Neighborhood: Sunnyside, Queens
Population Density: Sunnyside has a population density roughly equal to the population density of Queens as a whole. Because it’s a heavily residential neighborhood, expect relatively quiet streets in the evenings.
Adjacent Neighborhoods: Astoria, Woodside, Hunters Point/Long Island City
Public Transit: 7 local (33rd St./Rawson St., 40th St./Lowery St., and 46th St./Bliss St.); also B24, Q32, Q39, Q60, and Q104 buses.
What’s Here?: Sunnyside’s main drags are the bustling Queens Boulevard, with its chain stores and watering holes, and the quieter Skillman Avenue, with restaurants, bars, and cafes that reflect the international spirit of the neighborhood. Greenpoint Avenue cuts diagonally through the numbered streets and features grocery stores and Latin American baked goods.
The other, residential streets in Sunnyside create a homey and unpretentious retreat within New York City. Sunnyside’s Chamber of Commerce aptly describes the neighborhood as “a small town in a big city.”
Flat or Tall?: Flat. Sunnyside is full of single- and multifamily homes and some apartment buildings and prewar co-ops, but not high-rises.
History: Sunnyside was a scattered community of houses and farms until the 1924 formation of one of America’s first planned communities, Sunnyside Gardens. The present-day Gardens community, occupying a section of Sunnyside north of Queens Boulevard, boasts tree-lined streets, brick row houses, and a central garden shared by residents.
Over the years, Sunnyside’s once largely Irish population has come to include residents from Asian, Latin American, Eastern European and a variety of other countries.
Activities: Browse through vintage clothing on Skillman, feast on empanadas on Greenpoint, and drink a pint or a cup of coffee on Queensboro Boulevard. Afterwards, catch a show at Thalia Spanish Theater, Queens’ only bilingual theater. On your after-theater stroll, look for the Art Deco-style Sunnyside arch, which lights up at night, or the neighborhood’s view of the Empire State Building.
Check It Out: Stop by the Sunnyside Greenmarket on Saturdays in the summer and fall. Sunnyside Gardens Park requires a membership, but guests can visit with park members for a small fee. Or enjoy the park during Oktoberfest, when it’s open to the public.