Sunnyside

It’s about time I share my weekend habit. Every weekend, I like to explore a new neighborhood of New York City. Besides being an excuse for exercise, I do it because in a city with hundreds of years of history and cultures, walking through each neighborhood provides unique stories to learn from. The buildings, people on the street, street art, the food, parks, places of interest, heck even the placement of trash cans on the sidewalk can share what life was and is in each neighborhood. All walks of life can be found in New York City and I’m fascinated by which places can say what about them.

The neighborhood I visited last weekend was Sunnyside in Queens, a ten minute ride on the 7 train from Grand Central. It’s a diverse spot in an already diverse borough. Here, tall apartment buildings exist alongside homes with garages and a Turkish mosque could be found right next to a Korean preschool. Industry has been pushed next to the railyards, being replaced with playgrounds and bars and restaurants. Tall trees line the sidewalks and children ride on bikes or are pushed in strollers by their parents. It gives a suburban feel to an area not too far away from the urban boom in neighboring Long Island City.

Speaking of suburbs, an interesting spot in this neighborhood is the Sunnyside Gardens Historic District, one of the first planned communities in the nation. It was built in 1928 inspired by an English idea of urban planning called the garden city. With rows of flat bricked brown buildings distinguished by the hedges and shrubbery in front of them or the ivy creeping up the walls, it feels more like walking through the Shire than America. It also has one of two private parks in the entire city which is a big boo but at least the people in the tennis courts there looked like they were having fun. 

When I walk, I get hungry, so I like to stop by a well known spot in the neighborhood to eat. In Sunnyside, a well-known spot was Donovan’s Pub, an Irish themed pub that looked like a medieval cottage inside and had apparently one of the best burgers in Queens. Its reputation did not disappoint as the burger itself tasted good and the bun was crisp. Not too costly on the money side, but if you’re looking to find a cheap place to eat, there are options. Right after leaving the pub, I spotted a place where I could get tacos for two dollars each. Too bad I was full. In the springtime, there is a food festival called Taste of Sunnyside which plays to the neighborhood’s strength in diversity, providing food from Colombian to Italian. Covid threw a wrench into it as it did to everything, so I’m hopeful that it will start again in 2022. 

Overall, Sunnyside was an enjoyable place. It’s a neighborhood full of life and renewal. It had its loud parts from the rumbling of the 7 Train and the Long Island Rail Road and it had its quiet parts in-between where the city would vanish and you could be left to think for yourself. It’s definitely a neighborhood I recommend to walk through and I’ll definitely come back. In the larger context, it’s been another neighborhood down in the many more I have yet to see. Hopefully, I’ll get to them all one weekend at a time.



By: Jared Skoro

Jared Skoro is a junior at NYU Gallatin studying a mix of English, Political Science, and Psychology. In his free time, he enjoys reading, hiking, and exploring a new neighborhood of the city every weekend.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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