Sunnyside Shines (BID) hires new executive director

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62 Responses to Sunnyside Shines (BID) hires new executive director

  1. 86Mets

    They couldn't find anyone who actually lives in Sunnyside?

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  2. Oppressed Masses

    Best of luck to Ms. Thieme. It's very important to improve the Sunnyside BID's presence on social media (twitter, Facebook, etc) but also by other means to reach all segments of the community. There's no better time than right now as the holiday season moves into full gear.

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  3. 43rd Street Resident

    Thinks are looking up, not Jorsey like her predecessor. New executive director is a resident of Park Slope.

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  4. O'shea

    Typical. Carpetbagging, job stealing hipster....who happens to live in parkslope.

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  5. local

    I'm thrilled to have someone qualified and with relevant experience in this post. Best of luck to Ms. Thieme. Look forward to seeing what she does.

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  6. Ruben

    Come to Sunnyside! where you can enjoy 5 banks in a 5 block radius. You can also enjoy Mexican clubs that front as restaurants during the day like Arriba Arriba! While we're on the subject, if you're in the need of a nail salon or hair threading Sunnyside has got them a plenty. If you're on a tight budget so you and your hipster buddies can enjoy some overpriced Sushi at Ariyoshi then enjoy shopping at our numerous 99cent stores for some fine bargains.

    Please also enjoy our wonderful new benches we installed for you shoppers but are mostly used by our collection of homeless people that frequent our neighborhood.

    There...I just did her job.

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  7. Nick Shadyside

    No, they couldn't find anyone who lives in Sunnyside. And no, she's not from Park Slope, but Greenpoint (about a mile or two from here, if you'd bother to consult a map, rather than 6 miles from here), if it makes a difference to the dunderheaded old-timers who fantasizwe about ONLY irish immigrants or other folk that set down roots 40-60 years ago running this neighborhood, then please wake up.

    Guess what, old timers, this never was your neighborhood in the first place...in 1917, it was a tract of farm land until what's now the 7 train was built.. You had your time, and now your wretched kids whine and moan about the fate of the neighborhood...give me a break. They're a bunch of degenerates.

    The young 'white' people who move in (aka HIPSTERS) are not raising your rents--the immigrants are, and more power to them. Where is the discussion about that? Of the white "arty" people I know in the area, none is making as much money as these cab_drivers or store owners who are recent immigrants.

    And this is New York City, not Oklahoma City, so please stop bitchin' about the incursions on your particular way of life...if you're a "native" of sunnyside, then your parents displaced the previous order, so quit whining.

    There's no such thing as an indigenous neighborhood in this city, anywhere, so please, all, stop decrying and lamenting a foregone time that didn't' exist.

    If you're hung up on being an "original" Sunnysider, fine. Enjoy that; but it's not worth a lick unless you can show how that actuality 'bettered' the area. Your industry is dead; your skills are mute. So update yourself, or die, like the rest of America.

    Too often, I've encountered these heroic neighborhood saviors who've, in the end, had no connection to the 'hoods their trying to save. I suspect that's the case with a lot of you phony s'side saviors. ...

    Old-timers; please step aside, or at least realize your necessary limitations on this matter...........

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  8. Nick Shadyside

    O'shea:
    Get a life, and stop leaching off of others.
    Totally pathetic comment...

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  9. Nick Shadyside

    O'shea--you're the worst....seriously...you suck

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  10. Patriot

    O'Shea has it right. We need a real American from the Neighborhood

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  11. Long time sunnysider

    I would like u to tell me and the world what s a "real" American???

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  12. 86Mets

    @Nick Shadyside

    Nice name-calling tirade there: telling people you don't agree with to die.

    Keep it classy.

    Did it ever occur to you that if your job is promoting a product, in this case Sunnyside, you might be more credible if it's a product you use and are extremely familiar with? One could ask Ms. Thieme if she thinks Sunnyside is so wonderful, why didn't she move there?

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  13. Yuengling

    Counting by the number of Irish bars, the neighborhood is certainly still predominantly Irish. But where are all you Irish dudes opening barber shops, bakeries or yes-they're needed too-nail salons and grocery stores? Wake up people, this is New York!! The definition of cultural and social diversity. None of you "keep-it-as-it-always-was-sayers" can tell me that you don't enjoy the occasional burrito, pizza or gyro.
    I agree that it would be beneficial to have someone living in the neighborhood to do Ms. Thieme's job, I wish her best of luck.

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  14. O'shea

    @ Nick Shadyside
    Thanks for the complement :)
    For a man who comments at 4am ....you do have a life.
    Btw the young white hipsters are the ones raising the rents. You are just not seeing it.
    Nothing here against success.
    A good graduate degree and a six figure salary gives one the option to pay market rent, especially when you have been priced out of manhattan but need to be closer. The influx of hipsters has created a new demand shift for the neighborhood. We see this in the increase of specialty stores, demand for dog parks, better built schools, more expensive food items, and even our political leaders. This increased demand also creates more economic dead zones as commercial landlords holdout for bigger payouts. Just take a look at green point avenue and the empty stores on skillman.
    You feel these effects when you go shopping or watch landlords try to bully older citizens out of their apartments.
    Change for the better is good. 2 99c store blocks apart.......

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  15. 43rd Street Resident

    Sunnyside Shines BID new executive director qualifications. Actual working time spent in a position from 6 months to less then 1 year since 2007. Priceless

    She won't last !!

    Executive Director
    Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District
    November 2012 – Present (1 month)
    Project Manager

    INIT, Innovations in Transportation, Inc.
    June 2010 – November 2012 (2 years 6 months) New York, NY
    Economic Development Consultant

    DragoBROOKLYN
    April 2010 – June 2010 (3 months) Brooklyn, NY
    Project Manager, Community Development

    Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation
    October 2009 – April 2010 (7 months) Brooklyn, NY
    Graduate Intern/Analyst

    Full Spectrum of NY
    2008 – 2008 (less than a year)
    Graduate Summer Intern

    NYC Dept of Citywide Admin. Services/Division of Real Estate Services
    2008 – 2008 (less than a year)
    Graduate Fellow

    Pratt Center for Community Development
    2007 – 2007 (less than a year)
    Program Manager

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  16. Long time resident

    One could ask Ms. Thieme if she thinks Sunnyside is so wonderful, why didn’t she move there?

    One could, but it's a rather silly question. Living in the neighborhood is not a requirement to perform the job, to understand the neighborhood, to enjoy a neighborhood, to see it's potential, run a BID, etc., and it seems rather foolish, insular, and narrow-minded to believe it is a requirement.

    Based on what I've read here, we have no reason to believe she knows nothing about the neighborhood. And based on what I've read here, it sounds like she's got the right background. So how about reserving negative judgment until there's actually a reason to judge negatively?

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  17. Matt C

    My day gets worse every time I actually read blog comments.

    Bunch of people who do nothing but chime in.

    Go outside and help a neighbor if you're such a model citizen.

    I'm sure this woman is perfectly nice and has every intention of doing her best.

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  18. The Old Oak Tree

    @NickShadyside You are a perfect model for why people who have lived peacefully in this neighborhood for most of their lives are suffering nighmares, migraines and dyspepsia. Your extreme degree of unctious self-satisfaction has been known to induce hives in perfectly healthy people across the globe. Not just this neighborhood, any neighborhood will recoil at having to include you.

    Thank goodness people like you don't last long, you leave in search of "the latest." What's cool this year won't be cool quite soon, and you will disappear from these sidewalks. Goodbye, and God Bless.

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  19. Preschool Teacher

    @43rd St Resident: Are you a Head Hunter or a Human Resources professional?? We don't know the nature of the positions she held. Perhaps these were short term assignments. Internships only last a few months. She is only 32 years old. Rachel may have worked in another field prior to this one. Give her a chance. As someone mentioned, this is NYC, everyone is from somewhere else.

    We are all very lucky in Sunnyside compared to others in our borough. We barely lost a light bulb in this Hurricane. So everybody just relax and examine your priorities in life!

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  20. 86Mets

    I will take the liberty of writing Sunnyside Shines latest press release.

    "We have hired an attractive young lady who has no connections to our cherished neighborhood to shout from the rooftops what a wonderful place Sunnyside is to live, work and shop in.

    She is sooooooooo totally committed to our community that she still prefers to live in another borough.

    But if you should have the audacity to point out that inconvenient fact, we will call you a narrow-minded old-timer or something similar."

    Sorry but she is has nothing to do with this neighborhood: just a pretty face with a college degree. A hired gun and probably a personal friend of somebody who had a say in hiring her. That would be my guess.

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  21. Tempus Fugit

    All the silliness aside, it does speak volumes that Sunnyside Shines thinks so little of its own residents that they couldn't find one local person to take this job.

    What the hell, we have a carpetbagger mayor for 3 terms, as well as a history of carpetbagger senators so maybe Sunnyside Shines is just getting with the program.

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  22. Longtime Resident

    @Preschool Teacher: If @43rd St. were a Head Hunter or an HR professional, that individual would probably not see the new head of Sunnyside BID's background as questionable.

    Someone worked in non-profits, came to New York about 5 years ago to earn a Master's degree in city planning and works in that field during a recession, and somehow her resume isn't up to snuff? Give me a break.

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  23. O'shea

    @ Tempus
    I wonder if there " are binders full of women " available for hiring qualified women from sunnyside.

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  24. Longtime Resident

    @86Mets: Is it completely scandalous if the head of the 34th St. Partnership doesn't live on 34th St.? What if whoever is the head of the Times Square Alliance doesn't actually live in Times Square? What if the head of the Chinatown BID actually lives in *gasp* the Lower East Side? What if the head of the Washington Heights Alliance lives in West Harlem?

    Do you actually think people should relocate - give up an apartment they may have been renting for years, decades, or sell a coop/condo or sublet - for a job they'll likely keep for a couple of years? That's pretty silly.

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  25. Longtime Resident

    it does speak volumes that Sunnyside Shines thinks so little of its own residents that they couldn’t find one local person to take this job.

    It does no such thing. You don't think they posted the job and people were able to submit resumes with cover letters? If there were any qualified local applications, why wouldn't they have been given due consideration? It's like you think Sunnyside Shine had a responsibility to find someone in the neighborhood, regardless of competency.

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  26. Tempus Fugit

    @Longtime Resident

    I'll meet you half way and say that perhaps it speaks volumes about Sunnyside itself that even in this economy where even very capable professionals are seeking work, that Sunnyside could not produce one competent individual for this position.

    Maybe I'm cynical but I've been in business enough in my 60 plus years that when I see a young, good looking woman getting a job that possibly should have gone to another that I suspect some hanky-panky somewhere along the line.

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  27. Longtime Resident

    that Sunnyside could not produce one competent individual for this position.

    It does not say that either. Have you never interviewed for a job or been a hiring manager? Do you think employers with open positions only find one possible candidate, interview them, offer that person the job, and are accepted 100 percent of the time? How do know there weren't people in Sunnyside with the skills & qualifications who weren't interested in the position and chose not to apply? How do you know there weren't people who lived in the neighborhood who interviewed, were offered the position and declined? You don't know anything, yet make loads of assumptions and judgments as if you know far more than you possibly could.

    Maybe I’m cynical but I’ve been in business enough in my 60 plus years that when I see a young, good looking woman getting a job that possibly should have gone to another that I suspect some hanky-panky somewhere along the line.

    You're not cynical. You're just a misogynist.

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  28. Tempus Fugit

    @Longtime

    And you're naive if you don't think attractive, young women have a certain advantage in business.

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  29. 43rd Street Resident

    Has anyone seen James Bray lately? Is he back to stocking shelves at Home Dept?

    Screws are needed in aisle 3, hoses in aisle 5 and plants need watering.

    Just an optimist at heart!

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  30. s-side doesn't shine on this blog

    these comments are why I'd never want to be featured on this site. Embarrassing

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  31. Oppressed Masses

    I wonder if after reading these comments Ms. Thorne will still want the job.

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  32. Oppressed Masses

    Err, that would be Ms. Thieme.

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  33. rook

    I'm surprised people are knocking her. There are many BIDs that are led by people that do not live in the designated area. I don't know her, but I know economic development and where she has worked. Her qualifications more than make up for this. Best of luck to her.

    BTW, if I recall, James Bray was in his early 20s, had no economic development experience prior to this position, and commuted from NJ. Not to knock Bray, but she seems like a vast improvement.

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  34. Longtime Resident

    And you’re naive if you don’t think attractive, young women have a certain advantage in business.</em?

    One would have to be rather a dunderhead to not recognize that attractive young women have an advantage in certain situation in business and also are at a disadvantage in certain situations in business for the very same reasons which gave them an advantage in another scenario. @Tempus seems incapable of recognizing the later. @Tempus also jumps to the conclusion that a young attractive woman got a job solely based on hanky panky, which makes @Tempus a misogynist who dismisses any possibility of the candidates actually being qualified to perform the job she was hired to do.

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  35. Tempus Fugit

    @Rook

    You do make a good point. Someone from Greenpoint is certainly better than someone from New Jersey.

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  36. Ruben

    See people? There are others FAR worse than me up in these forums. All I bitched about was a dirty bum and hipsters..oh..and terrorists.

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  37. JuliaJ.

    Nobody from the 'hood qualified for this job? Maybe she will tell us we need another nail salon. LOL!

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  38. Moneyside

    Was she here over Thanksgiving or did she go back home to whatever fly over state she's from to tell mommy & daddy all the financial support they gave her to live in Greenpoint paid off! She has a cool urban planning job in NYC, OMG!

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  39. O'shea

    @longtime resident
    Are you Captain save the women folk?
    One can't make a statement without being characterized a mysogynist?
    Enough of this pc crap. People have a right to voice their opinion in a public forum, irrespective of how silly it may be.
    Thieme is a new yorker by now. I am sure she has enough skin to withstand this light roasting.
    @ ruben
    You are by far the worst. A hipster watered down your haterade.

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  40. Tempus Fugit

    Would we be holding a Bix Beiderbecke memorial concert every year if he lived in another neighborhood? I doubt it.

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  41. JuliaJ.

    Moneyside- LOL!

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  42. Bijan

    Judging strictly by the comments section on this site, I can safely surmise that virtually everyone who lives in Sunnyside hates it with a fiery passion. The only thing they hate worse is everywhere else.

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  43. Ruben

    O'shea, its clear if you piss off a hipster or a yuppie they go after your money. You all cast the first stones against someone on a personal level. I'm surprised you all haven't commented if she's single or not, or what religion she is. All because she got a job you haters couldn't get? With all the other REAL issues we have in Sunnside you be worried about where this chick lives?

    and What have my comments been about? Comments on the current state of Sunnyside's North vs South issues which clearly hide some deep seeded racial sentimentality? My comment aimed to expose those feelings and you suckers fell for them. As a Latino myself I know first hand how it feels to be treated like a second class citizen in your own damn neighborhood.

    What other comments have I had? The growing number of homeless people in Sunnyside? You can't tell me you feel safe walking by unstable people or have you forgotten these are some of the SAME people who have pushed others into traffic and thrown acid into faces.

    What's another comment I've given? How You people ( the very same people ready to lynch this woman) are the same damn stuck up people who are too damn snotty to say hello to your neighbors and say thank you when they hold the door for you? You come into MY neighborhood , raise all the prices around me, walk your dogs leaving all your shit all over the block then move away in 6 months like a pack of well dressed nomads.

    You rats jump on an attack on a far greater level than I do...attacking peoples money. Typical passive aggressive elitist d-bags. If you want the job then apply for it. Otherwise sit on it and spin.

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  44. SunnysideUP

    Not cool people, not cool! Let the poor girl do her job which I assume she is qualified for and get over yourselves.You are not the center of the world (no one is)
    and hipsters (as you call them) or any other category (?) of people are not your problem. YOU are creating your own problems. Everybody is welcome in Sunnyside and most of the above comments only embarrass their writers and show how pathetic human beings can be. Really sad.
    Rachel Thleme if you have read the negative comments please don't get discourage. People in Sunnyside are nice and warm hearted who welcome everyone in the community and give equal opportunities to all newcomers. I suspect that the haters above are just a small small minority of this community. Please try to bring a bookstore or two in Sunnyside. Thank you and best of luck!.

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  45. Moneyside

    lol @ruben got trolled

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  46. Longtime Resident

    Are you Captain save the women folk?

    What women do you think are in need of saving? Certainly not the qualified individual with a background in non-profits, with experience as a project manager and in public planning, with a master's degree to boot in that area, who recently landed a job.

    One can’t make a statement without being characterized a mysogynist?

    Well of course one can. It happens all the time. And sometimes people make blatantly misogynistic statements questioning the validity of a woman's accomplishments while ignoring her qualification merely because she has the gall to be a woman, young, and attractive, and get called out on being a misogynist.

    Enough of this pc crap.
    1994 called. It said it wishes you wouldn't whine about political correctness. Something about how the early to mid-90s feels like it really owns that space.

    People have a right to voice their opinion in a public forum, irrespective of how silly it may be.
    Why is that people who voice this opinion (it's a free country! I can say what ever I want!) fail to recognize that it works both ways. People get to comment on their silly opinions.

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  47. disco mutha

    obviously female hipsters get people riled up. good thing for this carpetbagger the B24 still runs m-f. Sure she'll get off the bus with 'er coffee mug in hand, WORD totebag and all the other hipster dead giveaways. Damn hipsters!!

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  48. Thomas

    Stop the hate! Give this woman a chance. I've read about her qualifications...we are lucky to have her........ in yiddish she would be could a "maven" God bless!

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  49. Bliss & Skillman

    43rd Street Resident said:

    "Sunnyside Shines BID new executive director qualifications. Actual working time spent in a position from 6 months to less then 1 year since 2007."

    ... then shows us these entries from her resume:

    Executive Director
    Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District
    November 2012 – Present (1 month)
    Project Manager

    INIT, Innovations in Transportation, Inc.
    June 2010 – November 2012 (2 years 6 months) New York, NY
    Economic Development Consultant

    It seems math really DOES suck for 43rd Street Resident! :)

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  50. Angray

    @Bliss & Skillman - Reading comprehension not his strong suit either...

    "Thinks are looking up, not Jorsey like her predecessor. New executive director is a resident of Park Slope."

    Article clearly says she is a resident of Greenpoint.

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  51. Krissi

    Well good luck to her!

    I actually think I might be good for this job... something to consider in the future :-)

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  52. 43rd Street Resident

    All the negative blogs have nothing to do with Ms. Thieme, just the fustration that is felt with Sunnyside Shines BID group everytime they bring in another stooge from the outside of our neighborhood.

    President Board of Director Vogt listed James Bray's annual salary was $41, 600 for his 2 1/2 years of work. I would like to see a show of hands if anyone believes he really did work, to go home after his tenure $100,000

    The Woodside/ Sunnyside Thanksgiving food pantry lines were 4 to 5 deep and several blocks long isn't there a better way to spend this money. If the President of BID would actively search he would see 1 Ph.d, masters and college graduates that are out of work.

    I just hope not to see annual Christmas parties at Dazies that home addresses are in majority Long Island, Forest Hills and one in Virginia who all they bring to the table is appetites. It does say something about the exclusivity of the area.

    Remember we all are watching!

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  53. Mike Novak

    Dear Ms. Thieme,

    Ignore the cowards and haters who hide behind false names.

    You have a mighty task ahead of you.

    Your predecessor was not the best of caretakers. I witnessed this firsthand at a meeting that I attended when he was asked is he would commit a small percentage of the revenue the BID collects to remove gaffitti from the storefronts in the BID.

    He said, "Thats the city's job. We are not spending any money on graffitti removal"

    That is only one of the many problems, and overall general bad feelings about the BID that you have inherited.

    I wish you the best of luck and I hope that you can evolve the BID into a successful one that cares more about the businesses and people of Sunnyside rather than just collecting fees and cashing paychecks.

    Thank you

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  54. Mike Novak

    Krissi,

    As someone who did not have a problem with, and even defended sleazy business owner Maluf, (former owner of the Bliss restaurant on 46th & Skillman) for lying to his landlord and passing bad checks as he screwed her out of nearly a years rent for his storefront space, you would the last person I would want running the BID.

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  55. 86Mets

    Can always count on Mike Novak to whip out the hate card when you don't agree with him.

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  56. Thomas

    Ruben....
    Where does this contempt for others come from? You stereotype people in the same manner by which you accuse them? Your rants seem to be manifestations of emotional or inferiority disorder. Its up to you to decide wether to welcome others and be a part of the Sunnyside community. Hannukah season is upon us along with Kwanzaa and other Holidays...its time to reflect.....good luck and God bless!

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  57. It's all True

    Mike Novak is stuck on Maluf! Again! Let it go, Mike. I predict the current holder of the Bid job will leave within one year.

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  58. Thomas

    Mr. Novak....
    Unless you were a party to the lease between Mr. Maluf and the "landlord" how can you cast aspersions on the reputation of someone based upon hearsay or one side of the story. A lease is a contract maybe both parties were at fault or Mr. Maluf simply could not afford to pay. Lets wish the new BID represetative the best of luck....maybe she will surprise you! Think and educate yourself on the issues!

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  59. Angray

    Things people get worked up about.

    Novak - Maluf & dog crap
    Oppressed - Dogs
    Duro - MTA & Dogs
    Ruben - Hipster/hippies, Latinos

    What I can remember off the bat.

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  60. Mike Novak

    Thomas "Last name unknown",

    I have been good friends with Dorothy Moorehead for thirty years. I know the facts of the case, its obvious that you do not.

    Have a nice day.

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  61. Thomas

    I assume 'Dorothy Moorehead" is the owner of the property? Therefore you prove my point that your biased in her favor. Maybe she made a bad deal or did'nt follow thru on her end of the bargain. Before I slander this "Maluf" I would like to hear his version.

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  62. thomas

    Mr. Novack
    why are you so compelled to interfere in a dispute of which you are not invovled? Are you a shill for the owner.....if she has a legitimate grievance let her addres it before the court. I feel sory for you that your life is so devoid of any pursuit that you must attach yourself to this futile slander.......

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Latest News

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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More Headlines

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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