Sunnyside Post reports that the coffee chain Caffe Bene is opening at 41-31 Queens Boulevard this February. Sunnyside Post says that “the Queens Blvd store, like all Caffe Bene franchises, will be selling conventional items such as brewed coffee, hot and cold beverages, pastries, croissants, sandwiches, waffles, gelato, and so forth.” There are currently six locations already in New York and New Jersey. Think it’ll be a good fit on this corner of Sunnyside?
The Pirogue is a colorful and compelling drama about 30 Senegalese economic migrants who sail to Spain in small boat, facing a treacherous Atlantic Ocean and the possibility of never reaching their destination. Return to Gorée follows Youssou N’Dour as the Senegalese singer traces jazz’s trail from Africa to the U.S. His goal is to bring back to Africa a jazz repertoire of his own songs to perform a concert in Gorée, the island that symbolizes the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Both movies will screen in Jamaica’s Black Spectrum Theatre on Saturday as part of the African Diaspora Film Festival. Now in its 20th year, the festival features everything from world premieres to classic movies and Q&A to panel discussions. On Sunday, Sunnyside’s Thalia Spanish Theatre will screen six movies: Papa National Oyé, a political satire of African dictators; Kinshasa Mboka Té, a documentary about the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo; Tula the Revolt, which stars Danny Glover as the leader of a slave uprising on the Dutch-occupied Caribbean island of Curacao in 1795; Amnesty, which depicts a young Kenyan couple living the American dream until an ICE audit reveals a damaging secret; Mother of George, which is about a Nigerian couple in Brooklyn that can’t conceive a child; and Spies of Mississippi, which tells the story of a secret spy agency that seeks to preserve segregation and maintain white supremacy in 20th century Mississippi.
Details: December 14th, Return to Gorée, 2 pm, and The Pirogue, 4:30 pm, Black Spectrum Theatre, Baisley Boulevard at 177th Street, Roy Wilkins Park, Jamaica, prices vary.
Details: December 15th, Papa National Oyé and Kinshasa Mboka Té, 1:30 pm; Tula the Revolt, 3:30 pm; Amnesty and Mother of George, 5:30 pm; and Spies of Mississippi, 8 pm, Thalia Spanish Theatre, 41-17 Greenpoint Avenue, Sunnyside, prices vary. (more…)
The Sunnyside Shines BID just announced a holiday photo contest in the neighborhood. Beginning today, if you see a nice holiday window display at a Sunnyside business, snap a photo and submit it to the Facebook page or tag a Twitter or Instagram photo #SunnysideWindowContest. Then you’re able to vote on your favorite submissions until December 18th. The business with the most votes will win a cash prize of $500. Do note: businesses must be located within the Sunnnyside Shines BID boundaries — properties fronting Queens Boulevard from 38th to 50th Streets and properties fronting Greenpoint Avenue from Queens Boulevard to mid-block between 42nd and 43rd Streets.
Sunnyside Post reports that the Family Entertainment Center, home of Paradise Café Billiards at 38-04 48th Street, closed up shop. Brokers are searching for a new tenant for the space, which includes two floors and a total of 52,000 square feet. According to Sunnyside Post, “Brokers are looking to rent the entire property for $23 per sqf. (including base real estate tax), equating to just under $50,000 per month. The owner is prepared to lease each floor separately, with the sqf. rate being slightly higher for the ground floor, but lower for the second floor where the dilapidated gymnasium was located.” The Pulse Fitness gym closed here in 2012. What do you think would best fit in such a large space?
More evidence of the “hipster market” coming to Queens: the Times Ledger reports that landlords in Sunnyside and Astoria are seeing some of the highest yields on rentals in so-called hip neighborhoods throughout the country. The industry research firm RealtyTrac narrowed down “hipster neighborhoods” throughout the states — a neighborhood where at least 20 percent of the population is between the ages of 25 and 34, at least 20 percent of residents either walk or take public transportation to work, and at least 50 percent of people in the neighborhood rent. Sunnyside’s 11104 ZIP code, which stretches east from 39th Street to 42nd Street, Greenpoint Avenue and 49th Street, was the five boroughs’ highest showing on rental yields, placing 12th. According to the Times Ledger, “11104 boasts average rents of $1,870 a month for a three-bedroom apartment and median property prices around $380,050. Investors can look forward to a 5.9 percent gross yield on their rental properties.” Astoria’s 11102 ZIP code placed 14th on the list. Average rents of $2,600 a month offer a gross yield of 5.69 percent. Following Astoria was Sunset Park, in Brooklyn, with a yield of 5.66 percent. At the very top of the list, RealtyTrac found the highest hipster yields in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and in Pittsburgh.
Sunnyside Post reports that the Meat Boutique, located at 43-15 Queens Boulevard, has shuttered. The butcher shop, which served fresh meats and prepared good, only opened in April. Yesterday the owner auctioned off a number of items in the store, including a walk-in cooler, cutting tables and grinders. According to Sunnyside Post, a listing for the business has been up on Craigslist for a decent amount of time.
The color! The rhythm! The songs! This homage deserves an homage! For five weeks, Thalia Spanish Theatre will present Heartbeat of Latino America (Al Ritmo del Corazon Latino). This brand new tribute celebrates the music and dance of 15 Spanish-speaking countries — Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Spain. Armando Moreno’s Mestizo Dance Company, which is known for festive skirts, sensuous gyrations and intense passion, will perform along with Harold Guitierrez and His Band.
This week city officials told Community Board Two there are definite plans to install shared and buffered bike lanes on 11th Street, 39th Street, 49th Avenue and Skillman Avenue in 2014. The Daily News reports that the city wants to create north-south connections and east-west connections with the lanes, as well as connections to the Pulaski Bridge, Queens Plaza, Hunters Point, and of course to Sunnyside. CB2 asked for more bike parking locations in Long Island City and city officials said they’d look into potential spots. The board initially approved these changes over the summer, so there was no controversy at the meeting this week. Back then, the city aimed to install these lanes before the end of the year, but it looks like the timetable’s been pushed back.
This one-bedroom, one-bathroom co-op at 50-21 39th Place in Sunnyside is asking $207,000. Given the apparent upgrades needed in the bathroom and kitchen, that price sounds high to us. (The listing doesn’t note the monthly maintenance, for what it’s worth.) What price do you think the apartment will ultimately sell for?
Food for thought… and munching. No Longer Empty, a nonprofit that organizes experimental public art exhibits, will host Conveying the Invisible, four site-specific “art interventions” addressing love, life, death and rebirth during the first-ever Sunnyside Restaurant Week. From November 4th through November 16th, art will be displayed as follows at the following restaurants: PJ Horgan’s (42-17 Queens Boulevard), Anne Katrine Senstad’sTears on a Coffin neon installation; Malingo (43-16 Queens Boulevard), live painting performances by Simonetta Moro; Venturo (44-07 Queens Boulevard), Carlo Steiner’sButterflies installation with butterfly-shaped wafers; and Nodus (45-04 Queens Boulevard), Erika Harrsch‘s Body Map and Eros Thanatos video installations. In addition, three of these artists will offer live performances on November 4th as follows: PJ Horgan’s, 11 am to 10 pm, Senstad’s Tears on a Coffin will be in the parking lot; PJ Horgan’s, 6 pm to 8 pm, Senstad will perform with a Mariachi band; Malingo, 2 pm to 7 pm, Moro will paint; and Venturo, 6 pm to 10 pm, Steiner will present Butterfly Maker.