Sunnyside just got authentic Tibetan cuisine in the form of the Tibetan Dumpling Café, now open at 49-08 Queens Boulevard between 49th and 50th Streets. The menu includes a number of Tibetan classics, including thali, a traditional platter including rice, lentils, curried meat or vegetables, cooked greens, yogurt and homemade pickles, thenthuk, a hand-pulled noodle soup and momos, the very delicious handmade Tibetan dumplings made of chicken, beef or vegetables. The cafe is the only exclusively Tibetan restaurant now operating in Sunnyside. Sunnyside Shines released a press release with this statement by the owner, Tashi Chopel: “The neighborhood is beautiful and filled with different kinds of food from many countries over the world. We decided to add a little taste of Tibet in the mix of all the beautiful flavors. Tibetan dumplings are a must-try – they are made from scratch from dough knotting and mincing meat, to shaping, steaming and serving fresh. Momos are a big part of the Tibetan culture!” You can see a photo of him in front of the cafe after the jump.
The Daily News also gave the Tibetan Dumpling Café a little love this morning; Chopel tells the News that he hopes to bring more familiarity and name recognition to momos. GMAP
Check out this awesome video by StreetsBlog chronicling the Bike Friendly Business District celebration that took place over the weekend in Sunnyside. This is Queens’ very first bike friendly BID. Over 50 cyclists showed up to visit and sample food from six of 70 bike-friendly restaurants in the area. Now, let’s get some CitiBikes in the nabe!
This Saturday, Transportation Alternatives and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer will be in Sunnyside to launch the first “Bike Friendly Business District” in Queens. What’s a bike friendly business district? Here’s what Transportation Alternatives has to say: “Sunnyside is home to numerous entrepreneurs who know that a network of bike lanes, bike parking and public bike share creates vibrant streets that boost local business. By offering special discounts to T.A.’s 12,000 members, Bike Friendly Business Districts become destinations for New Yorkers who believe in safer, more livable streets.”
There are a collection of more than 70 bike friendly businesses in Sunnyside advocating for bicycle and street safety. On Saturday, T.A. and Council Member Van Bramer will spotlight the local businesses with a leisurely bike tour around the neighborhood. It kicks off at 2 pm at the Bliss Street Plaza and lasts until 4 pm. Find more details here.
Community Board 2 chair Joseph Conley, along with leaders based in Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside, came up with a proposal to bring more affordable housing to the borough. The Daily News reports that in a letter to the city, the group highlighted four different parcels with the potential for rezoning. Conley wants taller, denser developments with at least 30 percent of the units priced affordably. The locations in question are an area of Queens Plaza, a triangle in Woodside bound by Broadway, Northern Boulevard and the BQE, a parcel in Sunnyside near Northern Boulevard between 43rd to 48th Streets, and finally on top of the LIRR tracks on Woodside Avenue between 63rd and 65th Streets.
This proposal is inspired by Mayor de Blasio’s pledge to preserve or create 200,000 affordable units in the next ten years. Conley expressed concern over the “Gold Coast” emerging in LIC — the abundance of new-construction developments where a one bedroom rents for $2,800 to $3,200 a month. A rep from the Department of City Planning seemed open to the push for affordability: “We appreciate [the community board’s] willingness to discuss the important goals of expanding housing that will be affordable to a range of incomes. We continue to evaluate the appropriateness of areas that can meet the goals of the mayor’s housing plan,” she stated.
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.