In anticipation of the holiday week coming up, enjoy this video by Sunnyside resident George Burles entitiled “Christmas in Sunnyside.” As you can imagine, there’s plenty of neighborhood Christmas cheer to go around. Thanks to Sunnyside Post for bringing it to our attention.
After a petition circulated to keep the Sunnyside Famers Market open all year round, the greenmarket will now open every Saturday from 8am to 3pm for the entire year. Previously, the market only stayed open May through December, but more than 1,000 residents as well as the community board pushed to extend it. Sunnyside Post spoke with Jessenia Cagle, the coordinator of the market, who said “I think the neighborhood is ready for it. There are a lot of people in the area who like fresh, local food—and they don’t want to have to go too far to get it especially in winter.” There are, however, residents opposed to the extended dates due to the loss of parking around the market location, Skillman Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets.
Right now around 16 vendors sell veggies, meat, fish and bread. Most are expected to stay on through the winter, except for the wine and fish vendors.
The owner of Sunnyside Center Cinemas is planning to shutter his movie theater on January 4th after the building owner decided to lease out the building’s air rights to a residential developer. The news was met with protest from the community, and the owner offered a lease extension of six months. But according to Sunnyside Post, “Rudy Prashad, the owner of the Center Cinemas, said it was not worth hiring new staff or unpacking his equipment for six extra months. His last day remains January 4.” Prashad said if he had been offered the extension three months ago he would have taken it.
Local residents still plan to protest the closure of the affordable move theater. They are holding a rally this Sunday in front of Center Cinemas from 12:30 to 1:30 pm. “We hope it might help open up a discussion between the landlord and the theater owner,” one of the rally organizers told the Post. There’s also a petition to save the theater with about 900 signatures.
What’s in a name? O Sole Trio consists of three musicians who amaze audiences with plenty of Italian music, especially opera arias and Neopolitan songs. But this Sunnyside-based ensemble also dazzles with virtuoso piano and violin playing, jazz and American pop standards, and a stage presence heavy on punny humor and crowd interaction. Erin Shields (center) provides the lush soprano. Giuseppe Spoletini (right) takes care of the baritone. And David Shenton, who is actually Erin’s husband, has the melodies. He can actually play violin and piano at the same time. They perform all over the world, but they like to do an annual show at Sunnyside Reformed Church because it’s close to home and they love the pastor and the congregation. So get ready for a cozy night during which “Figaro” might be followed by a Madonna tune in doo wop style, and then the crowd favorite, a diddy about a lonely oyster.
Details: O Sole Trio, Sunnyside Reformed Church, 48th Street and Skillman Avenue, Sunnyside, Saturday, December 13th, 7 pm, no charge, but donations accepted.
Soon after news broke that the landlord of the Sunnyside Center Cinemas planned to close the movie theater and lease 52,000 square feet of air rights to a developer, a petition emerged to save it. Here’s the brief explanation from the petition: “Petition is to save the Center Movie Theatre from demolition and have a new lease extended to current lease holder. The center is the last movie theatre located in Sunnyside offering fair prices for a movie ticket.” The Cinema sold $5 tickets to children and seniors and $7.50 tickets to adults. The goal is to reach 2,000 signatures by December 31st, so far there are more than 200.
The last day for Center Cinemas is January 4th. The building owner planned to charge any developer a ground lease of $750,000 per year for the air rights to build.
After the New York Times ran an op ed suggesting moving the Javits Center to Sunnyside Yards, the people of Queens (including this blog) collectively said “no thanks.” Now, Sunnyside Post notes there is a petition called “Please Do Not Build Over Sunnyside Yards.” A 12-person committee, including the President of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, started it last week.
The petition asks this: “An editorial appeared Sunday in the New York Times by a mayoral associate advocating a convention center over the Sunnyside Yards after it was already discussed as a site for affordable housing. During the previous administration, a proposal for 325,000 new housing units was proposed and public feedback was able to take that off the table. We need to speak up now!” Points made against development are the lack of infrastructure, lack of schools, and “that we residents seem be shut out of the process and an inner circle seems to be making all these decisions.” So far over 100 people have signed it, the goal is to reach 5,000 signatures.
Urban planners call it “wayfinding.” Wayfinding is a bit of an art, by which pedestrians or vehicles can be intuitively guided through city streets or transportation hubs. A good example of bad wayfinding would be Manhattan’s Penn Station or Port Authority Bus Terminal, both of which assume that visitors will be familiar with their idiosyncratic floor plans. Pictured in today’s post are the street instructions governing bicycle and motor vehicle lanes at the corner of 39th Street and Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside, found on the southern extent of the truss bridge that overflies the Sunnyside Yards.
The neighborhood fixture Sunnyside Center Cinemas is shuttering on January 4th, reports Sunnyside Post. The owner, Broadway Stages, John Ciafone’s 45-25 Queens Boulevard Realty Corp., bought the property in 2012 for $6,650,000. Now their plan is to lease 52,000 square feet of air rights to a developer to build out a residential development. According to Sunnyside Post, “The developer would have to pay a ground lease of $750,000 per year for those rights.” The ground-floor retail space would remain but would be completely refurbished. And next door, the bar PJ Horgan’s (also a tenant of 45-25 Queens Boulevard Realty Corp.) will stay open.
The Sunnyside Center Cinemas remained amazingly affordable throughout the years ($5 for children and senior tickets, $7.50 for adults) and the owner, Rudy Prashad, was negotiating a 20-year lease for the building before it sold. He told Sunnyside Post that “he would like to thank the residents of Sunnyside for their patronage over the years and plans on showing a free movie before he leaves.” What a bummer to say goodbye. UPDATE: The owner of the Sunnyside Center Cinemas is 45-25 Queens Boulevard Realty Corp., not Broadway Stages. The post has been updated.
Community Board Two, which represents Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City, is about to lose its longtime chairman. Sunnyside Post is reporting that Joe Conley, who has served as chair on the board for over 25 years, plans to step down. He is expected to announce his departure at the full board meeting tonight. Sunnyside Post notes that “Conley’s departure from the community board will result in the biggest shake up the board has seen in nearly 30 years.” The same leadership has been in place at CB2 for the last decade, and tonight the board will hold an election for chairman, first vice chairman, second vice chairman, secretary and treasurer.
Conley, who has basically served as the face of the community board, is credited for the transformation of Long Island City into a residential hotspot, and also served as chairperson for the Sunnyside-Woodside rezoning. “It will be an interesting transition,” Lisa Deller, head of the land use committee, tells the Post.
It looks like the commercial structure along Greenpoint Avenue between 47th and 48th Streets, which sold to a developer for $4,350,000, is not long for this world. Sunnyside Post spotted demolition permits that will wipe out three businesses (King Boulevard, SSS Video and Azteca Restaurant) and the upstairs dwelling units. No details on what will replace the strip, but our guess is that’ll be some kind of residential development.
When word of the closures first surfaced in October, it was unclear whether there would be a renovation or total demolition.