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Mural at Nelsons Christmas Shoppe is Gone

Photo: QueensPost

Aug. 20, 2010 By George Burles

The large graffiti mural on the side of the old Nelsons Christmas store, located at 42-24 Greenpoint Ave., was finally painted over yesterday by the new tenants.

The manager of Orchard Farmers Markets said that about half of the onlookers were glad to see the mural disapear, while about half were upset.

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I didn’t care for that graffiti-like mural either. I tried to appreciate it, but even after passing by it for about 2 years, I still could not like it.


I thought the mural was appropriate for Nelson’s Christmas Shoppe because of its “artsy” nature, but the beige wall is probably more appropriate for a farmers market. And I think long time resident is right about that open canvas of beige wall getting tagged any day now, if it hasn’t been already. (I miss Nelson’s, BTW. I thought it was so festive to see around the holidays, although I never shopped there because it was so expensive. Guess that’s why they closed!)


This store is dumping raw sewage and other chemicals into the storm catch basin in the street on 43rd Street between Greenpoint and 48th Street.

I have reported this store before and they received a fine from the Department of Environmental Protection. This store should be boycotted by all concerned citizens of Sunnyside.

Long time resident

Anyone want to take bets on how long before that wall is tagged? Say what you will about the quality of the mural (and I can see why some wouldn’t like it) but taggers don’t usually tag murals. A big expanse of freely painted wall though? That’s going to be hard for them to resist.

Long time resident

A mural doesn’t make a store appear dirty. It makes it look like it has a mural. A mural is not a tag. If you don’t understand the difference between the two, there’s no hope for you.

If you don’t like murals, fine, say you don’t like murals. But don’t suggest they make something look dirty, because that simply makes no sense whatsoever.

No one said it wasn’t the store owner’s right to do whatever he/she wanted to do with his property, so please take down the strawman you’ve created. It’s silly. What’s been expressed here are individuals disappointment that a mural that contributed to the neighborhood’ character is no more.

You seem to be confused about what the definition of character is. In the future, you can point your browser to to find the following:
1.the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing.

You seem to believe that murals are a bad thing. Others disagree with that. And we’re allowed to disagree.

I choose to live in Queens and Sunnyside specifically because I like the character of the neighborhood. I don’t want to live in the suburbs, or the Upper East Side, or Fifth Avenue, or Murray Hill, or Williamburg. If I did, I would live there! I don’t see how wanting to keep the neighborhood’s unique qualities is the same as believing that we’re a second-tier neighborhood, which you seem to think it the case.

also longtime resident

Whether it’s logical or not, it’s the APPEARANCE of a store that matters.
Why do we have to accept that Queens = dirty looking, tagged-up stores? Or “murals” as you say. What exactly was depicted there that was such a local treasure that it was worth preserving? If it is so important why didn’t you ask the owner to leave it there? Why not track down these beloved artists and get them to paint a new mural elsewhere, where it would be welcomed?

Besides, it’s the store owner and/or building owner who decided to paint it over. Given debate on property rights that took place over the pawn shops, then doesn’t this merchant similarly have the right to paint OVER the mural if he chooses? I still say good for them.

Still wish someone would explain how spray paint adds character to a structure and why this is seen as the best we can do because we’re in Queens.

Funny, many people signed a petition against a pawn shop but I didn’t hear of anyone demanding that this mural be put back.

Long time resident

Colorful mural =/= unhygienic/dirty. Those two things don’t go hand-in-hand, and it’s illogical to suggest they do. This is Queens. It’s not Fifth Avenue, nor is the location in a newly built strip mall in the suburbs of Atlanta.


Maybe, given that it is a store that will sell FOOD, they’d like it to look clean?! Why do we glorify things that look dirty and run down and call it “character”? What exactly do you even mean by “character”?

Good luck to them, I hope they do well and manage to keep the place looking clean.

This isn’t a nightclub or a bar.

Long time resident

Nothing gives character like beige! In all seriousness, this is New York City, not a suburb of Charlotte.


I think it’s about time this “mural” is has been retired. It was out of character for the neighborhood and I am glad to see this corner being re-vitalized. To me, it looked like glorified graffiti: eyeballs, garish colors, tags, and hip hip imagery. Now it looks pleasantly clean. I hope the new store there does well, but I do not want the produce store further down the street to suffer; let’s hope they can co-exist.


I agree w. longtime… This and other similar murals in the neighborhood, such as along the hardware store on 45th, add to the character. Completely different story than the pointless, horrible graffiti plaguing the area.

Long time resident

I’m sorry to see it gone. It gave the neighborhood a bit of character. Also, is a mural graffiti? It’s not like it was a gang tag.


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