Monday, January 23, 2012

The Future of Javits

I read this interesting article in The Times yesterday about how the Javits Center, currently in the midst of a huge renovation, could be leveled quite soon to make way for a cool west-side development. Its replacement? An enormous new convention center to be built right here in Queens, at the Aquaduct Racetrack in Jamaica.

My opinion about this? DO IT! It would serve to revitalize the eastern section of Queens, perhaps even with effects rippling all the way to Forest Hills. And, it would also make a lot of sense. There's more space there and NYC has been needing a convention center to compete with those found in other cities like Chicago, Atlanta and Vegas. So, it would boost the money the city made from that. And, the convention center would be so close to the two major airports. Imagine all the new hotels, etc. that would pop up in the nearby areas.

And, the development planned for the west side of Manhattan sounds like a much better use of that space there. I'm all for opening up that vista to the Hudson so that everyone can enjoy it. God knows we need more of mother nature here in the city.

ARTS
Let’s Raze Javits Center (but First Finish Renovations)
By ROBIN POGREBIN
Published: January 22, 2012
New plans to demolish the Javits Center are deflating to the architect in the midst of renovating that Manhattan convention center.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Changing Restaurant Scene

Bareburger
There's an interesting article in today's Wall Street Journal about the changing restaurant scene in Park Slope. One of the restaurants they highlight is the recently-opened Bareburger (with a nice color pic to boot). I used to live in Park Slope and it's interesting to hear about these changes. When I lived there, in the 90's, there were just a handful of good restaurants. When I recently went back, there were too many to count. It was unbelievable. And now this article in The Journal says the restaurant scene is evolving again. Some old favorites, like Aunt Suzie's on Fifth Ave., closed this month.

Slippery Slope For Brooklyn Restaurants

Not saying Forest Hills will follow this path exactly, but our restaurant scene is perking up a bit. So maybe there is some foreshadowing of what's to come here as well.

By the way, I am particularly intrigued by this Dizzy's Diner the article discusses. I haven't been to that one, has anyone? Interested to know what you think about it if you have. An excellent, upscale, fun and modern diner is just what Forest Hills needs.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Apple Store: Why, and Why Not?

Here are some thoughts on why I think Apple would want to open a store on Austin, and why it wouldn't:

Why:
  1. The company could make another big splash by redesigning a stand-alone building in a major Queens hub. They like to do something eye-catching architecturally sometimes, rather than just open another mall outlet. An Austin St. location, especially that large empty building down near Barnes & Noble, could provide that.
  2. Our demographics are very Apple-friendly. A lot of young people moving into Forest Hills. And, a lot of people with money.
  3. Easy proximity to transportation, from all the subway lines to the LIRR to Queens Blvd.
  4. Our demographics are very Apple friendly. A lot of people with just an average amount of money. Have you looked at Apple products lately? You don't need to have a lot of money to snag an iPod.
  5. The lack of parking. Yes, that's right, the lack of parking. You don't need a car to buy an iPod which clips onto your tie.
  6. The lack of parking, part 2. How much more hip can you get than an Apple store which caters to all the young people of Queens who don't drive, but walk? And Apple likes to be hip.
  7. Space. We have lots of it on Austin.
  8. Forest Hills. It's an up and coming neighborhood. How many are there in Queens?
  9. Forest Hills - it has one thing Queens Center Mall and Rego Center don't have. Um, it's actually fun to shop! (And would be even more fun... if we had an Apple store :) )
Why Not:
  1. The developer has reportedly bragged about big deals like this before, and they haven't come to fruition.
  2. Foot traffic, or lack thereof. Apple might be taking a risk. Would the store attract enough customers, compared with, say, the Queens Center Mall?
  3. Forest Hills - our neighborhood is changing, but that's just it, it is changing. Its demos are partially very Apple-friendly. But there's also a large part of the population that still uses typewriters ;)



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Austin to get Apple Store?

Hmmmm, so it appears all those rumblings about an Apple store coming to Forest Hills have been true after all.... Need I say this is beyond exciting?

From The Daily News:
Queens aims for Apple core 
Developer angling for iconic store in Forest Hills

Could this be the location? I think this used to be Mandee, down at 7000 Austin. And I think it's still empty, but someone correct me if I'm wrong.

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
By DANIEL J. WAKIN
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.

N.Y. / REGION
After Beyoncé Gives Birth, Patients Protest Celebrity Security at Lenox Hill Hospital
By NINA BERNSTEIN
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

Unbelievable...

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

 N.Y. / REGION
Four Attacks in Queens With Homemade Firebombs 
By ELIZABETH A. HARRIS
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.

Wow...

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.