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Giving Thanks In Queens

Sunnyside Reformed Church Hosts Communal Feast

thanksgiving dinner queensNovember 24, 2014 / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Queens Culture / Queens Buzz. I attended the fourth annual Thanksgiving Dinner hosted by the Sunnyside Reformed Church. The purpose of the feast is to commemorate the Thanksgiving holiday and to celebrate community.

Reverend Neil Margetson and his wife, Gretchen, hosted the event along with the help of the Elder Vice President Marie Joyce and many others in the community [see slide 8 of the photo slide show]. The culinary crew, creators of the repast, included Chris and Karen Demarecaux who were ably helped by David Feffer [see slide 6 of the photo slide show]. There were a host of other helpers who set up the chairs and tables and attended the serving line. Reverend Margetson remarked that "Folks just chipped in and it all came together".

In the neighborhood of one hundred and fifty people came to celebrate the holiday, enjoy a good meal, and to socialize with others in the community. It was a record turnout for the event. The reverend started the feast with a prayer and the dinner was followed with spirited conversation. In the past the dinner has been followed by story telling and / or musical performance.

The next event is the ecumenical tree lighting on Thursday December 4th at 7 pm starting outside the church with a procession down to Queen of Angels Catholic Church followed by an appearance by Santa with hot chocolate and cookies. It's ecumenical because five neighborhood churches will be participating including All Saints Episcopal, the Grace Fellowship Presbyterian and the Christ Lutheran Church in Woodside. Reverend Margetson said that the Sunnyside Reformed Church is working to build a spiritual community through the hosting of cultural events.

Click here to view a slide show of the Thanksgiving Dinner photos at the Sunnyside Reformed Church. And click here to read a story about the Sunnyside Reformed Church.




'Damn I Look Good'

Art Exhibit At Topaz Arts In Woodside

damn i look good queensNovember 17, 2014 / Woodside Neighborhood / Art In Queens / Queens Buzz. On Wednesday I attended a performance of the Theater of the Oppressed NYC at Topaz Arts in Woodside. The performance is one of a number of artistic and theatrical programs organized in conjunction with a year long effort entitled, Beyond Sacred: Unthinking Muslim Identity, by the LaGuardia College Performing Arts Center.

On exhibit at Topaz Arts was a related art exhibit entitled Beauty, created by Qinza Najm of Manhattan. Qinza's work included a couple of oil on canvas paintings and a video, a photo still of which, you can see in the photo to your right. The intent of the art project was to challenge people's perceptions about Islam and Islamic garb.

The 911 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center killed 2,977 people and irreversibly changed the lives of the countless more who loved them. It also created a negative perception of all Muslims in the public eye, and hence also changed the lives for many millions of Muslims living in America who had nothing at all to do with 911. It's estimated that between five and ten million Muslims live in the U.S. - of which a third are believed to be from Africa, another third from southern and eastern Asia, and the remaining third from the Middle East. Is it estimated that there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, representing nearly a quarter of the world population.

Qinza's video has her wearing a black burqa in public places in New York City taking selfies [photos of herself as shown in the photo above]. The burqa has enscribed on it a Twitter hash tag followed by the art project name '#DamnILookGood'. The video includes Qinza's artistic statement that this is America and people of all cultures are free to wear what they want. In her video Qinza approaches people to try to get them to wear Islamic clothing for just a few minutes in public places in order to sensitize them to the current prejudicial feelings against them which is manifested through people's reaction to them while wearing traditional Islamic clothing. The burqa is the most conservative Muslim garb worn by Muslim women and is part of the ancient Islamic tradition of women completely covering their entire bodies when out in public.

We'll have more on this art exhibit and the Theater of the Oppressed at a later time.


Luke Adams 1938 - 2014 | obituary luke adams sunnyside ny
Luke Adams 1938 - 2014

Luke Adams 1938 - 2014

Small Town In The Big City

November 13, 2014 / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Queens Buzz. A warm hearted, quick-witted, long-time Sunnysider passed away earlier this week. He was a giver, not a taker.  A lot can be said about Luke Adams, as there are as many tales to tell about the man as there are leaves on the trees in Sunnyside Gardens in summertime.

Luke grew up in Queens and as a fairly young man settled into Sunnyside. He ran a travel agency and took folks to places around the world. Lily Gavin of Dazies Restaurant shared Luke’s passion for travel and she joined him on a number of trips. Luke was, by nature, an adventurer.

Luke’s travel agency was adjacent to the office of the Woodside Herald. He became good friends with Joseph Sabba and his son Buster, both of whom were publishers of the Woodside Herald [in respective succession]. Luke assumed the role of a reporter and photographer for the paper, and he enjoyed those roles, which he would play in some manner for the rest of his life.

Click here for the rest of the story about Luke Adams Sunnysider.





Durga Puja Ends

Hindu Celebration Of The Goddess Mother Of Life

durga puja queens sunnysideOctober 13, 2014 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Ethnic Culture / Queens Buzz. Sunday evening I was walking home along Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside. Near 42nd Street one of the buildings was all lit up and a small group of people were standing outside conversing. I could tell by some of the signage that this was the Hindu celebration of Durga Puja so I asked if I might take a few photos and talk to some of the people. And the folks from the Bangladesh Puja Samiti of New York cordially invited me in.

There were two floors of activity. On the top floor there was a musical performance in process. It was a Bangladeshi group playing traditional Hindu music with a female vocalist singing the beautiful operatic songs similar to those heard in the Hindu movies. The room was filled to capacity, with entire families sitting together enjoying the music. There were hundreds or more in attendance.

I made my way back to the front of the building and Das Gupta, President of the Bangladesh Puja Samiti of New York, invited me to visit the shrine downstairs and to break bread with them. We headed downstairs ... more to come about Durga Puja in Sunnyside - including photo slide show - at a later date.


SS Oktoberfest Draws Large Crowd

Through Rain & Cold Oktoberfest Goes On

sunnyside gardens park oktoberfest photosOctober 13, 2014 / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Queens Buzz. On Saturday afternoon I headed into Sunnyside Gardens Park to attend their annual Oktoberfest. As the neighborhood continues to attract younger families the event has grown in size and attendant events and facilities. This year seemed to be a continuation of that trend, as new rides were added alongside some of the old ones.

It was a cold damp overcast day. The temperatures were hovering around 60 accompanied by an intermittent drizzly rain. But the weather didn't seem much to dampen the Oktoberfest attendance nor the spirits of those who attended.

In addition to the rides, which this year included a kiddy ferris wheel, there was a beer bar, a number of arts and crafts vendors and a number of performers who entertained many of the kids and their parents.

A photo slide show will be posted at a later date.


Affordable Housing In Queens - Hunters Point South | affordable housing queens hunters point south affordable housing lic sunnyside queens
Affordable Housing In Queens - Hunters Point South

Hunters Point South Opens Spring 2015

'Affordable' Housing Applications Begin Mid October

September 29, 2014 / Sunnyside NY / Sunnyside Real Estate / News & Analysis / Queens Buzz. On Monday evening I headed over to Sunnyside Community Services Center to attend the Hunters Point South Affordable Housing meeting. Several years ago the Hunters Point South development was approved by Community Board 2 and subsequently approved by the New York City Council and Mayor. Click the link above to read the earlier report.

The site has been under construction for years, and according to a Related Companies spokesperson at the meeting, the two towers containing affordable housing are to open to residents in the Spring of 2015. Naturally this assumes that all goes according to plan.

Hence on Monday evening, Related Companies representatives in tandem with Community Board Chairman Joe Conley, NY CCM Jimmy Van Bramer, NYS Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan [and NYS Senator Michael Gianaris was scheduled to appear but did not make it] - began the outreach to the community regarding the application process for the low income and affordable housing units in the two buildings.

hunters point south affordable housing aptsAttendance and interest by the community was very high and folks who arrived late were turned away as the Sunnyside Community Service Center was filled to capacity. That said there are two more of these outreach programs scheduled, the details of which you can find in our Things To Do calendar in the Business section. Click these links to gain a broader perspective of the Long Island City Neighborhood in which these units reside, as well as of the LIC real estate market for apts and condos or the Long Island City real estate market in general.

Full Report Contains Slides & Info On Qualification & Application Process For Hunters Point South Affordable Housing Units In LIC & Evaluation Of Affordability Versus Income & Apt Rents In LIC

Click here to read the rest of our report, including a photo slide show of the presentation of Affordable Housing in Hunters Point South in LIC Queens. I left out most of the presentation that dealt with how to set up a Housing Connect Profile and how to fill out the online application as it seemed pretty straightforward and you can also call the NYC Housing Authority [aka NYCHA] if you need help.



Not Laboring On Labor Day

sunnysideSeptember 1, 2014 / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Queens Buzz. Labor Day was signed into law by Grover Cleveland in 1887. The day was designed to commemorate the achievements of the American working class.

At the time Labor Day was made a holiday, the union labor movement was growing in strength due to the abuses of laborers by their employers. At the time the nation was emerging as an economic powerhouse and mining, agriculture and manufacturing were the primary sources of jobs. Long hours, child labor and poor working conditions fed the desire of workers to unite to bargain collectively with their employers.

Things have changed quite a bit since then, and agriculture which accounted for half the jobs and mining and manufacturing which accounted for another third of them, now collectively account for about 15 - 20% of the entire economy. America has become a nation of white collar and service workers.

Unions lost a lot of popularity in the latter part of the last century - not just because of the changing nature of employment - but also because union pay was invariably much higher than that of non-union workers, and many of the union jobs were paid for directly or indirectly by the government [eg. government employees, teachers, air traffic controllers, highway & other public construction, law enforcement, military gear manufacturers]. Perhaps more significant was that as international trade tariffs were decreased or abolished; American companies began exporting American jobs to other nations where worker compensation was far lower, and workers' rights and collective bargaining were not well established.

In the photo above a number of folks enjoy time off at a recently refurbished plaza underneath the subway line along Queens Blvd and 46th Street in Sunnyside.


New Bridge Over Troubled Water

Kociuszko Bridge Begins Transformation

new kosciuszko bridge queensAugust 11, 2014 / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Queens Business / Queens Buzz. I attended a town hall meeting at the Sunnyside Community Services Center in July where the Department of Transportation presented its plans for the erection of a new bridge over Newtown Creek, replacing the current Kosciuszko Bridge. The Kosciuszko Bridge is the main thoroughfare connecting Queens and Brooklyn.

We were told that this bridge represents the largest infrastructure investment by New York State ever. It's important to note that this statement was made based on total dollars, not the value of the dollars as measured in real terms [meaning a million dollars a century ago was worth far more than $1 million today].

The effort has already begun as the project has been awarded and the companies working on the effort have begun their preparatory work. Actual physical construction of the bridge will likely begin in Spring of 2015. The project will be done in phases. The first phase will be the erection of half of the new bridge alongside the current bridge. Once that is completed, they will tear down the Kociuszko Bridge and move traffic onto the new half bridge. Finally they will erect the second half of the bridge. The new bridge will include bike lanes and will have a far less steep rise than the old Kosciuszko Bridge. A rendering of the new bridge is shown above.

We'll post more, including a photo slide show later this week.


Where For Art Thou?

Hip To Hip Theatre In The Park Keeps Wisdom Of Old Bard Alive In Queens

shakespeare in the park in queensAugust 4, 2014 / Sunnyside Neighborhood & LIC Neighborhood / Queens Buzz. I attended one of the four Shakespeare in the Park performances this past weekend in Queens. Two Gentlemen of Verona was performed in Cunningham Park on Thursday and in Gantry State Park on Saturday and Cymbeline was performed in Sunnyside Gardens Park Friday evening and in Socrates Sculpture Park in LIC on Sunday evening.

Hip to Hip Theatre Company of Woodside was the theater company performing the 400 year old works which contain themes of love, friendship, greed, envy and (dis)trust that remain relevant to this day.

The actors wear microphones connected wirelessly to speakers, so that the audience is now able to hear every word they utter. In the early years of outdoor theater this wasn't possible. Thus technology has made watching outdoor theater far more enjoyable, not to mention easier on the actors' and actresses' vocal chords so that this weekend four performances were possible without so much as hearing one hoarse voice.

The free Shakespeare in Queens parks continues through the coming two weeks.


Apollonia Gallery - Art Gallery & Furniture In Sunnyside

apollonia art gallery vintage furnitureJuly 20, 2014 / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Queens Shopping / Queens Buzz. Sunday was the grand opening of a new art and furniture gallery in Sunnyside. It was well attended by a number of local artists, photographers, musicians and prospective clients.

Queens musicians Smidge Mallone & Matthew Dallow were there to 'jazz' things up. And Murphy's Lobster Grill, only a couple of doors down, provided oysters to go with the wine that was being served.

As it was a near perfect day and the opening was well attended, folks also gathered outside. Photographer Greg Stowell was in attendance, as several of his works were on display. And Ged Merino of Bliss on Bliss Studio of Sunnyside also stopped in to check things out.

Ann Margaret O'Connor will be operating the gallery and store at 48-14 Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside. 917.832.6631.


Brooklyn Grange & Edible Queens Host Butcher Paper Dinners | brooklyn grange edible queens butcher paper dinners queens lic
Brooklyn Grange & Edible Queens Host Butcher Paper Dinners

Relaxing Rooftop Repast On The Grange

Edible Queens Hosts Farm Fresh Dining Days @ Brooklyn Grange

FYI - STILL A WORK IN PROCESS

May 25, 2014 / Astoria LIC & Sunnyside / Food, Beer & Wine In Queens / Queens Buzz. I just returned from a very relaxing Memorial Day Weekend afternoon, spent out in the country, on a farm, enjoying a farm fresh dinner with a very laid back Queens crowd from many different walks of life.

I didn’t leave the city. I didn’t even leave Queens. And in fact, I barely left Sunnyside. But I felt like I had gone many, many miles away; into the rolling green farmlands and golden sunshine of … well … rooftop Queens.

I took the elevator up to the Brooklyn Grange, high atop the Standard Motor Lofts Building along Northern Blvd in LIC. It was like entering a tele-porter, that took me up and away from the city into Queens farm country.

Edible Queens, a quarterly magazine about dining & culture, organized the dinner which is one of a series they’ve entitled Butcher Paper Dinners. They have planned and scheduled five more of these afternoon / evening dinners between now and October so you’d best rsvp if you’re interested because once word gets out about these dinners, tickets are likely to go fast.

The afternoon consisted of sipping unique blends of local beers made in LIC and crisp golden Reisling wines grown and made in upstate New York; while sampling freshly cooked tasso beignets and boiled crawfish by one of NYC’s celebrated chefs.

Click here to read more about the Edible Queens dinners at the Brooklyn Grange rooftop farm in Queens.



Taste Of Sunnyside Photos 2014 | taste of sunnyside photos restaurants sunnyside queens photos taste of sunny side restaurants queens sunnyside
Taste Of Sunnyside Photos 2014

Taste of Sunnyside in Photos

May 20, 2014 / Queens Restaurants / Sunnyside Restaurants / Queens Buzz. I attended the New Taste of Sunnyside which was held underneath the #7 subway line at 46th Street in Sunnyside.

One might think that this location could be distracting with the subway moving to and fro overhead, but with the live musical performances going on in the foreground, I didn't once - during the hour and a half that I was there - notice the subway overhead.

The crowd attending this event has changed over the years. This year the people in attendance seemed to be primarily in their 20's, 30's and 40's. In prior years, many of the attendees had already endured an additional decade or two of wear and tear.

I was informed that there were well in excess of 600 paying attendees, and a number of additional tickets were distributed for business and charitable purposes. Rachel Thieme, Sunnyside Shines Executive Director, was the primary organizer supported by the Board including John Vogt, Chairman and Artie Weiner, Treasurer - all of whom are shown in the slide show included in this report.

Click here to read the rest of our report including a slide show of photos of Taste of Sunnyside 2014.



Tax Prep Down To The Last Minute

tax preparation services in queensApril 15, 2014 / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Queens Buzz. As I made may way home late Tuesday night, on a miserably rainy evening, I couldn't help but notice that a tax preparation office was bustling with activity [see photo].

It was April 15th, the last day for posting one's taxes without having to file for an extension. And there in the offices of a local tax preparer were easily a half dozen people who appeared to be waiting to meet with a tax specialist in order to complete their 2014 taxes.

As in the past I've been in this situation myself, I am not making any judgments about waiting until the last minute. Just happy, I guess, that this year I actually beat the crowd.

The same thing happened with the Affordable Care Act applications [see story below], as over one million people filed their applications in the last week. I guess we're all getting used to doing things in 'real time'.


St Patricks Day Parade in Queens & Photos 2014 | irish in sunnyside irish in woodside luke adams st pats for all parade in queens gay lesbian parades in queens
St Patricks Day Parade in Queens & Photos 2014

De Blasio Presence @ St Pat’s Day Parade ...

Creates Media Frenzy As New Mayor Makes A Statement About Inclusion

March 2, 2013 / Ethnic Culture in Queens / Sunnyside & Woodside / Queens Buzz. I attended the St Pat’s For All Parade in Queens on Sunday afternoon. It was an overcast day, with temperatures in the 30’s. Speeches and an Irish cultural celebration began at 1 pm, followed by the parade which was to begin at 2 pm, but didn't get going until about 2.45 pm.

This year I skipped most of the pre-parade show and, like many in the crowd, awaited the presence of Mayor Bill de Blasio. De Blasio is the first Mayor of NYC to politely decline to march in the Manhattan St Patrick's Day Parade because it bans gays from marching in it.

The Mayor's presence included an increase in the presence of NYC elected officials who attended the parade. This included the new Queens Borough President, Melinda Katz, which is worth noting since it's the first time a Queens Borough President has attended this parade since I began covering it in 2008.

Click here to read our report about and view photos of the St Pat’s Parade in Queens, including a photo slide show.



Independent Film In Queens - Freedom Summer | independent film in queens freedom summer indie films in queens
Independent Film In Queens - Freedom Summer

African American History Revisited

African American Film Makers Explore Their Predecessors' Experience With Fresh Lens

Film Event In Sunnyside

February 17, 2014 / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Film in Queens / Queens Buzz. On Saturday evening, February 22nd, the East Coast premiere of Freedom Summer is being hosted at the Sunnyside Reformed Church. Emmy Award winning filmmaker, Stanley Nelson, will be on hand to discuss the making of the new film which premiered at the Sundance 2014 Film Festival in January.

I spoke with Stanley via telephone about the documentary, which covers the summer of 1964 when Mississippi was burning. White Mississipians expected African Americans to bow their heads in deference and to step aside on sidewalks as white folks passed. Mississippi had a whole host of laws and customs set in place which denied African Americans their full rights as American citizens, and as fellow human beings. And anyone - white or black - who tried to question the norms; felt the wrath of the white supremisists who embraced the culture.

About seven hundred students from around the nation [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee] went down to Mississippi to help African Americans exercise their rights. Three of them - Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Early Chaney - went missing. After intense media / television coverage and national outrage, the FBI began a manhunt. The victims' bodies turned up 44 days later. All three had been shot at close range. The photo above is a still from the film Freedom Summer.

The documentary incorporates historical photos and media coverage and a little heard recorded telephone conversation between LBJ and J. Edgar Hoover. This report also includes background on film maker Stanley Nelson who runs a film making company / incubator in Harlem as he will be present to discuss film making at the event. Click here to read the rest of our report about Freedom Summer - premiere of an independent film in Queens or click here to rsvp a ticket to the free East Coast film premiere in Queens.



Luke Adams - The Irish in Sunnyside & Woodside | irish in sunnyside irish in woodside luke adams
Luke Adams - The Irish in Sunnyside & Woodside

Irish Eyes - The Luke Adams Fundraiser

February 7, 2014 / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Queens Buzz. There's a benefit / fundraiser planned for Monday, February 10th at Murphy's Lobster Grill on Skillman Avenue at 49th Street in Sunnyside. The event is in honor of Luke Adams and scheduled to run between 5 and 8 pm. The Sunnyside Artists Organization is sponsoring the event which is open to the general public.

Luke has been an avid Sunnyside community supporter for longer than most of us have been alive. Patricia Dorfman, Luke's friend and also an active member of the community herself, wrote the following piece about Luke's contributions to the community and current situation, to help promote the fundraiser. The photos were shot and added by Queens Buzz.

In the photo at right, NYS Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan with Luke Adams. Click here to read Patricia Dorfman's story about Irish Eyes in Sunnyside, the Luke Adams fundraiser on February 10th at Murphy's Lobster Grill from 5 to 8 pm.



Snowstorm Blankets Queens & NYC

queens neighborhoods weatherFebruary 3, 2014 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Buzz. Around 4 am this morning, the light drizzly rain that began falling late in the evening, turned to snow. The snow kept coming in a slow steady stream and as of about 1 pm Queens & NYC had received between three and five inches of snow. The National Weather Service is predicting that we will receive between five and eight inches of snow.

Alternate side parking has been suspended as have trash pickup and recycling operations. After school sports and activities have also been cancelled. Traffic conditions aren't good and the snow advisory is in effect until about 7 pm.


Thanksgiving Filipino-American Style

topaz arts bliss on blissDecember 1, 2013 / Sunnyside Neighborhood & Woodside Neighborhood / Ethnic Culture In Queens / Queens Buzz. On Saturday I attended a fundraiser co-hosted by Bliss On Bliss Studio of Sunnyside with Topaz Arts in Woodside. The proceeds of the benefit were to go to the Filipino survivors of the Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda. The event was scheduled for the Thanksgiving Weekend.

A donation of $25 was made at the door and there was a table of light fare and beverages provided along the far wall. Inside Topaz Arts were wooden sculptures on display from Mamerto Tindogan's solo exhibit entitled Unearthing The Magic, which ended this weekend. Mamerto is a native carver from the island of Luzon in the Philippines and I would soon see him perform an ancient chanting ritual.

Click here a bit later in the week to view the rest of our report, including a photo slide show of some of the art and performances provided to raise funds for the survivors of the Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda.


Melinda Katz Wins Boro Presidency

Bill de Blasio Becomes Mayor Elect

nyc municipal elections politics in queensNovember 6, 2013 / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Queens Politics / Queens Buzz. Democrat Melinda Katz handily won the Queens Borough Presidency with about 80% of the vote, defeating Republican Tony Arcabascio with less than 18% of the vote and Independent Everly Brown who won about 2% of the vote.

Katz's victory was expected given that the borough is comprised of about 80% Democrats and less than 20% Republicans.

In other contested Queens borough races, Mark S. Weprin won re-election to the NYC City Council. And Democrat Costa Constantinides won 66% of the vote defeating Green Party candidate Lynn Serpe (15%) and Republican Daniel Paterson (11%). He will replace Peter Vallone as Astoria's City Councilmember.

In other City Council races, Peter's brother Paul Vallone won in a very tight race. Daneek Miller, Rory Lancman and Elizabeth Crowley won handily. And the race between Republican incumbent Eric Ulrich and Democrat Lew Simon was very close and possibly contestable.

Bill de Blasio's victory was also expected, as the polls had shown him leading Republican Lhota by a wide margin. It's worth noting that there hasn't been a Democratic NYC Mayor since Guiliani won the position in 1994, some 20 years ago.

Some pundits believe that this is referendum on the Bloomberg Administration. Bill de Blasio's campaign theme of the 'Tale of Two Cities' - meaning the wealthy and everyone else - appears to have struck a resonant chord with the voters.

We wish both de Blasio and Katz the best in the coming years and hope they will govern wisely.

Click here for prior Queens Buzz election coverage and politics in Queens.


Sunnyside Gardens Park - Flicks in the Garden | sunnyside gardens park flicks in the garden at Sunnyside Gardens Park
Sunnyside Gardens Park - Flicks in the Garden

Flicks In Sunnyside Gardens Park

More Fun Than A Barrel Of Monkeys

September 30, 2013 / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Film in Queens / Queens Buzz. Saturday night, in the neighborhood of about one hundred kids and about four hundred people in total, descended on Sunnyside Gardens Park for a soiree of food, fun and flicks in the garden.

The event was hosted by Sunnyside Gardens Park and open to the general public. There was make-up, crafts, dance, food and flicks. The event was emcee'd by Ty Sullivan, the local tall, slim and very red mad hatter. Ty seemed to have a knack for getting the kids worked up over great cartoons like Betty Boop and Jack Frost. Like last years presentation of Flicks in the Garden 2012, Tommy Stathes provided the cartoon films.

I arrived a bit after dark and had missed some of the fun, but quickly found a general willingness to share it post facto. Click here to read more about Flicks in the Garden in Sunnyside Gardens Park in 2013, including photo slide show.



Sunnyside History:  Lou Lodati Playground | lou lodati playground in sunnyside louis lodati sunnyside chamber of commerce kiwanis club sunnyside lou lodati lowerys wine & liquor sunnyside
Sunnyside History: Lou Lodati Playground

Sunnyside History: The Story Behind The Name Of The Lou Lodati Playground At 43rd Street & Skillman Ave

Renovated Torsney / Lou Lodati Playground Re-opens

July 14, 2013 / Sunnyside / Wine in Sunnyside / Sunnyside History / Queens Buzz. On June 22nd the Queens Park Commissioner, Dorothy Lewandowski and Sunnyside NYC Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer announced the re-opening of what most of us know as the Lou Lodati Playground in Torsney Park in Sunnyside.  Over the past two years, a number of renovations have been made to renovate the park facilities, and a dog run was added to accommodate a growing dog population in the Sunnyside neighborhood.

This story includes a brief description of some of the changes made to the park, including a few before and after renovation photos. But this story primarily delves into the story of the man after whom the playground was named in 1999 - Sunnysider & one of the Lowerys Wine & Liquor founders: Lou Lodati. The Lodati story is about early 20th century immigration to America, about the evolution of the wine business in the borough and nation, and about an evolving Sunnyside community.

The photo to your right was taken circa 1937 when Lowerys Wine & Liquor store opened to the public. In the photo from left to right are Alfred & Louis Lodati, Albert Garbarino [Maria Lodati's husband], Valentino Simone [Philomena Lodati's husband] and Anthony Lodati.



St Pats Parade in Queens | st pat's parade in queens st pats day parade in queens sunnyside woodside
St Pats Parade in Queens

St Pat’s Day Parade In Queens

St Pat’s For All Parade & Political Pageantry

March 5, 2013 / Ethnic Culture in Queens / Sunnyside & Woodside / Queens Buzz. I attended the St Pat’s For All Parade in Queens on Sunday afternoon. It was a crisp Spring day, with temperatures in the 40’s, and even warmer in the ample sunshine. They had scheduled an Irish cultural celebration to begin at 12.30 pm, followed by the parade which was to begin at 2 pm.

The celebration included a number of Irish dances performed by Niall O’Leary’s School of Irish Dance and Caroline Duggan and the Keltic Dreams of PS 59 in the Bronx [see photo]. There were also musical performances by several groups, including the Brian Fleming Band which has been a regular performer at the St Pat’s For All Parade for years.

And of course there were speeches ... click here to read the rest of our report about, and view our photos of the St Pat’s Parade in Queens, including a photo slide show.



Turkish Cooking In Sunnyside Queens | turkish cooking classes in queens turkish cooking in sunnyside queens turkish cooking in queens turkish cooking classes in nyc cooking classes in queens astoria lic sunnyside jackson heights flushing jamaica ny
Turkish Cooking In Sunnyside Queens

Turkish Cooking Classes in Queens

Cooking Class Mixes Culture, Cuisine & Comedy In Cool Klatch

February 6, 2013 / Sunnyside / Food in Sunnyside / Queens Buzz.  I attended an evening cooking class offered by the Turkish Cultural Center in Queens. They offer one cooking class each month, wherein they teach Turkish cuisine. Seating is limited to about fifteen; and you don’t have to be a member or Turkish to attend. In fact almost all of the people in attendance were not Turkish, and there were a couple of males in attendance too.

My interest in Turkish cuisine has grown over the past few years, as Sunnyside and western Queens has become a small magnet for Turkish immigrants. Turks have a long history of culinary achievement and a number of them have opened grocery stores and restaurants which have become quite popular in their neighborhoods [see review of the Turkish Grill restaurant in Sunnyside].

Click here for our report with photos of Turkish cooking classes in Queens.




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sunnyside news woodside news

Sunnyside News / Woodside News | Sunnyside News Woodside News news briefs from around the neighborhoods of Sunnyside & Woodside
Sunnyside News / Woodside News

Smidge & Dallow Under The 'L'

Nimble Fingered Trumpet Player With Gravelly Voice & Acoustic Accordion Player

December 23, 2013 / Sunnyside NY / Sunnyside News / Queens Buzz. For the second time in the past six months, I found myself drawn under the vaulted arches of the elevated train along Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside, to treat my ears to the seasonal music of Smidge & Dallow. It's been an ad hoc treat as they 'just do it' when the spirit moves them.

Smidge has a gravelly voice that reminds me of the old Louis Armstrong recordings and he's a trumpet player extraordinaire. Folks in Sunnyside may have heard him perform in the annual Bix Beiderbecke concert sponsored by Sunnyside Shines last July.

Dallow is a modest accordion player whose acoustic accompaniment provides a gracious complement to the jazzy tunes & vox vibrations of Smidge. The duo was playing a number of holiday tunes including an old Armstrong hit. They're pretty busy, but always looking for new gigs. They can be contacted via the Facebook page named Matt Dallow Music.

Click here to read more Sunnyside News & Woodside News briefs.






things to do in sunnyside things to do in woodside

Luke Adams 1938 - 2014 | obituary luke adams sunnyside ny
Luke Adams 1938 - 2014

Luke Adams 1938 - 2014

Small Town In The Big City

November 13, 2014 / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Queens Buzz. A warm hearted, quick-witted, long-time Sunnysider passed away earlier this week. He was a giver, not a taker.  A lot can be said about Luke Adams, as there are as many tales to tell about the man as there are leaves on the trees in Sunnyside Gardens in summertime.

Luke grew up in Queens and as a fairly young man settled into Sunnyside. He ran a travel agency and took folks to places around the world. Lily Gavin of Dazies Restaurant shared Luke’s passion for travel and she joined him on a number of trips. Luke was, by nature, an adventurer.

Luke’s travel agency was adjacent to the office of the Woodside Herald. He became good friends with Joseph Sabba and his son Buster, both of whom were publishers of the Woodside Herald [in respective succession]. Luke assumed the role of a reporter and photographer for the paper, and he enjoyed those roles, which he would play in some manner for the rest of his life.

Click here for the rest of the story about Luke Adams Sunnysider.



 
St Patricks Day Parade in Queens & Photos 2014 | irish in sunnyside irish in woodside luke adams st pats for all parade in queens gay lesbian parades in queens
St Patricks Day Parade in Queens & Photos 2014

De Blasio Presence @ St Pat’s Day Parade ...

Creates Media Frenzy As New Mayor Makes A Statement About Inclusion

March 2, 2013 / Ethnic Culture in Queens / Sunnyside & Woodside / Queens Buzz. I attended the St Pat’s For All Parade in Queens on Sunday afternoon. It was an overcast day, with temperatures in the 30’s. Speeches and an Irish cultural celebration began at 1 pm, followed by the parade which was to begin at 2 pm, but didn't get going until about 2.45 pm.

This year I skipped most of the pre-parade show and, like many in the crowd, awaited the presence of Mayor Bill de Blasio. De Blasio is the first Mayor of NYC to politely decline to march in the Manhattan St Patrick's Day Parade because it bans gays from marching in it.

The Mayor's presence included an increase in the presence of NYC elected officials who attended the parade. This included the new Queens Borough President, Melinda Katz, which is worth noting since it's the first time a Queens Borough President has attended this parade since I began covering it in 2008.

Click here to read our report about and view photos of the St Pat’s Parade in Queens, including a photo slide show.



 



sunnyside attractions woodside attractions

Independent Film In Queens - Freedom Summer | independent film in queens freedom summer indie films in queens
Independent Film In Queens - Freedom Summer

African American History Revisited

African American Film Makers Explore Their Predecessors' Experience With Fresh Lens

Film Event In Sunnyside

February 17, 2014 / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Film in Queens / Queens Buzz. On Saturday evening, February 22nd, the East Coast premiere of Freedom Summer is being hosted at the Sunnyside Reformed Church. Emmy Award winning filmmaker, Stanley Nelson, will be on hand to discuss the making of the new film which premiered at the Sundance 2014 Film Festival in January.

I spoke with Stanley via telephone about the documentary, which covers the summer of 1964 when Mississippi was burning. White Mississipians expected African Americans to bow their heads in deference and to step aside on sidewalks as white folks passed. Mississippi had a whole host of laws and customs set in place which denied African Americans their full rights as American citizens, and as fellow human beings. And anyone - white or black - who tried to question the norms; felt the wrath of the white supremisists who embraced the culture.

About seven hundred students from around the nation [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee] went down to Mississippi to help African Americans exercise their rights. Three of them - Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Early Chaney - went missing. After intense media / television coverage and national outrage, the FBI began a manhunt. The victims' bodies turned up 44 days later. All three had been shot at close range. The photo above is a still from the film Freedom Summer.

The documentary incorporates historical photos and media coverage and a little heard recorded telephone conversation between LBJ and J. Edgar Hoover. This report also includes background on film maker Stanley Nelson who runs a film making company / incubator in Harlem as he will be present to discuss film making at the event. Click here to read the rest of our report about Freedom Summer - premiere of an independent film in Queens or click here to rsvp a ticket to the free East Coast film premiere in Queens.



 
Bike Paths & Bike Lanes | bike lanes in queens bike lanes in lic sunnyside woodside astoria jackson heights flushing jamaica bike lanes in Queens
Bike Paths & Bike Lanes

Bike Paths & Bike Lanes In Queens - Forum

Bicyclists & Others Meet To Discuss Bike Paths & Bike Lanes In Queens

Spring / Sunnyside / Biking in Queens / Queens Buzz. I attended a bike forum at the Sunnyside Community Services Center on a warm, wet Saturday in March. I noticed quite a few bikes locked to signs and poles outside the center as I entered. Inside there were between 50 – 75 people in attendance, most of who were bicycle enthusiasts, although I was informed that a few of the attendees were not.

The forum had been organized as a collaboration of Community Board Two [hereafter referred to as CB2], City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer and the Queens Department of Transportation [hereafter referred to as QDOT]. Evan O’Neil and Emelia Crotty of CB2 moderated the session, outlining the history of bike lanes in western Queens, and the current state of bike lanes and bike parking. This helped put things in context, so that in the bike forum breakout sessions, participants could spend their time planning for the future.

Click here to read our report about the bike forum about adding bike lanes & bike paths in Queens. We've included a bit of NYC bike lane history and some info on what's going on in other parts of the world. There's also a slide show of the bike forum presentation and participants. Click here to view maps of bike lanes in Queens as of the end of 2011.



 




sunnyside maps woodside maps

Sunnyside Woodside Map - Things To Do in Sunnyside Woodside Queens | This is a map of the parks, historic sites, cultural & entertainment organizations, restaurants, select shops and MTA links in the Sunnyside / Woodside neighborhoods / sections of Queens.
Sunnyside Woodside Map - Things To Do in Sunnyside Woodside Queens

Sunnyside & Woodside Maps - Quick Overview

Click to view three maps of Sunnyside & Woodside: 1) map of some of the shops In Sunnyside & Woodside with links to home pages or stories on this site, 2) map of some of the restaurants with links to home pages or stories on this site, and 3 map of cultural attractions in Sunnyside & Woodside most for which there are reports about them to be found on this site.

Click here to view Sunnyside & Woodside Maps - Shops, Restaurants and Cultural Attractions in Sunnyside & Woodside Queens.  It is also a map of things to do in Sunnyside & Woodside Queens.






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Taste Of Sunnyside Photos 2014 | taste of sunnyside photos restaurants sunnyside queens photos taste of sunny side restaurants queens sunnyside
Taste Of Sunnyside Photos 2014

Taste of Sunnyside in Photos

May 20, 2014 / Queens Restaurants / Sunnyside Restaurants / Queens Buzz. I attended the New Taste of Sunnyside which was held underneath the #7 subway line at 46th Street in Sunnyside.

One might think that this location could be distracting with the subway moving to and fro overhead, but with the live musical performances going on in the foreground, I didn't once - during the hour and a half that I was there - notice the subway overhead.

The crowd attending this event has changed over the years. This year the people in attendance seemed to be primarily in their 20's, 30's and 40's. In prior years, many of the attendees had already endured an additional decade or two of wear and tear.

I was informed that there were well in excess of 600 paying attendees, and a number of additional tickets were distributed for business and charitable purposes. Rachel Thieme, Sunnyside Shines Executive Director, was the primary organizer supported by the Board including John Vogt, Chairman and Artie Weiner, Treasurer - all of whom are shown in the slide show included in this report.

Click here to read the rest of our report including a slide show of photos of Taste of Sunnyside 2014.



 


Taste of Woodside & Local Restaurants

The Food Show Goes On In Spite Of The Weather

taste of woodside queens meet upNovember 7, 2012 / Woodside Neighborhood / Restaurants in Queens / Queens Buzz. I attended the first annual Taste of Woodside tonight, in spite of the snow that began falling late this afternoon.

Naturally the weather, particularly in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, dampened the turnout. But it also left more food and space for those of us who did attend to horse around; like the two charming young women shown in the photos above.

The proceeds of the Taste of Woodside event go to Woodside On The Move, the event sponsors. Woodside On The Move is a non-profit community based organization dedicated to improving the lives of the people living within the Woodside neighborhood - and sometimes beyond – such as in the case of their Hurricane Sandy relief effort.

Over twenty restaurants, cafes and bars had signed up to participate in the event. But eight of the restaurants were unable to make it, due to issues related to the inclement weather. I’m happy to report that I managed to taste the food from nearly all of the participating restaurants [missed two of them].

Click here to read our report and view photos of the Taste of Woodside 2012 which will be posted sometime within the next couple weeks.




sunnyside shops woodside shopping

Ophthalmologists, Optometrists & Opticians In Queens | opthamologists ophthamologists opthamologists eye doctors optometrists opticians queens ny sunnyside astoria lic long island city jackson heights corona
Ophthalmologists, Optometrists & Opticians In Queens

Ophthalmologists In Queens

The Treatment Of Eye Conditions In Queens

Queens NY / Queens Buzz. This is a general overview of eye care and eyewear. This report is designed to orient you to different kinds of professionals accessible in Queens in the eye care and eyewear professions. As well as to highlight several widespread eye conditions in Queens as well as the rest of the U.S..  Click here to view our report on ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians in Queens.



 
New & Used Car Dealerships - Queens | used car dealerships queens new cars used cars queens pre-owned cars queens used car dealerships used cars for sale queens
New & Used Car Dealerships - Queens

New & Used Car Dealerships In Queens

Sunnyside, Woodside & LIC / Queens Buzz. This report is about new and used car dealerships in Queens NY. There are about twenty new and used car dealerships just minutes away from Manhattan NYC and most parts of Queens via subway or bus. The car dealerships are located along Northern Blvd starting in LIC [Long Island City] on the Astoria border at the intersection of Steinway Street. The car dealerships include new and used cars as well as pre-owned vehicles. The dealerships are also near Sunnyside, Woodside and Jackson Heights, but are easily accessible by car throoughout the Tri-state area via the BQE and LIE.

This report is about buying new and used cars at dealerships in Queens, including information about car prices and dealership locations in Queens.



 



sunnyside real estate woodside real estate

Affordable Housing In Queens - Hunters Point South | affordable housing queens hunters point south affordable housing lic sunnyside queens
Affordable Housing In Queens - Hunters Point South

Hunters Point South Opens Spring 2015

'Affordable' Housing Applications Begin Mid October

September 29, 2014 / Sunnyside NY / Sunnyside Real Estate / News & Analysis / Queens Buzz. On Monday evening I headed over to Sunnyside Community Services Center to attend the Hunters Point South Affordable Housing meeting. Several years ago the Hunters Point South development was approved by Community Board 2 and subsequently approved by the New York City Council and Mayor. Click the link above to read the earlier report.

The site has been under construction for years, and according to a Related Companies spokesperson at the meeting, the two towers containing affordable housing are to open to residents in the Spring of 2015. Naturally this assumes that all goes according to plan.

Hence on Monday evening, Related Companies representatives in tandem with Community Board Chairman Joe Conley, NY CCM Jimmy Van Bramer, NYS Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan [and NYS Senator Michael Gianaris was scheduled to appear but did not make it] - began the outreach to the community regarding the application process for the low income and affordable housing units in the two buildings.

hunters point south affordable housing aptsAttendance and interest by the community was very high and folks who arrived late were turned away as the Sunnyside Community Service Center was filled to capacity. That said there are two more of these outreach programs scheduled, the details of which you can find in our Things To Do calendar in the Business section. Click these links to gain a broader perspective of the Long Island City Neighborhood in which these units reside, as well as of the LIC real estate market for apts and condos or the Long Island City real estate market in general.

Full Report Contains Slides & Info On Qualification & Application Process For Hunters Point South Affordable Housing Units In LIC & Evaluation Of Affordability Versus Income & Apt Rents In LIC

Click here to read the rest of our report, including a photo slide show of the presentation of Affordable Housing in Hunters Point South in LIC Queens. I left out most of the presentation that dealt with how to set up a Housing Connect Profile and how to fill out the online application as it seemed pretty straightforward and you can also call the NYC Housing Authority [aka NYCHA] if you need help.



 
Zoning Sunnyside & Woodside - Real Estate in Queens | sunnyside woodside real estate development in sunnyside queens woodside real estate queens zoning changes in queens
Zoning Sunnyside & Woodside - Real Estate in Queens

Sunnyside & Woodside Zoning Plan

Proposal Moving Through The Process – Timetable Set

April 13, 2011 / Sunnyside & Woodside / Sunnyside Real Estate / Queens Buzz. Queens Borough president Helen Marshall highlighted the effort to re-zone Sunnyside and Woodside in her State of the Borough Address this winter. Following the release of the proposed zoning changes on February 28th, I spent time studying the proposal to re-zone the Sunnyside and Woodside neighborhoods and followed up with a representative of the NYC Department of City Planning to be sure I properly understood the proposed changes. It's worth mentioning that the rezoning changes were recently approved by Community Board 2, about two weeks ahead of deadline.

The thrust of the Sunnyside Woodside rezoning effort appears to be to standardize construction regulations within these neighborhoods in order to prevent out-of-character development, reduce commercial overlays, enhance street life through the allowance of sidewalk cafes and to set height limits on new buildings which is not specified in the existing zoning. Current Sunnyside and Woodside zoning only specifies how much you can build by way of limiting the Floor Area Ratio [FAR] – and doesn’t set limits on specific building dimensions, most notably building height.

Click here to view the timetable of the Sunnyside & Woodside zoning proposal and to read the rest of our report, which includes a brief zoning history, and a summary of existing and proposed zoning changes including diagrams and photos.



 
Sunnyside Real Estate & Woodside Real Estate | sunnyside real estate woodside real estate apartments for rent condos for sale houses homes for sale woodside sunnyside queens ny
Sunnyside Real Estate & Woodside Real Estate

Sunnyside Real Estate / Woodside Real Estate

Queens Real Estate Markets Less Soft Than Nation

Sunnyside & Woodside / Queens.  We spent the last half of 2009 collecting information with the intent of providing a guide to provide readers with a sort of feel for the current state of affairs in the western Queens real estate market.  This report focuses on the Sunnyside real estate and Woodside real estate price trends, available inventory as well as to provide some information about the neighborhoods themselves.  At the end of the report are links to other Queens real estate related reports.

Click here to read our report about Sunnyside real estate and Woodside real estate.



 


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By: PeterParker on 1/26/12
Hi, there's a pretty big Turkish community in Sunnyside including the Turkish Cultural Center in Queens. Use the seaerch function on this site. You can also use the search function to find the advertisements of a number of realtors in Queens, including one in Sunnyside. And you may also use the Business Directory which is located on the front page on the right side bar to find realtors and most other things for which you're looking.

By: cuthala on 1/26/12
hi,i'm not sure how to go about this, but i am trying to help a friend. she emigrated to the USA 4 yrs.ago from turkey and would really love to live in a turkish community in new york. she is married with 2 young children and speaks good English. can you recommend a good neighborhood for them to relocate to? any other resources you can think of would be appreciated!


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