Sunnyside, Queens

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Neighborhoods of New York City
The arch over 46th Street at Queens Blvd is located in the heart of Sunnyside
The arch over 46th Street at Queens Blvd is located in the heart of Sunnyside
Country United States
State New York
County Queens
Named for Sunnyside Hill Farms
 • Total 29,506
ZIP code 11104
Area code(s) 718, 347, 917

Sunnyside is a middle-class and commercial neighborhood in the Western portion of the New York City borough of Queens. It shares borders with Hunters Point and Long Island City to the west, Astoria to the north, Woodside to the east and Maspeth to the south. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community District 2, served by Queens Community Board 2.[1]

Wall mural on a building in Sunnyside

The land was originally owned by French settlers in the 1800s. The name "Sunnyside" is derived from Sunnyside Hill Farms, so named by the Bragraws family who owned the land.[2] Sunnyside was a rural hamlet mostly consisting of small farms and marshland. It was incorporated into Long Island City in 1870, and developed into a bedroom community after the Queensboro Bridge was completed in 1909. A large portion of the neighborhood is six-story apartment buildings constructed during the 1920s and '30s.

The area is known for one of America's first planned communities, Sunnyside Gardens.

This model allowed for denser residential development, while also providing ample open/green-space amenities. Clarence Stein and Henry Wright served as the architects and planners for this development, and the landscape architect was Marjorie Sewell Cautley. These well-planned garden homes are now listed as a historic district and are also home to one of only two private parks in New York City, Gramercy Park being the other.[2]


Welcome to Sunnyside sign
View of Midtown Manhattan from 40th Street – Lowery Street subway station in Sunnyside

Ethnicities of Sunnyside's residents include those of Latin American (Colombians, Ecuadorians, Dominican, Salvadorans and Puerto Rican), Jewish, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Tibetan, Nepali, Indian, Albanian, Bangladeshi, Greek, Irish, Italian, Turkish, Armenian, and Romanian ancestry. Sunnyside is 48.0% White, 28.0% Hispanic/Latino (of any race), 24.0% Asian.

The median income for Sunnyside is $37,962 USD. There are 14,798 females and 14,708 males currently residing in Sunnyside.[3]

Neighborhood boundaries[edit]

Sunnyside is located in Western Queens. To Sunnyside's south is the Long Island Expressway and the neighborhood of Blissville and Maspeth. To the west is the Sunnyside Railyards, separating Astoria and Long Island City. To the east is the New Calvary Cemetery along 50th Avenue in the neighborhood of Woodside.

Sunnyside Gardens[edit]

Main article: Sunnyside Gardens

Built as a planned community in 1924, Sunnyside Gardens is filled with single-, two-, and three-family homes along tree-filled streets located north of Queens Boulevard. Its boundaries stretch from 43rd Street to 52nd Street and from Skillman to Barnett Avenue. In Sunnyside Gardens, an interior garden is shared by 7-8 houses.



Sunnyside is also known for the former Pennsylvania Railroad (now Amtrak) railyard known as Sunnyside Yard. It is a staging area for both Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains leaving from Penn Station.

The proposed East Side Access project will include a new Long Island Rail Road train station in Sunnyside at Queens Boulevard along the LIRR's Main Line (into Penn Station) will provide one-stop access for area residents to Midtown Manhattan.[4]

Schools and public services[edit]

PS 150

Elementary Schools

  • PS 199 – 39-20 48th Avenue
  • PS 150 – 40-01 43rd Avenue
  • PS 11 – 54-25 Skillman Avenue

Intermediate Schools

  • IS 125 – 46–02 47 Avenue

Public Services

  • Fire Department – Engine 325, Hook & Ladder 163 – "Woodside Warriors", FDNY – 41-24/26 51st Street
  • Police Department – 108th Precinct, NYPD – 5–47 50th Avenue
  • Sunnyside Post Office – 45-15 44th Street
  • Sunnyside Branch of Queens Borough Public Library – 43-06 Greenpoint Avenue



Sunnyside is served by the 7 train on the New York City Subway's IRT Flushing Line to 34th Street, Flushing – Main Street, Grand Central and Times Square. The following stops are in the Sunnyside area:

The Q32, Q39, Q60, Q104, and B24 buses run through Sunnyside.

The area has easy access to Manhattan via the Long Island Expressway and the Queens Midtown Tunnel and to Brooklyn via the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

Famous residents[edit]

Sunnyside has produced or nurtured such talents as Ethel Merman, Perry Como, Nancy Walker, Benh Zeitlin, David Horowitz, Judy Holliday,[5] Joe Spinell, James Caan and Rudy Vallee;[6] artist Raphael Soyer, and writers and social activists such as Lewis Mumford and Suze Rotolo. The Queens-grown punk rock group The Ramones played some of their earliest gigs in Sunnyside pubs during the 1970s[citation needed]. In the years before World War II New York Giants star Hap Moran coached a youth football team, the Mustangs, in Sunnyside Park.[7]

Legendary jazz musician Bix Beiderbecke, "the remote and mysterious jazz cornettist... died in obscurity" in an apartment building at 43–30 46th Street, in Sunnyside.[8] On the 100th anniversary of his birth, the Greater Astoria Historical Society joined with a number community groups to erect a plaque in his honor.

William Patrick Stuart-Houston, the nephew of Adolf Hitler, lived in Sunnyside for a brief period of time before leaving for the U.S. Navy in 1944.

Former pro wrestler Chris Kanyon came from Sunnyside.

Films shot in the area[edit]

See also[edit]

Woodside, Queens


  1. ^ Queens Community Boards, New York City. Accessed September 3, 2007.
  2. ^ a b Community and Library History, Queens Borough Public Library. Accessed February 14, 2008.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Vandam, Jeff. "An Enclave at Once Snug and Inclusive", The New York Times, February 4, 2007. Accessed February 14, 2008. "When the Long Island Rail Road's East Side Access project is completed in 2013, its trains, too, will go to Grand Central. Sunnyside's new station in the system will create a nonstop commute to Midtown."
  5. ^ Shepard, Richard F. "Memories of My Queens", The New York Times, September 3, 1995. Accessed October 19, 2007. "My earliest memories are of Sunnyside, about 1929 and 1930, when my family moved to Queens and bought a house in Sunnyside Gardens, on what was then called Locust Street. Our next-door neighbors were a family by the name of Tuvim, whose daughter was to become a star of Broadway and Hollywood named Judy Holliday, although as a younger-than-teen-age Queens girl she gave little evidence of such talent."
  6. ^ "Spare Times", The New York Times, October 12, 2001. Accessed October 19, 2007. "Hometown NYC: Sunnyside, Queens. A tour of the area that was once home to Rudy Vallee, led by Saul Bennett, a poet who was raised in the neighborhood."
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Solo in Sunnyside; Frank Gray travels through Queens, New York, in search of the late Bix Beiderbecke." The Guardian, April 30, 2005.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°44′34″N 73°55′08″W / 40.74288°N 73.9188°W / 40.74288; -73.9188