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

Comedy group to raise funds for urban farmers, hosts show in LIC Friday
Smiling HogsHead Ranch

Smiling HogsHead Ranch

March 26, By Michael Florio

A western Queens comedy group is hosting an event to raise funds for an urban farming group that operates out of Long Island City.

Sunnyside Comedy, a local organization that hosts comedy shows in the neighborhood, is putting on the ‘All-Star Comedy Show’ at The Flux Factory, located at 39-31 29th Street, this Friday at 8 pm.

The proceeds will go to the Smiling Hogshead Ranch, a community farm located at 26 Davis Court in Long Island City. The urban farmers will use the funds for infrastructure improvements, insurance and to provide free programming.

Lindsay Goldwert and Colin Samuel, co-founders of Sunnyside Comedy, said they wanted to do a benefit for a local non-profit.

“The ranch is a really cool thing and they want to expand their program and Colin is a big fan of their work,” Goldwert said. “He believes in urban farming so we wanted to support it.”

Goldwert said that a lot of people living in western Queens may not know about urban farming. The event is a great way to inform people what it is.

“Smiling Hogshead Ranch helps cultivate community by gathering people around shared interests,” said Gil Lopez, co-founder of the Smiling Hogshead Ranch. “Many of these interests are outside of gardening and this comedy show is a perfect example.

The Flux Factory venue can seat about 70 people. Tickets to the event cost $20 online and $25 at the door.

Each ticket will be entered into a raffle, with the prizes provided by local businesses. There will also be beer specials, Goldwert said.

Many of the performing comics are based in Queens.

Joyelle Johnson, who has opened for Dave Chapelle and Maria Bamford, lives in Sunnyside. The show’s host, Liz Magee, lives in Astoria and often performs at Q.E.D. 

The show’s headlining act will be performed by Ted Alexandro, a western Queens resident who has appeared on “Conan” and “Late Night With David Letterman.”

“In everything we do we try to highlight Queens,” Goldwert said. “It is the best place to perform because the local businesses support small shows.”

Sunnyside Comedy has put on two shows a month at varying Sunnyside venues since last summer, with every show featuring new comedians.

Goldwert said the group is looking for a permanent space to host venues.

To purchase tickets online go to funnybynature.brownpapertickets.com

sunnyside comedy

Previous coverage: Guerilla farmers leggaly allowed to put down roots in LIC

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Man stabbed inside Queens Blvd specialty food store

Parrot

March 25, By Christian Murray

A 41-year-old man was stabbed today inside a Queens Blvd food store, according to police.

The police said that two men got into a dispute at about 1: 30 pm at Parrot Coffee, located at 45-15 Queens Blvd. The incident escalated and the victim was stabbed three times in the torso.

The victim was taken to Elmhurst Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

A police spokesman did not know whether an arrest had been made. However, the following video indicates a man was taken into custody.
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Pizzeria to move to Skillman Ave, owner also plans to open gelato shop

unclejimmyskillman

March 25, By Christian Murray

The owner of a 49th Street pizzeria is moving his operation to Skillman Avenue and is separately opening a gelato/ice cream shop.

Uncle Jimmy’s Pizzeria, which is currently located at 41-10 49th Street, is moving in about three weeks to 50-12 Skillman Ave. The new space had been Rosario’s for many years and it operated as La Bella for about a year.

“I decided to move to the new place since there is more room for customers to sit down and enjoy their food,” said Jimmy Canarozzi, a life-long Sunnyside Gardens resident, who opened the 49th Street pizzeria in October 2013.

“People come in with their kids and there is nowhere for them to sit,” Canarozzi said. “I want people to feel comfortable.”

The new space is 850 square feet, as opposed to the existing location that is 500 square feet. Currently, the pizzeria has just six stools.

Canarozzi plans on naming his new space Uncle Jimmy’s on Skillman.

Meanwhile, Canarozzi plans to convert his existing 49th Street location into a gelato shop, which he plans to call Uncle Jimmy’s Sweet Spot.

He plans to offer Italian ices, ice cream, milk shakes and soda floats. He would like to open that establishment in about three weeks, although he said it will be tough since he has to buy equipment and is also juggling the pizzeria relocation.

Canarozzi said that owning to two businesses in the area is special. “I’m a neighborhood kind of a guy.”

Jimmy Canarozzi at 2013 opening

Jimmy Canarozzi at 2013 opening

Previous Coverage: New pizzeria to open on 49th Street

Pizzeria opens on Skillman Ave taking Rosario’s location

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Woodside babysitter faces 15 years for shaking baby to death

gavel3March 24, By Michael Florio

A Woodside babysitter is facing up to 15-years in prison after being found guilty of violently shaking a baby to death.

Yohani Moran, 42, was convicted of second-degree manslaughter on Monday, following a four-week trial in Queens Supreme Court, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

The nine-month-old baby, Dilan Criollo, was dropped off at Moran’s 35-47 64th Street apartment by his mother on March 10, 2010, Brown said.

“At that time, the little boy was vibrant and in good health,” according to Brown.

The babysitter fed Dilan and afterward he took a nap. Later in the day, when Dilan became irritable, Moran shook him violently and he immediately went limp and unresponsive.

Dilan was taken to hospital where doctors determined that he had suffered extensive subdural hematomas, severe brain swelling and bleeding in his eye as well as a bilateral retinal detachment. He was placed on a ventilator and later died, Brown said.

“Shaken Baby Syndrome is the leading cause of child abuse deaths each year,” Brown said. “The victims are innocent, helpless children and are too often harmed by those entrusted to care for and protect them.”

Moran, who herself is a mother, is due back in court for sentencing on April 14 and faces up to 15 years in prison.

Previous Coverage: Woodside woman faces murder charges

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Van Bramer wants Clock Tower landmarked, expects it to be done by June

Bank1-475x356March 24, By Christian Murray

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer wants to save the Clock Tower and is confident that it will landmarked by the end of June.

Van Bramer said that he wrote a letter to the Landmarks Preservation Commission in November calling for it to be landmarked. He said that he met with the chairwoman of the LPC last week who said she supports preserving it.

“It is incredibly important that we preserve some of the history of Long Island City and Queens,” Van Bramer said. “Development is happening every day and it was definitely under threat of being torn down.”

Van Bramer said that the building’s landmark status will be a big victory for preservationists who started a grass roots campaign about a year ago to save it. An online petition was formed that has generated about 1,500 signatures.

The building, which has towered over Queens Plaza since 1927, is deemed by its advocates to be one of the most significant landmarks in Queens. The building, historically known as the Bank of Manhattan Building, was the tallest building in the borough until the construction of the Citigroup building in 1990.

The steps toward landmarking the building are viewed as mere formalities at this stage.

The LPC determined this morning that a public hearing should be held, which is the second stage of the landmarking process. The public are open to testify at that meeting. The LPC has not yet set a date as to when it will take place.

The LPC will then review the testimony and is expected to approve it at a later date. The City Planning Commission will provide an opinion on it and it will then go to the city council for a vote.

“When it comes to the council I will support it 1,000 percent,” Van Bramer said, who holds sway over the vote since the building is in his district.

“I am confident that it will be landmarked,” Van Bramer said, adding that the Landmarks Preservation Commissioner supports it too.

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Exclusive: Residents have 27 choices on how to spend $1 million, voting begins April 11
participatory budgeting meeting last fall

participatory budgeting meeting last fall

March 23, By Christian Murray

Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City residents will get to vote next month on how $1 million in city funds should be spent.

Residents will be able to choose up to 3 projects from a list of 27 proposals that they believe are worth funding. The project that receives the most votes following the election will be funded—followed by other popular items- until the $1 million is exhausted.

The proposals (see sample ballot for full list below) include funding a bike lane network in Long Island City; adding trees between 49th and 69th Streets in Woodside; renovating playgrounds and parks; upgrading school equipment; beefing up library security; as well as funding a pedestrian safety project in Dutch Kills.

The vote, which is scheduled to take place between April 11 and 19, is part of what’s known as the participatory budgeting process. The program, introduced to the 26th City Council district for the first time this year, allows all residents 16 years and older to determine those projects they want funded.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said that he was not surprised by the items that are being put up for a vote, since they involve improving schools, parks, libraries and traffic safety.

“Good neighborhoods are ones that have good schools, well cared for parks, well funded libraries and good clean safe streets,” Van Bramer said. “That is what people care about the most and these are the items we see.”

Nine meetings were held throughout Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City last fall, and hundreds of attendees put forward an array of ideas. These ideas were whittled down by about 140 budget delegates to 27 in concert with Van Bramer and various city agencies.

“I think the process has been successful so far,” Van Bramer said, who is urging people to go out and vote.  There are 10 locations scattered throughout the district where residents will be able to cast their ballots (see list below).

“A lot of people have got more involved in the community in a meaningful way as a result of the process,” Van Bramer said. “It has encouraged people to come out and present their ideas.”

The 27 items will be presented to the community early next month, where residents will be able to take a closer look at what they involve.

A meeting is scheduled for April 6, from 7 pm to 9pm, at the Sunnyside Community Service Center [43-31 39th Street], where all the proposals will be discussed and debated on their merits.

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Final Ballot by sunnysidepost

voting locations
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Vote-presentation

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Landmarks Commission to evaluate whether to save Clock Tower; public meeting tomorrow

Bank1-475x356

March 23, By Christian Murray

The first formal step to landmark the Clock Tower will take place tomorrow when the Landmarks Preservation Commission will meet to evaluate whether a public hearing should be held as part of the process to landmark the famous building.

The public meeting tomorrow is significant since it indicates that the Chairperson of the Commission has already reviewed the application and has determined that it has merit and the formal process of whether to landmark it or not should begin.

The Clock Tower, located at 29-29 Queens Blvd., was built in 1927 and was the tallest building in Queens until the construction of the Citigroup building in Court Square. Advocates for the designation argue that it is one of the most significant architectural landmarks in the borough.

Tomorrow, the full commission—comprised of up to 11 Commissioners– will be briefed by LPC’s research group and will vote to determine whether a public hearing should take place—another significant step in the process.

If the majority of Commissioners agree, then a hearing will be scheduled.

At this point, if the owner of the property files a demolition permit with the Department of Buildings, LPC will be notified and it would most likely speed up the review/application process, according to a LPC spokeswoman.

Queens Plaza Park Development, the owner of the clock tower building, purchased it for $31 million in November. The same company owns the adjacent site at 29-37 41st Avenue, where it filed earlier this month to build a 70 story building at that site.

After a public hearing is held by LPC, a report will be produced and the commission will review it. They will then vote whether to landmark or not– or schedule another meeting. If they vote to landmark it, it will go to the City Planning Commission to provide feedback and the city council for a vote.

Click for landmark process

Public Hearing by sunnysidepost

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Big media takes a close look at Sunnyside: NYTimes, CBS 2
New York Times

New York Times

March 21, Staff Report

Sunnyside has been getting plenty of media attention by the big-city press in the past week.

On Wednesday, The New York Times released an article that looked into the neighborhood and referred to Sunnyside as the ‘Mayberry Near Midtown.’

Sunnyside, in western Queens, is a stark contrast to the gleaming glass residential towers rising in nearby Long Island City. Here is an old-fashioned New York neighborhood of squat prewar apartment buildings, rowhouses and shopping streets that still have mom-and-pop businesses.

“We call it Mayberry,” after the small town portrayed in the 1960s sitcom “The Andy Griffith Show,” said Amy FitzGerald, the owner of Welcome Home Real Estate on Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside.

“People are very friendly,” said Ms. FitzGerald, who moved to the neighborhood with her husband 16 years ago from Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

(click here for the full NYTimes Story)

Now, CBS 2 is running a series on the neighborhood that “uncovers the hidden secrets of the city.” (Please Note: the ads before the clips are long)
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Independent pharmacy to open on Queens Boulevard; optical store to replace Pink Icing

Platinum Pharmacy Sunnyside

March 21, Staff Report

Despite the presence of several big-box drug stores, another independent pharmacy is about to open in Sunnyside.

Platinum Pharmacy, located at 46-21 Queens Blvd, is moving into the space that was previously occupied by Mediterraneo, a pizzeria that closed last year.

The new drug store is just one block away from another independent drug store—Bliss Drug Pharmacy—which opened in 2011.

The neighborhood has several other independent drug stores—such as Amazon Pharmacy, Rockway Pharmacy, Greenpoint Pharmacy, Family Pharmacy and Skillman Pharmacy.

pink-icing-outsideMeanwhile, Sunnyside has several big chain stores such as Rite Aide, Duane Read and CVS.

In other news, a new optical store is about to open at 44-13 Queens Blvd– where Pink Icing was previously located. The owner said the store will be called Sunnysight and is likely to open April 1.  No other details were provided.

Meanwhile, DJ’s Pawnshop at 4322 Queens Boulevard is closing. It is referring its customers to EZ Pawn on the corner of 46th and Queens Blvd.

There is no word as to what’s happening with the space.

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More Headlines

Landmarks Commission to evaluate whether to save Clock Tower; public meeting tomorrow
Bank1-475x356 March 23, By Christian Murray The first formal step to landmark the Clock Tower will take place tomorrow when the Landmarks Preservation Commission will meet to evaluate whether a public hearing should be held as part of the process to landmark the famous building. The public meeting tomorrow is significant since it indicates that the Chairperson of the Commission has already reviewed the application and has determined that it has merit and the formal process of whether to landmark it or not should begin. The Clock Tower, located at 29-29 Queens Blvd., was built in 1927 and was the tallest building in Queens until the construction of the Citigroup building in Court Square. Advocates for the designation argue that it is one of the most significant architectural landmarks in the borough. Tomorrow, the full commission—comprised of up to 11 Commissioners-- will be briefed by LPC’s research group and will vote to determine whether a public hearing should take place—another significant step in the process. If the majority of Commissioners agree, then a hearing will be scheduled. At this point, if the owner of the property files a demolition permit with the Department of Buildings, LPC will be notified and it would most likely speed up the review/application process, according to a LPC spokeswoman. Queens Plaza Park Development, the owner of the clock tower building, purchased it for $31 million in November. The same company owns the adjacent site at 29-37 41st Avenue, where it filed earlier this month to build a 70 story building at that site. After a public hearing is held by LPC, a report will be produced and the commission will review it. They will then vote whether to landmark or not-- or schedule another meeting. If they vote to landmark it, it will go to the City Planning Commission to provide feedback and the city council for a vote. Click for landmark process

Public Hearing by sunnysidepost

Big media takes a close look at Sunnyside: NYTimes, CBS 2
New York Times

New York Times

March 21, Staff Report Sunnyside has been getting plenty of media attention by the big-city press in the past week. On Wednesday, The New York Times released an article that looked into the neighborhood and referred to Sunnyside as the 'Mayberry Near Midtown.' Sunnyside, in western Queens, is a stark contrast to the gleaming glass residential towers rising in nearby Long Island City. Here is an old-fashioned New York neighborhood of squat prewar apartment buildings, rowhouses and shopping streets that still have mom-and-pop businesses.

“We call it Mayberry,” after the small town portrayed in the 1960s sitcom “The Andy Griffith Show,” said Amy FitzGerald, the owner of Welcome Home Real Estate on Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside.

“People are very friendly,” said Ms. FitzGerald, who moved to the neighborhood with her husband 16 years ago from Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

(click here for the full NYTimes Story) Now, CBS 2 is running a series on the neighborhood that “uncovers the hidden secrets of the city." (Please Note: the ads before the clips are long) . . . .
Independent pharmacy to open on Queens Boulevard; optical store to replace Pink Icing
Platinum Pharmacy Sunnyside March 21, Staff Report Despite the presence of several big-box drug stores, another independent pharmacy is about to open in Sunnyside. Platinum Pharmacy, located at 46-21 Queens Blvd, is moving into the space that was previously occupied by Mediterraneo, a pizzeria that closed last year. The new drug store is just one block away from another independent drug store—Bliss Drug Pharmacy—which opened in 2011. The neighborhood has several other independent drug stores—such as Amazon Pharmacy, Rockway Pharmacy, Greenpoint Pharmacy, Family Pharmacy and Skillman Pharmacy. pink-icing-outsideMeanwhile, Sunnyside has several big chain stores such as Rite Aide, Duane Read and CVS. In other news, a new optical store is about to open at 44-13 Queens Blvd-- where Pink Icing was previously located. The owner said the store will be called Sunnysight and is likely to open April 1.  No other details were provided. Meanwhile, DJ’s Pawnshop at 4322 Queens Boulevard is closing. It is referring its customers to EZ Pawn on the corner of 46th and Queens Blvd. There is no word as to what’s happening with the space.
Owner of Queens Blvd site plans to develop it
38-15 Queens Blvd.

38-15 Queens Blvd.

March 19, By Christian Murray The owners of a large Queens Blvd site are looking to develop the property. The site, located at 38-15 Queens Blvd, is currently being used as a car wash facility and is zoned for manufacturing. The owners, listed as 38-15 Queens Blvd., have reached out to Community Board 2 to discuss their development proposal. The board has not yet seen what they have in mind, and the owners could not be reached for comment. Pat O’Brien, chairman of Community Board 2, said that the owners would not be reaching out to the board if they planned to develop it according to its current zoning. He said that the proposal is likely to involve the construction of residential units. The site is located about one block outside the Sunnyside district that was rezoned in 2011. The rezoned area allows for substantial residential development. Therefore, the owners would have to undergo a lengthy public process, which would involve going before the community board, the borough president’s office, the city planning commission and a city council vote. O’Brien said that he was concerned about all the development that is currently taking place--in terms of what it means for schools, the subway system and area hospitals. development
Subway fares to rise Sunday despite limited No. 7 train service
7subway1-300x224 March 19, Staff Report Despite the No. 7 train skipping several Flushing-bound Sunnyside stops this Sunday, subway prices will still be going up that very same day. MTA fares are scheduled to rise this Sunday, March 22, after being approved in January. Single subway rides will be increasing to $2.75—from $2.50—the MTA said, while monthly passes will be raised to $116.50—from $112. Weekly passes will be $31, Meanwhile, this weekend there will be no service between Times Square and Hunters Point Avenue. Additionally, Flushing bound service will skip 33rd, 40th, 46th, 52nd and 69th Streets.  
Subway advocacy group takes aim at Cuomo over poor train service
subwayhorrorstoriesqns-2-e1426691030575 March 18, By Christian Murray A New York City subway advocacy group is calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature to provide the funding needed to fix the decaying No. 7, N and Q lines. The group, the Riders Alliance, is collecting subway riders' horror stories this week—and will present them to Cuomo and the state legislature who will be deciding whether to fund the MTA’s proposed $32 billion five-year-capital plan in upcoming months. “It’s easy to blame the MTA for all of these breakdowns and malfunctions, but the real culprits are Governor Cuomo and members of the state legislature, who have not stepped up to provide the funds that would fix and upgrade our subways,” said John Raskin, Executive Director of the Riders Alliance, said. “If Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers don’t fund the next MTA capital program, riders are going to see a lot more of these signal malfunctions and train breakdowns in the future, he said. On Tuesday, members of the Riders Alliance were at Queensboro Plaza and asked N,Q and 7 riders to share their experiences. The move to collect riders’ “horror stories” has been prompted by a sharp increase in complaints about signal malfunctions, unexplained train delays and generally deteriorating service in recent weeks, according to the Riders Alliance. The group argues that the aging system can only be repaired if lawmakers decide to fund the next capital program. Carol Crump, a 7 train rider, shared here horror story Tuesday: "I rely on the 7 train to get me from Queens to work on the Upper West Side. But lately—weekend and late night service on the 7 train has been a joke! Sometimes I have to resort to taking the bus or car service and that’s not sustainable or affordable!" The Riders Alliance is collecting stories of similar experiences online at http://www.ridersny.org/2015/03/13/has-your-subway-gotten-worse/ through Friday, March 20th.
Lenny’s Pizza–located on Greenpoint Ave.–for sale
Lennys March 17, Staff Report Lenny’s Pizza, located at 44-08 Greenpoint Avenue, is for sale. The pizzeria, which opened in 2010, is on the market for between $450,000 and $700,000, according to the Multiple Listing Service. The listing comes shortly after the opening of Nonna Ginna, a new pizzeria located one block away. Lenny’s occupies a large space with room for about 40 seats. For the listing, please click here. Lennys1  
Tibetan restaurant opens on 47th Avenue
Tibet March 16, By Michael Florio The owner of a popular Tibetan restaurant in Jackson Heights has opened a second location—this one in Sunnyside. Tenzing Tsering, who has owned GangJong Restaurant for the past three years, opened Punda Tibetan Restaurant, located at 39-35 47th Ave, this weekend. The restaurant offers modern Tibetan food, along with Asian and Indian cuisine. Tsering came to the United States in 2011 and soon afterward opened his Jackson Heights restaurant. That establishment is small, with room for 12 customers and a small kitchen. The Sunnyside location is significantly bigger, with room for about 32 people. Furthermore, it has a big kitchen, which allows Tsering to make more elaborate dishes. Tsering, who lives in Jackson Heights, was born in Tibet and grew up in India, where he began working as a chef. He had worked in Russia, France, Poland before coming to Queens. He said he will be operating out of the Sunnyside restaurant full time, as he has trained a chef for his Jackson Heights location. Tsering said he wants to offer Sunnyside residents healthy food. “I want to make the neighborhood happy and healthy,” he said. “We will still serve meat, but in limited portions,” he said, adding that he often uses mushrooms and beans in place of meat. “The food is steamed, boiled or stir fried.” The menu will include Tibetan beef and chicken entrees, such as phing-sha (a slow-cooked Tibetan beef stew with potato, rice and noodles) and jhasha hatsa (which is sliced chicken sautéed with freshly roasted dried chillies). He is also offering momos, the popular dumplings made with dough and stuffed with chicken, beef or vegetables. There will be Indian entrees such as beef curry, chicken curry and shrimp curry, as well as several vegetarian options.
Queens World Film Festival kicks off Tuesday, includes Sunnyside film
comicbookheaven March 16, By Michael Florio The Queens World Film Festival (QWFF), which will screen more than 100 independent films, kicks off tomorrow night at the Museum of Moving Image. The festival, which runs from March 17 through 22nd, will feature 117 films from 30 nations. The films will be screened at three venues—The Secret Theater in LIC, P.S. 69 in Jackson Heights and MoMI. The event begins with the screening of six films at MoMI tomorrow night, starting at 8:00pm. The opening-night screening will then be followed by a party at Studio Square that begins at 10 pm. The festival will include about 50 films from the United States, with the remainder coming from countries such as England, Greece, Switzerland, Ukraine, Dominican Republic and China, according to festival director Katha Cato. “These filmmakers around the world are attracted to this festival since it brings an American audience to see their film,” Cato said. The year’s festival will also include 19 films that were made by Queens residents. Their work will be screened at P.S. 69—the largest of the three venues with 400 seats. It will provide them with the greatest exposure, Kato said. One film was made in Sunnyside. E.J. McLeavey-Fisher created a short documentary film about the cantankerous 81-year-old Joe Leisner, who was the owner of Comic Book Heaven in Sunnyside for many years before it closed down in 2013. It will be playing at PS 69 at 8:15 pm this Friday. This year’s festival will include a special screening of ‘Bitter Sugar,’ by Cuban-American Leon Ichaso. It will be screened at MoMI at 7:30pm Wednesday. Ichaso, who is an internationally recognized filmmaker, will be honored at the festival for his work, which captures the human struggle of immigrating to the US. “We are honoring his integrity, humanity and dedication to do good work and continue to create independent films,” Cato said. “His work endures the test of time.” For the full listing of movies, please click here. . Comic Book Heaven from E.J. McLeavey-Fisher on Vimeo.
Mexican restaurant focusing on cemitas to open on 48th Avenue
IMG_2148 March 13, By Christian Murray A restaurant is opening on 48th Avenue that will focus on selling Central Mexican sandwiches—known as cemitas. The establishment, to be aptly named Cemita’s, will be located at 45-14 48th Ave. taking over the space that was proviously occupied by a Esmeralda. The company will dedicate about 700 sqf. of its 2,000 sqf. space to the restaurant. The other 1,300 square feet will be used as a large kitchen area-- used to cater corporate events and supply concession stands. The owner of the restaurant and catering business went before Community Board 2 Tuesday to get a wine and beer license for Cemita’s. Despite there being problems with some establishments in that section of Woodside, the board permitted the operator to keep his doors open until 2 am every night of the week.
Cemita

Cemita

 
Woman who threw man in front of train at 40th Street station takes manslaughter plea
The night of incident

The night of incident

March 13, By Christian Murray The woman who pushed a man to his death at the 40th Street subway station in December 2012 has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and is expected to be sentenced to between 22 and 25 years in prison, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office. Erika Menendez, a 33-year-old Rego Park woman, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter for shoving Sunnando Sen, 46, into a Queens-bound No. 7 train at about 8 pm, Dec. 27, 2012. Menendez, who was talking to herself on the platform prior to the incident, approached Sen from behind and pushed him onto the tracks as a train was pulling into the station. Sen was struck by the train and died of multiple blunt force trauma. Linda Santini-Tripodis, the owner of Merit Group & Associates who was by the station at the time, said: “I heard the train screech as it was stopping and then heard this loud scream. I’m never going to forget that scream for as long as I live.” Menendez was caught by the police in Brooklyn two days after the incident. “The defendant has admitted committing what is every subway commuter’s worst nightmare – being suddenly and senselessly pushed into the path of an oncoming train,” said Queens District Attorney Richard A Brown. “The victim was shoved from behind and had no chance to defend himself. The defendant now faces at least 22 years in prison when sentenced next month.”
Rustic bar/restaurant to open at corner of 43rd Street/43rd Ave.
Design concept

Design concept

micrositeimage_photo3March 12, By Christian Murray A new bar/restaurant is expected to open on the corner of 43rd Street and 43rd Avenue this summer. The bar, to be called The Lowery Bar & Kitchen, will be taking over the space that was previously occupied by Sofra, a Middle Eastern restaurant that closed two months ago. The new bar/restaurant will be owned John Keogh, an Irishman who owns a bar—called GMT Tavern-- in Greenwich Village. Keogh, who went before Community Board 2 last night as part of the process to get a liquor license, said his goal is to create a family restaurant that has “great food, great cocktails and local craft beer.” He said that the new venue would not be a sports bar nor would it offer live music. The bar/restaurant will have a rustic look with reclaimed wood, Keogh said. He plans to offer outdoor seating on both 43rd Street and 43rd Avenue with a retractable awning. “I fell in love with this corner,” he said, adding that the shape of the site is similar to his Greenwich Village location. He said he wants to add windows so the restaurant is completely visible from the outside. Construction would take about 3 months, he said. The plan would be to open by summer if all went well. The bar/restaurant would have between 12 to 16 bar stools—as well as tables and booths. The location can cater up to nearly 70 people. The menu will include items such as grilled Bratwurst sausage, grass-fed burgers, steamed mussels, fish tacos and spicy roasted pumpkin. The establishment will also offer an extensive brunch menu—featuring lamb sandwiches, oak smoked salmon and common egg dishes. Pat O’Brien, the chairman of the liquor license committee, informed board members that the location was near apartment buildings and that there had been noise complaints concerning other establishments in that vicinity. However, the board agreed that Keogh had a long history in the business and decided to give him the green light to open until 4 am, like similar establishments nearby such as Bar 43. IMG_0140 (2) .
Design concept

Design concept

Van Bramer lambasts MTA over 7 train weekday service, MTA pushes back
Tara Turtell

Tara Turtell

March 11, By Christian Murray Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer took off the gloves this morning and threw a volley of punches at the MTA concerning its No. 7 train weekday service. Van Bramer, who was joined by several disgruntled 7 train riders, held a rally at the 40th Street station this morning and said that weekday service had fallen to a new low. He said that rush-hour commuters have had to contend with trains breaking down, signal malfunctions and overcrowded platforms that have put people’s lives at risk. “Queens riders are fed up with poor 7 train service,” he said. “Riders are paying for a service that is poor, inconsistent and just plain late.” He said that the level of service was “outrageous, potentially dangerous and disgraceful.” He said that the MTA, a state-run agency, was not being held accountable and that its standard excuse that ‘it will get better one day’ was inadequate to commuters who have to get to work on time. He called on the MTA to publicly release detailed information about every disruption (during rush hour) over the last year and to respond to angry riders at a town hall meeting. But the MTA pushed back. “We will be more than happy to look at the data but what does that accomplish?” wrote Kevin Ortiz, a spokesman for the MTA, in an e-mail. “To confirm what we already know?” “We are already working hard to make the 7 line more reliable by installing a new signal system, thousands of feet of track panels and making Sandy-related repairs—all vital work to improve service on the line.” “We understand that these service disruptions are inconvenient to our customers who depend on the No. 7 line and we appreciate their patience.” But Tara Turtell, one of several angry riders, wasn’t so patient with the MTA recently when she waited in the freezing cold on the 40th Street platform for over 45 minutes. She said that 10 trains came through the station, which were too packed for anyone to board. Turtell said she got to work an hour late and that she was so cold that she was unable to E-mail her boss as to her delay. "Unfortunately that was just one of many times the 7 train has made me excessively late to work. When I complain to the MTA all I hear are halfhearted apologies and absolutely no desire to improve, which makes the situation that much more frustrating,” she said. Van Bramer said that the MTA’s response to the community has been inadequate. He said that he sent the MTA a letter on Dec. 12 following another period when his constituents were complaining about weekday service. Van Bramer said he received a response two months later and the MTA wrote that over the course of the past 12 months "there were periods where delays and incidents have spiked.” Furthermore, Van Bramer said, the MTA stated in that letter that the No. 7 train outperformed the entire subway system as a whole with fewer delays on average. Van Bramer said that the MTA had promised the community that it would receive improved weekday service—in return for the hardship caused by the weekend outages. “My question to the MTA: why then has it sunk to new lows over the last four months?’” But the MTA struck back claiming that Van Bramer was getting in the way of progress by trying to postpone No. 7 train weekend work for events such as the St. Pat’s for All parade. “It is disingenuous of the councilman to request on several occasions that we postpone work on the 7 line then hold a rally to complain about service,” Ortiz wrote. Despite the MTAs claims, Pat O’Brien, the chairman of Community Board 2, said the level of service has been unacceptable. “The MTA may call it the 7 line but for all of us it is our life line—to get to work, school and doctor’s appointments.”  
Sunnyside’s Wespaw Pets to open pet pharmacy in Astoria
Wespaw Pets Pharmacy March 10, By Christian Murray Wespaw Pets, the Sunnyside pet store that opened on Queens Blvd in 2013, is expanding into the prescription drug business by opening an animal pharmacy in Astoria. The pharmacy, which will be located at 37-15 23rd Avenue, will cater to all pets—from dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, reptiles and even fish. The new location will be called Wespaw Pets Pharmacy and will open on Monday, March 23. Sam Abdrabouh, the owner of Wespaw Pets and Wespaw Pets Pharmacy, said his goal is to bring pet owners “high-quality customized prescriptions at affordable prices.” He will be opening the new pharmacy with plenty of experience as well as the support of many Sunnyside residents. “I am a registered pharmacist who has worked with animals and veterinarians for years,” Sam said. “I’m hoping that all the people who have been kind enough to support me at Wespaw Pets will think about me for their [pet's] prescription needs.” He said that there will be a pharmacist on site who will be able to answer pet owner’s questions and will be able to provide specialized advice. He said that this one-on-one service is a key factor that differentiates his service from others. Sam said he selected Astoria as the place to open the pharmacy since “it is in the heart of western Queens and is very accessible to Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.” He said that he will provide same-day-service for medications that are in stock and will deliver them within hours. However, in rare cases, where a complex prescription needs to filled—or a medication is not readily available-- it might take up to three business days, he said. He said that some medications, depending on the pet, may have to be administered as a flavored liquid, or a flavored treat or even a transdermal cream based on the willingness of a pet to take its medication. The method is often determined by the veterinarian in consultation with the pharmacist. The drugs are made on site specifically for each pet, he said. Each prescription has to be written by a veterinarian. He said that residents who are looking to use his service should E-mail him to find out how they can transfer their existing account-- or open a new one. He said he can be reached at [email protected]
Sam (far left) at Lou Lodati Park dog run shortly after it opened

Sam (far left) at Lou Lodati Park dog run shortly after it opened

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