Pet store to hold dog party, in celebration of 1-year anniversary

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32 Responses to Pet store to hold dog party, in celebration of 1-year anniversary

  1. Craic Dealer

    I always appreciated a doggie style party.

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  2. Jason PP.

    This is VERY GREAT NEWS for my puppy!!I just moved this neighborhood, I love so much and my puppy too but only thing I really don't like in sunnyside, there is so many FAKE reviews!!!! Be honest! Sometimes I feel so ashamed to read.

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  3. jeannette reak

    I am so very happy for Sam and WESPAW's success. It has been a great deal for Sunnyside to have such a wonderful store. For me personally, it has solved the problem of getting quality dog / cat food and supplies at reasonable prices and great service. He has really stepped up to become a part of the Sunnyside Community and I, for one, am very grateful!! Congrats WESPAW!! many more happy years in the neighborhood!!!

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  4. jeannette remak

    I am so very happy for Sam and WESPAW’s success. It has been a great deal for Sunnyside to have such a wonderful store. For me personally, it has solved the problem of getting quality dog / cat food and supplies at reasonable prices and great service. He has really stepped up to become a part of the Sunnyside Community and I, for one, am very grateful!! Congrats WESPAW!! many more happy years in the neighborhood!!!

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  5. Tina M

    This is great! This store in a breath of fresh air for the neighborhood. Everyone on staff is just wonderful and knowledgeable. A pet store party- how cool is that? This is the greatest store to come to Sunnyside in a long time.

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  6. M

    Great store! Thank you!

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  7. A

    This store is a scam. They want you to think they're giving you a discount, when actually they overcharge you! Thieves! No integrity whatsoever.

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  8. Krissi

    Wespaw is certainly a great neighborhood place. However its gonna be chilly this weekend!!

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  9. catlady

    Congratulations to Wespaw on their one-year anniversary. We are very happy to have a place in the neighborhood carrying grain-free cat food at decent prices. Before this store, we had to lug it back from PETCO or a more expensive Manhattan store near our work. It is a pleasure to shop at Wespaw. The staff is welcoming and helpful. This is not a FAKE review. We actually shop here and feel this way.

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  10. sunnysideSux

    Damn animals eat better than the children in schools.

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  11. a damned animal

    Well, maybe ppl should have fewer children so that they can afford to feed the ones they already have. Or, here is a novel idea...don't have kids if u cant afford feed them.

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  12. Rick Duro

    re: SunnysideSux comment.

    Blaming pet owners smart enough to buy high quality for the pets is misguided. I spend good $ to ensure my dog lives a long, healthy life, less vet bills, more active, etc

    I teach HS, my 12th yr, and I have always been horrified by what is fed to my students. Greasy, fatty foods with very little nutritional value. Many of them dont eat breakfast, and, as the school lunch is so gross, they eat a bagel with chips, doritos or cheese puffs smashed in the middle as a substitute.

    These terrible school lunches ABSOLUTELY affect their performance. Eating nothing for bkfst and then crapola for lunch leads to their bodies shutting down and they end up exhausted come 6th-8th period. The worst classes to teach in a middle school are the ones coming off of a lunch period, as they are all wired up on sugary foods. Picture Beavis in the Great Cornholio episode.

    The question is, why does it have to be this way? Well, the Bd of Ed gives contracts to the lowest bidder. The winning company then wants to maximize profits, so they dont sell healthy foods (fruit, veggies) as they spoil too quickly. These companies do not have the best interests of schoolchildren in mind, it's all about $.

    It's up to parents to push for change, that's their job, advocating for their children. With all the emphasis on the flawed Common Core, kids lose out on phys ed and health classes. Proper nutrition is essential. But, when, McDonalds is so cheap and easy (no prep, no mess) the battle is uphill.

    Rick

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  13. Garden loser

    The place on 46st have the same stuff at a much cheaper price, the we we pads about about half the price for the same exact thing same brand

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  14. EA

    Solution 1: home school.
    Solution 2: make your kid school lunch.

    Anywho. I'll be there with my doggie!

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  15. M

    Rick --- well said!!

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  16. Jen

    Garden Loser, if they were giving away wee wee pads for free I still wouldn't shop at that place on 46th St. I find the prices at Wespaw are very reasonable and pretty close to internet pricing. And the carry quality food- not trash. As for me and my pooch, we're only shopping at Wespaws. My pup cries when we pass the stinky spot on 46th St and wags his tail and pulls me into Wespaw. He knows the workers at Wespaw love him and will give him treats. I'm excited for them and can't wait to party with them this weekend.

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  17. luke outtavindow

    catz r better

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  18. SunnysideSux

    Yeah well said Rick, gotta give it to you, you bastard

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  19. GB

    The pet store on 46th street is a disgrace. I'm not a dog person, I'm a bird owner and I get sick to my stomach every time I pass that place and see so many parakeets crammed into cages and the owner can't even be bothered to give them a few toys to play with.

    I walked in there once to mention this to the owner and I nearly puked from the smell of the place. It's dirty, unhygienic and cruel to any animal that is unfortunate to find itself in there.

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  20. JOR

    The owner of Wespaw Pets could provide a broader community service by distributing reminders to party attendees to pick up after the dog poops and to bring the dog to the curb when it urinates. The amount of dog feces and urine stains on Sunnyside sidewalks and building entrance ways is disgusting and a disgrace. It would also be helpful if dog owners are instructed that leaving bags of dog fecal matter on the sidewalk does not constitute cleaning up after the dog; the feces bag needs to be placed in an appropriate trash receptacle, preferably at the dog owner's residence. Too bad the good will generated by the community supported dog park has not resulted in a greater respect for public sidewalks and walk ways.

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  21. The Grimster

    Where is all this DOG POOP I see more human waste than Dog waste so spare me the BS.

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  22. Angray

    I agree JOR - It seems the snow is a free pass to not pick up after your dog.

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  23. Sunnyside Native

    Love this store! Congrats to Sam and his entire staff: Del, Latoya, Amy & Aiden! I shop here for our dogs & cats and glad to give Sam the business! I work hard to feed my pets the BEST. Sorry the damn kids don’t get the same treatment by THEIR parents. That is not MY responsibility. It's the responsibility of the PARENTS! Go fight for your kids nutrition and their after care! It's enough that my taxes go towards our lovely effed up school system, despite the fact that my fiancé & I do not have kids - it's just what part of our taxes go towards. Thank God my parents sent us to Catholic School from 1st - 12th grade!

    The place on 46th Street has been here since I was a kid and it has always been atrocious. I won't even get into how Steve the owner has "strong armed" other pet stores that opened up over the last 30+ years to either close or move. It is sad that they cram all the birds in those cages. Don't even get me started on the 'dungeon' down below where many animals are housed in cages. These puppies come from puppy mills. 100% fact.

    Finally, the dog poop situation has been fixed probably 85% since the dog run opened on June 22, 2013. It will never be 100% solved. You will always have selfish, lazy dog owners who either don't pick up the poop. The urine on sidewalks is a ridiculous comment. Where would you like it to go? I let my dogs pee anywhere their nose leads them to, except homeowners gardens/lawns. So deal with these factoids and move on...
    Finally, the dog poop situation has been fixed probably 85% since the dog run opened on June 22, 2013. It will never be 100% solved. You will always have selfish, lazy dog owners who either don't pick up the poop. The urine on sidewalks is a ridiculous comment. Where would you like it to go? I let my dogs pee anywhere their nose leads them to, except homeowners gardens/lawns. So deal with these factoids and move on...

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  24. anonymous

    I propose a heavy tax on dog owners to pay for DiBlasio's universal Pre-K

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  25. Pirates vs Robots

    @ Sunnyside Native

    Unfortunately the dog poop situation has not improved and has, in fact, gotten noticeably worse in the area immediately surrounding the dog run.

    The blocks adjascent to the park (42nd St between 43rd and Skillman, and Skillman itself) will obviously have the highest dog-traffic in the neighborhood from people heading to and from the run, so though the issue may be improving in other areas, it seems to have simply been relocated to the blocks people walk to reach the park.

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  26. Florence Lawrence

    My dog is so out of control because of this weather. Usually while I am at work I leave him at a day care. The day care is great , it's like a Montessori school for dogs. My little one is toilet trained and even brushes his teeth as well. But sometimes he uses my toothbrush and it's ok. I can't yell at my precious

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  27. Rick Duro

    The dog poop situation has absolutely improved, but, as was mentioned, it will never be perfect, nothing in society is. The poop you see on your block is from the same 1-2 lazy, selfish dog owners. Dogs are creatures of habit and go in the same spots all the time. 10 people with 1 dog each that dont pick up = 140 poops on the sidewalk a week. The amt of people that do not pick up is easily dwarfed by those that do.

    Sadly, just as there are slobs on the subway that throw their garbage on the ground, parents who allow their kids to litter around my bldg b4 and after school, people who take up more than 1 spot with their car and people that flick their cancer sticks on the ground, there are always going to be people that dont pick up after their dogs. They are selfish ____. Feel free to fill in the blank with an appropriate mad libs word.

    I walk 41st, 42nd streets every day and there has not been am uptick in the amount left on the ground.

    RD

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  28. Rick Duro

    The same people that dont pick up in normal weather, dont pick up when it snows. It seems like a lot more, its simply the contrast in color to the snow that makes it stick out and more noticeable.

    I walk my dog a lot and rarely see people not picking up, maybe 5-6 times last year. That tells me that people pick up when no one is watching, or, they are walking their dogs at really odd hours.

    When I do see it I offer them a bag and they do the 'fake search' for a bag and claim they 4got it, or the dog went 2x already.

    When you see someone not pick up call them out on it. Speak up and say something. I do.

    RD

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  29. Sunnyside Native

    @ Pirates vs Robots - I walk my dogs on those very blocks and there is DRASTIC improvement since the dog run opened. FYI - every year SUDS does a 'Scoop the Poop' day and what we have noticed from canvassing 40th Street - to 48th Street, from Queens Blvd. to 39th Avenue, is that the majority of the poop left on the sidewalk was from little dogs. There was piles of little turds laying around and little turds do not come from big dogs. This neither here, nor there. Dog owners should be picking up the poop, cigarette owners should not stomp their carcinogen sticks out on the sidewalk & leave them there and kids shouldn't leave there McD's or BK trash around. We will never get rid of all of the litter bugs in Sunnyside. Furthermore, the owner of Wespaw Pets, who this article was written about, cannot enforce dog owners to scoop the poop either. Your best bet is to keep an eye out for a dog owner who is leaving their dogs crap on the sidewalk and say something. Or shame the owner with a picture of him, the dog & the poop. If you are an owner in the gardens, post a sign on your property asking dog owners to be responsible. Don't complain about a neighborhood problem; Help be part of the solution! Feel free to join us, SUDS, on the next 'Scoop the Poop' day!

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  30. J-Low

    Is it wrong that I would rather spend time with my dog than my 12 year old son? Plus my son would rather spend his time playing X-box. I love my son -but being a parent is not all that it's cracked up to be. The dog doesn't talk back. Just wags his tail and is happppy 24/7. Dogs rule. So does Wespaw.

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  31. TPA Ed

    Right On A Damned Animal ! Congrats to Sam.

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  32. Baffled

    Wespaw is fabulous on every level: price, staff, design, stock, etc. How this positive article about a (deservedly) successful business resulted in a discussion about city schools, I do not know. And yet I can't stop myself from reading the comment boards. That's... entertainment?

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Latest News

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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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:

.

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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

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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

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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.

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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).

 

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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

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More Headlines

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.  
OT to reopen this week, with focus on Mediterranean food and sports
otlounge-250x250 Jan. 12, By Christian Murray This Sunnyside bar/restaurant got off to a tough start. Over Time, located at 39-31 Queens Blvd, opened in August and promised that it would offer live music, DJs and dancing. The owner, however, quickly received word from officials that these activities were not sanctioned in accordance to its liquor license and it was forced to close. Today, nearly five months later, the establishment is about to open and will operate as a Mediterranean restaurant and a sports bar. "We used the time to focus on our restaurant and our menu," said Sean Verderber, the assistant manager, who claimed the time was not wasted. The venue is expected to open this Thursday, with its hours from 11 am to 1 am seven days per week. The bar is going to be offering a range of exotic drinks—such as strawberry mojitos, water melon martinis and cucumber gin. Beer will be sold by the bottle. The menu will include a wide range of Greek items from Souvlaki to lamb Shish Kabob. It will include fried calamari to a number of seafood dishes—as well as steak, lamb chops, burgers to Greek-rice pudding. “The food is upscale but at a reasonable price,” Verderber said. “Many people will be impressed.” Verderber said that there will be a comment box inside the restaurant allowing diners to make suggestions or provide their opinion. The establishment will also be making sure that sports fans are well served. There will be a bar menu that includes wings and mozzarella sticks. “We will be showing all the games – whether it be football, hockey or soccer,” he said. “I want this to be a place where everyone feels comfortable.”
OT Inside

OT Inside

Car flips over after crash at 43rd Street/43rd Avenue Friday night
accident1 Jan. 10, Staff Report Two cars collided at the corner of 43rd Street and 43rd Avenue Friday night, with one vehicle flipping over, according to witnesses. The incident reportedly took place about 11:45 pm. The NYPD and FDNY's press office had no information on the incident. It is not known the extent of any injuries. accident
Another Queens Blvd property hits the market
43-19 Queens Blvd

43-19 Queens Blvd

Jan. 10, By Christian Murray Another slice of Queens Blvd real estate has just hit the market. The owner of 43-19 Queens Blvd has just listed the property for $4.5 million. The building is currently occupied by Subway, Lucky’s Salon and Realty Depot. There are also four 2-bedroom apartments and 2 parking spaces in the rear of the lot. The 3-story structure—built in the 1930s-- is currently utilizing 5,865 square feet of building space. Zoning permits a building of up to 9,200 square feet (4 x the lot size). To view the Sunnyside listing, click here:
Google map of site

Google map of corner lot

Seven story building to go up on Queens Blvd., next to Boston Market
developmentQB Jan. 7, By Christian Murray Another big building is coming to Sunnyside/Woodside. A 7-story building is likely to go up on 50th Street and Queens Blvd—next to Boston Market, according to Department of Building records. The owner of the property, Ronald Ji, has filed plans with the Building Department to erect a seven story 31 unit building. The property had been occupied by N.E.M. Electronics. The development represents further change to that stretch of Queens Blvd. A 7-story 29-unit buildings is being developed at 51-27 Queens Blvd, where the VFM Post 2813 was located until January 2014. Furthermore, in February 2014, a 66-unit building located at 52-05 Queens Boulevard was completed. Apartments at that building-- called Icon 52-- start at $1,500 per month. The units range in size from 403 square feet to 806 square feet.
Icon 52

Icon 52

New development site, former location of VFW Post

New development site, former location of VFW Post

Queens Blvd building in contract to be sold for $7.75 million
property shark Jan. 6, By Christian Murray A large piece of Queens Blvd property is likely to be changing hands for a whopping $7.8 million, according to the real estate data provider Property Shark. The 43-24 Queens Blvd property—which incorporates stores such as Dave's Bagels to Amazon Pharmacy—is 9,500 square feet and represents about half the block on the south side of the boulevard between 43rd and 44th Streets. The property also goes deep into 44th Street incorporating stores on that block. The owner of the building Geoffrey Henderson is currently in contract to sell it for $7,750,000. The likely buyer has not been listed. This transaction would most likely close before the Center Cinemas and King Boulevard properties (both sold for redevelopment purposes) face the wrecking ball. With zoning, a developer could construct a building with 38,000 square feet of floor space. Currently, the building is one story, utilizing 8,500 square feet of floor space. The property generated about $370,000 in rental income in 2013, according to Property Shark. property
Property Shark

Property Shark

   
Sunnyside Center Cinemas closes, as it makes way for development
CenterCinemas Jan. 5, By Christian Murray Sunnyside Center Cinema played its final film last night representing an end of an era. The theater was in operation since the late 1940s at a time when there were at least three other movie theaters in the neighborhood as well as the Sunnyside Garden Arena, which was once a popular boxing and wrestling venue. In the 1960s, there was the Bliss Theater on Greenpoint Avenue, which is where the Jehovah’s Witness Hall is located today. Furthermore there was the Sunnyside Theatre, which was located on Roosevelt Avenue and 51st Street (the building has been demolished) and there was also the 43rd Street Theatre, located across the street from the Sunnyside library.
(Source: Forgotten NY)

(Source: Forgotten NY, former Bliss Theater)

The closure of Cinema Cinemas represents a new period for Sunnyside as several older buildings are likely to come down to make way for larger residential buildings. Just two months ago, AB Capstone Development sought permits from the Building Department to demolish the former King Boulevard store—and adjacent stores-- on Greenpoint Avenue as it plans to develop the site. The rezoning of Sunnyside/Woodside in 2011 provided developers with the ability to construct larger buildings on Greenpoint Avenue and Queens Blvd. The rezoning made it economically advantageous for property owners and developers to put up new structures.
Source: Forgotten NY

Source: Forgotten NY (former 43 Street Theater)

Rudy Prashad, the owner of the Center Cinemas, said last night that he was sad to close the theater but he had no choice but to leave. He said he hopes that John Ciafone, who is developing the site, will stick to his word and discuss reopening the theater when the project is complete. Prashad said he has until January 10 to move out—from getting his projectors out to taking out all the seats. While Prashad has three other independent theaters—one in Islip, Baldwin and Kew Gardens—he said the issue is not about how many theaters he has. “It’s not about whether I have three, four or 10,” Prashad said. “It is about Sunnyside and I love it here.” cinemabloom 013

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