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

Sunnyside Shines to launch holiday gift guide, plans event for Small Business Saturday

BIDfrontcover

Nov. 23, By Christian Murray

Expect a holiday gift guide – promoting Sunnyside’s small businesses – to arrive in the mail any day now.

Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District, with the help of LaGuardia Community College students, has produced a 10-page brochure that showcases what 22 local stores have to offer as well as the importance of shopping locally. The promotion also ties into Small Business Saturday, a day when shoppers are expected to buy from smaller stores following the big-box binge on black Friday.

The BID has printed 30,000 guides and will be mailing 18,000 of them to the zip code 11104 and certain sections of Woodside. The remaining guides will be distributed this Saturday when a special event is held at Bliss Plaza (underneath the 46th train station) to kickoff Small Business Saturday and the holiday season.

The event, which will take place on Nov. 29 between 12:00 pm and 1 pm, will feature free giveaways and live music from the Sunnyside Social Club, a local jazz group.

“I am delighted that the BID has produced a holiday gift guide,” said Czarinna Andres, owner of Bing’s Hallmark. “Every bit of publicity helps local businesses.”

Andres is offering a coupon in the guide that offers shoppers a discount. Stores such as Avalon Florist and Red Wing Shoes are also providing discounts.

Maria Torres-Springer, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services, was in Sunnyside last week and spoke about the importance of residents shopping locally during the holiday season.

Springer said that 20-30 percent of sales for small businesses take place during this period. She said that it is important to have promotions like these to help them compete with the large online retailers and bigger stores. She added that the marketing campaigns conducted by the 70 BIDs across the city are helping smaller businesses– including in this neighborhood.

“Sunnysiders understand the importance of shopping locally, but we wanted to make it even easier by publishing the gift guide and promoting local businesses on Small Business Saturday,” said Rachel Thieme, executive director of Sunnyside Shines.

Details:

Event: Small Business Saturday kickoff

Date: Nov. 29

Time: 12 pm – 1pm

Czarrina Andres

Czarrinna Andres

Wespaw Pets

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46th Street–by Sunnyside Arch– likely to be named after Luke Adams
Luke Adams (middle)

Luke Adams (middle)

Nov. 21, By Christian Murray

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Community Board 2 have started the process to name a street after Luke Adams, the long-time Sunnysider who passed away about two weeks ago.

Van Bramer said shortly after Adams’ death several people approached him and wanted a street named after him. Adams, who lived in Sunnyside for nearly 40 years, was known throughout the community for his work with the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, Sunnyside/Woodside Lions Club and SunnysideArtists.

“It was no surprise that everyone wanted a street named after him,” Van Bramer said.

“Luke was so involved in the neighborhood—and on a consistent basis—for the better part of 30 years,” Van Bramer said.

The community board is still deciding what street should be named after him. It has narrowed it down to two streets: 46th Street (between Queens Blvd and Greenpoint Avenue) and 43rd Street/47th Avenue where he lived.

The street would be named “Luke Adams Way,” an apt named for someone who was known as having strong opinions.

“I think there is more support for 46th Street,” Van Bramer said, who has to get the city council to sign off on it. However, “I am going to defer that decision to the community and those people closest to him.”

Patricia Dorfman, who was a very close friend of Adams, said that she was initially an advocate for 43rd Street but now views 46th Street by the arch to be more appropriate.

“His business was located on 46th street,” Dorfman said. She said that he was very involved in maintaining the arch in its early years and his name should be more prominently placed.

Van Bramer said if a decision is made quickly he would be able to get it through the city council shortly. If that is the case, we could have an unveiling in spring.”

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New commanding officer appointed to 108 precinct
Captain John Trav

Captain John Travaglia

Nov. 20, By Christian Murray

A new commanding officer has been appointed to the 108 Police Precinct, which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City.

Captain John Travaglia, who has spent most of his career in Queens, will be taking over the command following the departure of Capt. Brian Hennessy.

This will be Travaglia’s first time as a commanding officer. He was most recently the executive officer at the 114th Precinct in Astoria. Prior to that, he was an executive officer at the 104th Precinct that covers Maspeth, Middle Village and Ridgewood.

Travaglia takes the top job at a time when Sunnyside has been experiencing an uptick in burglaries and other property-related crime.  However, Astoria too has seen a jump in burglaries recently.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said that he has scheduled a meeting with Travaglia and has heard good things about him. “We look forward to meeting him as we all work to keep the neighborhood safe.”

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Fire broke out on 51st Street last night, no serious injuries

fire51st Street

Nov. 20, By Michael Florio

A fire broke out in a Sunnyside apartment building last night.

The blaze took place on the fifth floor at 41-36 51st Street. The FDNY received a call just before 7 pm and the fire was brought under control by 7:30 pm, according to the FDNY.

The fire was contained to one apartment and one person, believed to be the tenant, was taken to a local hospital with serious, but non-life threatening injuries. The victim was believed to have been unconscious when he was removed from his apartment.

A neighboring tenant, who didn’t want to be named, showed up during the fire. She said the fire was first noticed by a passerby, who saw flames shooting out the window.

“This was traumatizing for everyone,” the neighboring tenant said. “Everyone here was freaked out.”

The apartment that caught fire is completely destroyed. The apartment above may have been damaged as well, and the apartment below suffered severe water damage.

The apartment that caught fire was rented by a younger man, according to a neighboring tenant, who moved into the building earlier this year. He was known for having parties.

“We [the occupants] were worried something like this would happen,” the neighbor said.

The FDNY is still investigating what caused the fire.

fire51st Street1

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Police release PHOTO of one of the suspects wanted for beating and robbing 81-year-old
Suspect

Suspect

Nov. 19, By Christian Murray

The police have released another photo of one of the two men suspected of beating and robbing an 81-year-old Sunnysider at the Chase Bank branch at 46-10 Queens Blvd last month.

The two men allegedly approached the victim inside the Chase bank ATM area at about 9:30 am on Sunday, October 26, before punching him in the face and removing $100 and his debit card from his pocket. The victim was William Eichhorn, who has lived in the Phipps Houses for the past 50 years.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477)

For previous coverage, click here

Previous photo of suspect

Previous photo of a suspect

 

Previous photo

Previous photo of a suspect

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UPDATE: 4 Squared Flavors to be closed for winter, to reopen March 1

Flavor

Nov. 18, By Christian Murray

The frozen yogurt store 4 Squared Flavors has closed for winter and will reopen March 1, according to co-owner Khalil Nayl,

Nayl said that landlord is supportive of the store and is by providing discounted rent during the winter months.

Nayl’s announcement came less than an hour after he was asked why the store had been closed all month.

“We are exploring our options,” Nayl said at about 3:30 pm, when asked whether the 45-12 Greenpoint Avenue store had closed for good. “I will get back to you when we have made a final decision.”

Nayl had been asked the question several times during the month and provided the same response.

The store has had a tough go of it from the get-go. It was supposed to open in October 2013 but the owners had issues with the contractor and it opened in March.

Nevertheless, Nayl is hoping to get the support of Sunnysiders when he reopens. He still plans to open other 4 Squared Flavors in other locations.

The Sunnyside store is spacious—with a lounge area that has couches. There is also a special area where iPads are provided, so people can surf the web while they eat their yogurt.

Meanwhile, in other news, Mediterraneo, the popular pizzeria located at 46-21 Queens Blvd, closed at the end of last month. The owner closed for personal reasons, according to sources.

In other news, Safra Bistro, a Turkish restaurant located on the corner of 43rd Avenue and 43rd Street, is up for sale. The restaurant, which opened a year ago, is on the market for $139,000. The owner is seeking a quick sale.

Med

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Two rescue dogs and one cat find homes at Sunnyside adoption event
James Abram with Hercules

James Abram with Hercules

Nov. 17, By Christian Murray

Hercules, Daffodil and Robin all found homes Sunday.

The three animals were adopted by Sunnyside residents who attended an adoption event outside of Wespaw Pets—located at 44-05 Queens Blvd– on Sunday.

The Sean Casey Animal Rescue group in conjunction with the North Shore Animal League parked a large truck filled with dogs and cats that are currently in shelters outside the pet store.

The dogs were of all ages—puppies to seniors—with one particularly disfigured due to a cruel past owner. The dogs varied in breeds– with pit bulls, pit bull terrier mixes, poodles and even a pomeranian. The cats ranged in age too.

The first animal to be adopted was Hercules, a young pit bull, by James Abram. While the dogs had been vaccinated and checked over prior to the event, a volunteer veterinarian was on hand to help the new owners—and current dog owners—with questions.

“People continue to ask about adoption events,” said a Wespaw Pets representative. “While we have had them before this is the biggest one we have had so far.”

The next dog to find a home was Daffodil, an older dog who was adopted by a young couple.

Later in the day, a mother with her young daughter adopted a cat called Robin. Several of the cats were brought to the event by LIC Ferals & Friends.

Some of the other pets might still be adopted, according to a Wespaw representative, since a few couples are thinking it over.

Sam, the owner of Wespaw Pets, was encouraged by the day. “Sometimes you can have events like these and no dogs or cats get adopted,” he said.

adoption1

 

Couple adopts Dafodil

Couple adopts Daffodil

Robin the cat

Robin the cat

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Strong turnout for Sunnyside Artists’ craft show
Alexio Gessa (Peter Wing)

Alexio Gessa (Photo: Peter Wing)

Nov. 17, By Christian Murray

The third annual Crafts & Arts Show took place in Sunnyside on Sunday, with 35 crafters offering items—from jewelry to illustrations–to hundreds of attendees who showed up over the course of the day.

The event was held at the Queen of Angels Church parish center—from 10 am through 5 pm– and attendees came in waves.

The numbers swelled whenever a church service ended at Queen of Angels Church.

“At 1 pm (when a church service ended) it was so crowded that some people decided to come back later,” said Manny Gomez, the president of Sunnyside Artists.

Gomez said he was happy with the overall turnout—which was similar to previous years. He said the cold weather didn’t dissuade people from coming.

This year’s main organizer Patricia Dorfman, the founder of Sunnyside Artists, was not in attendance due to an illness in her family. Meanwhile, Luke Adams, who had also helped put together the event in the past, passed away last week.

Gomez said that Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer attended the event at about 2 pm and there was a moment of silence in honor of Adams.

Michael Gurrado, who made several items carved from wood, was a particularly popular over the course of the day. So, too, was Kris Czerniachowich who sold handmade Christmas ornaments.

Meanwhile, Alexio Gessa, a comic-book artist & illustrator, also fared well—with Van Bramer buying a poster from him.

Jimmy Van Bramer (source: Peter Wing)

Jimmy Van Bramer (Photo:Peter Wing)

Source Peter Wing

(Photo: Peter Wing)

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DOT likely to reduce speed limit on Queens Blvd to 25 mph by year end

Van BramerFATAL

By Christian Murray

The Department of Transportation plans to reduce the speed limit on Queens Blvd to 25 mph, down from 30 mph, by the end of the year.
The DOT tweeted that Commissioner Polly “Trottenberg anticipates reducing the speed limit to 25 mph by he end of the year.”

Queens Boulevard was not included as part of the 25 mph city wide speed limit that went into effect Nov. 7 since it was deemed a big street designed to accommodate faster speeds.

“Queens Boulevard has been known as the Boulevard of Death for far too long, and our work towards Vision Zero would not be complete without addressing this street that has too often proven fatal,” said State Sen. Mike Gianaris in a statement.

“ I am glad DOT plans to make Queens Boulevard safer and I hope that with time this major street will come to be known for its pedestrian plazas and great restaurants, rather than traffic fatalities.”

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Two rescue dogs and one cat find homes at Sunnyside adoption event
James Abram with Hercules

James Abram with Hercules

Nov. 17, By Christian Murray Hercules, Daffodil and Robin all found homes Sunday. The three animals were adopted by Sunnyside residents who attended an adoption event outside of Wespaw Pets—located at 44-05 Queens Blvd-- on Sunday. The Sean Casey Animal Rescue group in conjunction with the North Shore Animal League parked a large truck filled with dogs and cats that are currently in shelters outside the pet store. The dogs were of all ages—puppies to seniors—with one particularly disfigured due to a cruel past owner. The dogs varied in breeds-- with pit bulls, pit bull terrier mixes, poodles and even a pomeranian. The cats ranged in age too. The first animal to be adopted was Hercules, a young pit bull, by James Abram. While the dogs had been vaccinated and checked over prior to the event, a volunteer veterinarian was on hand to help the new owners—and current dog owners—with questions. “People continue to ask about adoption events,” said a Wespaw Pets representative. “While we have had them before this is the biggest one we have had so far.” The next dog to find a home was Daffodil, an older dog who was adopted by a young couple. Later in the day, a mother with her young daughter adopted a cat called Robin. Several of the cats were brought to the event by LIC Ferals & Friends. Some of the other pets might still be adopted, according to a Wespaw representative, since a few couples are thinking it over. Sam, the owner of Wespaw Pets, was encouraged by the day. “Sometimes you can have events like these and no dogs or cats get adopted,” he said. adoption1  
Couple adopts Dafodil

Couple adopts Daffodil

Robin the cat

Robin the cat

Strong turnout for Sunnyside Artists’ craft show
Alexio Gessa (Peter Wing)

Alexio Gessa (Photo: Peter Wing)

Nov. 17, By Christian Murray The third annual Crafts & Arts Show took place in Sunnyside on Sunday, with 35 crafters offering items—from jewelry to illustrations--to hundreds of attendees who showed up over the course of the day. The event was held at the Queen of Angels Church parish center—from 10 am through 5 pm-- and attendees came in waves. The numbers swelled whenever a church service ended at Queen of Angels Church. “At 1 pm (when a church service ended) it was so crowded that some people decided to come back later,” said Manny Gomez, the president of Sunnyside Artists. Gomez said he was happy with the overall turnout—which was similar to previous years. He said the cold weather didn’t dissuade people from coming. This year’s main organizer Patricia Dorfman, the founder of Sunnyside Artists, was not in attendance due to an illness in her family. Meanwhile, Luke Adams, who had also helped put together the event in the past, passed away last week. Gomez said that Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer attended the event at about 2 pm and there was a moment of silence in honor of Adams. Michael Gurrado, who made several items carved from wood, was a particularly popular over the course of the day. So, too, was Kris Czerniachowich who sold handmade Christmas ornaments. Meanwhile, Alexio Gessa, a comic-book artist & illustrator, also fared well—with Van Bramer buying a poster from him.
Jimmy Van Bramer (source: Peter Wing)

Jimmy Van Bramer (Photo:Peter Wing)

Source Peter Wing

(Photo: Peter Wing)

DOT likely to reduce speed limit on Queens Blvd to 25 mph by year end
Van BramerFATAL By Christian Murray The Department of Transportation plans to reduce the speed limit on Queens Blvd to 25 mph, down from 30 mph, by the end of the year. The DOT tweeted that Commissioner Polly “Trottenberg anticipates reducing the speed limit to 25 mph by he end of the year.” Queens Boulevard was not included as part of the 25 mph city wide speed limit that went into effect Nov. 7 since it was deemed a big street designed to accommodate faster speeds. “Queens Boulevard has been known as the Boulevard of Death for far too long, and our work towards Vision Zero would not be complete without addressing this street that has too often proven fatal,” said State Sen. Mike Gianaris in a statement. “ I am glad DOT plans to make Queens Boulevard safer and I hope that with time this major street will come to be known for its pedestrian plazas and great restaurants, rather than traffic fatalities."
Man follows Sunnyside woman home, robs her at knifepoint
Suspect

Suspect

A 40-year old woman was followed into her Sunnyside apartment building last month before a man pulled out a knife and demanded her cell phone. The perpetrator followed the woman into the lobby of her 42nd Street apartment building (near Skillman Ave.) just before midnight on Saturday Oct.25. He then pulled out a knife and demanded her phone. The victim complied. The man then fled. The police released a photo and video footage of the suspect today. The suspect is described as a male black, approximately 30 years of age, who had dreadlocks containing yellow beads on the night of the attack. He was also wearing a long black trench coat. Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). 
With 18 restaurants expected, ‘Taste of Woodside’ to take place Nov. 20
Taste-of-Woodside-475x3561 Nov. 13, By Michael Florio Get ready to sample the diverse food of Woodside. Woodside on the Move, a local non-profit, will be putting on its third annual “Taste of Woodside” on Nov. 20, with the goal of showcasing about 18 restaurants. The goal of the event is to provide attendees with the ability to sample each restaurant’s food so they are able to get an appreciation of the quality of Woodside’s cuisine. This year’s event will be taking place at the St. Sebastian’s School auditorium, located at 39-76 58th Street. The event will cost $25. “The restaurants will provide samples of the type of food they offer,” said Adriana Beltran with Woodside on the Move. The list of participating restaurants will be released shortly. This year’s event is expected to attract about 100 attendees, Beltran said. Last year, 80 people attended.   Beltran said a new feature this year will be a photo exhibit called The Woodsider. The exhibit will be hung around the auditorium and will feature Woodside businesses. Details: Date: Nov. 20 Time: 6 pm-9pm Location: St. Sebastian's School auditorium Admission price: $25
Sunnyside Artists to hold craft fair at Queen of Angels Church Sunday
craftsfair2013 Nov. 12, By Michael Florio The third annual Crafts & Arts Show takes place in Sunnyside on Sunday, with 34 crafters offering items as varied as leather goods, handmade jewelry and pottery. The event, which is being held at the Queen of Angels Church parish center, opens at 10 am. Food will be sold throughout the day that includes meatball sliders, vodka penne and various desserts. “We hope everyone will stop by and perhaps buy their holiday gifts at good prices which supports our local artists,” said Manny Gomez, the president of Sunnyside Artists whose group organizes the annual event. Several participants from last year’s craft fair are back—including photographer Don Soules and Emily Dunne, an artist who does witty photo assemblages. There will also be some new faces this year that include Michael Gurrado, who works with wood, and Kris Czerniachowich who makes handmade Christmas ornaments. “Batman” is expected to appear in costume, accompanying comic strip artwork. Luke Adams, VP of Sunnyside Artists, will be absent for the first time. He passed away on Monday. There will be a moment of silence in his honor. DETAILS: Date/Time: Sunday, Nov. 16 (10 am- 5 pm) Location: Queen of Angels Church parish center (corner of 44th Street and Skillman Ave.) Admission is free
Luke Adams, long-time Sunnysider, died last night
Source: Pat Dorfman

Source: Pat Dorfman

lukesp-259x425Nov. 11, By Christian Murray Luke Adams, a long-serving volunteer and former Sunnyside business owner, passed away from cardiac arrest last night at 8 pm. He was 76. Adams, who was at one time the president of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, was well known by the community for his work with the Sunnyside Woodside Lions Club and SunnysideArtists.org. Furthermore, he was the first recipient of the Sunnysider of the Year award, which is named after him. “Luke Adams is a local treasure,” said Pat Dorfman, at a fundraiser in honor of him earlier this year. “He is the best promoter in Queens and loyal to a fault,” she said at the time. Adams had lived in Sunnyside for more than 40 years. He owned a travel agency on 43rd Street for many years. He also had a vast collection of photographs that showcased Sunnyside and its history. "We are all saddened by the news that Luke Adams has passed away, said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer in a statement. "Luke loved Sunnyside like no other person could." State Sen. Mike Gianaris echoed these sentiments. "Luke Adams was a Sunnyside icon who dedicated his life to making his neighborhood a better place, and he will be deeply missed," he said in a statement. There will be a wake at Lynch Funeral Home on Thursday and a funeral mass at St Raphaels on Friday at 11am. (click for details)
Sushi pioneer brings top-quality fish to neighborhood
Robin Kawada

Robin Kawada

Nov. 9, By Kim Brown Reiner Although Takesushi opened in Sunnyside a little more than two years ago, food experts claim its owner established the first sushi restaurant in New York City nearly three decades ago. Woodside resident, chef and owner Robin Kawada--who at one time owned Takesushi restaurants in Manhattan, Washington D.C., Toronto and on Long Island-- is quick to back up that claim. “I have been in the restaurant business for 40 years,” said Kawada, 66. “Takesushi was the first sushi restaurant in Manhattan in 1975.” Food expert and author of “The Secret Life of Sushi,” Trevor Corson, brought up that idea at a food panel in 2010. At the time it caused quite a stir, others claimed the distinction belonged to Hatsuhana or Nippon. Whatever the truth, Takesushi, which means bamboo, was one of the first sushi restaurants in New York City. The current iteration opened in Sunnyside “accidentally” according to Kawada. When the lease on his Woodmere, Long Island restaurant was up, Kawada looked for a place in Manhattan but couldn’t find the proper venue. At the time, Transylvania, at 43-46 42nd Street, had closed its doors so Kawada thought, “Why not Queens?” He soon found out what Queens was like. Business was slow, his restaurant has yet to be reviewed by a major publication and he has had to lower prices by 20%. Omakase, for example, a large variety of chef selected specialty sushi, like sea urchin, scallop and eel, costs $58 as opposed to $100 for a comparable dish in Manhattan. Most dishes are far less expensive. But for Kawada, everything is secondary to the quality of fish, even profit. “I’m open not to make money, but at least not to use up my savings,” he said. Reverence for fish is something he learned growing up in Japan. “In Japan each fish has a shrine,” he said. “Each fisherman prays for their fish. They live with that fish. They don’t want to waste it.” takesushifrontWhen he first moved to the United States in 1968, he worked in import/export and as a restaurant cashier, eventually running his own distribution business at the Fulton Fish Market until 9-11. For more than a decade afterwards, he had a business processing sea urchin in Maspeth and shipping it to Japan. The success of his first distribution venture allowed him to open the original Takesushi and import not only high-quality fish, but a well-established chef from Japan. Working alongside the chef, Kawada received his own training. “There is no school for fish. You cut it, you touch it, you taste it,” he said. Back then, as now, his fish was praised for its excellent quality, but also simplicity. “Each fish has a special taste. So many restaurants put something on the fish, like mayonnaise. It may taste good in your mouth, but it’s not good for this fish.” More than forty-five years after starting to work at the Fulton Fish Market, Kawada stills goes to the New Fulton Fish Market in the Bronx every day to buy and clean fresh fish, not farmed fish, for Takesushi. He also works at the restaurant seven days a week, and has not taken a day off in 500 days, he said. In addition, he owns a 15-seat restaurant in Japan. Decades in the restaurant and fish distribution business have made Kawada more comfortable rattling off details about seasonal fish and his restaurant than his own four children, at least with this reporter. Tuna is best at this time of year. In the summer, after a fish lays eggs, she is not as tasty. The November menu includes blowfish tempura, monkfish liver, and Miyazaki beef, delicacies rarely eaten outside of Japan. His passion for quality food has frustrated him with people who care more about low prices and appearances. “Anytime fish looks nice people think it’s good,” he said. And the desire for cheap prices has led to misunderstandings about the art of sushi. “Some people think they don’t like sea urchin because they have never had good sea urchin,” he said. Occasionally, customers will sit at the sushi bar and spend $300, but it’s rare. Moreover, Kawada is unimpressed with competitors who don’t take the same pride he does in buying, cleaning and storing quality fish. “Maybe they all wear gloves because they don’t know how to prepare fish,” he said. The single-minded drive to serve quality fish has earned him a name among foodies on websites like Urbanspoon and Chowhound, as well as loyal customers throughout Queens. A woman at the sushi bar on Tuesday night said she was a regular for a decade in Manhattan and has been at the new Takesushi every week since it opened in 2012. Another regular said it was important to mention Kawada’s fine character, in addition to his fine fish. But quality fish above all else may be what’s keeping Kawada from mainstream success. He does not care about the decorations in his restaurant--a fish net, some scarecrows, and witches in the window--or even the dishware. “I don’t spend money on decorations because that means less for fish. I use cheap plates. I don’t use extra flowers,” he said. “I’m 66. Maybe the service is no good, but the fish is OK.” The service is just fine. The Michelin Guide may have skipped over Takesushi, however, because it doesn’t offer fine dining service. While that omission is fine by Kawada, the lack of media interest is more confounding. “I know I make the best quality food, I know it,” he said. “But no one comes to review it.” Reviews usually mean more customers, which means more money to buy better quality fish, which is all that matters in the end. “I try to use the best fish to make the best quality sushi,” he said. “That is all.” sushi6
Please note: Takesushi is an advertiser with the SunnysidePost
Capt Brian Hennessy, commanding officer of the 108 police precinct, transferred to another precinct
Captain-Brian-Hennessy1 Nov. 6, By Christian Murray The commanding officer of the 108 Police Precinct—which covers Sunnyside, Woodside & Long Island City—has been transferred to head up a larger more crime-ridden Queens precinct. Captain Brian Hennessy, who has spent just 18 months as the commanding officer of the 108, started today as the commanding officer of the 115th Precinct, which covers Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst and the north section of Corona. That precinct is larger and has more problems--such as gang activity, prostitution and drugs. The move represents a promotion, since gaining experience in a tougher precinct is often viewed as the way captains climb up the NYPD ladder. While the 108 has had some high-profile crimes recently—such as the robbery of an 81-year old at a Chase ATM and a wave of burglaries in Sunnyside—the precinct is still viewed as a low-crime area. The crime rate—based on the number of reports—is flat so far this year, compared to the same period in 2013. The number of murders and reported rapes are down—although the number of burglaries are up about 7 percent. Hennessy said he enjoyed his time at the 108 Precinct. “I love this community and its leaders,” Hennessy said. “There are so many people who care and want to get involved,” he said. “It was an honor to be there.” The NYPD has yet to appoint a new commanding officer. In the interim, Capt. Richard Hellman, the executive officer of the 108th Precinct, is in command. However, Hennessy’s short stint did disappoint many—since most commanding officers stay at a precinct for two-to-three years. “I am very upset that he is leaving us so soon,” said Diane Ballek, the president of the 108 Community Council. “He is the best captain we have had in a long time,” Ballek said. “If you needed to reach him he was always there,” she said. “He would talk to people [with quality-of-life issues] for an hour some times.” His predecessor Capt. Donald Powers was viewed by many as less responsive and not so much of a people-person, several people said. “I am disappointed [that Capt. Hennessy has been transferred] since I believe he was doing a good job,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “I appreciated working with him and thought he was responsive and a straight shooter who cared about our neighborhood.” Van Bramer said he would be asking NYPD officials whether Hennessy’s short stint represents a new policy or whether what happened was an anomaly. Van Bramer also said he wants a new commanding officer to be named soon. “We cannot have a prolonged absence of leadership,” he said.

Crime Numbers 2014

Quality of Chase Bank’s video footage following robbery of 81-year old called into question by relatives and Van Bramer
Poster of Suspects in robbery

Poster of Suspects in robbery

Nov. 4, By Christian Murray This morning Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and his staff were handing out posters at the 46th Street station in Sunnyside calling on the public for information concerning the robbery of an 81-year-old man at the Chase Bank ATM at 46-10 Queens Blvd. The photos of the two suspects released by the police were grainy and some residents who reviewed the posters could barely make out their faces. “You really don’t see anything; maybe I can see this guy,” said one woman, who is a former member of the Sunnyside/Woodside Lions Club. Kate Flanagan, whose grandfather William Eichhorn was the victim, said: “I am so upset and horrified by the quality of the images.” “This is an enormous bank—with billions of dollars--and that is the quality of their cameras,” Flanagan said. “We have blurry images of these cowards… now they may get away with it and attack someone else. It’s disgusting.” d26vanbramer1The attack occurred inside the ATM area at about 9:30 am on Sunday Oct. 26. The suspects punched Eichhorn in the face and fled with $100 and his debit card. The footage released by the police—who obtained it from Chase-- just shows photos of the suspects’ backs. There are no photos of the suspects as they came in or out of the bank, which led to questions whether the bank has exterior cameras at all.  Meanwhile, there are just two cameras inside the ATM area. Van Bramer, who told attendees at a press conference this morning how Sunnyside and Woodside are close-knit safe neighborhoods, said afterward that he is looking into legislation that would require banks to regularly review the quality of their cameras to make sure that they are transmitting top-notch images. “I would like to see clearer images and I would expect a bank of this size to regularly monitor the quality of their footage,” Van Bramer said. “We don’t know when their cameras were installed--it could have been 10 years ago for all we know.” Van Bramer said that people are particularly at risk when they are taking out money from the ATM. “When someone follows you in [to the ATM area] with the intent to cause harm, you are extremely vulnerable,” he said. However, at the same time, “there is also this presumption of safety in a bank that there are cameras.” Van Bramer said that his office got funding for the NYPD to put a security camera outside Duane Reade on the corner of Queens Blvd and 48th Street. He said that the footage from that camera is first rate. Therefore, he believes that there must be better technology available to banks. The branch manager at the Chase branch would not comment as to the age of the cameras surrounding the ATMs and how often they are checked. A spokeswoman for JP Morgan Chase’s Consumer Banking division was not immediately available for comment.
Katie, Mary Ann,William

Kate Flanagan (Eichhorn's granddaughter), Mary Ann Gasparro (daughter),William Eichhorn (victim)

Prior coverage: http://sunnysidepost.com/2014/10/27/81-year-old-sunnysider-beaten-and-robbed-at-chase-bank/
Construction starts on Sunnyside/Woodside slow zones
Queens DOT Commission Dalia Hall

Queens DOT Commissioner Dalila Hall

Nov. 3, By Christian Murray The construction of two “new slow zones” that incorporates about 150 residential streets in Sunnyside and Woodside has begun. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer held a press conference outside PS 199 to mark the occasion and said that the two slow zones will reduce the speed limit to 20 mph and will, ultimately, save lives. “We have to make sure that not one young person loses their life on the streets of New York and this is further progress toward that point,” Van Bramer said. The two slow zones cover two designated sections of the neighborhood. One zone covers about 100 blocks south of Queens Blvd, while the other covers 50 blocks on the northern side of Queens Blvd—including Sunnyside Gardens. The slow zones are marked by large blue signs that state the 20 mph speed limit. Within a zone, speed bumps and 20 mph markings are on some of the streets. slowzonesThe two zones were selected by the Department of Transportation after Van Bramer’s office put in a request for them. Van Bramer’s office provided the DOT with details such as the number of crashes in the area—as well as schools and daycare centers. The zone that covers the south side of Queens Blvd—called the “Sunnyside Slow Zone” --is bound by 36th Street to the west; 51st Street to the east; Queens Blvd to the north; and Laurel Hill Blvd to the south. Construction started on that zone a few weeks ago and the DOT is adding 20 speed bumps to the existing eight speed bumps. There will be 32 entry points that will be marked by blue 20 mph gateway signs. The DOT aims to complete the “Sunnyside Slow Zone” before winter sets in. There have been four deaths in the “Sunnyside” zone since 2007, with many serious injuries, according to the DOT. There are also four schools in the zone. Meanwhile, construction on the zone that covers the northern section of Sunnyside/Woodside—called the “Sunnyside Garden-Woodside Slow Zone—will not begin until spring. This zone, which incorporates about 50 blocks, is bound by 43rd Street to the west; Queens Blvd and Roosevelt Avenue to the south; 38th Avenue and Barnett Ave to the north; and 58th Street to the east. The “Sunnyside Garden-Woodside Slow Zone” will include 17 speed bumps in addition to the 13 that are already there. There will also be 19 entrances to the slow zone that would be marked by the blue 20 mph gateway sign. Since 2007, there has been one death in that zone, with many people severely injured. Furthermore, there are six schools/daycare centers in the area. The Department of Transportation claims that the speed zones help reduce injuries and deaths. Its studies indicate that a pedestrian hit at 40 mph only has a 30% chance of surviving, while one hit at 20 mph has a 95% chance of surviving. Community Board 2 unanimously approved the two speed zones at its September month meeting—although two attendees at the meeting said that the slow zones were not needed and that the blue signs were unattractive—particularly in Sunnyside Gardens. However, Van Bramer said, the "Best way to keep everyone safe is to slow traffic,” adding that “Nothing is more important than making our streets safer for children, seniors and residents." The two Sunnyside/Woodside slow zones are the sixth and seventh zones in Queens. Meanwhile, starting this Friday Nov. 7, the speed limit on all New York City streets will become 25 mph, unless posted otherwise.  

2014 09 02 Slow Zone Sunnyside and Sundside Gardens Woodside(1)

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