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Meet a Sunnyside legend

Francis is a Sunnyside icon.

He has been opening the door for customers at the Dunkin Donuts on Queens Blvd (between 45th and 46th) for years and has become a legend in the neighborhood.

Strangely, he is not from Sunnyside but has been commuting here from the Rockaways and Manhattan for the past 25 years. He said he likes Sunnyside because people know him and are good to him.

He is very complimentary of residents. A couple (no matter their age) is often greeted by Francis saying: “It’s Romeo and Juliet” or a family will be told, “Sir, you have a beautiful family.” Even a dog is made to feel special.

The following video provides a tiny glimpse into the life of Francis.

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The man gets money from the government. Shares it with his family who also gets money from the government. When the money runs out after a few days, he begs the residents of Sunnyside .The money he gets from the suckers in Sunnyside pays for booze and drugs. So he’s getting paid twice.



He cursed at me as well when I didn’t give change. I called the location he was at and they said they’ve tried but can’t get him to stop what’s he’s doing. I purposely don’t go to that one anymore if he is there.


yes-the grunting and spitting change guy has been around these parts for years! A total fixture on Queens Boulevard. He annoys the crap out of me.


Can you yuppies get the hell out of Sunnyside already and go back to your high-falutin life in Manhattan. Oh wait … you can’t! AHAHAHA yea, the market is doing well for you losers…so instead you infiltrate our neighborhood and complain about residents that have been here longer then you.

Here’s a though, move to LIC! Vernon-Jackson has your name written all over it.


Such is life in the ‘Side… just go to the other DD if it bothers that much.

Personally I’ve never stepped in that DD ever – just one more homeless guy door handle to avoid.


gotta agree, the guy who grunts at you while spitting constantly on the sidewalk between the wendys and the bus stop is absolutely disgusting. there’s other homeless people in the neighborhood who seem to be much better about now turning the area into a toilet bowl.

as an aside, it seems the homeless population is growing in sunnyside. the associated recycling collection means that is generally at least one guy asleep on a stoop along 44th street at most times. Came across someone sleeping in front of our building at 11:30 last saturday. really adds to the streetscape, along with the dog crap and trash.

Lucky Lu

I get that feeling pressured to tip him is annoying, but that’s your own pressure your putting onto yourself. Don’t tip him, it’s that simple. This man commits no crime in opening the door and is much less an annoyance than the many of the clean cut working people we have to deal with each day. You know how many people DON’T hold doors, block subway doors, try to shove their way into the subway car before all the departing passengers are out? THOSE people are annoying. The woman selling bootleg DVDs all over the neighborhood? SHE is annoying (and committing a crime).


There are a few characters out there. Two that frequent Queens Blvd. are harmless, never ask for money and won’t accept money when offered. I’ve been taking them hot stew in the winter for years.

Just because someone is homeless doesn’t mean that they are a crackhead or dangerous. The “Bible Bum” as I call him sits by his cart, reads the bible and occasionally plays guitar. Harmless enough. The other whom I’ve spoken with is a bit out of touch with reality. I’m not qualified to diagnose his disorder but the only time in 6 years that I have seen him be even remotely threatening was when I saw him yelling at a parking meter.

The bigger problem that no one seems to want to address is that in a country that is supposed to have the best health care system in the world, these people aren’t being taken care of. They are left to get beaten up by drunken morons or die on the street.


SCG, all I mean is that it annoys me when people act as doorman in order to earn tips. I don’t need to be guilted into handing over 75 cents every time I buy a cup of coffee.

Why so angry?


I prefer him over the dude who asks for “spare change” while his spit pools around his feet.


I didn’t know Andrew Zimmern stopped eating bugs and was doing neighborhood videos (glance at reflection), and how hard could it be to mash two videos together and post a single one instead of splitting them like this?
Anyway, if he is opening the door why would it creep you or bother you? Does electronic doors bother you when they open by themselves? Anyway, if he has been there 25 years (i really doubt that) and he has never jumped anyone, I doubt he would jump you.


also,why doesnt sunnyside post profile somebody who is helping the neighbourhood,not some who is here to sponge off 80 year old neighbour cleans up outside her house and her neigbours house and minds her grandkids everyday,why not profile her!!!


He is a harmless soul and not hurting anyone. why not live and let live. if you find this poor soul annoying walk on the other side the of the blvd.


honestly, i walk by him and go to the dd down the block, it’s kind of gross to have what seems like a homeless guy opening the door.

Oppressed Masses

I wonder how the people who own and/or work in the Dunkin Donuts feel about his activity at the front of the store?


What an interesting story for the sunnyside post. I always thought that he was a homeless man. He always made me feel uncomfortable. Now I know his story. Too bad they do not offer him a job in the store. it would be great if he were working. How on earth did he find our dunkin to start with. Why us? I think he should alternate between this dunkin and the one across from bk. He is homeless right? The bid should clean hm up as part of their beautifulcaton project for our town.


what a bunch of heartless all about me snobs,,,a bitch waiter & a trak….hes been here longer than you im sure and he is a kind soul…if it bothers you go to starbucks ….sounds more like your snobby place…remember it could be you one day! please move back to manhattan — o thats right you probably cant afford it~!


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