“Blue Bloods” production crew back into tree, sparking neighborhood anger

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43 Responses to “Blue Bloods” production crew back into tree, sparking neighborhood anger

  1. Chrisavelli

    get a life...I see a torn branch, not a down tree.

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  2. Evan

    The honorable thing for them to do would be to plant one or several replacements nearby in the neighborhood.

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  3. CelticWinnie

    Send a payment to the Park Department? Good grief....

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  4. There, Their, They're

    These production crews are blocking off the parking spots well over a full day day before the first truck or trailer even shows up and well before the time stated on the notices posted on the street. They are really taking advantage of us and have zero respect for the people who live here.

    Look at the size of that truck. It's not meant to be parked on a residential street.

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  5. CelticWarrior

    if the tree belonged to a union, then theyre really in trouble....

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  6. Celtic Bark

    Didn't the city recently just give the Kaufman Studio in Astoria an entire city street that is now gated off and closed to the public, so they could film outdoor scenes?

    How much, if anything, did they pay for that?

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  7. SuperWittySmitty

    These folks film around here often and they're generally unobtrusive and respectful. I've never seen anyone leave a mess, and if there's truly any anger, it from a very small segment of the population. My sister-in-law loves this show, and I'm glad they like Sunnyside!

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  8. pathetic sheep

    I dont believe the hype that these crews help the economies of the neighborhoods that they film in. They come with pre-loaded food trucks (bearing out of state plates) and everything else they need. Where is their $ being spent in Sunnyside? We dont need the 'advertising' the show provides us. We get nothing accept block after block of unusable parking spaces, many more than they could ever need.

    2 summers ago, a production crew took out 2 newly planted trees with their trucks on the west side of 43rd st btw Skillman and 43rd Ave. I called the production company, city, nothing was done.

    With regard to parking, here is a simple solution. These prod co's should pay the city X amount to cover the expenses of people having to park (and pay) under the 7 train, making it free. Seems like a fair trade.

    We are lucky we have the parking under the train, imagine other areas that dont have that conveniece, where the hell do they park?

    PS

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  9. Ignorance is Bliss Street

    They also have a nasty habit of blocking fire hydrants with their trucks, trailers and personal vehicles. They're not just inconveniencing us, they are putting our lives and property in danger. SuperWitty, that's not my idea of "generally unobtrusive."

    God forbid there is a fire or some other emergency, such as the tragic gas explosion in East Harlem the other day, and firefighters need immediate access to the hydrants.

    Those generator trucks with all the cables hooked up to it and those gigantic wardrobe and dressing room trailers take a lot of time to pack up and move. The parking permits the studios are granted does NOT include parking in front of fire hydrants.

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  10. Craic Dealer

    Just eat their food (Caterer's). I do it all the time. They're in OUR neighborhood.

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  11. Pete

    @pathetic sheep: the studios pay fees to film on private property in the neighborhood. They shot one scene in my building a couple of months ago. The shooting lasted a total of about 18 hours (counting set up, filming, and clean up), and we were paid a $7,000 fee. I'd say that's pretty generous.

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  12. David I

    A few weeks ago they were shooting The Good Wife on my street. Signs went up saying not to park after 12PM on Thursday or get towed. The day before on Wednesday morning, workers were already blocking parking spots with cones. I don't take shit from anybody, so I moved their cones out of the way and parked my car. What do you know, two thugs from the company came out and tried to intimidate me into moving my car. I pointed to the sign, then the dash cams in my car (one in front, one in back) and told them to f**k off.

    Long story short-- they will get away with as much as you let them. These people are scum, take your neighborhood back from them. There is no benefit to the residents at all of having these film shoots here. Furthermore, the city has implemented tax breaks for these companies to incentivize them to come here. They are not shopping here, and no tax dollars are left here so WHY THE HELL are we accommodating them?

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  13. Mobo

    Geez...people just complain about everything. How often do they film in this particular area? Every single day, every week, every month?
    I could see if it were a regular occurrence, but it isn't. I'm sure the production company will make good on the tree, and then maybe they can find a community that will get a kick out of having them film in their neighborhood.

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  14. Ignorance is Bliss Street

    @Mobo, I've lost count of how many film shoots there have been just in my immediate area alone in the last year or so. This past summer/fall I'd say it was every 2-3 weeks. There are 3 shows that film regularly in this area: Blue Bloods, Elementary and Person of Interest and one or two others a bit less often. A few years back, Rescue Me was here all the damn time it seemed. So yeah, it is a regular occurrence and the novelty of seeing the neighborhood on TV wore off for many of us a long time ago.

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  15. Craic Dealer

    @Mobo: ...are you seriously complaining about how people complain?

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  16. Kramden's Delicious Marshall

    In fairness to the show, Tom Selleck has always been gentlemanly and respectful towards local residents the times he filmed here.

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  17. SuperWittySmitty

    Hey Ignorance, yes, there was that story last year about one of their trucks blocking a hydrant. That was it. Show me that it's still happening. I know you'll find something to complain about. They were around here these past few days and everything went extremely smooth. No hydrants were blockede, and the city earned revenue.

    Too bad for the minority of Sunnyside residents who have a car; most of us DO NOT. Yet so much of our city is given over to the personal automobile. But it's not enough, apparently.

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  18. Mind your Bizness

    I've seen the craft food folks buying eggs and bagels and veggies at Met Food on an early morning. Just sayin. Some shopping gets done

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  19. Preschool Teacher

    I work by the Met Life/Jet Blue building in LIC. "The Good Wife" shoots there LITERALLY every week. I've watched the show. They don't even film outdoors. Can't they do this at Silvercup?!! Film sets/studios are completely self contained and self sufficient. They don't spend a nickel in these neighborhoods. I hope someone in the community is seeing some money for this.

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  20. Ignorance is Bliss Street

    @Super Witty

    I seem to recall the story had more than one hydrant blocked, and I have personally seen several others blocked since then.

    Are you seriously that star-struck you are willing to compromise people's safety?

    And guess what. Even non car-owners are at risk when the hydrants are blocked.

    Maybe Donnie Wahlberg will blow you a kiss and make it all worth it.

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  21. Ignorance is Bliss Street

    @Super Witty

    PS. You obviously have a grudge against people with personal automobiles. BUT you seem to have no problem with the film crews parking THEIR personal automobiles here.

    Why the double standard?

    You're against cars in the city, unless of course, the motorists are in show business apparently.

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  22. sunniestside

    Isn't 43rd St & 48th Ave in Sunnyside??

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  23. Doge

    They filmed on 42nd and 43rd ave a few months ago and took up 2 square blocks worth of parking. Where are all these cars supposed to park? What do residents get out of it? NOTHING!

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  24. More Champagne for Lulu

    Sunnyside residents are so warm and welcoming as demonstrated by those comments.

    No wonder film crews keep coming back to shoot here.

    The legendary laid-back and open attitude of Sunnysiders.

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  25. celticparker

    why don't the city cancel the streetcleaning rules when the show is being filmed

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  26. SuperWittySmitty

    It's true, I'm not a big fan of cars. They take up too much room, they're operated dangerously by too many drivers, some of these things are noisy and/or dirty. All the black soot on the snow that you've seen came from all the traffic that surrounds us. Most people around here do not even need a car but we have to sacrifice so much.

    If you are using the roads to be productive (like the workers and their equipment making this show,) that's good. For many, it's just a convenience at the expense of others.

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  27. ointment for grandma's goiter

    good for building and residents, brings lots o cash!
    blue booods has been good for sunnyside and my bldg

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  28. Lunar

    If they damaged something then they are responsible to pay for the replacement or repairs. In this case replanting a new tree if the damage to the tree is too severe for it to live and/or remain where it is without being a danger to those walking under it.

    They are obligated to do this under keeping a good reputation with the community for themselves the next time they want to film here. As well as any future production companies who want to film here.

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  29. Ignorance is Bliss Street

    @Super Witty

    I have respected your opinion in the past even when i was in in disagreement with it.

    But you have show your true colors.

    How dare you you accuse of people in the neighborhood who drive cars who aren't in the TV production business as being non productive.

    Seriously man, go eff yourself.

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  30. 6ft Peanut Butter Elvis

    Trees belong to the man himself, GOD!
    Only GOD can judge the TV dude who can't drive
    All others, go back to complaining about hipsters and Squirtz

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  31. Sunnysidehatesme14

    I said before that Tree's don't belong in Cities. They always fall on people and property. Get rid of em all.

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  32. Anonymous

    I've worked in the industry for years. All of my coworkers are NYC residents. Many of them live in sunnyside. There's millions of dollars brought to this economy and tens of thousands of local people that now have jobs and health insurance.

    Despite what you may think about Hollywood and the studio system, i can tell you, other than the main actors and directors, everybody else that works on the shows and movies in nyc lives here, is from here, and they love NYC. Chances are one of your neighbors works in the industry. You going to prevent the man from working because you need a place to park? And just because you don't see the money in your pocket doesn't mean the productions aren't paying hefty fees to the city for the permits. We are. You should ask the city for your cut if you don't think it's fair, they're the bad guy here.

    And our trucks have out of state plates, cause they are rentals. Have you never rented a car before?

    To the point about the one block outdoor space at Kaufman. I shouldn't even say this but have you ever watched television? How boring would it be if ever show every outdoor scene took place on the same block. You'd have batman and Hannah Montana on the same street. That's just ignorant. The story dictates where we shoot. We're telling stories here people.

    Sorry about the branch. That's messed up.

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  33. CelticWinnie

    TO 'Anonymous' working in the industry.. Thank you for the intelligent comment. It seems most people feel everyone owes them something... . And without spending too much time on this, i bet they watch TV and enjoy it as much as anyone else. So lets not complain about the occasional inconvenience to create said tv shows. Really, people. Get a hobby.

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  34. pathetic sheep

    "And our trucks have out of state plates, cause they are rentals. Have you never rented a car before?"

    Yes, I have. IN NYC. Why are they not rented in the city?

    Vans rented from out of state, food from outside the city.

    These video shoots do nothing to help the communities they are in.
    I have seen trash left behind, fire hydrants blocked, trees damaged (this is not the first time), loud noises/fumes all night as they run their trucks overnight and no one going into any of the local stores.

    Do the right thing and pay for folks to park under the train when filming in our area. It's simple. Oh, I forgot Hollywood's mantra 'Greed is Good'.

    PS

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  35. pathetic sheep

    as a college kid I worked for Enterprise RAC. Not every car has out of state plates. Stop attempting to come up with excuses for these production companies.

    I keep reading how these same workers live in our area, w/i NYC. I doubt that is the case. I bet most are from outside the city, as they probably are not paid well enough to afford NYC rents. I'll believe it when I see it proof, stats.

    Simple solutions: 1. Be respectful of the neighborhoods you work in.
    2. cover the cost (w/ NYCDOT) for free parking under the 7 train during shoot.

    Not everyone can take mass transit to work for lots of different reasons, thus, a car is a necessity.

    I remember someone telling me I couldnt walk down my street because they were filming. I laughed, walked right through. We cant be prisoners in our own apts to some B TV show. Use CGI, green screens like everyone else.

    PS

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  36. Jack in Warwick

    To Sunniestside

    43St. &48 Ave is Woodside.

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  37. Dirty Harry

    Did anyone even stop to see the tree branch was rotten and maybe just maybe the nice truck driver did the residents a favor by removing the unseen threat. That branch could have landed on some poor persons head. PS did anyone see the truck knock down the branch or is everyone just assuming that because there parking was interrupted and they just need a reason to complain ?

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  38. CelticWinnie

    43rd st and 48 ave is woodside as a post office zoning technicality only.

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  39. Putin wouldn't wear mom jeans

    Can't they just replace it with a fake one? I'm sure they got a warehouse of em, and better looking too

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  40. Henry

    Anonymous is right. I know a few people who work in the film and TV business in NY and they are all hard working locals who have families to support. Some are production coordinators or assistants and others work in supporting industries like a small local food caterer.

    Like many of us freelancers these days if they don't have a production or show to work on they don't earn income. When they have a project they earn a living, feed their families, get health insurance, and spend their money in and around NY and pay NY taxes.

    While you may not see the money in your pockets, by supporting the local production shoots we are supporting the local economy by "buying local". It's ok to be angry or annoyed about the inconveniences but we should be sure to separate our opinions from economic facts. "The motion picture and television industry is responsible for 91,608 direct jobs and $8.2 billion in wages in New York, including both production and distribution-related jobs. Nearly 49,000 of the jobs are production-related. "*

    The vast majority of the crew are local New Yorkers and if locals are working and earning it's better for the local economy. That's simple economics. Today there is more and more production going on in other states like North Carolina, and other countries like Canada.

    *source: http://www.mpaa.org/policy/state-by-state.

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  41. Elizabeth

    As a Sunnyside resident and television production accountant working in Greenpoint I have to 100% agree with Henry's comment above.

    There are many hard working families in Sunnyside, including my own, that depend upon production able to shoot on location in New York. Without outdoor location shooting most of these shows would move to other states or Canada and we would be out of jobs.

    I realize it is incredibly inconvenient to lose parking and damage to occur, but it is my experience that any damage is quickly fixed by the production and the benefit the city and the borough receives is far more precious than the sporadic inconvenience we might experience.

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  42. Filmbuff

    I have lived in Sunnyside all my life and I welcome the film crews. It makes parking hard, but that's NY. Also, I have a number of friends who make their living from this industry and I did too, for a while but I couldn't take the hours. Most of the people who do this for a living work incredibly hard. I know that all the rentals/equipment and employees absolutely contribute to our economy. Usually, the companies affiliated with shows are really honorable and take care of their damages. It wouldn't surprise me to know that Blue Bloods has already paid the community to replace these trees. It sucks to lose parking and no one wants to wake up to a film crew at their doorstep first thing in the morning but, frankly, construction companies are worse.

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  43. eneg09

    I've lived in Sunnyside all of my life (65 years), and it makes me feel proud to think that the film and TV industry find it suitable to shoot programs in my neighborhood. They did Spiderman on my rooftop and not too long ago they did that show Unforgettable in front of my building. Say what you may but I personally love the whole idea and I would give anything to catch a glimpse of Tom Selleck in person. I have been a huge fan for over 40 years. Keep the shows coming!!!

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

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Bar 43 completes expansion, reopens tonight

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prior to expansion

prior to expansion

Jan. 29, By Christian Murray

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Nolan announces that she wants Assembly Speaker job
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Jan. 28, By Christian Murray

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

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Cathy Nolan is being discussed as the next Assembly Speaker

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Jan. 26, Staff Report

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Jan. 24, By Christian Murray

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Jan. 23, By Christian Murray

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

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

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Jan. 23, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Race map

Leonor White (second from left

Leonor White (second from left)

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Former Dime Bank often used for TV/Movie shoots

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Jan. 23, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Officer William Caldarera and Officer Corey Sarro

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

Leonor White (second from left)

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

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

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

Salvatore Olivella and Simone Apollonio

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

Suspect from surveillance camera (NYPD)

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

Sunnyside Map 2014 010615 Crops by sunnysidepost

Sunnyside Directory 2014 010715 Crops by sunnysidepost

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

Daniel Dromm

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

ByLaws CB1 by sunnysidepost

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

Greenpoint Avenue

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

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