Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Construction Update: The Aston

Here's how Forest Hills' newest condo is looking this week...

Friday, January 24, 2014

Jewelry Store Theft

A reader sent in this photo this afternoon of what he says was a smashed window at Lorilil Jewelers on 71st/Continental Ave. today. The reader says a large hammer was used to smash the window as the thieves attempted to steal some merchandise.
"It was a smash and grab based on the folks there," he writes. "When I saw it there was the hammer/sledgehammer lying on the floor and a few jewelery boxes on the floor outside on the street. The Rolex display is still behind the glass but it fell down....might be able to see in the pic. The police used the yellow tape to cart off the area and took the hammer-like item with them."

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Silk Cakes Grand Opening This Saturday

Judy Lai
Silk Cakes, a premier customized wedding and specialty cakes bakery based in Manhattan, today announced its newest location will open this Saturday at 98-14 Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills, Queens. The 1,500 square feet Queens location will join Silk Cake’s flag ship store in Manhattan, but while the Manhattan location is by appointment only, the Forest Hills store will be open to the public and will include items for sale on site.

Silk Cakes is known for Asian inspired designs and unique flavor combinations. The new location will feature some of its most popular flavor combinations such as chocolate cake with green tea butter cream and semi sweet chocolate truffle, black sesame cake with yuzu butter cream with green tea truffle and Thai tea cake with condensed milk butter cream and white chocolate truffle.

The store will also offer premium coffees and teas.

“We are very excited about our new location” said Judy Lai, owner of Silk Cakes and renowned pastry chef. “For years, people have stopped by our Ludlow St. store in Manhattan, hoping to sample our cakes, and we are so happy to be able to finally offer this option to the public. The Metropolitan Ave. location is the perfect spot for us, and we are looking forward to becoming part of this vibrant community.”

 Lai brings to Silk Cakes her classical training from the French Culinary Institute, and her experience as a cake chef instructor in that school. Silk Cakes have been featured in countless media and wedding publications, including NY Weddings Magazine.

Location: 98-14 Metropolitan Avenue, Forest Hills, NY
Business Hours: 8am-7pm Tues-Sun; Closed Mondays

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Endless Blizzard Bus Line

Photo by Padilla
Taken at 4 p.m. Tuesday

Some "Day After" Photos

If you have any good photos of the storm, send them to


Neighborhood Groups Hold Candlelight Vigil for Pedestrian Safety

A Year After Ella Bandes’ Death, a Tribute to New Yorkers Killed in Crashes

On Sunday January 26th, neighborhood street safety groups will mark the one-year anniversary since 23-year-old Ella Bandes was killed by an MTA bus. The vigil will pay tribute to the approximately 286 New Yorkers killed in traffic crashes in 2013 and the 17 already been killed in 2014. Participants will express their support for Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero agenda to eliminate road fatalities and serious injuries with safer street design and better traffic enforcement.

WHAT: Candlelight Vigil for Pedestrian Safety.

WHEN: Sunday January 26, 2014 at 4:30 PM

WHERE: At the intersection of Wycoff, Palmetto and Myrtle Avenues (outside the Myrtle-Wyckoff subway station on the L line)

WHO: Family and friends of New Yorkers killed in traffic crashes. Make Brooklyn Safer, Make Queens Safer, Right of Way, Transportation Alternatives, Bay Ridge Advocates Keeping Everyone Safe (BRAKES), Clinton Hell’s Kitchen Coalition for Pedestrian Safety (CHEKPEDS), Park Slope Street Safety Partnership, Park Slope Parents, Brooklyn Heights Association, International Buddhist Progressive Society (IBPS) and Congresswoman Grace Meng.

Some Beautful Winter Wonderland Pics

Here's a link to some great photos taken last night in Forest Hills:

Alicia Kwoka Photography

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Storm Scenes

It's the first rule of surviving Nor'Easters—always be prepared with a burrito close by. I awoke to realize I wasn't so I had to venture out into the maelstrom.

Actually, I found aside from it being a little slippery here and there, and being blocked by a little mini-drift from time-to-time, this storm isn't that bad compared to others we've had. The wind isn't that strong so it didn't feel that cold—at least that's the way it was when I was out in it this afternoon. But it's supposed to get worse as the day goes on...

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fog Over Queens Boulevard

A reader took this spectacular photo yesterday morning looking east on Queens Boulevard.

What's Cooking At: Banter Irish Bar and Kitchen

This will be a regular feature where I share what's on the menu at some of the area's best eateries. Today, courtesy of Banter Irish Bar and Kitchen, one of my favorite new restaurants in Forest Hills. If you're a local restaurant that would like to be featured on Edge of the City, don't be shy. Email us at

Lentil Soup

Blueberry Walnut Salad

Queens Lager, by Queens Brewery - Isn't that a work of art? Beautiful color!

Cell Phones in Subways

For New York City not to already have cell phone service in all of its subways and subway stations is a disgrace. Just the fact that the NY Times has to run an article like this in 2014 is so very, very sad...

Phones in Subway: On Elevated Lines, Hear the Future

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New Restaurant Review: The Grill

As I posted about on January 6th, our newest Restaurant Row (70th Road) restaurant, The Grill, finally realized it was opening in Forest Hills and not the Upper East Side, and adjusted the prices of its menu accordingly. Adjusted them so much, in fact, that I—a Forest Hills resident—was actually able to afford eating there! Imagine that!

So, what's the verdict? I'll cut right to the chase given the fact that many of you may have just struggled with this morning's water main break. Hey, this is a very "mass transportation rider-friendly" blog, as many of you know! I give our newest restaurant a grade of A-.


The food: I went for dinner and had as an Appetizer the Mediterranean Spreads. These were fine. Nothing very memorable. I'd rate this dish a B. This was followed by us ordering two kebab plates, chicken and shrimp. The chicken kebab ($19) was wonderful. Perfectly seasoned, large, juicy chunks of chicken served with mediterranean rice flavored with cilantro, scallion and spices. The shrimp kebab ($21) was not quite as good, but still good. I found that it was unevenly seasoned with one side of the kebab quite nice, the other a little bland. Ratings: Chicken Kebab A+, the best chicken kebab I have had in Forest Hills as of late. Shrimp Kebab A-, only because it did not seem to be evenly seasoned, or if I'm wrong in this regard, it could use a little more seasoning overall.

Decor: Modern, relaxed, upscale. This is a nice place to take a date you want to impress, or just to have a romantic night out. The lights are kept dim. For lunch, it's probably much brighter. They also said they will soon be having brunch.

Prices: Just about right now. They lowered them since they opened. They also have a very affordable lunch menu with great deals. (See my January 6th Post).

Service: Very pleasant and friendly. The food came out nice and quick, in about the average time you'd expect.

Stinginess: They charged me $2 after asking if I wanted more bread for the Mediterranean Spreads appetizer. If it'll cost me a little extra, at least let me know before asking me if I want more since actually charging $2 for more bread is so very, very bizarre in the first place. We were saying we may have been able to ask them for more of the free bread they served when we first sat down since it seemed to be the same anyway, and saved ourselves $2. Hey, $2 isn't much, but it's the thought of it that just isn't great for a restaurant looking to win loyal customers.

Overall Verdict:
We'll be going back for sure the next time we're in the mood for some chicken, shrimp, or other kebabs (they have a variety of others on the menu as well). Like I said, the chicken kebab was hands down the best I've had in the central part of Forest Hills as of late. In fact, that chicken kebab was so delicious, it made me want to return to The Grill very soon.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Construction Update: The Aston

The lower floor windows have now made it around to the Queens Blvd. side of Forest Hills' newest condo...

Subway Prodigy

This kid stopped me in my tracks—so to speak—on Saturday at Union Square.

Which is it?

Daily News Story on Forest Hills

I've been getting a lot of emails and comments regarding the Daily News story about our neighborhood:
Forest Hills is going from suburban to chic with trendy new restaurants and bars
New additions to the central Queens neighborhood include wine bar Keuka Kafe on Queens Blvd. and craft beer bar Forest Hills Station House and burger joint Twisted and Smash’d on Austin St.

I have my ideas about how the article came about (which I will keep to myself), but that's not really important. I think it's wonderful publicity for our neighborhood and pretty much accurate, though, as several of you have pointed out, incomplete. For example, it leaves out Banter, which is probably the best new all-around restaurant to open in central Forest Hills. And the incredible excitement being generated by the revival of music concerts at our Stadium.

But, hey, who's complaining? I'll take the long-overdue positive coverage of our nabe by the mainstream media.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Tuscan Hills Owners Opening New Place!

One of Tuscan Hills' luscious pies...
Awesome news this morning! A very exciting time for pizza lovers! I've rated their pizza the best in Forest Hills previously, so this place could very well be literally a slice of heaven for us!
 (Actually, the story says they are trying something quite exciting and new ... read on....)
New Italian-Style Bistro in Forest Hills Serving Up 'Pizza by the Inch'
The bistro will open at 110-60 Queens Blvd., replacing Just Like Mother’s, a Polish restaurant which closed last year.

Oh, and you know how I just tweeted yesterday how I think Queens Blvd. is the worst thing about living in Forest Hills? Well, increasingly not so much...

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Forest Close Named a 'NYC Priority Area Meriting Preservation'

Photo Credit: Michael Perlman
The Historic Districts Council, New York’s city-wide advocate for historic buildings and neighborhoods, announced today its 2014 Six to Celebrate, an annual listing of historic New York City neighborhoods and institutions that merit preservation attention.  Among them is Forest Hills' Forest Close, a development between Queens Blvd. and Austin St. bordered by 75th Avenue on the West and 76th Ave on the East.

Designed in 1927 in the spirit of the garden city movement, Forest Close is a charming nook of 38 neo-Tudor houses surrounding a shared communal garden. While the Forest Close Association maintains covenants that regulate design and open space elements of the community and advises residents on design guidelines for building projects, they are now exploring other tools to better protect the area’s special character. The Association is working to engage residents and local stakeholders to promote the preservation of this lush neighborhood in Forest Hills.

This is New York’s only citywide list of preservation priorities coming directly from the neighborhoods. Launching in conjunction with the 2014 list is also a website for the Six to Celebrate Program, detailing all of the preservation work done in the chosen neighborhoods since the program’s inception in 2011. The website can be viewed at

The 2014 groups will be formally introduced at the Six to Celebrate Launch Party onWednesday, January 29, 2014, 6:00-8:00pm at the LGBT Community Center (208 West 13th Street.) For tickets, visit

The six priority areas were chosen from applications submitted by neighborhood groups around the city on the basis of the architectural and historic merit of the area, the level of threat to the neighborhood, strength and willingness of the local advocates, and where HDC’s citywide preservation perspective and assistance could be the most meaningful.  Throughout 2014, HDC will work with these neighborhood partners to set and reach preservation goals through strategic planning, advocacy, outreach, programs and building public awareness.

The other five comprising the 2014 Six to Celebrate are:

Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
A commercial thoroughfare for more than one hundred years, Atlantic Avenue is a diverse and varied boulevard connecting the historic neighborhoods of Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill. The Atlantic Avenue Business Improvement Districtseeks to create a shopping and dining district that celebrates its history and architecture. These efforts include educational outreach through lectures, tours and family-oriented programs, and the exploration of preservation methods to protect and enhance the elegant streetscapes that make the Avenue so enticing.

Historic Cemeteries, Staten Island
Dotting Staten Island are 19 historic places of memory and rest. The Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries of Staten Island maintains the physical sites and written records of 11 of these spaces, promotes and assists in their beautification and rehabilitation, and engages local residents through events, programs and clean-ups. Friends is working to secure the resources needed to expand awareness of and participation in preserving these sites which are a vital, if little-known, part of New York City’s early history.

Madison Square North, Manhattan
This architecturally diverse neighborhood bordering midtown Manhattan includes pre-Civil War rowhouses, late 19th century hotels, early 20th century loft and commercial structures, and the remaining buildings of Tin Pan Alley. Spurred by several threats to important historic buildings, the 29th Street Neighborhood Association has recently begun a campaign to preserve this area’s rich architectural and cultural history by expanding the limited Madison Square North Historic District to better reflect the actual neighborhood.

Park Avenue, Manhattan
Working with a coalition of residents, activists and community groups, Historic Park Avenue, Defenders of the Historic Upper East Side and Carnegie Hill Neighbors seek to landmark the unprotected blocks of New York’s premier historic boulevard. With an important Historic District hearing at the Landmarks Preservation Commission early in 2014, the year is off to an exciting start. This strong push to protect its historical and architectural significance includes the effort to prevent the demolition of the rectory of Park Avenue Christian Church, an architectural jewel in the Avenue’s crown.

New York City’s Public Libraries
   Each of New York City’s public library branches is a neighborhood anchor, nurturing and educating residents. Crucial to their mission are the physical spaces they occupy. Often a community’s most distinguished building and only gathering place, these institutions have played an important role in the lives of generations of New Yorkers. Working with local advocates and organizations, the Historic Districts Council has chosen libraries as a thematic priority for 2014. HDC seeks to promote and preserve libraries across the five boroughs through education, outreach, advocacy and research. The project will include the completion of the Campaign to Preserve the Carnegie Libraries, a nomination of this thematic resource to the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Austin Update

Just some things I've noticed:
  1. Despite what someone commented about on this blog, Bonfire Grill is not closed for construction and is not expanding into the ice cream place next door to it. Just a little reporting tip to the commenter who said so a week or so ago: Before assuming a place is closed, try opening the door. Bonfire Grill is quite open for business, was pretty busy this weekend and has really good food. Oh, and I'll say it again: That ice cream shop always closes down for the winter and reopens in the warmer months. Always had, always will. 
  2. The saga of the former Austin Jeans location continues. Austin Jeans closed its doors a month or two ago after being in business for a very long time. Then, a yoga clothes shop started moving into the space and then overnight, no more yoga clothes. The place has a "For Rent" sign on the window again. A prime location for a small retailer or cafe if I've ever seen one here in FoHi.
All for now - Keep Warm and Carry On!

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Grill Update

I know some readers have been curious about The Grill, the new restaurant that opened recently on Restaurant Row (70th Road). I noticed they had a new lunch menu posted in their window, with, I might add, very reasonable prices, and then I went to their website and also noticed that the prices even for dinner now seem to be getting closer and closer to something even a Forest Hills blogger can afford. So chances of an Edge of the City review just increased dramatically.

Boutique for Children on Austin Closing

This kids' clothing store, Boutique for Children, says it is closing.
This opens up another prime spot on Austin St.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Wintry Scenes

It's fitting to close out the holiday season with these beautiful winter scenes from in front of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs. I love how perfect the snow drift is in the first pic.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Snowy Welcome to 2014

Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2014. I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays! Now it's time to batten down the hatches for a snowy couple of days...