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Sunnyside_ Queens

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					                   Sunnyside, Queens
The Sunnyside community is located in the Borough of
Queens, just a few minutes from the Queensboro Bridge and
the Queens Midtown Tunnel. It is one of the most
trafficked areas in the city. More cars pass through the
commercial district of Queens Boulevard (Sunnyside’s
restaurant row) each day than most neighborhoods see in a
normal week. Located between the long-established
communities of the Blissville area of Long Island City
and Woodside, it is easily accessible to Manhattan and only
15 minutes by train to Times Square or the Empire State
Building. It’s believed Sunnyside got its name back in 1850                   Queens Boulevard, circa 1950, Pro.corbis.com
when the railroad built a station across from the Sunnyside
Roadhouse Hotel. Most of the land was low-lying and therefore     “The House of Blue Leaves takes place in Sunnyside, Queens,
cheap; from 1902 to 1905 the Pennsylvania Railroad gradually      one of the five boroughs of New York City. You have to
bought up all the land south of Northern Boulevard between        understand Queens. It was never a borough with its own identity
21st and 43rd Streets. The entire area was leveled and the        like Brooklyn that people clapped for on quiz shows if you said
swamps filled in by 1908 and the yards opened in 1910. The        you came from there. Brooklyn had been a city before it became
Queensboro Bridge opened in 1909 and from it was built            part of New York, so it always had its own identity. And the
Queens Boulevard, which ran to the center of the borough          Bronx originally had been Jacob Bronck’s farm, which at least
through Sunnyside, where streets were built along the             gives it something personal, and Staten Island is out there on the
boulevard. Sunnyside Gardens (1924-29), a complex of              way to the sea, and, of course, Manhattan is what people mean
attached houses of two and a half stories, with front and rear    when they say New York….And isn’t Manhattan, each day the
gardens and a landscaped central court, was one of the nation's   skyline growing denser and more crenellated, always looming up
first planned communities, hailed for its innovative design by    there in the distance? The elevated subway, the Flushing line,
such scholars of urban life as Lewis Mumford (a onetime           zooms to it, only fourteen minutes from Grand Central Station.
resident). During the following years the neighborhood became     Everything you could want you’d find right in Queens. But the
middle class, and largely Irish. During the 1940s and 1950s its   young marrieds become old marrieds, and the children come, but
large apartments enticed many artists and writers and their       the promotions, the breaks, don’t, and you’re still there in your
families to leave their cramped quarters in lower Manhattan,      bedroom community, your life over the bridge in Manhattan, and
and the area became known as the "maternity ward of               the fourteen-minute ride becomes longer every day. Why don’t I
Greenwich Village."                                               get the breaks? I’m hip. I’m hep. I’m a New Yorker… I‘m not
From the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce,                           something you curb a dog for. “
www.sunysidechamber.org 9/1/06                                    -John Guare, Introduction to The House of Blue Leaves
                          John Guare                                Growing up, Guare did random jobs around the country,
                                                                    seeking out work in the theater. As an undergraduate student
                                                                    at Georgetown University, he checked coats at the National
                                                                    Theatre; during graduate school at Yale Drama, he ushered at
                                                                    the Shubert Theatre. He also worked backstage on various
                                                                    summer stock productions. On a show starring Gloria
                                                                    Swanson, his jobs ranged from taking out the garbage to
                                                                    plunging her toilet. In an interview in 1992, he recalled, “I
                                                                    ran the light board for her show, which involved bringing up
                                                                    the stage lights surreptitiously when she came onstage so the
                                                                    audience would subliminally think, gee, isn’t everything
                                                                    brighter when she’s around?”

                                                                    As Guare evolved into a playwright, his interest in the forms
                                                                    and styles of different writers grew. He became intrigued by
John Guare was born in New York City in 1938. He grew up            Chekov, Strindberg, Feydeau, and most particularly, Phillip
in a typical Irish-American home in Queens, going to Catholic       Barry. Barry had adopted his form from the 19th century
school and dreaming of making it big. “When I was a kid, I          comedie larmoyante, or tearful comedy. Guare described his
wanted to come from Iowa, from New Mexico, to make the              fascination with this genre to Anne Cattaneo, in an interview
final break and leave, say, the flatness of Nebraska and get on     for the Paris Review:
that Greyhound and get off that Greyhound at Port Authority         Guare: I always liked plays to be funny and early on stumbled
and you wave your cardboard box at the sky: I’ll Lick You Yet.              upon the truth that farce is tragedy speeded up. Filling
How do you run away to your dreams when you’re already                      up that hunger. Get to Moscow. Get into an adult
there?... Fourteen minutes on the Flushing line in a very long              world. The want becomes a need. The need becomes a
distance.” John Guare, Introduction, The House of Blue Leaves               hunger and because you’re speeding it up so much…
                                                                    Cattaneo: …it becomes ridiculous
He went to St. Joan of Arc Grammar School in Jackson                Guare: Exactly! The intensity puts it on the edge. The top
Heights, Queens from 1944-1952. The Nuns there instilled in                 keeps spinning faster and faster until it can only
their students the dream of going to the Vatican to see the                 explode, and if you’ve got a stageful of people at that
Pope. Guare remembers; “no sisters ever yearned for Moscow                  psychic, manic state and an audience in tune with them,
the way those sisters and their pupils yearned for Rome.” In                then something dangerous might happen out of that
1965, as fate would have it, he finally got to the Vatican on the           hysteria.
very day that Pope Paul VI was driving through Queens on his
way to the United Nations.
                                                                       Central Park, to say mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where all
                                                                       the Kennedys sat in the front row. He then met with
                                                                       President Johnson in a suite at the Waldorf Astoria. Johnson
                                                                       accompanied the Pope down to his limo, which whisked him
                                                                       off to the United Nations.
                                                                                In his meeting with the General Assembly, the first
                                                                       ever for the Holy See, he made the plea for: “No more war --
                                                                       war never again.'' ". . . you [the United Nations] organize
                                                                       brotherly collaboration among peoples. In this way a system
                                                                       of solidarity is set up, so that lofty civilized aims may win the
                                                                       orderly and unanimous support of all the family of peoples
                                                                       for the common good and the good of each individual. This
               Pope Paul VI - The Pilgrim Pope                         aspect of the United Nations is the most beautiful; it is its
                                                                       most truly human aspect; it is the ideal of which mankind
        Pope Paul VI (September 26, 1897 - August 6, 1978)             dreams on its pilgrimage through time; it is the world's
earned the nickname “the pilgrim pope” by being the most               greatest hope...." Afterwards he said mass at Yankee Stadium
traveled pope in Vatican history. Of the five continents he            in front of a crowd of over 80,000 people, visited a high
visited, one of his most significant trips was his visit to India in   school in Harlem, and made a speech at the World Fair. He
1964, where he talked about ending world hunger.                       returned to Rome that same day.
“We entrust to you our special message to the world. Would                      In addition to his humanitarian work, Paul VI was
that the nations could cease the armaments race, and devote            known for his staunch position on birth control. On July 26,
their energies and resources instead to the fraternal assistance       1968, he released his encyclical Humanæ Vitæ (subtitled On
of developing countries! Would that every nation thinking              the Regulation of Birth). In it he reaffirmed the Church’s
“thoughts of peace and not of affliction” and war, would               position against the use of birth control. This move came as a
contribute even part of its expenditure for arms to a great world      surprise as many assumed the church was ready to approve the
fund for the relief of the many problems of nutrition, clothing,       technological advances that had produced the contraceptive
shelter and medical care which afflict so many peoples.”               pill, and many Catholic couples were already using
                                                                       contraception despite church teachings.
U Thant, Secretary-General of the United Nations, was                           He died in July of 1978 from a heart attack.
inspired by this speech and invited Pope Paul VI to speak at
the U.N.. The morning of October 4, 1965, the Pope left
Rome at 4:30 a.m., and landed at J.F.K. airport in Queens,
New York. He was driven in a 1964 Lincoln limousine
customized with a glass bubble through Queens, Harlem and
The House of Blue Leaves takes place in 1965, at a time when
media dominated mass culture. In the 1960s, Pop Artists like
Andy Warhol and James Rosenquist celebrated and satirized
the bombardment of advertising and celebrity images, images
that dominated the collective imagination of the American
public. By this time, most Americans had begun to experience
their world primarily through television, film, and magazines.




1964                                 1965                            1965 (cont.)                               1968
 February                           Color TV booms as NBC             October 4
                                                                                                               Manufacturers churn
 The Beatles appear on Ed           leads the way and begins to       Pope Paul VI arrives in New York to
                                                                                                               out 11.4 million new
 Sullivan. 73 million viewers       use the phrase "The Full Color    appeal to the UN for an armistice.
                                                                                                               TV sets, up from the
 tune in.                           Network". By year's end, 96%      CBS requests Bishop J. Fulton Sheen to
                                                                                                               5.7 million receivers
                                    of NBC's nighttime schedule       cover the Pope’s visit to New York.
                                                                                                               made in 1960.
 August 2                           is broadcast in color, along
 President Johnson announces        with all major programs,          October 28
 that three North Vietnamese PT     sports events and specials.       Pope Paul VI announces that the
 boats twice attacked the USS                                         Vatican II Council affirms all Jews
 Maddox in the Tonkin Gulf          May 3                             today are no more responsible for the
 Later research, including a        The 173rd Airborne Brigade        death of Christ than Christians.
 report released in 2005 by the     arrives in Vietnam.
 NSA, indicates the second                                            November 30
 attack did not occur.              August 15                         After visiting Vietnam, Defense
                                    The Beatles perform at Shea       Secretary McNamara warns that
 September 14                       Stadium in Queens, New York.      American casualty rates of up to 1000
 Pope Paul the VI opens the third   55,600 people attended.           dead per month could be expected.
 session of the Vatican II
 Council. He ends the session on                                      December 8
                                    September 14
                                                                      The Vatican Council II is ratified and
 November 21 by formally            Vatican Council II reopens for
                                                                      closed. Pope Paul forms a Papal
 declaring Mary as "Mother of       its final session.
                                                                      Commission for the Media of Social
 the Church," as had always been
                                                                      Communication to assist bishops with
 taught.
                                                                      the pastoral use of these media.
  1969                               1970                         1971                       1975
The Children’s Television                                 The transition from 60-           A study by the Council on
Workshop introduces             Coca-Cola's "I'd Like     seconds to 30-seconds as the      Children, Media, and
Sesame Street.                  to Teach the World to     standard length for               Merchandising reveals that
                                Sing" commercial          commercials takes hold. The       approximately 50% of ads in
June 16-18                      saturates the radio and   change began in the 1960s         children's programming from
The Holy Shroud of Turin is     broadcast airwaves,       with the controversial practice   1965 to 1975 were for food,
photographed for the first      becoming an instant       of "piggybacking," or putting     primarily sugared cereals,
time in color by G.B. Judica    hit. Coca-Cola goes on    messages for two related          cookies, candies, and soft
Cordiglia.                      to sell a million         products from one company         drinks; 30% were for toys.
                                records featuring a       into the same one-minute
June 27                         non-commercial            commercial. The networks          April 30
Life magazine displays          version of the popular    cast aside concerns about         At 8:35 a.m., the last
portrait photos of all 242      jingle.                   corporate relationships and       Americans, ten Marines from
Americans killed in                                       began selling 30-second units.    the embassy, depart Saigon;
Vietnam during the previous     A Bolivian surrealist                                       concluding the United States
week. These photos shock        painter attempts to       January 4                         presence in Vietnam. North
Americans nationwide.           stab Pope Paul VI in      President Nixon announces         Vietnamese troops pour into
                                an airport in the         “The end is in sight.”            Saigon and encounter little
July 20                         Phillipines.                                                resistance. By 11 a.m., the red
Americans watch on                                        February 11                       and blue Viet Cong flag flies
network television as Neil      April 15                  The House of Blue Leaves,         from the presidential palace.
Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin       The nation watches as     by John Guare, premieres at       President Minh broadcasts a
walk on the moon.               the stranded Apollo 13    the Truck and Warehouse           message of unconditional
                                astronauts make a         Theatre, New York City.           surrender. The war is over.
December 1                      return to earth.
The first draft lottery since                             March
World War II is held in New                               Opinion polls indicate Nixon's
York City.                                                approval rating among
                                                          Americans has dropped to 50
                                                          percent, while approval of his
                                                          Vietnam strategy has slipped
                                                          to just 34 percent. Half of all
                                                          Americans polled believe the
                                                          war in Vietnam to be "morally
                                                          wrong."

				
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