Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Political Malaise

I've kind of been wondering why I have had absolutely no desire to post about the current presidential campaign. I think it's because somewhere deep down in my sub-conscious I realized a while ago that it was all so much more tedious than it is worth it. I concluded, oh, about three years ago, that Obama will probably be re-elected without much effort. And nothing, after these 20 Republican debates, has occurred to change that prediction in my mind.

It goes without saying that what passes for the Republican Party today is so out of touch with mainstream American voters that the party has virtually no chance of reclaiming the White House in the foreseeable future.

Of course, there's always the possibility that things spiral out of control, the center does not hold, etc.. etc... (Iran, oil shortages, EU collapse, etc... any of these crisis can become major at any time, potentially opening the way for one of the Republicans to somehow win the election), but barring that I think this will be a landslide win for Obama.

Doughnut Hell

By the way, if there is the equivalent of doughnut hell, I may have visited it -- but in a spectacularly good way. I sure hope this place, which I believe started on the Lower East Side a while back and this month opened on 23rd St. in Chelsea (at the Chelsea Hotel) does not come to Forest Hills any time soon (Please, please come to Forest Hills, as soon as you possibly can! ... Quiet!! ... F#!@OFF!!...)

http://www.doughnutplant.com/

Doughnut Plant Hits Chelsea

Cute Subway Announcements

N.Y. / REGION
City Room: Heard Underground, in Your Dreams
By DAVID W. DUNLAP and MICHAEL KOLOMATSKY
Published: February 23, 2012
What readers would love to hear underground, as recorded by Bernie Wagenblast.

Vintage Forest Hills

From Wine Spectator: A Spanish Red at a Budget Price
"OK, I admit it. Sometimes (if not more often than not), I’m drawn to prices on a wine list before I even read the name of the wine. Such was the case in my neighborhood in Forest Hills in Queens, N.Y., at the local one-star Michelin restaurant (that’s right, we have Michelin stars in Queens), Danny Brown Wine Bar & Kitchen."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

iPads Coming to NYC Cabs?

Will iPads Replace TV Screens in NYC Taxis?

The first thing I thought was they would end up losing a lot of iPads!  :) But then I read that they are going to be embedded in the cars....

In any case, this would be neat for those, oh, like five times each year I actually take a cab. In fact, that's a whole other thing. Don't you love it how in TV shows and films set in New York City they always show everyone taking cabs? Puhlease! How often do real New Yorkers take cabs?

Oh, and one other thing. Now that they've actually gone and installed WIFI in some of the Manhattan subway stations, I miss it even MORE in those stations that don't have it. Mayor Bloomberg, you pride yourself on being so hip and trendy when it comes to things like green initiatives and what-not. I know you don't have much control of the MTA, but isn't there something you can do to get this done already? I mean, in this day and age, not to have phone service on the subways, or at least the platforms, really makes us look third world.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

And Now, The Workers...

Until now it's been mostly residents fed up with the high cost of renting a closet-sized apartment in Manhattan who have been discovering our neighborhood. But, now, apparently, here come the workers -- and they don't even work for an airline! Go figure!

Tenant ditches Manhattan for Forest Hills
Bilinguals finds the space of its dreams—and a tax break—on the second floor of a building on the Queens neighborhood’s prosperous main drag.

I can just hear the conversations now:
"I really like living in Manhattan. Well, I guess the only thing I don't love about it is the commute. I mean, it takes like 30 minutes to get from my apartment in Manhattan to where I work in Forest Hills. In fact, I am thinking of maybe moving to Forest Hills, if only the apartments weren't so damn expensive! Oh. Wait. They aren't expensive... oh, and they're also enormous...hmmm."

Tuscan Hills Expands

A photo of the new part of one of my favorite local restaurants, Tuscan Hills, on Queens Blvd. They recently expanded into the space that became available next door...


Friday, February 17, 2012

Small Man


Doesn't Chris Christie look small in this photo? It's fitting. After all, any chance he would be remembered as anything but a small, little man disappeared today with his veto of the Gay Marriage Bill in New Jersey. He has sided with the haters and as a result will forever go down as a dinosaur and, sadly, be but a footnote in history.

Another Assist from Lin?

It's funny how things work out sometimes, isn't it? I'm no expert in these matters, but I can bet that the amazing performance of Jeremy Lin over the past couple of weeks had a lot to do with the fact that Time Warner Cable subscribers all of sudden will be able to watch MSG once again, after a 48 day dispute was resolved today:

SPORTS
Time Warner Cable and MSG Resolve Dispute
By HOWARD BECK and RICHARD SANDOMIR
Published: February 17, 2012
Time Warner Cable and the MSG Network resolved their dispute on Friday. Customers will now be able to watch the Knicks and four New York-area N.H.L. teams, including the Rangers.

I find it kind of funny I am blogging about this stuff. I am like the least sports-oriented person in this country, usually geeking myself out on sci-fi movies and computer games. But, hey, you never know.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Behind the Scenes

While we all walk by it going about our everyday business, they have been dismantling from the inside that block of empty stores next to the Key Food on the north side of Queens Blvd.

My adventurous and enterprising roving reporter shot these pics (somehow), risking life and limb for the blog (just kidding, I think he shot them through some space in the covered-up windows).

The roof is slowly being dismantled.

The floor - or lack thereof.

Another shot of the ceiling being dismantled.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lincredible

I'm not a big sports fan by any means, but the story of Jeremy Lin that's unfolded in the past week has been rather exciting I must admit...

SPORTS
For Lin, Erasing a History of Being Overlooked
By MARK VIERA
Published: February 12, 2012
Despite a stellar high school career, Jeremy Lin eluded the radar of top college programs. Lin received no Division I scholarship offers.

Latest on L.I.C.

Turning our attention for a bit to the West, the development of Long Island City continues unabated...

REAL ESTATE
In Long Island City, Pepsi Sign Gets More Company
By ALISON GREGOR
Published: February 9, 2012
Two more glass skyscrapers are added to a group of towers on the waterfront of Long Island City.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Austin Street Profiled in Wall Street Journal

NY REAL ESTATE RESIDENTIAL
FEBRUARY 10, 2012
Austin Street Keeps Pace With Forest Hills
Austin Street, the bustling commercial heart of Forest Hills, Queens, has solidified its status as a mecca for shopping, dining and entertainment, bringing in patrons from the neighborhood and beyond.
The mix of stores, restaurants and other establishments along the commercial strip has evolved over the years, with a number of businesses now catering to a younger clientele. But the steady rise of the neighborhood's profile has come at a price, with area rents rising—sharply in some cases—forcing some turnover.

And then, later in the article:
"We want to be wherever we can fill that niche where people are looking for organic and all-natural foods," said Bareburger founder Euripides Pelekanos. "Austin Street has the same vibe as Astoria—young, vibrant, educated, cool, open to new food ideas."


Another new business I think they should have mentioned is Emily's Sugar Rush...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Overheard in Forest Hills

Pleasant, middle-aged man while opening the door for an elderly couple leaving La Boulangerie: "Their food is just great, isn't it?!"

Disgruntled, scowling elderly long-time Forest Hills lady: "Yes, but they're out of baguettes!"

Let's Meet About This

I was talking with a friend the other day who expressed bemusement at the news that NY was thinking of building a new, enormous convention center here in Queens. He was like, "Who is going to want to go to a convention in Queens?!" I have to say, after reading this article in The Times I am beginning to agree with him. According to the article attendance at conventions has been declining due to the ability to view product information over the Internet and tighter company travel budgets.

N.Y. / REGION
Queens Questions Need for 2 Convention Halls
By JOSEPH BERGER
Published: February 8, 2012
The city wants one, in Willets Point, and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo wants another, at the Aqueduct racetrack, a proposal that has fed suspicions about officials’ intentions.

So, the question remains, what to do with the Eastern section of Queens if not build a huge convention center? I believe if we wait long enough, it will probably figure it out for itself. As I said in a recent post, gentrification is rolling on... spreading out from the city's center in Manhattan to its outer boroughs. The young and hip just love to settle in downtrodden, cheaper neighborhoods and that in turn revitalizes them. Don't see why this section of Queens should be any different.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Queens High Line

An interesting piece on The Daily News website about the possibilities of a High Line-like park coming to our area: For bikers, turning the old LIRR Rockaway line into a greenway is the QueensWay to go
As of today, an online petition calling on the City of New York to convert the Rockaway line to a park has 1,426 signatures which include those of more than 300 people from the Forest Hills/Rego Park area, more than 700 people from Queens and those of people from nearly 50 countries around the world.

Travel and Now, Cold

Was out of town for a bit and couldn't update, and now I brought back with me that nasty cold that is going around...

Friday, February 3, 2012

One of my favorite characters from one of the best movies I've seen recently. What an amazing actor. I didn't realize how great until I watched this video and realized how very different the character is from the actor.

ARTS
Scene Stealers: Nick Krause
Melena Ryzik chats with Nick Krause, the laid-back teen from “The Descendants,” about his first leading role.

Tennis Stadium Eligible for Historic Designation


Local preservationist Michael Perlman shares this very exciting news this morning:

Forest Hills Tennis Stadium Update: Extra! Extra! The ball is closer to being back in court at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, which has now been declared "eligible for the State & National Register of Historic Places" (STATE & NATIONAL LANDMARK!), if the West Side Tennis Club supports it. Commemoration & funding incentives for restoration & creative reuse are the benefits. This is my op-ed piece for the Queens Ledger, so feel free to comment & share this promising development, which resulted from 1 1/2 years of advocacy: http://queensledger.com/view/full_story/17359797/article-Forest-Hills-Tennis-Stadium-Has-Local-To-National-Merit?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Peek Inside Bareburger

The wood panelling on the walls looks very similar to the Chelsea location I've eaten in a couple of times...


Gentrification Express Rolls On...

As I said, think of Manhattan as the epicenter, and it keeps rippling outwards...

N.Y. / REGION
Unease Lingers Amid a Rebirth in Crown Heights
By LIZ ROBBINS
Published: January 31, 2012
The Brooklyn neighborhood, once stigmatized by violence and segregation, is now luring young people and new businesses, but some longtime residents are not sure the change is good.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Danny Brown Times Article

Here's something a little more pleasant for those of you who apparently detested my worst bagels post, in more ways than one judging by your remarks. :) ( I will keep the controversial post below for those of you brave enough to read it, digest it, and then reply... I also thought of another horrible bagel story which I will share soon.)

In any case, here's the more pleasant news: Danny Brown, owner of one of the best-reviewed restaurants here in Forest Hills, was featured in The Times this weekend:

FASHION & STYLE
Audrey Brand and Danny Brown
By JANE GORDON
Published: January 27, 2012
For Danny Brown and Audrey Brand, a restaurant in Queens became the focus that brought them together.

What's the Worst...

I am a pretty positive thinking person by nature. But heck, the lack of snow this winter has gotten me into a very cranky mood! So, I came up with this new recurring feature you will now see every so often here on EOTC (that is, until it snows)... I call it "What's the Worst..."

Today's What's the Worst?

Drum roll please...

What's the Worst Bagel you ever had?

It's Monday morning, arguably the most annoying part of the week. So let's ponder the worst bagels we have EVER eaten, near or far.

Here is my choice: A bagel from your generic street vendor/cart, pretty much any one. I was talking about this with a friend the other day and realized these are really not bagels at all. I think they are pretty much the pretzels these carts sell at lunch time, but without the salt. They are enormous, doughy, have absolutely no taste - basically, they are just a large mound of heavy dough. And, to add insult to injury, the vendor usually just slaps a square of cream cheese into the middle of it. He or she usually doesn't even bother taking a knife to it to spread the cream cheese around.

I also associate these dreadful bagels with the panic that comes from being late to work, usually on a Monday morning just like this one. After all, that's the only time I would grab one of these gobby monstrosities as a last-minute, stave-off-starvation, breakfast.

So, there you have mine... what's the worst bagel you've ever eaten?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fascinating...

Cracking the Code in ‘Heeere’s Johnny!’
By ROBERT ITO
Published: January 25, 2012
A documentary, “Room 237,” collects theories and interpretations surrounding the symbols and intentions of Stanley Kubrick in his film “The Shining.”

Well, it is an amazing movie (I've seen it a ton of times). But then again, all of Kubrick's were pretty amazing, including one of my favorite's, 2001. But I never thought of it having any particular hidden meaning until now... By the way, just what is this continuing conspiracy theory stuff about the moon landing being fake? As far as conspiracy theories go, there is only one I believe in - that W. was in some way connected to the events of 9/11. There are just too many ways he benefited from it for me to discount that one.

It's Our Little Secret

I scanned the like 10,000 comments after the recent NY Times article, "So You're Price Out, Now What?" and I couldn't find one mention of Forest Hills. Of course, there are like 10,000 comments so I may have missed it. Saw several about Kew Gardens though. Anyway, shhhhh, don't anyone tell them about Forest Hills. Let's keep it to ourselves... :)

REAL ESTATE
So You’re Priced Out. Now What?
By JIM RENDON
Published: January 27, 2012
Five pairs of neighborhoods that look and feel alike, without costing the same amount.

Friday, January 27, 2012

New Poll

It's been a rather slow and dreary start to 2012 here in Forest Hills, hasn't it? Nothing new has opened in a while. But, there certainly is a lot in the works, as you can see by my poll below. If none of these gets you excited, well, then there are always the new elevators in our subway station.

But seriously, if you are feeling a little blue thanks to the miserable, basically snowless winter we've been having, well here are a few things you can do around the neighborhood to cheer yourself up:

  • Visit Emily's Sugar Rush on Austin. Have you been to our neighborhood candy story lately? This place is awesome. It is now busting at the seams with stuff. It has grown into a really cool store. (They even now have Fruit Stripe Gum, my suggestion from way back thank you very much.)
  • Grab a coffee and a pastry at La Boulangerie. Just soaking up the atmosphere at this adorable new place can get you in a great mood.
  • Go Greek at Agora. I just had their New England clam chowder the other night. Quite good if I must say so myself.
  • Grab a brownie at Brownies & Cream. Another new place on Austin with some delicious treats.
  • Oh, and just wait a week. I hear that by this time next week we might actually have a real winter snow on our hands. I know, how many times have you heard that this winter. But predictions have been all along for a major change to a snowier, wintry pattern in February. So all you snow lovers, get ready. :)