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.

  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

  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.

  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.

  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.


    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!!!!!

  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.

  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?

  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.

  10. Oppressed Masses

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

  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!!

  12. Local Hamburgler


  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!

  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.

  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.

  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?

  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.

  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.

  19. Local Hamburgler


    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!

  20. Moneyside

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

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  25. Guttersnipe

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

  26. empire ed

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

  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!

  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?

  29. ferdia

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

  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).

  31. Angray

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

  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?

  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."

  34. Edgar

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

  35. ferdia

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

  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).

  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.


  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.

  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)!

  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.

  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 .

  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?

  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!

  44. SunnysidePostHatesMe

    Bliss and SKillmann - Wake up you are elitist.

  45. Local Hamburgler


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

  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.

  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!

  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).

  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.

  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.

  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

  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.

  53. JulieJ.

    Texas is looking good!

  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!

  55. 86Mets

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

  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

  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.

  58. Nevaeh


    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!

  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.

  60. JulieJ.

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

  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.

  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?

  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.

  64. 86Mets


    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.

  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.


  66. la

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

  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.

  68. SunnysideUP

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

  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 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.

  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.

  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.]

  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.

  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.

  74. Rick Duro


    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.


  75. Rick Duro


    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?



  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.

  77. Marie

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

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.


  82. Rick Duro

    Great idea Ruben. Put it together!


  83. JulieJ.


  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?

  85. Nathan

    I'm sorry

  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.

  87. :d

    Am going to miss the theater


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Latest News

New commanding officer appointed to 108 precinct
Captain John Trav

Captain John Travaglia

Nov. 20, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

fire51st Street

Nov. 20, By Michael Florio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The FDNY is still investigating what caused the fire.

fire51st Street1

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


Nov. 19, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

For previous coverage, click here

Previous photo of suspect

Previous photo of a suspect


Previous photo

Previous photo of a suspect

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


Nov. 18, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

James Abram with Hercules

Nov. 17, By Christian Murray

Hercules, Daffodil and Robin all found homes Sunday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Couple adopts Dafodil

Couple adopts Daffodil

Robin the cat

Robin the cat

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

Alexio Gessa (Photo: Peter Wing)

Nov. 17, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jimmy Van Bramer (source: Peter Wing)

Jimmy Van Bramer (Photo:Peter Wing)

Source Peter Wing

(Photo: Peter Wing)

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

Van BramerFATAL

By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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Man follows Sunnyside woman home, robs her at knifepoint


A 40-year old woman was followed into her Sunnyside apartment building last month before a man pulled out a knife and demanded her cell phone.

The perpetrator followed the woman into the lobby of her 42nd Street apartment building (near Skillman Ave.) just before midnight on Saturday Oct.25. He then pulled out a knife and demanded her phone. The victim complied. The man then fled.

The police released a photo and video footage of the suspect today.

The suspect is described as a male black, approximately 30 years of age, who had dreadlocks containing yellow beads on the night of the attack. He was also wearing a long black trench coat.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). 

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With 18 restaurants expected, ‘Taste of Woodside’ to take place Nov. 20


Nov. 13, By Michael Florio

Get ready to sample the diverse food of Woodside.

Woodside on the Move, a local non-profit, will be putting on its third annual “Taste of Woodside” on Nov. 20, with the goal of showcasing about 18 restaurants.

The goal of the event is to provide attendees with the ability to sample each restaurant’s food so they are able to get an appreciation of the quality of Woodside’s cuisine.

This year’s event will be taking place at the St. Sebastian’s School auditorium, located at 39-76 58th Street.

The event will cost $25.

“The restaurants will provide samples of the type of food they offer,” said Adriana Beltran with Woodside on the Move. The list of participating restaurants will be released shortly.

This year’s event is expected to attract about 100 attendees, Beltran said. Last year, 80 people attended.


Beltran said a new feature this year will be a photo exhibit called The Woodsider. The exhibit will be hung around the auditorium and will feature Woodside businesses.


Date: Nov. 20

Time: 6 pm-9pm

Location: St. Sebastian’s School auditorium

Admission price: $25

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More Headlines

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


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

Source: Pat Dorfman

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

Robin Kawada

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

Crime Numbers 2014

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

Poster of Suspects in robbery

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

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

Prior coverage:
Construction starts on Sunnyside/Woodside slow zones
Queens DOT Commission Dalia Hall

Queens DOT Commissioner Dalila Hall

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

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

30-year old wins ‘Sunnysider of the Year’ award
Oguzhan Turan

Oguzhan Turan

Nov. 2, By Christian Murray A 30-year-old Turkish immigrant will be receiving the 2015 Sunnysider of the Year award at the Tangra ballroom (39-23 Queens Blvd) Monday evening. Oguzhan Turan, who is the executive director of the Sunnyside-based Turkish Cultural Center Queens, will be receiving the joint award from the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and The award is handed out to someone who lives or works in Sunnyside who has contributed to the greater good without regard to faith, fundraising or politics. Turan was nominated by a committee representing both organizations—as well as past winners-- and was voted for the award unanimously, according to Patricia Dorfman, founder of and former Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce member. The award, officially called the Luke Adams’ Sunnysider of the Year award, was first bestowed on Luke Adams in 2011. The Turkish Cultural Center Queens is best known in this neighborhood for its Ramadan celebration when it feeds hundreds of people under a tent it sets up in Sunnyside for a number of evenings each year. The group also gained attention after Superstorm Sandy when it handed out 5,000 cups of soup and made a $50,000 donation to help repair a damaged Queens Library branch. Turan, as an individual, is known for his personal service to others, wrote Dorfman for the Woodside Herald. “Turan can always be counted on to show up before anyone else, do physical work if required, and make the charitable activities of others come to fruition. He is there in a crisis, including personal,” Dorfman wrote. “He does car runs for the needy, sets up and builds tents for street fair booths, and gives of his own money and time on a daily basis.” Turan will be the fifth winner of the award. It has gone to Luke Adams, Queen of Angles priest Brian Dowd, Francis Schmidt (a member of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and Sunnyside/Woodside Lions Club) and Donald McCallian (who runs the community organization the United 40s Civic Association.  
‘Bar Rescue’ featuring Jack’s Ale House to air Sunday
JacksBar1-475x360 Oct. 31, By Christian Murray The Spike TV show “Bar Rescue” will be featuring a Sunnyside bar when it airs this Sunday. The show, which stars Jon Taffer, a tough-talking nightlife expert who helps struggling bars come back from the brink, will focus on Jack’s Ale House at 39-46 Skillman Avenue. Taffer and his crew were at Jack’s for a week in August putting the show together. The bar is owned by Sunnyside resident Brian McGowan and his two brothers, Jimmy and John. The three are all firefighters (although John has retired) who have deep roots in Sunnyside. However, the brothers have squabbled over the years and the show hones in on this. In fact, the promo for this Sunday’s show reads: Three loud-mouthed firefighting brothers struggle to keep their Queens bar afloat. Can Taffer calm the sparks before this family implodes? In August, Brian McGowan said the show was well worth doing. “It’s been amazing,” he said. “It’s brought our family back together again. Many family issues have been resolved as a result of the show—from how we run the bar to past money issues.” McGowan said that Taffer is the tough-talking person you see on the show. On the first night “He ripped us all a new A-hole and then walked out of the bar,” he said. However, he added, Taffer has a “heart of gold.” This Sunday, Jacks is holding a party in at 8pm to celebrate the airing of the show. Details: Bar Rescue, Spike TV Sunday, 9pm
Taffer talks to the McGowans

Taffer talks to the McGowans


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