Yesterday afternoon, reps from Sunnyside Shines, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and the DOT Queens Borough Commissioner Dalila Hall cut the ribbon on a brand new public plaza for Sunnyside. The 5,500-square-foot space in question is known as Bliss Plaza, located at 46th Street under the elevated 7. Construction started up to transform the previously unused area in June. Another plaza, known as Lowery Plaza, is located off of 40th Street and is still under construction. It should be ready to use by this fall.
The pedestrian space now boasts new, leveled concrete, tables and chairs, granite blocks and planters. Sunnyside Shines will also host events here. Check out a photo of the sweet new space in action after the jump.
Without a doubt, Louis Armstrong is the most famous jazz musician who ever lived in Queens. However, Satchmo often cited a much lesser-known borough resident, Bix Beiderbecke, as one of his biggest inspirations. Known affectionately as “Bix,” this self-taught coronet player had his own, distinctive sound described as “bullets hitting a bell.” He had his heyday during the Roaring Twenties Jazz Era before dying at age 28 in his apartment at 43-30 46th Street in Sunnyside, thanks largely to Prohibition-era alcohol. This Saturday with some help from Sunnyside Shines, Bix’s music and the Roaring Twenties will come to life at the 14th annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Concert.
Check out the full schedule and event details after the jump. (more…)
The Deal: Murphy’s Lobster Grill opened last October, an extension of the owner’s next-door namesake bar. Murphy’s Bar has been a Skillman Avenue staple for the last 10 years.
“When the space next door became available I decided to expand and run a seafood restaurant. There’s none in this part of Queens, and I have experience from my other restaurant in Mineola, Long Island,” says owner Mike Murphy.
The Sunnyside Library, located at 43-06 Greenpoint Avenue, will open this Thursday with a brand new roof. Sunnyside Post writes that the library closed on June 24th for the repairs — there were concerns that the roof would begin leaking. Construction was expected to last until August, but work finished a month ahead of schedule. Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, who provided $600,000 for the roof, said “We now have a roof that will last a generation and a library that will be open for most of summer.” The library received a larger interior and exterior renovation five years ago. The Thomas P. Noonan Playground, right across the street, is currently under construction and will not open until next summer.
Brooklyn has hipsters. Queens has Hip-to-Hip. This theater company, which specializes in family-friendly productions, performs Shakespeare classics for free in various public spaces throughout the borough each summer. This year, Hip-to-Hip will put on the Bard of Avon’sTwo Gentlemen of Verona, an early slapstick comedy about love, friendship, betrayal, forgiveness…and a dog, and Cymbeline, a late romance/fairy tale about a king, his only daughter, an evil stepmother, and a forbidden love. The professional actors will perform in repertory, and 30 minutes before each performance, they will host “Kids & The Classics,” an interactive workshop for children of all ages.
The above video has made the internet rounds, but we like it enough to post again. Filmmaker and Sunnyside resident Dan Toth created this ode to Sunnyside using a triptych layout: a multi-panel work consisting of three different sections. He shot it all using an iPhone in the portrait orientation. There’s a great explanation of Toth’s motivation behind the video at his website:
I made this video to show the quaint beauty and quiet, local feel of Sunnyside. Walking around to get all of the shots was a great way to learn about the area.
I chose this layout because I think displaying three different scenes together simulates what it’s like to walk around an urban neighborhood: there’s often a lot going on–too much to take in all at once–and you tend to notice things that you weren’t previously aware of as you pass through again and again.
We couldn’t think of a better way to capture one of our favorite neighborhoods of Queens.
Last week, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer kicked off Participatory Budgeting for his district with a community meeting in Sunnyside. Times Ledger attended, finding more than 100 Queens residents ready to discuss possibilities of spending $1,000,000 of the New York City budget. Times Ledger points out that besides Van Bramer, another 21 council members around New York will also participate in the 2014-15 fiscal year — an all-time high for the city. (more…)
Hey, Sunnyside residents: time to get ready for the 2014 Sunnyside Summer Strolls event series. This year’s series consists of two free arts events, which will take place on 46th Street under the Sunnyside arch. The first event is the Children’s Arts & Crafts Fair on Saturday, July 26th, the second is the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Concert on Saturday, August 2nd. Read about all the event details after the jump… (more…)
Tonight and Wednesday evening, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer is hosting a workshop and information session about participatory budgeting. The city awarded Van Bramer $1,000,000 for the 2015/2016 budget year, meaning that Queens residents in Van Bramer’s district can decide how the money is spent. The Tuesday night workshop is in Sunnyside, on Wenesday night it moves to Long Island City. As Van Bramer says: “Come to learn more about how this process will work and brainstorm ways to address community needs.” You can RSVP to email@example.com.
A Sunnyside standby is closing up shop. Sunnyside Post reports that New Post Coffee Shop, located on the corner of 40th Street and Queens Boulevard, shuttered yesterday. The coffee shop has been in the neighborhood for more than 50 years. According to the Post, “Several workers were outside the store carting away food items and pots & pans.”
It’s unclear why exactly the spot is closing, but New Post had previous problems with the Health Department. A source reports that it’ll be replaced by a fast-food franchise — saying “It’s a franchise everyone will be happy with.”