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Skillman Avenue Holiday Lights About to Go Up

Photo: QueensPost

Nov. 4, 2011 By Christian Murray

Preparations for the Skillman Ave. holiday lights began last night with the installation of white snowflakes.

The lights, which will go up on Skillman for just the second year, stem from a $9,500 city grant from councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. Last year, the inaugural year, the lights were extremely popular with business owners and residents. This year Van Bramer is likely to extend them into Woodside.

The next step will be the process of getting permits and electrical connection. The lighting ceremony is set for Thursday, Dec. 1, at 6:30 pm.

Rebecca Barker, the president of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are very grateful to Jimmy for the holiday lighting.”  She said that Dan Glasser of Stray Vintage, attorney Ira Greenberg and Lily Gavin of Dazies are on the “lights committee” for the chamber as it is a multi-step process to get them up.

Van Bramer credits Gary O’Neil for bringing the idea of holiday lighting to him originally, and once again has scheduled the lighting ceremony to take place at Gary and Catherine O’Neil’s Aubergine Café in Woodside, on Skillman at 51st Street.

Father Brian Dowd of Queen of Angels Church is making a donation to help extend the lighting down to 44th Street, and Al Volpe of Woodside and Glasser have worked with Van Bramer’s office in his effort to extend the snowflakes in both directions.

The Chamber said that producers of the “Rememberers” donated $1000 to the lighting effort and the Chamber is waiting to hear if Vantage Properties, who made a donation last year, will once again assist financially in the popular decorations.

The Chamber tree lighting at Sabba Park at 50th Street and Queens Blvd. will be Tuesday, November 29 with a inexpensive prix fixe afterward at Dazies Restaurant. Meanwhile, Sunnyside Shines is holding its holiday lighting ceremony on November 22, between 6 pm and 8 pm.  Its lights will cover significant portions of Greenpoint Ave. and Queens Blvd.  The ceremony will be located on Greenpoint, between 47th and 48th Streets.

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I love the the holiday season and as a Skillman resident, I couldn’t be more thrilled with the snowflake lights, it gives Skillman a very special holiday presence that I am happy to walk by every morning and night!


It’s wonderful to live in a community that adds charm during the holiday season. I only wish they made more of an effort to clean up the Queens Blvd section (e.g., 39th-46st streets). It’s the first you seen/encounter when you step off the subway. We need more charm on Queens Blvd.


I would like to give thanks to all our store owners like Stray Vintge and aubgerdale and dazies and rebecca barkerwho are helping to make this a special holday season for skillman ave both merchants and shoppers alike. Nice to have unity and harmoney and peace . Lerts not foget our councilman brammer as well. and the churches.


The “holiday season” doesn’t start until Thanksgiving, as least that is my opinion. Why can’t we enjoy autumn, the leaves changing, apples and pumpkins. Snowflakes and Santa can wait a little while.


Nice idea. Sunnyside Shines should wait til after Thanksgiving to turn the lights on, like Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce is doing. It is so crazy to have this winter holiday/Christmas stuff get earlier and earlier, before Thanksgiving. Holidays are special because they happen during limited times.


Lily , I agree with you,, that are holidays lights are generic. So no one would be offended. and with the snowflake everyone can enjoy. Sorry if I offended anyone.

Sunnyside Post

Sunnyside Shines is holding its holiday lighting cermony on Nov. 22, between 6 pm and 8 pm.
Its lights cover significant portions of Greenpoint Ave. and Queens Blvd. The cermony will be located on Greenpoint, btw. 47th and 48th.


I love the lights! And Sunnysider, the holiday lights are shaped like snowflakes. I doubt any culture or religion will take offense to that.


Nice to see Skillman Ave come to life durng this holiday season. Between Christmas, Chanukah and New Years lets not forget Kwansa as well. We do not want to offent anyone. We could use some menorah as wel. we do have jewish people that live here. We hae a shul on 43rd street and 43rd ave. we have a temple in progress on 47th ave and 41 street. Plus our wonderul neighborhook churches on skillman ave and off 43rd ave. I just want to give equal time.

A Watcher

Skillman Avenue has transformed dramatically since its nadir in the late ’70s when the city was broke. It had no trees, many of the local businesses were original to the neighborhood but had lost customer bases, people with little to do but cause trouble held court on many corners. Thank you, JVB for putting a few elegant touches on its slow transformation into a source of bounty for all who live here.


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