Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Storm Swamping Manhattan

Former NFL player Dhani Jones posted this amazing photo to Twitter from his plane near LaGuardia this afternoon.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Oh, how I know the feeling....

ArtsBeat: Rotten Tomatoes Halts Comments on 'Dark Knight'
The review aggregation site has temporarily suspended user comments on reviews across its site after readers reacted angrily to two negative write-ups of "The Dark Knight Rises" and made threatening and derogatory remarks about the critics who wrote them.
Makes sense to me...

More on Jack & Nellie's

Here's a link to an article in about the new wine bar coming into the spot on Ascan where Q Bistro used to be: Upscale Wine Bar Coming to Forest Hills

By the way, here's some other local restaurant-related news:

1) I heard that La Boulangerie celebrated Bastille Day over the weekend by making fresh crepes out in front of the store. Too bad I missed that!
2) I also heard that Piu Bello, located on the corner across from the Post Office, has been shut down by the health department. The biggest question I had about this place is how did it last this long given that every time I passed by there were just a few people in it.

By the way, some people have commented on this blog that certain locations in Forest Hills are cursed — that no matter what goes in to them will fail. They cite locations like the one right next to the Midway Theater, which has changed hands like six times in the past several years and is now Gloria Pizza. Or the spot where Piu Bello is right now - or was.  I happen not to agree. Firstly, I think Gloria Pizza may just prove the naysayers wrong. Their pizza is really good for one thing. And every time I go in there it is fairly crowded. So I think Gloria may be here to stay.

Also, the value of the location where Piu Bello is just went way up thanks to the success of the new Farmer's Market, which is bringing droves of people to the area in front of the restaurant every Sunday now.

What we need where Piu Bello is located is a high-quality, family-friendly, upscale diner-type eating establishment. (Yes, the kind that received the most votes in our recent poll right here on EOTC.) Just imagine in the nice Spring or Fall weather that restaurant there on a Sunday for brunch with all its windows open, maybe even people eating out in front (if allowed), while the Farmer's Market is open across the street. I'm getting a real Union Square vibe now.

Monday, July 16, 2012

New Poll: Anthony Weiner's Future

Phone Booths Being Converted to Free WiFi Hotspots

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Coming Soon: Red Mango

A sign has been put up. This is at the former OTB location.

Soda Wars

Our local movie theater, the Midway, gets in on the soda ban controversy:

Taxi Fare Hike

City Room: Taxi Fares in New York to Rise by 17%

The Taxi and Limousine Commission voted to raise fares by an average of 17 percent, the first major increase in eight years. The fares could go into effect as soon as September.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Good Idea for Queens Blvd.?

City Expands 20 M.P.H. Zones Across More Neighborhoods
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg called the program, which will be imposed in as many as 13 neighborhoods, the latest tool in “our assault on the No. 1 traffic killer — speeding.”

Monday, July 9, 2012

New Ascan Restaurant

There seems to be a ton of interest in this new place, opening soon where the old Q Bistro used to be on Ascan. Here's a pic of what I hear will be a beer and wine bar, with assorted light food. It certainly already has the air of a classy place and I hear the've done a really nice job on the inside as well:

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.


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 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
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?