A big piece of Sunnyside history to be recognized on Saturday

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39 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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    • Steve F.

      Grew up in Sunnyside. Moved away at age 20 in 1955. The White Castle was one of my many hangouts as a kid. It started out as a very small building that was previously located on a corner up by the Sunnyside Pool. It sat vacant during the war years. They ultimately moved it to 43rd St and the Boulevard after the war.

      They used to run coupons in the newspapers every few months that would get you 5 burgers for the price of 2. My dad drove a Daily News delivery truck and he would bring home a stack of the pages with the coupons from leftover papers. I was the most popular kid in the 7th grade at JHS 125.

      Maybe it was because it was before my driving days. But I draw a complete blank on the car hops.

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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. [email protected]

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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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  37. Frank P.

    Lived on Roosevelt and 53rd from 1937 (born) till 1941. Grew up on Skillman and 48th from 1941 to 1955. Then U.S.N till 1959. Came back and lived on 46th St. off Greenpoint Ave. till married in '65. Stayed in the area till "71 then Long Island...now Florida. I had the best of Wood/Sunnyside in the '40's-50's-60's. P.S. 150 and JHS 125 were my schools. Very special times....Depression, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam. Went by too fast....remember a lot and reminisce often.

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  38. Steve F.

    Actually, my parents brought me home from the maternity ward to an apartment at Skillman & 50th St (41-06 to be exact). At the time, my sister was about to turn 5 and would be starting school in Sept. We were in the PS-11 district and PS-11 was an ancient wooden structure. My parents saw it as a fire trap and we moved to an apartment at 42nd and 43rd Ave in the Summer of 1935 so that she would be going to 150. We both went to 150 and 125.

    If you lived at 48th & Skillman, you might be interested to know that the German deli across Skillman from the church was owned by TV pundit Eleanor Clift's parents. Their home was in Jackson Heights and she would have had to go to Newtown HS. But they used the store as her home address so that she could go to Bryant, There was a barber shop on 48th in the 41-00 block, Charlie's. That's where I got my first haircut. After that, Charlie told my father not to ever come back with me.

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Comedy group to raise funds for urban farmers, hosts show in LIC Friday
Smiling HogsHead Ranch

Smiling HogsHead Ranch

March 26, By Michael Florio

A western Queens comedy group is hosting an event to raise funds for an urban farming group that operates out of Long Island City.

Sunnyside Comedy, a local organization that hosts comedy shows in the neighborhood, is putting on the ‘All-Star Comedy Show’ at The Flux Factory, located at 39-31 29th Street, this Friday at 8 pm.

The proceeds will go to the Smiling Hogshead Ranch, a community farm located at 26 Davis Court in Long Island City. The urban farmers will use the funds for infrastructure improvements, insurance and to provide free programming.

Lindsay Goldwert and Colin Samuel, co-founders of Sunnyside Comedy, said they wanted to do a benefit for a local non-profit.

“The ranch is a really cool thing and they want to expand their program and Colin is a big fan of their work,” Goldwert said. “He believes in urban farming so we wanted to support it.”

Goldwert said that a lot of people living in western Queens may not know about urban farming. The event is a great way to inform people what it is.

“Smiling Hogshead Ranch helps cultivate community by gathering people around shared interests,” said Gil Lopez, co-founder of the Smiling Hogshead Ranch. “Many of these interests are outside of gardening and this comedy show is a perfect example.

The Flux Factory venue can seat about 70 people. Tickets to the event cost $20 online and $25 at the door.

Each ticket will be entered into a raffle, with the prizes provided by local businesses. There will also be beer specials, Goldwert said.

Many of the performing comics are based in Queens.

Joyelle Johnson, who has opened for Dave Chapelle and Maria Bamford, lives in Sunnyside. The show’s host, Liz Magee, lives in Astoria and often performs at Q.E.D. 

The show’s headlining act will be performed by Ted Alexandro, a western Queens resident who has appeared on “Conan” and “Late Night With David Letterman.”

“In everything we do we try to highlight Queens,” Goldwert said. “It is the best place to perform because the local businesses support small shows.”

Sunnyside Comedy has put on two shows a month at varying Sunnyside venues since last summer, with every show featuring new comedians.

Goldwert said the group is looking for a permanent space to host venues.

To purchase tickets online go to funnybynature.brownpapertickets.com

sunnyside comedy

Previous coverage: Guerilla farmers leggaly allowed to put down roots in LIC

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Man stabbed inside Queens Blvd specialty food store

Parrot

March 25, By Christian Murray

A 41-year-old man was stabbed today inside a Queens Blvd food store, according to police.

The police said that two men got into a dispute at about 1: 30 pm at Parrot Coffee, located at 45-15 Queens Blvd. The incident escalated and the victim was stabbed three times in the torso.

The victim was taken to Elmhurst Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

A police spokesman did not know whether an arrest had been made. However, the following video indicates a man was taken into custody.
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Pizzeria to move to Skillman Ave, owner also plans to open gelato shop

unclejimmyskillman

March 25, By Christian Murray

The owner of a 49th Street pizzeria is moving his operation to Skillman Avenue and is separately opening a gelato/ice cream shop.

Uncle Jimmy’s Pizzeria, which is currently located at 41-10 49th Street, is moving in about three weeks to 50-12 Skillman Ave. The new space had been Rosario’s for many years and it operated as La Bella for about a year.

“I decided to move to the new place since there is more room for customers to sit down and enjoy their food,” said Jimmy Canarozzi, a life-long Sunnyside Gardens resident, who opened the 49th Street pizzeria in October 2013.

“People come in with their kids and there is nowhere for them to sit,” Canarozzi said. “I want people to feel comfortable.”

The new space is 850 square feet, as opposed to the existing location that is 500 square feet. Currently, the pizzeria has just six stools.

Canarozzi plans on naming his new space Uncle Jimmy’s on Skillman.

Meanwhile, Canarozzi plans to convert his existing 49th Street location into a gelato shop, which he plans to call Uncle Jimmy’s Sweet Spot.

He plans to offer Italian ices, ice cream, milk shakes and soda floats. He would like to open that establishment in about three weeks, although he said it will be tough since he has to buy equipment and is also juggling the pizzeria relocation.

Canarozzi said that owning to two businesses in the area is special. “I’m a neighborhood kind of a guy.”

Jimmy Canarozzi at 2013 opening

Jimmy Canarozzi at 2013 opening

Previous Coverage: New pizzeria to open on 49th Street

Pizzeria opens on Skillman Ave taking Rosario’s location

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Woodside babysitter faces 15 years for shaking baby to death

gavel3March 24, By Michael Florio

A Woodside babysitter is facing up to 15-years in prison after being found guilty of violently shaking a baby to death.

Yohani Moran, 42, was convicted of second-degree manslaughter on Monday, following a four-week trial in Queens Supreme Court, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

The nine-month-old baby, Dilan Criollo, was dropped off at Moran’s 35-47 64th Street apartment by his mother on March 10, 2010, Brown said.

“At that time, the little boy was vibrant and in good health,” according to Brown.

The babysitter fed Dilan and afterward he took a nap. Later in the day, when Dilan became irritable, Moran shook him violently and he immediately went limp and unresponsive.

Dilan was taken to hospital where doctors determined that he had suffered extensive subdural hematomas, severe brain swelling and bleeding in his eye as well as a bilateral retinal detachment. He was placed on a ventilator and later died, Brown said.

“Shaken Baby Syndrome is the leading cause of child abuse deaths each year,” Brown said. “The victims are innocent, helpless children and are too often harmed by those entrusted to care for and protect them.”

Moran, who herself is a mother, is due back in court for sentencing on April 14 and faces up to 15 years in prison.

Previous Coverage: Woodside woman faces murder charges

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Van Bramer wants Clock Tower landmarked, expects it to be done by June

Bank1-475x356March 24, By Christian Murray

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer wants to save the Clock Tower and is confident that it will landmarked by the end of June.

Van Bramer said that he wrote a letter to the Landmarks Preservation Commission in November calling for it to be landmarked. He said that he met with the chairwoman of the LPC last week who said she supports preserving it.

“It is incredibly important that we preserve some of the history of Long Island City and Queens,” Van Bramer said. “Development is happening every day and it was definitely under threat of being torn down.”

Van Bramer said that the building’s landmark status will be a big victory for preservationists who started a grass roots campaign about a year ago to save it. An online petition was formed that has generated about 1,500 signatures.

The building, which has towered over Queens Plaza since 1927, is deemed by its advocates to be one of the most significant landmarks in Queens. The building, historically known as the Bank of Manhattan Building, was the tallest building in the borough until the construction of the Citigroup building in 1990.

The steps toward landmarking the building are viewed as mere formalities at this stage.

The LPC determined this morning that a public hearing should be held, which is the second stage of the landmarking process. The public are open to testify at that meeting. The LPC has not yet set a date as to when it will take place.

The LPC will then review the testimony and is expected to approve it at a later date. The City Planning Commission will provide an opinion on it and it will then go to the city council for a vote.

“When it comes to the council I will support it 1,000 percent,” Van Bramer said, who holds sway over the vote since the building is in his district.

“I am confident that it will be landmarked,” Van Bramer said, adding that the Landmarks Preservation Commissioner supports it too.

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Exclusive: Residents have 27 choices on how to spend $1 million, voting begins April 11
participatory budgeting meeting last fall

participatory budgeting meeting last fall

March 23, By Christian Murray

Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City residents will get to vote next month on how $1 million in city funds should be spent.

Residents will be able to choose up to 3 projects from a list of 27 proposals that they believe are worth funding. The project that receives the most votes following the election will be funded—followed by other popular items- until the $1 million is exhausted.

The proposals (see sample ballot for full list below) include funding a bike lane network in Long Island City; adding trees between 49th and 69th Streets in Woodside; renovating playgrounds and parks; upgrading school equipment; beefing up library security; as well as funding a pedestrian safety project in Dutch Kills.

The vote, which is scheduled to take place between April 11 and 19, is part of what’s known as the participatory budgeting process. The program, introduced to the 26th City Council district for the first time this year, allows all residents 16 years and older to determine those projects they want funded.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said that he was not surprised by the items that are being put up for a vote, since they involve improving schools, parks, libraries and traffic safety.

“Good neighborhoods are ones that have good schools, well cared for parks, well funded libraries and good clean safe streets,” Van Bramer said. “That is what people care about the most and these are the items we see.”

Nine meetings were held throughout Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City last fall, and hundreds of attendees put forward an array of ideas. These ideas were whittled down by about 140 budget delegates to 27 in concert with Van Bramer and various city agencies.

“I think the process has been successful so far,” Van Bramer said, who is urging people to go out and vote.  There are 10 locations scattered throughout the district where residents will be able to cast their ballots (see list below).

“A lot of people have got more involved in the community in a meaningful way as a result of the process,” Van Bramer said. “It has encouraged people to come out and present their ideas.”

The 27 items will be presented to the community early next month, where residents will be able to take a closer look at what they involve.

A meeting is scheduled for April 6, from 7 pm to 9pm, at the Sunnyside Community Service Center [43-31 39th Street], where all the proposals will be discussed and debated on their merits.

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Final Ballot by sunnysidepost

voting locations
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Vote-presentation

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Landmarks Commission to evaluate whether to save Clock Tower; public meeting tomorrow

Bank1-475x356

March 23, By Christian Murray

The first formal step to landmark the Clock Tower will take place tomorrow when the Landmarks Preservation Commission will meet to evaluate whether a public hearing should be held as part of the process to landmark the famous building.

The public meeting tomorrow is significant since it indicates that the Chairperson of the Commission has already reviewed the application and has determined that it has merit and the formal process of whether to landmark it or not should begin.

The Clock Tower, located at 29-29 Queens Blvd., was built in 1927 and was the tallest building in Queens until the construction of the Citigroup building in Court Square. Advocates for the designation argue that it is one of the most significant architectural landmarks in the borough.

Tomorrow, the full commission—comprised of up to 11 Commissioners– will be briefed by LPC’s research group and will vote to determine whether a public hearing should take place—another significant step in the process.

If the majority of Commissioners agree, then a hearing will be scheduled.

At this point, if the owner of the property files a demolition permit with the Department of Buildings, LPC will be notified and it would most likely speed up the review/application process, according to a LPC spokeswoman.

Queens Plaza Park Development, the owner of the clock tower building, purchased it for $31 million in November. The same company owns the adjacent site at 29-37 41st Avenue, where it filed earlier this month to build a 70 story building at that site.

After a public hearing is held by LPC, a report will be produced and the commission will review it. They will then vote whether to landmark or not– or schedule another meeting. If they vote to landmark it, it will go to the City Planning Commission to provide feedback and the city council for a vote.

Click for landmark process

Public Hearing by sunnysidepost

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Big media takes a close look at Sunnyside: NYTimes, CBS 2
New York Times

New York Times

March 21, Staff Report

Sunnyside has been getting plenty of media attention by the big-city press in the past week.

On Wednesday, The New York Times released an article that looked into the neighborhood and referred to Sunnyside as the ‘Mayberry Near Midtown.’

Sunnyside, in western Queens, is a stark contrast to the gleaming glass residential towers rising in nearby Long Island City. Here is an old-fashioned New York neighborhood of squat prewar apartment buildings, rowhouses and shopping streets that still have mom-and-pop businesses.

“We call it Mayberry,” after the small town portrayed in the 1960s sitcom “The Andy Griffith Show,” said Amy FitzGerald, the owner of Welcome Home Real Estate on Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside.

“People are very friendly,” said Ms. FitzGerald, who moved to the neighborhood with her husband 16 years ago from Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

(click here for the full NYTimes Story)

Now, CBS 2 is running a series on the neighborhood that “uncovers the hidden secrets of the city.” (Please Note: the ads before the clips are long)
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Independent pharmacy to open on Queens Boulevard; optical store to replace Pink Icing

Platinum Pharmacy Sunnyside

March 21, Staff Report

Despite the presence of several big-box drug stores, another independent pharmacy is about to open in Sunnyside.

Platinum Pharmacy, located at 46-21 Queens Blvd, is moving into the space that was previously occupied by Mediterraneo, a pizzeria that closed last year.

The new drug store is just one block away from another independent drug store—Bliss Drug Pharmacy—which opened in 2011.

The neighborhood has several other independent drug stores—such as Amazon Pharmacy, Rockway Pharmacy, Greenpoint Pharmacy, Family Pharmacy and Skillman Pharmacy.

pink-icing-outsideMeanwhile, Sunnyside has several big chain stores such as Rite Aide, Duane Read and CVS.

In other news, a new optical store is about to open at 44-13 Queens Blvd– where Pink Icing was previously located. The owner said the store will be called Sunnysight and is likely to open April 1.  No other details were provided.

Meanwhile, DJ’s Pawnshop at 4322 Queens Boulevard is closing. It is referring its customers to EZ Pawn on the corner of 46th and Queens Blvd.

There is no word as to what’s happening with the space.

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Landmarks Commission to evaluate whether to save Clock Tower; public meeting tomorrow
Bank1-475x356 March 23, By Christian Murray The first formal step to landmark the Clock Tower will take place tomorrow when the Landmarks Preservation Commission will meet to evaluate whether a public hearing should be held as part of the process to landmark the famous building. The public meeting tomorrow is significant since it indicates that the Chairperson of the Commission has already reviewed the application and has determined that it has merit and the formal process of whether to landmark it or not should begin. The Clock Tower, located at 29-29 Queens Blvd., was built in 1927 and was the tallest building in Queens until the construction of the Citigroup building in Court Square. Advocates for the designation argue that it is one of the most significant architectural landmarks in the borough. Tomorrow, the full commission—comprised of up to 11 Commissioners-- will be briefed by LPC’s research group and will vote to determine whether a public hearing should take place—another significant step in the process. If the majority of Commissioners agree, then a hearing will be scheduled. At this point, if the owner of the property files a demolition permit with the Department of Buildings, LPC will be notified and it would most likely speed up the review/application process, according to a LPC spokeswoman. Queens Plaza Park Development, the owner of the clock tower building, purchased it for $31 million in November. The same company owns the adjacent site at 29-37 41st Avenue, where it filed earlier this month to build a 70 story building at that site. After a public hearing is held by LPC, a report will be produced and the commission will review it. They will then vote whether to landmark or not-- or schedule another meeting. If they vote to landmark it, it will go to the City Planning Commission to provide feedback and the city council for a vote. Click for landmark process

Public Hearing by sunnysidepost

Big media takes a close look at Sunnyside: NYTimes, CBS 2
New York Times

New York Times

March 21, Staff Report Sunnyside has been getting plenty of media attention by the big-city press in the past week. On Wednesday, The New York Times released an article that looked into the neighborhood and referred to Sunnyside as the 'Mayberry Near Midtown.' Sunnyside, in western Queens, is a stark contrast to the gleaming glass residential towers rising in nearby Long Island City. Here is an old-fashioned New York neighborhood of squat prewar apartment buildings, rowhouses and shopping streets that still have mom-and-pop businesses.

“We call it Mayberry,” after the small town portrayed in the 1960s sitcom “The Andy Griffith Show,” said Amy FitzGerald, the owner of Welcome Home Real Estate on Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside.

“People are very friendly,” said Ms. FitzGerald, who moved to the neighborhood with her husband 16 years ago from Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

(click here for the full NYTimes Story) Now, CBS 2 is running a series on the neighborhood that “uncovers the hidden secrets of the city." (Please Note: the ads before the clips are long) . . . .
Independent pharmacy to open on Queens Boulevard; optical store to replace Pink Icing
Platinum Pharmacy Sunnyside March 21, Staff Report Despite the presence of several big-box drug stores, another independent pharmacy is about to open in Sunnyside. Platinum Pharmacy, located at 46-21 Queens Blvd, is moving into the space that was previously occupied by Mediterraneo, a pizzeria that closed last year. The new drug store is just one block away from another independent drug store—Bliss Drug Pharmacy—which opened in 2011. The neighborhood has several other independent drug stores—such as Amazon Pharmacy, Rockway Pharmacy, Greenpoint Pharmacy, Family Pharmacy and Skillman Pharmacy. pink-icing-outsideMeanwhile, Sunnyside has several big chain stores such as Rite Aide, Duane Read and CVS. In other news, a new optical store is about to open at 44-13 Queens Blvd-- where Pink Icing was previously located. The owner said the store will be called Sunnysight and is likely to open April 1.  No other details were provided. Meanwhile, DJ’s Pawnshop at 4322 Queens Boulevard is closing. It is referring its customers to EZ Pawn on the corner of 46th and Queens Blvd. There is no word as to what’s happening with the space.
Owner of Queens Blvd site plans to develop it
38-15 Queens Blvd.

38-15 Queens Blvd.

March 19, By Christian Murray The owners of a large Queens Blvd site are looking to develop the property. The site, located at 38-15 Queens Blvd, is currently being used as a car wash facility and is zoned for manufacturing. The owners, listed as 38-15 Queens Blvd., have reached out to Community Board 2 to discuss their development proposal. The board has not yet seen what they have in mind, and the owners could not be reached for comment. Pat O’Brien, chairman of Community Board 2, said that the owners would not be reaching out to the board if they planned to develop it according to its current zoning. He said that the proposal is likely to involve the construction of residential units. The site is located about one block outside the Sunnyside district that was rezoned in 2011. The rezoned area allows for substantial residential development. Therefore, the owners would have to undergo a lengthy public process, which would involve going before the community board, the borough president’s office, the city planning commission and a city council vote. O’Brien said that he was concerned about all the development that is currently taking place--in terms of what it means for schools, the subway system and area hospitals. development
Subway fares to rise Sunday despite limited No. 7 train service
7subway1-300x224 March 19, Staff Report Despite the No. 7 train skipping several Flushing-bound Sunnyside stops this Sunday, subway prices will still be going up that very same day. MTA fares are scheduled to rise this Sunday, March 22, after being approved in January. Single subway rides will be increasing to $2.75—from $2.50—the MTA said, while monthly passes will be raised to $116.50—from $112. Weekly passes will be $31, Meanwhile, this weekend there will be no service between Times Square and Hunters Point Avenue. Additionally, Flushing bound service will skip 33rd, 40th, 46th, 52nd and 69th Streets.  
Subway advocacy group takes aim at Cuomo over poor train service
subwayhorrorstoriesqns-2-e1426691030575 March 18, By Christian Murray A New York City subway advocacy group is calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature to provide the funding needed to fix the decaying No. 7, N and Q lines. The group, the Riders Alliance, is collecting subway riders' horror stories this week—and will present them to Cuomo and the state legislature who will be deciding whether to fund the MTA’s proposed $32 billion five-year-capital plan in upcoming months. “It’s easy to blame the MTA for all of these breakdowns and malfunctions, but the real culprits are Governor Cuomo and members of the state legislature, who have not stepped up to provide the funds that would fix and upgrade our subways,” said John Raskin, Executive Director of the Riders Alliance, said. “If Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers don’t fund the next MTA capital program, riders are going to see a lot more of these signal malfunctions and train breakdowns in the future, he said. On Tuesday, members of the Riders Alliance were at Queensboro Plaza and asked N,Q and 7 riders to share their experiences. The move to collect riders’ “horror stories” has been prompted by a sharp increase in complaints about signal malfunctions, unexplained train delays and generally deteriorating service in recent weeks, according to the Riders Alliance. The group argues that the aging system can only be repaired if lawmakers decide to fund the next capital program. Carol Crump, a 7 train rider, shared here horror story Tuesday: "I rely on the 7 train to get me from Queens to work on the Upper West Side. But lately—weekend and late night service on the 7 train has been a joke! Sometimes I have to resort to taking the bus or car service and that’s not sustainable or affordable!" The Riders Alliance is collecting stories of similar experiences online at http://www.ridersny.org/2015/03/13/has-your-subway-gotten-worse/ through Friday, March 20th.
Lenny’s Pizza–located on Greenpoint Ave.–for sale
Lennys March 17, Staff Report Lenny’s Pizza, located at 44-08 Greenpoint Avenue, is for sale. The pizzeria, which opened in 2010, is on the market for between $450,000 and $700,000, according to the Multiple Listing Service. The listing comes shortly after the opening of Nonna Ginna, a new pizzeria located one block away. Lenny’s occupies a large space with room for about 40 seats. For the listing, please click here. Lennys1  
Tibetan restaurant opens on 47th Avenue
Tibet March 16, By Michael Florio The owner of a popular Tibetan restaurant in Jackson Heights has opened a second location—this one in Sunnyside. Tenzing Tsering, who has owned GangJong Restaurant for the past three years, opened Punda Tibetan Restaurant, located at 39-35 47th Ave, this weekend. The restaurant offers modern Tibetan food, along with Asian and Indian cuisine. Tsering came to the United States in 2011 and soon afterward opened his Jackson Heights restaurant. That establishment is small, with room for 12 customers and a small kitchen. The Sunnyside location is significantly bigger, with room for about 32 people. Furthermore, it has a big kitchen, which allows Tsering to make more elaborate dishes. Tsering, who lives in Jackson Heights, was born in Tibet and grew up in India, where he began working as a chef. He had worked in Russia, France, Poland before coming to Queens. He said he will be operating out of the Sunnyside restaurant full time, as he has trained a chef for his Jackson Heights location. Tsering said he wants to offer Sunnyside residents healthy food. “I want to make the neighborhood happy and healthy,” he said. “We will still serve meat, but in limited portions,” he said, adding that he often uses mushrooms and beans in place of meat. “The food is steamed, boiled or stir fried.” The menu will include Tibetan beef and chicken entrees, such as phing-sha (a slow-cooked Tibetan beef stew with potato, rice and noodles) and jhasha hatsa (which is sliced chicken sautéed with freshly roasted dried chillies). He is also offering momos, the popular dumplings made with dough and stuffed with chicken, beef or vegetables. There will be Indian entrees such as beef curry, chicken curry and shrimp curry, as well as several vegetarian options.
Queens World Film Festival kicks off Tuesday, includes Sunnyside film
comicbookheaven March 16, By Michael Florio The Queens World Film Festival (QWFF), which will screen more than 100 independent films, kicks off tomorrow night at the Museum of Moving Image. The festival, which runs from March 17 through 22nd, will feature 117 films from 30 nations. The films will be screened at three venues—The Secret Theater in LIC, P.S. 69 in Jackson Heights and MoMI. The event begins with the screening of six films at MoMI tomorrow night, starting at 8:00pm. The opening-night screening will then be followed by a party at Studio Square that begins at 10 pm. The festival will include about 50 films from the United States, with the remainder coming from countries such as England, Greece, Switzerland, Ukraine, Dominican Republic and China, according to festival director Katha Cato. “These filmmakers around the world are attracted to this festival since it brings an American audience to see their film,” Cato said. The year’s festival will also include 19 films that were made by Queens residents. Their work will be screened at P.S. 69—the largest of the three venues with 400 seats. It will provide them with the greatest exposure, Kato said. One film was made in Sunnyside. E.J. McLeavey-Fisher created a short documentary film about the cantankerous 81-year-old Joe Leisner, who was the owner of Comic Book Heaven in Sunnyside for many years before it closed down in 2013. It will be playing at PS 69 at 8:15 pm this Friday. This year’s festival will include a special screening of ‘Bitter Sugar,’ by Cuban-American Leon Ichaso. It will be screened at MoMI at 7:30pm Wednesday. Ichaso, who is an internationally recognized filmmaker, will be honored at the festival for his work, which captures the human struggle of immigrating to the US. “We are honoring his integrity, humanity and dedication to do good work and continue to create independent films,” Cato said. “His work endures the test of time.” For the full listing of movies, please click here. . Comic Book Heaven from E.J. McLeavey-Fisher on Vimeo.
Mexican restaurant focusing on cemitas to open on 48th Avenue
IMG_2148 March 13, By Christian Murray A restaurant is opening on 48th Avenue that will focus on selling Central Mexican sandwiches—known as cemitas. The establishment, to be aptly named Cemita’s, will be located at 45-14 48th Ave. taking over the space that was proviously occupied by a Esmeralda. The company will dedicate about 700 sqf. of its 2,000 sqf. space to the restaurant. The other 1,300 square feet will be used as a large kitchen area-- used to cater corporate events and supply concession stands. The owner of the restaurant and catering business went before Community Board 2 Tuesday to get a wine and beer license for Cemita’s. Despite there being problems with some establishments in that section of Woodside, the board permitted the operator to keep his doors open until 2 am every night of the week.
Cemita

Cemita

 
Woman who threw man in front of train at 40th Street station takes manslaughter plea
The night of incident

The night of incident

March 13, By Christian Murray The woman who pushed a man to his death at the 40th Street subway station in December 2012 has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and is expected to be sentenced to between 22 and 25 years in prison, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office. Erika Menendez, a 33-year-old Rego Park woman, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter for shoving Sunnando Sen, 46, into a Queens-bound No. 7 train at about 8 pm, Dec. 27, 2012. Menendez, who was talking to herself on the platform prior to the incident, approached Sen from behind and pushed him onto the tracks as a train was pulling into the station. Sen was struck by the train and died of multiple blunt force trauma. Linda Santini-Tripodis, the owner of Merit Group & Associates who was by the station at the time, said: “I heard the train screech as it was stopping and then heard this loud scream. I’m never going to forget that scream for as long as I live.” Menendez was caught by the police in Brooklyn two days after the incident. “The defendant has admitted committing what is every subway commuter’s worst nightmare – being suddenly and senselessly pushed into the path of an oncoming train,” said Queens District Attorney Richard A Brown. “The victim was shoved from behind and had no chance to defend himself. The defendant now faces at least 22 years in prison when sentenced next month.”
Rustic bar/restaurant to open at corner of 43rd Street/43rd Ave.
Design concept

Design concept

micrositeimage_photo3March 12, By Christian Murray A new bar/restaurant is expected to open on the corner of 43rd Street and 43rd Avenue this summer. The bar, to be called The Lowery Bar & Kitchen, will be taking over the space that was previously occupied by Sofra, a Middle Eastern restaurant that closed two months ago. The new bar/restaurant will be owned John Keogh, an Irishman who owns a bar—called GMT Tavern-- in Greenwich Village. Keogh, who went before Community Board 2 last night as part of the process to get a liquor license, said his goal is to create a family restaurant that has “great food, great cocktails and local craft beer.” He said that the new venue would not be a sports bar nor would it offer live music. The bar/restaurant will have a rustic look with reclaimed wood, Keogh said. He plans to offer outdoor seating on both 43rd Street and 43rd Avenue with a retractable awning. “I fell in love with this corner,” he said, adding that the shape of the site is similar to his Greenwich Village location. He said he wants to add windows so the restaurant is completely visible from the outside. Construction would take about 3 months, he said. The plan would be to open by summer if all went well. The bar/restaurant would have between 12 to 16 bar stools—as well as tables and booths. The location can cater up to nearly 70 people. The menu will include items such as grilled Bratwurst sausage, grass-fed burgers, steamed mussels, fish tacos and spicy roasted pumpkin. The establishment will also offer an extensive brunch menu—featuring lamb sandwiches, oak smoked salmon and common egg dishes. Pat O’Brien, the chairman of the liquor license committee, informed board members that the location was near apartment buildings and that there had been noise complaints concerning other establishments in that vicinity. However, the board agreed that Keogh had a long history in the business and decided to give him the green light to open until 4 am, like similar establishments nearby such as Bar 43. IMG_0140 (2) .
Design concept

Design concept

Van Bramer lambasts MTA over 7 train weekday service, MTA pushes back
Tara Turtell

Tara Turtell

March 11, By Christian Murray Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer took off the gloves this morning and threw a volley of punches at the MTA concerning its No. 7 train weekday service. Van Bramer, who was joined by several disgruntled 7 train riders, held a rally at the 40th Street station this morning and said that weekday service had fallen to a new low. He said that rush-hour commuters have had to contend with trains breaking down, signal malfunctions and overcrowded platforms that have put people’s lives at risk. “Queens riders are fed up with poor 7 train service,” he said. “Riders are paying for a service that is poor, inconsistent and just plain late.” He said that the level of service was “outrageous, potentially dangerous and disgraceful.” He said that the MTA, a state-run agency, was not being held accountable and that its standard excuse that ‘it will get better one day’ was inadequate to commuters who have to get to work on time. He called on the MTA to publicly release detailed information about every disruption (during rush hour) over the last year and to respond to angry riders at a town hall meeting. But the MTA pushed back. “We will be more than happy to look at the data but what does that accomplish?” wrote Kevin Ortiz, a spokesman for the MTA, in an e-mail. “To confirm what we already know?” “We are already working hard to make the 7 line more reliable by installing a new signal system, thousands of feet of track panels and making Sandy-related repairs—all vital work to improve service on the line.” “We understand that these service disruptions are inconvenient to our customers who depend on the No. 7 line and we appreciate their patience.” But Tara Turtell, one of several angry riders, wasn’t so patient with the MTA recently when she waited in the freezing cold on the 40th Street platform for over 45 minutes. She said that 10 trains came through the station, which were too packed for anyone to board. Turtell said she got to work an hour late and that she was so cold that she was unable to E-mail her boss as to her delay. "Unfortunately that was just one of many times the 7 train has made me excessively late to work. When I complain to the MTA all I hear are halfhearted apologies and absolutely no desire to improve, which makes the situation that much more frustrating,” she said. Van Bramer said that the MTA’s response to the community has been inadequate. He said that he sent the MTA a letter on Dec. 12 following another period when his constituents were complaining about weekday service. Van Bramer said he received a response two months later and the MTA wrote that over the course of the past 12 months "there were periods where delays and incidents have spiked.” Furthermore, Van Bramer said, the MTA stated in that letter that the No. 7 train outperformed the entire subway system as a whole with fewer delays on average. Van Bramer said that the MTA had promised the community that it would receive improved weekday service—in return for the hardship caused by the weekend outages. “My question to the MTA: why then has it sunk to new lows over the last four months?’” But the MTA struck back claiming that Van Bramer was getting in the way of progress by trying to postpone No. 7 train weekend work for events such as the St. Pat’s for All parade. “It is disingenuous of the councilman to request on several occasions that we postpone work on the 7 line then hold a rally to complain about service,” Ortiz wrote. Despite the MTAs claims, Pat O’Brien, the chairman of Community Board 2, said the level of service has been unacceptable. “The MTA may call it the 7 line but for all of us it is our life line—to get to work, school and doctor’s appointments.”  
Sunnyside’s Wespaw Pets to open pet pharmacy in Astoria
Wespaw Pets Pharmacy March 10, By Christian Murray Wespaw Pets, the Sunnyside pet store that opened on Queens Blvd in 2013, is expanding into the prescription drug business by opening an animal pharmacy in Astoria. The pharmacy, which will be located at 37-15 23rd Avenue, will cater to all pets—from dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, reptiles and even fish. The new location will be called Wespaw Pets Pharmacy and will open on Monday, March 23. Sam Abdrabouh, the owner of Wespaw Pets and Wespaw Pets Pharmacy, said his goal is to bring pet owners “high-quality customized prescriptions at affordable prices.” He will be opening the new pharmacy with plenty of experience as well as the support of many Sunnyside residents. “I am a registered pharmacist who has worked with animals and veterinarians for years,” Sam said. “I’m hoping that all the people who have been kind enough to support me at Wespaw Pets will think about me for their [pet's] prescription needs.” He said that there will be a pharmacist on site who will be able to answer pet owner’s questions and will be able to provide specialized advice. He said that this one-on-one service is a key factor that differentiates his service from others. Sam said he selected Astoria as the place to open the pharmacy since “it is in the heart of western Queens and is very accessible to Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.” He said that he will provide same-day-service for medications that are in stock and will deliver them within hours. However, in rare cases, where a complex prescription needs to filled—or a medication is not readily available-- it might take up to three business days, he said. He said that some medications, depending on the pet, may have to be administered as a flavored liquid, or a flavored treat or even a transdermal cream based on the willingness of a pet to take its medication. The method is often determined by the veterinarian in consultation with the pharmacist. The drugs are made on site specifically for each pet, he said. Each prescription has to be written by a veterinarian. He said that residents who are looking to use his service should E-mail him to find out how they can transfer their existing account-- or open a new one. He said he can be reached at [email protected]
Sam (far left) at Lou Lodati Park dog run shortly after it opened

Sam (far left) at Lou Lodati Park dog run shortly after it opened

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