Sunnyside, Long Island
Sunnyside is a neighborhood located in the western portion of the borough of Queens, Long Island, New York. It is part of Queens Community Board 2. The neighborhood is surrounded by Hunters Point and Long Island City to the west, Astoria to the south, Woodside to the east, and Maspeth to the south. Sunnyside has an easy access to Manhattan via the Long Island Expressway and Queens Midtown Tunnel and to Brooklyn via the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The latitude of Sunnyside is 40.7398242N. The longitude is -73.9354153W. It is in the Eastern Standard time zone. Elevation is 16 feet.
The area was mostly small farms and marshland and originally owned by French settlers in the 1800s. The named Sunnyside is derived from Sunnyside Hill Farms, so named by the Bragraws family who owned the land. It was developed after the completion of Queensboro Bridge in 1909. The Long Island Rail Road has been also responsible for transforming the Sunnyside farm, surrounding agricultural land and swamps in to a modern residential area of Queens that is used by road traffic as a thoroughfare as well. The transition began about a century ago and has filled to capacity at a rapid pace. A large portion of the neighborhood is six-story apartment buildings constructed during the 1920s and '30s. The area is particularly known for one of America's first planned communities, Sunnyside Gardens. It was built from 1924 to 1929 and became one of the first developments to incorporate the "superblock" model in the United States. Clarence Stein and Henry Wright served as the architects and planners for this development. They also built the community around a private park, complete with clay tennis courts and a series of common, ivy-walled garden areas.
Well-known people living in Sunnyside include Perry Como (singer), Ethel Merman (entertainer), Bix Biederbecke (jazz singer), Raphael Soyer (artist), and Lewis Mumford (writer and social activist). Most of its residents are from various ethnic backgrounds such as Albanian, Armenian, Bangladeshi, Chinese, Colombian, Dominican, Ecuadorian, Filipino, and many more. Most students in Sunnyside attend one of the nearby public schools, P.S. 11, P.S. 199 or P.S. 150, which has a special program for children with learning disabilities. About 50 percent of the pupils in the elementary schools and Junior High School 125 read at or above grade level. It is only natural that religion should have a prominent place in an area such as Sunnyside that attaches such importance to people bonding together for mutual benefit. The Episcopal and the Reformed Churches, the Queen of Angels R. C. Church and the Greek Orthodox Cathedral are the important Christian denominations with Parishes in the neighborhood. There is a Jewish Center as well and Young Israel also has a presence in Sunnyside.