Monday, December 31, 2012

Reflections on 2012

So looking back on the past year, how has Forest Hills done? I think we've had a pretty good year. The starred items on the list below are establishments that opened in 2012, and there are plenty of them as you can see. It makes sense, given the influx of younger residents who have been drawn to our neighborhood from other parts of the city mainly because of the spacious yet affordable apartments, safety, and good schools.

Unfortunately, 2012 also came with its share of disappointments as well, and they've been some biggies. First and foremost, the West Side Tennis Club's decision to reject the proposal to use the Stadium for pubic arts and entertainment events. The Stadium is the one iconic structure (unless you consider The Gardens as a whole) that Forest Hills is home to, the one thing that has put us on the map, so to speak. It sits there crumbling with barely any use. What a terrific waste.


*1. Bareburger - How about that? A burger joint where thinking actually goes into the food, making simple things as salads and burgers delicious — and healthy — culinary experiences.
*2. Forest Hills Farmer's Market - Its popularity just built and built with every week that went by, to the point where it was extended all the way until just before Christmas.
3. La Boulangerie - It continued to expand its delicious offerings through the year, and the crowds continued to grow as well. "We're going to need a bigger boat?"
4. Mr. Vino - Modern, upscale, central, one of the first things you see in FoHi. Just the kind of place we need.
* 5. Jack & Nellie's - A huge hit with local residents.
* 6. The Sunday Wafels & Dinges truck - A taste of Manhattan hits FoHi's streets and the neighborhood can't get enough of it.
7. Emily's Sugar Rush - Charming.
8. NY State grants Queensway (Queens High Line) half a million, bringing it closer to reality - Wow.
9. New "Windsor 2" construction gets underway for new condo on north side of Queens Blvd. - Much better than what was there, that's for sure!


1. The West Side Tennis Club blocks use of historic Stadium for public arts and entertainment
2. Queens Blvd. remains a deathtrap, giving pedestrians a scant 30 seconds to cross 8 lanes of traffic, and make it across with their lives. Like WTF??
3. Staples closes, leaving local community — especially the many of us who don't have cars — high and dry when it comes to basic office supplies
4. CVS is supposedly going into the ground floor of "Windsor 2" — Another drugstore? Is that the best we can do with that prime space? So very, very sad...

Happy New Year !!

Fox removed my favorite New Year's clip from Youtube, so we'll just have to make do with this. Oh well. Happy New Year!!

First Casualty of the Forest Hills Burger Wars

..... is.... Johnny Rockets! And I can't say I am sorry to see this one leave the nabe. As the friend who sent me this pic asks, "Could 2013 be the year we get our Shake Shack?" I can only dream....

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Wall St. Journal: Queens 'High Line' On Track

New 'High Line' on Track
Grant Jump-Starts Plans for Abandoned Rail in Queens

I have to say the amount of coverage of this in today's Wall St. Journal caught me by surprise. The chances of it happening have always seemed like such a longshot to me just because if it happened it would be so awesome and how often do awesome things happen?

True, this grant is just for a study. It doesn't mean it's actually going to happen. But put it together with the Journal's fantastic coverage of the possibility and I am suddenly thinking this just might come together.

There is one part of the article today which I found really interesting and which I am so glad they point out, the part when they talk about how so much of the public park space in Queens is virtually impossible to get to on foot, unless you are brave enough to trek across busy highways. This Queensway would be a solution to that, giving easier access by foot to Forest Park, for example. That alone is why I truly hope this project succeeds.

From the article:
Queens enjoys an image as a bucolic borough where even neighborhood names evoke a pastoral pride: Fresh Meadows, Woodside, Floral Park. The streets of Sunnyside Gardens and Forest Hills are dotted with small private gardens.
But the borough ranks third out of five for parkland per resident, and much of the green space—particularly Forest Park and Flushing Meadows Corona Park—can't be reached by pedestrians who are unwilling to cross busy roadways in what can amount to an act of bravery.

A Cute Debate

Personally, I loved Lincoln, and I love Spielberg's films - well, most of them. It's interesting that David Carr in this video doesn't mention Schindler's List, which I think is one of the most remarkable movies ever made. Watch this scene below, if you can stomach it...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Rainbow Over Kennedy House

Caught this after this afternoon's unusual wintertime thunderstorm. Click for a better view.

More Chipotle Pics

70-30 Austin Street 
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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Live Coverage of Connecticut Vigil

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

There really are no words to describe the horror of what has happened. If there is any slim beam of light to cling on to though it is how these tragedies always seem to also bring out the most admirable qualities in people — in this case, the unbelievable heroism of the school's principal, Dawn Hochsprung, and the school's psychologist, Mary Sherlach, both of whom reportedly rushed into the face of danger to try to save these children and gave their lives doing so.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Fave So Far...

Reader "Jess" sends in this one. The pooch adds that special touch...

By the way, while we're in the holiday spirit, here's an interesting list from the website I thought you'd enjoy: Top 10 Holiday Movies To Watch With Your Kids

Monday, December 10, 2012

More FoHi Holiday Decorations

Erica sends these in from the Windsor House, explaining:
"Our super's wife did a great job decorating our foyer here at Windsor house. And here is my tree and my cool wreath I made out of wrapping paper."

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Holiday Decorations

Here's one of the nicer ones, on 71st Road, north side of Queens Blvd. Send me your holiday decoration photos and I'll post them ( email them to ). Indoors or out, it's all good. Maybe we'll even put them up for a vote for "Best of 2012." Happy Holidays!

Bareburger's New Menu

My favorite Forest Hills burger joint has updated their menu. You'll notice they've added some new types of burgers and salads to their already extensive menu. (Click on the images to read)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Movie Quickies - Early Holiday Edition

Lincoln - Seen it twice so far and liked it even better the second time. And I'm up for a third, which is pretty amazing considering the movie is like 2 1/2 hours long. It goes so fast. The performances all around are spectacular, from Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln, to Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, to Tommy Lee Jones as the staunch abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens. Even James Spader is incredible. Truly one of the best films I have seen—ever. Early prediction: Daniel Day Lewis nabs Best Actor (really that's a no-brainer). A+

Argo - It is going to be an awfully hard call come Oscar time as to which walks away with Best Picture, Argo or Lincoln. Argo is thrilling and absorbing from beginning to end. Just thoroughly entertaining. Wow, who ends up winning Best Supporting Actor this year is going to be a really tough bet to call: Alan Arkin in Argo, who is so memorable in this movie, or Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln (I even thought James Spader should at least be nominated for Lincoln).  A+

Skyfall - This was disappointing. I'd heard so many great things about the latest James Bond movie. But, aside from Javier Bardem's terrific villain - you just can't take your eyes off of him every time he's on the screen - the rest was a pretty formula Bond flick. Critics are calling this like the best Bond film ever. I'd pick Casino Royale (the second one, with Daniel Craig). This might grow on me if I saw it again, but after seeing it once, it was just ok... B-

Chipotle - Another View

Here's a better pic of the inside of the Chipotle under construction on Austin St. It's impressive how much more space they were able to create through combining the two former businesses at this location...