03/27/15 4:00pm

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Both the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District and ReCreate Queens just launched a crowdfunding campaign to bring cultural programming to Sunnyside’s Bliss Plaza this summer. The plaza, which opened up last year, is located right under the 7 at Queens Boulevard and 46th Street. The goal of the campaign is to raise just over $5,000 by mid-April to kick off the performance series “Third Thursdays in Bliss Plaza.” The performance, planned to run between June and October, will provide residents with free concerts from different musicians and performers.

The performance series got its initial funding from Queens Council on the Arts, but additional funding is needed to carry the program through the summer. According to the Sunnyside BID, the first $1,000 of donations will be matched by the Neighborhood Plaza Partnership. As Rachel Thieme, executive director of Sunnyside Shines, says, “Bringing arts programming to Bliss Plaza helps create a more dynamic place and generates foot traffic and activity in the neighborhood, which benefits businesses, residents and visitors alike.”

If you’d like to donate, do so here.

Photo by Michael Rapp

03/26/15 10:00am

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Hey Sunnyside, here’s what’s coming for the corner of Greenpoint Avenue and 48th Street. YIMBY first published the rendering of the new development proposed by developer AB Capstone. It’ll replace a number of two-story walkups with both commercial and residential space.

The first floor of the new development will hold 6,400 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, and 6,200 square feet of community facility space on the second floor. Above will be 10 rental apartments averaging 780 square feet. According to YIMBY, construction will start in late summer and last 18 months.

Revealed: 47-16 Greenpoint Avenue, Sunnyside [New York YIMBY] GMAP

03/24/15 4:00pm

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Today, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer released the participatory budget ballot for District 26, which covers Woodside, Sunnyside, Long Island City, Dutch Kills, Astoria, Queensbridge, Ravenswood and the Woodside Houses. The ballot includes 27 different projects decided on by the community. After the vote, $1 million will be allocated to the most popular projects. Project proposals include technology upgrades at local schools, playground updates, an LIC bikeway, library improvements and street safety measures. Check out the full ballot here [PDF].

Council Member Van Bramer is hosting a Project Expo on Monday, April 6th from 7 to 9 pm at the Sunnyside Community Services (43-31 39th Street) so residents can speak with project delegates, see project presentations and learn more about the proposals. Voting will take place from April 11th to the 19th at a variety of locations throughout the district. Check out the locations here [PDF].

All Participatory Budgeting coverage [Q'Stoner]

03/23/15 1:00pm

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Why did the chicken cross the road? Well, it was probably to attend a Queens comedy spectacular hosted at a community art space in honor of an urban farm. This Friday, Sunnyside Comedy will present Funny By Nature, a jokefest with an all-star lineup, at Flux Factory, an artist collective/performance venue in Long Island City. The event’s goal is to raise money and awareness for the Smiling Hogshead Ranch (above), a budding, volunteer-led farm near LaGuardia Community College. More details on the jump page.

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03/19/15 9:00am

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Yesterday the Times highlighted Sunnyside in its “Living In” column. In our opinion Sunnyside is an easy neighborhood to love, and we think the Times agrees. The article discusses the close-knit community alongside rising real estate prices. A recent co-op buyer told the Times, “It looked like a viable, real neighborhood with a very mixed population, and it’s convenient to Manhattan.” There has been diverse growth that’s shifted the demographics away from the traditionally Irish-American population, with Ecuadorean, Colombian, Chinese, Korean, Bangladeshi and Mexican immigrants. (We recently took a tour of all the diversity within the neighborhood.) The article also talks about the recent controversy of the Sunnyside Yards development.

As for real estate: “Inventory is extremely tight.” Competition for larger properties, especially homes, is fierce. And that competition has pushed up prices, with a one-bedroom co-op asking $250,000 a few years ago now priced around $325,000. Near Sunnyside Gardens, single-family townhouses sell in the low $800,000s and two-family townhomes in the mid-$900,000s. Rental prices have also risen, with one bedrooms averaging around $1,750 to $2,100 a month.

Sunnyside, Queens, ‘Mayberry’ Near Midtown [NY Times]

Photo by Kevin Walsh

03/18/15 4:00pm

With all of the controversy brewing over Sunnyside Yards development, have you ever stopped to wonder how the 180 acre site actually came to be? All your questions will be answered in the video above, which was made by Q’Stoner writer Mitch Waxman and originally posted on his website Newtown Pentacle. Over 12 minutes, Mitch will take you from Long Island City in the 1870s to Mayor de Blasio’s recent proposal to build 11,250 units of permanently affordable housing over the yards. Worth a full watch!

All Sunnyside Yards coverage [Q'Stoner]

03/17/15 11:00am

I had made my way from Hunters Point east, hugging the Queens Midtown Expressway since I hadn’t used that route before (I won’t again; it’s boring) and drifting northeast, was edging through Sunnyside en route to the #7 train home. Once I got to 48th Avenue, I was met with a great deal of signage between 43rd and 45th Streets that wasn’t in English or even used Roman characters, and so the germ of a post slowly evolved in my brain.

I wish I could travel more, but when working, never have the time (I have had to settle for two weeks vacation per year throughout my working life) and when not working, don’t want to spend money traveling. Besides, I don’t want to do what the rest of the civilized world does on vacation.

On these couple of blocks on 48th Avenue, though, I can travel the world without bothering with airplanes, airport patdowns, or detainments by the Canadian authorities, which happened once in Vancouver when the authorities believed I had to be smuggling some kind of contraband. After all, all I had with me was a battered valise and an unshaven, long-haired appearance.

sunnyside.world1

A masjid, in Arabic, means ‘place of worship’  or a mosque, the word arriving in English from French and prior to that, from the Italian moschea, which is closer to the original Arabic. (more…)

03/12/15 9:00am

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Yesterday, I discovered that there’s another eight o’clock, as it tuns out there’s actually one in the morning.

That’s what time I had to get to the corner of 40th street and Queens Boulevard, as Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer had called together the Sunnyside community for a rally. The purpose of the rally was to protest the rough treatment which the MTA has offered 7 line riders of late. The 7 train, which is the central arterial of Sunnyside, is in the midst of a weekend maintenance cycle which has, and will, shut down the line for at least 12 weekends in 2015 alone.

This is in addition to a recent spate of week day service outages and break downs – which have spawned a series of local horror stories about 30 minute daily commutes stretching into two to three hour long endurance tests.

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More after the jump… (more…)

03/11/15 10:00am

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This morning at 8 am, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer held a rally to protest the terrible conditions on the 7 train lately. It was held at the the 40th Street subway station in Sunnyside. Van Bramer called on the MTA to release data on every train delay and service disruption over the last four months, and to tell the public when service is going to get better. (The Council Member said that the MTA took two months just to respond to a letter about recent 7 train delays.) He also invited 7 train riders to share their horror stories at the rally, which ultimately attracted a big crowd.

Stay tuned for full coverage of the event from Mitch Waxman tomorrow. And check out more photos of the rally after the jump.

Jimmy Van Bramer Plans to Rally Against Lousy 7 Train Service [Q'Stoner]
All 7 Train coverage [Q'Stoner]

Photo via Twitter

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03/10/15 9:00am

7-train-rally

So far this year, the 7 train has been riddled with service cuts and miserable commutes. And Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer has had enough. According to the LIC Post, he is hosting a rally this Wednesday to address the increasingly bad service on the line. He will also be accompanied by other 7 train riders sharing their travel woes.

Van Bramer stated that when he brings his complaints to the MTA, “They say the No. 7 train is one of the best in the city… and that the delays are caused by people jamming onto the train. This is blaming the victim.” He went on to tell the Post, “The weekend closures are bad enough, but compounded by all these rush-hour delays — it’s a disgrace.

To check out the rally yourself, it will be taking place during the morning commute, 8 am, on Wednesday, March 11th at the 40th Street subway station in Sunnyside.

No. 7 Service ‘A Disgrace,’ Van Bramer to Hold Rally Wednesday [LIC Post]
All 7 Train coverage [Q'Stoner]

Photo by Greg Mocker