Sunnyside movie theater in danger of being demolished

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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. 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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  57. 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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  58. 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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  59. 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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  60. JulieJ.

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

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  61. 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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  62. 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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  63. 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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  64. 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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  65. 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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  66. la

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

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  67. 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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  68. SunnysideUP

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

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  69. 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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  70. 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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  71. 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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  72. 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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  73. 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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  74. 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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  75. 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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  76. 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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  77. Marie

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

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  78. 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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  79. 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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  80. 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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  81. 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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  82. Rick Duro

    Great idea Ruben. Put it together!

    RD

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  83. JulieJ.

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

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  84. 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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  85. Nathan

    I'm sorry

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  86. 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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  87. :d

    Am going to miss the theater

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Latest News

Bostonian convicted of killing Berkeley Towers resident inside victim’s apartment
Berkeley Towners, 52-40 39th Drive

Berkeley Towners, 52-40 39th Drive

Jan. 29, By Christian Murray

A Boston man who murdered a Berkeley Towers resident inside the victim’s apartment was convicted yesterday of second degree murder, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.

Raymond Epps, 58, strangled and robbed Wayne Graves, 62, who was later found dead in his Woodside bathtub.

Graves fell victim to Epps in October 2011 after he allowed the Bostonian to stay with him in his 11th floor apartment, after meeting Epps at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

“The defendant repaid his benefactor’s generous act of kindness by strangling him in his own home and then stealing his credit cards,” said Queens District Attorney Richard A Brown.”His actions warrant a lengthy prison sentence to punish him and protect society.”

Epps, who has been in custody since December 2011, faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

Gerard Torre, a friend of Graves, testified that he visited the apartment on October 16, 2011, and that Epps introduced himself and said that he needed a place to stay and was staying a few nights with Graves.

Torre repeatedly called Graves the next day, but there was no answer. Then on Oct. 19, 2011, Torre went to the apartment and when no one answered he had the building’s super to open the door.

Graves’ body was discovered in the bathtub and his death was ruled as the result of strangulation.

Epps used Graves’ credit cards to buy a bus fare back to Boston. He then used the credit cards to buy merchandise from various stores, which he then used to trade for crack cocaine, according to the district attorney’s office.

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Bar 43 completes expansion, reopens tonight

bar43

prior to expansion

prior to expansion

Jan. 29, By Christian Murray

The expansion of Bar 43 & Grill is almost complete and the neighborhood sports bar is reopening tonight.

The bar, located at 43-06 43rd Street, has expanded into the space beside it, which was previously occupied by the Sunnyside Meat Market.

The bar now has room for 100 seats—up from 60. The number of TVs has also increased—from 11 to 23.

Nick Murphy and Mickey McCreesh, who own the establishment, started the expansion last summer. They gutted the old butcher shop and revamped it while keeping the bar open.

However, 10 days ago, they closed the bar down to smash the interior wall that had previously separated the two establishments.

Murphy said that their aim was to reopen in advance of the Super Bowl. While he had hoped the expansion would have been completed earlier this week he said he was glad the process was nearly over.

“We will still have a nice start going into [Super Bowl] weekend,” Murphy said.

The owners have put in a sliding door that can be used to cordon off the new space for private parties. However, for the most part, the door will remain open.

Murphy said that they are still awaiting their new exterior sign, which he anticipates will go up in the next few days.

Murphy said the bar will continue to operate the way it did before—offering sports, trivia, restaurant food and outdoor seating (in summer).

While Bar 43 is best-known as a sports bar, Murphy said it will continue to be a venue where families can go out for a quality dinner.

Nick Murphy

Nick Murphy

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Nolan announces that she wants Assembly Speaker job
Cathy Nolan

Cathy Nolan

Jan. 28, By Christian Murray

Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan announced today that she wants to be the next speaker of the New York State Assembly.

Nolan’s announcement came shortly after Sheldon Silver, the longtime leader of the assembly, agreed to give up the position he has held for 21 years as a result of federal corruption charges.

“I am formally announcing my candidacy for Speaker of the New York State Assembly,” Nolan wrote in a statement. “In my 30 year Assembly career I have conducted myself with honesty and integrity.”

Nolan would be the first woman to get the top job and it would result in Sunnyside and Long Island City being represented by two high-ranking officials: Nolan as speaker and Jimmy Van Bramer as New York City majority leader.

Nolan is one of a handful of names in the running for the speaker race, which include Majority Leader Joseph Morelle from Rochester, Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie, and Manhattan Assemblyman Keith Wright.

“Lost in the names that have been mentioned as potential candidates for Speaker is that of a woman,” Nolan wrote. “A woman has never served as Speaker of the Assembly.”

The letter indicated that Nolan would have little tolerance for legislators who sexually harassed their staffers.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said that he had talked to Nolan this morning. “She is a very serious contender and I can tell you she is very determined,” he said. She is not just floating her name out there, she is moving on this very decisively.”

Nolan has served on several committees during her tenure.

“I have extensive experience working with constituencies from all over our state, and have indeed ushered many proposals through both the budget process and the legislative process. Whether the issue is education, labor, mass transit or women’s issues, I have been at the forefront of the process,” Nolan wrote.

Nolan also wrote that she has never had a second job while working in the assembly.

“The people of New York State has been my only job – whether it be my own constituents, school children or working men and women in our state.”

Nolan is likely to get the support from Joseph Crowley, the head of Queens Democratic Party that would bring her the full 18-member assembly bloc of Queens.

“It is time for this institution to return to the high standards that the people of our state rightfully demand and expect. I stand ready to work with my colleagues to do just that for the people of the State of New York. They deserve nothing less,” Nolan wrote.

The new speaker is expected to be picked on Feb. 10.

statementfromassemblywomannolan-1 by sunnysidepost

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Sunnyside digs out after ‘historic’ storm

Jan. 27, Staff Report

The storm may not have lived up to the hype but Sunnyside was still left with plenty of snow.
Here is some of the aftermath.

sunnysidesnow7

sunnysidesnow5

sunnysidsnow5

sunnysidesnow4

sunnysidesnow3

sunnysidesnow2

sunnysidesnow1

sunnysidesnow

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Cathy Nolan is being discussed as the next Assembly Speaker

Registry

Jan. 26, Staff Report

The Queens Democratic machine is starting to flex its muscles and is calling for Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan to be next speaker should Sheldon Speaker be toppled, according to the New York Observer.

Top officials with the Queens Democratic Party are calling Assembly members in Queens, Manhattan and Nassau County to support Nolan, who has represented Ridgewood, Sunnyside and Long Island City since 1984.

“Queens is calling around, taking the temperature. They’re pushing Nolan,” an Albany Democratic source to the Observer. “They are floating her in case Shelly is no longer speaker so there’s a quick transfer of power and the body can move on.”

Sources say the Queens machine’s three top deputies–Michael Reich, Frank Bolz and Gerard Sweeney–are calling legislators to figure out what kind of support exists for a potential Nolan candidacy, the Observer reports.

Nolan is reportedly close to Silver and the teachers union, the Observer reports. Nolan has also forged an alliance with Mayor Bill de Blasio, who may look to exert his influence over the city’s Assembly delegation if Silver leaves his post.

Support from Joseph Crowley, the head of the Queens Democratic Party, could mean the full 18-member bloc of Queens lawmakers in the Assembly’s 150 member body would vote for her.

Nolan is regarded as one of the shrewder lawmakers in the body, the Observer reports, and would be the first woman ever elected speaker in New York, no small significance to female Assembly members.

Nolan could not be reached for this article.

Meanwhile, Silver, who is trying to hang onto the speaker role as he fights federal corruption charges, is expected to announce today that the assembly will be jointly run by five Assembly Democrats—one of whom is Nolan.

The other four are Majority Leader Joseph Morelle (D-Rochester), Herman “Denny” Farrell (D-Manhattan), Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn) and Carl Heastie (D-Bronx).

Silver’s move will be deemed temporary, so he can focus on fighting the charges of kickbacks and corruption. However, there is still uncertainty as to whether Silver will be forced out.

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City council signs off on Luke Adams Way
Luke Adams (middle)

Luke Adams (middle)

Jan. 24, By Christian Murray

The city council passed legislation this week that included the co-naming of 46th Street in honor of the late Luke Adams.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer submitted Adams’ name Thursday and provided his council colleagues with a brief description of what Adams was like. “[Adams] was affectionately known as the Mayor of Sunnyside and a terrific man who led our Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and did so much. In fact he helped build the Sunnyside Arch.”

The strip on 46th Street between Greenpoint Ave. and Queens Blvd (by the Arch) will be co-named Luke Adams Way.

Adams, who was a 40 year resident and local business owner, passed away from cardiac arrest on Nov. 10 at the age of 76. Just days after his death several people called out for a street to be named after him.

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, an award that is now named after him.

The street naming ceremony is expected to take place in spring. However, Van Bramer, Community Board 2 and the Adams’ family will be coordinating the details.

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Two cops receive award for saving LaGuardia professor’s life
Officer Sarro and Officer Caldarera

Officer William Caldarera and Officer Corey Sarro

Jan. 23, By Christian Murray

Two officers from the 108th received an award this week after being deemed heroes for saving the life of a LaGuardia professor last month.

Police Officers Corey Sarro and William Calderera were on routine patrol on Tuesday, Dec. 23, when they discovered a professor on the pavement outside the college.

The elderly professor had suffered from a heart attack and was not breathing when the officers arrived. He was lying motionless and he did not have a heartbeat.

The two officers went into action.

Officer Sarro began performing chest compressions while Officer Calderea retrieved a defibrillator. After two attempts to resuscitate the professor, they were able to revive him. EMS then transported the professor to Elmhurst General Hospital in stable condition.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Mayor Bill de Blasio awarded the officers with a Proclamation on behalf of the city council for saving the professor’s life.

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Sunnyside resident organizing fun run, aims to raise funds for the homeless

POSTER

Jan. 23, By Christian Murray

A Sunnyside resident is organizing a one mile fun run as part of her quest to raise funds for the Coalition for the Homeless.

Leonor White, who is originally from Spain, is planning to hold the event on May 31st and has already received the permits necessary from the NYPD to use the streets.

The event will start outside Lou Lodati Park on 43rd Street. Runners will then follow Barnett Avenue through to 52nd Street before finishing at Skillman Ave (44th Street). White aims to get 250 runners to participate.

“I think that this is a great way to bring the community together,” White said. “It is also a way to remind everyone of how many adults and children are homeless.”

White plans to make the event a competitive race as well as a fun run.

She said that there will be an adult race as well as one for children (below 16 years of age) .

Meanwhile for most, she said it will be a fun run or walk.

White said that there will be a nominal charge to participate—expecting it to be between $5 and $10.

Those funds will go toward the homeless. She is currently reaching out to local businesses to see whether they will help sponsor the event, which would generate additional funds to go toward the homeless.

She encourages others to get involved in helping put the race together. She can be contacted at leonorwhite@hotmail.com

Race map

Leonor White (second from left

Leonor White (second from left)

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Former Dime Bank often used for TV/Movie shoots

IMG_0011(1)

Jan. 23, By Christian Murray

Signage that went up at the former Dime Bank location on Queens Blvd Wednesday indicated that a new bank tenant was moving in.

Exterior signs read: “Fisher Bank,” and inside there were posters advertising retirement accounts and current interest rates.

The bank, however, was fictional. It was decked out as part of a set for the TV show Person of Interest, a sci-fi crime drama series.

Bank Queens Blvd SunnysideThe bank has been used for many TV shoots. Scenes for the crime-series Blue Bloods staring Tom Selleck and Donnie Wahlberg were shot there last year when a robbery was staged there as part of its 100th anniversary episode.

John Ciafone, the owner of the building, said that he gets a lot of interest from TV and film crews looking to use the bank space.

Late last year a small independent movie company also used the bank for it film.

Ciaphone said the bank will be used for movie and TV sets up until the time the building is demolished to make way for apartments. The building is expected to be demolished in the second half of this year.

Tom Selleck in Sunnyside last year (Photo: George Burles)

Tom Selleck in Sunnyside last year (Photo: George Burles)

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More Headlines

Two cops receive award for saving LaGuardia professor’s life
Officer Sarro and Officer Caldarera

Officer William Caldarera and Officer Corey Sarro

Jan. 23, By Christian Murray Two officers from the 108th received an award this week after being deemed heroes for saving the life of a LaGuardia professor last month. Police Officers Corey Sarro and William Calderera were on routine patrol on Tuesday, Dec. 23, when they discovered a professor on the pavement outside the college. The elderly professor had suffered from a heart attack and was not breathing when the officers arrived. He was lying motionless and he did not have a heartbeat. The two officers went into action. Officer Sarro began performing chest compressions while Officer Calderea retrieved a defibrillator. After two attempts to resuscitate the professor, they were able to revive him. EMS then transported the professor to Elmhurst General Hospital in stable condition. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Mayor Bill de Blasio awarded the officers with a Proclamation on behalf of the city council for saving the professor’s life.
Sunnyside resident organizing fun run, aims to raise funds for the homeless
POSTER Jan. 23, By Christian Murray A Sunnyside resident is organizing a one mile fun run as part of her quest to raise funds for the Coalition for the Homeless. Leonor White, who is originally from Spain, is planning to hold the event on May 31st and has already received the permits necessary from the NYPD to use the streets. The event will start outside Lou Lodati Park on 43rd Street. Runners will then follow Barnett Avenue through to 52nd Street before finishing at Skillman Ave (44th Street). White aims to get 250 runners to participate. “I think that this is a great way to bring the community together,” White said. “It is also a way to remind everyone of how many adults and children are homeless.” White plans to make the event a competitive race as well as a fun run. She said that there will be an adult race as well as one for children (below 16 years of age) . Meanwhile for most, she said it will be a fun run or walk. White said that there will be a nominal charge to participate—expecting it to be between $5 and $10. Those funds will go toward the homeless. She is currently reaching out to local businesses to see whether they will help sponsor the event, which would generate additional funds to go toward the homeless. She encourages others to get involved in helping put the race together. She can be contacted at leonorwhite@hotmail.com Race map
Leonor White (second from left

Leonor White (second from left)

Former Dime Bank often used for TV/Movie shoots
IMG_0011(1) Jan. 23, By Christian Murray Signage that went up at the former Dime Bank location on Queens Blvd Wednesday indicated that a new bank tenant was moving in. Exterior signs read: “Fisher Bank,” and inside there were posters advertising retirement accounts and current interest rates. The bank, however, was fictional. It was decked out as part of a set for the TV show Person of Interest, a sci-fi crime drama series. Bank Queens Blvd SunnysideThe bank has been used for many TV shoots. Scenes for the crime-series Blue Bloods staring Tom Selleck and Donnie Wahlberg were shot there last year when a robbery was staged there as part of its 100th anniversary episode. John Ciafone, the owner of the building, said that he gets a lot of interest from TV and film crews looking to use the bank space. Late last year a small independent movie company also used the bank for it film. Ciaphone said the bank will be used for movie and TV sets up until the time the building is demolished to make way for apartments. The building is expected to be demolished in the second half of this year.
Tom Selleck in Sunnyside last year (Photo: George Burles)

Tom Selleck in Sunnyside last year (Photo: George Burles)

Sunnyside: Van Bramer issues report card, focuses on schools, parks and traffic safety
Van Bramer Jan. 22, By Christian Murray Sunnyside, NY: When he’s asked the tough questions, he typically doesn’t duck for cover. What are your thoughts on 5Pointz? Private property, he responds. What do you think of building on the Sunnyside Yards? Absolutely not. Do you believe in term limits for community board members? Yes. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who darts from event-to-event, isn’t known for hedging his bets. Instead he is direct, fast on his feet, and very self assured. It’s this self confidence that leads him to release an annual self assessment—or report card—every January. It is a rare concept, as most council members don’t do it. “I like people to know what I’ve been doing,” Van Bramer often says, adding that people should know what their council person does. “I don’t want anyone asking: ‘Who is he? What does he do?” The 15-page report states in large font: “16,554 and counting” referring to the number of constituent cases Van Bramer and his staff have handled over the past five years. Furthermore, it said that in 2014, he served on six committees—including as chair of Cultural Affairs and Libraries-and had a “95.3% attendance record.” Van Bramer said that he has laid the groundwork for a number of Sunnyside/Woodside projects that will come to fruition this year. The $1. 3 million revamp of Thomas P. Noonan Park—located at the intersection of Greenpoint Avenue and 43rd Street-- is expected to be completed by summer; a new elementary school in Woodside will be opening in September; and further traffic safety measures are about to go into effect. The ribbon cutting at Thomas P. Noonan Park will come at a time when several other park developments are in the works. The Parks Department is currently drafting preliminary plans for a $2.2 million upgrade to Big Bush Park (behind the Big Six Towers) as well as the $500,000 revamp of Hart Playground on 37th Ave. in Woodside. Furthermore, a $500,000 upgrade to Windmuller park is coming that will cover the cost of building a new skateboard area, as well as fixing the band shell area that has been damaged by skateboarders performing their stunts. However, Van Bramer said that there has been one park project that has been delayed; the dog run at Doughboy Park, which is adjacent to PS 11. Van Bramer, who allocated $250,000 for the dog run in 2012, said that it is behind schedule due to the construction of a school annex at PS 11, which is located at 54-24 Skillman Avenue. He said that the contractor may need that the space where the dog run will go while construction takes place. Van Bramer takes pride in his quest to bring more classroom space—such as the the PS 11 annex-- to the area. “We have the first new school in 60 years coming to Woodside,” Van Bramer said, referring to PS 339 (located at 39-01 57th Street), which is scheduled to open in September with the capacity to serve 470 students. Meanwhile in Sunnyside, PS 343 (The Walter McCaffrey Campus) opened at 45-45 42nd St in September, which can cater to 434 students. In addition, construction of a 600-seat building at IS 125 (46-02 47 Ave.) is in the works, which is likely to lead to the removal of the trailers that are currently spread across the school grounds. “I will continue to build schools…and invest in parks,” Van Bramer said. Van Bramer secured $4.5 million in funding last year for the renovation and expansion of Thalia Spanish Theatre, which is located at 41-17 Greenpoint Avenue. The funds will double the theater’s seating capacity from 75 to 150. That section of Greenpoint Avenue in the past few years has been an area filled with vacancies. However, with the upgrade of the supermarket on the strip, the arrival of other businesses and the impending revamp of Thalia that section of Greenpoint Ave. is showing signs of improvement. Van Bramer said that the Sunnyside business district is on the upsurge in general. “There are very few vacant stores,” he said. He said that the acquisition—and likely development—of several parcels of property on Queens Blvd is largely the result of a booming real estate market coupled with Sunnyside being viewed as a vibrant and safe neighborhood. Meanwhile, a Woodside street cleaning program that involves two workers cleaning Roosevelt (51st to 61st Streets) and Woodside Avenues will continue. In addition, the graffiti cleanup program—where streets such as Broadway, Skillman Ave, 43rd Ave., Roosevelt Ave. and Woodside Ave. are cleaned monthly--has also been funded for this year. Slow zonesVan Bramer said that he has been working on many transportation issues since he has been in office—with the greatest number of constituent cases he and his staff have had to deal with being transportation concerns. While many of these issues have dealt with the No. 7 train and the MTA (which are overseen by the state), he hears from constituents about stop signs and dangerous driving. He said that he advocated for the 25 mph speed limit and slow zones within Sunnyside and Woodside. The slow zone in Sunnyside (south of Queens Blvd) is complete—with the Woodside (which includes northern Sunnyside) expected to be completed within the first half of this year. “People are concerned about the safety of their kids and families,” Van Bramer said, who put in an application with the Department of Transportation for the two slow zones. Van Bramer takes great pride in his strong support of Vision Zero—including his push for launching arterial slow zones on Northern and Queens Blvd. Furthermore, he received citywide attention for his “Justice for Hit and Run Victims Act,” which recently went into effect that imposes a hefty civil penalty on drivers who flee the scene of an accident. Van Bramer, who was named Majority Leader at the beginning of last year, also said that the position allows him to be a better advocate for the district. For instance, he said, he was in a better position to be able to reach out to the administration to let it be known that the Pepsi sign in Long Island City should not lose its place on the “Landmarks Preservation calendar.” Van Bramer is politically ambitious and does not hide it. He said that he will definitely run for city council again in 2017. He would not comment if he has speakership goals in mind—or whether a city-wide office would come after that. “The council speakership was determined over a period of a few weeks [in December 2013] so it is way too far away to start thinking about that,” Van Bramer said. “And then another four years after that…anything could happen by then.” For Van Bramer's report card, please click here: .
LIC: A strange caricature of a religious Muslim draws plenty of hate
anti-muslim Jan. 21, By Christian Murray A strange caricature of a religious Muslim accompanied by the words Je Ne suis Pas Charlie—has been placed on Jackson Avenue near the Court Square train station. The slogan Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie (I am Not Charlie) is a term adopted by some people following the massacre of 12 people at the French publication Charlie Hebdo. These people viewed Charlie Hedbo as a distasteful publication in the way it portrayed Muslims and other groups. The sign has several anti Muslim messages scribbled on it...such as "Islam stones women to death..." and "Muslims kill homo-sexuals." The messages are likely to have been written by a passerby who took exception to the poster. . muslim .
Two northern Italians open ‘Brick-Oven Pizzeria’ on Greenpoint Avenue
olivilla and samone

Salvatore Olivella and Simone Apollonio

Jan. 18, By Christian Murray A new pizzeria opened on Greenpoint Avenue Thursday that offers thin-crust stone oven pizzas. The restaurant, called Nonna Gina Brick Oven Pizzeria is located at 43-24 Greenpoint Avenue, and is owned and operated by two northern Italian natives, who learned to make pizza in their home country. Salvatore Olivella, who is the chef, makes the pizza Naples style, in accordance with his grandmother Gina’s recipe. The pizzas come in a variety of different toppings. Olivella, who has worked in Little Italy and other Manhattan locations, makes 18 inch elongated pizzas (called Metro) as well as smaller round personal pies. The pizzeria is owned by Simone Apollonio, who is from Brescia. He has operated pizzerias from Britain to Australia. The restaurant also offers a variety of pasta dishes as well as salads. Hours: 11 am - 11 pm seven days. Phone number: 718-361-5503 (deliveries to start in next week or two) Pizza2 brick 005
Robber hits Chase bank in Woodside Saturday
suspect

Suspect from surveillance camera (NYPD)

Jan. 18, Staff Report Chase Bank Woodside A man robbed the Woodside Chase branch Saturday and fled with cash, police said. The suspect walked into Chase Bank, located at 59-26 Woodside Avenue, approached the teller and demanded money at around 11:30 am on Jan. 17, according to police. The teller handed over an undetermined amount of money and then the robber fled. There were no reported injuries. The suspect is a white male, 6'2" tall weighing 200 pounds, according to police. Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.
Police: Man exposed himself to worker at 61st Street station
expose Jan. 16, Staff Report A man exposed himself to a 22-year-old woman who was working at a store inside a Woodside subway station, police said. The employee was working in the mezzanine area of the 61st Street and Woodside Avenue station at about 1 p.m. on Jan. 3 when the suspect entered the business. He then exposed himself to the woman, police said. The suspect fled when a customer entered the store. Police have released video footage of the suspect. They describe him as black, 25 to 30 years old and 6 feet tall with a thin build. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477).  
Updated Sunnyside map released, to be distributed to hotels, real estate offices and businesses
Sunnyside shines map Jan. 16, By Christian Murray Sunnyside’s 2015 neighborhood map has been updated and is about to be released. The Sunnyside map, produced by the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District (BID), in partnership with the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and LaGuardia Community College, features a full-color illustrated map of the neighborhood and an updated business directory. Fifteen thousand maps have been printed and will be distributed at hotels in western Queens, local real estate offices and businesses, and community events in an effort to draw newcomers and orient new residents to the neighborhood.  The map is updated each year with a new business directory, including businesses that are either members of the Sunnyside Shines BID or the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce. The Sunnyside map was originally designed in 2013, and was the product of a design competition among students from LaGuardia Community College. The original and updated map features the winning artwork from former LaGuardia student Carmen Zhu. Students in the art and humanities department were tasked with creating artwork for a map that highlighted neighborhood landmarks and amenities. The map artwork was combined with a business directory and advertisements from local Sunnyside businesses, which funded the design and printing costs. “The Sunnyside map is a great piece to promote the neighborhood,” said Rachel Thieme, executive director of the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District. “I was glad to see how well it was received last year.” Linda Santini-Tripodis, owner of local business Merit Group Realty, said that she provides a copy of the map to all new residents looking to move into the neighborhood. “They love the map because it puts all of Sunnyside’s vendors at your fingertips!” Santini-Tripodis said.

Sunnyside Map 2014 010615 Crops by sunnysidepost

Sunnyside Directory 2014 010715 Crops by sunnysidepost

Pols. introduce community board term limits bill, aim to bring on new members as neighborhoods change
QNCB1 Jan. 14, By Christian Murray and Michael Florio The Chairman of Astoria’s Community Board 1 Vinicio Donato has held the top job since 1979. Meanwhile, all the leading figures on the Community Board 1 have been there since the 1980s—including those in charge of zoning and overseeing liquor licenses. The first vice chair George Stamatiades was appointed in 1982; second vice chair Norma Nieves-Blas was put on the board in 1987; the head of the Zoning & Variance Committee John Carusone joined in 1988; and the head of the public safety committee Antonio Meloni has been a member since 1988. This scenario of long-serving board members holding key posts is very common throughout the city-- and some legislators are looking to change that. Councilman Daniel Dromm (Jackson Heights) introduced legislation in December that would limit the amount of time a board member could serve to six two-year terms (12 years). The legislation would only apply to board members appointed after April 1, 2016. Existing board members would not be affected by the bill and would be able to stay as long as they desire—as long as their attendance records are in order. “I applaud those board members who have served for 30 or 40 years but I think we need to start thinking about changing things up a bit,” Dromm said. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents Sunnyside/Woodside/LIC as well as a section of Astoria, is one of seven other legislators who has co-sponsored the bill. Councilman Costa Constantinides is not a co-sponsor and declined to comment on the legislation for this article. Dromm said that New York has undergone a great deal of change in the past 30 years and that should be reflected in terms of who sits on the community board. He said that when people sit on boards for three and four decades it creates a “huge power structure” that doesn’t always benefit a changing community. The same people stay in charge, he said, since the new members don’t want to challenge the long-serving chair person or executive board members. "While new members do get appointed to the [50 person] boards each year, they rarely get into powerful positions or on the executive board,” Dromm said. “These [chair] people wield a lot of power,” Dromm told the Sunnyside Post last year, since they decide who heads the committees and who is on them (see bylaws below). “They have a significant amount of power over the direction of the community.” Van Bramer, a former Community Board 2 member, said that the “changing of the guard is healthy and it represents good-government and democracy.” He said that council members are term limited and so too is the president of the United States. Therefore he believes that they should apply to community board members too. Van Bramer said that he supports the bill since it isn’t aimed at removing existing board members or punishing them. “We all value their volunteerism and what they have done.” However, Van Bramer said that more people should have an opportunity to serve on the board.
Daniel Dromm

Daniel Dromm

He noted that there are about 30 people looking to get on Community Board 2 yet only a few spots open up each year. Community Board members are appointed by the borough president, with half the nominees coming from the council member from a given district. Each board member has a two year term and then has to be reappointed by the borough president. The members are almost universally reappointed unless they have poor attendance records. The amount of work a member does on the board is not measured, nor is their attendance at committee meetings. Therefore, a member could go to most of the monthly meetings, say or doing little and still be reappointed. However, those opposed to Dromm’s bill argue that the long-serving members have accumulated an enormous amount of knowledge that helps the board tackle complex topics. “I am opposed to term limits because there is value in experience and the history of many issues that come before the board,” said Community Board 1 Chair Vinicio Donato in a statement. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who served on Community Board 7, told the Gotham Gazette in December that developers often present boards with complicated land-use proposals and that it often takes experienced board members to grasp it all. Furthermore, Brewer said that seasoned board members are better able to negotiate with developers when it comes to affordable housing and other public amenities. "Without that kind of expertise, the developers will have a field day," Brewer told the Gazette. She does not support of the bill. Meanwhile, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz also opposes Dromm’s bill and does not believe in the concept of term limits for board members, according to her spokesman. Lisa Deller, who is the land use committee head at Community Board 2, told the SunnysidePost last year that it took her a long time to get up to speed with how the city planning process works as well as other city issues. She said that unless someone is a land-use attorney, it takes years to work out all the nuances. “I think [term limits] would diminish the power of the community board,” Deller said. She said it would increase participation but members would be term limited once they developed a level of expertise.” However, Dromm said that the community board managers have the institutional knowledge and contacts-- and that the board members should be able to confer with them. Furthermore, the senior members can help mentor the new members. Patrick O’Brien, who was recently voted in as the chairman of Community Board 2, said “like anything there are always two sides to every equation.” “Turnover and involvement of new people is always a good thing, whether it is due to term limits or other reasons, but the loss of quality people who have developed relationships over the years with agencies…would be missed.” He said that 12 years is "too long" for those board members who do little. However, “someone who has done a great deal and continues to do so in a really great way, well then 12 years is a hard limit—despite people thinking it is a good thing.” “In some scenarios term limits are a good. In others it would be a real loss to the community and the community board,” O’Brien said. .

ByLaws CB1 by sunnysidepost

Public art goes up in Sunnyside, on vacant Greenpoint Ave. billboard
Keep Calm Sunnyside

Greenpoint Avenue

Jan. 13, By Christian Murray A piece of public art went up today on a large billboard on Greenpoint Avenue—between 45th and 46th Streets. The artwork has been installed by “14X48,” a non-profit organization that takes vacant billboards and then brightens them up through public art. The Greenpoint Avenue billboard is now covered with a collage of 80-plus posters that all start with the slogan “Keep Calm.” Each poster has a separate message, such as: “Keep Calm and Kiss Me,” or “Keep Calm and play basketball.” The slogan originated in Britain during WWII, with “Keep Calm and Carry On.” While the British did not use it, the slogan has since been used for marketing purposes. The artist, Margeaux Walter of Brooklyn, said that that she chose the slogan since it addressed the “overlap between individuality and commerce as well as the various guises of advertising and propaganda.” The artwork will be up for at least four weeks. The artist also invites people to tweet messages using the hashtag #keepcalm14x48. These tweets will be made into postcards and distributed along Greenpoint Avenue and at Ave. Coffee House. For more information, please click here.  

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