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Group plans rally in Sunnyside to protest gentrification

EDC

March 21, By Hannah Wulkan

A local activist group is planning a protest against gentrification in Queens, specifically targeting three major proposals in Sunnyside and Long Island City.

The Queens Anti-Gentrification Project, an activist group working against gentrification primarily in Sunnyside, Woodside and Jackson Heights, plans to rally at 6 p.m. on April 20 at Bliss Plaza (below the 46th Street station) to show that “Queens is not for sale,” according to organizer Michael Forest.

“We were talking about gentrification in the area and we realized that there were three huge developments all in the works simultaneously in Councilman [Jimmy] Van Bramer’s district,” Forest said. The specific proposals the group is protesting include the Brooklyn-Queens Connector streetcar that would run through Astoria and Long Island City, the development of Sunnyside Yards, and the upzoning of the Court Square /Queens Plaza district.

The group has also started a petition against the three proposed developments in the area, and plans to deliver it to Van Bramer’s office as part of the protest.

“Any of these proposals alone would result in massive displacement and gentrification in Queens. Together, they represent nothing less than an all-out assault on our neighborhoods,” the petition reads.

The rally is partly targeted at Van Bramer, Forest said, asking that he oppose the three proposed projects, which are all in his district. Forest is also calling on Van Bramer to support a rent freeze to help combat skyrocketing prices in the area.

“Councilmembers have a lot of power and he has a big say in it, so we’re basically asking him not to give the green light to these projects and to voice public opposition,” Forest said.

Though the exact plans for the rally have not yet been finalized, Forest said that various community leaders would likely speak about the negative effects of gentrification in Queens.

Van Bramer responded by explaining that he has long supported a rent freeze and opposed any privatization of New York City Housing Authority campuses.

“The BQX, development of Sunnyside Yards and the proposed rezoning of Long Island City are all ideas being pushed by Mayor de Blasio and his administration. I have publicly expressed great concern and skepticism about all of the Mayor’s proposals. And I have publicly opposed previous plans of the Mayor when it was wrong for our neighborhood,” Van Bramer said in an email to the Queens Post.

“I fight every day for the people I represent, and I’ll never support anything that hurts our community. My neighbors and constituents know that,” he added.

For more information on the march, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/236177976845884/.

email the author: news@queenspost.com

54 Comments

Noz Cavan

Bill de blasio butt is off the hook, since Preet got fired, trump had to get rid
of Preet to protect his own butt, so trump had to make it look like typical
changes of the guards, he fired 46 prosecutors. Now de blasio can really
shaft the NYC residents. Stopping the sunny side project would be de blasio
ACA.




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An Astoria mom

As it is sometimes hard to get out and about, I have learned more about area issues and history from these posts and comments than from the newspapers.I understand why some may wonder if these neighborhood rallies are pointless,that the “overdevelopment” deals are done,etc. But at the very least, community voice can sometimes help change things( lest we get completely steamrolled). As an avid reader of Astoria,LongIslandCity,Woodside& Sunnyside post.com, the Sunnyside commenters seem by far the most spirited& witty. Love you,Sunnyside !




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Don Pollo

El loco and I are opening up a new business. Rotisserie Turkey! I hope that Angela, Roxy, Al from Sunnyside and Anonymous will come. Thanks.




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GEORGE

Oh..MIKE…IM SORRY FOR NOT WEARING MY GLASSES..SO I HAD A TYPO OR TWO..INSTEAD OF PLEASE..MY FINGER WENT TO PLRASE…SO SORRY FOR THE SIGHT PROBLEM… JUST THAT LOUSY BULLET STILL IN MY LEFT TEMPERAL LOBE…FORGIVE ME..MY GOSH MIKE..FORGIVE MY TYPO




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GEORGE

I M A MORON????YEAH..SURE I AM…IN YOUR MIND..I WELCOME YOUR ANONYMOUS NAME CALLING..BUT YET..I STILL AND ALWAYS WELCOME ANY DISCUSSION ON WHAT I KNOW,AND WHAT IS TRUE..IM
COLLEGE EDUCATED AND I M A LIFE LONG RESIDENT FAMILY MAN FROM SUNNYSIDE..YES I M ONE OF THOSE TOUGH GUY IRISH CATHOLICS THAT WELCOME ANYONE..MORON????NEVER..OPINIONATED YES…BUT NOT A MORON..WE DONT PLAY WITH AN IDIOT LIKE YOU..MENTION JUST MY NAME ON QUEENS BLVD AND I M SURE ..NOONE WOULD SAY I M A MORON…NOW ENJOY YOUR DAY…O.K..NOW LET’S PLAY NICE.




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Eurozone

You can not build new developments without addressing infrastructure first. That’s the message that needs to be put out by these rallies. “Stop Gentrification” is such a vague argument. Almost pointless. Change will happen for years to come and it won’t ever stop.




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Angela

Why doesn’t anyone complain or just mention NYCHA projects have almost no whites or Asians? Where is the cry for justice?




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Phil

If anybody wants to join up with the SS Post commenter contingent at this protest, just follow the wafting aroma of cabbage and boiled egg farts




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Bob thomas

And here we were just saying diversity is our strength, as soon as the young embrace multiculturalism and live with one another free of racism, then this. Living diversely will result in the end of low income communities, or isolated communities. As higher income people move in businesses will cater to them, be it real estate, cafes or organic grocers.




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GEORGE

Hey BURGERMEISTER..YOU ARE AN IDIOT..THERE WERE NEVER..EVER HOOKERS IN SUNNYSIDE..LET ALONE ON 43AVENUE…YOU ARE FULL OF CRAP..STREET WALKERS ON 43AVENUE..YOU LYING MIRON..WHY ARE YOU HERE..HOME VALUES..YOUR BRATTY KIDS..DINKINS..HE WAS THE WORST..HOOKERS WALKING SUNNYSIDE STREETS..YOU ARE FULL OF IT MY LIBERAL LYING FRIEND..THATS WHY WE WHO SACRIFICED AND LIVED 3 GENERATIONS DESPISE YOU LIARS..MY GOD….HOOKERS????WALKING 43 AVENUE..NEVER..WE WOULD NEVER TOLERATE THAT….




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burgermeister meisterburger

Ha ha, go check out the two article links above if you can read, and yeah hookers too, even the 108 article confirms this and everything I said
Rite Aid, actually at the time it was a supermarket.

im no liberal, not that bad




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Joe at Berkley

I checked out your articles and they’re not about Sunnyside at all. You’re misleading go back. to Ohio.




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GEORGE

My GOD..I LIVED IN SUNNYSIDE SINCE MY BIRTH..1962..RIGHT ON 4O STREET AND ITS ABOUT TIME SOMEONE FIGHTS THESE NEW COMING INTERLOPERS WHOM HAVE SUPPOSEDLY DISCOVERED OUR NEIGHBORHOOD ……PLEASE..LETS ALL REALIZE SOMETHING..SUNNYSIDE WAS ALWAYS HERE..PERIOD…NOW..YOU HIPSTER..NANNY STATE NEW YUPPIES PLRASE GO BACK TO INDIANA.. SAN FRAN..MICHIGAN..WASHINGTON STATE AND ALLOW SUNNYSIDE TO RETURN TO A BLUE COLLAR WONDERFUL NEIGHBORHOOD ONCE AGAIN




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mike

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE LISTEN TO GEORGE KELLY AND “PLRASE” GO BACK TO THE STATES YOU CAME FROM AND KEEP SUNNYSIDE BLUE COLLAR!!

Words to live by.




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Bowery Boy

I’ve lived here almost all of my life, I’m 71 years old, I played in the vacant lot where Torsney Playground is today, Rabbit Island, was what we called the area just west of 43rd Street where the Sunnyside Yards ended. It was a great place to grow up, we had Bowling Alleys, good schools, the Sunnyside Pool and lots of things for kids and adults to do. Sunnyside had three Movie Theaters, and Sunnyside Gardens with Pro and Amatuer Boxing, Professional Wrestling, Roller Derby. Today we don’t have any of these things, mostly because of the invasion of Real Estate Developers, that destroyed the affordability of the area. We native New Yorkers got the shaft.




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President Don T.

JVB is going to be about 15 minutes late he’s at Trump tower still marching nobody told him the Don is in DC now.




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Jason

Is there anything more absurd that a bunch of transplant middle class white people complaining about “gentrification.” The very same people who have poured into every neighborhood bordering the city and priced out native New Yorkers and minority communities for the last twenty years are drawing a line in the sand here. Please.




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burgermeister meisterburger

is this the pat dorfman gang again? As a homeowner here for 15 years i actually LIKE to see investment happening in my neighborhood, homes for young families, cafes, jobs, increased home values – its not 1965 anymore. This place is literally minutes by subway to manhattan and changes are inevitable given the proximity to it.

I moved here first when dinkens was mayor and there was a hooker on 43rd ave in front of what is now rite aid and i saw drugs being sold under my window. Since the 90s sunnyside has been getting better and now I have raised kids here.

If you march for HELPING people deal with changes due to gentrification I am for it. But stopping it is useless and a waste of time.

Change can be good, Bring it on!!




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Anonymous

Your willingness to mention people who have not commented on this article, yet only do so under a pseudonym, makes you look bad.




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Max

@burgermister I have lived on 43rd ave and 45th street (across from Rite Aid) for 55 years and that location has never been a location where hookers applied their trade. This neighborhood was never as bad as you phony self proclaimed pioneers claim it was. You moved to a safe middle class neighborhood. You didn’t gentrify Harlem, Crown Heights or Bed Stuy you moved to Sunnyside. Stop making things up. If you wanted to be a true neighborhood “pioneer” you should have moved to one of those neighborhoods. You’re no hero except in your warped mind with its contrived history.




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Sunnyside for life

Yes Max!!! Well said. Sunnyside was NEVER dangerous, drug ridden or hooker ridden (first I ever heard that). LIC was…




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Angela

Sunnyside for life: You and Max got a couple of thumbs down from idiots who live in the world of fake history. How dare you wake them with actual facts. They must have been fans of that ridiculous Joey Travolta film from around 1980 called Sunnyside. A ridiculous piece of fiction very few people went to see.




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Love my hood

Speaking of that film. I been meaning to see it. Anyone know where I can get my hands on it.




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burgermeister meisterburger

Gangs were pretty common in Williamsburg and LIC, what youre saying is completely false. What you say contradicts the NYT and 108 statistics, check the links above.




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burgermeister meisterburger

from NYT 1988
http://www.nytimes.com/1988/04/21/nyregion/crime-totals-confirm-fears-in-queens.html
Murder/Crack epidemic in areas around LIC and other places in queens, police having a hard time containing the spike in crime, sharpest increases in LIC
Sorry, I did see this when I moved here but cleaned out completely after Guiliani took office, thank god

Yes, in early 1990s there was a woman in front of rite aid late at night on 43rd, i stand by my claim. Clear as day, black woman with fishnets & heels, but kind short and chubby. Burned in my mind

BTW, gangs were pretty common in Willamsburg LIC – there was a movie called “Sunnyside” in the 1970s about it. Check it out

Of course, when youve lived here for so long you have rose colored glasses on. But the reality is it wasnt always great, as the NYT states in article above.




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burgermeister meisterburger

Hey Max, go check out the two article links I posted from the NYT and from the 108 pct relating to the 1980s and 90s
You are wrong…

Perhaps you never left your house in 55 years and didnt notice these things. Ive been here for 25 but at least I walk around a lot and obvously have seen more than you. Get out more….




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Max

@burgermister I recall both articles and checked your links. The NY Times article doesn’t even mention Sunnyside and is mostly about the Jamaica neighborhoods of South East Queens 114 in first 3 position of zip code. The DNA info article about the prostitution problem specifically states it was in LIC (hamburger hardware) and to a much smaller degree up by the Mets motel and Nichols strip joint on Queens Blvd. in Woodside. Sunnyside had no prostitution problem and that is why neither of these articles mentions a problem in Sunnyside because there was none. Yes Sunnyside saw an up tick in crime during the crack epidemic but so did every neighborhood in the city during this period as did most of America.That bomb called Sunnyside was a total piece of fiction. The only part of Sunnyside in the picture was the Queens Blvd. 7 subway el. All the news outlets on TV came to Sunnyside to dispell the false image the movie gave of the area. One news outlet went as far as to search for a group called the Skillman Boys. A bunch of Catholic High school boys who drank beer on the wall in Skillman park (Torsney park). Joey Travolta in an interview said the name for the movie was picked because it sound cool. So, I stand by my original post of you being a phony who gentrified nothing. You’re no hero just some guy who moved to a safe working class neighborhood and you could add a person in need of a remedial reading program to my list. As for your stupid remark about me needing to walk around the neighborhood I was raised in and raised my kids in, I can only say grow up and admit defeat, you lied (embellished) and was called on it. You probably brought that hooker to C-Town. That was the store at that site before Rite Aid.




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Ann

Bliss plaza? Is that the filthy ,disgusting ,pidgeon crap space, thats full of disease under the 7 train? Is that what its called? I would think they can find a cleaner spot than that. Gross!




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Pat

Again with the Sunnyside Yards. Has a study been done yet on what is in the grounds there and how it would affect people, especially children, living and or going to school there ??? Don’t think so. Thank you Michael Forest for your actions.




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Anonymous

Van Bramer stood up to the mayor and the shameless Phipps landlord so there is hope he will stop this monstrous misuse of western Queens. Let’s hope the wily Joe Conley is out of the mix. He’s the one who said “Sunnyside wants this,” speaking about the rail yards.

Wish to God JVB would fight against a toll on the bridge but he stays mum on that. Speak out for your people!




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Anonymous

JVB wants this more then anything trust me he puts up a good front wait and see –




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Anonymous

A toll on the 59th Street bridge would benefit Sunnyside. It would redistribute some traffic coming from eastern Queens and Long Island to other points of entry to Manhattan. Although I suppose if you’re one of the 10% of people in Western Queens that commute by car and you’re completely selfish then the toll isn’t so great.




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babsp

The biggest problem on the QBORO bridge is the large out of town tractor trailers They dont pay taxes here, clog up the streets around the Plaza Ban them and let them pay at the Tunnel




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Bowery Boy

No it won’t, it will give the City additional revenues, but it won’t discourage traffic. If you are heading into mid-town, you will still use the 59th Street Bridge.




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Anonymous

don’t worry JVB is not going to be a happy camper about this he will be crying a river if he was all for his constitutents then why is he always in the projects and not in sunnyside or woodside –




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Neziah Bliss

I’m not for gentrification either, but I’m weary of this protest.
The Sunnyside Yards development would help fight back gentrification by adding more affordable real estate into the area and increasing rental/owner volume- IF DONE RIGHT.
The BQX would add a much needed transportation link between Queens and Brooklyn and especially to areas that need it (Red Hook, Sunset Park, Queensbridge) – IF DONE RIGHT.
And the Court Square/Queens Plaza district was lost to the developers over 10 years ago – you’re a decade late and a dollar short.
I’m all for helping neighborhoods maintain their character through zoning and protecting future growth in Astoria/Sunnyside- but to protest these projects outright in the guise of standing up to gentrification and all you have is a rent freeze as your only solution??? That’s re-arranging chairs on the Titanic and protesting some possible life boats.
Pretty sure people will hate this view on this site- but if you trash my comment I’d at least like to hear your solution. Let’s hope it’s better than just a rent freeze.




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Anonymous

What makes you think they will be done right? Nothing else has. None of the housing in LIC is affordable, it has driven prices through the roof elsewhere and shows no sign whatsoever of changing its direct path of maximizing profit at all cost to the people of Queens. The BQX is a giveaway to developers who want to build luxury towers all along the waterfront. Buses are much more flexible and affordable. The QP district has changed heavily but the developers want even more! Many people think they have done way, way, way more than enough. Nobody is late or short! So you may want to denigrate people’s efforts from the comfort of your couch and computer but no one has to applaud you for it.




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A Person

I would just like to say that there is absolutely zero evidence in the recent history of rezonings and development in NYC that adding units, regardless of whether or not there are some affordable units in them, does anything at all to stop displacement. Literally everywhere in the entire city that has seen more development, the rent has gone up and the working class population has been displaced. Everywhere, every time, the same thing happens. For you to believe otherwise either means that you’re insane or you just don’t pay attention to the reality in front of your eyes.




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Neziah Bliss

A Person & Anonymous,
Sincerely asking: your plan is to flatline rent stabilized rent increases and oppose development in housing and transportation infrastructure across the board? Is that the 1-2-3 punch that is you think is going to stave off housing increases? I won’t be on the couch, I’ll be actively supporting affordable housing development and trying to improve the messed up rubric they have for it and also supporting improvements in transportation (which is one of the best equalizers out there). I know this isn’t a perfect solution, and many times it has back fired- you both are totally correct on that. But what’s the real plan you have to make a difference besides just rejecting development or any kind? Can you think of a neighborhood where that has worked?




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Bowery Boy

All of these proposals do not deal with the real problem. The real problem is that there isn’t any “Plug and Play” solution to the lack of infrastructure to support increased populations in the area. The idea of building over the Sunnyside Yards with anything other than Public Parks and Municipal Parking is absurd. There aren’t sufficient transportation resources to support additional populations, nor Firehouses, nor Sanitation Facilities, nor Hospital Facilities. If anyone thinks the BQX would be any help at all, they aren’t being realistic. That project couldn’t do anything but increase traffic congestion especially on McGuinness Boulevard which has become a Parking Lot during the day now. Kent and Franklin Avenues are all but impassible during the day, how would commercial deliveries to those new business on Kent Ave be serviced? Absurd is what these projects are, and until infrastructure is in place to service the increased populations projected, they will stay absurd.




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A.Bundy

i agree lets keep it looking like a dump from the 80s. who needs a nice nice neighborhood with better quality people and better businesses when you can have thugs, drugs, and stripclubs amirite?




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