Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Back to the Grind

I hope you had a relaxing Memorial Day Weekend. Wasn't the weather just great, especially Saturday and Sunday? Think of it this way, now only four days left to the weekend...

Here's a shot of Central Park from Sunday:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cupcake Coverage

Here's an idea - since the owner of Magnolia Bakery grew up in Forest Hills, maybe he can open one here, too? Don't worry Martha's... with the insatiable appetite Forest Hillers seem to have for sugar, I am sure you would still do more than fine.

Magnolia really blooming: Bakery founder knew how to get things cooking

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Greenline Has Flatlined

Well, that is apparently the end of Greenline Organic.... As a commenter posted here this afternoon -- and I just confirmed with my own two eyes -- the organic grocer has been taken over by the marshalls. It's a sad development, but probably not a huge surprise given Natural and the Organic Market so close by... nevertheless, it is always sad to see a business try and fail, especially here in Forest Hills.

An 8 on the Mothball Scale

Um, not sure how to be diplomatic about this - but the Mothballs are driving me freakin' crazy!

It is 2011. Who, might I ask, buys mothballs any more?

Well, apparently someone in my building, in one of the other apartments quite close to mine, too! If you are a long-time follower of this blog then you know I have been waging a low-grade mothball battle in my apartment building for quite a while now. Unfortunately, over the past few months the sickening smell has only worsened. But we may be coming to a turning point, an end to the mothball stalemate as I believe one of the suspect apartments recently became unoccupied and not necessarily through the choice of the rather long-term occupant (if you get my drift.)

In any case, I am off to the store to buy some Glade or something. And in the meantime, for all you mothball owners out there, please...please.... this is 2011.. I beg of you... Please go and invest in some cedar chips for your closets instead! They do exactly the same thing, but without the stomach-turning, lung-scorching side affects.

4:02 P.M. Update:

Well, I have two Glades now installed in the affected area. My apartment is rapidly beginning to smell like a French brothel. But is is indeed better than the mothballs. And good God, what a to-do they have made over these air fresheners in the, oh, 25 years or so since the last time I bought one! You have to plug them in and put batteries on them and this and that. Some even just activate when you walk by them thanks to motion sensors! Ridiculous! I bought the one you just pull open and it seems to be working just fine.

Some Refreshing Political News

Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi seeks new direction for old political club

"Political clubs are the stuff of New York legend - smoky, wood-paneled rooms where deals are cut and public careers are made or broken. Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi said he is trying to change that image by revamping his old political club into a quasi-civic association. The new group, the Community Empowerment Democratic Association, held its inaugural meeting Tuesday at Manor Oktoberfest in Forest Hills."

Monday, May 23, 2011

This Week's Poll

First, let's take a look at the results from our last poll, which was posted back on April 5th.

45 people voted in the poll which asked where your doctors are located...

The winner, probably as expected given the reputation of doctors there, was Manhattan, with 40% of the vote (18 votes)

Coming in second were people who said they went to doctors in both Queens and Manhattan, with 26.6% of the vote (12 votes)

Followed by just Queens, with 24.4% (11 votes)

Long Island 6.6%, with 3 votes

and Another NYC Borough 2.2%, with just 1 vote

Now on to this week's poll:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Barnes & Noble Renews Lease

Now, this is the type of article about Forest Hills I love to read. This really does say it all:

Here's Something: A New York Barnes & Noble Doesn't Decide to Close

What's Up With Greenline Organic?

From my sick bed I am being told by a few folks that the store has remained shuttered for the past couple of days, mail is piling up inside and the fruit and what-not is still visible just sitting there.

If they have closed, this is indeed a sad ending to what had originally looked like a nice store. Although some had speculated from the beginning it would be tough to make it with Natural so close by and the cute Organic Market on 71st Road just a couple of blocks away.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Twin Value Name Change?

One of the readers sent this photo in this evening. Here's a link to other Fine Fare locations: http://www.finefaresupermarkets.com/Locations.aspx

Awesome Video

I just love this... My awesome video of the day:


Heavy Weather Moving In

The tropical-like rain continues this afternoon. This was just posted from the National Weather Service:

108 PM EDT WED MAY 18 2011



Time Out Reviews Four New Queens Restaurants

They certainly didn't venture very far into our borough, but, hey, we all know by now what to expect from these outer-borough-phobic-Manhattan-centric magazine types don't we? (I kid the publishing world. I know some of you even live right here in FoHi!)

Restaurant reviews: New Queens restaurants

Another Review of Agora

While I recuperate from one of the nastier colds I've had in a long time, I direct you to a review of one of our new restaurants, Agora Taverna, from fellow blogger eateryROW

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hate to Say I Told You So....

.... but I told you so...

Non-Story They're Trying to Make Into A Big Story

Yes, it seems Donald Trump's hair problems were insurmountable and he has decided not to run for President. Trump Says No to Presidential Run

Boy, seems like hair styling is certainly the theme of this week so far... :)

And my next "Non-Story They're Trying to Make Into A Big Story" award goes to..... Newt Gingrich! Not a chance in hell.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Battle of the Hair Stylists

Yes, somewhere in the back of my mind I have at times thought to myself: "Hmmm, I wonder what life would be like if I cut hair for a living?" Not that I have the slightest bit of talent, or interest for that matter, in this profession. Just that it kind of looks like a fun job: you get to pretty much stand in the same place all day long and gossip and shoot the breeze with your customers. And it seems like you get pretty good tips, etc.. And, at our local Supercuts anyway, you also get to listen to rockin' disco club music all day! What could be wrong with that?

Well, apparently, hair styling can be just as cut throat as pretty much any other business! I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it does indeed seem like the underside of the hairy styling business has recently reared its ugly head on Austin St. Apparently, a former employee of Supercuts must've quit recently and gone to work at another hair salon in the area. Only the employee came up with the enterprising idea of parking a car in front of the Supercuts with a sign advertising their new gig! You have to admit it is enterprising, with a bit of Chutzpah mixed in. And in this tough economy, a little Chutzpah can sometimes go a long way!

Well, Supercuts apparently is not very happy at all with the development. They have posted a note in their store window informing their customers that they have nothing to do with the sign, or for that matter, the car displaying it that has been parked in front of the store for several weeks now. And, the Supercuts notice goes on to state something to the effect that the whole matter is quite beneath them professionally.

So The Battle of the Forest Hills Hair Stylists has commenced! Perhaps not a surprise, given how many there are of them. We must have more hair stylists per capita than any other neighborhood in the country, if not the world. In any case, as a satisfied Supercuts customer for quite a few years now, I have to admit I am rooting for them to emerge victorious!

By the way, while we're on the subject of beautifying ourselves, here's a pic of the Queen's Nails & Spa in their new location on Austin St. They are one of the refugees from the north side of Queens Blvd. near the Key Food, to make way for the CVS or whatever other big retailer they decide to move in there...

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Queensboro Bridge Art Contest

The Queensboro Bridge Art Contest is the LIC Art Open's (licartsopen.org) invitation to the students of Queens, ages 5-18, to memorialize the Queensboro Bridge through art. Thanks to the efforts of curator Alyssa Ratkewitch and the Queens Paideia School, art
teachers and parents throughout the borough have mobilized young artists to produce more than 1,500 breathtaking submissions. The result is an unprecedented exhibition of color, imagination, poetry, possibility, and joy.

An awards ceremony for winning submissions representing 4 age categories will be held on Saturday, May 21, at 2:30 p.m. at the Street Festival on 22nd St., between 43rd and 44th Avenues. Council member Jimmy Van Bramer will be on hand to present awards
and personally congratulate the winners (who will be notified in advance).

An exhibition of ALL of the works will be held at the LIC Art Center on May 21& May 22, noon to 6 p.m. Please stop by to view this marvelous display of youthful creativity as well as a documentary about the bridge produced by Queens Paideia’s students especially
for this event.

LIC Art Center / 44-02 23rd St., Long Island City, NY 11101
Children's Art Exhibition: 5th-floor hallway gallery
Queens Paideia School Bridge Docu-Learning: Studio 214

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Around Town: CVS' New Chelsea Store

I passed by this just yesterday and just had to mention it here. It really is the coolest setting for a drugstore I have ever seen. CVS has taken over the old Balducci's location, at the corner of Eighth Ave. and 14th Street in Manhattan, which used to be a bank many years ago:

CVS Gives Chelsea The Most Opulent Drugstore

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Emily's Sugar Rush Pictures

If you haven't yet had a chance to visit Forest Hills' new candy store, located at the corner of Austin and 72nd Ave., here are some photos of the inside. I think it's a cute addition to our main shopping district.

Review of Moca Asian Bistro

I ran across this pretty comprehensive review, just published on Sunday, of one of our better restaurants here in Forest Hills: Moca Asian Bistro, Forest Hills: Contemporary Asian fusion or confusion?

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Little Old World Charm

I, for one, really like what they have already done to the look of the former La Terrazza restaurant site next to the Midway Theater, as they transform it into the Old Vienna Cafe. Notice in the upper left portion of the photo below how they are changing the windows to give them a touch of that old world look and feel... How cozy and European of them! This was taken on Friday and I believe they have already finished these changes to the exterior. I can just imagine myself going to Old Vienna Cafe on a cold, dark day in winter and cuddling up with a hot cup of coffee. I am very intrigued to see what they do with the inside.

And here is a shot of the new store that has come in to where the old Cards N' Such used to be on Austin. Welcome Prima Donna, which from a quick glance, seems to stock many a lady's handbag:

Friday, May 6, 2011

Emily's Sugar Rush Opens Tomorrow

Reposting this comment from blog reader 'Andrew' in case you missed it:

"Yes, Emily's Sugar Rush will be opening tomorrow, Saturday May 7, right on time for Mother's day! and it will be a great place to get all your chocolate, cupcakes and candy needs. :) I will be there for the opening.
I wish them well, Austin needed something like this and it's great to have them."

I, for one, am most definitely eagerly looking forward to this new candy store. I agree with Andy, it's just what Austin Street needed:

Silly Idea of the Day

Do we really need this? It's this new self-parking car I've seen ads for. My first thought upon seeing the commercial was, "It won't work anyway." But, apparently, according to this video. It does. Ok, so my second thought is, "Really, with all the challenges facing humanity, do we really need a car that parallel parks itself?" And then my third thought was, "If I owned a car, would I really trust its parking to a robot? How do I know it won't suddenly just smack the damn thing into the cars in front and back of me? And then I am totally screwed! Thanks robot!!"

Watch the video and notice that quick moment of fear even in this woman who is demonstrating the car's self-parking ability, when her head whips around. That is how I would be, too. So I ponder: which would I choose? The moment of fear and stress that occurs every time I try to parallel park the car myself? Or the newly-discovered moment of fear and stress when I let the robot take over control of the car from me? I ask you...

Happy Friday

Kind of a slow news day here in the Hills. But with temps predicted to reach 70 degrees, who really cares??

Anyway, I thought you all might enjoy some pics I snapped from the tippy top of the Parker Towers yesterday.  I hadn't been to Parker Towers in years, so it was fun to visit them and see what Forest Hills looks like from their perspective for a change...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tennis Stadium Rejected for Landmark Hearing

This is, well, laughable....
Iconic Forest Hills Tennis Stadium Rejected For Landmark Hearing

If this isn't all about politics, big-business connections and that kind of bullshit I don't know what is... it all comes down to development - if they landmark it, the developers aren't free to do anything they want with the site.

What is most offensive about this is their arrogance - they think the public is stupid.

Here's another article about the ruling: Forest Hills Tennis Stadium Denied Landmark Status

For those of you new to this blog, I have always been in favor of preserving this historic stadium. I am all for progress and moving forward, if anything, to an extreme degree. I believe Forest Hills needs more development, not less. We need more modern spaces for big retailers and big restaurants to come in, but at the same time preserving our smaller restaurants and retailers. Any long-time resident who has a problem with that should've taken it up years ago with the City when it plowed its lovely Queens Blvd. through the center of Forest Hills. That fantasy is over and it is now important that we make the best of what we have. We can do that through proper, attractive new developments.

However, as far as I see it, we have a few charming elements left here in Forest Hills:
  • Austin St.
  • Station Square
  • Forest Hills Gardens
  • The Tennis Stadium
  • Many of the coop buildings. I have to say many of them do the best they can to beautify the area with some pretty stunning landscaping and the excellent upkeep of their properties.

If the Tennis Stadium is to be developed in some way, the charm and amazing history of the site should somehow be incorporated. And of course it should be done for common use and hopefully as a tourist draw so our local retailers get more foot traffic on Austin and get more business. That would ripple across the surrounding areas as well, I would think, including the very dilapidated, sad state of affairs along Queens Blvd. heading towards Kew Gardens.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Our New Taxis

Say hello to our next generation of NYC taxi cabs, coming soon to a street near you:

New York City taxis to get suburban look, Japanese nameplate

This last pic is just one I took a couple of months ago when I was in Times Square. Three different versions of NYC cabs just happened to be stopped at a red light and made for a cool shot:

Some Thoughts

Firstly, here's a link to a really cool thing The Times is doing to get a feel for how significant people think the death of Bin Laden is:

The Death of a Terrorist: A Turning Point?
Published: May 3, 2011
President Obama’s announcement Sunday night about Bin Laden’s death produced an outpouring of reaction. But has the killing of the most wanted face in terrorism made the world safer?

Now, some of my own thoughts.

While I think violence of any kind is uncivilized and beneath us as human beings, there are definitely times in history when those who make the innocent suffer should be dealt with swiftly and strongly. I think we could of and should have captured or killed Bin Laden 9 years ago. I don't think Bush and his administration wanted to because it didn't serve their agenda - providing an excuse and distraction to invade Iraq (for what reason, oil? some vendetta? Maybe all of the above? I don't know.) I will never, ever forgive the Bush administration for putting this nation through 8 years of phony "terrorism alerts" for what was obviously political purposes. Spreading such terror among the American population was doing the dirty work of the terrorists themselves. It was disgraceful.

Am I glad Bin Laden is out of the picture? Absolutely. I was down there myself on 9/11 and could have been killed by the first tower's collapse if it weren't for the brave work of the NYPD, who risked their lives in evacuating everyone from the immediate area and did countless other acts of bravery on that day, along of course with the Fire Department.

It also seems to me that Bin Laden's death will come to be grouped by historians in the current context of the revolutions for freedom taking place in the Middle East. Young people by the millions in the Middle East have rejected "Bin Ladinism" in favor of pro-democracy movements. And that is the best news of all.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bin Laden's Death

What are your thoughts on Bin Laden's death? I'm curious to hear what readers of the blog think... I'm a little busy today with my regular job, so I will hopefully get a chance to share some of my thoughts later today.... All I can say right now, is having been one of the people who had to run for his life as the first tower fell, this brings up a lot of memories again for me.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011. Seated, from left, are: Brigadier General Marshall B. “Brad” Webb, Assistant Commanding General, Joint Special Operations Command; Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough; Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Standing, from left, are: Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; National Security Advisor Tom Donilon; Chief of Staff Bill Daley; Tony Binken, National Security Advisor to the Vice President; Audrey Tomason Director for Counterterrorism; John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Please note: a classified document seen in this photograph has been obscured. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)