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Giant Yard Sale Planned for Sunnyside Gardens

Photo: QueensPost

April 10, 2013 By Bill Parry

If two local women’s plan takes hold, the sidewalks of Sunnyside Gardens are going to be dotted with yard sales on one particular Saturday in late May.

The women aim to create a community event where residents located within the Sunnyside Gardens district all peddle their wares in front of their homes at the same exact time.

Sunnyside Gardens residents are invited to take part by simply setting out unwanted clothing, books, kitchenware, tools and toys on the sidewalk in front of their homes between 10am and 4pm on May 18. Participants are not required to register or pay fees.

Dorothy Morehead, a local realtor, came up with the idea after Community Board 2 canceled the Skillman Avenue Street fairs after a litany of complaints.

“Around here, people hated the festivals,” Morehead said. “The [Skillman Avenue] stores hated it because it interfered with business; it caused huge parking problems and even the generators were a nuisance.”

Many residents also complained that the vendors were from outside the neighborhood and sold tacky items.

Morehead has enlisted the help of Patricia Dorfman, the founder of Sunnyside Artists, to promote the event. Morehead said the community event is a better and cheaper alternative to the street fairs.

“The cost of insuring a street fair has become enormous,” Morehead said.  With this event, she said, “Homeowners that choose to take part do it in front of their own home – their own space, no insurance or permits are required.”

The event offers other benefits as well. “Besides getting rid of stuff, it will be a festive atmosphere that brings neighbors together,” Dorfman said.

Morehead said the event will be well received by the neighborhood’s growing population of young families. “Children outgrow clothes, toys and games so quickly – things that are so expensive these days,” she said. “It’s also a good way to recycle things within the neighborhood.”

“And there’s no schlepping involved,” Dorfman said. “The hardest part of big rummage sales is moving stuff from Point A to Point B. I like this idea because we stay in Point A.”

For more information and tip sheets, email Dorothy at [email protected] or Pat at [email protected]

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 
Dorothy Morehead

Its the law, Jill. Property owners are allowed to sell their personal property on their own property at a single-day sale. They are not allowed to make a business out of it, having continuing sales on residential property. I never said anyone had to contact me to find out if they can participate. The flyer and any information distributed by me specifically says that registration is not required, that they should contact me if they would like a tip sheet. There are certain regulations, such as keeping the sidewalk open at least 30″, plus selling tips which will help first-timers.

Except for what I might sell personally, I am not making any money on this. In fact, I paid for the copying of the flyer.

Re the sale in Sunnyside Park, it is open to the public, as are a number of other events throughout the year. The next event is the Mothers’ Day plant sale on May 11.


Of course you’ll go again to the PRIVATE PARK sales It IS elitist after all! But what was that you’ve been touting about your junksale? That all SunnysideGardens residents can participate without having to pay a fee? Yet you state more recently that we, the very tenants of Sunnyside, actually need to contact you to find out if we residents can participate if we are not “homeowners”. Hmmm, I smell a private interest here. ……

Dorothy Morehead

This has nothing to do with the park. It’s meant to be as inclusive as possible. Only a small percentage of residents– primarily those with young children–are members of the park. This event will enable all the residents to participate which is good for them and for the buyers.

The park will have its own sale in the fall which will be open to the public and will have about twenty vendors. I’ve picked up some great stuff in the past and will go again.

Dorothy Morehead

If the property owners approve, Sunnyside Towers and Phipps residents are welcome to join in. Email me and I’ll send you the tip sheet.


Sunnyside Gardens = upper east side of sunnyside. I’ll pass by if I need to go to Home Depot or Best Buy.

Royale with Cheese

I hope OM will have had at least one therapy session before this yard sale. He has clearly gone off the deep end.


The Towers are part of Sunnyside Gardens Historic District, as is Phipps Houses. I live in Phipps and would love to participate, too.

Oppressed Masses

PS. I do have a large quantity of white tube socks previously purchased at several of the Skillman Ave Street Fairs. Would it be okay to try to sell these unopen items?

Oppressed Masses

Great idea! Hopefully Sunnyside’s sidewalks will be dog duty free by that date thanks to the wonderful posters created by the children at PS 150.


Street fair was always a big disappointment (like almost all street fairs, almost everywhere else) it is nothing but nastiness, with all the garbage left behind, crappy stuff that you can buy at 99c stores, food that smells horrible, loud music, not to mention the rude people from out of our neighborhood. The only valuable stuff you could buy there were the native American stuff, (although mostly made by Mexicans, still great stuff).. I am glad it came to an end.

If you all want to buy cheap crap, head out to rockaways flea market, enough of that stuff up there.

We need to go back to being low profile, look what happened to Williamsburg. Sure, if you are a landlord who does not live in the area, you could care less, but there are still a lot of nice people in Sunnyside, who actually care about the place they live in and care about each other.

Royale with Cheese

I love it when average people take the initiative and bypass all the bureaucratic red tape. That’s when good things happen. Let’s hope some city official doesn’t dig up some obscure and petty regulation buried in the books somewhere to stop this on behalf of the organized, cookie-cutter street fair operators.

Annie D

I live in the towers, not the gardens, but really close by! I have a ton of books and clothes I would love to sell. Can I participate?


I think it’s a shame that all anybody has to do these days is to complain about everything that interfere’s with their lives for a couple of hours.

Ted Geier

Great idea, especially with two of Sunnyside Garden’s finest at the helm. Looking forward to it.


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