Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Preview of the New Martha's Country Bakery

A little something to whet your appetites... It opens Friday morning.

A Perkier Starbucks on the Way?

A sign in the window this morning of the 71st/Continental Ave. Starbucks...

That Sinking Feeling

A reader shot this pic this morning of damage to the street at 70th Ave. between Dartmouth & Exeter...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

YES!! I knew it...

Can Exercise Be Bad for You?
Could exercise actually be bad for some healthy people? A well-known group of researchers, including one who helped write the scientific paper justifying national guidelines that promote exercise for all, say the answer may be a qualified yes.

Summery Street Food

Looks like our choice of street food here in FoHi is finally starting to pick up, and move beyond just Halal meats and tacos. By now most of you must've passed this yogurt truck parked on Austin, in front of the Citibank. It's another local frozen yogurt option amidst an expanding number of them, with Red Mango coming into the former OTB location, and even a 16 Handles supposedly looking for a location in our 'hood.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Person Struck Near LIRR Station

A reader just emailed to tell me the awful news that a person has been struck by a train near the Forest Hills LIRR station.

Service has been suspended between Penn and Jamaica....

The Sky is Falling?

That was one weird roar over FoHi just a little while ago. Seemed to have lasted about a minute. Kinda scary... anyone else hear or see anything?

Manhattanhenge, Meet Queenshenge?

So tonight is Manhattanhenge, that awesome spectacle when the setting sun aligns perfectly with certain streets in Manhattan causing a view like the one pictured here.

Now, last eve, when I was leaving a BBQ at my friends' place on Harrow Street I noticed the sun also setting perfectly smack down the middle of that street. I guess some of those streets in the Gardens area may be perfectly aligned east to west with Manhattan's?

Anyway, if you get the chance try to take a glance and see if I'm right. It could have just been all those glasses of bourbon-laced punch, I must admit. ::)

Martha's Bakery Opening New Space Friday

And on an unrelated note, I also noticed that Emily's Sugar Rush, the delightful candy store on Austin St., is raising money today to help fight cancer. Here's one of the signs I saw in the Gardens yesterday. Sorry the sign is hard to read in the photo. If you want to know more, just stop by or give them a call some time today...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

New Sandwich Place for Austin St.

Could it be that the sandwich gods have heard my prayers and delivered unto me a place to get quick, fresh and tasty sandwiches to go (other than Subway)? This is going where the NY Falafel Bar used to be, on Austin St. down near Ascan.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Bryant Park Summer Film Festival

HBO Bryant Park
Summer Film Festival

Now with Pepsi
and presented with Ralph Lauren

June 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012
Monday, June 25, 2012

July 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012
Monday, July 9, 2012
Monday, July 16, 2012
Monday, July 23, 2012
Monday, July 30, 2012

August 2012

Monday, August 6, 2012
Monday, August 13, 2012
Monday, August 20, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

More on New Restaurant

A reader told me that the new establishment replacing Q Bistro on Ascan will actually be a wine and cheese bar that happens to have Irish ownership, quite different from an Irish bar. And that the owners also already have one or two other establishments.

This sounds like a nicer fit to me for that really nice spot on Ascan. I look forward to trying it out when it opens. Sounds like it could be a really nice place to spend some time with friends. I hope they have an open-front restaurant or tables in the front, though not sure they are able to in that spot. But it would sure be nice to have some wine and cheese and enjoy the beautiful weather this time of year, especially in that laid-back location.

Preppy in Forest Hills

Dog Found

Reposting this from my Facebook page.. let me know if you're the owner or know who is, thanks...

Beautiful little dog found at the intersection of Metro and Woodhaven Blvd. A teenage boy said she followed him from Jamaica Ave. She has an unregistered microchip and is well-trained. Poor girl probably escaped from her yard. If anyone has any information about this pup's owner, please inbox me!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Q Bistro to be Bar?

I saw on the Queens Neighbors message boards that the former Q Bistro restaurant space on Ascan is going to be turned into an Irish bar of some sort. The person who posted the information said this is from workmen at the site.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Made in Jersey, and Forest Hills

Saw a commercial tonight for the new CBS legal drama "Made in Jersey" (formerly called "Baby Big Shot") which, if you recall, was filmed right here on Austin St. a few weeks ago.

The new show premieres in the Fall. Here's some more about it:

MADE IN JERSEY stars Janet Montgomery as Martina Garretti, a young working class woman who uses her street smarts to compete as a first year lawyer among her pedigreed Manhattan colleagues at a prestigious New York law firm. MADE IN JERSEY premieres this Fall on Fridays at 9/8c on CBS. Photo: David Lee/CBS ©2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc.

Here's some photos I took of the shoot on Austin a few weeks ago...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Second Annual Tree Giveaway Event on Sunday

Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance To Hold May 20th Tree Giveaway Event in Forest Hills To Restore NYC's Historic Tree Canopy

NYC's 5 Boroughs (May 12, 2012) - The 5 boroughs are about to become a little greener, thanks to the Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance’s Second Annual Tree Giveaway Event on Sunday, May 20th from 1 to 3 PM in Forest Hills.

Citywide residents will have the chance of adopting one (and possibly more) of 245 trees in MacDonald Park on Queens Boulevard and 70th Avenue, Forest Hills. To make this event possible, Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance (4BNPA) partnered with MillionTreesNYC and New York Restoration Project (NYRP). Toyota is a lead sponsor, and lead partners include PlaNYC, and NYC Parks. 

Adopted trees are required to be planted on private property in the five boroughs. To tie into environmental history, 4BNPA is offering some unique native tree species. Native species will be Eastern Redbud, Florida Dogwood, Northern Red Oak, and Bald Cypress. Serviceberry and Sargent Crabapple are hybrids, but can be classified as natives, in regard to their environmental benefits. Japanese Maple and Amur Maackia will also be available, but are not native. Some trees are flowering, and their maturity heights will vary. Potted trees will be 6 to 10 feet tall, and will come with planting and maintenance handouts. Tree adoption certificates designed by Forest Hills resident Steve Goodman will be distributed, so adopted trees can acquire a sense of identity and education. Trees will be named after former Forest Hills notables, historic street names, and landmarks. 

This spring, NYRP in partnership with citywide community groups is donating 5,000 trees at 30 giveaway events, with ten in Queens. NYRP began coordinating giveaways in 2008, and has since coordinated over 50 events non-inclusive of this season. Inspiration stemmed from the understanding that MillionTreesNYC was focused on greening public spaces, but private homes, religious institutions, and community gardens also represent a great portion of the city, and therefore merit tree-planting.

On September 16, 2010, parts of Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island experienced a rare macroburst. Joseph Bruno of the NYC Office of Emergency Management reported 3,113 fallen trees in Queens alone. Event Coordinator Michael Perlman stated, "As Queens vice president of 4BNPA and a native Forest Hills resident, I documented the devastation locally, and sent a proposal to NYRP, and developed a bond. 4BNPA agreed to host its first tree giveaway event on June 12, 2011, and donated 100 trees to property owners. With the volunteerism of its members and Rego-Forest Preservation Council, this helped restore the natural and historic beauty of Forest Hills, as well as beyond. Following last year’s success, I decided to coordinate another tree giveaway event this spring."

Perlman added, "Many people did not realize the benefits of our trees until some of which were a century-old succumbed in seconds. Trees convey life, beauty, contribute to environmental sustainability, and enhance property values. MacDonald Park was selected as the event site, in order to shed light upon a concentrated space that lost sixty mature trees during the tornado, and to initiate memories of a productive community event." 4BNPA agrees that New York City needs to preserve its existing tree canopy and plant more trees, but some property owners degrade neighborhood aesthetics and environmental benefits by cutting down trees in the name of development-related “progress.”  

On May 20th, those who wish to adopt a tree should line up in MacDonald Park before 1 PM in front of either an online reservation table or a first-time registration table. The first 50 percent of applicants can now reserve their tree online at


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Forest Hills State of Mind

It occurred to me that I never ever ran this on my blog. I bet a lot of you have watched it by now, but I'm more than happy to bring it to those of you who haven't yet seen it! ... enjoy!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Facebook Page for Forest Hills' New Red Mango

As already mentioned on this blog, the frozen yogurt chain Red Mango will be coming in to the space where the OTB used to be.
Here's the link to a Facebook page for the Forest Hills location:

HBO's Boardwalk Empire Filming in Forest Hills Today

Boardwalk Empire is filming today at Metropolitan Ave. & 72nd Rd., according to the blog On Location Vacations.

And local reporter Nick Hirshon says on his Twitter feed that the shoot will be taking place at Eddie's Sweet Shop.

It sure seems like Forest Hills has been getting its share of screen time lately, what with Blue Bloods filming here all the time, and then Baby Big Shot's big shoot on Austin St. just a couple of weeks ago.  I wonder what it is that Hollywood likes about our neighborhood?  Sometimes it's obvious - HBO's miniseries Mildred Pierce reportedly chose to shoot some scenes in Forest Hills Gardens because the architecture and natural beauty of the neighborhood resembled Glendale, California during the 1930's.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

World Trade Center at Night

A view of the new World Trade Center tower, as seen from Jersey City over the weekend:

New Windsor Garage Mural

This is kinda cool.... A mural has been put up in the Windsor building's garage showing historic scenes of Forest Hills. See what you can do with an otherwise ordinary space if you put your mind to it? Click on the photos for a larger view.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Moving Forward Again

Just looking at the neighborhood now and I am starting to get a positive feeling again. For a little while there, things were looking a little dicey. But here's some of the recent developments that have me optimistic again:
  1. The closing of the cheap trinkets store on Austin St., near Ascan. I usually hate to find pleasure in other people's misfortunes, but in this case I have to make an exception. I think a business that opens in a neighborhood has a responsibility to that neighborhood. If they expect local residents to shop there, they should be a responsible citizen of where they are doing business. The fact that they chose to open a cheap novelty store that belongs more on Canal Street than it does on Austin St., and in one of the most upscale parts of Forest Hills, near the corner of Ascan, showed a disrespect for the neighborhood they were hoping to do business in. I am very glad this business has closed in just two months.
  2. The new Greenmarket in front of the Post Office. The starting up of a new Greenmarket this summer has been greeted with an overwhelming amount of positive feeling by the readers of this blog, and I'm sure by many other members of the neighborhood. Finally, finally, it looks like Forest Hills will join so many other wonderful NYC neighborhoods in having a successful, thriving Greenmarket. I liked the post on this blog that pointed out that other Queens neighborhoods could also use one, especially low-income neighborhoods whose residents don't have access to fresh, quality, wholesome food. I totally agree. But I think there's nothing wrong with Greenmarkets being in both locations. And I think the reason Forest Hills was selected is because it is so close to so many forms of public transportation, so hopefully many nearby residents of Queens will also benefit. And, as a result, this should boost foot traffic in our neighborhood - not bad for local retailers on the Sundays when the Greenmarket is open.
  3. Former Q Thai Bistro being renovated. I don't know what is going into this new space — I have heard possibly a wine bar. But I am glad to see this excellent location is going to be used again. It is one of the nicest, most laid back parts of our main shopping area. And I glanced at it and it looks like they are doing a nice job redesigning it so far.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New Greenmarket Approved for Forest Hills

The Greenmarket for in front of the Post Office was approved at the meeting tonight.

Another great development for our neighborhood!

Given its more central location than the previous attempt on Metropolitan Avenue, this one should prove much more successful.

Here's some photos from the Metropolitan Ave. Greenmarket from a couple of years ago.... a taste of what's to come!

Novelty Store Closed Already?

The odd little, out of place trinkets store that opened on Austin St. near Ascan seemed all covered up this morning. Could it possibly have closed so soon?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Quick Takes

Just some quick takes on current events, etc.:

1) Biggest issue facing all of us, sooner or later: The European Crisis. That economic crisis is still not over no matter how many times the media says it is. I think what we are now seeing is a backdoor crisis taking the form of political pressures triggered by the economic ones. The political instability will probably create a lot of economic volatility for years to come in markets throughout the world. And, it may very well eventually put the brakes on our own economic recovery as one European country after another goes into Recession.

What could have prevented this? More government spending there, not less. Britain has now entered a double-dip recession, it's first since the 1970s. Thanks to David Cameron's dumb decision to cut back on government spending, his policy of austerity. Economics 101: You spend your way out of Depression and Recession. That is the absolute worst time for government austerity. And now they are seeing the results.

One of the scariest developments from this crisis is something I just read about that has been barely reported. Greece, which has been forced to accept austerity because of Germany's financial lending/recovery plan, just split its vote between far left and far right politicians in its most recent election as a protest against the Depression it now finds itself in. Hmmm, what does that remind me of?

2) Most unimportant news story you'll hear tons about over the next several weeks: The second alleged "underwear bomber plot." Please... Airline travel is so much safer than just driving your car around the block. And I know it's not politically correct to say so, but do we really need billions of dollars spent on counter-terrorism and wars to find out about some kook who puts explosives in his underwear? There's a point where we act just as crazy as the "terrorists." Spending billions of dollars to go after the couple of thousand people around the world who might want to down an airliner is pretty crazy.

Do we spend billions of dollars to stop you from eating those Doritos you're munching on while you read this? I have news for you, you have a million times more of a chance of developing heart disease from those Doritos and dying of a heart attack then you do of dying on a plane that crashed because of an underwear bomber.

3) Presidential Election 2012: As the presidential election starts to gain steam I've heard a lot of grumbling from those on the left about President Obama's performance. (Needless to say, the Right has been grumbling since Day One, or rather shouting, so nothing new there.) My take? I have never changed my mind about President Obama. When he came into office I thought he just may well be one of our greatest presidents ever. And his first few years have done nothing but affirm that in my mind.

There is only one single thing I would have liked him to do differently. Somehow get the public option for health care passed. I understand he didn't have the votes, but still. There had to be some way to give us another option to compete against those insurance companies.

Otherwise, every single decision President Obama has made has been sound and showed the quiet wisdom I would have expected. From his rescuing us from the second Great Depression (remember, we were hanging on by a thread when he took office, thanks to W. spending his time clearing brush on his ranch while the economy collapsed), to the rescue of the automobile industry to the breathtaking operation to get Bin Laden to his position on human rights, to his appointment of actually intelligent people to the Supreme Court, oh, I can go on and on and on but don't have the time :(.

4) Interesting reading: Robert Caro's latest book on Lyndon Johnson, "The Passage of Power." I am reading an excerpt from it in The New Yorker from some weeks ago and it is just gripping, especially the portion about the Kennedy assassination as told through the perspective of LBJ. Here's the link to it online, but you have to be a subscriber :( :

5) Great New Television Show: Girls on HBO. I'm a guy and I love Girls. What a great show. Do catch it if you get a chance...

Greenmarket Public Hearing

Just a reminder, the public hearing about the proposal for our new Greenmarket will be held this Wednesday evening.

Click on this link to be taken to my previous post with all the information about the hearing: New Greenmarket Would be Near Post Office

It's a no-brainer that we should have a Greenmarket here in FoHi like so many other neighborhoods in New York City do. Any local official who comes out against the proposal in order to "protect local retailer business" is full of crap. Their first concern should always be the public. And the public in Forest Hills would benefit greatly from having access to all of the fresh, quality, wholesome food that Greenmarkets in New York City offer.

Moon Over Forest Hills

Did anyone manage to catch a glimpse of the Super Moon Saturday night? When I was out, it was too cloudy to see anything. Luckily, Friday night was clear and I managed to snap these shots - not quite as good as it would have been Saturday, but still pretty cool...

Friday, May 4, 2012

Beastie Boys Co-Founder Adam Yauch Dead at 47

New Greenmarket Would be Near Post Office

A reader has told me that there will be a public hearing on Wednesday, May 9th, to discuss the possibility of bringing a Greenmarket to the area in front of the Forest Hills Post Office on Queens Blvd.

The market would operate Sundays July – November.

May 9 Community Board 6 Monthly Meeting
80-02 Kew Gardens Road
Suite 202
7:30 PM

Here's some links to more information:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

New Boutique For Sister Unn's Space

A reader says that a boutique is going into the space formerly occupied by the Sister Unn's performance artist group. The reader saw them hanging clothes from this designer in there:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New Restaurant for EuroPan Spot

A reader says the owner of EuroPan will be reopening at the same location, but as more of a restaurant with outdoor seating.

May Day Protests Spread

A photo from The New York Times of the protests in Manhattan today.
City Room: Arrests on Lower East Side as May Day Protests Spread
Published: May 1, 2012
After a rainy morning, the May Day protests coordinated by Occupy Wall Street grew more clamorous, and the police moved in.