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.

Monday, April 30, 2012

NYC's New Tallest Building

Some time this afternoon, if all goes as planned, 1 World Trade Center will become New York City's tallest building, surpassing the Empire State Building.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

EuroPan Closes

This would probably be a perfect location for one of those new yogurt places. Of course, I'd rather see that indie coffee shop I've been dreaming about...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

... and More Frozen Yogurt To Come

16 HANDLES -- MANAGER POSITIONS -- Astoria, Queens Center Mall and Forest Hills

Where in FoHi? That I do not yet know.

TV Shoot on Austin

Here's some photos I took this afternoon of the shoot on Austin St. for the new CBS legal drama Baby Big Shot:

You Know Who You Are

Where New York's Cheaters Live (According to Infidelity Website)
"Make a note: These New York City cheating opportunists apparently reside in Park Slope, the Upper East Side, Forest Hills, TriBeCa, and, at number 6 on the list, New City, which is an affluent suburb just north of Manhattan (no word on which of these regions have FiOS)."

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Filming Thursday on Austin St.

Baby Big Shot, a new CBS legal drama, will be filming tomorrow on Austin St.

Here's what I gleaned from the blog Deadline Hollywood about the show:

Erin Cummings, who has played Spartacus’ enslaved wife on Starz’s Spartacus: Blood and Sand, has joined the cast of CBS’ drama pilot Baby Big Shot. The project, from writer Dana Calvo, showrunner Kevin Falls, Sony TV and Jamie Tarses’ Fanfare, is a legal drama centered on Martina (Janet Montgomery), a working-class woman who uses her street smarts to compete with her more polished colleagues at a top New York law firm. Cummings will play Martina’s sexually heightened older sister. The actress, repped by Untitled Entertainment, was recently seen in the film Bitch Slap, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, and in a recurring role on ABC’s Pan Am. She just wrapped the feature Iceman.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Summer Movies

This is one of my favorite times of the year.  Eager movie studios have for some time now expanded the summer blockbuster movie season from the first week of May all the way to Labor Day. And that is fine by me. The more summer, the better, is how I figure it.

Here's a few shots of the posters in the FoHi subway station.

Ongoing Construction Mysteries

Wow, there are so many construction sites currently in Forest Hills that haven't yet gone public with what they will eventually be. Here's a quick round up:

  1. The Body Shop (?)
  2. Mandee's/Annie Sez (?)
  3. Kaplan space next to new 718 restaurant (?)
  4. OTB space (Red Mango and ?)
  5. Q Bistro (Wine bar/restaurant?)
  6. Sister Unn's (?)
  7. Block next to Key Food (CVS?/new co-op)

I probably have forgotten something... Fill me in if you know what any of these will be for sure. Hard to keep track.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

New Austin St. Restaurant: 718

Here is a photo of 718, the new restaurant/hookah lounge/grill/bar that is getting ready to open on Austin St., where the former Greenline Organic used to be. Do we need another place like this? Well, that depends on which of these incarnations it will mostly be.

Hookah Lounge? No thank you. Sports bar? No thank you. Authentic Mediterranean Cuisine? If it's really good authentic Mediterranean Cuisine? Sure, why not... Um, I guess??

Though I, and many others here in Forest Hills, would much rather have preferred an upscale American bistro a la Kew Gardens' Mood—the kind of place we are sorely sorely lacking here in Forest Hills (see my post about the closing of Mood below), or a friendly independently-owned coffee place, a la Ozzie's in Park Slope, another thing many other neighborhoods in New York City take for granted and something we are sorely, sorely lacking here.

This really isn't rocket science! Mr. Restauranteur, if you want to see an example of what happens when you open a place with an extreme demand for it here in Forest Hills, all you need do is walk into La Boulangerie! Upscale food and coffee places do explosive business here in Forest Hills. Hookah Lounges? Sports bars? Eh... We kind of are overflowing already with these?... But, hey, good luck... I guess?

Bad Mood

I was pretty shocked to discover that the fantastic Kew Gardens restaurant Mood has suddenly closed. This was by far one of my favorite local restaurants. Its delicious food - everything from steaks to chicken to fish - could compete with the best anywhere in the City. And its chic, laid-back ambience made it the perfect place to go to unwind and have a great meal with friends.

A person walking by last night stopped and told us, "It just closed last week all of a sudden. I used to go there once a week." He seemed as disheartened by this as we were.

If anyone knows what happened to Mood, drop me a line, I'd love to know. I just hope they are able to open again somewhere else in the City —hopefully, of course, either in Kew Gardens or right here in Forest Hills. Unfortunately, I assume hopes of that are slim. There was no sign on the restaurant announcing they were moving. So something pretty bad happened to the proprietors, causing them to shut down their restaurant immediately. It doesn't leave me with much hope that we will be seeing a new incarnation of Mood any time soon.

I only wish we had more restaurants of the quality of Mood here in Forest Hills. That would surely mean we were stepping things up a notch.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Times Reviews Wafa's

One of the articles that appeared about our neighborhood while I was stranded in the desert:
Classics, Homespun and Fresh
Published: April 17, 2012
Wafa’s modest storefront in Forest Hills, Queens, belies appealingly fresh homespun Middle Eastern food.

What a great review! Congratulations to Wafa's.
By the way, I have very limited experience with Wafa's, having only ordered some food from them in once after managing to convince them to cross the Blvd. to deliver to me (they don't do it easily, by the way :) It took some good, old fashioned Middle Eastern haggling. Now, I really have to get myself down there to dine in....

We Now Resume Regular Programming....

Sorry for the interruption, I found myself in the desert for several days. Now I am back and blogging can resume...