Outdoor holiday market comes to Bliss Plaza

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The holiday spirit – and vendors – are coming to Bliss Plaza.

Starting on Saturday, November 24, an outdoor holiday market is coming to the plaza under the 7 train at Queens Boulevard and 46th Street.

The market will be every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. until Sunday, December 16.

The pop-up includes 30 rotating vendors, including local businesses, entrepreneurs and craftspeople. They will be selling gift items such as 3D printed jewelry, fine ceramics and artisanal candles.

Sunnyside Shines BID is also offering a coupon book for savings to local shops in the neighborhood.

For two Saturdays, Sunnyside Shines is sponsoring a free trolley to take shoppers from Bliss Plaza to local stores as well.

Interested vendors can apply online here: www.bit.ly/2018-Bliss-Holiday-Market

Look up more details on participating vendors here: www.sunnysideshines.org/blissplazaholidaymarket.

Meet your state senator-elect in Woodside

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Here’s your chance to meet State Senator-elect Jessica Ramos before she goes up to Albany.

Ramos is hosting several “visioning sessions” to hear from constituents on issues like immigration, transportation, public schools, housing and health care.

These sessions will also be a chance to voice your concerns.

Ramos will be at the Woodside Houses community room on Thursday, November 1, from 6 to 8 p.m.

If you can’t make that, here’s the info for other sessions:

  • October 18: Corona, PS 110
  • October 25: East Elmhurst, First Baptist Church
  • November 25: LeFrak City
  • November 12: Elmhurst
  • November 19: Astoria
  • November 26: Jackson Heights, The Jewish Center of Jackson Heights

Woodside native Greg Lasak is running for District Attorney

He’s running.

Woodside native Greg Lasak, who just left the bench of the Supreme Court of Queens County earlier this month, threw his hat into the ring for Queens District Attorney.

His announced his bid with this video, titled “Unequaled,” which cites his experience as a prosecutor, judge and champion of overturning wrongful convictions.

Lasak attended Queens College and New York Law School. He became an Assistant District Attorney and rose to become the chief of the Homicide Bureau and executive assistant for the Major Crimes Division.

In 2003, Lasak was elected to the Supreme Court of Queens and re-election in 2017, serving as the Deputy Administrative Judge.

Lasak reopened wrongful prosecution cases that led to two dozen exonerations.

He is campaigning on ending cash bail on low-level, non-violent offenses, and will decline to prosecute and divert where appropriate.

Lasak wants to also focus on strengthening relations between police and communities.

Learn more about the candidate with the video above.

Anti-immigrant signs linked to white supremacists

This disgusting sign was posted along Skillman Avenue. Van Bramer took it down and tore it up.
This disgusting sign was posted along Skillman Avenue. Van Bramer took it down and tore it up.

New York City is a sanctuary city, and is proud of its diverse immigrant community.

That’s why it’s harrowing to see signs like the one above posted along Skillman Avenue, right here in Sunnyside.

On Sunday, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer found the signs posted at 35th Street and Skillman Avenue. He tore down the sign and ripped it up. You can see the video, which he posted on Twitter, below.

Earlier this morning, Van Bramer joined local immigration advocacy groups to denounce the signs and anti-immigrant actions in the neighborhood.

Van Bramer confirmed that the white supremacist group Vanguard America was responsible for creating the sign. Similar ones have been posted in Nebraska, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Khan’s Tutorial opening in Sunnyside


On Saturday, October 20 at 3 p.m., celebrate the grand opening of a new Khan’s Tutorial site at Queens Boulevard and 48th Street.

Khan’s Tutorial is a tutoring academy, founded in 1994 by Dr. Mansur Khan, that gives students high-quality instruction at low prices.

They cater to students’ needs, whether it’s taking the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT), the SATs, the ACT and more.

Other KT locations include Jackson Heights, Jamaica, Astoria, Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Floral Park, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

For more information, call 718-938-9451.

Participatory budgeting neighborhood assembly schedule


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!


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


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.”