Thursday, July 14, 2011

TV News: A Sad Day for Gleeks

Surprising news this a.m. for fans of the Fox show Glee. Three of the leads - who many would consider the heart of the show - are leaving. From The Hollywood Reporter: "Glee regulars Lea MicheleCory Monteith and Chris Colfer will not be back for the fourth season of the Fox musical hit."

Read all about it here:
'Glee' Exclusive: Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, Cory Monteith Not Returning for Season 4

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Photos of La Boulangerie

Some pics from today's grand opening of the exceedingly charming La Boulangerie. As I write this I am munching on a ham and cheese sandwich from this new place and having an ice coffee. Both quite good and the bread is excellent. As a friend of mine said, "You can't get bread like this anywhere in Forest Hills."

New Brownies Store for Austin

A new store, Brownies and Cream (not sure of the exact spelling) will be going into the empty storefront location on Austin Street near Ascan, across from the Church.

I was told the store will be selling brownies and other delightful treats such as homemade ice cream and macarons.

This is the location where Cabana used to be I believe.

British Tabloid Phone Hacking Scandal

I hadn't been paying much attention to this ongoing scandal in the UK. It has been kind of like when I have the TV playing in the background. I have heard bits and pieces but haven't paid too much attention. But I finally took the time to read up on it this morning and can't believe how seedy and sad the entire affair is. I wonder how far it will go? Do these illegal practices stretch all the way to Murdoch's papers here in the US?

Anyway, if you are interested in a good way to gain an understanding of what the whole sordid mess is about, here is a good place to start:

British Phone-Hacking Scandal (News of the World)

From Maureen Dowd: Hitler's Talking Dogs

“At a Nazi study course, a talking dog was once asked ‘Who is Adolf Hitler?’ and replied ‘Mein F├╝hrer!”

Hitler’s Talking Dogs
Published: July 12, 2011
Pick your poison: killer sausages, talking dogs or toxic schnapps?

Manhattanhenge Tonight

If you're in Manhattan Wednesday evening try to remember to glance down one of the cross streets, like 14th St. for example, just as the sun is setting. If you haven't seen the phenomenon known as "Manhattanhenge" you will be in for a treat. It happens twice a year when Manhattan's building grid aligns perfectly with the setting sun...

Here's more info about it:


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Something For The Kids This Weekend?

How about taking them to see the new Winnie the Pooh which opens Friday? I love how they incorporate Keane's Somewhere Only We Know into this trailer... I love that song.

New Tintin Trailer

Eagerly looking forward to this movie, from my favorite director, Steven Spielberg, produced by Peter Jackson and scored by the genius John Williams. What more can a movie fan want I ask you?

Filming Nearby Tonight?

From the blog
The Sitter, starring Jonah Hill, is filming (reshoots) around Forest Park Dr and Woodhaven Blvd in Queens on Monday and Tuesday night.

So if you didn't have enough of the heat today, maybe you want to take a walk over there? :)

Forest Hills' Bukharian Jewish Community

Israel's Jerusalem Post newspaper recently had this write-up:

Bukharan Jewish community thrives in NYC
FOREST HILLS, New York – In this quiet part of New York City dubbed Queensistan, no signs of economic woe were visible last week even as US job growth remained stagnant and unemployment remained high – on the contrary.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Weekend Subway Crowding Rivals Rush Hours

I'm glad The Times has pointed this out. It's always amused me how the MTA acts as if the only people who seem to matter when it comes to subway service are commuters from outside of the City. It is so rare, for instance, to have a weekend where every other train isn't re-routed somewhere. I understand that they are just picking the option that will impact a smaller number of people, but it is still very annoying. What about all of us who actually live here? Where do they think we go on the weekends—to the suburbs??

Subway Crush No Longer Gets Weekends Off
Published: July 10, 2011
The rush speaks to improvements in a transit system once seen as a national symbol of urban blight, but it also points to the shifting cultural and economic picture of New York.
"As crime has receded and an older fleet gave way to brighter, newer trains, a generation of city dwellers has never experienced the subway’s darker, grittier era. Many do not think twice about a wee-hour ride after a night on the town."

A Peek Inside Old Vienna Cafe

Judging by the size of the tables, looks like this will mostly be a place for coffee or light fare... It opens this Thursday.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Friday, July 8, 2011

Found in FoHi: One Green Parrot

Are you missing your green parrot? If so, you are in luck!

From a reader: A green parrot has camped out on my windowsill this morning. It is obviously domesticated and has a name tag on it's leg. I am an Forest Hill resident and just wanted to put the word out there if anyone is missing their pet parrot. Contact me at

92-Year-Old Woman Struck By Minivan

Holocaust Survivor Critically Hurt by Minivan in Queens

MYFOXNY.COM - A 92-year-old Holocaust survivor was fighting for her life Thursday night after she was hit by a minivan in Queens.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Weiner Moving to Manhattan?

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that it is being reported by E! Online, as if this is somehow entertainment news:
No Love Lost as Anthony Weiner & Wife Huma Have a Happy Fourth

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Edge of the City Review: Liang's

I paid a visit to Liang's tonight for some Chinese takeout and to try to solve one of the biggest mysteries in Forest Hills in recent weeks: is Liang's really just the former Peking Duck Palace disguised by a new name? Or is this really, truly a genuine new restaurant?

Well, while having not actually asked the proprietors, I can only report what I see with my own two eyes, and, of course, taste. And my suspicion after actually eating the food and comparing it to Peking Duck's is that Liang's food is just too damn good to still be Peking Duck!

Yes, I am happy to report that a decent Chinese restaurant appears to have finally set up shop in the heart of Forest Hills! Imagine that?

For about $27 (yes, quite a lot for Chinese food, but I wanted to sample a wide range of offerings), I took home the hot and sour soup; an egg roll; BBQ spare ribs and Moo Shu Chicken. Oh, and a can of Pepsi.

Here's my review of each:

I started with the Hot & Sour Soup: This was ok, not great. It was very peppery but lacked the sour part to any noticeable degree. Even so, it was still a pretty good soup and I would order it again. (I ordered the meat version, by the way. They offer it without meat as well.) Grade: B

Egg Roll: This I enjoyed a lot more than the soup. It had a perfect crunch and starts off hitting your tongue with just a hint of cinnamon flavor, followed quickly by all the nice veggie and pork flavorings of a good egg roll. And it wasn't overly greasy, either. Grade: A

BBQ Spare Ribs: Now this was the biggest surprise for me. These were delectable. I even breathed an involuntary "Yum!" as I ate the first one. The most noticeable feature was how tender they were. Quite different than an everyday spare rib. And the tangy flavors were spot on. Grade: A+ for some of the best spare ribs I have ever had. (And I cannot believe I just wrote that about a Chinese restaurant in Forest Hills!)

Moo Shu Chicken: This was a pretty good version of the popular Moo Shu Chicken dish, which is served with pancakes and hoisin sauce. I found it to be lighter on the eggs than other Moo Shus I've eaten and more heavy on the veggies, which is a very nice change in these health-conscious days. And it wasn't overly greasy either. I also liked the smoky flavor that came through. My only complaint was the chicken itself seemed a bit light on flavor. But overall, not bad. Grade: A

Overall grade for the new Liang's: A

Liang's is located at 107-12 70th Road (Restaurant Row) in Forest Hills. Here is their menu:

Kew Gardens Gets Some Press

Our quiet, yet distinguished, neighbor to the East has just gotten a nice bit of press from the blog Curbed under its "Gentrification Watch":
Kew Gardens Might Live up to "Next Big Thing" in Queens

I have a bit of a crush myself on Kew Gardens. A pleasant walk down Austin to that quaint little community to take in an excellent meal at Mood and then a flick at the arty Kew Gardens Cinemas — what can make for a better Saturday or Sunday afternoon than that?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

From FoHi Patch: MacDonald Park To Be WiFi Enabled

This is really great news (maybe not for Starbucks, I guess)...

MacDonald Park To Be WiFi Enabled
The New York City Parks Department announced earlier this month that three Queens Parks — including MacDonald Park in Forest Hills — will be outfitted with wireless internet access this summer.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Shyness - The New Disorder?

Here's a link to an awesome article in The Times that takes a close look at shyness and the pharmaceutical industry's attempt to make even this, the most normal of personalities, into an illness that needs to be treated with drugs.

Shyness: Evolutionary Tactic?
Published: June 25, 2011
The tendency to see shyness as an illness does society a disservice, because being shy has benefits.

I remember thinking about this many years ago. I am pretty outgoing with small groups of friends, but I used to really dread the thought of talking in front of large groups of people. I only got over that by actually doing it. But the more important point here is why did I have to ever do it in the first place? Because in our society we don't respect enough those people who are more introverted or just plain shy. Everyone, it seems, is supposed to be Reality Show material these days.

But have you seen the stadiums filled with screaming people trying out for American Idol? If you ask me, we have enough extroverts. As this excellent article points out, many of the greatest people who ever lived were shy and introverted. Now imagine a world where the brilliance of these people was never allowed to develop because their parents were told when they were young they had a disorder and had to be put on social anxiety medication? Now that's crazy.
And very scary.

New Restaurant Updates

My sources tell me the new French bakery, La Boulangerie, is just about ready to open, so it could be any day now... I also have noticed they are really putting a lot of work into that Old Vienna Cafe, next to Midway Theater -- certainly not rushing that restaurant. I am really looking forward to both these places. They are refreshingly original and will add just the kind of variety we need in this neighborhood. I was just saying to my friends over the weekend how I long for an independently-owned cafe to hang out in instead of the sameness of Starbucks all the time.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Asian Residents of NYC

Here's a really cool interactive map of where the different segments of the Asian population of the City currently reside:
Asians in New York City
Published: June 23, 2011
An interactive map showing the population of Asian groups throughout New York City and their growth since the year 2000.

Forest Hills in New Film: Love Etc.

A new award-winning documentary called Love Etc. follows several couples in New York City, exploring the nature of their relationships. It opens July 1st here in the City.

From a review on
"Jill Andresevic is in love with New York, both the city’s physical attributes and the demographics. Her photographer, Luke Geissbuhler, trains his camera on a variety of neighborhoods including Soho, Forest Hills, Jamaica Hills, Coney Island, Canarsie, Midtown Manhattan and Broadway."

Here's a link to that full review: Love Etc. Movie Review

And here's the film's website:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

La Boulangerie on Facebook

The beginnings of this new bakery/cafe's Facebook page, with tantalizing details such as "breakfast, lunch and coffee":

I walked by last week and saw some folks in there with the door opened and it looked bright and very welcoming. I'm very much looking forward to the opening of this place! Anyone know when exactly?

Please Vote for Max !

A longtime reader of the blog asked me if I would help him out a little, so I said, of course! He is trying to get votes for his child to appear on the cover of Parent's magazine.

Here is the link where you can add your vote for Max:

(By the way, he tells me the extremely delicious-looking cookie Max is enjoying is from Martha's on Austin St.)

Scenes from The High Line

I paid a visit to The High Line over the weekend to check out the new section that opened a couple of weeks ago. It doubles the park's length, connecting three neighborhoods along Manhattan's West Side.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Wafa's Expands Delivery

I saw a post on Queens Central this morning about the Mediterranean & Lebanese restaurant Wafa's now delivering to all over the Forest Hills area, including Kew Gardens and Rego Park. I have had a craving for a falafel for the past couple of days for some reason, so I could barely contain my excitement. After all, I heave heard nothing but good things about Wafa's, but have yet to try it. I went in there once a few years ago (I think they were in a different location, near Metropolitan) and was told their delivery to the north side of Queens Blvd., where I reside, was spotty at best. But now apparently it isn't... so I think the universal falafel forces are converging to make this happen for me in the near future! I look forward to reveling in Wafa's culinary delights very soon!

Here's a link to their very nice-looking and inviting, even tantalizing, website:

Mon, Wed-Thu, Sun 11:30 am - 9 pm
Fri-Sat 11:30 am - 10 pm

100-05 Metropolitan Ave
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 880-2055

View Larger Map

NYSERDA's Power Breakfast Series for Multifamily Buildings

Event on June 21 in Forest Hills

NYSERDA's Power Breakfast series for multifamily building owners, developers, property managers, condo and co-op board members is a great way to learn how to make your building a lean, mean, energy-optimizing machine.

At this session learn how to:

    * Upgrade your energy performance with NYSERDA incentives toward a whole-building assessment and energy upgrades ($600 per unit or $1.50/sq. ft. on new construction) and low-interest loans on remaining energy upgrades.
    * Submeter electricity in all of your units, with incentives of up to 50% on the submeters, plus incentives on energy-efficient appliances and lighting
    * Switch from #6 heating oil to cleaner alternatives with NYSERDA incentives of $30 per ton of reduced carbon emissions, up to $175,000!
    * Meet the requirements of new NYC benchmarking laws with energy tune-ups and incentives; NYSERDA will pay up to $3,000 for an operational review

The first half-hour is a light breakfast and a chance to network, followed by presentations, Q&A, a case study panel, and another half hour for networking with energy partners who can get you started.

Dates and Locations:

    * Queens: Tuesday, June 21st, 8:00am - 11:30am,
      Central Queens Y, 67-09 108 St., Forest Hills, NY

Power Breakfast 2011 is FREE! But space is limited.

Register today: /2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

Austin St. Fire

A reader writes that there was some kind of a fireball and smoke on Austin St. near 71st Continental, in front of the Citibank about an hour ago... I'm hearing it's possibly a manhole cover explosion. Let us know if you saw anything.

Also told Austin St. is completely blocked off as ConEd, firefighters and EMT on the scene... Smoke is still billowing out of the manhole.

People in stores along Austin report lights flickering...

Lulu's Boutique Closing

From a reader: "Lulu's Boutique store closing sign displayed. Wonder what will take its place at this highly trafficked area of Austin St. (next to Verizon Wireless)"

Thanks for the tip!

View Larger Map
I have a love/hate relationship with this video. Sorry, just being honest.

Thunderstorm Music

A tune to help you enjoy the thunderstorms moving through this afternoon...

More Dinosaurs? Spielberg on Jurassic Park 4

Since it's Friday, that makes it an excellent time for some movie news! My favorite movie news of the week (aside from the news that they will be making 4 movies, count 'em 4, out of my new favorite sci-fi books, The Hunger Games):

Steven Spielberg Brainstorming 'Jurassic Park 4' with Writer Mark Protosevich

God Help Me

It's funny how all of a sudden Republicans are in favor of more regulation, not less..

Republicans Urge Cuomo to Alter Same-Sex Marriage Bill
Published: June 16, 2011
With 31 of 62 members of the New York State Senate in support of same-sex marriage, Stephen Saland of Poughkeepsie is emerging as a pivotal voice.

.... because, of course, religion is such a victim compared to, say, ummm,, I don't know, gay people??? And I thought they worshipped an omnipotent being
But I guess God can't quite match the power of the Republicans.

State Senator Shirley Huntley
Please.... puhlease!!!.... pass Same-Sex Marriage already, if only so that fake pollster stops calling my house every day asking me if I'm registered to vote and if I believe marriage is between a man and a woman! That dude is driving me nuts! He calls like three times a day, on every phone line in my house no less!

Oh, and by the way, kudos to State Senator Shirley Huntley, who reversed herself on this issue and did the right thing -- agreeing to vote to end discrimination against gay people when it comes to marriage.

Old Subway Cars to Get Upgrade?

Transit Agency Weighs a Digital Upgrade for Aging Subway Cars
Published: June 16, 2011
The upgrade, if put into effect, would bring automated station announcements and digital route displays to more than 1,700 aging subway cars.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New HBO Series Filming in Forest Hills reports that Girls, a new HBO series, is filming at Parkway Hospital in Forest Hills

Weiner's Resignation

What more can I say about this other than what my Twitter comment from earlier today already did?

So we lose one of the peoples' real champions. A sad day for Forest Hills, and our country. 

One Year Anniversary

Today marks one year since I started Edge of the City. I just checked the stats and in that one year it has gone from zero readers to 7,420 (not counting the original site, which is still there by the way). I am really glad that this blog has found an audience. And a loyal audience at that - according to the stats, many of you are very loyal readers indeed, returning pretty often. So, I would just like to say a big Thank You to all of you. I especially love that many of you have spoken up over the past year, sending me emails and posting comments. (For those interested, the topic you all seem to be the most interested in is candy stores. Go figure.)

I didn't realize it when I started, but this blog came along at a very exciting time in Forst Hills' history. There are so many changes taking place here. It really seems like our neighborhood is going through a resurgence, with so many new restaurants and stores opening. (And this, despite the pretty lousy economy.) I guess it makes sense. It's already happened to pretty much every other part of New York City. We're one of the last areas to get some TLC. And with many empty stores still around, and plenty of commercial blocks in the area looking pretty run-down, I predict many more exciting changes to come.

Just a reminder, for those of you who want to be alerted whenever I update the blog you can subscribe to my very controversial Twitter feed (Just kidding! It's rated G!) or my new Facebook page. You can find links to both on the right side of this page. 

So thanks for a great first year and I look forward to sharing Year Two with all of you!

- Drake

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Night Falls on Queens Blvd.

.... guest starring a full moon, and a very fast fire truck....

A Day At The Beach?

Kind of a slow period here in FoHi between openings - and closings - of places. So why not take the day off and head to the beach? Probably because it's just not hot enough. But here's another reason: Men In Black 3 is filming today at Jones Beach!

I loved these movies starring Will Smith and am eagerly looking forward to the next installment which also stars Tommy Lee Jones again, and for the first time Josh Brolin. They've been filming it all over the NYC area, including Williamsburg. The movie is due out May 25, 2012.

Until then, enjoy this little diddy:

Work Resuming on 70th Ave.

I noticed that construction is once again taking place at the long-dormant site next to the Bukharian Jewish Center on 70th Ave. If I recall, a small apartment building of some kind is going in there?