Monday, April 30, 2012

NYC's New Tallest Building

Some time this afternoon, if all goes as planned, 1 World Trade Center will become New York City's tallest building, surpassing the Empire State Building.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

EuroPan Closes

This would probably be a perfect location for one of those new yogurt places. Of course, I'd rather see that indie coffee shop I've been dreaming about...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

... and More Frozen Yogurt To Come

16 HANDLES -- MANAGER POSITIONS -- Astoria, Queens Center Mall and Forest Hills

Where in FoHi? That I do not yet know.

TV Shoot on Austin

Here's some photos I took this afternoon of the shoot on Austin St. for the new CBS legal drama Baby Big Shot:

You Know Who You Are

Where New York's Cheaters Live (According to Infidelity Website)
"Make a note: These New York City cheating opportunists apparently reside in Park Slope, the Upper East Side, Forest Hills, TriBeCa, and, at number 6 on the list, New City, which is an affluent suburb just north of Manhattan (no word on which of these regions have FiOS)."

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Filming Thursday on Austin St.

Baby Big Shot, a new CBS legal drama, will be filming tomorrow on Austin St.

Here's what I gleaned from the blog Deadline Hollywood about the show:

Erin Cummings, who has played Spartacus’ enslaved wife on Starz’s Spartacus: Blood and Sand, has joined the cast of CBS’ drama pilot Baby Big Shot. The project, from writer Dana Calvo, showrunner Kevin Falls, Sony TV and Jamie Tarses’ Fanfare, is a legal drama centered on Martina (Janet Montgomery), a working-class woman who uses her street smarts to compete with her more polished colleagues at a top New York law firm. Cummings will play Martina’s sexually heightened older sister. The actress, repped by Untitled Entertainment, was recently seen in the film Bitch Slap, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, and in a recurring role on ABC’s Pan Am. She just wrapped the feature Iceman.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Summer Movies

This is one of my favorite times of the year.  Eager movie studios have for some time now expanded the summer blockbuster movie season from the first week of May all the way to Labor Day. And that is fine by me. The more summer, the better, is how I figure it.

Here's a few shots of the posters in the FoHi subway station.

Ongoing Construction Mysteries

Wow, there are so many construction sites currently in Forest Hills that haven't yet gone public with what they will eventually be. Here's a quick round up:

  1. The Body Shop (?)
  2. Mandee's/Annie Sez (?)
  3. Kaplan space next to new 718 restaurant (?)
  4. OTB space (Red Mango and ?)
  5. Q Bistro (Wine bar/restaurant?)
  6. Sister Unn's (?)
  7. Block next to Key Food (CVS?/new co-op)

I probably have forgotten something... Fill me in if you know what any of these will be for sure. Hard to keep track.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

New Austin St. Restaurant: 718

Here is a photo of 718, the new restaurant/hookah lounge/grill/bar that is getting ready to open on Austin St., where the former Greenline Organic used to be. Do we need another place like this? Well, that depends on which of these incarnations it will mostly be.

Hookah Lounge? No thank you. Sports bar? No thank you. Authentic Mediterranean Cuisine? If it's really good authentic Mediterranean Cuisine? Sure, why not... Um, I guess??

Though I, and many others here in Forest Hills, would much rather have preferred an upscale American bistro a la Kew Gardens' Mood—the kind of place we are sorely sorely lacking here in Forest Hills (see my post about the closing of Mood below), or a friendly independently-owned coffee place, a la Ozzie's in Park Slope, another thing many other neighborhoods in New York City take for granted and something we are sorely, sorely lacking here.

This really isn't rocket science! Mr. Restauranteur, if you want to see an example of what happens when you open a place with an extreme demand for it here in Forest Hills, all you need do is walk into La Boulangerie! Upscale food and coffee places do explosive business here in Forest Hills. Hookah Lounges? Sports bars? Eh... We kind of are overflowing already with these?... But, hey, good luck... I guess?

Bad Mood

I was pretty shocked to discover that the fantastic Kew Gardens restaurant Mood has suddenly closed. This was by far one of my favorite local restaurants. Its delicious food - everything from steaks to chicken to fish - could compete with the best anywhere in the City. And its chic, laid-back ambience made it the perfect place to go to unwind and have a great meal with friends.

A person walking by last night stopped and told us, "It just closed last week all of a sudden. I used to go there once a week." He seemed as disheartened by this as we were.

If anyone knows what happened to Mood, drop me a line, I'd love to know. I just hope they are able to open again somewhere else in the City —hopefully, of course, either in Kew Gardens or right here in Forest Hills. Unfortunately, I assume hopes of that are slim. There was no sign on the restaurant announcing they were moving. So something pretty bad happened to the proprietors, causing them to shut down their restaurant immediately. It doesn't leave me with much hope that we will be seeing a new incarnation of Mood any time soon.

I only wish we had more restaurants of the quality of Mood here in Forest Hills. That would surely mean we were stepping things up a notch.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Times Reviews Wafa's

One of the articles that appeared about our neighborhood while I was stranded in the desert:
Classics, Homespun and Fresh
Published: April 17, 2012
Wafa’s modest storefront in Forest Hills, Queens, belies appealingly fresh homespun Middle Eastern food.

What a great review! Congratulations to Wafa's.
By the way, I have very limited experience with Wafa's, having only ordered some food from them in once after managing to convince them to cross the Blvd. to deliver to me (they don't do it easily, by the way :) It took some good, old fashioned Middle Eastern haggling. Now, I really have to get myself down there to dine in....

We Now Resume Regular Programming....

Sorry for the interruption, I found myself in the desert for several days. Now I am back and blogging can resume...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spring Storm

Today around 3 p.m. on Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills:

New Women's Clothing Store for Austin

The women's clothing store Second Time Around, otherwise known as "sta," is going to open on Austin, in the vacant store used by Rickys during Halloween.

This place seems to be following me. One of its other locations in New York City is in SoHo, right near where I lived many a year ago on Thompson St.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Red Mango Coming to Forest Hills

This has been confirmed for the former OTB location:
And the same commenter yesterday on this blog said a 7-Eleven was going into that space as well.

City Testing Smart Phone Booths

City ‘i’s new phone booths
"The public pay phone of the future looks like a gigantic iPad.
The city plans to unveil 32-inch “smart screens” with Internet connections next month inside 250 old phone booths throughout the five boroughs."

Monday, April 9, 2012

Forest Hills High School in NY Times

The NY Times website has an interesting Q&A with the principal of Forest Hills High School, Saul Gootnick:

Saul Gootnick: 'You Have to Do Baby Steps'
"At a time when small schools are in vogue and big schools are a dying breed, Forest Hills has more than 3,800 students learning on shifts, yet has earned an A on its progress report three years in a row and has an 87 percent graduation rate."

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Holidays

I'd just like to wish everyone a Happy Easter and a Happy Passover. Enjoy...

Friday, April 6, 2012

Now Delivering - Bareburger

Bareburger says it now delivers throughout the Forest Hills/Rego Park area.

I had lunch there yesterday, trying one of their salads for the first time instead of a burger. The Mexican salad (shown below) was just perfect. I also had a side of panko covered chicken strips, which were just awesome. It was all washed down by their terrific diet root beer (free refills included :) )

As you can tell, I really can't find anything lacking about the food at Bareburger. My only "complaint"— it would be great if they could eventually move to an even bigger space.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Finally Filled Forever?

I was just thinking—especially now that I've tried Gloria Pizza for myself a couple of hours ago and already want to go back for more—that I now can predict that the record-long streak of failing businesses that occupied that space next to the Midway Theater has now officially come to an end. I predict that as long as Gloria Pizza wants to remain in that spot, and can afford the rent, they will be there.

I will now try to recount all the different businesses that have been in that spot since I've lived in Forest Hills.

Let's see, first there was Krispy Kreme, followed by a pet store I think, then a pizza place, followed I think by new owners of another pizza place? And now Gloria Pizza.

How'd I do? Did I forget anyone? I feel like I may have....

Gloria Pizza's Menu

Click on the photos for bigger versions...

Gloria Pizza - Early Review

I just visited our newest pizza place, Gloria Pizza, next to the Midway Theater and took home a couple of regular slices. My verdict: the pizza was very good. And, I also like what they've done with the place.

My first two regular slices from the new Gloria Pizza in Forest Hills.
First, the pizza. My impression is that it is a traditional type of New York City pizza, helped by a sauce that is both sweet and a tad more spicy (garlic I think) than is typical. And the combination of that and the excellent, crunchy crust, lands a regular slice at Gloria a notch above your typical NY style pizza. I want to try their pizza again, but on first impressions I might rework my ranking of my favorite local pizza to this:

1. Tuscan Hills
2. Nick's (pepperoni pizza)
3. Gloria Pizza
4. Nick's (regular pizza)
5. Portofino

If you prefer a more traditionally cheesy NY style pizza, then I would rank them this way:

1. Tuscan Hills
2. Gloria Pizza
3. Portofino

Gloria is a very close second to Tuscan Hills, by the way. For me, it depends on whether I'm looking for a more filling couple of slices (Gloria) or a lighter pizza with amazing flavor (Tuscan Hills).

As I mentioned above, I am also impressed by what Gloria did with the inside of the new place. It's a very airy, comfortable space. They did an excellent job.

So my initial, early grades:
Pizza (regular slices only, mind you): A
Restaurant: A

Gloria Pizza Now Open

Gloria Pizza is now open for business. If you stop by for a slice today, drop us a line below about what you think of Forest Hills' newest pizza place. I'm especially interested in hearing from people who used to love the place when it was in Flushing. Does it live up to your memories of it?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Back to the Future

Brilliant testimony from a truly brilliant man that I think everyone should take 8:38 minutes to watch. (I have to admit, the final seconds actually brought tears to my eyes.)

I have always believed this simple concept: that our country, in fact, humanity, needs to keep dreaming about the possibilities of tomorrow. It fuels not only science, but economic growth.

It's funny, the only single idea spewed from all those Republican debates that I actually agreed with was one——and I can't believe I'm writing this——by Newt Gingrich. We should establish a colony on the moon. And, of course, that's the one that received the most ridicule. If you want to know why I agree with Newt, please watch the video below:

Mad Men and Pizza

  • Forest Hills, specifically the Tennis Stadium, found itself center-stage in last night's episode of Mad Men. A good chunk of the episode was set at the Stadium as they tried to pitch a Heinz commercial to the Rolling Stones who were performing there.* Gothamist has a nice write-up about it, along with a bunch of photos and a couple of related videos:  As Seen On Mad Men: 14 Photos Of The Rolling Stones At Forest Hills Stadium In 1966
  • Good news for all you pizza lovers! Gloria Pizza opens tomorrow at 11 a.m.!
  • I was told Bareburger may start home deliveries some time this week. They will also start serving craft beer in the next couple of weeks or so.
*Just a side note: Those really looked like White Castle burgers they were eating afterwards. Lord did those look good.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Close, But No Cigar...

Just one damn ball away from riches!
“Arrrrrrghh! That could have been $640 million if only I had that one number!” said Diancai Zhou 38, the owner of Fuji Japanese Cuisine, a Forest Hills restaurant where a dozen staffers and their friends will split a second place prize.

Whole Foods Beats Out Apple For Coveted Forest Hills Subway Station Deal!

Very exciting news! In fact, I would dare to venture that this is THE most exciting news to hit Forest Hills since the opening of our new Bareburger just a few weeks ago!

In my humble opinion as by far the most influential blogger in Forest Hills, the only downside I see to this deal is the requirement reached by Whole Foods, MTA, Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce and Bloomberg Administration officials that all residents of Forest Hills must sign up for rodent control duty to keep the varmints from encroaching upon the new subterranean store.

I also am told that the new store will be accessible only, I repeat only, via one of the new glass elevators currently under construction at the Forest Hills station. A Whole Foods spokesperson said this was a "win-win" for everyone, as it will insure a constant trickle of shoppers that will not overwhelm the new store given its expected popularity since it will be the only one in all of Queens. "Accessibility to the store via the MTA elevator should keep crowds down to a very manageable total of about five shoppers per hour," she said.

The spokesperson added that a special organic grapes/Metrocard combo deal will become available soon only, I repeat, only, to holders of monthly cards.

Please post your opinions about this extremely exciting news below so I can react with the appropriate level of hostility.