De Blasio joins parade-goers at Sunnyside/Woodside’s St. Pats for All

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65 Responses to De Blasio joins parade-goers at Sunnyside/Woodside’s St. Pats for All

  1. Stay Loose, Sunnyside

    The mayor also mentioned that he had heard the the place to go after the parade was Saints and Sinners for some restoratives to marching in the cold weather. Did anyone join him? We had another party to attend...

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  2. JaneGrissom

    So, Mayor Big Bird- the man who wishes to destroy good schools and reward the bad ones, showed up in Sunnyside. He boycotts the mainstream Fifth Avenue parade. And we are supposed to be flattered by his appearance? I noticed that he was surrounded by police - the police force whom he despises. What a phony!

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  3. Doge

    Gay this, gay that.

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  4. Sunnysideisblooming

    What a great day yesterday was for Sunnyside! Parade and music festival. Hey, do something good for the neighborhood. Check out my group sunnysideisblooming.com. We are trying to do planting projects around the neighborhood. Check us out and be positive about Sunnyside! You can make a positive difference in Sunnyside!!!! You'll be hearing more about us as the year goes on! Give us a look.

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  5. Krissi

    Beyond whether or not you agree with the parade or DeBlasio, its always so great to see the community come together for events like this. I'm sure the restaurants and bars did good business afterwards, as well as the smaller stores during the parade.

    I met quite a few new "neighbors" there and ran into a bunch of people from my building too. Such fun!

    Did anyone catch who was that great dancing marching band in blue at the end of the parade? I didn't notice a banner. They were fab!

    Also unless I missed them where were our Cental American coalition? Usually we have a Mexican troupe and a Peruvian troupe, no?

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  6. Celtic Bark

    Tolerance is a two way street.

    Apparently, some people cannot tolerate those who wish to act according to their religious faith and try to bully them into going against it.

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  7. Ari Fink

    There once was a time in America when the backseat of a convertible was reserved for war heroes or for someone who was to be admired for outstanding contributions to society. Yesterday that seat was reserved for a Transvestite with whom our mayor eagerly posed for pictures with..Yesterday's parade was not a homage to a saint or a celebration of Irish heritage but simply a gay pride media opportunity

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  8. JaneGrissom

    Definitely was a gay parade. Which is fine, except organizers are dishonest about it.

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  9. Celtic Bark

    @Ari Fink

    I agree, this parade has absolutely nothing to do with honoring a saint. They really should change the name and spare Saint Patrick the disrespect. Let's call things what they really are. This is the shamrock franchise of the Gay Pride parade and should be called as such.

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  10. Chris

    I was disappointed that Squirts didn't have his own float! How could you call this all inclusive without one of Sunnyside's biggest celebrities!

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  11. JOR

    Great pictures, particularly the still shots in the slide show at the top of the article. Really like the third picture of DeBlasio framed by press and watchers, captures the moment. The Sunnyside Post should submit it to the Pulitizer Committee.

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  12. Stay Loose, Sunnyside

    smh

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  13. The truth at Last

    Thank you Ari.....well written. Certainly a 'gay" parade with an agenda to exclude those who dont share their point of view. Would the organizers have allowed the "Right to Life Party" to march with a banner? Why don't the organizers form a branch of their own religion and nominate their own saints ? Maybe cannonize a few deceased transvestites? And then worship them? And spread the Gospel according to Ru Paul?

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  14. Eire

    As an American of Irish ancestry, I take great offense to this parade! The parade should reflect our cultural identity, all the great things the Irish have done in this country and revear the patron saint of Ireland (St. Patrick). What I have seen of the last few years seems like a mess-mash of organizations with some Irish music blaring from an ugly wagon this does not reflect our cultural indentity. Further, it was a travesty to see some colored children dressed in Irish garb dancing like they were having a temper tantrum a few years ago. You don't see gay organizations macking other nationalities or cultures as they do with this parade.

    It is my opinion that Daniel Drumm is using this parade to further his political career, push the Gay agenda and deepen his pockets. Beside having some people walk down the street wearing green does this parade heighten the understanding of what the Irish people went throught both here in America or abroad. When you go to any other St. Patrick's Parade you see the organization teach our heritage through music, word and wrote. Mr. Drumm could partner with the Irish cultural center which isn't that from the parade site but that would require more then a permit from the Office of Community Affairs and the Police Department. I do not see why Mr. Drumm needs to bring down the Irish into the fad of outted Gays.

    I feel whatever is your lifestyle keep it to yourself why must you parade your life choices and draw attendtion to yourself. I'm left handed, I don't to raise hell because the rest of the world is right handed. What you do on your own time should be just that and besides the Gay people have a whole month in June. So I thank for the future besides using their media connections both Mr. Van Brammer and Drumm should either try to make their event more enriched about Irish-Americans or just change the name of the parade to their real thrust.

    Additionally, as a Catholic it hurts my heart that reverance is not shown during this event. People past by Queen of Angels church as if it is just another building. Any Irishman knows we have great respect for Mary Queens of the Angels, so why did I have to see lude behavior infront of the church?

    I feel that the community feel as I do should come together next yearto block this aweful event. Mocking all the things Irishman and woman worked for Peace, Values, kinship and love of family, faith and your fellow man. What values has this parade showed us- political might can throw a gay party.

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  15. Celtic Bark

    @Eire

    I share some of your sentiment but I totally disagree with your call to block this event next time. As I have pointed out before, tolerance should go both ways. If a few thousand people want to have a gay pride parade mocking Saint Patrick and Christian faith, they have that constitutional right, as you have the right to let everyone know just how you feel about it. It's easy to be "tolerant" when you only tolerate things you agree with, a lesson the gay community might wish to learn as well.

    As for your remark about "colored children dressed in Irish garb" I fail to see what their skin color has to do with anything. I find nothing offensive about that. I haven't heard the term "colored" as applying to people since I heard some older relatives use it in the mid 1970's.

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  16. Celtic Bark

    One question for the organizers:

    There's a Muslim Day Parade in the city as well. I'll take a wild guess here and say that openly gay groups are not welcome in it. Will you try to impose yourselves on that parade as much as as you have on the traditional Saint Patrick's Day parade?

    I didn't think so.

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  17. Margie

    Eire is spot on.

    The St. Patrick's day celebration is to pay homage to St. Patrick and the celebration of Irish heritage.

    As stated in the above article, "The parade took on a very political flavor this year". Hello -- This is not about politics -- it's a celebration of Irish heritage. So these phoney politicians should go home!! - because that's all they are and they are using this traditional celebration for their own personal gain.

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  18. Eire

    Tolerance and miss guidance are two different things . Mr. Drumm is making a great deal of money branding his ragga muffin Gay parade as dually a celebration of both Irish and Gay cultures. My point was his central theme of inclusion was a far amissed- leaning more about being Gay and less about Irish culture.

    When I use the term colored it was meant not as a way of disrespect but unclear of the children nationalities and why didnt he use a real dancing troop rather kids dressed up and doing the pee pee dance.

    I would like to see a parade which bears its namesake. Danny drumm holds his event here because of the number of Irish people in the area. Someone should ask Mr drumm how much he is many off this event and how much goes back to the sunnyside community?

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  19. ann

    Let's note that phony politicians are out in much greater numbers at the St. Patricks's Day parade on March 17! I don't hear any criticism of that.

    The point, as many of the speakers said, is that Irish culture is not owned by some but belongs to all. Including gay and lesbian people. The parade in Dublin recognizes not. It's just the parade in New York City that is 100 years behind. I suppose the Irish in Dublin don't really understand Irish culture or what it means to be Irish?

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  20. Luvu2

    This is a gay lefty parade period that has nothing to do with Ireland if people want a gay parade in March fine but don't call it st pats for all

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  21. Luvu2

    I dare dromm and jimmy van b to go to the Moslem day parade on a float

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  22. The truth at Last

    Is it ok to have a coven of witches march next year....with a banner? Or perhaps nambla ( north american Man Boy Love association) ? How bout a group of devil worshippers....if not? then why not? Are'nt they entitled to their beliefs?

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  23. future is now

    Krissi - the group was from Dobbs Ferry

    Eire - the parade route doesn't pass by Queen of Angels church anymore. There were no lewd acts either.

    It was a great parade, good energy. Proud to be a Sunnysider!

    This parade has been political over the years. Let's applaud the Mayor for sticking to his principles.

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  24. The truth at Last

    Should I allow my young daughter to share a restroom with this 'drag queen" Or maybe since the "drag queen" has the option perhaps share the mens room with a young boy? Then how would I be able to explain why their is a "mens" room and a "ladies " room in the first place.....would'nt just be logical to have niether designation?

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  25. Kramden's Delicious Marshall

    Seriously, what on earth does a man dressed up as and pretending to be a woman have to do with Saint Patrick or Ireland? Is putting on make-up and women's clothes considered some sort of a praise-worthy accomplishment these days?

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  26. Eamon

    When the St. Patricks' Day Parade started, before the birth of this great nation, by the way, it was a way for the Irish here in New York to say to the "natives" that we are here, we're not going anywhere, and this is our home as much as it is yours.

    To have a St. Patricks Day Parade in America and not include everyone is hypocritical and, furthermore, shows that you don't understand who we, The New York Irish, are as a people.

    I go to the pride parade in June, and no one yells at me "You are straight, you are not allowed here." I went to the Indian Independence Parade on Lexington Avenue as a kid, because it was right up the street from my house, and no one said "You are white, you are not allowed here." Then why is it ok for us to say these things at our parade?

    It wasn't too long ago that there were signs in this country that said things like "Irish need not apply" or "No coloreds, no dogs, no Irish". Thankfully, we no longer live in those times. People fought to end those policies. Unfortunately, other people fought to continue those policies, and they, like you, Eire, are on the losing side of history.

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  27. Nat

    I can't believe that in 2014 there is so much hatred and ignorance in New York City. Move to Alabama if you can't handle the gay. We are here to stay. Being gay is not a choice, nor is it a lifestyle. Grow up and learn a little about your neighbors. I'm sorry I missed the parade but I will be sure to strut my gay stuff next year and embarrass all of you bigots.

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  28. Dawn O'Day

    While posters on both sides of the issue may go too far in their effort to express themselves and I can't agree with any extremity, it saddens me that the Irish Americans have been attacked by the gay community because a handful of organizers have their heads in the dark.

    Gay rights must be won, I agree. But you've made your point here. Can't you please move on to another ethnic group with extremely conservative members? Stop hammering on the Irish Americans. This boycott of one of America's favorite days makes everyone look ugly including gays.

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  29. Celtic Bark

    @Nat

    It would be really impressive if you decided to "strut your gay stuff" at the next Muslim Day Parade. That I would go to see.

    Anyway, I thought the parade was about Saint Patrick, not about you strutting your gay stuff, as you so eloquently put it.

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  30. Celtic Bark

    The organizers of the traditional Saint Patrick's Parade are conservative and Catholic-based and simply want their parade to reflect their faith and moral viewpoint. Why should they not be allowed to do so? Why would people opposed to those views insist on crashing the party? Right of free association, anyone?

    The organizers of the Sunnyside parade are also free to run their parade as they see fit so there shouldn't be any problem except that social agendas must be pushed and politicians need photo ops.

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  31. Nat

    Celtic Bark, you didn't take my advice. Crawl out from under that rock! Do you think sexuality is a "social agenda"? Or were you referring to something else?

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  32. emit

    When did become that if you wore green you became Irish
    Or the rainbow you became Queer.

    If the gays want to have a parade then should just title it something gay but not hide it as something else.

    I agree/diagree with some of the above posts & do think whoever ran the parade »it should some how relate to Irish culture & give back to the community whether its the ga¥, straight, disabled, left handed, dog lovers or whatever. I know the Manhattan parade uses their money for cultural programs.

    sunnysideisblooming.com

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  33. Frank

    Cheers Dawn O'Day

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  34. Greenman

    The saint pats for all parade is such a great community event. It was really great to see all the community groups participate. I'm glad we live in such welcoming community that encourages all aspects of irish-American culture to share in celebrating irish heritage.

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  35. Beenhere25years

    Colored children in Irish garb. Wow! That guy is scary.

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  36. Ari Fink

    @Greenman...I must have been wearing a blindfold because I
    tbe celebration of Irish " culture"...The only culture present was a gay culture and that was "OUT" in full force...I guess you could say the She-Male was a big success considering how eager the mayor was to meet him..although I am at a loss as to what a She-Male has to do with a so called St Patrick's parade

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  37. Get Off Your A** and Create Your Own FLoat

    Everyone likes to complain that the parade was all gays marching...same complainers aren't involved in ANYTHING regarding the parade. Get off your smelly couch, get yourself to a parade organization meeting, and promote your precious Saint Patrick (who was a Roman, by the way). The parade on Fifth Ave isn't about Irish culture either-- it's about cops, firemen, and getting loaded. If gay people are the ones with the energy and drive to march and organize, then they are the ones you will see, you bunch of hater crybabies. Welcome to the 21st century, you aren't in charge anymore. Get used to it.

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  38. Patricia Dorfman

    Better resolution of video on youtube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=UU2jfWThy9X2ImzqbIf3_70A&v=y-osH0Jfsdw#t=848

    At minute:second 12:48 PO Luis Diaz, our excellent 108 Community Affairs officer in blue windbreaker bops by
    At 13:39, I pass by
    At 15:00 Dorothy Morehead makes an appearance

    Thank christian, enjoyed article, pix and spot-your-pal video. tho, not sure about Pulizer, @JOR...Let's see if murray leaves this in: for another St. Pat's story and pix by me, pick up the "woodside herald" on Friday. that's right, a newspaper, news on pieces of paper :)

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  39. I'm so tired

    I want a parade for the Puerto Rican terrorist bombers that mellisa wants to let to free, these are the type people that are are in power now

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  40. I'm so tired

    Nat , I do have a question , bill di blasios wife was once a lesbian true !! But later must of changed her mind to be straight or is she living a lie or not having a choice or I don't know , please explain

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  41. I'm so tired

    Dear nat .. What I'm trying to say is I have nothing against gay people but it doesn't always have to be about you or your sexuality. Can't a parade just be about st pat ? Why bring sex into it. A basket ball star is coming out as gay , why I'm just here to watch basketball I don't care what you do at home same with the football player , it's kind of like you want the attention .

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  42. Pat

    What is really funny is that there are many 'gays' marching in the
    NY St Patrick's day parade, just not flaunting their sexual life style.
    ....They are marching to honor their heritage ....

    I would call them Intelligent, classy "gays" who have self respect.

    The parade is not about sex, it is about St Patrick and honoring
    our ancestors who came here and helped to build this country.

    Come on parade organizers, call it what it is, A Gay Pride parade ..

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  43. Disengaged Business Owner

    @erie "Colored children?" Wow, what a bigot! Maybe learn a little bit about these remarkable young people -- and their teacher, thoroughly WHITE and 100% IRISH. http://www.thekelticdreams.com/aboutus.html

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  44. Anonymous

    Celtic Bark, no one is asking anyone to go against their religion, just saying to STFU if you have an issue with equil rights for everyone. Your an Idiot if you really feel your opinion on religion entitles you to voice an opinion that could keep someone from being happy.

    P.S your Dad is gay and your mom wish's you were adopted.

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  45. Enuf

    Instead of just complaining here all the people who oppose the parade should voice there concern to the pd, van brammer or the community board!

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  46. JaneGrissom

    Another far left gay parade with politicians who will not go the big parade on Fifth Avenue. They think they are "brave" - they are not. BTW: having lived in the deep south, I saw less bigotry there than I do in NYC especially towards people of faith. Somebody hear wrote "go back to Alabama'. I would love it - they are thriving and I rarely heard the "n" word there. I hear it here ALL THE TIME. Also saw lots of interracial dating there.

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  47. J Thokai

    A truly sad news for normal people. Enough said.

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  48. The Grimster

    Colored OMG! wow haven't heard that term since Archie Bunker.

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  49. Craic Dealer

    Free to hate but not Free to Love.

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  50. Hoof Hearted

    Craic Dealer, thanks for the profound bumper sticker wisdom.

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  51. Anonymous

    Don't make a great parade in Sunnyside all about the new gang leading the city (somewhere, where is not clear).....

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  52. Greenman

    Ari,

    There are many different parts of irish and American culture. The st pats for all parade allows all people who wish to celebrate irish culture join in the parade either by marching or watching. The parade helps to unite the many different parts of our community. Many of the groups that participated are from Sunnyside and woodside and all wish to show their support for all members of our community.

    I'm sorry that you don't feel that it was an irish celebration. Maybe you should research who was honored.

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  53. Luvu2

    This is a gay green parade

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  54. Pumped U Up Putin

    This type of parade would never happen in my country RUSSIA!

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  55. Beenhere25years

    Any chance that you'll go back to your country. There are some job openings in the Ukraine.

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  56. Al Coholic

    Hey, relax. Have a drink. Drinks are good

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  57. A.Bundy

    In Russia, parade marches in you!

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  58. pathetic sheep

    There is no God. Wake up dummies. You belong to a cult people. Wise up.

    What an incredible waste of time. Religion was invented by MAN. It has been used as a tool of control, oppression, corruption and brainwashing for millennia. The Bible proudly tells stories of violence, slavery and the treatment of women as 2nd class individuals.

    Look up the history of Christianity and you will find centuries of oppression toward many groups: Jews, Gays,(both burned alive) Women (Imagine belonging to a religious sect that doesnt allow women to be priests-Catholocism, Judaism, Islam, the list goes on).

    This is your proud heritage? Congrats! No wonder the 'great' parade in Manhattan is really about getting wasted on booze...trying to forget the past maybe?

    "Many stories are told in connection with St. Patrick. The three-leaf clover was said to be used by the saintly bishop to explain the Trinity to the pagans, which is why it is such a common St. Patrick's Day symbol today. Another legend has Patrick driving all the snakes out of Ireland; snakes were a popular symbol among the Irish pagans. He is certainly one of the most revered saints in the Catholic Church."

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  59. Woody Woodpecker

    truer words were never spoken Pathetic Sheep. People actually believe that some dude or dudette is looking down on them and judging them.

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  60. Celtic Bark

    Woody woodpecker comment above....

    A case study in intolerance.

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  61. Luvu2

    Libs hate god but he loves them any way

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  62. Chilly Billy

    Your chosen name suits you well, "pathetic sheep."

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  63. rook

    that de blasio is such a phony one term mayor.

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  64. pathetic sheep

    chilly lil billy, you are just sad & scared because you know I am right. At least I have the guts to say it. You on the other hand keep drinking the 'holy' kool-aid.

    Have you seen the story of Muslim nations that are banning the film 'Noah' because of its portrayal of a 'Holy event'? Think about it...they are banning a fictitious movie about a ficticious event. Might be the funniest thing of 2014, thus far.

    PS

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  65. Tommy Dullaghan

    Although I enjoyed your article I need to advise you the Sunnyside parade was not created or had anything to do with LGBT at its inception. I grew up in Sunnyside and its because we are the second largest Irish population to Woodlawn in NYC and thought it ridiculous we didn't have a parade that it came to be. Beside Manhattan we always went to Rockaway for a parade. It was basically a street fair in the beginning just celebrating "everything Irish" but as we know it has turned into more than that now. Over the years it became what it is for LBGT and others who feel they are excluded from other parades most notably the 5th Ave parade.

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Luke Adams (middle)

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Leonor White (second from left)

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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.

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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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Two northern Italians open ‘Brick-Oven Pizzeria’ on Greenpoint Avenue
olivilla and samone

Salvatore Olivella and Simone Apollonio

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

Suspect from surveillance camera (NYPD)

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

Sunnyside Map 2014 010615 Crops by sunnysidepost

Sunnyside Directory 2014 010715 Crops by sunnysidepost

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

Daniel Dromm

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

ByLaws CB1 by sunnysidepost

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

Greenpoint Avenue

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

   

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