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News Briefs about Sunnyside & Woodside sometimes by or with the help of the audience community.

Smidge & Dallow Under The 'L'

Nimble Fingered Trumpet Player With Gravelly Voice & Acoustic Accordion Player

live music queens nyDecember 23, 2013 / Sunnyside NY / 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.

Sunnyside - Queen of Angels Art Fair

sunnyside art fair 2013June 9, 2013 / Sunnyside / Art Fairs in Queens / Queens Buzz. The Queen of Angels Art Fair opened this afternoon for the sixth time in six straight years with just shy of 40 artists participating.

The participating artists, are all locally based, coming from the Sunnyside and Queens area. There was a range of artwork presented at the show, and according to estimates received near the end of the show, about 600 people attended.

Art work was sold at the event, while drinks and food were served. We'll post a bit more about the show later this month, including a photo slide show.

No New Bike Lanes For Queens in 2013

April 30, 2013 / Biking in Queens / Queens Buzz. Last fall I attended one of the Community Board Meetings on Bike Lanes in Queens. At the time the Department of Transportation had come to solicit input from the Community with the idea of building additional bike lanes in the borough. At the time they were talking about adding 50 miles of new bike lanes in NYC in 2013, of which about 10 miles were planned for Queens.

In a recent visit to the DOT website, I found quite a changed picture. Currently they are planning about 31 miles of bike lanes and no new bike lanes for Queens. I wonder what happened?

Location Borough Miles
14th and 15th Street Traffic Calming and Bicycle Lanes Brooklyn 1.9
Columbus Avenue Bicycle Path Extension (update)           Manhattan 1.6
Brownsville and East New York Bicycle Network          Brooklyn 7.2
Crotona Avenue-Southern Boulevard Bicycle Route          Bronx 4.2
Bronx River Greenway Southern Connections          Bronx 1.9
West 15th and 16th Street Bike Routes          Manhattan 2.1
West Midtown Crosstown Route Extensions          Manhattan 2.9
Ocean Avenue Shared Lanes          Brooklyn 3.4
Union and Sackett Street Connections          Brooklyn 1.6
Queensboro Bridge Connections          Manhattan 0.6
Co-op City corridor safety improvements          Bronx 3.6
Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges Bicycle Access Improvements          Brooklyn 0.6
2013 Total Lane Miles Planned          NYC 31.6

Why did they indicate we were going to get ten new miles of bike trails last fall? Are we still going to get them, but at a later date? Or is something else going on? Stay tuned.

St Pat's For All Parade on March 3rd

st pats for all st patricks day parade queens sunnysideFebruary 19, 2013 / Sunnyside & Woodside / Ethnic & Religious Culture / Queens Buzz. This weekend on March 3rd, the St Pat's For All - St Patricks Day Parade, marches through Sunnyside and Woodside. The festivities begin at 12.30 pm, with speeches by an Irish novelist and historian as well as by city government officials. The parade begins at 2 pm.

The parade route is the same as last year. The festivities will be held at 47th Street and Skillman Avenue and the parade marches uphill into Woodside to 58th Street. Click here to view a map of the St Pats For All Parade route.

Check back here on Monday March 5th for photos and a report about the St Pats For All parade in Sunnyside / Woodside Queens.

First Big Snowfall of Winter of 2012 - 2013

sunnyside photosFebruary 9, 2013 / Sunnyside News Briefs / Queens Buzz. The photo to your right was taken in Sunnyside Gardens, the morning after the February 9th snowfall.

It was a fresh crisp cool day and the snow was a mix of flaky and packy. My travels took me to Astoria Park, Flushing Meadows Park and Jackson Heights during the day and it became easier to travel as the day wore on.

Enjoy. We don't get much of the wintry white stuff anymore.

Community Boards in Queens

Boards Chosen By Councilmember & Boro Prez

community boards in queensJanuary 24, 2013 / LIC & Sunnyside / Queens Business / Queens Buzz. Transportation Alternatives - a non-profit advocacy group for pedestrians, cyclists and public transit passengers - hosted a seminar about how to apply for a position on a neighborhood community board back on November 15, 2012. The annual application deadline is in early January [just passed] of each year.

Community Board members are selected in part [50%] by the local City Councilmember and in part [50%] by the Borough President. Community Board members play an important role in influencing outcomes in the government affairs of their neighborhoods. And sometimes they weild influence in borough-wide government affairs.

Given that 2013 is a city-wide election year, voting citizens will want to be sure they elect or re-elect City Councilmembers and a new Borough President [Helen Marshall has reached the term limit of her office] who, in tandem with the Community Board members they appoint, will be strong advocates for their local concerns.

Click here later this week to read our report about who to qualify and apply for a Community Board position.

Click any of these links to scroll down to view the Sunnyside News / Woodside News briefs from prior years.

So You Think, YOU, Have A Tough Job?

Hear What This Centenarian Has To Say About Work

things to do in queensDecember 7, 2012 / Sunnyside / Theater in Sunnyside / Queens Buzz. There are only three days left of the Figgy Pudding Playfest at the Cafe Marlene off Skillman at 49th Street in Sunnyside. Seats are limited so you're well advised to rsvp online.

There are eight short comedic plays that run about two hours beginning at 8 pm Friday and Saturday and at 5 pm on Sunday. All are modern original works, with the holidays as the theme and the satire is keen.

In the photo to your right, Santa is complaining to his wife about all of the challenges he faces at work, that people just don't seem to fathom. For her part, Mrs. Claus complains privately that she feels like she's invisible.

We're taken into a number of holiday worlds like watching Scrooge's gift card business take on the internet. In another play, we find out that tens of thousands of Jews have secretly been breaking into people's homes Christmas Eve to play Santa, ever since the Jews were blamed for killing Christ. A telephone shopkeeper gifts her 'lovely daughter' to a complaining bachelor customer, who she thinks is pathetically 'alone in this world'. A young woman introduces a house-calling veterinarian to her 'big cat' and a librarian rents a car from a Godfather-like car rental agency, both on Christmas Eve.

A mother is confronted by her seven year old daughter who has just learned that Santa is a fake. And a green crusader offends those who love him when he grinds down the holiday fun with his environmental zealousness.

Queens Thanksgiving Celebrations

Sharing Meals & Meaning In Astoria & Sunnyside

November 26, 2012 / Astoria & Sunnyside / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Buzz. I attended a thanksgiving dinner restaurants in queenstraditional Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday evening at the Sunnyside Reformed Church. It was an old fashioned community social, reminiscent of many years ago, when neighbors would get together in communal celebrations near the end of the year.

In Astoria, I attended the Greek Homeowners Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day 2011 in Astoria. The Greek Homeowners Association will be hosting their annual Thanksgiving Dinner 2012 this Thursday, the details of which we will include in the Social section of the events calendar [see Things To Do button on tool bar above]. Both Thanksgiving Dinners are free and open to the public.

Sometime later I'll take you into these two celebrations, showing you both the food and the people, and trying to capture the spirit behind them. The photo above was taken at the Sunnyside Reformed Church on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

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.

Bix Beiderbecke Concert Sunnyside

bix beiderbecke conceert in sunnyside 2012Hot Times / Cool Jazz

August 6, 2012 / Queens Buzz. Given the heat wave we've been experiencing, the cool jazz sounds of David Shenton & the Wolverines couldn't have come at a better time.

With Paul Maringelli, Bix Beiderbecke concert founder, on the drums; the band played a number of jazzy ensembles from the 1920's era including a number of pieces which originated in part from the now legendary cornet player, Leon 'Bix' Beiderbecke.

Given the blazing heat of the sun, the crowd found comfort in the shade along the sidewalk and relaxed while listening to the melodic tunes that wafted through the street underneath the Sunnyside arch. The concert was sponsored by the Sunnyside Shines BID. Click here for a full report about the concert and a brief history of Bix Beiderbecke.

Van Bramer Weds Hendrick

jimmy van bramer wedding sunnyside2nd Gay NYC City Council Official To Marry This Year

July 30, 2012 / Sunnyside / Queens Buzz. City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer [left] wed Daniel Hendrick [right] on Saturday July 25th [Jesse Winter photo]. Daniel Hendrick is the Communications Director of the League of Conservation Voters.

On July 29, 2011 New York State legalized gay unions and since then, according to the Daily News, 7,100 gay couples have applied for marriage licenses. City Council Speaker, Christine Quinn, married her partner, Kim Catullo on May 19th of this year. Thus this is the second high profile city official to marry this year.

The newlyweds sent out a press release expressing their joy, but made no mention of where they plan to honeymoon.

Flag Day Celebration In Sunnyside & Woodside

flag day parade in sunnyside woodside 2012June 11, 2012 / Sunnyside & Woodside NY / Culture in Queens / Queens Buzz. My personal experience of Flag Day in Sunnyside & Woodside has been confined to watching the parade come marching down Greenpoint Avenue. This year I went Sabba Park to listen to some of the speeches given by a few of the government officials in attendance.

While I couldn't stay to hear all of the speeches, I did manage to stay long enough to hear a few of them. Sometime this week we'll post a link to a short report about the Flag Day celebration in Sunnyside & Woodside, including photos like the one you see to your right. In the center of the photo to your right, surrounded by a sea of flags, are Lily Gavin of Dazies Restaurant and Luke Adams of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce.

sunnyside farmers market 2012 hours selection datesSunnyside Farmers Market Opens

June 2, 2012 / Sunnyside News Brief / Queens Buzz. The seasonal Sunnyside Farmers Market opened today. The market provides a wide selection of fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables, baked goods including breads and pies, and wine. The market is located on the corner of 43rd Street and Skillman Avenue and will open every Saturday from 8 am - 3 pm until December 22nd, 2012.

Click here to view a map showing the Sunnyside Farmers Market and click here to see a complete listing of the Queens farmers markets.

The photo shows the opening day at the Sunnyside Farmers market in 2012.

Sunnyside Gardens Park On Memorial Day Weekend

sunnyside gardens park memorial day weekend photosArts, Crafts, Games For Kids, BBQ & Raffles - Open To Public

May 26, 2012 / Sunnyside News / Queens Buzz. Sunnyside Gardens Park is a private park that opens its doors several times a year to the neighborhood at large. Memorial Day Weekend is one of those occasions when non-members can take an opportunity to experience the park.

This year there were raffles, athletic activities for the kids like basketball and climbing, barbeque for the family, live music and some shopping opportunities. Hundreds of people came out for the occasion.

After years of undersold capacity, Sunnyside Gardens Park [click here to learn more about Sunnyside Gardens Park membership] currently has a waiting list. But for those who want access to a park, nearby Windmuller Park in Woodside provides public access to a newly refurbished playground and also has a great lawn.

Rain Greets Monday Commuters

Wet To Continue Tuesday, Followed By A Dry Week, Except ...

queens weatherMay 21, 2012 / Queens Buzz. Pouring rain greeted Monday morning commuters as they made their way to work. Flooding had begun in some areas, as clogged drains prevented seapage to enter the sewer system. Winds are running at 5 to 10 miles per hour and the highs today will be in the 60's, and it will be somewhat humid.

The rain will likely continue into Tuesday morning, as there's a 50% chance of showers then, decreasing to a 20% probability as the day wears on. Highs on Tuesday will be in the mid 70's. With the exception of Thursday, when we're expecting more rain, the rest of the week and the entire weekend, through Monday will be dry with highs in the 70's and lows in the 60's.

Click here for Queens Buzz weather, horoscope, news & sports, which is also located along the right side bar.

'Winged Fist' Has Its 'Way'

Inclusive 20th Century Irish American Athletic Club Celebrated

winged fist irish american athletic clubMarch 10, 2012 / Sunnyside / Sunnyside NewsBriefs / Queens Buzz. On Saturday, March 10th, the corner of 43rd Street and 48th Avenue in Sunnyside was renamed 'Winged Fist Way'.

Ian McGowan [see photo below] was the driving force behind the effort to honor and celebrate the historical legacy of the Irish American Athletic Club [IAAC]. The IAAC is a legacy that dates back over a century, and apparently of which little remains, except its memory.

The Winged Fist emblem, as shown in the photo to your left, was the mark of the Irish American Athletic Club [IAAC] which had its athletic facilities and clubhouse in Sunnyside, a corner of which was at 43rd Street and 48th Avenue. The club was created in 1898, and over the course of the next 32 years, its member athletes went on to win over 50 Olympic medals.

joe crowley jimmy van bramer joe connolly mike giannaris danny dromm ian mcgowan photos fotosWhile the club was predominantly Irish, club members included John Baxter Taylor Jr., the first African American to win an Olympic gold medal; as well as Myer Prinstein, a Polish Jewish American who won three gold medals in three Olympic games. Indian American Jim Thorpe was qualified by the Irish American Athletic Club for the 1912 Olympics [he was not a member], where he went on to win two gold medals.

In attendance at the street renaming were Winged First Organization Founder Ian McGowan, Community Board Two President Joseph Connolly, City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, Congressman Joseph Crowley, State Senator Michael Giannaris and City Councilmember Danny Dromm. A crowd of over 100 people came out to honor the club and its legacy on March 10th, 2012.

The Winged Fist Organization is also seeking Celtic Park Board approval to have a plaque added to the building wall, in the same manner as has been done for Bix Beiderbecke, to commemorate this Sunnyside historical legend.

bank robber in sunnysideAttempted Bank Robbery In Sunnyside

February 14, 2012 / Sunnyside / Queens Buzz. According to police sources there was an attempted bank robbery at 3 pm at the Chase bank on Queens Blvd near 47th Street in Sunnyside.

Preliminary reports stated that the robber passed a note to the teller. What ensued was not reported, but the report said that the robber left the bank empty-handed and headed west along Queens Blvd. As of 4.40 pm the bank was still under police custody and surveillance and we understand that nobody was injured.

Bix Beiderbecke Concert In Sunnyside

bix beiderbecke concert sunnyside 2011August 6, 2011 / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Queens Buzz. Things were done a bit differently this year at the annual Bix Beiderbecke Concert in Sunnyside. In past years the Bix Memorial Orchestra, which was first organized by Paul Maringelli of Sunnyside, played Bix tunes for a couple of hours in remembrance of Bix who was once a resident of Sunnyside in the 1920’s.

This year the Sunnyside BID, sponsors of the event, extended the play to include four musical groups, a cartooning workshop and a Summer Stock For Kids event. I dropped in on the afternoon-long event twice, seeing the first act and probably the last. While I was there The Brandee Younger Band played a few jazz tunes. The Brandee Younger Band is shown in the photo.

Click here to view a report on the Bix Beiderbecke Concert history which we published a couple of years ago. And click here for additional Sunnyside newsbriefs.

Farmers Markets In Full Swing

farmers markets in sunnyside queensAll Around The Borough The Farmers Markets Are Open

July 2, 2011 / Sunnyside Neighborhood / Food & Wine / Queens Buzz. I sauntered over to the Sunnyside Farmers Market Saturday morning to see what I might see. The market provides an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, jams and dairy, and a number of garnishes.

The Sunnyside Farmers Market is one of the GrowNYC markets. Grow NYC manages most of the Queens farmers markets but three are managed by another agricultural organization - Community Markets. Both organizations appear to sign up reliable, high quality food vendors.

Click this link for a listing of the farmers markets in Queens.

Christmas Lights Hit The Streets In Sunnyside

sunnyside christmas tree lightingsNovember 17, 2010 / Sunnyside / Queens Buzz. It was a damp night, with the occasional sprinkles, intermittently coming down. Nonetheless a crowd of about one hundred Sunnysiders joined together to watch a street lighting ceremony on Greenpoint Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets.

Sunnyside Shines, the Business Improvement District Office, sponsored the event which included hot drinks and a few remarks by local officials. The Sunnyside Drum Corps joined in the festivities, providing musical entertainment to round out the evening. We'll post a link to a photo album and slide show later in the week.

bix beiderbecke concert 2010Bix Delights Crowd

August 8, 2010 / Sunnyside / Queens Buzz. Bix Beiderbecke, legendary jazz musician, reappeared in Sunnyside on Saturday afternoon. A group of musicians, drawn together by Sunnyside musician / artist Paul Maringelli, played a number of classic pieces from the 1920's to the delight of a large crowd which had gathered on 46th Street just off Queens Blvd. Canvas tent tops were set up to shield the audience from the hot sun and to good effect, as many stayed for the entire three hour concert.

A Weekend To Remember

Enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend In Queens

street fairs memorial day weekend queensJune 1, 2010 / Sunnyside & Woodside / Queens Buzz.This past weekend the weather was near perfect and everyone was out. There were parades and street fairs, dining and shopping, theater and arts. The memory of soldiers fighting to defend us appears to have faded some, as most WWII veterans are now deceased, and American losses and involvement in the wars since - Korea, Vietnam and most recently the Middle East - were far smaller in comparison.

We stopped by Calvary Cemetery on Memorial Day to find some of those who had died in the line of duty calvary cemetary in queensdefending our country. There were bouquets of flowers at various graves, and during our visit lasting near an hour, we encountered only one other party.

It was peaceful walking through there among the gravestones. The cemetary had a certain stillness to it, amidst the green and natural beauty: a sort of enclave amidst the hustle and bustle of city life. Some headstones told a brief story, but most just noted - Born & Died - the two most important dates in the cycle of life.

Sunnyside NYQueens Blvd In Sunnyside Gets Facelift

Sunnyisde / July 28, 2009. The inbound lanes of Queens Blvd from 50th Street to the Queensboro Bridge were repaved between 6 pm yesterday to 6 am today. The outbound lanes are next, having been scraped and prepped for the new blacktop. As you can see from the photo it looks pretty good.

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