Sunnyside was on my list of neighborhoods to explore and even possibly stay. I had briefly been there on my 7 train tour during my last visit to New York. I didn’t have much time for it then, but I liked it. So wanted to see more now.
Although Sunnyside is a neighbor to Astoria it is not so easy to get there. I could either take the Q104 bus from Broadway to 48th Street or the N/Q to Queens Plaza and the 7 to 40th Street. As I wanted to start on 42nd Street, where the Sunnyside Arch is standing I decided to take the train.
First thing to notice after getting off the 7 train at 40th Street is that the train does not run on an iron structure but on a concrete one there. Just in Sunnyside. In Long Island City to the west and in Woodside to the east it’s iron.
I walked east along Queens Boulevard to 42nd Street, passing a line of little restaurants, and then through the art deco arch to the south side of Sunnyside.
That’s the commercial area. Grocery stores, discount stores, takeout Restaurants and of course laundromats and nail salons. I realized that I felt like lunch. I felt like a sandwich to be exact. I haven’t had a sandwich for months. But while in Manhattan and in Brooklyn almost every bodega sells freshly made sandwiches this is not the case in Queens. It took me a while to find one and the one I did finally find had no board above the counter where about 20 sandwich varieties are listed. I asked what I could have on a sandwich. The friendly woman offered ham or salami then – in broken English – with cheese, tomatoes and lettuce. I saw Italian salami in the counter and chose that. It took pretty long to make my sandwich. She did it very carefully, even sliced the tomato with the machine she cut salami and white cheese on. My sandwich was nothing special then but I really enjoyed it.
The nicest part of Sunnyside is Sunnyside Gardens, north of Queens Boulevard. It is another planned Garden City, but different to the one in Jackson Heights. In the historic district between Skillman and Barnett Avenues two-story brick row houses are standing on tree lined streets.
They all have front gardens and rear yards. Larger garden areas are shared between several houses. Streets are quiet there and creative Halloween scenes are provided.
Around the historic district apartment buildings can be found. They as well show ornate details, but not as fancy as in Jackson Heights.
A part of Skillman Avenue was known as a vintage mecca. But not much is left of it. One of the last places, Comic Book Heaven, had its final sale and sign saying “Going out of business”.
It was cold outside, even in the sun. When I found Aubergine Café on Skillman Avenue, offering Pumpkin Spice Latte, I stepped inside and treated myself to a piece of cheesecake with the latte to warm up. It turned out to be one of these neighborhood places where friends meet for a coffee, daughters meet up with their mothers and young families show their Little ones to the neighbors. Revitalized I walked to the 52nd Street stop on the 7 train and got back home. There was nothing more to see in Sunnyside.
t want to go out into the cold again.
I spent part of the evening updating my Windows installation. This was a prerequisite to download a Nook app, which I thought I could use as a reader for the New Yorker. A friend had given me a digital subscription as a birthday present. It didn’t work out though because I didn’t find the app in the Windows store. But everything is different on my laptop now…