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...


  1. ok bareburer is NOT healthy..healthier then the standard greasy burger and fries? maybe! but its still a greasy, salty burger and fries.

  2. How about the expansion of Martha's Country Bakery as a plus? Did this happen in 2012, or am I dreaming?

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  4. I don't think the West Side Tennis Club's decision can be seen as a negative yet. I do think the club is poorly run by a 55+ crowd and clinging to a pre-recession development strategy. From what I understand, the club rejected all offers because they want to revitalize the stadium on their own terms and aren't willing to give an inch in negotiations. If they can do it - yay! - BUT like most things in FoHi I see this becoming a five year trip to nowhere.

    The entire club (stadium included) is incredibly sad. Almost as sad as the facade of most Austin street stores that are covered in cheap stucco, lousy plastic signage, and dresses meant for gypsies/tramps/thieves. What we need is a resurgence of history to the neighborhood and a strong desire to mandate all store facades adhere to the 1800's Tudor style which can be seen in the Gardens. We need individuality and community pride. I swear if I read another person wants an APPLEBEE'S to go next to the TGI FRIDAY'S I may lose it and move to Kew Gardens (at least they have boy's night once a week at the Kew Club, haha). Happy 2013!

    1. Nicholas, I agree with you on how the architectural harmony and prestige of Austin Street has been degraded over the last decades pretty much. We indeed need "a resurgence of history to the neighborhood, and a strong desire to mandate all store facades adhere to the 1800's Tudor style which can be seen in the Gardens." I feel we have much in common. Would you like to remain in contact, as well as join the Facebook group for Rego-Forest Preservation Council? We also have a blog: I feel that a restoration and enhancement of the facades along Austin St would convey greater neighborhood pride, a sense of place, attract better businesses at large, and help bring interest to those who invest in the neighborhood. I hope to work with you. Thank you! - Michael Perlman

    2. I'm well under 40 and have spent many happy days at Westside.

  5. Any idea when Chipotle on Austin St. is opening?

  6. Applebee's microwaves all their food. It is so ghetto, I would never eat there.

  7. Supposedly Chipotle will be open by the end of this month.

  8. Just heard that Johnny Rockets on Austin St. has closed.