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Sunnyside Shines Provides Grant to Local Restaurant–as Part of Effort to Combat Graffiti, Beautify Neighborhood

Photo: QueensPost

June 29, 2014 By Christian Murray

Sunnyside Shines, which introduced a program earlier this year to help business owners cover the cost of replacing graffiti-prone front gates, announced Friday that a local restaurant owner received a $500 grant to make the change.

I Love Paraguay, which is located at 43-16 Greenpoint Avenue, was the first Sunnyside business to receive the grant money, which was put on offer as part of a pilot program that was launched in February.

The program was introduced in an effort by Sunnyside Shines to help businesses come into compliance with new security gate regulations and to improve the look of neighborhood storefronts.

Transparent gates, according to Sunnyside Shines, contribute to a safer-feeling neighborhood during evening hours and allow window shoppers to browse even when businesses are closed.

Importantly, transparent gates also discourage graffiti by reducing the surface area available to vandals, according to Rachel Thieme, the executive director of Sunnyside Shines.

The gate replacement grant program provides a 50% reimbursement, up to $1,000, for Sunnyside businesses to replace their full metal security gates with a new gate that is at least 70% transparent.  By 2026, all businesses must install security gates that meet this standard.

“We wanted to provide an incentive for local businesses to come into compliance with the new regulations, as well as to contribute to a safer-looking neighborhood,” Thieme said. “We are glad that I Love Paraguay took us up on our offer and we hope to expand the program to more businesses in future years.”

Fabricio Ojeda, owner of I Love Paraguay, said, “We’re very happy with the new gate. When we close for the day people can still see the restaurant. Having an open gate looks better in the neighborhood and is good for business.”

Sunnyside Shines plans to make further grants to local businesses.

Businesses interested in taking advantage of the program should call Sunnyside Shines at (718) 606-1800.

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37 Comments

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Anonymous

Zero, sounds like you already your answer then. Not a member, don’t get to view internal records of a private organization. I can’t think of any reason for a private org to let any non-member view their records (hell, the community board is as public as it gets, and they still squirrel away their files where it’s inaccessible to you and I).

And on the topic of denied requests…I only see one such statement above, and it seems pretty slanted to me. It would be customary to provide some justification for a non-funding decision; its omission makes me wonder if we got the full story from Khalil.

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Zero the Hero

Not taking it personally at all, I’m taking Been Here 25 Years advice and becoming pro-active! He (or She) said why bother posting my questions about why this store was given a grant when it appears that several other stores requests were denied on this website when I could just ask The BID themselves. I’m going to stop off in person one day after work this week and see if their records/minutes on decision making are public record or if since I am not a member I am not entitled to veiw their records….

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Been Here 25 Years

Have gotten action on graffiti from Van Brammer’s office so don’t anyone tell me you can’t.

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Krissi

I enjoy our neighborhood’s murals. And they are rarely vandalized (with the exception of the school’s mural – so sad).

But the area has certainly come down with a LOT of graffiti lately, particularly 47th Ave from 45th – 50th St and 48th Ave. All over people’s homes too. Disgusting.

But a part of the blame lies with teh building owners too who don’t do anything about it.

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Zero the Hero

Been – just called them at (718) 606-1800 as per your suggestion to get their business hours. No answer, but I did leave a voice message with a “Rachel” asking to please return my call and advise me of when someone would be there to speak to. I hope to get there sometime this week to discuss the selection process….very curious to see how many businesses replyed and to veiw their 2 “old gate” submission photos that were required along with the application. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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realistic man

graffiti control in Sunnyside is a joke. Anything that happens South of Skillman is hardly addressed. the rate of income in our neighborhood determines the amount of care that is given to the situation. Just Look at Noonan Park. Yes its going under renovation, but what a “wonderful” environment for Kids. All the local drunks and homeless sleeping in the park…very safe for kids.. discarded empties of booze bottles litter the park, drug deals being done in the bathrooms (when they were open pre construction) and general litter strewn around the perimeter. and…never a cop in sight. Sunnyside needs relationships with the police and their lack of presence is in great part to blame. wouldnt it be nice if there was at least one foot patrol in our hood? and to know their names..to have an actual relationship with some officers that we knew? Jimmy and the PD are sorely lacking in equality for the various demographic sections of our community. and look at the Phoenix and adjacent buildings…been graffiti there for ages with no change…people behave according to the environment where they live. if it seems people dont care its because it appears the hood doesnt care…why not litter when there is already litter and overflowing trash cans everywhere

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bob

I like murals of recently deceased hip hop artists, when we lose the great ones we need to put the Krylon to the bricks. It helps the healing process.

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Zero the Hero

Sure thing. I’ll atop in on my way home from work this evening and ask them. I’ll let you know what they tell me…

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Been Here 25 Years

Zero: why don’t you just call Sunnyside Shines and ask your question rather than asking it in this forum. They will be happy to answer it. Or do you have a wise answer for that one also.

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Zero The Hero

Dear Been Here.

I don’t need to get in touch with them because I don’t care if there are murals or not, I was simply suggesting that if someone cares enough to investigate the idea of having them painted the old head of 5 Pointz would be a good place to start seeing how many of those artists have not found a legal space to paint since the 5 Pointz site was shut down.

What ridiculous question you refer to?

The one about giving money to a restaurant for a “graffiti proof window shopping gate” when the posted picture in the article clearly shows the old gate with no graffiti on it? I ask you, wouldn’t it have made sense to give the $500 to a store that had both a graffiti problem and a window display with merchandise or a nice artwork? Sunnyside Shines can spend their money however they like, I’m just curious as to what led them to the conclusion that spending the money how they did was in the Neighborhoods best interest..

Bartleby – Serious question, Do you consider The Rise and Shine Mural on 48th ave , The Sunnyside Mural on 40th St and The Mural on 43rd street Graffiti?

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Sunnyside Nostalgia

I will only approve of murals if they’re as clever and creative as the ones in Bushwick. Otherwise, no murals. Living here my whole life this it’s how graffiti works, the more you see it the more criminal activity there is around here. That’s how I and many of my neighbors interpret it.

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Been Here For 25 Years

Yes, we are living with many idiots in this community. Fortunately, they are too young to vote.

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Bob

Yo Hipsta, I know this guy who did this great Jay Z mural on 145th st, I will call him up see. I don’t know if he works Queens.

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The Original Hipsta Thugg

I am still 28 years old and living with my mother, my mom owns her apartment and and the value has gone up a lot lately. I think murals would make the value go up more because it makes the town like artistic and stuff. I can’t find a job since high school but if moms apt goes up in value she dont pressure me to get a job. Im too lazy to work.

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bartleby the scrivener

graffiti to brigten up the neighborhood yes, we are truly living with idiots.

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Been Here 25 Years

Hey Zero: Why don’t you get in touch with them instead of telling other people to do it. That’s what’s wrong with this neighborhood. No one does anything they just tell other people to do things. And call up Sunnyside Shines and ask them your ridiculous question directly. But I don’t think that you will!

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Sunnyside Is Blooming

Hey Sunnyside:

Let’s declare war on graffiti. Graffiti is not good. If you see any mail box or pole with graffiti take a picture of it, put the address down and email Councilman Van Brammer’s office. They will have it erased. Murals are fine but little things count also. Graffiti us a sign that no one in the neighborhood cares and we all care!

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Zero the Hero

Someone should get in touch with Meres and see if any of the old 5 Pointz writers would be willing to paint a few murals to brighten the neighborhood up. On a side note, will Sunnyside Shines be paying for new windows for the stores that invest in these new gates only to have the windows busted out by drunks stumbling home at 4 am or those damned rowdy teenagers I hear so much about these days…..

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Anonymous

@OHT It’s nice to see a non-joke comment by you. I would love to see murals on the gates as well. Any efforts that our business put into presentation and care for the neighborhood is a good thing, and I welcome it.

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Been Here 25 Years

I like the murals. As long as there is nothing obscene or insulting to any ethnic group or anything that promotes violence I think that there should be more of them in our neighborhood. The graffiti adorning the walls, mail boxes and polls in our neighborhood is terrible. It depresses me when I see it. And it takes away from our neighborhood. If people don’t like the murals that they see how about doing some research and finding a more interesting muralist. Oh, that means work. Easier to hide behind your computer and criticize everything. Blah, blah, blah.

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The Original Hipsta Thugg

Thanks Bobby. Lets hear from some pro mural people! Good for Sunnyside!

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The Original Hipsta Thugg

The people in this neighborhood who are against murals are idiots. They are colorful and give the neighborhood character. Even if you don’t agree with the content they are a positive. The artists will usually take care of them if they are defaced. I hate to say it but “people open your minds” the murals are much nicer than the ugly graffiti defacing Sunnyside! Give it a chance.

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Anonymous

@Zero Could always have been from after a cleaning. I’m pretty sure they have their crew do that service for businesses.

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Bob

What are you talking about? The mural on 43rd was untouched for like 8 years. The one on radio shack as well, the sunnyside one on 40th too. Blank wall=blank canvas. If something admirable goes up it has stayed up. I don’t have to even prove it. Take a walk around the neighborhood and look

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Khalil

4 Squared Flavors changed their gate 100% to the transparent gate but Sunnyside Shines rejected their grant. So much for support to businesses to beautify Sunnyside!

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begets

Graffiti begets graffiti. Spray painting a mural will only lead to some dirtbag tagging over it. Sad, but true

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Sunnysider

On a side note… I really like the sign and awning of this restaurant. Wish more businesses in Sunnyside put more effort into making their storefronts modern and presentable

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johnny baconstrips

oh god, no murals please. thugz w krylons cans cannot improve a neighborhood, sorry.

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Zero the Hero

Ok so let me get this right. They gave $500 to a restaurant to install a new “graffiti proof window shopping gate” to replace the old normal gate that apparently had no graffiti on it to begin with? Sounds about right…

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bob

I think if you are a graffiti prone business with a sweet ass wall that could be painted why not get one of the respected artists who did all the murals around town to increase your signage and visibility by painting an awesome mural. establish artists tend to merit more respect but also a sensor light and camera might help too.

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