Friday, May 22, 2015

Frightening Crash Tonight

This is the scene tonight at Jewel Ave. and 108th St. Cars ended up shattered and on the sidewalk. Imagine how much worse this could've been. I'm told both drivers escaped without severe injuries and luckily no pedestrians were hurt. Thanks to Matthew for sending in the pic.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Some Thoughts on Barnes & Noble's Closing

A petition to keep Barnes & Noble open in Forest Hills has almost 3,000 signatures. You can view and sign the petition here: Keep Barnes & Noble Open at 70-00 Austin St, Forest Hills, NY!

While I personally would love the Barnes & Noble to stay open in Forest Hills, I would also love a lot of things, like to be 18 again. (Those were the days!) But unfortunately, that ain't going to happen, and I'd be very surprised if a petition will keep B&N from eventually leaving Forest Hills. Times have changed. I used to spend many an enjoyable hour browsing the aisles of Barnes & Noble. But in recent years, that browsing for books has been done virtually all the time on my Kindle. The last time I stepped foot in B&N was around Christmas-time when I was looking for a gift.

What I think should happen is B&N should consider a smaller format store so we can have some bookstore remain in Forest Hills.

But I think a broader issue is this neighborhood's need for more things to do, whether it  be easier access to parks (The Queensway would solve this), more cultural events open to the community at large, or expanding the Greenmarket to more days of the week.

Also, since many parents especially seem to cite a need for a children's bookstore in the neighborhood, either one should open or B&N should consider leaving open a smaller kids' store.

The Tennis Stadium's recent partnership with the New York Pops to be its summer home is a fantastic development. I hope the Pops expand their presence in our neighborhood and give something back in the form of some free performances as well. How cool would a July Fourth Pops concert be at the Stadium or somewhere else locally where everyone can enjoy them? 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Tree Giveaway Tomorrow!

Last chance to take home your free tree at the FOREST HILLS TREE GIVEAWAY EVENT on MAY 17 from 1 PM to 3 PM in MacDonald Park (Queens Blvd & 70th Ave). A total of 205 small potted trees will be available, which you can adopt & plant on private property. If you live in a building, consult with your super. Please SHARE this memorable event with your friends & neighbors. 

If you chose not to reserve your tree online (, a limited quantity will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. If trees are remaining during the second hour, you can adopt more than 1 tree.

1. Fringe Tree:  
2. Yellowwood: 
3. American Elm:   
4. Dawn Redwood: 
5. Red Buckeye:  

Photos from the event featuring the tree adopters will be posted on Flickr & on our Facebook page:

To read about our success, visit: 

Questions & to volunteer, email Michael Perlman at  A reference letter & service credit can be provided upon request. 

Happy greening!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Forest Hills Stadium, the New Summer Home of The New York Pops!

This had been rumored for quite some time. And this afternoon The New York Pops tweeted:

Announcing our summer home: ! and on 8/6 & 8/7. Tix: $10 at

The New York Pops is the largest independent pops orchestra in the United States, and the only professional symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular music. Led by Music Director Steven Reineke, the orchestra performs an annual subscription series at Carnegie Hall, enjoying one of their highest subscription renewal rates. The New York Pops’ annual birthday gala is celebrated each spring, raising funds for the orchestra and its education programs.

Now in its 32nd season, The New York Pops celebrates the diversity of popular music’s evolving songbook. Every concert is a unique experience, with influences ranging from Broadway melodies to film scores, jazz, rock, pop and everything in between. The orchestra collaborates with stars from the stage and screen, such as Tony Bennett, Michael Feinstein, Megan Hilty, Idina Menzel, Kelli O’Hara, Miss Piggy, Pink Martini, John Pizzarelli, and many more. Under the leadership of dynamic Music Director and Conductor Steven Reineke, The New York Pops continues to re-imagine orchestral pops music.

The New York Pops is dedicated to lifelong learning, and collaborates with public schools, community organizations, children’s hospitals and senior centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City. PopsEd allows thousands of New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds to participate in fully customizable music programs that blend traditional education with pure fun. PopsEd makes music open to all, and uses tools like composition, lyric writing, performance and mentorship to foster learning and unbridled creativity. In doing so, these programs excite students and give them skills they can apply to all areas of their lives.

The New York Pops is committed to creating access for all members of the community. Thousands of children and their parents have the opportunity to see The New York Pops during interactive and educational family concerts in partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. The orchestra has toured throughout the world. Past media projects include the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular on NBC Television, a nationally syndicated radio series and performances on PBS. The orchestra’s discography includes recordings of popular standards, theater and film scores, and music for the holidays.

The New York Pops was founded by Skitch Henderson in 1983 with a mission to create greater public awareness and appreciation of America’s rich musical heritage through presentation of concerts and education programs of the highest quality. The New York Pops is a non-profit organization supported solely through the generosity of individual donations, institutional grants, corporate sponsorships and concert income.

Queens Boulevard—The Next Foodie Zone?

It seems like the blocks along Queens Blvd. are starting now to mimic what's been happening down on Metropolitan Ave. with all the new restaurants opening. And it makes perfect sense—they're probably a lot less rent than along Austin St. so we're starting to see all kinds of new independent restaurants open up there. It's a very exciting trend. And with the planned beautification of Queens Blvd. which just started in Jackson Heights and is supposed to eventually make its way down here, too, could it be we are on the cusp of a rejuvenated and actually enticing Queens Blvd. corridor?

Matiz, a new Latin restaurant which sounds very interesting, recently opened at the corner of 73rd Road and Queens Blvd. If anyone has tried it yet, let us know how it is. I'll check it out asap, too.

And DNAInfo reports that Thai Boulevard will soon reopen at 110-70 Queens Blvd.

DNAInfo also says the Indian restaurant Baluchi's, closed by the health department for various unpleasantness, will reopen in the fall as some kind of lounge by the same owners. Um, ok....

Meanwhile, on Austin St., a reliable commenter on the Blog's Facebook Page says the former Bonfire Grill is being converted into a new restaurant by the owners of Jack & Nellies on Ascan. It will serve American fare and be open for lunch.

And Red Mango recently broke out of its claustrophobic space at the corner of Restaurant Row to begin outdoor seating, immediately making it immensely more enjoyable. The photo below is from this Sunday morning when they were putting out the tables...

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Whole Foods, Welcome to Forest Hills!

Well, one can hope, can't one? Now that news comes that our Barnes & Noble on Austin Street, an enormous, centrally-located retail space, is closing, according to the Daily News: Barnes & Noble to shutter Forest Hills store: sources
Money quote: “We’re talking to some national retailers,” Kay said.
If not WF, well, then what about an Apple Store? Yes, the Borough is already getting one at the Queens Center Mall, but we could always use another right here.

 As for our Barnes & Noble, I will miss it, though I have to admit I haven't been into it since Christmas-time. I've gone all Kindle by now when it comes to my book shopping. But I've spent many an hour strolling and reading through the aisles of B&N and other bookshops and do indeed miss the experience. But times change...

Media Descends on Forest Hills After Train Crash

The engineer of the Amtrak train that crashed is a resident of Forest Hills and the media has been camped out in front of his apartment since yesterday. The train was reportedly going twice as fast as it was supposed to when the accident occurred.

The scene in front of his building last night. Lights and cameras were trained on the front of his building and I noticed reporters sitting in cars along the block waiting for any sign of him. I also saw a pack of reporters interviewing residents of his building outside.