffee shops and movie theaters. No one needed ours. The side streets and avenues belonged to the people that lived there.

    Technology has changed all that, both for good and bad. There are more people now. They have cars. They shop in giant stores for long-term supplies. Everything is different. I guess wistfulness for a sweetened past is a function of living long enough to see how much things change.

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  30. Joanne

    I love the old stories about Sunnyside, it was a wonderful place to grow up. It was so small town in a big city. Lots of trees and empty lots to play in when you could not go to the park.

    Born on 46th & 43rd Ave in 1947 and made the big move to 47th St and 43rd Ave on 1957.

    Every store you could possibly need, I remember doing my Christmas shopping on Greenpoint Avenue with the smell of snow in the air with all the decorations and Christmas carols playing.

    Ice cream parlors with real fountains with high stools or Bickford's with entrances on 46th and on Queens Blvd.

    Many great memories and many not so great but happy that it is coming back to it's beauty.

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  31. Cookie Bal

    Gosh, do I remember Sunnyside! I lived on 39th Place off of 50th Avenue and loved going to Clancys' candy store. The thing that had gotten me started with my memories was looking at my Skates Box, which was obtained from Sunnyside Gardens Skating Rink. I remember a News Reporter taking a picture of me in my cute little skating outfit. I used to have a clip, but lost it and can't find it. Anyhow! I miss the Ice Cream parlors with the true taste of cream. Anybody remember Gildeas next to White Castle? The Center Theatre, I can't believe is still there. I loved the Villa Capri Pizzeria on Greenpoint, the best Dam Pizza, I have ever had. I left Queens in 1974 to join the Navy which was during the Vietnam Era. HERE IS A SHOUT OUT TO MY SUNNYSIDERS, I MISS THE OLD TIMES ;-)

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  32. Cowboy

    I grew up on 48th Street between Queens Blvd and 43rd Ave -- Sunnyside/ Woodside was a terrific neighborhood --while I moved to Texas in 1990... I was there for 36 years ..my parents lived there for over 50 years until they passed a way a few years back..I still visit each year -- If you are interested in hearing more about the old days ..and seeing some great pics --there is a Sunnyside 60's-70's page on FB where a lot of us post pics and talk about the old days in Sunnyside...

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  33. Ellen McGowan

    My aunt Maddy use to roller skate in sunnyside gardens Madeline Donlin, I was very little, does anyone remember the teams for female roller Derbry names?

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  34. Betty Hofving

    My family lived at 43rd St. between Greenpoint Ave. and 48th Aves. from
    1935 to 1997...yes, 62 years! I remember Sunnyside Garden (wrestling and boxing), Edebohls (46th & Q.B.), the Asia (Chinese food) on Q.B.,
    White Castle, White Tower, Robert Hall's, Silver's (womens' clothing store on QB), Lindy's (another store) plus, my favorite womens' clothing
    store called Eunice on 46th St. Between Greenpt and QB.
    I left Sunnyside in the early 90's and still return to check out the
    "old neighborhood". Big loss to me was the Bliss Movie Theatre; we
    also had the Sunnyside Theatre and the 43rd Street theatre, plus the
    long-time Center Theatre...still there.

    Glad to see the new stores and that the area is clean and busy with
    families.

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  35. John kappen

    I just found this site. Seems like a lot of people who might remember the late '50s here. My father use to own a bar /restaurant across the street from the garden called "Venice". Anyone remember it?
    My father's name was Julie kappen. He disappeared/ left my family in 1959 and I understand he changed his name to james Carroll. If you remember or possibly know someone from that era, maybe they would remember. Please contact me. I always wanted to know why he did what he did to my mom and brothers. He had a partner named Jimmie o'neill. They didn't last long in business there. Appreciate it if you know something about him to contact me. Jfk71149@yahoo.com

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  36. Steve F.

    I knew a BobDi Maio whose family owned the Venice back in the 40s or early 50s. I also remember the Asia Chinese restauant a few doors down from the Venice and the Broiler at 41st and QB. Was a regular at both places.

    I grew up at 43rd Ave and 42nd St. Went to PS-150, JHS-125 and graduated from LIC in 1953. Moved away in '55. Settled in the Washington. DC area in 1960 and been here ever since.

    No question that the old 'hood has changed in the last 60 years. Probably for the better but memories of the the Sunnyside I knew are the fondest.

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Mardi Gras bar crawl planned for Skillman Avenue Saturday
Costumes from 2014 event

Costumes from 2014 event

Feb. 27, By Michael Florio

Skillman Ave. will never be confused with Bourbon St. but this Saturday it will be alive with the sights, sounds and tastes of the Big Easy.

Nine Skillman Avenue establishments have organized the third annual Mardi Gras Bar & Restaurant Hop, which starts at 3:00 pm and goes late into the evening.

The event comes well after the official Feb. 17 Mardi Gras date. However, the bars will be sticking to the New Orleans traditions of beads, jazz and Cajun food.

Party goers are being asked to register at the Copper Kettle, located on the corner of Skillman Ave. and 51nd St., between 3:00 and 6pm. By registering, attendees will be able to get half-price beer specials.  The cost to register is $5, which will go to the local food pantries.

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SkillmanMardiGras1

 

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No. 7 train is down for St. Pats for All parade

St.-Pats-for-All-475x356

Feb. 26, By Michael Florio

Two thousand participants—and countless spectators—are not enough to sway the MTA to keep the No. 7 train running this Sunday for the ‘St Pats for All’ parade.

The MTA is doing track work this weekend and the No. 7 train will not be operating between Times Square-42nd Street and 74th Street, from 12:30 AM Saturday through 4:30 AM Mon.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and parade organizers have been calling on the MTA to postpone the work and to keep to its regular weekend schedule.

The MTA, however, claims that the parade doesn’t draw enough riders for it to postpone its track work.

“We looked at ridership during the parade from the past few years and it does not draw enough to warrant postponing the work,” Kevin Ortiz, an MTA spokesman, said.

Brendan Fay and Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy, co-chairs of the parade, were very disappointed with the MTA’s decision since many participants rely on the 7-train to get to the event.

“There are groups from all over the city now trying to figure out how to get to the parade,” Fay said. “People are very frustrated.”

7subway1The pair was hoping the MTA would reschedule service as it had done so for the Lunar New Year parade in Flushing.

Walsh D’Arcy said that it might reduce the number of attendees. Nevertheless, “I think most people will find other ways to the parade,” she said. “But it will be an inconvenience and costly.”

Van Bramer was clearly upset with the MTA.

“I’ve asked the MTA to suspend their work this weekend and allow the thousands who want to participate in this very important event to do so,” Van Bramer told NY1 Wednesday. “And they’ve said ‘No.’”

“They [the MTA] have made exceptions for other parades and culture events–it makes no sense. The MTA consistently fails the people of Western Queens.”

However, Ortiz said the Lunar parade generates ridership that the St. Pat’s for All parade simply cannot match.

“The Lunar parade brings ridership in the thousands and this parade is a couple of hundred,” he said.

Ortiz said parade goers can use alternative routes such as the Q32 and Q60 bus to the start of the parade. They can also take the R-train to 46th Street and jump on the Q104 bus.

Fay said that several participants have told him they plan on taking the LIRR to 61st Street, while others will take shuttle buses.

Walsh D’Arcy said she thinks many people will now drive, taking up a lot of neighborhood parking spaces.

Details

Parade Date: Sunday, March 1

Time: Speeches at 1pm; parade starts at 2pm

Starts: Corner of 43rd Street/Skillman Avenue

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Maggie Mae’s reopens today after extensive upgrade

Maggie-Maes1Feb. 26, By Christian Murray

Maggie Mae’s, the well known bar located at 41-15 Queens Blvd, reopens at 5:00 pm today after being closed for renovations for nearly a month.

The bar closed for construction on Feb. 1, and its owners have rebuilt much of the interior with 1800s reclaimed wood.

New floors have been put down. A new bar has been built, alongside new timber seats and tables.

“I just came in as an owner /partner last month and felt it was time for a revamp and I like the rustic look,” said James Moore, the former manager at Maggie Mae’s who now co-owns it with Sean Sorohan. “The neighborhood is also changing–there are a lot of new people coming to the area.”

The renovation is still not 100 percent complete but Moore said he is ready to reopen.

 

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New CB2 chair to roll out updated website, will provide access to public documents

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Feb. 25, By Christian Murray

Community Board 2 is in the midst of overhauling its website, as it aims provide residents with greater access to public documents.

The updated website will be much more comprehensive and is expected to be ready by spring. The public will have access to documents that deal with land use matters among others.

Pat O’Brien, the newly elected Community Board chair, said that he intends to upload as many documents as possible so the public is better informed.

“Any document that is public, we aim to put it out there,” O’Brien said. “I want people to know the facts so we can have a more informed discussion.”

He said that he plans to upload older documents in order to build archives. However, he said that will take time and resources are limited.

The board plans to create a Facebook page later this year that will be used to inform people of public meetings and events.

O’Brien said that his first priority, however, is getting the site ready.

 

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Precinct unites lost dog with owner through Twitter

doglost

Feb. 24, By Michael Florio

The 108 Precinct was introduced to Twitter late last year– and today it was the tool that was used to unite a lost dog with its owner.

This morning officers found a dog–named Snowy– near Queens Boulevard and 46th Street and used twitter to track down the owner.
“#lostdog found around QB & 46thst this morning around 7 am help us find the owner,” the tweet said, along with the photo of the dog.

Five hours later the 108 Precinct took to Twitter and noted that it had reunited Snowy with its owner thanks to its Twitter followers.

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Poll: Residents may face hefty toll to use Queensboro Bridge, along with others

QueensboroFeb. 23, By Michael Florio

A proposed plan that would charge commuters a toll for using the Queensboro bridge—and three other New York City bridges–was put forward last week by an advocacy group that includes the former NYC traffic commissioner.

MoveNY, a group comprised of traffic experts, research planners and eco-friendly non-profit firms, claims the tolls would lower traffic congestion and raise funds for the MTA.

Under the proposal, workers who commute to Manhattan via the Queensboro Bridge each day would have to pay about $60 a week.

The tolls would also be placed on the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges.

The toll on these four bridges would cost $5.54 each way if paid by E-ZPass and $8 each way for other drivers.

There wouldn’t be a toll booth. Instead there would be a sensor that would charge E-ZPass drivers as they go over the bridge. For those without E-ZPass, a camera would take a photo of people’s license plates and they would receive a bill in the mail, according to Bart Robbett, Communications Advisor with MoveNY.

The tolls on other MTA bridges—such as the Triborough and Whitestone– would be lowered $2.50 each way.

However, there are benefits for having a toll on the Queensboro Bridge for western Queens residents, Robbett said.

For one, there would be fewer vehicles exiting the Grand Central Parkway and driving through residential neighborhoods to get to the bridge.

“There would be fewer people going out of their way to get on the free bridge,” Robbett said. “These people are causing problems for [Western Queens] neighborhoods, by adding to the traffic.”

“There would be less traffic at places such as Queens Plaza,” he said, where people start jockeying for position to get over the bridge.

“They will have to pay, but they will see benefits,” he said.

Samuel Schwartz, a former New York City Traffic Commissioner, developed the proposal after his research found that the streets near the free bridges were congested. The bridges with tolls, he found, had far less congestion.

In addition to easing traffic congestion, MoveNY claims the new plan would generate $1.5 billion in revenue per year, which would go toward maintaining, expanding and modernizing the transit system and improving city bridges and roads.

“I know we can do better — better with traffic flow, reducing traffic crashes and fatalities, and being fairer to drivers [who use other MTA bridges], especially in the outer parts of the city,” Schwartz said.

State legislators would have to pass the proposal, since the state oversees the MTA.

 

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Sunnyside graffiti vandal blankets neighborhood with tag
43rd Avenue, 43rd Street

43rd Avenue, 43rd Street

Feb. 23, By Christian Murray

A graffiti vandal has been targeting the walls of Sunnyside spraying his tag SBR all over stores on 42nd Street, 43rd Street and 44th Street.

The police are following up on it; Sunnyside Shines has been struggling to clean it; and Jimmy Van Bramer’s office has been brought into the loop.

The likely perpetrator of these tags goes under fictitious Facebook handle Esayebeare Bereal, where he showcases some of his work. Despite his false name, he has many friends who follow his posts.

The owner of an establishment on 43rd Street described the graffiti as “childish and ridiculous.”

“I don’t know what people get out of it? Some sort of high,” he said, without giving his name out of concern that his store might get tagged next. “I don’t know whether writing an article about him will encourage him, stop him or even help lead to his arrest,” the owner said.

Esayebeare Bereal engaged in a Facebook chat with the Sunnyside Post last week (see full transcript below), where he admitted to doing it and said he does it to be famous. He said that he was raised in Sunnyside and admitted to tagging under the name SBR, which is not affiliated with a street gang or group. He was not prepared to be interviewed over the phone out of fear that he would get “locked up.”

He targets 42nd and 43rd Street, he said, since he knows people who live there.

However, in the messages, he said that he is thinking about easing up on 43rd Street.

“I’m done with 43rd street to many yuppies complaining about sunnyside. But they wasn”t here when it was a bad neighorhood.”

However, his work has annoyed many, including Sunnyside Shines.

“It is frustrating that one individual is so intent on destroying small business property in our neighborhood,” said Rachel Thieme, the director of Sunnyside Shines.

“We’re very much aware of the graffiti situation in Sunnyside right now, and are coordinating closely with Council Member Van Bramer’s office and the 108th Precinct, as well as our graffiti removal vendor to ensure graffiti is removed as soon as possible.”

The freezing weather, however, has slowed down efforts to clean up the graffiti, Thieme said.

Nevertheless, when Sunnyside Shines was able to clean off the graffiti outside Café Bene (42nd and Queens Blvd) recently, Esayebeare Bereal struck back again days later.

Esayebeare Bereal argues that he is capable of doing quality artwork but is fearful of getting caught by the police and said that paint is expensive.

Most don’t appreciate his graffiti in any form– viewing it as nothing more than vandalism.

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Transcript of Facebook chat by sunnysidepost


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graffiti6

43rd Street and Queens Boulevard. Former Dime Bank

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graffi3

43rd and Queens Blvd (former Dime Bank)

graffiti4

Sunnyside Shines cleaned his tag and then shortly after it reappeared (42nd Queens Blvd)

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graffi5

42nd Street (near Queens Blvd)

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graffi1

43rd Street and 43rd Avenue

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Barnett Ave., 43rd Street

Barnett Ave., 43rd Street

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44th Street

44th Street (by Queens Blvd)

Possible tagg

Possible tag

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43rd and 43rd

43rd (near Skillman Ave.)

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EuropeanEatMeat

43rd Avenue (between 42nd and 43rd Street)

1234aaa

Facebook Page

 

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NYP: DeBlasio plows ahead with Sunnyside Yards plan

PRR-Sunnyside-Yard_viewW-1955_ArtHunekeFeb. 21, NY Post

Mayor Bill de Blasio is moving ahead with the plan to develop the Sunnyside rail yards, according to the New York Post.

On Friday — 17 days after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the yards were off-limits — the city’s Economic Development Corporation issued a public notice seeking a yearlong feasibility study of the nearly 200-acre site.

De Blasio proposed building 11,250 units of affordable apartments over the rail yards as a major initiative in his State of the City speech — only to be shot down within hours by Cuomo, who insisted the MTA needs the property for other uses.

“It is not available for any other use in the near term,” Cuomo said in a statement immediately after de Blasio’s State of the City Speech.

But the mayor on Friday said it’s full speed ahead.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to deliver on our vision of a more affordable city and smart development that responds to the needs of surrounding neighborhoods,” he said, calling the pending study only a “first step.”

City Hall officials said the study will focus on the 113 acres owned by Amtrak — which is cooperating with the city — and another 44 acres where the land is owned by the MTA but the air rights belong to the city

For the full story, please click here

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Maggie Mae’s is undergoing a big makeover

Maggie-Maes1Feb. 20, By Christian Murray

Maggie Mae’s, a well known bar located at 41-15 Queens Blvd, is undergoing a major revamp.

The interior is being rebuilt from top to bottom with 1800s reclaimed wood from Pennsylvania.

New floors are being put down. A new bar has been built, alongside new timber seats and tables.

The bar closed for construction the day after the Super Bowl (Feb. 1) and its owners are planning on reopening it on Feb. 28.

“I just came in as an owner /partner last month and felt it was time for a revamp and I like the rustic look,” said James Moore, the former manager at Maggie Mae’s who now co-owns it with Sean Sorohan. “The neighborhood is also changing–there are a lot of new people coming to the area.”

One of the walls has been removed and now the red brick that was behind it is exposed. Meanwhile, the popcorn ceiling is gone, and the old timber beams show through.

The pool table and the duke box are gone for good. The games of beer pong will be no longer. And there will be just three TVs.

The owners are also putting in a kitchen, which will begin serving food this summer. The menu is not expected to be extensive but items such as burgers, fish and chips will be served.

This summer, the outside and front-door entrance will change significantly. There will be floor to ceiling windows and a whole new exterior sign.

In the interim, the sign will change and the outside will be painted a different color.

Moore said that the bar will have 18 beer lines when it reopens, with several craft beer options.

Maggie Mae’s is also upgrading its large downstairs area that is typically used for parties. That space too is being rebuilt with 1800s reclaimed wood.

James Moore and Sean xx

James Moore and Sean Sorohan

.

Maggie Mae's inside

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Sunnyside graffiti vandal blankets neighborhood with tag
43rd Avenue, 43rd Street

43rd Avenue, 43rd Street

Feb. 23, By Christian Murray A graffiti vandal has been targeting the walls of Sunnyside spraying his tag SBR all over stores on 42nd Street, 43rd Street and 44th Street. The police are following up on it; Sunnyside Shines has been struggling to clean it; and Jimmy Van Bramer’s office has been brought into the loop. The likely perpetrator of these tags goes under fictitious Facebook handle Esayebeare Bereal, where he showcases some of his work. Despite his false name, he has many friends who follow his posts. The owner of an establishment on 43rd Street described the graffiti as "childish and ridiculous." “I don’t know what people get out of it? Some sort of high,” he said, without giving his name out of concern that his store might get tagged next. “I don’t know whether writing an article about him will encourage him, stop him or even help lead to his arrest,” the owner said. Esayebeare Bereal engaged in a Facebook chat with the Sunnyside Post last week (see full transcript below), where he admitted to doing it and said he does it to be famous. He said that he was raised in Sunnyside and admitted to tagging under the name SBR, which is not affiliated with a street gang or group. He was not prepared to be interviewed over the phone out of fear that he would get "locked up." He targets 42nd and 43rd Street, he said, since he knows people who live there. However, in the messages, he said that he is thinking about easing up on 43rd Street. "I'm done with 43rd street to many yuppies complaining about sunnyside. But they wasn"t here when it was a bad neighorhood." However, his work has annoyed many, including Sunnyside Shines. “It is frustrating that one individual is so intent on destroying small business property in our neighborhood,” said Rachel Thieme, the director of Sunnyside Shines. “We’re very much aware of the graffiti situation in Sunnyside right now, and are coordinating closely with Council Member Van Bramer’s office and the 108th Precinct, as well as our graffiti removal vendor to ensure graffiti is removed as soon as possible.” The freezing weather, however, has slowed down efforts to clean up the graffiti, Thieme said. Nevertheless, when Sunnyside Shines was able to clean off the graffiti outside Café Bene (42nd and Queens Blvd) recently, Esayebeare Bereal struck back again days later. Esayebeare Bereal argues that he is capable of doing quality artwork but is fearful of getting caught by the police and said that paint is expensive. Most don’t appreciate his graffiti in any form-- viewing it as nothing more than vandalism. .

Transcript of Facebook chat by sunnysidepost

. graffiti6

43rd Street and Queens Boulevard. Former Dime Bank

. graffi3

43rd and Queens Blvd (former Dime Bank)

graffiti4

Sunnyside Shines cleaned his tag and then shortly after it reappeared (42nd Queens Blvd)

IMG_0094 . graffi5

42nd Street (near Queens Blvd)

. graffi1

43rd Street and 43rd Avenue

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Barnett Ave., 43rd Street

Barnett Ave., 43rd Street

. 44th Street

44th Street (by Queens Blvd)

Possible tagg

Possible tag

. 43rd and 43rd

43rd (near Skillman Ave.)

. EuropeanEatMeat

43rd Avenue (between 42nd and 43rd Street)

1234aaa

Facebook Page

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NYP: DeBlasio plows ahead with Sunnyside Yards plan
PRR-Sunnyside-Yard_viewW-1955_ArtHunekeFeb. 21, NY Post Mayor Bill de Blasio is moving ahead with the plan to develop the Sunnyside rail yards, according to the New York Post. On Friday — 17 days after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the yards were off-limits — the city’s Economic Development Corporation issued a public notice seeking a yearlong feasibility study of the nearly 200-acre site. De Blasio proposed building 11,250 units of affordable apartments over the rail yards as a major initiative in his State of the City speech — only to be shot down within hours by Cuomo, who insisted the MTA needs the property for other uses. “It is not available for any other use in the near term,” Cuomo said in a statement immediately after de Blasio's State of the City Speech. But the mayor on Friday said it’s full speed ahead. “This is a tremendous opportunity to deliver on our vision of a more affordable city and smart development that responds to the needs of surrounding neighborhoods,” he said, calling the pending study only a “first step.” City Hall officials said the study will focus on the 113 acres owned by Amtrak — which is cooperating with the city — and another 44 acres where the land is owned by the MTA but the air rights belong to the city For the full story, please click here
Maggie Mae’s is undergoing a big makeover
Maggie-Maes1Feb. 20, By Christian Murray Maggie Mae’s, a well known bar located at 41-15 Queens Blvd, is undergoing a major revamp. The interior is being rebuilt from top to bottom with 1800s reclaimed wood from Pennsylvania. New floors are being put down. A new bar has been built, alongside new timber seats and tables. The bar closed for construction the day after the Super Bowl (Feb. 1) and its owners are planning on reopening it on Feb. 28. “I just came in as an owner /partner last month and felt it was time for a revamp and I like the rustic look,” said James Moore, the former manager at Maggie Mae's who now co-owns it with Sean Sorohan. “The neighborhood is also changing--there are a lot of new people coming to the area.” One of the walls has been removed and now the red brick that was behind it is exposed. Meanwhile, the popcorn ceiling is gone, and the old timber beams show through. The pool table and the duke box are gone for good. The games of beer pong will be no longer. And there will be just three TVs. The owners are also putting in a kitchen, which will begin serving food this summer. The menu is not expected to be extensive but items such as burgers, fish and chips will be served. This summer, the outside and front-door entrance will change significantly. There will be floor to ceiling windows and a whole new exterior sign. In the interim, the sign will change and the outside will be painted a different color. Moore said that the bar will have 18 beer lines when it reopens, with several craft beer options. Maggie Mae’s is also upgrading its large downstairs area that is typically used for parties. That space too is being rebuilt with 1800s reclaimed wood.
James Moore and Sean xx

James Moore and Sean Sorohan

. Maggie Mae's inside
Aluminaire House is wanted: Mayor of Palm Springs plans to bring it there
Aluminaire-HouseFeb. 19, By Christian Murray Sunnyside’s trash is about to become another city’s treasure. The 1931 Aluminaire House, which was going to be erected on the corner of 39th Avenue and 50th Street, is being transported to Palm Springs. The mayor of Palm Springs is a big supporter of relocating it there and has started a fundraising drive in order to do so, according to The Desert Sun. The structure appeared headed to Sunnyside Gardens, where architects in 2013 planned to build eight residential units behind the aluminum house on the former Phipps playground. The house was designed in 1931 and is deemed to be of architectural significance. It was designed to explore how materials like aluminum could be used to build low-cost housing. However, Sunnyside residents rejected the plan—and the house--and believed that the showpiece was out of character with the existing red-brick homes in the landmarked neighborhood. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, at the landmarks hearing that decided whether it could go up in the neighborhood, said that more than 350 people had contacted his office in opposition to the proposal, with only five voicing their support. State Sen. Mike Gianaris, at the same meeting, said: “I’ve been in public service for 13 years and I have seen community boards discuss all sort of things…but I have not seen such uniform opposition as with this project.” The Landmarks Commission rejected the plan in January 2014. However, the aluminum structure is very much wanted in Palm Springs. The Mayor of Palm Springs has raised $200,000 of the $600,000 needed to bring it there in just one month. The funds are needed to be transported the home, which is in a crate, and reassemble it. At a recent $250 per-person fundraiser to bring the structure to Palm Springs, the mayor of that city reportedly said: “If you have a product, that is an incredible product, people want to be a part of it. Hopefully, a year from now, we'll be having one heck of a party in downtown Palm Springs."  
Sunnyside gears up to celebrate ‘St Pat’s for All’
St Pats Feb. 18, By Christian Murray The 16th annual Sunnyside/Woodside 'St. Pat’s for All' parade is scheduled to take place on Sunday, March 1—and will feature puppets, stilt walkers and plenty of Irish music. The St. Pat’s For All parade is arguably this neighborhood’s most popular event. When it began 16 years ago, it was largely a gay-pride parade – organized by a number of Irish men and women who were not allowed to march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Fifth Ave under a gay banner. Today, the Sunnyside/Woodside parade draws plenty of seniors, children, minorities, to even the local dog group--Sunnyside United Dog Society. “We are the opening act for all the parades around the city that celebrate the fun and festivities of Ireland,” said Brendan Fay, a gay Irishman and co-chair of the event. The event, he said, always takes place on the first Sunday in March. Fay said he is expecting more than 2,000 people to participate this year. However, there could be more. He said that there is still time for community groups to sign up and that those interested just need to go to the St Pat’s for All website and register. The event this year will begin at Skillman Avenue and 43rd Street and will end at 56th and Skillman. Music and speeches will begin at 1 pm, with the parade kicking off at 2pm. The parade will feature many of the same groups that have been coming for years—such as the Niall O’Leary School of Irish Dance, the Shannon Gaels Gaelic Football Club, the girl scouts, Swim Strong, The Red Cross, and Sunnyside Community Services. This year, five marching bands have already signed up as well as several Irish musicians. Several well-known gay groups, such as Dignity NY, Lavender and Green Alliance (an Irish LGBT group), Stonewall Democrats of NYC and the Queens Lesbian & Gay Pride Committee are expected to march. This year’s parade comes at a time when the Fifth Avenue parade is allowing one gay group to march-- under the banner of the gay NBCUniversal employees. However, none of the Irish gay groups are permitted to march and gay activists will be protesting the event again this year. Fay, however, said that the Sunnyside-Woodside event would carry on even if gay groups were allowed to participate in the Fifth Avenue parade. “When it was announced that one gay group was allowed, I was asked what would happen to the our parade if it [the Fifth Avenue parade] were open to all gay groups,” Fay said. He said the Sunnyside/Woodside event would continue. Fay said that the parade is no longer a gay event but a community event, where all sorts of groups participate. “This parade is special,” Fay said. “Sunnyside and Woodside have increasingly embraced the parade as their own– and different groups continue to want to participate.” He said local businesses—such as bars and restaurants--have got behind the event. Ten bars and restaurants known as Sunnyside's Boulevard Bars are hosting a joint Irish music festival, where Irish bands will play at their respective pubs after the parade. Meanwhile, several bars/restaurants on Skillman Avenue are expected to be offering specials. For Kathleen Walsh D'Arcy, the other co-chair of the event, the parade is also about embracing immigrant groups and other cultures. There will be groups representing Turkey, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Romania—and several Jackson-Heights-based Muslim centers, D'Arcy said. This year’s two grand marshals are Kerry Kennedy, who is the president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, and Brian F. O’Byrne, a well-known Broadway and movie actor. Fay said that the St. Pat’s For All parade has become a model for parades around the country—where various ethnic groups are celebrated and where there is inclusion of LGBT groups. However, the No. 7 train will not be running between Times Square and 74th Street on the weekend of the event. Fay said that they have reached out to the MTA to see whether its construction schedule can change on the day of the event. They have not heard back from the MTA. Details: Date: Sunday, March 1 Time: speeches at 1pm, parade kicks off at 2 pm Begins: Corner of Skillman Ave. and 43rd Street St-Pats    
Car crash on Queens Blvd leaves 9 people injured, 7 seriously
@agraneri (Instagram)

@agraneri (Instagram)

Feb.14, By Christian Murray Nine people were injured following a multiple vehicle crash on the corner of Queens Boulevard and 43rd Street this morning, according to the FDNY. The crash took place at 4:03 am and seven people were taken to area hospitals in serious but stable condition. Two others were take to hospital after sustaining minor injuries, according to the FDNY. Details as to what caused the accident were not available. There were no reports that alcohol played a part in the accident.  The NYPD press office had not been notified about the crash by 10:15 am.
agraneri (Instagram)

agraneri (Instagram)

 
agraneri (Instagram)

agraneri (Instagram)

 
New restaurant ‘Dumplings & Things’ opens Sunday
dumplings1 Feb. 13, By Christian Murray A new restaurant offering Chinese dumplings is opening on 46th Street this Sunday. Dumplings & Things, located near the Sunnyside Arch at 45-26 46th Street, will be offering five types of Chinese dumplings as well as a variety of noodles, soups, baos and rice platters (see menu). The restaurant is owned by siblings Lorraine Li and Sam Li, who have many years of experience. The family has a restaurant in Park Slope and this is their second venture. “We chose Sunnyside for its diversity and we think we can offer something new and different to the neighborhood,” said co-owner Lorraine Li. Dumplings & Things will be open seven days a week: Sundays – Thursdays from 11:30am – 10pm and Fridays – Saturdays from 11:30am – 11pm.

Dumplings Things Sunnyside Menu by sunnysidepost

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Church on Skillman Avenue sells for $4 million
Source: MLS

Source: MLS

Feb. 12, 2014 A Sunnyside Church located at 40-05 Skillman Avenue has sold for $4 million, according to public records. Moak Yang Presbyterian Church, which moved to the location in 1992, sold the property to Elmhurst-based Eunhasu Corp. on Jan. 29 for $4 million. The property is zoned M1, which is for light industry—although offices, hotels and retail uses are permitted. Eunhasu Corp. has been very active in the real estate market in the past six months. The company bought a four story residential building in Hunters Point for $12 million in January. In October, the company sold a warehouse in Long Island City for $37 million.
De Blasio’s Sunnyside Yards plan might result in 70,000 units being built on top of tracks
sunnysideyard1 Feb. 12, By Christian Murray Seventy thousand units might need to be constructed over Sunnyside Yards if the Mayor’s plan to build 11,250 affordable units over the tracks is to be realized. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer told members of the Hunters Point Civic Association on Tuesday that 70,000 to 80,000 units might need to be built in order to attract developers to construct the affordable units. “To get to the 11,200-odd…the number of units could be as high as 70,000 to 80,000 on Sunnyside Yards,” Van Bramer said, since developers typically require market rate apartments to offset the cost of constructing affordable units. This would result in “a massive, massive development on the scale we have never seen before in western Queens that will affect Long Island City, Astoria, Sunnyside and Woodside,” he said. However, he said no plan should move forward that doesn’t address the needs of the existing residents. “We can’t fit people on the 7 train today, we don’t have enough school seats for our children today, we don’t have enough green space in western Queens today [excluding Astoria Park and the waterfront in Hunters Point],” he said. “Adding 100,000 more people to our community is staggering,” he said.”The No. 7 train will not be able to house them all,” he added. “That is crazy.” In addition to the proposed Sunnyside Yards development, the city is also proposing a rezoning of the Queens Plaza, Jackson Avenue and Northern Blvd corridor. The potential up zoning would result in a significant increase in population-- as the zoning change would most likely make way for bigger buildings since the city will be mandating affordable units. Van Bramer, who represents 160,000 constituents, told the group: “I won’t go along with any plan that hurts our community. You know me I was born and raised here. I have your back and nothing is going to happen without involving everyone in this room.” Brent O’Leary, the president of the Hunters Point Civic Association who is also legal compliance counsel at Bloomberg LP, said after the meeting that he was not surprised by Van Bramer’s 70,000-unit projection for Sunnyside Yards. “The city will get a developer to build them and manage them [the affordable units]—and in return the developer will want to build as many market rate units as possible.” He said his group is opposed building on the Yards, calling for more green space. “We don’t have the infrastructure we need as it is.”
Winners of Hunters Point South lottery are starting to be notified
Hunters Point South building Feb. 11, By Christian Murray Some of the winners of the Hunters Point South affordable housing lottery have been notified and have been called in for an interview, according to the New York Housing Preservation & Development. HPD said that the tenant selection process is well on its way and that interview letters will be distributed in rounds until all the units are filled. More than 92,000 people applied for the 924 affordable affordable apartments on offer. The units are in two buildings--one at 1-50 50th Ave.; and the other at 1-55 Borden Ave. The building located at 1-50 50th Avenue will be a 37-story complex comprised of 619 permanently affordable units, 13,750 square feet of retail space, and a parking garage with approximately 220 spaces. The 1-55 Borden Ave. building will be 32-stories high comprised of 306 permanently affordable units and approximately 3,000 square feet of retail space. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer told members of the Hunters Point Civic Association last night that some of the Hunters Point South lottery winners had been notified. He said that he had received a call from a lottery winner earlier this week who said that she had been called in for an interview. The notification period is expected to last for a number of months.
Modell’s to open Sunnyside/LIC store Thursday
modells Feb. 11, Staff Report Modell’s Sporting Goods is opening a new store on the border of Sunnyside and Long Island City. The official address is 3500 48th Street, located in the same mall area as Petland Discounts and National Wholesale Liquidators. Employees will be holding a grand opening event at the store Thursday.

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