Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Blog Feature

By the way, in case you haven't yet noticed, you now have the ability to reply to individual comments on this blog - in other words, we now have comment threads. (Yes, I know -- it's a long time in coming. Maybe you can explain to me why the folks at Google's Blogger couldn't figure out how to do that out sooner?)

So basically, this means you can now respond to those individual comments under my posts that really intrigued, delighted or annoyed the hell out of you, instead of just having to add your comments to the very end every time, and they will appear as separate threads within the conversation.

Of course, there's a hitch - for now, it seems to work with every browser except, go figure, Google's very own Chrome. I assume they'll have that ironed out soon. Oy!! In the meantime, just use a different browser if you are a "Chromer" and really, really want to direct your comment at another specific one. Enjoy!

A Sign of Our Times?

I was absolutely fascinated by the following news item. Either it is a sign of our times and more evidence that the really well-to-do in our society have devolved into such a feeling of superiority that they are this stunningly brazen, or this is just about a couple of ordinary schmucks. You decide! :)

ArtsBeat: New York Philharmonic Interrupted by Chimes Mahler Never Intended
Published: January 11, 2012
Alan Gilbert, the conductor of the New York Philharmonic, halted the orchestra and made everyone wait when the cellphone belonging to a member of the audience at Tuesday night's concert began to ring and ring and ring during the final movement of Mahler's Ninth Symphony.

Obama's New Link to Forest Hills

Obama's New Chief of Staff Is Queens Native, Mets Fan
"The New York story is the classic American story," said Jack Lew, who graduated from Forest Hills High School.
Jack Lew, the man stepping up to replace Bill Daley as President Obama's chief of staff, is a New York City native raised in Forest Hills and still has a home with his wife in a Bronx neighborhood.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fly The Unfriendly Skies

Little old Mother Nature getting in the way of corporate plans, again. What are we humans to do I ask you???

Nonstop Flights Stop for Fuel
Dozens of Continental Airlines flights to the East Coast from Europe have been forced to make unexpected stops in Canada and elsewhere to take on fuel after running into unusually strong headwinds over the Atlantic Ocean.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

This Really Annoys Me...

For some reason, I got extremely angry reading this... Aside from the obvious stupidity of Lenox Hill's management with regards to what they did and how they treated the other patients and their families, it could also have been the guard's use of the word "lockdown." Lockdown is one of my Top 5 most HATED words these days. It is used by the lazy news media way too much to describe freakin' everything that happens. And it is used by organizations way too much to describe freakin' everything that happens.

To me, the word lockdown is one of those post-9/11 scare tactic words that somehow creeped into our vocabulary that is used by morons to control other people.

After Beyoncé Gives Birth, Patients Protest Celebrity Security at Lenox Hill Hospital
Published: January 9, 2012
Noncelebrity maternity patients said they experienced a series of indignities as Lenox Hill Hospital went all-out to protect the privacy of Beyoncé and Jay-Z.
At one point, another father, Edgar Ramirez, 25, said, security guards kept him out of the neonatal unit for three hours while his wife and newborn were waiting for him. At another point on Saturday, a guard declared that “the floor is on lockdown,” Ms. Nash-Coulon said, and told her that if she left the neonatal unit, she would not be allowed back in to see her babies.

By the way, in case you can't tell, the use of language is one of my pet peeves. I am a huge fan of George Orwell's 1984 book. It really really angers me when language is used by people who think they are smart -- usually, they're just about the stupidest ones out there -- to control other people. It is dangerous, it is irresponsible, it is arrogant.

Case in point, "The Surge." This was supposedly a tactic used in Iraq. What was it? Well, ask the Republicans and it was a tactic that changed the course of the Iraq "War." What was it really? They finally added the extra troops they should have had in the first place there. While on that topic, "Iraq War." The first few weeks of this were a "war." The rest was an occupation. How many battles were fought? To me, a war is when you are fighting battles. When you basically occupy a country and hold off a resistance for years, as we did in Iraq, that is an occupation. Oh, I can go on and on...

And I think I will!...One of the most egregious, and arrogant, cases of the use of language to cloud the truth is being done by the Right Wing government of Israel. Every time the Palestinians try to launch an attack of some sort against Israel, Netanyahu calls it "terror." No, it is resistance to an occupation. When you bomb a Passover seder and kill innocent people, that is indeed horrific terror. When you lob missiles into Israel from your occupied territory, that is not terror, it is resistance. (I am very fond of Israel by the way, having lived there for a year, so I am extra sensitive to the stupid things its Right Wing government says and does.)

By the way, I cannot believe I somehow managed to include Beyoncé, Jay-Z, George Orwell, the Iraq War and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict all in one post. But I did, so there you go. As my friend, Walt, used to say, "It's a small world after all...."

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Indian Restaurant

Some photos of the new Indian restaurant, Haveli, that opened last week at 116-33 Queens Blvd. I haven't eaten there yet, but I will try it soon and post a review, along with their menu.

The manager is a former manager of the Baluchi's Indian restaurant, right nearby on Queens Blvd.

This is an enormous restaurant with 3 floors. It's good to have another Indian restaurant locally, in addition to Baluchi's. That is, if the food is good! Has anyone tried it yet?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Places I'd Like to See Expand

With Martha's Country Bakery expanding into a larger space on Austin right nearby (well-deserved, I might add), that got me thinking - which other neighborhood joints I'd like to see move to a bigger space?

Here's a few of my picks:

1) La Boulangerie - Every time I go into this marvelous place, there are more of two things: delectable delicacies on the counter, and customers!!! You guys have done a fantastic job and have created the best new food spot in Forest Hills. Now, all you need to do is move into a bigger space with more seats for us all to while away the afternoons...

2) 5 Burro Cafe - A friend and I tried to get into this hot Mexican restaurant on Austin over the New Year's weekend.... NOT!! It was even like 2:30 in the afternoon. We were told there'd be a 30 - 40 minute wait. That is so suburban of you guys. I can't remember the last time I was told there'd be a wait for anyplace here in Forest Hills. :)

3) Tuscan Hills - Oh wait, they are also already expanding. Way to go!

Add your expansion suggestions below...

What's This White Fluffy Thing?

.... could it be....snow??

Why, yes. It is just possible we actually will have snow this winter. Around this time next week, according to my favorite weather person, we may see our first measurable snow. In fact, he says the pattern is changing. Goodbye La Nina. Back to normal weather! Hip Hip Hooray! I, for one, HATE it when all we get is a ton of cold, frigid air and not a drop of snow. Nothing more depressing!!

Ahhh, memories!!

Monday, January 2, 2012


It will be interesting to see what kind of freak is behind this when they catch 'em:

Four Attacks in Queens With Homemade Firebombs 
Published: January 2, 2012
A wave of arson attacks spread across eastern Queens, and the police said the firebombings were being investigated as bias crimes — with Muslims as the targets.


Here's a pretty awesome video I thought I'd share...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Signs of Gloria...

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and Chanukah...

So, after weeks of online rumors and speculation, finally a sign confirming that your former Flushing favorite, Gloria Pizza, will indeed be making its new home right smack in the center of Forest Hills, right next to the Midway Theater.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

An Edge of the City Profile: Local Artist Nicholas Ruiz

Nicholas Ruiz
From time to time I will be featuring Q&A’s with interesting residents of Forest Hills. I recently had the chance to sit down with Nicholas Ruiz. This 23-year-old Tampa, Florida transplant is a budding local artist/fashion designer who has been designing bow ties with some, shall we say, rather interesting twists. So far he’s made bow ties from guitar picks, soda cans, computer parts, film negatives and wine corks, just to name a few.
As you will see, our conversation covered not only his passion for his unique designs, but also his ongoing passion for Forest Hills. In fact, he ties the two together in his website Made In Forest Hills. Who knows, some day you may soon see Nicholas behind the counter of his own store selling his bow ties and other men’s accessories right here on Austin Street.

Edge of the City: How’d you come up with the idea for your bow ties?

Nicholas Ruiz: In November of 2010 we had our annual Film Benefit at the Museum of Modern Art, where I work in the Special Events Department.  At the event I met singer Janelle Monáe, who wears this fantastic bow tie in her music video "Tightrope.”  She told me a friend (singer Erykah Badu) purchased it at a shop in London and I was immediately jealous.  I started looking for a similar bow tie around NYC – but couldn't find one that spoke to me - so I decided to just make one myself.  I planned on making the first bow tie out of guitar picks for the opening of the Picasso: Guitars 1912-1914 MoMA exhibition in February 2011.  
It was a blast to make and I received such a great response from colleagues and friends that I decided to continue making bow ties inspired by the different exhibitions and events at MoMA throughout 2011.  There are style and design influences from the artists' works  and also a sustainable aspect with each each bow tie because the materials are found and recycled from my day-to-day life.  
This past November we held our 2011 Film Benefit, for which I wore a bow tie inspired by our honoree, Pedro Almodóvar.  I just recently completed the entire Bow Tie Collection with our final exhibition of the year and the 11th bow tie for Sanja Iveković: Sweet Violence.  
What began as a fun way to look sharp at my events, turned into a year-long project where I could combine my passion for art and love of fashion.  Some could say I've become a little bow tie obsessed, but really, who doesn't love a bow tie?

E.O.T.C.: Any plans for your bow ties to actually be exhibited at MoMA, or anywhere else perhaps?

N.R.: They’re not being exhibited at MoMA, but a gallery in Connecticut will be showcasing the eleven bow ties from the Bow Tie Collection next year.  Although every bow tie is wearable, the originals will be shadow box framed for the gallery display.  A series of bow ties from this Collection will also be available to buy framed or unframed, and because each one is hand made by me and will vary slightly in material design, there will be a bit of a waiting period for each order.  I've also chatted with Art World, which is a neat frame store on Metropolitan Ave. (formerly on Austin St.) about displaying them.  The Collection is really important to me, so it's excited that they're catching people's eyes. 

E.O.T.C.: I find it interesting that you play up the fact that you are from Forest Hills, even calling your website “Made in Forest Hills.”

N.R.: The name of my website is pretty literal.  I make all of my bow ties right here in Forest Hills.  I grew up visiting my uncle every year in Forest Hills, and then eventually moved here in March of 2010 after graduating from college.  When I first arrived I spent a lot of time fixing up my apartment while exploring the neighborhood.  There are so many hidden gems like the vintage shop, Instant Replay, where I found the brooch for the last bow tie in the Collection or Bangkok Cuisine, which serves hands down the best papaya salad.  Also, nothing beats an indie flick at the Cinemart followed by an ice cream sundae at Eddie's on Metropolitan. 
 I'm also a supporter of preserving the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, which is such an iconic landmark to the community.  The neighborhood has directly influenced most of the bow ties in the Collection because many of the materials were found right here in Forest Hills.  The chandelier crystals for the Party in the Garden 2011 are from a local lighting store and the wire casing for Diego Rivera: Murals for The Museum of Modern Art is from my hardware store around the corner.  Even the de Kooning: A Retrospective bow tie is made from a Queen's Chronicle newspaper, and the parts for Talk to Me are from an old computer I found on Queens Blvd.  I'm always telling friends not to judge FoHi until they've been – I even made an About Forest Hills section on my site so people could plan their visit.

E.O.T.C: So what would you say is your ultimate goal with your bowties?

N.R.: It would be a dream to be able to make bow ties from when I wake up to when I go to bed.  Who knows, maybe one day I'll have a little bow tie shop here in Forest Hills.  All of my bow ties are unique and speak to different people for different reasons.  A wine lover may like the one I made out of wine corks for German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse or a kid at heart would dig the one made out of Legos for The Armory Show 2011 after-party. One of my personal favorites was made out of expired Acetaminophen pills for the Contemporary Galleries: 1980-Now exhibition.  Right now, I'm developing a clasp system to make them easy to wear and working on designs for a limited edition Forest Hills Collection, which will be available in early 2012.  I'm also always searching for new materials, and people can email me at with ideas. 

You can follow Nicholas on Twitter at @bowtieboy, check out his Bow Tie Blog, or visit his website, Made in Forest Hills:

Are you interested in being profiled on this blog, or know someone who is? Shoot me an email at

Sunday, December 18, 2011

More Bareburger Details

The folks at Bareburger shared some info with me about plans for their new Austin St. location here in Forest Hills:

  • Our Bareburger will indeed be a sit-down restaurant, with about 50 seats.
  • It will have the same menu as their other locations. 
  • They also confirm it will open sometime this Spring.

See my previous posts about Bareburger for more information, and my review of one of their other locations.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

On My Mind...

Just a few random things on my mind (very) early this Saturday morning:
  • European Debt Crisis: I know, I know. It's the weekend. What am I doing thinking about such things? Can't help it. Scary shit! Europe's financial situation is looking increasingly dire, and the shockwaves could hit here very hard (and pretty much everywhere else):  New York City Faces 'Extreme Downside Risk' From European Debt Crisis: Report
  • That's Impossible!! Oh, sorry, I am thinking now about Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol. What?? This freakin' movie is like the best reviewed movie of the year?? A Tom Cruise movie?? How is this possible I ask you??!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Bareburger Review

My review of Bareburger, the burger place that is coming to Austin St. this Spring, in the space where Lee Martin Salon used to be.

I visited the location on Laguardia Place at NYU in the Village last weekend.

I'd give the place an A+, pretty easily. The food was great and so was the atmosphere.

Quite frankly, this is just the kind of place Forest Hills has been lacking. A place to get a healthier burger, sandwich or salad, and drumroll please, the food is effortlessly delicious. Do you know what I mean by "effortlessly delicious"? It's hard to put it in words. It's more of a feeling actually. You feel it when you walk into a place and just know this is a really well-run business. That's the feeling I had walking into Bareburger. Before the food even came out, I started getting very excited just looking around, thinking of what this place will add to our neighborhood - how it will take things up a notch.

In some ways it feels like Forest Hills has been stuck in 1972 when it comes to its casual food offerings.  We've been doing quite well when it comes to more formal dining options—places like Agora Taverna, Aged, etc. But when it comes to more casual, or takeout food, we have sorely lacked. Europan just doesn't cut it.

With Bareburger, we finally enter the modern era. We will be getting an upscale, yet casual, place to take out high-quality, healthier but great-tasting, burgers, salads and sandwiches. You know, the kinds of places that you find, oh, almost anywhere else? :)

Here's my pictorial review of the NYU location:

The outside is very inviting and at this location they have outdoor seating. Ours won't though because it's on Austin St.

The NYU location is extremely popular with a younger crowd. It's very upscale, fun and relaxed. 

Stylish, too.

Everyone seemed to be having a really good time. It was obviously a local favorite.

Bareburger is very modern in explaining the thinking behind its food offerings. It treats its customers like they have a brain and want to learn. Hey, isn't that a novel concept for restaurants in Forest Hills??

Stylish, yet fun.

It's the little things that can add so much. A basket of sauces to choose from;  water in a caraffe at every table; descriptions of their artisanal brews.

One of my favorite things they offered: an appetizer with three different flavors of pickles and cole slaw. I've been trying to lose a few pounds these days, and this really was awesome! Pretty much guilt-free indulgence (if there is such a thing!)

I decided to go with the turkey burger, and also tried the regular burger. The regular burger was great. I'd give my turkey burger an A-. It wasn't the best turkey burger patty I've ever had, but what boosted it way up was all the fixin's and the great, fresh bun.

I'd give their milkshake an A. Loved the presentation! It was served really cold and nice and thick. And they let you customize it pretty much any way you like it.