During the third quarter of this year, the median monthly rent was $2,000.
Sunnyside is a diverse neighborhood with an active arts scene and deep progressive roots. It is known for hosting the first St. Pat’s for All Parade in 2000, bringing together the neighborhood’s Irish and L.G.B.T.Q. communities.
“It really feels like an incredibly cosmopolitan, but suburban community,” said Lauren R. Bennett, 33, an associate broker with the Corcoran Group, who bought her first home in Sunnyside in 2018, paying $525,000 for a two-bedroom condominium with a 300-square-foot terrace on 49th Street and 43rd Avenue. “It has that small-town vibe where everyone is so friendly, and you run into friends on the street.”
Malli Kamimura, 46, and her husband, Jacob Small, 46, moved from a two-bedroom condo in Williamsburg into a two-family house they bought for $1.135 million in Sunnyside in 2015. After they put their daughter in prekindergarten, their circle of friends began to grow, Ms. Kamimura said, noting that the Facebook group where local mothers connect has more than 3,000 active members.
“There’s lots of mobilization here,” she said, pointing out that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the local representative. “Everyone we know is partially involved in politics.”
Diners will find a range of dining options, including the Mexican restaurant de Mole; Firefly Petite Cafe Bistro, which serves craft pizza and wine; the Skillman, an American-style gastro pub; Dawa’s, an American and Himalayan restaurant; Cemitas El Tigre, a Mexican sandwich shop; and the Alcove, a popular tapas bar.
Sanger Hall, a bar and cultural events space, holds monthly artisanal craft fairs and drag shows.
P.S. 150 Queens, one of Sunnyside’s largest public schools, enrolls 977 students in prekindergarten through sixth grade (48 percent Hispanic, 26 percent Asian, 21 percent white and 1 percent Black). According to the Department of Education’s 2018-19 School Quality Snapshot, 65 percent of students met standards in English on state tests, compared with 48 percent citywide, and 69 percent met standards in math, compared with 50 percent citywide.
P.S. 199 Maurice A. Fitzgerald School, a prekindergarten and elementary school, enrolls 718 students (58 percent Hispanic, 32 percent Asian, 6 percent white and 2 percent Black). On 2018-19 tests, 51 percent met standards in English and 49 percent met standards in math.
P.S. 343 the Children’s Lab School enrolls 405 prekindergarten and elementary school students (58 percent Hispanic, 28 percent Asian and 14 percent white). On 2018-19 tests, 54 percent met standards in English and 50 percent met standards in math.
I.S. 125 Thom J. McCann Woodside enrolls 1,509 students in sixth through eighth grade (53 percent Hispanic, 39 percent Asian, 5 percent white and 2 percent Black). On 2018-19 state tests, 52 percent met standards in English, compared with 47 percent citywide, while 56 percent met standards in math, compared with 41 percent citywide.
Queens Technical High School, which offers early career-prep and technical courses, enrolls 1,522 students in ninth through 12th grade (80 percent Hispanic, 10 percent Asian, 5 percent Black and 5 percent white). On 2018-19 SAT tests, the average score was 943, compared with 987 citywide.
The No. 7 train, which makes three stops along Queens Boulevard, splits the neighborhood into northern and southern sections, the farthest reaches of which are about a 10-minute walk from the train.
Multiple bus lines run through Sunnyside, including the Q60, the Q104 and the B24, which links the neighborhood to Greenpoint and Williamsburg, in Brooklyn. The Q32 bus follows Queens Boulevard from Jackson Heights to Penn Station, while the Q39 bus connects Ridgewood to Long Island City, stopping along 48th Avenue in Sunnyside.
The impetus for developing Sunnyside was the completion of the Queensboro Bridge (now the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge), connecting Manhattan to Queens and Long Island, in 1909. The IRT Flushing Line, now the No. 7 train, began running from Grand Central Terminal through Sunnyside in 1917, and Queens Boulevard, the expansive roadway that cuts through the borough, was built in segments from the 1910s through the 1920s.
“That’s really what allowed for large-scale settlement and the transformation from farmland into suburbs,” said Hayes Peter Mauro, an associate professor at Queensborough Community College and a member of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce.
Some of Sunnyside’s best-known structures were built along Queens Boulevard in the 20th century, including the 2,000-seat Bliss Theater, which showed films from the 1930s through the 1960s. The Sunnyside Garden Arena, a boxing and wrestling club at 45th Street and Queens Boulevard, attracted thousands of spectators from 1945 to 1977, and presidential hopeful John F. Kennedy held a rally there in 1960.
Copyright © 2020 The New York Times Company. Reprinted with Permission. Sydney Franklin/The New York Times.