Sunnyside by Andrew Wheatley in Queens, New York

I live in the Sunnyside neighborhood of Queens. It’s home to one of America’s first planned communities, Sunnnyside Gardens, a mix of residential zones and green space. In my illustration, the text is taken from the Sunnyside arch on Queens Boulevard (from here you can get a nice view of Manhattan across the East River). The squirrel is our neighbor, a friendly fellow.

Name:Andrew Wheatley



Football, predictable as I’m an Englishman.

Tell us about Sunnyside:

It used to be a predominantly Irish neighborhood, but has since diversified to include communities of Armenians, Romanians, Turkish, Greeks, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Bangladeshis, Colombians, and Ecuadorans. Sunnyside is safe and quiet with a wide choice of restaurants. I’m close enough to Manhattan, but I still feel like I’ve escaped the city when I come home at night.

A perfect day in Sunnyside?

Breakfast at Pete’s Diner, lunch at Aubergine Cafe, then a walk down Skillman Avenue to look for records at Stray Vintage. The evening is spent enjoying good beer and food. I regularly check out Abdel Rios’ window dressings at Skillman Pets. I stopped by last week to see his 1950’s display; it was very nice.

What is the best thing about Sunnyside?

Its diversity. As an English immigrant, I enjoy being in an area with lots of people from different places living together. It was especially fun watching the World Cup.

What is the worst?

There is a lot of greenery, but it could use a bigger public park. And a bookstore!

What would be surprising about Sunnyside to an outsider?

Whenever people visit me, they are surprised that there are places to see other than Manhattan. I’m sure everyone in the other boroughs experiences this.

If Sunnyside was a person or character who would it be?

I read that James Caan grew up here. So, not for any particular reason, I’m going to say James Caan as Mr. Henry in the Wes Anderson film Bottle Rocket.

Who are three of your favorite artists?

Max Ernst, David Lynch, and Kurt Vonnegut.


Name:Andrew Wheatley


Favorite place to eat:

The Dog and Duck.

Favorite place to drink:

Aubergine Cafe. I often have the beer and chili special!

Favorite shop:

Stray Vintage for affordable records and local artists’ work.

Local Tip:

Skillman Pets changes its window dressing every few months or so. Proprietor Abdel Rios puts a lot of effort into creating accurate snapshots of the era and often sells pieces from the display. Today it’s a 1950’s reporter’s desk. Check it out!

Must Do:

Have a late night dinner at the 24-hour Pete’s Diner off Queen’s Blvd.