Saturday, June 30, 2012

Shark Attack! (from Jaws)

I suppose it's a little evil to post this scene as we approach the Fourth of July and the beach season officially gets underway. Oh, but I can't help it. It's too good. From one of my favorite summer movies of all time, Jaws.
Warning: this gets pretty graphic. But notice how Steven Spielberg expertly builds the tension in the scene, the way the camera work makes us, the viewers, identify with Chief Brody's mounting anxiety as he watches the ocean and the bathers. Even as the other characters try to engage him in conversation, one eye is always on the water in the background.
Oh, how I wish we had more directors with the talent to still make summer movies like this one instead of just explode a lot of things and call it entertainment!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Religious Pieces Stolen from Local Synagogue

Congregation Ahavath Shalom Synagogue in Forest Hills loses relics in burglary

Such a dreadful act, to steal objects of such spiritual significance to worshippers. I do hope they recover these pieces soon and find the culprits.

Thieves stole pieces like these from the synagogue on 113th St.

Grace Meng Wins Democratic Primary

Grace Meng has won the Democratic Primary in our Congressional District.
Congratulations to a fellow U of M alumni. Go Blue !!

I am also quite happy to report that Bob Turner lost the Republican Primary for U.S. Senate! That guy was really rubbing me the wrong way in this last election. I mean, if you hold a position, at least have the decency to be proud of it! Did it really have to take like a year or more of ducking questions before you finally admitted you wanted to repeal the marriage rights of thousands of gay New Yorkers?
Sir, we really expect the people we elect to office to be at least be upfront with us about their positions—however disgusting, repulsive and outdated they are.

More on Gourmet Food Store reports the new gourmet food store Cucina, near the corner of Austin and 71st Continental will be opening within the next two months and will offer olive oils, caviar, spreads, imported beers and host wine tastings. (No sandwiches? I sure do hope they either forgot to mention them, or will be adding them eventually.)

The article also has details about the new Second Time Around store that recently opened. 
New Austin Street Consignment Store Sells Designer Looks for Less

Remembering Nora Ephron

Truly one of the great modern comedic writers and film directors has passed... She will be missed!

Monday, June 25, 2012

More Wi-Fi Coming to Subway Stations

Five years from now, if all goes as planned, pretty much every subway station in NYC will finally have wi-fi.
Free Wi-Fi comes to New York City via Google Offers, Boingo
Six subway stations and more than 200 hotspot locations in The Big Apple get free Wi-Fi as Boingo rolls out its massive wireless plan that will eventually reach all of the city's underground transit stations.

But this article also says that the wi-fi will no longer be free in the stations after September? Really?

Best NYC Falafel? Right Here

Forest Hills has made another "Best of NYC" list, this time, for that tasty Mediterranean favorite: falafel. Congrats to Pahal Zan and Wafa's! (The latter of which I had the pleasure of eating at this past Saturday evening. A really great meal.)
NY Daily News: The Best of New York: Falafel
Taim in the West Village is tops, followed by Pahal Zan and Wafa's in Forest Hills
In case you're not keeping score, Five Burros recently was recognized for the Best NYC Nachos by the Daily News as well.
Congratulations guys!

Favorite Food of the Month

I cannot stop thinking about the Stracciatella soup I had at Tuscan Hills several weeks ago. If you've never had this before, it's an italian egg drop soup made with spinach and parmesan cheese. I cannot put into words how delicious this was. It's currently my favorite dish of any restaurant here in Forest Hills. I highly recommend you give it a try!

More Poll Results

Some more "write-in" results from the recent poll:
a secondhand book store or a thrift shop
Upscale Gym
Shake Shack, GOOD chinese food, GOOD pizza that delivers
Trader Joe's
Whole Foods

Latest Results:

With 193 votes so far:

A place to get quick, high-quality sandwiches and salads 25 12.95%
A modern, more upscale take on a diner 36 18.65%
Chipotle 34 17.62%
An independent coffee place 34 17.62%
All of these 39 20.21%
Other: 25 12.95%

Friday, June 22, 2012

Hey, Egyptian military! Don't you think it's about time you stepped aside and gave your nation's people the Democracy they deserve? Don't you realize you're the f--n problem and not the people who were just freely elected?

Help Clean Up Forest Hills This Saturday!

The Queens Boulevard Restoration Group is sponsoring a community volunteer project this Saturday, June 23 from 9:00 -11:00 AM. The group will be working with merchants to help improve the curb appeal of their block on the south side of Queens Blvd between 70th Road and 70th Avenue (by Party World). They will weed, plant, and mulch several trees on this block across from MacDonald Park. Supplies and gloves will be provided. Please bring your friends too. For more information, please email Steve Melnick at

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Flown the Coop

My friend says this is his second sighting of our local chicken, this time at Continental Ave. & Dartmouth. Perhaps he escaped from a KFC or Popeyes, the Queens Zoo, or one of those pots of chicken soup I always smell my neighbors cooking up? Boy, I am getting hungry again now. What's wrong with me?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Coverage of Queens High Line Meeting

Here's a good article about the meeting Monday night to discuss the possibility of creating a High Line, or QueensWay as they are calling it, running through Forest Hills. Personally, I don't quite get why the other party wants to reactivate it for trains again. We already have the rail link to Kennedy Airport (which actually is a lot of fun to take and is pretty easy.) Now, if this thing can get me from the LIRR station to the beach in the Rockaways in 20 minutes, that would be fun too. But not sure if that's what they have in mind, or is it? Do any of you know? Groups Tangle Over Creating Queens 'High Line'

Joe The Plumber Needs a History Lesson

Eek! As Caroline Manzo, that NJ Housewife so artfully put it, "I feel like I am in a whirlwind of stupid!"

Firstly, most of the Jews killed in the Holocaust were not even from Germany. A tiny percentage were (142,000 of 6 million). The overwhelming majority were from countries conquered by Germany.

And secondly, what were peaceful Jewish families supposed to do, even if they had a gun? The Nazis slowly ratcheted up their policies of persecution of the Jews in the countries they controlled. The entire power of a State was being used against peaceful civilians who had committed no offense against anyone. As a result, many Jews had no idea of their fate until the very end. Many hung on to the hope that the worst rumors they heard were not true. Why wouldn't they? Until then, they had lived entirely peaceful, normal, civilized lives. So, when were these peaceful families supposed to abandon that and take up violence and fight back?

Also, a significant number of Jews did fight back. They became resistance fighters, partisans. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising is one example. But in the long-run it did little. No ordinary civilians would have been able to defend themselves for long against the military apparatus and resources of a State determined to kill them.

It's easy for Mr. Joe the Plumber to make such declarations with the knowledge today of what happened. But that is horribly insulting to the realities of history and the Holocaust victims' memories.

Poll Results So Far

Sunday's Edge of the City Poll asked "What would you like to see open here?" and listed 5 choices:
  • An independent coffee place
  • Chipotle
  • A place to get quick, high-quality sandwiches and salads
  • A modern, more upscale take on a diner
  • All of these
As of this 8:52 this morning, 177 people had voted and here are the results:
All of these was in the lead with 39 votes.
A modern, more upscale take on a diner was second with 35 votes
Chipotle and an indie coffee place both had 31
and the quick sandwich/salad place trailed with 23 votes.

And here are the "write-in" choices so far, what people wrote in for "other":
  • butcher 
  • A good Indian restaurant
  • High End Gentlemen's Strip Club ' "Scores Queens"
  • Whole Foods
  • Sushi or Teriyaki Fast Food
  • Chic wine bar
  • More tasteful options in general. Austin Street should be much nicer.
  • Higher quality restaurants in general
  • taco bell
  • Shake and shak
  • Factories
  • Trader Joe's
  • A butcher
  • A good seafood restaurant
  • Korean BBQ
  • French bistro
  • Hummus Place or the like

If you haven't yet voted, the poll is still open here.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Queens High Line Meeting Tonight

There will be a meeting in Kew Gardens tonight about the possibility of creating our very own High Line, right here in Forest Hills and neighboring communities in Queens. Here is some more information from a Facebook page about the meeting:
The Queens Civic Congress will be hosting a forum on proposals to either reactivate train service on the ROW or develop it into The Queensway - our envisioned world class linear park and bike way - on Monday,June 18th at 7:00 PM at the Maple Grove Center located at 127-15 Kew Gardens Road, Kew Gardens. As members of Friends of the QueensWay please join our Steering Committee and The Trust for Public Land in presenting our vision alongside our friends in what we hope will be an informative and spirited debate on improving the quality of life and options for the entire borough of Queens. It is so important that we show the business, community and political leaders in attendance that there is Broad Support for the QueensWay

Directions to the meeting at 127-15 Kew Gardens Road on Monday, June 18, 2012 by public transit from Manhattan, South Queens & the Rockaways. ( Please note that all the gates the cemetery will be closed and the main entrance to the building is near 127th Street/Kew Gardens Road.). Directions via auto can be found at various websites such as google, mapquest, yahoo etc. - or bring your bike!

From Manhattan:

Take the "E" or "F" Line to the Kew Gardens Station staying in the front three cars and exit near Kew Gardens Road along the south side of Queens Blvd. (A sign leading to the Q10 bus will direct you to the south side of Queens Blvd. {Do not exit at the north side which is the Queens Borough Hall/courts side}). Walk along Kew Gardens Road about eleven blocks to 127th Street/Kew Gardens Road.

From Jamaica:

Take the "E" or "F" Line to the Kew Gardens Station staying in the rear three cars and exit near Kew Gardens Road along the south side of Queens Blvd. (A sign leading to the Q10 bus will direct you to the south side of Queens Blvd. {Do not exit at the north side which is the Queens Borough Hall/courts side}). Walk along Kew Gardens Road about eleven blocks to 127th Street/Kew Gardens Road.

From Points South:

Q21, Q53 Ltd./Q21Ltd. bus to the Woodhaven Blvd. Station of the Jamaica Avenue "J" subway line. Transfer to the "J" train and take the "J" train to Sutphin Blvd. and than transfer to the "E" Line. Take the "E" Line from Sutphin Blvd. Station to the Kew Gardens Station staying in the rear three cars and exit near Kew Gardens Road along the south side of Queens Blvd. (A sign leading to the Q10 bus will direct you to the south side of Queens Blvd.) Walk along Kew Gardens Road about eleven blocks to 127th Street/Kew Gardens Road.

-- OR --

Q21, Q53 Ltd./Q21Ltd. bus to the Woodhaven Blvd. Station of the Queens Blvd. Subway Line "M" & "R" subway line. Transfer to the "M" or "R" train eastbound to the Forest Hills Station and than transfer to the "E" or "F" Lines. Take the "E" or "F" Line to the Kew Gardens Station staying in the front three cars and exit near Kew Gardens Road along the south side of Queens Blvd. (A sign leading to the Q10 bus will direct you to the south side of Queens Blvd. {Do not exit at the north side which is the Queens Borough Hall/courts side}). Walk along Kew Gardens Road about eleven blocks to 127th Street/Kew Gardens Road.

-- OR --

Q113/Q113Limited bus to Parsons Blvd./Archer Avenue and transfer to the "E" Line at Parsons Blvd./Archer Avenue. Take the "E" Line (Manhattan bound) to the Kew Gardens Station staying in the rear three cars and exit the Kew Gardens Station along the south side near Kew Gardens Road. (A sign leading to the Q10 bus will direct you to the south side of Queens Blvd. {Do not exit at the north side which is the Queens Borough Hall/courts side}). Walk along Kew Gardens Road about eleven blocks to 127th Street/Kew Gardens Road.

-- Note --

Q22 local bus connects to the Q53Ltd./Q21 Ltd./Q21 bus routes and to the Q113 /Q113 Limited bus routes. See for more information and to see a Queens Bus Map for more specific transfer locations.

From other locations in Queens:

Q10, Q10 Limited and Q37 buses to Kew Gardens Station. Walk along Kew Gardens Road about eleven blocks to 127th Street/Kew Gardens Road. If on Q10 you can get off at 83rd Avenue/Kew Gardens Road. If on Q37 when exiting at Union Tpke/Queens Blvd. walk along Queens Blvd. to the east until you see Kew Gardens Road near the Q10 bus terminal. Also many local buses transfer with both the Q10, Q10 Limited and Q37 buses such as Q7, Q9, Q41, Q112, Q8, Q24, Q55, Q56, Q54 routes.

Q60 bus to 83rd Avenue/Queens Blvd. Walk along 83rd Avenue south to Kew Gardens Road. Turn left and walk about ten blocks to 127th Street/Kew Gardens Road. Numerous buses transfer to the Q60 route.

See for more information and to see a Queens Bus Map for more specific transfer information and locations.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

New Gourmet Food Shop Coming To Austin

Wow, I'm quite excited about this. The mystery is over regarding what is going into that space where The Body Shop used to be, near the corner of Austin and 71st Continental. If this is anything as cute as their wine shop around the corner, Forest Hills is in for a real treat...

Forest Hills Sizzler to Pay Alleged Attack Victim $25,000

A woman who says she was beaten and called anti-gay slurs at the Sizzler on Metropolitan Ave. has been awarded a $25,000 settlement by the restaurant.

NY woman awarded $25,000 in discrimination suit against Sizzler restaurant

Liza Friedlander
To tell you the truth, I wasn't very surprised by this horrifying story. It's obvious there are some really severe pockets of reactionary, conservative fascist elements in our area and in Queens in general.
I always get the feeling when I go down to Metropolitan Ave. that I am going back in time like 50 years. Well, I guess this just confirms it. Apparently, the people who work at and frequent the local Sizzler for its fine dining have attitudes towards gay people that are about 50 years old as well. So very, very sad...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Marianella's Has Closed

Marianella's Taqueria, the Mexican restaurant / bar on 71st Continental Ave. closed down Monday night.

Dee's Makes List of Top Kid-Friendly Restaurants in U.S.

A big congrats to Dee's!

OpenTable Diner Reviews Reveal Top 75 Kid-Friendly Restaurants
These awards reflect the combined opinions of nearly 5 million reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 15,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Readers of this blog might have picked up that I am very into weather. Well, here's a cool pic I swiped from of a storm approaching a graduation ceremony in Atlantic County, New Jersey this past Thursday afternoon. Imagine being outside on a field and seeing this coming. Scary. Below the pic is a link to more info about what happened...

Huge Storm Cuts High School Graduation Ceremony Short

A New Old Vienna Cafe

Old and misguided, the restaurant last year.
Old Vienna Cafe says it is under new ownership and has unveiled a new menu offering more American-style, diner-type food. The move is not surprising. Most of the times I've gone there in the year since it opened, or have walked by it, the place has looked like it was on its last legs—with barely a customer inside. And I always thought this was a huge shame, and an enormous missed opportunity. The location, right next to the Midway Theater, and with outdoor seating to boot, has the potential to be a huge draw—that is, if it was the kind of place Forest Hills and the nearby neighborhoods were looking for. A cafe offering extremely expensive Eastern-European culinary specialties was never that.

Some ideas my friends and I have had for the spot included everything from a laid-back, independent coffee shop with plush couches, newspapers spread about, etc.. to the kind of place they are now attempting—a regular restaurant offering burgers, sandwiches, etc.. Forest Hills is sorely lacking a really good place just to get that type of food. (Don't get me started on the local diners. I gave up on T-Bone long ago after the time I ordered the shrimp salad and was given a scoopful of mayonaise with celery in it and not one shrimp. The newer Forest Hills Diner way down Austin St. is better—in a pinch it will provide you sustenance. But I would hardly call it an enjoyable eat.)

So, what Old Vienna is trying is definitely a step in the right direction. But just one thing: Change your name! If you are under new ownership , have a new menu, and have even changed the decor inside to reflect your new personality, change your goddamn name! If you did that, you may stand a chance. But until you do, everyone going by is going to think you're the same, misguided, confused eating establishment. Changing everything but your name just perpetuates the confusion and probably continues the countdown to when someone else will have a go at trying to make your prime corner location a hit.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Household Income Distribution

NYU’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy recently released the 2011 edition of its annual publication the State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods. I'll be highlighting some interesting facts from it every so often. 

Here's some for you to chew on:

For Rego Park/Forest Hills:

More on the Greenmarket

Here's a good article with more information about the greenmarket, which starts up in front of the Post Office in early July. It's a really good sign that the idea got such overwhelming support, as the article details. Just more evidence of the desire amongst local residents for quality, healthy food.

Forest Hills Greenmarket Set to Open Next Month
Really, really looking forward to this... I think I've seen the show 3 times, or was it 4? I forget.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Thank you. We will ALWAYS be in your debt.

June 6, 1944, the beaches of Normandy, France

Early Review: Sammie's To Go

I just had my first sandwich from new the little take out place, Sammie's To Go, which replaced NY Falafel Bar on Austin St., down near Ascan.

I have to say, I was all prepared to write off this new place. But my very early conclusion, based on just one purchase there, is that what it does, it does well enough.

Now, is it the kind of sandwich place I have been dreaming about for years now for Forest Hills? Is it the Zingerman's Deli of the Northeast?? Zingerman's Deli and Sammie's To Go of Forest Hills should not be even in the same sentence. (Kinda like putting Barack Obama in the same sentence with W., or for that matter Mitt. Oh! Did I just slide into politics? How did that happen I wonder?)

Anyway, for $6.99 I tried the Turkey Classic: Boar's Head Ovengold Turkey Breast, Swiss Cheese and Cole Slaw on a 6" sub. It was fine. Fresh, tasty, it did the trick. I do think it is somewhat overpriced, however. For the ingredients being used, maybe it should be around $5.99 at most?

I asked the owner if he has any plans to offer organic meats and he basically replied 'No' by explaining that the Boar's Head meats he offers are "quality meats." Perhaps, but it's not organic. If he wants to do super well in Forest Hills, he may want to educate himself about organic food. It's a huge trend in the food industry, and something more and more customers will be looking for. Because it's just plain better all around.

So, my conclusion is basically that what we have in Sammie's To Go is a mini-deli. It's fine for what it is. Take your average korean grocer, chop out the deli part, and have them focus on that, just that, coming up with interesting sandwich combos, and that's basically Sammie's To Go.

I hope it succeeds here. It doesn't hurt to have this store over on Austin. Hey, beggars can't be choosers. And until some more really interesting restaurants figure out there is an audience dying for them to open on Austin St., we are most definitely beggars here in FoHi. Sorry, but that's a fact.

But as for me, when I'm down near that part of Austin St., I'll be spending my money right across the street, at La Boulangerie, stocking up on their awesome, really high-quality salads and sandwiches. There I definitely get my money's worth and know that the food I'm consuming is made with top-notch, healthful ingredients.

Here's Sammie's To Go's summer take out menu. Click on it for a more legible version:

Sammie's To Go is like a small Boar's Head outlet, actually.

Yes, even on the napkins you will find the logo.

And on the sandwich wrapping.

My tasty turkey sub - it did the trick. But nothing you can't find in a million other places around NYC.

Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury, author of  Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles and many other works has died.

It's weird because I was just wondering the other day whether he was still alive. I was reading though The New Yorker's latest issue, "The Sci Fi Issue," and saw they had a contribution from him  and was like, 'Is he still alive?' And it made me happy to realize he was...

Thriving Local Bar Scene

With the recent opening of the "718" hookah lounge/ grill & bar, it seems we now have a really thriving bar scene going on along Austin St. between 72nd Ave. and 72nd Road.

Last I counted there are 4 bars on that one block now: Five Burros, Tap House, Bonfire Grill and 718.

I still haven't been to 718, but I've walked by it and it appears to definitely have the bar vibe going on, with a
"Lady's Night" sign in the window and some patrons overflowing onto the sidewalk. Has anyone been there yet?

The Times has this cool, interactive sampling of Tony-nominated performances. Check it out at the link below:

In Performance
Published: June 4, 2012
A selection of Tony Award nominees perform songs and scenes from this year’s shows.

The Tonys are on this Sunday.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Forest Hills Rainbow, Take Two

A much, much better shot of the rainbow Sunday eve, donated by an EOTC reader. Thanks! A really pretty shot...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Accident at Corner of Austin/Ascan Last Night

A car crashed Friday night into the convenience store at the corner of Austin St. and Ascan.

Friday, June 1, 2012

16 Handles, or "This is Fu--kn Yogurt?!"

I finally found myself in one of those 16 Handles stores (last I heard, they are supposed to be opening one here in Forest Hills sometime, too.) I say found myself in it, because, seriously, it was absolutely impossible to resist. I was in Chelsea walking by it, saw it and the next thing I knew I was inside and a woman was trying to force one of those small, little sample cups into my fingers. I refused. That is one place where I draw the line——yogurt samples. I am adamantly against them. I don't understand the entire premise. What is the worse thing that can happen to me? I don't like the yogurt I bought, so I don't buy it again. Do I need to brace myself against this possibility by sucking down a tiny sample of it before I eat it? No. I could be living in Afghanistan today or some god-foresaken place like that. I think I can survive buying a few bucks worth of frozen yogurt that I don't like. It won't kill me. I don't need to be sheltered from this experience by one of those little squishy sample cups.

Now, as for 16 Handles. I just don't get it. Why don't they just call it 16,000 pounds. Because that is really what I would eventually weigh if I keep going to this place. Are they really expecting me to believe that their cheesecake or root beer float flavored frozen yogurts are any less fattening then just buying Baskin Robins? Puhleeease!!! Come on!

And don't get me started on all the toppings. There are like a zillion of them. And yes, there's a few fruit toppings, but by the time I finished with the other one's I might as well have been eating a Carvel Banana Split Sundae, especially after I drenched the top with marshmallow and dark chocolate sauce.

Isn't it so typical of America that we have figured out how to make what was supposed to be a nice, healthy snack —— frozen yogurt —— into one of the most overly indulgent, fattening experiences we can possibly have?

Snow White and Such and Such....

I still don't get it.... Who is going to see these Snow White movies? They look way too adult for little children, which is who I thought Snow White was for.... And who are the adults who are going to see movies called Snow White and Whatever... This is obviously really bothering me, and I don't quite know why. But I will figure it out... How many of these live action, adult Snow White movies have they made, anyway? It seems like dozens and dozens....So someone must be going to see them or I spose they'd stop making them. Oh well...

MOVIES The Darker Side of the Story
Published: May 31, 2012
“Snow White and the Huntsman,” directed by Rupert Sanders, puts some menace back into the classic tale.