Thursday, February 17, 2011

Huh?

Ok, I've spent a heck of a lot of time in Grand Central, as I'm sure most of you have. Now, am I crazy, but how in the world can Apple open its biggest store in the world there?

Confirmed: Apple To Build Biggest Store Yet In Grand Central Terminal

I especially like the part of the article that says Apple may have to take down walls of Grand Central to fit its biggest store in there. Jackie O must be rolling over in her grave! Of course, they can't take down walls of Grand Central! It's a protected historic structure. But leave it to a technology blog to not have the slightest idea what "protected historic structure" means!

I kid the technology blog (not really).

Supposedly, they say, Apple wants to open a store in Grand Central to alleviate the crowding at its Fifth Avenue store. Now, that I can believe.


Thinking Ahead To Spring

The nice weather has me in a Spring-like mood. Here's one of the things to look forward to this Spring - the opening of the second phase of the High Line. It will extend the High Line all the way up to 30th Street. If you haven't gone to the High Line yet, I highly (pun intended), recommend it! I actually have been wanting it to snow again because I'd like to see what it looks like covered in snow. (Next time it snows, or shortly after, that's where you'll find me!)

Here's a short video tour of phase 2:

Poll Results So Far: Battle of the Drugstores

Here are the results so far from this week's poll, the Battle of the Austin St. / 71st Continental Corner Drugstore chains:

Duane Reade, perhaps as expected given its unique relationship with New Yorkers, is in the lead with 9 votes, giving it 45 percent of the vote so far.

In a close second place is Rite Aid with 8 votes and 40 percent of the vote. I have to admit Rite Aid is holding its own and doing better than I expected it to.

And 3 voters have opted to favor neither of the chains, giving "Other" 15 percent of the vote.

If you haven't voted yet, the poll is still open.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Austin Restaurant Developments

As I wrote in my previous post, a sign is up for the new restaurant coming into the old Piu Bello location at the corner of Austin and 70th Ave. The restaurant will be called Agora Taverna and will serve Greek food.

Meanwhile, across the street, the new Exo Cafe looks like it is almost ready to open. Here are a couple of photos:




New Greek restaurant where Piu Bello used to be is called Agora Taverna.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

PJ's Steakhouse / Grill

I finally finished watching the entire episode of Kitchen Nightmares that was shot here in Forest Hills, at the old PJ's Steakhouse on Yellowstone, and that aired on Channel 5 a couple of weeks ago. I actually found it really touching! I liked Kitchen Nightmares beforehand having seen it a couple of times (actually, the British version), but I have to say that this episode, if you haven't seen it, is a real treat for us Forest Hillers. You have to watch it to see what I mean - it includes interviews with local people on Austin/71st Continental, lots of shots of the neighborhood, and also you just might spot one of your neighbors eating at the restaurant.

It's a real struggle as the two proprietors try to turn this restaurant around. In the end, they end up selling it - their hearts, it seems, were just not in the restaurant business. It was touching because I think anyone can identify with them. Life threw them a curve ball - the death of a close family member - and the restaurant was used as a way for them both to emerge from their grief. Unfortunately, a restaurant is something you have to put your entire heart and soul into - it's not just a therapeutic tool. But I feel for them, I really do.

On the site of the old PJ's today is a German restaurant, Manor Oktoberfest, which has been getting pretty good reviews, according to a commenter on this blog and also Yelp.

Anyway, if you haven't seen the show, here it is below...

Kitchen Nightmares in Forest Hills - Part Two

I finally got around to watching some of the episode of Kitchen Nightmares shot at what used to be PJ's Steakhouse on Yellowstone Blvd. If you missed it, the episode is available here:

Kitchen Nightmares, “PJ’s Steakhouse”: pathetic joke, that’s what it stands for

As I said in a previous post, this brought up so many feelings for me. One of the reasons I started doing this blog was to encourage better quality restaurants to open in Forest Hills. When I moved to the neighborhood more than a decade ago, my God there were some atrocious places. There still are. And you probably know the ones I am talking about. (Feel free to post about your own experiences with them either below or on the Discussion Board of our Facebook Page. )

I watched about 20 minutes of the Kitchen Nightmares episode so far. Here are my thoughts:

1) It's a real eye-opener how a restaurant can look just great and have terrible food. It makes me think of that cool-looking diner that until just a few years ago used to be on Restaurant Row (70th Road) here in Forest Hills. I don't remember the name of it, but it had kind of a retro-diner feel. But the food was horrible.

2) I love the part of the show where he finds plastic in his crab cakes. This always amazes me. A restaurant has one task to do: serve you good food. And this place served the poor guy plastic in his otherwise rancid crabcakes! It would be hysterically funny really, if it wasn't so sad. And this brings up another memory of mine. After I had first moved here I once stopped in at the old bagel place that used to be next to the Key Food (I think it is where What a Deal!!! is now). I ordered a bagel and cream cheese, took a bite and almost broke my teeth. Half of a plastic straw had somehow been placed inside my bagel on top of the cream cheese!

Since I moved here, these horrible restaurants have thankfully closed and some pretty good ones have started to open in and around the neighborhood. I am very hopeful that the restaurant scene here will only continue to improve. I am especially looking forward to the new places on Austin: Exo and the yet-to-be-named seafood restaurant across from it where Piu Bello used to be.

After all, before I lived here in Forest Hills, I lived for several years in Park Slope - and I can assure you the restaurants there back in the 90's were just as bad as the ones described above and now that neighborhood is world-class when it comes to places to eat.

RIP Kenneth Mars

New Facebook Page

By the way, if you haven't already, check out our new Facebook Page where you can post about whatever you'd like. You'll also find a growing archive of photos, including a gallery of The Blizzard of 2010 and The Forest Hills Tornado. There is also a Discussion Board on the Page with a few topics already started - Restaurants, Shopping and In the News. I will also occasionally post to the Page some items that won't appear here on the Blog.

You can reach the new Page either from the link at the right, or by clicking here: Edge of the City Facebook Page

Road Rage

I've received one email about, and have also noticed online, a lot of anger welling up about the state of Forest Hills' streets. The recent thaw has uncovered some dangerous and destructive potholes.

One of the most mysterious is this one shown in the photos below at the corner of 72nd Ave. and 112th Street. On the morning of Thanksgiving Day a road crew closed off the street to traffic and did some major work on the road, digging it up, according to one local resident. And ever since then, this person told me, sections of the road have been sinking. And now this pothole has appeared, which caused cars to have to drive around it.

Now, potholes have always been a problem in the City. I remember years ago, when I used to drive a lot, one of the worst roads was the Cross Bronx Expressway. It was like being on a ship in the middle of a storm - the car just went up... and down.... up... and down.

I don't know if the potholes are any worse than they used to be. But given the economy, I wouldn't be surprised if there is less money being allocated to fixing them.






Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope everyone's love blossoms today (ew, how corny... I don't even know where that came from.)

This is a bit of a wild Valentine's Day here in The Hills. Let's see, when you walk around you are being buffeted by 65 mile an hour winds, and it is like 60 degrees or something, and there are mounds of dirty snow all over the place...


Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Revolution, As Seen From Space

This is what Cairo's Tahrir Square looked like from space last week (click on the image for a close-up) :


Taken February 11, 11:18 a.m. local time. Photo courtesy of DigitalGlobe.

This Week's Poll

First, the results from last week's poll:

I am most looking forward to:

The opening of Marianela Taqueria, the new Mexican restaurant on 71st Continental 27.03% (10 votes)

The opening of the new seafood restaurant, in the old Piu Bello location on Austin St. 43.24% (16 votes)

The opening of the new "Ripe"-owned restaurant where Mardi Gras used to be 24.32% (9 votes)

Other: 5.41% (2 votes):
The closing of all medicore, filthy restaurants

Whatever will replace Q

Total Votes: 37


Now on to this week's poll:



Heat Wave

All the heaters have now officially been turned off in the Edge of the City Compound, a sure sign that Spring can not be too far off!

One of the best things I ever did was have the Super fix every single radiator in the apartment when I moved in so that I could turn each one on and off. Of course, like every single other apartment I have ever lived in in New York City, all of the heaters had long before broken to the point where they were all stuck in the on position. So, whenever the temperature outside would suddenly spike like it is doing today and tomorrow, I used to just resort to opening the windows rather than succumb to heat stroke. Of course, a little luck has allowed me the "luxury" of fixed heaters: Until now my Supers have either been extremely incompetent or incredibly unhelpful.

But think of how much energy is wasted by all the thousands of NYC apartments with old heaters stuck on? And how much discomfort, as well, to those of you having to put up with it. It should be a law that every single heater in every single NYC apartment can be turned on and off.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Restaurant news: Sign for Exo now up where Mardi Gras used to be on Austin; Piu Bello, in new location across from Post Office, was closed Saturday night...

Drunk With Power ?


Friday, February 11, 2011

Love / Hate ?

As I watch these amazing images of celebration in Cairo today, I can only imagine the feelings the average Egyptian has towards our country - on the one hand, they must hate the fact that we propped up with billions of dollars the tyrannical regime that kept them from reaching their human potential for the past almost 30 years. But, on the other, we gave them Facebook, Twitter and the Internet, the tools they used to successfully overthrow that same tyrant.

Forest Hills Gardens on HBO

Remember when they were filming in The Gardens some scenes for that remake of Mildred Pierce, this time with Kate Winslet instead of Joan Crawford?

Well, a date for the miniseries to air has been set: March 27th.

Here's a link to the website: HBO Mildred Piece - A Five-Part Miniseries Coming March 2011!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Edge of the Gotham City ?

If you see one of those helicopters hovering over Queens Blvd. the next few days, it may just be for some early filming of the next Batman movie:

Is 'The Dark Knight Rises' Shooting In New York City This Week?

I'm actually kind of kidding. I really can't see why Forest Hills, or even Queens, would be in the next Batman movie.

And besides, we already had this. Check the clip out at around 2:30:


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Brave New World

I believe the ongoing revolution in Egypt - which is spreading this week, not dying off as the pathetic mass media in our country would have you believe by their sudden pulling back in coverage - very well might be the most important news event of our time. We are seeing the rise of the "Internet Generation," and it will probably change the world as we know it. I don't see how repressive dictators like Mubarak will be able to stay in power in a world where all people are connected and are able to freely communicate and see for themselves the truth.

This a lengthy interview, but I highly recommend Part 2 if you can find the time to watch it:

The Lede: Subtitled Video of Wael Ghonim’s Emotional TV Interview
By ROBERT MACKEY
Published: February 8, 2011
Video of an interview on Egyptian television on Monday night with Wael Ghonim, a Google marketing executive who devoted his spare time to a Facebook page that helped spark the protest movement.

Poll Results So Far

Here are the results from our latest poll so far. The poll is still open, so if you haven't voted please do.

The poll asks which of the following you are most looking forward to.

In the lead so far: The opening of the new seafood restaurant in the old Piu Bello location on Austin St., with 12 votes.

In Second Place, The opening of Marianela Taqueria, the new Mexican place next to McDonald's on 71st/Continental, with 9 votes,

Third Place - The new "Ripe" owned restaurant where Mardi Gras used to be, with 5 votes.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Kitchen Nightmares in Forest Hills

Wow, there is just so so much to be said about this that I don't know were to begin... and my other job is calling me right now, so I don't have time to write down all my other feelings about this. Soooo, I will just leave you this link for now to digest (pun intended) this delicious (again) piece of pop-culture related reporting about where we live:

Kitchen Nightmares, “PJ’s Steakhouse”: pathetic joke, that’s what it stands for
Quick Take: Kitchen Nightmares, “PJ’s Steakhouse”
“You know what I know about running a high end steak house? Apparently not much.” – Joe the owner

Poor Spidey

I got immense pleasure from this morning's scouring review of the Spiderman show on Broadway in The Times. I've always hated the very idea of this show, not because it tried to turn theater into a circus of sorts, but because it arrogantly uses $65 million on trying to do so. $65 million!!! And they charge what? $200 or more for seats? In these times? Such excess is disgusting for what is supposed to be a form of entertainment accessible to everyone.

Movies have for a long time had such huge budgets. It's kind of expected. And the budgets sometimes make the movies really really good. But when did all this money being thrown at a Broadway show ever really make it "good" and not just some spectacle. Theater is supposed to enrich us as human beings and that is what is being forgotten in this Spiderman mess.

THEATER
Good vs. Evil, Hanging by a Thread
By BEN BRANTLEY
Published: February 7, 2011
This show is not only the most expensive musical ever to hit Broadway, but it may also rank among the worst.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Bowl Ads

As usual, I watched the Super Bowl, but mostly to see the commercials and the half-time show. The half-time show I thought was awesome. As for the commercials - below are a few of the more memorable ones. ...







Sunday, February 6, 2011

I Still Love You


By the way, so what if you're not mostly made of meat, like that silly little lawsuit claims? You are delicious and I still love you... Taco Bell Forever!!!













Oh, and while I am at it, don't be jealous... I still love you too!!!



New Poll

Friday, February 4, 2011

Worst News for Weather Weary

I just watched this video from one of my most trusted weather persons over at Accuweather.com and he is pretty certain that a week from today we will be digging out from another major blizzard. I know, I know... a week away? Forget it! It will never happen. The only problem is he has been pretty on target this winter, especially with these long-term forecasts.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Queens Center Mall Owners Bought Atlas Park

I guess if anyone has a chance of reviving the struggling Atlas Park, it would be these guys:

From The Daily News:

THE FIRM that runs Queens Center Mall, among the nation's busiest shopping centers, landed a struggling rival complex at a recent foreclosure auction:
Qns. Center Mall owners snap up rival at foreclosure sale

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Breathtaking

This article brought tears to my eyes...

WORLD
Arab World Faces Its Uncertain Future
By ANTHONY SHADID
Published: February 2, 2011
The region is watching a moment in Egypt that suggests it will never be the same again.


I loved the article's opening paragraph:

CAIRO — The future of the Arab world, perched between revolt and the contempt of a crumbling order, was fought for in the streets of downtown Cairo on Wednesday.



“The street is not afraid of governments anymore,” said Shawki al-Qadi, an opposition lawmaker in Yemen, itself roiled by change. “It is the opposite. Governments and their security forces are afraid of the people now. The new generation, the generation of the Internet, is fearless. They want their full rights, and they want life, a dignified life.”




The battle was waged by Mohammed Gamil, a dentist in a blue tie who ran toward the barricades of Tahrir Square. It was joined by Fayeqa Hussein, a veiled mother of seven who filled a Styrofoam container with rocks. Magdi Abdel-Rahman, a 60-year-old grandfather, kissed the ground before throwing himself against crowds mobilized by a state bent on driving them from the square. And the charge was led by Yasser Hamdi, who said his 2-year-old daughter would live a life better than the one he endured.

“Aren’t you men?” he shouted. “Let’s go!”

Taxi of Tomorrow

I would take more cabs just for the pleasure of riding in these:
Futuristic glass roof cab could soon be reality on NYC streets

And for more info, click here: http://www.karsantaxinyc.com/


Chilling, In More Ways Than One

From AccuWeather: Three of Next Five Winters Could be as Cold or Colder
This winter is on track to become the coldest for the nation as a whole since the 1980s or possibly even the late 1910s. According to AccuWeather.com Chief Long Range Forecaster Joe Bastardi, three or four out of the next five winters could be just as cold, if not colder.


As for now, looking at all my weather sources here in "The Edge of the City Weather Center," it seems like we are in a bit of a lull when it comes to the snow. We may even be getting a touch of Spring which is quite appropriate because of today's latest Groundhog Day news. It's not like it will be warm or anything, but the weekend storm which looked like it would bring snow just a week ago is now looking like more rain and sleet. So, there is a trend towards a bit warmer. And the second half of February is expected to be even warmer than that (Washington D.C. is expected to reach 70 degrees before the end of this month!)

However, what is beyond that - in March - is likely a return to snow and cold as we have to endure the last gasp of Winter before Spring.


5 P.M. UPDATE: Boy, things can change quickly. I just saw one forecaster who is now predicting 3 storms through next week! The one on Saturday - which may have snow with it after all - followed by one Tuesday, and then possibly a big one next Friday, the 11th.
Punxsutawney Phil & Staten Island Chuck agree on Groundhog Day: Spring to come early this year

Monday, January 31, 2011

Product Reviews

Ok, here is my take on a couple of products on the shelves of your local supermarket.

First, these Taster's Choice Instant Coffee sticks - I am infatuated with these things. I was first introduced to this kind of instant coffee single packs when Starbucks developed them a couple of years ago as Via. For those of you who have never tried it, Via is not traditional instant coffee. Starbucks developed a process that somehow captures the full-flavor of a brewed cup of coffee in an instant coffee. Key Food was actually carrying Via for a while, and then one day tthey stopped. Then I saw Taster's Choice was offering this similar product, pictured on the right, and for a lot less money too.

Now, I love my coffee and am as much a coffee expert as anyone else. So, when I bought this Taster's Choice product, having had run-ins with this brand in the past I wasn't expecting to be very impressed. (Their regular ground coffee is pretty tasteless.) But a box of 20 of these packets, sticks, whatever you call them, goes for $3.99 at Key Food here in Forest Hills (the Amazon price in the link at right is for a pack of 8 boxes of 20 I think) which is a very good deal compared to the much more expensive Starbucks version. Anyway, I was amazed at how decent the coffee is. It's not terrific - but it can easily pass as diner coffee, which is just fine.

The best part of these single serve coffee packets, however, is how they do away with all the preparation, mess and cleanup associated with brewing coffee in a pot. I guess if you are making coffee for a bunch of people - large family, office co-workers, etc.. - this might not work for you. But if it's just one or two of you drinking the coffee, these single serve packets are great. I now use my Mr. Coffee just to heat the water each morning, then pour a packet of the Nescafe into a mug and then the hot water. Presto!  A perfect cup of coffee every time. And it saves me some $$$ too. Not bad.

One point - I have no idea if Taster's Choice uses the same method that Starbucks does for these single packs. Starbucks was using a proprietary method it invented to capture the flavor of brewed coffee in an instant coffee product. Taster's Choice might just be imitating the packaging and not that process. But, in any case, this coffee tastes good enough for me.

Ok, now let's switch gears to an entirely different product. I was recently told by my dentist that I have to floss more. :( It's a pain, but I have to do it. Then I saw this commercial for these DenTek Floss Picks. I bought them tonight at the Rite Aid and rushed home to give 'em a try. I figured anything would be easier than having to wrap that floss around my fingers and struggle with the floss every day.  

Boy, am I disappointed in this product! It was such a struggle to get these picks into my mouth and the floss on them kept getting stuck between my teeth. I don't know, either my teeth are unusually close together, or this is one of those products that will not be around for very long after other people try it and decide never to buy it again. After struggling with these things for several minutes, and breaking the floss on a few of them too, I finally gave up and just went back to the regular floss. I was done in like a minute, and you know what? Suddenly, it didn't seem like much of a pain after all.

Good Bye Q Thai

The popular restaurant on Ascan has closed... It had been opened since the Spring of 1996.



Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hibernation

I was in Manhattan, the Upper East Side, last night and I have to say things were eerily quiet. Either everyone has flown south for the winter, or they are all just in hibernation having given up trying to fight this amazingly arduous winter. Maybe they will all just emerge in April, when the long-term forecast I recently saw at AccuWeather predicts the storms and cold will finally cease? (This week, the forecast calls for a "sloppy" storm Tuesday into Wednesday (snow, sleet, ice, rain) and then another snowstorm by the weekend. And then, talk is of a huge storm, maybe the biggest of the year so far, around Feb. 12th. Like I've said before, you either love it or hate it I guess. When it comes to snow, it's rare to find someone who just kinda likes it, or just kinda doesn't, isn't it?

My point of view? Enjoy it! I mean, really, what other choice do you have? A couple of more months and it will be Spring and this will all just be a memory.

Also, this winter has also given us scenes like this one below that I snapped last eve in Central Park looking towards 5th Ave., just north of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It truly was a Winter Wonderland.



Saturday, January 29, 2011

Upcoming Movies

Just a couple of upcoming movies that look pretty damn cool to me...

First, The Conspirator, directed by Robert Redford:




And, on quite a different note, Battlefield LA. Though I heard the film isn't great from early screenings, the trailer is great (if you like this kind of thing):

Friday, January 28, 2011

Atlas Park Sold

Queens Ledger reports Atlas Park sold at auction for $53 million...

Atlas Park Auction Today

The Daily News reports that the nearby mall is being auctioned off today:

Locals concerned about Shops at Atlas Park future with center set for auction

The Second Berlin Wall ?

Truly momentous events taking place in Egypt today. Looks like the Mubarak government might fall. It seems to me we may be witnessing the equivalent of the second fall of the Berlin Wall, as democracy might replace decades of dictatorship in the Middle Eastern countries. It is spreading like wildfire. It should be fascinating to see what happens...

To Our Heroes

This is dedicated to the crew of the Challenger, 25 years later....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snowpocalypse Photos








NYC's Snowpocalypse !

It's official - we are having our own Snowpocalypse year. (Remember, that's what they called Washington D.C.'s unusually snowy winter last year.)

Well, if it's any consolation, the first day of Spring is... March 20th?

Well, now you may feel worse... sorry.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Snowy Times Square

Here's a very cool link to a live webcam in Times Square. You can watch the snow pile up from the comfort of your home: Times Square Cam

Thundersnow

That boom you all heard a few minutes ago was the rare phenomenon known as thundersnow. It happened as a heavy line of sleet moved through Queens... next up is the snow. Don't be surprised if you hear more thunder and see some more lightning over the next hour. It looks like there may be a little more about to move through.

The Chase is On!

On the radar it looks like two storms chasing each other... there's the one we are getting right now which surprised everyone, and then the one that was supposed to be bigger for later tonight that is trying to catch up right south of it. I wonder if the two will combine into one storm? This kind of reminds me of one of the storms we had in the 1970's.. it started way earlier than anyone predicted and it didn't stop snowing for like 2 days. And we ended up with a ton of snow.

It seems like for whatever reason the forecasters have been continually baffled since the beginning by what this particular storm was going to do.


12:20 p.m. Update: National Weather Service now calling for 8 to 12 inches when all is said and done Thursday morning. They keep ratcheting it up and up... 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Winter Storm Watch Now in Effect

The National Weather Service has just issued a Winter Storm Watch for tomorrow afternoon into Thursday morning. This means there is the possibility of 6 inches or more of snow.

Surprise Snow

While everyone's been worried about the bigger storm expected Wednesday night into Thursday, suddenly we have this surprise snow today. The forecasters say we can get a couple of inches out of this one today. But then again, they didn't even forecast anything, so who knows...

As for tomorrow, they still don't seem to have a great handle on it - but their estimates for now seem to be anywhere from 3 to 6 inches for the City, maybe even a little more when all is said and done by Thursday. Most are saying it will not be nearly as wet as they thought several days ago - once again we are on the snowier side of things.

Meanwhile, here's a couple of photos from Forest Hills this morning as the snow begins to cover the roads...


Monday, January 24, 2011

Bodies Found in Long Island Dunes Linked to Serial Killer

This is a really chilling story. I remember reading about this for the first time about a month or so ago.

N.Y. / REGION
Bodies Found in L.I. Dunes Identified
By LIZ ROBBINS
Published: January 24, 2011
A serial killer was probably responsible for the deaths of the three women identified on Monday and a fourth who was identified last week, the Suffolk County police said.

Tennis Troubles

Geez... for a game that's supposed to be fun, it seems like tennis can be an awfully big headache. Here's the latest tennis troubles, discussed in an online article from The Wall Street Journal: U.S. Open Left in the Rain as Competitors Look for Cover

Since we here in Forest Hills have a special relationship with the US Open, I thought it was worth posting a link to the above article about how the event is unable to come up with enough cash to build a super-expensive stadium roof like its competing tournaments have--and is threatening to leave NYC altogether if the City doesn't cough up some extra $$$ to help it. Whaaaa! I feel so bad for them! I mean, especially in economic times like this, they have got to be kidding me. In the article, it discusses why a roof for the Open's stadium would be especially expensive. Something having to do with the loose ground the complex is built on. Why did they build the stadium on former landfill in the first place?

Meanwhile, what is happening with the original stadium here in Forest Hills? I haven't heard or seen a peep about it in quite a while.

Ribbin' It In Rego

A peak inside the new Dallas BBQ which opened a few weeks ago in Rego Park, as part of the new Rego Center Mall. I've always been a fan of this chain. The ribs are fine and quite reasonably priced, as are the margaritas which are gigantic, cheap and apparently a huge hit judging from how many I usually see being slurped up around me. Sure, you can get better ribs in the city at a lot of places, but not without paying a good deal more than Dallas charges.

Now, as for the new restaurant they just opened in Rego (pictured below), it it enormous. Some sections because of the lighting, ceiling, overall space, also strangely reminded me of an Atlantic City casino. I didn't know whether to place a bet or order a rack of tangy ribs. This photo only captures one part of the restaurant, it goes on and on and on....




Deal's Off ?

Hmmm, usually I would just ignore this sign in the window of What a Deal !!!!!, next to the Key Food. After all, this dollar store seems to post another GOING OUT OF BUSINESS!!!!! sign, or EVERYTHING MUST GO!!!! just about every couple of months. However, given the fact that the two stores next to this one have gone out of business in recent months, I wonder if all 3 are now going to be combined into one "deal" for a more space-needy newcomer.





Weather This Week

Just a quick update on the weather situation since I posted last week about another potential blizzard. All I can say at this point, several days later, is that the computer models for the storm are still all over the place. They have gone away from the idea of a blizzard and are showing more of a wet snow/rain storm for the City. But the forecasters are still warning that they are very uncertain about this forecast. The models have been delivering all kinds of different scenarios. Also, in the past they sometimes have gone back to the original idea (in this case, a blizzard), a day or so before the storm actually hits. So best bet is to check the forecasts Tuesday and see what they are saying about it. As in the case of the Christmas Blizzard, if you recall, they didn't forecast for that one until like the day before.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Weather Next Week Potentially Interesting

Queens Blvd. during the Blizzard of 2010.
The "B" word is being kicked around again as a possibility for next week. B as in Blizzardo. Yes, that's right. It is still a loooong way off meteorologically-speaking, and the chances that Blizzard predictions made this far in advance actually come to pass are rather slim. And the chance that we can actually get not one, but two blizzards in one winter is almost unheard of! But, I thought I'd pass along what I've been hearing, anyway, so at least you all have enough time to raid Natural and get that checkout line stretching all the way to Kew Gardens.

What do you need for a blizzard to occur? The stars have to align, so to speak, in a rare confluence of events - you need a blocking, arctic high pressure system to our north (predicted for next week), and then you need a storm to ride up along the coast (also predicted for next week). The jury is still out, however, on the following: will the storm riding up the coast bump into the arctic air mass over us and then bounce out to sea, missing us entirely or just giving us a dusting? Or does the arctic air give just enough and allow the storm to rapidly intensify and explode into a blizzard right to the south of Long Island, like what happened Christmas weekend. We shall see...

As for tonight's storm, the latest has a spread from 4 to 6 inches for us.

Smile! Yuch!

I know I am going to rot in hell for this post - I do not like to use the plight of homeless people for entertainment in any way. But maybe it is the stress of my dental cleaning from earlier today that has made me just HAVE to write about this.

There is one homeless man that I have been seeing on the subways for years and years and years... he has outlived relatives and friends of mine,. Yes, it has been that long. And, if I had to pick one of the subway homeless who bothers the hell out of me, it is him. Maybe you have seen him? I will call him Mr. "Smile." He's the one who goes up and down the subway train politely suggesting that "if you can't give a little something, at least give a little smile!!" Boy oh boy, does he annoy me.

I have absolutely no problem with giving a little something to homeless people. I don't do it on the subway, because it happens to be illegal to panhandle on the subway so I don't want to do my share to encourage illegal behavior. I do happily give to homeless people I see on the street all the time. I've had friends exclaim to me in shock - "You shouldn't do that!! They're just going to use it to get drunk!!!" Yea? How do you know? If a penny of it goes towards a crumb of food that they need, then I have done my job as a fellow human being. After all, it's not their fault they are homeless. Who in their right mind would be homeless if they could help it??

But, now back to Mr. "Smile." I do not like to be told how to act, either by a stranger like you, or even the closest friend or family member. If I choose to frown, I shall. In fact, I have a lot of trouble smiling on demand even when I have to pose for pictures. In photos where the photographer tells me to smile, I usually end up with a half smile, half twitch -- kind of like I am recovering from a mild stroke.

So, Mr. "Smile," your suggestion to me that I look up from my magazine or whatever I'm doing on the subway, and give you a big toothy grin from ear to ear, will actually backfire and result in me just tensing up and frowning even more and then burying my head in my chest deeper.

Now, if something is funny, or someone did something nice for me or for someone else, I smile. It doesn't even take a thought, it just happens. Why? I have no idea. It's one of God's little gifts to us humans, I suppose.

Winter Resumes...

Had to go to the dentist today ( no cavities :), but need to floss more! :( frak! ) , so am a little late in sharing my usual snowstorm pre-excitement with you, my dear readers. I think the latest I saw is about 4 inches for us here in Forest Hills. I will double-check soon, however.

Now, I just saw the Accuweather forecast for the rest of the winter, from now until April. And they say more of the same - you either love it (if you like snow), or hate it... what can I say?

Accuweather rest 'o winter forecast

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Forest Hills' 378th Pharmacy

One of my regular contributors just emailed this into me, along with the headline above, which I think really says it all, don't you? This is about to open on Austin St., near Ascan.

Oh well, if you find the lines too long at the other 377 neighborhood pharmacies, here's another one to try! And they do win an award for "Most Creative Pharmacy Sign," don't you think? It's got that apothecary feel going mixed with some of that cool-ass 3D stuff going on there...

We've Got Raccoons.... Who Knew?!

So apparently a new reality show is recruiting here in Forest Hills for residents who have been besieged by raccoons. According to the Patch website, the new reality show follows pest control agencies here in NYC: Got Raccoons? Want To Have Them Taken Care Of On TV?

I know I am probably alone with this feeling, but I still hold out a dream that the era of "reality" television will meet a swift end soon! (I guess I heard someone predict that back in like 1993 and I still hold onto it with all my hope - how pathetic am I?)

Speaking of reality TV, am I also the only one who believes that the producers of the Golden Globes vetted and approved every single joke Ricky Gervais said before the show? I believe Gervais surprised and shocked the show's producers with his edgy jokes as much as I believe Janet Jackson's Super Bowl boob was an accident! Someone told me quite a few years ago that when it comes to television nothing ever happens by accident, because sponsors don't like accidents, nor do they like to be surprised. And sponsors are king, because sponsors pay the paychecks, sponsors pay the bills, etc., etc... You get the picture.