Murphy’s receives creepy letters and phone calls after hoisting gay pride flag

Mike Murphy at Murphy's Lobster Grill

Mike Murphy at Murphy’s Lobster Grill (with the rainbow gay pride flag)

March 30, By Christian Murray

Mike Murphy, the owner of Murphy’s Lobster Grill, was only trying to get in the festive spirit when he flew a gay pride flag—alongside the Irish and US flags—for the St. Pat’s for All Parade on March 2.

However, since the day of the parade, Murphy has been receiving some unusual mailings and phone calls at his 48-20 Skillman Avenue restaurant.

The first mailing came on March 10, from a woman called “Amanda.” It was a handwritten message on the back of an official St. Pat’s for All postcard that read: “Thank you for not breaking my virginity last night but your high wire stunt still needs improvement.”

A few days later, a package arrived addressed to Murphy at his bar/restaurant. It included Murphy’s business card as well as a number of newspaper clippings featuring gay groups and gay personalities.

A third package arrived with similar material.

“I wouldn’t call it hate mail but it’s kind of scary,” Murphy said. “The scribbled writing is very creepy.”

The packages did contain return addresses. One was mailed by an Astoria resident that included a phone number. However, Murphy said that when he called the number the person at the other end of the phone had no idea what he was talking about.

Murphy said he has received several anonymous phone calls—from a blocked caller ID—where the caller has just hung up.

Murphy said he has not taken the issue up with authorities. He said if he receives another package he will.

Meanwhile, the gay pride flag is still up. “There is no reason for me to take it down…my restaurant welcomes everyone.”

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66 Responses to Murphy’s receives creepy letters and phone calls after hoisting gay pride flag

  1. Sunnysider

    I think all bars and resteraunts who welcome gay people into their establishment should wave the gay pride flag. That way it will take the pressure off one establishment and see if these idiots who are sending Murphy's mail wil waste their time sending mail to everyone else. Obviously they must be very lonely sad people to have nothing better to do with their time. Also if I was the owner of Murphy's I would get the authorities involved. They gave someone else's phone number which is such a cowardly thing to do. Investigators should speak to the person whose number that s and maybe they can shine a light on who the person s that is doing this.

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  2. lucy

    this is beyond.... for what I know this is year 2014, I wonder if that is the same people after the other anti-gay incidents in sunnyside..... pfff and people think its a safe neighborhood

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  3. Carly

    That is legit scary.
    But good on Murphy's for not backing down and removing the flag, I'll need to pick up a beer or three sometime this week.

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  4. Tequilla Mockingbird

    Very creepy.
    Good on Mike Murphy not to back down in the face of bigoted, intolerant threats.
    Sunnyside is a diverse neighborhood and that's a reflection of the whole country.
    I don't understand why people would be so obsessed and bothered by other people's sexuality if they were secured in their own.

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  5. South

    Good for Mike/Murphy's for keeping the flag up.

    How embarrassing that someone would waste their time scribbling creepy notes to a community loving establishment like Murphy's. I do appreciate "Amanda's" use of "breaking" in reference to "her" virginity - so we can assume the suspect is a young, insecure male with a lot of time on his hands.

    I'm with @Carly,

    If anything, this reminds me to head to Murphy's for a drink.

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  6. Celtic Bark

    This person clearly has some serious mental issues, although I'm not sure what they are.

    I applaud Murphy for not automatically waving the hate card around on this or using it to smear anyone who might have voiced any reservations about the parade by putting them in the same category as this disturbed person.

    That said, I do think he should alert the police, not that they'll even bother to take a report, but hey.

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  7. Marilyn

    Please alert the authorities. Now that it is on this website the person has a platform and it could get worse.

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  8. BlissStreetMike

    Looks like I'll be heading to Murphy's for a drink or two, its always good to support a business who stands strong!

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  9. BuffaloTom

    Agree whole-heartedly with BlissStreetMike.

    To all those knocking the neighborhood - this type of ignorance happens everywhere. It's still a great neighborhood, and we shouldn't let the lame actions of a few reflect the opinions and values of the majority.

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  10. Native NYer

    Mr. Murphy, if you are reading this, please report this to the police. This person sounds like a nut.

    I'll be heading over to Murphy's for a soda.

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  11. Yvonne

    Next time when we are in the city,I will be taking my family to Murphy's.Happy your not backing down.

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  12. Sunnysideposthatesme14

    You can't fake crazy, that right there is NUTS. hell i'd feel safer with someone straight up yelling some ol fashioned ignorant gay hate but that stuff right there is Buffalo bob , put the lotion on the skin stuff.

    walk in pairs..and arm yourself .

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  13. Anonymous

    I bet I know who this is! There is a crazy old man named Anthony who has done this to other establishments in the neighborhood. He uses different names numbers and addresses, but it's always him!

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  14. Sophia

    How sad that Sunnyside has become a battleground, but at least we are on the right side of this civil rights struggle. More power to you Murphy! I'll be in for a drink this week to toast you.

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  15. Sunnysid-ster

    He could be staging this for free publicity!!

    Mr Murphy - If you have a problem... if no one else can help... and if you can find them... maybe you can hire... The A-Team ....POW..POW..POW...
    those guys will sort it out!!

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  16. atom

    They're here, they're queer...get bored of it.

    How so many people burn so many calories working on intimidating, discriminating and fighting people over something as unimportant as what they do with their genitals in their private life is flabbergasting to me. Hate the gay pride flag? Then stop working on creating a world in which it's necessary to bodly show support for homosexuals! It's in your face because YOU put it there by claiming someone's private business is a public matter!

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  17. Casey

    I would like to thank Murphy's for doing this. I almost made the mistake of going there.

    The flag makes a great warning for Christians, let's hope other gay establishments follow his lead.

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  18. Patrick Hurley

    Rainbow flag aside. Imposing anything on the Stars and Stripes, is a descretation of the U.S. flag. It's one thing to fly the Rainbow flag but it is quite another to desecrate the U.S. flag. Look at the picture!

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  19. Sunnyside Kreegs

    @Casey - Pretty sure Christians preach tolerance and compassion. The flag shows support for a people. It's not a warning of some Sodom and Gomorrah bar for people to avoid. Christianity has become so misguided. It's really sad.

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  20. Krissi

    That's bizarre.

    Good on Murphy's though!

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  21. SC

    I agree with Atom, The last time i checked the gay flag was not in line with the rest of the flags around the world, don't be a target , don;t make yourself one, and i can't believe you would encourage other businesses to do the same, to prove what exactly. when you enter any establishment do you ave to pull out your gay card for admission. ridiculous, Murphy' s do you. and leave it at that,

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  22. pathetic sheep

    I'd start the inquiry, as to the nut sending this crap, in the building that hangs all the homophobic signs on Skillman Ave during the parade. 2nd place I'd look would be the small crew of nut jobs holding up similar signs along the parade route. They are all rather long in the tooth and pushing the envelope as it is, so hurry before they check out.

    PS

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  23. Ari Fink

    The pride flag is a desperate attempt to invite customers. .The place is empty nightly..I think a white flag would be more appropriate! !!

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  24. JaneGrissom

    Pathetic sheep you are very "tolerant" in addition to being an ageist and a sexist.

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  25. Plain Spoken

    Jesus would hang at Murphys. Americans might not after seeing the Stars and Stripes altered as Mr. Hurley points out. I didn't see it until he urged me to "look at the picture!"

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  26. Luvu2

    Much ado about very little were there real threats? If not move on

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  27. Patrick Hurley

    I always enjoyed Murphy's. Nice homely atmosphere. No blaring jukebox so easy to have a conversation over a few drinks. Good music provided by Donie Carroll and other troubadors.

    However, I find the desecration of the Stars n' Stripes to be very offensive. That flag represents all Americans, Gay, straight, black, white, GOP, Democrat etc.. Americans died so that we would have the right to display it. It is above partisanship. Mr. Murphy also equates the Rainbow with the Stars and Stripes and the Irish Tricolor. The latter two are the flags of countries, while the Rainbow is the standard of a partisan agenda.

    I doubt if it's a good idea to mix business with politics. Mr. Murphy has a First Amendment right to fly what ever standard he wants, but decisions have consequences, positive or negative. Taking a stand on an issue - no matter what it is - will antagonize some element, either pro or anti. Perhaps flying the Rainbow on the day of the event was a canny business decision but long term it is a no win.

    Personally, I have no problem with Murphy flying the Rainbow. It is the desecration of the Stars n' Stripes that is offensive.

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  28. Luvu2

    Well written pat and if this is a bar for all why fly the gay pride flag?

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  29. Eilish

    So sex is more important than all else

    As is the LGBT bullying

    No one is preventing LGBT folks from taking part in st Patricks day events
    Some do limit the effort to force the POLITICAL agenda during what is both a CULTURAL EVENT and a religious day.

    Putting that flag up as if as meaningful as NATIONAL flags is a sign of pure ignorance

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  30. Aaron

    Murphy's is a great spot! Outstanding food and great atmosphere. The design inside is simply incredible. I was very disappointed to read about the "creepy mail" Mr Mike had received. Some people have too much time on their hands.

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  31. WHERES THE BRANDYWELL

    Not for nothing but from reading the comments it looks like theres a lot of folks heading to murphys for a drink . Rainbow flag , hate mail , phone calls , sounds like a great marketing ploy to me , if it were not reported on here would all the folks who made comments be heading over there , doubt it .
    never been to murphys but I sure remember the brandywell at 5am on a sunday back in the day .!!!!!!

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  32. PJE056

    Mr. Patrick Hurley has it perfectly right. Although Mike Murphy has the right to fly any flag he likes without any form of harassment, disrespecting and desecrating our American flag is wrong and is imposing on my beliefs and rights. I would never deface your flags why must you do that to the only flag that represents all our freedoms and rights? That is just as disgusting and shameful as any of the discrimination you all are bitching about.

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  33. Sunnysider

    I think mike Murphy should have given more thought to hanging our most important flag than he gave to hanging the "other" flag.

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  34. Oil. Beef, Hooked

    How many countless millions of people in history have been killed over silly flags? Maybe it's time to stop marching behind them, whatever they are.

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  35. More Champagne for Lulu

    Still some discrimination going around in some hypocrite comments.

    The values of this country and what the flag ultimately stands for, is

    "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"

    You can't cherry pick who gets more rights than others based on you religious views and disguise that as patriotism.

    Spend more time thinking about what the flag really represents and less time thinking about the cloth itself.

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  36. Micky

    A sad pathetic stunt,you should be ashamed of yourself Micheal.

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  37. radbaha

    Patrick Hurley is a notorious, longtime anti-gay hater and GOP apologist.

    I find his use of the term 'desecration' deeply offensive. How dare he suggest that gay people are unworthy of God's love?

    There's room in Sunnyside for everyone. What this New York Post reading maroon doesn't understand is that he's the desecration, not the locals.

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  38. pathetic sheep

    JaneGrissom, I am just staing facts. 1. The people holding the signs ARE very old. 2. The signs they hold up equating homosexuality with kiddie porn/rape shows them to be crazy. There is nothing 'sexist' about that post. Maybe you can do your part for the community and round them up, educate them on tolerance, bringing them forward to the 21st Century.

    PS

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  39. Artsy Fartsy

    It wasn't a very bright idea to mash up the American flag and the rainbow one.

    So the rainbow flag is supposed to mean that gay people are welcome at Murphy's. Ok.

    So, what about any other groups? Shouldn't there now be a Star of David flag flying over the bar so that Jews can be assured that they are welcome, a Dominican flag for Dominicans, a flag with an Islamic crescent so that Muslims know their patronage is appreciated? How are Albanians, for example, going to know it's okay for them to drink there unless their flag is represented as well? I don't see the Vatican flag hanging so I'll just have to assume Catholics aren't welcome.

    Once you get into identity politics or pandering to one group, things get messy.

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  40. Artsy Fartsy

    @Pathetic sheep

    On the one hand you are extolling the virtue of "tolerance" and at the same time suggesting it's time to "round them up" meaning people whose opinions you on homosexuality disagree with.

    FYI The darkest periods of history usually start with groups of people being rounded up.

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  41. Strongstaff

    @ Pathetic Sheep

    No matter what you say, it is clear to us all you don't like old people with views that are different from yours.

    Believe it or not, they have a right to have lived as long as they have and should be respected for the wisdom they have earned, not for what you perceive as their failure to be up to date. A lot of things that were up-to-date in the past are now seen as hopelessly foolish.

    But it never goes out of date in America for us to allow every voice to be heard. We don't have to listen or to agree, but everyone has a right to speak up.

    Grow up, learn to live with difference.

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  42. HereistheTruth

    desecrating our American flag?

    The rainbow flag which has become the international symbol of gay and lesbian rights and the American Rainbow flag which is the symbol of American LGBT. It was designed by a college group and is NOT an desecrated Stars and stripes but an adaption of the flag with it's own meaning and design.

    Please get to know the American Flag (it is not any flag with stars or stripes nor is any flag with red white and blue on it) .

    It has 50 white stars on a blue square and 13 red and white stripes.

    Other flags that may be similar BUT NOT the American flag is the American LGBT, the Flag of Liberia, Malaysia, Chile, Cuba. The Grand Union Flag, Puerto Rico and the States of Hawaii, Mississippi, Ohio, and Texas. Those are only the ones with stars and stripes in red white and blue there is a longer list for just colors or just patterns.

    Learn what is proper respect. The American flag is suppose to hang on the center of any other displayed flag. It is suppose to be taken down nightly and kept dry from rain and snow. It appears from the photo that the American flag is positioned so that it can be treated properly while the other flags have been left out in the elements.

    Desecration of the flag would include stepping on, tearing, ripping, writing on, sewing patches on, lighting on fire, leaving out to the elements, etc.

    In this case flying the American flag with the American rainbow flag and the Irish flag is NOT desecration. It is a choice. And although traditionally the American Flag should be hung higher a the CARE of the flag is more important than it's height.

    Patriotically, Murphys is more than fine.

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  43. Plain Spoken

    @radbaha

    If you had average reading comprehension skills you would have noticed that Mr, Hurley was stating that ANY change to the Stars and Stripes was a"desecration." He made no anti-gay remarks. Doofus.

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  44. HereistheTruth

    @Artsy Fartsy

    The flag were hung for St Patricks day celebrations says the article they are staying up in part in response to feedback

    Queens is the only parade that is all inclusive. It welcomes homosexuals to march (hench the Rainbow flag) It is an American (hench the American flag) and Irish Celebration so I don't see the reason for any other flags.

    Jews? not really a jewish parade, nor is it a Dominican one, nor is Albanian. Associating Muslims with St Paddy's might be more than a little offensive to the very religious.

    And the Vatican Flag is not a Catholic Flag. It is the Flag of the City which has it's own governing body and army. It does not represent the religion BUT the city of the Vatican it's independence.

    It is a bar after all, and a restaurant. Hanging a cross may not be bring in the drinkers it really wants to attract. So I'm thinking any religious symbols are out, Reminding people of temperance while trying to get them to buy a round is counter productive.

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  45. HereistheTruth

    Including the LGBT american flag was wonderful for the parade. Showing support to the homosexuals in the community and saying that people should be treated equal is Great and commendable.

    Now take the flag down.

    It's no longer St Paddys, While Murphy's is an American Irish Bar is not a gay bar and honestly is strikes at milking a good act for profit.

    f you want to show that you welcome all kind of people then just show them. Treat them better than some of the other Irish establishments in the neighborhood. If you want to show you support Gay rights or for that matter everyone's rights then hang the posters that are appropriate for the time of year. For example. Pro gay marriage during voting season.

    Hanging a rainbow flag signals to people that you are a gay bar/restaurant, something that you are not. (unless their is a change?)

    Just be who you are and let that stand for itself without the misdirection.

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  46. HereistheTruth

    There not Their. Let that be the only typo I correct....otherwise this site will be buried in posts.

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  47. why

    Whyare so manycommenters homophobic?

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  48. Patrick Hurley

    Notwithstanding the demonstrated inability to grasp simple verbiage, the cowardly hurling of falsities, insults and invective from behind the anonymity of a pseudonym demeans oneself and discredits one's cause. It is hardly consistent with the quest for "tolerance".

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  49. Luvu2

    Pat Hurley is correct

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  50. HereistheTruth

    @PH ohh how fancy. except Insults and Invective is a redundant statement.

    One accidental falsehood by me. The flag can be hung at night but only with a spotlight on it. I was corrected by my brother. In my defense our flag pole never had a spotlight and no member of my family would of ever left it out at night for fear it rained while we slept.

    I suspect you purposely lied about desecration, since you clearly identified the LGBT flag for what it was. You most likely know what desecration covers and what it doesn't and knew perfectly well that adaption of a flag is not desecration.

    Truth is not about tolerance. it is about education through which you gain freedom and beauty. Truth is about choice and the fact you chose to use the American flag as a scapegoat to place Murphy's in a bad light is abhorrent. At the least you deflected from the issue. Like what I call myself or anyone's user name is a deflection from the facts and the issue.

    Murphy's is getting crank calls, letters etc for exercising it's freedom of expression. period. That freedom should be protected. Period.

    America is not now nor has it ever been about tolerance. America is about freedom. We should and do support and fight for the freedom of others as well as ourselves.

    especially after learning (if you didn't know) the flag is being handled properly or at least the picture shows no mishandling of the flag. There should be no issue with Murphy's if you are treated well as a customer and you are not anti-gay.

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  51. HereistheTruth

    @LuvU2. The American LGBT flag was able to hang in more than one public building including Government buildings because it is NOT a desecration by law or really the flag code.

    This upset one Louisiana congress man so much that in 2013 he wrote a bill stating "no non governmental flags can hang on government flag poles" in order to ban the LGBT flag (both American and international) from government property. The wording of the bill was considered "unconstitutional" (not a legal verdict) by some and was killed. The bill may be reworded and reissued. (in fact it may have already been reworded and reissued)

    but legally and in the eyes of the current law, Flag code (international and national) and government, the American LGBT flag is a non-governmental, non desecration adaption of the flag that is perfectly with in someone's right to fly where ever freedom of speech is a right. I believe that covers Skillman.

    Feeling against it are fine. Hate the LBGT flag? Go for it. Stating something is a fact when it isn't is wrong.

    Pat is wrong about it being desecration. Although he is right about Murphy's having a nice homey atmosphere.

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  52. Luvu2

    The intolerant one is pathetic sheep who does not like the elderly

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  53. liz

    Homophobic??? In the words of Mogan Freeman "it's not a phobia, you are not scared , you are an a$$hole" ...and Please!!! Murphys doesn't need a publicity stunt, then serve the best liquor in the neighborhood and the best prices ....

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  54. Patrick Hurley

    “(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any
    nature.”

    Opining, pontificating and speculating is one thing is one thing but there is always official regulations.

    http://www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/RL30243.pdf

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  55. 43rd & 43rd

    Indeed, the American flag in the picture has nothing on/attached to it.

    Thanks to Murphy's. It's hard to say where in the neighborhood I can feel comfortable bringing people I'm dating. Good to know that if any customers take issue with it, Murphy's will presumably have our back.

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  56. WHERES THE BRANDYWELL

    careful now ...

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  57. HereistheTruth

    @luvu2

    The only thing you know about the elderly is that they are survivors. They deserve respect for that alone.

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  58. Celtic Bark

    If you are a bar that welcomes everyone, then just welcome everyone and stop obsessing about flags.

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  59. JaneGrissom

    We respect the elderly: pathetic sheep and his pals do not. Learn how to read!

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  60. HereistheTruth

    @JaneGrissom. I was agreeing with Luvu2 not arguing with her by stating just one reason the elderly deserve respect. I have more....

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  61. HereistheTruth

    @PH Thank you and the American flag isn't.

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  62. Patrick Hurley

    There are two U.S. flags in the picture:

    (1) The one hanging up - on the eagle headed pole, which is for the Stars n' Stripes only and on the correct side for the Stars n' Stripes only, has been defaced and obviously is in non - compliance with protocol.

    (2) The one drooping in the interior of the premises is displayed disrespectfully and in non compliance with protocol.

    http://www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/RL30243.pdf

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  63. Reality Calling

    Just read the PDF, and as far as I can tell the LGBT flag is not breaking any par tof the guide -- also there is a premise to say that the LGBT flag isn't a true American flag but is instead a derivative art, and it's own thing. If thats that case then that whole guide is thrown out the window in it's use except when it's displayed with a real US flag.

    As for the large flag on the cross stake, it's fine once it's been realigned straight.

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  64. Reality Calling

    straight being horizontal... (no pun intended).

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  65. 43rd & 43rd

    The flag on the eagle-headed staff is clearly not an American flag even though it has one element in common. It's a different flag, in the same way that the Puerto Rican flag is not a defaced American flag.

    If you want to inform American businesses about the Flag Code in general, by all means, but let's hope you do so fairly and equally. Perhaps you could start with everyone's flag car magnets? Or picket Old Navy for their flag T-shirts?

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  66. Gene

    Sunnyside is full of homophobic jerks! Let's wake up and smell the coffee! Get over yourself Sunnyside your not that frigging serious so please stop hating! Your all full of crap. Get over yourselves. It's really not that serious! Grow the F up!

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Sunnyside Restaurant Week kicks off October 20, more than 30 restaurants participating
Blu Orchid on Queens Blvd

Recently-opened Blu Orchid part of Sunnyside Restaurant Week

Sept. 25, By Christian Murray

Sunnyside’s second annual restaurant week is scheduled to take place next month and 32 restaurants have already signed up to participate.

The event, organized by Sunnyside Shines, aims to showcase Sunnyside as a destination for high-quality cuisine. Its goal is tempt residents to try new places and draw foodies from other parts of New York City.

The event begins on Oct. 20 and concludes on Friday, Oct. 24.

Each restaurant will serve a three course dinner menu for $25 with many offering additional lunch specials.

The participating restaurants span the globe. There will be Japanese, Turkish, Irish, Italian, Romanian, Mexican, Peruvian, French, Colombian, Filipino, Paraguayan, Tibetan, Thai, and Seasonal American food on offer.

Restaurants from Skillman Avenue through 47th Avenue have signed up this year. Last November, when Sunnyside Restaurant Week was launched, 17 restaurants took part.

“Last year’s event was a big success for neighborhood restaurants,” said Rachel Thieme, executive director, of Sunnyside Shines. “I am proud that we have doubled the number.”

Participating restaurants will also include newcomers to the Sunnyside scene—such as Tibetan Dumpling Café and Blu Orchid. Venturo and Salt & Fat, which were recently recognized as Michelin “Bib Gourmands,” will be participating again this year.

Sunnyside Shines has listed the 32 restaurants on its website. The list also includes those restaurants that have put a special menu together for Sunnyside Restaurant Week.

Restaurant week will also feature contemporary art, which will be placed at five participating restaurants. The art is being curated by No Longer Empty, a contemporary art organization, and will include work from three Sunnyside artists.

The artwork will be on display at Bucharest Restaurant, Los Verdes, PJ Horgan’s, Salt & Fat and Venturo.

“We are really looking forward to Sunnyside Restaurant Week this year,” Thieme said. However, she said: “there’s a huge problem – figuring out how to eat in all these amazing restaurants in just one week!”

Takesushi

Takesushi

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Venturo, Salt & Fat win coveted ‘Bib Gourmand’ award

Venturo sunnyside

Sept. 24, By Christian Murray

The Michelin Guide has just released its 2015 “Bib Gourmand” picks and Salt & Fat and Venturo were among the picks for the best value for money.

These two restaurants were the only Sunnyside restaurants to receive the highly-coveted prize. Restaurants are evaluated for excellence on a budget (defined as two courses and wine or dessert for $40 a head).

The Bib Gourmand restaurant winners are widely considered the best and most affordable restaurants in New York.

The popular Thai restaurant Ayada, located at 77-08 Woodside Avenue, also received the award.

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Sunnyside farmers market will be open all-year round, if organizers get community support

Sunnyside Farmers Market1

Sept. 24, By Christian Murray

The Sunnyside Greenmarket might be open all-year round if the organizers get enough support from the community.

The market, which is located on Skillman Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets, is currently open on Saturdays from May through December.

However, Jessenia Cagle, the coordinator of the market, said that the farmers are willing to come to Sunnyside all-year round. She said that she has been circulating a petition calling for market to remain open every Saturday–including during the cold winter months. So far she has 800 signatures.

The petition has recently gone online and can be found by clicking on this link:  http://conta.cc/1nxfS6H

“I think the neighborhood is ready for it,” Cagle said. “There are a lot of people in the area who like fresh, local food—and they don’t want to have to go too far to get it especially in winter.”

The market, which opened in June 2007, has been a success, Cagle said. Presently there are 16 farmers/vendors out each weekend selling items such as bread, vegetables, meat and fish.

This year the market opened a month earlier than in previous years and plenty of residents came out and bought items, Cagle said. “We were very busy, it was great,” she said.

The move to open year round would not be unprecedented in Queens. Cagle said the market in Jackson Heights, which was once seasonal, now operates all year round.

Cagle said that not all of the vegetable providers will be able to come out in winter due to the seasonal nature of their produce. However, she expects about 10 vendors will participate during the cold winter months.

“I think if we get enough support, there is a strong possibility that we will be open this winter,” she said.

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Van Bramer’s hit-and-run bill is passed by the city council
Van Bramer, xxx , Melissa Mark Viverto (Source:  Bill Alatriste)

Van Bramer, Martha Puruncajas , Melissa Mark Viverito (Source: Bill Alatriste)

Sept. 24, By Christian Murray

The city council passed legislation yesterday that would fine drivers who flee the scene of an accident up to $10,000.

The Council voted 49-0 in favor of the legislation that was introduced by Jimmy Van Bramer following three hit-and-run deaths that have occurred in Western Queens in the past year.

“I am proud to have sponsored Intro 371, the ‘Justice for Hit and Run Victims Act,’” Van Bramer said in a statement. “I was moved to introduce this bill in response to the death of three people who were killed in my district by drivers who fled the scene.”

Last September, Luis Bravo, 19, was killed crossing Broadway in Woodside. Meanwhile, Karen Pheras, 20, was struck and killed around the same time crossing Queens Plaza North. Then in March, Kumar Ragunath, 64, was killed crossing Northern Boulevard in Long Island City.

“They all lost their lives because of the unconscionable actions of reckless drivers who showed no concern for the lives of these three people,” Van Bramer said. “We will never know if one or all of them could have been saved had the drivers done the right thing: stopped their car and called 911.”

All three drivers have yet to be caught.

“It’s something you never get over,” said Bravo’s mother, Martha Puruncajas, at a recent council hearing.”The pain is unbearable, the pain stays,” she said, adding that she hopes stiffer penalties would prevent future tragedies.

Under the bill, those who leave the scene of an incident without taking action would be subject to pay a civil penalty of up to $500 if property damage stems from the incident; $1,000 to $2,000 if a person is injured; and $2,000 to $10,000 if there is serious injury or death.

Currently there are no “civil” penalties in New York City if someone flees.

Criminal penalties are determined by the state lawmakers.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the bill into law. The law would take effect ninety days after he signs it.

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Sunnyside Street co-named after famous sporting arena

arenaSept. 23, By Christian Murray

City officials and boxing enthusiasts turned out Saturday for the co-naming of 45th Street to pay tribute to the now-demolished Sunnyside Garden Arena where fighters and wrestlers used to duke it out.

The Sunnyside Garden Arena, a 2,000-seat venue that was once located where Wendy’s now stands at 44-11 Queens Blvd, hosted boxing events from 1945 to 1977 during the golden years of NYC boxing. Many famous fighters from that era got their start at the arena, and it was a stepping stone to the brighter lights of Madison Square Garden.

Members of the Ring 8 Boxing Association, a group for retired boxers, unveiled the new street sign along with Dave Diamante, the official announcer at the Barclays Center, and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.

Two years ago, many of the same boxing enthusiasts came out when a memorial was placed on the front lawn of Wendy’s that also marked the location.

John Edebohls, who was raised just a couple of blocks away from the arena, said when the memorial was unveiled:“This place launched many careers: Emile Griffith [middleweight world champ] and Jose Torres [light heavyweight world champ].”

The arena was where Gerry Cooney launched his professional career, Edebolhs said. Cooney would go on to fight Larry Holmes in 1982 for the heavyweight title. Cooney lost.

Luke Adams, a member of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, said when the monument was unveiled that the arena was not just for boxing. “They had proms there, they made a movie there (Mr. Universe), and in 1960 John F. Kennedy had one of the first rallies of his Presidential campaign there.”

Sunnyside Gardens Arena

Sunnyside Garden Arena

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Irish Music Festival to hit Boulevard on Saturday, wounded veterans to benefit
Irish Music Festival

Irish Music Festival

Sept. 22, By Michael Florio

Eleven bars and restaurants—known as Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars–are teaming up to host an Irish music festival this Saturday.

The eleven establishments, which are located on or near Queens Blvd, are hosting the 2nd annual Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day music festival.

The event will kick off at 6 pm, Sept. 27, with live music and drink specials at every participating bar.

The drink specials are for party goers who purchase a $10 wristband. The specials, which are available at all 11 establishments, include $3 ciders, $4 well drinks and $5 craft beers. Each bar/restaurant may also offer its own additional specials.

There will be live music, dancing, bagpipers and DJs. There will also be authentic Irish meals, such as Bar 43’s Irish festival menu, which will consist of Irish beef stew, Irish style fish and chips and an all day Irish breakfast.

Proceeds from the event will be donated to wounded veterans who are currently being treated at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Participating bars include, The Courtyard Ale House, Bar 43, McGuinness’s Saloon, PJ Horgan’s, Molly Blooms, Jack’s Fire Dept., Bliss Street Station, Arriba Arriba, The Gaslight, Sidetracks, and Maggie Mae’s.

The event will be the Boulevard of Bars’ sixth major event in the past two years. So far, it has raised more than $25,000 for charities and local organizations.

Music Lineup - Boulevard Bars-1

 

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