Monday, January 19, 2009


WNYC radio host Brian Lehrer was asking people what they were doing to commemorate the memory of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today, and got this upbeat message.

From Laura from Sunnyside:

I used to volunteer at various organizations, but then life got too crazy and I stopped. The Obamas have invigorated me to do it again. On Monday, I'll be volunteering at The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty.

Anyone else inspired?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Queensboro Plaz Art

Mark Pagano has this beautiful sketching, titled Queensboro Plaza, on his web site.

I also came across this grainy image of the plaza on Flickr from photog Rhodes.

Rhodes also has this grainy, but beautiful shot of 5 Points art space, helpfully labeled "somewhere along Queens Blvd along the 7 train."

Which is next door to us and better known as Long Island City.

Any other good photos out there?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Bridge

The Times gives some love to the Borden Avenue Bridge, which is quietly undergoing a $17 million rehabilitation.

Their affection for the neighborhood is less evident:
[U]nlike its more heralded peers of similar endurance, this bridge tends not to attract tourists. It is in the industrial neighborhood of Sunnyside, Queens, under an elevated section of the Long Island Expressway, and the antifreeze-colored water that creeps slowly below it often emits a stink. An almost-windowless strip club sits nearby.


So, we're moving in and hopefully, in the coming weeks, getting to know the people we'll be calling neighbors.

Recommendations on where to grab decent coffee and rooftops with the best view are appreciated.

Tonight, for only the second time in my life, I signed a lease. Here's what I learned:

The rent for the apartment was around $1,000 last year. But the company put $26,000 of improvements into it (new appliances, redoing the floors, etc.), so now, the rent jumped to about $1,500. It's still rent controlled, but next year, it could go to just over $1,700.

By 2010, I'm guessing this hits $2,000 and is no longer rent controlled. (Inching towards gentrification!)

Also, because of some deal with the broker, we get a month free of (basic) cable and Internet.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Local Endorsement

A few people who have followed our apartment-hunting adventures have asked us why we liked Sunnyside.

Here's why:

Because the Korean woman from New Jersey who works in the Italian gelato store said it's a nice neighborhood.

Where else can you find that!

When I find the link for that gelato store, I'll add it in.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

40th Street

Thinking about moving to 40th Street, in Sunnyside.

There's a 1-bedroom on the first floor of a pre-war building, rent-stabilized, about 1 block to the 7 train (which is elevated, and won't prevent me from blackberrying while I wait).

There's a Dunkin Donuts within eyeshot of the corner, plus plenty of great places to eat.

The only drawback may be the proliferation of Sunnyside-esque blog names that blocked me from grabbing a better URL. Before settling on our current address, I came across:

The Sunnysiders, a married couple which hasn't posted an entry since October 22, 2007;

Sunnysider, which was created in 2006 "by three kids who live in Virginia who decided to make a website that they thought would be a cool site for kids to have fun on." They posted one more entry before disappearing;

the more relevant Sunnyside Queens blog posted a few pictures and grumbled about the dangers of cell phone towers before vanishing in March of 2007.

So, maybe we're treading on well-worn territory, but it could be fun exploring this neighborhood.