Participatory budgeting neighborhood assembly schedule

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Don’t miss out on your chance to pitch a neighborhood project that could be funded by the City Council!

Starting Thursday, September 20, at the Woodside Library, Councilman Van Bramer is hosting neighborhood assemblies for participatory budgeting.

If you can’t make it, five other assemblies will take place through October 11.

Each assembly will have a specific theme. September 24 will be education, September 26 is housing, October 2 is parks, October 3 is transportation, and October 11 is libraries.

This year, residents ages 11 and up can vote either in person or line.

Be sure to get your ideas on the ballot by participating in a neighborhood assembly.

6th annual Sunnyside Restaurant Week is coming!

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Prepare for some delicious deals because Sunnyside Restaurant Week is back!

From September 23 to 29, 45 restaurants in the area will participate in the annual event, which showcases the best food Sunnyside has to offer.

Foodies can enjoy cuisines from a diverse array of cultures, including Italian, Japanese, Peruvian, Ecuadorian, Indian, Turkish, Mexican, Irish, Colombian, Tibetan, French and more.

Each participating restaurant will serve a three-course dinner menu for $25, and some will offer lunch specials as well.

Check back at www.sunnysideshines.org to see new menus posted online.

This year’s restaurant week also features a contest for diners. Each time a customer orders at a participating restaurant, they will be entered into a raffle for a $250 gift certificate for dinner for four at the restaurant of their choice.

Sunnyside Shines is also recognizing local restaurant workers with its Star Server Award. As a patron, you can nominate an outstanding server, and the worker with the most nominations will receive a $50 gift card as well.

 

Sunnyside Shines Dancing Beats

Sunnyside Shines Irish Dance

Sunnyside Shines is hosting free music and dancing performances at Bliss Plaza, located at 46th Street and Queens Boulevard, from 4 to 7 p.m. each Tuesday of the month in September.

September 11 features Beats in Bliss Plaza with the Queens Opera Theatre. The theatre was founded by Brian Gill and Andy Anderson, and the pair has extensive experience working in musical theatre production across the country.

September 18 will feature live Irish music and dance with the McManus Irish Dancers. There will also be games and craft activities at the plaza.

September 25 will conclude with the Thalia Spanish Theatre. They will put on their Variety show, and give a preview of their upcoming fall show, “Queen of the Night” or “Reinas de la Noche.”

For more information, visit www.sunnysideshines.org.

 

Brent O’ Leary slams Sunnyside development

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City Council candidate Brent O’Leary is taking a stance against a new development on the Sunnyside-Woodside border.

The Sunnyside Point, being built at 47-16 Greenpoint Avenue, will contain three affordable apartments. But a one-bedroom will cost nearly $2,300 a month, which O’Leary said is too high for working-class residents in the district.

Last Friday, residents gathered at Joe Sabba Park to denounce the new affordable housing units that he said are not truly affordable.
The minimum household income required to eligible to apply for the apartment is $77,178.

“Right now, there are thousands of Sunnyside and Woodside residents who are deeply afraid of being priced out of their own neighborhood,” O’Leary said in a prepared statement, “and by claiming that $2,300 a month should be considered affordable is a slap in the face to all the people who call this neighborhood home.”

O’Leary called for city legislation to change the way affordability is calculated for rent-stabilized units. Right now, the formula used to calculate the area median income (AMI) includes the median income of residents who live in Manhattan, Rockland and Putnam counties.

“This is the most effective way we can put a stop to the growing wealth inequality and massive displacement that western Queens has been facing over the past ten years,” O’Leary said. “It is not acceptable for the city to use our money to price us out of our neighborhood.”

Thalia Spanish Theatre to host “Federico Y El Publico”

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The Thalia Spanish Theatre, located at 47-17 Greenpoint Avenue in Sunnyside, is the only bilingual theater in Queens, serving a Hispanic population of 1 million people.

The theater has put on over 215 plays and won 207 awards to date, including from the Grammys, the Arts and Business Council and the Association of Critics in Entertainment (ACE).

The next production featured at the theater will be “Federico Y El Publico,” a play based on Lorca’s “The Audience.” It will run from September 12 to 16, and will feature live music in Spanish with English subtitles.

“Queens of the Night,” the world premiere of an LGBTQ musical, will be playing from September 28 to November 4.

For more information, visit their website at www.thaliatheatre.org or call 718-729-3880 to purchase tickets and check out the calendar.

This dangerous Woodside intersection will get a traffic signal

Screen shot via Google Maps
Screen shot via Google Maps

The intersection of 32nd Avenue and 61st Street in Woodside has been a dangerous one to cars, bikes and pedestrians.

Since 2009, there have been 22 injuries at that spot, according to city data. In the last three years, there were 16 injuries.

For years, elected officials asked the city to install a traffic light, especially because it’s near Corpus Christi Church and the Academy of the City Charter School.

Earlier this year, the Department of Transportation finally conducted a study, and will install the light by September 30, pols say.

That’s a big win for the community, the students, and even the drivers of this part of town.

“A Better World” Festival on Bliss Plaza Saturday, August 18th Brings Focus to ‘KIDS’ Power

The free event, running noon until 5 in the Bliss Plaza, (Queens Blvd. @ 46 Street) on Saturday brings together neighborhood residents and merchants,
nonprofits, and well-known speakers and performers for a unique celebration of idealism and engagement. 13 year-old Queens native Ellis Rubin, who earned critical raves as young P.T. Barnum in the 2017 film The Greatest Showman will emcee the even. She is part of the LOVE HALLIE Foundation.

The event will feature dramatic readings by youth activists, and will also include a special performance of Hallie Geier’s writings by best friends Barbara Feldon and Buddy Mantia. Feldon created the role of Agent 99 in the 1960s television series Get Smart, and Mantia is best known for his numerous TV appearances and performances with the comedy ensemble The Untouchables.

Children at the event will be given the opportunity to sing, dance, read and more.

“The spirit of Sunnyside is the kind of attitude that can create a better future — uniting people of all ages and backgrounds who care about their neighbors, their country, and the world,” said Jaime-Faye Bean, Executive Director of Sunnyside Shines (www.sunnysideshines.org), which is presenting the Festival with LOVE, HALLIE.

The inspiration for A Better World is Hallie Geier, a prolific writer and youth activist who lived in Sunnyside during her eleven years of life. Her favorite themes were the value of kindness, empathy, and positive action. Her family established the Love, Hallie Foundation (www.lovehallie.org) and Hallie’s Angels to spread Hallie's message and encourage young people to engage with causes they care about.

The Earth, a book written by Hallie at age 6 with illustrations by Casey Conselmo, will be released at the Festival. “Hallie felt that she could make a difference. She always wanted to do something special,” said her father Ted Geier.

Police seeking info on a residential burglary

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Officers from the 108th Precinct are looking for possibly one or two men who are connected to a residential burglary in Sunnyside.

On June 30, at approximately 5:15 p.m., the perps broke into a residence at 48-10 45th Street through a side bathroom window where they stole a number of items from an elderly man. The police and the man are asking for any assistance in finding the men.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Enroll in free classes for adults

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School isn’t just for kids.

The NYC Department of Education is taking applications for free adult classes beginning August 27.

Classes offered include English for all languages, computer courses and basic education classes.

Programs are offered for both the morning and the evening.

The Queens Adult Learning Center is located at 27-35 Jackson Avenue in the third floor in Long Island City.

Classes are also offered in Astoria, Sunnyside, Jackson Heights, Corona, Elmhurst, Ridgewood and Fresh Meadows.

Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Concert comes back to Bliss Plaza

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Returning for its 18th year at Bliss Plaza, the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Concert is set for August 7 from 4 to 9 p.m.

The concert is a 1920s-themed celebration of the life and work of Bix Beiderbecke, a well-regarded cornet-player who lived his last days in Sunnyside.

Local jazz performers Cait and the Critters will play from to 5 to 7 p.m., followed by tribute band the Sunnyside Wolverines.

Swing Dance Astoria is also performing period dance and mini-lessons for the crowd.

“It’s a vibrant annual event that brings our community together in a spirit of neighborhood pride and fun,” says Jaime-Faye Bean, executive director of Sunnyside Shines, “and helps our very global community connect with the history of our home.”