Friday, March 30, 2012


My favorite season by far! And this is why I love it!

Just Not That Concerned?

Today, we learn of this...

On the Run, Bin Laden Had 4 Children and 5 Houses, a Wife Says
Published: March 29, 2012
Testimony to Pakistani investigators by Osama Bin Laden’s youngest wife offered the most detailed account yet of the family’s life on the run preceding the raid in May 2011 that killed the Al Qaeda leader.

Which made me immediately recall this:

And while all those people were still mourning their loved ones here... It just made, and still makes me, so incredibly angry!

Is it any coincidence that just a short time after we got rid of the Bush Administration we then brought Bin Laden to justice? I don't think so... Something never sat right with me about the whole damn thing. Still doesn't. One day, hopefully, the whole truth will come out...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Restaurant Update Time

I can't believe the last time I updated the Recommended Restaurants page was back in December. Seems like yesterday. Scary! Anyway, I plan on doing so in the next 24 hours (if all goes as planned!).. Check back to see who made "The List!"

Monday, March 26, 2012

Some Loose Ends

With the excitement over Bareburger's opening having died down here in Blog-land while we wait for the next big restaurant or shopping news, here are some other smaller items of note:

  • Bareburger says it may start home delivery next week.
  • Gloria Pizza says it may open on April 2nd.
  • Readers have told me that medical offices are planned for the former Mandee/Annie Sez building on the Western end of Austin. Not sure if that means the entire building will be medical offices, or just a portion of it. The facade was very good for a retailer, so that seems like a huge waste to me.
  • I have to remember to get myself down to Metropolitan Avenue where there are some delectable restaurants awaiting me down there. Wafa's and Taci's, the new Turkish restaurant. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Trouble in Park Slope

Just thought some of you might be interested in the controversy raging in Park Slope. Kind of an interesting situation roiling their famed food co-op:

At Food Co-op, a Splintering Debate and Indifference
Published: March 23, 2012
A debate at the Park Slope Food Co-op over whether to boycott products from Israel is dividing its members, and annoying some of them.

We don't even have a farmer's market any more to argue about, let alone a food co-op. :(

Latest Tennis Stadium Coverage

While We Wait For Pizza

Just a little diddy in honor of our soon-to-be newest pizza place... I think I speak for most of the readers of this blog when I ask, "When are you guys going to freakin' open already????"

While the above is indeed an annoyingly catchy song, please listen to the following only at your own risk.

Tsunami and Our Mild Winter

One of the more interesting theories I've seen on what caused our unusually mild winter: - Meteo Madness | Wild Warm Winter Theory, Plus Snow Cover and Storms

Basically, in a nutshell he is saying that the debris field pulled into the Pacific Ocean by Japan's tsunami has actually disrupted the global weather patterns. Hmmmm....

Movie Happenings...

This film opened today, at midnight I think, and while I haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it based on what I've heard, and the fact that I've read the books (somehow stumbled upon them like a year ago on my Kindle and could not put them down, all three of them).

I've seen these books listed as for "teens." I have to laugh at that. I think the themes in these books are extremely important and speak to a lot of the injustices in the world today. I cannot recommend them highly enough. They are the most "adult" novels I have read in a long time.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

TV Happenings...

Looking forward to this.....

Very disappointed in this... As if the "SyFy" Channel is so loaded with good shows it can afford to pass on this. Although, that's probably it. They can't afford much of anything?

‘Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome’ Not Moving Forward As TV Series On Syfy, May Become Digital Series

By the way, while I'm on the topic of sad cable TV channels. Why is the History Channel called the History Channel? I think the last time that channel had a show about history on it was like 2002. I haven't checked in a while, but aren't they mostly showing shows about ice road trucking or something like that? Why not change the name to the trucking channel. Or is that the wrong channel I am thinking of. I forget. But I do know they seemed to have abandoned history shows years ago.... so sad.

And by the way, "documentaries" about ancient aliens don't count as history shows. They are entertainment shows. You might as well put them on the SyFy Channel... now that's an idea!

Foggy Night

Thick fog cast an eerie glow over Forest Hills last night as the warm air moved in... The thermometer is expected to reach a summery 74 degrees today.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Continental Photo's New Home

I was recently contacted by the owners of Continental Photo, which used to be located in the 71st/Continental mini-mall (above). But they have recently moved and asked if I would help them get the word out:
"Continental Photo & Video has been in business for the past 23 years at 5 Continental Avenue, inside the Forest Hills Mini-Mall but we recently decided to move to a new location. We're now at the office building 70-50 Austin Street, Lower Level, Suite 124B.Please see attached images & info. on the services we provide. I also want to thank our loyal customers who've been coming and just wishing us all the best in our new location. It's such a good feeling to be appreciated!"

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Gloria Pizza's New Sign

I really like the new sign Gloria Pizza's put up, next to the Midway Theater. To me it seems to fit the location really well. And they smartly made it very visible during the night along Queens Blvd. My (blurry) pic at the bottom was shot from across the street. I'm still not sure when they're opening. Word was possibly this month. Now that they have the sign up, they are one step closer, so soon...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Laytner's on Austin has gone all out for Spring this year.

The first trees are already blooming in Central Park.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Detachment Trailer

If you recall, this movie was partly filmed in Forest Hills two summers ago (in an apartment in the building at the corner of 72nd Ave. and 112th St.). Now it's hitting the theaters.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What Comes After J ?

I guess the Etc. now stands for nothing as J has gone up and vacated the premises...

Now You See It....

.... Now you dont!... Hmm, Didn't there used to be a subway entrance here in front of the T-Bone Diner?

On the Set of Blue Bloods in Forest Hills

Pink Slimed

So this is what that commenter was referring to on this blog a few days ago. I had no idea: Where You Can Get 'Pink-Slime'-Free Beef
"After an ABC News investigation detailing the use of a cheap meat filler, finely textured lean beef, commonly called pink slime, which is in 70 percent of the ground beef sold at supermarkets, J. Patrick Boyle, president of the American Meat Institute, defended the practice as a way to safely use what otherwise would be wasted."

I have to say that I haven't trusted ground beef, or pretty much any meat, brought from lower-end supermarkets since the first television news reports uncovering their meat preparation practices decades ago. I am referring to the reports where they took hidden cameras into the backroom kitchens of the grocers and discovered them mixing old, out of date meat in with fresh meat. That was the deal breaker for me. Ever since, I go out of my way to shop only at reputable markets now, or as reputable as I can possibly find, in the rare times I actually buy meat at grocery stores.

I cannot begin to tell you how strongly I feel about this issue. As a business, when the health and well-being of your customers can depend on what you do, and then you go and violate that, you have lost me forever as a customer. There are no second-chances here. You have shown your true colors and nothing you will do will earn my trust again.

And, by the way, if the entire supermarket industry is harmed by these reports, then they deserve to be -- even those who are not responsible for it. It is a very powerful industry with a lot of money and should be using those resources to police itself and pressure those companies among them that are using such disgusting practices.

Peak Bloom for DC Cherry Blossoms Moved Up
WASHINGTON (AP) — A continuing streak of warm weather means the famed cherry blossoms in the nation's capital will reach their peak bloom earlier than expected.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Apple Store Of My Eye

Over the weekend I went to take a look at the former Mandee store on Austin because someone on the Facebook page was wondering what they're doing there. There is some construction going on, but lord knows what is being done. There were no clues from looking at it.

And then I turned around and right in front of my face I realized is the absolutely perfect building in Forest Hills for the much-rumored Apple Store....
Enough space? Check. More than enough.
Perfect location? Check.
Cool, urban-chic architecture? Check...

What more could they ask for?!

Prepare for Lunacy in May

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bareburger's Menu

Here's their menu... Click on the images to see a larger view. It also includes their delivery area and hours (nice and late).

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Best Baba Ghannouj in NYC? It's Right Here

A big congratulations to Wafa's on Metropolitan Avenue for making it into New York magazine's Best of New York issue, out this week. The Lebanese restaurant was awarded Best Baba Ghannouj in NYC!
Best Baba Ghannouj
I haven't yet eaten in Wafa's, only ordered it in once. I look forward to visting the retaurant and trying a lot more of their menu -- and, of course, their baba ghannouj!

Bareburger Readies Opening

Bareburger is about ready to open and could do so as early as this Monday.

This store's opening here is of course fantastic, and I think so on more levels than one. On the one hand, we will have an awesome new place to get delicious and healthier fare.

But what really excites me the most about Bareburger is the impact it will have on other restaurants on Austin. Simply put, it raises the game, big time. In order to compete in the casual eatery space here in Forest Hills from now on you will have to go up against the likes of Bareburger.

And considering that just a few years ago all they had to compete with was very sad legacy diners and calorie-laden bakeries and pizza places, that's really saying something about how far we've come in a very short time.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sister Unn's Demise?

By the way, I walked by Sister Unn's a few days ago and noticed it looked like they had packed up all of their dead roses and skipped town. I can't say anything confidently about Sister Unn's, especially given I still don't know what that was all about to begin with, but it does look like their stay in FoHi is over. Unless there's going to be some sequel?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

More TV Ramblings...

Regular readers of this blog will know I am a big Sci-Fi fan. I just heard that Fox has cancelled the Terra Nova show. I felt I just had to throw my two cents in about this show because to me the reason it sucked is so obvious... and, because it also points out something kind of important about popular entertainment these days. Namely, a lot of expensive special effects doesn't buy quality television shows! Good writers do!

Actually, when I first started watching it I thought it would actually turn out to be really good. I think it had a Star Trek producer associated with it and the premise -- the earth has been destroyed by climate change and humans go back in time to the earth when it was prehistoric and pristine -- seemed to me to have a lot of promise.

But as the weeks went on, I realized this show began to fall back on just agonizingly bad one-dimensional characters and horribly predictable plot lines. There was absolutely no suspense whatsoever in a TV show that was supposed to be about constant suspense! In every episode you just knew the central characters were going to survive. And that ruined all the fun.

Now, contrast that with one of my favorite shows, like, ever, -- The Walking Dead. Each week you're on the edge of your seat because you just know the characters, no matter how central they are to the plot, could very well be dispatched by a zombie, or even one another. But what really makes it work are the three-dimensional characters. None of them are purely good or bad, benevolent or evil. They are human, riddled with imperfections and flaws. We can see ourselves in all of them. The best part of this show is sometimes just watching the worst, most despicable characters and catching just a glimpse of the goodness inside of them and hoping they'll rise to their better selves.

Latest News Tips...

I just received a flurry of news tips from readers, so I'll just lay them out here for you guys...

  1. Soleil on Austin St. has a "store for rent" sign on it.
  2. There's a big "Auction" sign in front of Ariana's Cafe on Austin and their kitchen equipment is out on the tables.
  3. Oh, and this is not a tip, but from CNN. A huge solar flare recently occurred. So if you can't reach this blog or use your cellphone over the next day or so, that's why. :)

Local Real Estate Values

Queens’ most expensive block is in Belle Harbor, Rockaways Other pricey blocks in Forest Hills Gardens, Douglaston, Oakland Gardens
"Forest Hills Gardens scored the next three spots on the list, with median home prices in the vicinity of Seasongood Road and Ascan Ave. fetching $1.66 million to $1.35 million."

Lots of local millionaires... see my Sunday post, but I just can't help but reiterate -- those who open businesses in our neighborhood can tap into a vast amount of disposable income in the Forest Hills area. So, why are we stuck with only Key Foods for supermarkets, for instance, and mostly lesser quality restaurants? It truly baffles me.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Taste of Tuscany

I had lunch at one of my favorite local restaurants over the weekend, Tuscan Hills, on Queens Blvd. Actually, I think it was the first time I've had lunch there, having until now only gone for dinner.

Just feast your eyes on this photo I took of their minestrone soup. Do I have to say how awesome it was?

By the way, Tuscan Hills recently doubled in size. Congratulations! This is one place that more than deserves its success. Not only amazing food, but excellent, friendly service.

Figuring Out FoHi

One thing we could definitely use here in Forest Hills is an independent coffee place. Why there are like a zillion of these in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and zilch here in Forest Hills is beyond me.

Here's a photo I took of the O Cafe on 6th Ave. and 12th Street in Manhattan. This is the type of place I'm talking about.

The closest thing we have to a coffee place like this is La Boulangerie. They do brew great coffee and it's a great place to hang out, albeit a little small.

Here in Forest Hills it seems all of our coffee places are of the diner or bakery variety And, of course, there's Starbucks. It's time we joined the modern era here and someone opened an independent coffee house, or two.

This goes to something I've been thinking about for a while. That our neighborhood is still very misunderstood by retailers and restauranteurs when it comes to places to just kick back and relax and have a cup of coffee or a drink with friends. Just look at what has dominated the local scene up until now - sports bars, like Exo Cafe, or calorie-laden bakeries that also happen to serve coffee as an afterthought.

And meanwhile, the biggest success locally in recent years has been the most upscale of the bunch, La Boulangerie.

Walk into La Boulangerie and you can't help but be struck by how many people are just soaking in the wonderful atmosphere, unwinding with a coffee or something to eat. It's obvious that Forest Hills' residents are just aching for more places like this. I think any that open would be astonished by how popular they would be. Enough with the sports bars. We have plenty of those. When are more business owners going to cater to the sophisticated residents of FoHi who frequent places like La Boulangerie?

When Bareburger opens this month I think everyone will be amazed at how popular it is. Why? Because, once again, it caters to a sophisticated clientele that has been grossly underserved here in Forest Hills.

Photos of Demolition

Some photos I took of the demolition of the strip of stores next to the Key Food on Queens Blvd. The last I heard they will be building a new co-op on the site, with a CVS drugstore/pharmacy.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Terrible Tornados

Thoughts today are with all those being affected by the tornados in the midwest and south...

I just grabbed these shots from Earthcam... this is heading towards Nashville, Tenn.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Davy Jones and Forest Hills

Oh, wouldn't it be nice to have concerts once again at our stadium? So much history there and there could be so much more...Anyway, rest in peace Davy.

ARTS Davy Jones, Monkees Singer, Dies at 66
Published: February 29, 2012
Davy Jones was a singer and, by long-held public consensus, the handsomest and most popular of the Monkees, the collectively young, longhaired, wildly famous pop group of the 1960s and afterward.
The group’s critical reception was not unsurpassed. In 1967, in an article about one of the Monkees’ relatively rare live concerts of the period, at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, The New York Times said:
“Frequently during the performance, sound that resembled the lowing of a sick cow hovered over the stadium. This turned out to be one of those horns often heard at Shea Stadium during baseball games. It didn’t seem to hurt the musical evening.”