Sunnyside movie theater in danger of being demolished

Sunnyside Center Cinemas

By Christian Murray

The commercial building that is presently occupied by Center Cinemas, PJ Horgan’s and Dime Savings Bank is likely to face the wrecking ball, following a recent sale of the property.

The property, located on the corner of Queens Blvd and 43rd street was sold by Dime Savings Bank for $6.675 million on Dec. 20 to “42-25 Queens Blvd. Corporation,” a newly established firm run out of Astoria.

Michael Christopher, a representative of 42-25 Queens Blvd Corp., said “We have no plans at this point for the property” and have “not decided what to do with it.”

However, local real estate agents expect the new owner to develop the site and build residential units. The annual operating income from the property is $326,000, barely enough to cover the debt servicing on the property.

Furthermore, given the size of the lot (16,300sqf) and the recent up-zoning, a developer can build a structure with a maximum floor area of 68,424sqf. The current building only has a floor area of 16,080 sqf.

The owner of Center Cinemas, Rudy Prashad, said he put a $5.2 million bid on the property. His goal was to keep the existing building so the future of the cinema would not be in jeopardy.

“It’s a neighborhood theater and I wanted to keep it,” Prashad said. “It’s a place where working families can take their kids to the movies and not spend too much.”

Prashad said he had recently spent $600,000 putting in new screens, a sound system and digital equipment.

landmarkPrashad said he was disappointed with Dime Bank since he was in lease negotiations with them for nearly two years prior to the sale. He said the negotiations went back and forth as there was a dispute over flooding and water damage that caused big problems in the theater’s downstairs bathrooms.

He said he then learned that Dime was selling the property through an article on the Sunnyside Post.

The Sunnyside Dime branch, which operates out of that building, is scheduled to close this summer. A letter was sent out to its customers last week saying that their accounts would automatically be transferred to its other branch at 45-14 46th Street.

The cinema’s lease ends December 2014. Meanwhile, PJ Horgan’s lease ends June 30, 2018. Horgan’s has been operating at this location for nearly forty years.

There is also a dentist’s office in the building. Its lease ends Oct. 31, 2014–although there is a provision to extend it.

Original listing:

42-25 Queens Blvd – Setup by Sunnyside Post

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88 Responses to Sunnyside movie theater in danger of being demolished

  1. Sycamore

    And I bet the new people who move in, with tons of money to spend, will get all kinds of attention from local pols and call us unkind names if we wish they had never taken away our movie theater and our PJs. The new broom is sweeping away everything that made the neighborhood home. I guess I am next.

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  2. woodside guy

    i was going to work on the 7 the other day looking at all the 1 story buildings on Qb and wondering when the "development" would start. It loks like soon very soon....good bye old neighborhood Hello New Willyb

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  3. Pat

    Why can't they have it all. A new building of apartments, offices with the theater- that would be used by people renting the apartments and PJ Horgans and all of the other fine restaurants too ...

    I remember when the movie theater was a no no for us kids,oh so long ago, and now is a family movie house.

    Work together people for the people and you will be successful in the end.

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  4. SunnysidePostHatesMe

    WAHAHAHHAHA See what all this hipster loving Sunnyside does? Tearing down buildings to just shovel in MORE hipsters . You people are milking this neighborhood dry.

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  5. SunnysideSucks

    Goodbye Old Sunnyside, You were good once, families could afford living here, Stores offered affordable eats.

    Sunnyside is not moving forward, it's just getting busier and more expensive.

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  6. MAD AS HELL

    What the hell are these people doing to our neighborhood??? This is not Manhattan!! This is a TRAVESTY AND DISGUSTING!!! I for one have not received any notice from the Dime about my account being moved, but you can bet your sweet ass it will be moved tomorrow to a new bank(and not the Dime). I also blame the so-called Community Board (people who don't live here in Sunnyside) for making decisions without even notifying the residents!! of changing zone laws and such. Sunnyside is such a nice quaint neighborhood, that's going down the shit hole real fast if we do not stop this TRAVESTY!!!!!

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  7. Angie

    This is getting freaking ridiculous. I grew up in that neighborhood. I couldn't understand it when I was younger why the people in the neighborhood then. Didn't want new people there. Now I know why. Their ripping these wonderful family neighborhoods to pieces and for what. Business are closing down because of ridiculously high leases and all your left with is empty store fronts.

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  8. Mike Novak

    " The annual operating income from the property is $326,000, barely enough to cover the debt servicing on the property."

    So the new owner overpaid, and now has to run longtime tennants out onto the street just to make ends meet? Thats "progress"?

    Who is getting the kickbacks from this deal?

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  9. Melissa

    Not sad to see the Dime bank go, how many banks
    could one neighborhood need? But the movie theatre
    and the pub - businesses that have been here for decades...
    I am really sad about what us happening to our neighborhood.
    Soon, this will be Brooklyn. And then it will be time to leave.

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  10. Oppressed Masses

    We should decide now where we all are going to meet up in 10 years for the reunion.

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  11. Guttersnipe

    Sunnyside is going to hell in a handbasket. This working class neighborhood is now being overrun with hipsters and high rents. Soon the local residents whose families have been here for years will no longer afford to live here. Oh, one more thing. Do theae newbies with all their dogs know what it means to curb their pets? They just let their animals do their business in the middle of the street or near the front steps of buildings. It's disguisting! Maybe I should have said the neighborhood is going to the dogs!!

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  12. Local Hamburgler

    SAVE THE CLOCK TOWER!

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  13. Sycamore

    Thank God I am not the only one who feels absolutely heartbroken by what is happening around me. Usually I meet people who disagree with me, especially on this website. And by the way, this site never runs stories from our point of view, usually just press releases from developers. WORK HARDER SUNNYSIDE POST, GET BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY!

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  14. sm

    It is changing - I knew it would though. . . it is too close to Manhattan and too affordable relative to it. Everyone is so "anti-hipster" - but young professionals [with kids] cannot afford Manhattan - daycare is 2,700 K a month, rent for a 2-bedroom is 3K a month [and these folks are paying HIGH taxes and getting no subsidies/entitlements and usually are carrying student debt in the six figures].

    Nobody wants their entire income to go to housing and childcare only if they can avoid it - Sunnyside allows for expendable income. Hopefully, that income goes back into the neighborhood (I'm a big proponent of "shop local.")

    Brooklyn is only good if a person works downtown, Queens is better for midtown jobs.

    The average income (based only off real estate listings/gen'l info. for the neighborhood - so I have no idea how accurate) - is about 40K currently.

    Young professionals salaries are double (maybe triple??) that average - which will drive prices higher. While they may not be able to afford Manhattan, they can live very nicely in Sunnyside. Sellers know that and can adjust their prices based off of that.

    The saving grace may be subsidized housing in the neighborhood because it keeps?/draws? a percentage of the population with a lower income. But it needs to stay a high enough percentage so that shops and stores keeps prices low enough to cater and be affordable to those folks too (and not just the young professionals). [P.S. 199 - a significant majority of the kids qualify for the free breakfast program - that's not the case in the truly 'hipster' neighborhoods].

    But if the demographics shift ONLY towards the young professionals with more $$ (and I have nothing against them-good for them, they worked hard in school and I'm sure now too and earned it) - then yes, it is most certainly going to become higher-priced and more residential neighborhood.

    I hope PJ's gets to stay. . . its a great place.

    Personally, the thing I care most about are good schools and good school options that lead to good high schools and college opportunities. (Not just "new buildings" - I mean good, solid scores.)

    On one hand, I don't want the neighborhood to change because it is affordable - on the other, I think the "hipster"/"young professional" set can be that driving force for the schools.

    I don't know where the magic balance lies.

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  15. BringBackRuben

    Ruben was one of the FIRST to make allllll these points, and you all MOCKED him.

    now you are seeing his prophecies come to light.

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  16. Edgar

    That $$$king sucks. I love that theater. I can't afford to go into Manhattan anymore, to see a movie. $40 as opposed to $10 for my girlfriend and I, out at the Queens Blvd. Cinema.
    And PJ's is such an old staple.
    There goes the neighborhood.
    Same thing that happened in the Lower East Side.
    Where are they pushing us all to now?

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  17. Sunnyside Baby

    I have lived in Sunnyside for a couple of years now and would probably be called a hipster because of my age but I love this neighborhood. I work in the city but only go there on the weekdays and I spend almost all of my money in Sunnyside, or LIC and Astoria if I'm feeling adventurous.

    How much money are you older people actually putting back into the community? As a young person with no kids, I have more disposable income that I use at the local shops/restaurants/bars. Often, these places are empty - way emptier than one would expect with all the old/middle-aged people complaining about places closing to make room for dollar stores.

    Interestingly, the McDonald's, Wendy's, and Starbucks are always plenty full.

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  18. Sycamore

    The change is this neighborhood is a deliberate act. City leaders saw the diminished tax bases from the changes in business trends around the world and decided the best way to get some money in their coffers was to make NY a real estate haven for money all over the world. The Times just ran a story about the Plaza being 90% empty all the time because unfathomable wealth from all over the world bought up the apartments. Actual New Yorkers can't afford to live there, nor can they afford to live in many, many of the condo towers in mid-town. So all those relatively wealthy people--who really want to live in Manhattan but can't--have pushed out the working class people here. It is as simple as that. Forty-thousand-a-year folks who have lived here since the neighborhood was built are just so much dust to be swept away.

    The first residents here were fleeing the tenements of Manhattan for a life in the newly developed countryside. Today's residents are fleeing middle class apartments that are going "luxury." Such is life.

    The relatively poor are always swept aside when richer people want what they have. And I dare say they have always disliked it and resented those who take their homes away. Sad.

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  19. Local Hamburgler

    @sm

    Great points. I become consistently enraged reading the blind hate for any youth moving into the area, regardless of their subculture. I do sympathize with the anxiety held by the veteran natives as rapid change is hard to accept. I always want to ask them though, what did you expect? The population who has lived here can't simply all die off and leave the buildings abandoned. You too were once the younger generation settling in!

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  20. Moneyside

    Movie theaters are notorious for not making money. It's called the free market.

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  21. 45th and Skillman

    Are you ready for a Walmart, a Target, a Kmart on that corner? Ground floor retail with that kind of square footage? Big Box.

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  22. SunnysidePostHatesMe

    The reason we hate hipsters is because they THINK they add something to a community but they really don't.

    They bring dogs, dogs shit all over the sidewalks and in front of buildings.

    They bring their money, money goes to merchants who raise their prices. Suddenly that 6 dollar lunch is 9 bucks, Thanks Hipster.

    Not to mention the level of pretentiousness that comes associated with Hipsters. The nose in the air attitude of "I'm paying for this" and the poor don't do anything for the community.

    And the Hipsters i've see. The ones that never say hello or goodmorning to their neighbors, the ones that never hold the door for people, they live in their own bubble.

    Sunnyside...the new park slope.

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  23. 86Mets

    I hate to see Sunnyside turn into the ugly, sterile area around Queensboro Plaza where it seems another glass and steel building sprouts up once a week.

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  24. Reality

    Okay, i guess i have to be the one to say it, since no one wants to break the 'if its old, it must be good' rule: that place is a craphole. It smells, its dirty, the screens are bad and the sound is bad. Its just bad.

    Do I want a bunch of high-rent apartments in its place? No. But surely the neighborhood can do better than that dump.

    @Sunnyside Baby has a very good point as well:

    It takes me 20 minutes to get a chicken sandwich at Wendy's at dinner time, and though I never go to Starbucks, I can't walk past it without seeing at least two people go inside.

    I can walk into any pub or small restaurant at any time of day and be served immediately. The movie theater? Always plenty of seats to be had.

    If you don't use it, the developers will come.

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  25. Guttersnipe

    You got it so right SunnysidePostHatesMe! Their pretentiousness and attitude is more apropos for Manhattan nabes.

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  26. empire ed

    Horgan's opened up 11/22/63 - Same day Kennedy was shot.

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  27. The Rope

    I'm a 3rd generation resident. A white Irish American guy. Because of my style of dress, I was called a hipster by an immigrant that has lived in the neighborhood for 4 years! He was implying that I was not "from" Sunnyide. Hipster doesnt always = transplant. Also, Sunnyside is being overrun by yuppies! Boring yuppies from middle America that work in office towers. Not hipsters. There is a big difference. they're not moving to Sunnyside. They are moving to ridgewood, buschwick, and even the Rockaways. And as you all know, they have overrun Greenpoint Willimasburg,etc. As someone who owns my apartment, I say bring on good development, while keeping the character of the neighborhood. I remember the all out brawls that would spill out onto queens blvd at the mexican disco that is now a spa. I'll take the spa over that dump ANYDAY!

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  28. Long time resident

    Wait, all the businesses that I frequent in the neighborhood are empty? What? The bars seem to do a nice business. Most of restaurants I go to have a decent turnover of tables. Could it be that @Sunnyside Baby just frequents businesses that are failing?

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  29. ferdia

    Finally i see all the looming socialism I've been hearing so much about.

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  30. I'd_Just_Like_to Say...

    It just seems that some people just like to complain about anything and everything. Change happens. Hopefully, being in a desirable neighborhood will bring change that can benefit us all. I'd love to have the new owner of the site speak with Sunnyside residents and include things that really add value and charm to the area. (A PJs 2.0 would be great).

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  31. Angray

    Why do the "oldtimers" complain about hipsters and yuppies? They drive up property value, which to me is a good thing.

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  32. SunnysideUP

    Why do you hate change? How come that everything new is bad? I am sure that many of these people (or their parents/grandparents) who hate newcomers, are immigrants who were once welcomed to this country and were given an equal opportunity, like myself. I am very happy for the change that is happening in Sunnyside. I bought my apt. 6 years ago and I am happy my investment is fruitful but most of all I am happy that Sunnyside is becoming a healthy and an exciting community to live. I have no problem with the newcomers and no problem with the people who have been living here forever. As far as the cinema concerns, maybe the owner will work out something with the new developers and they will create another cinema in the new building. Who knows?

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  33. sm

    Plus, there was a lot of concern over Foodtown and what it would become. In the end it is not a residential building (appeasing many) nor is it a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods (a "C-Town" - I'm not familiar with, but is probably not a hipster or yuppie store - thus presumably appeasing that concern too).

    Its ironic that people want the things that can come with a young professional and/or hipster like crowd that have a little more $$ to spend (Trader Joe's or Whole Food, etc.) but at the same time don't want their $$ because it drives prices up. Its tied together.

    I've lived in Sunnyside for over 10 years (so admittedly not a long-time veteran of Sunnyside), and I just don't see any problem with welcoming young professionals and/or "hipsters" and/or yuppies (I'm not entirely sure I even know where all the lines are drawn there). The more different sects, the more interesting it becomes - at least to me.

    I'm older, but I don't want the area to only have old people. I'm not choosing to live in a retirement community here, lol!

    I appreciate the concern that with them comes higher rents and costs of living . . . but that's everywhere in the city - not just Sunnyside and I don't think is a "fault" of the young professionals per se. I get it though, . . . but I don't want the solution to be to keep all higher earning young people out of the neighborhood.

    And I don't find "pretentiousness" in Sunnsyide. Far from it. I find most people of all ages and economics pretty nice - even the younger "newbies."

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  34. Edgar

    Death to Hipsters and Yuppies! Long live the new flesh!

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  35. ferdia

    Well said sm! With reference to foodtown, when it went the way you stated people complained about that too.

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  36. Roxy

    This was one of the few businesses in Sunnyside that drew many customers from other neighborhoods such as Greenpoint and Ridgewood,
    which lost their cinemas some years ago. And Sunnysiders will now have to go to Astoria or Jackson Heights for the nearest cinemas. And to think that Sunnyside once had FOUR cinemas to itself, including the enormous Sunnyside (long demolished) and Bliss (still with us as an evangelical church).

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  37. Rick Duro

    You folks act like this is some new phenomena. NYC is an ever changing work of art, constantly evolving/changing, sometimes for the better, other times, well..... Am I glad to see old establishments go? No, of course not. It's sad to lose the true character of a 'hood, the Lower East Side/Greenwich Village are shells of their former selves.

    People hate 'hipsters' because they have 2 things that many old skool residents may not: youth and lots of disposable income. Greedy landlords take advantage of this and jack up rents. It's called capitalism.

    There were the same amount of dogs, with the same 10% who refused to pick up, in our 'hood, 10 years ago. You'd be suprised who doesn't pick up. I tell you what, it's not the hipsters. In the last few weeks I have seen 4 people not pick up, ALL were 'older' Sunnyside residents, each with the ability to bend down and take care of their responsibility. I offered bags to each one. 3 had the fake 'Oh, I must have forgot a bag' excuse, took the bag and picked up. The other guy, living across from the park, ignored me and walked away. He routinely lets his dog into the handball court to poo and just walks back home.

    RD

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  38. Sycamore

    For those who say they don't understand why people feel uncomfortable when their neighborhood is taken over by strangers, you haven't been paying attention. We have enumerated the reasons over and over and over. It is not that the reasons have not been presented, it is that you fail to comprehend them. Nonetheless, the reasons are valid. As is your point of view. We who have been your age, done the things you are doing now, etc., etc., don't blame you for doing them, they are just boring to us. We've been there and done that. We are moving into phases of life you have no concept of, with benefits and graces you will enjoy when you get there. And when you get here, perhaps you will recall how you strutted your biological powers of multiplication, your financial prowess and your superior tastes in food and decor--and blush.

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  39. 123sunny

    The movie theater is . . . well, I went there once and that was enough. Dime will be fine - they have a second one on 46th anyway. Sometimes change is a good thing. Hopefully its a mix of residences and shops.

    As for PJ's - it is super cute with character - its almost like a historical landmark - maybe it should seek special zoning protection as such (although it may be too late)!

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  40. la

    I love the movie theater for its prices and kind employees. I like spending $5 on a film vs. $13 at most other theaters.
    P.J.'s is a great place with great staff.

    Just please keep them and build around them.

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  41. SunnysidePostHatesMe

    The point is....HIPSTERS..and pay attention.. Is that you people do nothing to add to the community, only YOUR community. you are a bunch of elitists and that is why nobody likes you.

    Why do you think we "the old timers" complained about a dog park when MILLIONS could have gone into things the community actually NEEDED. ps 150 is desperately struggling with its after school programs. Where are the summer camps for the struggling families? Where are the the day care centers that aren't Korean or religiously affiliated? Where's the affordable gyms? Where's the garages to help out with the overcrowded parking situation in Sunnyside?

    You Hipsters don't care. You are just a bunch of nomads...moving from neighborhood to neighborhood .

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  42. Helios

    Does anyone know what the structure on Skillman & 39th is? It's part of East Side Access but is it an entrance to the railroad or part of something else?

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  43. Bliss & Skillman

    I find it funny that some of you think that Sunnyside is being singled out as some special exclusive target. Get out of your bubbles and look around, it's happening everywhere and not just NY.

    Common sense should tell you that old structures, especially ones that have not had excellent building maintenance are not always able to be re-habbed and must be replaced for safety's sake. If things didn't change, your neighborhood would soon be filled with derelict buildings and eventually everyone would be elderly, without expendable income or the physical ability to go out and support the local businesses you seem to treasure.

    Get your heads out of your asses, change is inevitable and necessary!

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  44. SunnysidePostHatesMe

    Bliss and SKillmann - Wake up you are elitist.

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  45. Local Hamburgler

    @SunnysidePostHatesMe

    Learn to type. Regarding your hatred of your fellow neighbors, you seem to be more of the problem than the solution.

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  46. Nathan

    The neighborhood is slowly changing for the better. I am all for new development to come in and raise property values. I bought my place 3 years ago and wasn't cheap but I invested in the neighborhood. All you old timers complaining about hipsters have it all wrong. Yeah maybe some prices at the supermarket will go up but eventually the pawn shops, tons of nail salons and thai places will leave and we might actually get a bookstore and better restaurants. Owning my place was not easy but hopefully will pay off. Renters should not even have a voice on the future of the neighborhood. They haven't invested into the neighborhood the way owners have.

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  47. JulieJ.

    I like this theater and they have great prices. So, we would have to go to Astoria to see a film locally? I object!

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  48. sm

    There's also a theater on Lex (taking the Q32 bus for about a 15 minute ride). In many places a 15 minute ride to a theater wouldn't be considered a bad commute. But, it would be limited to weekends I suppose as during the week, with rush hour, its not that short a ride. Its a nice theater, but it does cost more.

    I've been to ours locally a couple times, but it was always semi-empty. I joked with a friend once it was almost like a private screening. Even before this article, I wondered how it stayed in business.

    And it was cheap and convenient, so price/location would not have been a reason "not to go" because who doesn't like a bargain? I shop at the dollar stores in our neighborhood for some things - I have friends that come out from Manhattan to do the same because we have some good bargains there.

    That leaves quality (see Reality above- they're right).

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  49. ferdia

    MOVE! That's the answer, move. There are loads of places all over the country cheaper than Sunnyside. And a lot if those have piss poor theaters! I hear they have bar restaurants too. And if you do your research first, you'll find plenty full of like minded people so once you get there you won't have to worry about it changing; the community is too involved to let it happen.

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  50. Sycamore

    @Nathan I'm sorry, but you are so self-involved and myopic its pitiful. Absolutely pitiful. Please, keep your half-sane, half-baked, half-developed and self-centered ideas to yourself. You know not of what you speak.

    If renters should not be able to vote on the future of the neighborhood, you belong in prehistory where tyrannies were the most highly developed political structure. Good God, I hope you aren't a driver, you probably think the biggest cars have a right to run anything else off the road--and to run over pedestrians who dare step foot on the tarmac.

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  51. Nevaeh

    Y u all not stop doing bc we all hav to be hear! My baby an husbands are most happy in Sunnyside! U can too! If we not because u can't be we wont be and every1 sad. Good places with park for dogs and kids. Poop

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  52. TBoneNYC

    And heres what happens when a bunch of greedy landlords get together and make the neighborhood a Business Improvement District. Thanks Jimmy Van Bremmer for watching the money's back and not the residents of the neighborhood. Disgraceful.

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  53. JulieJ.

    Texas is looking good!

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  54. Nevaeh

    JULIE! TEXAS????? Have you ever even been so far as decided to use even go want to do look more like? NO! San Antonio SPIT! Arkansas!

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  55. 86Mets

    Nevaeh, what's your native language? If it's English, you have a solid malpractice suit against the schools you attended.

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  56. Bliss & Skillman

    If you build it they will come. NYC is building it and it is coming to Sunnyside. We need to be ready when it gets here!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2275380/New-York-City-expanding-nations-biggest-transit-hub-16-stories-beneath-Grand-Central-Terminal.html#axzz2KKCsTwOs

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  57. Original Sunnysider

    Seriously? Who cares? This movie theater was good in the early 90's but now it sucks. The original one had 3 theaters. Then they renovated it and made more theaters which are really small. Its pretty much always been kind of dirty. The food was always stale. And most of the neighborhood worked there and didn't even care about the place. Bye bye Center! No one even goes to the movies anymore. You can download any movie for free. And besides that everyone goes to Steinway. Kaufman sh*ts on this place. lol

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  58. Karen Warnock

    @ NATHAN "Renters should not even have a voice on the future of the neighborhood. They haven’t invested into the neighborhood the way owners have."
    REALLY???? So i guess 69% of the population in NYC should never have a say in what happens in their neighborhoods. That would have also excluded former Mayor Ed Koch as well..he was a life-long renter.

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  59. Nevaeh

    METS FAN

    Stop your attitude! I work and you too so we can enjoy! Look down on me for education is a big wheel. SHAME. Your not perfect!

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  60. Sycamore

    @Nevaeh Glad you said that. No one of good faith should be dismissed from this forum. But people of bad faith might consider holding back their comments until they recover.

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  61. JulieJ.

    Nevaeh, Laguardia Community College give a good English as a second language class.

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  62. SuperWittySmitty

    I hear you, Sunnyside Baby. You can get hand-made bagels and freshly roasted coffee beans right on Queens Boulevard, but I'll bet the majority of Sunnysiders buy their bagels and coffee at the supermarket. When these stores close down,
    people complain. The best solution is to patronize them.

    Unfortunately, the movie theater got run down and there are better options. If if was a quality experience, I would go.

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  63. 86Mets

    @Nevaeh (Heaven spelled backward, how clever)

    Please point out to me where I claimed to be perfect.

    And, what's wrong with a decent education, one that allows people to express themselves in proper and grammatically correct English, as opposed to some sub-standard patois?

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  64. Anonymous

    The theater should not be demolished, but should be remodeled and cleaned, along with retraining employees. If demolished, then finding another theater like this would be hard and far from here. This theater has been the only theater us Sunnysiders can rely on and should never go away. Would you rather enjoy a box-office movie at a cheap price that is here in the neighborhood or would you rather pay more and be far from home.

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  65. 86Mets

    @Neveah

    I've lived in other countries and took the time and effort to learn the language. I considered it paying respect to the welcoming countries and also to my own intellectual growth.

    I have no patience for people who come to this country and can not be bothered to put a noun and a verb together properly. I have no regard for their opinions. They are mentally lazy and disrespectful of this country.

    Take an basic English course, it's not like asking you to recite Hamlet verbatim or split the atom.

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  66. Rick Duro

    Ruben, aka Sunnysideposthatesme, the 'hipsters' aren't going anywhere, get over it already. Neighborhoods change. Everyone hates these 'hipsters'? I'd disagree.

    Many of SUDS founders have been here for decades, and we've been a group since Fall 2001, getting unanimous approval for the dog run from guess what, people as far away from being 'hipsters' as you can get. What is the cut off date for moving here and/or age range for a Sunnyside hipster anyway? I want to see if I qualify. A better park is being built and everyone will benefit. Our 'hood needed a revitalized space & we advocated for one for 10 yrs and succeeded. You people act like hipsters invented the dog. There are just as many here now as there were my first time in the 'hood.

    What are you doing to improv Sunnyside for everyone? Your comments here are often amusing and do indeed make me laugh, thanks for that. But, c'mon already. You talk about how hipsters are ruining everything. I'd disagree. I see lots of good things coming from people you would deem 'hipsters': Stray, Farmers Market, St Pat's Parade, local bars helping the needy, new park, SUDS rescuing/fostering dogs/raising $ for medical bills people can't afford, etc etc. Everyone has a special interest group they belong to, be it through Church, Little League sports, politics, education, ethnic groups, animals, athletes, etc. Anyone from one of those groups who actively works to make Sunnyside a better place is doing good work. Is everyone always going to agree on what is best for the 'hood? Of course not.

    What are you, Mr. Olde Skooler, doing to improve the quality of life here? Step up SPHM, more action, less words.

    RD

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  67. la

    I've been to sold out movies at the theater many times.

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  68. Sycamore

    @Rick Duro et. al. There are two sides to the situation and both sides have valid points. They have been enumerated many times on this website. The problem is one of respect. The new people don't have espouse any respect for all the things that people did to make this neighborhood the nice, affordable one it has been for three generations, or if they do, they do not show it properly. Saying, "renters should not have a voice," "drinking under your window until the wee hours is my right," and "if you don't like it, move," tend to inflame the passions rather than create an atmosphere of cooperation. People who have lived here for many years have welcomed newcomers for nine decades. Scan the archives of any newspaper and you will not find any stories about people being ejected from the neighborhood because they were new. It is the sudden, huge influx that is destabilizing.

    And it just now occurs to me that our community leaders who engineered this change have done a poor job of easing the tensions it created. I wish they would make an effort to ease the tension. It is really destructive as it is.

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  69. SunnysideUP

    @86Mets: love reading at your posts. Your comments are witty and sharp. Keep them coming.

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  70. mickangelo

    I have no problem with new and younger people move in. But use the neighborhood. The number of new people who live here but hang out in Manhattan is ridiculous. They spend no money here...how do I know? Because I met them all during Sandy. Theyd never been to any place in the neighborhood but now they couldn't leave. Now you see this "middle class neighborhood " asking for 2k a month for a 1 bedroom . Fir a bunch of people who spend their money in Chelsea or the UWS.

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  71. Sunnysideposthatesme2

    Sycamore is right, the NEW hipsters are the ones that are big stinky D-bags.

    I'm ok with the old hipsters, even though their sandals with socks annoy me.

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  72. 123sunny

    And I don't think the interests of the new folks are as misaligned from others. Specifically, I'm younger but what drew me to Sunnyside is the affordability coupled with the commute to work/the city - I love going to PJs and supporting local businesses!!

    I live South of the Blvd. I send my kids to private schools in the city (although due to that cost increase - 35K a year PER KID is beyond my means, moving to Forest Hills w/ P.S. 196), but in any event, in order to send them there, we make the sacrifice of living a very modest life - Sunnyside allows for that life. In fact, it allows for an amazing quality of life with a modest (leftover) income.

    But I have always appreciated Sunnyside and what others have made it because it allowed for us to have access to the city's top schools and a wonderful, wonderful neighborhood with livable costs [I know how lucky we are for that!] - and I'm genuinely grateful for those who came before who have contributed to the neighborhood and kept cost down.

    I don't have a dog, but dog parks are free to use and I think its great that we have one. I have kids and no time for pub crawls, lol, but I think its great that they're organized!

    Sunnyside is truly special.

    [And I have nothing against public schools as a general matter (hence P.S. 196), but I'm zoned for P.S. 199 - and 86Mets has a point tied to the above - I've said 100 times ultimately the only thing I care about is education. And there is no way a teacher can address the needs of Netaeh's kids and mine equally and appropriately if they are in the same class - and they would be because there is no G&T class at P.S. 199 [both mine qualified for G&T].

    P.S. 199 assists a significant population of ESLL students. I'm not apologizing for sending my kids private - I know that's a "hipster" thing to do and will inflame many on this site - but it is what it is. I pay my taxes, if after that I choose something other than the public school, that's my choice.]

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  73. Sycamore

    @123sunny I have not met any individual person whom I find offensive because they are a hipster. My grief over the loss of comfort here is not against any individual. We have all been pawns in Bloomberg's redevelopment plan. It is his overpowering influence I blame.

    And thank you for appreciating those who came before. Hardly anyone says anything nice to us. And believe it or not many of us dreamed of the improvements, we just thought we would be part of it, not pushed aside by those who eventually came to implement them.

    Its an old story, you raise a passel of kids with love and self sacrifice, and they thank you by pushing you aside and tearing down all you worked to build so they can build the world they envision.

    Its one aspect of aging I find particularly insulting. Many other aspects are deeply rewarding, but not that one.

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  74. Frank

    What really bums me out is the loss of Pj Horgan's. They will probably re-locate, but the atmosphere cannot be duplicated.

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  75. Rick Duro

    Ruben,

    Sandals w/ sox should be against the law. Tho, my olde world Italian Uncles would do something even worse, shorts, white sox w/ black shoes.

    RD

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  76. Rick Duro

    Sycamore,

    I absolutely agree with you on respecting the 'hood, 100%! There are many people that don't respect the area and they come from both sides, older residents and newer arrivals. From the rocket scientist with the car alarm that has been going off for 4 hours today, to the dummy that doesn't pick up after their dog, to the restaurant delivery guy doing 20mph on the sidewalk w/ an e bike, or a drunk urinating outside between parked cars just off of Qns Blvd.

    Patronizing local establishments is vital to the life of a 'hood: restaurants, supermarkets, pet food stores, etc etc. It's what people should do. But, again, it's folks from both sides. I know plenty of residents who have been here for a long time and that shop outside the 'hood, cars make it easier, so they are just as guilty as the hipster that goes to Manhattan.

    Sadly, the no smoking policy in bars has really had a terrible effect on areas like ours. While the idea is great, it forces drunks outside to smoke, be loud, sometimes fight, etc.

    We need to make sure that people who have spent their lives here do not fall victim to landlords looking to make a quick buck, the question is, how?

    Cheers,

    Rick

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  77. Anonymous

    I love the movie theater,but my son has never gone to the movie theater.He really wants to go to the movie theater.This is why I never took him to the moviee theater.Trust me,Its happend before.I also don't want to take him to the movie theater is because he watches plenty of movies at his grandmothers house.We used to have a TV,but when I found out that all he do's at his grandma's house is wath TV,I-I just took the TV and hid it in the basment.But now I'm going to the basment and I'm geting that TV!I don't know why I was so scared!WAAAAAAAAAAAAA!Sorry mom.

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  78. Marie

    Y is this happening?????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  79. RubentheProphet

    I have all your answers. The problem with Sunnyside is that there is no REAL community. I have a solution for all your needs, including yuppies and hipsters (old and new) and it falls on the new park .

    Let's be real, you all fear that the latinos will be back and overtake that nice new expensive park as soon as it opens. Being a latino myself I can assure you they WILL be back. like roaches on an old pastrami sandwich. So here's what should be done.

    Community leaders should promote community events for every Saturday. Get some parents to volunteer to get the kids together for the occasional baseball pick up game this way the kids actually have something to do in the park. Parents get to know each other in the process.

    Then, let's get some Food cars to pass by and sell some real hipster food. I am sick and tired of that fake farmers market that sets up shop , I want a chocolate kimchi smoothie to wash down my cucumber taco. with this you have two things hipsters love, dogs and food trucks.

    It won't take much to get this done. Do this and you'll have a community, you'll have your voices and most importantly, kids will see that there's unity in their neighborhood not just people living their own separate lives.

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  80. SuperWittySmitty

    The no-smoking policy forces drunks outside, where they get loud...fight...?

    It's probably lead to more folks trying to quit, and the patrons inside of the establishment feeling healthier and happier. In the past, I would avoid smoking bars and restaurants; nowadays, I go out to eat on a regular basis. Hard to believe we actually tolerated folks burning tobacco and creating thick plumes of noxious smoke inside a room crowded with people eating their dinner!

    But now, smokers (they're not all drunks, are they? And not all drunks are smokers, so it's the combination of these two bad habits? ) go outside and smoke, and then they get rowdy? But if we let them stay inside and smoke, though, they would remain calm? This is quite a theory.

    I love the fact that I was able to quite in 2000. Starting to smoke was the stupidest thing I ever did. The only issue here that is really sad is that there are still people smoking, while the rest of us sweep up their butts and try too ignore the nasty odor.

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  81. ice-nine

    what happened to the editing of the hatred on this site?
    Everythings fine now that Crowley wished us all a happy Presidents day.
    I am complete now, and at peace.

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  82. Rick Duro

    I'm all for SMOKE FREE bars, restaurants, etc. It's a horrible habit. I am glad less people are smoking for many reasons. The people standing outside, on a freezing night, in front of a bar are smoking, otherwise they'd be inside.

    One unfortunate circumstance of forcing people to go outside to smoke, is they make lots of noise in the early am hours, the smoke wafts up into people's windows and, yes, fights do sometimes happen outside. Inside as well, it's what the effects of booze sometimes causes: beer muscles. We have had whole articles on this page dedicated to bar fights/injuries.

    People in bars tend to drink and some, yes, do get drunk. Everyone, no, but many yes.

    RD

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  83. Rick Duro

    Great idea Ruben. Put it together!

    RD

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  84. JulieJ.

    SAVE THE THEATER. SAVE PJ HORGAN'S!!!

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  85. Newcomer

    @Rick Duro; Speaking about how to prevent "people who have spent their lives here" from falling "victim to landlords looking to make a quick buck," I think that tenants' associations are a good place to start, at least in rent stabilized buildings. Buildings with active tenants' associations can help people get to know each other, (yup, long-time residents and new folks alike,) and can keep an eye on trends that can push out residents. Anyone know if there are any tenants organizations around?

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  86. Nathan

    I'm sorry

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  87. b

    They have clearly made a push in the last year to improve and renovate the theater, and it has been a great option for cheap movies ($5 every day before 5PM) against the $14 tickets in Astoria. It'll be a shame to lose it.

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  88. :d

    Am going to miss the theater

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Hundreds turn out in quest for Hunters Point affordable housing, as residents learn about rental prices and income limits

Affordable housing 004

Sept. 30, By Christian Murray

More than 400-people attended an affordable housing meeting in Sunnyside last night to see whether they would be eligible for a piece of the Hunters Point South dream.

The goal for most was to find out how whether they qualified for one of the 925 affordable units on offer—which comes with building amenities such as a fitness center, outdoor terrace, internet café and meeting rooms.

The complex, which contains two buildings, will be comprised of studios, 1 brms, 2 brms and 3 bedroom units.

The application period is expected to begin October 15 and there will be 186 apartments available to those applicants who fall under the “low income” bracket. To qualify as low income, an applicant seeking a studio cannot make more than $30,000—while a family seeking a 3 bedroom unit must earn less than $50,000 per year.

For those who qualify for the “low income” bracket, the rents would range in price from $494 per month for a studio to as high as $959 for a three bedroom.

However, many attendees wanted to find out about the 738 “moderate income” apartments on offer. The maximum income permitted to be eligible for a studio is a little over $130,000, while the maximum household income for a 3 bedroom unit is about $225,000.

affordablerentsThe rents for “moderate income” earners will range from $1,561-$1997 for a studio, $1965-2509 for a one bedroom, $2366-$3300 for a 2 bedroom and $2729-$4346 for a three bedroom.

“This is the best apartment deal in New York City,” said Frank Monterisis, the senior vice president of Related Companies. He said that the waterfront complex is a luxury building that comes with all the modern fixtures and amenities.

However, some residents said after the meeting that they thought the “moderate income” apartments were too expensive and complained that they made too much money to qualify for the “low income” units.

One man said during the meeting that he was paying less rent now than what the affordable [moderate income] units would be.

However, while some people grumbled, the rents are still significantly less than what is available on the open market. In a recent report released by Modern Spaces (an advertiser with the Sunnysidepost), the average studio apartment in a luxury Long Island City building is currently renting for more than $2,500, while one bedrooms are going for about $3,200.

The Hunters Point South apartments, unlike the other luxury Hunters Point buildings, will be “permanently” affordable. Therefore, the rent renewals are determined by a New York City formula– based on the Rent Guidelines Board.

Furthermore, once a lease is signed, tenants are not subject to any income restrictions from that point on.

However, the key is getting an apartment in the first place—and tens of thousands of people are expected to apply.

Attendees were told that they would have 60 days to submit their application after the application period begins. Monterisi said that there would be a vigorous marketing campaign once the 60-day period opens. Residents can also register at HuntersPointSouthLiving.com to be notified of the date.

Community Board 2 residents—who currently live in Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City—will be given priority over outside applicants on 50% of the units.

The application can be submitted online at New York Housing Connect (nyc.gov/housingconnect). Applicants will be required to create a personal profile that provides details as to their income, assets and the number of people who are likely to live in a given unit.

There is no actual limit on assets when applying for a “moderate” apartment. The main focus is on the applicant’s earnings and whether those assets will affect that figure.

Successful applicants will be notified during the first quarter of 2015, with the goal for it to be fully leased by spring 2015.

affordablehousingmoderate income

 

 

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Sunnyside resident jumps in front of LIRR train at Woodside station, critically injured

Woodside subway

Sept. 30, By Christian Murray

A 39-year-old Sunnyside man was struck and seriously injured this morning when he jumped in front of an eastbound Long Island Rail Road train at the Woodside Station, according to the MTA.

The man, whose identify has not been disclosed, jumped from the station platform into the path of a Ronkonkoma-bound train at approximately 10:30 AM, according to the transit agency.

The man was removed from under the train with severe head and leg injuries and was unconscious when he was rushed by ambulance to Queens Hospital Center in Elmhurst, the police said.

The LIRR was forced to suspend eastbound service from Penn Station, except for the Port Washington Branch, for about an hour.

 

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‘The Good Wife’ to film in Sunnyside Tuesday

GoodwifeSept. 29, By Christian Murray

Several Sunnyside streets will be taken over Tuesday to make way for “The Good Wife.”

The CBS show, which has received widespread acclaim, will be shooting on Skillman Avenue (between 48th and 49th Streets), as well as on 48th Street (btw. 43rd and Barnett Avenues) and 49th Street (between Skillman and Barnett). Vehicles parked on these streets Tuesday are likely to be towed.

The show focuses on the fictional character Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), whose husband Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), a former State Attorney, has been jailed following a notorious political corruption and sex scandal.

The series was partly inspired by the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal, as well as by other prominent political sex scandals, particularly those of John Edwards and Bill Clinton.

The show, which premiered in 2009, has won five Emmys.

Film crew getting ready for shoot on Skillman Avenue

Film crew getting ready for shoot on Skillman Avenue

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Town hall meetings scheduled this week, with advice provided on snagging an affordable unit on LIC waterfront

completion-465x348

Sept. 28, By Christian Murray

Sunnyside and Woodside residents will get their chance to learn how to apply for an affordable rental unit on the Long Island City waterfront this week.

The application period to snag an apartment in the Hunters Point South complex is expected to begin shortly and Community Board 2 leaders—along with the development company– will be holding two meetings this week telling residents how to apply,

The applicants will be aiming to get one of the 925 affordable apartments that are expected to be completed early next year.

The first meeting is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 29, at the Sunnyside Community Services Center at 7pm. A second meeting will be held at the Big Six Towers on Wednesday, Oct. 1 at 7 pm.

Community Board 2 residents—who currently live in Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City—will be given priority over outside applicants on 50% of the units.

The income requirements are broad and tailored more toward middle income earners. For example, units have been set aside for individuals/families who make very little to those who make up to $190,000, based on numbers released last year by the Bloomberg administration.

For details on the meetings, see below:

HPS Town Halls Flyer 091714-1

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Sunnyside Restaurant Week kicks off October 20, more than 30 restaurants participating
Blu Orchid on Queens Blvd

Recently-opened Blu Orchid part of Sunnyside Restaurant Week

Sept. 25, By Christian Murray

Sunnyside’s second annual restaurant week is scheduled to take place next month and 32 restaurants have already signed up to participate.

The event, organized by Sunnyside Shines, aims to showcase Sunnyside as a destination for high-quality cuisine. Its goal is tempt residents to try new places and draw foodies from other parts of New York City.

The event begins on Oct. 20 and concludes on Friday, Oct. 24.

Each restaurant will serve a three course dinner menu for $25 with many offering additional lunch specials.

The participating restaurants span the globe. There will be Japanese, Turkish, Irish, Italian, Romanian, Mexican, Peruvian, French, Colombian, Filipino, Paraguayan, Tibetan, Thai, and Seasonal American food on offer.

Restaurants from Skillman Avenue through 47th Avenue have signed up this year. Last November, when Sunnyside Restaurant Week was launched, 17 restaurants took part.

“Last year’s event was a big success for neighborhood restaurants,” said Rachel Thieme, executive director, of Sunnyside Shines. “I am proud that we have doubled the number.”

Participating restaurants will also include newcomers to the Sunnyside scene—such as Tibetan Dumpling Café and Blu Orchid. Venturo and Salt & Fat, which were recently recognized as Michelin “Bib Gourmands,” will be participating again this year.

Sunnyside Shines has listed the 32 restaurants on its website. The list also includes those restaurants that have put a special menu together for Sunnyside Restaurant Week.

Restaurant week will also feature contemporary art, which will be placed at five participating restaurants. The art is being curated by No Longer Empty, a contemporary art organization, and will include work from three Sunnyside artists.

The artwork will be on display at Bucharest Restaurant, Los Verdes, PJ Horgan’s, Salt & Fat and Venturo.

“We are really looking forward to Sunnyside Restaurant Week this year,” Thieme said. However, she said: “there’s a huge problem – figuring out how to eat in all these amazing restaurants in just one week!”

Takesushi

Takesushi

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Venturo, Salt & Fat win coveted ‘Bib Gourmand’ award

Venturo sunnyside

Sept. 24, By Christian Murray

The Michelin Guide has just released its 2015 “Bib Gourmand” picks and Salt & Fat and Venturo were among the picks for the best value for money.

These two restaurants were the only Sunnyside restaurants to receive the highly-coveted prize. Restaurants are evaluated for excellence on a budget (defined as two courses and wine or dessert for $40 a head).

The Bib Gourmand restaurant winners are widely considered the best and most affordable restaurants in New York.

The popular Thai restaurant Ayada, located at 77-08 Woodside Avenue, also received the award.

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Sunnyside farmers market will be open all-year round, if organizers get community support

Sunnyside Farmers Market1

Sept. 24, By Christian Murray

The Sunnyside Greenmarket might be open all-year round if the organizers get enough support from the community.

The market, which is located on Skillman Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets, is currently open on Saturdays from May through December.

However, Jessenia Cagle, the coordinator of the market, said that the farmers are willing to come to Sunnyside all-year round. She said that she has been circulating a petition calling for market to remain open every Saturday–including during the cold winter months. So far she has 800 signatures.

The petition has recently gone online and can be found by clicking on this link:  http://conta.cc/1nxfS6H

“I think the neighborhood is ready for it,” Cagle said. “There are a lot of people in the area who like fresh, local food—and they don’t want to have to go too far to get it especially in winter.”

The market, which opened in June 2007, has been a success, Cagle said. Presently there are 16 farmers/vendors out each weekend selling items such as bread, vegetables, meat and fish.

This year the market opened a month earlier than in previous years and plenty of residents came out and bought items, Cagle said. “We were very busy, it was great,” she said.

The move to open year round would not be unprecedented in Queens. Cagle said the market in Jackson Heights, which was once seasonal, now operates all year round.

Cagle said that not all of the vegetable providers will be able to come out in winter due to the seasonal nature of their produce. However, she expects about 10 vendors will participate during the cold winter months.

“I think if we get enough support, there is a strong possibility that we will be open this winter,” she said.

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Van Bramer’s hit-and-run bill is passed by the city council
Van Bramer, xxx , Melissa Mark Viverto (Source:  Bill Alatriste)

Van Bramer, Martha Puruncajas , Melissa Mark Viverito (Source: Bill Alatriste)

Sept. 24, By Christian Murray

The city council passed legislation yesterday that would fine drivers who flee the scene of an accident up to $10,000.

The Council voted 49-0 in favor of the legislation that was introduced by Jimmy Van Bramer following three hit-and-run deaths that have occurred in Western Queens in the past year.

“I am proud to have sponsored Intro 371, the ‘Justice for Hit and Run Victims Act,’” Van Bramer said in a statement. “I was moved to introduce this bill in response to the death of three people who were killed in my district by drivers who fled the scene.”

Last September, Luis Bravo, 19, was killed crossing Broadway in Woodside. Meanwhile, Karen Pheras, 20, was struck and killed around the same time crossing Queens Plaza North. Then in March, Kumar Ragunath, 64, was killed crossing Northern Boulevard in Long Island City.

“They all lost their lives because of the unconscionable actions of reckless drivers who showed no concern for the lives of these three people,” Van Bramer said. “We will never know if one or all of them could have been saved had the drivers done the right thing: stopped their car and called 911.”

All three drivers have yet to be caught.

“It’s something you never get over,” said Bravo’s mother, Martha Puruncajas, at a recent council hearing.”The pain is unbearable, the pain stays,” she said, adding that she hopes stiffer penalties would prevent future tragedies.

Under the bill, those who leave the scene of an incident without taking action would be subject to pay a civil penalty of up to $500 if property damage stems from the incident; $1,000 to $2,000 if a person is injured; and $2,000 to $10,000 if there is serious injury or death.

Currently there are no “civil” penalties in New York City if someone flees.

Criminal penalties are determined by the state lawmakers.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the bill into law. The law would take effect ninety days after he signs it.

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Sunnyside Street co-named after famous sporting arena

arenaSept. 23, By Christian Murray

City officials and boxing enthusiasts turned out Saturday for the co-naming of 45th Street to pay tribute to the now-demolished Sunnyside Garden Arena where fighters and wrestlers used to duke it out.

The Sunnyside Garden Arena, a 2,000-seat venue that was once located where Wendy’s now stands at 44-11 Queens Blvd, hosted boxing events from 1945 to 1977 during the golden years of NYC boxing. Many famous fighters from that era got their start at the arena, and it was a stepping stone to the brighter lights of Madison Square Garden.

Members of the Ring 8 Boxing Association, a group for retired boxers, unveiled the new street sign along with Dave Diamante, the official announcer at the Barclays Center, and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.

Two years ago, many of the same boxing enthusiasts came out when a memorial was placed on the front lawn of Wendy’s that also marked the location.

John Edebohls, who was raised just a couple of blocks away from the arena, said when the memorial was unveiled:“This place launched many careers: Emile Griffith [middleweight world champ] and Jose Torres [light heavyweight world champ].”

The arena was where Gerry Cooney launched his professional career, Edebolhs said. Cooney would go on to fight Larry Holmes in 1982 for the heavyweight title. Cooney lost.

Luke Adams, a member of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, said when the monument was unveiled that the arena was not just for boxing. “They had proms there, they made a movie there (Mr. Universe), and in 1960 John F. Kennedy had one of the first rallies of his Presidential campaign there.”

Sunnyside Gardens Arena

Sunnyside Garden Arena

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