Sunday, July 8, 2012

Forest Hills Greenmarket: Day One




















Grand Opening of Greenmarket Today

Here's a pic as they were setting up the booths this morning:


And Susan on the blog's Facebook page reports:
FABULOUS turnout early this morning and a great selection of vendors. I came home with a bounty of heirloom tomato's, Swiss Chard, Arugula, free range eggs, lamb chops and honey from the Upper East Side in Manhattan.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Our New Greenmarket Opens This Sunday

Forest Hills' previous Greenmarket was on Metropolitan Ave.


Forest Hills Greenmarket


South side of Queens Blvd at 70th Avenue, Queens [map]
Open Sunday, 7/8/12 - 11/18/12
8:00 a.m. - 3
:00 p.m.
EBT/Food Stamps, Debit/Credit, and WIC & FMNP Coupons accepted. 
EBT/Debit/Credit accepted
Starting in July, for every $5 EBT dollars spent, customers receive a $2 Health Buck coupon to purchase additional produce. 

Located in front of the Forest Hills Post Office, this neighborhood Greenmarket boasts a variety of locally grown, fresh products. Throughout the season, the market will offer free cooking demonstrations, kids activities, and the opportunity to mingle with neighbors, all while getting to know the regional farmers who grow your food. Come back each week to learn about the healthful and flavorful benefits of eating what is fresh and in season.

Calendar of Events


Community activities, cooking demonstrations and recipe exchanges will add to the diverse nature of this market.

Farmers


Amantai Farm Vegetables, Mexican specialty produce, free-range poultry, honey, herbs, and eggs from Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. A New Farmer Development Project participant.
Andrew’s Local Honey Honey and honey products from Fairfield County, CT.
Bread Alone Artisan breads, mostly certified Organic, and pastries from Ulster County, NY.
Castello Di Borghese Wines from Suffolk County, NY
Dipaola Turkey Farm Turkey from Mercer County, NJ
Gajeski Produce Vegetables from Suffolk County, NY
King Ferry Winery Wine from Cayuga County, NY
Lavender By the Bay fresh cut, dried, and potted lavender and honey from Suffolk County, NY
R & G Produce Vegetables from Orange County, NY
Terhune Orchards orchard fruit from Dutchess County, NY


More on Our Friendly, Neighborhood Spiderman

A reader sent me a link to this article from the NY Times in 2002, when the original Spiderman movie came out:

So, Spider-Man! Brilliant Disguise!; The Real Mild-Mannered Parkers Are in a Superhero's Fictional Lair
In the comics, Peter Parker, the mild-mannered photojournalist who is Spider-Man's alter ego, grew up at 20 Ingram Street, a modest, two-story boarding house run by his Aunt May in the heart of Forest Hills Gardens. The address actually exists and is home to a family named Parker: Andrew and Suzanne Parker, who moved there in 1974, and their two daughters.

For All You Bird Watchers Out There...

For all you bird-watching fans in Central Park's Ramble, here's something for you.

Each year, more than a million birds make a migratory pit stop in New York City’s Central Park – and they don’t go unnoticed. The revealing documentary BIRDERS: THE CENTRAL PARK EFFECT chronicles one year in the life of the extraordinary array of wild birds that grace Manhattan’s celebrated patch of green, and the equally colorful New Yorkers who schedule their lives around the rhythms of migration, when itdebuts MONDAY, JULY 16 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO. The debut of the Oscar®-nominated documentary short “The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom,” which shows how nature can be a rejuvenating as well as destructive force, follows at 10:00 p.m.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Their Fault, or Ours?

Here's a link to a great article about how the new Spiderman movie's promotional campaign completely ignores Queens, and especially Forest Hills, where Spiderman (Peter Parker) lived in the comic books. I, for one, didn't even realize that the house where he grew up in is a real address, as pointed out by the article: 20 Ingram St., right off of Ascan in the Gardens.

Now, I ask you, is it the producers' of the film's fault for ignoring us, or is it our fault for allowing them to? I also ask you, do you care one way or the other? Do you want any publicity for your 'hood from this movie?

By the way, the original Spiderman movie, with Tobey Maguire, did not ignore us at all - but shot a pivotal scene right here on Austin St. and Ascan. They were pretty loyal to the story given that his original home was just down the road!

Check out this clip at 2:38. See anything familiar?

Monday, July 2, 2012

'Best Nachos in NYC' Put to the Test

I finally had a chance to taste for myself what the Daily News recently named the Best Nachos in New York City - the Nachos Con Carne at 5 Burro Cafe on Austin St. My verdict: Good, but sorry, while I'd love to agree that we have the best nachos in the city, I really couldn't based on my "taste test" this weekend.


As the Daily News recommended, I tried the Nachos Con Carne with the skirt steak (shown above). Everything on the plate was great—except for the steak. I found the pieces overly fatty unfortunately. And they tasted ok. Nothing very memorable. Like I said, however, the rest of the food on the plate, from the peppers to the nachos themselves and the guacamole, was all really good. Next time I'll try the ground beef version which is supposed to be a little spicy. 

Local Resident Profile: Peter Parker


New York Spider-Man fans cherish his city roots
Unlike most of the Marvel heroes who operate in New York, Spidey was born and raised in Forest Hills, and his adventures often kept him in the city. "He has the perspective of someone from the city but also that fresh look of a tourist where he appreciates the city," Hermus said.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

What's Going on at the Ole OTB?

 What is going on I ask you? We know there is a Red Mango going into the space on the corner. Here's some pics of the inside under construction:



But what is going in to the other part? We heard possibly 7-Eleven a few months ago, and then found out that was not a done deal. And me and my news-hounds think that space is kinda small for a 7-Eleven:



So, we shall see... It's all about as suspenseful as why construction on the "Windsor 2" condo, next to the Key Food, seems to have come to a grinding halt as of several weeks ago, leaving us all to have to squeeeeze in between that dreadful wall of wood and the newstand (especially challenging when the Lotto starts getting up there and the lines start to form). As if that block wasn't pleasant enough before with those sad, old stores, now we have a wooden wall with no sign it will be coming down any time soon...

Awesome Movie Trailers

While I'm on the subject of movies — hey, it's very hot out and it makes we want to go to a nice, comfy, dark, air-conditioned theater — here's a couple of trailers making their rounds out there that I really, really like:





Movie Quickies: Early Summer Edition

Here's my mini-reviews, in case you haven't seen these guys yet. The great thing about living in NYC is you can probably still find them playing somewhere. If not, well DVD soon.

Battleship: B+
This kind of got panned. But I thought it was pretty good. Not very memorable, but fun while it lasted. Kind of like chinese food. It actually has a pretty touching ending too, especially if you are a World War 2 buff, like me.

The Avengers: B
Everyone seemed to have just adored this movie. But, please. How many different ways can they blow up New York City? Enough already! That's kind of what I was thinking about 3/4 of the way into this movie.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: B-
Not even sure if I got the name of this right, and to tell you the truth, between the ridiculous heat outside and the margarita I had with lunch, I am too tired to look. This was a mildly diverting film. Very forgettable. Nothing to write home about really. But the cast was damn good, which is why I gave it a B- and not something in the C range.

Prometheus: A+
I've seen this one two times now. The first time in 3D, which I actually thought didn't do justice to this Ridley Scott sci-fi movie. So I went back and saw it again without the 3D. Awesome. A masterpiece sci-fi adventure. One of the best I've seen in a long time. I predict this is one of those that will take its place as an all-time classic.

Men in Black 3: A-
Will Smith is great as usual, as is Josh Brolin. In fact, wow is Josh Brolin great. Oh, and in this one they almost destroy NYC again, but... well, I won't ruin it. It's a really fun summer movie. 

Alleged Serial Rapist Stikes Again

This time, they say, he struck in Corona.

Woman Fights off Alleged Serial Rapist in Queens

This is pretty remarkable to me. How can this person not have been caught by now? Of course, there's got to be quite a number of people who have seen him with his photo in every newspaper and website for weeks and weeks. No one can just hide out in New York City without being seen by tons of others people. Baffling.

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

DNAInfo.com 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
Butcher
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 info@queensblvd.org


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 http://www.mta.info/ 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 http://www.mta.info/ 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 Accuweather.com 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.